5 Steps To Build an Explainer Video Agency Business
Aleks: How did you get started? So in 2016, you just started with things like Upwork and standard funnels like that, right?
Jeff: Well, actually the way the business got started was I began a YouTube channel where I was doing these whiteboard animations of book summaries. And then from there I built a bit of a following on YouTube, and then people just started asking for these videos for themselves, for their companies, so we ended up working with some local clients, and from there started bringing on different team members who could do stuff better than I could do, such as animation.
I’m not the best animator, but I have a team that is very good now. So we’ve abandoned the YouTube channel for a little bit, and just worked on growing the business, and then from there, it’s kinda grown.
Aleks: Yeah, and what year did you join, what was back then DBH, or what is now Business Insiders, what year was that, 2016 or 17?
Jeff: I think that was 2016, so towards the end of 2016 I joined what was then DBH.
Aleks: And what funnels did you run then, what did you start doing then, or what were you doing then?
Jeff: So when I joined it was pretty much just Upwork, and referrals we were using, and over the course of towards the end of 2017, 2018, we started implementing LinkedIn. And then it’s grown substantially from there.
What I find very interesting about your business right now, is we were just talking before the interview, and you said that you have quite a large following now on LinkedIn. I think most people don’t really use LinkedIn to build large following, they think YouTube is more suitable for that, and you’ve done both. So what have you found so far?
Jeff: Yeah I mean, in terms of building the YouTube following, every once in a while you’ll get someone reaching out and saying, hey can we get something like this for our business? But LinkedIn is more like people are there for business.
They were there to make connections in a business setting, and they’re there to see what you have to offer, and then they talk about what you make, and ways you can work together, so it’s definitely better to work with LinkedIn than it is, on YouTube it’s more so just people who are looking for entertainment.
Aleks: Hmm, yeah, so you have to go through a longer cycle before they buy on YouTube than on LinkedIn where they’re already in the business kind of mode, and they’re probably at work while watching it right?
So what kind of stuff have you done to build up the following on LinkedIn, because you have what now, 10,000 people or something like that, that are following your stuff on LinkedIn?
Jeff: Yeah, about almost 9000, maybe past 9000. It’s just a following, just making connections, and then it expands from there, so it’s just an entire specific industry, we are pretty well-known, so we have a big following, and yeah, just connecting with people, and making, building relationships is the main thing that you want to be doing on LinkedIn, is talking to people, see how you can help them, see what they’re interested in, see what their strategies are, and just have a conversation and go from there, and if you can help them, then by all means, work together.
So some people on LinkedIn, I’ve noticed, especially in my industry, they’ve been messaging people like me then messaging people like my friends, and they’re just saying, hey man, do you want to buy this thing? And that’s their first message, they’re starting to pitch for almost from day one, I don’t know who the hell this person is. So what would you say is wrong with this approach?
I think it’s pretty annoying. I get a lot of messages as well on LinkedIn, where it’s just people are like, you can tell it’s a copy paste message that they send out, so I immediate end it there. They only seem to care about what they’re up to, they don’t seem to like have any interest in helping you, they’re literally just fishing for clients, so they just send you these long copy paste messages and, easy to just ignore those, because like you know they don’t know you exist.
So I’m getting pitches for just random stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m involved with, so if you’re communicating with people, you know they’re not just some thing that’s going to hand you money. It’s, like you want them to know if you can even help them, and if you can’t help them, then just, yeah this is something that maybe it’s not the right time, but you have to find that out, you can’t just try and pitch your services to absolutely everyone, because a lot of people may not need it.
Aleks: Right, and I guess the industry that you’re in, which we call explainer videos, but it’s basic creative agency focused on online videos, it’s getting quite competitive I guess, so over the past few years, people started thinking it’s easy money or something like that, so how do you stay competitive, how do you stay on top of things and charge premium dollar? I think your biggest sale last year was something like $67,000 or something like that, right?
Jeff: No it was 50k.
Jeff: Yeah, so that was just sort of a, that was an Upwork lead actually, they reached out to me from Upwork and we talked from there. It pretty much just continue focusing on what, how you can get better, is what we do. So instead of just trying to churn out videos, it’s like oh, I’m still the, I know thumbs are important, I know processes are important, but I take an approach with every video we have a nice team, it’s like how can we make the coolest thing possible, and build it based on a certain strategy.
So it’s not like, here’s a video, here’s a script, here’s a copy paste, pretty much template thing. It’s like, everything is built custom, and we want to make something really cool every time we get a new client, so I think it shows, because we have a lot of people, they see our stuff, they follow up with us.
We want something like that for our company, and they can see that we actually care about what we make. We’re making stuff of high quality, we’re not just doing template based animations that all look the same, it’s everything is unique.