Today we have Derick Pope from High Arc Media in the studio. COVID-19 truly decimated Derick's business, but it looks like Derick is going to have the last laugh, as you'll soon hear.
Here's a sneak peek at what you'll hear:
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Den Lennie (0s):
Hey guys! Welcome to this episode of the, How to scale a Video Business podcast with me, your host, Den Lennie today we have Derick Pope from High Arc Media in Atlanta, Georgia joining us on the podcast. Now, Derick and I had been working together for about eight months. When he started the early this year, he started to make some really strong end roads. Then COVID hit, and it really decimated this business because most of what he was doing was in live events, but he very quickly pivoted and started offering online services and quickly built his business back up. And I'm pleased to say that now six months on he's on track to triple his business this year.
Den Lennie (41s):
So I wanted to get Derick on the session with us because we'd actually just finished doing a coaching session and we had to be decided to do the podcast because so much of his journey, I think will resonate if you've been affected by COVID and business has been slow. And I think there is three is really going to inspire you. He's going to share what he did, how he did it and where he's on target for now. And what impressed me so much about Derick, because he's only 27 years old and he's really ambitious and is pushing towards big goals. So I think you really got to enjoy this chat with Derick and yeah. Enjoy the show.
Derick Pope (1m 19s):
Hey Derick how are you mate? And I'm doing great then. How about you very well, thank you. Now we actually just finished a coaching session and I thought I'd just jump on and create a podcast episode because we'd been working together now for about eight, nine months. In fact, January, I think you started this year. And can you, before we get into that, tell people a little bit about High Arc Media where are you based and what kind of work you do? Yeah, so we are a production company based in Atlanta. So core core crew here in Atlanta, we do corporate videos, documentaries, music, videos, and it's all about just helping me grow and clients take that growth in to scale to the next level.
Derick Pope (2m 5s):
They are ready to take the brand into a next level, step up there, quality. And we are here to help them to do that. And we serve as several different cities and States around the country. So we have crews out in New York, LA, Texas, a lot different places. So that's been going pretty well.
Den Lennie (2m 22s):
So let's take it back to when we first had a conversation. I think it was in the January of this year, but what was, what was the leaf looking like then for High arc media?
Derick Pope (2m 33s):
Hi Arch Media at that point, it was really just me and a couple of contractors figuring it out, you know, I was doing very well and I just came out of a, another coaching session and with another talk to him who was great and he showed me how to get to that point and it was time to take it to the next level. And, you know, at that point in my biggest might have been like $3,000 with just kind of taken stuffed as it was, and didn't have any systems, any predictability and my business strategy for marketing or anything like that.
Derick Pope (3m 14s):
So it was very unpredictable. I had five, six, 7,000 month. Den like a thousand to $8,000 months. So it was, it was, yeah, it was a relative of what would
Den Lennie (3m 27s):
You say you were, you were making a year back
Derick Pope (3m 29s):
Then between 35 and $40,000 a year.
Den Lennie (3m 36s):
And, and where you're at today sort of nine months after we started to kind of, you know, of supporting you
Derick Pope (3m 42s):
This year, we're on track for hitting the a hundred thousand a year or so I'm at 88,000 right now and revenue and I already got some jobs lined up to hit that a hundred thousand Mark. So that was that trip with that on a trip with them. They were revenue. And what did you say? Eight to nine a month. Yeah.
Den Lennie (4m 1s):
Congratulations. What changed? What are you, did you, what did you start to do differently and your business to start scaling? Can you take us through that? Because I think the listeners in the viewers watching this and listening to this will be fascinated to know, you know, would be the setting of that space themselves. How do you double and triple your business in less than the year? What are the steps that you take? What changed for you?
Derick Pope (4m 23s):
Well, I want to say honestly, messaging and targeting was the first thing that I needed to change. And that helped me build confidence and knowing that, okay, we really know how to help you. And we are an asset to your company. You know, it, it, it was, it was really that, and just a combination of ad in the marketing pieces. And once we got their messaging and their confidence of knowing, okay, this is how we are, who we can help. This is how we can do it at a professional level. And just making that consistent across the board. Honestly, just getting on top of just outreach and just making content strong content.
Derick Pope (5m 10s):
It, it, it was, it was a combination of the things I'm not going to lie. It was a journey from the website to sales to the priorities was huge. I can say when we started and we made the annual priorities, well, we are almost pretty much ticked off everything from the administrative to the production, to personal everything. That priorities lists was huge as well. Just really setting out through strategic goals instead of just floating along and following those that helped a lot as well. So,
Den Lennie (5m 46s):
Yeah, I think you mentioned some in there about the journey and like, I think the thing that, that I want to really help those listening to this show really fully grasped is that it's, it's hard, isn't it? Its not easy growing a business. And what have been some of the challenges you face on a daily basis growing a business? Because I think what's important is to kind of paint a picture of the reality of, of just how, how much work it is because it's not, it's not for everyone.
Derick Pope (6m 12s):
Yeah. So one of the biggest challenges is the discipline that it takes, you know, especially during times like, like it's, I'm so thankful, but you know, the best months of hierarchy Media we were doing, COVID when the mental was messed up and you know, instead of just giving up and instead of just saying, don't feel like work in a day to day sucks. I lost these jobs yesterday and just keep pushing that that's a big challenge, the discipline doing the things that you don't love. You know, I love editing passing projects, but I hate client projects, you know, and, and you know, just doing the things that it takes to go to the next level instead of just the, Oh yeah, we can see what a cool video and it will be, you know, it will look good on our real, but doing the things that it takes to really build a business, to, to work with other people.
Derick Pope (7m 11s):
And that was a challenge is, is, and just keep persevering when those were all of the coast and months com and you know, I know how you going to handle things, but yeah, I mean, there are some late nights and early mornings for sure. It gets lonely sometimes because you have to make it a lot of sacrifices to really build it and get to where you want to, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. So,
Den Lennie (7m 37s):
And, and, you know, you got, you got destroyed by corporate. Did it mean you went to zero? It didn't you, I mean, te tell me about that, that moment that COVID here, because I remember her having a conversation with me saying, look, I, I can't, I can't continue. I just, I've got nothing coming in. Yeah,
Derick Pope (7m 50s):
Yeah. So right before COVID, I things we're looking at great, you know, but it, it was all event-based. We were working on really finding a niche and, and focusing on that and then next was events and it, it was going great. And then when COVID came, we were to be an industry. It just crashed and burned. And we were just kind of looking at like, Oh my God, what are we going to do? I have no live stream experience. We can't gather. And I had no clue what it would be, my bread and butter. Mmm. But it just being in a group and just talk it through and just, it took me awhile. It took awhile to really get it back on top of the messaging that offer and we are still working on it.
Derick Pope (8m 34s):
Today but yeah, it, it, it took some time, it took some time to, to really figure out how to handle that, for sure.
Den Lennie (8m 43s):
And, and, and, and how did being in the group support you during that time? Because I remember that conversation very well, but there was a lot of people were a few similar things. What were some of the more practical things that the group was, was helping support you? Yeah.
Derick Pope (8m 56s):
I mean, just, just the fact of, it's hard to find like minded people within your just general network. So being able to have people on the same level, same work ethic, people who are at a higher level than you learn it from there and talking to them, having that support in knowing that, okay, no one to where we are a smaller production company that has a larger production companies that are having some same issues, and this is how they're handling and, you know, just talking through it together, we had so many calls about Hey guys. Like I know Toni from the groups he gave up this time and talk to everybody about livestreaming. And we were also a grateful, I'm pretty sure it's a good amount of us are now into live streaming where we might not have been, you know, just sharing ups and downs.
Derick Pope (9m 43s):
That was priceless. So, yeah.
Den Lennie (9m 45s):
And, and you've also been like, I know you'd been working with Pat who is on the podcast, so a few weeks ago, and I know you guys are like, there's this kind of extended benefit where you guys are now sharing your work. Right. Tell me about that.
Derick Pope (9m 57s):
Yeah. So I'm a part of the whole COVID experience was, you know, I started this remote production thing and I've been able to work and do projects for about three or four of the guys in the group, you know, and just being able to help out there our clientele. So it is a great, you know, just being able to network with people, you know, it, and knowing that we could work together and that's part of our model is OK. You know, if its not where we're headquartered or we can get it done, if it was, we were in Atlanta and we can get it done and, and D C in Seattle and just happening, you know, people that are going to say cargo, start that over in Alabama. So this is a great knowing that there are some talented people that we can lean on.
Den Lennie (10m 38s):
So yeah. Yeah. It's, it's like an extended crew database, isn't it? But people you really trust 'cause every week. We, we bare all. I mean, it's a very vulnerable and open community. Talk to me a bit more about why that's important to know that the, the, the, the levels of trust that exist within, you know, what does essentially a group of competing businesses, although not in the same space in the same location, but we'll tell me more about that, that experience from your perspective.
Derick Pope (11m 6s):
Yeah. I mean, it, it, it is very important to be able to, to trust your crew's space as a creative, or you want things to be almost a perfectionist. You know what I mean? We just want to be able to be reassured that, okay, I know I can go work up there with most of the source of up in Chicago and I may not even have to go out. They're like, I know he was going to handle it. And just knowing that there was this, this unspoken brother and sisterhood in the group that we were looking out for each other's best interests, because we share so many ups and downs. There's a true relationship. There is like a family who has really like the family.
Derick Pope (11m 47s):
So it does no. And they were looking out for each other as it is very important.
Den Lennie (11m 51s):
Yeah, absolutely. It, it, it's something that I am very proud of is that is the integrity of the group. And yes, we have training in, yes, we do tackle tough, tough topics, and we do kind of like a bust your ass and like, you know, push you. And, but, but it is, it, the community is, has become very, very important to talk to me about kind of some of the more practical things. So, you know, you know, the community is amazing and that is, that has fostered by the members. And, but what about the sort of the practical side of training and the coaching, and then how does that directly benefit your business? How does that tangible?
Derick Pope (12m 26s):
Yeah. So one of the things there is, there's a lot of different benefits, but one thing that is a great benefit is our calls that we have our calls on Mondays and, you know, we'll have a good variety. So it's like, okay, this topic, you know, I'm just going to ask you a few questions. Then we'll say all the mess there and a few questions. And for the most part, just absorb and take this, or those are helpful. Then we also have a clause where it's like, what are your bottlenecks? What are you struggling with? And, you know, I may come in with a question of like, Hey, this is what I'm struggling with, but another person comes in and with a question and they bring out something that I didn't realize it, I was really struggling with. So I'm learning from both ends of the things that I'm struggling with.
Derick Pope (13m 9s):
And then the other peoples, like, eh, you know, that is that it was a problem for me. I can benefit from that as well. That's, that's a plus. And then just being able to, I mean, any topic, you name it with the video production, or you can go to the training of courses and, and freshen up on it. So that's a, that's a huge plus, so yeah,
Den Lennie (13m 29s):
Yeah, no, that's awesome. And we've just started a coaching session and we were touching base. It was, I kind of set a six month check in what have been some of the benefits of just the last, the last hour we spent on the phone together. What, what are some of the things that we can tackle there? Yeah.
Derick Pope (13m 41s):
Oh yeah. You would think after six months, it's like, what can you still learn? What can you still benefit from it? But I just had a freaking breakthrough. There is this there's this level as to every, you'll never stop growing up, cover things. So how are we can just to make my website better or scale up even more with more crew pricing messaging, and it's, this is, this is this the constant cycle of growth and getting to that next stage and getting better from there. Yeah. This or that color we just had. It was great. I said, I see in the future already,
Den Lennie (14m 16s):
Johnny, isn't it 'cause you wi when you come into a program like this, you think, well, I just wanted to get to this level of income and this level of clients, and then everything will be fine. But what happens of course, is you get there and then your own goalpost moves. And like you're never, ever going to reach the goal that you initially set for yourself. Because as soon as you reach it, you will set a higher goal. And I think we were talking about this. One of our call is like you, you will, a client's expectations will be at the 80%, you will always be pushing for a 110% and your team might be reaching 70, 80, 85%, but you will always be moving the bar higher.
Den Lennie (14m 56s):
And so I think as a creative, that something that we need to harness in the right places. But, but, but, but temper in the spaces where, you know, I think we talked about putting an extra 20% into a project, may not yield any more return. And the actual fact that you might just find yourself spending more time burning, more resources to achieve that. And what are some of the other core benefits you've experienced in your business since, since joining
Derick Pope (15m 31s):
Well, so we had one of the biggest things was proposals, which I still remember to this day there, it was, there was a call so that we had to wear Decklin and things up in Ireland, we went through one of his proposal's and it was mind blowing for me because I realize I had been doing this completely wrong, went out and bought this production and insurance, all this new equipment. And he wasn't using it to my benefit, but the way we broke it down, that cost, you know, and the proposal's where we were pricing for pre-production, that's an hourly where we were pricing for that equipment. We have that insurance. And not only are you able to charge more for this, but you're also able to give that client that reassurance that, Hey, there's not a lot of people that you are working with that are doing this, and this is why we can charge as much as in, you can have confidence that we are going to get the job done.
Derick Pope (16m 24s):
So that was a huge breakthrough. And also just going through just all the different channels and networks where we were breaking down, okay, this is exactly what I was working for me on Facebook ads. You know, I put out an offer or call to action for this price. I believe it was Andrew who went through one of his, his whole, just Facebook advertising set up, especially during COVID. He was like, yeah, we were just, we have a higher end offer. And we have a lower end offer where we are offering, you know, a couple of hours shoots for about seven 50, a thousand. And it's been working really well for us. We got these leads, this is what we are targeting. And just, just different things like that have been very helpful to really absorb and implement.
Den Lennie (17m 10s):
So, yeah. Yeah, totally amazing. And, and you've done some pretty cool projects recently as well. Haven't you mean you you'd been working with some, some big names. Tell me about that.
Derick Pope (17m 19s):
Yeah. And so, and this is interesting because it's something that you don't usually expect, but, you know, we've been able to work with Cielo Greene, a lot of other big influence their names, the company's, you know, at first I was working with small companies, but now I'm working with the AIDS healthcare foundation. They have thousands of employees. We just did a documentary for them, which is going to be amazing. And once we release it, just doing just crazy word, you got stuff to come out up in LA Charlotte, uhm, here soon. And so it has been great. This has been some great projects, things that I'd never thought I would do, honestly.
Den Lennie (18m 3s):
And then the other thing that, a thing that I was always very impressed with you Derick is, do you really embrace this idea of expanding and building a team very early on? And when your business was at a lower revenue, she didn't have the capacity or the resources to hire people. So he went on the intern route and, and that seems to work out very well. If you, can you tell me a bit more about that and in that process of how you find in terms of how you train them and how that benefits them and you.
Derick Pope (18m 30s):
Yeah. So pretty much, you know, Kobe came and while brainstorming, talking to everybody, I, I was talking to a different people and realized there was a lot of people who were collecting unemployment insurance and they were looking for ways that they can position themselves for growth. And I'm like, Hey, I'm looking for ways to position myself for growth too. So let's work together. And there were people, you know, before COVID, I ignored like a, a a hundred percent of those emails, but you know, a postie and now I'm okay. Well, there is room for a couple of extra hands with lighting your production and editing. I have some people telling me, Hey, I'm a writer.
Derick Pope (19m 11s):
I brought one intern and he has been doing my blogs. He has been killing it. I can count on him to do my scripts. And, and, and one of the benefits of working with the interns is that they are young. They, they don't even know how much they should be making, but, you know, I, I definitely make sure if they're paid, but you know, there are very cost effective and it helps. One thing that it helps you to do is prepare those systems because they require a little bit more training in a little bit more system. So it was putting that in a discipline on me to make better systems. And they've grown quite a quite well at one of my interns came in and, you know, I was always over his shoulder and now I'm like, Hey, you can go to handle the shoot by yourself.
Derick Pope (19m 55s):
I had one come in now sees a color is for me. And another came in and seize a first aid and a, a production assistant, a production manager. So it was sent out my car sees talk to clients. So working with interns is, has a journey, but its definitely a benefit and as cost effective and they've gotten to a point and now where I feel comfortable and I will actually pay them full rates. So yeah, it was definitely definitely a benefit for sure.
Den Lennie (20m 24s):
Great. Why isn't it too, to filter people, to actually find great talent and, and I think it's helped you sharpen your pencil in terms of how you operate your business because when you bring anyone in, be it contractors or Cru or interns, like the biggest challenge I think we have as creatives is getting everything out of our head, through our mouth, in an articulate that people understand that I think when we get stressed, we tend to sort of throw our drive by instructions. And, and so how, how has having interns helped you become a better business? Yeah,
Derick Pope (21m 0s):
Well, his to start is helped me be a better communicator, a better leader. We'll have weekly meetings and, and I have to be just more organized organization is a thing because its not like you said is not just in my head anymore, but now that other people have to understand it, I have to be on a timely manner. I can't just send things out to do things at 3:00 AM. You know what I mean? It, it has to be structured at timely and understandable so that anybody can understand it. So it's definitely helped me a lot and it's showing me where my leadership and where I can still grow and how to encourage people and to build one of the things I started doing was even though they weren't quite through employee's, but I offered them and the employee of the month thing and incentives and bonuses when they did different things to, to just, and I started to see that and they were congratulating each other, getting excited.
Derick Pope (21m 58s):
So This things like that. I was just like starting to see what it's like to build company culture two. Yeah, it does. It really be a true leader. So it was definitely a great honestly.
Den Lennie (22m 9s):
And it's, it's just so it so exciting for me as your coach to observe your journey because I can see where you're going. And I think you mentioned that, you know, in the, in the group, there are people who are farther down that pathway than you are. It just gives you the confidence that you know, you're going to get there and at what was next for you, what was, what's your neck's kind of what's your next three or four months look like?
Derick Pope (22m 34s):
Yes. So the goal for next three, three or four months is to a pretty much a position and scale up the revenue's. So right now I am without even really trying, I'm not, I don't, I've met that point where I had a bottleneck of, I don't even have time for sales, but I was still pulling in around 10 to 12,000 a month. So really opened up my time, getting more disciplined with my system's, bring in a production manager on a colorist to help me figure out my time so I could do more cells and do the little things that are going to have a big impact from our business. And I know that I can easily get up to 20 or 30,000 and the confidence is there at the content.
Derick Pope (23m 14s):
Is there the clientele is there. Yeah. And even just for before, I know it was a little off topic, but before the group, I didn't have any retainer clients and now I have clients that are consistently just, Hey, we love what you're doing to give us ideas taken and run with it. So bringing in more of those clients because they have, they're one of the reasons why I am where I am today because of that consistent repeat work. So yeah, it definitely bringing in more clients like that and then just scaling up in and keeping it going.
Den Lennie (23m 47s):
And it really that's so cool mate. So where can people find out more about your Derick?
Derick Pope (23m 52s):
Yes. So the company is higharcmedia.com and it's HIGH ARC media.com. I'm on there and you'll see a lot of our work, all the different services that we offer we're on a Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, you know, definitely love the LinkedIn content and very educational information on every Monday or Tuesday, I drop a, a terminology if you're not into video production and you can go and get some video production and terminology and learn, it's just different definitions. You might hear it as being tossed around and we learn some more things.
Den Lennie (24m 30s):
So man. Well, we will link to all of that on the blog post. Thanks man. It's it's just like, I get so excited when I see people that you grow and expand. Then I have no doubt that you'll get to a 30 or 40 grand a month in and really we don't have time at all with the, in the grand scheme of things and you're 27, you know, it's, it's like he got so much opportunity out of here. Thank you so much to dude. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Oh, thanks for watching. I hope you got a huge amount of value from that. Episode if you're looking for additional support or resources to support your business journey, then head over to denlennie.com, where you can get a whole heap of other resources, free downloads and access all the other episodes in the series.
Den Lennie (25m 17s):
Be sure to subscribe and I'll see you next time.
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