Video creation, trusting your gut and being authentic in business, with Mike McGrail

29 Jan, 2020 | Podcast, Season 2

Meet Mike McGrail of Getgo Studio. On the podcast, we talked about our experiences as business owners, covering everything from choosing a name to choosing your first hire. We also talked about how to use video as a tool to connect with new and existing customers to add value and to be open and authentic. It might be my favourite conversation so far. 

Today’s episode is sponsored by the All-in-Whin Marketing Method. I’ve been working hard at updating my signature course for 2020, and the next cohort opens in February. Click the big yellow button below to get all the details and register for early bird access.

Getting started in video creation

Mike McGail is a marketer by trade, creator of Getgo Studio a video production and marketing agency based just outside of Edinburgh in Queensferry, and working right across the UK.

He worked for a variety of marketing agencies until 2012 when he started his own marketing consultancy Velocity Digital. Clients began asking him to help with video creation because it’s a huge part of marketing. He was honest about his technical skill with a camera but felt he could help his clients because he knew the brand, their audience, what they were trying to achieve and how to tell a good story – so he fell into the role of producer and director. This inspired him to try and do it on a larger basis and Getgo Studio was launched in February 2019.

Mike’s day is incredibly varied as Getgo has a variety of offerings. First is a one-day training course in video creation, helping people get started making short videos for LinkedIn and social media. I’ve been on the course and can testify that it was awesome, I learnt so much and had a great day. A lot of people were asking Mike for his advice and he enjoys teaching so the course helps him combine the two. They also offer an all inclusive studio experience in Queensferry where people turn up with their content, and they film it then edit it. The third service is location filming. Mike’s been surprised by the demand for filming on location. About 85% of what they’ve done in the last nine or 10 months has been on location. That’s been right across the UK and there’s some exciting filming coming up in Europe this year.

He’s constantly learning and is currently doing Ron Howard’s direction course. It’s a brilliant master class and Ron Howard’s big thing is that any film or piece of video is made in the editing suite. Mike agrees because on the day you film what you film but it all comes together in the editing. His day can involve everything from marketing to pre production then shooting and it involves a lot of communications with the freelances he works with and his clients.

“Literally no day is the same and that’s one of the reasons I work for myself.”

Attracting clients and trusting your gut

Mike has worked out that roughly 94% of all the work that they’ve done has come from LinkedIn. Through initial discussions, not paid campaigns, just him putting himself out there on video. I’d recommend connecting with Mike, his videos are informative and injected with humour. He told the story of Getgo’s creation on LinkedIn, going through every stage and it engaged a lot of people. They liked how honest he was and his style of video so when he launched people were quick to get in touch keen to have a chat about projects.

Getting the word out about the training courses has mainly been driven through Instagram and networking. He used Instagram Stories a lot and people who connected with him through that have tended to come on the course. The location filming and people with want to book the studio seem to come from LinkedIn.

He admits marketing Getgo has been a bit haphazard. I think that the haphazard approach can sometimes work just as well as having a really organised strategic plan. Particularly, if you’re in a position where sticking to a really organised strategic plan is challenging, then allowing yourself to take a haphazard approach can sometimes be far more beneficial. Especially since Mike’s already got such a deep background knowledge of what good marketing is, his instincts are going to be really strong.

Mike agreed that you get a good gut feel over time and in business, you should really follow your gut. That’s been one of his biggest lessons over time, your gut normally tells you the truth and it feels weird going against it. Anytime he’s gone against it has rarely worked out. For example, in the last two years, he’s said no to more Velocity Digital work than he’s said yes to, because he’s not had the right feel about the project.

“I’ve never been a fan of soft metrics – likes, shares, comments. They’re an indicator of how your content’s performing, but what is it actually returning? Has it generated sales or clients? Or is it retaining people? Don’t forget that you have to look at retention as well.”

Being authentic in business

Social media can make things look brilliant. But behind the scenes, businesses are failing or more importantly, the people in those businesses are stressed, they’re on the verge of making themselves very ill. It’s so easy in this day and age to paint a picture of success that’s actually not true. It can be a dangerous thing because it’s inauthentic and doesn’t deliver the right essence of the business. Recently Mike put a written post on LinkedIn talking about how he was having a tough time. He got a lot of positive reactions and it highlighted the supportive community he has around him.

For small businesses making videos to market themselves, Mike advises a lot of your business is built around you, your knowledge, your experience and your personality. One of the best things you can look to do is tell your story. If you’re selling a physical product, then you really need to be showing people how it solves the problem that they’re having.

Obviously, he sells professional video services, but one of the reasons he does the training courses is to inspire people who just need to get going with video. Most of us have got a good enough camera in our pocket and just need some guidance on how to make the most of that.

Lastly, I asked Mike to share his favourite marketing videos. He named Burger King as a brand that smashed it in 2019 and one of his favourite ever videos is the $1 Shave Club launch, view the videos below.

Get connected

If you would like to get in touch with Mike you can contact with him on LinkedIn. You can also find him on Instagram and Twitter. Visit the Getgo Studio website for details of the Video Creation training. Since recording, Mike has decided to close the all-inclusive studio he mentioned on the show to focus on on-location shooting. He is, however still offering a packaged service for creating short videos for social media and so on, please contact him for more information.

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