Our guest is P.J. Taei from Unscreen.TV. He's going to help us understand the world of video and why it's important for blue-collar companies to use it in their marketing.
You're going to learn from PJ what it takes to create a video that is easy to make and has a great impact on your business. It's easy for local businesses, especially in construction or manufacturing to say, "I don't need video for my business."
You may not need it, but you will want it. Here are some reasons why and then, listen to this podcast episode to find out why.
- Video will help you stand out from your competitors who aren't using it.
- Video will help you tell stories to your customers.
- Video is a great medium to answer questions your customers generally have. This allows you to pre-qualify potential customers before you ever have a conversation with them.
Narrator: Welcome to Cracking the Cash Flow Code where you'll learn what it takes to create enough cash to fill the four buckets of profit. You'll learn what it takes to have enough cash for a great lifestyle, have enough cash for when emergency strikes, fully fund a growth program, and fund your retirement program. When you do this, you will have a sale‑ready company that will allow you to keep or sell your business. This allows you to do what you want with your business, when you want, in the way you want.
In Cracking the Cash Flow Code, we focus on the four areas of business that let you take your successful business and make it economically and personally sustainable. Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he's learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning, and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable and allow you to be free of cash flow worries.
Josh Patrick: Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick and you're at Cracking the Cash Flow Code.
Today, my guest today is PJ Taei. He is the CEO, founder, and head cook and bottle washer at Uscreen.tv. And I'm sure he'll tell us about what that is as we go into the show today. But he is an expert on video. One of the things which I think is really kind of an important thing for people to do is to use video no matter what type of business they have. So, let's bring PJ on and we'll start the conversation on why you need video in your life.
Hey, PJ. How are you today?
PJ: All right. Thank you for having me.
Josh: My pleasure.
So, let's start off with the obvious question. I own a blue‑collar business. I'm out there swinging the hammer, building houses, or putting up drywall, or doing electrical contracting work. Why do I need video in my life?
PJ: Absolutely. I think the simple thing about video is that it tells a story, so anyone can use video. We see it all the time now in social media. We're seeing it on TikTok, Instagram. It's only going to get more popular.
So, for one, let me give you a few examples. We got a real estate agent who, during the pandemic, can't see all their customers or the customer’s a little unwilling to come out to every single tour. You can simply create and shoot a video, do a home tour, send them a clip of that video.
Same thing goes, if you're building a home, you want to show potential clients or your potential buyer, the type of fireplace you're putting in, or the granite, or you're out there shopping. You can simply take a clip, put it on your social media for everyone to see or that specific customer. It just tells a story. It really does. And our communication is going to be beyond just phone calls and text and video makes that easier.
Josh: Every time I mention the word video to anybody who's in a blue‑collar business, they always push back at me and say, “Okay. Well, maybe I need to use it but it's too expensive and too hard to do.” What would you say to somebody they came back with that comment to you?
PJ: I think it's a fair comment. It's valid. Let's break each one down. First, too hard to do. For me, that was definitely the case. I think video, yes, has a little bit higher on the barrier of entry rather than picking up the phone, speaking to someone, or sending a text, right? For that reason, it's also so much more valuable, right? A video’s worth a thousand pictures per se.
But once you figure it out and get comfortable shooting video, even if it's super casual with your iPhone, you actually really start to enjoy it and it clicks. It takes a few times, a few practice sessions, even for me, to get comfortable being in front of the camera speaking. But once you get it, it's like bullseye. After that, it just flows. It's like literally riding a bicycle. When you get it, you're like, “What was I thinking? This is great.” I really compare it to that. I think that's really the main thing. Once you figure it out, it's easy.
Now, expensive‑wise. To be honest, it's not expensive. We have iPhones. We have Android phones. That's all you need to shoot video. Now, if you want to make it stable, you put it on a tripod. If you want to have better audio, you connect a little lapel mic, we call it. It plugs in. They’re like 40 bucks, 30 bucks, 20 bucks.
The person or individual or anyone who might say it's expensive is because you're comparing it to production‑grade content which is often what we see up on TV or some of the popular videos on YouTube but they've been doing it for a long time. Your video doesn't have to be at that grade. It doesn't need to be Hollywood grade which then requires studio lights and all that good stuff.
I don't even shoot videos like that. I do have a big light behind me, as you see, but I just got that. For the last three years, I've never used that thing. I just got it three weeks ago. You don't have to have the best equipment to create good videos. You simply use the most powerful, feature‑full device that we hold in our pocket every day. Actually, I heard-- I forgot who it was. It was an astronaut who said this recently. One of the-- the last guy who was on the moon. I forgot his name. I'm sorry. He said that the phone in our pocket is stronger than the shuttle was 34 years ago. It's true. So, that’s--
Josh: Oh, way stronger-- way, way, way, way stronger.
PJ: Exactly. So that's what you use to capture really good video on life.
Josh: Yeah, I tell people, our first computer we bought in 1978 or 1980, ’78 was our first PC and we bought our first mini‑computer in 1980. It costs $57,000, at 256 kilobits of memory and 20 megabytes of hard drive storage and it cost $56,000 so--.
Josh: A little bit of progress along the way.
PJ: That’s right.
Josh: Okay. So, I've shot the video. That's great. And, now, how do I make it so it’s going to look sort of reasonable and not spend too much time on that?
PJ: Once you create that video, it's really easy to publish and distribute. It really is. So, polishing it, editing it, simple tools within the phone that do that. You can just clip the practice sessions, clip the first 10 seconds, hit finish. Now, you have a polished video. It's a matter of where you want to upload it. Do you simply want to email it to a friend? Do you want to put it on your Instagram? That simple.
Josh: So, there's all these sort of instant video programs out there. I don't know. Yours may be one of them as a matter of fact. I'm not sure. But, you know, things like Loom or-- I can't think of the other ones around there. That seems to me to be a pretty easy way to get started because you're sitting in front of a computer, most computers have webcams, you can record this easy video and just practice sending it to your friends until you get comfortable in front of the camera. Does that make sense?
PJ: You’re absolutely, actually, making a really good point. To be honest, we use a lot of Loom here. And then there's another one that, when a customer joins our platform, we send them a video introducing them, or introducing ourselves to the new customer. We use a tool called BombBomb, very similar concept, super easy to create videos, and I absolutely recommend using those tools to start out.
Josh: Okay. So, another thing that people often will say to me, they say, “Well, that's great. I mean, I can do a video but what am I supposed to say?”
PJ: Yeah. And I would start out with--
All right. First, is it personal or is it for work? For example, if you're building a home, putting up drywall, shopping for granite. What do you say? You simply pick up the phone, start shooting video, and say, “Hey, this is the reason why I chose this granite and not the other one. These are why the reasons I like this color.” I would simply visualize what I'm thinking and talk it out. You're going to see it's going to flow and you're going to get feedback quickly.
And you don't always have to upload all those videos right away. What you could do is just send them to a friend and just kind of get that feedback before you start to post it on social media.
Josh: Would you recommend people just talk or should they script out what they're going to say first and why?
PJ: Good question. I think scripting out is always good. But scripting out makes it hard because you have to read exactly what you're going to do. So, I think just making simple bullet points is a great way to start.
Josh: Okay. And the other thing that I would recommend is you want to be very mindful of what I call filler sounds like um, or interesting. There's some stuff I've been seeing in the news recently where people have developed what I call vocal tics. They become distracting from what you're trying to say because the truth is, at least in my experience with video, the audio portion is every bit, if not, more important than the video.
PJ: Good point.
Audio is very important. No one likes static and bad audio. I think it's absolutely important to make sure you have good audio because it makes the viewing experience a lot more pleasing for the other side.
Josh: Tell me, what is it that Uscreen actually does?
PJ: So, our platform is for someone who wants to then sell those videos.
PJ: We think health and wellness or someone who wants to teach something - English lessons, or teach courses on construction, anything someone's willing to teach that they want to sell - an online course, a workout. And you might be thinking, “Who pays for content?” It's kind of like building your own Netflix. You pay for Netflix, right? You're paying for Spotify. You're going to end up paying for people that you want to watch content from. It's convenience and it's premium content.
Josh: Now, that seems to be a relatively new phenomenon we're seeing. I mean, there's paid courses, obviously, where a whole bunch of stuff is behind some sort of a paywall but I'm assuming you're selling one video at a time.
PJ: Not always. Most sell subscriptions but a lot of people do sell an individual video. So, just think of it as a subscription. So, like kind of like building your own Netflix. That's what the majority do.
Josh: Would it makes sense for somebody in, say, the construction business to put together some sort of a course on how to hire a contractor?
PJ: It absolutely makes sense. All types of expertise that you have, people are willing to pay for. Here is how you pick the right house to do renovations on. Here is how you find suppliers. You can create a series of content and sell that. You can build an academy. You can sell a course. You could sell an individual video. All those options are possible.
Josh: You just touched on something which I want to talk about a bit because I think this is really important for manufacturers that might be listening is that, if you're a manufacturer and you have a product that's sort of interesting and different in your marketplace, to learn about how to use their product properly, you might want to start a university and give people certifications for learning about whatever it is that you're selling.
You know, I have a client who owns a soap factory. Soap, believe it or not, is a pretty complicated thing. I mean, there's a lot that goes into building a bar of soap or that bottle of soap that you buy. And I've recommended to this company that they form a university, make a video series, and don't even charge for it. I mean, they can charge for it. It makes your customers really sticky. And they will take that little certification badge that you give them at the end and put it in their email address. And every time they send an email out, they're advertising whatever it is that you do. Does that make sense to you?
PJ: Absolutely. You're exactly on the right track. That's exactly an option.
Josh: You know, I'm using the-- there's a company called HubSpot which, if you're in the online world, you certainly know who they are. But, if you're not, they are probably one of the largest platforms out there for an all‑in‑one marketing system. And one of the ways that they got to where they were is they have tons and I mean tons of online courses that they either sell or give away. And when you finish it, you get to have a little badge that you can put on your email, or your website, or wherever else you want to do it. And I believe that's one of the reasons they’ve become as big as they’ve become.
PJ: That's it. You're right about that. And I think the all‑in‑one thing that you said is something we focus on. We try and make an all‑in‑one platform that really makes things easier for everybody and it's a one‑stop shop. That definitely makes a difference.
Josh: Yeah, this is the thing that I'm going through right now is that we're looking for a learning system for our new resource center we're building. And the choices are absolutely mind boggling out there. So, if you're going to choose a platform, whether it's yours or somebody else's, what kind of things should people be looking for, if they're they want to do that?
PJ: Yeah, absolutely. There are so many options, you’re right, especially for online courses. Also, many different software but I do believe there is a specific expertise that every software has to and that's really important. Just like people, software can't do everything. Every good software has a specific purpose so you have to figure out what do you need done, compare the top three options, and then pick the right choice.
Josh: So how do you find out what the top three options are?
PJ: I think it really comes down to, “Okay, what reviews do they have? How reliable is the software? Is it cost effective? And, most importantly, does it meet the features that I need? Does it have those features?”
Josh: Well, that’s where the whole-- the conundrum is, is that “Okay. Here's what I want my software to do.” And I've written down a list of all the things I want it to do. Once I get my list, how do I go about finding software platforms that will do what I need or as close as I possibly can get?
PJ: Absolutely. I think one of the keyways is to use a search engine like Google. Start typing in software for construction, software for construction management, software for construction project management, and click the top three links for each one of those keywords. The site comes up, “Does it look professional? Do they have a contact form? Do they have any examples I can see? Do they have a demo?” You obviously have to spend a few hours a time kind of going through these but, as you compare apples to apples between the software, you'll see that, “Wow. Some of them are really different. They say the same thing but they actually have different purposes.” That helps you to kind of pick the right software then.
Josh: What do you think the future of video’s going to be? I mean, right now, everyone's saying, you’ve got to do video, you’ve got to do video, you’ve got to do video. At some point, everyone's going to be doing video or everyone's going to do video or is doing video. So, what happens after that?
PJ: Yeah, that's a good question. I think there's just going to be a lot more noise, right? Let me explain what I mean. There's going to be so much video which means it's a noisy world, right? So many people have video and that noise is just what I mean is saturation.
And what will happen then is a lot of people say, right, like it's consolidation. But on an individual level of video, I don't think it's going to be a consolidation. I think what will happen is, the good ones will stand out. So, there's going to be 90% of the average video maker, maybe even like me, who has a small YouTube channel. But then, there's a good 10%, 15%, 20% of really, really good content. So, the good ones will stand out.
Josh: What makes for good content? That's a good place to go right there. I'm a little curious.
PJ: I think it's really authenticity and its value. What you are offering in that video makes a big difference, right? What value. That definitely makes a difference. It's what you're offering, and what value do you get when someone watches that video, right? And you're standing out. You have a certain expertise. It definitely makes a difference.
Josh: So, I have a theory around this and I think it's really important. One of the things I do, when I connect with people on LinkedIn, is I always check out their websites. And the reason I do that is I want to find out (a) what they do but (b) what's the message they’re saying to their customers. And the problem I see, and I see the same problem in videos, is the people making the videos make themselves into the hero of the video. Your customers could care less if you're the hero. In fact, they don't want you to be the hero. They want you to help them get to a solution for a problem or help them take good care of an opportunity they're not having.
So, the thing you want to be thinking about, in my opinion and I'm interested in yours on this, is I think it's really important that when you're talking about videos, you need to be talking about “what is the problem that I solve?” and you really need to focus on that.
PJ: I think that's a very valid point. And that's true for everything we do in business and every venture. “What is it that I'm good at? What value am I providing? What am I solving?” Right. I think, I remind myself-- or I need to remind myself of that all the time and I'll actually create better content and business, in general.
Josh: Yeah. Like, for example, if you, you know, have a company that replaces windows, don't talk about the type of windows that you have and don't talk about the technical stuff that the windows will do. Tell your customers the problem that your company solves for them by installing new windows because, if someone's calling you for a new window, they probably have a window problem. And I don't think they especially care whether it's, you know, one company versus another. I think they care about, “What problem does using your company going to solve for me? Are you going to leave my house in a mess? Is the window going to last for more than 10 years? What's it going to do as far as keeping the cold out?” I don't care about any of the technical stuff. I just care about what it’s going to do to solve my problem. And as you're doing videos, it's really, really important.
I have one more question for you. Length of video. How long should your videos be?
PJ: Length of video absolutely depends on what is it that you're doing, right. We have something that we call mini‑courses - small videos that basically teach you something, They're going to be anywhere from three to five minutes. And then, you have length of videos that are much longer, if you're teaching something that requires a lot more education.
I think, generally speaking, there is so much content out there. I personally don't like really long videos, more than 10 minutes, if I'm watching something. I watch at nighttime. If I'm watching Netflix or something on YouTube, a lot of the educational content I like on YouTube Wall Street, CNBC is short clips, so 10 minutes. 10 minutes and less, I think is a very good sweet spot.
Josh: Yeah. And I think I think you're absolutely right about that, PJ. I think what you also need to do, if you have a topic that requires 45 minutes or an hour, and there are lots of topics that do require that amount of time, you need to break them into smaller pieces. Meaning, if you take a one‑hour video and you make it into 10 six‑minute videos, you're going to have a lot more engagement and people watching than if you do one video that's an hour long, that make sense?
PJ: Yeah, absolutely. It does. I think you're making a really good point. I think splitting it offers value and it's easy to consume.
Hey, PJ. Unfortunately, we are out of time so I'm going to bet some people listening today, or watching on YouTube, or watching on Facebook might want to get a hold of you. So, if they did, how would they go about doing that?
PJ: Easy. Find me on LinkedIn, PJTaei, or @uscreentv is our company's social channel. And it's the letter U and then screentv.
And I have two things I would like you to do. I only should ask for one but I'm going to ask for two because I'm greedy. The first is please, please, please, please, please go in, wherever you're listening to this podcast, give us an honest rating and review. If you love the show, tell us you love it. If you hate it, tell us you hate it but tell me why. And I would really, really appreciate it. That helps with getting the word out. And it helps when people are searching. All those things are really important for us.
And the second thing I would like to offer to you is, years ago, I came up with this thing. It was kind of a joke when I first started it, but it is less than a joke today. And we have this thing called the periodic table of business elements. It has a bunch of strategies and tactics that you can do to make your business economically and personally sustainable which is something I think most business owners want. It's easy to get. You go to www.stage2planning.com/periodic. That's www.stage2planning.com/periodic.
This is Josh Patrick. You're with PJ Taei. We're at Cracking the Cash Flow Code. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.
Narrator: You've been listening to Cracking the Cash Flow Code where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around 100 years from now?”
If you've liked what you've heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802-846-1264 extension 102, or visit us on our website at www.sustainablebusiness.co, or you can send Josh an email at email@example.com.
Thanks for listening and we hope to see you at Cracking the Cash Flow Code in the near future.