- Name: Jeff Pickett
- Creative: Commercial Filmmaker
- Location: South Dakota, USA
Jeff Pickett was just starting out as a video creator, overwhelmed by the demands of starting his own business and figuring out how to accumulate his first clients. Jeff decided to join the Next Level Creators program and within weeks he was able to close his first three clients, one for $6,000 and the other two for $1,200 in recurring monthly income. All of this happened for him in just one week! Jeff attributes this to the program and the mentorship he receives from the support team at Next Level Creators.
Paul: Hello next level creators today. I have a special guest with me. It is one of my uh, longterm clients here. Jeff Pickett. He's been working with us for about a year and a quarter now. And Jeff from, he started his company with us in next level creators. It's media by JP. Um, he was building his highlight reel a year and a quarter ago when he first stumbled upon sort of us in what we do with video and distribution. And he had never sold a single video before. He had been doing a lot of highlight reel work and we went through and figured out how to package his offer, how to create value with videos, and he started getting clients. And in 2018 he had his first ever six figure year. So just this first year really offering video for the full year, did over six figures and today you're going to learn about the psychology of that evolution going from someone who'd never offered it before to providing value, solving problems with video and making sure he's delivering real solutions that are valuable to his clients. So I can't wait to jump into that because it's such a fun transformation. And, um, Jeff, thanks so much for jumping on here and sharing your experience with us. Yeah, it was really, thank you. Awesome. So Jeff, I love starting interviews this way. Why did you want to get into video production in the first place? What was that passion and that spark for you? Um, you know, originallyJeff: I had 20 years of marketing experience behind me and, um, I saw, uh, an area that a lot of businesses, uh, I mean they were, they were using an traditional advertising agency, but they were totally being taken advantage of by the ad agency. They're paying for a two inch overhead and uh, you know, people that were paying way, way, way too much. And I thought, you know what, I could do that.Paul: Yeah.Jeff: And provide more value at a better price. So, um, I did a couple of little knock off things for my kids and for my gym and one thing led to another and I'm like, Hey, I think I like this. I think this is something I want to do.Paul: Yeah. And so the spark sorta came up. And of course, when you first joined next level creators, you actually, you made a quick video about how just in the first few weeks you've gotten your first paying client. That was a year ago now. And so walk us through your evolution from getting those first few clients after joining next level creators, you came to the Orlando live event, um, that we had last year. And what has happened for you of course. How have you basically gone from not doing this to making six figures and offering video to clients?Jeff: Um, well I said, I've said this before with you on a, on a previous interview. Um, and I, I say this too, so I, I, I wish I had a number for the number of people have contacted me because the testimonial that I did for you prior to, cause they wanted to know who is this Polish Xavier guy and like, is this legit or what? But the thing that I was tell people is like mindset, like you taught me, uh, that, that confidence mechanisms I needed to hear, to, uh, to kind of amp things up. And like, my first big paying Gig was still, you know, a decent amount of money, but, you know, through the ebbs and flow, she's still doubt yourself. I meet so many filmmakers who are just so doubtful of charging what they're worth. Um, and I think the, the, you know, the mindset helped a lot being around other people in this environment, in this community who, you know, kind of felt that.Jeff: Um, but I think it was the persistence of just being a participant in this community and applying what you can to your skillset. Um, and I think then being a part of the, um, you know, the Orlando event, which I think was like 10 months ago or something like that. Yeah. And so being around other people and seeing what they're having, their struggles too, but, you know, we're, we're a community and we needed to try to push each other. So, um, you know, all of that really led me to just continue to, uh, just realize just like Paul shares, you know, that the, uh, the story about going to this wedding and seen as great big house and realize that hey, there are people out there that, that actually do live a better lifestyle. And, um, I remember one of the current clients I've got today, I said they were one of the first ones that I just walked in there and I, I quote unquote grew a pair and I told them, hey, this is, this is my price. And, uh, nobody, nobody said anything like, oh, that's too much, or whatever. And I'm like, oh, like, I guess it wasn't as hard as I thought. So they're just Sony mind shifts that have happened. And, um, I guess I would credit that and just being very intentional. That's what's helped a lot for me.Paul: Yeah. And so, uh,Paul: right now because you're building your business for the sake of full transparency here, transparency, excuse me, everyone, uh, you are in a really specializing in video, right? Because when you first jumped into the program, um, as you, as you kind of, uh, as we shared, you were just starting, you were just now creating videos for a gym and for some few people you didn't really have a massive production background or filmmaking background. So you were just jumping in and you fell in love with it immediately. Which I know that's how I, I felt when I started producing videos for people. Um, and so thus far, you're an entire company that you built in 2018 was just doing video production with this new mindset. It had nothing to do with distribution yet, which is something we're looking to do in 2019.Jeff: Yup, Yup. Yeah. Cause I, again, I, I, I talked with a lot of new filmmakers and I kind of chuckle a little bit because there were, I was, and I hear them say stupid things that I probably thought to. Um, and I know there's people that are so much better videos than me. I know that. And, and I, I work everyday to try to get up to their level and I know I probably will never get there, but I think I can make up for the video side of it with some of the strategy part of it and being more solution oriented. And I think that's what maybe separates those of us in this community from others because it's not about just picking up a camera and getting added, but it's kind of drilling into what problems are you solving and how are you able to help people make a really good educated decision using video, um, to help further their business.Paul: Yeah. And that's, that's kind of the big thing we talk about is not just offering, shoot a video, right. But offering a solution to an actual real problem that exists in the world and using video production as a solution to that problem. And you know, getting into these meetings with people over the past year, how has your mindset shifted when you're interacting with potential clients and interacting with the clients to where, yeah, it's, it's a lot to say, hey, this will cost you $13,000. So this'll costs you, I mean, what's the biggest pitch you've done so far?Jeff: Uh, so a couple of weeks ago, I actually pitched a client a three tier proposal, but the top tier was $155,000. Um, and, you know, I, I, I guess in my head I thought that's a lot of money, but I also knew that I could prove to them how they can pay it. And I also knew that if I didn't ask for itPaul: yeah.Jeff: That nobody else would, and so I might as well roll the dice and not leave any money on the table. And looking back, I probably could have asked even more, but I didn't want to make it too uncomfortable. I didn't want to be too greedy because these were clients that I had some good success with in this past year. And, um, and I also knew that I, I could totally offer the value to them that they didn't currently have with their marketing.Paul: Yeah. And see that, that shift in mindset I talk a lot about, and I think you've really embodied in this past year of removing the ego, removing this sense of I'm selling myself because that is not what you're selling. You're not just selling you. That's not how this industry works. People don't buy just because they like your personality. They don't just buy because they like your style. Um, they're investing in a vehicle to get them where they want to go. And as soon as you start to separate yourself from the value that you're bringing to someone, what this video will actually do for them, everything changes. And you can go in and make these hundred and $55,000 pitchers, which is incredible by the way that you're doing that. Um, and start to have confidence in your capability to make that business result happen. So that's super exciting for, to hear that that is something that you're doing. And, um, as well as like going into mindset related things, you know, you're in all the communities, you see people Pollock, Xavier the scammer, Alexandria, we're now, uh, who is this guy? Um, tell me a little bit about, cause it the Lord Orlando event. I remember you just lit up like a light bulb, like a Christmas tree when we started getting into the mindset stuff. Sure. Um, what were some of the big challenges that you were dealing with that you wanted mindset help on as a video creator yourself?Jeff: Uh, that's a hard question cause it was just, you know, when you're starting off. Um, I felt bad because my wife was the, was the breadwinner and it had been a period of time where she was the breadwinner. And so as a guy, as a husband, that I felt bad, you know, for my kids, I had always prided myself on doing well and being able to come home or they can be proud of dad. And so I was really beating myself up on that. And I knew, I knew that I could provide value. I just didn't, yeah, have it dialed in about how can I, how can I prove this to people? How can I, how can I package? Is this in a way, and maybe because I was kind of a rookie filmmaker, maybe I lacked the skills again, maybe putting too much of an effort on the video side of it versus the solution side of it.Jeff: Okay. MMM. And so once I kind of, I'm like my, my tagline is we provide emotional branding through video. Once I kind of came up with that Tagline, I saw the light kind of click and people when I would talk about that, where they're like, oh, this is a different approach. Like he's, I guess, I don't know if I would call it a niche or not, but, but people saw like I was going to go and it different direction in business video then maybe the, what they'd heard of before. And so when I'm talking about emotional brain and in connection with the consumer in an indirect way, I think that that kind of helped me break through the clutter.Paul: Yeah. Wow. All right. That's again, massive like that, that, that it's amazing what one decision can do. I always have to remind myself that like when I quit my job, I was in a state where I didn't know anything. I was a rookie, I was named mature. I got myself in $12,000 in debt. I didn't know like it again, like all of those emotions that we do experience, um, we can't necessarily tell ourselves, hey, don't feel this way. Um, but we have to figure out what's the decision I'm going to make today that's going to allow me to produce what I want so I don't feel this anymore. It seems like that's really what you were able to accomplish was that shift in, I'm going to make a decision today to do what's going to get me the result tomorrow, going to get me the potential result today. And that would, that's what was helpful.Jeff: Yeah, and I had, and this is kind of a goofy side story, but there's a, I'll just try to keep kind of generic. There's a company in town that wanted to, uh, wanted to be, and I knew I was kind of being paired up against a couple other videographers and I, and I told them right there, the meeting, I said, I know this other guy you're looking at, he's way better than me. Maybe you should just go with him. And like, no, no, we've seen your stuff like we want you. And I'm like, okay, I'm just, I'm just letting you know. And I don't, I wouldn't call that a sales tactic, but I, I guess in a way, indirectly I was like, I'm not desperate for the work. So I don't know if that resonated with them or not, but they came back and they said, hey, we want you, but we want to see your work compared with these other people.Jeff: And so I'll tell you what, we'll give you $1,000 to do, um, like a a test. And if that works out, then there's a $25,000 contracts that will all word you. If, uh, if we like your stuff. And I thought about it and I'm like, you know what? I think I'm going to take a pass and like the Jeff of two years ago, it would be like 25,000. Hell yeah. But I'm like, you know, $1,000 like my, my stuff is already out there either like me or you don't. And so what I ended up doing is I countered with them and I said, I won't do it for a styles and I'll do it for 4,000 and I'll give you maybe one extra little piece out of this and let's see where that goes. And I'm still waiting on the answer until the owner gets back in town. But you know, that's, it feels good to say no sometimes. Um, because it really does kind of help build up your confidence. Like, Hey, I value myself better than I used to and I want other people to value me like that. Also,Paul: that goes a lot into two different distinctions in the way that you look at the value you're bringing through the videos you're creating as well. Um, there and if you're a filmmaker listening to this are two really primary ways that people value themselves. First one is they value themselves based off of comparison. I'm comparing myself to this individual and then the hundreds of thousands of other video creators out there and filmmakers and for that reason we'd be a little higher than these people and to be a little cheaper than these guys and that's how you create your price point and it's just all based off of here's me, here's what other people are doing. This is it. The other alternative of that is what is the actual value you're videos are bringing to people know that you felt you find this core strength, this core power, which you have just demonstrated, which is no, I don't work that cheap because the stuff that I do is worth a lot more than that and clients pay you for that value because you are an able and capable of demonstrating it time and time again. And it's defining it, creating that a breakthrough for these people to see how they're going to leverage your videos that way. SoJeff: whether there's another thing that popped up, I don't think they want to be to know this, but a client that I've worked with like a year ago, and they did get a pretty good value out of me. I, I didn't try them as charge them as much as I should've, but I found out like this particular product that they sell a trade shows, the sales guy told me, he's like, Hey, we took your advice, we took the video that you made for us, and we put it on a kindle or an iPad and we're showing it to people during this trade show to show them kind of before and afters. And, um, you know, the price tag on this product is between 700 to a thousand dollars and they, they run three trade shows per weekend. And he said, I, he goes for the trade shows where I'm showing this. He said, we're, we're selling six to seven more of these items, every trade show, and I'm doing the math. And I'm like, okay. So that means they're selling $21,000 more in product. That's just one weekend. And that's um, I think they actually work up to four months out of the year at these trade shows. So,Paul: you know,Jeff: sometimes we do undervalue ourselves just because we want to get the job. But if you do step back and take a look, and we don't always know these numbers until after the fact, but I'm certainly going to use that going forward, those quantifiable numbers to show that that video works. But the video works because we figured out the value proposition and we figured out some other solutions going in before you even start filming.Paul: Yup. Exactly. And then the next component you need to identify before making that offer as well is the financial component. And that's how we get those distribution channels to work very profitably. And we can make those decisions and confident decisions in what the result's going to be before we even get started producing anything. Right. And as you said, yeah, it's, it's difficult if you're not asking the right questions, earn the deal the way we've restructured. And of course you're getting access to it today cause, but the new version of it is we go through and we talk about preparation. We talked about getting the numbers, what numbers to ask for, how to run the entire conversation from point of what's your value proposition, how are you marketing currently? How are you selling it? How are you delivering it and what are the economics? And here's how we reverse engineer everything to know that this $20,000 investment will produce you $200,000 out and invest the beautiful place that we want to be where it's no longer you go, it's all value. Sure. I mean you, you've got it. You're getting it after the fact. We are going to start getting it before the fact, which is awesome Jeff. Well, as far as your transformation, where do you see yourself, because last year was a great year for you. You took that role back over for yourself. You're now, uh, I hope leading the family in a good direction and feeling that in, in yourself this year. What's the goal? Um, and what are you going to make happen?Jeff: Um, so I don't know how much I want to get into the numbers, but I guess I might as well, cause I'm pretty transparent year. My goal was to hit six figures and, uh, so I knew 8,000, $333. That was what I needed to hit. And I hit that goal by September. And I was like, what?Jeff: Well, what do I do now? And I remember, so there's, there's, well, there's many things that I remember in working with you, Paul. But like one of them, uh, was just the book relentless, you know, just, just, you know, keep going. And the other one was just taking massive action. So anytime I hit a wall, you know, I remember you told me one time where I was, I was just screwing the pooch. I'm like, okay, take massive action. So September head, I'm like, what am I going to do? It's not like, well, let's just keep going. Let's just, let's, let's just do it. And so by the end of the year, uh, my actual sales were like $147,000. So almost 150% of my goal. So my goal this year is I don't want to take on more, I don't want to over promise and under the deliver and I still have some things I want to learn and I need to figure out.Jeff: Um, and I certainly have learned that I probably need to source out some things for other people to do, which may cost on the expense side, but it may give me a better quality of life. Um, so kind of the goal I've got for this year is 200,000. Um, well let's see where that goes and I think that'll give me a chance to kind of fortify some of the things and maybe put a few more things in the practice that, that you teach on the distribution side. MMM. But I don't, maybe I could do three times as much this year. Maybe I could. Um, I just want to be a, I want to be optimistic without being too braggadocious and a, and let's just learn and let's see what's going to happen.Paul: Yeah. And the beauty of it is, is that the way I always say the success is in the eyes of the beholder is like beauty's in the eyes of the holder of successes to success. For some people look different from others and I know for a lot of people right now, the most important thing to them is just having the freedom to spend time with their family and do what they love. And you don't need to make a ton of money to do that, right? I'm making $5,000 a month would be a huge improvement for a lot of people and that's the, that's the great thing. So whatever success is, for those of you, it's great to see that you've already achieved a level of success that is 150% of the goal that you wanted last year. This year we're setting the bar higher, not too much higher, but that's good because it's good for you and achieving it. I'm very, very confident we will achieve that. I think we're going to go a lot higher than that. Even if you want to. You, I know, you know that you can, which is a great thing. And, uh, it's just about pushing forward from there. SoJeff: that was, I was at a conference, uh, two weeks ago and I, this guy, I don't even know, I knew who's a videographer in town, but we're talking and he's like, he goes, Hey, can I ask you a personal question? I'm like, I guess depends. He goes, did you really make $50,000 last month? And I'm like, what? Where did you get this from? He's like, oh, I think I heard it from like three people. So it's like videographers, I think in town, at least in my town, there's a little, little gossipy deal. But I guess I kind of liked the fact that they think if I made that much money, because maybe they're like, yeah, I can't compete with that dude. So, you know, maybe I should do something different. So I dunno. It's kind of fun to see, um, you know, the, I think the success you do, people see it, they hear about it, and then they started creating their own little rooms off of it. So I don't care if they do that or not. As long as a, I didn't lose 50,000,Paul: that would be bad. That's great. Yeah, it's, it's amazing. Success does create this sort of weird, uh, rumor mill surrounding people talk about you. People think things about you. You live in no these people yet they know a ton about you. It's just the way it happens. And, um, you'll have people who really are inspired by you and want to move forward because of you. And you'll also have people who are naysayers who just, they can't find something happy in their lives. So they try to take it out on you. And in those moments, you just have to ignore that. Remind yourself who you are here to serve. It's your clients and the people who are willing to reach out to you. And I'm, I know, I don't have to tell you that because you're all about that mindset, life and style anyway, which is why you're finding so much success. SoJeff: I've lost count of how many people have called me because of the previous testimonial review that I did for you. And people like, yeah. Like, you know, is this Paul Guy for real? Like I looked at your website and I know that they, you, you know, you've got a website and I've seen your stuff, but like, are you really working with him and like it, you know, I think there's just this natural disbelief that good things can happen because somebody on Facebook says that they can, I mean, yeah, I know there's a lot of bad eggs that are out there, but, um, I think it's a testament to your ad distribution system and new strategy that so many people called me. It's only because you know, your system works and, and it's Definitly peaking the interest of people.Paul: Yeah. Um, I don't care too much about people who are interested, you know, that I only care about people who are committed and there's a big difference between the two. And you're a committed guy and I love that about you and the work that you put in every day. And, um, I'm excited for us to continue that relationship and continue to grow you this year. So Jeff, thanks so much for, of course, sharing your experience. Um, I'm excited to hear your feedback on version for a Q and a calls and in the community and, uh, I can't wait to take things to that next level. Looking forward to it. All right. Thanks so much. Thanks, Paul.