- Name: Keegan O'Rourke
- Creative: Commercial Filmmaker
- Location: Colorado, USA
Keegan O’Rourke is leveraging video + distribution to help churches grow
Hello next level creators today. I had Keegan O'Rourke from Lux lab on with me. And His mission with his production company is to tell stories that are true, good and beautiful, and that's why he joined next level creators was to be able to do that at a higher level. So Keegan, you've gotten your first commercial campaign client. Congratulations. Thank you. Today we're going to talk all about your history if through video production and where you see yourself going and how you see yourself making a bigger impact with the stories you're telling. So, uh, thank you for being here. Yeah, thanks for having me, Paul. And so the first question I always love to ask when I'm doing these interviews is what made you want to start out as a storyteller and in video production in the first place? What was that initial draw or curiosity? Yeah, thanks Paul. Uh, my team and I, so I have two partners and they, uh, our filmmakers, I'm actually the business person. Uh, so they, uh, but I, I've had a dream of the impact, that story, you know, what can different movies, how, how they have, they actually draw us in, in our imagination and kind of want us to move us to suddenly, right. So my story is Jurassic Park. Like why is there no drastic part? Why can't I go there? Yeah. So, so that led me to like us joining forces. They started the company, we joined forces. Uh, and, and yeah, essentially just just a desire are kind of our relationship with God and relationship with Jesus. Like how could make a big impact in the world and how can we tell them the greatest story ever told and do it through video because it's not very good in the Christian Catholic world. It's mostly cheeseball or just the low quality. So that's how we got into video production in this realm, uh, in the first place. And so, um, wanting to make that impact, seeing the power of storytelling just throughout your, your childhood and being attracted to it is really what it was. And as you said, you kind of found, you identified a problem, right, which was that the Catholic church in a lot of, uh, that market really have no idea how to leverage storytelling the right way. They're very bad at it in many ways. And you of course, having these filmmaker friends who are now your partners were able to come in and solve that problem for them. And is, how long have you been doing that? Cause I know you, you, you're basically working with nonprofits and it was pretty much project to project before joining next level creators. So how long were were things like that for you? Yeah, great. Three we've been around for almost three years. Okay. So three years of doing that and working project to project. And I mean as far as your take on what you were doing, right, looking at the work you were producing, um, what did it feel like creating those videos? Like what were some of the projects you working on and um, how was the dynamic for your business set up? Was it pretty much just you'd get a client and then you create a video? And then they would disappear or was it a lot of ongoing work with the same churches? Great question. Uh, so I'll, I'll, I'll give you kind of two avenues. One is we have a TV show on Amazon prime, so that was like a big chunk of revenue and that's obviously a long ongoing project where we've done two seasons now. So that was a huge home. Uh, that was really great. The other thing is we're really just mostly just one project. And I, and I wouldn't say like we hadn't done multiple projects for some clients, but it was mostly just one here. And then, you know, uh, for instance, just this past year we did some, we're doing a couple of projects for someone. We did a project three years ago for two, two and a half years ago. So just very hit and miss. Uh, I think we have good relationships with those clients, but, uh, not, not a lot of steady ongoing work and if that makes sense. Yeah. And so when did you first come across us and like what we do and where did you find us? Uh, probably through my partner, nick, he, I think you saw your ads on Facebook, uh, and then sign up for your email and then send it to me. They said, we gotta we gotta look into this because he had been thinking a lot about, because one of the natures of our clients with the project, the project was, uh, to be honest with you is that we saw that what we were doing, the stories we were telling him couldn't leverage a great impact. Right. They had, you know, staying power, but there was no, the clients we're working for, I have no idea what to do with them. So like I, you know, I stepped in and I was asking people, so what does, what are some of the results you're getting from these things? One, what have you seen? What's, what's been kind of the outcome at do we made this video for you? They're like, wow, people really love it. Okay. Like what else? You know, like there was, you had some goal in mind to use this for it before we out there and kind of digging into that and like, well, you know, I think it's really helping us a lot. Like they didn't have any way to track it, no measurable results. So even on a like a spiritual religious realm, like no more increase in Bible study numbers that they can know of. No more like people signed up for some conference, nothing. No. They couldn't track anything. Yeah. Uh, and that to us was like, that was the first reason we kind of looked into that. And Psych Rehab intrigued because boy, not, not only, so I think it's two pieces of not only we want ongoing recurring word, we want something like that or in like the, the monthly thing that we're able to manage things kind of, I don't want to call it passive income loans you're working for, but just, uh, trading hours for dollars, trading value for dollars. Leveraged income. What's that? A, we call it leveraged income. Oh yeah. Right. Passive income is like, it's not passive right there. Yeah. Good, good clarification. Yeah. So anyways, that was the thing. So it was one piece. These people were doing this great work and at the end of the day it felt like, yeah, we love your stuff, but there was no reason like we should do more stuff with you until it's like two years later and we need a new video. Cause that one's kind of a, you know, it's like, boy, do you know how many people you can reach that would, this would impact, like we put so much sweat and tears into making a story and that people actually do love, but like you're not, you don't know what to do with it. So that was one reason. Then the other reason was how are we going to get out of the grind? I'm literally like, every hour goes towards, you know, it's like trade it for a dollar and there's nothing that leveraged income or we're trading value for dollars. So then we can actually tell our own stories and not just be commissioned to tell stories. Yeah. And so, wow. Um, your partner saw me, you guys went through that whole, that's a lot of thinking right there. And um, of course the book to call you decided to have a strategy call. We like the work through a lot of those things. And I think what's really interesting about what you guys are doing in that impact is, you know exactly as you said, the, the whole goal here through what you're doing with these churches and your mission is that impact, right? You want to tell stories that make a difference. And um, what happens, there's a lot of people is like, some people can quantify impact is like emotion, right? Oh, I feel good that I have this video two years later, I feel like I need another video, but it's not a tangible, hey, we're actually doing this. And you've, you found a way to actually quantify those things now, which is something that I don't think I've ever seen in that space ever. I've never seen anyone talk about that. Like increasing people actually set Bible studies, increasing people attending church and finding measurable ways to grow. MMM. Your mission and your message. That's something that is extremely powerful. I'm very excited to see what your keep, uh, you're able to do with over the next few years here, leading in that space. Um, and so getting in the next level creators, what were some of the biggest sort of learnings that you have, uh, or, uh, principles that you've taken so far and started to implement and how is that affecting the way you're doing things now in your company? Yeah. Uh, well is it too generic to say everything? Like everything? It's like mind blowing. I appreciate that. But yeah, I guess, no, not really. It's sounds about right. Yeah. Um, I can give you some specifics, but yeah, I just, uh, or like eating it up and I'm not going through it on eight week pace. Like I should be my partner as he's being, staying disciplined. But that's okay because most of the stuff is stuff that he would do cause he's the video guy in anyways. So I'm going to say I'm taking, I'm actually running our first commercial campaign as a digital marketer, but I didn't make any of the stuff. I didn't make any of the video content they did. I'm just running the ads cause no one had any time to do it. So, uh, we can get into that later. But the point is two things that stuck with me, me personally earn the deal, uh, is something that I didn't know that I was going to get out of this as much as I have. Uh, to be honest with you. The sales process, I'm very good at getting in front of people. I'm very good at, you know, kind of winning people over. So I get, and especially like we get people all the time referred to us and I can get in there, they were sold, they're ready to go. What I was finding though is how do we make it so that, uh, I don't know if that, this is not the right word, but I'm going to say it like this. Like why, what was the, what is the cost of not working with us? So that's one piece that I've kind of taken away from this is like how, what kind of matching up, like seeing what is their need really like what does that pinch you? Call it something else. But like the gap, trying to help them figure out what the gap is. And I think that's where I was not doing your job. So I'm like, yeah, I can sell you a project. But like the real value is why, why do you even want us to work with you? What so what, what is the gap that you're coming to us with? Cause I think people were like, you know, again, they hey they out, they feel like they need video weren't they feel like they need this, uh, you know, people should do video, you know, and that's the way to go. We, you know, they, they get it and they're like emotionally they get it. Like, Oh man, we need a tone stories. We've got to get some on video that can really show, showcase what we're doing. But they were so anyways, my point is that gap, like helping walk through that. Like, where are they now? Where do they want to be? It is what is that gap, you know, and that's been super helpful for me in these meetings when clients, even with clients with, uh, because again we're exploring this is like a whole new thing of exploring nonprofit. Like how do you do distribution commercial campaign with nonprofits who don't, ah, uh, anyways, I'm not going to go into there, but the point is that that's really hard. So there are certain people who are we good are feeling out, we can see are willing to do that and do more of that marketing and get their return on their investment. There are others that don't, but even in the meetings where they don't and it's like we're just going to do these video project with you for like a handful of videos getting in the meeting and having that mindset of the earned the dos, that's super helpful because all of a sudden now like I'm able to like show them in the value of what we're bringing to the table. And in some sense they're totally willing to act in this. They're willing to pay more because they realize what we actually could do instead of like, like at the lowest possible denominator. I think you probably mentioned that some of your commercial was like, they're driving it to the bottom line. Our budget has this, what can to do for this? You know, instead the conversation is going to like, Oh man, you know, I had someone just the other day, they were like, we have $1,000 what could we do with $1,000 right? There's nothing you can do with $1,000. Like, I can't even put my camera for $1,000 you know, buy an apple watch for $1,000 you know, so it's like, but at the end of the day, they're like, I gave him a bigger budget just for this one project and they were like, we're done. We're sold. You're right. You did a good job like, but that are in the deal. So that's my biggest takeaway probably that's my biggest takeaway. But I see how you do this in a leveraged way. How you do this, it's so targeted. That's mind blowing to me. Like, that's just, hey man, this advertising it's so targeted is so powerful. Yeah. Sorry that was a long answer. I'm just like, I was learning through the process of you talking, which was exciting for me because back home where I can go back and keep making things better. Um, well I love the fact that you've learned primarily more than anything I think with earn the deal, like you said, is all of these sales. Like I've, I've been through so many sales trainings. It sounds like you've kind of tried to do a couple of other things as well and you've had some success. But most things approach everything by saying, all right, here's this boiler plate templatize thing and you have to sell it exactly like this. Otherwise it won't work. Whereas what we do is we say, no, you walk in with this mindset, these core values and this understanding. You're there to create value and then you understand how the conversation goes to make it valuable in and of itself. And then by the end of it, you know, the result is always good because you walk away with a relationship and value was created, that's going to lead to bigger opportunities. It's going to lead to people wanting to pay you a lot more because they see the value of what that is. And the ones who can afford it, we'll say yes, the ones who can't will go and get the resources so that way they can. And the ones who aren't a good fit, we both walk away happy because they now know that we're not a good fit. So I think that mentality that you've adapted is possibly, I mean, I can just feel it kind of resonating off of you right now of how powerful it's been for you so far. So that's as exciting. Um, really exciting. And so moving, moving forward into your business, you've only been working with us, I mean, for a really relatively short period of time, you're running this one campaign already. Where do you see yourself going next? You know, how are you going to begin leveraging this knowledge and the next level creators system to take it where, hmm. Yeah. Great question. Uh, so I think I mentioned to you, uh, one of the things we've been talking about it as our team is kind of trying to find that niche a little bit. We have, I am a, we have a big, huge network of people that are business owners. So I don't say that like, uh, out of, you know, crying or something like, oh, I'm so great. I just mean there are so many possibilities that people I talked to that couldn't use this and are interested, you know, to some degree. So we're trying to figure that out. Uh, one of the ways that maybe the most Bible, which I didn't think it would be, uh, is I just, is that a conversation, uh, yesterday, right before this phone call about a guy who is a specialist in capitol campaign fundraising or Catholic nonprofits, like we're talking like $60 million campaign, right? And he wants to do everything digitally. And so we're talking and he's like, I need a creative partner. He knows our work and I was like, what is your distribution method for all this digital stuff? And we start talking about how we can leverage like a commercial campaign sort of thing, like paid advertising. Like we didn't go into the exact wording and we're having this conversation back and forth up. This could potentially blow up. Uh, not a little bit in the bad sense, like, like grow exponentially because so many, and this is the one area where nonprofits would see the return on their value and we can prove it to them because when they do a fundraising campaign, you need your return on your investment. We spend this to fundraise this, we better see it, you know, so that, that is, that's an exciting opportunity there. I think that's probably the most viable, but I'm also in conversation with a few other people. So we're just trying to figure that out. Like I'm just so excited and I don't want to get way off track trying to diamond and too many things, but I think we're trying to kind of figure out what is, where, where's that next person? So we could kind of build that proof of concept. Hmm. Yeah. And that's exciting because you have many opportunities. And um, of course in the program we talk about how niche selection is very important decision. However, you can easily overthink it. Um, a lot of people think that if you don't like you just pick a niche and then that's your niche. It's not the way it works. The way it works is you don't actually have a niche market until you have a paying client and a proof of concept, right? That's when you have a niche market. Um, you say up until then is a hypothesis about the market that you want to work in, haven't actually validated that it's real to give it yet. So for you, the most important skills and mentalities to adapt at this stage of your business are flexibility, resourcefulness, and massive, massive action, which you are doing all of those three things right now. You were staying flexible because you're talking with multiple different people. You were staying resourceful by going through the program and continuing to practice and you're taking massive action by setting up all of these meetings and pursuing them as if they are you already, each market, which is exactly what you're supposed to do. That's how you find success. You have to be adaptable and flexible, especially in the beginning of your business. So I already know we're going to hit something big here very soon. It's a matter of continuously preparing yourself the right way and we're, we're making it happen. So that's a lot of fun. Um, any, uh, oh, the last real question here is of course, you know, would you recommend next level creators and then anything else that you would say to someone who perhaps is in the similar situation to you, uh, who's considering joining but just on the fence or uncertain for maybe some of the reasons you were uncertain about it? I would definitely recommend it. Absolutely. So, yes, without qualification. I also think that that being said, I would say, I wouldn't say the reason, if you're on the fence, probably the number one thing actually is the wealth of knowledge that next level creators Bron tour business. I mean real realistically, I was in, I took, I joined a Facebook advertising other thing or whatever that I saw online and it was good. And so like I kind of thought this was like 10 per 10 wines. It's so much more expensive. I mean, just be honest, forthright with you. I was like, I mean the is like whatever and per month it was cheap, you know? Yeah. Uh, this is just like an all encompassing business growing program in this specific area and helping do this, but it's not only good for your clients, it's good for us. How we can do this better for our personally, how we can get clients, help our clients. So that, that, that's my, it's just, yeah, that's what I'm was like when you said, what do you like when you take away from it? Well, everything, it's just way beyond the wealth of knowledge and expertise is way beyond when I actually ever thought I would get out of this. I appreciate it. That took a long time of years of my life, but yeah. Um, you can tell. Yeah, I can tell. That's really excellent. Well, I appreciate it. Yeah. And it's only going to get better, you know, every single year we keep continue to improve it and I'm, I'm excited. Of course, virgin forests on the rollout right now. You get access to it today, which is incredible. I'm so excited to see what you and your team do with it. Um, any have, we're off to a good start here. First campaign, lots of opportunities. So flexibility, resourcefulness, and massive action. That's the way forward. Okay. Thank you so much for being yet. Yeah. Thanks for the time. Phone.