January 14, 2020
Today’s guest is one of Lindsey and Evie’s favorite people on planet earth. He’s hysterical. He’s wild. He’s the best dang videographer on the planet.
Brady is a destination videographer and branding specialist who devotes his time and energy to his craft: visual storytelling. He’s been our go to videographer for our personal businesses as well as The Heart University, for over a year now. He’s soo incredible at what he does.
Having a passion for cinema since he was a little kid, Brady has developed an incredibly unique and engaging style of storytelling that has allowed him to craft videos for major brands and influencers across the U.S. and the globe. His past clients include Marriott Hotels, FoxSports, Getty Images, Jordan Lee Dooley, Jamie Dana, Drew Pearson from the Dallas Cowboys, Dr. Pepper, and Instagram (like the actual company) He filmed a video FOR Instagram when they rolled out the official launch of IGTV and his video was right next to Kim Kardashians. Like NO BIG DEAL. This guy is doing BIG things. When he’s not creating branding videos for clients, he’s hanging out with his gorgeous wife Quinn (for real she’s soo cute) and their little seven month old baby boy Asher. (who’s also mega cute).
If you follow Brady on Instagram, you KNOW he’s known for his wild and entertaining personality. So today on the podcast we chatted with him ALL about how he infuses his personality into his business. He also shares what got him into videography in the first place, WHY he intentionally chooses to not film weddings – a traditional route most videographers take, and how a single gif landed him a HUGE deal with a mega company. We also couldn’t do a podcast with Brady without sharing some crazy stories of how we met and what happened the week of filming our online course content a year ago. This is an episode you do NOT want to miss. Get ready to laugh a LOT and hear some FIRE truth brought to you by the one and only, Brady Clayton.
Brady is a videographer specializing in branding videos telling full fledged stories in a really condensed, juicy format for social media.
Brady got his start by complete accident. Growing up, he was always a very creative and visual person. He was always playing with costumes, reenacting old movies, and making home videos as kids. Brady started out with one of those really old 90s camcorders (you know the ones with the tapes!). Keep in mind there wasn’t important software to import a VHS to a computer to edit. The only way for Brady to incorporate sound into his videos was if he carried around a battery powered CD player that had a track queued up so that when it played it would pick up in the mic of the camcorder. Brady remembers that he and his siblings would film around their neighborhood and often come near his neighbor’s crazy dogs. He had his camcorder in one hand, his portable CD player in another, and a bb gun tucked under his arm to keep the dogs away so he could get the perfect shot of his siblings with the Narnia soundtrack playing in the background.
At one point, Brady really thought he was going to be a politician when he grew up. When he graduated from college, he really wanted a job with a “cool title”. He hustled for an interview, and at the age of 21 he because the executive director at the Dallas County Republican Party, which is the 9th largest county party in America. He was 21 and had no official political experience and it was in the midst of the 2016 election. Brady ended up getting fired from the job two weeks before he got married.
Life post college was so different than what Brady was expecting and he was not fulfilled in anything he was doing professionally. This made him sit back and really ask himself what it was that he loved doing as a little kid. It was telling story visual stories through cinema and short form video.
Brady had his wife’s 5d mark iii and a tripod. He started offering videos for free for really small clients so he could build a portfolio. One thing led to the next and word of mouth spread quickly. He began increasing his prices and the caliber of clients started to increase. The rest is history.
Evie and Brady met when he was about 19 years old. They were a part of an organization called Teen Pact that trains teens across the US how the political process works at state capitals. Through a long series of events Evie and Brady mix and mingled and became friends but then totally lost touch when life carried on. Evie got into photography and Brady got into videography and reconnected five years later.
Evie kept seeing Brady’s videos on Facebook and noticed how good they were. When Lindsey and Evie were ready to film for The Heart University they knew they needed a videographer with vision, energy, and passion that would match theirs. They didn’t want to bring on just any corporate videographer. They knew Brady was the one.
“I genuinely think that creators need to put out a lot of personal stuff just as much as they do client portfolio work.”
Evie and Lindsey flew Brady out to Hawaii to film their course. They essentially sat in a hot box of a room, which in their words wasted Brady’s incredible talent. But, on the last few days of shooting they shot some EPIC B-roll. At this point they were still all getting to know each other, and even all agree now that it was the worst week in Hawaii of his life.
They had so many amazing plans for the B roll. In the first four hours of shooting Brady was getting insane drone footage of Evie and Lindsey on a cliff with huge surging waves. They were standing on an incredibly sharp cliff and a massive wave comes up and slams both Evie and Lindsey and knocks Lindsey off her feet. The lifeguard even came up to help as Lindsey was bleeding profusely. There were so many insane moments that happened that week.
The cherry on top was driving back and Brady was telling Lindsey how he and his wife found out they were pregnant in a very shocking way. Lindsey sat in the driver’s and commented that she wasn’t sure the last time she had her period but brushed it off. When they got home, Lindsey immediately went to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test and found out she was pregnant. They had to film the rest of the week as Lindsey was processing a huge life change.
It was such a beyond crazy week.
Brady started out doing a few wedding videos. Wedding videography can be very consistent which can be incredibly attractive. After shooting a few to get started he made a major shift.
For Brady, he found that there were only a certain number of ways you can showcase a wedding through video. The structure is given to you and as a result, the footage you get is very similar. Brady wanted to branch out to feel creatively fulfilled.
At the end of the day, he wanted better clients. If you want to work with sick clients, the only chance you have of working with them as a wedding videographer is if they are getting married. He wanted to work with brand influencers and have the ability to work on different projects and tell amazing stories. This was where commercial branding video scored big time.
He wanted better clients, cooler experiences, and the ability to tell stories in unique and different ways. The commercial brand video journey is so deep in that regard.
It comes down to the person and personality. If you love capturing people’s romantic stories on their wedding day, freaking go for it! It just came down to Brady’s personal creative needs.
Brady thinks often videographers as a whole can be a bit bland, or at least those he has worked with. 31:45 You can end up focusing so much on your work and not enough on your personality and more importantly the client experience. A huge part of a client experience is you engaging and interacting with them and making sure they are comfortable and having so much fun. At the end of the day when they see the finished product they can see it for how amazing the video is but also how much they enjoyed working with you. That is what creates an amazing product.
Brady knew the bar was low and wanted to go above and beyond for his clients. Brady also just really loves people. It’s a part of his personality. That is such a huge part of being a videographer is your personality and making the client feel comfortable. The more you allow the client to have an amazing time, the better the product you are going to be able to put out.
Brady says he is still very imperfect. He spends a lot of time thinking about what people will think when they watch a video of him or see a picture, what his feed looks like, if he is going to be perceived a certain way, etc. He admits to overanalyzing a lot.
Don’t think about what makes you self conscious and just post it. Get over yourself. Make content with you in it. Showcase your personality. Be yourself. It is so easy to overthink everything and get caught up in perfectionism. Brady admits to being so imperfect in this way.
If you are struggling with putting yourself out there or being yourself just freaking go for it.
Brady got a random inquiry in his inbox, while in Bali, and noticed it was someone from Getty images and he freaked out. In the email, she mentioned that she found Brady through a hashtag on Instagram.
As an aside, when they were all filming in Hawaii, Evie and Lindsey mentioned that you need to hashtag and geotag the city or location you want to work in. As Brady was behind the camera, he retained that bit of information and thought he would give it a try.
Brady emailed her back, a full week later, and said how excited he was to hear from her. She didn’t respond. He went the extra length. He noticed she left her phone number at the bottom of the email so he texted her reiterating what he said in the email. At the end of the text he attached the gif of the guy from Fresh Prince doing the Carleton.
He got a reply within ten minutes. She scheduled a call for the next day. They hopped on a zoom call and she told him that she reached out to a ton of videographers in the area but he rose to the top of the pile because he sent a gif.
Within a week, he was working Getty Images and Marriott Hotels doing a full profile of them in. A week later he got booked again with Getty and his wife and son were flown out to Baltimore for a couple of days and did a huge project for Marriott there.
This client was landed through sending a Carleton gif.
After sharing his story on Instagram he had multiple people DM him telling him that they landed a client by sending a gif. This blew his mind. Sharing something that was a success of him allowed other creatives to have successes as well.
Your magical, mystical client that you are trying to land are just people too. They want a connection just as much as you do. Stop trying to be this perfectly put together contracted agent that is being hired out for this service and start being a human being in how you interact and engage with them. That will go so much further. You will be able to build a relationship past the work you do for them and that is where word of mouth starts. That is where referral clients start building. It’s because of their experience with you. Your product has to be awesome too, but it’s often because of how much they love you as a person.
Incorporate more of yourself in your brand, even if you are often behind the camera. 47:05 You want to put yourself out there and infuse your personality in everything you do. Start putting out personal stuff. If you Youtube, make more personal videos.
Make your captions down to the earth. Don’t overthink it. Make it relatable and personable. Also, don’t overthink how you are coming across. Be self aware, but at the end of the day, people thrive on authenticity and seeing the real you.
This can be a lot harder than it seems on the surface. Community can seem really virtual through Instagram. It can be hard to find people locally to collaborate with.
Network for people that are across the US or international that you want to work with as clients. There are also people you should network with locally.
For Brady, the local part can be really difficult. Constantly engage on people’s pages and comment a lot. Get on their radar so that when your username pops up they start to recognize it. Don’t be afraid to tag people you are inspired by or want to work with in your stories.
At the end of the day, it’s making good work and a great portfolio and when you put that out there hoping it gets shared.
Don’t focus so much on your actual work, technique, frame rate, and shutter speed more than you are the client experience. Too many people agonize over their work instead of focusing on giving the person an amazing experience.
In photography, you capture a moment frozen in time. Videography is always moving. If you don’t get the shot, you really don’t get the shot. It’s easy to screw up videography quickly if you don’t get the shot.
For those starting out, just go shoot. Get out with your camera, go somewhere and just play with your camera. Edit multiple times. Create fun edits. Just do it.
Often people can have an appreciation for videography but rarely do they slap their camera on, grab a friend, and do a shoot. There is so much to learn, just get out there and learn. Stop being just an appreciator or admirer of videography but actually get out there and do it. Once you get those skills and hone in on them you are going to be able to create an incredible portfolio that will sell clients.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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