Video Masterclass | Ryan Ehler


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Jessica and Ryan both speak on the journey and constant trial and error it takes to get to where there are today and give tips on how to start and the obstacles and success you will run into. 

Ryan is a self-taught master of video creation combining unique storytelling and messaging with creative content to share his passion and help current and future home owners. Ryan and his wife Jessica have an unwavering mission to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends and community. You’ll find them either at the gym or chasing an adventure with our 3 little boys; Tyton (9), Rush (6) and Steele (1).

Episode Transcribe

- Whoo. I don't know why I did this. This is too long. I'm already dying and we've only done two sessions. And I'm killing myself but it's okay, we're gonna rock this thing now guys, we're gonna bring on Ryan and Jessica Ehler, now. These guys, this team has rocked my world because I was like playing in video. And now I'm realizing like I was a kindergartner with an iPhone, like trying to figure it out. But what I love about these guys, is they tell tremendously cool stories, they self taught, they generated all this fun stuff, and they put out tonnes of amazing content. So I'm gonna bring them on right now. Let's get them introduced. Where are they? Where are they? Here we go. What's up everybody as we move on to our third session, that video masterclass, nobody is better equipped to lead us than this guy, Ryan Ehler. Now hopefully, we'll have his wife Jessica with us as well because she's obviously the brains of the operation and the looks like these two people have been absolutely changing the face of video. I'm so impressed. Not only with their creativity, but it's all self taught. And they're communicating their language and their mission and their ethos through video and they're creating engagement and they're generating tonnes of business. So let's bring on the master for a video masterclass. Whoo, yeah!

- Hey hey, what's going on?

- Hi.

- It's like I'm Interviewing the most beautiful people in mortgage. That should be our our topic today is like this. Our couple that crushes content and just is amazing. So thank you guys. Jessica, I'm so excited you're here. Like,

- I'm so glad to be here.

- This is so cool. So man, let's crack this thing wide open because what I've loved about what you guys do in Our Space, is you just went all in on video. You just went all in on video and and you do it in such a cool way. And I wanna frame this up first because I'm a big proponent of not over producing your content 'cause I believe that people lose their authentic voice. When they become scripted and they hire agencies and they try to overdo everything. I'm like, don't do that just like please, like, be a human. And then all of a sudden, I saw you guys's stuff and I'm like, oh, they're doing both. They're doing both. And they're making it beautiful. And they're being authentic and they're sharing their hearts and you can like really get to know who they are. And I know it's you're radically changed your business, how you operate. It's given you lots of control over your destiny, like how much business do I want to get? And how much should I work life balance? And so I want you guys to share how you got it. How'd you get in the mortgage space? What was that journey like? And then what was the pivot like for you when you decided to go all in on video? And let's start there.

- Yeah, so we used to own a gym and I know you you as well understand that right? So we did that for about a decade. And one of our long term clients was in mortgages. And he goes, guys, you have a little building behind a building with no sign and you have this place packed. Like if you took your marketing skills, and a applied it to mortgage, it would change your life and your family's life. And literally, a month later, I passed the mortgage test. And that's kind of how it started. Like, once I make a decision, it's just like I can pivot like that if I have to.

- So Jessica, did you just get pulled in behind that? or what happened? How did you 'cause you're huge in this space.

- Yeah. Yeah so I actually kept the gym going for a couple of years while he was in loans. And then we closed it down on and I was just going to stay at home with the kids and I got bored. And so I went on just to help him like as an assistant, and I was like, oh, I can do this too. Let's double down. And the first thing we did was that "Superhero" video, just for fun. And that's really kind of what the major pivot was.

- The "superhero" video is near and dear to my heart. So share what you did and the idea behind it and why you did it 'cause it was, you know, I can see you maybe like, oh, this could just be cheesy. how's it gonna be received? Like, who came up with it? And what? Tell everybody what you did.

- We were just brainstorming just sitting there like, hey, what can we do that would be fun and witty and just throw it out there.

- And we already have the costumes for Halloween. So we went with that, like we have, okay, we have Superman and Wonder Woman, what can we do with it? Okay, we'll be the superheroes of mortgage. What are, some common problems and it really took off from there.

- And it took 50 hours to produce and edit and finish up. So it was it was an endeavor.

- Yeah.

- So speaking about producing, how did you get into like, how did you learn to make your videos as great as they are? Like, how did you learn this?

- YouTube.

- YouTube so when we opened the gym, I started doing just basic videos all the time. Like I knew I just I liked video. I wanted to be part of it. And so I would just YouTube. Really what took my skill from like, okay to really good, was watching Casey Neistat. I don't know if you know him from YouTube. And I challenged myself to do 90 days of a Vlog everyday. I would literally shoot all day while working and then edit until one, two, three in the morning. and I did that for three months.

- Yeah.

- Well so how--

- It was brutal,

- Huh?

- It was brutal.

- It was brutal.

- Well, I mean look, if you're gonna learn a new skill and you're gonna you know learn it, it's gonna be hard, right?

- Yeah.

- If you want differentiation if you wanna show up differently then you're gonna have to like step into it and like learn new, do hard shit. And that's what's you know, self evident what you guys did. But like what, when you're gonna do a video, what's your process? 'cause and by the way, you know, share with everybody how much of your business comes from, you know, video and social media. So I think --

- 100%.

- Yeah well.

- 100% has either come from it or we've made connections or people are reminded of us. I can literally just, this is what Jessica does. And it's kinda funny. No matter how, what we're doing, she takes all of our money and she hoards it and hides it from me. And then goes, hey, look at the bank account, we're broke. And I go, What? And, and then I get going, and I'll go out and put a video and then instantly we'll see a return. And once that started happening, then that's kind of been our flow is we would say, Okay, what are the gaps? What are people needing, what are they missing? What don't they understand? And how can we make it in a fun, exciting entertaining way? and not be douchey and salesy in the process, and just be ourselves?

- Yeah, 'coz mortgages are boring, like they just are, mortgages are boring. And we have to do whatever we can to make people interested and still answer their questions,

- Educate them on stuff that we know they need, but if I just went there and was sitting at my desk and talking about interest rates or down payments,

- And they don't understand, yeah.

- So we try to put it into stories and just make it simple for people. And I wanna mention this, what really changed things for us is when we started being our authentic selves.

- Yes. So, like, when did that aha moment come? Like what was the experience? What do you remember from that? Because that that is so missed. There are some people who believe, and Jessica, you just hit this too. Like, you've gotta be super professional, like you can't have humor in your stuff or else that doesn't pull your brand down and people are not going to respect it and blah, blah. And so I think people are trying to overdress their content, suit and tie it. How did this aha moment come? What was it like, and how do you change your business?

- No, we did, the one that we did upstairs. So we did a video where we were, we had it scripted out we were sitting on the couch and we thought we were like spitting fire. We're like, this is awesome. And then we watched the playback. And we're like, this is garbage. I wouldn't even watch it.

- No energy, boring.

- it was just no energy, it was boring. And that's when we decided that we had to come up with a different method of delivery.

- And then one day, I just started posting stuff about like my mountain biking and my hobbies and kind of tied in what we do, into it. And it just blew up. And we're like, oh, that's the sauce, as we tie in our personal lives and who we are and our personality, and like, I'm a goofball. And Jessica likes to egg me on, like, if you guys were recording what was happening in the background before you brought us on here, people would have been dying.

- Yeah. We're always like messing with each other and,--

- I was watching I was like, oh, they're muted, but something's happening over there 'cause they're,

- like poking each other, like, pushing each other. And so literally, when we started doing videos together, she would cry about five times during it because she was so scared and she hated it. And then once we started loosening, she started loosening up, then we started just kind of bantering and using that playfulness and like how we act with each other in real life. And we just started just being ourselves and you know, just having fun with it.

- Yeah.

- Jessica share that experience please of like the emotion of going through this 'cause you're putting yourself out there both you guys put yourself out there in radical ways. And like that can be really intimidating and just without talking Neal, it stops people from getting out and like getting success and having their influence matter like walk people through your experience on that and how you dealt with it and how you got through it.

- Yeah it was actually years. So like he had said, we were shooting video in the gym and I would avoid it at all costs because no matter what, no matter how confident I was in the material, I would still like I was so paralyzed by fear. I would just break down I would start crying at some point and then once you start crying, it's just it's over. You're done. You have to try again another day. So I think like he said the playfulness is what really changed everything because we stopped rehearsing, we stopped going over and scripting. We would do bullet points and shoot from the hip.

- That's a big moment in personal development and people are struggling with that.

- Yap.

- So you just stopped? Or did you have like an like we need to stop? or did you just say one day just--

- I kept telling her, you gotta stop scripting out like she will write up every word.

- I would write paragraphs.

- And then it was just paralyzing her. And I was like, who cares if you mess up? like especially if it's not live, like we'd do it 10 times 20 times if we have to, but usually when we do it, unless like somebody walks in front the camera which has happened before, when we were going out and about, it's the first go, we just go and just riff it.

- Yeah, and that really was the game changer. Once we saw that kind of scripted video and how bad it was. We just decided to do bullet points shoot from the hip, talk to each other. Even though we're looking at the camera, we're having a conversation together and everything changed.

- And we usually always have props in our hands which kind of helps with like the fidgeting like you're not fidgeting 'cause you're holding these props and so you just kind of hold them there and stuff

- Yeah I've got my little like nut and bolt thing that I--

- Yeah, yeah. So we have a don't be a sucker video where it says the six you know, home buying mistakes or whatever, and we're holding these suckers. And so we have those props. When we did our veteran one we had our American flags, and those props just kind of keep us from like fidgeting and stuff on camera.

- Dude, I love the journey. I love the fact that you, you know went through the scripted mess and realizing that was bullshit and then you went to the hardness of, you know, just ripping the band aid off and going, we just gotta go in authentically, we just got to go in like unscripted. One take and that 100% of your business, comes from this effort. Yeah, it's so it's so empowering. Like, I really want people to hear that. Because that's available to so many people, that they can just take control of their destiny so much, and put out the messaging you want. And so how do you balance? You know, you said this before, I want you to, you know, do it again. How do you find content that you're gonna talk about?

- I come up with a lot of the content and it's usually it sparks by either seeing something on Instagram or a video.

- Questions, we get.

- Questions we get. So I actually have a list, when I get questions from borrowers. I have a list in my planner so that I can refer back to that when we're making a video. And so for example, like the "Angel Devil" video, that was actually a Saturday Night Live skit, it was about food, like they were talking about eating, but I liked the concept of that and thought, Okay, what can we do to apply this to mortgage and make it interesting? Then I looked through my List of repeated questions, and we kind of just put it together and went from there. So that's how most of our videos and content where that comes from.

- And then I was like, okay, we need to shoot three or four different angles. And she was like why? And I was like, Just trust me, we're gonna do it. And I repeat myself and I do these things in different angles so that I have more more pieces to work with and post. And then we had the most ghetto rig, green screen, you could imagine I had a piece of green paper. I didn't have a green screen yet. We taped it to the wall, open up all the windows, grab every little light that I had. Just make it work.

- Oh my gosh, I'd love it. By the way, for those of you that want nerdy tricks on green screen stuff, had you guys zoomed yourself yet? where you make yourself the zoom background? And then you can walk in on yourself while you're sitting at the desk?

- I haven't done that.

- Old money. So I wanna go back, about halfway through but I don't want people to miss this part Ryan. How did you, you said YouTube and how you educated yourself. But I want you to really unpack the process. If somebody's like, 'cause I can tell that you enjoy it, even though it's hard work. Like I can see it in your content. I can see that like, oh, he made this 'cause he likes this.

- Yes.

- Like he's not making this to try to prove a point to somebody he's making this because this is an expression of him.

- Yes.

- And that's why you don't lose your authentic voice in your messaging, which I love. So if there are people who are gonna nerd out on video editing nerd out on you know, Photoshop and bottle Ah, really tell everybody your process, like go through it again. Like how did you start into it? You know, where did you go and how, you know, I want people to hear your story on this.

- hundreds of hours of binge in YouTube because I told myself I was working. So I would just go on YouTube and just find like, how to edit on Photoshop, how to edit on Final Cut Pro or whatever editor you know, I was using, and then as you learn the basics, you start to see these little tricks that some of these guys do and you go, oh, now I know the verbiage for like, you know, tracking and motion. And things like that. And then I'd dig deeper how to do this. And then sometimes you'll have to watch three or four different tutorials to find the one that works for what you're trying to do. And then I just mirror it. And then over time, you learn your own little tricks and your own little techniques that you add to it, plugins, like I've bought in, and I don't know, thousands of dollars worth of plugins for my video editor to speed things up. Yeah, so it's like, like all the wording that pops up and does all that those are all plugins. I didn't build that from scratch, like all the tracking software, that's a plug in or I'll buy another program that does it easier for me, like whatever it takes to like speed it up, then that's what I would do.

- Mm hmm. And you said about two years.

- I've been doing it for 10 years.

- 10 years?

- Yeah.

- I think it's overwhelming that can overwhelm somebody who goes oh crap, I don't have I can't do that.

- But let's go back to that three, when I did those video a day. My skills skyrocketed like that really is what took it to the next level 'cause I was constantly like, I had an idea. I was like, well, I wanna do that. I didn't know how to do it. So then I'd have to go watch the YouTube video before you shoot it 'coz you have to know how you're supposed to frame the shot. So I watched the video, okay, here's how you have to do it. Then I go and shoot all day. Try to make that work. And then sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn't. And then I just have to try it again the next day. Like, have you seen the "Reify" one that I did where I tripled myself and I was on my mountain bike doing a wheelie?

- Yes, that was incredible. I was so I was so jealous . Anything like that?

- She was so mad at me because I had no help. So I really, I went out there set up my camera. And I'm not really good at wheeling on the bike. So I literally would, I had 100 takes and then I nailed it. And I go in, and my framing was wrong with the camera so I had to go out the next day. Do it again. The framing was wrong with the camera. So the third day, I did it again and finally got it. And it was probably a total of two or 300 takes between three days. And she was like, are you just gonna give it up? And I was like.

- Never.

- No. So I'm literally rendering it as we're leaving for vacation and she was like, let's go let's go like I had to like, hit the button and walk out the door to go on vacation like I get obsessed about these things.

- But so I want to share a couple things for everyone paying attention to this like first of all, I love the rawness of rhinos undertake 'cause there are people that have done 100 takes on their iPhone trying to get like one minute video out so like people connect to that they understand like there's effort there but clearly you get better over time if you practice consistently you get better every day. And then all of a sudden you hit this breakthrough point and it sounds like you guys something, I'm loving hearing your story 'cause this breakthrough points come and now you know there's no lack of content, like Jessica is, I bet your book is full of content for months and days and years. You know, you break through, and now you can control your own destiny. And so, you know, there's never gonna be going back. Where are you guys going in the future? and I, we Ryan and I talked offline about this and I love it because I want people to hear it like, where do you go with this now?

- So here's the one thing that I wanna get the point across is making money is awesome. But having that purpose of trying to like help people and educate them is really kind of what keeps driving us and just saying like, how can we make this better and reach more people and help more people from being taken advantage of from, you know,

- Bad decisions?

- Yep, the closer you get to money, who controls the money, the shadier people become unfortunately, you know, so if you think of where we're at, then you go next level and people are, you know, start stockbrokers and doing shady underhanded things that we want to educate and be extremely transparent with our community so that they have the knowledge doesn't mean that they're all of them are gonna use us, but at least that we did our part in educating is just like being a personal trainer. You give people the information, you give them the tools, you give them the plan, and then it's up to them to make that final call. And that's how we look at it.

- So I'd love for you both to also share your thoughts on your more I want to say under produce, but like your more organic content, you know, so like, the selfie stick and walking through your neighborhood. I mean, I've seen a bunch of videos from that stuff where I'm like, oh, you know, they're coming down from the really super produce content and they're making, you know, just really like I'm down the street like I'm a human. Share with everybody how that has landed in your efforts, what kind of connection that makes, business opportunities, when it's just more organic.

- The organic stuff in terms of turning content into business, hands down works the best.

- Yeah.

- But would I have the eyeballs if I didn't do the produce stuff? That's a chicken or the egg question. So we enjoy doing the produced and we think it does attract a lot of attention to our brand, but the down and dirty like my favorite camera right now is a GoPro HERO8 on a selfie stick, super clean audio super stable. It's just an amazing tool. And then Jessica does her car videos.

- Yeah, so the car video started because my kids were on spring break. And they don't. They're not ever quiet. So I just went in my car and shot a video with my cell phone and then Coronavirus. They're still here. They're still here. So the quietest places is my car, so I go in my car, I don't even edit the video first take and people love it. People share it and it's because they know that everything that I'm saying is coming from my heart. It's 100% authentic and even if I no makeup sweatshirt, hair, they they connect with me more that way than like that.

- Yeah, we let our community and our audience see us like our friends would see us. You know if we're in a workout days.

- That is so good Ryan. Jessica that is so, I hope everyone hears that a million times over because you don't stunt double your life like you guys are just being humans. That reaches so much deeper. So let's do this. We got 10 minutes left, guys, if there's questions, throw them in here, we'll put them up on the screen and get these guys answering questions. But I wanna, have you guys, if you had a brand new loan officer who's never done video, who's like, I'm ready to go, I saw this thing with Jessica and Ryan and I'm like I'm in, you know, and they're sitting in front of you for your advice. What do you tell them to do? How do you set them up?

- I know one thing is, don't worry about the equipment is I'm an equipment nerd and it's slowed my progress down substantially worrying about what I'm using. Do you have a cell phone, use your cell phone, get a ring light so that you 'cause lighting is key. Having good light is important and having good audio is important but it doesn't have to be expensive. So get a ring light and get a wired lapel mic that you can plug into your phone. And those two things will take your quality above probably 90% of people out there. And then just start putting it out, just like Jessica said when she was afraid. You know what got her past being afraid. Keep doing it.

- Keep doing it. Another thing that I would say is when I see new loan officers, they do it all the time. They're talking so far above everybody's head. They want to sound smart. But that's not what people are going to connect with. People don't want to be talked at, they want to be talked to. So you have to explain things like you're talking to your friend.

- So good.

- So good.

- Yeah. So those things is frequently asked questions, go after those videos first, talk about the things that you know about and what's worked for me, is try to take a scenario in mortgage and relate it to something that you're an expert in. So like me, like mountain biking, fitness, so I'll say, you know you we heard somebody who had this challenge. So a lot like if you have this challenge and then it kind of just shows people the path if they don't really understand a complicated you know situation you can make it to where more people will understand what you're saying.

- what has been some of your most successful videos in your opinion you know if you had a top three most successful, and by the way go ahead and define successful anyway you want. It could be how many deals you got from it or just it's what everyone remembers, and it built brand for you. Like what do you think your top three are? And and I want people to hear kind of your your take on it.

- The bike one got so many reifies it was insane. It was like I was extremely overwhelmed by how much business it brought.

- A little bit like give him a little bit of grace back after you beat the crap out of him, for how long it took to do the bike one.

- That's how it always goes. He always makes me like eat my words.

- Because when we find a winner we put money behind it.

- Yes.

- And that's kind of where we're gonna go in the future is you know, the more we grow the more we can expand our reach with advertising, the more people We can, you know, help out and see our stuff.

- 100%. Okay, so we got the bike one.

- Superhero.

- Yeah. So yeah, those are all the produced ones but it's because we put money behind those ones. So it's hard to say like, you know, our organic ones we still get a huge amount of inquiries like I did one on forbearance, like right when Coronavirus happened just sitting in my car in my sweatshirt before I was gonna go to the gym, and I had, I don't know, about 10 people messaged me asking me questions and people sharing it in and you know, people came up to me they're like, thank you so much for that video. So even if it didn't, you know, bring in a whole bunch of leads at that time. So many people were interested in it and appreciative of it that they're going to remember me down the road.

- And two more things before we end make sure we get it. Is doing this shirt has changed our business because now, I don't have to say I do mortgages people just know.

- By the way, I love that's such a little thing. And yet it becomes such a big thing.

- We did it just for fun for a conference that we were going to, and it blew up. Everybody loved it. It was a huge thing.

- And I every time I wear it out, which is almost every day I have, like I have to order more.

- Like the it's all like, Oh, I lost your video come back. Oh no. Someone kicked the cord. By the way, if you're getting value out of this, guys, please find Jessica and Ryan and connect with these guys on the internet. Like I said before with Neil, when you find people who do incredible things, learn from them. I've learned so much from watching Ryan and Jessica dominate their video space and laughing with them. I've seen all their stuff. I'm super big fan of their stuff. So you can get back on here in a sec. No, they just do a really great work. So we got disconnected from services. If they can come back in the next five minutes. We'll bring them back. 'cause I really want you guys to hear this and I was going to try to pull Jessica into this and have her share more about it. And obviously she'll do that if we can get her back. But man, fear, like she was so honest and authentic that like she was crying, doing videos and trying to push through the bullshit that is holding us back from putting our authentic self out there. And now all of a sudden, you look at it, and you see what they're doing. And you're like, holy crap, holy crap, their whole lives, their whole trajectory of their business has changed. And I am like, this is insane. This is incredible. I'm sending them a text. I letting them know I love them. And it's just, it's one of those things. So yes, my friends.

- We are back

- By the way, I got my green screen hanging behind me here. I can be as cool as you guys one day. You guys are amazing. So do this, Jessica. I know you could hear me on this, bragging about you, you know, and I talked about this with Neil and everybody else. Man, fear is crippling, it's so crippling, and you were so vulnerable and honest being like, I would cry, I was frustrated, I was angry and I couldn't get through it, it would ruin the day I could film the next day. And I just for the next couple minutes, as we wind down here, I want you to share more about that so that other people, they're in the exact same place, they are in the exact same places, as you. And they're, paralyzed, they're sad they're frustrated and so I mean, just go back there and share how you got through that, what happened in it because right now like it's so fun to see you guys now. Like you're animals, you just kill it. You have such fun, I can see that I can see the energy, the positivity, but it wasn't always like that. And so please share.

- Yeah, it's still not like that. So even before coming on today, my heart was pounding. And this is just a live type of thing. I'm an extreme introvert, and you wouldn't even tell you wouldn't be able to to tell from our content, but it was just continually pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Because, you know, the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. And failure is going to happen no matter what you do. And you just have to keep pushing past it if you want to get where you want to go. So you just have to push your shit aside. and just put yourself out there and see what happens.

- I mean, just look at what happened right now. Like our main camera died. We just put the cell phone you know, plan A doesn't work, just go to plan B 'cause getting out there is the most important thing we talked about. What's your best video? You know? The best video is the next one you make. It really is true. It really is true. Just keep pumping it out there. Just keep going. Keep going because it's an accumulative effect. There's not one video that was a magic bullet for us.

- Yeah.

- I love it.

- I mean if we just stopped at the superhero video, we wouldn't be where we are. So even though it was extremely successful. If you stop if you don't keep going, you're not going to go anywhere.

- Dude. I love you guys. Thank you for sharing thank you for being authentic. Thank you for helping lead the industry and doing cool stuff that people can follow behind. Thank you for sharing your story. I know for a fact as we release, there's a bunch people watching now but as we release this and other people get to see it the past they're gonna be like, hopefully, it'll be the one that pushes them through.

- You know, I hope so. Thanks for having fun.

- All right, guys. You rock. Have a wonderful day. Thank you guys.

- Thank you too.

- Man. Dive into the water team. Like how much more proof do you need, dive into the water! I don't care where. Go all in and have fun with your career with yourself. Don't take yourself so seriously. And at the end of that stuff is unbelievable opportunity. If you're willing to play. I hope you value today. Please go find these wonderful human beings online, connect to them. All of them, do what they're doing. Man, I appreciate you all. Have a wonderful day and a wonderful week, stay on the internet.

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