Catch Rob Deptford on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:10] It's a fantastic day on the #PirateBroadcast™. And if you're here, like, comment, subscribe, join us on the live and also subscribe to the podcast, subscribe to the YouTube channel, go out there and on the ethernet and support the conversations we're having on the #PirateBroadcast™, because it is important and we're having fun. And it's the right thing to do. So Rob, good morning. How the heck are you?
Rob Deptford: [00:00:37] I'm doing really well. It's good to see you, my friend,
Russ Johns: [00:00:38] It's been a minute since we last connected and I just I've always enjoyed hanging out with you and talking about nerding out on cameras, lighting and everything like that. So I hope my lighting is okay today.
Rob Deptford: [00:00:49] Yours is good. I was just wondering about mine. My battery hasn't been charged for a while, so I may go dark in the broadcast. We'll see.
Russ Johns: [00:00:57] The beautiful thing about live streams is it's exactly what it is. So we just have to continue to grow with it.
Rob Deptford: [00:01:04] We'll roll with it, for sure.
Russ Johns: [00:01:06] Yeah, we'll roll with it, for sure. You're in Canada and for those that may not know, Canada has been locked down a little bit. Toronto market as well. Are you starting to see a little bit of activity going on so far ?
Rob Deptford: [00:01:18] We're opening up. We've had kind of a regional approach to the whole COVID thing. And in Toronto, the province of Ontario in general, was one of the harder hit provinces. I'm west, I'm in Calgary. And we certainly did have a tough time for awhile. But as of the 1st of July we had some things open up fairly significantly actually, but most of the restrictions have been lifted now for the time being. The caveat is always, but we're watching. We're going to wait and see what the numbers do and be prepared for things to change again. For now the barber shops are open again. So I guess I better go get a haircut at some point. We're able to do things much more normally at the moment. We'll wait and see.
Russ Johns: [00:02:01] Good deal. Good deal. Stay safe and sane. I want to talk a little bit about what your focus is on the future, because you've done a lot of work in broadcast and media and radio, just like I have, and some of the things that are evolving are just amazing. I was talking to a programmer last night. Maxim, if you're watching, check it out. Hello. And he was talking about where VR is going. Live right now where we are right today is one aspect of it. And moving into VR where you could actually connect with somebody and actually go for a walk with them someplace. And it's just a whole nother world. So that's one piece of the puzzle and streaming. I heard Netflix is just getting into gaming now. They're offering games on live streaming. So all of these changes in the world, and I'm just curious from a new perspective what are you seeing out there and what have you spent your time looking at in terms of where things are going next?
Rob Deptford: [00:03:06] There's been a significant transition, I think. And one of the things I talk about is this concept of the digital first business era and broadcasting your brand is another thing that comes up in conversation with me fairly often with other people and when we look at the concept of traditional broadcasting, fundamentally it's this idea of mass communication, right? And that used to be fairly exclusive to the media, the radio stations, television broadcasters. And the companies that had big advertising budgets to be able to pay for some airtime on those those different stations. And we don't necessarily have to go that route anymore. I think there's still a place for that, but with all of this stuff happening in the virtual space there are opportunities like never before. And when I talk about digital first, in the sense of business really it's about anchoring your business and communication in the digital space now. And there are many ways to do it, like live streams like we're doing here. Creating YouTube videos and posting other things on social media, creating enough of a digital footprint, so to speak. So that you can be discovered in that virtual space. And I think that opportunity is there now. It's been there for a while and it's certainly not too late to get started there for people. But it's only going to grow. And the more you create that digital footprint the more you're going to have the opportunity to broadcast your brand in the space.
Russ Johns: [00:04:26] You know that I've been an advocate for broadcasting your brand for a long time. I actually own the domain Podcasts Your Brand.
Rob Deptford: [00:04:34] Do you? That's perfect.
Russ Johns: [00:04:36] And I used to teach podcasting. I've taught lots of classes. I've got a lot of people on podcasts and, podcasting is growing. It's exceeding past the number of blog posts that are being created now, and it has its own challenges. And you bring up a really great point because I know that business owners need to connect. They need to start the conversation. They need to initiate a connection with their audience. And I think we're moving into an areana where rather than mass communications. It's mass collaboration, it's mass engagement. A lot of people are used to social media now. So the best companies and the most active companies online are the ones that are actually, they have the widget in their website that you can actually chat with a service person. And you can actually connect with somebody and ask questions live, and those are really engaging opportunities. I'm a huge advocate for using video whenever possible, because it puts a personality on the brand. Broadcast your brand is an idea that I think it's time has arrived. Along with that though, is the challenge of teaching people what's necessary to continue to grow and achieve results in that area, which I think you're working on as well. I know you're working on some platforms that educational and people can learn about different subjects and grow with their talents. And so you want to talk a little bit about that?
Rob Deptford: [00:06:11] Yeah, absolutely. That's the latest project. Yeah, I'm with you on the video thing, I've been a video guy for a long time too, and and there's definitely a gap there to fill for people who need to learn just the basics to be able to show up on things like this and represent themselves personally as their personal brand, as well as their company. But I think there's so much more, there's so much more to learn and so much more opportunity. So you know, one of the things over these past few months because we had some lockdowns and I had some time to do some stuff.
Russ Johns: [00:06:42] Free time on your hands.
Rob Deptford: [00:06:43] I had a little bit of time on my hands. So I had an idea for a while that I wanted to do something different in the online course space. And I had a sense of how I wanted to shape it, but didn't really have it entirely nailed down. So it took some time to do that over these past few months and came up with a concept called Stratoschool. And so it's at StratoSchool.com. And it's a training hub. , it's brand new, so you're hearing it first here now live right now. And we're learning as we go. We've got a handful of partners creating content, really good people who have high quality stuff. So we've got some different courses on there that are a lot of it's audio. So there's some video based stuff. And some supplementary materials as well, PDF downloads and things like that. What you would expect from online courses, I guess typically. But yeah, we're just getting up and running and the first thing that's there we'll eventually have of a number of different categories, but the first category that's there is StratoSchool. And this is the concept is with that is we're going to fill some of those gaps where people are learning now to live in this new world where it is digital first. And so you need some skills, some new skills, some new strategies, and really a new way of wrapping your head around, okay, how do I move forward and set myself up, not just to survive in this kind of operation that we have to have now but to thrive going forward with that skillset.
Russ Johns: [00:08:12] And I think that online learning is key because two things. One, technology is accelerating. I don't know that anybody can argue that fact. And number two, when I need an answer, I want to be able to be in an environment where I can ask questions. I can get the answers I'm looking for. And what you're building is exactly what I think is needed and necessary because there's no shortage of information out there and available. And who wants to spend 12 hours on multiple, YouTube rabbit holes to get the answer you want. It would be great to be able to go to a portal, a website, a community, and say, I'm working through this. Where can I get an answer? Okay, let me reach out to Rob. And he's probably got somebody in his environment that he can answer that question or get some help or offer a course or assistance in that arena. So it's narrowing down what I'm looking for, finding a resource that can actually distribute multiple perspectives and deliver that in a package. And I think that's where we're going to see a lot more activity going on in the future.
Rob Deptford: [00:09:24] Yeah, that's exactly what we're trying to build. And that engagement piece is going to be key too. You're right. Soon there'll be opportunity to comment right inside the courses on the platform. In the meantime, there's so far one Facebook page associated with one of the courses there, and that's always a nice thing to have a Facebook group to go into, to have a community there where people can ask questions of the instructors and of each other other people that have taken the course and it'll just grow, we'll just keep growing it. And I know, as I say, we're going to have a lot of learning to do as we build this thing. And I don't expect to be perfect, but we'll have some bumps in the road, but we're we've got some goals and and so we're cruising along and I think it's going to be good. I think we're going to meet some needs.
Russ Johns: [00:10:05] Oh, absolutely. I'm excited. I'm excited for you. So let's go in here. Martin says, Hey pirates. Good morning, Martin. How you doing? Elize is in here. Good morning. Happy weekend. Love it. Thank you so much.
Rob Deptford: [00:10:21] Happy weekend.
Russ Johns: [00:10:24] Martin says was not expecting Robert Redford, thought Robert Deptford was going to be here.
Rob Deptford: [00:10:30] It's funny. I used to get that a lot and I don't know how many the kids, these days know who Robert Redford is, but yeah.
Russ Johns: [00:10:38] Just kidding. I'm sure you've heard that lame joke way too many times. Jenny Gold is here. Good morning pirates. Thank you, Jenny. Wendy's in the house. Good morning. Pirates. Nice to meet you. Rob, mass hysteria was the only form of communication that #piratenation knew until the Admiral came aboard.
Rob Deptford: [00:10:57] Nice.
Russ Johns: [00:11:00] YouTube is working. Absolutely. Martin says, there's an interesting case of the model that the world rally champions had decided to go whereby they've apparently moved their whole broadcast of events to live which is then available only to subscribers. If you're not subscribed to them, you cannot watch WRC rally anywhere.
Rob Deptford: [00:11:24] Interesting.
Russ Johns: [00:11:26] That's crazy. Maybe it's not so crazy.
Rob Deptford: [00:11:29] Well, there are so many subscription services now, right? That seems to be the way we're going.
Russ Johns: [00:11:33] Are you going to add that to your platform like a subscription-based service ?
Rob Deptford: [00:11:38] Yeah, so right now while we're getting up and running, there's a ton of free stuff there. Actually when you sign up, you'll find there's more free content than paid content. But the way it works is right now for the paid premium content we've got a one-time fixed price where it's a $9.97 price point and you get access to everything that we ever do forever for life. So as we're building and we add more categories and more masterclasses, the early adopters are going to get a bit of a deal there in the sense that they continue to get access to all of that. We know we can't do that forever. We've got to have a sustainable business model. We've got to make some changes at some point, but just to get get the ball rolling a little bit, we're going to continue to do that and built into that is we're an affiliate based platform. So even the free members come in and they're automatic affiliates with us. And we're pretty generous with our affiliate commissions. A free member gets a 20% affiliate commission if they refer another paid member and they actually get a 5% commission on tier two. We're doing tier two commissions. So just two levels. But so if the person they refer somebody else, then they can get a 5% commission on that. And then the sort of carrots to become a paid member is if you do become a paid member, not only do you get access to the premium content, but but you actually can double your affiliate commissions too. So you get 40% on a tier one and 10% on two. So we're trying that model and we've seen it be successful with some other businesses that we've been watching and and we'll see how it goes, but, hopefully people like the content enough that they want to refer it to other people. And then there's a little bit of incentive there as well where we can share with them financially as well.
Russ Johns: [00:13:22] And that allows the content creators to be part of the community that gets paid. They're part of the revenue model instead of being just part of the product.
Rob Deptford: [00:13:33] Absolutely. Yeah. And we do something a little different for the content creators too. The content partners have a a pretty good deal actually at the moment. The content partners basically get paid in full. When they sell an enrollment, they basically earn everything. And we've built the model in such a way that it's again, attractive for content partners that want to create courses and come onto the platform. I am careful about seeing that because I don't want to invite a whole pile of content partners yet. We've got, I think, five. And we're being careful about who we invite. We want to make sure that we're getting some good experts in that can really do a good job of teaching. And so right now it's been by invitation from me, but at some point there will be an application process actually to become a content partner so that we can actually make sure we're getting some good quality people delivering good quality content.
Russ Johns: [00:14:20] Yeah, and I would anticipate, cause I'm doing the same thing. I'm creating a course on one of my favorite platforms, Dubb, which is going to be a five week course. I'm going to host it and train it and teach it and limited class size. And the reality is that there's all kinds of ways to teach and share information these days. Mentoring and using a guide method and, or at least having evergreen content as well. And it's just amazing to me to think that everybody has an opportunity right now to go out and do something. You can learn whatever you want. You can do whatever you want. If you want to learn something new, fresh, and exciting, reach out, talk to Rob, connect with him and contact me and I'll introduce you to whatever you need to do whatever you're looking for. Cause I know a few people that are creating content, so it's amazing to me. I'm just excited about the future, Rob.
Rob Deptford: [00:15:16] This is that collaborative environment you were mentioning earlier, right?
Russ Johns: [00:15:19] Yeah. We were talking before the show started about this whole collaboration effort and how people could start getting together to produce results all the time. So it's really exciting. Martin says love the innovative thought. I appreciate that, Martin. Howard Kaufman, my man. What do you think about AI's impact on video communication?
Rob Deptford: [00:15:42] It's changing fast.
Russ Johns: [00:15:44] Yeah, it is changing fast.
Rob Deptford: [00:15:46] It's one of the things, from the production side, it's sure had an impact on business, right? There's a lot of stuff you can do. And a lot of stuff that's become automated especially in the social video space where you can just go onto a lumen five or something and create a fantastic video with all kinds of stock footage. You don't have to go out and spend thousands of dollars on it with a production company any more, for short videos like that anyway. So yeah, it's evolving quickly. And and it's causing a lot of video companies to have to adapt quickly, too.
Russ Johns: [00:16:16] So I think that there's probably, being from the music industry, loops and samples have a huge, there's a huge industry behind that. And I think stock video and stock photo has been very competitive in the past and it doesn't seem to be slowing down at all, especially with video. And so I'm thinking to myself, if you could create an entire business model around creating stock video for these platforms, AI modeled platforms, you could probably create an video series with stock video footage and create some amazing effects and drop some people in there or AI modeling. There's just no end to it. It's continuing to grow and expand.
Rob Deptford: [00:17:00] Yeah, really, I think the key is anticipate what's coming, right? If you can, as best you can, because it happens so fast. But then make that adaptation and run with it. You got to jump in with both feet because otherwise you're going to get left behind. Then you're going to get some of those opportunities. And those are a couple of great ideas, I think in terms of setting up business for the future, at least for the near future I think that there's a couple of models there that could be quite successful, stock footage especially, it's something that just about anybody could do these days with some basic camera skills and some knowledge of the digital space.
Russ Johns: [00:17:32] Yeah. I read a post a while ago where this gentleman, a regular business owner just goes around, but everywhere he goes, he has a camera with him and he just takes all kinds of pictures and he just uploads them to stock footage and then every month he gets a check in the mail and it's just free money. Just taking pictures of random things and he uploads them and then somebody buys them, uses them for a licensing, for a website or a commercial or whatever it happens to be. And he says, the better I get at taking these pictures and making the selection process. The more I seem to get in return. Yeah, I think it's a fascinating subject and that's why I love the #PirateBroadcast cause these kinds of conversations just expand the creative ideas that we can actually use and take and run with.
Rob Deptford: [00:18:26] Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And you're right, everybody has a camera these days, right?
Russ Johns: [00:18:31] Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And hey, those cameras are not too bad. They are really competing with a lot of the higher end cameras they used to carry around.
Rob Deptford: [00:18:41] We've come a long way. I still have my SLRs and stuff, but but the phone cameras, man, they've come a long way. They're pretty impressive photos that come from those these days.
Russ Johns: [00:18:51] Yeah, no kidding. Martin says he would love to connect with you and exchange ideas. Yes. And he says, yes, the affiliate method is better option, but not the only one. Yeah, absolutely. For sure. Martin says, brilliant idea, Russ, do you need a manager for that? One could do 10% of the billion dollars you could get from that idea. Ideas are so prevalent and the only difference between an idea and a business is activity. Take action in between and start growing it. You just got to come up with an action. And the biggest error that I've made in the past and creating new businesses is I haven't asked the question if anybody wants it.
So you've got to ask the question,is this something that you would pay money for?
Rob Deptford: [00:19:41] Is there an audience for this, right?
Russ Johns: [00:19:43] Yeah. Is there an audience? Is there anybody out there that want to buy this? So solving a problem is always the key part of the business model. It's what problem am I solving here? Execution. Absolutely, Martin, execution. There you go.
Rob Deptford: [00:19:58] That's my challenge. I'm really strong... my top two strengths, if people are familiar with the Gallup strengths, my top three are strategy, creativity and ideation. So I'm really good at thinking. The doing part is where I struggle. So it takes a little bit of extra motivation to get me into gear. But when it happens, it works out well.
Russ Johns: [00:20:18] I can't tell you what my strengths are, but I can tell you that I have a tendency to get distracted, very easily. Squirrel hunting, I would say.Squirrel? Right? What's next? Rob, you got this platform going, you're building it out and I love the idea. I love the concept. What does the next year look for you? What are you mapping out for the next year? What kind of activity are you gonna commit to?
Rob Deptford: [00:20:44] The rest of this year is going to be busy. We're going to look to take on a few more content partners. We've got I mentioned StratoSchool Digital is up. We're going to hopefully get StratoSchool Fitness up. I'd like to have that up before the end of the year. And we're looking also at StratoSchool Professional Development and StratoSchool Personal Development, which there is a line between the two with the different types of courses we're looking at providing with those. I don't think we're going to get all of those up by the end of the year, but certainly StratoSchool Fitness. Maybe StratoSchool Personal Development is going to get started by the end of the year and for the fourth quarter come October, that's probably going to be our official big sort of fireworks launch. And at that point, we'll look at pricing again too. Cause we can't do that $9.97 lifetime all access, everything for forever. We've just got to get some people in at that. And so we'll look at that for the fourth quarter and see how we're going to evolve. But that'll take us through to the end of the year and and then we'll review and see what we plan for next year. We do have some plans for next year actually, but we will take it one step at a time.
Russ Johns: [00:21:46] Yeah, no kidding. Hey, so any tips or ideas that you can leave with the pirate community that you've learned in the last 18 months with video shooting and practicing and some of the tips that you've tuned in and dialed up? Anything that you want to share with the community today on just quick tips that we can walk through.
Rob Deptford: [00:22:07] Yeah. For me this has been a time of learning and I think it's been an opportunity for a lot of people to, if they've had some time on their hands, if you've had lockdowns in your area or whatever there's been this chance to really step in and up level your skillset. And if you haven't done that, that's what I would encourage people to do because, yes, I've done the video stuff, but where I've pivoted a little bit in the last few months is learning different ways to apply it. And I've spent a lot more time in the editing suite putting together some of the courses and things for the new platform evaluating what other people are doing as they create content. And learning from what they're doing. And so taking that time, I think is really a good idea for people just to take that time and upskill, up level and sharpen everything and it's just going to serve you well forward. I know it's done well for me. Boy, I've learned a lot, especially with building this platform. I'm not a techie. Aside from the video stuff, I'm not a techie. But I feel like I'm becoming one in some sense with some things.
Russ Johns: [00:23:05] Yeah, we all need to be a techie at some level, right?
Rob Deptford: [00:23:09] For sure.
Russ Johns: [00:23:10] I really appreciate you coming back on and the invitation to the pirate community is always open. My goal is to highlight the people in the community and make sure that you have a stage to actually announce and share some of the things you've learned, some of the information you've produced and some of the opportunities out there. So thank you, sir, so much for being here and showing up.
Rob Deptford: [00:23:31] You've had an incredible past few months yourself. It's been great to watch your broadcast grow here. And and I appreciate you, and I appreciate the invite to come on the show and hope we get to do it again.
Russ Johns: [00:23:41] Absolutely. Absolutely. And go and share and comment. Martin's been in here. He's been awesome to connect with also about packaging and marketing. Robert you're on to something here for real potential is exponential.
Rob Deptford: [00:23:56] I think so. Yeah, I think we're going to see a lot more of it.
Russ Johns: [00:24:00] So thank you so much, everyone for being here. Thank you so much. If you're watching this in the future or listening to the podcast, like I said, like, comment, share, ring that bell, get that notification. Let's share this information because our goal is to highlight people that are doing great work out there, like Rob, and we just want to makesure that people can understand what is happening around them and get the resources they need to improve their lives. And you know why? Because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. Everyone take care.
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