Did you know that when I first started doing videos I was given shout outs by Ashton Kutcher? or that I've used video to land dates online - and that's how I met my wife? Yes, video works for your business and for your dating.
Check out my interview with Luis Congdon & Kamala Chambers from The Thriving Launch Podcast here.
Creating original and different videos
- Don’t take yourself too seriously but just make sure you get to the point.
- Being a little bit different is an advantage for people to listen to your videos, that’s why video that is unique is preferred.
- Make people smile at least once in every video for you to create that emotional connection with your viewer. Then, you have a better chance of being more memorable.
Tips on how to be natural in front of the camera
- First, when recording, imagine that you’re just talking to someone close to you like your best friend.
- Next, just be yourself.
- Also, you may have a glass of wine or a shot of tequila just to loosen up.
- Another is you may put a picture of a friend right beside the camera or cut a hole in the actual picture.
Staying focused in front of the camera
- First, you need to be prepared. Know the topic.
- Relax and do a little bit of meditation.
If you have the skill, reach out to people who could use it and to people who are in the spotlight.
Knowing why video marketing is becoming such an important skill to master.
We all know that videos are powerful for conversions, for getting your message out there online, and for making an immediate connection with people.
Today, we’re going to uncover just how powerful videos can be for your business and more.
His videos are fun and entertaining and not only that, they’ve captured the attention of celebrities like Ashton Kutcher who tweeted out to over 6 million people how amazing Miguel Hernandez is and how incredible his videos are. They’ve got the attention of big companies like Microsoft who’ve hired him to help him with their videos. Miguel Hernandez has something really special and not only that, he’s used videos to find his wife. He’s used videos to connect with very high level people and to grow his business, this is why video is preferred over other content.
So today, we’re going to talk about all that and more about why video is becoming so important.
Welcome to the show Miguel. It’s so great to have you here.
Are you ready to launch?
I’m totally ready. Let’s do it.
All right Miguel. So I found you years ago on the internet when I was trying to understand videos and what makes awesome videos and I went through piles and piles of stuff and I found your stuff. I saw that you had done stuff with Microsoft. Ashton Kutcher gave you a testimonial. You had done some work for him. I’m curious, what makes your videos different than just any plain, regular video on YouTube?
Well, I started Grumo media in 2010 and I found success pretty early so reality has to begin, I didn’t know really what I was doing. I was just being myself. I was having fun. I love to write and do animation for a long time and this was the first time I actually kind of started monetizing it. Then, it seems people like the way I did things so I have to kind deconstruct what made me originally successful because then I started hiring people and I had to teach other people how to create original and different videos like you said.
Therefore, I think one of the main differentiators is that I decided to make sure that we didn’t take ourselves too seriously but we still made sure that we got to the point because at the end of the day, these videos are there to promote ourselves and our products, and because we’re so used to seeing this kind of videos, being a little bit different is an advantage for people to listen to it. This is why video that is unique is preferred over others.
So one of the things I really make sure that my writers should do is make people smile at least once in every video. I think in that one time, you can create that emotional connection with your viewer. Then, you have a better chance of being more memorable.
We do this consciously in all our videos. It seems that people like that, this is one of the reasons why video should be part of your content strategy.
One of the cool things I’m just hearing Miguel and I think it’s so cool. It’s something that Kamala and I talked about. When I share my story, it’s something that for me is very important, is to do what you’re inspired by, to do what you love, and even if you don’t have all the answers or if you don’t know if it’s going to work out.
It is to start with passion and with that excitement. For me, that’s how I started podcasting. I really didn’t know what it was going to turn into and now, we’ve got this podcasting courses, this Facebook courses, and I had no idea what I was really getting into. I just knew that I was starting with something that excites me.
I absolutely think that’s such a huge piece in video too. Where if someone’s excited and passionate about what they’re talking about, if they’re relaxed and they’re natural, that translates. If someone’s nervous, that translates to the camera as well. That’s the power of video. It’s such an incredible way to make a connection with someone online when you’re not even in front of them, this is particularly why video works.
I have said this before on our interview with Brandon Lucero. I have people coming up to me at events and talking to me like they know because they have seen my videos. I’m not even out there on a level that you’re out there with your videos.
I’d love to hear a little bit more from you about, what do you think is important way to come across on camera or do you have any camera tips on just being natural? Why video is going to be king in marketing?
I’m all ears because Kamala and I have gotten into videos more and more. She’s a natural on camera but it’s not an easy place for me. It feels difficult, I feel unnatural. I feel like I’m performing and then I turn stiff and I don’t get that emotional connection that you two are talking about.
I think you do pretty good but let’s hear it from Miguel.
Well, it’s funny because I’ve been asked that several times and to me, it’s the opposite. I think I’m in the real world. When I’m in front of people, I’m a lot shyer than when I’m recording my stuff. For some reason, just looking at the camera, this little webcam that I have or even in my MacBook pro is just a little hole so I’m not very threatened by looking at it and all I think is I’m talking to my best friend.
Since I started doing that and I just pictured how I would talk to my best friend, I completely forget that I’m being recorded. I know this is not easy for a lot of people. It wouldn’t be so easy for me if I wasn’t on a studio or there was an audience but when I record my videos, I’m home by myself most of the time. So there’s nothing threatening about me looking at my computer and I guess there is my ability to imagine that I’m talking to a real person. Because I’ve heard some of my students find it cold or difficult to be themselves when they’re not talking to a real person. So it’s like an exercise in using your imagination.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Just be yourself and don’t try to pretend you’re somebody just because people are looking at you and people are very concerned about all these things. I think you could come from a place of honesty and people appreciate that. People appreciate when people are humble and candid about how they are, this is why video that is real and raw is preferred.
Another thing that helps a lot is practice. If you see my first videos where I was in front of a camera back in 2010, it’s funny because I looked like I’m pretty shy. That was the first post I did. The first post I did was 10 hours long and I would say during the first 2 hours of the course, I feel I’m pretty shy comparing to the end of the course. So practice definitely helps.
Also, I’ve seen people do this on set because I used to work also on a music video and commercial production. Sometimes they’ll loosen up some of the actors by giving them little glass of wine or a shot of tequila. Believe it or not but that relaxes you a little bit and you’re okay to have fun in front of the camera.
I read an article about a woman who’s over 100 years old and I asked her what one of her keys to success in living so long was. She said, “For the past 40 years, I’ve been drinking a shot of tequila or a shot of whisky right before I go to sleep.” So I guess it works for actors and for people who want to live a long time.
Well, that’s one person. Let’s not promote alcoholism on the show.
I wanted to pull out a cool nugget here though. It’s something that is done wonders for me as far as the camera. I’m still working. I acknowledge that I’m still learning. But one of the things that really helped me immensely was to spend a little time right before that camera turns on. I close my eyes and imagine I’m speaking with my dad or imagine I’m having a really fun, playful conversation with Kamala or my mom or one of my best friends so that when that camera comes on, there’s an emotional connection between me and the camera. So, when it’s capturing me and someone else is watching it, they feel like I’m talking to them in a really relaxed, natural state and it’s because I’m actually imagining that I’m having a conversation with my best friend or somebody that I love.
So, my whole nervous system and my body relax and I think that translates to the camera.
Yeah, I think that’s a really good strategy. Just think that you’re talking to somebody you care about like your friend or a family member. It’s definitely a good strategy. Sometimes, what other people do is actually put a picture of a friend right beside the camera or cut a hole in the actual picture and then, make sure that the camera looks through that little hole. So basically, what you’re seeing is the face of somebody and that even helps further to create that illusion that you’re talking to a real person.
Wow. That’s really powerful to know why video is becoming more authentic way of communication. I’ve never done that myself. When we do the recording, we have a sound studio or a professional film studio with the lights and everything. Sometimes, we get in front of those lights and all of a sudden everything leaves the mind. It’s like completely blank. I know this subject in and out and then I get in front of the camera and it leaves. What tips do you have for really staying focused when you’re talking about a subject in front of the camera?
I would say knowing about the topic. It’s very important.
Another thing I do because like I said, I don’t have a lot of experience being on a studio set and I probably would make myself a little bit more nervous. However, one of the things that I do is rehearse a little bit before I do it. It’s like movies. Usually the first take is not going to be the best one. It could be but typically, you need to warm up to do it right.
In all my lectures, the actual video that people end up seeing is not typically the first take. Like I said, practice and many times, just repeat. Now, if you do this live, it’s trickier. So then, I don’t know what more could you do. But, I guess being very prepared and relaxed and maybe a little bit of meditation before you go on to the live studio could help. However, if it’s not live, definitely, it’s okay to do several takes until you get it right.
I want to ask you something else. It’s not completely about video but I’m curious. I guess it is about video. Why did Ashton Kutcher reach out to you or what was that work that you guys did together?
I know that he gave you a testimonial but I never really got the full scoop on that story.
The story is a combination of just pure luck and also a little bit of strategy. The first video I did was for a company that still exists. It’s called hipmunk.com and it’s a flight search engine. It allows you to find flights in a very visual cool way. That time, they didn’t have a video. So I created a free video for them and I sent it to them hoping that because the founders were much known in Silicon Valley, if they like the video, they would at least acknowledge it to through their social media and that would give me some exposure.
I was strategically trying to get noticed in the new industry and it worked like a charm. I sent them the video and literally within 24 hours, the marketing principal, Alexis Ohanian, who is the co-founder of Reddit, saw it and loved it, interviewed me on his blog and published it in his social media. This is why video should be essential part of your marketing strategy.
So basically I went from being an unknown in the industry to having 40 clients from Silicon Valley asking for videos. I’m like, “Wow! This is amazing!” I didn’t notice at that time but Ashton Kutcher has been involved in the tech community for several years and he’s an active investor in many of these start-ups.
After I dig down, what happened is that I did 2 more videos and my 3rd video was for a company called PadMapper. It turns out that the founder of PadMapper knew Ashton Kutcher and I didn’t know this. So when we finished the video, I guess he said, “Hey, by the way. Look at the video that Miguel has done for us. What do you think about it?” He loved the video. He’s like, “This is amazing. I really like it.” He tweeted it. At that time he had 6 million followers. He tweeted and saying, “This is probably my most favorite instructional video I’ve ever seen,” and then a link to the actual video.
I found out literally 24 hours after we published the video, my client said, “By the way, you should check out Ashton Kutcher‘s account.” I was like, “No way,” and he’s like, “Yes way,” and then, I tried to figure out, “Did you know this guy?” He’s like, “Yeah. I know Ashton Kutcher.” And then, Alexis Ohanian also knew Ashton Kutcher. So then I said, “Woah! This is my chance.” I told him, “Could you introduce me to him? And maybe there’s something I could do for him.” And they introduced me to him and he replied right away and I said, “If there is anything I can do for any of your courses, an animated video or something like that. Just let me know.” He immediately replied and he said, “Yes. I am working on this campaign and we would love to have an animation component. Let’s talk about it.” Eventually, he hired me to do a video for his non-profit.
That’s so incredible.
That just shows how important generosity is. In your business, if you have skill, find ways to utilize that skill for people who could use it, for people who are higher up than you, and for people that are more in the spotlight than you. I think that’s a huge way that Luis has grown certain aspects of our business by being generous and reaching out to people and saying, “I see that you need more exposure and I see how I can help you get your podcast out there or get your message out there in a bigger way.”
It’s done wonders. I just really want to backup everything you’re saying.
It’s such a cool story and it really makes me want to segway into something for me is even more amazing, is how you use video to find your wife. Can you tell us a little bit about that? I would be remiss. We’re focused on how to be in front of the camera, how videos ultimately create better conversion rates on websites, how videos can help you meet celebrities, and all that stuff is really cool. Then, not only that, videos can help you find your wife.
Be happy to answer. This is what happened. In 2008, I was single after a long relationship. I thought, “Okay. What can I do when my sister just had met her husband online?” and she said “Why don’t you try online dating?” I’m like, “Sure. Let’s try to do it.” But, in a true Grumo fashion, I said, “If I’m going to do this, this is going to be different. I’m going to use a strategic approach to online dating.” So I came up with this experiment, which was dating as many women as possible within 60 days and the number I came out with was 20. So I gave myself basically 60 days to meet 20 women and that’s exactly what I did.
I haven’t tried a system on how I did that but basically this system, which basically was reaching out through as many women as possible and then eventually, you’re creating kind of like a sales funnel and at the end, the top candidates are the last one. I call it the Funnel of Love and it worked exactly to the dot I was expecting.
When I looked at other people’s profiles, I thought, “What could make me stand out from everybody else?” At that time, this dating site called Lavalife, I think it’s only in Canada. You’re only allowed to upload up to 3 videos, no longer than 30 seconds each. I thought, “Man, this is my opportunity,” because when I looked at other people’s videos, they were really crappy, sometimes disgusting or not original at all. I realize why video that is authentic is preferred.
At that time, I was working at a television studio. This is before Grumo Media. So I did not have developed my animation skills but I had access to woolly, expensive television equipment like expensive camera. So I told my friends, “Why don’t we come out with 3 ideas to shoot like a 30-second mini-commercial of me and then let’s upload it to the site.” And when I contact all these women, some of them will see it and they’ll be like, “Who the hell is this guy?” And that’s exactly what happened. Many of them saw it. It’s like, “I’ve never seen any other guy doing something similar.” And now, I try to be funny and genuine myself so they got a real idea of who I was on the real world and a lot of them reacted positively including my wife.
She saw it and said, “Who is this silly guy? I got to meet this guy.” So it worked.
Wow. This is quite a spectrum of ways to use video, to grow your business and to build a happy marriage.
To have a funnel of love.
Yes. I think something that is the common theme here that we’ve been talking about is how to be genuine, how to come across on camera in a way that’s expressing who you are, doing what you love, and sharing that.
Are there any other tips on that specifically that you want to share about why video marketing is important?
There’s one book that inspired me to be strategic about how I create content. It’s called Made to Stick. It inspires me to create content that was memorable and that had an emotional connection with people.
So that’s a good book to read because it really focuses on why some ideas become successful and why some of the ideas become viral and get shared a lot. It uncovers the reasons why.
I know. That’s a fantastic book and I’m glad that you mentioned an awesome resource for people to go and check out. We’ve covered a wide spectrum today of how to use videos and one of the things that really Miguel, I’ve gotten at this time with you is for me to be a little bit more zany on camera just like you. It’s funny, you and I are almost like the inverse. We’re balancing the universe out here or something.
Yin and yang.
Because I’m very playful with Kamala and I’m very playful with people I’m very close too.
Very, very playful.
Then on camera, I’m just like, “Hello. Tonight on CNN news –” I become very much like a reporter and stiff.
I think you do really great.
Miguel, thank you so much for coming. It’s been a real honor and pleasure to have you on the show today.
The pleasure is mine. Thanks for having me in your show.
Did you enjoy this interview? Here you have 10 more interviews with Miguel Hernandez:
How to build your brand the Grumo Way - Interview by The Business Growth Podcast
Learn all about video production at Grumo Media – Interview with Miguel Hernández by Jon Acosta
The origins of Grumo Media: A story of trial and error – Miguel Hernandez
Running an Animation Studio by Grumo Media - Interview by Animation Orbit
“Life is too short not to take risks” – Audio Interview with Grumo
How To Make Money Teaching on Udemy – An Interview by GigHopping
How Grumo Overcame His Fear of English and Built a Successful Company
How To Create Videos That Get You Customers – Mixergy Interview
Explainer Videos Explained: Interview by The Local Method
Grumo Advice to First Time Entrepreneurs - Interview by Siosism
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