Industry News Archives - SkEye Studios
5 Things I Learned at ICON16

5 Things I Learned at ICON16

Now that life has settled a bit, I’ve had some time to process my last few days.  I spent March 2-4 in Phoenix, Arizona, for the ICON conference hosted by Infusionsoft, our automated marketing and CRM (customer relationship management) software.  Going to the conference without any compadres from SkEye was a bit daunting and overwhelming.  Not knowing what to expect, I armed myself with an extra stack of business cards and full batteries in my Macbook and phone for taking copious amounts of notes.  

Soon, I realized that Infusionsoft is more than just a software provider, they’re a tool and small business success agent.  The conference was aimed at helping small businesses take themselves to the next level, whether through improved confidence, leadership training, software-usage improvement, management skills, branding, networking, and so many more!

Five things I learned from ICON 2016.

1. Don’t let crazy in the door.

Dave Ramsey gave a breakout session on hiring and firing.  One of his key points on hiring was “Don’t let crazy in the door.”  He said that it’s harder to get rid of a toxic employee than to not hire him/her in the first place.  His hiring process is incredibly lengthy and thorough.  It inspired us to go deeper in our internship hiring process and ask non-traditional questions that allow us to better get to know the applicants.

2. The “buyer journey” of a client is like a romantic relationship.

Carey Ballard, director of content marketing at Infusionsoft, shared the analogy of how a sales pipeline should be thought of in a more personal way, like a romantic, dating relationship.

  • Awareness (catch a person’s eye)
  • Interest (chat a bit, have a connection)
  • Learn (get their number)
  • Justify (figure out if you like each other)
  • Purchase (put a ring on it)

And as silly as it sounds, let’s just be honest, most of us are much more willing to become a loyal customer if we feel like we’re being “wooed.”  As consumers, we want to feel like a business wants more than just our money, they want a continued relationship that provides value to both parties.  So business owners, I challenge you to examine your process, are you fostering a relationship with customers?

3.  Gary Vaynerchuk.

Social media marketing guru. I hadn’t heard much of him before I sat down for his keynote. But now I’m a convert…and then some. Chris and Maggie have even listened to/read his latest book, #AskGaryVee.  Entrepreneurs:  Look. Him. Up.

4.  Sales Pitch Timing.

Oren Klaff, author of Pitch Anything gave a keynote reminding the fundamentals of selling.  These days, too many people are spending too much time developing rapport and features, losing attention when it’s the important “ask” happens.  By the time that a sales conversation gets around to needing to overcome objectives, you’ve lost the attention and focus.  

5.  Branding that Sells.

A client-business relationship can be equated to a bank account.  Branding is like making deposits into that relational equity account; selling is making withdrawals.  It’s not a bad thing to sell, but it needs to be done once enough relational equity has been built.  Since we’re creative-minded people, we like to build our relational equity through branding videos and content.  The following are a couple methods to build those “bank accounts.”

Make ‘em laugh.  If you can make them laugh, they’ll remember you, and it will build relational equity.  Question:  Can you laugh at yourself?  If you’re willing to do it, you can be funny.

Make ‘em cry.  This is difficult to do well, but if you can cause someone to have an emotional response, it can be hugely effective.

Make ‘em feel a part of something.  Do your customers know what you believe?  Do your customers know where you stand?

Star Wars to Small Business

Star Wars to Small Business

Three Things Star Wars Can Teach You About Your Small Business Video

When one goes about planning the video they want to represent their small business, their first thought is most likely not to reference the high-budget and widely popular Star Wars blockbuster franchise for inspiration.  For what can Wookies, lightsabers, and the Millennium Falcon really have to do with creating a dynamic and interesting small business video?  More than you may think.  And with over 96% of consumers finding video helpful when making purchase decisions, having a stellar video for your small business is a must.  So hit the hyperdrive, use the force, and follow me through three Jedi-approved lessons you can learn for your next small business video.


A New World

There is no denying that a huge reason the Star Wars movies are so popular is that George Lucas (and the creative minds behind him) introduced a new world that moviegoers hadn’t seen before.  It was a vast, complex, and awe-inducing world full of new sights, ideas, and Death Stars.



So how can your business create their own exciting galaxy far far away?  By showing your customers the specific, intricate, and unique “world” of your business.  Use your video as a way of taking your customers behind the scenes into a part of your business that they’ve never seen before.  

Does your business build bicycle parts?  Shoot an engaging tour, not of your showroom, but of your workshop.  Does your business sell cars?  Move past the car lot to highlight the inner relationships and personality of one of your top salespeople.  77% of consumers consider companies that create online video as more engaged with customers.  Every business has their own unique world, with their own unique characters, and if you can highlight that, you’ll be showing your customers what they’ve never seen before–leading them to be engaged, interested, and connected to your business in a new way.



Color Matters

The average person has no trouble remembering that all the baddies in Star Wars (Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and the teenage mini-Vader in the latest movie) have red lightsabers.  Why did the filmmakers choose this color?  Because the color red symbolizes many traits of the Dark Side: anger, strength, power, passion.  This symbolism hits most of us subconsciously, but it is undeniable that different colors can make us feel different things.  Don’t believe me?  Think how different it would feel if Darth Vader’s lightsaber was not red but pink.  Suddenly the big old baddie doesn’t seem so bad.

Chances are that as a business owner you know the colors of your business and use them often in your branding, newsletters, and print materials.  Don’t forget them in your video!  The impact of your video will be more than the text of your newsletter or the copy on your website.  Research shows that using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.  So it’s imperative that the mood, personality, and colors of your video match the rest of your marketing.

So, ask yourself: what color is my logo?  What color are my uniforms?  What color are the walls of my business?  What colors or backgrounds will convey the emotions I want my customers to feel?   If you’re a family-friendly business that wants to convey warmth and approachability, you shouldn’t show up to the shoot in a black polo shirt and shoot in front of a black chalkboard.  If you’re an environmentally friendly tech company, you’d want to highlight the associations people have between the colors green and blue with the environment and technology.  Color can be an easy way to influence how your customers feel when they watch your video.




When you ask someone what their favorite thing about the Star Wars movies are, they don’t usually say something like “I thought the story as a whole was cohesive and impressive and I liked how the scenes fit together to form the big picture.”  Instead they say: “I loved it when the Millennium Falcon escaped from Tatooine,” or I laughed so hard when Solo said, “Let the Wookie win.”  What people love about Star Wars, and all good films, are moments.  Though you need good story structure and a cohesive plot to tell a good story, what people remember are the moments that stood out to them.

The same applies to videos on any scale.  You want a customer watching the video to walk away with a strong moment that they’ll not just remember an hour later but a week or month later.  Video is shared 1200% more times than links and text combined.  What moment can you create that would prompt people to click that share button?  You most likely won’t have an Ewok or Imperial Star Destroyer in your video, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a lasting moment. 

In the homepage video SkEye created last year for iTech Painting (see below), a certain shot/moment has stayed in the mind of consumers and is talked about by those that watch the video.  It is of owner Ryan Whipple watching his daughter laughing on a playground slide as he talks about being a family man.  And because that moment stays with consumers, it instantly associates iTech Painting with a family friendly business.  The most shared video content is 89% Educational, 91% Heartwarming, and 94% Humorous.  So when you think through the video you want to make for your business, highlight what images and moments can move beyond just an advertisement of your business but what can be educational, heartwarming, or humorous.



So there you have it.  Three lessons you can learn from Star Wars to create an engaging and exciting video for your small business.  And as you venture into the video creating world, we say sincerely from our SkEye family to yours…may the force be with you!


Film and Video Internships and the Law

Film and Video Internships and the Law

This summer, SkEye Studios will be starting an internship program.  As we look forward to bringing in students to mentor–and let’s be honest, teach us–we’ve been researching the legalities of all that we’re hoping to do.  I came across this blog by another production company.  It helps break down the legalities of offering unpaid internships.  Granted, at SkEye Studios, we want to work with our interns’ colleges or universities to ensure that they’ll be able to receive some form of academic credit for all the learning and experience they’ll gain!


Peter Mavrick, attorney for management and employers, was recently asked to render advice to a client in the film and video industry regarding its unpaid internships. A film and video business can teach valuable career lessons to novice career entrants. However, the structure of the unpaid internship opportunity matters from a legal perspective. As explained in further detail below, the most conservative approach is to link the internship to a bona fide school program for credit. Even in the absence of a school program, wages do not necessarily need to be paid to the intern. The main problem with internships, however, is that they expose the business to potential meritless claims where current or former interns contend they were exploited and deserve wages. In addition, the structure of the unpaid internship can fall within a gray area where the facts can lend themselves to different interpretations, with one possible interpretation supporting a valid claim for unpaid wages. In this article, attorney Peter Mavrick discusses, from a management attorney’s perspective, the law surrounding unpaid internships and federal wage law requirements.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that “employees” be paid a minimum wage and overtime wage for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. The FLSA’s definition of “employee” is quite broad and could include workers whom the employer classified as “volunteers” or “unpaid interns.” Whether an individual in an “employee” under the FLSA does not depend on labels, titles, or agreements between the employer and the individual. Consequently, employers sometimes are surprised to learn that an individual who agreed to work as an unpaid intern might have a viable claim for unpaid wages under the FLSA. Generally, courts will find that an unpaid intern is not an “employee” if the following six factors are satisfied: (1) the internship is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school; (2) the internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; (3) the intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision; (4) the employer providing the training derives no immediate advantage from the intern’s activities and on occasion the employer’s operations may be impeded; (5) the intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and (6) the employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship. No one factor is dispositive, nor are the factors applied mechanically. Instead, courts generally use those six factors to guide their analysis. Recently, a federal court in Florida applied the above six factors and held that certain student interns were not “employees” under the FLSA. In Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia, P.A., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71152 (M.D. Fla. May 23, 2014), student registered nurse anesthetists (“student interns”) participated in an internship program supervised by an employer. The internship was a requirement for graduation, and the student interns understood they would not be paid. Nonetheless, 25 student interns sued the employer for unpaid wages for work performed during the internship.


This blog is from NYC video production company, Indigo Productions.  To learn how the six factors can swing (toward the employer or toward the student), see the full blog here.