Content Is Everything
Content creation is everything. It's the social posts your brand makes, the tv shows it appears in, the blogs your company releases for SEO purposes - it is the very life force of brand marketing in 2020. Understanding how to create meaningful and effective content cannot be underestimated.
Recently, our CEO Stacy Jones sat down with filmmaker and brand strategist, Jude Charles. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines the most effective ways of sharing your brand story from the expertise of Jude Charles.
A Little More About Jude
Jude Charles is a story-driven filmmaker, a brand strategist and speaker. For over 13 years, he's been producing documentaries and video content for purpose-driven entrepreneurs and brands, including Google, Coldwell Banker and Steve Harvey. His specialty is finding and bringing to life compelling content that resonates and helps scale businesses.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: What I'd love to do is start off and have you tell us what got you to where you are today? How are you this content creator who works with really big names, helping them create documentaries and telling their stories to millions of people?
Answer: As an eight year old kid, I grew up in Pompano Beach, Florida, and I wasn't the kid that would go outside and play basketball or go outside and play football, or even inside the house play video games. Instead, I was an eight year old who was writing, and I would write these stories that ended up becoming books, a hundred page books, that would look at my life and what I thought my future life would look like. So I wrote books like the police life of Jude Charles because I wanted to be a police officer. I wrote a book called the baseball life of Jude Charles and just the life of Jude Charles in general. And so I've just always been fascinated about storytelling and what I can do with the art of storytelling. Once I got into high school, I got into a TV production class and started playing around with the cameras and learning about cameras and how do you bring a story to life with video?
And after my first year in that class, the teacher, Mrs. Donnelly, who had been training me all year long brought me up to her desk, and I'll never forget this day, it was May 4th, 2006, and she said to me, "Jude, you're really talented at this. You should start a business." Now, at the time, I knew nothing about what it meant to start a business. I was 17 years old, had no clue what it meant to be an entrepreneur, but the following day, May 5th, 2006, she came to class and she handed me a yellow envelope. And she handed it to me and I said, "Well, what is this?" She said, "Open it up." I opened up the yellow envelope and inside were my first set of business cards. In May 5th, 2006, I had started my very first and still the company that I run today, a video production company. And I found myself as a 17 year old running a business, but again, I knew nothing about running a business.
I floundered around for the first five years because I didn't understand how to do sales and marketing, I didn't understand how to tell my own story, I didn't understand how to work with clients that would appreciate what I was creating for them. But it wasn't until I worked with a woman by the name of Keyshia Dior who I had been creating a cosmetic documentary for her showing how she was creating this cosmetic company from the ground up. And after the first year of doing this documentary series, she had made a million dollars and that's when the light bulb went off in my head that, you know what? There's something bigger here that I'm missing, and that was about 2010. And since then, I have been producing documentaries and documentary series for entrepreneurs, helping them bring their story to life, helping them connect deeper with their audience, their tribe.
And that's really what it's about, a deeper connection. How does someone get to know you beyond just the thing that you sell? How do they get to know who you are as a person, as a human being? And that's sort of in a nutshell, been my journey over the years.
Question: So when we were talking a little bit earlier, you have three steps and you actually have a process that you go through that all of our listeners, even if they can't afford to hire you to come and shoot their documentary, there is awesome education and learning opportunities here for everyone to learn how to actually do some of this themselves and how they should be looking at any content they're creating and setting it up so that they individually and their business can be successful. So I'm going to let you dive in. What is that first step?
Answer: So there are three steps, and then I'll break down each individual step between that. But I'll outline the three steps. So the three steps, my process is called the dramatic demonstration of proof and the first step in that is what I call dramatic clarity. And the second part is dramatic demonstration and then the third part is dramatic leverage. Now, in dramatic clarity, this is where we're mapping out your entire story. We're understanding what makes you you, why did you get started in business? What are your core philosophies? What are your core values, right? So again, we've heard some of these terms before and I'll get into why we look at that, but core values, some of my core values are depth or freedom or storytelling, obviously, right? But what does that look like? So I know what the core values are. I know what the philosophies are. I know what the stories are, kind of like your origin story or your transition story.
But then I look at, in dramatic demonstration, okay, how do we bring this to life? I get it. Your core value may be integrity. A lot of people may use that core value, but tell me about a story, a scenario where you had to show integrity, right? And let's bring that to life. And so in dramatic demonstration, there are five steps. There's behind the scenes, there's live illustration, social proof, transformation, and unique mechanism. And in each category, I'm looking at, okay, you've told me this is your story, you told me this is your core value or this is your philosophy, but again, what does that look like? Can I look behind the scenes of your business and see how you actually orchestrate this core value? Maybe there's a way to do it through a live illustration where we're taking, like I have a Powerade bottle here and we're going to illustrate this through a Powerade bottle.
There's different ways to show it visually, and that's the most important thing of everything that I'm doing is that when we were kids, we learned words with pictures. And so if you saw a cat, you said the word cat, but then you saw a image of a cat. And in the same way, as we got older, this is the same way we communicate. So it's not just enough to tell your story, it's not enough to tell me what your core value is, but also show it to me. And so that's what I work on in dramatic demonstrations. How do we show it? And then dramatic leverage is the piece that I think a lot of people forget and is one we'll probably spend a lot of time on because I have a lot of thoughts around dramatic leverage. I think it's the most important piece. Whether you hire me or not, the most important piece is how do you leverage the content that you created?
It's not just about, okay, we've created it for Instagram, let's just upload it to Instagram and be done with it. No, can you use it again in a different way? Can you tell a different story around this content that you have? Can you share it over and over? Oftentimes, I work with my clients. They're looking at 70 different ways to repurpose one video, right? How do we repurpose one video 70 different times, right? And exhaust every way, every measure that we can repurpose this video? And that's what I call dramatic leverage because it's not enough to, okay, we know what your story is, we created content around your story, but really understand how to make that deep connection with people, to really make sure that this content that we've created gets to the right person at the right time on the right platform, you want to leverage that content.
And that's the dramatic demonstration of proof process through three steps; clarity, demonstration, and leverage.
Question: Tell us a little bit more about the role of repurposing content in your work.
Answer: Yeah, absolutely. I think oftentimes, we are lost into, okay, what's next? What do we do next? What do we create next? And really what I often tell my clients is, you have gold in your hands, but you're looking for silver, right? And so it's not just about what do we create next? What do we create next? What do we create next? Look at what you have, okay, how do I leverage this one thing that I have? And honestly, it wasn't something I always knew about. It was with the one client, Keyshia Dior, who, when we created the documentary series, the reason that she made a million dollars in 12 months starting from the ground up is because I gave her one part of the series and the next part wouldn't come out till six months later. But she took that one part and she looked at how many different ways can I use this?
Every interview that she did, radio interview at the time. Any radio interview that she did, any video interview that she did. She used Twitter a lot back in the day. It was the only thing that she used. And it's like, I just want to remind people of this. And oftentimes, clients would think, oh well, we've posted it so they've seen it, right? No, share it again three months later. Share it again two weeks later, right? Because you have gold in your hands. It's precious. Be able to leverage it over and over and that's really how you'll be able to strategically make more money as well.
Question: As a content creator, how do you define quality in your work?
Answer: When we talk about high quality content, it's not so much just about the equipment that you use, it's thinking about, how do you show your life? How do you show your story that goes beyond just you sitting in front of a camera? There's times where it's like we're doing now, we're sitting in front of a camera, we're talking, but even as I'm talking to you, I'm trying to illustrate to you, hey, I'm not just saying, use your iPhone, I'm saying, hey, here's the phone. This is what it looks like. Just use it. Turn it on, turn it sideways and use it, right? And so I think that's the most important piece of, not only bringing your story to life, but making it engaging, making people feel like they're with you, they're a part of this experience with you.
Check Out The Podcast!
Jude has so much great information from his experience in content creation, check out the podcast below to learn more about how to drive your business!
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