One of the premier platform for video reviews and video testimonials is VideoPeel, a company that helps brands grow conversion and sales by 80% plus. In this episode, host Nathan Hirsch interviews Patrick Tedjamulia, the CEO of VideoPeel. Before building VideoPeel, Patrick worked at Facebook, Google, General Mills and Procter & Gamble. He is passionate about helping consumers find the truth about products and services, and he talks about it in this episode.
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My guest is Patrick Tedjamulia. How are you doing?
I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me on the show.
I’m excited to talk to you. You definitely have an interesting company, an interesting topic. For those of you that don’t know, Patrick is the CEO of VideoPeel, the premier platform for video reviews and video testimonials. VideoPeel has helped brands, grow conversion and sales by 80% plus. Before building VideoPeel, Patrick worked at Facebook, Google, General Mills and Procter & Gamble. Patrick is passionate about helping consumers find the truth about products and services. We’re going to talk all about that, but first let’s take a gigantic step back. What were you like growing up as a kid? Were you a straight-A student? Were you a rebel? I know you had a bunch of real corporate jobs. Did you ever think you were going to be an entrepreneur?
I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. It always goes back to seeing my dad and my uncles and doing what they did, building, selling their companies. Living through my dad’s international businesses that he built. I was a straight-A student, I tried to be. We were immigrants. My parents were immigrants in the United States. I knew we had to work our butts off if we wanted to achieve the goals that we aspire to which was achieve your potential. That’s what my dad always taught me, was the limits that you have are the limits you place on yourself. I try my best to get as many grades as I could so I could get into the best school I could.
What school was that? What was college life like for you?
I chose Brigham Young University because I wanted that spiritual foundation. I truly believe in God and that he has a plan for us. I went to Duke for my MBA because I wanted to go to the best marketing school that had the best professors around marketing. At the time it was Duke. I got into Duke. It was a big part because my parents were pushing me to get good grades.
The limits that you have are the limits you place on yourself.
Talk to me about after college. What was your first job and how did that go? How did the entrepreneurial spirit play into that? You see a lot of people like me, for example, I was doing everything possible so after college, I didn’t have to go and work for a big company. It sounds like you went and it’s a smart route, too. You went to those companies. You gained a lot of experience. That probably helped you later on.
I was working before school. I was working during school. I worked after school. I was working the whole time. I was trying to pay for my own two-year mission to go and serve somewhere outside the country. I served in South Africa, Mozambique. I had to raise my own money to do that. I wanted to raise my own money to pay myself through school because I didn’t want to put that burden on my parents. I was always working. It was great. While I was at BYU, this was my first job during college, I was working for Novell. It was a big networking company in the day. Eric Schmidt who’s the Chairman of Google, used to be the CEO of Novell. It was in Provo, Utah right next to where my school was. I got an internship there while I was going to school.
I felt like the coolest guy ever because I was stepping on a class on a phone call with customers. I was a beta manager so I was helping launch products for Novell like NetWare, GroupWise, email clients, software, stuff like that while I was trying to do my classes at BYU. It’s a great way to do it to be honest with you, to get world experience while you’re learning especially if it’s related. I was studying information systems while I was working at the top networking company on its day.
Can you talk about what are the main takeaways that you got in the corporate life that someone like me who’s never had a real job after college or other entrepreneurs are missing?
I would say in the corporate world you have the faster ability to be able to implement scale. For example, when I worked at Facebook, we didn’t have to necessarily hunt down for people to adapt our products. We already had a mass scale of people using our product, so we could essentially go in and say, “I want to test this little tweak. I’m going to change the ad format for local awareness ads or for carousel ads. I want to test it on one million customers.” You can do that. That’s the thing with big companies is the ability to test in the way that you can instantly get results. That’s not always the case with bigger companies, but in nowadays’ digital world you have more companies that are that way.
The learnings from that are that you have to plan a lot further ahead. You have to make your decisions with more data than you normally would. In most cases, that’s what I’d say is the big difference between startups, the one that I’m running, the one many people are doing and bigger companies is you have a lot more data. It’s established, it has processes, and there are infrastructures that you can look, analyze and make better decisions. Now it could be slower because of that. When I was at Procter & Gamble, we had to wait months in order to get survey results back in order for us to make brand decisions because it wasn’t like the digital world we live in nowadays. Still it was all based on data so you had to go through the processes and models by which you knew in the past have proven to be successful. Those things are important. Once you start growing, we’re seeing that now, we’re getting so many video reviews that I have to be implementing processes in order for us to be able to scale.
Talk to me about VideoPeel. How did that idea come about? What did that first year look like?
I was working at Facebook. I’m helping them build their ad platform. I saw every single advertiser on Facebook no matter what vertical, no matter what industry you’re in. They wanted more authentic content because their ads had to convert. If they weren’t converting, they weren’t reaching the audiences they wanted to, it wasn’t profitable for them. How could we get them much more authentic content that would improve trust? We knew that what we had built basically, allowed anybody to say anything they wanted to anybody. It’s what the ad platform is enabled. As a result, the trust needed to be almost reestablished by most brands or established in the first place. How can they do that? How could they establish that trust? I knew there was a huge opportunity for us to figure out a way of helping brands be able to grow authentic content.
That’s why I left Facebook. I said, “I knew that there had to be a way to do this. How do we do this?” I started doing research. I went back to my roots at Procter & Gamble, which was you need to go and research. You need to go talk to the customers so you can understand what’s going on. I did that. I tried to figure out what do people want to know before they buy. I talked to a ton of people. I asked them these questions. The result for me was people want to know from people like them if a product works and if it’s right for them. Not an anonymous person, not somebody that is an actor but someone that’s using the product. Especially if they can show right there that the product is working for them. That insight, we tested and researched that over a lot of different types of audiences. We even tested it with a university that’s doing a research study around the power of that improvement of trust and how video can play a part in helping people show the truth.
I said, “How do we help consumers see the truth and how do we help brands show the truth?” You couldn’t get consumers to see the truth unless you develop the system and the tools by which any brand could capture this truth, which is real experiences from real people. We said, “Let’s build the tools that enable people to do that. That’s what VideoPeel is. We’ve built the tools that enable brands, entrepreneurs, medium, and large-sized enterprises to request, collect, real video experiences of their own customers or of people that they want to test their product.
People that I’ve heard talk about FreeeUp, we got it out with a minimum bio product. It’s changed a million ways in the past years. Is the idea of VideoPeel now very similar to that first year? Has a lot of changes come to place? I’m not talking about internal process change. I’m talking about the overall business model and structure.
When we started VideoPeel it was all about how do we effectively, efficiently allow people to capture video quickly and allow people to see the video then, evaluate it and use the video. It’s allowing consumers to easily send video to brands, and then allowing brands to be able to use that video then. That’s what we focused on when we launched VideoPeel. It’s always been improving that. Now, people can get a request for a video and submit a video in four clicks. It’s super easy. They don’t have to download an app or anything. It’s great for the brand. We’ve developed that, improved that and gone beyond. Now we know how to manage that video well to allow you to then publish the video in all the places that matter most. We’re growing on how many places we can publish videos in which is cool for brands because they can say, “You can help me collect videos and publish them on the places that matter.”
You need to go talk to the customers so you can understand what’s going on.
I know you use a lot of virtual assistants. You use a lot of freelancers. Can you talk about how you use them?
When brands come to us, they usually have products that currently are selling and they have products that are about to launch. Oftentimes they don’t yet have customers for newly built or prototyped products. How are you going to be able to get someone that fits a specific target criterion, like a target audience, to be able to test your product? You want them to ideally be people that eventually you think will buy your product. You can see if this product will work or maybe it won’t. You want to capture that experience because that would be great marketing content for once you launch. You then all of a sudden already have real social proof.
For that we are reaching out to a lot of freelancers. You can call them influencers but there are people that meet certain criteria. For instance, a company is launching a new water bottle. Their audience is those hikers and those people that are out there doing a lot of outdoor things. We go out and we reach out. We have a network of over ten million consumers and businesses. We can reach out to these people. We can invite them. It’s a freelancer type opportunity for them to test a product, to serve as a beta customer and to be able to capture their experiences using it, to show that experience, and publish that experience. That’s one side of things. We have a lot of companies that come to us because we’re able to do that and find people any definition that you have.
There’s another side. We have people that come to us and say, “We want you to do video reviews but we also want you to do product videos.” It’s like, “We want you to do all our video for us.” We ended up from a full-service standpoint, we are able to do that. What we often do is that we try to find the right videographers at the locations that these brands want to film in. That’s a big piece of us is finding freelancers that are ideal for the specific type of product video. Let’s say it’s a fashion product video where a brand is trying to launch a new type of hat or a new type of shoes which we have clients that do that. We have to find the right videographer at the location where they want to film the video. I’ll go beyond that, which is developers.
We’re growing so fast that our customers are asking us for so many different features. It’s like, “Tomorrow I want to be able to launch this video contest but then have a specific type of voting capability that allows my consumers to vote on which specific video should win.” We have to build this feature. If our bandwidth and our current development team are at a point where we can’t build that feature, and we need this for a customer that wants to launch their video contest in about a week, we can then get that freelancer to help to enable that new feature to be added to our platform.
Can you talk about the internal structure? You’re at the top. Do you have a business partner? do you have account managers? Do you have VA’s under them? What does that structure look like?
We’ve divided up the organization. We have my cofounder, he’s the CTO. He heads up all our dev. He’s the one that manages our developers. He’s the one that manages recruiting for freelance developers and others bringing some full-time or keeping some freelance. He handles that side of the business. The side of the business when it comes to sales, I’m directly over. We have a team that helps push that out. We have salespeople in different places of the world. On top of that related to sales, we have account management like you’re hinting at. Every single one of our enterprise-level clients, these are people that we need to have someone that’s managing their account. It’s a heavier account. It’s heavier, meaning there’s more needed from us to be able to do that. We have account managers and we have those that are the success engineers that are helping to ensure that every campaign they do is successful.
What tips can you give in terms of building a culture? You’ve got people that are remote, you’ve got people that are internal, you’ve got freelancers in different states that are doing videos. What kind of communication is there? What kind of culture do you build?
For us, it’s one thing that I’ve established early on which is the culture I feel like you can try to build, but it ends up being built itself. What you need to do is provide the guiding principles so that they can be built within your company. The best way to do that is through examples, in my opinion. What I look to do is I like to provide examples of the types of communications that we need to have as a company. Those end up developing your culture. When I was on Facebook, Zuckerberg did his well. In the meeting he would leave and he would show the example of how he wanted to have open communication. He did that in his weekly meetings for the entire company where anybody could talk to him and ask him questions. He did that because if someone emailed him, he responded instantly.
I was a product guy on the ad team, not necessarily his number one guy. I was someone important to him. He would respond to me. It’s amazing. That’s the kind of culture that I was trying to instill in our company. If a customer comes out and you lag your email reply, even if it’s more than 24 hours, that’s a culture that you’ve now said was acceptable. If you say, once a customer sends you an email, you need to reply even if you don’t know the answer. You need to reply within, it is a reasonable five minutes, ten minutes. Even if you can’t tell them the results, you need to share with them that you’re there. Our culture becomes a culture of total customer success, customer service. We know that communication is key.
Let’s talk about video testimonials. I grab them for FreeeUp. I know that other clients are doing them for their products, for their services. What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see?
I feel like people go and say, “I need video testimonials.” They don’t think about what’s their objective. Where are they going to be publishing these? Who is going to be looking at them? What questions do they have when they’re looking at them? We always do a video audit with our customers where we try to ask them those questions ahead of time. We’ve identified over seventeen different types of video reviews/testimonials that you could be collecting. It’s not one size fits all. At the end of the day, you’re optimizing conversions of every place these videos are published in. In the world of video, the amount of engagement that you can have increases the opportunity for conversion. What I mean by that is with static there are less engaging aspects to that media file. With video, the engagement level is bigger which means that there are more opportunities for conversion.
The amount of engagement that you can have increases the opportunity for conversion.
If you’re not thinking about the objectives, you’re not thinking about the type of videos that you are requesting from customers, then you’re not answering the questions that will ideally convert you. If you have a landing page that you want to get videos, testimonials on there, you need to understand what people are asking when they’re coming to that page. What are the three main questions? It’s a simple thing, but it’s not that simple when you don’t know. We also have a product where we can help you figure out what people want to know when they come to your website. Most people don’t know the answer to that question. We do that because we are able to collect videos of people coming to your website. You can then say, “The three questions most people are asking when they come to my site are one, two and three. Let’s collect videos where people are responding to those exact questions.”
The more you know about who’s visiting your site, you should have people in that video that are like them. We know from our data that the more like a person is to you, the more likely you will increase your purchase intent because your trust level goes up. We’re trying to measure trust in all of the variables we can. We see that, “With a more trustworthy person, you are more likely to purchase, will more likely convert.” It’s a great way for you to better understand your customer. It’s not just, “Let me get a video testimonial tomorrow.” You can do that and it will be helpful, but there are always ways to optimize.
Is there anything that I missed about hiring, about video testimonials, about VideoPeel?
I would say we would love to help in any of your businesses, if it’s small or if it’s large businesses, if you’re selling on Amazon, whatever it is. If it’s B2B, if it’s B2C we can help. I’m putting a special offer for Nathan and everybody at FreeeUp, everybody that’s using FreeUp or everybody that wants to know about FreeUp. If you want to use VideoPeel to help you with collecting and managing, publishing video testimonials, video reviews we have a 30% promotional code which we’re going to call FreeUp. Nathan, you can use and you can have anybody else use and it’s for a lifetime. Whenever they use that, then we’re happy to help them.
Where can people find out more about you? What are you most excited about?
You can find me through VideoPeel.com or Patrick Tedjamulia on LinkedIn. I’m most excited about a new feature we launched called live video reviews. If you imagine the world we live in is instant. Everything is happening now. Real live people talking about your products now is where we should be. Most customers and most brands aren’t there. Most retailers aren’t there. If you are a brand and you want to have an advantage over your competitors, you could jump into the live video review space. We are providing that as a solution, specifically through Amazon and through Facebook on how we’re going to grow, how we do this. You could have live video reviews that are running on Amazon.com/live. I’m serious, people should be doing this. It doesn’t cost them anything to do live broadcast on Amazon if you’re selling on Amazon. You can also do this on Facebook and we can help you with it.
Thank you so much for coming on.
Thank you, Nate. I appreciate everything that you do and what you’re providing for so many people.
Patrick Tedjamulia is the CEO of VideoPeel the premier plarform for Video Reviews and Video Testimonials. VideoPeel helps brands grow conversions and sales by 80% plus.
Before building VideoPeel, Patrick woked at Facebook, Google, General Mills, and Procter & Gamble. Patrick is passionate about helping consumers find the truth about products and services.
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