- Name: Abraham Mercado
- Creative: Commercial Filmmaker
- Location: Florida, USA
Abraham Mercado discusses how he wanted to make a difference for businesses he believe in. As a video production expert who joined the Next Level Creators program, Abraham was able to earn his first medical client $44k in their first month working together.
Paul Xavier: All right. We have video production expert Abraham Mercado on with us today. Abraham was able to make 44 thousand dollars for one of his clients, which is in the medical professional field, by setting up a commercial campaign just last month. That was 44 thousand dollars in one month. Since we've started working together which is ... it's been roughly eight to nine months now, his business has gone from ... it's really the perfect example of what it looks like to take a one off video production company that has clients, they're doing roughly five thousand dollars a month, and start to introduce commercial campaigns, to take them back to previous clients, to see what they ... how they react, to get a client, and then find success to actually prove to himself that he can get them results. I'm incredibly excited to just learn more about your story, Abraham. First off, thanks so much for being here and doing this interview.Abraham Mercado: Absolutely, Paul. It's my pleasure. I'm incredibly thankful for everything I've learned in the program, so wanted to let you know.Paul Xavier: Awesome. Abraham, let's talk about before you joined Next Level Creators, roughly eight months ago. What was ... What were things like back then?Abraham Mercado: Well, I started like many other people start, a video production company where obviously I started doing a lot of weddings, a lot of events, different things like that. Anybody that came to me with a need for video, I said, "I can do it." My goal was to get to do as many different things as I can, to try to branch out into so many different areas of video because I figured everybody's needs a video. I thought that's the best way to start a video production company.Abraham Mercado: However, I quickly learned that if you don't specialize in something, it becomes very difficult to try to market yourself with specific type of niche. That's something I learned very quickly 'cause I was doing everything and anything, when it comes to real estate and events and different things where I was actually lowering my cost. I was actually lowering my profit per video instead of increasing how much I charge per video. For example, I would do a video for two thousand dollars for a client. Then a real estate client would come along and I would charge 400 dollars for a video. I was using the same amount of time to create one video and the other one, but seeing less profit.Paul Xavier: That's really ... That's part of being unspecialized is not realizing where your time is more valuable.Abraham Mercado: Definitely.Paul Xavier: When you realized that, where did you think to go in order to make the most from your time doing video production?Abraham Mercado: I really wanted to find a niche that they specialize themselves in changing the life of people. I think that that was very, very important for me that if I'm going to specialize in an industry, it needs to be something that people will be incredibly grateful for that process, for the process ... for the change that they go through. That's the way I went about trying to find my niche. I also didn't want to start somewhere that where I had never done anything before, because I think that doing the free way into an industry or doing the free way to get some things rolling, I think it may work but also time is, of course, very valuable. For me, it was also important that I go into a niche that I have done work for in the past and that I can replicate that same process with other clients in that same niche.Paul Xavier: You were really looking for a transformational business.Abraham Mercado: Definitely.Paul Xavier: That led you to the medical professional field where people are medical professionals. They really do amazing work. When their clients come in, they're injured, maybe they don't look as good as they want, and when they walk out and they feel great or they look great, it's a very transformational industry, which is phenomenal. That's awesome. That's what you found. Before you really found your niche market, though, what was ... how was your company set up? You were doing a bunch of things for a bunch of different people and you were sort of just moving back and forward. In terms of doing video, were you mainly ... were you renting equipment? Were you a freelance video guy? Were you getting deals from friends? How did the business even get started?Abraham Mercado: Definitely. I was working for a company for about three years-Paul Xavier: Oh.Abraham Mercado: And I tried to branch out for personal reasons and financial, of course. I didn't see growth in that company. I figured the best thing to do, for me, was to start over, to create my own company and do things my way and follow my vision and my passions. My video production company really followed a very similar approach that a lot of other ones do, which is rely on referrals and rely on word of mouth. That simply ... That could be good for a few months and that could be good for certain months of the year, but there are other times where that simply is not a predictable way of doing business. It's also not a way to consistently get the same amount of profit per month. That's the way that I structured my business.Abraham Mercado: Now, I wasn't renting equipment for certain jobs. I did have to rent a few ... a bunch of things, but I did buy all my equipment at the beginning. Now, this doesn't mean ... I wasn't one of those people where, "Oh my God. This new lens is out. I need to go purchase it," or, "This new camera's out." I did buy the best camera that I could with my budget when I finally went out on my own. This course has also taught me that it's not all about the equipment that you use. Now, for certain things, obviously, it is necessary to have the equipment, top notch quality, for clients, but it's not the most important thing for a client.Paul Xavier: At that time when you were looking for ... you were kind of, as you said, doing project to project, more in the generalist space, looking for a niche and not really knowing how to value your time. Were those the main reasons that you latched on to Next Level Creators and thought this was something that you should do?Abraham Mercado: I think what mostly appealed to me was, as you said, to stop the project to project way of doing work, and also the fact that I can have a predictable income per month. Everything that you had described in your marketing and your message was almost ... it hit me in the heart because I knew exactly what you were saying was exactly how I was feeling. That's really what mostly appealed to me, to join the Next Level Creator program. Now, I understood it when you marketed it. I understood it as take a video production company to the next level, not change the way you think to grow your video production company. That was a huge thing, a huge change, that I saw when I was taking the program, was, "This is a little different than what I thought was going to be happening," but I took it in. I appreciated every aspect of the course. I saw incredible, incredible growth from it, not just on the financial side, of course, as everyone wants to see, but also on the personal side, also in the way that I think.Abraham Mercado: The mindset changed completely in the way that I relate to a client. It's not just, "Here's your video." It's, "Where's this video going to go? Where are you going to do this video? What is the message that we're delivering? Where is this going to sit?" As you've said to me many times before, it does ... a video online does no good for anyone if there's no traffic being directed to it because it's almost as if there's an abandoned house somewhere. There's no point in having a video if they're not gonna drive traffic to it. Of course, there's the personal side of it where you have, for example, a wedding film, things like that. That's great. Obviously you don't have to drive traffic to your own wedding film. That would be a little weird.Paul Xavier: Some people would want it.Abraham Mercado: For the corporate side of it, everything that they do, what they do with me, all my clients, for example, it's to see a return in investment. That's ultimately why people decide to purchase a video is to see a return on their investment. If you can't drive traffic for them to that video, then there's no point in making that video at all.Paul Xavier: Before you joined Next Level Creators, your real goals when you saw what we do was you wanted recurring revenue, some consistent, predictable income, and you saw that if we set up commercial campaigns rather than just producing commercials, you can achieve that. That was really what stood out to you.Abraham Mercado: Right.Paul Xavier: Did you have any experience in handling ... at that point, you had three years of experience working for a company. You'd been a freelancer for a while. You were already making five thousand dollars a month, on average, doing video work, but did you know how to do the distribution? Did you know how to do Facebook, Google ads, to get the video out there and get viewers and turn those viewers into clients?Abraham Mercado: All I knew about what you mentioned when it comes to Facebook, for example, was boosting posts that I had. If I did a wedding film or anything like that, I had 40 likes or 50 likes, or whatever it was, I would simply boost that post, see if it could get to more people. That's not ... That's ultimately not the right way to do it. I wish I knew that back then, but I had no experience with Google campaigns, with actual Facebook campaigns or Facebook advertising at all. I had an idea of others were doing it. I wasn't sure on how ... what was the best way to set it up or what the message should be, how is the message different when it comes to marketing on Google, marketing on Facebook? I never ran a campaign such as the ones that I'm doing now.Paul Xavier: Yeah. Yeah. Right now you have one commercial campaign client-Abraham Mercado: Right.Paul Xavier: And this is someone who you spent roughly ... was it three months working with so far?Abraham Mercado: Yeah.Paul Xavier: Yep. Someone with no experience, is never ... who strictly produces commercials. You put your heart into that because you're passionate about video-Abraham Mercado: That's right.Paul Xavier: You used to give them away to the client and say, "Take this." Then they would come back to you and say, "Well, I don't know how to use this," or, "I just put it on my website. I think it's working. I don't really know. I love it." The client's more so ... they like how pretty it is.Abraham Mercado: Yeah.Paul Xavier: Then, as soon as you realized you could do this, you joined Next Level Creators. You have this first client and this is the client that you've been able to generate 44 thousand dollars for last month.Abraham Mercado: Correct. It's the same exact client in that before the Next Level Creators program I did about 15 videos for.Paul Xavier: Yeah.Abraham Mercado: I charged a good amount for that and it was great. Everything was great. I saw them a few months later, the client, and I asked him, "How are the videos doing?" He said, "They're amazing. They're great. We love them. They're on my website. They're playing in the waiting room and everybody loves them. We're so proud of what we do and we love the videos." I said, "Okay. That's great." I said, "How are you using them besides that? Are you marketing them? Are you doing anything with these videos?" They said, "You know, I put them on my own Facebook and I ... my friends see it, family sees it." That really got me thinking, because around the same time I actually started taking the Next Level Creators program and it all came together in that what you were saying and what the client was saying. There was a match to be made in that.Abraham Mercado: When I ... That's the same client that I went back to and I decided to work with for ... when I selected my niche. I went back to him and I said ... I wanted to ask him a lot of questions. I said, "How are you doing? How are you marketing these videos? If you could do the x and x and x or y, how would your life change? Or what is it that you would like to see from a marketing standpoint?" I simply said, "Look, right now, I do not have these answers." I was very upfront with him and I said, "Right now I don't have these answers, but if I find these answers, can I give you a call back?" They said, "Absolutely." Who doesn't want their questions to be answered or their problems to be solved? If you do that, then if someone does that, clients understand if you have not done this before, but you're willing to put your heart into, your soul into it and work as hard as you can for them, they will understand that. They will go with you.Abraham Mercado: I told him, "Look, right now, we're gonna do a test run. We're not gonna do ... I'm not gonna charge you as much as I would in the future. It's very important that you understand that this is the first time doing this, but I will get this right." Slowly and slowly, we were able to make changes to the campaign, to the ads that we were running, to the way that we were managing the entire campaign. It's not just a running of the ads, but it's what's on the back end. The things that people don't see is how are you tracking these numbers? How are you tracking the phone calls? How do you know who converted?Abraham Mercado: There was a lot of communication that went back and forth between the client and myself to make sure we were on the same page. Right now, it's just running. It's ... We go in and we make sure that the numbers are still hitting API and making sure the client also is comfortable with what we're doing. I don't see them going back to the old way of marketing. They were using a company in the past, that's not to brag or anything, but they were spending thousands and thousands and thousand dollars on the old way of thinking, which was direct mail and newspaper ads and things like that that you have to get lucky for the ideal client to see that ad. For example, whenever that person finishes their morning coffee, reading the newspaper and they put down that newspaper, they probably didn't even look at the ad. They're going right to Google to search for exactly what you are offering. If you're not there, that client is lost.Abraham Mercado: That's a huge way of thinking that I said ... I told them, "Here's what you did wrong." I was very upfront with them. I said, "Here are ... is everything you did wrong. Here's the new way that we're going to do it." We're seeing some unbelievable results and it was slow. As I mentioned, it was slow at first because there were messages that we had to refine. There were a few ads that we had to shut off completely because they were not generating the clicks, the click rate that we really ideally wanted. We switched the message. We changed the message. Right now they're, the client, is ... they were so happy because of what we were able to do. For me, that makes me incredibly happy and excited because ultimately that's what you want. It's what you want is for your client to see, to change their life while they're changing others, others' lives. For me, that's an incredible, incredible feeling.Paul Xavier: That ... I mean, right here. You hit home with so much of that. That was incredible. The way you think is just completely different from the way you were thinking before.Abraham Mercado: Yeah.Paul Xavier: That's incredible to see. You actually ... you did come to ... we have live events, Next Level Creators live events-Abraham Mercado: Right.Paul Xavier: You met me in Orlando for a live event back in April, which, at this point, is roughly five months ago-Abraham Mercado: Right.Paul Xavier: We really talked and we were digging into how to get clients, how to get them results. Just from a confidence standpoint, how much has your confidence changed since you joined Next Level Creators and since you've worked your way through? You've put in the work to get this client results. How do you feel today, compared to eight months ago, about your business?Abraham Mercado: Well, I definitely feel like eight months ago I wasn't sure of how my business could grow to a point where it could be, I wouldn't say self-sustaining, but as I had mentioned, more predictable in the way that we do business. I wasn't sure how it could grow. As I mentioned before, I thought that by doing so many things, I would be able to appeal to more people. "Oh, you should get into this," you hear people say that. "Oh, you should get into this. A lot of people want videos here. Oh, you should do this." The way ... That way of thinking is not the correct way of thinking to grow business predictably and consistently. My confidence has changed in the way that I'm doing less and I'm making more. Now I see ... Now that I've established this proof of concept with this client, now I can actually grow the ... this way of doing business. I'm not going to the person next door of them-Paul Xavier: Yeah.Abraham Mercado: 'Cause that's not ... obviously it has to be done correctly and ethically. You want your client to succeed. That's the number one goal, of course. My confidence has changed in that now I see a future in growing commercial campaigns. That will greatly impact my monthly income and my life as a whole. Life is changing rapidly and sometimes we have ... we don't really have a control remote that we can hit pause or rewind or anything. It's constantly changing. It's constantly moving fast. We have to be ready for those changes in life. Right now your expenses might be x, but in six months, seven months, eight months, your expenses are going to be maybe double. If you continue to do your work the same exact way, nothing will change. That's something that I really learned from the Next Level Creator program.Abraham Mercado: I thought that I had to change the way I do business, not so ... not ethically or creatively 'cause that was always there, but just working smart. I've always been a hard worker. I work my butt off from sunrise to sunset. It's just working smart and trying to add more value. That's something that really, really was different for me after taking the program, the Next Level Creators program, was how to add more value to the client. That was a huge, huge transformation for me in the way that I do business is, "How can we make sure that you see a return of investment and you impact more people as a result of it?" That was a great, great thing for me.Paul Xavier: Awesome. Abraham, you've been through such a huge transformation in terms of your confidence, in terms of your personal life, the things that have shifted for you, in terms of economically, because beforehand you were inconsistent but averaging around five thousand dollars a month. Where are you today? 'Cause you're still doing some video projects, right?Abraham Mercado: Yeah.Paul Xavier: That's part of your business right now until you transition fully into commercial campaigns. You've got this one client. Where are you now financially? What's the average in terms of what you're bringing in on a monthly basis?Abraham Mercado: Right now we've changed in that a lot of these clients that we were doing videos for, they're repeating clients. It's a great thing. We're not doing the marketing for them as we are for the one client in my niche, but because we're doing the one client also, we are seeing ... there's a new starting point in our business. Before it was at zero, because we don't know what new video's gonna come in or what new project we'll have to do. Now the starting point is above that. There's no starting point and that has effected our monthly income. We're now ... I'm about double of what I was making before.Paul Xavier: Yeah. Wow. Doubling what you're making and doing it on a consistent basis-Abraham Mercado: Right.Paul Xavier: That's what's more ... it's okay ... video production business as a traditional model, you can go from nothing to, I've seen people do 20 thousand dollars a month and they've got no experience. They just got these three big sales. They're freaking out, pulling their hair out, jumping for joy. Then, six months go by, they've done a ton of work on these projects and they haven't gotten another client. They're done delivery and then there's just time-Abraham Mercado: Right.Paul Xavier: And there's nothing.Abraham Mercado: You check your email 12 times a day.Paul Xavier: Yeah.Abraham Mercado: You don't know. Someone out there, please say something. It was ... it's a struggle. Sometimes that does happen.Paul Xavier: Exactly.Abraham Mercado: That used to happen-Paul Xavier: Sure.Abraham Mercado: But that's ... those days are gone, thank God.Paul Xavier: Good. Good. Well, is there anything that you would wanna say to someone who's considering the Next Level Creators program but is on the fence? Maybe they're ... they've been a struggling artist for five years. Maybe they've been doing commercial photography for the past 25 years and they've seen the industry shift from underneath their feet. They've got 300 thousand dollars worth of gear and they're not making any money anymore and they got some bills to pay. There's so many different scenarios of people out there in this creative entrepreneurial space. Would you recommend the Next Level Creators program to them and why?Abraham Mercado: I would definitely recommend the Next Level Creators program to them because I think it drastically changes the way you approach every single asset of not just business, but also your life. I think that the Next Level Creators program really changed the way I think about a lot of things. A lot of people might ... may be saying, "Oh, I've never done commercial campaigns," or, "I don't know what more can he teach me about video production. I'm an expert." There are so many different ways that you can do business and I think that if you find a way ... if someone is offering a way to add value to the way that you do business, I think that, at least, the person should check it out. I didn't ... I felt ... I feel like I did not lose a single thing from doing the Next Level Creators program. I think that I only gained in taking it and not just for my clients that I'm now doing everything for, but also for myself. I saw incredible growth. I would definitely recommend the Next Level Creators program to everyone out there.Paul Xavier: Awesome. I appreciate it. I appreciate your story. That actually goes back to one of the principles that we teach, with the win-win principle.Abraham Mercado: Yeah.Paul Xavier: We don't wanna take from someone's pie. You wanna make their pie bigger and by making it bigger, you earn yourself a piece of it.Abraham Mercado: For sure.Paul Xavier: That's the philosophy. Thank you so much, Abraham. It's been great to hear your story. Any last things you wanna say to anyone?Abraham Mercado: I think something that really stuck out to me from the program was that at first, when I was taking some of the lessons, I figured, "Okay. I'm gonna start running my Google campaign right now." You were very, very careful in the way that you said, "Do not run your own campaigns until you have done it ... or until you have looked at your cold market first." That's something that was huge for me in that I haven't yet marketed my own business, but I've found a way that, with past clients, I've added value to what they're doing. That was a huge thing.Abraham Mercado: It's starting with friends and family or past clients, is the best way to grow your business in this way. I think that's something that I definitely recommend people take a look at, is try to find those clients where you've done work for in the past and you simply ask. It's simply listening to what they're doing with what you created for them. If you see that they're struggling to really bring traffic to those videos or those productions that you created for them, then there may be a way for you to grow their business or to find ways for them to grow their business. As a result, your business grows, too. That's my advice for people.Paul Xavier: Yeah. That's a great tip, because that's a big mistake a lot of people make. They think, "Oh, I should just go ..." There's this kind of mentality where people think in business, that to be in business you have to go do a bunch of work for people who are strangers-Abraham Mercado: No.Paul Xavier: And you can't talk to anyone you know. The opposite is true, you actually ... you need to sell yourself first. If you believe it, then the closest people to you are going to believe you-Abraham Mercado: For sure.Paul Xavier: Because you're going all in on it. From there, you can take it to the next people which are the cold market. The good news is, by that point, you've convinced yourself. You're all in. You've helped other people who are your family, the people who care about you the most, the people who are the most likely to support you. From there, you're able to take that next step and start going getting clients and strangers who don't even know you.Abraham Mercado: For sure.Paul Xavier: We've got an entire week of training with a dozen methods of how to do that, how to get strangers to turn into clients that work great. I can't wait for you, now that you have this proof of concept, to start leveraging those to grow the business. It actually leads me, where do you see yourself going next? Because you've got one client. You're doing great work for them. Let's just say next year. You're at 10 thousand dollars a month right now. Where are you gonna be? What's the business gonna look like?Abraham Mercado: Well, my goal for the next year is to get 20 clients just like this one so that I'm not only making 20 thousand dollars a month just on this specific niche, if their ad spend stays the same, which it tends ... if their management fees stays the same, which for their ad spend ... if it goes up, our management fee goes up as well. It's a newer ... it's taking that starting point that I mentioned before and keep raising it, because if we do that, then our monthly income starts at a new level. That's the best way to see a bigger result, I think, or a bigger change in our monthly income. My goal for the next year, hopefully next September when we talk, I'll have 20 of these clients that I'm running campaigns for. You're kicking butt.Paul Xavier: I'm thoroughly confident that will get you there and we'll do it maybe even faster than that with less clients. See, I always tell people, you have to remember, time is your best friend.Abraham Mercado: Right.Paul Xavier: The trajectory for your business is not 20 clients, 20 thousand a month, where you currently are now.Abraham Mercado: Right.Paul Xavier: Your trajectory is five clients at four to five thousand dollars a month and producing 50 to 100 thousand dollars a month for them-Abraham Mercado: Right.Paul Xavier: Every single month with predictability. That's the type of value where I love that mindset shift. This is another one for you really, and for everyone listening, is what happens when you start getting people results like you are is you no longer want a lot of clients. You're not going for four new clients a month. You're looking for five clients a year. If you get those five really good clients and they're in it for the win-win relationship too, they want the growth, that's all you need. That's it.Abraham Mercado: Sure.Paul Xavier: That's your business at 20 thousand dollars a month. Then to scale it from there, that's the next thing, but we're talking about that after this video.Abraham Mercado: Awesome.Paul Xavier: Thank you so much, Abraham, for sharing.Abraham Mercado: My pleasure.Paul Xavier: We'll go ahead. We'll wrap it up there, but we really appreciate it. Everyone's gonna enjoy hearing your story, learning about your success. It's been a pleasure to work with you so far.Abraham Mercado: Likewise. Thank you very ... Thank you, Paul. Thank you for everything.Paul Xavier: No problem.