On today’s episode, Mike is going to be sharing his insights on content marketing and video strategy (something every business should be embracing).
Claire and Mike talk about pivoting your business to accommodate market needs and changes (like a sudden need to self-isolate for example), how Jellyfielder Studios are supporting entrepreneurs and of course the Ice Cream model!
Listen to find out:
- The importance of creativity in business.
- The key to storytelling.
- How to video marketing using the ice cream model.
- How to work on blockers that prevent us to do video.
Mike Jelves was born and raised in Essex. Since meeting his business partners at university, has for the last 15 years co-produced creative, commercial and corporate films as part of Jellyfielder Studios. When not behind a camera, editing videos or delivering workshops, Mike can be found hosting pub quizzes, enjoying football or consuming other people’s creative content.
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Artificially Intelligent Claire:
Transcript of this episode:
Claire Whittaker: So Hi Mike, thank you so much for joining me today on the innovation and business podcast. How you doing? Very well thank you Claire. Thank you so much for having me. Not having to serve isolate just yet are we? No But I have gone out today and done my preparedness shop. That’s a good one. So more tins of food than I perhaps would ordinarily purchase. Yeah, vegetables to go in the freezer. And quite controversially, it seems super noodles. Yes, I just I’m not a fan of super noodles. I think I’m going to go down the chickpeas and grains and lentils and see this as an opportunity to get my partner more into vegetarian healthy eating. Okay, see how that goes.
Mike Jelves: Yeah, so subtle kind of exercise in off meat. Dairy products. That’s fair. That’s a lot about cheese though.
Claire Whittaker: Cheese cheese will be fine. We will have much cheese keps for ages.
Mike Jelves: Cheese and wine because that’s what keeps me going and
Claire Whittaker: We’re just gonna bunker down with cheese and wine.
Mike Jelves: Yeah, I think everyone’s got their go to survival foods and wine seems to be very popular from the
Claire Whittaker: Yes, well It got grapes, it heps you sleep.
So I know a lot about what you do, but I am conscious that our listeners aren’t I think you’ve got quite an interesting story to share with everyone. So I know you’re working a lot in video and video production. And that’s something that a lot of people, particularly entrepreneurs and small businesses are looking to explore more to help them kind of grow their businesses. So I’d love to hear more about how you got into it and how you started your company.
Mike Jelves: Well, I guess an interest we all have an interest in film when we’re younger, particularly when I was at school. I was a huge fan of the big breakfast. The China for Morning Show.
Claire Whittaker: I remember well,
Mike Jelves: And everyone before school tuning in watching those guys. And to me it felt like they were not really at work, they just felt like now having the best fun in the world and happened to be, you know, involved in something that was creative and exciting and ultimately innovative in terms of broadcast television, that leads me to want to study media, scalded always read magazines that always read the newspaper or that interesting radio. So I think the major was kind of a natural path for me to take through GCSE, and then through into college, and ultimately University. And it was there while studying film production, and that my teacher and current business partners, Chris and Louise Hay, and upon graduating, we had a film, our graduation film, good morning, made it into a local Film Festival. And I think that kind of that kind of momentum, that kind of excitement that we had was kind of going into Well, what do we really want to do without our degree because a lot of people with a media studies degree or Film Studies degree don’t necessarily go into the industry. Or if you do, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. And I think the kind of thinking was, well, let’s start at the bottom bottom our own and find a way, find a means by which we could be paid to make films.
And then our first paid job was from our university itself, the University of Bedfordshire in the Luton, as it was when we were there. And they paid us to make a film interviewing students who were on a English as a academic second language course. And they want to hear it’s funded by the European Social Fund. They had a big celebratory evening coming up for the course. And we made a film for them, interviewing the students finding out their experiences and voting how much of a big thing it was. So straight out of literally straight graduation, we kind of fell into corporate work, the kind of bread and butter stuff that we still do now into Customer Testimonials, that sort of thing.
But also wedding videos for friends and family, and then slowly into the corporate world, whilst also wherever possible, trying to maintain that sort of creative edge, that creative insight, that background of filmmaking that informed us in creating in telling, you know, imagination, imaginative stories, and take their storytelling principles into the world of corporate and commercial filmmaking.
Claire Whittaker: So how have you found that because that’s really interesting, this idea of creativity in corporate because I think those two things can often clash. So or at least be perceived to clash. So how have you found being creative in the corporate environment?
Mike Jelves: It certainly clashes in how you have to learn how to run a business and be a business person. It’s all well and good kind of enjoying the moment when a project starts. You’re having ideas and you’re working with the client and you’re storyboarding and you’re preparing and we can do this and if you do that, and you’re shooting and it’s great, and you’re ready seems wonderful. And, well, here’s the Edit. And as the film, you forget that there’s a whole infrastructure of business processes, business knowledge that you have to also be doing. On the other hand, having accounts, managing those finding your tax returns, you know, having insurance, all these things that you’re not necessarily predicted to as a creative person, having to manage the business side of things. But I think what has helped is having that creative mindset, it’s really problem solving. I guess creativity is another means of being a problem solver. And especially people like Louise, you know, background in theatre production and is a, you know, an end to end producers. Well, if you’re going to shoot and edit and animate, she is problem solving. She’s always coming up with, you know, creative solutions. And I think that kind of rubs off on all of us. Chris, being a script writer, now always has ideas about things and it’s how we can use you know, storytelling approaches corporate world, but it really is striking that balance between being a business person. And I guess, we never really consider ourselves to be entrepreneurs in that kind of, quote unquote, traditional sense. But instead, we have to be business people that happens to run a creative business, whilst also them being the creative people as well.
So I think really, the creativity, when it turns to having a bit of a different approach to telling a corporate story has been, has been useful. And at the same time, then it’s creativity within how we talk about our work and how we start to help people understand what it is that they do, and also really been a background in film, when we have to film people who aren’t necessarily comfortable being on camera, and maybe getting a performance out of them. Having worked with actors many, many times and that’s all about getting the performance, the right emotion, the right, you know, chopping that sound bite into a nice little, beautiful bite sized piece. Helping people feel comfortable in cameras. Yeah, it’s part of the bread and butter work of, of what we do so many, many aspects of the creative background and creative mindset do help when running a business and helping coming up with the creative side of the business and putting things in place, but it does battle the kind of a battle of your hearts and mind with straight up business person you also have to be.
Claire Whittaker: So that’s really interesting what you’ve just saying. And I think there’s two things that I really want to pick up on. So the first you were saying around how being creative has helped you in setting up your business and thinking about problem solving in your business. Could you give us a like an example of that
Mike Jelves: There’s one in particular just an anecdotal story. One corporate client wanted to have a Graham Norton style, tipping back chair In a film for a business sales videos, okay, and we had no idea how it was we’re going to do that. And in the end, the idea was come along, but go to a local car mechanic who welded an oil barrel, on its end to a frame, bolted a, an office chair on top. And then by pull the lever, the barrel tip backwards along with the person sitting on top.
Not necessarily a health and safety fully compliant operation. But the way that we saw it was that I tested it, first of all with a crash mat behind and defined willing to put myself on the line there is the director in that sense to to take that hit, and also the actors that we’ve worked with, who had to sit on the chair in the end we’ve worked with before. So we’ve already built that trusting, wonderful working relationship, which means we could take them back of a chair will absolutely possible.
Claire Whittaker: That is crazy, I can’t even imagine like, why did they want this? I’m not sure if you are allowed to say what it was about, but
Mike Jelves: Well, it was the idea that the salesperson was learning in real time why he’d make a mistake in his sales process, then the customer would pull the lever, his chair would flip back, and then he’d get another go around during the sale. And it kind of learn from his mistakes. There has to be an on camera solution. And, yeah, again, maybe not necessarily a strict business sense, but it’s something certainly that we look back on now and think, Well, how do we get away with that? And also, how did we end up at a mechanic’s getting an office chair, bolted on top of an oil drum, which in turn was stuck on to a frame, which fire Liverpool tilting backwards?
Claire Whittaker: Yeah, it seems to be all about how can you take what the client Is envisioning and use your creativity to innovate and think about things a bit differently, and face and come up with a solution.
Mike Jelves: Yeah. And I think then as well in terms of storytelling formats, and how it’s the businesses and companies can use video as a medium. Because even now, the uptake of what is called branded content has always been a kind of slow, kind of adoption curve. Whereas back when we started, at the beginning, we were making short films just to go online for the purpose of the internet. We made a couple of films, which ultimately, should maybe have been presented as a web series, but it was kind of too early in YouTube, kind of, you know, to set 2007 2009 era, but we weren’t really sure if web series were what people kind of wanted. So we kind of presented things like our film The cycle, and second attempt to the feature film legend of the alley man, which in hindsight, rather than beard, you know, a feature length movie or a 15 to 30 minute movie could have probably worked as episodic kind of web series, which would have been, you know, had ahead of their time in that respect. So, you know, if we’ve been a bit braver, maybe we could have kind of practice what we preach in, you know, look, you know, we’ve made this web series we’ve made several kind of dystopian future series called the 10th circle, we made a series of short kind of comedy dramas called the bench all sitting around, you know, different park benches. So I think we’ve always in our minds wanted to kind of make our own creative stuff, which ultimately is the best calling card we have as a creative agency, things you want to make for ourselves, take those kinds of storytelling formats, and put them into the corporate promotional space in the form of branded content. Now the idea now that brands do podcasts again, we did a police ice did, we did released the first jelly filled podcast in 2007. You know, just with GarageBand. And just to promote our first feature film together that we’ve produced and self released on DVD site, the podcast for that. Then we brought the podcast back again probably about 10, eight to 10 years ago now. And we’d use it as a platform for other people. So we’d have a crowdfunding campaign of the week, we meet other filmmakers or musicians and showcase their music. We review independent films and things like that we’d review apps and games, and kind of using the podcast arena as a platform for other people. And now it’s right now we’re advising businesses on when you create your long form content. You need to use your social media as a platform for other people, not just to promote yourself on what you’re doing, but literally use it in a social media context of creating media consumable content that is socially aware because it’s including multiple people in the in the active creating your network as well, as this podcast is a living, breathing, perfect example.
Claire Whittaker: My Thank you. I guess that kind of I really want to pull up before we kind of move on from this topic, I really would love to talk to you more about the ideas that you’ve mentioned around storytelling and how brands can do that better. And how you can do that in your social media content and things to be aware of. Just because I know that it’s talked about a lot like there’s the Donald mirror, building a story brand book, which is very popular. I’ve read it, I love it. And people are talk a lot about the importance of storytelling to help you connect with your audience and as a visual storyteller yourself. I’d love to kind of hear your perspective on it and some tips you could share on how to do it well,
Mike Jelves: the ultimate story that your business should be telling. it’s twofold. It’s you as the person behind the business, if that’s what your model is, if you’re an entrepreneur, if you have, you have to consider your personal brand. More and more and more, I’m hearing that your personal brand is as important as your business brand. One of our clients who have recently is Bianca Mila Cole, who was an apprentice finalist A few years ago, she sent set up her own diverse range of colour hosiery brand. She also then runs her own personal branding business. And whenever I hear her talk, it’s always your personal brand is as strong as your business brand. So the first story you have to tell is your own story. What’s your motivation? Where what’s your passion? Why have you turn that passion into the business that you’re doing? And then the second brand is what you then what your brand what your company hopes to achieve, and what its goals and aspirations are. And they can be different. They don’t have to be perfectly aligned with your personal brand and your personal story, but at some point, there’s going to be an intersection Mr. Andersen between the two that your business itself kind of comes out from. And there’s there’s no wrong or right story to tell. I mean certainly what we used to get hung up about with with clients is the idea of making one film. And we have to make one film and somehow that one film, one video has to tell an entire story. And whilst that’s possible, it can’t tell the whole story. It can only really tell one part one thread or a couple of threads intertwined of the overall personal or brand story. What you have to have is a range of material that tells the entire story and the story arc in the same way you’d watch you know eight seasons of Game of Thrones and the B character story arcs that last even though they will run out pretty much in the last series. Nevermind. Everything is going to be an overarching kind of storyline. Even though the day to day telling us the story through social media might be no the in the back of house kind of things you might put in social. That’s all feeding into the overarching the overarching story arc, which is a story of your business, what you want, what you’ve done, what you hope to do what you’re gonna be doing next. So it’s really understanding that there’s no one piece of content that solves everything, every bit of content you have, there’s got to be a chapter, a part, a page, a paragraph, a sentence, an illustration of the stories that you that you’re living every single day as a personal business person, and then be your own particular business brand. Hmm.
Claire Whittaker: Okay, that makes sense. So to just dive a little bit deeper into this, a guess in terms of if I’m a business person, which I am, and big leap of imagination to make money. I know, I know. I’m really testing myself here and if I wanted to go kind of start using storytelling more in my business? I guess. For me, the question would be around, like, what makes a good story to tell, like, what should I tell? And what Shouldn’t I tell? And how do I start around doing it? Because the story of myself contains many, many chapters, and not all of them are related to my business. So how do you start differentiating what you shouldn’t shouldn’t be kind of talking about? And how do you start creating and building that into a story for your brand?
Mike Jelves: It’s an interesting question, I think, but it’s also quite daunting. Can you sit down with the idea of having the novel already written? And then the solid at the end and work backwards? Do you, you know, map out the kind of points. I think that although we’ve we’ve come to understand storytelling in general, and it kind of leads into what we call the ice cream model of video marketing is that you have to look at, really the four types of content that you’re going to use to tell your stories. Because the story wants to tell is, who you are and what you do, why you do it, how you hope to achieve it, and why other people, you know, can benefit or how other people can benefit from it. So it is just the who, what the why the where, and the when it’s not it’s a more complicated than that and if you can work out overall, who you are, what you want to do, where you want to be found, and answer all those questions. That’s going to be the basis of the starting point of all your content, or your motivation or your interest. Third, if you’ve got a sale on and you’re running a traditional kind of business and you have a sale on then the conversation about we’ve got a sale on is no small and it’s reactive in the moment. Yeah, the overarching fun foundation of what you do, has to come down to who what why, where and the when you can ask and you can answer those questions about yourself, or indeed about your business. Then every time you sit down to make a piece of content, you have to at least pick up on one or two of those who, what, why, where, and when questions.
Claire Whittaker: And I really like that, actually, because that’s a very simple way to start thinking about it and start telling stories because I completely agree with you. The idea of telling your brand story can be quite intimidating. And it’s like, where do you start and how, but if you’re just starting with the questions, more of who, what, why, where and how, then that’s a much easier starting point that I think people will find useful. And I actually wanted to pick up on something else that you said during this time. And one of the things that we’ve talked about a lot in our kind of free conversations, and that’s your ice cream model. Can you please tell everyone listening what is the ice cream model?
Mike Jelves: The ice cream model of video marketing is kind Have a guess the culmination of our 15 years in business one way or another. And for years and years and years, we did very well in clients coming along and saying, We need a video. And it needs to do this. And we make that video and then it’s done. And then we may not necessarily get to see the impact that video has because either it wasn’t it was either internal communications, or again, because YouTube was very young. It was just being used, you know, kind of haphazard manner. thought, yeah, that’s fine. And then customer come back and then have another video. Or we’d be doing lots of live event work to be lots of voxpop testimonials from people at the events and then using those and everything. And I think it just came down a couple of years ago to my colleagues, Chris and Lou, just really trying to simplify more than anything else kind of pricing and packaging offers.
Because a lot of time you can break filming jobs into the amount of time it takes to film, time takes to edit, and then additional expenses around the edge of that. And when you’re quoting individually for different projects, it become quite repetitive and become it’s a bit of a soul destroying process in terms of mechanically doing the same thing every day and quoting for jobs and everything else. Yeah. And I think we just wanted a way to better understand what it was we could offer people and move away from it being about the form and what the video looks like. Is it animated? Is it live action? Is it motion graphics? Is it combination is it screen records, and realising what we have to do is talk about what the function of that content is. and breaking it down into four different types of content. And that we went back through our back catalogue. And Chris and Louise really worked out there are only really four types of overall content. It is that we make cornerstone resource bragging rights an active that’s the for any type of content with ads are made for anybody that is business focused or commercially focused comes into one of those four categories. And then when we looked at where that content is then shared, where best is it to put your Cornerstone? Well, that’s your homepage. That’s the found that you’re the foundation of your digital presence is your website. Yeah, whether you actively trade from it or it’s just a point of contact, you have to have a website. There should be content, I video on there, that tells people who you are, what you do, and why they should stick around and do business with you potentially fundamental Cornerstone content, that’s your Cornerstone, your resource content, that is your expertise. What makes you an expert, a trusted source of information within your industry. And if you can position yourself as an expert in your industry, that will attract inquiries and questions from people who are yet necessarily ready to be a customer of yours. If they can come to you for really good, really useful, free, informative advice. Yep, they will be more likely to come back to you. With that level of trust already established, when they’re ready to be a customer.
Claire Whittaker: It’s all about building that know like and trust factor in all of the things.
Mike Jelves: Absolutely. Then you have your bragging rights, these your customer testimonials, your positive reviews, again, the things that we did an awful lot of especially now white labelling work, where we work for large kind of marketing agencies, you’d go and do the filming, but go to a client location, film, that innovative business doing great things with the product. And of course, it’s then great content to promote not just the overall client, but individual businesses prefer to give them testimonials. So using your happy customers to say lovely things about you. Because at the end of the day, it’s a more convincing sales technique to have other people talk about how great you are. Yeah, this to say you’re for yourself and then the fourth form is your active content, your stuff on social media, everything you’re doing on a day to day basis that keeps people engaged, informed up to date, making people feel that they’re part of a community if they’re already our customers, brand awareness if they’re not, and everything else in between. And those four things together really do the on top of content that we ended up ever making.
Claire WhittakerHow do these things form an ice cream?
Mike Jelves: Well, that is where again, Christian those, bless their souls, kind of were thinking of, we need a metaphor for this. Mm hmm. can’t just go in with those four types of content. Because the genius Okay, sorry, you scratch that. The the compelling idea behind this is that you can have these things in combination. You don’t have to have all of them but obviously they will work best when they’re together. And so what was a metaphor that satisfies that four step process that you can have in place bits overhead all together. And you know, they tried hamburgers, they tried sandwiches. They tried other things, but what the one that landed and stuck ultimately, is ice cream.
So when you think about an ice cream cone, okay, you can picture in your brain and hold the bit you hold in your hand the foundation of that is your Cornerstone video. Yep, the ice cream cone is your foundation. It’s your Cornerstone content. Mm hmm. The resource your own unique flavour of ice cream. What is your super secret special recipe that people come to over and over again, cuz I just can’t get enough of it. That’s your ice cream. The main bulk is your resource content, your expertise, your own unique special flavour. special recipe that’s your ice cream. And of course you’ve got different flavours, different combinations and mini scoops as you like. But that’s the kind of the meat the meat and potatoes now we are mixing metaphors. That’s the that’s the crux the bragging rights, what helps you stand out above everyone else, that’s your flake, or your wafer, the bits that stick out at the top and show how proud you are. And you’re proud of your business, the people that you have become, you know, fanatics of your brand supporting your brand ambassadors,
Claire Whittaker: that you’re taking things that attracts people.
Mike Jelves: Absolutely, absolutely bits of stand up from the top, and the sprinkles, the source, the eye candy. That’s your active social media cons. Yeah, that’s everything that is going to be the eye catching, all little quick all little burst of sugar, all that sweet, all that all that country, the varied kind of flavour and texture combinations you need from your social media content of it. So you can have all those things together and it’s wonderful Of course, or if you just want to start with a couple of scoops of ice cream and a cone or a cone full of sprinkles with a flake sticking on top. You can build it all at your own speed and all to your unique combination.
And what again, the way in which you then think about how does this turn into content? The active content in particular, can be produced as derivatives of the other main types of content.
Claire Whittaker: So, sorry, I interrupted you, but I’m interested to understand like, as a customer of yours, how does this work? How do I get involved with this ice cream? Sounds delicious, by the way.
Mike Jelves: thank you very much. Well, it’s delicious, because it’s yours, ultimately, and it’s made your own unique recipe.
It’s interesting, really something that we have started thinking about recently, and it’s kind of been Expedia ated, given the potential need for Britain to be self isolating for a number of weeks. It’s a basically a series of developing a series of online courses to help people understand their marketing, how to turn that into digital content, marketing and now ultimately to understand what an ice cream model is.
Claire Whittaker: Tell me more about this, this sounds interesting.
Mike Jelves: Well, what we find in consultation with clients is that when we’ve pitched them ice cream models, we’re having to be hypothetical about it. Because we’re assumptions as to what it is they what we would prescribe them to need on a rough kind of model. But really, when they can sit down and answer the questions for themselves, what they then see by thinking through, what should our Cornerstone content look like? So what should our video sound our home page? What’s the message you want to give out there? What is our expertise? You know, have we been writing blogs? for many, many years? You know, sometimes we’ve had some of our corporate clients have realised they’ve got years and years worth of blog content. So still good. Some of it might now has been updated with new information, new developments, right, let’s get our important people in. Let’s get them in front of a camera, and let’s turn that blog into a video.
Because the pain in the neck, the point of that article is still relevant. But now things have moved on. You know, that’s update that content with a blog version of that blog. So it’s a great place to start with the resource content. You can think about that. What are the things you know, top tip videos? Yeah, and they’re very popular, but they work. One client of ours a digital marketing agency, we released a video with them of top 10 Facebook tips so businesses can anything about that you’ve got a video, one video, that’s of 10 tips, that might be two minutes per tip. You’ve got a 20 minute long form video. Each of those individual two minute 10 each of those 10 individual two minute videos will be released on their own. Yeah, you’re multiplying the use of that content, spreading it across multiple channels, getting all the benefits of it being seen elsewhere.
Then you can then even make short really short versions of it if you want to pursue social media. Just little sentences, little grab points a little bit through Instagram, that sort of thing. So when you think about what your expertise is, how can we help people get information into the resources? Then when you start to think about right, who the customers that we know, would be happy to say nice things about us if they don’t want to be on camera, right? Then you find creative solutions. And then the social media content, right? Well, on the day to day basis, you can use the live versions of Instagram, Facebook, things that don’t need to be rehearsed and overproduced necessarily. You can take content and put it straight out there and your story. If you want to then put stuff onto your feed or post onto Instagram as a main article or put out on Facebook as a pinned post or something on LinkedIn, of course, post then you can think about right well, what are the sensible things that we can create social media content about, but the great thing about social media is it really Should you be advertising for all the other bits of content you made elsewhere? So content on social that leads back to your bragging rights, content and social that leads back to your resource content, content, social media, that brings you back to your homepage, and all these things that when you think about what the content should be, you can then see how the capture points work of where these things land on social media, and where they work on SEO and on YouTube and elsewhere. And then you start to think, well, now I’ve got an idea of what the content should be. The kind of how the ice cream model works really kind of fulfils itself in that respect. Yeah, I do. And the idea of, and then clients can say, look, well, I’ve actually done I’ve thought about this. I’ve put the plan into place. How do we then make it a reality? Yeah, we have to do a boatload of filming and get a whole bunch of content made isn’t that we need some digital assets created is that when you’d go in, take some photographs. Because when you start to think about, these are the content, this is a story I want, you think over how long a period of time now, am I going to tell this story? Are we going to plan a campaign? That’s 12 months, 18 months, 24 months? And then when you go back to the floor and said, What are the stories I want to tell you about my business? Well, you can tell the whole story over a 12 to 24 month period. Yep. And each of the little bits of content, your resource content going out, your bragging rights content going out your Cornerstone video being updated. Each of those is telling a different part of the story. You might be accessing it at different means in different times. But when you stand back and look at the content schedule you’ve built, it is a plan, a strategic plan of how the when you release content, and then you can adapt the production process around that schedule as well.
Claire Whittaker: Okay, and that’s really helpful and I think It’s helpful not just for kind of video, but also as a general rule for marketing, business and content marketing. Yeah. And so thank you so much for kind of taking the time to share that with us. I’d love to talk to you more about your work with entrepreneurs. But before we go on to that, I guess, I don’t know if there’s anyone in the world who’s not yet convinced by the idea that they have to use video. Yeah, just in case this person still exists. I love to hear your thoughts on kind of like, why video is so important nowadays, and why companies are looking to convert that old kind of blog content or more static content into videos.
Mike Jelves: First of all, it’s the most shared form of content on social media. Mm hmm. It’s simply the most engaging. If you have a video on your website, people will stay there for two minutes longer. Yeah, people know your website for two minutes longer. Then, you know, the two minutes closer to making a buying decision from you. Yep. And just the idea that apparently in by 2020 to 2021 90% of Facebook content will be video. it’s not going to go any other way.
The biggest barrier to entry of that is two things, first of all people who don’t want to be on camera. Yeah. And second of all the cost prohibitive nature of it, yeah, see as a barrier to entry, how much they’re gonna have to pay. And again, these are all things that we’ve kind of thought about within the ice cream model. And the fact that because we are having content that’s planned to go out over a period of time, what we’ve then kind of realised we can offer is payment for the production and release of that content over a period of time. You’re either someone having to say, in the old kind of ways of doing it, right, you’re gonna have to put you know, X amount of pounds into producing this video. Yep. And but then you don’t yet know if it’s going to be successful as a result of it. You hope it will give you what you want, but you know what, if it doesn’t, instead, we can look at right
This is the amount of content you want over a period of 12 months. This is how much it’s going to cost to shoot and or animate and or design and or edit all of that. Let’s spread that payment that that costs over the lifetime of the campaign. So then after one or two months, you can start to see the result and the effects that the content is having. And if it’s working for you, which hopefully it will be, and it’s proven to have done so far, you can then increase that spend per month because it’s become part of an affordable monthly marketing budget you’ve allotted. And then when you can afford more, we can create more content. Why do we make more derivative edits, out of all the footage we’ve got? Maybe we create some new stuff or do some more filming, you know, get some more resources video shot, maybe you’re going to have an event, right? Well, let’s create maybe a one off event around that. Let’s make some content around that particular event you’re doing and that can go new stuff can be adapted into that as well. And I think for entrepreneurs, that is an attractive thing to have, he’s gonna say, that certainly appeals to the kind of people who don’t necessarily think about a budget. And can I come up with, you know, five figures, perhaps to have some video content made. And again, it might just be one thing. They don’t know what’s going to work out in this world. You know, what you what can you afford Now, let’s spread that over a period of time. And then hopefully, when you see the benefit, you can increase that monthly spend and the content grows exponentially with the results that it’s getting.
Claire Whittaker: So this feels like an interesting pivot versus other kind of video agencies and marketing agencies. Did you kind of come up with this idea around tailoring it more your payment plans and spreading out the cost of creating content so you can see ROI? Because you were working with a lot of entrepreneurs or was it something else?
Mike Jelves: I think it’s also I think it’s worthwhile for any size of business, not just entrepreneurs have this problem. It can be, you know, marketing departments within larger agencies. It could even be, you know, agencies were doing what label work for, if you’re if you’ve got the idea of having a creative person on a retainer, yeah. And so you can go to them when you need creative work done. And they’re happy to kind of do it kind of interactive manner. Because Creative People and creative industries, we’ve always struggled with the idea that you do the work. And then you’ve got to, you know, wait, pay the invoice, send the invoice and you’re still waiting 30 days, might have taken you 20 days to do the project, but then waiting another 30 days to get paid. And then all the work you’ve done over a two month period, you’re only getting at the end of it. And then by the time the money’s arrived, it’s kind of so separate from the idea of what you did.
It’s hard to come by job satisfaction in that scenario. Hmm. And then also you find your victim to seasonality, because it’s usually towards the end of the year. People want to get all their money spent before the end of the year, then January to March. Nothing happens because no one’s got any money or never wants to spend any money. Then towards the summer, the cycle starts churning again. And people want to start spending money towards the end of the financial year to get their budgets back, etc. So it’s really a way for us to have a subscription model to help with our general cash flow. And I think you know, every creative industry suffers from that or every small business to be honest, No, you haven’t. I buy cash flow through the way for us to make the idea of lots of video content more palatable. So our clients no matter what their size, but also for us to get a regular income stream, knowing that there’s going to be money coming in every month might not be huge amounts, but then it becomes a volume issue. And because the creative side of the ice cream model lends itself to bulk production, that’s for release. We’re not having to work on three or four different projects at the same time.
Because we’ve lit we can schedule the time say right well, you know, Monday, Tuesday we’ll work on client X’s content. Thursday, Friday work on client client, you know, Zed projects. And whenever then juggling too many things at once, individually, yes, we’re always juggling stuff between the three of us working on different projects as he has directed the heart of the business, but we’re not day to day juggling different client work, that’s then better focus, better customer service, and that sort of thing. And plus, it means that when you can be open about price, it means your customers, I think, trust you more as well. Yeah, for sure. If you’re not hiding things, or you’re telling them, you know, there’s going to be a bit more editing involved in this. So maybe No, there has to be, you know, a recycling of these funds somewhere into different part of the production maybe. But it also means at times when some of our clients maybe have had to take a deferral on payment, because they maybe are going through their own cash flow issues as business often do. We can because we have that culture of open communication about money because it’s part of the ice cream model discussion. It’s okay fine. If you want to, you know, if you have to wait for a month, or maybe that direct debit is pushed back for a couple of weeks, then fine, you can do that, you know, we’re not relying on that money coming in straight there. And then as we would be in a more traditional model of, you know, everything comes in at the end. We can be more flexible on that, I think. And I think that’s helped our clients. We’ve been more relaxed about the idea. So then when they’re happy to spend more money, they know when it’s going to take it all at once. It’s part of that seeded subscription payment. And that in itself has actually benefited. One of our collaboration partners, creative fire. Greg and Julie, you are a graphic design agency. We’ve done loads of work for them over the year, because they were on their own ice cream model. We were making their own video content for them. They’ve since kind of taken inspiration and created what they call creative time. So now their clients can pay them. A retainer, a subscription. Get ad hoc design work done as and when they need it is special projects come along great. They can be factored in separately, if necessary. But I think because they appreciated how flexible we could be with them, they saw the immediate benefit for them adopting the same model for their business.
Claire Whittaker: Makes sense. It sounds like something that a lot of businesses could benefit from doing to help them manage free cash flow. I know when we spoke about your kind of subscription model in a previous conversation, it was definitely something I started thinking about how can I do this more in and look at this. So I really appreciate you going into the details because I know a lot of people will find that really useful, I guess. So you’ve talked about one of your barriers to entry for video being costs. The other one that you spoke about was people being nervous on camera, and I know that definitely for people I know. This is major barrier. So how do you help people get over this fear and talk about this?
Mike Jelves: Fear of fear is the right word. Yeah. Because at the end of the day, there are two powerful emotions in life, love and fear. And we want to believe that love conquers all. Yeah, but the love has to start inside you became very decent, spiritual, very deep.
Claire Whittaker: This is very deep, this didn’t take the turn that I was expected it’d take.
Mike Jelves: That love is ultimately self confidence. T he idea that you’re going to be accepted when you put yourself out there front and centre, ultimately to be potentially judged and criticised. Though we think that when we get up into a room and talk in front of people, if we put a camera in front of us, there’s suddenly going to be exposed the whole imposter syndrome. We’re going to look foolish. We’re going to look silly. Maybe we’ve never noticed that we blink in a weird way. Maybe we you know, we know. Your face. Yeah, maybe you’ve never noticed that you haven’t got purpose Central. For all the all the fears that we have about our self image, come to the surface when you see yourself recorded. I mean, remember, it’s like younger to, you know, hear yourself, your voice to be recorded. And you’d freak out and I think sound like that, do I? That’s because the bones in your head vibrate and you sound different in your own skull than you do when the voice taught that goes outside.
Claire Whittaker: I didn’t know that.
Mike Jelves: That’s why voices sound different in our heads because we’re literally filtering, it’s vibrating through our heads. So you’ve got to get over the idea. And plus what you have to remember is business is people buying from people. Yeah, people want to do business with other people. And if you run your own business, you will invariably have to face to face meet that person. Hmm. And there’s therefore the idea that you can’t meet them at the very early stage of their customer journey. Yes, that is the awareness stage of, you know, who are you, what do you do? If your face is out there welcoming people to your website, telling people what you’re up to on social media, they’ll then attribute your face as someone they know and trust and recognise. Yeah. If you then couple that with your resource content, as well as, say the cornerstone, then you then have a digital presence, your personal brand, then aligning with your business brand, it becomes you. And if you run a personal business, if you run a face to face business, consultation, sports, massage therapy, if you’re a baker, if you’re an accountant, you cannot avoid working with people. You are a person. put yourself out there. We you and I met each other at a networking event. Yes, it was terrifying. But everyone at a networking event is going to people introducing themselves. Yes, all you’re doing to a camera is introducing yourself, not just to the 50 odd people in that networking room. You know, 50 million people, we’re on the internet. It’s putting your message out there. Now we go to networking events like for n, which we know, Louise is a big fan of every foreign networking or invariably over the network session, you have to stand up and do a 1010 second 32nd 62nd pitch. Wow, we’ve all worked on our elevator pitch. Essentially, recording your elevator pitch is no different to doing it in a room full of people. Yeah, in fact, it’s easier than doing it into a room full of people, because you’re not actually making eye contact with them. But for you to be looking at the camera, talking to the person watching through a video. It’s as powerful as being in the room with them. Because they’re choosing to watch you do that, in their personal time. Whether they’re scrolling through Facebook or, you know, looking through LinkedIn for some inspiration, and your face is there providing that inspiration.
We know we’re all human beings, unless you’ve developed the model where you never have to look at a person in the face ever again, in order to run your business. So a Tell me how you can do that. And be fine. You don’t have to be the face of your brand. But then at the same time, you can always think of a rounded branding, maybe you animate yourself. Now my colleague Chris is not a big fan of being on camera because ultimately, for three people who want to be filmmakers, a big lesson we’ve had to swallow is that we have to put ourselves out there, whether it’s networking, whether it’s going up on stage and talking at cinema, seminars, or running our workshops. We can’t avoid us being the face of our businesses, and we have to practice what we preach. like Chris has found a nice way around by being animated, or giving a voice to grab one of our cartoon characters in a series of tips videos, Louise has animated herself in some ice cream model videos. So there’s ways around even if you don’t want to be in the video. You can do voiceover and you can do voiceover to a slideshow, you can do voiceover to animation.
Claire Whittaker: You can do a podcast.
Mike Jelves: You can do a podcast, Claire, you could do a podcast,
Claire Whittaker: I could
Mike Jelves: You could, and then all of that is a way of getting your information out there getting out your bragging rights, getting what they bought. But then you can add all that with your bragging rights, which is other people saying great things. If you take the direct sales messages, and give it to your customers in the form of the bragging rights, flake and the wafer, you never have to talk about all the embarrassing stuff of all I’m really great. I’m really good. And all my customers think I’m fantastic. Let someone else do that. Yeah. You don’t worry about being the expert, sharing your knowledge, telling your story. Because there’s no wrong answer. When you’re telling your story. People aren’t going to say you’re wrong. When it’s your personal story. You could have a disagreement about maybe your point of view in terms of being an expert, but what does that do? that just creates discussion and discussion creates learning and discussion creates community, which in the age of digital presence and social media, we’re supposed to be having discussions with people and fostering community and fostering debate and sharing learning.
So there’s downsides to it. Excuse me. The downsides to it, you might have genuine issues with your physical appearance. And this came up in a in a workshop we held the weekend at Birkbeck College in their Berber teachers pioneer course. They’re always there are always ways around how you can present yourself digitally. But at the end of the day, your story is your story. And if you’re not happy being on camera at the beginning, fine. But you The more you get comfortable telling your story and having it recorded, the less trouble it is. And the second thing of course is within that is the technical knowledge. Yet people feel like they’re just not good enough. Well, first of all, everyone has the technical capability because everyone has a mobile phone. Yes smartphone with a camera on it. And what we’ve learned is if you can make people confident in their messaging. If you can sit down with them go, right you want to be in a video. So what do you want to say? What, who, what, why, where and when, think about those questions. Three of those, the who, the why, and the what, you can put those in a video, and doesn’t have to be more than two minutes long. And if you can go on camera and say, Hello, this is me. I’m going to be doing this great thing at this time. And I think you should come along because it can be really interested people are going to learn something. That’s that’s just your message. If you can understand and get people confident in their message, then they’re gonna be more confident on camera.
Claire Whittaker: And I think that’s a really good point. And, and it’s like you don’t have to start with something big. You don’t have to start with your Cornerstone big piece of content that’s going to go on to your website. You also these smaller stories or like little videos, quick clips, anything just to be start getting yourself present and building up your confidence. I mean, I do a lot of videos in my content where I talk for a few minutes and post them on LinkedIn. And people are like, how can you just do that? Well, I didn’t used to be able to, but I used to do a lot more on Instagram. And I just started with stories. So I just do like 30 seconds here. I’m making a coffee. Yeah, you get used to it.
Mike Jelves: And the age of social media stories Burn After 24 hours. Yeah, gone. No will ever see. I but if you put something out that’s more curated. Again, what’s really the life cycle on that bit of social media content? Yeah, it’s very limited. But when you practice that and you get confident in doing it, then you feel more comfortable sitting down. And then ultimately, what we run our dry video skills workshops, where we take people in a room, sit them down and say, right, let’s think about your messaging. We spend the first a good proportion of the workshop, thinking about the messaging. It might be something silly, like get an item out of your bag, you know, tell us about what why that set of headphones, why that pen? why these things are so important to you. And if you can make a little video about your pen or about your headphones, when you then start to apply the same thinking to your business activities, maybe you’ve got your business cards made, and you want to show them off. Maybe you’ve met someone fantastically inspirate inspiring you want to talk about, maybe you’ve been to a networking event, and you just want to, you know, talk about all the great things you’ve done.
When you understand what your messaging is, go, right, let’s think about the content and how to structure it. This is how you structure a film, when you make a video, it’s got a bit of you talking at the beginning. It’s got a bit of you talking at the end, and in the middle it shots of the thing happening. And you can then record a voiceover over that. So actually being on camera is limited to, you know, a third of the overall running time of any short video. Yeah, and then when you realise that will actually Yes, most of this time, I’m just talking in voiceover. I don’t even have to be on camera.
Then it becomes less scary. And then in the workshop, we’ll show you how to use your mobile phone with extra bits of kit or just the stuff you have in the box to kind of get confidence sheeting your own content. And then and then how to edit it. Because when you have, because when you have the editing skills, then you know, right, well actually I can do two or three takes of this.
And I can get as happy with it as I could be. And I’m not just having to go straight off the bat and do it live. But there’s a benefit to that as well.
Claire Whittaker: So I want to talk more about these workshops in a second. But before we move on, I just love to say to people who are listening and who are worried about video. I think one of the things and, you kind of talked about it, Mike, is that people are worried about standing up in front of others and kind of putting themselves out there. And I think one of the things that helped me most is the realisation that no one is really out to get you or very, very few people like no one is going to be watching your videos and be thinking Oh, why is her nose so wonky? This is my personal hang up. But why is her nose so wonky, like what she look like, what is she wearing.
Claire Whittaker: No one is thinking that you’re more likely to think, Oh my god, they’ve gone out there with that nose and they’re doing it.
Mike Jelves: Or they’re more likely to think, wow. She’s actually putting themselves herself out there. That’s really impressive. She was confident in what she’s doing. Yes. So certain about what she’s doing, even if I’m not, and most people aren’t. Just the presence of being able to put yourself out there, I think builds a lot of trust. It does.
Mike Jelves: Absolutely. Because you’re willing to put yourself in that sense of vulnerability. Exactly. And we all know in our personal lives, that the best relationships we have, are those people with whom you’re willing to be vulnerable and intimate with. Yes. And if you can display that humility, that vulnerability, that human side of you, then other humans will respond to that. And yes, people who want to attack you first of all a, do you want them as customers in the first place? No, and not the people you want to be? And if someone says something bad about you, the chances are that isn’t actually about you.
The problem is you’ve probably hit a nerve, or something they’ve lived with the whole life of prejudice, they’ve felt a struggle, they’ve gone through some difficulties they’ve had in their personal lives, that is then influenced that story they tell themselves, and that builds up their own self image issues and their own problems with, you know, interact with humans in general. And the situation that you’re in, has sparked their, their anger or their feedback or their jealousy. And with I’ve seen lots of examples online, where if you rather than shut those, shut down the trolls and say, you know, you’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong. It’s not like this. If you use opportunity to say, what’s happened in your life, it’s made you feel like this. Invariably, that backlash at you is just you know, the themes of the fire. Exactly at the bottom. It’s a deep a deeper issue that they’ve been experience or are experiencing in the moment of interacting with you. And it’s probably something unrelated to it that you haven’t actually been responsible for. And if you can take the time to find out why people why people feel that way, or what’s happened in their life, that have led them to have that reaction, we’re going to make a deeper connection with them than you probably would have done. Had, they just said something nice from the beginning. Because sometimes people just say nice things to be nice. And that’s really nice. It’s great to be kind. But it’s even harder and more important to be kind to people on the surface. don’t necessarily feel like they don’t appear to deserve it. So if you can kill them with kindness, and find out more about them and what’s led them to have that reaction. Chances are, it’s not really anything to do with you. That’s just been circumstantial. And then you never know what connection you can make through that deeper conversation.
Claire Whittaker: Indeed, and you never know what you’re gonna find out.
You never know what people are going through, and how your content can help them through and service and process things inside of things. So I know that everyone listening is going to be very excited to go and start implementing videos. And I’ve also kept you for a while, but I don’t want to leave without hearing more about these workshops of yours because they are a very interesting idea that I’ve not had anyone else doing. And also, I know we are living in Corona virus driven times. So to touch on how you’re kind of taking those online as well before we kind of head off and send people into the world to start creating more videos.
Mike Jelves: Certainly, well, it was kind of having done one workshop earlier on this year, we realised that we really do two separate things here.
Claire Whittaker: Just take a step back I think we’ve never actually said the YouTube workshops, other than we’ve started talking about them. So tell us about that.
Mike Jelves: Okay, so it’s really now evolved since we spoke before, into two separate kind of areas. The first thing, we are running seminars to understand the ice cream model. Yep. Because the ice cream model is something that on the surface, you could talk for five minutes already five hours. Because when you break it down into not just the different types of content, that then itself relates to what we call the capture points, and the model of the customer journey through your digital presence. And that’s why you could eat the ice cream model works as a content digital content marketing plan, per se, but the video expert really comes alive through YouTube. If you can understand then how the capture points work together. How then that relates to the sales flywheel. I’m sure many people listening here are familiar with sales funnels.
What we’ve realised is that they don’t really work anymore, because when you drop out the bottom, you don’t want to do that you want to bring that customer still within your captive audience. So how then that turns itself into a flywheel and how the different forms of ice cream model content fit within that marketing flywheel customer journey against digital presence in the form of other capture points. So we run seminars that kind of break that down, and help you understand and give you the tools to then go away and think about your own marketing content. As a result of that, we then have the practical skills workshops, the DIY video workshops, where once you’ve been inspired with all the ideas of content that you can make with video and why you should be doing that. You can then put them into practical exercises to shoot, plan or plan, shoot and edit your own digital social media content. It’s not to say that you’re going to be in a position to suddenly start making your own content and it’s not designed to replace professional filmmakers like us, but it does get you introduction to video gives you skills, you can go and start using it off your own back. And then when you see the benefit of video, hopefully then you’ll come to a professional video, or prefer a video a professional filmmaker, to have your content made. So it’s not suggesting we’re all going to end up being Steven Spielberg. It’s understanding that social media is there for us to make content for. And is there a reason why we can’t do it for ourselves? Yeah, it’s to get started with it. You only you’re only going to be proven works for your business if you do it yourself. Yeah, if we can help you in one hand, understand the concept behind digital content, video marketing, and then help you understand how you can then make your own digital video content for social media marketing. There’s nothing gonna stop you from doing that. Other than your own inherent obstacles that you live with every day anyway. And if you’ve been in the business, gosh, darn it, you’ve got to get over this pretty quickly anyway. Oh, indeed. Your story can be partly about that.
Claire Whittaker: So give me a high level overview of some of the things that you do in your workshop just to help people kind of understand.
Mike Jelves: Yep, well, first of all, we help well with the with the digital online course that’s coming out where you can literally take modules and learn about these things. The idea is that you learned about the ice cream model, you understand the different types of content, the preferred forms, that how long this video how long these videos should be, how often you should refresh them, kind of what platforms these content are best used. When you understand the four types of content on the platforms they’re used on, that allows you to understand the customer journey through your digital presence, your website, your SEO content, your social media channels, then you apply that to the customer journey, and how the content reinforces all the messages that customers want to find out a different stage on the journey. And then in the second latter parts of the course, and this is all designed so you can work with it at home, of course in these self-isolating times perhaps they’ll then be practical courses, they’ll show you how to use a particular mobile phone or smart tablet based video editing programme. And then also tips of how to shoot your own content as well. So it’s going to be a five or six part course. whereby you can literally take the ice cream model, boot camp, the high school, we’re working on names, like like ice cream boot camp, or like ice cream social. There. These are all conversations cream lab, ice cream lab, they got the ice cream kitchen. These are all things, essentially because
Claire Whittaker: Please everyone listening send answers on a postcard.
Mike Jelves: Your best ice cream related names.
I mean, certainly me because the workshops are great, but they’re restricted geographically. And I think because what we’re talking about is digital content. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t all be available in a digital form to anybody anywhere, and kind of start to understand this. And the hope is that by going through this course, you will understand all of the content you’ll need. And then arm yourself with the confidence and skills to start that by making it yourself.
Claire Whittaker: Awesome. And so I know that you’re going to send me the links to share with people and we’ll put them in the show notes for anyone who’s interested in kind of getting involved learning more about the workshops and the course when it comes out and so that they can share that and speak more with Mike and jelly fielder studios. So, yes, you’re going to do that?
Mike Jelves: Yep. Yeah, I mean, the main part of jellyfielder.tv. Yeah, it’s just, every time I say it out loud the name but you’re one of the first people to ask where the name comes.
Claire Whittaker: Maybe I should. Before we go, where does the name come from?
Mike Jelves: Well, oddly, this is something that we were given advice once for about what good what’s good story content. Start with your name. How did your business get its name? Jenny fielder’s is a portmanteau of gels. My name when you put into a spell check comes out as jealous. Yeah. And then my other business partner Chris Schofield. It’s literally gels and stuff.
Claire Whittaker: You know, the way that you were insisting that I asked that question, I thought the answer was gonna be more interesting.
Mike Jelves: No, sorry. It’s just, it’s just one of those businesses named after the people who started it.
Claire Whittaker: Lovely. Well, there you go. Now we know, that has been answered.
Mike Jelves: The burning question the listeners…
Claire Whittaker: There is nothing more I can really ask, now that we finally got an answer on that question.
Mike Jelves: That is the end of the chapter. Yes. The end of the episode, good point.
Claire Whittaker: Well, Mike I really enjoyed this conversation. And I know that I’ve learned a lot about video. And I’ve already thinking about content marketing and how I can apply some of the things that we’ve discussed to do content on my website better because I barely touch it. And also content on socials and everywhere else. So thank you so much for your time and for sharing that with me.
Mike Jelves: Thank you for sharing your time and your audience with me, Claire, I hope everyone has got something from it.
Claire Whittaker: Oh, I’m sure they will love and I’ll speak to you soon. Have a great day, Mike.
Mike Jelves: Thank you. Take care.