• Inspiring Startups

Interview with Amanda Horvath - The power of Video

Amanda Horvath is an online entrepreneur who helps business owners and entrepreneurs leverage the power of video, without breaking the bank or taking up tons of their time.





In this interview, we chat with Amanda on how she pivoted her service based business to an online business, how she organized herself to work on it as a side hustle initially, the necessity to prioritize yourself, the importance of video for business owners, and her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

What's special about your business?

Through my courses I make video accessible to the masses so that anyone can share their story despite their budget. And I also focus a lot on the personal development side of video, helping people overcome their limiting beliefs. I really stress that, which I think not a lot of people do.

Why did you start your online business?


My big Why is that I eventually want to become a mom and spend a lot of time with my kids and not have to put the pressure on my husband to provide. I made a decision when I was 25 that by the time I was 30 I wanted to have passive income, which is what drives the whole thing.

How did you start it? Did you have any previous experience as an entrepreneur?


Well, I ran a video marketing company for about 5 years where I was the one shooting and editing videos for other people. And before that, I went to film school. I was a film kid through and through, got out of school, fell in love with working with business owners and entrepreneurs. And almost by accident started freelancing and creating business videos.


And during that time I really got to see that very few people know how to use videos for business and the people who were hiring me were hiring me out of a marketing budget. So I knew if my videos did not actually deliver for the clients (i.e if they are not bringing in leads) I would have to constantly find new clients.


I needed to figure out how to use videos to make money in a business. I became obsessed with online marketing. I took B-School with Marie Forleo, List builders Lab with Amy Porterfield and was really into Amy Porterfield's other online marketing courses. I became a course junkie.


Throughout that time (working with more clients and talking to more people) I realized that no one really knows what they are doing when it comes to video. Anyone across the board even if they were already famous or just getting started were at the same level. In a way it evens the playing field.


I saw this when working with my clients and I worked with a lot of big clients. I realized it was a massive opportunity. And I was like hmm ... I think I could do this. I could sit in front of my camera and start my own brand content and start pivoting from being a service based business owner to the online course model, which is now what I help people do.


So I sat in front of the camera two and a half years ago while still working full time in my video marketing business.


It has entirely changed my life. It's been a very interesting transition. It's been like a journey. A personal development journey, a business journey and everything in between.



How did you organize to work on your new business part time while you were working on your existing business full time?


Video is everything, honestly. At first I was like ... I'm spending all this time creating videos for other people, I don't have time to create my own. A lot of people around me were like you've been doing it for a long time, so it must be easy for you to get in and make it happen. Well, it still takes time.


So, the very first step is having a time block. If you're dedicated to making the transition from a service based business to an online business, you have to prioritize learning how to create video content. That is genuinely the easiest way to make the switch because of the "Know, like and trust" factor that happens with video.


I would spend Saturday mornings - I call this my saturday morning hustle time - going to the coffee shop, 10am -1 pm. I'd plug in, watch a ton of Youtube videos, see how others were doing it, learn about Youtube SEO, start writing my scripts ...


And eventually it got to the point where I said to myself, "Okay, I can't spend every Saturday doing this. Let me try to prioritize that across my week."

I had to start communicating to clients. Hey Monday is my day ... I'm not responding to emails, I'm not doing any of your work, I don't care if you come through with an urgent demand on a Saturday, I'm not getting it until Tuesday. That was a big step forward. You have to prioritize yourself over your clients work at some point because clients run your life.

How did you validate your idea?


Like I said earlier, working with my clients in my video service business allowed me to see the opportunity and validate my idea.


How did you finance your project?


With my clients work. But then I also needed to raise my rates since I was working less when I prioritized building my online business.


And, doing it yourself is a big way to finance it first ... If you don't have to pay someone to do your videos. Video is so incredibly expensive if you pay someone to do it. Obviously I knew how to do videos but it's a whole different thing to get in front of the camera, write your own scripts and all of that. So yeah, learning how and doing it myself.


How did you market and promote your business when you were launching? What was the most effective strategy?


One video per week every week on Youtube. And then I promoted that on Linkedin Facebook and Instagram, driving traffic back from these platforms to Youtube. Which did not necessarily work that well. But what happens is that even if they are not clicking to watch your video, they are seeing that every single week Amanda created a new video about this. They'll think I don't need to watch it, but in their mind they'll say she's the expert. And eventually they are going to be curious at some point and click through the thumbnail and watch. And at that point they'll subscribe.

My strategy has always been based on Youtube and is still very based on Youtube.


And then with the course, I have a big webinar launch strategy that I used. I followed Amy Porterfield's Digital course academy. And I followed her system to a tee. You tell me what to do and I will do it whether I think I should do it or not. And it has proven to work very well.




How long did it take you to start getting the first results and see you could create a viable business?

Two years actually. I could have done it probably faster. The first year I was doing it, I was still taking on clients and it was mostly me learning the system, learning my audience, building my email list, fine tuning my content and getting comfortable with posting one video per week.


Then, the second year I was building my online course behind the scenes. And that was really challenging to do in addition to weekly video content. Because I had to create weekly videos and an additional 40 videos for my online course. That was like the depths of despair as I describe it, like the all is lost kind of moment, not knowing if this was going to work.


And in January of this year (2020) I launched my online course for the first time. And again in May and then I'm going to do it again in December. So technically it's my first year in business for the course. So it took about 2 years before I was making money.

What has been your business revenue progression?


My first online course launch was in January this year and I made $17k I believe. My course was $397 at the time, which was pretty low. In May I raised the rates to $997 and I think I made around $32k on that launch. And I'm aiming for $100 k for this next launch. I like to aim high and if I fall underneath, okay. But I'm going for the hundred!

What are the main ways in which you are able to monetize your online business?


Through my online course.

What are the most useful tools/platforms that you use for your business?

Youtube of course for building my brand, Kajabi for course creation, Premiere pro is my editing software, Descript. And you can find my recommended gear for creating videos on my website.

What do you like most about being an online entrepreneur?

I think the important thing to highlight is the impact.


It's almost cliché, but I had to say No to so many people when I was doing my other video business. My prices were so high that many of my entrepreneurial friends could not afford me. I had to make money and I had to make these other videos for famous people, help them remain famous.


But with the system I have created now I have made video accessible to the masses so that anyone can share their story despite their budget. And doing so in ways that I'm making more money working less and making a bigger impact.


And it just feels so much more in alignment and feels so much better than what I was previously doing. Changing from being a burned out service based business owner to making the impact you know you are capable of making. I think that's why it feels so good and so freeing. Because I was actually making more money in my previous business up until this point. Now I know I'm in alignment.


And freedom is also a big one for me.





What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? And how do you deal with it?


I think creating an online course was one of the most challenging things that I have ever done. It's hard. It's not only creating the online course, it's launching the online course and everything that goes into it.


And having the courage to step out and say no, not accepting any more clients. I was working with big brands at the time. And I had to say no to do my own thing. And jumping off to do something that does not seem as "sexy". You're making less money, you're putting in all this work and you don't even know if this is going to work. I think that was definitely one of the most challenging parts of the entire business but I'm so glad that I did it.

What are your business goals for this coming year?

Right now I'm focused on my next online course launch this December.


What is your advice to someone interested in starting an online business? and the first steps to take as a beginner?

The journey that people could take to get started is :

1) Get the right mindset


That's the very first step. You have to believe in yourself because no one else is going to give you the chance to do this. No one ever is going to say : let me give you two months of time to learn how to do video. That's never going to happen.


If you are going to build an online course or anything that's an online based business, you have to learn that video is essential. It's kind like building a website today. It used to be something that only professionals did. Now everyone can build a website with Wix or Squarespace. And you have to know how to do it if you're a business owner. So video is the same skill. And, so you have to recognize that video is essential, it's not just a "fun thing" to do.

2) Setting time blocks


Then, the second thing is setting the time block. Setting a weekly time block. And this honestly is like more so prioritizing yourself above your clients.

And that weekly time block might be 2-4 hours each week you're focused on video. That time block might roll around and all you can do is sit there and watch Youtube videos. Great. That's it. That's all you have to do. Because you're recovering during that time. You need to build creative space into your schedule in order to get creative. Don't put pressure on yourself to deliver anything. Give yourself the space to not have to turn a video out tomorrow.


3) Just learn video


Just focus on learning the skill set of video.


4) Release one minute one take video on social media


The best place to start is to release one minute one take videos on social media using a Social teaser template. Those are the best kind of videos to start with. They are optimised to convert for social media. You can create your own or get a ready to go template from my website. And that's it, you just stay consistent.




Starting simple is really key but the other thing is also recognizing that Video is a skill set that you can learn like anything else.


And I have this exercise that I recommend that can literally completely transform your camera presence within 10 minutes. In a nutshell, you film yourself, test your camera personality and speak with different tones (normal, 25%, 50% 75%, 100% more excitement, over the top, with gestures, moving, ..). Then you watch yourself. That's a really good exercise to get comfortable on camera and find out what works best for you.


By the way, I'm also doing four free live training sessions on December 9 and 16 for helping business owners with DIY videos. And that would be useful for anyone wanting to learn how to maximize revenue and impact using DIY video marketing.


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Want more? Join Amanda Horvath for four free live training sessions on December 9 and 16 called "Double Your Business in 2021: The Proven Path to Maximize Revenue & Impact Using DIY Video Marketing".

Use this link to grab your seat before Dec. 16: https://amandahorvath.site/register


For more information, visit amandahorvath.com

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?


I am working on working even less. But I still work a lot.


But ... time management. I'm really really big into The One Thing. I follow that to a tee. Every single week I use their goal setting method. Every single year I do it. I've done it for the past 4 years. I've also shot their online courses as well. I love their concept because I don't have a To-Do list. I set my priorities for the week. I time block my week and that's all that I do.

What's your favourite quote?


The first one that came to my mind is "Be here now." That's one I've been working on a lot.


Another one is "Become comfortable with the uncomfortable" That's a big one for me. Being comfortable in that lack of comfort is a great thing to practice.


Any good book(s) to recommend to an aspiring entrepreneur?

The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan is great

The Millionaire messenger by Brendon Burchard is really good for finding your personal brand

And I would also recommend Story brand by Donald Miller


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To learn more about Amanda Horvath :

www.amandahorvath.com


Free Training


Want more? Join Amanda Horvath for four free live training sessions on December 9 and 16 called "Double Your Business in 2021: The Proven Path to Maximize Revenue & Impact Using DIY Video Marketing".


Use this link to grab your seat before Dec. 16: https://amandahorvath.site/register


YouTube Amanda Horvath

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