6 Figure Creative Icon

How To Use Social Media To Start ATTRACTING Clients (Instead Of Chasing Them) | With Chris Smith

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The most difficult part of freelancing is attracting high-quality clients to you (especially early in your career).
Most people resort to two main “desperation tactics” when their schedules thin out…
Desperation Tactic 1: They start sending cold emails/DMs to people who don't have any idea who they are.
Desperation Tactic 2: They start publishing desperate-looking “hire me” posts on their socials. Things like “50% off THIS MONTH ONLY. HMU”.
While they're chasing leads down like a starving troglodyte desperately hunting for food, there's a better way to market your business as a creative.
So what's the better way? That's what Chris Smith—our guest this week—wrote the book on…
While the book is called “The Conversion Code“, the tagline says it all: “Stop chasing leads and start attracting clients”.
No one wants to be “hunted”, but most people want to be attracted to something/someone.
In this episode, Chris breaks down how to use social media to start attracting more clients instead of resorting to desperation tactics.
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Overcoming the lead generation bottleneck
  • The number one key to getting booked
  • Content marketing as a freelancer
  • Basing your business model on Disney
  • Getting booked by posting on TikTok
  • The ROI of social media content creation
  • Documenting vs. creating content
  • Looking to others for inspiration

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[00:00:00] Welcome to the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood, and this is your first time joining us on the show. Welcome. Thank you for giving us a chance. The goal I have for this show is to help you answer two of the most important and difficult questions in freelancing. First question is now that I'm good at what I do as a creative, how do I get more clients?

The second question being I'm good at what I do. I have more clients than I can handle. How do I get my time back? So I'm not doing all this BS that I don't wanna do as a creative, so I can focus on the things that I love to do. That's the two major questions that we answer on this podcast. And today's episode answers.

Question number one, we brought an author on here who is a expert at what I would consider client acquisition. If you are a returning listener, thank you for coming back again as always I am super grateful that you give this show a chance every single week.

If you're listening to this on the day, this episode comes. I actually leave the country. Finally, I've been talking about this for way too long on the podcast tomorrow, I will be leaving the country for Bali for the next foreseeable future. I, me and my wife, we bought one way tickets to Southeast Asia and we have no return date.

So I just wanted to mention that for [00:01:00] anyone who's kind of been following the show over time has been talking about this, been super excited about it. It's the only, the second time we've done the one way trip thing. and my wife would did it for a honeymoon back in 2018. Obviously, we haven't been able to really do something like this since COVID hit.

So we're both excited. We both, you know, I think everyone's kind of stir crazy from the last two years sitting around not doing a whole lot. but if you wanna follow what we're doing on our trip where we're going, what we're seeing, what all we're experiencing while we're traveling and working Feel free to follow me or my wife on Instagram. We'll have links at the show notes at six figure eight. Or you can just look me up on Instagram, under Brian Hood. That's B R I a N H zero zero D. And I couldn't be more excited than I am right now just to get some sort of like new scenery in some inspiration get my mind out of the, kind of the routine that I've been in to open things up to new ideas and building new things.

So I'm excited for it. Hopefully you follow along with what we're up to. And I don't post a lot of stuff, but I do post stories. It's kind of main thing that I do for for documenting my travel. So if you're still with me on this show, especially for my new people who don't care about my life or what I'm [00:02:00] up to fully understand that let's get to the point of what the show is about.

Answering that first question. How do I get more clients? You're good at what you do. You don't have clients beaten down the door. You're not booked up fully on your calendar for the foreseeable future with your perfect IDO clients.

So what can you do to get more clients? Whether there's something called client acquisition. That's what our guest today is an expert in. And he actually wrote the book on it. The book called the conversion code. I forget the tagline. Exactly. I mentioned it later in the episode, it's something like How to stop chasing down leads and start attracting clients. I think that's the actual tagline from the book.

But the author's name is Chris Smith. And I think he's a business owner before. He's an author. He's not somebody who just writes about this stuff. He's somebody who lives at first learns about it and has really dug deep into the science, behind getting clients.

this is why I love this show, bringing people on like this, because from my perspective, I only know what's worked for me. Obviously like when I talk to people like this, I learn from other people as well, but I only know my own perspective. So bringing people like Chris on is really a.

call it a punch in the gut as creatives. Again, we tend to gravitate [00:03:00] towards things that we're attracted to things that are like shiny objects for me, I'm ADHD. So I go towards the shiny objects for others. It's the things that they're comfortable in. They don't wanna face fear. They wanna stay in the comfort zone.

And so we don't ever break outside of our little bubbles and that's goes for me, that goes for you listening or watching on YouTube right now. we get into this like stagnant mess, which is kind of where I feel like I've been for the last year where I'm feeling stagnant. I don't have a lot of new.

I've been building or doing I've just kind of been in maintenance mode. And during this, talking to people like Chris is a wonderful, unique perspective because he is not what I would consider a creative, although I would highly argue He's actually a creative.

He's actually what I would call a creator tour. You've heard about the creator economy. Well, as creatives, we're not necessarily part of the creator economy as far as what they define that as which is like YouTubers and talkers and people who are doing like content creation for a living. But as creatives, we can still take part in that world as a way to build our business.

Chris Smith has built his agency to multiple eight figures in recurring revenue a year, which is at least 10 million a year, every single year, like [00:04:00] clockwork. So if you are earning less than that, chances are, you could probably learn something from somebody like Chris Smith.

And not only that, he's an author who has had his books endorsed by people like Gary V. If you're familiar with Gary V if he endorses a book, it's probably somebody worth paying attention to.

So some of the things we talk about in this interview are building your following on TikTok, Instagram Twitter, just being more of a content creator and tapping into that part of our creative sales, putting ourselves out there.

But he also gives us a couple case studies and examples somebody who was Not necessarily the best in the field at what they do. They're not the most experienced They're not the most well connected in their area. And yet in just a few short years of putting content out, they became the number one person in their market. For the service that they offer and they were bringing in millions per year as somebody who is like young, they were hungry, they were willing to put themselves out there.

Another person we talk about is somebody who built their following on TikTok to 800,000 plus followers by doing something completely unique in their approach to content creation.

Because it's an older lady, she's not comfortable on camera. She doesn't want to talk straight into the camera like I [00:05:00] am doing with you right now. So she found a way to build her following and speak naturally without the awkward feeling that I think most of us get when we're, staring at a camera, trying to come up with content to say, So if you're somebody who's on the fence about creating content, especially things like TikTok or YouTube, this episode's absolutely for you, So without further delay, here's my interview with Chris Smith Chris. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

to be here.

For those who have never heard of this book, I'm holding it up right now. If you're on the user right now, there's this book called conversion code. honest to God, I can't remember who recommended this book, who referred it to me.

I can't remember where I came across it, but I'm glad I found it. And I ordered this back in may of this year. And I've been just going through it over and over again, cuz it's, it's a book that is a little different than most books I read. Cause I have not read this from cover to cover. It's very much like a reference guide, like choose your adventure.

What are you struggling with right now? And focus on that one thing. And I just love that whole approach to business because on this podcast, we fall into this trap. That is something that we've referred to before. As the advice buffet, the device buffet is you can Gorge yourself on all of this wonderful.

Most of [00:06:00] which is not good for you right now. There's something that your body is craving. There's something that your business is craving. And this book covers things in a very wonderful detail where you can kind of choose your own adventure and any business right now has a bottleneck in their business and it's usually either creating enough awareness that you exist on this earth as a business lead generation lead, nurture sales. Like those are kind of the areas that there's usually a big bottleneck in. And our audience specifically struggles with the lead generation side.

So I wanted to bring you on today to talk about this topic, because not only did you write the book on the conversion code, which I love the tagline, it says how to stop chasing leads and start attracting clients, which emphasis on attracting. I love that whole tagline and the approach to this, where our audience really struggles with this.

Not only have you written the book on it, you've also built and scaled a whole agency, to the eight figure 10 million plus dollar a year range, which is. Well beyond the scope of anyone listening to this show right now that would put you well above. We can now look up to you and say, give us the answers as you come down off mountain with your 10 commandments.

So I wanna open this up to you, man, because as [00:07:00] creatives, tend to shy away from these things where we're putting ourselves out there and we're trying to wait for people to come to us, but we're not doing anything to attract people to us.

And I would love to know. Especially based on what you wrote in this book, some of the key things that you have learned as you scaled your agency, as you've helped your clients get clients, because one of the things your agency does is help real estate agents, which is a service based business, get clients.

there's so much to dissect in this topic. It's so broad. I just wanna kind of see where you're at with this.

Well, it's funny that you mentioned the choose your own adventure component and sort of jumping directly to the thing that you really need to work on and prioritize, cuz that will be different for almost every single person. I actually had a chance to interview a billionaire one time and he said sometimes people need a lease to do less.

I think that's really important that people don't jump past when I actually work with. Call it a paid consulting client or membership customer. You know, somebody that's in my paid community when I give them the content for the month. It's like only that is incredibly difficult to [00:08:00] crack the whole conversion code.

So you have to be willing to tackle it a piece at a time, the way that I've written the book and the way that people, I think appreciate the approach is it's left to, right. It's kind of like, Hey, let's pretend hypothetically, you don't know what you're doing and that you're willing to sort of start over.

And if you do that, you would go from left to right. You would need a website, you would need landing pages, you would have a blog and then you would get to social and email marketing and retargeting. Like there is an order that I try to follow, but a lot of the people listening right now, they probably could just figure out how to build a great email list and send a great email newsletter.

And that one choice. Actually might end up making them more money than 20 other choices combined. So I think it's important to sort of prioritize what really matters versus what sort of might be exciting and fun and new. I think creatives need to understand that the time for you to complain [00:09:00] about being a creative that's broke is over.

Maybe you're not familiar with the creator economy. It's never been more exciting to be creative than ever, whether that's art and NFTs or whether that's Patreon or whether that's being able to monetize your YouTube channel or your TikTok following creatives are ruling the world right now. but a lot of them aren't figuring out how to turn it into business.

I had a guy I worked with, he was an actor and he was also working at a restaurant like many actors. And he said, there's a difference between being a starving artist and starving your art. And I never forgot that.

And what a lot of the people listening to this are doing is they're actually starving their art. But they're complaining that they're a starving artist and you're starving your art because you're not promoting and marketing and selling your services. You're just maybe a little too caught up on the art itself.

[00:10:00] And I like the science and the art.

that's one of my favorite things about this book is It is not theory. Like you have so many studies, there's so many charts and graph. I'm a numbers person. I'm like, business minded.

I love the numbers and spreadsheets and all that stuff. Not everyone's that way, but I love that everything that you state in this book is backed up with studies, with grass and charts. And just today, actually I was reading the part of when to send an email during the day.

And I do wanna talk about mailing this with you because that's, that's been a running theme of pretty much every guest we've had on here is how powerful a mailing list is and billing that up. But sending an email, you had a whole chart of like open rates versus time of day. And when is the most appropriate time of the day send an email.

So like it's very tactical. So we've, just set up a split test in our business. We're gonna run for the next eight weeks where we're gonna start sending emails at like 3:00 PM versus we've been singing there like eight or 9:00 AM every week for this podcast and we'll report back and, and see what thing is there.

But I just love that. It's not just like, Hey, here's what I found in my business. This is a study across tons of businesses and you link to sources and, stuff like that. So I want to just say that, like anyone who is looking for a book that is backed up with [00:11:00] research, this is the book.

And it's not just somebody saying, well, I did it once and it worked for me. So let's back up a little bit on, on something you said earlier is. Doing less. again, the advice buffet and the, the problem with people like me who are ADHD, and we have shiny abject syndrome and we wanna do all the things is we lose focus on what is actually working in our business right now, or what is the thing we need to do think this is a, a pitfall, maybe not just creatives, but I just know the creative world so much.

We tend gravitate to the things that are, are attractive to us, not the things that we need. And if all we do is eat candy, we're going to have a lot of health problems. And as creatives, we need to sometimes eat that kale, or we still need to sometimes eat something that's a little more uh, nutritional for us.

And I think a lot of these things are the things that we shy away from are the parts where we, we generate awareness as creatives that we exist, because so much of our audience, they're amazing at what they do. They're music, producers, they're photographers, they're videographers, they're designers. And I we've pulled our audience.

They're not starving, but they're maybe not thriving to the level that they want to thrive. So when it comes to, getting clients. hate to say this, but the best freelancer is [00:12:00] not the one who always wins the gig. It's the one who is around the one who is known the one who is trusted at the time that the project comes up and part of.

You have done really well. And I've seen you, you practice what you preach is build your following on different social platforms. And, we haven't really talked about this much on here, but it's huge. the reach that things like reels and TikTok has brought, and I even saw you posting somewhere.

I don't remember where I saw this, that you posted when I was doing my research that you had gotten your biggest speaking gig to date in front of thousands of people. And it literally came from your TikTok account. hired you like just from what they found on your TikTok, they hired you for this, the biggest speaking gig you've ever had.

And I would love to know a bit about your strategy behind TikTok, because you're using it to promote your own products and your own services and your own businesses and your own things. And you're speaking gigs and everything. And I've seen that you're very consistent on there. And you, you said that you're actually using freelancers to build that business, which I thought was super interesting.

And I think our audience can kind of replicate some of those things to become bit more of a, I don't wanna say a media company, but it's like [00:13:00] everything. think every creative needs a media wing.

yeah. You should say it that way. Content marketing is, is just media, Personal brand is just, being a creator. And it's funny, cuz I'm probably hiring the people that listen to this show,

as the person who's trying to put out the content that you. need help. I don't care if you hire your friend or your, relative, or if you hire, somebody through a director like Behan or, dribble, or, Site inspire awards. I love these websites. I spend hours on 'em. I admire the work of the people I see there.

You said you have ADHD, so it's hard for you to kind of get dialed in on one thing. I'll give you the sort of mental health high five I'm bipolar. The difference between being bipolar in ADHD is that you are extremely focused on one thing.

So I have the same crazy brain that can't stop. Right. I, I promise I. But for [00:14:00] whatever reason, I am able to tunnel vision it on the thing that I'm working on currently. So whether that's the book or the speaking tour, or the course I'm launching, I get really good tunnel vision and I see people all over the place.

when you're so focused on one thing, like the new book or growing your TikTok or Instagram following like social media, or if you go on a big paid ad sprint where you're coming up with new creatives and ad angles and, and setting up all the campaigns or whatever you do, like, do you find that other areas of your business or life getting neglected if you're that type of personality?

Cause I know a lot of our audience the same way where they're hyper focused on something and the other areas tend to fall away. So that might be another thing worth, doing which again, this is my ADHD saying, I wanna talk about all the

yeah, no.

focus on one thing at

I get

so this is something I want your audience to Google you should Google it later as well.

You're looking for the Disney map from 1953. And what you'll find is that all of the different things that Walt Disney wanted to create were created in a way that would connect them [00:15:00] together and feed on each other.

So in the middle of everything that he was building was actually the films, but then the theme park and the merch and the audio and the songs and the comic books and the toys, everything is actually working towards one greater. Good. So when you tell me, well, Hey, when you're working on the book, you're neglecting these other things.

Maybe if you think of it through that lens, but for me working on the book is kind of like working on the theme park. How did I get that speaking gig from TikTok? What was the video on TikTok about shit that I looked up and researched for my book. if I'm working on classes and courses and a membership site for a few months, I'm actually completely okay.

Neglecting the other stuff again, by delegating and bringing on really smart freelancers, you should be able to still be consistent. I went to Brazil for two weeks. I didn't log on at all. I had stuff coming out every single day [00:16:00] because I had the people and systems and foresight to kind of get that in place.

But the thing is it's because it's important to me. You, you were saying I got the gig from TikTok. I did you think I'm gonna question the ROI of TikTok ever again, or I'm all in I'm like, what else can I do on TikTok? So what I think happens a lot of times, I think people get the win, they just don't see the direct line.

So somebody might actually be watching your stuff on Instagram for a year and a half. And then all of a sudden they click through and they go to your website. They look at a couple reviews there. Next thing you know, they fill out a contact page and you're not sure where they came from. You also said that the best people aren't getting the work, this is a really important thing. Not to jump past. I went to that speaking gig. You just mentioned in Denver, I needed a videographer for a day and a half. It's the biggest gig of my life.

I was on stage with Seinfeld and Dave Chappelle, not at the same time, but the same stage that they have been on. so that's a big moment for me. Obviously, I'm investing in content. I'm going to Denver. So what do I do? I do what a lot of [00:17:00] people do. I Google Denver videographers. What else did I do?

I waited until the last freaking second. because that's what people do. They don't book a month in advance. Like they should, they book the week they're going there. So I'm calling on Monday, the gigs on Thursday the first two companies that had the best reviews that showed up the highest, in Google, I called them both.

Both did not answer the third one answered the third one, got the business. The reality is all three are about equally as good. I might even even ended up with the best one, but the best one on that day was the one that answered the phone. So when I actually met him, he's a good kid named Michael. I said, listen, he goes, what can I do from all this stuff to help my business?

I said, here's one thing and is probably is applicable to your audience. You need to invest in an answering service so that you never miss another call. That's somebody trying to hire you. at my company, we've used something called Ruby, the receptionist. This is a little, software or platform.

[00:18:00] Where any call that comes in, you can set up rules. If I don't answer it after the third ring, Ruby answers it and Ruby's a human. She says, Hey, thanks for calling the Denver videographer guy. What are you looking to do? Okay, great. I'll have Michael get back to you. Thank you so much them answering and just literally scheduling for Michael to call you cuz he can't answer right now.

Clearly that converted the lead because my search was over. I handled it at that point because I saw the reviews I called, they answered and the guy I wanted to talk tos calling me back in a little bit. I'm cool with that. that is what happens in the real world.

So going back to the book, this is the updated and revised version. And the first version came out. I think it was like March, 2016 or something like that. And so much has changed in the general digital marketing world. So One of those major changes over that timeframe is TikTok and reels. it's the almighty algorithm how socials has completely shifted and changed over the years to where it's now short form content.

And [00:19:00] this is something that our audience is in dire need of help with. This is something I also probably need a bit of pep talk getting into, because we do have a TikTok for this podcast. All we do is clip reels from this actual show and post it we've grown to like 14,000 followers, but it's stagnated.

And I just can't decide if I went to further invest time, effort, energy into TikTok or double down on the stuff that's already been working for me, which has been content and paid ads. And you're someone who does content. You're someone who does paid ads. You're someone who does long form and short form of content.

So I'd love get your thoughts on where TikTok fits in all this and how we can implement in our businesses.

You just said you have 14,000 followers.

You're barely using it. You're hardly invested in it. It's not your priority, dude. That's great. where else can you go? Just pick up 14,000 followers passively. a good number. And then if I were to tell you, like, if you wanna keep growing your TikTok, but without having to sort of like do anything more than you're doing now, I have one great pro tip for you.

For anyone else [00:20:00] listening. You need to go to your analytics and you need to see which of your talks got you the most followers. I figured out like, wow, this video that I ran, got 900,000 views, but it got me 4,500 followers. So I knew that like, it gets a lot of views.

It gets a lot of comments. It gets a lot of follows. I got all of that data organically without spending one penny. And then I said, well, let's see what happens. You know what I was able to do, I was able to pick up followers on TikTok through an ad of that video that was already there for about 33 cents per follow. I want you to go, try to find any platform where you can get a good high quality follower that comes in through a good piece of content for 33 cents. Each, if I were advising somebody like you were mentioning this guy, Alex, and some of these guys with huge budgets, if I said for a million dollars, you're gonna have 3 million people on TikTok following you a week from now, [00:21:00] a lot of people should do that.

They should celebrities, business people, authors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists. It's totally worth it to pay to play, but you used to be able to do that on Facebook.

it's just that TikTok is sort of the fastest horse right now.

there's people that fundamentally won't use TikTok because of the origin country of the company. I get it. I respect that there's people that still have that mental hurdle that it's for my daughter, not for me. And that it's for dancing, not business. I get that So I think it's a little bit of like a mental hurdle. Some of it's more of like a moral hurdle, which I totally get. I don't try to convince anyone to do it if they don't feel comfortable. But for those that are sort of like, okay, I can get past both of those.

It's a really fun place to be. I've never gotten a million views organically on a video until a month ago. it's unbelievable to reach the followers and the same. Thing's true on reels. Here's the only difference on reels. You can get massive views [00:22:00] organically for free, by the way, within a couple minutes of posting, it's crazy.

The difference I'm noticing in the data is that you don't also get a lot of followers. That's the only difference. So I'm at like 18,000 on IG kind of goes up by a couple hundred, maybe every week. If I hit the right kind of slot machine over on TikTok, I start bringing in hundreds and hundreds of followers from one post.

So you can get a lot of views on both. You get a lot of followers on TikTok and we're talking purely organic. I'll give you one other last idea for the creative folks. Creative people are not so bad. Like this one to one, just a lot of 'em. If it's like, okay, make a video about how good you are at website design.

It's like, huh? Like, and then it's

staring at the camera. So weird.

it is so weird. I suck at it. like, I actually have my computer right now so that your head on my computer is as close to the camera as possible. because I don't wanna look at the lens. I wanna look at [00:23:00] you and the conversation that you have, like this with two people is so different than trying to like create content.

So one of my hacks right now is you need to invest in a setup. I have a vertical Sony, seven three here to the side.

what your other camera was that you were said you were cutting on before we started. That's your vertical video content machine. Why we do this podcast?

I'll go behind the scenes here. And this is gonna look weird in the footage for this, but this, this is, this is

on YouTube right now, you can see this.

this is to the side. You can see I've got the road, Mike. And I've got the lob on. So the lo and the road mic is dedicated to this shop.

And then the heel mic and the other webcam is dedicated to the interview that we're doing.

That's brilliant. need to think about doing something similar to that to have the two different, cuz I've always thought like for this podcast, it's on YouTube. The wide angle works the best, but when we trim it down for short form content, it does not

You're absolutely right. It doesn't. So the, these are just the little, like things you learn as you execute and you almost always [00:24:00] find it through observing other people. You know, I have a realtor, I follow on TikTok named Glenda baker. She started doing this because she wasn't real comfortable doing videos.

She asked a guy to sit at a table and just ask her questions. And so she would just rift and tell 'em war stories. She was capturing it like this, so that she'd ignore the camera. when she started posting it, people were trolling her saying like, Hey lady, the camera's over here. looking in the wrong spot.

What are you doing? you're getting a lot of interviews. You're a podcaster, I'm an author. My advice is set up zoom calls one on one with people. So let's say you have a zoom call with a client. Potential client, and you're gonna pitch your services and they're gonna say, Hey, so, you know, when you work with somebody, you know, what makes the process different?

When I hire you? Your answer to that, like with somebody listening to you is the video that I think happens really nicely. And then it's kind of like, okay, RINs and repeat. Who else could you have these conversations with? Where it's a win-win, [00:25:00] I'm not only doing this call with you to get this video, but I'm getting more out of this call with you by thinking about what Gary V calls documenting versus creating.

And I do think it's a huge unlock. It's gonna be one of the things people come back to me in a couple years and say, I am so glad that you talked me into trying that because it blew up. And right now it is the golden days. Man, people are gonna catch.

when I first launched this brand, actually it was, there was a previous name we were under, but when I first launched, it was in the heyday of Facebook when it was organic reach was huge first article that ever posted under this it had like 3000 shares on Facebook.

I had two or 3000 people on a mailing list within the first week and I was off to the races of this brand and that was first post here's the thing about TikTok is I know it's still golden days and reels are kind of put those in the same conversation, but I, I think the content that seems to do best on there is the stuff purposely made for TikTok.

When you're sitting down and creating content for TikTok. I Don dunno if that's the experience for you, but that's why my wife's TikTok has blown up. She's gone [00:26:00] from zero to 50,000 followers in under a year because she's purposely creating content for the platform. And I would love to know as a business owner where you're looking for ROI, my wife's is not a business focus.

It's more of a a hobby focus. are you doing if ever, when you're sitting down creating content specifically for the.

you mentioned earlier before the call, you got a checklist when you launched the show, there is the equivalent of like a checklist for your TikTok to do as well as possible. Your wife is probably doing things like trends and music and hashtags and challenges stickers like filters.

those things are all sort of part of the ecosystem. And when people come into the ecosystem and they bring the videos that they created prior to ever joining the ecosystem, it is tricky. I will say overall TikTok and reels seem to work pretty well across platforms, but the number one most important thing, whether it's your wife on accident or your stuff that happens to do the [00:27:00] best or mine, the hook at the very beginning is a really new.

Way to create content that I, I got really lucky. I learned this about 12 years ago, I worked at a media company and they gave me professional media training in San Francisco, like 10,000 bucks for like six hours. They paid for me to go through it. And the thing that they taught me, they said with web video, people's attention span is so short that you have to start with dessert.

And I'm like, well, what does that mean? You start with the end. You have to start with the most exciting, compelling thing, and then unravel it because if you start with, Hey, my name's Chris Smith, I'm the chief evangelist for Inman news. Today. We're here in San Francisco meeting with some of the executives from Google.

And what we wanted to learn was you see what I'm saying? I still don't know what the video's about. And again, TikTok, TikTok, TikTok, TikTok reels, real like, so you have to front load the best part. and then you do that through the video itself. And you almost like reinforce it through the sticker and the caption on top of the video.

That [00:28:00] is a, big, big part of it, whether you're, an attorney or an athlete or a dancer or whatever it is, you the first three seconds are the equivalent of an email subject line. They're the equivalent of a blog post title. They're the equivalent of a YouTube thumbnail. They're the thing that matters most, if you want people to see the whole rest of it.

right. So that's what that is on TikTok and reels. again, it's a little odd to like start a video and be like, this house just got bought for a million bucks in 30 days. My name's Chris, I work at Remax. I'm gonna tell you exactly what happened like, but you gotta make that flip start with.

just to kinda UN unpack that, starting with dessert there's I mean, it's the same on this podcast. It's the same on YouTube videos. When I've done YouTube content, you just have a little longer, like on the podcast. That's why I always do the intro to these episodes after the episode's done is cuz I just wanna take what's the best bits and pieces from the interview and seed it at the very beginning of the episode so [00:29:00] that people wanna stick around for the whole thing.

I have like three minutes to do that. Maybe five minutes to do that on the longer intros. But on TikTok, you said three seconds and that's about right. I've just seen time and time again, the videos that have gone viral, the ones that my wife saved for me to show me later, because they're funny or they're educational, or they're one of those things that like blow my mind or whatever, doesn't matter.

every single one of those have a very good hook at the beginning. And that's something my wife has gotten better and better and better at as she's grown her own TikTok. And it's something that I think most people that, flail around and, don't do well in TikTok. And frankly, probably part of the reason we're not doing well in TikTok right now is because the hook is just not there.

And most of the videos that are put out, they're not grabbing your attention

well, here's, what's weird. Like the goal on YouTube as an example is typically retention rate, or percentage of full view, you want to get as many people as possible to watch as much of it as possible. One of my first talks like had like a little mind blown. I had 356% retention rate.

like, how is that even possible was because it was, eight seconds and they watched it an [00:30:00] average of three times, let's say somebody falls. And you know, you wanna watch 'em fall three times. There's a fight. Or, you know what I mean? So my video editor gets mad at me because he'll send me something that's 33 seconds and I'll tell 'em we need to get rid of 12 seconds. think about writing captions on social media. Think about texting and using emojis. There's sort of these. Changes that happen in communication styles this is one of 'em, but you make a good point. It's not that different than every YouTube video we've seen.

Hey, I'm gonna talk about the new iPhone. It's amazing. It's this it's that you're gonna love it. And then it says, by the way, my name's Chris, if you can subscribe to my channel, here's what you get. Let's get back into it, but you're right. It is the three second version of a bumper

I see our audience, having some takeaways from this conversation so far, the hook's very important. If you can't stare at a camera and talk straight into it, like I'm doing right now, which is not a natural thing to do then get somebody you're talking to, which is what I'm doing now, staring at the screen, looking into your eyes.

And you said Glenda baker. I [00:31:00] actually remember her mentioned in another interview I watched of yours. you actually missed the hook on that whole thing. She grew her following she's over 800,000 followers on TikTok now. And she's just a realtor talking through what we call war stories in, in her career, cuz she's been around it for so long most of her videos and I just, I had to open its habit.

I didn't get to watch any of 'em because I, it was just part of my research. I forgot to go back to it, but she's just talking off camera and most of them about things that are interesting to people. And I would imagine it's probably helped her career as a realtor. I

Yeah, no, she's generating millions of dollars in income. don't quote me here, but like by March of this year, she had already created $400,000 worth of income from, to leads. But it goes beyond that, man, you know, you get the leads, you get the deals, but you get the brand, you get invited to speak at the conference, then all of a sudden you're getting speaker fees.

Next thing you know, I'm introducing you to my publisher and you get a book deal, next thing you know, and I told Glenda this cuz she is a star. She's got great charisma. She's gonna end up on [00:32:00] Netflix because of all this, It's not that hard to believe when you see selling sunset selling OC, like if they do selling Atlanta, she's already got a spot period because of TikTok.

So you, you said something earlier it was actually, before we even started recording, we were talking about our different audiences. You work with realtors and you're like your type of client with your agency is like 60 plus. And I'm talking to creatives. And my, the people that listen in this podcast are generally late twenties, early thirties, like millennials and, and we have similar issues where we're trying to. get them to implement these new technologies or these things that are changing or the way that markets changed. And in the real estate industry, it was like very much belly Tobel, as I you heard you say somewhere, like nineties networking, that was the way you did it back in the day and it's completely changed.

And in our creative audience, It's still a lot about the in person connections, the face to face, although they're obviously younger, they're on social media, but they're still not using these things to the best of their ability. And so we kind of have a similar battle. We're fighting in what we're doing.

Especially as you're building your agency up, wanna talk about one person specifically. I thought this was a very interesting case study and the power of [00:33:00] content. You mentioned somebody by the name of Brad McCollum He's a realtor in one of the most expensive areas in Canada, I think Calgary.

And he has a YouTube channel. And in, a year or two, he became the number one realtor in Calgary, just because he had a YouTube channel where he's just basically doing Very high end homes with incredible video production. Like he, whatever he pays his team is more than worth it. And I would just love to talk about just that element of being able to break into a market as somebody who is not the most experienced, not the most connected, not the person with as many years behind him.

He's very young and he is crushing it right now in that world. And I wanna just say some of those things that we can take away as creatives right now, where you may be younger, you may not be the most experienced. You may not have the most connections. You may not have the, the best experience in all the accolades that some of these, these older people have in your industry, but you have the ability to create content.

And I would love for you to just maybe talk through some of, of what you've seen from him and other people similar to him and your industry, cuz you're, you know, so many different case studies like this. I, how content has transformed, what they're doing.

So it just comes down to being willing to put yourself out there.[00:34:00] At least in my experience, younger people sometimes are more open to putting themselves out there, but not always, there's a lot of Gary vs and Christmas, and these, you know, we're not young.

Eric Thomas is not young. Gary V is not young grant. Cardone is not young. I know there's the Logan and Jake Pauls and there are a lot of young creators and I love him, but I don't think it necessarily is a young man's game anymore. some of those popular people on social media are people like Elon Musk, he, ain't young, you know, and he's busier than you, by the way.

And he's still finding time to create content for him. It's just tweets, that's the thing that he's gone all in on. So, the idea that you're a creative, but not a creative is an interesting idea. . And so I would rather be really good creator and producer of content that attracted business, even if I was maybe a little less creative, because at the end of the day, lots of people are [00:35:00] gonna know about me.

The other thing I would say though, too, man, is there's a lot of people that don't wanna do this stuff not enjoyable. I would just look at it sort of how successful are you already and how much longer are you gonna be at this? So if you're a newer creator that has a long way to go to hit your goals financially, and as a business and brand, then I'm gonna have a little bit less patience for you to tell me that you can't do this stuff because then you don't line up your ambition with your action.

But if you're already very successful, you're rich, you've got money. You've made your millions, you love your life. You know, you're on the boat every weekend, you could care less about Facebook or TikTok or Instagram, probably not even gonna be working for more than another, maybe five or 10 years. You're kind of already looking at what, sort of not working looks like.

I would pat you on the back and say, thank God you don't have to deal with any of this stupid stuff, was at my dad's party the other day just turned 70. [00:36:00] And he said, when we were growing up, we didn't think global. And we definitely didn't think about being helpful to people that didn't know us and he was saying that through the lens of, you know, myself and the stuff that I do and my brother in the stuff that he does, like, this generation has a lot of people that just are motivated by gratitude.

not just greed gratitude. So I'm in it for the likes, the views, the shares, the comments. It's just that what I'm creating has value businesses because I teach marketing and I teach sales. I mean, there was 5,000 sales people in the crowd the other day, if I make 5,000 sales people a little bit better each think about the benefit to that company. So that would be my only other thing would be when you do decide to become a creator and take this all really serious and start cranking it out by any means necessary does it [00:37:00] directly lead back to what you sell?

If possible that's ideal because. videos that guy solved me on TikTok were me sharing data and insights and advice about marketing and sales. And so when he hit me up, he said, I want you to do that on stage. if you're, let's say a web designer, and your podcast is about puppies.

it's not quite so easy for me to figure that out, but if your content is just nothing but fire, design inspiration, and you're constantly sharing these amazing websites that I've never seen before that are beautiful, or obviously showcasing your own work. if I see a video of a wedding, that's amazing. I'm sold. I want that for mine. who did yours? I want that, I saw these girls at a wedding. They went viral for singing, like little baby on like a high Def camera. And it was a voiceover and it got put on TikTok and it [00:38:00] went super viral. now that's a thing. people bring a videographer to the wedding for the purpose of lip singing a rap song while they're in their bridesmaid and wedding gown.

That's a thing now

they've turned it into a trend. all I'm saying is like, keep an eye out for things like that. Be excited about stuff like that. But you're doing the right thing, man, if I would just say, if somebody's listening to this show, I hope we're preaching to the choir. I hope that.

People that are listening to episode number 3080, 82 of your PO, you know, you've been doing this a while, hundreds of episodes at this point. And I have said this I don't really want to have to convince anybody anymore. If people are still having to convince you to do Instagram or convince you to try Facebook ads or convince you that an email newsletter makes sense.

I obviously have done that this whole entire interview, but I don't think that anybody should have to. And the [00:39:00] reality is that if in 20, 22 and beyond, you're not embracing this stuff prior to hearing this, you might never, that might be a decision that you've made. I'm never gonna be consistent working out I'm self-aware

Not with that attitude,

move on everybody doesn't have to do this, but I'm just saying, I think that people listening to your stuff are probably more inclined to want to

Yeah, I think there's people on the fence. Like we have a lot of dabblers in our audience. So they dabble in these things and they don't go all in with it. And I think it takes an all in approach for these things to be successful. Like we've had some success, but we've been at like 14,000 followers on TikTok since like March or April, like we've just stagnated and what we did before isn't working anymore.

So it's, it's one of those things where I'm like, if it's going to take more of my attention, I have to have a better argument than 14,000 followers because we have, you tens of thousand people on our mailing list, way more valuable, tens of thousand podcast listeners, way more valuable, 14,000 TikTok followers that I can't track.

they turn into. Anything else beyond [00:40:00] that? I just can't get excited about, so that's why I want lovely having these conversations where I get this perspective challenge, because I can only see what I can see. So I have to bring people like you on who is looking from a completely different lens.

Someone who's in the real estate, in the agency space, someone who's not maybe identifying as a creative. Although I would argue that being a business owner is very creative. You're forced to solve problems in a very creative way. So there's a lot of creativity there, but just not what we would consider creative, but I love having these types of perspectives on which is why we bring people like you on the show.

So is there anything else that's worth sharing on that regard before we wrap this, this interview up or.

yeah. I mean, I would argue, writing books and giving speeches is a, creative skill that I've seen it given poorly and, and well, just like music, just like comedy, just like art. But you're right. don't know that people think of business people as artists and in many cases they shouldn't.

content creation is very similar to playing an instrument. Like you are terrible when you first start out. No, one's gonna wanna consume it. You will get no [00:41:00] views, no one will care and you have to get better and better. And we've mentioned it many times before, but if you go back to either of our first video we ever put up on the internet, mine's terrible.

Yours is probably not new as good as the stuff

No mine is terrible too. I have a video When I hit my 3000th Facebook fan, I made a video and I thanked them all. And I remember I was wearing an ed Hardy hoodie. So it like, just absolutely ages me when you see that. But you're right. I mean, go, I've seen Gary V's like wine library, episode one.

It's not that good. Yeah. I actually, this will be the last little tip you said. Is there anything else to leave people with go to, three YouTube channels of people that you think are amazing creators and then go to their videos tab and then do sort by date oldest to newest.

I don't care if his dude perfect or Logan Paul, or, Bella porch, you know, whoever these sort of modern creators are that are killing it, did all [00:42:00] suck.

one guy that I've always listened to, he is kind of outside of the scope of this stuff, his name's Jason freed. He started a company called base camp. He has a book called rework. it's really good stuff.

something, he said, one time is the sooner you start trying to make money online.

The sooner you'll get good at it. I've listened to a lot of gurus that say, figure out how to make a dollar on the internet. And then you'll figure out how to make two and 10 and a thousand. it's that moment that you need to say, okay, these are real people and they got real credit cards and they really.

Are listening, now let me take it serious. And hopefully things like my book and this podcast do help quite a bit. When you decide to turn that corner, when you decide to get off the fence on the side, we're advocating that you hop off that fence onto, the help is out there. the advice is there

Yeah. And I think a big part of it. Stretching yourself in this way, opens up some of the other opportunities where you can branch out beyond just being a service provider. I, don't know if we even got into your background, you [00:43:00] used to be a real estate agent or was that part of your background

no, I actually got hired to sell software to the real estate industry because I had sold mortgages for a real estate company. and I think that was my secret sauce was not being from their world. And so there was always that sort of line in the sand that like, I'm not gonna teach you anything about being a real estate agent because I've never been one.

And I don't even know what it's like, and I don't even wanna be one. I would never want to be one, especially now that I know how hard it is, but I know a lot about social media technology and marketing and sales. I've never really crossed that chasm nor tried to, I don't teach people how to do open houses.

you know, I don't teach people how to negotiate a contract with a buyer. I don't teach anybody how to submit an offer or how to write an agreement or what escrow means, or, how not to get sued [00:44:00] during a transaction. I don't teach any of that stuff because that's not the thing I'm really good at.

I'm really good at marketing and sales. And so I think it's okay if you're not from that space. When I hired the people that built my website for my book, the conversion code.com. I wanted to make sure they had never done a website for an author or a book. And that they probably wouldn't like the idea of even doing one I applied their European Boje superpowers to sort of a, business book website and it turned into a really cool brand. So I think most people are open to outside experts, advising them, not anybody in that crowd the other day said, but you've never sold a life insurance policy.

So why should I listen to you? Smart people. Listen, they don't only look for reasons to discredit the advice

took a look at your site earlier and I have to agree. It definitely doesn't look like any book site that I've seen before. first of all, I'm [00:45:00] holding the book up now. Highly recommend this book.

it is a nice little Bible to have.

you know, most people go to Amazon and they just search the conversion code and there's ebook print book, audible. If you go to the conversion code.com the button in the top right corner goes to Amazon.

Some people hate Amazon. So it's on target.com. It's on Barnes and noble.com. it's not only on Amazon, but that's the best place to start, man. If you get the book and you like the book, there's plenty of stuff in the book about, other ways to connect on social and. obviously I have an email newsletter

the, get in the book, get in the book and you'll find all the other things that he has going on. Chris, thank you so much for coming on here. This has been a wonderful conversation and as always anyone that's, maybe on the road right now, or someplace where they can't get to some of these websites, we mentioned, you every show notes page has links to these things on there.

So if you go to six figure creative.com/two eight, that will have all the links mentioned in this episode, including the link get the book. So thank you for coming on.

Perfect. Thank you.

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