Is being a "jack of all trades" beneficial for video business owners? EP #134 - Den Lennie

podcast video business Nov 19, 2020

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Today Den goes solo and drops knowledge on all things business. Buckle up folks, there are juicy marketing tips aplenty. Enjoy. 



... Here's a sneak peek at what you'll hear:

  • Why some filmmakers and videographers are busier than Dolly Parton's plastic surgeon despite the current climate. - 2:00
  • What the "Mere-Exposure Effect" is... and how to apply it to your business so that you can attract new eager and cashed-up clients and customers in droves... - 3:00
  • Den's absurdly good coaching client case studies. One of Den's clients grew his business at a staggering rate while being in lockdown in Melbourne. (Hear these eyebrow-raising results at 4:00) 
  • Den's almost spooky-effective “3-step formula” for succeeding in business. - 5:00 
  • Q. What do the band Duran Duran, soccer demi-god Cristiano Ronaldo, and pop star Robbie Williams all have in common? A. They've all worked with Den. (Hear this cool fact at 6:00)
  • The one thing all of Den's most successful clients have in common. (This has to do with how they structure and approach their business. Get the full scoop at 9:15)
  • A certain business activity many filmmakers and videographers intentionally avoid doing. Not doing this is like deciding to never water your house plants.  - 9:50
  • A “mystifyingly stupid” thing many videographers and filmmakers do (or more accurately, don't do) that makes about as much sense as a soup sandwich. Not only is it stupid, but it's also hypocritical. - 11:00
  • Is being a "jack of all trades" beneficial for business owners in the video production industry? Hear Den's answer at 12:10
  • Marketing advice you'd be a fool not to take. - 12:50
  • An eye-opening insight into “niche” marketing. 13:10
  • A special way to position yourself in business so that prospective clients almost instantly want to hire you... and... feel safe to do so. - 13:50
  • One of the single best marketing questions to ask yourself ever invented. If you can successfully answer this question, and implement it, it can potentially set up your business for some very handsome paydays indeed. (Just this one marketing tip alone, if correctly implemented, can potentially get you a stampede of new customers pounding on your company's door. But you'll have to listen VERY carefully, okay? Den nonchalantly drops this gem at exactly 15:21 - You’re welcome.)
  • How one of Den's coaching clients negotiated an extra 30% worth of business using one of Den's devastatingly effective sales scripts. - 16:00
  • How you can have far more fun and be far more creative running a video production business when you're the guy behind the scenes and NOT the guy holding the camera or the guy locked up in an editing room. - 17:25
  • Den asks his listeners some hard-hitting questions relating to their business. Serious business owners will appreciate this laying down of the gauntlet. - 18:50

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Episode Transcription

Den Lennie (1s):
Hello guys. It's Den Lennie here host of the How to scale a video business podcast coming to you this week with another solo episode. So I wanted to start today and just get straight into it by actually talking about my clients who have been quite literally smashing it recently. And I want to just pay at respect to those guys who are just getting stuck into the business. It absolutely fills my cup when I hear their results that you want to share with you just in a minute, none of this comes easy. There's no short cuts, but these guys have something very unique about their approach.

Den Lennie (47s):
So let's go Straight into it. I want to just talk a bit about the fact that in, in a, in an environment out there where the news media we'd have you believe there was nothing but Dume and confusion. And I see a lot of people, you know, I'm writing on the timeline's on the walls. You know, things are really tougher that I talk to a lot of people reaching out on LinkedIn and this seemed to be a real mix of people who were really struggling and those who were doing okay. And are you going to ask you to ask the question, you know, what is the difference? Why are people doing differently?

Den Lennie (1m 29s):
That When a certain section of the society that we were talking about, filmmakers, videographers. I was saying there's no work. And yet there's others who are saying we've never been busier. And so, you know, I'm experiencing a lot more of the latter, a lot more people with them, certainly members of the Video business accelerator. I was saying, you know, we're getting busy and get him, get his knee, getting busier. And there's definitely a correlation between the time in the trenches actually getting your shit together and getting the results. And it's interesting, you know, I've just been going through a bit of rebuilding our website, just now working with the top copywriter in an amazing web company in Melbourne.

Den Lennie (2m 10s):
And we're doing a timeline of, of my mind kind of a boat and the page and, and we've going all the way back too. Gosh, where are we were write back to 1990, 90, 90, in fact. So we are almost, gosh, that's three years Christ. It's just struck me almost that two years. So we are in 1990 is when I first started university and I am looking back at this timeline and, and it's, it's taught me a few things about how careers and businesses and floor and you know, whenever we start something where we are unrealistic, perhaps about how quickly we can get the result.

Den Lennie (2m 51s):
And in actual fact, if you just got stuck into more of the kind of nuts and bolts, systemization getting clear on who you to work with, getting a clear marketing strategy together, getting a marketing equation together and actually disciplined. You can find the discipline to actually go out and, and, you know, just do the work at that. That has to be done to get your marketing message, right? And then get it out in front of the right people and have something called the mere exposure effect, which is it's the more time someone is exposed to your product brand or service, the more trust they build. And so the current numbers are somewhere in the region of, you know, 15 to 18 points of contact is what a client needs to see and experience with your product or brand or service before they feel that they can trust you.

Den Lennie (3m 46s):
And so, you know, often what happens is, is, is we give up too quickly when we're actually reaching out to prospects. And I'm, you know, I mentioned my clients are like, I'm going to want to call him out and pay the pig through a credit to them. Here because Caleb down in Hebron, film's in, in, you know, and in Bendigo, he doubled his revenue last month. You know, I had a massive month and there where they were growing in scaling pretty well, but we doubled the revenue in one month so much. So they need to know, go ahead and take on I'm a business development manager or a producer that they are currently looking to hire because they got so much demand and they were in a small country time And and you know, Victoria, it was in a locked down for 11 weeks.

Den Lennie (4m 30s):
You know, Pat whose been on the shore had had a massive month, you know, you know, a $30,000 check coming in the door for a client project and stars had another one $35,000 check with another one on the way, increasingly hearing stories in or of, of members who are you go back up to where they were before all the craziness. And, and it's not that not everyone's doing like that, you know, because there's people at different stages at the journey. But when I, when I look at why are these members of having such solid months it's mindset, they are there, they're there following the system is a proven system of a Video business and that they are following the system that is doing the work and they just don't give up.

Den Lennie (5m 15s):
And I'm looking back on my own timeline and thinking, well, you know, gosh, it, you know, it's a career almost 30 years and I was looking at different stages of my life and things that were happening. And you know, there are definitely peaks and troughs that are out there are years where things just go crazy. You know, back in 2009, I quit my job, remortgaged my house and, and set up f-stop Academy out for two reasons. One to health video producers, you know, embraced the new world of DSLRs and filmmaking, but also I didn't want to be employed anymore. I decide that I want to give it a goal and I also wanted to move to Australia. So we started thinking about it that way.

Den Lennie (5m 56s):
Back then in 2009, we created to create the film loop, the DVDs with Phil at bloom, with Dan Chung, with drew and drew gardener, are there other products, but we made, I made plenty of DVDs, downloads courses, myself, how to shoot interviews and video lighting for beginners, et cetera. And then it was 2012 when we had to start off with a really big year because Sonia asks us to get involved in the Fs 100, we helped design that camera was shot. The world's first of a music video on it. Take part in the great cameras for a very revenge of the great camera Xito alongside Mick Jones at Socrato Kessler in Chicago, got to meet Haskell Wexler and youngish Kaminski.

Den Lennie (6m 40s):
And, and we also filmed Duran Duran that year, Andrea court and Christiana Ronaldo. So there was a hell of a year later. This is that one year it became crazy. And in 2013, also a big year Sony, hardest to make level admins with a Bruce Logan Arc. We also help launch the F S 700 cameras. And I spoke and Singapore, Kuala lumper, Hong Kong, that's some tour dates with Robin Williams and we also made an escape for XY. So again, in 2012, in 2013, we're crazy busy year, but you know, if it hadn't always been like that. And, and that's really what taught me about the discipline required when running a business it's this is just so hard.

Den Lennie (7m 23s):
It's so hard, you know, you're always having to respond to something and no matter your greatest plans might be, you know, I've been on Today. I've been looking at finding images for my, my new website for just one page, but I've had to deal with a lot of other stuff. That's come in, we're buying a house just now in this, a lot of freelance stuff that we've got to deal with. And so there's always a disruption. And so in order for you to be able to achieve your outcomes, despite the disruption, you need systems, you have to have a system in place. You have to have a default diary, you have to plan strategically what it is you're looking to achieve because there is only so many hours in the day and I'm fortunate.

Den Lennie (8m 5s):
I've got a team so I can pass that onto the team, but the team is still in my attention, you know? And so there's, there's always a kind of that balanced between doing the work and, and being strategic and the being strategic part can be challenging. And, and I've got to see when I was running f-stop Academy back in the early days, it was really hard, you know, I mean, we had a couple of really big years and there wasn't, it wasn't a, a small stopped when we started with the DVDs, but, you know, 2019, 2011 was, it was very busy, but 2012, 2013, we really started to see some huge results. And then in 2014, that's when I wrote the book Business filmmakers.

Den Lennie (8m 47s):
And then, you know, there's so much disruption between 20 2009 and probably 2015, 2016 that, you know, we'd meet our sales coming back. What did you know what we did? What we'd done the last year? It wasn't working anymore. You know, we, we started with DVDs and a year later we couldn't give the DVDs away. Then we went digital downloads, and then we can give them a week. So there's never been a more disruptive team and our industry, I don't believe, but where does that leave you as a Video business owner? 'cause, you know, coming back to the theme of today's session, which is, you know, why is it some filmmakers are smashing it out at the park and others are kicking around going, I can't get any work. Well, I think the main reason is a lack of focus.

Den Lennie (9m 29s):
All of the businesses I've referred to our, our specialists, they specialize in one area and, and that focus on one area is what helps them to become experts, become a thorn in their space. And when you are an authority in your space than you, you get consistent results. And, and the, the other, the other challenge is that. So I see a lot of businesses Is if, if you, if you keep dabbling and things, if you keep trying to kind of figure out solutions and, and provide that kind of hard work, then you're always going to struggle. And the hard work I'm talking about, you know, Marketing, I'm talking about reaching out to the businesses and, and, and making yourself, you know, and making them make it at your self, aware to them.

Den Lennie (10m 20s):
As you know, it, it, it's a form of called outreach, but we have a process for that. And the group we use, LinkedIn it, it's very easy to find the right people. We've got connection scripts, and we help people to, you know, make those initial connections. And we've seen some incredible results with that technique, but, but it's not just one, you know, pillar of marketing, you got to have multiple pillars of marketing. And that's the, that's the challenging part. I think for creatives as we, we often think it's just about, you know, doing one thing and, and, and fingers crossed the formal ring and to build a consistent and viable business, you must have multiple marketing channels. So you might be doing some Facebook ads.

Den Lennie (11m 1s):
You might be running some Google ads. You might be doing some SC, or you might be doing some cold outreach. You might be draining articles in trade press for your, your given the market. And you certainly want to be showing a video footage in your channel of the work that you do, because if you want a client to drop tens of thousands of pounds or dollars a year or on a video, and you're not using video you yourself, don't you think maybe there's a disconnect. And I think that is something that I really want to, to kind of implore you to consider is that, you know, it's, it's, it's not always about just doing one thing.

Den Lennie (11m 43s):
You have to do multiple things. And, and that's why we've got our, our, our growth accelerators. You know, it, it's about, it's about understanding clearly what you want first and foremost, getting super clear on that, and then deciding, you know, who do you want to work with? Because you do get to choose this, this, this is something that's a lot of film makers who, who are struggling too, because the, the can wrap their head around this. And that is you get to choose who you work with. And, and I just don't think it's feasible to be a Jack of all trades anymore and try and service everyone. And there's just too much competition. So where are we are seeing people having the greatest results are When the focus on a specialism when they focused on a niche or an area, or, you know, and from a marketing perspective, I am not saying you don't have you, you can't do what for the clients it's is making your marketing message a nice and clear so that there is one message going out to your market, that you are the experts and in this area.

Den Lennie (12m 47s):
So Pat, for example, he was on the shore a couple of months ago. You know, he focuses largely on health care. Now he does other things. He does education. He does government and corporate in the agency work, but there, the 80% of his business is in the healthcare space. And so he's dug down deeper into healthcare, and now talks about public health, private health, medical devices, you know, drugs or administrations, you name it, they, they do everything. And so what happens is people in that sector then start to know our pathway as being the guys to go to it for anything medical, because of the, understand the bureaucracy. And they understand the language, they understand compliance.

Den Lennie (13m 28s):
And so when, when that client is hiring path, as yet, there is less risky than hiring someone who is new. And so when you become a specialist, you know, you, you automatically differentiate yourself. You know, I, I run a coaching business specifically for video production companies. We don't take sound recorders. We don't take, you know, freelance cameraman. We don't take artists or a graphic designers. We only work with videographers, with comm people who run our company. And that is very, very niche, but all of our members tell me that the reason they love it is because it's so niche it's because all we do is live and breathe and talk video production, how to scale up in business, you know, what, what are the challenges you're having?

Den Lennie (14m 18s):
So we'd be going in to the coaching call this week, and we've talked about it. You know, you know how to implement the LinkedIn strategy. You know, what, what are the obstacles people are having? And people who have been kind of questioning, you know, all that, there's this message. There is this the one, the most appropriate message given the circumstance. And so we were able to talk about that openly him. And that is why the coaching program, we call it a mastermind is because, you know, there's, there was one thing to learn the information. It's a totally other thing to actually implement it in and just come across other problems that are the challenges. And so, you know, we have this group environment where you can, you can submit something and we'll look at it and we will help you cultivate your offer and cultivate your message in a way that resonates with your target market.

Den Lennie (15m 5s):
And that's something that is very, very important. 'cause when you're try and figure this stuff out in your own, you're kind of firing blind. So coming back to our accelerators, you know, why don't, you know, who you're dealing with you, they're going to walk out, what is your message to that market? What is the offer of how are you offering a different approach to solving a problem? And, and how are you helping that client solve their problems? And from there, it's like, okay, well now how do we attract people into the business? What kind of marketing channels are you going to use? And how do you nurture those people from, you know, vaguely interested to becoming know yeah. Prospect, someone who is actually actively looking to invest in a video production service.

Den Lennie (15m 46s):
Once you get to that stage, you've got to know how to sell. You've got to know how to kind of ask the right sorts of questions so that you can actively yeah. Eh, you know, investigate and dig around and, and find that what that person really actually needs because of that. You don't do that. You'll be like, Oh, do you want a video? Is like, you've got to really dig deep. And in fact, I'm a grant. One of our clients Melbourne used our new sales script just recently. And he said, well, I probably made 30% more on the deal because I asked those things questions. And so, yeah. Well, that's just one example that once you've got the client on board, you've got to obviously fulfill the production. And that's probably the best is that most people are pretty or fair with Bart's, you know, how do you do, I know that Scale what happens when you get more than one job where you need systems, you need to process, and we're actually releasing yeah.

Den Lennie (16m 41s):
In January a brand new, how are you on a Video business system? I mean, we, we need to be been doing it in part to know, we have actually sat down with the one of our clients, so we've actually gone through it. And what type, what are the exact steps you need to run a video production business and the scale it to multiple six figures prophet. So we'll be releasing back in January about what we're doing in the meantime, Is is still working on the systems that you need to, and we've got the systems that you need to get to get started. Once you've got the systems in place, then you can start to scale. Then you can start to run multiple productions without you needing to be there. And then you move more into a kind of a, a, a, a kind of a management role in some ways, but that don't have that.

Den Lennie (17m 24s):
So that the other one that just sound like ours is boring, and it's actually, yeah. A pretty creative, because you not thinking you have more interesting ways to attract clients into your business, more exciting ways too, to help these clients achieve the results and outcomes. And, and so your measuring, you know, your system, are you measuring the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising? You are looking at your sales conversion. Yeah. And you're looking at what, what revenues are coming in and what cash flows in and how can you Scale who do you need next in the business to help you achieve your outcomes? And then you can focus on looking after clients and, and, and making sure that they're happy and, and making sure that repeat business is happy. And one of our other clients, and Melbourne has been running for quite some time.

Den Lennie (18m 6s):
And, and he has to be 30 or 40 different clients. And no, is that in a position where they don't really need to do much in the way of cold outreach, you know, there's enough business where it makes assisting clients that they are always busy. And so from there, it's, it's kind of background to the topic and its like, okay, once you were at that position, what's the next sector you want to go into? Or how do you want to scale the business? Do you want to scale back or do you want to bring someone in to run the business for you? Or do you want to, you know, just, just, just, just focusing on having more quality time with your family. And that is really our, our sole motivation within the video business accelerator is like, you get to choose what success looks like it to you. If you want to make a million bucks, we've got the process to do that.

Den Lennie (18m 47s):
But if you want to just kind of make a few, a hundred thousand a year in and only work two or three days a week, we'd we have a system for that as well. Like the key thing of what do you think about it? What do you want? You know, what are you interested in and, and, and how, how are, are you currently tracking and how are you currently tracking? How are you going to get to that next stage? Or what do you need to do? And, and, and what is stopping you from achieving that on your own? Because you know, its very hard to scale up with your business on you're own, without support. And you know, what we see with our clients is that members of this community win together because they are committed.

Den Lennie (19m 30s):
They are on calls every week, the enormous library of training and they get support. So you have to think about what it is you want from your business and ask yourself the question. Are you really going to achieve it on your own? Or what would happen if you got some support? Alright guys, that's it from me this week. I will talk to you soon. Okay. You've been listening to the how to scale a video business podcast with me, your host, Den Lennie. If you're a Video business owner is hit a ceiling, we have benefit from mentorship, support and coaching and check out how you can work with me over at Don't forget to subscribe and rate the show or over on iTunes.

Den Lennie (20m 10s):
And we really appreciate you taking a few minutes to leave review and don't forget to share if you feel you've gotten value from this episode and you think it will be useful for other filmmakers, you know, and please do me a massive favor and share it on social media and in groups that you might be in see you next week.




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