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Pat Ferdinandi

Owned by a Parrot!

58

17

Bringing your story to life!

Your story needs to be shared. You have less than:

  • 3 seconds to convince someone to take notice of your story.
  • 8 seconds to convince someone to connect with your story.
  • 3 minutes to convince them to care enough to share your story.

Video is about bringing your story to life in a way that others take notice, want to connect, and eventually spread your shared story! 

Video is about building:

  • trust by sharing your knowledge.
  • a campfire for clients to share.
  • a loyal client community, one video at a time.

My story:

I truely believe that life is too short to spend it in one career. The universe is ever changing and full of opportunities. The door to my main career (IT) was closing. My side business, greeting cards (parrot themed), was evaporating. While looking for my next career, I was thinking about expanding into public speaking. While thinking it through, I came to the conclusion that no one would hire a speaker without seeing them present on YouTube. I set up the camera and developed my first webseries "how to get published" (

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL67BBABBB6F3F0748 ). 

.

Well, I fell in LOVE with video. Upon research and training, I developed a passion for understanding the power video has in telling a story that resinates.  I saw what one video did for a small non-profit (parrot rescue) and knew this success could be multiplied. Yes, it was Snowball, the dancing Cockatoo that convinced me that this was the path I wanted to take. 

Step One: My business model:

Ten sentence description:

Helping medium size businesses bring their story to life with:

  1. Explainer Video
  2. Webinars (G+ Hangouts & automated)
  3. Information Products (v-books, webseries, online training)

The client will get:

  1. more google juice
  2. build a tribe for their cause
  3. become the knowledge expert
  4. coaching on how best to connect with clients using video

My assets:

  1. Public Speaking knowledge (talking to the camera, script writing)
  2. Coaching ability (making you feel comfortable on camera)
  3. Business Analysis (ability to pull the connectable information from a client to strategize and formulate a story to tell)
  4. Animation building (ability to create a story without the face and voice of the client)

Hired Resources: Accountant, lawyer, graphic designers (when needed), voice over actors (when needed).

What's the hard part!

  1. Finding prospective clients!
  2. Selling clients!
  3. Prooving return on investment.

My uniqueness:

  • My combination of skillset: Business Strategy + Coaching + Presentation Skills + Animation.
  • My idea generating ability.
  • My focus on communicating what matters.
  • My friendly disposition.
  • Promoting their video through social media.

How am I going to repeat: 

  1. By creating one project at a time (here's my first animation project for a client:

    http://youtu.be/aoehiJ354TE .

  2. Continual follow up with each client to suggest promotion and building "google juice"
  3. Promoting each video through my network (twitter, blog, fb, G+). 
  4. Speaking opportunities about video's power
  5. Blog weekly about common objections to video (ie: fear of being on camera, video ideas)
  6. Find middle-market networking events.
  7. Create my own example of a video-course (just need an idea on what to create)

Freelancer vs Entrepreneur:

Freelancer, because I love what I do. I love creating. I love presenting. I love writing. I love animation & video. Most importantly, I love helping people!

So, how am I going to grow my business? 

  1. Create an experience around each project to have people talk about me and my work.
  2. Meet people in a friendly manner to illustrate my love of helping others succeed.
  3. Eventually get busy enough to partner with other quality animators.
  4. Eventually get busy enough to have a sales person (since that is my weakest ability)
  5. Eventually be able to afford all the business support staff (accountant, etc).

Funding my project:

Do you need money for this business? Operating expenses: PC, Software, travel, networking meetings, etc.

Does more money increase the chances you will reach positive cash flow? Profitability? Not really. Until I need a faster PC which is a few years away.

Do you hope to sell this company? No.

What is the gross margin of what you'll be selling? Still figuring that out as my product is a labor intensive project.

How long will it take you to reach scale? Potentially thinking it will take 10 paid clients to instigate word of mouth referrals.

Given all this, and what you learned in the video, what sort of funding are you seeking? No, not at this time.

Why would this investor choose your offering over all the others available? Only because the growth of video marketing is hitting a tipping point and they want to be part of it. 

Hiring:

Being a freelancer, I need more "partners" than employees. I joined a few networking groups in my field. I'm watching members, getting to know them. I'm seeing who has a talent I do not have and who are friendly and easy to work with. Those 3 traits are not as easy to find as one may think. I'm building connections with potential "partners" before I need them. My plan is to work with a person on a small project first. Maybe even give them a project that I'm not a perfect fit for. After seeing the results and talking to the client, I will add them to the "potential partner" list.

Where did the name "viditude" come from?

My talented and creative niece came up with the name Viditude. Her comment "every time I think of you I think of your positive attitude. I just added video to the front as that is what you want to do!"  It stuck!

The graphic was done by a graphic designer who knows me. I'm a parrot-lover! I'm a writer! (hence the quill at the end). I also make a point with emphasis in speaking and writing (hence the exlamation point). Luckily, the domain was available.

Why those colors when my Solomon Island Eclectus Parrot is red and blue? Not sure, but I do trust my friend the graphic designer. 

The tag line fits size wise and also came from the graphic designer. It's not loved by everyone. What are your thoughts?

Partnerships:

Wow, I thougth the above "potential partner" would answer the "partnerships" section. Nope. The biggest question is "who can I partner with to build my asset". I need to think about this and come back to this project later. Wow!

After sleeping on this question, I realize my idea of partnership process is still accurate for building the digital asset. The partnerships I need to add and build is what I'll call "the awareness" asset. How do I get the opportunity to do what I love for people and businesses who can benefit from what I do? Who can I partner with to help me in this area.

Cash Flow & Pricing:

Really showing my inner self on this one!

Cash Flow is standard, 50% up front. I've wavered to expect between 50% and 60% up front. That covers my cost ... when I'm in the peak of backlogged business. The concern is when you are in the valley period.  Back to forming the "awareness asset" concern.

Pricing is still a challenge. Pricing is many times tied to comfort in oneself. On the other end is the global pricing market. It wasn't until I researched and found a few articles to see what the "standard" price was that helped me really realize how cheap I was selling my services. That goes back to comfort in oneself. People don't buy the price (those who do are not my clients), they buy the story. My story is different. As this is not my first career, my past career adds a different flavor to my asset. People who buy my services want my digital asset PLUS the experience of me sharing my knowledge with those skills. I'm still on the lower end of eastern US pricing, but I'm no longer charging Phillipine pricing either.

I would really like to move to a "value-based" pricing that Alan Weiss talks about. About 10% of what the client will get in return (financially, knowledge, and emotionally) from my asset. Unfortunately, I still do not have a good idea of any of the ROI. I do believe I can do better than what Gary Vaynerchuk says "how do you determine the ROI of your mother?"

Finding your niche (UPDATED):

This has proven to be challenging. What I am assuming is that the "world view" of my potential clients is that video is necessary. I'm done trying to sell people that video will help their business grow.

The X axis: Knowledge

I have one axis. I call it "hand-holding". My skill has been to help those who do not have a clue on what to do but know they need to do it. The scale goes from: "just make what I tell you" to the end of "hold my hand and tell me what to do." What this does do is take me out of the marketers hand. My added value is understanding marketing, sales, business models, and such. The clients gravitate to me because they feel my enthusiasm and helpful nature. They trust and enjoy working with me. Marketers (many of them still withe the mad men attitude), hate to work with me because I challenge them with being helpful to their clients clients first and foremost. 

The Y axis: Storytelling

On one end is "use the standard story template". Through questions, determine the other end which expresses their differenciator in words their clients will relate to in a manner that fits the business personality.

The Z axis: Relationship (UPDATED)

Because over and over again, people tell me that I'm easy to work with, that I'm enthusiastic, and not geeklike arrogant. I wanted to create a different access that differenciates me from a one-hit freelancer to someone they can come back to for brainstorming about their business.

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