Today on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast we're talking with Paul Adams from Brisbane Australia, and today is one of those time when you know that you've hit on something that's a great idea.
Paul is a theater producer and an actor, and he had an idea for a theatrical show that he wanted to produce for primary school age kids and their families, and do it at a time when school is out on vacation.
The original discussion was about how can he can get the word out about the show but in that discussion we started thinking about how high is high, or what other models could we draw from here?
We started talking about Simon Cowell, Tyler Perry, and other models. I then shared with him an example of something that I know real estate agents do here in America and Canada, that could solve the entire issue for him. We really, as we thought it all out, realized this is THE idea.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 142
Dean: Hello, Paul Adams.
Paul: Dean Jackson. Hello.
Dean: How are you?
Paul: I'm very excited, actually.
Dean: Well, me too. It's all very exciting. I've got my scheme hatching tablet with me.
Paul: Excellent. Excellent news. Thank you so much for the opportunity. This is so good.
Dean: Yeah. Where are you calling from?
Paul: I'm in Brisbane, Queensland Australia.
Dean: Brisbane. Okay. I've never been to Brisbane. I've been to Melbourne and Sydney, but never to Brisbane.
Paul: Yeah. It's a little warmer up here.
Dean: Okay. So, I'm pretty excited about sounds like you got some cool stuff going on and I'd love to kind of dive right in. So, maybe you could catch everybody up. Kind of tell the context of what you're working on and then we can go from there.
Paul: Yeah great. So, I've been working as a professional actor and producer since about 2004. Over that time I've made my own shows and created my own work, but never really made a show out of those ones. I do a lot of producing for other people and that kind of thing as well. Still in a position where I've got a day job, but working very hard to try to get rid of that as soon as I can. The art companies I've worked for in the past and I've kind of grown in, like I worked for an independent theater company over here and we doubled the income of that company while I was working for them as the general manager.
Paul: So, that was cool, but really wanting to branch out and do my own stuff, but kind of realized what I didn't have was the understanding of how to grow from zero to an audience. So, everywhere I've worked, I worked in a lot of management roles and big box retail and other kind of things. Always able to grow things, but coming up to start really pushing out on my own, really realized I was missing that understanding of the zero to audience scale. How to do that.
Paul: So, I started digging into marketing and online business and trying to fill in those gaps and that kind of led me to the four hour work week which led me to books that Tim recommended in that book that led me to entrepreneurs that led me to other books that eventually led me to I Love Marketing podcast and so I consumed a crap load of that. Then heard you talking about More Cheese, Less Whiskers and so then I moved over and started listening to this one and I've listened to every episode of this podcast.
Dean: Oh my goodness.
Paul: Some multiple times. There's so much value in it. Yeah. So, basically to the point where I thought, "Okay. I think I know enough to start." So, I've started pushing out. So, working at the moment on building out the theater side of the producing that I want to do. So, that has led me to trying to apply your profit activators as I build the frame work out and that's the starting point for it. So, that sense of from an online marketing point of view, everyone talks about serving a need. So, I thought, "Well, how can I serve a need with my theater?" That led me to focus my target market on kids in the primary school age group. So, that sort of 6 or 7 to sort of 12, 13 age group. Strategically because I get two audiences for that. So, I get the parents as well.
Then in time as I kind of build out and do more adult focused shows, I'll already have an audience there I can market to. But yeah, the need that I kind of pinpointed was that parents need something for their kids to do during school holidays. So, I thought, "Well, what if I just produce shows on the school holidays rather than trying to get into the schools market which is quite heavily flooded with lots of people trying to get their shows into schools." Because it is a big market, but the shows I want to do really are more I just want to entertain people. I just like giving people a good time and helping them bring joy I guess. So, I thought I'll focus on the school holiday period, build shows that just perform during the day in the school holidays to help fill out that need for parents.
Dean: I like this. Yeah.
Paul: Yeah. So, then I thought, "Well, that's one day. How can the show serve that need further?" So, that led me to come up with an idea for an add on sale called a Play On Pack which will be a digital download of games and activities and science experiments and anything I can kind of come up with connected to the theme of the show that kids love to re-enact the shows that they see. So, then they go home and they've got this digital download of things and so it will help fill in more time across the holidays for parents. So, that's part of it. But yeah. So, the big focus is about leading into the first show. So, I'm doing the first show in September. So, I've got a good run in to build an email list and get some marketing happening and hopefully hit it hard.
Dean: I love it. So, how does the economics of this work? Just give me a sense of the scope of this, of how traditionally this kind of thing works and what your hope is for it? How will it all work out here?
Paul: So, I got a theater venue that I'm hiring. It's a new venue locally which is great. That was the other thing is I've focused locally. So, rather than trying to get people to come up and see a show in the city and the theater venues are expensive, I'm targeting locally. So, I've got a space that's 15 minutes from my house. It's a new theater that's been converted to community space so it's really affordable and I'm targeting everything locally around that space. So, around this venue that within I did the calculation. Hang on. Within one to six miles of the venue on the south side of the Brisbane river. So, the river creates a kind of natural buffer that like Simba don't go that way. So, that's the focus there.
Dean: What did you guess at or what did you calculate the number of kids in that area?
Paul: Okay. Yep. I have the most accurate data I could get was actually the 2016 census data. Locally in the 24 suburbs, there are 27,000 families with kids in those 24 suburbs.
Dean: That's awesome.
Paul: I know.
Dean: Okay. So, now we've got ourselves the target audience. That's great. I like that.
Paul: So, I'm looking at building. I'm starting small. I don't want to overextend. I spent a few years as a judge on the Queensland theater awards and I saw a lot of independent theater and a lot of that theater that the company produced shows and they produce over a two week season and so many of the shows weren't full. So, I thought rather than try to stretch, I'll condense it. So, the shows are going to run about an hour. So, there will be two shows a day. One just before lunch and one just after lunch. So, that way I can kind of get twice the value out of the venue hire. So, I'm only starting at the moment with two days and two shows per day so four shows in total. It's a 150 seat theater so that gives me 600 tickets that I can sell, which is small but it gives me the ability to if I start to really sell out, I can add shows. So, I can grow it as the demand is there rather than commit too much and not have enough.
Dean: Right. Okay.
Paul: Tickets will be $24 and I'm just really wanting to have a set ticket price. No price difference for adults or kids. A seat is a seat and I'm also working towards rather than doing discount sales, so 20% off or two for one offers and that sort of thing, I want to keep the ticket price set the whole time and rather than discount ticket prices as an incentive, add value. So, maybe it's the Play On Packs are free and that kind of thing rather than ever discount ticket price. So, yeah.
Paul: So, the first thing that I've got in the works right now which I kind of launched about a week ago, I haven't had much traction yet, but I've been listening to your philosophy on the discount versus the gift card and so as a starting point, I'm offering a $25 gift card as a lead magnet essentially to build the email list and so that covers the cost of the ticket in full so there's real value attached to it. Again, promoting it in the way that you suggest as well in that there's no expiring. If you can't get to it this year, that's fine. Use it when you can. It won't expire. So, whenever you're ready, that phrase people can come and use it. So, if that means it's a show next year, then it's a show next year.
Dean: I like this. Let me get my math right just calculated anything in my head here. Let's just see that. So, 600 times 24 equals, $14,400. This is what we're looking at here as the outcome that we can try and create here. Okay. That's if we sell out four shows. Got it.
Paul: If we sell every ticket but obviously with the gift card I expect that the parent will use the gift card and then buy a ticket for their kid. Maybe one or two, so I've already in the seven days it's been running had two people go through the gift card when they hit the thank you page, there's an offer to buy tickets straight away. The tickets are on sale now. And if they buy before the end of April, they can get the Play On Pack for free. So, I've had two people do that and sold the two gift cards plus three tickets, so very small to start with so that's a guess, ultimately it's probably going to end up at a 50% of that at the worst case scenario that one gift card plus one ticket.
Paul: So, it might be half of that but that's the full scale that we're looking to sell.
Dean: Okay. Okay. Then is that when you look at the other theater production or things like that that you've done, would that be kind of in the neighborhood of what a typical community theater run might be is that would you only do four shows or would there be-
Paul: No. Normally it would be a lot more than that. I do have the intention that over time, I suppose if I can fill it and sell it I'm just to five days now. I just wanted to commit small so that I didn't overextend myself financially and not fill all of it. I will grow. Well, I'll add shows if I get an audience that I can fill it with. But normally it would be a lot of places will run a one or two week full week season. So you might do across two weeks, 15 shows across two weeks.
Dean: Right. So, if you're thinking about during the holiday, you're talking about during their holiday week. Is that what it is?
Paul: Yeah. Yep. So, in their break from school for the week or two weeks.
Dean: I gotcha. Okay. What is the costs involved in renting the theater?
Paul: This particular theater is very cheap so it's only $30 an hour plus $155 a day for the full room. So, the cost across the two days that I'm looking at would be $1365. So, about $1400 for the theater for the two days.
Dean: Okay. Then does everybody else, like all the staffing or whatever required are all volunteer-
Paul: Yes sir. Yeah. So, all of my team, we're all going to donate our time to the first show so that we can get it started and then the people that are working with me know that my intent is to grow this and build this so that we can all get paid and basically get employed by it. So, they seem to be on board which is great. Lot of local community theater, so the actual labor on this will be next to zero. Then it's just the actual creation of set and costumes and that sort of thing which will be at base cost about two and a half thousand.
Dean: Then those things could be advertised if you do the show in other locations, right? Is that what you're thinking?
Dean: Yeah okay. So, in other theaters like this you could take it and do it in other community theaters, smaller theaters like this.
Paul: Yeah. Yeah. But the idea is to build this locally where I am, get the process right and then essentially in that syndication mindset that other businesses pick it up and go, "Okay, well let's go get these other group of suburbs on the north side of the river or the far east side of the river and then target all of the business and the marketing locally there."
Dean: I got it. Okay. That's good. Now, part of the thing that you might when I start thinking about the equation here, I like to start with that to think about how high is high here, right? Like what could this possibly be? So, when you look at it, you could potentially do more shows. That would help, but you also could do more revenue things. If we start thinking about what other kinds of ways could you beef this up experience wise for people.
Paul: Great. Let me tell you what I've got in mind for that so far.
Paul: Just as a way of creating a bit of community feel about it, looking to approach some community groups locally who can do a couple of things. One, they'll have their own following and their own audience of fundraisers and people that support them. I'm looking to allocate some tickets and also create an opportunity for people in the general public to purchase tickets that then get donated to that community group and they can give them to families that wouldn't normally get to afford to see and then in that lunch break between the two shows, create an opportunity for the community group to do some fundraising on like a barbecue lunch out in the courtyard and that kind of thing.
So, that's part of that. So, hopefully that'll help build the audience there as well. Advertising in the program. Advertising through the Play On Pack. Being a sponsor for that and then just looking through businesses that might be interested in sponsoring the show locally. So, I haven't started down that road yet. I wanted to build some I guess equity in the email list and to actually have some numbers to go out and talk to people about, but a bit of revenue that I can create through that as well.
Dean: Are you doing an original work or are you doing a known-
Paul: Well, it's an original work based on a known thing. So, I'm doing a new adaptation of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit.
Paul: Yeah. So, it's a known story particularly for the parents around my age. There's been a movie last year I think that came out, might have been the year before. There's a sequel in the works, so it's definitely a story that's top of mind.
Dean: Yeah it's popular. Yeah. So, it's out there. Okay. Is it professional actors or is it community theater?
Paul: No. Professionals. So, the plan is that as we grow it, everyone will get paid more and more. So, this one will start on profit shares. So, basically my business will take the expenses back plus a small increase to cover the gross and then any actual profit after that will be split equally amongst all of us that are working on it.
Dean: Okay. So, now this is an interesting thing then. Because it always goes to thinking about how can we look to other models here and kind of attract, see how they can translate. So, my mind, I'm kind of thinking about American Idol or Pop Idol as an example of something that what I think is kind of brilliant about what happened with that and I imagine you had Australian Idol. I know you did.
Paul: Correct. Yeah.
Dean: The same thing. Is that the brilliance of that is from Simon Cowell realizing that people with an audience have an advantage over things.
Dean: He wrote a great book. Did you ever read his book?
Dean: I think it was something like I Don't Want To Be Rude But is the name of the book, but he basically tells his story that he was a young record executive in the UK and he had an artist who had a hit song and that became popular thing, but his job was very difficult for him to find talent and turn them into stars and then send them out. Try and fill them, build an audience for them. Break an artist. He had a really interesting thing happen where in the UK, there was a TV show called either East Enders or West Enders. I don't know which one it was but-
Paul: East Enders, yep.
Dean: East Enders. Okay. What happened was it was a very popular show and one Christmas, these guys on the show sang this Christmas song and it was just like a live within the context of the show, they sang this song and all these radio stations, people were calling trying to get that song. To get it to play on the radio and they had not been signed. So, what Simon did was he went and signed them to his record label, released the single and made a bunch of money because there was this audience, this distribution that people were built in. All the people who love East End and love those guys and then they did that.
Then he went on this tear of realizing the power of an audience in this and so he signed all these different people. He did an album with the Teletubbies. He did an album with the WWE wrestlers and it didn't matter to him that they had these guys on East Enders were super talented. It was that they were super beloved.
Paul: They had an audience.
Dean: Yes. They were loved.
Paul: That's genius.
Dean: The same with the Teletubbies and the same with the wrestlers. Then the evolution of that then turned into in conversations with Simon Fuller who was the co-creator. Yeah. That they came up with this idea of what if we made the audition process a product? Let people watch as we go out and find these stars, but let people vote on who they like as the favorite. The one who gets all the votes is the winner at the end and then we'll release an album with them and they've already got a built in audience of all these people that already love them and feel like they supported them and that's what happened. That's how American Idol ended up making such a splash in the US and there's been so many. Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Underwood and all these people.
Paul: Yes, Ok.
Dean: Yeah that have become stars on the back of that process. So, my mind goes to that to start to think how could you apply that to this kind of situation. Now fast forward, it's 2019 and we have the capability to have a TV show. There's no Facebook as a distribution. If you think about this, what if you were to create a reality show? You've got until September right now. You've got six months basically right. What if in that time there was a process of taking kids through an audition process or a finding Brisbane's best actor kind of thing. Actor, young theater enthusiast and letting that become a process there. I think you could make an interesting documentary of that acting process, right? Like putting people through acting exercises and running scenes and I'm envisioning part American Idol, part improv, you see a master class type of things online.
Something there where it could be interesting and you get all these young Brisbanites, is that what you're called? What do you call the young Brisbanites.
Paul: That's good enough. Yep.
Dean: We named a new thing. I love it. That kind of the winner of this gets a role in this professional production of Peter Rabbit.
Paul: Love it.
Dean: Then it's kind of building awareness of that as it goes, you know?
Paul: Yeah. That's clever.
Dean: That could be an interesting thing because now you're creating more media units here, too. You build this audience. You've got people can sponsor this part of the show. You know? Right, that now it's built up that these are the people who are sponsoring it along the way and when you start to think about what other businesses want to be a hero to these primary school age kids. That who else is trying to figure out a way-
Paul: To reach that audience. Yeah. That's what I was thinking about in regards to sponsoring of the show itself, so yeah. To continue deeper down that and have another way that they could get in front of them even more. It's brilliant. Yeah.
Dean: Do you guys have a rehearsal space or do you have kind of a theater or somewhere where you do rehearsals?
Paul: Yeah we will. I've got a connection with a lady that has a small recording studio locally and I'll be able to tie in with her as she'd be happy to be a part of it to promote what she's got and so that would easily become a space that we could set up something here and then shooting there and rehearsing there yeah.
Dean: So, that's a thought that that could be something that's a really interesting kind of thing. That could be then a model that you could duplicate. You know? I love that we often talk about this whole starting in your hometown kind of thing. If you're going to be the guy that biggest man in the world, you gotta be the biggest man to Brisbane, right? Even on the east per of Brisbane east of the river and the eastern suburbs. So, that is a great way to kind of think about that as a model there and move forward from there. Now, the other thing is, and this is just like brainstorm ways to kind of think through. That could be one way of kind of building that audience that people know that this is coming. They get to see some of the local talent, the other kids are say, "Hey watch I'm on this show," or, "I'm going out for this," or whatever it is. That there's lots of ways to kind of build awareness for it and every time you're saying that they get this prize pack plus they'll get to be in this professional production of Peter Rabbit or whatever you're calling it.
Yeah. That I think would be a really viable model to kind of explore. Then another way that I think about it, I was looking for what other parallels can we take? Like who else has done this? Something similar and you start to think about Tyler Perry is a good example of someone who's really taken a small theater type of thing and turned that into an empire, really. Is Tyler Perry popular? So, Tyler Perry started out in Atlanta in Georgia in regional local theater kind of thing. Even in Alpharetta I think is where they started. But he created this character of Madea and-
Paul: Oh of course. Yes. Yes I know Madea. He's gone on to films and all sorts of things with it yeah.
Dean: Everything. He's got a whole media company, but that whole thing was he started out exactly like that just trying to make a go of it. Trying to sell enough tickets to stay alive kind of thing. Because let's think about it. We're not talking about nobody is getting rich on putting together a $14,000 production.
Paul: Yeah that's right.
Dean: But when you get a model that you can stage something that's going to make $10,000 or $7,000 in two days and you can roll that model out all the way all of a sudden, you've got a viable business model there, you know?
Paul: Yeah. Yeah.
Dean: Yeah. Love it. Love it. So, I love that you've selected that single target audience there in terms of that's a viable thing. Excuse me. Sorry. It's allergy season down here. I get stuff caked in my lungs here.
Paul: That's the worst.
Dean: Yeah. So, now the other thing is thinking about selling these tickets is thinking about other people that might like to sponsor or subsidize an event for their clients. Like when you think about for 150 seat theater, one of the things that real estate agents often do is here in America is have a movie day where they will rent out the theater and invite their clients to come and bring the kids to see on a Saturday morning a movie that is just being released or-
Paul: Love it.
Dean: Right. So, when you think about this that there is probably enough realtors. That could probably fill the theater on their own with their own clients.
Dean: So, if you're providing a way that you could create kind of a theatrical experience…
Paul: Service to them. That's brilliant.
Dean: An experience for them that you could do your two mainstream days, but you could also sell out shows that are exclusive for this.
Paul: That's so good.
Dean: Ah. Right.
Paul: So good.
Dean: Ah. Because when you think about it, you're talking about for them. Right. Exactly. It's not that expensive for a real estate agent to tear up with a couple of realtors in their office and buy a block of tickets to invite their client appreciation party.
Paul: So good. And it doesn't just have to be realtors. There would be-
Dean: Right. Financial advisors.
Paul: I get to go because I'm on the management committee for the theater awards still. I get to go to opening nights and you see all of the business clients who are there and they do sell packages like that. I haven't even thought of that. That's genius.
Dean: Yeah but you think about if you just made a list of people who could potentially sponsor these things that could be realtors or real estate companies, could be financial advisors, could be pediatric dentists, orthodontist. Who else has all these kids, you know?
Paul: That's so good. Essentially sell it.
Dean: That way you sell the whole show.
Paul: The whole show just to that one company and you fill it.
Paul: That's so good.
Dean: You sell an experience for them where you're saying, "Listen for $5000 you'll get an exclusive show. We'll give you exclusive custom printed tickets. It will be a three hour experience, both before and after and during the show and you just invite whoever you want to come." So you're setting up a turnkey way for them to put on a client appreciation party.
Paul: Yep. Put on all the work for them and they just get to bring people to experience it and get loved.
Dean: Yep. Yes.
Paul: That's so good.
Dean: Yes. That way using that to sell those of those would be extra shows that you're in addition to what you're-
Paul: But it's guaranteed sell out.
Paul: Irrelevant of whether they fill the space or not.
Paul: If you fill every seat or not.
Paul: Yeah. That's so good. That is so good. I'm in love with that idea.
Dean: Yeah me too.
Paul: I had in my mind to try from a building relationship with the local community of what else could I do to kind of drive understanding and traffic and I was thinking about this idea of a family fun day at the venue because the venue has a giant courtyard that could be used for things and so I was thinking that could be another way to get in there.
Dean: That's great.
Paul: That's a possibility as well and even that, something like that. That's a whole separate idea, but yeah. That still has the same potential. That's brilliant. Oh that's so good.
Dean: That model I think, boy if you were able to package that up and make this great experience that now that's you're making less sales.
Paul: That's way less work to try and market tickets.
Paul: It's like the amount of work and time involved in trying to market the show to sell to the general public.
Paul: That's so good. In all honesty, I would probably look at doing that before I even went down the reality show idea. I just think from a simplistic contained packaging point of view, that's so good. Here's the thing. I look at all these companies that they make so little money by touring shows and the expense in physically picking a show up and moving it repeatedly to venue after venue after venue I wanted to find a different way to grow the show without really doing that and I was looking down a digital line which is an idea for later, but this is essentially instead of picking the show up and touring, you're picking people up and just bringing them straight to the show that's so good. So good. I love it. I love it.
Dean: I think that's a pretty good idea just in terms of making-
Paul: Sure is.
Dean: Something that could work, you know? Especially if you've got a show then that you could put on, you know?
Paul: Yeah, because it's actually a show for the kids that it's that whole extra layer of yeah, yeah. It's just so great. I know I was thinking there'd be law firms, there'd be other businesses that would be potentially up for something like that. It's heat.
Dean: Yes. Agreed.
Paul: So, when you're thinking that are you selling, say I'll go to a particular local realtor, I'm selling the entire show to that one realtor?
Paul: Yeah. Okay.
Paul: yep. So, this is the package. This is the thing.
Dean: Yeah. If you go to someone who's a top real estate agent. Not someone who's not-
Paul: Yeah. There's a couple of very good ones locally.
Dean: Yeah someone who's got a lot of clients or to one realty firm.
Paul: Firm, yeah.
Dean: Yeah that they can have their agents could buy 20 tickets.
Paul: With 6 or 10 different agents, yeah.
Dean: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly.
Paul: Love it. Dean, that's just so good.
Dean: I think the people who have the natural affinity for the families like that. Like I think the orthodontist or the pediatric dentist or the people who are. You start to think.
Paul: Who have a client base.
Dean: Yeah who else is trying to reach those families, you know?
Paul: Yeah. What's great about that is that that extends it beyond just even these 23 suburbs, 24 suburbs that I'm looking at. I can hit businesses beyond that and that's going to bring an audience is from further afield but I can still build the local connection through the regular shows that we do.
Paul: So, I love it.
Dean: I like that idea. That's a good one actually.
Paul: Yeah a really good one. I've got my money's worth today.
Dean: That's so funny. That's awesome.
Paul: So, one thing that I was sort of struggling with which the reality show idea would help fix, but if I didn't go down that way in the short term, is as I start to grow this email list, because I'm only looking to produce during the school holidays, I've been struggling a little bit with what else do I talk to these people about if I wanted to do a weekly email. There are a couple of things that I was looking at as we come closer to school holidays and that sort of thing. I can promote what's happening locally, what other events are around locally to try and let them kind of helping them out going, "Hey here's something that is on that you might want to take your kids to, even if it's not our show," just trying to build that real connection.
But there's going to be a couple of months after the season ends, after the school holiday period ends before that kind of ramp up starts to happen again that I don't know what-
Dean: Well, it doesn't necessarily have to be just during the school holidays either. When you're doing it, especially that model. You were trying to do it because that's just a natural thing that the parents are looking for something to do with the kids, right?
Paul: Yes. Correct.
Dean: But this could be something that could be any weekend.
Paul: Anytime. Yeah. Yep. Yep.
Dean: Any Saturday. Yeah.
Paul: Yep. That's true. That's sort of the business connection side of it. So the people locally that come to the shows during the school holidays are more going to be that local market, that local audience that really are only going to be like the families that bring in their kids in the school holidays. That kind of audience is where I don't know. I try to solve a problem I don't need to worry about yet because once I've got them on the list and things are happening, I've got things to talk about, but I guess I'm trying to frame out in my mind now like I'm going to have people now joining the email list but the show is not until September. So, I can talk about the development of the show and the actors and the crew and all that kind of thing, but yeah. I'm not sure what else I can give them that's going to be of value to them I guess. Because I don't want to just talk about things that are just salesy I guess in that sense of just all about the show.
Dean: Yeah. No I get it. It's almost like some things you don't necessarily need to continue. Some things it's just like I think with that model, I think I would start immediately just running that idea by some orthodontists or by some real estate-
Paul: Yeah. That's something I can start this week. Yeah.
Dean: Yeah. Then you'll see immediately if they are intrigued by that or buy into that as an idea and that may be a way that you even bypass then trying or having to sell the tickets individually.
Paul: Yeah. Yeah. Actually that's even smarter.
Dean: Right. That way you're sold out.
Paul: You're still getting ready for the kids and the families and you're selling out shows. Every single show is sold out.
Paul: So much less work in the long run.
Paul: So different to what anyone else is doing. I love it. Essentially creating a corporate event in a way.
Dean: Well, that's where there's real value too. Yeah. That you also have to go to where is the money in this? I mean honestly. But that's the thing is that who else wants to reach this audience? That's the thing and who is it worth more than $25 to? That goes a long way. When you start thinking about what is an orthodontist going to make from one new client?
Paul: Yeah. What's the return on relationship for them?
Dean: Yes. That's exactly right. Same for the real estate agent. Or the financial advisor that if they're getting thousands of dollars every year, it's just such a nice thing.
Paul: Drop in the ocean for them. Yeah.
Dean: Yes. That's exactly what it is.
Paul: From a cost point of view.
Dean: Yes. Yes.
Paul: Brilliant. Love it. Yeah that's great. I'm not hung up on the model. I know a lot of artists out there are like, "Oh, I must create my art in this way." I'm so not that guy because I have confidence in my art. Doesn't matter who I'm creating it for. It's going to be good. I know that.
Paul: I've got confidence, so being able to get it in front of people in a way that actually generates enough income for us all to start making a living from it. To me that's the goal. I'm not hung up on any particular way to do that.
Dean: That's good. That makes sense.
Paul: This makes so much more sense. Yeah. Love it. What other questions did I have for Dean Jackson? Let me quickly look.
Dean: Yeah tell me because I think we may have birthed something special here.
Paul: To me, that's just a breakthrough idea. That whole approach. I've thought in the past, I've had people say in the past use opening night as that opportunity to bring clients. It hadn't even occurred to me the idea of using the entire show in that way. It's just breakthrough idea. I love it. It's so good.
Dean: Especially when you're talking about families like that. It just makes so much sense.
Paul: Yeah. Yeah. When you talk about that sense of what the value is for that business to be able to offer something like that for a family client. I can't imagine how good that's going to be for them.
Dean: Yeah also because most of them, we're talking about they're going to be coming in blocks of two to four people probably. Nobody is going to send their kid alone.
Paul: No that's right.
Dean: Right. They're going to come with the child, so at least one somebody with it and potentially four so if you're saying one realtor would need to invite 50 or 75 people and you're-
Paul: And it's full.
Dean: And it's full. That's exactly right.
Paul: Yeah. Yeah. So, from that perspective then, I'm actually not really trying to build an email list of general public people from my local area.
Paul: My email list becomes focused on building corporate clients for myself and businesses in there who I talk to so I needn't worry about talking to the general public in that sense because I'm ultimately creating an opportunity to serve the businesses that will then serve their clients and so I don't even need to build that email list in that way. Which means I can probably sell the same number of shows with an email list one tenth of the size. That's genius.
Dean: I know you're an actor and this is an interesting thought. Did you ever see the movie The Game?
Paul: Michael Douglas?
Dean: Yes. Remember that back in the 90s?
Paul: Yes I do. Yeah.
Dean: Yeah. This whole idea. I'm interested in this idea of alternative kind of theater experiences where you start to think this combination of escape rooms and is that popular in Australia?
Paul: Yeah. We have a few in Brisbane and they're growing in popularity. I'm actually working on a theater production with some people at the moment. We've got a site down here called Fort Litton which is an old war site. So, it's literally this brick cement fort and we're looking at doing an immersion style theater show down there.
Dean: Oh wow.
Paul: So, yeah. That kind of sense of a show that you travel through.
Dean: Yes. Or that you're part of. Right. Exactly. That's an interesting thought to me too.
Paul: Yeah. Well, I have a friend too who is also an actor but he's started something called the Brisbane Treasure Hunt Society and so he is creating treasure hunts through the city for people and he's making a business out of that. So, he's going to come and create a site specific treasure hunt as one of the pre-show activities for this. So, when we're talking about a three hour experience, that can definitely be part of it.
Dean: That's interesting.
Dean: Yeah I think that's kind of when you're combining all of those things that now you're creating alternate experiences for the event marketing type of things.
Paul: Yeah I love it. That's the thing. I wanted it to be more than just a show. I really wanted it to be an experience which was part of bringing the community group in and talking to these guys about a treasure hunt and whether we get some face painters and all sorts of things like that in for this time when there is space between the shows and show can still do all of that for a corporate client and that experience on either side of it really robust.
Paul: And everyone gets paid.
Dean: Yeah. Right. Exactly. I think that's really fascinating because I look at those things like my mind immediately then in that category goes things like Cirque du Soleil and the Blue Man Group and the brilliance of what they've been able to do as fully immersive experiences, you know?
Paul: Yeah. Yeah. We've seen a heap of Cirque shows and for me, they really open my mind up to a lot of things about scale and the way that you can really grow something.
Dean: Lets you see what's possible with a positive attitude and an unlimited budget. That's really the thing. You know? Most people don't have the capacity to think with an unlimited budget, even to think with an unlimited budget. I say that even if you're not going to be able to pull it off, but the ability to take the bafflers off your brain through the creative process is something freeing.
Paul: I agree. I do think in that way. I am ultimately really the kind of big picture visionary kind of ideas guy. That's the thing I'm struggling with at the moment coming out into this sort of entrepreneurial thing. I've always wanted to do this and kick out and set my own business up and really push it, but I've been in management roles and leadership roles in my whole career. So, I've had teams to delegate things to and now I'm like, "Damn it, I am the team."
Dean: For now.
Paul: For now. Absolutely.
Paul: Yeah. But yeah I love that phrase of how high is high. How big could big be?
Paul: This idea, this in itself is great in that you could literally build a massive business out of this and it doesn't even need to have a massive public following.
Dean: That's right.
Paul: Brilliant. Brilliant.
Dean: So, what did you hear? What's your takeaway here?
Paul: For me, I think the big thing is that ability to use the show to serve a need and that was the thing for me that I started out with of really trying to think differently about this so not just creating a theater show and then trying to get people to come and see it. That sense of putting it in to the school holidays came from that I want this to serve a need because generally that need is something that's going to bring people in more than just a show.
Paul: So, now to take that concept and actually essentially scale it up to a place where there's actually money and a lot less work to make it happen is brilliant. So, I guess the biggest takeaway for me now is to go away and look at a little bit faster what that overall package could be and tie those things in and get that kind of costed out and then start knocking on doors and seeing if this is the sort of thing that might interest people which I can start right now. I can take a week to build it out and then start hitting doors next week.
Dean: Yeah that if you were just to put away packages for people that if you think about even just the realtors. Estate agents. If you had opportunity for them to buy 25 tickets, 50 tickets, 100 or 150 tickets that there's four options for them. Almost like fractional things and at each level, they could get an exclusive experience by buying out the full show.
Paul: Yep. So, in a situation like that where you were packaging the tickets into small groups, would say for instance, would I go to four or five different realty chains to get them to buy-
Dean: I think you would start out with approaching the top realtor if you know if there's somebody who's making a point of branding themselves as the top realtor in Brisbane.
Paul: It comes straight to mind.
Dean: They're already ego based on that in a way that they're already appealing that they want to look good. So, they're into personal promotion. Putting their names on things. It's almost like on a lower level the same philanthropic drive that somebody wants to name a theater after themselves or name a wing of the hospital kind of stuff. So, that kind of thing would be a good opportunity. Then I would look at the independent real estate companies that you could go to the broker of the company and offer this that the whole brokerage could sponsor this.
Paul: Oh that's great. Individual realtors might buy-
Dean: Individual agents could buy 10 tickets.
Paul: For that one brokerage. Gotcha.
Dean: 10 tickets, 50 tickets. Right.
Paul: Yeah. Love it.
Dean: For their clients. Yeah. The other thing would be then the alternative things like I think an orthodontist would be the perfect thing or who else would be in that realm, you know?
Paul: Yeah. Just start to find businesses that have always got a client base that involves families and children and start building it up from there with that.
Dean: Yep. Exactly right.
Paul: Love it.
Dean: I love it.
Paul: It's a whole different direction that I haven't even considered but I think is probably way more viable than where I was looking. Faster.
Dean: Imagine if you've got the opportunity. If you've got a courtyard that you could add to some experience with whoever. You think about companies that do things for birthday parties. If somebody has a bouncy castle rental company or-
Paul: Of course. Yeah.
Dean: Those kind of things that you could charge that company to come and put up their bouncy castle because they're going to get to meet parents. We do this for private parties.
Paul: So, I would charge the bouncy castle company to come.
Dean: Yeah. Because what a great form of advertising for them.
Paul: Advertising opportunity for them.
Dean: Yeah. Yeah.
Paul: Framing it in a marketing position for them. Not I don't need a bouncy castle, but if you want to be here, okay. That's great. Such a different way to think about it too. It's so different. That sense that I'm providing this space for you to come and market your business.
Paul: By putting your product here for people to use.
Dean: Yes. That's right.
Paul: Love it. Love it. Dean, so much. So much. Head exploding. So good.
Dean: Well, I can't wait to see it all unfold.
Paul: Thank you. Yeah I'll definitely keep you in the loop.
Dean: So, keep me posted. Yeah I'm going to be in Sydney in November so you'll have fully report by then. Be great.
Paul: I commit to doing that for you.
Paul: Thank you so much. This has been so good.
Dean: Thanks, Paul.
Paul: Appreciate it. Have a great day.
Dean: I'll talk to you soon. Thanks. Bye bye.
Paul: Thanks. See you. Bye.
Dean: There we have it. Another great episode. I really love that idea of packaging the show as an experience for realtors to offer as an experience, a client appreciation party. Something that they're already doing. It's a great, great opportunity and so we'll hear how that all unfolds because I know that Paul will stay in touch and kind of keep me updated, but sometimes thinking outside of the box or thinking about who else is trying to do the same thing that I'm doing here. Who else is interested in reaching the exact same audience that I'm trying to reach or who else already has the audience that I'm trying to reach?
Sometimes those questions can lead to what may seem like out of the blue ideas but could be the perfect solution. So, that was a fun episode. If you would like to be a guest on the show, it's easy. Just go to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com and click on the be a guest link and you can tell me a little bit about your business or your idea and we can get together to brainstorm for you. If you want to see how your business is using the eight profit activators to either grow or slow your business right now, I would recommend trying our profit activator score card at ProfitActivatorScore.com and that will give you a really easy way to see where the opportunities are right now for you. So, that's it for this week. Have a great week and I will talk to you next time.