Using a Video Series to Scratch Your Creative Itch with Jennifer Dopazo

Using a Video Series to Scratch Your Creative Itch with Jennifer Dopazo

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The Nitty Gritty:

  • How Jenny realized her business was running on “autopilot” (not in a good way) and decided to do something that would surround her with the people who inspire her
  • Why you need to get clear on what seat you want to sit in–and then determine what other chairs you need to fill in around you to make that happen
  • How Jenny used her focus on community to build the vision for the series–and how that’s helped her tie the video series back to her agency and bring in clients

Where do many small businesses drop the ball? They make something good, but never achieve greatness because they fail to be intentional about every aspect of a project.

But Jennifer Dopazo, owner and creative mastermind behind design and digital strategy firm Candelita, and my guest on this week’s episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit., isn’t like most business owners.

Every day her inbox filled up with projects that she completed on autopilot with no real excitement. She dabbled in all the tactics that the books and gurus said she should to build her business—blogs, social media, and more—but these efforts didn’t feel authentic or aligned with her company’s mission or vision. Although she got clients from these with efforts, they were clients that weren’t a good fit. Something was missing.

That’s when I realized that it was not only about the type of work, or industry or market or you name it, but it also had to do with the person behind the project and how I could connect with them.

— Jennifer Dopazo

At this point, her client list included mostly big brands and corporations. Although corporations and independent business owners share many of the same struggles, Jennifer was intrigued by small business owners and their freedom to chart their own course without board approval and multiple meetings to get stakeholder buy-in.

I’m more compelled to work with people who want to build a business because they want a better life for their family.

— Jennifer Dopazo

She decided to step out of her creative comfort zone to find the connection she craved and to create something that would support the independent business owner. The idea for a video series started to form. She researched, developed a strategy, and reached out to other professionals who could make her vision come true. The result: The video web series The Fabricant Way.  

Not only does The Fabricant Way support the independent business owner and highlights them in their natural settings, this project allowed Jennifer to reconnect with her community and satisfied a creative itch that wasn’t being met.

With the End Goal in Mind: “It’s not about me. It’s about them.”

Jennifer was very intentional about the role she wanted to play in the video series.

The one thing that was certain was that I wasn’t going to put myself in a position where I needed to learn how to do this. Me becoming a film person was not part of the vision.

I decided to look around to find someone whose superpower was video.

— Jennifer Dopazo

She considered the needs of all stakeholders in the series. It started with her, but quickly she considered the needs of the entrepreneurs she interviewed, what the viewer would prefer, and how to offer different ways to use and consume the content she created. Her vision was focused.

Her focus reminded me of something Brian P. Moran said in his book, the 12 Week Year—vision is how you decide that what you want is a given and is in no way “fluffy.” There was no fluff about Jennifer’s end goal either: She had a very clear vision of what she wanted the web series to be. To achieve her vision, she got the “right people in the right seats to make it the best” it could be.

Take a listen to the full podcast where Jennifer and I explore her journey, how her thought process evolved, the similarities between independent business owners and the much larger corporate clients she’s worked for, how this new creative outlet supports her design business, and her continued commitment to her community.

Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe on iTunes to access all the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast episodes and learn from ambitious small business owners like you.

How to Sell What You Make: 3 Days With Me–FREE

Join me for The Art of Selling What You Make – FREE on creativeLIVE from tara gentile on Vimeo.

On October 18-20, I’m teaching a workshop for creativeLIVE on the Art of Selling What You Make. I’m offering my Customer Perspective Process, plus teaching the psychology of value, pricing, value(s)-driven marketing, and sales all in high-def, all FREE when you watch live.

You’ll learn how to connect more with customers, how to make a bigger impact in their lives, and how to charge more for what you create. Click to spread the word!

This workshop is geared toward makers, artists, and designers but service-providers will get a ton of practical value from what I’m sharing, too.

Click here to enroll–FREE–or order the recordings in advance to grab a discount.

And, I’m looking for 6 audience members to join me in studio. Click here to apply.

Frank Conversation with Brigitte Lyons (Normally There’s Wine Involved)

Last week, I sat down with my friend, colleague, and partner Brigitte Lyons. Brigitte is a PR & media strategist for micro businesses who believes in changing the face of the media today. I send every one of my clients to her for easy-to-execute tips at the least and personal service at the most.

Since Brigitte has teamed up with me to help teach the next two rounds of 10ThousandFeet, I wanted to introduce her to you a little more personally. So we sat down and had the kind of conversation (aided by some great questions from readers) we generally have over a couple glasses of wine.

It’s geeky. It’s fun. And, yes, it’s really real. You can watch the video above, or download an audio-only version below. And scroll down to catch highlights from the conversation.

Click here to download the audio-only version. (right-click then “save as”)

This is an absolutely sales-pitch-free conversation. That said, if you’re compelled to check out 10ThousandFeet, I don’t blame you.


How does storytelling contribute to our bottom lines? (2:00)
“The stories we tell create the conditions our businesses are operating in.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.
“Storytelling in business goes well beyond marketing.” — @taragentile Tweet it.

How do you launch a new product with energy & authenticity? (6:04)
“Allow yourself to nerd out about what makes you excited about your product.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

Wherein I get vulnerable about telling stories about my clients (7:16)

How do you build a relationship with people when ultimately you have an agenda to sell them something? (10:00)
“Everyone wants you to express an interest in the things that they are passionate about.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.
“Just because you have something to gain in a relationship doesn’t mean you have an agenda.” — @taragentile Tweet it.
“Trust yourself as a whole person to bring what is most valuable to every relationship.” — @taragentile Tweet it.

What are your criteria for who you bring on to your team, who will be your mentors, and who you will partner with? (19:05)
“Vibe is so important.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

What are the top 3 things you can do to promote a new offering? (23:29)
“Give people the opportunity to say ‘yes’ to you.” — @taragentile Tweet it.
“Your inclination is ‘how can I help this person?’ not ‘how can I get out of this?'” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.
“Don’t assume that because the sales opportunity is over, that all opportunities are over.” — @taragentile Tweet it.
“Always assume people are interested.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

What are our predictions for future online business trends? (32:31)
“Businesses are starting to reorganize themselves to create value instead of just making a splash on the online stage.” — @taragentile Tweet it.
“Online businesses are following the wider trend of being more intentional.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

the case for collaboration – or – why a goat rodeo might be the thing your business is missing right now

I’ve always had a fear of working with people. The most terrifying words a teacher could utter to me were not “pop quiz” – puh-leaze, I’ve got that in the bag – they were “group work.”

Oh how I despised having to compromise my vision for a group of people with little more shared purpose than “let’s not fail.”

Now, as an entrepreneur, I’ve carried this over into my own business. Better to be small & successful than take a chance on working with people to do something bigger, right?

This is changing rapidly. As I’ve honed in on my strengths and my mission, I’ve discovered that the vision I have is much larger than one person can handle. And I’m okay with that. Funny how that’s something that needs to be “discovered,” huh? In order to truly create the art I want to put in into the world, I need to collaborate.

So I’m learning…

Which is why I found this video, Inside the Goat Rodeo Sessions, so intriguing. It’s a brief interview with 4 amazing musicians about an awe-inspiring collaborative project. Watch it below or read on to discover my takeaways.

View the video here.

1. Collaboration is about expanding boundaries.

As individuals, we each have boundaries, self-imposed limitations. The very self-aware among us understand what these boundaries are and do their best to challenge themselves to move beyond the lines. Most of us, however, maintain a bubble that keeps us rehashing the same problems over & over again, finding stumbling blocks at the same places, and generally living without the benefit of what’s on the other side of the fence.

In The Goat Rodeo Sessions video, Stuart Duncan & Yo-Yo Ma discuss how they approach the music differently. And even how the convention of “genre” could have kept them apart as musicians. But:

It works because its just music.

Your business – your creative goal – your life pursuit may not be the same as your collaborator’s. All the better. People who connect intimately over the passion of purpose need not be defined by genre, industry, or methodology. Collaboration forces you outside of these arbitrary boundaries and into your mutual brilliance.

2. Collaboration is about the mystery.

This is about a happy blend of personalities. There was nothing to ensure this was going to work out.
— Yo-Yo Ma

When you’re working by yourself, it can seem like – through sheer act of will – you can make even the worst ideas work. And sometimes you have to. You get tied down to busting through projects that have no business being completed. You tend to learn very little about what went wrong because you’re so fixated on making them go right.

When you’re working in collaboration, you are thrown into mystery. Your partners may or may not do their own work. Their style may or may not mesh with yours – regardless of how well you know them.

But that mystery is where great beauty comes from as you explore each others process & perspective.

An artist is never truly working alone – so why pretend? Embrace the mystery of collaboration.

3.) Collaboration is about people not projects.

We chose this group of people based more on who the individuals were and their voices – and less on what would make the best instrumentation.
— Edgar Meyer

If you don’t have insane chemistry, deep mutual respect, and hearts that are in awe of the people you’re working with, it’s not collaboration. It’s division of labor.

Your collaborators are going to find you at the heights of your strengths and the depths of your weaknesses. They’ll witness your failure alongside your success. They will participate in the birth of new ideas. You want to concentrate on finding the right people to collaborate with, not the right project for collaboration.

As I look towards my personal vision & business goals for 2012, I see much collaboration on the horizon. I see dreams that couldn’t have been dreamt even 6 months ago coming true. And best of all I see the soul-filling beauty of co-creation.

How are you – or could you – embrace the mystery of collaboration in the New Year?

Please leave your response below!


Want to see inside one of my own personal collaborative projects? Find out how Adam King and I are reclaiming wealth.