Storytelling & Content Marketing With Geoffrey Klein

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today we have Geoffrey Klein. Geoffrey, welcome.

Thanks, Thomas, lovely to be here.

Lovely to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Sure, I prefer myself as the story guy, because that’s kind of the umbrella of everything that I do and believe. But I’m a visual content producer. So I create, I produce visual content, which would be animation, video graphics. I’ve got a team of very talented creatives that bring these things to life. I’m also an educator and an adjunct professor. Ted X speaker and a podcaster myself.

So there you go, thank you for the introduction. you did touch on something where   you know, the moment I saw your profile and so you were a Ted X speaker. I was like, first thing I’m gonna do is go immediately to the Ted X talk and watch that. Have you got any thoughts on watching it back now?

It’s, you know, an evolution in terms of my, you know – so my Ted X was on the power story, making sure you have one that matters to your audience and the journey is it continues in terms of my kind of worldview about the best way to communicate with people and the effectiveness and the ways to do it. But looking back at a couple things that I’m happy about. one, the woman who ran the Ted X cons, Lynn Gansler – Lisa, I really should get that right – she was awesome because she took what I had as a kind of, you know, idea, I’ve done presentations and I kind of had a general idea of what I would do, and she basically said open to making it better and I said yes, and so she was, you know, as a coach and get all the different techniques conferences work differently. But she took what I had, which I thought was good and I think made it much, much better. Uh, the other thing that was I practiced bunch and I was happy that the actual recording was a pretty good take of the ones I had done previously. So it’s nice when you’re being recorded that I didn’t, I didn’t stumble too much on and the audience was, you know, I think with any presentation you’re giving a keynote and you have an everywhere, you’re hoping someone laughs and you get to laugh then kind of be the sigh of relief.

Okay. I haven’t got dead air crickets when you say something, you’re hoping for a response, whatever. Maybe you get a laugh when you’re not supposed to, that that has happened. Not, not the text. I actually got to laugh in a place I wasn’t expecting like I was happy with it, but I hadn’t thought it wasn’t really a joke, it was just a term that people found I think interesting. so yeah, the unexpected is always fun. Have you got any tips for others on if let’s say someone was interested in doing a Ted X talk, what they should do and what your advice is? Yeah, I mean I think again one of things is being open to being coached, you know, my mother is an executive coach, my wife is a coach, I’m surrounded by I have a coach and I think we have to realise, you know, all these people on stage when you see a really good presenter, you have to recognise that and they don’t like their natural speaker, they’re really good, they may have talent, natural talent, but they also work hard of it and the more hard work you put in the better will be, you know, I say this to my kids, you know you want to get to something out of practice it.

So my advice is kind of simple in terms of whatever you get comfortable with the material so that you can really own it. Practice lots, get feedback from others. and specifically if you’re looking to do it, you know, you should have something that you feel is unique and powerful that the message you want to get out. and I think again, having passion for what you’re talking about is really important because it comes across, you know, and I think people see that when I talk about visual content, people see that. I like that because I really am into when I talk about story and the power of it. I talk about it in a certain way because I really believe it. And so I think it’s important in business and Ted especially to believe what you’re saying. I think that it goes to one of my principles about telling stories, which is you have to be genuine. You know, authenticity is really important. and then in terms of trying to do, and I have a friend who tried five or six times to do one, kept they kept saying no, and she tried and she eventually got one and she did it.

Um you know, I was fortunate, I applied for one and I went through the process and was selected. but I think again, if it’s something you really want to do, just keep their lots of TX conferences. and I think just, you know, keep clarifying and make sure you have the focus of what it is you want to say and why? Okay, thank you for that. You’ve touched upon content marketing. I think people use no certain terms in different ways, so what’s content marketing to you? And while there’s some of the principles you’d like to apply to when you produce content marketing for me, you know, content marketing is the most important thing you do as a business when you’re trying to attract and make people aware of what you do. But kind of marketing is sharing if you’re doing it right, is sharing relevant, valuable content that’s going to resonate with a very specific audience that you’re trying to reach.

And so in terms of the strategy and tactics for doing it, It all goes down. This is a principle I say about telling good stories, but it fits in with telling, you know, sharing good content, which is you have to start with what I call the 11th commandment. And the 11th commandment is know the audience. So I think in the beginning of no, whenever you’re thinking about the strategy for how you’re going to market, and in particular content, who are you trying to reach? Who’s that audience? What do you know about them? What do they care about? Because if you try and create content and share it and you don’t know your audience, you may not, you may be wasting your time and maybe just spinning your wheels because unless you know what’s going to matter to them, they’re not going to pay attention. So I think the first principle is always to understand who you’re trying to reach, a lot of people when asked who’s your audience respond well, anybody, everybody, and that may or may not be true, but I can tell you if that’s the answer is really hard and really expensive trying to reach the world.

And one of the beauties of digital marketing and social media marketing that is you can now target, you know, the audiences have already been segmented into these nice little groups for you, you just have to identify them and then reach out to them in that way. So I think again, it’s about understanding who your audience is, understanding that, you know, you may have a couple of different audiences, but you need to focus on one, create content that’s going to resonate to them and start there. So, I mean, I think you may have touched upon my next question because when you do something on a daily basis you tend to come across regular misconceptions. So you may have just given me one anyway, but in addition to the one you just mentioned around, I produce content for everyone. What are the, what the misconceptions around content marketing? that has to be perfect, and that’s a misconception is like, oh I shouldn’t bother because I can’t afford to hire production company and using my iPhone isn’t good enough. I think again, being authentic is way more important than being published.

So a lot of people don’t start sharing because they want everything to look amazing. And I think there’s a threshold of quality that you want to reach and there are times for certain kinds of content in terms of, you know, if you’re gonna have a brand video for your website, you might want to do that, hire someone to do that. But if you’re doing a social media post, getting a tripod in your iPhone is okay, and I think people paralyse themselves, but you know, the expression is, you know that perfection is the enemy of the done or the good, and I believe that that a lot of people stop sharing because they’re afraid it’s not going to be good enough. And so when you call that imposter syndrome or just you know, higher standards than realistic. Again, I think as long as you’re passionate and genuine about what it is you’re sharing and you’re being clear about what value you’re bringing, then then doesn’t it doesn’t need to be perfect and related to that, I think is the fact that I started with know your audience.

So a lot of misconceptions are that I think people share content and focus on how they’re so great. you know, our company won this award and we’re the best at this and that’s that and I know people and I said unfortunately people don’t care about what you do, like what do you mean? Like people don’t care what you do, they always care about what you can do for them. And so again, it all comes back to that audience piece which is making sure that whatever value you’re giving to someone they want or need or maybe they don’t know it, but you know, and so when I create my content, I’m always talking about trying to create an entertainment, so it’s, you know, some value gonna learn something, you’re gonna maybe hopefully smile, you know, that’s my goal when I share, you know, I’m doing this Instagram rules at the moment, I’m sharing stats and things about the power, visual, or I’m sharing a little cute animations and the idea is that I’m giving you something that hopefully will make you think and learn something.

But doing it in a way that’s you know, easy on the eyes as it were. Well, you touched upon standards and I wanted to ask you about, I think in your profile, you mentioned working on major motion pictures at Paramount and MGM, I would imagine there’s some good stories there. So have you got anything to share at all? I signed lots of non-disclosure agreements. I’ll share a few things. I’ll share a story that was going to say that’s an end to that conversation that no, no, I haven’t, I’ve been in the business for a long time and uh, I’m not, my fear of retribution is just not there. So, I worked on a lot of different movies and I think, you know, there’s an element of the studio system which I worked in where there are a lot of cooks in that kitchen and I’ll share the story that I find really fascinating. So you know, I worked in a talent agency in the story department where I read lots of scripts and I read a lot of bad scripts and then when I worked at paramount, you know one of the I worked for the head of production and so every script that was considered for purchase came into our office.

Now these scripts have already made it through the funnel, so they have an agent, you know, and I think people don’t recognise it percent. The likelihood of getting a movie made let alone sold is so small because you have to get through a lot of gatekeepers to actually get it to the hands of the studio where they go, okay, let me read to the producer to have to get to an agent and then usually producer and then to the studio itself and everyone has to be willing to kind of put it forward. But as soon as the script is purchased by a studio 90% of the time, what’s the first in the studio? Do they rewrite it? So I’ve seen scripts that have had bidding wars to buy. And literally the first thing they do is they do a new draft. So even if it’s the writer themselves that sold it because it could be a new writer where I can understand maybe they are. But even if it’s a known writer, when they do the deal to buy the script, the deal almost always includes another draft before they even started.

So, you know, when people are critical of movies and they go, oh my God, well, sometimes part of the challenge of having a script, it’s called Europe you’ve had, and if you look at the credits, you’ll say, you know, john and Mary worked on it and then steven worked on it and then oh Joey worked on it and the stories by this other guy. And so it’s hard, I think, to sometimes, and I and I gave a lot of credit to the producers and the studio executives to try and keep it on focused on and make the best, you know, piece of content that can. My boss, I was really fortunate when I worked at paramount, my boss had gone to film school, had actually directed the movie, which is very rare for executives. and so she understood and was always really focused on making the best story. And she really was from that. And sometimes she had challenges because of all those cooks in the kitchen and budgets and schedules.

Because you have, you know, there was a unit production manager, the guy basically the producers on set and he talked he was talking to us and said let me tell you the difference between an artist and a craftsman – and I love this description- he said the artist is someone who just goes and paints whatever they want, wherever they want, whatever Medi thanks for replying. And so they have no boundaries, whereas a craftsman has parameters. So even Michelangelo and he did the Sistine Chapel, he only had so much distance from that wall and that wall and this wall and this wall and by having those parameters, he had to craft something and he was actually being hired to do it. So he had to make sure that there’s someone else that he was doing it for. So unlike an artist to true artist who can just is there you know spirit and anyone who works in marketing production, you know is doing within parameters of budget time. Other people’s commercial city, you know trying to make a movie that’s going to make money is as well as making a good movie are two different things.

And I worked on a movie where I think it was a sequel. I think it was going so great for variety of reasons and they just threw money at you know more explosions or more than   and until they got it good enough and it came out fine. And I think again one of the producers stepped in to really help make it that way. I’ll tell you one last story that I love which is so I had a friend who is an 80 and this is a director. They worked on a big budget movie. I forget the name of the director which I probably shouldn’t use anyway, but there is a huge soundstage with you know like it had a tank and it was because it was on the water and the director is like up on a platform and has a bullhorn and so it’s the beginning of the day And he gets on the Bullhorn, he says, let’s see how we can spend $250,000 today. That was just you know, rally cry to the people below.

And I think it was a good way of being like listen we’re spending a lot of money here, let’s get it right, let’s have fun, let’s do it, right? So that’s you know my experience. There are a lot of other stories that I could share and somehow I can’t share. So they don’t go well, for whatever reason, I didn’t put two and two together about the fact that, you know, you’d be influenced by another the movie industry or because the power of story. I was looking at it through the lens of content marketing. But have you ever tried to hand creating a script yourself? Unfortunately, I’ve written several, and what I would tell you about the writing process. So I’ve written probably five or six scripts over the years. and they’re all mediocre. And so immediately, you know, so I read lots of bad scripts and mine is not as bad as some of the stuff that was good to others and challenge with writing. And I’m working on writing. Look, so I’m in the thick of it at the moment, which is for some writing is not the hard part and it’s not really what makes a piece of content good from when they were, I think when they’re doing narrative work it’s the rewrite its editing.

So I always like to say that I’m a writer in search of an editor. and so it’s the scripts I had, and it’s interesting that the genre scripts that I wrote when I was in my early twenties, I wrote this kind of gritty, you know, it wasn’t really me, but I thought, oh this is kind of the thing I need to write about. And then I eventually wrote a kind of romantic comedy and I was like, okay, this is getting closer to what I need to do and then the years will happen. So I’m getting ready to write my what was then my next and last script. And I had a friend I worked with a paramount and while I was working there he sold a script like the dream, he’s done it. And that was you know, 20 plus years ago and guess what’s going on with that script? Nothing, it just because you sell it doesn’t and he, you know, he didn’t make enough money to then quit his job, You know, he was the first time writer, you know, you get scale and some by the made 50 grand lot of money, but again, not life changing, that’s going to make you.

And he ended up kind of leaving Hollywood to work in a different in marketing actually. But I caught up with him and he said to me yeah I said what I was kind of asking about his writing and he said yeah, I actually, well I had an interest in writing novels and so he he wrote a novel, he got a book agent and a major agency, you’re like, oh my God, you know, that itself is an accomplishment. It went to all the major pushing houses and almost got more. But the difference between the script that actually got bought and the novel that he wrote was that he could then take that novel and publish it, it was right when self-publishing became a little more acceptable. And so that’s what we did. And the book was out there and I was the first book I read on my kindle.   and I loved it and I was like, so and he wrote another one and they didn’t even try and get a book that I just went straight to sell all of them. And so it’s one of those things where nowadays there are a lot of avenues for people who want to write beyond the traditional system and the studio system being one, you know, independent film being another.

And I love that you can now, you know, because at a minimum he’s going to have it friends of his country to his family, can you read it? And so it’s out there. So I ended up writing that would be next script as a novel. And then in the middle of the ball as I started to write it. My wife got pregnant with twins and I’ve been on distracted since then, why businesses.   I’m actually not focused on writing a business book and then one day I’ll get back to my novel or as I like to call my novella because I don’t think it’ll be long enough to be technically a novel. Well, you did touch upon something when you said, what’s the first thing that happens when someone buys a script? My actual answer was going to be, it goes and sits in a drawer for a year or two before anyone does anything with it. That that is also because I’ll tell you there was a script based on a story, there was a project. So when they call what happens when that happens, when it goes on the shelf, they call it development hell.

So basically everything from the moment the scriptures purchased until it goes into production is development. So it might be it’s basically rewriting the script and, you know, working on a note of that. But there was, I remember we used to have all the scripts on the shelves to the right about, kind of, looking and someone’s like what’s this, you know, this project has been there and it had been there for years and subsequent to me leaving. It did eventually get made and it was, there was to remember, I’m pretty, and I actually think one got made in a different studio because what ends up happening is someone buys the rights to a book, they develop it and then nothing happens, the rights revert back to the writer or back to the other studio and so another studio will buy it. I’m pretty sure the curious case of Benjamin Button had been in development for years before it actually got made and there’s lots of stories of movies that had been in the development for a long time before they actually got made.

Got the green light. I mean, that’s the big people say, oh, has the movie? Big green light Greenland means they’re going to make it. And so yes, you are right, that the first thing that happens often is that it goes in a pile. but the first thing that actively happens to it is that they rewrite well, there’s something which maybe you have covered, but again, if you’ve got anything in addition to add it would be good because I think there’s a nice little, if anyone was going to ask you about something on your profile, I think this would be it. And it is tips or tools to help people implement immediately to improve their communication. What does that mean to you? Right, so why don’t I meet with people and they know that I’m a content producer and I do visual content. they often, and I tell them about the power of story, they’re like, well what can I do to tell a better story? What can I do to create better content? And there are a couple of tips that I get right off the bat that I think, you know the overarching 11th commandment, find out more about your audience before you start to spend time and energy creating stuff.

That time will be well spent. So that’s the first thing is like, do you know who your audience is? Because a lot of businesses that are marketing, when you ask them who’s your audience don’t have a clear answer. So there are tools like, you know, you can do a customer avatar where you basically create an ideal client and you actually make a character out of them, where, you know, you’ll say it’s you know, Susie, you know, Susie Marketer. And so what does Susie do if she works at a marketing company and she’s looking? And so there’s if you look up, you know, buyer persona template, there are lots of online if you want to reach out to me, I have when I can share and it’s giving a template a snapshot of who you’re trying to market to. And so then when you’re thinking about creating content, you want to filter through what will this persona well that resonate with them because you have to put it through that lens. So I think that’s something people can do right away is like get clear your audiences then it’s about, okay, well now and so I try and tell people that when you were creating content you want to keep it simple and simple is usually structure.

So Good old Aristotle back in 350, BCC came up with this great thing called the three act structure. Talking about movies, that’s, you know what everyone talks about the ark. The journey of the hero’s journey. There are lots, but every story should have a beginning a middle of the net. And I believe unless you’re a maverick, you know, filmmaker, which are very people stick to that structure. You know, beginning, middle and end in business. I agree. And I have crafted what I call a tool called the story pad, the PAD. And the PAD the path represents the beginning, middle and end of your story. And this is a tool I share of people and it’s really simple. So what is the beginning of your story? And if you think about the audience, the P stands for the pain or problems of your audience of your customer. You start there because in this world of info obesity, which is information overload. We’re bombarded all the time with too much information. One of the ways you cut through is by making sure that whatever it is you’re sharing is going to grab the attention of that person telling the story immediately.

It’s gonna help that. Because of the way that you have a rising cortisol, certain hormones are gonna help you be alert. But also speaking to their problem to their pain. They’re gonna, you know perk up. Wait, I have that problem. You know, and it could be something as silly as you know. Are you hungry? Yeah. Actually I am hungry. You know where you’re looking for a good meal. Yeah, I’m a foodie. So starting with the pain or the interest of what that person is and then the A. Is the answer. So you have the problem and the answer. The answer is your product or service. So I’m hungry. Don’t worry. We have a new restaurant opening up. It’s got fabulous food. Come and have a look. That’s why a lot of people stop. You know, there’s a problem. Here is the answer. Okay, that’s a good story, right? But the D pad is actually pretty important and I think a lot of businesses failed to incorporate that. So you have a problem in the answer. So I’m hungry And you know Thomas’ bistro is available to serve you delicious food. The D stands for the difference that it makes in that person’s business or life when I refer to as the impact.

So yes, you’re hungry. You come to Thomas’ bistro and have a fabulous meal and there’s all of that is that you will have wonderful dining experience and you know or impress your friends. You know, it can be a couple different things but you want people to understand how why it matters because they could get food from lots of different places but they’re coming to your food. You have, the answer is actually the sustenance and this particularly the way the whole experience is something that’s gonna impress your friends or make you feel good. All those things are going to give them a good reason for why they should pick your bistro over somewhere else. So that’s a tool that I’ve shared people that keeps it really simple. The P. A. D. The story Pat problem answer difference. Sounds like a more positive version of problem. Agitate solution. Have you heard that 1? I heard a couple. Yeah. So the story pad is not in itself a unique formula. It’s my version to try and make it easy to remember. There are a couple different versions of it and in the same way that certain people argue, there’s only seven different stories that you can tell.

You know, there’s no such thing as a truly original story. and I think again, it’s about how you apply it. but the story pad is definitely about starting, you know, I think you look at case today as well, what was the situation other people have situation, you know, resolution. So there’s a couple different ways I’ve tried to narrow down in a way that made sense to me. That’s easy to remember. Story pad. of course, what I often find as people go, okay, story pad, problem, answer, what was the d again? The difference, what difference does it make? So I sometimes have to hold that home, but yeah, it’s not, again, I’m not I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, I’m trying to serve a tool that people can easily use fill in the blanks to make their business story more compelling. And people, well, I would add is a more positive. Well, I like the positive side. You know, I would choose Thomas. I believe one of my kind of missions in life is that there’s enough negative in the world.

I don’t want to add any more. So I do. I am, you know, optimist about life and people. And so yes, positivity is something that I do believe it. You mentioned that the story types and I was going to ask you about what your thoughts are on that and whether you use that when you No tell a story, for example. any thoughts, their antihero I think is one of them. My kind of default. I’ll probably include this in my book. And it was in my in my Ted talk but is about the shapes of stories. So Carbonic it in his failed anthropology dissertation, came up with this idea. And it’s unusual thing without trying to kind of, you know, if you think about axis and A Y. Axis and the X axis, every story can be plotted on this. And so the access going up and down is the topic of Good Fortune at the bottom of Misfortune. And on the left of the X axis, you have the beginning when I’m the right, you have to end.

And so every story begins with someone who is either doing really well or doing really poorly somewhere on that spectrum. And then something needs to change. Because what makes a good story is conflict without conflict. You got a pretty boring story, Thomas was doing well, Thomas continues to do well, Thomas always does well. Who cares? Like no drama, we need drama. So Thomas is doing well. Oh no, then he has a disaster, but don’t worry tom finds a way to overcome it and then ends up being the hero. So there, you know, and that shape in particular, which he refers to his men in a hole is a really good shape. And story for businesses, you start with someone who’s doing okay or maybe they’re starting poorly, but they’re doing okay and then they get the problem, oh my God, I’ve lost all my money, I’ve gone into bankruptcy. Don’t worry, our firm can help you get your money back on track and then you end up even better than where you started. And that structure of the story is kind of fits perfectly with the story bad, you know, you have a problem, then we have the solution and the difference is that life is great.

Um there are other stories of people in terms of compelling stories, you have the rags to riches that’s kind of a little bit like that. you have the downfall or something is doing really well and then all of a sudden they slumped down, you know, so this so I think there are only a certain number of places you can start, you know, you can either be in a good place, neutral place, the spectrum of good or spectrum of bad, like, so there’s not an infinite possibilities of what conditions someone could begin in. And there’s only a certain amount of times that you can end in that, you know, the story where you end the story is often critical, you know, you know, you stop the story a few minutes before and you know, all of a sudden person doesn’t save the day. and then within that period you want to have ups and downs Pixar is wonderful at doing this. And I was fortunate to hear one of the writers from Toy Story and Up and one of them talk about if you follow along, there’s a structure within the movies that goes up and then something happened and those movies keep us emotionally engaged because we connect with the characters, we connect with the heroes and then we’re like, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. And so we’re following along that conflict and that contrast is what’s important to make a compelling story.

Great explanation. I wanted to ask you about – because this is in your Ted Talk as well – the interest based value. Do you mind just giving a definition of that? I feel like you have touched on it, but at the same time, I think for the sake of the audience, I think it’s worth exploring.

So you can give someone value, you can provide value in your content, you know? but if I’m not the right audience, I’m not interested in that value, then there’s a disconnect. So the interest based value has to be value that I want. So rather than just something that’s you know, useful, it has to be useful to me. And so the interest is understanding. Again, it’s a connection between knowing your audience and then providing them with value for that audience, for their problems and their pain. So interest, this value is really about understanding what it is that you want to communicate, that’s going to have impact to that audience, to that specific audience, because a lot of times will tell you, well I I gave value, I told him about how important it is to brush your teeth and I’m like yes, but you’re doing it to a bunch of dentists who already know how important it is to brush your teeth, so that’s not of interest to that, whereas if it’s people who like can, you know like well I eat a lot of Kanye, I need to make sure I take care of my teeth, don’t worry, we have this, you know, so it really depends on that interest of the individual person, of the audience, that you’re fulfilling, that interest that you’re giving value based on that need for that interest they have.

Do you mind just clarifying what your goals are, what you’re trying to achieve at the moment? At the moment, that changes day to day right now, I’m just trying to get through the week because it’s my Twin daughters 16th birthday. So survival is always a goal. but I’m always trying to help people communicate better. That’s my kind of mission in life. So we’ll see what your mission is to tell and share awesome stories and help others tell and share awesome stories. Right now. I’m trying to help people do that. My goal is to help people do that more with a very specific medium. So animation is the kind of general area that I’m spending a lot of time in producing. I really enjoy the process, I think that the output is really powerful. It stands out which is something I’m gonna do in marketing. And then recently I’m really starting to focus on doing more 3D. Animation. So we talked about Pixar earlier. There’s something about 3D. That’s really immersive and the ability to show things that have an element of realism to them and the depth to them that I find really compelling.

And I think most, the reason that people Don’t consider 3D. Animation is they think it’s way too expensive and therefore they’re turned off. And so I’m actually doing something a little crazy at the moment, which is I’m offering 3D. Animation at two D. Animation pricing because I’m just that committed to wanting to create now, we will be making Toy Story five in our little animated videos, especially not in 30 seconds. But we’re my team is capable now and I basically evolved my team over time to really create some stunning Pixar. Like animations are marketing on a promo right now. And I’m surprised more people have not been engaged. I had someone who were doing a two D. Animation for and I said you can do this in 3D. And they were like well I feel like it’s overkill. And I think part of it is that it’s a little animation that’s going at the front end of live video and he’s a little concerned that if they really like the 3D. Animation they may be like wait why did we go to live?

Let’s carry on. But it’s not in the perfect solution for every industry. Although I think you know obviously if you have a physical product you wanna showcase 3D. Really wonderful of being able to see it from lots of different angles and pulling apart, you can’t do we’ve done medical animations which are a little creepy but kind of cool when you can go and see your brain bleeding and you can actually see what it looks like. but even, you know, in the character animation that you can do, when you have a spokesperson talking about your product or service explaining it can be really compelling. But for me, visual content is always the goal is to get more people embracing that power because it’s been proven over and over again, that visual content is much more impactful in terms of getting people to connect with your content. So if you want people to understand what you do more visual content want you if you want people to under to remember what you do visual content. And again, I start with story.

So when people say, what are you focused on? Visual storytelling, that’s my jam. and so it’s one of my goals is that I will continue to do it. You know, I keep finding its Yeah. And then separately my goal is to write this book. So you’re talking, I’m throwing it out there. I have, I have, I’m looking at different people too are going to help me write it. I do like to write. so it’s one of the things that I but I time is always, you know, a challenge. and I have, I have what a lot of marketers have, which is shiny, shiny object syndrome. I’m like, wait, this looks, this looks fun over here. Let me let me go and focus on that and wait, no, and so, you know, I gotta keep discipline is something that’s really important for entrepreneurs. and I think it’s a challenge because it’s in the face of innovation, you want to, you know, you want to focus on what you’re working on developing something and if you want to then go and do something new and in terms of my writing, So you asked about my screenwriting, I would finish the script and I don’t have a choice.

I can either back and work hard on this thing that I just, you know, finished orchestrating this new idea that I really like and after him, so worth it. And I’m like, yeah, that’s going to be too much like hard work. Let me start new and then start with something that’s, you know, I can just create from scratch. So yeah, that’s my goal is to be less distracted. Well, you made a public commitment now, so it’s much more likely to happen, right? Well, I’ll tell you a funny story. So there’s a Harvard business study that was related to me and I heard this from people, but there’s a CEO who was speaking in a network and then said, according to Harvard business, If you write down your goals, your 90% more likely to achieve them. And so after that meeting, I wrote a note to the CEO and I said, dear sir, per your recommendation and Harvard business I’m ready to do to share with you my goals. My goal is to have you as a client. My goal is to help create content for you. And my goal is to help, I have a kind of have been back for something.

So, and we ended up getting a meeting with him. I don’t know if that hand delivered note help, but it took two years and I was actually a different, my own company now, uh, maybe even 2.5 years and they’re now client I’ve been working with for 18 months. So I wrote it down and, and you know, there’s all that manifestation, things and laws of attraction that I we even a bit.   and sometimes it’s just about smart luck. Another concept that may or may not trying to squeeze enough in my book. So dumb luck as you’re walking down the street and there’s five quid trying to speak to my audience now and so you pick it up in your pocket, that’s smart luck. I mean, that’s a dumb luck. Smart luck is I want to act, take some acting classes, you know, you put yourself in position to be successful. And so I think that’s something that we all have to remember that, you know, it’s that work, you know, Whether there are lots of variations, it’s the, you know, I’m glad we have 10,000 hours, you know, practice makes perfect.

Michael Jordan, I think shot, you know, 1000 shot today. The people who are successful, we often don’t see a lot of hard work that comes in before they pop after really you know, success for most does not come a click of the fingers. It comes from caring a lot, working really hard. Yeah. I sort of refer to that as like cause and effect so and the comedic thing that I would add there is like yes Michael Jordan did write down his goals but at the same time he was also doing 1000 shots a day which is the cause which produces the effect right? But and your example is the persistence of two years of trying to get a client is is why he got that client. But that’s just my opinion. Yeah, I think persistence and intention that thing is I think is really important. So a lot of when I will talk to the filming street, I wanted to work in the, in the street, I didn’t know anyone in the film the street.

People like you want to do. I’m like, I want to work in the film The Street and their response is oh, that’s hard. I’m like, a lot of things are hard and I’m going to go do it and I think there’s a group of people that I refer to as the naysayers that you know how you do the house, that I know that sounds, you know, oh no, you can’t, you know, the people and my response to that is that, you know, you have to have conviction about your intentions and speak it. And so again, I’m writing it down so when people would, I would say to people, you know, I want to work on, some people said, oh I know some of the film street I would say who can you introduce me? You know it would be and then I would take the name and the follow up part of a lot of this. So that persistent. I’ve gotten a lot of things in my life by your persistence including the love of my life who At one point I might have, I was I was I was courting her. we’ve been married now 18 years. And my friend who is our mutual friend was like dude, she likes you but you need to chill out.

So I said okay. So I didn’t call her for a few days and then apparently she told her friend like why hasn’t he called? Can’t win. But it worked out in the end and I found that balance between, you know, there’s a balance I think in sales as well, like what’s the frequency in terms of the being persistent and then crossing over to being annoying. And I think it’s there’s an art to it that people have to recognise that balance. But I do like it was something that I’ve picked up recently which is when you’re trying to achieve something, whether you know, I look at this, I’ve been doing this with you know, podcast guests. But anything I think you’re trying to get someone to do something. The persistence means keeping going until they say no at least once. You know, so if you’re asking someone for something and they don’t say no, then the door still open. You know, I think we need, if they say, you know, there at some point that I’m not interested go away. You have to respect that.

You know, some people say that no, really just not now or not yet. I think again, you have to balance being persistent with being overbearing. Well, we kind of went down the self-development route down the end there. So thanks for that, adding that at the end. have you got anything that you that you’d like to share? Which I haven’t asked you about today, I guess, you know, so I have a podcast and when someone recently said to me, are you mentioning it when you’re getting interviewed? And I’m like, no, I’m on their podcast by what I mentioned, my bucket. So I’m pretty proud of my podcast and partly because of the persistence I’ve had in the guests I’ve gotten. So I’m in my fifth season. And this season they usually have themes in this season is what I call the Season of Champions, so if you have the name champion in your title, then you’re good guests for me. So far I’ve recorded and I’ve released so there are nine episodes and four out one is a world backgammon champion one, just one was the champion of a Netflix show called Blown Away, which is a glass blowing glass bunk champion, I had a Masterchef champion Jaron who is awesome.

And then literally yesterday, the fourth episode, which was an American ninja warrior champion. First Isaac called the area, he was the first one to climb the mountain and $1 million actually was the first to climb the mountain. It was the first one to win the million dollars because there’s a little controversy because someone else went before him and completed it, but he had a better time. So he was the champion, I think that’s, that’s still qualifies as a great guy. And so, yeah, it’s something it’s pretty easy to find. You know, it’s called Connect The Dots, but my company is called Nine Dots, so if you go to, that will get you to see all those awesome episodes.

Well, the last question is, where’s the best place for people to find you?  So other than the podcast, anywhere else you’re active?

Pretty active on LinkedIn. People want to reach out to the Instagram. I’m pretty active on most of my socials, so on Instagram. And then Nine Dots Media is the other one.

So Instagram, ninedotsorg and you’ll get less and then is my visual content agency and then decline dot com is my speaking platform. So those are the easiest ways to reach me. G Klein does sound like you’re some sort of fashion guru. There is this the case, that’s my name right now, G that’s what I was. You know, people who know me affectionately call me GS, my first and middle initials.

Well, thank you, but I would not be able to get much fashion advice there. I’ve enjoyed it. So I was going to say, thank you for all the information that you shared. Thomas, it’s been a pleasure.