Today I have Kyle Lasota, who is an expert videographer and is making videos for some really big brands and doing it in his own amazing and unique style. We’re going to be talking about how he differentiated himself in his business and how he set himself apart to have a lot of success fast as a videographer. A trade and a skill and profession that can easily be commoditized, and I know a lot of people are running products or services that can be commoditized or can just be put in a long line of other competitors. And so, how do you differentiate yourself? How do you stand out and be unique in a crowded marketplace? We’re gonna learn a lot of different lessons from Kyle on how to do that today.
[4:23] How Kyle utilized his competition to start and grow his business
[7:31] The steps Kyle took to talk to and learn from his competition
[11:55] How a bad situation turned into an “aha” moment that propelled his business
[16:54] The book you MUST read if you are a service provider, consultant or creative
[17:24] The process Kyle uses to choose the people he wants to work with
[19:42] How to find out what you need to know about your customer(s)
[22:08] How to attract the right people to your business
[26:25] How to put yourself in a positive mindset
Kyle Lasota Information
Transcript of Podcast
Hello everyone and welcome to the Story Engine Podcast. It feels kinda strange saying this, but over to Kyle. Kyle, thanks for joining us today.
Hey. Good to be here, Kyle. Thanks for having me.
Yeah. So why don’t you get us started? You’re a brilliant videographer, you’ve had a lot of success with some really cool brands, why don’t you tell us about a few of the people you’ve worked with and how you got started in the world of videography and content creation?
Yeah. Well, it’s really funny actually, because I was an internet marketer. I was an online entrepreneur for three years doing a lot of copywriting and stuff like that, and I was sort of hovering in the ecosystem of the digital marketing space. Right before I transitioned into video I was running some media companies and I was writing headlines and Russell Brunson actually hired me to write some of his headlines for Expert Secrets. So if you know that book, “Find your message, build a tribe and change the world.” That was my headline. What would people pay you for your advice? And after a while, I just got really burnt out on writing headlines and I had basically written headlines every day for two and a half years. I started having a bunch of health issues and I started having a lot of challenges and I just wasn’t very happy. So I said, “I kinda have to make a change. I gotta find something that fulfills me.” And I always wanted to become a director or a filmmaker. I was always obsessed with the snowboarding videos and skateboarding videos and Red Bull. I just remember always feeling inspired after watching those videos and being like, “Wow! If I could do that, that would be really cool.”
So I picked up a camera and I started making videos and then things kind of went in a couple different directions but I remember struggling with this idea of … ’cause I was having health problems at the time. I needed to structure my business in a way that it needs to be I could do one project and be good for a while. So I needed to charge a lot. And I knew this guy who was in my space, in the internet marketing space, who was charging $100,000 for one video, plus a percentage of the funnel. And I looked at his videos and they weren’t crazy technical. I watched them and I remember feeling like, “I could crush that. If anything, I could do that better.” So I thought if I can charge 10% of what he’s charging and do videos for $10,000 a project, then I’d be in a good place and I could do one project a month and I could rock out.
So I somehow got in contact with him and I told him, “Look, man, I don’t wanna take over what you’re doing. I don’t wanna step on your toes, but can you help me? This is where I’m at, this is what I’m trying to do. I really appreciate what you’re doing and admire it. So how can I replicate something similar? At least just on a smaller level.” We talked for about 30 minutes and from that 30-minute conversation I walked away and just implemented everything he said. And he kinda gave me the keys to the kingdom and from there I went traveling around the world. I went to Malaysia, I went to Jamaica, I worked with Mind Valley. I recently worked with a guy named Paul Getter who runs the traffic for Ty Lopez and Grant Cardone and a bunch of huge names in the industry. I helped one of my clients generate $25 million dollars and paid out commissions using my video assets. I worked with Randy Grizzle, Closer Secrets. Helped him build and establish his brand. I’ve just been blessed. I have an amazing clientele and be able to see the world and be able to do what I love at the same time.
It all started with that decision of, “How can I create something that’s going to be …” In order to charge $10,000 for a video, there needs to be $10,000 worth of value or more. If not like double. So I started thinking about creation around forming my business and separating myself differently because of necessity. Yeah, that’s kind of how I got into it and those are some of the people that I’ve worked with.
So that’s a really, really impressive track record, and it’s doubly impressive to see how quickly you’ve been able to grow a business and align yourself with the very top influencers. And of course, you’ve been putting in a lot of work and even if you just changed your skill sets you still have the network and things. But, nevertheless, it’s an incredible story of growth. And I wanna keep talking about you but I think there is something that was very, very interesting about this story to me, that I think a lot of us could gain a lot from. And it’s a couple of questions around that guy doing the $100K videos. So I’m gonna stack a few on you and see if you can answer these well. Why do you think he said yes to helping you? What did you do in approaching him and your outreach? Did you try and do something special or do you think he was just being generous and kind of abundant?
Yeah, so he was in a place where he was no longer doing client work. I didn’t know this at the time, but he doesn’t do client work anymore. He does his own product launches ’cause he has all the marketing skills and the team to do it. So it actually wasn’t competition for him to sort of teach me this stuff and he’s a very, very generous individual. Like a good, good human being. And he cares deeply for humanity and for people so I think the way that I approached it, I had had someone introduce me who is very credible, which I think is a huge component. You should always come into, if you can, into a relationship or into an introduction from a third party who is highly established and credible. And then number two is, the approach that I took is, “Dude, I wanna help.” I didn’t come to him saying, “Hey, can you teach me everything you know?” I first said, “I just really appreciate what you’re doing.”
And I made the mistake early on when I was younger of, I remember there was this guy who was running this thing called the Global Accelerator Network. And I wanted to be an entrepreneur so bad and I just wanted a mentor. And I came to this guy and I got lunch with him and he’s like, “You’re the only undergrad I’ve ever met with.” And he’s like, “So what do you want?” I was like, “I just wanna learn! Can I be your assistant or can I just work under you? I’ll do it for free, I don’t care.” And he gave me such a good lesson, which was number one, “No, I’m not gonna give you a job and you’re not gonna be my assistant.” And he said, “Here’s the reason why. The way that you came to this meeting is you were looking to take something. You were looking to get something. You wanted to learn. But you need to switch your mindset on how you look at this relationship and you need to say how can I help?” Right?
And people are really receptive to that. So I went in with that and he asked me a couple questions about, “What do you really want?” And I said, “I wanna do $10K videos. I got this health situation going on.” When he asked me that he got some clarity and he’s like, “Okay, it would be a disservice to hire you to have you come in and help me because you already have the savvy business know-how. You’re ambitious but your situation is different. So you’re not just kid trying to get an apprenticeship, you need money. And you need security and stuff. And so instead I’ll give you these tools and these resources.”
And I was just being honest. I think that comes back to storytelling, which is what you’re all about and which I’m all about. That’s kind of what my niche is now, is I’m the storyteller and I just told him my story of what was going on and I was going through hard times. And I think people wanna help people. You know? In general. So I think that that’s part of it.
[bctt tweet=”Instead of asking for help, ask how you can help a potential client. -Kyle Lasota” username=”kylethegray”]
I think that’s really powerful and it’s such an important lesson for so many people to learn. I think yeah, especially for college students out there. One of my first books was just a book on helping college students make exactly these kind of connections, because there’s just that attitude of “How can I help?” is so rare. And it remains rare in the entrepreneurship realm. For every 100 random emails I get from people who I don’t know, maybe one or two of them are gonna be kind of, “How can I help?” based. Versus how can you help me? And it’s crucial to everything you wanna do, all the relationships you wanna build. And so I think that’s so, so powerful to learn. Especially as a creator and a storyteller out there. Now, one of the things you were talking about before we got on the call was the danger of being commoditized as a creator, and I’ve experienced this before. If I’ve approached people before with selling content marketing services, there’s one of two conversations that we can have.
There are the, “Well, is this going to be 12 blog posts a month or 13 blog posts a month?” which is commoditized versus, “Are you going to help me tell a story that drives results?” And these are kind of the two directions that you can go. So how did you avoid being commoditized? How did you position yourself as a premium storyteller and a premium video resource that helped you get the money you needed right away to be able to take care of yourself and more?
Yeah, yeah, so it happened out of sheer frustration. So I found myself in a position. I had done somewhere between 40 and 50 grand in sales for my video business in the first half of the year in 2017. And I had already traveled to Malaysia, and I was on top of the world, but I spent a bunch of money. Whether it was on supplements or just on traveling or just being on the road, it’s just expensive.
And so I spent a lot of money, and then, I found myself in this situation where I needed a project, and I was kind of feeling scarce when I took this project that I shouldn’t have taken. It was outside the scope of what I do, and it was compromising on my values and sort of what I signed up for to be as a videographer.
And it was pretty simple. It was just a course. It was filming a course, but there’s no creativity in that. There’s no whatever. The bottom line is I took a lower pay than I normally take, and I did something that I don’t like doing, and I had no desire to do it. I only did it for the money. And whenever you find yourself in that kind of situation, then it’s time to pause and reflect.
What happened is in the middle of filming this course, the client said, “Hey, can we review this?” I was like, “Yeah, absolutely.” They had been checking the screen the whole time as I was filming, so it’d be, “Oh, can I see the shot?” I’d turn the thing around, and they’d look at it and be like, “Oh, it looks awesome, great.”
So I brought the footage in the next day, and they looked at it, and they were like, “Oh, well, we can’t use this.” And we had already been filming for like four days, full eight- to 10-hour days. And I had put in a bunch of previous work before we even started filming for prepping and organization and all this different stuff.
And these people were friends of mine and very well respected in the community, and I still have a relationship with them to do this day, but basically, they said, “Yeah, we can’t use this. We don’t like how it looks,” and we had a disagreement basically. And I went home after that, and I didn’t allow them to pay me.
I said, “Look, you didn’t get the result that you wanted. You’re not happy with the thing, so I’m just not going take any money.” So now, I’m out whatever amount of money I was supposed to make, and I just lost a bunch of time where I could have been prospecting. I could have been creating. I could have been doing all these different activities to generate more business.
And now, I have less money than when I even started. So I then made a decision, that like that night, I was like, “I will never let this happen again.” The reason why I was in this situation was that of my inability to take responsibility for my business and communicate the value and the offer clearly to the ideal customer.
And so, a couple of weeks later, I flew out to Boise. I met with one of my clients, Randy Grizzle, and he helped me put together my offer, my irresistible offer, and it was this emotional selling video package. And I remember, it was like this aha moment.
He’s like, “Write out your tick sheet, which is like every itemized thing that the person’s going to get. And then, you need to put a number, a value on that, like a monetary value on each item, and why you’re justified in spending $7,500 or $10K on this video is because, okay, look. You get this, and you get this, and you get this.” And I had to sell myself on being able to charge that much.
And it wasn’t until I started seeing the return that people were making on my videos and started really believing in my ability to produce results that I was able to raise my belief level in myself. And then, I was able to sell at a higher price point.
Oh, man. That’s amazing, and what I love by that is really the intuition here or the deeper, is this person aligned with me because I know I’ve done it, and people listening have done it too. But we’ve all taken the client that we just needed that quick money, and it turns into a disaster. It seems almost like a required coming of age kind of stop that you need to make on the journey to make it as an entrepreneur.
Sure. Yeah, it’s a lesson that needs to be learned.
So I’m wondering now, how can we avoid these problems in the future, and how I want you to help us with that is tell me some qualities that you’ve used to define your ideal customer. How do you figure them out and maybe some ways that somebody else can take those same parameters and adapt them to what they’re doing?
Yeah, that’s such a loaded question because there’s so much that goes into that, but I’ll brush the surface. Number one, I would suggest to anyone, just pick up the book Built to Sell, okay?
That book will change your life if you’re a service provider. If you’re a consultant, if you have an agency, if you’re a creative, you need that book. You absolutely need that book. It will change your life and change your business. I read that book, and I immediately started making changes to my business.
The first thing that I did is I was like, “Okay, I’m not going to work with entrepreneurs who don’t have enough money to work with me.” Be like, if you’re charging high end, you’re doing high ticket, then you need people to be qualified, and you’re going have such a hard time in life and business if you’re not selling to the right people.
And so, I just realized I need to talk to … I needed to figure out where these people are at. I needed to go to where they are at, and I needed to make myself known. And the way I identified who I wanted to work with, I just looked at my past clients. I said, “Who is the most fun to work with and why?”
And what I identified is there was this guy, Alex, and he always paid me on time. He always paid me in full up front. He never asked for re-edits. I enjoyed spending time with him. He was like an older brother. He always shared wisdom with me. He flew me out, and he put me up in good places.
And I think you can just draw from that experience. If you don’t have past clients that you’ve really enjoyed working with, I would put together what I call is the ideal scene. So like what is the ideal scene of your business? Well, the customer plays a big part in that.
So if the ideal scene in your business is to have a stress-free organization, where you get to do work that you love and fulfills you, and you get to make an impact in your clients’ companies who are helping people in some way, shape or form, then all you have to do is start thinking about, okay, so if I’m looking for a company that’s doing above multiple six figures in revenue, and I can get excited about what they’re doing in the world, and I know that they’re the type of person that I would want to hang out with and have a beer with, then you can start narrowing it down.
And something that I did when I was a copywriter is I just had a customer avatar sheet, and there’s a book called The Ultimate Sales Letter identity, and if you go into that book, there is a customer profile and diagnosis sheet. And it has a list of questions, and the best thing to do would be to go find who you think your ideal customer is, and then, just interview them.
And that will give you a bunch of data on who this person really is, not who they appear to be but who they are inside truly, like what’s really running them. And the best piece of copywriting advice that I was given by Ogilvy, Ogilvy’s son. Do you know?
[bctt tweet=”Find who you think your ideal customer is and interview them. -Kyle Lasota” username=”kylethegray”]
Kyle Gray: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Yeah, yeah, so Ogilvy’s son told me … If you guys don’t know who Ogilvy is, he’s like the best … He’s like the godfather of direct response marketing and copywriting. And his son was at a Mastermind. I asked him, “What’s your research process like for gathering data on your customer?”
And he said, “I’ll find that person in real life. I’ll take them to a bar. I’ll buy them a bunch to drinks and get them drunk, and then, I’ll start asking questions that I’m genuinely interested in and curious about, and that will give you the best information ever.”
Wow. That sounds like a great strategy or at least a fun strategy that maybe could go awry sometimes, but I think-
Yeah. Use with caution.
… I would challenge people to do it, I bet, yeah. I would love to hear some stories about people trying that out. One thing that came to my mind as like a personal realization is there was a quick delineation of there were either clients that were win more clients, where they would be winning with me, with me or without me.
They’re doing awesome. They’re going to be fine, or the defibrillate clients, which are the people that come to you, and they say, “As soon as you do this thing, then everything’s going be working-“
“You’ve just got to … Yeah, save, you know?”
Just get my business’ heart pumping with your marketing magic. And so, I learned quickly, the defibrillate clients are the ones that you need to just run away from or at least be very careful in your offerings.
Yeah, so my buddy, Skip, said something really profound that stuck with me. He’s like, “I want to find people who I can just tap over the edge, right?” Like they’re at the top of a hill, and they just need a little push, just a little push, just to get to the very top. And the weird part about this is it’s like a little bit of chicken. What comes first, the chicken or the egg?
… take a little bit of chicken. What comes first, the chicken, or the egg?
In order for you to get in touch with those types of people, and attract them into your life and business, you need to be one of them. You need to be winning. You need to have high standards. You need to be crushing. You need to be organized. You need to vibrant and full of energy. You need to be happy and fulfilled. Right?
If you want happy and fulfilled customers, you need to be happy and fulfilled. Right? It’s like, how do you attract the right mate? You attract what you are. So, in order to up level, you need to up a level.
So, that’s kind of a hard pill to swallow. And sometimes, you’ll get clients who are, you know, like, I have clients who are crushing it in some areas of life, and where I’m like, totally lacking. But something that a good friend of mine, and a kind of a mentor of mine, his name’s Sammy. He does all the DJ-ing for all the biggest marketers and marketing events, masterminds, all this stuff. He said, “People will never remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
[bctt tweet=”People will never remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. -Sammy ” username=”kylethegray”]
So, let’s say you’re not at this stage of life where you’re able to really up-level like that, and you’re not beasting in all areas of your life. Maybe you’re a little depressed, or maybe you’re having some relationship issues, or maybe you’re kind of like, lethargic and out of shape. That’s okay as long as you can make people feel good. Right? And bring the hype, and bring the energy, and bring the positivity.
There’s this concept of wingmanship, like in the pickup industry of guys who go out together. And they say I’d rather have a guy who is really excited and positive than a guy who’s really just like, the best wingman in the world. Because the guy who is really excited and positive will always have fun, and people are … that’s contagious. And people just want to be around that.
And so, naturally, things are going to go bad. Always. Like, that’s just the cycle of life. Sometimes, good things happen. Sometimes, bad things happen. So, when those bad things come to arise, you want to be around people who are excited about life, and happy, and living in a good state, and positive, and feeding you with good emotions. So, if you can be that like, ball of joy, or someone else, then that will allow you to sort of shortcut that up leveling, and get around these people who may be in your perspective, out of reach, or above your status.
I think that’s great, and it’s so exciting because I think everything we’ve discussed is not necessarily like, a specific digital marketer tactic that we’ve been talking about. But it’s all essential for having a business that’s six figures, seven figures, and beyond. And one of the things that you’ve been talking about, and one of the things that we connected on very immediately, is you mentioned that you’ve had some personal health struggles, and I have, as well. And I think that mindset is so important in this phase. I had to spend a lot of time personally meditating, managing my mindset when my biology was not in a state that I could just automatically feel good. My biology was set against me, and I think you were in a very similar state.
One of the solutions you mentioned to not being commoditized and to really reach the audience that you deserve and deserves you, you need to get out of a scarcity mindset, and you just need to be able to work on your mindset. I’d love for you to just close this out with a little bit on how you manage your mindset, and how somebody can, no matter where they are. Whether they have a tough financial situation or health situation, or wherever they find themselves in, how can they move themselves towards a mindset that’s gotten the same results that you’ve gotten?
Yeah, absolutely. There’s a lot of like, bio hacks stuff that we could talk about, and then also just like, frameworks of thinking. So, in the morning I always, like clockwork, I meditate for at least 20 minutes, most of the time 30 minutes. And if I can squeeze in another session at the end of the day, or in the evening, I will.
In addition to that, I’ll do Wim Hof breathing, which is an absolute game changer, scientifically proven to change your body chemistry. It releases chemicals, the happy chemicals, neurotransmitters. It improves your hormone function, thyroid, and regulates your immune system, increases circulation, and you’re actually able to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, which was thought to be unable to control, but you actually can.
So, that was an absolute Godsend for me, was Wim Hof breathing, and you actually, when you do that correctly, you can’t live in a state of fear. It’s actually like, impossible to do it, and you feel at peace. And when you’re in a place of peace, you think clearer, you make better decisions, and you’re not operating out of fear.
In addition to that, a mindset that you can adopt, that was … oh, another bio hack. Get in the sun. If you get in the sun and get as much of your body in the sun for at least 20 minutes, it’s a game changer for your mood.
Another thing is, a lot of people are vitamin B deficient, which causes a lot of stress, and it’s hard to make good decisions and think clearly when you’re stressed out. So, the meditation, the Wim Hof, the sunlight, and the vitamin B is in conjunctional together, a really good way to manage your psychological stress and your emotional stress. Because a lot of this stuff is chemical. Even when you’re going through environmental stuff, whether it’s financial or relationships, or whatever it may be, a lot of it is chemical and physiological, and you can solve it through these biohacking techniques.
But a good mindset to have is that you never have a money problem, you have a people problem. Right? So, I know I can solve all my financial issues by getting around more people who have money. As soon as I get in direct communication, and circle of influence around people who have money, my problems go away.
Because as a service provider, if I’m around entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur actually, I can service them. And I know what I bring to the marketplace is super valuable. All arrogance and ego aside, I know my work looks really good, and I know that because people tell me that, not because I just believe it. But people tell me that all the time. So, when people see my work, and I’m around them, eventually at some point in time, a conversation’s going to come up about how we can work together.
That’s amazing. That’s powerful, and that’s the attitude and the mindset that will set you apart and will get you the kind of business and the kind of clients that you’re looking for. Kyle, thank you so much for sharing with us, and we’ve got to have you back on the show soon so we can talk about maybe some video specifics, but this was truly standing example of different ways that you can use storytelling in your own head when you’re dealing with your clients, and when you’re dealing with the world around you. That’s so powerful and so essential, so thank you so much for joining us today. Let us know where we can find you, and I definitely will have all of the links to the books you mentioned and the different breathing techniques, like Wim Hof, in the show notes.
Yeah, so, if you guys want to reach out to me, I’m on Facebook at Kyle Got Camera, and it’s the same on all social media. Instagram, I’ve heard I have a cool feed to follow. Check me out on Instagram @KyleGotCamera. That’s Kyle G-O-T Camera. And then, that’s my website too if you’re interested in working with me, KyleGotCamera.com
Kyle, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been a pleasure, and I’m sure we’ll be talking again soon.
Yeah, no problem, man. Thanks for having me.