Home Forums Tell me straight… Investing in mentorships/mastermind subscriptions when times are tough.

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    • Total posts: 134

    Hi there,

    Our video production business has been carried along for years by a particular market.

    Due to industry changes and the effects of covid, we are finding the business needs to redirect its energies into a different market.

    The issue is, although we can produce quality video, we have no strategies, systems or processes in place to gain new clients.

    So we have the ability, just not the knowledge to market to, onboard and nurture new clients, which is overwhelming resulting in us procrastinating and hanging on to our old market. “Floggina dead horse”, if you will.

    Money is very tight, so something has to be done.

    Our current scenario:

    We have been made aware of a coaching business specifically for video producers. I have done the research and it appears to be with a reputable company. They assist video producers in getting their business setup and running how it should be, with guidance on strategies to get more new clients and build on current ones.

    The cost? $1500 per month. Ouch.

    So I guess I am asking for validation on the decision to go for it.

    Yes, money is tight and this will hurt, but if the results we have seen are indeed achievable through guidance, some hard work and getting out of the comfort zone that is no longer working, well it will be worth it.

    All things considered, is now a good time to be investing in mentorship programs?

    Paul – FS Concierge
    • Total posts: 3,183

    Hi mediaman,

    This sounds like a tough choice.

    My very own first response to these types of pitches are that they are shills, selling dreams more than results so I really need to dig to get to an analysis I am comfortable with.

    The nature of of the beast tends to be that there are a lot of claims made but not a lot of validation of those claims which makes it hard to spot the good ones versus the mediocre or worse.

    My advice is to spend some time working out what kind of validation you would need to be comfortable with a decision to go forward.

    Personally, I want to see actual, real world results, not just claims. And I would want to talk to a number of ex and current clients – not just one or two stars the company may pick for me.

    I might ask a serious of questions too eg, what is the median increase in sales that new customers achieve and what are their costs (eg advertising) to achieve those gains. Then I would want to talk to a couple of of the businesses in median group.

    Be aware of your own biases too – it is easy to want to be “talked into” buying, especially when you feel a need to move forward. But it’s important to be dispassionate.

    I hope you choose well!!


    • Total posts: 134

    Thanks Paul,

    The Mentor is of reputable character and he some terrific case studies.

    My issue is the cost when things are already very tight especially with COVID affecting what was already a pressured income stream. I believe it will work, but it may take three or more monthly payments of $1500 before we start to see results. That scares the heck out of me.

    That said, if the results start happening, then that amount will be irrelevant.

    Some trepidation comes from knowing it won’t work if I don’t start doing some things that are way out of my comfort zone, like APPROACHING companies to see if there is anything I can help them with.

    However the mentorship promises to help me through all that and put systems in place to assist with getting the lead over the line.

    Maybe damned if I do, but definitely damned if I don’t. The business as it stands won’t survive for much longer if something doesn’t change.

    • Total posts: 1

    I’m trusting it is ok to chime in here.

    Business Coaches are so important to business owners just like their advisory board – to assist you to make great decisions, hold you accountable and connect you. Yes, they are a cost, but what is the cost of not having them. And yes, you need to connect with the coach that is the right fit for you personally and from a business perspective, aligned to your values. It is not just about the $ per month.

    So in advance my apologies if I am crossing a line here, our business Navig8 Biz (www.navig8biz.com) is launching a new online coaching platform on Friday the 16th of July – called BizFlix – Business Cinema. It’s on a subscription at $19.95pm providing over 70 videos (soon to grow to 300) on all aspects of business with videos ranging from 2min to 1 hour.

    Again sorry If I have crossed the line here.

    So this may to may not be the right fit for you, but as a minimum, I would be asking any prospective coach the following:-

    – What businesses have you owned other than this coaching business
    – What were the failures and successes?
    – What did you learn?
    – Why are you a coach, what is the legacy you are looking to leave behind?
    – Who are your clients and how have you helped them?
    – How long have these clients stayed with you as a coach?
    – What are the not negotiables in this coaching relationship and here are mine ….. (you list them) ..

    For me I admire you reaching out and asking for help – that is such a positive action.

    Just few ideas – good luck.

    Regards Joanne

    • Total posts: 1

    Hi mediaman,

    Can I ask what state you’re in? There are loads of free or subsidised small business advisory and mentoring services available depending on your state or territory, which can be extremely useful and very affordable.
    We are the creative industries specialists for a NSW government program called Business Connect, for example, which allows you to have 4 free business coaching/advice sessions with a creative industries expert for free (and $25 from then on).
    You can find out more here: https://creativeplusbusiness.com/advice/nsw-business-connect/
    There are similar programs in Queensland and Victoria as well, and I’m sure other states and territories have them too. The issues that you’re facing are not unique to the film business – and any business coach worth their rate could help you. Just FYI!

    • Total posts: 134

    Hi Monica,

    Thank you so much for your reply. I am indeed in NSW so I will check that program out.



    • Total posts: 134

    Hi again everyone,

    Further to my first question, I have an addition:

    I have a dilemma, but it’s a little complex to describe, so please bear with me.

    Apologies up front for the length of the post.

    PART 1:

    Currently, due to industry changes (my main source of video production income was television work) and of course the lockdown, I am not earning an income from my profession of video production.

    Due to the television work (which I really enjoy) drying up, it lead me to accept I would have to pivot back to being a corporate video producer. Training videos, online videos, social media promotions, television commercials, etc. The word is, there are some video production companies doing very well, even in lockdown.

    Regardless, trying to remain positive about the industry and my future in it, and armed with the acceptance that I was going to have to develop my selling skills, I took the plunge and invested in a mentorship, specific to the video production industry. The mentorship costs $1500 per month + GST and teaches those video producers who perhaps have not had to chase work in the past, to get new high-ticket clients, preferably on retainers. It’s all about sales and marketing specific to this industry.

    For those of you who may not know, the industry has changed greatly over the last few years, mainly due to the cost of entry being much lower than it was. For example, to be a “professional” video producer in the ’90’s (when I started) good quality video gear was prohibitively expensive. For example, my first “pro” camera was $50k just for the camera body. Lenses, tripods, audio, lighting was all extra. $80 – $100k to startup as a true pro was not unheard of, especially in TV work.

    Obviously these days, folk are shooting lovely pictures on their phones. And even “pro” equipment can be had for $10k, or thereabouts, for a whole kit. So the VALUE of video production has decreased as everyone seems to be doing it these days, and, let’s face it, if the lockdowns continue, there will be very little video production being carried out.

    So as video producers, we have a couple of challenges in front of us right now.

    It has become obvious that, if I am to stay in this industry and succeed, then I have to get my sales, marketing and implementation strategy developed and fine-tuned.

    Now, I might be being a little short-sighted here, but since signing up to the membership, the COVID situation is getting worse and I have started to feel a couple of things, being mindful that this *could* also be coming from a place of a lack of confidence and self-sabotage:

    1) The mentorship is an investment in a business that isn’t (in my belief) going to thrive anytime soon. Some locations are doing ok, but we are in Sydney, so enough said. Video production is down due to lockdown and other reasons I mentioned and, if lockdown continues for a longer period of time (I wouldn’t be surprised if we spend Christmas in lockdown this year) then it is going to be a long time before I see any return on this investment – remaining mindful I am not earning an income at the moment and that could very well go on for months.

    2) Maybe from a place burnout or just being tired of an industry I have been in for 30 years, the thought of going back to corporate productions approaching businesses for work when their future would also be uncertain, doesn’t sit well with me. Yes, some larger businesses would have a marketing budget that would have to be spent, but that would be also under scrutiny and, yes, some video production companies are doing well in other areas that aren’t in lockdown, but I don’t see the freedom to produce “normally” will occur anytime soon.

    Selling directly to customers has always scared the absolute hell out of me. I am not comfortable with it and I now know that – even though this mentorship is laying foundations for selling, I am still not looking forward to doing that part of it.

    So I guess my question is based around a few things:

    Should I be investing in and industry that:

    1) I believe isn’t going to thrive for some time (delayed ROI)
    2) I don’t enjoy doing (esp the selling bit)
    3) relies on me going out and physically working (exchanging time for money model)
    4) is affected by lockdown

    PART 2:

    Again, please bear with me here:

    For some years now, I have been interested in and been studying online sales. The thought of selling things online for a profit fascinates and excites me, especially digital products.

    I did it with some success a few years ago with a series of Pottery videos I produced.

    Ideas have been:

    1) Producing training videos/ how to videos and selling them online as downloads
    2) Producing videos on “how to produce professional video” either as a membership course or as a one-time download
    3) Dropshipping video production-based items or even everyday items

    and more recently:

    4) Building a course/membership that teaches video production using a Smartphone to businesses wanting to produce their own videos, or
    5). Becoming an affiliate marketer for someone who already has such a course built and taking a commission from the sales.

    I know how to build websites and e-commerce stores using WordPress, but the online marketing side would be what I need to learn. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.

    So in a nutshell, I am trying to decide whether to pull out of the video production mentorship program and put that money into learning, what I believe to be, a more future-proof business model.

    as an aside, last year I tried dropshipping, but pulled out after building my store and starting Facebook marketing as I was using the much-touted Shopify service that, along with it’s suggested plugins, adds up to an expensive monthly spend before any sales are made.

    For what it’s worth, this time I would be using WordPress and building my own sites.

    Another way to look at it would be $1650 per month on online marketing may be a much better investment that in learning how to get better at something I no longer really enjoy and there may not be a market for.

    So, have I answered my own question here?

    Is this coming from a place of diversion where I am looking at ways to ignore what I really should be doing because I am experienced at and understand video production?

    I have no idea.

    What I do know is that I hold more hope for an online shopping business than one where you trade time for money and one I don’t enjoy much anymore.

    I have no idea, but would certainly appreciate any outside input.

    Thanks for getting to the end of my post 🙂

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