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How To Create Content That Connects Across Cultures - With Wesley Dean

succeed through speaking tom bailey Jan 27, 2022

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Wesley Dean.

Wesley Dean is a video strategist and the host behind the No Fat Cats podcast. He has over a decade of experience producing videos for non-profits, government organizations, churches and businesses. I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the world capturing beautiful images from the Andes mountains in Ecuador, the Savanna in Tanzania, or the beaches of The Philippines.

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Tom Bailey  00:07

Hello and welcome to succeed through speaking the place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results. Hello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in today's episode, I'll be getting to know Wesley Dean who is a video strategist and the host behind the no fat cats podcast. So once the Hello and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

Wesley Dean  00:38

Well, thanks for having me, Tom,

Tom Bailey  00:41

thank you so much for being here. And just out of interest whereabouts in the world are you right now.

Wesley Dean  00:45

So I'm in Alexandria, Virginia. So we're just across the river from Washington DC.

Tom Bailey  00:50

So, you know, that never been but absolutely somewhere that's on my bucket list at some point. And so as I share a little bit more about you before we do get started, so Wesley has over a decade of experience producing videos for nonprofits, government organizations, churches and businesses. And I've been fortunate enough to travel the world with his business. The title for today's episode is how to create content that connects across cultures. And where's this going to show us how to do that in just seven minutes? So question, one for you today is who are your ideal clients that you typically work with?

Wesley Dean  01:28

So for me, my ideal clients are those who come to me with a problem and are able to articulate what their goals are. So what my ideal what my home ideal client isn't, is a person who comes to me with some sort of version of a solution to what they think is their problem in their head and say, Hey, can you produce this video, I need a video that does this. And they try to explain in detail what that video looks like. Well, most often, unless they're in the video production space, their idea isn't really going to be spot on it. And in fact, usually, they need help going back and actually identifying what their problem is. And then we can identify is what you need a video, because in some cases, people don't have a clear message. And if you don't have a clear message for your marketing, through communication, having a video is just going to amplify noise and make it look pretty, but it's not actually going to help communicate anything. It's my ideal client is someone who comes to me with a problem, and helps me and together come up with a solution, which is often as has some sort of video component involved.

Tom Bailey  02:26

Absolutely nothing. You've touched on it there slightly, but what would you say is typically the biggest challenge that your clients face when it comes to this space?

Wesley Dean  02:35

So with video, there's two big the big issues, though. So the one is there is a big technical barrier where, you know, yes, you can produce a lot of content, you know, through zoom. And obviously, the pandemic has changed a lot of that. But for producing a lot of content, there is some sort of technical barrier terms of even understanding how the sound, how the editing, how the lighting, all that works. So there's the technical aspect, but then there's also just the content aspect of it, which is understanding what do you need to be producing? You know, what are you producing a video about? How are you helping answer people's problems? Like, what are the problems that your clients or the people you're working with face? And how do you help educate them? So there's those those are the two prong issues they have to deal with. And sometimes people can get really bogged down with the technical side of things that they can, you know, spend hours upon hours trying to fix, you know, some of the the technical aspects and lighting, what rate do I need, and all these things that don't really matter? When, in the end, what they need to be doing is working on how do you add value people's lives and solve their problems? Yeah,

Tom Bailey  03:39

I think those two parts that the technical side, and then the storytelling, they probably overwhelm people, and they end up not taking any action or not creating that content at all. So on that, what would you say is the biggest impact that these challenges can have on business owners and your clients.

Wesley Dean  03:54

So when it comes to impact, you know, there's two different ways because either you may be producing content, these either for social media, let's say you're just putting stuff out there. I mean, at one point, I literally just did a post where I wrote a picture of myself kind of explained that I was wanting to move into coaching, and I literally had someone respond, oh, I need this in my life, and I need your help and ended up leading to a project from from just one post. And so sometimes just getting out there and explaining, you know, what you want to do, being able to be present is one of the biggest impacts that can have. And the other side is, you know, once it comes to creating some of that stuff, making sure that you're really creating stuff that adds value because video in the content you make, it solves the problem of time and space. And I know all of us wish we could you know, travel more be in more places at once. But through video content, you know, even in writing, it allows you to do that. And so I think that is the biggest impact especially when you're we know when countries have locked downs and you never know when you can be when you know being able to create content that reaches people, you know where they're at, that lets you communicate that lets you impact somebody in a different way. timezone is a powerful thing when you can make it in a way that then enables you to communicate what you want to do and add value to people's lives.

Tom Bailey  05:06

Great, perfect. I think you made a clear point there. And you know, you don't have to get too overwhelmed, you can start small, just that one little post that you did, did create some traction, and yes, you got a project off the back of that. So feel free to start small if you're feeling a little bit overwhelmed right now. And so what would you say is one valuable, valuable piece of advice that you might give to somebody to really help them solve this challenge they've got around content or video storytelling,

Wesley Dean  05:31

you know, so I wouldn't say it's, it's worth it to start Yes, start small, don't be well, don't be afraid to, to create content, be able to do it on a regular basis. And, but the biggest thing is I want to I want to go all out and like you know, go in debt on things or like don't borrow money, like make sure that you have a very viable product, make sure that you're bringing in money because you should be able to if you're good at what you do, you should have the low hanging fruit that you should be able to take advantage of first Yeah, the even just writing your contacts telling them what you do, asking for referrals like that's the low hanging fruit be willing to do that first and then build produce content and stuff that's adds value even if it's just a simple zoom conversation recording on your computer be willing to do that first and then afterwards be starts once you start to you have a minimum viable product that you can create you can add value bringing in money then start to potentially look at outsourcing some of those things, bringing on somebody as a contractor who kind of helped don't hire a full time person to do that. There's plenty of people in the industry who are very willing to do work as a contract for you to help you know with editing the videos because eventually you know you're going to get to the spot where you're going to be tripping over the technical aspect of it so much that it's not going to be worth their time and you're going to be a way overpaid video editor for what you're doing. Yeah,

Tom Bailey  06:51

perfect some sound advice then the next question from me I guess is for those people that are listening to this message and they want to find out more and where can people go to they've got a website or have you got any kind of guides you can offer to help people get started?

Wesley Dean  07:04

Yeah, so you can definitely can go to Wesley Dean co we're also have a resource for as people are looking at producing content that connects internationally across cultures, you know, across language barriers, you can get some of the guides there, you can get some that stuff. But also to I just want to say you know one of the things that's not a resource itinerary thing, but was extremely helpful in my life was you can put a link to it, but it just it was a there's a book called Profit First by Mike McCalla wits. And I know there's a podcast recording, because I know that the biggest mistake that I did starting off was, you know, at one point, I hired someone who had way too soon, why shouldn't have hired into being I call it my $18,000 mistake, you know, because I was in a rush, I heard hired somebody getting six months, I was like, I haven't gotten the value from what I'm paying this person. And I and I had overhead that was way too high. So you know, I had some initial success kept things low. I thought, oh, in order to scale, I need an office building, and I need all this stuff. And so I raise all of my, you know, expenses, even though my revenue was growing, my expenses also grew. And so I think the biggest thing would happen is find a spot in life where you can do what you love, and be content with it. And live in an area where you can, you know, do what you love, but keep your expenses low and finding a spot where you can just be happy with life and what you do. I think for me, that has been the biggest thing is, over the years, I've gone through the stages of, of wanting to grow, seeing growth, loving the growth, and then just increase in my expenses. At the end of the day, I realized what I cared about was actually, yeah, it was great having all these things, but what I ended up carrying was about profit. And can I provide for my family? Can I pay my mortgage? Can I go on vacation? Can I save for my kids future and all those things that I wasn't I was putting on the backburner for the sake of growth. When really, especially if you're in you know, the consulting your marketing and working, get out, get a hang of those things and take care of yourself first and your business. And then once you have that solid foundation, then you can bring other people on, help them out and add add value to their lives.

Tom Bailey  09:04

Absolutely. Thanks so much for that. And what I'll do is I'll share links to the Wesley Dean co website and also that profit first book so people can find out more about both those. And so I feel like you've covered that one big mistake and questions. The last question for me today is, what is the one question that I should have asked you that will also bring some great value to our audience?

Wesley Dean  09:26

Yeah, so I guess I kind of touched on it there about that question of, you know, managing your your own business and having that insight. So the one question is like, what do you need? What would I What would you tell about a younger version of yourself? Yes. You know, I think that's the question, I would say, and for me, it was, it's that is, you know, some of the mistakes I made early on was, you know, I, you know, I took on more debt. Sometimes I took on a line of credit, you know, I'd have someone would would have a drone, they're flying it and they'd crash the drone that's like, oh, well, we need to get a new drone because that's what it takes to be successful and I put it on the card. Credit Card. Yeah. And then after a number of years, I realized, like, Man, I have like, I'm in debt like $70,000. Like, yeah, 70,000 US dollars from like business term loan or credit card debt. And I was just like, what, like, what am I doing? Like, how did I get to this? And it was just because of things that I assumed that I needed, or did I need I would borrow or I would, you know, take out student loans, so I could grow the business, you know, for the sake of that, but I think the biggest thing I would tell myself is find a way to stay lean. And if, I mean, in some cases, you have to borrow money, let's say you're setting up a manufacturing center, or, you know, you need a lot of overhead. But in a lot of cases, you really, there's not a lot of things that you have to have in order to be able to grow a kind of a service business. So that's what I would say is, stay lean as you can, and then take care of yourself and your business. And then out of that strength, you're gonna be able to add value to your clients without having to worry about, you know, putting yourself in the hole.

Tom Bailey  10:55

Absolutely some great advice for someone who's learned that the hard way,

Wesley Dean  10:58

you know, I just paid off that debt. And it felt great, but it's been a number of years. And so just know, I really enjoy not have any kind of debt business that I'm i and just just just like this past month.

Tom Bailey  11:10

Brilliant. Yeah, that's great. And that's, like you said, takes a lot of weight off your shoulder. And that almost gives you that freedom now to go and really focus on what you do best. So, Wesley, thank you so much again for your time, sir. I really appreciate you coming along and sharing such great value with our audience.

Wesley Dean  11:25

Well, thanks, Tom, and best luck. Thanks so much.