Researching the Client
Moving from location, let's talk about researching the client. Now, this is fun for me. I get to learn as much about the client before I meet them, okay? In the same way that I got to read bios of the students attending this class. I got to get to know you guys a little bit, you know? I'm really bad with names, but when someone says, "Oh hey, Real's here," I'm like, "Oh, I read that!" So I have this attachment of learning who you guys are. Some of you guys have quit your jobs to pursue content creation. Some of you guys are passionate about making documentaries. Some of you guys are passionate about doing real estate videos and providing content for other real estate agents. There are things that I listen, and I read, that I was like, "Oh, wow." Some of you are travelers, bloggers, you know? These are things that really get me going, because it gets me excited, okay? So, when you take time to research a client, it will allow you to really step in their shoes for a little bit and unders...
tand what their day-to-day is like. So, who is the client today? That's the first question you've got to ask. Who are they today? So I went to the website. Ivan Salaverry, MMA, that's Ivan there. It's just a basic website, talks to you about what they do, how they do it, Northwest premiere. So it's a mixed martial arts gym, it's an MMA gym, it looks to be like, you know, all ages, you know, there's like, girls there, so it's pretty diverse, okay? Just from looking at the home page. Next thing is, let's take a look deeper. What do they say about themselves? What do they say about themselves? Home of Team Ivan, a Seattle-based mixed martial arts competitive team, led by UFC veteran Ivan Salaverry. I kind of latched onto this, right? I kind of latched onto this little bit: big to small, young and old, a complete novice to seasoned pros. That kind of, like, spoke to me a little bit, as something that I typically don't see when it comes to an MMA gym, inclusiveness, right? Usually, they're pretty exclusive, so that kind of clued me in a little bit to what the direction of their gym could go, and informed the questions that I was gonna write. Any and all skill, fitness, and athletic levels are welcome and supported here at ISMMA. So, just by doing a quick look, alright, and then, what I'm not showing here are the reviews that I found about the space. They got a 4.9 out of five, in terms of their customer service, in terms of the experience there. And that really spoke to me, people are reviewing them really, really well. So, that's kind of things that I researched and kind of tried to figure out. So then there's a, you know, a whole thing here about Ivan and his gym, and him. So this comes to the question, like, where do they want to be tomorrow? 'Cause this is who he was, or who he thought he was, when he started this gym, and I think this gym right now is 10 years old. This gym is 10 years old now, so you read here and, you know, I think when a business first starts, they have to lean on the experience of the owner, right? I'm starting this new business, I've got wealth of knowledge in this thing I'm starting a business on, you should come to me because I have this knowledge. It's a very, very traditional way of starting a marketing message about a business. And it's worked time and time again. Hey, I've come from this space, I have an intimate knowledge of this space, come to me so I can teach you about this space, right? That's like, just education. It's very, very organic in that sense. You want to learn from the expert. But as time moves on, as technology changes, as technique changes, you can't say anymore, hey, I came from this space, I am an expert in this space. Think about it, I graduated college in 2008. And for me to think that my college degree is beneficial and relevant now, with all of the new advances in technology, all the new advances in social media, in communication, I was a Sociology major. So understanding all the new dynamics in social construction and subcultures and that stuff, I have no understanding of the present-day development of subcultures in America because I haven't learned it. So I can't say, well yeah, I was a Soci major, so I know this. Yeah, I know basic sociology and how it applies to the concepts that are happening today, but somebody coming out of school has much more leverage, has much more understanding and intimate awareness. So at some point, he's gonna have to change his message. At some point, he can't be the expert anymore; he has to be a place where people come to become experts, okay? So that's where you ask the question, who will they be tomorrow? And when you ask the question of who will they be tomorrow, what is the expanded mission statement? Their mission statement was, "We're a gym. We're the premiere gym, blah blah blah." The expanded mission statement is that other block of text that I saw: young and old, all levels, skills. So now I'm thinking what this piece can become, okay? Do they have an expanding customer base? I think so, just looking at their website, right? However, I'm assuming they have an existing clientele that we can't alienate, right? If I'm, like, a true MMA fighter, I do not want to go to a gym that I feel like cannot advance me and my skills. So we have to be considerate of his history. If you abandon the history full sale, and go towards the new customer, you've sold out, in their opinion, right? So we have a responsibility to the older clientele. We have a responsibility to Ivan. We have a responsibility to their history, and we have to acknowledge that history, but also look forward, because in looking forward, we're providing a future proof to the business. These are all the things you're thinking about. And this last most important thing is, the film must remain authentic. Authentic in the way that Ivan is, and you can't get that until you speak to him, okay? That's just a note to say, hey, I've got a huge task ahead of me, I've got a lot going on. I need to create a piece where I'm not alienating their history, I'm looking towards an expanding customer base, and I'm focusing on an expanded mission. This is pre-production. This, right here, is pre-production. Thinking about the story you're going to tell, and thinking about what elements you're gonna be needing to bring up when you meet the client face to face. So as you look at this, who are they gonna be tomorrow, this is Seattle. You think I'm crazy, no, I'm looking where they are, and then a quick Google search of MMA gyms pops up, like, six different gyms within a 10-mile radius. Right? You have to do your homework here, because they're relying upon you to help them differentiate themselves from the other competitors that are coming into the space. And this space, in particular, is so important because 10 years ago, it wasn't the way it is now. You know? Just talking to Ivan and talking to people who live in and around this area, it's exploded over the past 10 years in terms of development, in terms of new population, in terms of demographics, it's completely changed. So in order for him to be relevant in this area, we have to also speak to this area, okay? So this is what I mean by research. This is what I mean by putting in the time. This is what I mean by, like, taking a second to really, truly, fully understand your client before you step into the room with them. And it takes time. It takes a lot of time. And if you don't have it, make it, okay? Because this will help you become so much better. And again, haven't even touched that stuff yet, right? Don't touch it, not yet, we're not even there yet. So now, here's what I ask myself internally: what are they missing from their story? They've got a whole lot of "what," they have a whole lot of, they have a whole lot of "what," and what does that mean? Well, they say what they do, they say what you're gonna learn, they say what's it for, and they say what will happen if you stick with it, okay? That's every gym. Think of any other gym. You're gonna come in here, you're gonna do a circuit training, you're gonna come in at nine, you're gonna put your shoes on, you know, the da da da da da, and when you stick with us, you're gonna be awesome. They have a whole lot of "how." They tell you how you're gonna learn, how they'll teach, and then, how you will benefit. Again, same thing. What are they missing? You already know it, they don't have a lot of "why." I want to be a part of a culture. I want to step into a place where I have an ability to really reach people and be a part of a family, okay? So, why is this important to them? Why do they do this? Why do they care? And the story is not about his fight career. That's gone, it's been done, it's 10 years ago. This story could potentially be about why he chooses to coach, and what inspires his desire to instill knowledge in others. This is a story about what drives his passion and why he loves this sport. That's my interpretation. That interpretation needs to be able to change, but that's my interpretation going in, which drives the question, okay?
Kind of expanding on that, I think it might also be important, maybe you're gonna get into this, about his customer, his target audience, and what do they get out of the deal?
So bringing in, you know, his information about why, but also talking about why they should be part of his business.
And I think that that answer comes as a byproduct of answering why he does something. 'Cause you always get what someone's gonna get after you kind of first ask those few questions, okay? Well anyway, moving on, how do you research the competition? Because, how are they communicating? What can you do to differentiate? And don't waste time. You don't want to spend a lot of time researching the competition. And in my brief study of researching the competition, they have a different focus, a different message, but they're trying to reach the same customer, okay? Their message and their focus is like, "You'll be fast and strong," you know? Whereas Ivan's is like, inclusive. Come be a part. So there immediately, I found a major difference. And it's really, really quick. So as we kind of do this, let's talk about making our shoot easier. Don't make it about the equipment. That's a typo. Don't test the equipment on your shoot. I thought it said something else. Anyway, keep it simple and build on prior successes. So, when you guys take a look later, I had a rig on this thing. I stripped it down to show you that I could still capture everything I captured on this setup. I don't need a lot of equipment. Equipment makes it easier once you learn the equipment. And once you've used a shoot with a certain part of equipment, add things and layer equipment on as you go.