Download: MP3 (54.7 MB)
While on our first stop of the sabbatical year in San Diego, I got to visit Caleb Wojcik in his home studio.
In addition to this episode, we also recorded an episode with me on the Caleb Wojcik Show which publishes today.
Caleb is an incredible filmmaker who has worked with clients like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and ConvertKit (filming their I Am A Blogger series as well as the Craft + Commerce conference). He also filmed our own seanwes conference.
Caleb regularly teaches what he’s learned building a successful six-figure client-services business with his podcast, courses, and YouTube channel.
In today’s episode, I ask Caleb what he would do to get his first client if he was starting from scratch. If you’re looking to sell your filmmaking services, this episode is for you.
Aside from client services, Caleb is also the inventor of SwitchPod. SwitchPod is a minimal, versatile, handheld tripod for vloggers that raised over $400,000 on Kickstarter. We talk about going from client services to physical products and the future of SwitchPod.
Caleb recently set up what many would consider to be a dream home video studio in the past couple of years. But like many of us, he still struggles with overthinking content creation and production quality. We talk about some tips for overcoming overthinking and how to make videos more easily.
Links and Resources Mentioned
- The Caleb Wojcik Show
- Caleb Wojcik on YouTube
- Caleb Wojcik on Twitter
- Caleb Wojcik on Instagram
Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated and has not been edited for correctness. It’s provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.
Sean: [00:00:00] Hey, it’s Sean McCabe. I’m back. I’m back on the SM seven B microphone. I feel at home. Caleb,
Caleb: [00:00:06] it’s a, it sounds much better than the builtin one on your phone. Are you? Do you have an external one you’re using?
Sean: [00:00:11] Yeah, but I use the builtin one a lot.
Caleb: [00:00:12] Yeah. Yeah. Something like that. That podcast sound.
Sean: [00:00:15] No, no.
Nothing like that. Nothing like a, the sounds of Caleb’s voice coming through the SMSF. IB.
Caleb: [00:00:23] You’re traveling with one of these during your sabbatical.
Sean: [00:00:25] I thought about it. I really thought about it. but that’s Caleb and logics voice. You’re hearing. Welcome to the show, Kayla.
Caleb: [00:00:32] Thanks for having me.
Definitely listen to the podcast for many years, so to be honest. Good.
Sean: [00:00:37] It’s great to have you. This is also the first interview I’m doing. On my sabbatical year.
Caleb: [00:00:44] So you’re planning to interview people as you travel around and
Sean: [00:00:46] yeah. Yeah. Just record conversations I have with people. Sometimes it might be, you know, friends like this that I was looking forward to meeting or just people I meet that I didn’t know of before.
So just having some conversations. This is a rare treat though, because if you’re listening to the podcast. There’s also a video version that you can find. you know, you go, go to the actual episode, like Sean dot com slash the number that’s going to take you to the, to the page where you can watch the video.
And if you’re watching the video, you’ll see we’re in Caleb’s amazing studio here.
Caleb: [00:01:17] You can’t really see much cause it’s just, I like this like plain simple black backdrop keeps me from overthinking, Oh, what I put back there, like, how’s the lighting? Is that thing out of focus? Simple? Focused on the conversation.
That’s kind of what the look is supposed to be,
Sean: [00:01:31] clean and professional. So I really, really like it. But yeah, it’s great to have you here. Caleb has a podcast as well, the Caleb Waddick show. You’ve been doing that how many years,
Caleb: [00:01:42] off and on for four or five years, but just kind of re kick started it.
I think it’s an important part of. Me to have conversations with my friends and peers and other people that are doing interesting stuff in something I missed. So I brought it back this year. Cool.
Sean: [00:01:57] I always really enjoy the episodes. I feel like they go really deep, like they’re just great conversations.
Thank you. So highly recommend checking out Caleb show. We actually just recorded an episode. I was talking about, like. What I’m feeling and experiencing on sabbaticals and other things.
Caleb: [00:02:14] Yeah. It’s the hardest thing for me is titling the episodes. When I talked to one of my friends that I know their stories so well, so you can like headline it with maybe the biggest thing they’re known for or like, Oh, they did this and it’s like, but we talked about so much and it’s like, do I just title it their name?
Sean: [00:02:31] No, no. I’ll give you mine. Mine. It’ll just be like. A workaholic takes a year off or something. Something along those lines.
Caleb: [00:02:39] Okay. I like that.
Sean: [00:02:40] Also, also a little tip here. I’m not like, Caleb needs the tips. He’s the, he’s the video guy. He’s the YouTube guy. we talked about that later in the episode. So they’re waiting for that payoff.
It keeps them listening, keeps them watching.
Caleb: [00:02:53] Do I like blur your face with a question Mark to, to like
Sean: [00:02:56] yet red arrow, red arrow on the thumbnail? but no, no. Actually, if, if anyone listening is interested in getting started with video or just taking that to the next level of, Caleb has. A lot of awesome resources.
He’s got courses. He’s got a YouTube channel. You can find him. Caleb logic. It’s w. O. J. C. I. K. correct. Also known. Some people might know you as DIY video guy.
Caleb: [00:03:20] Yeah. That was dropped. That moniker. That was kind of a name that I used for awhile. I liked the rhyme. It was like rolled off the tongue a little bit, but.
I, I don’t really like DIY stuff. Like I have like all the fancy gear. I don’t like build stuff with two by fours and like PVC pipe. So I was like, yeah, I don’t know if that’s really me anymore, but yeah, you can still find it that way.
Sean: [00:03:39] Cool. So I want to talk to you a little bit about client work. I know your, as of this recording, your most recent podcast episode was all about your client video workflow.
So for someone who’s wanting to get into doing video work for clients, making money with that, and then let’s say they’re working in a job, they’ve, they’ve maybe kind of dabbled with it, but they’re not really sure. Like. How to take this seriously. What’s the first thing that you tell them to focus on?
Caleb: [00:04:13] I think it’s really hard to get hired for something very visual.
That something that you can immediately see that’s good or that’s bad, like video, you know, art might be that for some people. Photography might be that as well. But people consume so much video through television and the internet and their phones and everywhere that they can see quality right away or hear quality, or just feel it.
So to get someone to pay you money to make a video, they kind of need proof that you can do it. So I think one of the most important things that you can do early on. Is work on your portfolio, and that sounds like this really daunting thing. Like you need a highlight reel or a demo reel of all these great things you’ve done.
You just need like one or two examples of what this person’s trying to hire you for. So an example for me is my wife was a wedding photographer for many years and I was like, Oh, I want to try doing some wedding videos. Pays well. fun work, fun event. People are. Genuinely happy most times at their wedding.
And I was like, how do I get hired to make a wedding video? And it was like eat proof. Like I’m not going to hire a wedding videographer that like has never done it before.
Sean: [00:05:28] It’s tricky cause it’s like step one have wedding videos.
Caleb: [00:05:31] Yeah. And it’s like, so how are you going to get the trust to do this? And so my wife and I were attending, attending a wedding for her friend that she went to college with.
I didn’t know anyone at the wedding other than like. Two people. So I was like probably going to be pretty bored at this wedding. Like my wife’s in the wedding party, she’s gonna be doing stuff the whole time. I’m going to be twiddling my thumbs scrolling through the internet. So it was like, why don’t I ask him if I can film a video?
Luckily they didn’t have anyone at the time, but I filmed a video on my Canon 60 D it was one of the first videos I ever filmed. I rented a monopod and a shotgun, Mike and a lens. So I like invest in some of my own money. Watch tutorials online about how to do things. And I just ended up filming their wedding, making a highlight video, putting it on my website, saying I could do weddings.
And from that one video, I got hired for my next one, and that was a full paid one for thousands of dollars. But if I hadn’t had done that one for free, I wouldn’t have had proof to, to get hired to do something. So I think the most important thing is, even if you have to do it for free. You need work, you need something to show people.
Sean: [00:06:43] And I imagine when you say free, you mean like on your own terms, not someone saying like, I don’t want to pay you, will you do it for free, but like you offering like, I’ll do this pro bono.
Caleb: [00:06:54] Right, exactly. So that might be a friend. It might be you reaching out to wedding photographers. And saying like, Hey, if any of your clients can’t afford a video person, maybe you reach out to coordinators or something.
It’s like they can’t afford a video person. I’m willing to gift them my entry level wedding package of $1,500 I can tell them any proof that I know what I’m doing, but I don’t. Maybe you have some other videos and usually you’re pretty upfront with the people about it because. Maybe they weren’t going to hire one anyway.
So it’s just for them it’s bonus. And for you, you’re just trying to get your feet wet
Sean: [00:07:27] and when it’s a bonus for them, they’re not, they’re not going to try and like micromanage.
Caleb: [00:07:32] You would hope they’re not going to like complain and you might not even have a contract because it’s like you’re not paying me, like I’m just showing up to get what I
Sean: [00:07:39] got.
Now you’ve got this portfolio item.
Caleb: [00:07:43] So that’s what I would say to somebody that wants to get their first client with anything that, I mean, copywriting. Painting, like anything that’s visual or if someone can look at as proof like, yeah, I want to look at people that remodel kitchens. I want to see where their kitchens they’ve done.
You know, there, there are certain jobs where just makes sense to have a portfolio. So
Sean: [00:08:06] we talked a little bit in the episode that you and I recorded for your podcast about how you don’t really need hundreds of clients. If you have a few great clients that can actually be all that you need. I don’t know if it’s that, but, what would you say when you look back, was there a point where you feel like things really leveled up?
Like if there was like a, an aha moment or something that kind of unlocked things for you that maybe can help people save a little bit of time?
Caleb: [00:08:37] I think when I first started running my client base business full time. It was basically like I make videos and like that was the extent of what I did and whoever I could connect myself to or try to get work from, I would take that to try to figure out what I was good at, what I liked to do, and then eventually kind of the shift or the thing that clicked was.
Recognizing what I was good at, as well as what people are willing to pay for. And that was the connection that enabled my business to get more streamlined, to be more predictable, and I could charge more for what I want to charge.
Sean: [00:09:14] All of the things that you were doing, the different types of videos. The things that you were good at and the things that people would pay.
Maybe pay more for that overlap.
Caleb: [00:09:23] Yeah. Yeah. Something that’s like very highly technical. but also that someone would make money from. So I, like I said, I did, I did some wedding videos. I’ve done like Kickstarter trailers. I’ve done videos for law firms, I’ve done events, I’ve done like all these different kinds of videos.
But. My experience working at fizzle and making my own online courses and then starting to film online courses for other people. There’s something very particular and skillset wise that you need to, to film something like that. You need to make any environment you show up in look nice and calming. You need to be.
Kind of a coach to the person that’s on camera for days on end to make sure their energy level is at where it needs to be. And like paying attention through the entire thing to make sure if there’s any slip ups, cause he, it’s hard to go back and redo it. There’s the teleprompter element to it.
Sometimes the people are scripting a course and there’s the little intricacies of can you actually stare at the middle of it? I can see your eyes moving back and forth. So there’s like all these little tiny things that add up to filming an online course. That I’ve done so many of that. I feel like I have a good, good feel for that.
So that people that want to hire me know that I’ve done so many online courses and there’ll be comfortable working with me.
Sean: [00:10:44] I realized I might’ve, I might’ve missed like a nuance thing in hearing you say that, you know, the, the one thing is things you’re good at. And then the other thing was, I thought you said.
Something people are willing to pay more money for, but maybe you are actually saying make more money
Caleb: [00:11:01] for Ali both.
Sean: [00:11:02] So that is if someone’s making money from your videos, they’re going to be more likely to pay you more money.
Caleb: [00:11:08] So I mean, this is something that you’ve talked about and kind of taught me this, is if they can view you as an investment into making more money, they’ll be willing to spend more.
So weddings to get back to weddings are. A hard thing because like weddings are an expense. Like all the money’s out. You get the marriage out of it, that’s your investment, but, and the memories and maybe the photos and videos from it, but it’s straight expense. So it’s hard to be an environment
Sean: [00:11:38] there where that wedding video,
Caleb: [00:11:39] right, you’re not, they’re not taking that wedding video and making money off of it, but an online course is.
So if it’s higher quality. If it’s made really well, if it has the legs to last for three to five years, because they put more money into making it look good the first time, as opposed to like filling it themselves and then having to refilm in a few years. So they’re willing to pay more because they’re gonna make money off
Sean: [00:12:04] of it.
So you got to think about everything from the client’s perspective. He can’t just say. Hey w how much will you pay me? You know, and compare like, Oh, this person will pay me more. I’ll work with them. You got to really think about it from their perspective. What are they going to do with this video? What, what result is that going to generate for them?
And through that kind of a process, you can figure out, okay, this person might be willing to pay. They might be willing to invest a little bit more in my services.
Caleb: [00:12:33] And you want to think about, not cost, but value. We talked about novel, in his podcast, and he has had an episode, or he was talking about it on one of his, like his long tweet storms that he did.
But cost and value aren’t the same thing. what’s something cost is like, yeah, the hard amount, but they might value it more. So yes, a hamburger from one place is not going to be as good as the other place, but it might cost less and you might not get the same value out of it. And so the same thing with the work you do for people.
You want to make sure that. They’re going to value what you do. You do not want to play the like price comparison shopping game. Like I’m not going to win that, but. I hope that me and my services and my experience is more valuable to people and they’re willing to pay for that,
Sean: [00:13:21] which clearly it is.
Because you do work for people like Pat Flynn, who’s prolific in, well, a lot of spaces, but a lot of people know him for videos that he does on YouTube, and obviously the smart passive income podcast, he’s put on a conference. He’s so, of course courses, and you’ve done a lot of video work for someone like
Caleb: [00:13:40] Pat.
And so I think that people. People will be willing to pay for talent and professionalism and speed and lack of mistakes or losing files, or you know, like those are the detail oriented things that I focus on when I’m working with people. And I hope that that turns into repeat clients or referrals or things like that because I don’t do a lot of.
Networking or cold emailing to like get the amount of people that I want to work
Sean: [00:14:14] with. Just relationships,
Caleb: [00:14:16] mainly just relationships and then knowing what’s enough. So like how much does my business need to earn this year? And that’s plenty. Like I, I’d not like just running myself ragged cause I have other projects I’ve other businesses aren’t running and I like to take time off as much as the next person.
Sean: [00:14:33] And you don’t need. Tons of clients to be able to do that. You can, like, you, you, you were the GoTo guy, right? Like, I, I hired you to film Shawn West conference. You also did video for, the ConvertKit conference, which is craft and commerce. and, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re all friends. And so like w whenever someone’s needing video services in this space, it’s like, well, you know, go to Caleb.
Caleb: [00:14:58] And I think that’s. Planting your flag of like, this is a thing that I do. I’m going to do it for a long time. And then just like constantly getting better at it, reinvesting into equipment and training and going to conferences to meet people. That could be your clients or could be people you hire to help you film, or it’s just a matter of action, like continually moving forward, like we talked about in an episode on my podcast, about.
There. It doesn’t matter what direction you go, if you’re not moving it just . You have to be going somewhere. And for me that was, Oh, let me take this class on lynda.com and learn this editing program. Or like, Oh, let me run this piece of equipment and try to learn how to use it and let me go to this conference or meetup and see if there’s,
Sean: [00:15:44] you had to figure out your way to your current positioning.
You didn’t just end up here, right? So you’re, you’re telling people, Hey, you got to get started. Like. You may not know. Do I do real estate videos? Do I do conference videos? Try it
Caleb: [00:15:59] out. Yeah, just just do them. Try them. You don’t know what you will enjoy until you do it. There’s no way to figure out if he likes something until you try it, and you might as well get paid to experiment too, and to try different niches and you can, you kind of have to just use your existing network when you’re starting out because.
You have to ask for favors. You have to ask friends and family if they know anybody, you have to hit the pavement and go to local businesses and ask them if they want a video for $100 and then you work your way up to thousands of dollars and you can’t skip steps. No one really skipped steps. No one just goes from, Oh, I’ve never directed a movie.
And it’s like, here’s a Marvel movie. It’s like, no, Tyco a T, T and other people that get these big Marvel movies. They’ve been doing this for years and they’ve been doing indie films and they’ve making it, making like money off of and entertainment that they’ve made. And so then Disney is like, okay, here, here’s the trust because you have this portfolio that you’ve done.
They’re not coming to me and handing me the keys to the next door movie. So I think that even if you’re not working towards like Hollywood, like I’m not doing that, but people need to have. Like a chance to see what you can do, and that’s the only way they’re going to trust you.
Sean: [00:17:23] You can’t skip the steps, you can’t skip the steps.
So that kind of differentiates between the idea of doing something. I want to direct a Marvel movie, like, okay, sure, but do you want to direct the the six or 16 before that that are low budget that not everyone sees? And that’s where. They’ll love for the craft comes in, like, are you doing this because of, some idea like, Oh, I want to be a bestselling author.
And then you find out I hate writing. Yeah. I don’t like waking up early or facing the blank page. Like that’s, that’s the process. You can’t skip the steps.
Caleb: [00:18:02] You got to fall in love with the process and, stay in the trenches, I think is another one. I think it’s Teddy Roosevelt as the quote about. But like the man in the arena, and it’s like he’s talking about basically critics and other people that are talking down about someone or what they’re doing.
And it’s like, no, the man in the arena, he’s the guy that’s like day in and day out doing this thing. And so I think even in today’s day and age, with the amount of critics just on the internet about anything, yeah. Whether that’s the latest star Wars movie or what someone. Sad on a news program or what have you.
Like there are so many critics and so many people giving their opinion about something that if you are someone that’s making something and doing something, you’re, you’re already standing out. You’re already like ahead of the game. Because instead of just piggybacking off of what someone else is doing to try to like get people to pay attention to you or follow you, you’re making things.
You’re doing it, you’re out there making. Whatever, and you’re not just like doing commentary on
Sean: [00:19:09] like you’re, you’re, you’ve got skin in the game, you’re putting yourself out there. It’s easy for someone to critique it or have an opinion on it, but it also speaks to just how rare it is when you really, all things considered.
How rare it is to create content. Most people are just consuming. They’re, they’re passive, right? But when you flip that switch from consumer to producer, like now you have a voice, now you have a message, now you can influence people. And so I do want to talk about creating content and, and especially that, overcoming that feeling of like, who am I to do this?
And there’s so much content out there, but I’m on the way to getting there. I wanna I wanna talk about, like you said this. You know, this idea of like, Hey, I’m just gonna try this. Like, I don’t know how it’s going to, I don’t know how things are gonna play out, but let, let’s see. Is that the mindset that, that inspired getting into physical products with the switch pod?
And for those that don’t know, the switch pod was a. Rather famously successful example of a Kickstarter backed project, and it’s a vlogging tripod. So for someone like me who’s like traveling around making vlogs on the go, this allows you to connect your camera to this tripod. Very low profile, but the cool part is it collapses into something super thin.
You can put in your backpack really easily, but then it expands out into this three legged tripod. You could sit down on a desk. And it’s, it’s awesome. I backed it. It, I think it raised almost half a million dollars on Kickstarter. so tell me a little bit about like the inspiration, cause you, you were the one who invented switch pod and partnered with Pat Flynn and launched this,
Caleb: [00:20:54] right?
Yeah. So the initial idea of it was just, you know, we were, we were at a video conference. We saw a lot of people using the GorillaPod, this bendy tripod thing. I’ve owned multiple of them. They kind of like get weaker over time and they’re, they’re never in like the perfect shape. And the perfectionist in me is like trying to line up all the little balls that like in a perfectly straight line into the truck.
Yeah. Yeah. So w basically frustrated by that. And so, I mean, Pat and I were just kind of brainstorming on like what it would be, what could it be and that this is an example of margin in your business to have. Extra time or extra money to kind of put into things that don’t make sense logically yet. so whether that’s like a day, a month where you, you know, set aside time and you’re like, I’m going to work on the thing that I really want to work on, even if it doesn’t make any money.
Or maybe it’s a day a week if you can, if you can afford that, or 20% of the money you have. So this, this was something in that realm where. We, Pat and I set aside time and money to like kind of work on this idea. It is to see what would come with it. And
Sean: [00:22:07] had either of you done physical products?
Caleb: [00:22:10] I mean, Pat had done books, but like he had other people print them.
I, I, it’s a whole different
Sean: [00:22:14] beast
Caleb: [00:22:15] now. I’d never done a physical product before. Just service-based income. And then like digital courses,
Sean: [00:22:20] we’re talking like you, you like flew overseas and you’re like in the, like the manufacturers accurate. Yeah. The factory.
Caleb: [00:22:27] Yeah, I mean, so, so we worked with kind of a an in between company to help us take out of our head the idea of what this tripod that collapsed on itself would be.
They did drawings in the engineering part and the 3d AutoCAD, and they would print like versions of it and mail them to us and we’d be like, Oh, this handle’s a little weird, or this feature is not going to work. And we, so we did that for months and months and. Then eventually like once it started functioning, like once it started opening and closing and could hold a camera on top of it.
Then we got really excited cause we were like, this is, I think this is a good idea. This is going to work. So it was never like, Oh, would you like to spend a year and $30,000 and a bunch of hours to like make this thing? Maybe we would probably have been like, no, I don’t want to do that. That sounds daunting.
But it was like. A little bit here. Next prototype, being re-energized by that, spending another couple thousand dollars more engineering, another prototype. So this is kind of inched along
Sean: [00:23:32] without anyone knowing, right?
Caleb: [00:23:33] Yeah. It was pretty, pretty secret. Yeah. I mean, we didn’t talk about it for probably the first eight months.
Sean: [00:23:41] Okay. Question. Yeah. Would you, if you, if you could go back. Would you vlog? Like that whole journey? Would you like actually share the process or do you feel like you made the right decision and keeping it secret? At first,
Caleb: [00:23:54] I wish I would have recorded it, but not published it until when we announced
Sean: [00:23:59] it.
Then you had the foot,
Caleb: [00:24:00] so then I still had it. So one of my biggest regrets with the process of switch bot is just not recording stuff along the way. Because it kind of seems inconsequential along the journey of like, well, which prototype was that? Or you know, like, but I would have loved to know like, no way from this one to this one.
This is why we made this change, and like bring the people into the journey even more. Because once we kind of announced it at VidCon for the first time. It was another six months until we launched it on Kickstarter and under six or seven months, and now it’d been prime content to have to lead up to that.
We put out as much as we kind of could at the time, but it would have been helpful to have more of that journey along the way.
Sean: [00:24:44] So switch pod has launched, I have one. It’s on Amazon now. and. Well, I guess the first question is like, what are the plans, what are future plans for the actual switch pod? And then I know recently you announced this ball head attachment, so maybe you can talk about that a little bit as well as like, are there future attachments you’re already thinking of?
Is that top secret?
Caleb: [00:25:08] So the initial plan was switch pod was just to scratch our own itch to make a product that solved a problem we were having, that creators were having just frustrated by this. It’s, it’s just an accessory to the camera that’s an accessory to you telling your story of that. So like. To me deep down it’s like, I just want to remove the friction for creators to create things.
And so that’s kind of, we don’t have like a motto, like logo on our wall with like an Eagle or anything, but like switched one headquarters. We probably should. That’d be great. but that’s kind of the underlying philosophy behind switch pod and potential future products. So we’re in that research phase always like, what’s bothering you about making YouTube videos or recording a podcast or.
Or anything that’s involved with like creation of art right now or content online, but related to switch pod specifically. The main piece of feedback we got was people wanted to adjust a little bit more, and so we made our own ball head launched on the one year anniversary of the Kickstarter campaign.
Pre-sold that as well. We did it a little differently the second time around for the Kickstarter campaign, we had made four prototypes. They each cost $1,500. That was the extent of how many final switch pods there were in the world. We had one, I had one, Pat had one, we had one for Peter McKinnon, and we tried to get one to Casey Neistat, but it didn’t really work out.
So we had four at that point. Now there are over 10,000 of them.
Sean: [00:26:40] but we’ve seen them on, you know, like Peter McKinnon’s channel. MKBHD did Casey ever hold one?
Caleb: [00:26:47] we. He checked out a prototype at craft and commerce that convert gets conference, and influenced some of the final design decisions we made before the final version.
I haven’t seen one in his vlogs yet. People, you included, send me screenshots of his sunglasses, and then if it looks like a switch pod, someday maybe, But now that we have a lot of those, we kicked, started to raise the money to manufacture them, but then we have the built in audience. We have thousands of customers that wanted switch pod, and we knew because that was the biggest piece of feedback that ball had was the next thing.
They’re tons of ball heads out in the market, but. Our customers wanted one from us. They wanted one that looks the same, fits perfectly, is easy to use as the functionality. So we actually pre made 2,500 of them instead of. Pre-selling to like get the money just cause it’s timelines and stuff.
Sean: [00:27:38] Yeah. You’ve mentioned that you’ve basically put everything back into re-invest, like you’re not taking money out of switch Potter right now or just to like go on the beach like you’re, you’re pretty committed to this.
It seems like longterm
Caleb: [00:27:50] we took out a very small amount. In the grants, like we’ve brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in switch pod through the Kickstarter campaign through sales on our site and retailers and Amazon and everything. And we’ve reinvested almost all of that patent. I have into more inventory, into future products, into development, into new ideas.
Because we have existing businesses. We don’t need the money right now, which puts us in a position of strength of being able to reinvest it. So. We’re trying to do that as much as possible. maybe on the Kickstarter anniversary, each year we’ll have a new product that’s maybe a cadence. but I also don’t want to force things either.
And I know the ball head is not as quote revolutionary as the switch pod, but we had a built in audience and we’ve sold 30 to 40% of the initial run already because people, I think have kind of fallen in love with our story. They liked the product and we heard what they wanted, we, this is what we want next.
So there are other things that people are talking about that may just be improvements on what’s already out there. A better cell phone holder, maybe adjustments to the current switch pod for version two or maybe like a pro, beefier one with like a better grip or, I don’t know. So we’re kind of like working on new ideas and always listening to our customers and see what they say.
Sean: [00:29:14] there. A little Easter egg you share with me cause I got, you gave me one of the ball heads in a nice yellow switch pod color box and you said C C on the back. All those arrows pointing to the different parts. You said you drew those,
Caleb: [00:29:30] I think you had shared some arrows you made, or like maybe even, I’m, I asked for a download and you shared it on Twitter.
I’m trying to remember. It was years ago, but like,
Sean: [00:29:38] I just like drew these arrows hand drawn on the iPad. I don’t know, I guess I tweeted them or something. You’re like, Hey, can I have a download? And I was like, sure.
Caleb: [00:29:47] And so I think you provided one with like a white version and then like a black version.
Yep. And I dunno, I just search my computer arrow and then it’s like arrow. I just pull it in and crop the one that I want and I put it all over the box cause I mean, switch pod is a lean company. That’s me and Pat and he’s doing a lot of like the Amazon and the marketing, the influencer stuff, and I’m running the day to day and doing customer support and packaging,
Sean: [00:30:12] packing involved.
Caleb: [00:30:14] I mean, he was standing next to me when I had the initial like kind of inspiration and we were noodling on the idea and I was like, what if the legs kind of collapsed? And he was like, yeah, what if like this? And like the feet did this. And they like, and then Richie Norton, who runs a company called Prouduct, he’s, he’s on a team of people.
They actually make physical products for creators and businesses. And he was like, let’s do it. And we’re like, do what? Like we were just complaining about this product that we hate. And so that kind of spurred the. The, the creation of it. And we’ve been working with them ever since.
Sean: [00:30:45] And so are you the content guy for switch
Caleb: [00:30:48] pod stuff?
Yeah, doing content. I’m doing a lot of photography, videos, emails, like I said, lean, lean operation. I run multiple businesses at this point between switch pod and, my client business. And. Trying to put out my own content and YouTube videos and podcasts and courses, and so it all
Sean: [00:31:06] started doing recently new videos in 2020 on the YouTube channel.
Caleb: [00:31:11] Yet for me, if I don’t have a schedule, it’s easier to just like push it off. It’s like, Oh, I’ll make a video next week, or whatever. But if I’ve have a commitment to a schedule, I find myself just like I publish more of that way. It’s like, what’s that schedule right now? It’s weekly, so weekly podcast, weekly video.
So one of each, which is, it’s, it’s a lot of work. It’s hard to, it’s hard to keep up and, but we’re starting to try to batch things. So the first month of this year was just like getting used to the new process, or like, Oh, we’re using new podcast hosts now. Or like, how did we do this before, you know, like, that was January.
February is now like, okay, let’s start batching. So let’s do multiple interviews and weeks. So I have, I’m recording my month worth of interviews in the next three days. So that Tim can can work on them.
Sean: [00:31:59] I assume it’s not all in person like,
Caleb: [00:32:01] like this one we’re doing, so I’m trying to start with it. I don’t think it’s sustainable to do interviews only in person.
I think if I was in LA or New York or like some hub where there were more people. Or if I went to people and when I went to conferences I like set up a little thing and I recorded, I do prefer in person conversations way more. And I do think it’s valuable to have a video version of conversations cause some people just prefer to watch it versus listen to it.
But eventually I’ll, I’ll go audio only and maybe certain people that I can get to come to San Diego or, or what have you, are
Sean: [00:32:38] here already. Pretty sweet studio. This is fairly recent, right?
Caleb: [00:32:45] Yeah. I’ve, I moved into this place two years ago, but I’ve been slowly building it into what I want. I did a steward, Stuart, a studio tour video, where I kind of like walked through this.
I have a deep garage, so it’s like two and a half, three cars deep. and I’ve worked my way to this. I started like a, just a second bedroom office, and then I’ve kind of like worked my way into a space where. I have like a place to record. I have a place to store my gear. I have a place to just like hang out and write a script and I have, it looks like it’s permanent, like podcasting sat.
Sean: [00:33:19] Yeah. I was going to say you got this like dedicated, I mean you got the Mike arms mounted to the table, like this is a podcasting setup, but then you’ve got. A couch over there with like pillows and it’s all, you know, cool artwork behind it. So I imagine that’s for like a casual kind of conversation or shoot,
Caleb: [00:33:38] yeah, I’m going to start filming more over there as well, but I also just like.
That’s right. It’s like I’ll sit and read or all work on the script, or I just need like a change of venue. And then
Sean: [00:33:48] you got the like colored paper rolls.
Caleb: [00:33:51] Yeah. So those were, for switch pod in particular, those were really helpful cause I wanted like everything on switch, pod yellow. And so I’d pull down the paper roll and take the photos and film against the yellow.
Sean: [00:34:01] so the beautiful thing is now that you have this incredible studio. It’s not difficult at all. And you never overthink creating content. Right,
Caleb: [00:34:12] exactly. I never like get my own way or man, see, it comes something else I have to do first or like,
Sean: [00:34:19] Oh, that’s awesome Kayla. Like, I wish I was in your position.
But the thing is, the reason I don’t create content is I just don’t have all the fancy gear you have. Like I know it’s easy and automatic for you. Okay, we’ll cut the charade.
Caleb: [00:34:33] I was wondering how sarcasm comes across, done on audio. no, I still get in my own way. I still tweak things until, I don’t know, it was like 10 30 at night last night, and I was like trying to get that hair light behind Sean, like just right.
And I was like, I filmed with my wife and. It could, it could have used a hair light and I was like, on my side, I want, I don’t even have hair. So, but
Sean: [00:34:54] you got to get that separation.
Caleb: [00:34:55] Yeah. I still, I still do. I still do tweak things till the last minute and I’m still a perfectionist. And if that’s what it takes for me to be proud enough to publish something, then I’m okay with that.
Right now. I do wish I could be like a little bit more raw, a little bit less polished. Every time I sit down to record a video. What I’ve been doing lately is I’ll actually turn on the camera, turn on the lights, turn on everything. So it’s like I just have to hit record and hit start. I will still sit there and write a script with much like everything on, it’s like I could just start talking, but it’s like I want to get the word just right or I want to outline it, you know?
So I’m still trying to get out of my own way, but it’s tough. So don’t think that the tools or the, just having that one lens or camera or light or what have you, is going to enable you to do the thing. I’ve been doing that for years of accumulating gear and equipment and yes, it does enable me to have multiple cameras and the lighting and the mix and everything.
So like it’s an enabler, just like you said on our podcast episode on my show. Money is enabler gears and enabler for you to do stuff, but it doesn’t record on its own. Like you still have to show up and you still have to
Sean: [00:36:05] do you even, you even got up to the point where you had a red camera and you, you came back down from that, like it’s not the gear.
Doesn’t do the work for you. I’ve had the same experience with my studio. Everything’s set up to where I can just raise my wrist and tell Siri video shoot and the lights come on. The cameras come on and it’s, I can live stream, I can record to disc, you know, but you still have to do it. You still have to get in front of the camera and in front of the microphone and just.
Share, you know, just start recording. And I still feel that resistance, that there’s no amount of gear that’s going to take away that resistance. And so in a way, I, while I do miss man, I miss my SM seven B microphone. Like I’m not even, we’re not even recording with headphones right now, but I just, I’m so intimately familiar with this microphone.
I’m like, I know I sound good. Yeah. And I missed that. But. Just having my iPhone. I haven’t even been miking myself up with the level ear. For the most part. It is a, it’s a little bit freeing, but it’s also just helping me realize at the end of the day, you just have to hit that red button. You just have to hit that red button and record.
Caleb: [00:37:19] And speaking of red buttons. This one’s about to turn off, so we’re just going to keep going because we got two other cameras. This one is still rolling, so you’re not going to see a closeup of Sean for the rest of this episode. I’m sorry. All right. We’re going to keep rolling. Just cause the gear can’t get in the way.
Sean: [00:37:32] We can do that. We can do that. well actually, I don’t know. We could probably wrap it up here. I didn’t really, I figured we’d talk a little bit about content and stuff and so maybe, maybe just we can leave people with. Your best piece of advice for creating content, getting out of your own
Caleb: [00:37:51] way? So my best piece of advice for creating content would definitely be B whatever’s blocking you, just like write it down.
Like if it’s, if it’s the camera, if it’s the, I don’t have the best like writing app, just buy it. Like buy the app, like get, get the lens that you want. Like then you don’t have an excuse, but like write down what that excuse is and put it on the wall. And it’s like, when I have. The perfect markdown writing app, I will write more frequently.
And now that I have this app I have to write every day. And so once you have that app, you don’t have an excuse anymore and you’re just going to have to start writing.
Sean: [00:38:28] I love it. Kayla, thanks for being the first one on the, the series of hopefully series of interviews. I do. On my sabbatical year.
Caleb: [00:38:37] Yeah.
Thanks for having me be on the show anytime.
Sean: [00:38:39] All right. So where can people find you? maybe first the episode that we did and then social media and other stuff you’re working on.
Caleb: [00:38:46] So you can find the episode I did with Sean on my podcast. Go to Caleb dot com that’s C, a, L, E, B, w, O, J, C, I, K. and you can go to slash podcast.
That’ll take you right to the latest episodes, or you can find it at kilowatt brick show on any of the podcast platforms. And. Switch pod is just switched pod.co we talked about that a little bit. If you’re interested to see what this tripod thing is after we described it audibly with, you know, very visual tools.
So do you wanna check that out and go there? Cool.
Sean: [00:39:17] Good show, sir.