If you’re a filmmaker or video creator that confident in your ability to produce high quality films…
You’re going to learn and love this interview with Tony.
Tony is a passionate Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor turned commercial filmmaker.
After recently having a baby, Tony & his wife Amy decided it was time to go all in and take their video production company to the next level by pivoting to a video production agency business model.
Here is what you’ll learn in this interview:
- Why offering high quality videos for the past few years was causing cashflow issues for Tony & Amy on a monthly basis
- How the Earn The Deal sales model gave Tony a new way confidently charging for his video production services on retainer. (Not selling video series but actual evergreen retainers that can last a lifetime)
- How Tony & Amy are planning to build their video production agency with BETTER clients not MORE clients. This is a key distinction and worth listening to understand why
- And much, much more!
Enjoy the interview & if you want to pivot your video production company too – watch our free training here: mrpaulxavier.com/free-training
– Paul Xavier
Look if you’re a filmmaker and you want to start offering more than just high quality video and start pivoting to being a video production agency offering real value, real results to the businesses you’re working with, you need to watch what my guest has to say today is Tony from Lakeland, Florida. He is a next level creator and he’s got some incredible things that have happened to him in just 45 days after joining next level creators and implementing some of the business systems we’ve worked on together. So Tony, thank you so much for being here and sharing your knowledge. Yeah, thank you Paul. It’s going to be here, man. Yeah. So I always like to start these interviews this way. You know this, you’ve probably seen a couple of them. Um, basically what got you started in this creative field in the first place?
So what actually got me started in video was a filming myself when I was competing as professional athletes. So I would compete in Brazilian Jujitsu for like my entire twenties. I was a sponsored athlete and I was starting to fill myself just to get sponsorships. And it started off like a GoPro and then it led to me getting a Canton 70 d and filming, mainly just filming myself, my, my wife and the wife that we live in and just for social media content. And that led to jobs and things that people were asking us to do. And then I started to see real potential and in building skills and filmmaking. So I decided to just about everything I could. I was helping on shoots. I was helping with other production companies that shot assistants. I happen to have some friends that were already in the business with the large production agency.
So I was able to go and learn a lot in the first year just by offering my service or my cell for free. And I’m now, I really loved that, the diversity of it, the ability to help people and actually be able to put something into a creative piece of work and show it, tell a story. I just fell right in love with it. And there we go. Now Brazilian Jujitsu. Yes. Yeah. Kicked my ass. That’s cool. I’m sure. That’s awesome. So you were basically shooting videos so you could learn or see where your weaknesses were? Is that what it was? Oh No, no, it was actually to, because I would to one out one sponsorships. The tournaments are expensive. You have to travel on Los Angeles, uh, Vegas for you know, world championship events. And so sponsors want to do to promote their products, but they wanted you to have like a high, a high social media following. This was like early 2014, Hey, what’s your social media following likes? They would ask you this kind of things. And I didn’t have a lot. So I was like, why don’t you try to build this up? So I started just filming myself on my training and the things that I did to recover. And as it worked, I got some good sponsorships and they paid for my travel. So it all worked out the way it was supposed to do in that way.
Amazing. The way the world has changed from that perspective. Like you’re creating content for your social media channel to get enough followers to get sponsorship to go into a tournament. Like that world didn’t exist 20 years ago. That’s the way it is. And, and I mean there’s so many different pockets of markets and opportunities that are like that today. It’s, yeah, it is cool. Was Eye opening. Yeah. So you jumped into, jumped into filmmaking then because of that then how many years have you really been, that was your first year you work in for free for a bit. How many years you’ve been doing this now?
It’s been, um, a little over four and a half years now. So, um, yeah, I’m still, I still pretty new, but I, um, I think a lot of it was just, I have a very obsessive learning style brain. I get into things, I start really getting on. Like I don’t watch much Netflix in general, even, you know, anytime during the year I’m always on something. So no matter what my thing is, I’m on it. When it was, let’s get good at shooting video, it was seven to 10 hours a day. Constantly doing it. Always pulling camera out and just getting, you know, always wanting to create something. So yeah, that’s been for enough years. But I’m focused effort to, to be good shooter for sure editor.
And so even working for four and a half years now, um, doing shooting and doing it in the first year was primarily free. Um, really building that skillset then, you know,
you basically, how did you come across what we do here, next level creators and find, uh, me and the Creator’s operating system. What was it that brought you to us? So what it was was the exact struggles that I was experiencing and the financial side of the business were written in your ads at a point where it literally was like, it was talking to me and I, I told you this before, every time I’d see an ad I’d click it. And I was like, man, it was so well written that I’m like, that’s exactly what I’m dealing with this week. And it’s the struggle, the business nature of the businesses. I actually had no trouble getting large paying clients, even for people in my area who had been doing video much longer would contact me and ask me, Tony, how’d you land that $5,000 video for this mattress company out of thin air from social media outreach type thing.
So I, I’ve always been more assertive and I don’t, I never had trouble closing clients, but I wasn’t understanding the distribution side and actually had a package of services. So once I would, I’d get a video like that. You would have a great payment mode month. You make 10 $15,000 one month and next month could be three grand that you make and they’ll go back and forth. So it was, um, it was me having those struggles and wanting residual, I wanted to have more security. I’d say I have a 11 month old baby. I have a life to support. So I wanted to have financial security and not know that one month was going to be up and was going to be down and have that pattern. So,
yeah, it’s funny because as you said, you know, the messaging that we wrote in our ads resonated with you. I, I, it’s interesting cause I was writing that ad to my old business self back when I worked that way. Yeah. So whenever people say it resonated with me, it’s funny cause I can still put myself back into the shoes of who I was when I was living that that way as well. And that’s one of the beautiful things about when you get really good at marketing, typically it’s just having empathy for, or compassion for where someone is and that internal frustration desire
for where they want to go. Right. And so that’s the beauty of really good marketing is typically it’s just connecting with other human beings, real life’s areas. Right. And so the, I think the final point, the final push for us, um, I’m trying to remember. Oh, we, we had, we took a client, um, last year and it was, uh, a content retainer client. It was seven videos that were supposed to be completed on, on schedule one per month for a large company here. It’s, um, and they go home remodel type thing and they didn’t schedule them for the entire year of 2018. So typically or legally our contract was up. We were done by the end of the year, but they didn’t schedule the videos. But it was someone that I had a good relationship with and I, I didn’t want to not just do the work for them. So we went out one day, um, after, you know, we’ve been paying this point almost a full year.
I had to do one of these shootings. There was like an eight hour shoot. I had one of my employees there and when I got home I remember thinking like, this is going to be a long six videos and there’s no more income coming in for these videos. They should have already been done. And it just, one of those things just happened to be a day where I just felt a little frustrated with the lack of other clients in the works and what we had going on at the time. And so I sat down on the computer, open up and that was when I saw the ad. And it was an ad of a guy. It was like very warm edit with a red camera. And I don’t remember the exact writing there, but I was like, Amy, come here, let’s watch this video on this. Let’s do that. So we sat down and that was it. I’m very glad we did for sure.
So, um, at that point you guys, you had clients but you did to have a consistent stream of clients basically coming to you. You W were getting some content retainers for the most part, like video series sales and you were, you were struggling with the distribution aspect of things still. And then you saw this ad, you watched our, uh, our, some of our video trainings decided to book a call, joined next level creators. Um, what’s happened, like basically once you got to the next level creators, I always like to ask this, was there any form of buyer’s remorse? Was there an immediate like, oh crap, this could be bad, or was it, did you get in that’s
fair studying. And then it was immediately like, yeah, this is worth it. Like when I saw that the depth and how large the course was, I was like, this is awesome right up my alley. Like I’m a content consumer all the time, always do, doing audio books and I love that I thrive on the idea of like challenge and like completing a goal and having seeing something that a lot of people would be intimidated by and be like, oh, this is a lot to watch. Kind of how my wife was when she saw, she’s like, this is going to be a lot. I’m like, that’s, I like that. So I feel like it was way more than I expected, especially the mindset training, which was perfect. Most of the mindset training that that is in this course, it’s like I’ve heard before, I’ve followed before. I followed these people before, but it’s like until it’s presented that way, it works at the right timing mc now and reminding myself, I’m like, yes, and that has been the biggest, the biggest difference in our life in the last two months has just been the mindset and the focus. It’s just such a good reminder. It was like everything kind of came together and at this point where I’m like, all right, I’m the father, this is time
to like go hard and like actually do this and this business and focus and put my efforts into like a pressure tip and that’s I think has made the biggest differences is how focused I’ve been, which has led to me reaching out to that warm market without any hesitation and fear sending out emails and booking these meetings because I’m just like, this is what I’m going to do, you know, in my office at the same time, every day I’ve got my trigger set going, I’ve got everything I need to like actually already done that before to the triggers. That’s nice. Yup. I’ve got mine right here next to me, but I got myself in a state before this interview. I knew I had to come in and talk to you. Of course you use ’em. Yeah, we use lemon and ginger and Cedar Wood. I have a standing desk here.
I have a desktop air conditioner that keep my keep blowing cold air on my face and it keeps this ideal temperature in here and I kind of have my door closed in my office so I’ll have like a really good tranquil environment. Then I go to like center and obviously I’ve been, I don’t know how with total length of the courses, but um, I’m, I’m about to completed it as of yesterday. I checked the course and it, it was a lot of hours. There’s a lot of hours sitting right here going through it. Yeah. And that’s the thing I always, I always tell people it’s a next level creators isn’t a, um, a program you ever finished because it’s a lifestyle essentially. Yes. Building a lifestyle company in the sense that every business is a lifestyle company because you’re going to have to do activities to grow that business, to keep it running, to sustain it.
So you are part of your lifestyle is that company, whether it’s four hours a week or it’s 40 hours a week, some part of your life is wrapped up in that company. But next level creators, all we did was break it down into what those activities are and how do we get at least one system, each of the cogs of this machine that is pumping, it’s churned and it is working. It’s efficient, you know what the conversion rates are, you know what the numbers are, you know what it is that you have to do and you can really be effective in growing that company and having fun in the process, like as a, as a whole big part of it. Right. True. So for, for you the mindset, the focus was really important. You’ve gone through the entire program at this point. Um, how many clients have you landed and in what time frame?
Cause I know you’ve gotten a couple. Yeah. So I want to say three but technically if I’m being honest, I can actually only say two at this point. But um, yeah, two consistent clients. But one client is a business that has two different offering. So it’s, you know, it’s kind of like a three because it’s going to be three separate video creations and, and ad accounts all together. Okay. Three clients that’ll be total $4,000 in retainers and $7,000 up front production costs and gotten 45 days. So that’s awesome. I mean, sure, as far as that goes, I mean that right there, that automatically and too, I mean, I don’t want a hundred percent know this, but from, from your perspective, these retainers, they’re not, um, they’re not serious like video series where yeah, you’re selling seven videos, they’re ongoing indefinite, you get results for these clients and you’re going to stay with them. Right?
Yeah. That’s some you did. But that’s, that’s to be the system that I love is it really does make sense. Um, with the commercial campaign and, and creating a video that they would continue to pay you for as long as they continue to get the results. And that was again, like that was the biggest mistake I feel like I made in my first three years is just releasing rights to every video, just letting the video go. That’s what I did was I was hired in for three specific instances. I know I was hired to create a video and that video was passed on to a marketing company. The marketing company was running campaigns and showing their proof of concept with a video in a creative that I came up with and yeah, it really clicked to me like this is something I shouldn’t really be doing, but now I’m like, that’s just having that control is going to be really, really nice for our financial security and just, you know, for the pride that we’re doing something from start to finish. The whole encompassing project, you know,
I see Iran, that was who I was writing to in a lot of the stuff that I’ve written and put out there is I had multiple occasions similar to you where I came up with a website, I produced a commercial, I did something where it was my concept and then someone else will get paid monthly to use that concept. Yes. And it worked. And that’s the thing that was the most frustrating is literally looking at the video I produced or the website I produced and all of that energy that literally I had before. I had the client, that client didn’t exist, right? He was a person I saw out there. I wanted to help. I came up with the idea, I went to them, offered it, they said yes. And then someone else gets to make money off of that. And definitely that just, it’s infuriating.
It really is. It does. It doesn’t make you feel good. So it feels like I’m in a position now where I can really take extreme ownership and control everything that’s going on. And you know, it feels good. It’s aspect with the sales training is so, it’s so huge in this, and I told this to John when we had our strategy session is without a doubt, anyone who knows me will tell you this. Like sales has been my greatest strength, always my ability to sell and have a conversation with somebody. And a lot of it would be in person meetings, but I knew that it was going to be a great compliment to how I already hold my presence in a sales type setting. So that was, that was great. But really what benefited us so much is the structure and how we’re doing this, the structure and the actual, the confidence to, to, to be like, this is what we do. And I think that’s, that’s more, you know, you’re getting a win win at that. Like, here’s what it is and you know, you, it’d be crazy to not take advantage of that for this price and just holding that. I always liked those moments anyways, but I even feels better now. It’s like, it’s going to be $5,000 in pause and it’s like I’m smiling because I’m like, they’re gonna say yes, I know they’re going to, you know,
and that’s another, it’s another root belief that I think is really important, right. With earn the deal. Like if you’re, when you’re in a meeting with someone and you don’t see a way forward, you don’t just say it costs $10,000 for this video. If you don’t believe in that video, you don’t believe in the results that you can get with it. We don’t make just random offers to people. You’re actually looking to put a strategy in place. That makes sense. Right. And as you said, it’s fun when you make offers like that, you say 5,000, you pause, the person tries to fight back. It’s like as in like negotiate you down. That’s not happening in this scenario. Not Anymore. Because all of a sudden you have that power of believing in your value and not needing them anymore. Cause you have the marketing system turning on your side to fill the pipeline.
You don’t need more people. You don’t, that’s the thing. You don’t need more clients. You need the better at are the right clients to talk about that all the time. He as key has a very key right there. I agree. So Tony, I really appreciate you of course coming on, uh, doing this interview and sharing your experience. Um, it sounds like you’ve, you know, you’re the kind of person who if you’re, if you know what system to implement, there’s nothing stopping. Like nothing’s getting in your way. That’s it. And so moving forward, where are you going to take your company, you know, eight land creatives. What’s the, what’s the vision 12 months from now? So that’s a good question. Um, we picked our knees in the health and fitness industry because that’s where my wife and I are consumers and we’ve spent most of our life is in some sort of active activities.
So we, um, you mean like a monetary goal or what do we want to do? What kind of clients we want to work with everything. What’s your passion? What do you, who do you want to work with? What do you want to passion, what kind of value you want to motivation and health. So we want to work with businesses that are making a positive change in people’s lives through health and fitness. Whether that’s bike brands, mattress companies for athletes, crier, rejuvenation clinics, supplement nootropics. We want to work with companies that, that are actually making a positive difference. People’s lives through health and fitness and natural healing. And um, you know, we want to make $100,000 a month doing that. So that’s our goal. The long term is, gets to that point. And you know, I want to be able to have people that were right for us.
I have a phenomenal shooter who’s a film school graduate. Um, he works for me nowadays on my camera up writing and some editing for me. So I wanna continue to build the team out that will have the right person for the, for the position and everyone’s, everyone’s happy and go with a really strong tribe of Katelyn’s creative employees and family. That’s making a difference. Seeing that that’s the beauty is, um, that’s a great passionate goal. Like I really like, I resonate with that. You know, I spend a ton of money in health and fitness as well. Uh, probably not nearly as much as you guys do and knows. Yeah, I’ve, I’ve got a whole bunch of work out of my butt. I basically have a gym in my garage and I’ve been every, every day for 30 minutes to an hour. Um, and it’s great when you like, that’s the thing about having systems, right?
Put a marketing system in place and you now know how to go find those health and fitness lines. That’s the target now. And because you’re an enthusiast in the industry, you’re talking to people who are similar to you, like-minded mission focused. And um, my recommendation here again is always thinking better, right? And of course we’re working closely together. Um, that future vision with you, Amy and the team. Look for those, the best clients you can possibly find in health and fitness and, and the best clients that have the most potential. What I mean by that is, is, um, there are a lot of health and fitness companies out there. For instance, my wife and you know, she runs massage therapy clinics. She’s doing Reiki, she’s doing a ton of different things from that perspective. Um, and she loves it. She’s in it all the time to do in her yoga.
Yet the scalability of that business is not there. I can’t produce hundreds of thousands of dollars for her. Um, unless I were to take her to all my programs and she’s, she doesn’t want to do that. Um, so when you’re looking at companies, make sure that you’re looking for better in terms of uh, what kind of value you can bring to these people as well. Right? Cause certain businesses don’t have that scalability that we’re looking for. You want to be bringing hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars in value to your clients if possible. Only some clients and companies have that capability. Um, every industry has it, right? Health and fitness, there are multi, multimillion dollar companies there, some tens of millions of dollars and there’s certain dynamics of how they do that. So look in those business models, look at that proof of concept, get really focused as to how they’re doing that. I guarantee you all of them are using video. All of them are leveraging the technology and we can become a, you can work your way up the ladder to become better at working with the right types of clients in that market. Um, to have really clear cut differentiators and uh, work with less, not more. Cause that’s going to be where you have that really awesome family and that a lot of fun. Yes. Let’s say, so Tony. Hey Man, I, uh, the last question I guess here is, would you recommend next level creators to yourself two months ago before you joined? Yeah,
absolutely. I am. I saw ads for about a year before I made a purchase, and I wish I would’ve done that a year ago. Yeah. Things are always meant to be. So maybe now is the better time, but I scrolled past it way too many times and didn’t invest at the time. And I think if I would have, I would have been a lot closer to that goal that I, that I just said. So, um, everything good time. But I’m very glad I took that leap and wins word. So anybody else? I would highly recommend the student as a Whiz login. We’ll change over words for sure.
Thank you, man. I appreciate it.