Marley Baird is an Expert in creating strategically vertical content and the owner of Marley Baird Media. In this episode, Marley shares her story of how she became an entrepreneur. She dives into how she got into video marketing, Marley talks about the content she initially created for her own brand and how she created an entire video strategy for her clients based on her initial testing in a way that’s hands-off for them while getting them the best results to scale their audience and ROI. She talks about how positioning and scripting can make a difference so you can share your message in a way that brings emotional shifts to people. Marley also details about how her team is working together to accomplish their goals.
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My guest is Marley Baird. Marley, how you doing?
I am good.
We are pumped to talk to you. For those who don’t know, Marley is an expert in creating strategically vertical content, getting videos to rank first on YouTube, in Google using cross-channel video marketing for maximum reach. She brings next-level videos social selling to the marketplace working with top dogs like Cristy Code Red, Alex Charfen, who we had in our show, Rachel Peterson, Stephen Larsen and having worked events with Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin among others.
She was waging war against short-term influencers and creating an army of visionary leaders who refused mediocre, mundane and average video strategies. MBM builds a production team around their movement through omnipresent video assets and she’s only interested in massive ROI and extraordinary impact. I’m pumped to talk to you, we’re going to go all into that, but first let’s take a gigantic step back. What were you like growing up? Were you a straight-A student? Were you a rebel? Did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I was a straight-A student, but also a rebel. The school came easy to me until I got to university. I failed the University because that was a whole new world, but I was definitely a rebel. This is something that I only told my parents about now. My parents never wanted me to go hang out with friends or anything after school like come home, do your homework, practice the piano or whatever. Go to soccer, whatever hobbies I had, and they don’t want me to go hang out with friends. As I got to junior high, high school age, that’s what everyone was doing, I felt so left out. My parents also valued academics so what I would do is I would make up my own permission slip form saying that there was an after school field trip for something educational and I would say admission is $20. I would make my parents sign this form and pay $20 so then that would pay for whatever I was doing with my friends that night.
Did you ever disclose to your parents later on that’s what you were doing?
I told them and they had no idea.
How’d you get into entrepreneurship? What was your first endeavor?
It’s funny to think about it to connect the dots backward that I guess I was always doing things even in my house. I tried to make up a kitchen and sell food to my family and friends and stuff like that instead of doing chores. It still is a chore and then growing up I was always trying to find little side things that I could do and I was a dental hygienist before I became an entrepreneur. I was a dental hygienist, I also worked in radio and events management but when I was a dental hygienist, I started doing social media for the dental office because I was bored of cleaning teeth all day, every day. It’s not that entertaining and then their IT guy was like, “Can I refer you to one of my other clients to do their social media?” He referred me to all of his clients and that’s how I discovered that it’s like, “This is a business opportunity,” and then learned how I could create more of it and went all-in on it.
Are you someone that took courses or had a mentor? Did you just dive in and figure it out?
YouTube is an amazing school and a great place for visibility and awareness.
I first started by learning by myself and then the power of Facebook. I’d start to get retargeted for things as I would like people and try to find how I learn more about this. YouTube is an amazing school. The school of YouTube like learning what other people are putting out there and then that’s what I think I got into is creating my own content, which is great for visibility and awareness. It also consists of recurring lead generation and sales. I did start to find other courses because I thought if I’m going to be charging people’s money for these services, I want to be the best at it so that I can also get more clients and get that word-of-mouth and the reputation for being someone that over-delivers and gets results. Rachel Peterson was the first person that I bought a course from and we’re best friends and business partners. It’s funny how it all fell together.
FreeUp has worked with Rachel, we’ve done Facebook Lives to her group. Why video? What is it about the video that stands out?
I loved video. Even as a kid, I used to steal my dad’s video camera and make funny videos with my cousins. It was something that I did for fun and I was blogging. Before blogging was a thing, I would bring my camera to parties on the weekend with my friends in high school and I’d make a blog of our entire weekend experience before that was a thing, before people were doing that on YouTube. As I became a social media manager part-time when I was a dental hygienist, I wanted to get more exposure for what I was doing and if I can make videos that show people what I’m doing then maybe I can get more clients.
I started doing it and as you start to do anything, most of the time we do it the wrong way and we learn how to do it the right way by trial and error and by falling on your face, which I certainly did many times. I started putting on videos and positioning them in a different way and even YouTube SEO because remember that YouTube is a search engine, not just a social media platform. I started getting videos that we were a hit and I would get emails in my inbox of, “How do I work with you? Can I buy this from you? How can you do this for me?” Every single email or every video has a lead magnet.
People are joining my email list consistently that I was then able to nurture and I realized video, this is the way. Even when you see the trends on social media that video is valued higher in the algorithm compared to other content that people are more intrigued and engaged by, that’s what I decided to go all-in on because I was able to get the results for myself. We thought, “Can I reverse engineer this to get these same results for my clients?” We started testing it and then came to this process where we now create the entire video strategy for our clients and then batch film six months of content in three days. We manage all the content for our clients in a way that’s hands-off for them while getting them the best results to scale their audience and ROI.
Can you talk a little bit about that strategy? What goes into a good video strategy? Because I feel a lot of people are making videos or throwing them up there. I know I’m probably guilty of that as well. What goes into a concrete strategy?
We talk about that a bit, I mentioned that I fell on my face many times and there are people that they put a lot of effort into making a video. If you turn on the camera, you have to be on, the energy and its an effort but if it doesn’t go anywhere, that effort was for nothing. I talked to a friend of mine that was saying I’ve done Facebook Lives for a couple of years. I’ve built my entire business on Facebook Live, but I wish that I had done it on YouTube instead because the Facebook lives from a couple of years ago, people aren’t finding them anymore.
Yes, they might have brought me leads that day but imagine if you put that effort into YouTube and had this library of content that people were able to find because it’s a search engine. That’s one of the things that we do. I’m not saying no to Facebook Lives, I still do them. It’s great for nurturing your audience on the day-to-day, but when you have YouTube, that can be an evergreen lead generation machine for you. The effort that needs to go into it upfront is what am I caught like, “What’s this video about?” We do the keyword research to see how are people searching for these terms.
For example, we have a client Cristy Code Red that wants to make a video about belly fat because she’s in the weight loss niche. Even though weight loss is supersaturated, we know how to position these videos to get her at the top of the search engines still. For example, if you type in and you do the keyword research on how to lose belly fat? That’s a huge topic. There are tons of videos on it, meaning there’s also lots of competition and she’s gaining in her authority so she can go for those big fish and be able to compete with them. We also saw that if you shift the way that it’s titled so that it was how to flatten your belly? That was something that still had a high searched volume but a lower competition, so we knew that we could get her ranking at the top but then we could still go for competing with how to lose belly fat.
There are some things that are checking how to position the video and also how to script the video, how to share your message in a way that you bring those emotional shifts to people. You insert those stories that make people overpower their story because we all have stories. We have our limiting beliefs. We have the things that we hold on to that hold us back from making the changes in our lives that we know that we need to make. We position these videos in a way that tells a story that overpowers audiences limiting beliefs.
YouTube is pretty much like Google. Like Google, if you’re trying to get your website to the top, you have to treat your videos in that same fashion that’s what I’m hearing. Let’s shift gears. Let’s talk about hiring a little bit. I think people that have your skillset that has been in it for a while sometimes struggle to build a team that still give their clients that same quality if you disappear for a couple of weeks. Someone is filming videos with their clients or executing different plans, you want that same quality there. What does your team look like? Are you remote? Do you have an office or using freelancers, virtual assistants, US contractors? Talk a little bit about that.
We have a team of fourteen people and most of them are in Canada and the United States. We have a couple that is overseas and they’re all virtual. The only people that live in the same city are my husband and my brother that also work with me, but everyone else is completely virtual. We have Zoom meetings every day and we mentioned Alex Charfen on the podcast.
We follow Alex Charfen’s cadence where we have our waterfall-like annual objectives, our 90-day targets, our 30-day goals, our weekly commitments. That’s how we keep on track with what direction are we going in. How are we accomplishing our goals? Also, the communication structure that we have daily huddles to communicate and not a micromanager feel like anyone is being managed, they’re being led.
Alex is a good client of FreeUp. Can you talk a little bit about the daily huddles because I know that’s something he preached? We talked a little bit about it on his podcast, but I’d love to hear from someone that learned from him. How are you doing it with your team?
I love it so much. I’m so grateful that I found Alex when I did because when I first started my business, it was just me and then my husband was able to leave his full-time job to join me in the business. I hired my brother and then I hired a virtual assistant and then an executive assistant and a video editor. I looked for all this space where our time was being used too much and we knew that we needed to move to a more strategic instead of tactical. We’d hire for those spaces but then as your team grows, it’s like, “How do I communicate with all of them especially if we’re not in the same office or even if we were in the same office? What’s the best way to communicate?”
Doing daily huddles has been a massive transformation in the business and a lot of people might think and you like, “You have a meeting every day? That sounds like a lot of work.” It’s a lot less because where some companies might be walking into each other’s offices and interrupting and, “I need to talk to you about this,” and, “This thing just came up.” That’s distracting. For me, when I’m working on something, I’m focused on it and that context switching loses momentum and loses productivity.
When we have these daily huddles, we have three things that we ask or three things that we go through. Does anyone have any critical issues? After we can bring to the table what we might need to support or what’s going on our weekly commitments that we might be behind or need some support with so that everyone can feel productive and efficient and supported. We also ask to share any wins. Does anyone have any wins that they want to report, something that they might have accomplished? It doesn’t have to be business; it could also be personal because as a team we want to support each other individually. Lastly, who got caught being awesome so we can also recognize each other and how we’re supporting each other on the team? It’s cool to see that as the team grows, that who got caught being awesome part gets longer and longer because it’s a cohesive team and we’re able to support each other and even having this day-to-day.
It was something that the team at first might have thought this is a lot to do a meeting every single day but we all look forward to having these daily huddles. Not only do we get to connect even if it’s only a ten, fifteen-minute meeting, but we also know what’s going on in the business. That someone who might have a smaller role or even a big role knows what’s the umbrella of this, what’s everyone else doing and what are my actions supporting?
This is something that Alex talks about, it’s not pressured from the top like from me as the CEO saying you need to do this and here’s what you need to get done. It’s also a lateral pressure because you have this team that you want to support and you don’t want to let them down, you don’t want to hold them back from their zone of genius. It’s been massively transformational in the business but also for my team and me individually.
You mentioned a virtual assistant, obviously a lot of people reading or using FreeUp they’re hiring virtual assistants. What do you use a virtual assistant for? What do you look for in a virtual assistant?
Share your wins.
My first virtual assistant found me on Twitter and I wasn’t even looking for one but we just connected. I loved her personality. She was such a go-getter and she showed me that she cared about my business. You asked what do you look for in a virtual assistant or in anybody I hire. I want them to be a true believer. That’s another Alex Charfen term that they come into this business and they love it, but that they’re not just coming into it for a job and that’s something that I also do in my hiring process. We have a type form that they fill out and I ask them what do you know about this company? What do you know about me? Sometimes people respond like, “I don’t know anything,” and to me, I go, “Couldn’t you have Googled something, take the few minutes if you want this job?” If you want an opportunity that you not only get to put your time into, put your heart into it. I want people that are coming into my business that they love being part of this team, that they want to be a key player in this business, not just get it in and get out and make a paycheck. That’s something that I look for.
When my virtual assistant Andrea found me, it was something that she came to me already knowing what I did which made it easier for me to also invest my time and energy into her, to grow and nurture her in this role. My virtual assistant as of now, she does a little bit with email, helps with a lot of tactical stuff even uploading videos for us. There might be some tactical things which are like upload type in this and I look for roles to fulfill based on tactical work that I might be doing or a team member might be doing where we need to move into strategic. What can we offload and train and put into a process for someone else to execute?
Let’s talk a little bit about the creative. I’m assuming that you have video editors, you’ve got writers, you got graphic designers. How do you go about getting creatives? How do you go about working with creatives and getting the ideas that they’re in your head, in your client’s head out there?
When I first started hiring video editors because editing a video is very time-consuming and it’s the biggest thing that we hear from our clients. That’s where we have our done with you and our time for you program to help alleviate that for them. I was spending so much time editing a video yet I had this belief that I’m the only person that can do this because of my creative vision and my art is intuitive and you can’t teach someone something that’s intuitive.
Again, let’s talk about Alex Charfen, he was the one that said to me straight up, “Marley, you’re not that special,” and it’s so true. There’s nothing that is all you that no one else can do, everyone is replaceable. Yes, there might be strategy things that I am able to come up with but that doesn’t mean that someone else couldn’t come up with a different strategy. Even where I thought I’m the only strategy, I now have an amazing marketing coordinator on my team that comes up with amazing strategy and ideas that I completely trust him to run with.
When it came to video editing, I knew that I needed to find people that had a similar creative vision to me but could still also be detail-oriented, follow a process. That’s part of what we do in our vetting. How do we test them before we even hire them? In our hiring process, we put out a job post and it’s very thorough with the results, the requirements like what we expect and what this role is fully a part of and what we want them to achieve. In that, we also have the links to that type form where I also say in that job post you must fill out this type form, anyone that doesn’t, your application will not be considered. If we put a post on Indeed or any other job posting site, if they just send their resume through but they don’t fill out the type form, I don’t pay attention to it because that’s also a test of do you have attention to detail? Are you spending the time and/or is this something that you’re throwing out resumes and not caring about the job that you’re applying for?
In that type form, we also ask questions that might be questions that you’d ask on a first interview, like for culture fit. What are your hobbies? What kind of experience do you have that relates to this role? What do you know about this business? What do you know about me? Are you the kind of person that likes to do the same thing every day and dive into that role? Are you the kind of person who wants to have a new challenge every day? I ask things like that in the type form so that even before I get on the call with them, I have a good idea if they’re a good cultural fit.
After that, if I like that then I will get on a call with them and have a quick meeting to see how we communicate face-to-face. That’s a good sign too because I’ve had people that come in the interview and they’re very shy or you can write things a lot easier than you can speak things on the fly sometimes. You might not be there or people are not looking at the camera and they seem very distracted and I’m like, “What are you looking at”
I want someone that I can have a good relationship with and we can laugh together and enjoy the conversation if we’re going to be spending a lot of time together. From there, I give them a test assignment. The first test assignment I give is a small test assignment that I expect might take twenty minutes, half-an-hour. I ask them to do it for free and then I see it from there how is the quality of work and did they submit it on time.
I sometimes might leave out a few details to see if they ask for the details or if they come up with the answer on their own because then that shows their initiative. If I like that, then I’ll ask them to do a second test assignment. This time a paid test assignment because I want to give them a bigger job to do which is going to be a big indication of what their role would be if I choose to hire them. It might seem a little bit extensive but then that also helps me to know that I can trust this person that I’ve hired because you’re putting a lot of time and energy into training them. Hopefully, in a way they’re going to stay with you for a long time.
That gave an insight into how important it is to enjoy working with people and to have a set process. Let’s talk about what’s working, what’s not working? We see a lot of different trends on social media with video. What can you share with the audience?
When it comes to video, I see a lot of it unfortunately like Facebook Live content. Nothing wrong with Facebook Live, I do Facebook Live. I love it for day-to-day like nurturing and communicating with your audience, but sometimes the Facebook Lives they’re about nothing at all and there’s no value to it or there’s no relationship-building to it. Even if you ever see those people that they go on Facebook Live and for the first few minutes they’re testing the audio or they’re like, “Is this thing on?” or like, “I’m just going to wait until more people join.” What they might be forgetting is that after the Facebook Live is over, people are watching the replay and people need to be engaged very quickly like 15 to 30 seconds and if they’re not engaged in that time, they’re going to click off and they’re never going to get your message no matter how impactful it was.
When I do a Facebook Live or when I’m training people on how to do any kind of video, the beginning has to hook people and we learned this from Russell Brunson, Hook, Story, Offer. How do you hook people right away? How do you tell them the story that is going to resonate with them and then lead them towards an offer in a way that you’ve given them this value upfront? That they think it’s worth it for me to sign up for this thing or get this free thing or pay them money for whatever it is that you’re offering. That’s something that I see not working is sometimes people are too focused on how many people are watching or why am I worrying too much about what they’re saying, that they’re not saying anything.
What about just social media outside of video?
There’s a lot of things that I’m learning all the time seeing people write these long impactful posts and seem like how do you engage someone with written content or video content? The biggest thing that I’m seeing is Hook, Story Offer is that right at the top of the paragraph or at the top of the video is that sentence like, “Boom,” impacts people and makes them intrigued wanting to watch more or wanting to read more. Going straight into a story because we’re attracted to vulnerability the more that we get to hear someone, the more they’re willing to open up.
It’s scary, first of all, to open up, but when you do and you show that side of you, there are many sides to it. There’s the side where you get to share your story that people resonate with. Being know, like and trust you and the other side of it where you’re leading the way and your vulnerability makes other people feel safe so that they can do so themselves. We all have a message to share. We all have a story. We all also have an impact that we want to make so when we’re able to do that and grow that know. Like, trust factor, it makes selling and trust ten times easier. I know that there’s the fear of like, “The haters.” Like, “What if people don’t like this? They’re mean to me about it.” That’s not your audience but you have to focus on the people that they need to hear that.
Anything that we missed that you want to cover?
I feel like I’ve been rambling. I’m like, “Am I talking too much?” These are all great questions, so thought-provoking.
This has been great, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people find out more about you? What are you most excited about?
Definitely my YouTube channel, YouTube.com/MarleyBairdMedia. There are lots of free training on there about YouTube in video marketing and I have a masterclass that I’d love to share. It’s how to create 60 days of social media and video content in 8 hours and it’s not one of those webinars that have the fluff and some sob story and then a pitch. It’s 45 minutes of training that you can take and execute immediately so that’s 60DaysOfContent.com.
Thanks so much for coming on.
Experts in creating strategically viral content, getting videos to rank first on YouTube and Google and using cross-channel video marketing for maximum reach, Marley Baird Media brings next-level video social selling to the marketplace.
Working with top dogs like Cristy Code Red, Alex Charfen, Rachel Pedersen, Stephen Larsen, and having worked events with Gary Vaynerchuck, Seth Godin, Randi Zuckerberg, and Robin Sharma – Marley leads her dream team specializing in impact-driven and profit-focused video strategy using The Baird Method.
Waging war against short-term influencers and creating an army of visionary leaders who refuse mediocre, mundane, and average video strategy, MBM builds a production team around their movement through omnipresent video assets.
Interested only in massive ROI and extraordinary impact, Marleyand her teamwork to provide support around their private clients so they can focus on what their movement is meant for – changing their family, business, community, and the world.
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