Want to know the quickest way to earn more? Increase your rates.
Everyone knows this advice, but few have the confidence to pull it off regularly.
If you struggle with this, you’re not alone. Here’s the good news; there are multiple ways to increase your income.
One of the best ways is by introducing “upsells” into your sales process. This is when a client comes to you for one thing, but you identify other services they may benefit from in order to reach their goals.
In this interview, Lizzie Pierce shares her wisdom from multiple years of experience running a six-figure video production company.
Her company regularly upsells clients by pitching a vision of a larger project than originally planned, then turning that small-dollar production project into a major one involving teams or freelancers.
Whether or not you work with a team, this method can be a fantastic way to increase your income without ever having to raise your rates.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- How Lizzie convinced a client to publish a promo video about sexting
- How to understand a client’s wants vs. their needs
- Why Lizzie is able to upsell customers in one aspect of her business to another part of her business
- How to offer multiple services without diluting your branding
- Why you need to add a margin to contract work
- How your “scene” impacts your work
- How to grow your business creatively
- Why Fresno is the new 6 Figure Creative example of a dead city
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“We’re using the word to get peoples’ attention.” – Lizzie Pierce
Lizzie Pierce – https://www.lizziepeirce.com/
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Books and Entertainment
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Brian: [00:00:00] This is the six figure creative podcast episode 1 59.
[00:00:22] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood, and it has been 4,505 days since my last soul-sucking day job I'm with my coach. Christopher J. Graham who has a purple shirt on. He is bald. He has beautiful glasses, just like me, but he has a mustache that is the thickest, most luxurious caterpillar thing I've ever seen.
[00:00:42] How are you doing today?
[00:00:44] Chris: [00:00:44] Thank you. I'm great, man. And I appreciate the kind words about the mustache. I've never had one and I didn't know that I had any notable mustache skills until two weeks after I stopped shaving. And then I was like, oh yes, this is great. But dude, I'm pumped to hang out today. We're hanging out with.
[00:01:00] Lizzie Pierce and Lizzie I'm, I'm a fan. So I mentioned this on the interview. There's this sort of element where like you hear this phrase, every actor wishes, they are musician, every musician wishes. They were an actor, I think in podcasting and YouTube is world. It's the same thing. Every podcast or wishes, they were a utuber every YouTube or wishes their podcast or, and to me, Lizzy is like amazing.
[00:01:23] I've learned so much from her. She makes these YouTube videos about. Running of, uh, making films and making a business around making videos for people and just what it's like to be a creative with that. Being your niche. I'm obsessed with cameras. I cannot get enough of it.
[00:01:41] Brian: [00:01:41] I'm going to cut you off before you start talking too much about cameras.
[00:01:43] Chris: [00:01:43] that's fine, but let me just point out in this episode, unless we edit them out.
[00:01:46] That's five times you've said, I'm going to cut you off. Maybe we should get, I'm going to cut you off lot.
[00:01:52] Brian: [00:01:52] That's the goal. When Chris starts talking about gear, Or there's like three things that you start talking about that I will just instantly cut you off and interrupt you to keep you on topic. But that's kind of the stick again that we've had on this podcast for a long time. I just want to
[00:02:05] Chris: [00:02:05] So let's just talk about politics instead. I think that's, uh, uh,
[00:02:08] Brian: [00:02:08] I'm all in orange.
[00:02:09] Orange is my favorite color and that's proved me wrong now. Uh, cut
[00:02:14] Chris: [00:02:14] what the hell are you talking
[00:02:15] Brian: [00:02:15] just, uh, you got re you got red or blue and then you got orange. Orange is the color I go out.
[00:02:19] Chris: [00:02:19] Oh, got you. Well, orange has a political affiliation at this point. I'm not sure if you're aware of it.
[00:02:24] Brian: [00:02:24] Has it really? I just pulled it out of my ass.
[00:02:26] Chris: [00:02:26] Yeah. The last president,
[00:02:30] Brian: [00:02:30] We're cutting all of that out, James. Fuck.
[00:02:33] Chris: [00:02:33] no
[00:02:35] Brian: [00:02:35] Um, so, so
[00:02:36] Chris: [00:02:36] orange has been forever politicized for all time.
[00:02:39] Brian: [00:02:39] God, I can't believe we did that. Okay. So bringing this back to Lizzie. Lizzie has a YouTube channel. It's got like 175,000 or maybe 200,000 subscribers at this point. She's very successful on YouTube. But before the whole YouTube game, she has built a successful video and photo production company with her fiance, Chris, how right together, they have worked with massive brands, brands.
[00:02:58] You've heard of like Toyota and other big brands brands that she's working on clients right now that she can't speak the name of, I think she talks about the interview, but, uh, it's, it's a six figure. If not multiple six figures, if not seven figure, we didn't get into specifics of her income, but she has mentioned in past videos on YouTube.
[00:03:12] A six-figure video production company. And I would venture to say, it's well above that. Now she knows her business. She knows her how to handle clients. We talk about so many different topics. Like what are some of the things we talked about this interview, Chris?
[00:03:22] Chris: [00:03:22] Sexting, uh, paraplegics.
[00:03:26] Brian: [00:03:26] Okay. So T spoiler alert. That is, that is actually, that is actually true.
[00:03:32] We did talk about those things and you know, what am I even going to talk about? The rest of interview? That's the only two things we talk about. So without further ado, here's our interview with Lindsay pier.
[00:03:46] Hello? Hello. Hello, Lizzie. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.
[00:03:50] Lizzie: [00:03:50] Thanks for it.
[00:03:51] Brian: [00:03:51] First of all, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and chat with us and giving us your business expertise. I think our audience is going to love, hearing a bit about your story and some of the wisdoms nuggets of wisdom. That's the word I'm trying to say, but you're going to give us today on the podcast to start things off.
[00:04:03] I think it'd be cool for you to give us just a quick overview of the businesses that you have. Cause I believe you have several, if I am correct, is that.
[00:04:11] Lizzie: [00:04:11] Between, uh, my fiance, Chris Howell, and I, we have a couple, so we have our, uh, video production company that we started before. But all of that. So that's, uh, know-how media operations. And then Chris and I each have our own individual businesses now because of YouTube. We've had to build our own corporations now.
[00:04:32] So technically between the two of us, we have three, which is a lot, it seems excessive.
[00:04:37] Brian: [00:04:37] Yeah. I mean, I can relate to that cause I have about three or four myself, depending on how you kind of meld some of them together. Like a lot of times the stuff kind of like just intermingles with each other and weird.
[00:04:46] Lizzie: [00:04:46] It's really just for tax purposes.
[00:04:49] Brian: [00:04:49] Yes, it's true. So you've got kind of multiple irons in the fire, but the core business, or at least the beginning and the end, kind of the thing that spread out and allowed you to, to branch off these other areas is your video and photo production business. So that's kind of the area we want to talk about today.
[00:05:03] Cause that's in line with kind of the freelance listeners that we have in our audience that are doing either audio or video or photo or design. And they're trying to figure out how to grow that business. And I think you've done a really good job of growing your video production company or it's photo video, right?
[00:05:16] It's multiple services.
[00:05:18] Lizzie: [00:05:18] Yeah, we sort of started, um, after a few years putting it under the umbrella of media production company and Chris wanted to go the agency route and I'm like, that's not really what we do, but we, we also, I mean, I want to say recently, but now it's not recently for the last several years, we, uh, Consults on marketing and it's not just making the videos.
[00:05:42] It's also how to get them seen. Yeah. We'll develop strategies on how to promote those videos and how to, it's a two part thing. It's not just making a video and then throwing it up anywhere. It's okay. What platform is it going to live on and how can we best develop that video to be as successful as possible on that platform?
[00:06:00] Because that dictates So much about what you're making and how that story is gonna be.
[00:06:04] Brian: [00:06:04] So that raises an interesting question is how did you develop that sort of, I would call it an offer or sort of service or package, because it seems like when you first started, you were just the people making the videos or making the photos of the deliverable. You weren't as much concerned, and I could be wrong here, but you weren't as much concerned as what they were going to do with it.
[00:06:21] Once they released it. Is that how you got started? And then if so, how did you eventually morph into where you're actually helping them get the video scene and a market on the marketing side?
[00:06:30] Lizzie: [00:06:30] It's a many steps. I think you start out just making whatever. I mean, at the very beginning, if a lot of you guys are beginners who are listening, uh, you're making whatever the client wants and you're just trying to make them happy and make a buck at the end of the day. And then you're like, okay, how can I get this to look better?
[00:06:47] That's a whole other step. How can I, um, just make a better quality videos? So I get more work and I can do this full time. And then you start really focusing on, okay. If I'm making a corporate video, how do I make the best corporate video and bring that to my clients and do it in a different way that actually makes, say like, and I'm using corporate as an example, right?
[00:07:07] That corporate video, the best corporate video I can. I took a lot of my experience working at another production company and I focused on corporate initially. And what was my goal in making these corporate videos? It wasn't necessarily just talking about like a product or service it's what that product or service can do for a person.
[00:07:28] So how does that affect them? Um, how is that going to affect the consumer? Because they want to. What result that's going to have and how that's going to make them feel. So if it's about childcare, you know, it's not about, oh, this is a great service that we're creating here. It's going to be, um, very, cost-effective like no one really cares about that.
[00:07:48] It's what is having that childcare going to allow for you as a parent? Like they need to be able to see themselves in that content. So it's. Uh, the story behind it. So for example, we actually did a project with this company called Tekla and they make assisted devices for people who, um, and in this particular situation, a C4 quadriplegic, his, uh, name was Todd.
[00:08:11] And instead of talking about, uh Tekla and how this device can allow. You know, anyone who with limited mobility use, um, like touchscreen devices, instead of talking about the mechanical aspect of it solely, we told, um, Todd's story of how he used Tekla to text his now wife and to kind of court and or we use the word sex, sometimes his wife, cause it was clear.
[00:08:37] And we wanted it to get attention online. So we said, you know, this guy used this app to sex, his future wife. And everyone was like, wait, what? This guy in a wheelchair. He can't, he known keys he's how is that even possible? And now he's got two. I think he has two dogs at the time he had two dogs, a cat. Um, now he has a step son and.
[00:08:58] House in his own business. And you know, this device has been a game changer and a life changer for him. And that's the story you want to tell. So it's taking a corporate video and then making that a story. Now you're talking about, okay, how do I make sure, like, this is great, but clients want to see return on what you're making.
[00:09:16] And it's really hard for businesses to justify spending money on video or photo production. And in my case now, you know, Instagram posts and YouTube video sponsorships, if they can't see numbers and eyeballs on it. And that's a lot of times how they, we see tangible results. So we decided, Okay.
[00:09:40] let's start asking them where we want these videos to go and let's try and make the best one for that platform.
[00:09:45] But you find that clients don't really know what they want. They just know they need something. They don't know what they want. That's you. We would only take on that projects from that point on that we could fully work on from beginning to end, start to finish, help them decide. Okay. If this is a program you want, this is your demographic, then let's Nishan.
[00:10:04] You know, we'll make one full length, long video for your website, where you want all the info in it. That's fine. But then let's make all these smaller ones that are targeted for Instagram, for YouTube pre-roll for, uh, Facebook, you know, all of, all of those. And what, how do people consume their content on those different platforms?
[00:10:22] Let's make that. And then we'll link to where they can find more information or then we'll link to where they can buy the product or et cetera, et cetera. So, uh, when we. It took the time to educate our clients on that. And they also want to know that you care about what they're making, knowing that you're as invested as they are as important.
[00:10:42] And I mean, the first few times we were honest with them and saying, you know, we haven't done this before. Are you open to us using your project as kind of our Guinea pig project? And we'll see what happens. And then we did it a couple of times it was successful. Use those as case studies, you start charging for it.
[00:10:56] And Bob's your uncle.
[00:10:58] Brian: [00:10:58] So, so this is, this brings up a lot. I'm like so many different questions that I have for you, but how do you go from a client? Is I'm assuming this client approached you originally, or did you approach this client specifically? This video you
[00:11:09] Lizzie: [00:11:09] Tekla they approached us.
[00:11:11] Brian: [00:11:11] Okay. So how do you go from a client approaching you to then releasing a video about sex in your future?
[00:11:17] Like, how does, can you talk about what that process is? Because clearly they didn't say, Hey, can you make us a funny video about sexting somebody like with our quadrapalegic tech product or whatever? Like I doubt they said that. So I'd really like to know how you go from, like, from what they wanted to what.
[00:11:31] Lizzie: [00:11:31] I find that usually they have reached out to us based on what they have already seen us do before. So if you know what you make best. Then you need to make sure that's what people are seeing online or what you want to do more of. They need to be able to see that. And then that's what the last you four, because that's what they're seeing.
[00:11:53] So you always want to know that when you're hiring someone that they've done what you need done before and you they'll replicate that for you. So when we walked into that first meeting with Tekla, we knew they liked our work. Yeah. We knew that it was more on the side of telling them a more emotional story about whatever the product service business, whatever it was.
[00:12:13] There is always a point where you have to educate your client on, like, we thoroughly believe that this is what's going to work for you. We can make that. It's fine. But in our. Opinion and experience, this is what's going to perform better for you in the long run. And for this particular project, we want to encourage you to do this.
[00:12:34] Clients usually come to you saying they want like a two to three minute video that has like, everything included about what.
[00:12:40] they want to do. And like, no, one's going to watch that. And they're like, oh yeah. And then we'll share it. And I'm like, cool. But no one will watch it. So let's make your two minutes.
[00:12:46] And now you're also upselling too. So now you're making more money. Let's make your two. But let's also do these social cuts and let's really target them and, and so on and so on. And then when you're talking about, okay, going from originally, we were just looking for a story. Any story that, of course, you're going to find a story that's emotional based on like their product.
[00:13:06] That's something that's, it's obviously changed people's lives. So we're just looking for a really good one. And that was the first one they actually came out with and we said, you know what? It would be great on some platform. Not, and we didn't use the sexting angle on every platform. We targeted it towards certain platforms or certain, you know, media outlets that we thought would gravitate towards that wording.
[00:13:27] But we knew others probably wouldn't. It would be a bit too much into jarring, so we could tailor it. We had different titles and slightly different things. Of the story that we, we used to get people's interest. And when you take the time to explain to your client, you know, this would be a great angle because X, Y, Z, and like, this is the first story you thought of, because it's so unique and original, like, this is what people want to hear.
[00:13:49] They're interested in this story. And then there, they have this whole like, warm, fuzzy feeling about your brand. Now, like it's not about telling them how high tech you are, how great the product is and like, oh yeah, like that's great. He can use a iPad. But no, they want to know, oh my gosh, this it's changed.
[00:14:04] This man's life. He's using it to run his business. This person's able to work now. Right? Man has found him like his life partner. So that's, we just really try to encourage them as much as possible, but that's the angle we want them to go with. And some clients don't love that, but we also knew like this is going to be our niche.
[00:14:23] If we accept everything we do. And do everything everybody wants. I mean, at some point you got to pay the bills. So I'm not saying, you know, figure out what works for you and your business. But we always knew we wanted to move in a certain direction and you have to think, okay, what kind of projects would we want to be doing next year?
[00:14:41] What would we want to be doing the year after that? And Chris and I had a lot of conversations about how big do we want this to get? Because that's also going to dictate that this, I mean, our production company, that's going to dictate how we operate and what kind of jobs we take. Yeah. So, um, you have to plan and it's, it's a lot to think about when you, when you want to do this yourself.
[00:15:00] And if your goal is to run a production company, it's a lot. And if you want to freelance, that's probably a lot easier. So.
[00:15:10] Brian: [00:15:10] There's one point in there I want to, or two, actually I want to pick out one is the up sell part. They're coming to you for one thing. You're kind of digging into what their needs are, finding out what their actual goals are, and then you're basically selling them the services that they need versus what they originally came for you that they thought they wanted.
[00:15:25] Is that kind of what I'm getting at there? Do you, I'm just curious. And this is you don't have to answer this, but is there like a, if you're super numbers oriented, you might know this. Do you kind of get an idea of what percentage bump you get when you do upsell kind of things like this in your sales process, versus if you just went with a project that came to you.
[00:15:40] Lizzie: [00:15:40] Like overall, how that would look at the end of the year. I, it would make, I couldn't tell you, but it would make a significant difference. 100 pounds.
[00:15:48] Brian: [00:15:48] I would have to agree with that. Cause I I've just seen this in my own business. My friend's businesses where somebody approaches them for one thing, they explain what they're actually going for, and then you sell them what they're actually wanting and it doubles the price, the price of the project. And they're okay with that.
[00:16:02] And I think, I think the core of it is just listening to what your, your client or your customers want, and then giving them that. And if, as long as you're, you're genuinely trying to help them get with match their goals with their needs, that you're going to be able to, to close.
[00:16:13] Lizzie: [00:16:13] It also hurts you. We know who's not serious when you get on that phone call and you're like, Hey, I really want to do this great job for you. And they're like, yeah, yeah, yeah. Give me a quote. You're like, oh, I don't know if you're just looking at me. You're probably vetting several people. You know, they're not, they're probably not interested.
[00:16:27] And now you know that and you haven't yet. Poured out your heart and soul into writing some big, old proposal that they asked for. So there's a lot of value in having that initial conversation and figuring, and like putting in the time to figure out what their needs are. Because if they're not open to telling you, then they're probably not serious about going forward.
[00:16:43] Chris: [00:16:43] I would love to hear more about how you and Chris developed the courage to be like, okay, cool. You want me to make a tech spec video for your iPad? And we're going to pitch you something way, way bigger and kind of scary and a little bit intimidating. And it's adorable, but also a little bit, a lot of information about this individual it's genius.
[00:17:07] Like I hear that pitch and I'm like, that's, I'm sure that worked extremely well for Tekla. How did you guys develop the courage to pitch these sort of, I guess there's two things here, the sort of like wisdom and knowledge and ability and creativity to look at like, okay, here's what they want. Here's a, over the top crazy idea.
[00:17:25] That's going to cost more and be more effective for them. And here's the courage to risk losing them by like, talking about sexting things. Yeah. I'd love to hear more about.
[00:17:36] Lizzie: [00:17:36] There are a couple of things where we knew it wouldn't be super, a big for us to bring it up. First of all, they were a startup. Usually they're a little more open to out their ideas. A few members of the team were. Closer in age to us. So we knew that they would understand the impact of the word and having the language to explain how this wasn't going to be just kind of over the top, overly sexual.
[00:18:04] That wasn't the angle, we're just using the word, but really we're talking about this romantic story, but we're using the word to get people's attention. And also going, you know, this is an idea that we think would be really powerful and you've consulted us in our opinion. So we're going to give you our opinion.
[00:18:19] If you don't like it, you don't like it, but it's great. The other thing is, if you've met Chris, you would know that when he gets really excited, he just like word vomits, his ideas at you and there's no, and he was doing this in front of them. So I had no opportunity to just like throw my hand over his mouth and tell him to shut up. So it was a good idea when I heard it too. I'm like light bulbs went off and I'm thinking about the most tactful way to say it. And then Chris goes, you know, that would be great. You know, it'd be great if we did this title called, like this guy used it to sex his wife. And I'm like, well, no, going back from that, I guess.
[00:18:58] Chris: [00:18:58] Okay.
[00:18:58] Lizzie: [00:18:58] When, um, your client also, here's how excited and passionate you are about something. They love that energy and they love how excited you get. And that's why I make a lot of jokes about how Chris is great at selling, because he's happy. He's got the energy comes in and that's why we were so great working together is he has this uppity bubbly.
[00:19:18] Like everybody loves Chris. And then I'm the bearer of bad news. And I slide the budget over and go he's here. It's what it's going to cost. Uh, no, we can't do that. Yes. We can do this. Uh, you know, that might not work, you know, I'm, I'm the negotiator, so we make a good team in that sense. But if you have, I have an out there idea, um, and you feel like your client's not going to run away, then pitch it.
[00:19:42] If you really think it's a fantastic idea for them, you have to tell them.
[00:19:46] Chris: [00:19:46] You're obligated to it.
[00:19:48] Lizzie: [00:19:48] Yeah, exactly. But I can understand if someone doesn't want to lose the client, for sure. We weren't worried about losing them in that instance. That wasn't a factor. So I can't tell you honestly, like, go ahead. Even if you think you'll lose them, you know, that's your decision.
[00:20:04] Brian: [00:20:04] You mentioned the word niche earlier. Do you consider yourself in a nice, like what would you consider.
[00:20:09] Lizzie: [00:20:09] Yeah. I think we've done corporate. Well, in the sense that we tell stories at the end of the day, um, and we know how to get your content seen. And those are the things that I use to explain where our company differentiates from others. We do a lot of tourism videos as well. It's always the same principles, no matter what the content is, it's going to be high quality.
[00:20:33] We're not the cheapest. We're not the most expensive because that also dictates where you sit in your professional stance. We can do bigger. We don't often go for smaller cause it's just not sustainable and it's always going to be impactful. It's always going to be a beautiful visuals with a great story, and we're always going to be able to help.
[00:20:54] Get eyes on it. And, you know, we've since expanded that into offering to showcase that content with our own followings and our own audience that we've now created. So that's another way we've kind of expanded the business to not just offer, you know, here's what our production company can do. We can help you get it seen on other outlets, but here now we're also upselling to our own outlets as well, where we have a dedicated audience who's prepared to see, especially the travel content.
[00:21:20] Who's prepared to see that and interested in seeing it, not as interested in our corporate content, but they're interested in how we made the corporate content. So there are some ways we can link things there.
[00:21:30] Brian: [00:21:30] Yeah. So it seems like your niche is more about the customer, not so much the service that you offer, because it seems like you're doing a lot of different types of services. If I'm correct.
[00:21:38] Lizzie: [00:21:38] Yeah, I think you don't ever want to pigeonhole yourself into doing one type of content as a company, just because it's also not going to be sustainable. Sometimes we travel. In the heart of winter and in summer when we could travel. Okay. Let's just go back to
[00:21:56] Brian: [00:21:56] Remember that.
[00:21:57] Lizzie: [00:21:57] was usually winter summer, because those are the seasons where that location looks the most unique and that's when they want to showcase it.
[00:22:04] If that's all we did between the other months of the year. So there's nothing else for us to shoot. So we fill that up with car commercials. We fill that up with, yeah, occasionally some corporate content we used to do more government. Now we're working with brands like Corona and doing, um, a lot more social work with them.
[00:22:22] And again, that's tied into our own platform. So you have to. Expand, I guess in the way that you're talking about NH, expand your niche in that sense, because that's how you're going to have a lucrative long term business. Um, and you'll find that along the, along the line, you don't want to do a certain type of job anymore.
[00:22:40] Maybe one of your biggest clients stops calling now. You're not doing that at all. You know, I saw that a lot in the production company I was working for a few years ago, they used to do a ton of car content, and then suddenly they weren't really doing that that much anymore, but they have. A new, bigger client.
[00:22:54] I'm not even sure I'm allowed to say who it is, but another more corporate clients, sorry that, you know, filled up that space for them. So it's not so much about the niche of project, but I think more about, okay. Company are you and what type of work that.
[00:23:09] you Do no matter what the label is on it. Um, but there, there definitely are some that operate differently might disagree with me, but I would say if you're building it on your own, that's where you're.
[00:23:20] And if you're looking to get to where we are right now, that has been our model.
[00:23:24] Brian: [00:23:24] Do you have a certain way that you market your business as far as. Balance all of the services that you offer in a clear coherent message that doesn't water it down. Is there something you do to balance that? Do you only focus on kind of one type of service or deliverable that gets people in and then you pitch the other services and upsell, is there a way that you, or do you just say, Hey, here's all the things we do or can do hit us up if you this, like what, what's your approach with marketing?
[00:23:49] Lizzie: [00:23:49] If they've already come to us, looking for one thing.
[00:23:51] Brian: [00:23:51] Yeah, I don't. I mean, I'm just saying, like for your website, for example, what do you have on your website as far as what you offer clients? Because you go more towards the corporate side of belief, from what you've been saying, do you just list every single service that you offer on your website? Or do you narrow things down?
[00:24:04] Lizzie: [00:24:04] Know how media it's, it's more, it looks like a corporate commercial. Video production company. We do talk about how we can help with the marketing side of things, but you don't want to clutter too much. And usually it's when we get on that first call and we know they're interested, that's when we can get the whole pitch and kind of say, you know, I'm not sure if you know anything about us or how you found us, or usually it's word of mouth.
[00:24:28] And a lot of times now they're aware of our online presence, but sometimes they're not. And that helps reinforce an expertise that they may not have known that we had before. And because we've grown our own followings, it gives them more confidence that, oh yeah. So that marketing side, they may not actually know something about, and they can see that our video contents already good by what's on our website already.
[00:24:52] For example, there was, if we want to go to a completely different niche, Chris and I are planning our wedding right now next year. And we were on the phone with the DJ. And if you looked on his website, it looks like it's pretty much geared towards corporate parties, things like that. They used to be, but it was only when I got on the call with him that he said, just so just some background on us, you know, we're all like former club DJs.
[00:25:14] So you're getting Toronto quality music, no matter what the music is. So no matter what niche you want, no matter, you know, if you're, we're doing a wedding for you, he's like, yeah, we do weddings, but we don't put that on our website. Cause everyone has this idea of what a wedding videographer. So we, you know, on our website, you're looking at corporate stuff, but now I'm on the phone with you.
[00:25:32] We're all club. So if you want Toronto club music, we can do that. You want country, we can do that. No matter what niche I have someone, because he's got all these different DJs, we can do that. And then it was at that point that I was kind of like, oh, okay. You know what you're talking about? But if I saw that on his website, like we do weddings, we do corporate, we do this.
[00:25:48] And I was like, oh, that seems like a, I don't know, what's your specialty, you know? Um, and it's, it's. So, uh, yeah, I think you definitely have to be a little more clear on your website and, and give that extra info on the.
[00:26:02] Brian: [00:26:02] Well, that's what I was asking is because it seems like you do have a lot of different services that you offer, but our audience, and I see this time and time and time and time again, they'll have, like, I've seen people with 6, 8, 12 services individually listed on their website and I just face Paul. And say, please stop it.
[00:26:17] Stop it. Focus on the outcome. You're giving a client not so much the piecemeal services that are littered around that, that outcome. How big is your team at this point for your company? I saw at least a few videos where you mentioned your team, you had someone walking behind you. That was part of your teammate.
[00:26:32] I believe you're in an office right now. I'd love to get a, an idea of.
[00:26:35] Lizzie: [00:26:35] So I have a full-time I nicknamed him my work husband a little while ago, but he's my editor. He helps me shoot. He's my right hand, man. And Chris has. Same kind of.
[00:26:48] thing going with, we just call them like our editors. His name is Lucas and Chris also has one part-time employee right now who was our intern and he's working on a project with us.
[00:26:59] And Chris is talking about having him stick around. Uh, part-time admin assistant, and then it's just per project. We have lots of people we reach out to for different skill sets, depending on how much work we have. So we had someone this weekend writing a script for us that we hadn't talked to in a few months.
[00:27:16] Um, we've, I've got another editor on hold to help me with two ads I have to make later this month. So it completely depends, you know, because in the business we're doing, we don't know how much is going to come one. And when you start noticing, okay, the last few months have been busy, let's make a high.
[00:27:32] And by that point, you've already tested out a few people. You already know who you like working with. And so it's, it's pretty easy to narrow it down, but a lot of people who are videographers and editors specifically, they don't love being tied down to one job anyways. So if you're not able to give them that flexibility, they may not even want to work for you.
[00:27:51] Full-time so it's a little bit more sustainable for both parties and some editors like doing one kind of project over another. And yeah, we have quite a few people. On contract.
[00:28:02] Brian: [00:28:02] So you have a client come to you. They want a big deliverable, be commercial, big shoot, big whatever. And there's some parts of that that maybe you don't, you're not a specialist in, or you don't do that, or you're not able to do that right now. Is that where you go to contractors to fill those holes in your service offering?
[00:28:17] Lizzie: [00:28:17] Yeah. Or capacity.
[00:28:18] Brian: [00:28:18] Or you just run out of space because you have so many clients, which is a great problem to have, and then you start using freelancers to fill in those gaps.
[00:28:25] Lizzie: [00:28:25] Exactly Chris And I have a conversation going okay, who would be better for this job who can handle it, that kind of thing. Who knows what this is supposed to look like? And we won't have to handle it.
[00:28:35] Brian: [00:28:35] And with that, do you have them basically in-house as contractors under your business, that you are paying yourself and then you're upcharging to the client, or do you have them in communication with the client themselves as their own independent contract?
[00:28:47] Lizzie: [00:28:47] Uh, option a, they are no how media employees for that time. And they, they work for us for that project and we upsell. Yeah. Well, we mark up.
[00:28:57] Brian: [00:28:57] I was going to say markups, the thing I want to talk to you about what is your go-to percentage or do you have a go-to percentage or how do you factor in markup with contractors you work with actually first explain to our audience what markup is. Sorry.
[00:29:08] Lizzie: [00:29:08] Where do I start? So there's when we build our first budget and we're plugging in all those little numbers that only we see the client, doesn't see this, we have what it actually costs. And then we have the markup added onto that, which includes a bunch of Just say like your business operating expenses, how your business is actually going to make profit.
[00:29:30] And then that final number incorporating what it actually costs your markup final number. So anything that you're plugging into that budget gets marked up. That's the way we are. And it's going to depend on the size of your business and how much work you're doing, where your skill levels at that kind of thing.
[00:29:49] So I wouldn't say to start with the number I'm about to give you, so we mark up right now, 40%, but that's going to depend on, do you have a workspace you're paying for, you know, how many employees do you have? How much equipment do you have insurance? You know, all of those things. By counting all those little things you have to pay for that's, what's going to justify your, your markup at the end of the day, but you should always be charging some kind of markup because there's time that goes into like, say you're hiring someone else on your shoot there's time that goes into making sure or that, you know, getting them up to speed.
[00:30:26] There there's unforeseen costs in having another person on your team. So you want to make sure you account for that.
[00:30:33] Brian: [00:30:33] Just to clarify, first of all, most of your projects, you're, you're quoting a flat rate, right? These are not like hourly projects. You're giving a flat rate. The margin is for that buffer between what you charge and what it ends up costing you for your labor. You were mentioning your employees for your office space, all these things.
[00:30:50] So like any of our listeners who are working with contractors, really good idea to add some sort of markup to any sort of contract labor you hire as the middleman because of the communication time, back and forth with deliverables, with any sort of snafoos you can run into with contractors that can delay the price.
[00:31:04] If you don't have a buffer in place for this sort of stuff, you're the one paying for this at the end of the day, not the client. So that's why it's going to eat away at your business and why it's so important long-term that you have this sort of margin in place or, or markup or a buffer, whatever you want to call it to help businesses stay healthy longterm.
[00:31:20] Chris: [00:31:20] I keep wanting to make a joke about humans. This is my role in the podcast. I'm the, I'm the comedic relief you mentioned working with Corona. And to me, that seems like.
[00:31:30] Lizzie: [00:31:30] the beer.
[00:31:31] Brian: [00:31:31] Yeah.
[00:31:32] Chris: [00:31:32] Exactly the veer back to our, our conversation about like you took Tekla, you took this idea and you said, well, let's not talk about the features.
[00:31:40] Let's tell a story with Corona beer. That feels like the biggest opportunity to just pitch the word world of like, yeah, we're coming out with a 19 pack of Corona. Like let's just lean in all the way.
[00:31:53] Lizzie: [00:31:53] I'm going to go with that. One's too soon. It's just too soon.
[00:31:57] Brian: [00:31:57] Yeah.
[00:31:59] Chris: [00:31:59] How do you make a viral ad for Corona in 2021? I mean, I'm just Yuk, Yuk. That's viral.
[00:32:05] Lizzie: [00:32:05] a viral ad? I'd have to think on that one right now. We're, we're talking about a social campaign. So they're just looking for amplification around like an initiative. I don't know how much I'm allowed to say that they're pursuing right now. So it's just some posts on our own feeds, that kind of thing.
[00:32:22] So it's kind of. Buying ad space in a magazine or on a billboard, that kind of thing. They are receiving some of the assets. If this goes through, we still haven't confirmed it. They would be receiving some of the assets that we make as well. So that's when kind of the production company side like leans into it a little bit.
[00:32:40] I'm going to go with, with that. They want to lean as far away from that as humanly possible. So.
[00:32:45] Chris: [00:32:45] Oh, dude, I say lean all the way in like have a shot where someone's wearing like a mask and they're trying to drink a
[00:32:51] Brian: [00:32:51] Chris stop pitching your terrible ideas to her. Get outta here, man.
[00:32:56] Chris: [00:32:56] I just want to see.
[00:32:57] Lizzie: [00:32:57] I'll let them know that you have something you want to talk to them about. Yeah,
[00:33:01] Chris: [00:33:01] they want inappropriate ads that just really lean in. I'm your guy.
[00:33:06] Brian: [00:33:06] no stop. Yeah, Lizzy peers, because they don't ever go on this podcast. All that happens is Chris Graham pitches, terrible ideas to you and he won't stop. Lizzie back on topic here. Let's reign ourselves in here.
[00:33:18] Lizzie: [00:33:18] Brian's like, damn it, Chris. I have more questions.
[00:33:21] Brian: [00:33:21] Yeah. That's, that's kind of the stick we have for the last 150 episodes. So this is
[00:33:25] Chris: [00:33:25] Ernie. This is Bert. We're a repair.
[00:33:28] Lizzie: [00:33:28] That was my first sentence. I don't know if he know that I said hi Burton, Ernie. Actually, I think it was just hi, Bert. Yeah,
[00:33:36] Brian: [00:33:36] Good
[00:33:37] Chris: [00:33:37] amazing.
[00:33:38] Lizzie: [00:33:38] that you'd want to
[00:33:39] Brian: [00:33:39] Even fact that our guests, Chris. All right. This is a serious question.
[00:33:43] Lizzie: [00:33:43] Oh, no
[00:33:45] Brian: [00:33:45] What is your super power when it comes to running your business? What is your superpower?
[00:33:49] Lizzie: [00:33:49] invisible. I'm just kidding.
[00:33:50] Brian: [00:33:50] I know, I know it's gonna be a joke answer.
[00:33:52] Lizzie: [00:33:52] it matters.
[00:33:53] Chris: [00:33:53] Okay.
[00:33:54] Lizzie: [00:33:54] I'm very good at seeing the big picture of pretty much everything. That's why I always loop myself into the producer role. I can pretty clearly see what the client wants, how we're going to align on that, how to position or word something in a way that I can sell them on it or make a problem go away.
[00:34:13] That kind of thing. I'm also very good at. The flow of an edit and script writing. So I would say those are my high-level and anytime we're working on another project right now, I don't think I'm allowed to talk about that one either. Darren, I'm thinking, as I want to say the name, I'm like, darn, it's a big one though.
[00:34:31] It's a good one. It'll be coming up pretty soon. And that's what I was doing today. I didn't have time to write the script myself. We had someone else write it. And then I was spending time today, judging it along with the music and we're sending it to an editor and then I'll probably go back and forth with him to just finesse it and that kind of thing.
[00:34:48] So I don't necessarily need to be the one that does it myself anymore, but I know like in terms of the editing and writing the entire script, but I can piece it together in a way that's going to make it a video and not a script with music underneath and clips on it.
[00:35:03] Brian: [00:35:03] As we wrap this interview up, it would be probably a lot of people complain. If I didn't ask some questions in the very short time we have left about how you, stair-step your way into working with such large brands. As a creative, I think that's an area. A lot of people strive to go after and very few make it.
[00:35:18] And I'd love if you could give, to share some just quick tidbits of wisdom around making the shift from just working with local or regional stuff up to the larger brands where you get to the point where you say, I don't know if I can talk about that yet, because it's a brand everyone's heard of. How does one work the way up to that?
[00:35:33] Lizzie: [00:35:33] Our followings definitely helped with that because they're usually well-known brands that then want to work with you, but how. We ended up again, upselling kind of backwards for them going, oh, we just want you to post this or whatever to us saying, well, you know, we have this production company, we can make something actually really good and not just, you know, something on our I-phones then we've also found work that way through our production company, which is.
[00:36:01] Very appealing to them because we're small in-house we can do a lot of this ourselves. We can do great work for a lower budget than some of the bigger production companies out there, but it's also higher quality than just hiring one freelancer to do the same job. And again, we can promote it and that kind of thing.
[00:36:20] So that's how. We've found some of those larger brands sometimes. It's, I mean, what we, what we tell people, if that's not something that they're interested in, if there's a particular brand, they have their eye on take pictures of, if it's a product, like say Dewar, take pictures of their product, send them to them, start building that?
[00:36:40] And then usually it'll start out with smaller jobs here and there, but show them that you're keen first and that you can do good work. And they'll think of you because if you go away, Looking for $20,000 right off the bat. And they've never worked with you then that's probably not going to happen. So build the relationship first.
[00:37:00] And sometimes it means doing a couple of freebies here and there. And that's what we did when we wanted to do video content for tourism boards as well. We had to. Travel videos before we got paid to do the travel videos. So we traveled on our own film, the video, and we had that content to show. So if you don't have, if you're trying to not even just work with a specific brand, if you're trying to do, um, a type of video that you've never been hired to do before, and you don't have any examples, and you're not going to get hired to do that type of.
[00:37:32] Brian: [00:37:32] Focus on portfolio for. And then use the, what I would call it, what consultive sales, where you're really trying to dig into what their needs are to, if you have your foot in the door, that's essentially wedging that foot in further because you're helping them ultimately get what they're, what they're trying to get.
[00:37:46] Even if they don't know they need it yet, I guess, is what I'm trying to say.
[00:37:48] Lizzie: [00:37:48] Yeah. Approach them with specific ideas as well. Not just. An open-ended. I can make you videos to having specific, you know, you've already reviewed their content and you see an opportunity for something they could do, um, that might peak their interest, even if that's not what they ended up going with, they know you're keen and they know you have good ideas.
[00:38:08] It puts you at a bit of a disadvantage in the power dynamic, because they're not interested in working with you yet. You don't have the money in that situation. They have the money, So they have a lot of the power. So you have to come with as much. Power on your side to equate the power dynamic there and know that this is a part, make them feel like this is going to be a partnership.
[00:38:28] It's not, I'm really hoping you can give me money to do this thing, know where your strengths are and make sure that those are coming through. And however you're, you're approaching them. Um, if you are cold emailing or cold calling or something like that, but again, a lot of it is word of mouth. A lot of it is, was just telling everyone one of our biggest clients was because we met someone who worked at that company at a cottage.
[00:38:49] And we had videos that we were able to show and we were, we're interested in what we do. And we talk about what we do a lot. We're not uncomfortable talking about it. You never know where that lead is going to come from. And it's not always as formal as a cold email and a pitch package and things like that.
[00:39:06] Brian: [00:39:06] So as we wrap this up earlier on, you mentioned a resource that I know you have available.
[00:39:11] Lizzie: [00:39:11] Yeah. The budget and estimate template package.
[00:39:14] Brian: [00:39:14] It's a thing that you're selling.
[00:39:15] Lizzie: [00:39:15] Yep. So we have a budget and estimate template that you can purchase. I believe on my website and on myself. I, and it also has a walkthrough video with Chris and I, where we explain it's very long. We'd literally just talk through how to use it and how we use it.
[00:39:31] Um, And if you're wondering why you need both, they're different. And that's why we sell them in a package ones for you, ones for the client. I've explained this in a few videos, but it's always hard to get into the amount of detail you have to actually have to go into. So that's why we decided to sell it as a little package, but it's something everyone needs in any business.
[00:39:51] Brian: [00:39:51] Yeah. Pricing is a struggle for so many creatives. It's like, how do you put a price on something that you put your heart into? So I think it's a cool resource that you've, as you've put out there for them, how can what's what's the link or somebody can go to find that, do you have a link or a URL or can we just put it.
[00:40:04] Lizzie: [00:40:04] If you can put it in the show notes, but I know if you just Google my name and myself, I, or if you went to Lizzie pierce.com, it's a. It's on my, I think it's called the shop page. It should be one of the things you can purchase there. Yeah. And if you sign up to my newsletter, you usually get discount codes for it as well.
[00:40:21] I mean, this month there Is a discount code for it, but you wouldn't know unless you're in the news.
[00:40:26] Brian: [00:40:26] Is there anything that you want our audience to do before we wrap this up? As far as where you want them to go to learn more about you or to see your stuff or to.
[00:40:33] Lizzie: [00:40:33] Sure, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. We work really hard on the stuff that we make every week there. We put out a lot of content. If you want to laugh and see some pretty pictures, then go over to my Instagram. I'm very transparent in my stories and I have cute cats as well. Then I post lots of stories of them, but YouTube is where you're going to.
[00:40:52] get the info.
[00:40:53] Brian: [00:40:53] Yeah, we'll have all this in our show notes over at six-figure creative director.
[00:41:02] So that is it for this interview on the six-figure creative podcast. What did you think?
[00:41:06] Chris: [00:41:06] I think she's got such an interesting story. I think there's a lot of components there. One the fact that it's her and her fiance and that they both have stellar YouTube channels. And that they're both building video businesses in Toronto where there's this like massive scene. There are so many killer YouTubers doing like the here's, how to use a camera.
[00:41:29] Here's how to make videos like the Toronto is the king of that. There's more there than in ELA.
[00:41:34] Brian: [00:41:34] Which sucks for those who are like, Areas or isolated areas, you know, or it's like, you're not surrounded by tons of Koreans.
[00:41:41] Chris: [00:41:41] Well, I don't know if it does well, like, cause yeah. And that's where I was sort of going for with some of the questions I wanted to ask her. Was this idea of how has being part of a scene helped you grow your business? Slash I think on the flip side of this coin is if you're not part of a scene, it's actually much to your benefit.
[00:42:01] So let's say you're in Denver, Colorado, and let's say there's not a YouTuber videographer cinematography scene, or at least the people that are aren't making their own calls out there.
[00:42:10] Brian: [00:42:10] I'm sure there are, but yeah.
[00:42:11] Chris: [00:42:11] Yeah, I'm sure there are, there are some
[00:42:12] Brian: [00:42:12] These are, are a ragdoll example that I always use, which is Reno.
[00:42:16] Chris: [00:42:16] Nevada. Can we use Fresno, California? I T.
[00:42:19] Brian: [00:42:19] No,
[00:42:20] Chris: [00:42:20] you were on your, uh, we all went to Yosemite for your bachelor party. And we drove through Fresno in the middle of the night, take it to Yosemite. And me and Trevor looked at to our right. And there was a guy riding a bike in the middle of the night with a door strapped to his back, a full sized door.
[00:42:38] And I was like,
[00:42:39] Brian: [00:42:39] this is so off topic, but then yes, you can say Fresno, California then where people just ride around with doors on their back at midnight on a bicycle. Okay. So your, your, your picture you're painting is you're in Fresno. There's not a big creative scene.
[00:42:51] Chris: [00:42:51] There's not a scene, but
[00:42:52] Brian: [00:42:52] How's this your benefit? You said this is your.
[00:42:54] Chris: [00:42:54] I think it's to your benefit because scenes drive growth for everybody. And when you've got, you know, my favorite example is when CS Lewis and Tolkien were buddies and hanging out at the same bar, that was really good for literature. That was really good for both. I'm actually reading the lion, the witch and the wardrobe to my daughter each night right now has been amazing side note anyways.
[00:43:15] But my point is that we benefit from the fact that there was a scene with Tolkien and CS Lewis. They moved the art form forward.
[00:43:23] Brian: [00:43:23] Correct. I don't understand your argument of the.
[00:43:25] Chris: [00:43:25] I'm going for it. So here we go. My argument is that because there's a scene in Toronto. And that we can tune in and watch YouTube videos from some of the best YouTubers on the planet that are all working together to make videos together.
[00:43:38] You can learn from them and apply. What's kicking butt for them in a, in a mature scene in Fresno, California, you can take what they have learned and transport it to Fresno, where nobody else is doing the types of things that they do.
[00:43:52] Brian: [00:43:52] That is one point. Okay. So this leads to an interesting kind of topic, which is. Yes. Toronto is filled to the brim with creatives that are awesome and doing awesome things. What does that mean? It's incredibly competitive. It is very hard to stand out there. The bar is so high, but the counter argument to that is this also a large market.
[00:44:11] So really it's kind of a moot point. And then you got Fresno. The bar is not that high, but also the market's smaller. So I still don't know if you actually can convince me or not, because yeah. And I'd rather be the I'd rather be mediocre and Toronto than the best in Fresno. I'm sorry.
[00:44:25] Chris: [00:44:25] Well, I'm not arguing about being in Toronto or being in Fresno. What I'm saying is, and this is something I'll get into a lot over the course of the past years, I've been kind of going through my stuff. One of the things that's been really fun for me is just digging in with making videos for my kids.
[00:44:41] With taking more pictures and just falling back in love with holding the camera. I have benefited greatly by the Toronto YouTuber's cinematography photography scene because I've watched like literally hundreds of videos that have come out of Toronto. And it's inspired me for what I'm capable of doing over here in Columbus, Ohio, those videos, that content, that educational content, the bar wouldn't be set that high for the rest of the world.
[00:45:05] If there wasn't this scene happening in Toronto, this magic that was here. And you look at like, you know, in the, in the recording world, we're, we're kind of from, if there wasn't a Nashville that would've had a really negative impact on the rest of the world, because Nashville developed its own sound. And then people began to be aware of like, oh, there's the Nashville sound?
[00:45:23] There's the New York sound. There's the LA sound. And these scenes are where these new aesthetics have come up.
[00:45:30] Brian: [00:45:30] Let me reign you in real quick, only because we're talking about the skill of. The creative endeavors you're going after that is again, moot point. The six-figure creative. We assume you have the skills down. We know not everyone does, but that every topic we talk about assumes that you're already good at what you do.
[00:45:47] And if you're not, you need to improve those things. Cause that's the, that's what you're getting paid for. Again, I'm not going to get into this because there are so many people. And like Chris and like all these other amazing YouTubers who have incredible content to teach you how to be awesome at the creative endeavor that you have the most passion for.
[00:46:04] Not all of them talk business. Liz is an example where she does both. She talks business, she talks gears. She talks. So you get kind of the best of all worlds with her. But with us, we just focus on the business side because not everyone talks about the business side, not all the schools, not all, all the educational resources.
[00:46:20] We don't talk about the skill side of things. That's kind of like the mantra of the six-figure creative. So that's why I'm stopping here. So let's get back to the interview with Lizzie, because I think that there's important stuff to dissect that isn't about Toronto, but talking about the actual business skills that she has, she's talked about one thing that I really liked, that she talks about that I think we should discuss is that.
[00:46:39] Thing that she's talking about at Varian. I asked her how she kind of stair-step her way to these bigger brands. And I think part of it is her YouTube success. That's a thing that you cannot avoid when talking about her success with bigger brands, but you can't take away the fact that those brands aren't going to hire her, if she's bad at what she does.
[00:46:55] So that goes back to the skill conversation. But at the same time, they're giving her a small chance for a small project. That's likely what a lot of these people are doing. They're trying like, Hey, we have like a social media video. We need you to do, or this two minute video, that's not that big of a deal.
[00:47:06] We're going to throw it into our LinkedIn article or something. Like they're doing some small thing. And what her approach is her and Chris's approach is our foot in the door is this small deliverable that they're coming to us for, that we're known to deliver. And then we're going to dig into the why behind the project, what are their actual needs and goals and desires.
[00:47:22] What's the end result that they're trying to get from this. And then we're going to sell them what they actually need and not what they came here for us for. That was all that was as a foot in the door. And now they've turned this small re rather insignificant project into a much larger project that they can charge more for.
[00:47:37] It's a better portfolio piece because there's so many more elements to it. They can hire freelancers and other people under them because there's a bigger budget for this. It allows them to do cooler stuff because they've upped the budget. So I think that when she mentioned that that was a big part.
[00:47:49] Yeah. Of what they do to get these larger projects. That's a huge part of it because you have to be able to take what sort of small bones are thrown your way, especially as a beginner or someone who's just working on reasonable stuff and blow the expectations out of the water. And you cannot blow people's expectations out of the water.
[00:48:04] If you're not digging into the true needs of the project and understanding what the client actually needs, not just what they came for you for, not just what they think they want, but being a true consultant when it comes to sales. That's why I like that. Consultive sales kind of definition that I throw out there.
[00:48:18] And then.
[00:48:18] Chris: [00:48:18] I love that, man. I'm fascinated by that because it's something that I have tried to lean into. And I think, I think we all continue to grow when it comes to this balance between selling what the client has asked for and selling the client, what they just haven't been creative enough to come up with when it comes to this upsell, you have to find a way to have some sort of energy and creativity to bring to the floor to say, look, we could do that.
[00:48:43] Or we could take a risk.
[00:48:44] Brian: [00:48:44] One other cool thing, uh, that I think is worth kind of meaning dissecting, which I like doing. At the end of interviews. Cause it's just fun to like, to really get to sit in and talk about it. Cause I hate trying to talk over a guest or like to fully dive in. I felt like I wanted to let them
[00:48:56] Chris: [00:48:56] Yeah, we're still learning how to do that. We don't know what we're doing there.
[00:48:59] Brian: [00:48:59] we, yeah, we we've done more interviews this past, like month than we, we typically, I think we did for most of our podcasts in the past.
[00:49:06] Cause it's just you and I from us. But, uh, the contractors adding markup, we've talked about this on the past, on the podcast as when we were the six figure home studio early on, and this is an area that I, I get a lot of flack for because people feel guilty upcharging for work that they hired someone else to do.
[00:49:23] Chris: [00:49:23] That's a topic we should dig
[00:49:25] Brian: [00:49:25] Yeah, I think that we just need to have a F yep. We just need to have a full topic around, it might be a full pricing episode. We've, we've kind of touched on the project a little bit, but more of the mental it's almost the, um, it's the mindset of pricing is what we need to talk.
[00:49:38] Chris: [00:49:38] So, let me tackle this. Let me just see if I can from 10,000 foot, 10,000 feet, just sort of spotlight. Why there is let's call it markup shame. It's not really guilt. It's shame. Markup, shame, I think is rooted in the law. That the service that you provide is 100% of the value that you provide.
[00:50:00] Brian: [00:50:00] Yeah. Yeah, that's a really good summation.
[00:50:02] Chris: [00:50:02] Yeah. So like I'm a mix engineer. A hundred percent of my value comes from just the actual skill of mixing. No, it doesn't, there's so much more to that. We've struggled with this in our podcast of where you and I have talked at length about, well, we talk about tactical business advice and mindset stuff, and that's a hundred percent of the value that we are.
[00:50:22] There's more than that. There's a community and I've heard so many people reach out to me about this and mentioned, like, just hearing that there are other people out there that are doing. They're doing their creative passion and making a six figure income on it. That's exciting to me and I, and a big part of why listen is to hear you and Brian banter and to just get this like pep of like, yes, this is a possibility I can do it.
[00:50:46] Other people are doing, I can dig in. And so for, even for our podcast, the tactical stuff that we talk about is probably no more than 50% of the value of her podcast. And I think that's a challenging thing for most freelance service providers. The thing that you wrap your ego around as a, as a service provider is the task.
[00:51:06] It is this technician. I'm good at this. I know what I'm doing. You know, I'm making minuscule, teeny tiny changes, lots of them that are leading up to a huge, massive quality increase. And when you hire somebody to also do those tactical things, those, those technician things to charge more than what they charged.
[00:51:25] You feels almost like a slap in the face. It feels like you stole something from them. Like you underpaid them when the reality of it is like, well, hold on. They would have never brought that client in that client would have never trusted them because they don't have a very good portfolio or they don't know how to speak to this client.
[00:51:42] Or they don't have a previous relationship that they were able to. I want to say leverage, but I hate, I hate using that word with the word relationship. They knew somebody well that they went to high school with. And that ended up turning into this relationship. The guilt, the guilt and shame around markup is complicated.
[00:52:03] Brian: [00:52:03] Here's the thing. And this to me is enough reason to do it and maybe not enough for everyone else, because I tend to be on the more analytical side than the emotional side, especially when it comes to. So you can make a logical discussion like this with me. And I'm like, oh, the logic dictates. I need to add a surcharge or a markup on what a contractor charged me on the service.
[00:52:23] The way I look at it is this I'm running a business and in order to stay open and pay my bills and pay and my other contractors and pay my taxes and pay my rent and pay my utilities. Keep getting clients and doing this for the rest of my life, doing things that I love, I have to have profit. And if I give someone a client under me that I do not get any profit off of that work, then I've just failed as a business owner.
[00:52:50] I've just given work away for a hundred percent free that I don't get anything out of. Other than the S the thing they give me back, I have to have some sort of profit margin. And a lot of times that's why I like that. Margin, because it is your profit margin. When you sell out a service to somebody, you get the work, you sub it out to a contractor, you add your 20% margin is what I would tell people to start at.
[00:53:09] And you move along with your life. The only other way that they get around doing that is to get the work without you to be the contractor that the client talked to. Not the one that I had to be the middleman for. Because again, now you're the one sending files back and forth to the contractor. Client.
[00:53:25] You're the one dealing with emails on both sides and trying to get the revisions done. You're the one having to create the scope of work or the explanation of what it is you're wanting from the contractor to make the client happy. You're the one doing all this, and you need to be charged. You need to charge them.
[00:53:38] I'm sorry. For the time it takes to do all of these things,
[00:53:40] Chris: [00:53:40] Totally. One of the scenes that I think of all the time is I think it's the movie. Batman begins with a Morgan Freeman. Christian. What's his last
[00:53:50] Brian: [00:53:50] Chris.
[00:53:50] Chris: [00:53:50] Christian bale. And so Christian Bale's character, Bruce rain comes back. They're going to create Batman and Morgan Freeman's character. He's like the science guys, like the M character from James Bond, or he's like building the technology.
[00:54:03] And I love when he explains to Bruce Wayne, he's like, look, we've got all these factories all over China that are manufacturing like a hundred, 200, 300, a thousand of this particular part. They have no idea what this part is. But they're going to send it to us. And then we're going to assemble your Batman costume and all your gadgets and the Batmobile, but all of our contractors have no idea what they're actually contributing towards.
[00:54:30] They'll send it to us and then we'll assemble it. And at least for me, when I've had contractors working with me, I almost always 99.999999% of the time I'm telling the contractor what the bigger vision. But I'm bringing in the contractor's expertise to combine it with another contractor's expertise to combine it with my expertise, to roll out a product
[00:54:52] Brian: [00:54:52] And hopefully the product is better than if any, one of you worked on the project.
[00:54:56] Chris: [00:54:56] well in our podcast is another good example on that as well. The more I get to know you and the more we do this podcast, the more I'm sure what a steaming pile of crap this podcast would be. If I did it by myself.
[00:55:06] Brian: [00:55:06] And vice versa. It'd be really boring though. I would be so dry. We wouldn't get our bad crisp plans without, without you on yourself. So I think this is a good place to wrap this episode up again. Thank you so much, Liz. You have to come on the podcast if you're still listening for any reason right now at this point from our rambling here at the end of your episode.
[00:55:22] But, uh, everybody go make sure you check out her work over, uh, on our show notes page at six-figure creative.com/one 15.
[00:55:29] Chris: [00:55:29] We mentioned on this episode that there's this crazy, amazing YouTube community in Toronto people that are making videos. There's a Maddie hippo, GIA. There's a David Schiffer there's Chris' house. There's Peter McKinnon. There's uh, mark bone. There's mark. Uh, oh, geez. There's so many. I wait, I got a shot. I got a shot.
[00:55:48] The other guy, mark, mark out. Cause I am obsessed with him. Mark Holtz. I'm obsessed with vintage camera lenses. Mark Holtz is like the number one vintage camera channel on the internet also in Toronto also makes videos for corporations. If you want to share, you can get these guys out. We'll link these below and it's just sort of fascinating to pop around from video to video and just sort of see like, wow, there really is a community.
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