If you’re a filmmaker or video creator that confident in your ability to produce high quality films... You’re going to learn and love this interview with Tony.
Tony is a passionate Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor turned commercial filmmaker. After recently having a baby, Tony & his wife Amy decided it was time to go all in and take their video production company to the next level by pivoting to a video production agency business model.
Here is what you’ll learn in this interview:
- Why offering high quality videos for the past few years was causing cashflow issues for Tony & Amy on a monthly basis
- How the Earn The Deal sales model gave Tony a new way confidently charging for his video production services on retainer. (Not selling video series but actual evergreen retainers that can last a lifetime)
- How Tony & Amy are planning to build their video production agency with BETTER clients not MORE clients.
- This is a key distinction and worth listening to understand why
- And much, much more!
– Paul Xavier
All right. Hello everyone. Today we have Tyler Helms. He’s a filmmaker. He joined next level creators and three weeks on the day on the third wheat, he landed his first commercial campaign client for $2,000 a month. He’s really excited because you’re going to share that story with you. A what, how he found us, uh, here at next level creators, what it’s been like to work with us and how we landed that first client so it can potentially help you do the same. So Tyler, thanks so much for sharing your story and being here. Absolutely. Thanks for having me, man. Awesome. Um, so Tyler, I’d like to start out these conversations first by just asking what got you into filmmaking in the first place? Yeah, everything, picking up on camera and stuff, like little TV shows, whatever. In College. Um, I created student TV shows, kind of, you know, I mean not just being behind the camera, but also the editing process as well. I would like the storytelling component. I love movies, the entertainment, you know, Jean and everything. So, and it just fit, you know, for me. And, you know, I went to college, do that a little bit. Um, and then I went into industry into it actually sound like you for, you know, four and a half years and pretty much last company I was working for, you know, you know, freshly come out of college, know, can do anything right. You know, it, social media everywhere. So it’s like the utility man. But one of the cool things was I got to be, uh, the video guy. So I got to see videos and made like over 300 videos and everything. And it was a, it was actually a state association for ’em real estate. And so I kind of had a niche there. And, um, you know, I just, I was like, all right, we all know a lot of people in real estate. I want to go be the real estate video guy. That’s going to be my thing. Went off, um, February of last year and I started my own company and it’s just kind of evolved and Justin, awesome process. Learning from my mistakes. Yeah. And just getting better. And, uh, once I’ve found, you know, you guys mmm know it just made sense. You know, cause I was in a spot where, you know, you know, I hit kind of a peak. I was like, you know, mmm mmm. Either going to continue doing real estate videos for like 100 bucks, which is like all they’re going to pay, you know, and work myself to death or I need to find some way. You were really fun and my value and my potential, what I actually want to do. Yeah. When I went and found you guys in the course. Yeah. Yeah. You started, it started your video production business went out on your own basically betting on you’re betting on yourself that you’d be able to make this work and yeah. What made you identify real? Like you said you were kind of working in a real estate company, you identified real estate videos and then you went in on that. How long were you doing that for? Like what was the timeframe? Have you on your own freelance working in real estate videos for real estate? It was about six months on that street. You know, trying to find every realtor, not good to work with. And you know, what you find is that it’s, you know, a listing here, a listening there, you know, last year was, and this year we’re great markets, you know, but had this been, you know, different marketing on main may not have been the same, don’t worry, but you’re, you’re really subject to I guess, no listings and you know, you want to, you know, do that. And so, you know, I kind of transformed a little bit less your listings and the more like creative stuff like, hey, let’s go do community videos. And then the stuff that you can send potential clients or you know, neighborhood profiles trying to expand out like that. And people just weren’t biting because they didn’t understand the concept. They’re like, okay, why am I going to do this? Like, how is this going to make any money? Yeah. I think the listing videos directly gonna make them money, you know, even though there’s a lot happening. Yeah, I was doing that for about six months. And so, um, the idea of content retainers and subscription video subscription, you know, cross my mind and I was trying to pitch them that people actually have one, I’m in the area, reach out to me for that exact reason, you know, but the thing was all right, you know, uh, I want to be the leader in doing this and the community, so I want to go exclusive. And so to me, oh like, yeah, that’s worth it because I’m tired of like chasing these. Right. And so the retainer and subscription thing, you know, has been still exists. MMM. But you know, it’s tough two because I’ve kind of pigeonhole myself. We are out of my niche, you know, a real estate. So I have to go find the other industries that kind of touch that. So I’ve been trying to find things like that mmm. And get some video subscription and everything, you know, push that model towards some of my clients and potential clients. It wasn’t sticking with people just because, and people, the videos are great. Right. You know, like it’s seen as an expense to them and that’s really tough. You know, situation for me to be in because I’m like, yeah, there’s ways that you can do this and you know, post it and yeah, I think I had the idea of what next level creators was like, like coming into it, you know, like, uh, but once I actually got through the program, all right, this is exactly what I’m like, I was all around it. I was like, I was poking around it, but I didn’t actually, it didn’t click and come together and focus until I actually invested in the program. It’s been fantastic and just makes so much sense. Awesome. I appreciate it. Great to hear. Of course. So of course getting into it, you know, you were thinking about doing these content retainers and commercial campaigns. MMM. In a sense you had the thought, the theory in your mind, I want to deliver more value to my clients. I want to be able to charge 30 times what I’m charging now and have people pay me that every single month. So that was like in your mind, in the back of it and you were like, how do I do that though? Yeah. Because it sounds great. Theory sounds great. Right. But then in practice, in reality, trying to go and do it on your own with no blueprint or support you, you are kind of running into some challenges there it sounds like. Absolutely. And so when you got in, what were the big breakthroughs for you? So you joined next level creators a couple of weeks ago really? And what’s been the big shift or the big thing that you learned that allowed you to sir gain traction and momentum with this? Absolutely. Well first, okay. Talking about and really? Yeah. Okay. I started tracking my time like early or after a few months of getting into it because I was spending 60 hours a week just doing things that work, income producing activities essentially. And so yeah, once I started tracking my time, you know, originally even before the program I realized that, you know, time is, you know, I was working 60 now I can do 40 hours a week. Pretty much. Yeah. Make more money off. They want to join the program, you know, it just, it helped me, you just clarify that even more. And even laser inch further on my focus. No, I don’t need to be spending time, you know, like creating like small little social media clips when the people aren’t even going to be like posting them on social media. We don’t know how anyway, you know. And like spending time creating guides and steps for people to actually no posts it. I was, yes, it really taught me how to like focus on ways or not things like income producing activities. And I think you know, that that has changed and helped me a lot. And I think the other thing too with value, understanding my value mmm. Instead of low balling myself. Yeah. Thinking that the client, you know, that price is right for the client. No having and among price for myself and saying that if I’m going to do a job, you know, if it’s going to be at least this much. Right. And that right with a complete mind shift. Okay. Nothing like, you know, because as a creative and everything, we’re always like judging ourselves and like it’s really tough to know your worth. Like, my wife tells me all the time, she even charging more need to be charging where I’m like, yeah, I’m just trying to like help these people, al. But you know, the end of the day, you know, I was kind of like, yeah, driving myself into a hole and not valuing myself. So I think just taking a step back and really understanding my own value, you know, that was something completely off the bat, you know, that that helped me. MMM. Another thing too was, you know, the sales side, you know, you know, I was a little bit nervous about yourself, like the craft and everything, you know, I love look creating. Yeah. At the end of the day you just made it realize that it’s a relationship that you’re growing with somebody and they’re either going to take it or they’re not. If they are, that’s going to be a fantastic person to work with and because you’re going to grow together, you know, I think I was just always afraid like someone saying no. So I made my price super low, you know, because I’ve, you know, chasing the wrong thing essentially. So, yeah, those are the three I learned right off the bat. Yeah. Nice. Yeah. And I mean, as far as the program, I mean, you know, we’re, we’re continuously building it out, but how much of it have you made it through so far? Yeah. So, yeah. Yeah. I was like, all right. First Week on diving into this thing, I was like thinking of like, you know, hours and I just going through it cause I wanted to, you know, a everything and understand it all. Um, so right now I’m probably, I’m at the point where I’m learning more about, you know, Google ad words and Facebook and kind of the media buying, um, portion. MMM. You know, earn the deal again with something that went through and went through, you know, mmm. Kind of crafted and make my own script and everything, you know, practice it and everything. And you know, it sounds so good in your head when you’re doing it, but once you actually say it out loud, yeah. What is wrong with me? Yeah. It’s like I’m coming from the workplace. My tonality is awful. I don’t know what I’m saying. I don’t understand who I am anymore. Yeah. It’s like it’s, it’s interesting cause practicing it is very much like a real life situation you get in there also when you’re nervous, well like if you’re not nervous during a sales meeting, you’re probably not in a real sales meeting. And then you have to like figure out how do you actually communicate your value effectively. How do you diagnose what the other person wants, what matters to them if they’re committed or serious or if they’re just kind of like tire kickers or how do we edit? We make sure we’re doing it the right way. Yeah. So that’s funny that you, I still practice all the time and I, I know, yeah. Consistently or they’re confused by it in a sense. Cause I, yeah, I developed a thing but you still, it doesn’t mean I’m done. I have so much more I want to do with that. Yeah. There’s no stop to it because you can just get better and better and better and better and better with it. It only makes you a better entrepreneur and I really do believe that earn the deal. Learning how to sell and persuade, but do it from a respectable sand point of value when, when bay standpoint, the more you do it, just the better person you become. Have you found that dude, it’s intro. Like I’ve, I feel like I have more meaningful conversations just in life because of it. I think the best part about it is when you can express, hey, we’re going to grow. Yeah. That seems like mind blowing oftentimes, especially as a creative notes. I’m sure I probably came up right. If you’re, you know, one edge, you know, you’re going to buy this and it’s going to be seen as an expense, you know, um, even though I’m trying to help them out, but really, you know, I can’t press the buttons for them. I can’t let them send it in their marketing or you know, put it on social media or anything, you know, without, you know, spending more of my time kind of going out that night to like with this you’re actually talking to them and saying, hey, this is a, uh, when, when relationship, like you said, you know, and you guys are growing together and you can see results of how you can gets them there and so that, that’s, that’s good for you and it’s good for the other person as well. So I mean it’s been neat. I liked, I like the concept of Urbandale for sure as athletes. And so you’ve, how many sales meetings have you had since joining it? Because you just got in, you just, I mean, you had gone through earn the deal and you’ve already gotten a client. How many meetings have you had? I bet I believe between them meetings and calls I’ve had. Yeah. And you know, it’s, it’s kind of interesting because, you know, with the earn the deal now I’m hitting a lot of clients, like existing clients and people that I’ve worked with or am currently working with. So I’ve kind of had to tailor it a little bit, you know, to be, I think they understand, you know, it had that relationship with me already to where they know like, okay, this is what’d you know, this is a legit program. Yeah. I think some people, some budgets like going back to what I said, you know, kind of underpricing myself and everything. I’ve kind of, I think it scared of someone who’s used to paying, you know, close to like a $300 advertising budget, you know, much just say, hey, let’s do this even though, okay, get the results, we’re going to create something predictable to, to gate, give you money, you know, and leave. Yup. So I think the hesitation that I’ve seen is only from people that just, I kind of underpriced myself and you know, I’m pitching something to them with the hopes of being able to continue that relationship. But like an even better what, you know? No, I would never want to do that. And that again, that’s like some of the smaller clients, but I mean even today actually there’s a client that I got a referral from that [inaudible] a subscription to and yeah, they have the contract right now for our content retainer. So, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s super exciting. And again, like I think my focus too, like I love working with small businesses and people who are super passionate, you know? Um, but it is really mmm fun to work with kind of bigger businesses who have the marketing team, but they just don’t know any of this stuff. You know, that like, they feel like they have to get like someone for social media, you know? Well, what does that even mean? Like that’s so broad. Yeah. There’s so many things that come along with that. How can I help? Yeah. Know a row that way. So this was like one of like a bigger company. So it’s really cool. And she’s like, if you’re helping me out so much, you know, so I still feel like I’m getting that satisfaction of working with, you know, a long quote. Someone who’s really passionate about, you know, their business, what they do. So yeah. Yeah. So you’ve, you’ve communicated with six people, you have one deal that’s pending with the content retainer. You have one deal that’s closed for a commercial campaign and what that commercial campaign. MMM. Essentially, yeah. Do you have it mapped out to the point where you’re like, all right, I know the Kpis, I know, um, what channel we’re using, what sales funnel we’re using, and really just have a really clear idea of what you’re going to be doing for them. Yeah, kind of. So it would be, the thing here is basically, you know, they’re one of those companies, again, since we had that relationship and everything, I haven’t really had the opportunity as if I would have with a new client and really set expectations because expectations have kind of already been made. So they’ve been known a little bit to drag their feet. So they’re kind of, you know, going through the document that I’ve sent over that I need to help, um, go into that onboarding call meeting. Yep. So where are we can really, yeah. MMM. But the messaging, the idea of what we’re trying to do. MMM. I think I understand. I know the platform that I want to use. MMM. Uh, and I have an idea, I’ve done like kind of on my own research before we have our own boarding meeting, just to kind of get an idea of how we can execute it and everything. So I think the message, the message still needs to be crafted a little bit, but yeah. Of what we’re trying to execute, I think we have that, which is good. And if anyone is listening that isn’t a member of next level creators, just so you know, what we’re talking about here is after you close a deal, client pays, they sign their contract and everything and you’re, you’re ready to go. Um, we send our clients over. Yeah. Homework. Essentially it’s like, Hey, do your homework. And then they have to do this work to prepare for an onboarding meeting and in that onboarding meeting and we do it this way to streamline operations to make it so where as efficient with our time as possible. And so in that meeting you’re, you’re going to get those documents and through that, that’s where we get to do this is immense market research where it’s really probably one of my most, the Andrew Most enjoyable part about, uh, the creative process is learning. Who are you creating these videos for in the first place? What is it that drives them? Why did they want this offer or this thing? How can we use things that interest them to get their attention and spike in the very, very beginning of your videos. So you get a lot of, a lot of great information from this part of the process and a that goes into your script writing process and your, your video, a product like preproduction, then you’re, you’re ready to, to go home basically. Shoot. So that’s awesome. You’re, you’re at right at the of this campaign. And I’m sure after this video we’ll talk a bit more about the messaging and all that stuff. Um, but that’s really exciting. And so this client that you’ve landed, it’s the first client of what you’re looking to do. Many, if that are recurring here, where do you see your business in the next, like let’s just say in the next six months here, where do you see yourself? How many clients, what kind of income are you bringing in and, and, and, and what’s shifting for you in your life at that moment? At that point in time? Yeah. My goal, yeah. To get around the five or six client range. Um, and in that six months, really a focus on getting better at creating the campaign and crafting the message, you know, with each client as it comes through and figuring out what that, and I guess figuring out which concept or which avenue would be the best one. You know, and I guess, you know, it could, there could be similar clients in there, but I think the goal is, okay, get my, I think the Max number I want. We’re probably be on five or six until, you know, yeah. Figured that out in the specialized side. MMM. You in the next six months I’ll just see it as, I’m doing a lot less like running around more like focusing, like just like focusing on the big picture and how I can craft something that essentially I just conductor and watch throughout the week and everything. You know, instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off three shoots in a day and, you know, yeah. Just, you know, waiting on people to pay me and all that stuff, you know, like having something set up like that. That’s the goal. I think from a business standpoint, I’m hoping to and my personal life, you know? And that frees me up to have more time, you know, with my life wife now, we just got married in January. He has to be able to, you know, do the things that we want. MMM. Less chaos, I guess time, you know, I’m not always going to be taken about my business. Yes. An entrepreneur. That’s what you do, you know, but let’s worry a little bit more like, uh, oh, right on. Okay, I gotta do this tomorrow, I gotta do this, you know? Yeah. A different mindset I guess. Thinking about how am I going to make it, but now it’s okay, well how am I going to help this mind, you know, how can I tweak this or whatever to help his clients. This seems like a lot of pressure would be taken off. Yeah. To have that kind of thing. So. MMM. Yeah. I think the goal that I’ve said, you know, you know, 30,001 would be, you know, what I want to get at. And I think by, you know, I can get there by helping these clients, you know, really getting that relationship to where we can get even more commercial campaign signed up for them or you know, help them in other avenues to where, you know, it’s just, I’m working with a few clients here and there working on my special specialization. And then, uh, kind of moving forward from there. And the, and the beautiful thing about it is just the fact that it’s so, um, I like, uh, you’ve probably heard me say it. Um, I, I’m not the biggest fan of passive income. I don’t really believe in it, but I love leveraged income and you’re talking about leverage, you’re talking about getting a thing where you input, you know, a few hours and get a much bigger output than you would if you were just out there shooting or being a, um, you know, uh, doing a day rate for a shoot, right? Like, sure, you can make quite a bit of cash. Then you stretch that out over a few days of not having clients and not knowing what to do to get more and just waiting for referrals that, that eats away very quickly. And so, um, this idea of leverage of having recurring income, getting paid before you start working, right? He get paid on the first of the month for the work. You’re doing that, like that cashflow and different story when you’re talking from that perspective, right? It’s not 50% but it’s, it’s before you start, then you have this leverage aspect of yeah, if you’re, if you’re looking at it in the $30,000 a month with six clients, six clients at five grand, and as you said before, right now, your first client, I mean you’re, you’re just getting started with this. You started three weeks ago really, and I already have $2,000 a month coming in from one client. You haven’t even started. So once you get them results, scaling that to $5,000 a month won’t be difficult. I mean, you can do that relatively quickly. Oh, you have to do is show a little bit of results and then say, let’s double down. Oh yeah. You know, and you have, it is, you know, you can, you can keep moving through. Like this is the thing, you have your hot and warm market still. You went to them before. Just keep going through them. You’ve got more people there most likely. And then implementing time methods, everything you’ve learned from earn attention marketing, um, scaling that aspect of it. You only need four or five more clients, uh, with Eh, but it is really about the right clients, as you said, because it’s really nice to work with small businesses. I like working with small businesses. I like working with people in need. I like charity as well, but I, that’s, I do charity. I give to charity when I need to make a living for myself and an income from my business. I want to help people who are somewhat successful already get to that next level because they’ve already got something figured out. They’ve got some resources available that we can allocate in and help them move faster. Right. And it sounds like with this particular client and some of the techniques, as far as like setting a minimum for yourself, you’ve started to analyze your opportunities differently. Kind of thinking more of like an investor. Well, if I’m going to invest my time and to helping you grow your business, I want to make sure that I can at least grow your business by a few hundred thousand dollars this year so I can make a decent amount. Right. Instead of looking at someone’s business who caps out at 100,000 it’s like I, yeah. And they haven’t even gotten to 10,000 years. Like, I, I appreciate where you’re at. I’d love to help you, but we’re just not the right fit right now. Right. In that mindset shift is something that so many people need to go through. And I’m happy that you’ve already made it. You’ve done it so quickly. MMM. Yeah. Oh, that’s awesome. So Tyler, as far as next level creators, everything you’ve learned, um, where you’re at now, where you’re going, would you recommend next level creators to someone else who is in a similar situation to you and why? Yeah, you finally have, for me it was finding that thing that I could, yeah. Repeat customers from you finally have like the value you learned, the value in how your videos now aren’t seen as an expense. You’re now seen as an asset to that community. Does that business. And that is like powerful. And as a creative, for me, it was always like, like in some way you’re always looking to like approval or you’re looking for like people to, so I, yes, you know, one to come back and watch to come back from war and everything and just to have that feeling of someone who would know they see the results and they’re coming back to you instead of saying, Hey, you know, we did a video, but you know, you know, he did a great job, but you know, we just don’t have the money right now or you know, we’ll put it in next years budget or something like that. You know, those conversations. You know, I’m, I’m confident that now with this mindset shift especially, you know, learn that excellent creators that I’m going to B in a spot, you know, favorable for me. Uh, and so, mmm. I highly recommended, you know, totally worth it. You know, it takes a long time and, and um, self awareness, you know, two actually and self discipline and really just sit down and do this, you know, because like for me, yeah, I had to make a decision. I was like, all right, I’m going to either continue doing this. Uh Huh. Uh, and continuing grinding and hustling, you know, and everything. Or I’m actually focus on risks and hmm. Dialed down and learn the system so that I can, you’d better not only for my business with my personal life as well. And so, um, you have to like stick with it and half the, you know, take the time and investment, you know, you can’t just, okay. All right. Now I’m part of it. It’s going to do it by itself. No, you have to like, you got to put in the work. So, um, yeah. Love it man. It’s, it’s fantastic. I’ve loved that you’ve been able to, to pull something like this together and it’s just, uh, completely worth it. I appreciate that. Thank you. And as you said, it won’t do the work for you. I always say, I always tell people that I cannot come to your house. My friends wake you up in the morning and force you to do the work. But I will show you exactly what you need to do in extreme depth. And then when you need help, I will be there. That’s what next level creators is all about. And so thanks for taking advantage of it and, uh, getting results. And we’re only in month one, so let’s keep going.