Episode 239 | Posted on

Uplevel Your Video Marketing with Ken Okazaki

There are lots of best practices on how to shoot, edit, and distribute video in the most effective ways possible. Whether you’re on camera every day or a few times a month, whether it’s on Zoom, Facebook Live, YouTube, or Instagram — you need the skills you are about to learn in this episode! And what about monetizing your video appearances? Well don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! 

My guest today, Ken Okazaki, “The Video Marketing Guy” has really made all this a cornerstone to his life’s work. Clearly, marketing is not a one-dimensional concept. From getting people to stop scrolling to actually paying you money, Ken shows a simple yet effective approach. 

In this episode, we cover the importance of calibrating to, and truly connecting with, the person you are making the video for. You don’t address them, it’s not “you guys,” it’s you. Ken talks about sharing, not preaching, in order to make that real connection with the person you’re trying to reach. And if you’re recording a video on your cell phone, don’t get caught up with your appearance, it will show. You have to remember to look through the lens—connect. Ken is a detail guy – I was amazed by his Feng-Shui-d home office background, even his bookshelf is color-coded. 

For those of you who are listening, go to my show notes page and watch the video portion of this interview because this is inspiring! So without any further ado, let’s take a deep dive with Ken into understanding the nuance of how to create outstanding video content and monetize it.

In this Episode

  • [00:29] – Stephan Introduces Ken Okazaki, a.k.a. The Video Marketing Guy. Ken helps brands and entrepreneurs find their ideal customers on social media by creating remarkable, highly-monetized videos.
  • [05:00] – Ken shares the story of him leaving his previous business to start his own video marketing agency.
  • [12:49] – Ken shares helpful tips on how to overcome fears and insecurities of being in front of a camera.
  • [18:55] – Ken illustrates a line diagram on how video marketing works for different types of businesses. This is especially useful right now since people can’t gather many people in one room to collaborate.
  • [23:52] – Stephan admires Ken’s very detail-oriented and color-coordinated bookshelf. Ken thinks that people who sound better and are more visually appealing have a much better chance of closing business deals. 
  • [29:43] – Ken shares a camera trick that helps achieve a Hollywood movie quality lighting. 
  • [35:47] – What is HILDA and how is it a proven formula to structure videos effectively?
  • [42:28] – The right way to use message platforms so people respond better on calls to action from your video content. 
  • [48:09] – Things to consider first before purchasing gear or technologies in starting video marketing.
  • [58:29] – Follow Ken Okazaki on his social media accounts and visit his website kenokazaki.com to get tons of resources to uplevel your video marketing.

Jump to Links and Resources


It’s great to have you on the show, Ken. 

Thanks, Stephan. I appreciate that. You’re so right about that. Every other influencer out there—I’m talking about the Gary Vees, the Grant Cardones—everybody who’s crushing it on social media with a video, keeps saying, “Make more videos.” They’re very intuitive about how they do it which is a natural talent.

A lot of people have a gap between knowing they need to make a video, then performing, monetizing that video content, and doing it at scale. That’s the tricky part which, luckily for me, I’ve just had a lot of clients who have tons of success and I just distilled that into some systems and frameworks that you could duplicate for almost anybody getting started. That’s really what I love doing, it’s deconstructing that and sharing it.

Right. You learn from the School of Hard Knocks, figuring it out yourself. You didn’t just buy somebody’s course and like, “I’ll just R&D that, rip off, and duplicate it.” What’s the underwear gnomes? Step one, collect underwear. Step two has a big question mark. Step three is profit, right? There’s something in between there. I want a profit but how do I actually go from A to Z?

You learned from figuring things out on your own and being passionate about film making, video, and photography. You traveled the world, we both traveled the world, we’re both part of Tony Robbins’ Platinum Partnership. Can you give a little bit of background on this? 

Absolutely. I think I first got the bug for producing videos when I was about 16 and my dad is an entrepreneur. He had started a video production company to produce English-teaching videos in Japan. Every day I was surrounded with crew, equipment, sets, and gear, and I just was fascinated about it. Social media wasn’t invented yet. Fast forward a few years, when we were in Tony Robbins environment together, we traveled the world, it’s a lot of large-scale events.

Then, I decided to go on business with my father into the events business. One of the ways we’d fill the room and every other month, we do a large public business workshop and this would be the thousands of people every single time. We’d have to put butts in seats. Anybody who’s running events knows that’s a tricky thing, especially when you’re selling at the price point we were, which is by row seats. $7000, back row, $700 and we had to pack it each time. That’s when my survival instincts kicked in and I had to figure out this thing called marketing.

One thing I found without a shadow of a doubt is that video converts better than anything else. Yes, trial and error. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but we had to produce a whole bunch of marketing content to get people to come and invest time and money, to sit down, and be educated in a live seminar-workshop. With that working out the way it did, a lot of people think, “Why don’t you just continue?” Truth is, it’s not for everybody. Running large-scale events, I realized a couple of years in it was not for me. 

In video content creation, there's still a massive gap between making videos and monetizing them. Click To Tweet

It’s very stressful for one thing, right? It’s high pressure and if you mess up, you could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars when you talk about large-scale events like 10,000 people or 5,000 people, right?

Definitely. I’m going to be fully transparent here. There have been a lot of events where I lost money. The people in the crowd have no idea; they’re inspired, they’re rocking on into the music, and they walk away with some tools they can use. But the guy sitting in the backroom counting the numbers is usually in a lot of stress and pressure. That was me at one point.

I pivoted from that, took just the marketing bit of the business and which became primarily 90% just video marketing and I started a video marketing agency because that’s the part I enjoyed—producing video, seeing conversions, and getting people to actually invest time and money into educational or personal development courses. That was my intro to video marketing. This is circa 2015 or 2016 when I made that pivot, somewhere around there, after we had met. 

Yeah. How long did you do Tony Robbins’ Partnership? Or were you following Tony around the world and all that?

Over three years. 

I did about that, the same amount of time. Wow, that was life-changing for me. I met my wife because of it, I had a spiritual awakening in India because of it, on one of the Platinum Partner trips, and I had a physical transformation, too. Folks who are listening, you can see that on my other podcast website, getyourselfoptimized.com, on stephanspencer.com as well. But if you go to getyourselfoptimized.com which is a personal development podcast and you go to the About page and you’ll see the before and after, pretty striking.

People didn’t recognize me after my transformation. I have Tony Robbins to thank, at least partially for that. Of course, I did the work but he’s the one who inspired me. What were some of the big transformational outcomes that you got out of being a plat?

Yeah. Thank you for that. I just want to circle back to what you just said there; you did the work but Tony was the impetus, the catalyst that got you there. It’s so true. People buy courses and I see so many people talk about all these people are scam, that doesn’t work, or this doesn’t work for me.

The truth is, it only works when you do the work. He’s not going to come or nobody that I know of, except your mother maybe, who’s going to come and get you out of bed, make sure you eat right, exercise, get to school—that is a part of being an adult. You take some advice and you decide what you’re going to do with it, and the results are on you. But for somebody to have done all the research and compile it, and give you a laser-focused path to achieving similar results as them, it’s up to you whether you want to take that path. It’s such a misnomer sometimes that Tony doesn’t really change your life. You change your life. He just shows you how. The question you asked, what was that?

What were some of the transformational outcomes that you got out of being a plat for almost three years?

Definitely one of them was my relationship. I was already married at the time, but I didn’t know what marriage could be, I didn’t know what relationships could be, I didn’t understand that potential until I experienced it. I think the biggest transformation I can think of is when me and my wife went to the ultimate relationship seminar in Hawaii. Wow. I can’t even talk about what’s going on there. I think I actually shouldn’t because some of it is so out there that the general public wouldn’t get it.

But it deepened my understanding and the passion I have around my marriage so much that it actually made everything worth it. All the little annoyances, everything that goes into a marriage that makes it work, the work you do, it becomes 100% worth it. Once you have that, the return that comes to you in the form of deepness and passion. That was the biggest one. I’d say, at a close second, I think were the connections I made.

We got to at least tease our listeners with something from that workshop. For me, one of the things I got out of it was learning about the five sexual blueprints from Jaiya, a world-class sexologist. She’s actually my very first guest from my other show, Get Yourself Optimized. Listeners, if you’re intrigued by this, episode number one of Get Yourself Optimized is Jaiya, the sexologist. There are erotic blueprints; sexual, sensual, there’s a kind of a combination of all five. Help me out here, Ken.

I can’t remember the names. I just remember the experience, If I’m honest.

Kink is another one and there’s one more, whatever. Anyway, it’s amazing. Once you understand that and you can know what your partner’s primary blueprint is, then you cater to that instead of just doing what you like. And then she also knows yours, oh my God, whole other level. Anyway, I don’t want to go too far down that rabbit hole. How about one little tidbit that you got from that workshop that was really transformational for you?

I think it was how all the men went and did one thing and the women did another thing. We’re actually taking lessons from somebody who trained the Navy SEALs in the US. You think this is a relationship seminar. Why are we learning about hand-to-hand combat and how to literally disassemble another person’s body so that they can’t hurt you or the people you love.

Every campaign needs a working strategy.

The thing is, the way it heightens the primal masculinity that’s in each of us, in a way, it heightens the females. They were doing something completely different to get them deep into their femininity and rip off all the masks that they’re forced to wear a lot of times in the professional environment and the evenings. Wow. It’s like two extremely powerful neodymium magnets going clicked.

Yeah. It’s like a polarity, it’s just so accentuated. It’s powerful. You were at the one where Tim Larkin was teaching, right? 

That’s right. Yes.

Tim Larkin, he’s the founder of Target Focus Training. You learned in slow motion how to disable somebody who is trying to attack you. Because you do it in slow motion and the attacker, your partner in this who’s not trying to be your friend or whatever, they’re symbolizing the attacker, you both do it in slow motion enough times until it gets into your muscle memory and then you can protect your partner. It’s pretty amazing. I love that.

A little aside there, nothing to do with marketing, but kind of does because you know what your partner wants. In this case, when we talk about marketing, you know what your target avatar wants. Maybe they want to be taught via video and you feel more comfortable being behind a microphone with no video and it’s just audio. Well, you’re not meeting them where they want to be. You can find a way to make it marketing-related.

Yeah, I think so. It all comes full circle, one way or another. Marketing is not one dimensional. Marketing is one person’s ideas and thoughts connecting with another person’s ideas and thoughts. When there’s an alignment, that’s when a transaction can happen. When there’s no alignment, no transaction happens and the marketing falls apart. It’s really that simple. It’s the same dynamics that happen in peer relationships, romantic relationships, boss and employee relationships, it all comes full circle. Is there a mutual understanding and communication going on? If so, positive energy. If not, it falls apart.

Yeah. What would you say to somebody who is resistant to this? Maybe they have performance anxiety or they wonder who am I to be on camera being the teacher, the coach, the leader, the inspiring personality, like who am I to do that? I’m too shy, I’m not worthy, or I just feel uncomfortable, I don’t like being uncomfortable. What would you tell somebody who has those kinds of fears, insecurities, or blockages?

I think if I were to speak to anyone, that would be the version of myself before I started doing personal development because I was completely that, I didn’t feel like I had anything to give. But if anyone’s there at that stage now, then I think that if you can understand, if you’ve been able to help yourself in any situation, whether it’s your health, whether it’s a specific skill, whether it’s dog training, it doesn’t matter. But if you’re able to make some progress and then you think to yourself, how long did I struggle with that and what if somebody had helped me earlier on, how much pain or how much struggle would I have been able to skip over, then I think that might give you the motivation to take what you have and actually start sharing it with the world.

The advice I have is, I see some people with their cell phones doing selfie videos and a lot of people do a great job. But one of the biggest distractions is yourself. If you’re focused on that, the image of yourself, and you’re not even looking into the lens, there’s a couple of things that happen.

Number one, you start getting distracted with how you look. Is the lighting right? Is the sound perfect? Is my hair nice? Is the makeup great? All of those things are not what you should be focusing on. You’ve got to look not at the camera, but through the camera, at the person who needs to hear what you have to say, who’s stuck at that hump that you got over years ago. But if you speak to them and not the camera or not look at yourself on that screen and fight that reflex, then your message will become so much more powerful because all of a sudden you’re projecting and you’re not reflecting. That’s the important thing.

I think the most recent statistic that MSNBC did just recently is 69% of video on social media is viewed by somebody sitting in the restroom. When I read this, I was like, “That’s profound.” I took my phone, I walked to the toilet. I sat down, I thought, “Okay. This is 69% of my audience, they’re sitting on the toilet. How can I speak to this person?” A few things came to my mind. This was a real exercise.

I pulled up my phone and I started scrolling through social media, looking at some videos. Number one, I realized that the top on the video is super important because that comes on from the bottom of the screen. You scroll from the bottom to top, the title comes on before they even see your face. That title being bold, legible, and attention-grabbing is so important, even more than the video itself because if your title doesn’t grab their attention and get their thumbs to stop scrolling for 1.7 seconds, which is how long it takes for the video to start auto-playing, then your video, no matter how profound it is, doesn’t have a fighting chance to even get started getting. Number one, those titles are super important.

Number two—here’s another statistic, I love statistics and I know you do, too, Stephan—85% of videos on social media and this is Facebook, LinkedIn—not YouTube, YouTube is an exception—IG TV, they’re watched without sound. 85%. I realized that real quick, why? I’m in a public restroom here. There’s someone to my left, potentially someone to my right, and the speakers blaring, that’s a little bit embarrassing. I have two choices, either I could quickly mute the video and continue watching, or I could just move my thumb a quarter of an inch and that video is gone forever, potentially.

The thing is, as soon as I mute it, if there are no captions burned in, I can’t consume it. I can’t read lips, I haven’t been trained in that discipline, most of you haven’t. So, 85% of people, no sound, if you don’t have captions burned in—that means they’re actually a part of the video, they’re not some of these fancy overlayed things because that doesn’t always work out—you’re going to lose 85% of your audience. That’s number two.

The third thing is this. I have a lot of clients who come from the big stage speaking arena and they start coming on, they’re just like, “How’s everybody doing out there? Turn to your left, give that person a high five.” That energy is awesome when you have thousands of people packed in a stadium. However, you have to match the energy of the person in there and the person sitting in the toilet. He’s not alone.

There are actually two people, there is you and them. You’re having a private conversation with one person in a restroom. You want to match that energy and speak to them as if he’s speaking to one person, not to a crowd, not to millions of people. Stop using terms like you guys and everybody, just start saying you. Talk to one person and use the tonality as if you’re having a conversation across a coffee table at a Starbucks, potentially, and then you connect with them at their level.

That is so important. I want to reemphasize that in case people just don’t get the importance of it. You got to calibrate. If I were to have a conversation with you like we’re having now, but I’m too really loud like I’m on stage talking to Ken Okazaki, that sounds really fake, not calibrated, not authentic, and not even helpful.

Not at all. The thing is, that type of performance can work if it’s actually shot in a stadium where people see the context that you’re in front of thousands of people. That makes sense why you’re talking like that, why you have to project so much energy. But if you’re shooting a video using your cell phone, your webcam, or whatever camera you have, get just one person, have a conversation. Share, don’t preach.

Things only work when you do the work. Click To Tweet

Very good. Any other tips that you wanted to share in this little segment? You got the title, make sure that you nail it.

Yeah. The toilet strategy.

And the toilet strategy, I like that.

It’s toilet marketing.

Toilet marketing. Make sure you have captions burned in, most people aren’t listening to the sound of it. Just speak to one person, calibrate to that audience of one. I love it. Cool. That’s the toilet strategy. What other strategies do you have? Do you have the kitchen strategy or the outhouse strategy?

If you don’t mind, I just want to share a small diagram here. I realize that there’s a lot of types of business owners. If you can’t see this and you’re listening on your podcast or something, then if you draw a line-up and down and on the top, you have structure. On the very bottom, you have inspiration, people who do things when they feel like it. Across left to right, you’ve got people who are introverts, and then all the way to the right, you have the extroverts.

If you look at this and you think to yourself, where am I?  If you’re honest with yourself, most people start right around here at the bottom left where you work on inspiration and you’re an introvert. You’re an introvert because you don’t have too much experience yet. It’s hard to kind of put yourself out there, so you kind of shy away and you do things when you feel like it. A lot of people start there and that’s totally fine, but it’s not going to get you very far.

There are two directions you could go. A lot of people go up here to where it’s extremely structured—sorry, I just mess it up; I should say structure to the top, not unstructured—but introverted, and the people here are really good at the technical stuff. We’re talking about email marketing, copywriting. We’re talking about tripwires and automation, SEO, a bit like what you’re absolutely a genius at. You don’t have to get in front of people, do a big show, lights, and perform. You have got to know your numbers and you’ve got to know that some people are into coding and systems. That’s great.

Now, you can go all the way to the bottom right where you work on inspiration and you’re an extrovert and the people here are going to do amazing at networking events and public speaking. Here’s the thing. If you’re in the bottom right, then you might be in a lot of trouble right now because you can’t get very many people in a room together. With this situation, you’re stuck at home. The kind of people that video marketing (at least the style I do) works really well for come from here, and this is where you want a lot of structure around making video.

If you can just follow some step-by-step checkpoints and know that your videos are going to get the maximum performance because of the fact that you have some structure, you’re projecting, you’re you get to live in your extroverted sense, and live vicariously through your videos, then that’s what video marketing works for. The kind of people who don’t necessarily want to learn all the technicalities of building landing pages, coding, and graphics design, just want to get in front of a camera, speak the message, and also reach the right people.

By the way, that was very slick, how you just whipped out your stylus and just started drawing on this.

I love drawing. Sure.

Yeah. This is really slick. It shows that you are savvy with technology without having to brag, bring in any stories, or anything. You’re just demonstrating your prowess with regards to technology, just so subtly working it right into the talk. I love it. What tech are you using? Is that just an iPad, iPad Pro, or a reMarkable tablet? What sort of thing is that?

It’s simply an iPad. I’m just mirroring it on my computer. There’s an app called Reflector and it’s just the Apple Pencil, iPad. I do teach courses so what you’re seeing here is just worksheets ripped out of my workbooks that I saved. I’ve taught this material before, I’m pretty familiar with it, and I loved its drawing with the pen. Like I said, when you’re sharing with someone like in a coffee shop, then you just write on it with a ballpoint pen on the back of a napkin, right? That’s the environment I want to bring into a conversation, not get overproduced because when you produce things, people feel like you might be trying to compensate for something.

Yeah, and it’s not finished. Those pages that you just quickly flipped through with frameworks on them, like there’s a funnel image and so forth, they’re not all filled out with all the details. That’s where you come in, kind of annotate, and use your stylus to narrate through the framework or the model. That’s really much more interactive, conversational, and one-to-one, kind of friendly. I really like it.

Stephan, I’d be happy to get you set up with something like this, show you how to do all this, and set it up later if you want.

Okay. There’s so much nuance to this. You’re a detail guy. For those of you who are listening, you’re going to miss this. Maybe go to my show notes page and watch the video portion of this interview because in the background of Ken’s, I don’t know, studio, house.

Home office.

Home office. You have color-coordinated your bookshelf. Oh, my goodness. That’s Feng shui, that’s classy, that’s just elegant. It shows attention to detail, maybe a little OCD, but it’s so cool. I just love it. On the other shoulder, why don’t you describe it for our listeners?

Sure. As far as the color-coding goes, I actually had my daughter who asked her to help me with this—she’s, I think, 17 at the time—and she did all the color-coding. I thought, “Oh, my God, why didn’t I think of that before?” Because I do remember books by color first. When I’m looking for it, I could find it faster just by looking at the colors. I’m a very visual guy.

Actually a lot of people approach me and say, “Could you help me set up my home office to look like yours?” because when you’re on conference calls, which a lot of people are these days, if all things are equal, including like if you’re bidding for a contract and the price and the value are similar to people, one person just looks a whole lot better than the other, is more visually appealing and sounds better, you just have a much better chance at closing that deal and with the competition.

The books, these are all books I’ve read and you’ll recognize a lot of them if I go closer. On this side, there’s a clapperboard because I’m a video guy. It’s just a bit of my branding. This is my vision board. Those are all photos of my children, actually, you can’t really see it from here. That’s a humidifier, you don’t have to worry about that.

Okay. Before you go on, I got to point out that you have a vision board, which is a very personal development kind of Tony Robbins sort of thing to do. How have you manifested some of your big visions of the future? Can you give an example of something that came true from your vision board?

Sure. This vision board is actually specifically just about my children. I remember at one point, as my kids were going through their teens—my oldest is 22 right now and the second oldest is 19, my youngest is 12—there is a stage where I was seriously concerned about, are my kids going to make it through life? You know teenagers, they do worry parents, as I probably did when I was a teen. I just mapped out how do I really want them to know. I didn’t go with jobs and things like that or income because that’s too much of me projecting on them.

Learn more about psychology and behavioral patterns through books, and podcasts to understand how to market to an audience better.

At one point, I did hire my teenage son into my business. He’s no longer working here, but my vision was for him to find a situation where he was completely where he felt like an authority, where he felt respected, and where he could exercise what he loved doing. I caught him marketing. He came into my company to help me with marketing. He learned everything he could. Then, he got headhunted into a company called McCann, I don’t know if you’re familiar with that. They’re based out of New York, they’re an advertising firm. They headhunted him from my company. As a dad, I was so proud of him. As an employer, I was a little bit upset. I was just like, “Damn it, they took my best talent.”

That’s impressive. That’s really great. So good for him.

He’s handling some brands that I can’t say for confidentiality, but they’re definitely household names. In fact, this brand is all over, anything to do with technology. That’s all I’m going to say. He’ll probably get upset if he finds out that I spilled too much because it’s very confidential, but he’s really happy in the environment he’s in. At one point, he was in trouble with the law. I was seriously wondering, when I visit my son, is it going to be in a supervised situation in some kind of prison? I literally had these thoughts going through my mind at one point. That’s why I made that vision board, thinking what do I really want and how can I just support them instead of trying to shoehorn them into my vision. That’s when things went wrong. That’s just a bit about that.

That’s beautiful. I love that. Thank you for sharing and being so transparent, vulnerable, that’s awesome. Are you going to explain what’s on the next shelf here?

Sure. Happy to.

Behind you.

On the shelf?

We’ll get to the next model.

These are all antique cameras here. I’m just going to pivot here real quick. My desk is a bit messy, I’m not going to point my webcam over there. This is the normal gear I use. This is a Sony FS5 camera, I have a video agency, and I just love cameras. I’m Japanese, I can’t help it. I like to have them in my peripheral. But when you have cameras that are always the latest, they get outdated really fast, so these are antique cameras. They’re all at least 50 years old and they’re all made of metal because then that’s timeless. I’m happy to have them there all the time. It says On Air and that light goes on, it’s actually just always on. It’s just a bit of decor, feels like a studio. I’m at home, I want to feel like I’m in a professional work environment. It’s that simple.

Yeah, that’s really cool. It’s a little fuzzy in the background but in an elegant sort of way because of the F-stop that you’ve set, I think. I don’t know a lot about photography, but is that correct?

That’s right. I have a webcam that I actually show people how to tweak the settings on their webcam to get this look which a lot of people want. Let me demonstrate something really quick for you. Now, I do this a lot when I help people set up their home studios. I usually start with the camera being at the wrong angle and I’ll show you what it’s like. I’m going to open this up here.

Wow. That looks so different.

This is what most people start with. They got some sunlight coming in, the face is just kind of flat, and the camera’s working hard to try to make it look good. There are a few steps. I’m going to be walking around, so the sound might go in and out a little bit, but step one, if you want this to look good, you want to cut out the sunlight. Sunlight works when it works but when it doesn’t like different times of day, then you’re just going to have fluctuating results.

The blinds, block it out, right? Ceiling lights, what they do is they just make everything look kind of flat. I don’t use ceiling lights. I’ve got two lights. If you’re wondering how to position your lights, this is super easy. Now, this is turning into a webcam class but I’m happy to do this.

I love this. This is awesome.

Stick your arm in front of you. The distance between your shoulder and the camera should be one arm’s length away. That’s a distance and that’s how you get a blur. Now, the position of your lights, you have two lights. Turn 45 degrees to your right, 45 degrees up, that is going to be your main light. 45-45, exact same thing on the other side; 45 degrees to the left, 45 degrees up. That is what’s called the fill light.

You’ll notice that one side of my face is slightly brighter than the other. This is a lighting technique called the Rembrandt triangle. It sounds technical, but it’s really simple. You’ll see on the left side of my face here, it looks like an inverted triangle, this lighting. You just want to have lights that have dimmers so that one is brighter than the other and you get this inverted triangle shape on the opposite side that the main light is coming from.

You just adjust the brightness to get the shape and you’d never look at a Hollywood movie the same again. If you watch the movies where there’s a superhero character, they’re almost always lit to have an inverted triangle under the left eye. This is the thing that people never notice but when you get it right, it looks different. Everybody says, “Wow. The lighting looks good.” Look for the triangle and you just want to dial down the light that’s on the left side until you can see this. That’s it, it’s that simple.

Marketing is not one-dimensional. It is one person's ideas and thoughts connecting with another person's ideas and thoughts. Click To Tweet

And you’re not using a regular Logitech webcam. My Logitech doesn’t have F-stop settings on it or anything like that. You’re actually using a digital SLR camera, right?

Let me show you. I don’t know if anybody listening is going to be able to appreciate what’s going on here.

They can go to the show notes.

Come to the show notes, guys. I’m going to put this in selfie mode so you could get a preview of what I’ve got. It’s a $400 camera, it’s called the Sony a5100. But if you have an old DSLR hanging around the house, chances are it’s got an HDMI outport. You plug that into your computer, it turns into a webcam. As far as the battery goes, you just want to have it plugged into power.

It’s a little bit complicated sometimes to get the settings right but once you dial it in, then you get the wow reaction almost every time, people think, “Wow. This person actually pays attention to detail and I like the way he looks.” I get a lot of positive reactions around this, even when I’m not talking specifically about video. I can actually shoot video content straight into my computer because I’ve got the setup like this. It’s easy.

Yeah, that is so cool. So, I interrupted you earlier. You were going to show us another framework or model of yours. Do you want to go to that?

Happy to. This is how most people see traditional funnels. A lot of times I have a live audience and I just have them call stuff out, like when you think of a funnel, what do you think of? I think your audience understands the term funnel, right?


Most people think email marketing, ads, tripwires, squeeze pages. Basically, all the technical bits, let’s just say, landing pages, what’s something that comes to mind for you when you think funnel? SEO, of course.

SEO. I was wondering if you were going to say that.

There we are. The thing is that some people really excel at this. When you get all this right and you have it dialed in, then you go through this process and you do get a great return on investment. This is like a well-oiled machine with a lot of moving parts. It’s like a Rube Goldberg machine in some ways. Everything has to transition to the next, to the next, the next and it works, it’s perfect.

For the technically-minded, this is wonderful. But I want to pause. There’s another way to do this. I look at every single video as a funnel in itself. Let me break this down for you. If this is getting a little woo-woo or difficult to understand, Stephan, just please ask me or stop me right there. But if we start at the top, then the title at the top of your video, this section right here, is what people see first. If the thumbs don’t stop scrolling—I just calculated this recently—we go through 87,000 screens of scrolling within a year on average. 87,000 screens.

I want that time back. That’s a lot of wasted time where I could be reading books instead of playing with my kid or my grown kids, too. I’ve got my seven-month-old, he loves playing with me. Yeah, it’s a lot of time and people make split-second decisions about whether they’re going to invest a little micro chunk of that time with you.

Exactly. I call this Hockey Puck Titles. The reason I call this Hockey Puck Titles is Wayne Gretzky, arguably the best hockey player in world history, he famously said, “A good player goes where the puck is, a great one goes where it’s going to be.” The way I see this is that a lot of people think of, “What content do I want to make that is amazing?” They make up content. Then as an afterthought, they think of what catchy title can I put on it? I do everything the opposite way around. This is titles first.

There’s a specific way to research and this actually does involve a little bit of SEO. There’s a process to see what titles are converting and stopping people from scrolling to your target audience, then how can you deconstruct and then reconstruct it to make it original, keep the same emotional pull SEO value, but make it a title that people will stop scrolling for. Because once you get this title dialed in, then this will connect straight to what’s called the HILDA.

What’s a HILDA? A HILDA is a system I had to invent because I’m shooting videos. My flagship program in my agency is called 52in2 where we shoot 52 weeks of content in 2 days. The thing is, no matter how many events you’ve done, how many hours you spoke on stage, shooting 52 unique pieces of content in 2 days will turn your brain to mush. The part of your body that consumes most calories is actually next to your heart, your brain.

When you get to think like crazy, you get exhausted, your concepts are coming out like crap. I thought, “How can I take the thinking away and just give them a cookie-cutter system to mold their content into?” That way, people can perform for a very long time without having to think too much about and reinventing it every time.

A little stat here for our geeks in the audience here. If you imagine your brain is 2% of your body weight, 25% of your calories get consumed by your brain.

There you go. I’m going to use that next time and I’m going to reference you.

Okay. Please proceed.

HILDA stands for Hook. You got three seconds to get them to decide to keep watching. After they’re hooked in, then you can introduce yourself. There’s a specific formula for this. First name plus who you are and how you help. I’m running out of time. I’ll get into this in a later one, we’ll go deeper. Introduce yourself after you hook them in, not the other way around, then you want to lead their anticipation to what you are about to deliver which is hopefully going to be an amazing value.

Once you deliver amazing value, which is going to educate, entertain, and edify your audience, then you have released dopamine in that person’s bloodstream. They’re feeling happy. They’re feeling good about what you just shared and that is the best time to ask for micro commitment at the end of the video. This process is done in 3–5 minutes over and over and over again. I’ve done over 4000 videos using this format. It’s just flat out works.

HILDA. Hook, Introduce yourself, L, lead, D, deliver, A, ask.

Yes. Do it in that order. Remember, title first. The title comes first, you’ve got a rough idea of how you could use that title to fit your content. The content is HILDA. The reason we have HILDA is so that we can connect them to what I call the missing link. The missing link here is the thing that your ideal customer never knew they always needed and that is priceless to them but free for you to give. Some people say it’s a lead magnet and there’s a lot of overlap. But you want to take people from neutral and potentially confused to over the moon because you solved a simple solution for them.

For example—I’m going to put in a plug right here—if I told you that every single video that has gotten over 10 million views organically, had two things in common. They had a big header at the top and titles burned in. I could show you how under three minutes I could shoot and edit that video, get captions in it, and put it online using only my phone. Would you be interested in that?

Audiences usually follow influencers because of their content, not just their appearance.

Usually, when I say this, 99% of the audience is going to say, “Yes, I want that.” Did they know that existed? No. That’s the thing they never knew they always wanted or needed. Can I give that information freely? Yes. Is it priceless to them? Pretty damn close. If that’s the pain they’re feeling right now. That’s an example of never knew, always needed, priceless to them, free for me to give. That’s the only thing.

An example of the solution would be Splasheo, for example? splasheo.com.

Potentially, except to do it from your phone is a headache, it costs money every single time. The other challenge is that they have a 24-hour turnaround, I could do this in 3 minutes. Three minutes from shooting to having the captions burned in.

Got you. Okay. And the title up on the top?

Yes. If you’re interested, stick around to the end, I’ll show you how that works.

That’s awesome.

Again, it’s the missing link. Now that you know that can be done in three minutes, there’s a gap. The gap is the information that I can give you freely, that doesn’t cost me money once I figured it out. You got to create these and demonstrate to them that there is a missing link and that you’ve got a solution. When you present this, this is where we are not going to be selling but we want to do a smooth segue.

If anybody’s been on LinkedIn or Facebook for any more than a month, you’re going to have gotten a lot of spam from people in the DMs, right? Stephan, when’s the last time someone’s pasted a big, huge block of paragraph into the chat, hit enter, and then just thinks that’s what marketing is? It happens all the time.

Yeah, I hate that. When I add people that requested a LinkedIn connection and then within a minute or two, they’re spamming me with their offer. That just annoys the heck out of me.

All right. That is, again, using a toilet analogy, it’s a constipated lump of crap. Think about it. In order to assimilate information, you need to actually read it. Nobody reads through a page of paragraphs that’s pasted into the DMs. It just doesn’t happen, you can’t assimilate it. Your constipating your audience and they don’t like that feeling and they just want to get rid of you.

And it’s not calibrated, it’s not emotionally intelligent, it’s not meeting them where they are at, it’s not first seeking to understand and then be understood.

The thing is that there is the right way to actually use chats and you get people to respond to your videos with the call to action and then you want to smoothly segue into a chat sequence. This is a combination and I call this a smooth segue. It’s a combination of frameworks plus scripts. Now, there are the scripts. 

Here’s the thing about texting. You want to text like a teenager. What does that mean? One line at a time? 20-80 words is the ideal length. Every single line has to be calibrated to what the audience is currently experiencing. You can find that in their timeline, in their profile, also, the information they’re giving you. You’ve got to understand that when you go into it, it’s like slopes. You want to start on a downward slope where it’s smooth and easy. You want to appreciate a firm and also connect. 

You start with a thank you for the comment or the reaction to your video and then actually do some recent transfers. Who is this person? What are they like? What’s going on in their life? Talk about that. Once you pick up momentum with that downward start, then you want to start going uphill a little bit. Ask some calibration questions. How are you going in your business? What’s working? What are your goals? You got to understand slopes, there’s this pattern that happens when you start.

Then, you’ve got signals. You’ve got to know when it’s a red light. This person is not a good fit, let’s stop. When it’s a yellow light, which is going a bit too fast or they don’t understand something, let’s circle back or pause. The green light is this person is hot and they want to know more, keep going. We’ve got slopes that you got to understand. You got signals. The third thing I understand is there are three checkpoints.

Each of these checkpoints is a signal whether you want to it’s a red, yellow, or green light. These are checkpoints. Number one, do you have a rapport? If you don’t have a rapport, then you don’t move forward. Once you get a rapport, then you go to another slope which is going to be the permission to share. Never, ever drop a link in someone’s DM unless they ask for it. You could get them to ask for it but don’t say, “Hey, let’s get on a call. Here’s the link.” Come on, like I didn’t ask for that. So, permission to share. There’s a specific script and framework to get you there.

The last one is red pill, blue pill. It’s like you can bring people to decide right inside the chat. Inside the chat, either to get on a discovery session with you to see if you want to do a high ticket sale, which could be anywhere from $5000–$100,000 deals, which I have personally done, or it can be a low ticket thing, which is anywhere from $500–$5000 which you can sell inside the chat without ever having to pick up the phone.  

The beauty of the smooth segue is that once you dial this in, then you can leverage a team to use your scripts and frameworks, use the system, and bring it straight to a sale without you actually having to be there. But it is 100% your voice because of the fact that you designed this and you built it over time.

Once you get this system dialed in and it’s starting to work for you, then the next thing you want to do is think about how I can take this entire process, which is mostly video, no copywriting, there’s no landing page, there’s no sales page, it’s just videos and chat. That’s all you need. How can you take this and then how can you flatten the curves? In the beginning, each of these checkpoints, like I said, the slope’s right? Report, then permission to share, then red light, blue light.

At first, it is a challenge but the good thing is, since you drink and chat, it’s all recorded. Every time this friction, you could look back and think, how can I make those curves a little bit smoother so we could just glide from one to the next faster and keep improving and improving. Guys, this is the video marketing funnel. It’s easy as pie and you don’t need anything more than your phone. As long as it’s got an internet connection and a camera, you’re good to go. 

That’s the thing that I want people to understand. Video marketing is simple, it’s easy to get started. As far as I can see right now, this is really the fastest way for people who are uninitiated to get started, if you don’t want to pay for $300 a month for click funnels or whatever it is, whatever software you’re looking at, or take a WordPress course and learn that, there are a million ways to go. This is quick, this is fast, and you can get results in testing material without a big hurdle. That’s what I love to share, is think of it like this.

You’ve got three seconds to convince your audience to keep watching. It’s only when they're hooked that you introduce yourself or your offer. Click To Tweet

That’s great. It’s so authentic, you’re presenting your whole self, and you’re not hiding behind email sequences, not that it’s hiding but it’s only a part of you. An email sequence is not a full reflection of the depth of your personality, all the trials and tribulations you went through, it’s not vulnerable, typically, in an email sequence like a video can be.

Absolutely. I got a little bit fired up there. Probably wasn’t speaking in the same tonality as someone sitting in the restroom toilet but I get excited about this stuff, it’s my passion. 

That’s awesome. I’m going to geek out for a minute here. Do you have any kind of special lenses or anything that goes with an iPhone? Because I’ve seen some of these things, I haven’t bought any—it’s not like a clip-on type of thing—but it attaches to your iPhone and it massively increases the depth of field or decreases it, I don’t know.

Again, I’m not a photographer but I’ve seen that sort of thing, I’ve seen different kinds of tripods, and of course, use a Lavalier mic with your iPhone and improve the sound quality. What are some of the techy gadgets that you might consider adding to the iPhone or Android phone if you, unfortunately, have one of those? 

That’s one of the most common questions I get asked, is what technology, what gear do I need? I will go into that but before I do, I just want to preface this with saying I’ve seen too many people numb the pain of not having gotten started or haven’t gotten results with video yet by buying more gear. They haven’t dialed in their storytelling skills, they haven’t dialed in HILDA, they haven’t dialed in connecting and engaging with an audience. Even though they’re trying, they haven’t gotten there and the human brain is tuned to want to always take some kind of action. What they do is they go and buy more gear. It’s a loop, right? I know Stephan, that you have many audiences.

You’re saying it’s an avoidance tactic for many?

It is. It’s fun to buy gear. It’s retail therapy, right?


It is fun but it’s not actually going to move the dial nearly as much as you understanding the frameworks, HILDA, writing great titles. That being said, what I usually advise people is to make your first sale, use that money to buy the gear. That’s the reward for the results, not the prerequisite for the results. You got to flip it around. I know you’re getting results so here we go. As far as fun goes, if you have an iPhone or a recent phone that’s less than three years old, and your phone is going to be held at roughly arm’s length, at this distance, there’s so much noise-canceling technology in here that cancels out noise from this direction and picks up noise from here that you don’t need a Lav.

If you want to do a full-body shot and you want to set the phone on the other side of the room, then you’re going to have to have some type of clip-on mic or a shotgun mic. Those are anywhere from $10–$2000. I use a $5000 microphone which is actually sitting right here. This is literally the same microphone that’s used on the Oprah Show and The Ellen Show. But it is really high end, and I don’t recommend that. I recommend something from $10–$20 mic.

Wow. So, you don’t want to drop that mic. You don’t want to step on that mic.

The truth is that it’s got a lifetime warranty and I can drop it, step on it, dunking in water and it won’t get damaged. That’s part of the price that you pay for it, is the durability. Surfers use that microphone a lot in the water because of the fact that it’s super durable.

Number one is if you have it at arm’s length, you don’t need additional audio gear. Number two is in order to enhance the audio, there is a simple technique and it’s the way to hold it. When you can’t hear well, in the real world, you keep your hands behind your ears to channel more of the sound waves into your ear. With the video, most of the sound comes in from the bottom. With the new iPhones, that is coming in through here, but anything older than two years, it all gets picked up down here. A lot of people have to hold their phone like this, and that’s exposed to wind. You get like a lot of wind in there and it’s picking up sound from there and from behind.

This is a really cool trick. Think of cupping your ear, have your hand here, but cup the microphone to your phone so that number one, this hand does not block out sound from behind it. Number two, it picks up your voice and channels it straight into there. It makes a world of difference in audio quality just the way you hold it. Think of that as your ear.

That’s a great trick, by the way, if you are playing audio through your speaker and you can’t quite hear it.

It works the other way, too.

Yeah, I do that all the time, if I can’t hear it, if I’m not wearing headphones. Cool.  That’s great.

As far as lenses and stuff, I’ve tried all those gadgets, generally not worth it. Here’s what happens. I got my phone. Let’s say I’m in this situation, maybe I’m driving my pullover and it’s a beautiful scene and I think, “Oh, this is a great place to shoot a little content.” Then, I pull up my camera. I’m just like, “Damn. But I forgot the lens in the other car or at home.” Every piece of tech that you add on top of just your naked phone is one more reason that your brain might cause you to procrastinate shooting that one bit and capturing that moment, that eureka moment.

If you are really going to carry it with you everywhere so that when you have that moment of inspiration or when you’re in the zone, you can just whip out your phone to do it. That’s fine. But statistically, I find it actually stops people from creating their best content because they don’t have the right gear at the right time, at the right moment. The moment, the opportunity to catch lightning in a bottle is lost or maybe even just the five minutes it takes to find the gear, you can have fiddled with it, unscrew this and screw that. That calibration time, it’s time that the inspiration is dropping as time is passing and that just is not worth that little millimeter of quality that you might gain.

In other words, perfection is the enemy here. Stops that from capturing that lightning in a bottle.

Thing is that the first video we make is going to be the hardest, the 10th one will be much easier, the 101th will be way easier and better. Fail fast, fail early, do a whole bunch to get to your best version of your video self.

The Art of SEO by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, & Jessie Stricchiola

You have this kind of ingrained in, even in your muscle memory here, this idea of HILDA and not introducing yourself first. I still make that mistake sometimes or, “Hey, I’m Stephan Spencer, co-author of The Art of SEO.” Oh, I just lost them. They don’t care about that. They care about what I’m going to teach them. So, I start with the hook. Can you give a quick example of starting with a hook, maybe a recent video that you shot?

Sure. How about this? Throw me a topic and I’m just going to pretend I’m an expert on the topic because I like to be candid. Throw me a topic, it could be anything. Relationships, weight loss, money.

Feng shui.

Feng shui. Okay. I’m not an expert of Feng Shui, I kind of understand the concept and I’m just going to make something up following the HILDA pattern, okay?


How about this? “Do you ever wonder what position you should be at the table when you have guests over? Hi, my name is Ken. I’m an expert and I’ve literally written the book on Feng Shui. I’ve worked with a lot of families and families, specifically, who have a business. When you have a family environment, sometimes you bring business over to the house. There’s a dynamic shift that happens where at one point, you want to be the head of the family, you want to be at the head of the table, and really kind of dominant.

Sometimes you want to bring business associates and where you want to be at a pure level, or maybe you’re trying to win a big contract and you want to let the person know that you actually want to be submissive to them and work and cooperate with them. What if I told you that the position of the chair at the table will make all the difference in your relationship with your family? Number one. And number two, whether or not you’re going to nail that seven-figure deal.”

Here’s what you want to do. No, I don’t know what you actually want to do for this new furniture rock. I teach the content there. Up until that, I did the lead. I did something they can practically do. At the end, I’m going to ask them something and say, “Look, here’s the thing. I’ve walked into so many people’s homes and I’m talking about from college dorms to million-dollar mansions. Sometimes I walk in there and I just feel the energy can be so much better with just a millimeter shift in a couple of things.

I love to share this kind of content all the time, and it’s for free. What you want to do if you want to get the full playlist of the 12 things to do to radically improve the flow of energy through your home, your office, or even your college dorm room. Then click down below, get the free playlist and you can go through this and optimize your home community. Hope to see you soon. Talk to you later.”

In marketing, once you deliver amazing value, either to educate or entertain, you help release dopamine in that person's bloodstream. Click To Tweet

That’s great. That’s awesome. I know that you have a program that you can teach our listeners how to apply all this stuff and a whole lot more. There’s accountability stuff, signing and commitment, signing up for a course, and you get some coaching with that, I think, and stuff. Can you explain what you just launched recently with your online course?

Absolutely. With my agency, we actually do everything for our clients. We actually show up at their door and we shoot a year’s worth of content. They just sit there and have the stuff performed on them. I realize that, especially with COVID-19, some of you are stuck at home, and to be honest, my film crew in the US and Australia, they’re also grounded, literally.

I took just the stuff that is going to move the dial for people who are at home, they’ve got a phone, and they’ve got some motivation because frankly, there’s not much else to do to actually start marketing themselves using video online. Everything I put together into a course called Video Ninja Secrets and I can use the word ninja because I’m Japanese, there’s no cultural appropriation here.

I thought to myself, what if all you had was your phone and some tactics? Could you make money? This is the shortest path around. It is six weeks, there’s new content every week, there’s a coaching every single week to help people get unstuck, to get from one station to the next. You also get my feedback and my eyes on your material to see how you can make that millimeter shift and get people to really engage with the content with the intent to get them into a selling situation.

I’ve completely separated the selling from the giving. What I show you how to do is to give in public, sell in private because nobody likes an overly salesy, sleazy kind of person and that’s not the kind of person I would want to engage in. I think, what kind of person would I want engaged in? How can we put them on video?

It’s a program that I just started three weeks ago now. When you watch this, I don’t know when that will be, but it is working really well. If you want to get in, then I guess, is there a link below this, Stephan?

I’ll include the link in the show notes, you can add a link to the video. Not everybody’s going to be watching it, some will be listening. If you speak the link into this recording as well, and I’ll put it in the show notes.

Okay. Just go to ozmedia.global/VideoNinjaSecrets. The price right now is $2997. However, the introductory price, if you just hit me up, whether it’s on the show or in my own DMs, find me. I’ve got coupon codes, it’s $997. I’m making a special offer because we’re really new at this and I want to get more people get tons of success stories and really get this ball moving. There is a coupon code, it will expire so I won’t see it here because, by the time you get it, it might expire. Just get in touch with me and I’ll hand that off to you.

Awesome. And your main website to get in touch with you, to see what your agency does, and everything is ozmedia.global?

That’s it. Actually, it’ll be easier just to go to kenokazaki.com and I’m actually shifting because I’ve been advising my clients for a long time to brand themselves as the company. It’s working really well and I realized I needed that for myself so I just shifted my main page to kenokazaki.com. Come check it out, you’ll find a lot more information there.

Awesome. I am a big fan of personal branding because that’s the brand you take to the grave. Invested a lot of time and money into building the NetConcepts brand and then I sold it. I sold that old company and I’m like, “Oh, wait a minute. Now, I need to start all over again with a new brand.” Definitely invest in your personal brand.

Thank you, Ken. This was fabulous. I’m really hoping that our listeners will take advantage of your amazing offer. That’s a very generous price discount to drop it down to $997. Definitely, listeners, take Ken up on that offer and follow him on social media. Just saw him recently, you were on, what was that podcast?

Misfit Nation, I believe?

Misfit Nation, yep, that’s it. With Jason, how do you pronounce it?


Sisneros, thank you. You just crushed it on that. I was really impressed. Anyway, thank you so much, Ken, for joining us today, sharing all this great content and wisdom that you’ve accumulated and built up over the years. This is really good stuff.

Thank you, Stephan. I appreciate it and I really enjoyed this conversation. Thanks also for sharing about a bit of what you did. I love the questions, it got me thinking. So, thank you for that.

Awesome. Listeners, do check out the show notes for this episode. There’s a lot of great stuff that we talked about that you’ll be able to access through the show notes at marketingspeak.com. We’ll catch you in the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.

Important Links

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ Create a video marketing plan that aims to represent my business in the best light. Every campaign needs a working strategy. 
☑ Learn how people’s minds work on a deeper level to understand how they engage with marketing. Learn more about psychology and behavioral patterns through books and podcasts. 
☑ Don’t focus too much on my image. Audiences usually follow influencers because of their content, not just their appearance.
☑ Speak to the person watching me from their screen, not to my camera. Imagine that only one person is watching me and talk as if they’re the only ones I’m communicating with.
☑ Add a graphic headline to videos, preferably at the top of the frame. People who watch videos on their phones tend to see the text first when they scroll down. 
☑ Add captions to videos. 85% of videos on social media – specifically Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn – are watched without sound.
☑ Develop a structure for creating and uploading my videos—research about best upload times and best practices most suitable for my business. Create a schedule and make sure everyone working on my content follows proper guidelines.
☑ Invest in high-quality equipment, so the final video is high quality. Always have my audience’s best interest in mind by making sure I publish valuable content they’d want to share.
☑ Be authentic. People can sense if other people are faking their intentions even if they’re just watching someone on a screen. 
☑ Check out Ken Okazaki’s website to learn more about how to create engaging videos.

About Ken Okazaki

Ken Okazaki is “The Video Marketing Guy.” Ken helps his clients find their ideal customers on social media. Video is extremely engaging, but there’s little available in the form of a concise system to monetize it. From getting people to stop scrolling to actually paying you money, Ken shows a simple yet effective approach.



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