Timbo Reid: Here’s Jules Watkins from iPhone Video Hero. You are about to learn how to create simply, easily, cheaply, videos for your business and add a whole new string to your marketing bow. Here’s Jules. Jules Watkins, welcome to the Small Business, Big Marketing show.
Jules Watkins: Awesome, thanks very much for inviting me on.
Timbo Reid: Pleasure. Well you invited yourself on mate. You’re the one who approached me initially. We’ll talk about that later in the interview as a very clever marketing tactic. But first, what’s your story Jules? What did you do prior to creating iPhone Video Hero?
Jules Watkins: Well my story is in several chunks, but I’ll keep it brief I suppose. So it began, I’ve always been crazy about working in the media, and ended up studying photography and video, ended up working in photography as an assistant to an advertising photographer, ended up later going into news photography and ended up in the Balkans during some of the conflicts over there. I worked for agencies, news agencies, and that got me, photography and journalism got me into television, which was pretty amazing and I spent about 11 years working my way up into TV, ending up as a producer, director, and also operating camera from time to time on some big channel shows over here, BBC1 shows, Channel Four, MTV.
Timbo Reid: You’re going to cream my last question which is who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? Don’t tell us yet.
Jules Watkins: I don’t have time for all that. But yes, so mostly kind of cheesy reality entertainment kind of lighthearted documentary type shows. Biggest Loser would be one that you guys, I’m sure you know because it’s quite big in Australia, Pimp My Ride which is quite a cool little car show for MTV, business reality shows, all sorts really. So I worked my way up through there, but simultaneously divide up this real interesting online media, and I could see this sort of changing landscape of the media and caught onto that and started developing little sideline blogs and things like that, and started transitioning over into online media.
Timbo Reid: So have you made the transition, or is things like iPhone Video Hero still a hobby? Well it’s not a hobby, because it’s generating a seriously good income, but it’s; have you left the kind of what I would call a top end of town video production area?
Jules Watkins: I’m low end now. No, just kidding you there. Well actually yes, I had to make a decision, because TV is so demanding and time consuming and extremely draining, particularly as you get on a bit, so it’s sort of a young person’s game really. So I haven’t been making TV for a while, but what I did find is that there’s a big demand for videos to be made, good quality videos, so I do make some videos for clients. But you know what? I found myself getting a lot of great compliments and exposure through making products about video, because I know there’s a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners around the world who really want to gain these new skills. So I’m heading that way in terms of creating a kind of info product empire.
Timbo Reid: Well good on you. Well, what do you love? What do you love about video as a marketing tool for small business, Jules?
Jules Watkins: Oh, it’s just amazing. I would think it’s – Well one thing is it’s really fun, okay? I mean, that’s not the main thing, but it is very very fun. When you think about doing SCO, and that kind of puts you to sleep, right? Or even sometimes people don’t like writing so much and that kind of stuff in terms of building content, but people seem to love videos. You know what it is? Because people are brought up on this diet of TV, which goes back to my sort of TV side, and they’re brought up understanding the sort of language of TV and enjoying it and finding it entertaining, and I think that when they pick up a camera, they just immediately start smiling and enjoying the whole experience of making videos.
Timbo Reid: I think one of the things from my point of view, and when I’m talking to clients, is that, and also having come from – I also come from a big advertising agency background, and back then when I worked in advertising video was just so expensive. It was like, to create a corporate video – I hate that word – But to create a corporate video of any sort, we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars. God knows what it was in London. And I’m talking 15 years ago. Now, video is just so unbelievable – The richest form of media and it’s so accessible to the small business owner.
Jules Watkins: Absolutely, yes. I mean, it’s incredible what you can do now with low budget equipment and essentially, yeah, you’re creating your own video ads that would have cost you a fortune, and of course there’s so many different places now where you can put your videos, so you’re basically able to, as a smaller business owner, get big exposure for your videos and start bringing back people from all kinds of different sort of social media sites back to your own website using video. And people out there and all the stats show it, love watching video. I don’t know about you, but if I see a video on my Facebook newsfeed, I always sort of stop at that post to have a look, as opposed to just pure text posts. So again, people are watching a lot of video, and you’re now able to become your own producer, your own network.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, well personally I do. I mean, the Facebook example, I always will stop to have a look at a video. I personally love audio more, I guess being a podcaster I’m biased, and I’ve chosen to go down an audio path. But it is amazing. I mean, both are rich forms of media, and both allow for such engagement, which I love. You know, like, I’ll often say to clients, and my listeners will have heard me talk about this idea of, stop pushing information on people and start publishing really good content. And video is a good example of allowing you to do that. Jules, just explain really briefly what iPhone Video Hero is.
Jules Watkins: Okay, well iPhone Video Hero is an online training course. It’s a video based course, so basically I take you through how to make incredible videos with your iPhone. I also include iPad as well, so using low budget equipment, I take you through a video training course about how to basically leverage that for your business, covering a whole range of things from strategy through to basic video fundamentals like how to operate it effectively, how to capture good audio, how to use lighting, and also the great benefit of the i-devices, as I call them, is all the various apps that are there to help you use your iPhone or your iPad, so it’s a fairly complete course. It runs at about three to four hours. I’m still adding bits and pieces into it right now, but it’s around three to four hours of video content behind the protected membership wall.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, it is extensive. It’s comprehensive. As you say, it covers all those things plus so much more. What was the point? At what point did you go, “Oh, there’s a problem there. I can solve this with this training product?” Was it the fact that everyone had an iPhone and you saw an opportunity to create video from it, or was it that you were seeing a lot of really ordinary videos made by small businesses? What problem were you solving?
Jules Watkins: Well, what I noticed, how I came into this is I noticed that people wanted to make their own videos, and they were looking at various pocket cameras. And at one stage, going back now a couple of years ago when I first started working online, people were really crazy about the flip camera, which, in my very first blog, it was just a blog purely about flip video. I created a very very niche site, got a lot of traffic to it, and was selling flip cameras via Amazon for not a lot of money. But you know, that got me into this sort of niche. Unfortunately then flip suddenly disappeared almost overnight. It was –
Timbo Reid: They did, didn’t they?
Jules Watkins: Yeah, they were bought over by a company called Cisco, from the company that created it, and they decided they weren’t interested in pursuing flip. So I just got an email one day saying, “You better start thinking about a new blog, because flip is gone.” And I mean, my blog is still there and people still visit it and even buy flips even though they’re running out now. But then Kodak came along, and they had this really good pocket camera, the Zi8 it’s called. Now Kodak have hit some financial problems and they’re not making pocket cameras. So again, I kept on looking for what was going to be the big tool for low budget but quality video production. And I kept coming back to the iPhone, which I’m an Apple user. I’ve always had an iPhone, and to really answer your question, I just started looking more and more on forums. I went to the places where small business owners hang out and where they talk about video, and the iPhone was kept on being talked about as a potentially, “Could this be a better device than these other cameras have been?” And, “Could this be an amazing video tool?”
And I just latched onto that buzz, that conversation that was out there, and thought, “Right, I’m going to just make this product. iPhone is not going away.”
Timbo Reid: Yeah, not with how big it is, although clearly iPhone 5 has, well I suppose it hasn’t changed the video capacity at all. I mean, the iPhone 3 right through the iPhone 5 is, I mean it’s all got video, hasn’t it?
Jules Watkins: Yes, I mean the iPhone 4 really had the beginnings of a really good camera, 720 HD. iPhone 4 has fantastic 1080. The iPhone 5 very similar to the iPhone 4S, just it’s got a better front facing camera, so if you film yourself you’re going to get HD and see yourself on the monitor at the same time. But basically they’re shooting great video, and 250 million I believe iPhones sold. So there’s a big market out there, and to me, well, what it gives you in terms of flexibility as well is actually more than you get with the regular pocket camera. So to me it’s just a no brainer. It’s the device that people own, and I sort of teach people how to use the camera that you already own.
Timbo Reid: Jules, what types of videos are you seeing small businesses successfully create? And there are lots, there are things like testimonials, store tours, staff introductions, there’s product reviews, what are you seeing that’s being done really well, and is it that hard to do?
Jules Watkins: Not really. I mean I see, as you say, lots of different styles, and there’s a lot of flexibility with the apps you can use on the iPhone to create different kinds of videos, but I would say one that comes up a lot is the squeeze page, the opt-in video, because that is the money video in many ways. That’s the first start of this relationship that you may have with your customer coming onto your site. And obviously there’s a big drive now to get people onto your email list so you can re-contact them, and I see a lot of people really wanting to work on those videos straight off the bat. It’s amazing, if you look around the web, there are some real horrors out there.
Timbo Reid: Absolute horrors.
Jules Watkins: Absolute terrors. When you go down the webpage you see somebody, you kind of hear a train passing by the window, they’ve got the air conditioning on, the lighting is bad, they’re against a grey wall, they look like they were in a prison cell or something. And personally if I see that, I’m out of there, and they’re not going to get my email address or my business. But some business owners kid themselves thinking, “It doesn’t matter. It’s going to be okay.” They don’t really take a hard look at it. And occasionally I’ve shown people videos like that just randomly, and people have said, “I wouldn’t do business with that person.” So it’s such an important video to get people onto your list. So I’ve seen people, what they want to do is actually just get good at creating a shot on their iPhone, but looks like they spent a couple of thousand dollars on it.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well it’s classic, my show is called Small Business, Big Marketing, and what you’re doing is showing a small business how to punch way above its marketing weight using, in this case, video. It is, I mean, this squeeze page concept you talk about, would you say that that’s more for the online marketer? Because I know a lot of my listeners, they’re service providers, they’re bricks and mortar businesses. What types of videos are you seeing for that type of business?
Jules Watkins: Okay yeah, well I agree, although I do think that even people in those kind of businesses could be capturing a lead. They could be –
Timbo Reid: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Jules Watkins: Like a kind of how to fix your – How to do basic plumbing yourself kind of thing. You know, I mean, like a little upload of video lessons just to get kind of those leads for future contact. But I do appreciate that that’s probably not their main focus. So I’ve got people creating little behind the scenes videos. For example, just giving a little tour of your property, introduction to staff, and really your personality. Now this goes back to what I was talking to you about right at the top of the show about reality, me working in reality TV. I’ve tried to bring that in to what I teach, because people love those kind of shows. People love getting to know the characters in those shows, and within a few days or weeks, people will start talking about those characters and feeling like they know them. And it’s part of that ability to sort of open up the characters and show what goes on behind. So people get good results from actually being a little bit daring and showing behind the scenes, maybe looking for your, who’s the star of your business? If your business was a reality show, who would star? And it might not be you, but you might have somebody that is actually talented or funny or whatever, so you can implement that and use your staff and just start opening it up a bit.
Timbo Reid: That’s a great question to ask. I love those types of questions. I was with a client yesterday, Jules, who was considering video, and I’m trying to move them into a content creation strategy, and we’re talking about video, and one of the things that they mentioned that was holding them back was that they felt as though the output needed to be Hollywood production, at a Hollywood production level, you know, like really high production values. And they were holding off until they got the budget to use a guy who was going to charge them literally tens of thousands of dollars to create some videos. And we got talking about this balance between Hollywood production and just creating great content, because whilst I’m one for quality, I also think that in this day and age, if you can create great content that solves a problem, then quality will be overlooked to a certain degree. Do you agree?
Jules Watkins: Absolutely. I think there’s room for both. You can have a kind of two tiered approach, and in fact TV does that. You’ll get, in the UK here you’ll get sort of a big glossy Saturday night show will be on the main channel, but you’ll have the behind the scenes show will be on the kind of cable channel, and a lot of those shows are shot by researchers and people who aren’t particularly trained at all, but they just add extra value, extra content to it. And I think again, as a business owner, yeah, maybe you do want to put some money into your glossy sort of sales video, but that’s just one video. But if you’re going to really market and have a constant flow of content, then you’re going to have to think about how can you maybe use the behind the scenes kind of thing or some short interviews, how can you make the sort of home grown content feel okay and put it in maybe on the blog part of your site or a behind the scenes section to make it clear that this is kind of, you know, you having a go with the video, and this is not like the main sales video on the front page.
Timbo Reid: I think you make some great points. Like, the idea of Hollywood production is very prohibitive, and I think about some of the special features and some of the videos you get in special features of DVDs, and they’re just shot on handheld cameras. And in fact, I was even watching – What was I watching recently? Inglorious Bastards, Tarantino’s film, and in the special features, there’s an interview with Tarantino and Brad Pit, and it was just really, the actual video production was very very average, but the content was fantastic. So I just think that’s a really good mindset for the small business owner to have, which is to create great content and don’t get caught up in the production. I am speaking to Jules Watkins, creator of iPhone video hero. Jules, what are your top five tips to creating great video for a small business owner? And you’ve got plenty within your training, so give us the best of the best.
Jules Watkins: Right, five tips to create great – Okay, well one would be come up with a theme or a strategy. Think about it like a TV series. So if you watch The Apprentice – Do you guys get The Apprentice? I’m sure you do.
Timbo Reid: Yep. We’ve got electricity down here as well. I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
Jules Watkins: Goodness me. And you’re on the internet as well.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, I know. It came in about three weeks ago.
Jules Watkins: So I would say come up with a strategy. So if you look at The Apprentice, each week it’s the same kind of show, there are just different themes in it, but there’s continuity. It’s a series. So rather than going off and trying to shoot random things, try and think what can you come up with for your series and be consistent with it. So if you’re a plumber and you want to show, I don’t know, I don’t know a lot about plumbers, but examples of great plumbing jobs or something like that, right?
Timbo Reid: Say a real estate agent. That’s a pretty easy one to reference.
Jules Watkins: Real estate agent would be a different aspect of a locality. So say you work in a county or whatever, showing a really positive aspect of that county each week, as to why it’s desirable to live in. So you’re selling the location, not just the properties, right? Every week, on your travels, which is great when you’ve got your iPhone because it’s very portable, film different aspects of it and drip them out week by week, but have a plan rather than just doing sort of random videos. That’d be it. Second, top tips, well, technically would be to think about audio, even more than the visuals, because people will click off your videos if the audio is rubbish. People will leave your vides if the audio is bad. So think about audio, think about brevity, how can you get over your story within a couple of minutes. Also, make your life easy. Don’t try and make big kind of 10, 15 minute videos, particularly when you’re starting out. Think about the viewer, really. How much are they going to be able to watch this?
Timbo Reid: I think that’s such an important one. In marketing communications generally less is more, but I think also brevity should take the pressure off, once again, creating video, because people are sitting there going, “Oh, my god, I’ve got to sit there for five, 10, 15 minutes,” you don’t. In a one to two minute video, answering a particular question is more than enough.
Jules Watkins: Absolutely. Definitely. The other one would be basically show what you’re talking about. A lot of people, they just sort of sit down in front of the grey wall and talk. They never show what they’re actually talking about. So, in a straight text of inner views, the fact that it’s a visual medium and keep the shots changing. People will stick with your videos if they see movement on the screen. Humans love to see movement. They’re trained to look for movement from; I was reading a book the other day. They talk about caveman always glancing around, looking for danger, looking for things, and we’re kind of like that now. We like to see things move and change. So think about changing your shots and gathering shots to illustrate what you’re talking about. So as you go through, if you’re the property person, you want to be, whenever you see a fantastic view or a sunset or a sunrise or something incredible, shoot it and build up a catalogue of shots that you can use to illustrate what we are talking about.
Timbo Reid: Absolutely great. So one of the things that I’m sure our listeners are thinking right now, okay, that’s great, because the camera stuff is easy. As long as you’re willing to sit in front of a camera, hit record, away you go. You’ve just introduced the concept of, if a real estate agent is traveling around, we call them suburbs, so a suburb or a county, and they see a great building or a great venue or a great sunset or a great vista or whatever it is, you’ve got to shoot that and then you’ve got to drop that into the edit, and then all of the sudden, that phase to camera video becomes a little bit more complicated. How do you get over these hurtles of, well in this case editing?
Jules Watkins: Well editing, there’s several different ways. One is you do it yourself, or the second is you outsource it. A lot of people are finding great outsourcers who can do video editing for very very low cost, so that would be one good way. And when we’re talking about, one of the basic things in editing is you get somebody who’s talking and you cover it with another shot. It’s just a basic skill that any editing software would give you that ability to cover up what you’re talking about with a shot and keep your voice running underneath it, okay? So if you’re talking for 10 minutes, think about what shots could you drop in? So let’s see you on camera for the first 15 seconds or so, and maybe you want to put your name up there on the screen as well, then you want to drop in some shots, then you’re back on camera. Very very basic editing, just to add a few shots onto it, but if editing really does put you off, there are some apps that can actually do a bit of editing for you, and actually you speak on the camera and they can actually automatically cut over some shots over the top of you, which is pretty incredible. And, as I’ve just said, if you’re really busy, you shouldn’t be spending too much time editing. Hopefully you’re getting a return on your videos.
You should be spending, I would say the local editors I’ve seen, you can get them for about $5.00 an hour, $5.00 to $10.00 an hour, and a two minute video with a bunch of shots on would take less than, it would take about half an hour to do really.
Timbo Reid: Where are you finding these editors for $5.00 to $10.00 an hour, Jules?
Jules Watkins: I don’t particularly use them but I’ve looked on ODesk. If you look on ODesk, for example, there are hundreds of them. And a student could edit this, you know? This is not complicated to grab some shots of somebody talking and adding over other shots on top of it. This is pretty basic, it just takes time, you know?
Timbo Reid: And for a small business owner to put that brief together, so they’re going to shoot the film, they’re going to upload it to say a Dropbox or send it to an editor, and then just write down a bit of a running sheet saying, “Start off with me and then drop in some pictures of this and then come back to me.” Is that the idea?
Jules Watkins: Yeah, exactly. You’re going to label your clips up, if you’ve got lots of different clips, label them up so they know what’s what, and exactly right. If you’ve worked off of some bullet points or a rough script, then you’re going to say to them, “Just use that.” But if you’ve got short videos, then really it should be pretty clear. If you can speak to camera, make it fairly succinct, then it’s going to kind of guide them what to do, really, and here’s the thing. If you’re using what’s cutaway shots, other shots, it means you don’t have to record the whole piece without mistakes. Because as soon as you’re off camera you can stop and you can make three mistakes, and those shots are going to cover over those cut points, those edit points, that makes your life easier as well.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, that’s a great point. You’ve worked with enough people who are speaking to camera, and that would be, besides editing, I would imagine speaking to camera or appearing on camera is a stumbling block. You’ve already mentioned the idea of maybe looking within the business as to who is the star or the person that is going to be best to camera. If it’s a one man show, any tips on sort of overcoming that to camera fear?
Jules Watkins: Overcoming, wow, yeah people do struggle a lot with the fear factor. It’s, do you know what it is? It’s cliché really, but it’s practice, it’s practicing it before you record yourself. So doing test records just for fun really. Don’t sort of plan your first video and then think that’s going to be the one. Just practice to your webcam, just practice. Look in a mirror, whatever. Practicing speaking to, what TV presenters do is they speak to one person and I’ve seen presenters before, one that was working in kids’ TV, she would put a picture of her daughter just up behind the camera so that she was speaking to that daughter. So again, get your customer avatar, a client or somebody like that, and put their photo up near your camera.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, that’s a great idea. Great idea. In fact, it plays to this idea, that’s just a great tip, both for video production and marketing communications in general, which is have your best mate in mind. And when I say best mate, I mean that person who has the highest propensity to buy from you, and when you’re writing copy, when you’re recording video, even when I’m recording this show, I actually have a best mate in mind, and think, “What questions would I ask? And how would they want the information delivered?” It’s a very very powerful way of doing it. Jamie Oliver does it really well, Jules. I love the way that he sort of talks just off camera.
Jules Watkins: Oh yes, that’s another way to do it. I mean, just going back to the photo thing, if you do put it off camera, don’t keep staring at it, because obviously your eyes will go off camera. It’s just there in your peripheral vision, just to mention that, so you see it’s there, but you’re not going to stare at it, otherwise, if you’re trying to do a thing, speak to camera, make sure you’re looking at that lens. Have it in your peripheral vision so to speak. But when you’re talking about Jamie Oliver, yeah, he does this style where he’s actually looking off to like a reporter or somebody like a director next to the camera, and that’s nice. One trick is if you really can’t bear looking into the camera, do it like an interview. So get somebody to interview you and do it as an interview, or get somebody to sit on a chair next to the camera, a foot away from it or so, a foot and a half, and just do it as if you’re talking to them in a conversation, and again, that stops you if you’re worried about staring down the lens.
Timbo Reid: Love it mate. Now Jules, before I ask you, well, I put an ad on Facebook a couple of days ago, the Small Business, Big Marketing Facebook, the fact that I was going to interview you, and there’s quite a number of questions coming through which I’m going to pose to you very shortly. Before I do, listeners, there is a link in the show notes to Jules’ training product. It is so good. I’m just looking at it right now, and I’ll tell you some of the stuff it covers. It covers your headset, depth of field, how to hold the camera steady, other equipment you need like tripods, microphone, low budget lighting, how to film yourself and it even explains how to get the Apple white background. You know that white background that Steve Jobs and the guys, all those, Jonathon Ives have, when they’re doing Apple Videos, he had a shoot, customer testimonials. He’s got great apps. It’s literally the most comprehensive video training that I’ve seen, and it’s brilliant. And I’m going to ask him very shortly how he put that together, because as a product, we could all be doing something similar within our own niche. Jules, back to you. Here’s some questions that came through on Facebook.
This is from Joshua Liston. What’s the most important aspect of marketing videos production, the visual or the audio? Well you’ve kind of answered that, haven’t you?
Jules Watkins: Yes, I’d say audio, because if the audio is bad, you really are screwed. It’s not like, you can try and tweak it but you’ve got problems. If the vision is not so great, you can tweak that. You can tweak the colors; you can adjust quite a lot. Most things you watch on TV, when I look at the rushes, the raw footage, it doesn’t look as good as it looks on TV because they tweak the shots, and you can do some basic tweaking actually inside your iPhone of things like that. But if the audio is bad, then you’ve got a big problem.
Timbo Reid: There’s some links in your training to some great products, a couple of which I’ve already purchased, but like wireless microphones and various things that ensure your audio is right up to scratch. Nicole Newart asks, is there any way to make a video go viral, or is it just by chance? Now, I’ve responded to Nicole already on this one. I don’t know whether you’ve got a point of view, Jules, but I did an interview a few episodes ago with Lloyd Williams from Big Richard Condoms, and he specializes in creating viral videos, to sell his condoms. And he’s a magician at it. Have you got any tips on making videos go viral?
Jules Watkins: Yes, I mean I say right now, I’ve never had a video go massively viral, so I’m more in the camp of these things generally tend to happen, though I’m quite aware people do things like, they’ll try and spike the traffic up using ads and placing it in blogs and things like that, so I’m not massively experienced in that area, but I do think with videos, you’ve got to market your video. So you create this great video, start thinking, “Where can it actually fit? Who’s going to actually run with this video?” And even when you’re conceiving of the video, think, “What kind of blogs would put it on? What would attract them to use it?” So I think if you can think a bit in terms of how you’re going to market the video before you make it, that’s going to help you at least.
Timbo Reid: Correct. John Young asks, and we’ve answered this I think, is it better to do one long video or break it into smaller parts? I think less is more. Our attention spans are short, so I think it’s as long as it needs to be and not a second more. Would you agree?
Jules Watkins: Yeah sure. I mean, if you’re breaking out, you’ve got not many more kind of, let’s put it like tentacles coming back to your website, and you can keyword each separate video with different key words according to the point that you’re discussing within it, so you get more rankings. The only reason you might have a long video is if you’re doing a training course or something like that where it just kind of works as a kind of lecture, but that’s sort of for a product more than a short business video.
Timbo Reid: Jules, Rosie Edison asks, is there any editing software you’d recommend that isn’t Apple related?
Jules Watkins: Really? Imagine being non Apple related. Okay, there’s – Absolutely, so PC owners, well, I would say you want to go for something like Sony Vegas, Movie Studio is a $50.00 or $60.00 entry level editing system, a perfectly decent system, but do you know what’s becoming very very popular is Camtasia, which most people think of as just for screen capture and things like that, but people who are running Camtasia are bringing in more and more features for video editing, and you can put your iPhone videos in there or your iPad videos, you can play them in there without any input problems or rendering problems, and you can do cuts, you can change the audio, you can do effects, you can add texts, you can add speech bubbles. A lot going on there with Camtasia.
Timbo Reid: Okay, well I’ll put a link in the show notes to that. Michael Darby asks, can you have too many marketing videos on your website? I wouldn’t have thought so. I think once again as long as they’re solving a problem and they’re useful, and I guess to me a marketing video, as long as it’s not too salesy, then go for it.
Jules Watkins: Yeah, I think obviously not all on your front page because you want something quite, you want a single target with your homepage, rather than confuse people with too many videos, but backstage on your blog, I think it’s a constant flow of videos that’s going to really really really help you.
Timbo Reid: Actually what reminds me, Jules, on your auto responder series of emails, you suggest a fantastic idea which is using video to respond, now, to respond? No, it was actually to get inside the offices of someone that you were finding it difficult to contact. Do you want to explain that one a bit more?
Jules Watkins: Oh yes, sure sure. Well that was an example when, you know how you’re trying to contact a bigger company, particularly if you’re a smaller company, and they’re really really busy and you find this email on their site, like a general contact email, so I was trying to get in contact with this company, general contact email, they didn’t get back to me for a long time, I thought, “I’m never going to get anywhere,” finally I did get a response but I was speaking to somebody I guess fairly junior, and I really wasn’t getting anywhere with this person. We didn’t seem to see eye to eye and things like that and it just happened. So I finally go straight for the big cheese, for the owner of this company, and what I did do was I started to create a video. So I basically got on camera and I introduced myself. I said I was a big fan, which is true, of the company and of their method, but I really wanted to work with them but I hadn’t had much joy for the email correspondence and here’s how I think we could work together, and I sent an email to them and the subject line was, “A video from a fan in the UK,” just something quite like that, and inside was a link.
I just said, “Please check out my video on YouTube. It’s unlisted which means that it’s only for you, nobody else can see it. Please check my video.” And within a couple of days later, I got an email straight back from the CEO and it opened up the dialogue, we’re still talking, but he kind of got to know me through the video and it just was different, you know? It’s something different that most people aren’t doing to make you stand out.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, I think it’s a really clever idea, and so beautifully simple. Jules, I want to leave the talk around video marketing now and just touch on, before I leave you to your own devices, about the whole idea of creating this product, because here’s the thing. Many, most, small business owners, are on the tolls selling their hours day in and day out, and with this brave new world of online, you can start to do some pretty clever stuff, like you have with iPhone Video Hero. You’ve created a training product that has allowed you to sell globally while you’re asleep, yeah? Now I said to you before we hit record, you know, it’s not quite passive, but you’d almost say it is passive. So it’s a beautiful product. Listeners, what you see when you buy iPhone Video Hero, what you’re going to get is a password into a members’ area where there’s basically a whole lot of folders beautifully labelled, headset, microphone, lighting, etc., and then behind each of those folders there’s a video. There may be a PDF document or a worksheet; there might be a link to an app that you should download, or something like that.
So it’s really really simple, and I just think there’s a lot of small business owners that could be doing something similar, Jules, in creating an additional revenue stream. How did you go about creating it?
Jules Watkins: Well actually it’s surprisingly simple. That’s incredible now how the tools are really accessible. So I decided to go for the ultra-kind of low-budget way of doing it, and really it’s based around WordPress, so it’s using a WordPress theme which is pretty famous now. It’s called Optimize Press, which was created by a young chap called James Dyson from the UK. So I just sort of mention that, from the UK, and as I speak it’s a $97.00 theme and you can use it on multiple products as well. So that will set up all of your sales page and actually the membership area, the content area, and his videos, his training videos, are really good. I set this up myself, and I just literally said, “Well I’m going to go through his videos step by step and do what he says, and see how far I go before I fall down.” And so I did that, and I understood the theme and it worked good, and then any problem I just went through support, then I used a plugin that’s called Digital Access Pass, DAP for short. Another very popular one is called Wish List. This is a low cost plugin, $150.00 roughly, which again, what that does is protect your site and it issues out the logins and that kind of thing.
And you get an auto-responder which is the email auto-responder, but when you put it all together, very very low cost. I wanted to actually see the workings of it and go through that process so that I would know if it went wrong, what was going on. So I went through that process, and when I did get stuck, I either went through their support, or the alternative is, again on these outsource sites like ODesk and places like that, there are people who know this stuff back to front and you can bring them in at the final stage and say, “Look, I can get it all working except this. Can you help me?” And they’ll dive in for an hour and fix it and there you go.
Timbo Reid: So all up you’ve spent about, I’m guessing, $150, $97, so $250, the email auto responder, it’s less than $500.00 plus your time in creating the actual training product itself. How many weeks did you spend doing that?
Jules Watkins: It took me about three and a half weeks, but the difference, with my product I wanted to actually not just do kind of PowerPoint and screen capture, which you can do fine, it depends on your business, I was actually going out and about filming real business people in their homes and getting some real footage so I could show and demonstrate with real people how to create video. So mine was a little harder to make, but if you were just doing a sort of 10 or 15 part series and you could do it all at home on your computer, then you could spend a lot less time doing it really. But you know, the key thing I bought, the best thing I bought was went to a one pound store and bought a whiteboard. A one pound whiteboard, that was what we need to start with like, what is going to be your content? How many lessons are going to be there? What are the individual videos or modules going to be? What do you need? You need that up against your wall and you need to be looking at that and ticking it off as you go and saying, “Right, I can get that done today, I can get that done in a couple of days,” and you want to see those ticks going. And when you see that happening in front of you, what’s what gets it finished.
Timbo Reid: Jules it’s a $97.00 product which I actually think, I think you’ve been told this before, it is cheap. I think it’s too cheap, and I think you’ve already put your price up to $97.00. How many have you sold?
Jules Watkins: Well in total around about $750.
Timbo Reid: Well done.
Jules Watkins: But it’s growing. I’ll tell you, the last three months or so it’s started escalating because more people know about it, it’s starting to get a lot more traffic, and it’s growing. It’s a snowball effect.
Timbo Reid: I think the way you’ve gone about marketing it is really clever. I know that you’ve been interviewed by a mate of mine, James Shramcoe, and you’ve been interviewed by some other sort of heavy hitters in the podcasting/online marketing world, which I think is just a really clever way of doing it. You approached me to get an interview, so you’ve obviously gone around to a whole lot of podcasters and vodcasters. How else are you marketing it?
Jules Watkins: Well I’d say yeah, apart from approaching people would be, for example, social media, is finding the places, social media and forums, finding the places where your audience is. And also the iPhone has quite a lot of blogs as well, iPhone blogs and things like that. So going out there, where are your audience, finding them, and going out and being helpful, answering their questions in those places, and of course with forums you’re often allowed to have a signature in your posts, and on Facebook everything kind of links back to you to your profile and that links back over to your training, so literally going out and you can build a business like this like almost like one or two people at a time in the early stages, and as soon as you get 50 or 100 on board, it just starts taking off by itself really.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, very true. And I think the point you make about being helpful in those forums or on social media as opposed to, it comes to that pull versus push. Don’t push information on people; pull them toward you by solving problems. The big question, Jules, thanks so much by the way for sharing all this knowledge, I think it’s an incredible value for the small business owner. You’ve worked on MTV, you’ve worked on Pimp My Ride, you’ve worked on all these big shows. Who’s the most famous person you’ve met?
Jules Watkins: Well I’m going to say, when you say met, would be kind of very very short encounter would be Bill Gates.
Timbo Reid: Bill Gates, you’re the second guest to say Bill Gates.
Jules Watkins: Well and that was very brief indeed, but I was in Tokyo and I was filming a TV show about gaming so it was a Tokyo game show, and I just walked into the games room, nobody knew he would be there, or hardly anybody knew he would be there, I didn’t know he was going to be there, and I just suddenly saw this chap Bill Gates being followed by about 100 Japanese journalists, and I sort of elbowed my way in, and because I’m about six foot, I was a lot taller than anybody and I was the only kind of white guy there, and I just got in my question. It was like, “How do you think that the Xbox is going to go down in Japan?” Because he was releasing the Xbox, and he said, “It’s going to be great.” And that was it. That was my encounter. But I had my camera and I got it and I was pleased with that.
Timbo Reid: Well that’s well done.
Jules Watkins: I’ve got a video, just got that clip on video which was pretty brave.
Timbo Reid: Love it.
Jules Watkins: Yeah, but he’s famous right?
Timbo Reid: I think so, yeah. He’s made a dollar or two.
Jules Watkins: There’s been others. If I mentioned another one would be Liz Hurley. I did a show where Liz Hurley was the presenter.
Timbo Reid: Now is this this pre-Warne or post-Warne?
Jules Watkins: Pre.
Timbo Reid: Oh, okay.
Jules Watkins: Fashion show called Project Catwalk, and that was an interesting show. It was a reality show trying to find like a cool young fashion designer, and one of the scenes we had to do is she had to go and visit them in their homes unexpectedly. So we went to this student house somewhere in London, there were sort of 19 year old students, and the designer was upstairs in his room, the guy that was trying to be in the show, but his roommate, flat mate, housemate, was downstairs at the kitchen table, had no idea he was coming or anything was happening, we were there, and we thought we were there just to film his mate, knock at the door, he opens it, and there’s Elizabeth Hurley at his door. And his face was just outstanding.
Timbo Reid: Oh I love it. Love it. Jules, thanks a million for coming onto Small Business, Big Marketing. Listeners, there’s going to be links in the show notes for episode 105 at smallbusinessbigmarketing.com of everything we have spoken about in this interview including Jules’ unbelievably good training product. It’s one of the best training products I’ve seen going around, and all those other links that he shared with us along the way. I would encourage you to put your hand in your pocket and spend the $97.00 because it’ll be some of the best $97.00 that you’ll have ever spent. Jules Watkins, thanks mate.
Jules Watkins: Thanks very much indeed. It’s been excellent. Thank you.
Timbo Reid: Well guys, I hope you found that interview with Jules as interesting as I did. We should all be creating video for our businesses, and he has got a way of doing it cheaply and easily and effectively. I’ll put a link in the show notes at Episode 105 on smallbusinessbigmarketing.com to access Jules’s product. I’ll also put a link and a review of it in the product section of smallbusinessbigmarketing.com.
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Duration: 43 minutes