In today’s conversation, Natalie shares her story of “finding her space” as a creative and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the value high-quality media (photography/videography) has to offer for differentiating your brand in the online space.
From standing out to avoiding media that makes you look like a “basic b*tch”, Natalie shares her expert perspective on how to get the most out of your experience working with creative professionals.
Natalie scaled from being a solo brand videographer to a full production agency, VIBEHAUS, where she now manages entire productions from start to finish.
She has created brand videos & commercial video ad campaigns that have been in online advertisements, Target, and Times Square, and works with a broad range of clients – from apparel companies to luxury service providers, authors, restaurants, influencers, lawyers, and more.
Tristan Thibodeau is the founder of Wild Womn Haus and is a brand strategist for entrepreneurs in the wellness, beauty, and lifestyle brand industries.
She specializes in helping companies create and maintain their image. She works with market research, industry analysis, and consumer trends to offer strategic insights for brands so that they can enhance their marketing efforts and grow their bottom line.
Follow her on Instagram @tristan.wildwomnhaus and follow the agency on Instagram @wildwomnhaus and TikTok @tristan.wildwomnhaus!
Natalie Bergfolk is the founder of the New York City-based production company, VIBEHAUS. Offering full-production brand videography and consulting for other videographers who are wanting to hone in on their brand work, VIBEHAUS has become a disruptor for businesses looking to stand out in their industry.
Through VIBEHAUS, Natalie has created brand videos & commercial video ad campaigns that have been in online advertisements, Target, and Times Square, and works with a broad range of clients – from apparel companies to luxury service providers, authors, restaurants, influencers, lawyers, and more.
Connect with Natalie and VIBEHAUS:
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: [00:00:00] Okay, Natalie, I need to hear the whole story. Tell us how you got into being this like creative mastermind videographer. Like just all of the things that cannot, like I was literally telling Natalie, everybody listening before we started recording, that I am so stoked to have a conversation with a fellow creative and just go in a different like rabbit hole than what I would normally go.
So introduce us to your story and how you got into this.
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Yeah, man. Okay. So if we’re starting at like, the very beginning of when it started, like I always loved video, um, as a kid in the young teen basically. I mean, I would check out books at the library cuz you know, YouTube wasn’t a thing. Then I’d make short films on our camcorder and make my younger siblings star in it.
like all that type of thing. Um, and when I was 15, I actually did a summer workshop at a local like community college for filmmaking, which I loved. But I mean, back then it was really just like if you were gonna get into video, you were [00:01:00] doing commercials, TV or movies, like that’s all there was. Cuz I think YouTube launched and.
I think it launched when I was like 16 or 17. So like, I don’t know. That age is just so shitty where they’re like, figure out what you wanna do with your life. Oh my gosh. And . Yeah.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: Which I’m like, to anyone that feels like a lost soul because we did not get the help that we needed when we were that age.
We’re just like, figure it out. And you’re like, what the fuck does that mean? ?
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Yeah. Yeah. And so, I mean, I was like, oh my God, this is a pipe dream. Like there’s no way I can actually do. Video, like that’s super unrealistic. So I completely just dropped it, even though that’s all I wanted to do. Like I literally have a little thing that I made when I was 13 or 14 and like in there I’m like, I wanna work in film.
Um, and, but I dropped it and honestly like. Low key, completely forgot about it. Um, and then as I, you know, in my like early twenties, I just felt, cuz I dropped out [00:02:00] of college, nothing would ever stick. So I had a lot of just random jobs to like, make ends meet and I would like try different creative things.
So I tried photography, I tried blogging, and every time I would quit because, It. I didn’t like it, like it just wasn’t clicking with me, but I always felt like, man, I just feel like I’m supposed to do something creative. Even though the insecurity in me was like, you are not creative enough. Just that push and pull, I feel like, I feel like if anyone is like, oh, I want to be creative, but I’m not creative, you most likely are creative.
You just have to actually keep doing the work. So you eventually. Like, you know what I mean? There’s this video that I love on YouTube. This is a complete tangent, but go for it. It talks about how basically like anyone who gets into the creative space, you initially get into it because you have good taste, but the whole thing is there’s like that gap, I think it’s literally called the gap.
There’s like that gap [00:03:00] of time where your good eye, like your work isn’t caught up to your good eye. And so many people give up during that process because they’re like, I’m not good enough. But the whole thing is, you will be good enough if you keep going. So anyways, I feel like I just always kind of was in that space of like, I’m not creative enough, but I wish I was.
Um, and then randomly, We, well, we moved into a van and I was like, I wanna do a project like just for me. And I’m like, oh, I should make some YouTube videos. So I made some YouTube videos and I had some entrepreneur friends be like, what? Like have, have you done video before? Like, this seems like you have a natural knack for it.
Which I think is funny cuz looking back those video. Are so crazy. trash, you know? I know like our, our early stuff were like,
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: holy Christ, on a cracker. What in the
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: world was ? Yeah, . Well, thankfully, I mean, someone saw something and they were [00:04:00] like, man, you know, you should have you thought about pursuing this as like a business?
And I was like, oh shit. That’s so weird. I actually only wanted to do video growing up. Mm-hmm. , like that was the one thing I had a passion for. . And again, I had completely forgotten about it. Um, so they really encouraged me and I ended up starting my videography business while we were living in the band.
And I just did a bunch of projects. I did brands, I did influ influencers. That was what actually made me kind of be like, oh, maybe weddings are the move because. I just had a really bad experience with an
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: influencer. , wait, tell us, tell us the story. I need to hear it. I love this shit. I’m like, you’ve, and you’ve been like, you have had your hands in this industry in one way, shape, or form for so long.
So the way that you view it is probably so fascinating and different from the way other people view it. I want. To hear about your bad
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: story, . Okay. So I mean, with that it was like, it, [00:05:00] it’s that classic thing where the influencer was like, I’m doing you a favor because I have followers. And so I was doing it just for the experience and then she would have like, I need to edit tomorrow, or I need.
I need you to do this for, you know, D S W or whatever. And I’m like, bro, I still have my other job. Like, I also can’t do like a one two day turnaround time. Like that’s ridiculous. Like, and she was really mean about it. Like really mean. And so I honestly kind of got scared of like influencer bra, like brands, that type of thing.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: I think one thing that you really highlighted is the expectations that people have of working with a creative.
Versus what actually goes into a project like this, because our agency, like we work with designers, we work with brand builder or uh, website builders. We work with copywriters. We work with all sorts of creatives, and I don’t think the average consumer or [00:06:00] entrepreneur, I think it’s getting better, but people do not understand the amount, like just the man hours that go into creating something high quality.
and you were talking about how the first influence you worked with just had these crazy demands and timeline and turnaround expectations and things like that, and how it kind of scared you into doing a lot of weddings and just focusing there.
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it felt really safe, which is laughable because of the pandemic.
But I mean, back then it felt that felt like the safe and stable like direction to go. So, , there’s a pattern of me being like, oh, I’m just gonna do what’s stable, not what I actually wanna do. Because literally whenever I would work with like women owned businesses, that’s when I was like, like I remember working with someone who I now work with on quarterly productions.
I worked with her back when I first started and I left that production and I was like, [00:07:00] damn, if I could do this all the time, that would. The dream, like just getting to connect with her. It’s just so different than weddings and I mean, I don’t know, weddings. I’m like, half of you end up getting divorced.
I’m like, you’ll burp this video. .
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: I love that you care about capturing this moment, but like let’s be, that’s so hilarious. Dark sense of humor is like one of my love languages. I love it. absolutely love it, but I resonate so much. Cause when you find, when you find that. Click with somebody that you’re working with and they have the same values in terms of what you’re creating, and you share those values and you share a vision and you both get to just like explode.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . It is
the best feeling.
Can you talk a little bit for any like fellow cre? There’s a, Nat terrorizing me for any fellow creatives listening that are copywriters, website designers, brand designers, photographers, like literally anybody that is in a creative niche. [00:08:00] How have you navigated finding those clients that really just get it?
Like what have you had to do in terms of how you sell or in terms of how you position yourself, or even just turning things down, like what have been some of the learning lessons of finding those perfect people that you just click with?
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Oh, I feel like that’s a load. Good question. Because also I. Don’t do a lot of like social, like I’m very quiet on social media.
Um, in some ways I honestly look at my business and I’m like, how the fuck do I have a business? I posted like eight times one year, .
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: I love it. No, I, it’s so refreshing to hear you say that because honestly, I don’t think. There is enough recognition and validation of how fucking hard it is to manage social media just [00:09:00] with the demands that are placed on us as service providers, as creatives, because it is literally a full-time job.
Oh. Like those accounts that we look at where they’re huge followings, awesome engagement, their content is banging, like they’re literally a star on Instagram or TikTok or whatever it may be. That is literally a full-time job on top of all of the other things that you’re doing for your business on top of actually providing the service or their product.
And I don’t think there’s enough people that are stepping forward and saying like, I have a thriving business and I don’t. Need to be on Instagram every single day of my life. So thank you for saying that. Like, I think it’s really important,
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: honestly. No, it’s really fucking important. . Yeah, it’s the, it’s one of those things where I’m like, man, I really need to be better with it, but I’ve, my business has grown.
a lot without, so that’s my whole thing is like I should put in the effort and bring someone onto my team to do that because I know it could grow, [00:10:00] you know? And especially now having like education being part of our business, I feel like now that’s, that’s when I’m like, okay, I’m gonna have to do more social media.
But in terms of like my clients, a lot of them have just found me like, is that kind of the question? Like how literally they bind me? Because yeah, I feel like a lot of the qualities of your work, Yeah, they see my work either from someone else who posts it or they find me through a hashtag and they’re like, you’re dope.
Like I get a lot of, I think my work does stand out. Um, and that’s the biggest thing that I get when people do it in like, inquire with me. They’re like, I just haven’t seen. video done the way you do it. Mm-hmm. , um, which is very validating. Like that’s something that as a creative like that means a lot in terms of like, someone sees your work and feels connected and wanting to work with you just based off your creative vision.
Mm-hmm. . Um, but definitely so I would say the biggest change though, that [00:11:00] brought in. because I mean, there’s always like, when you’re first starting out, you’re working with anyone and everyone who will pay your bills, and from that finding out who you actually enjoy working with. Yeah. Um, and so when I pivoted from being a solo brand videographer to having my production company, that’s when things changed a lot.
And I did, I did have more strategy with that because I. , um, two really great friends who basically created Vibe House. Like with me or three friends, um, which I say even still, like if Vibe House would’ve been only me, it wouldn’t be what it is today. Mm-hmm. . Um, so like I had Grati print from the refined brand.
She did all of our branding and website and then Yesi from Oxford Como, um, she did all of our copywriting and she did a brand voice and that was doing the brand voice with her. That’s the biggest thing that I’m like, holy [00:12:00] shit, why the fuck did I sleep on copywriting for so fucking long girl? Because that was a game changer in terms of like, I went from having a lot of fun jobs and cool jobs to holy shit.
Everyone. I work, everyone I work with now pretty much, like literally 95% of the clients I work with are absolute dream clients of like mm-hmm. . Just connecting with them. Just the project is something that really feels fulfilling to me, which I don’t take for granted because it was years of working jobs where I was feeling burnt out and feeling a little bit stuck creatively.
Um, cuz going through that process with Yesi, like she would ask. You know, where, where do you wanna go with your production company? And I was like, well, you know, I think I’ll just, you know, keep doing what I’m doing. But like in like three to five years, I’d love to get into the commercial space. And she was like, bitch, what are you [00:13:00] talking about,
You could be like, you could be in the commercial. Space now. And why don’t you talk to those people now? Mm-hmm. . So they’ll hire you. They, they aren’t gonna hire you if you’re not communicating to them. Um, and of course my imposter syndrome was like, no, we can’t do that, because I’m like not there yet. And my stuff isn’t that good to be commercial grade.
Like I just had a lot of imposter syndrome. But she comes from, uh, like an. agency background. And she just really was like, no, dude, you have to do it this way. You can do it. You are, you have the talent and the skillset, you have the team like you can be communicating to those people right now. And so she was, who really pushed me past like my own like limitations I had put on myself of what I could do.
And sure enough, like this year we’ve gotten commercial clients and I mean, we, uh, launched Vibe House, I think it was. February or [00:14:00] March and now it’s August at the time of filming this. Um, and it’s just been fucking wild to see. What a difference that truly did make in the type of people that come through the door.
Uh, yeah, cuz my copywriting skills suck. They’re so bad, so bad. I cannot literally writing about myself. I’m just like, it’s hard. It’s
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: hard. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s why like, I’m a brand strategist and I literally position people in their industry for a living. Like my job is to come in. Talk to you, hear your story, hear about your goals, and then help you position yourself so that you get to that goal as soon as possible.
Very. It sounds very much like what Yesi accomplishes with copywriting and I do with brand strategy, and the point is like you have to position yourself based off of where you want to be, not where you are now. Because if you position yourself where you are now, you’re only going to continue to. Clients [00:15:00] and potential clients that do not align with what you’re capable of.
You have to stretch yourself. And this is part of the fun of like, I literally get off on what I do because I come in and I hear what these women’s dreams are and where they wanna go, and I hear what they’re capable of. I’m like, bitch stretch. Stretch yourself, like let’s go for it. Literally, it is a decision to make to say, I am going to be X, Y, and Z, and I am therefore going to embody that identity and that capability and that talent in everything that I do, even if I don’t feel like I’m there yet, because I know I’m capable of it.
It’s like you have to stretch yourself. It sounds like that’s exactly what you did to get where you are
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: now. Yes. Yeah. I mean, it’s so. The imposter syndrome and insecurity is a little bitch. So , I feel like having that third party and someone who actually is more qualified and being like, no, yes, you can do that, [00:16:00] is huge.
Mm-hmm. for people like me and probably a lot of the clients you work with, who they just for themselves can’t take that step alone. They like want some like, I don’t know, they’re. I also like validation to fucking do everything in our business, like you need other people’s input. Like my business has changed so much because of the different people who have come into my life and spoken different truths and everything.
I mean, mm-hmm. . I just feel like that’s something that. has been the most impactful thing in my business in terms of like growing and heading where I actually want to be going. Mm-hmm. versus like, again, had I done it on my own, it probably would’ve taken me five fucking years. Mm-hmm. ? Yep. Versus hundred percent six months
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: That is wild. We launched in February and we’ve grown very similarly. Like it has just. Exploded. And what we’re running up against now is we are ready to kind of [00:17:00] start zooming in even more on a specific type of client and a specific type of industry and to really just go ham positioning ourselves. And there is that big like letting go that has to happen of.
What you think is gonna make you feel safe. Like you were used to marketing and positioning yourself for a certain type of client and coming in in that positioning of being like, no,
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: you are like built
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: for commercial. Like you are ready to do this. You are ready to stretch that. It’s, there’s a letting go that has to happen of like, well fucking burn the boats cuz we’re going all in.
Like there is that letting go process that hap has to happen. And as a creative, I think that can be really scary because the way that we. Showcase our value is a little bit more abstract, I feel, than the way that somebody in like an analytics heavy role would. So like somebody in advertising, they’ve got [00:18:00] stacks, they’ve got numbers they’ve got before and after, and anything creative is a little bit more tricky to showcase that like tangible revenue boosting before and after.
Yeah. And so that’s something that I’ve noticed is really, cuz you know what I do as the, the founder of the agency is I’m basically selling the services of other experts that we collaborate with on their behalf. So what I’ve noticed is like creative services are sometimes a, a harder sell because you have to get more creative.
Here’s how this is actually gonna benefit your business aside from just, this is gonna make you look sick, like this content is gonna look sick. Like, here’s how this is actually going to benefit you. Have you run into that problem too, in terms of the clients that you work with or maybe previous projects, and what has that been like?
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Yeah, I definitely, let me think a little bit because it is definitely [00:19:00] hard because with media, well, first off, people will, obviously, they hire us, we deliver. Mm-hmm. , it’s on them. To implement it. Right. So some of them implement it extremely well and some people barely implement it and it’s not because they don’t like it or whatever.
I think a lot of times, again, especially when I’m talking about um, like personal brands where your face is part of it, I think again, insecurity is a little bitch and I think people can like, cuz even I’ve gotten like photo shoots done before and I don’t post them. Of insecurity. So . Mm-hmm. . Which is why I’m always like, just hire someone to post your shit if, if that’s your struggle.
Because that shouldn’t be holding you back. And a lot of times if you just outsource that to someone else, you don’t think about it anymore. Versus like, even when I post, I’m like, uh, I, like, I would say over half the time I end up not posting what I go to post because I start to overthink it for myself.
Yeah. And I get in my head of how people are gonna [00:20:00] perceive me. Mm-hmm. , which I hate that I do that.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: Such as like, we all do it, man. We all do it. .
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Yeah, so like in terms of roi, like we had a client who, she did a full production. She implemented it so well because she had, she had someone who was helping her implement it, and it was.
amazing because she had like a hard launch. And so we actually got to hear like, Hey, just so you know, this is the r o roi. Um, I think she ended up making like, $700,000. Yes, we love to hear it , that that’s fucking huge. But like, again, that’s not gonna be every single client, right? Because she, she did use strategy, she did implement it really well, versus if you’re just gonna invest in it and then sit on it and not use, , you’re not gonna see that roi.
Um, so I feel like that’s more of the issue, [00:21:00] and that’s something I’m kind of trying to problem sell, problem solve myself. Uh, when I do see clients that aren’t using it, like, I don’t know if that means I bring on like a social media. Like I, my sister does social media management now, so now I’m kind of thinking of like partnering with.
To make sure people are actually implementing it, um, which I’ve done with one of my commercial clients. And it’s very nice to see things just being done, how they were initially executed and it’s, you know, it’s actually happening. Um, But yeah, I would say that that’s the biggest thing is I feel like a lot of people just have a hard time with implementing it.
And the reality is if you’re not implementing it, you’re not getting that roi.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: Okay. Um, so if you had to describe, cuz you used a term, I don’t know if people will be familiar with like in the world of videography, when you say full production, so can you explain what full production means, but then also like, In an ideal world, when somebody invests into full production videography, what are all the ways that they can use that [00:22:00] content and that media to benefit their business, and really just to strengthen the brand experience that their audience has whenever they encounter their brand or business.
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So full production for us, and I mean, it’s gonna look a little different depending on what production company you’re working with, but for us, our full production includes myself, which I wear a ton of hats in terms of like, I’m the producer, I’m technically like, The dp, the gap, like I’m doing all the film things.
Um, and then I have my pa, my production assistant, we have a photographer, we have a wardrobe stylist, hair and makeup. Um, so really clients basically come and they don’t have to think about anything other than showing up, which is huge. And it looks really good because you have all of those detail. You have professionals actually handling all of that, like we’re helping with prop concepts.
A lot of times we bring a lot of the props ourselves. [00:23:00] Like the stylist brings all your full looks like it’s so. It’s so nice when people go from like, cuz we work with a lot of people where it is their first production and they’re like, oh my God, how do I ever go back? Because so many people are used to, you know, you like book a photographer or videographer, you give them a Pinterest board, you show up at the studio and you kind of, but like it’s on you to have your hair and makeup done.
It’s on you. Like wardrobe, it’s on you to have the props, like, and so that’s why in my opinion, a lot of brand media ends up looking very basic bitch, because the reality is like, unless you have a full team where all of those people are talented at each of those things, like there’s no way that you can get that level.
of a product on your own with one photographer or one videographer. Mm-hmm. . It makes a huge, huge difference. Um, and so in terms of like deliverables though, when is video. [00:24:00] It is, there’s a lot of educating with people, , because I’m like, what do all these terms mean? Like what are these deliverables? So I mean like people work with me on all sorts of things.
We do series, we do tra like course trailers. We do just overall brand videos. Um, We do like batch reels, like Instagram, TikTok content. Um, and then I always deliver like widescreen banners and vertical clips, so that way the client has, so essentially with like doing a full production, you’re getting an entire media imagery overhaul of your brand, which in my opinion is huge.
Like if you look at any big business. They all invest in having unique like media content that differentiates them from other people. Um, Like that. You just can’t argue that it makes you stand out [00:25:00] significantly. And it also just kind of brings a level of professionalism, especially like we have a lot of people who come to us when they’re like starting to get featured and like, so having not like the classic like, I’m gonna sit here with my coffee and my laptop.
Like you look like everyone else. Like it. . It just doesn’t stand out at all. So having that I think does bring a level of professionalism and like you are running your business as if you are a big brand, which again, going back to our conversation where you’re like, you need to be doing things for where you want to be, where not where you currently are.
And I would argue that doing a big overhaul, media overhaul is one of those things. And so when you do utilize it correctly, it’s fucking huge because. It does set you apart from literally everyone like mm-hmm. . It literally visually does, and there’s so much visual noise, like with the internet and even like reels and [00:26:00] TikTok.
I think there’s, it’s great for a growth strategy and all that, but. I know I’m personally getting tired of seeing the same exact trends being done. Mm-hmm. . And so I think we’re eventually gonna be swinging the other side again, where people are wanting to see like unique, creative, innovative content again.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , that’s, mm-hmm. , uh, like. What is it? Organic? I don’t know what the word is. Yeah, yeah. I mean,
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: it’s not like it’s a trend. It’s just original, original content. So I mean, original, thank you, . From like a original brand strategy perspective, I, one of my processes is that when I work with somebody, I become the expert on their industry.
I learn every single big player, I learn the people that are in their niche. I look at what the common storyline is that everybody’s telling. I look at the selling points. I look at how do people position the. , and I swear to God, nine times outta 10, it’s the same fucking thing. Mm-hmm. , it’s the same fucking thing, which makes my job really easy because then all I have [00:27:00] to do is say, Hey, this is like the status quo.
We’re gonna do the complete opposite. We’re gonna go left when everybody else is going right, because that’s gonna help you stand out. And one thing that is so frustrating to me, which I think. So much the work that you do is that it is so frustrating to see really creative thinkers. Innovative thinkers, thought leaders, people that just crush it at what they do, like they get their, their clients’ epic results is to feel, to have them feel like they are.
Stuck creating stupid content just for visibility and likes and engagement. And it’s so frustrating because I feel that’s very much where social media is stuck right now is we are so focused on getting eyeballs. That we’re missing, like we’re letting go and we’re neglecting the opportunity to say something important.
To say something important, to position yourself differently, to look different, to just [00:28:00] be the biggest expression of you. And sometimes that biggest expression of you means doing the polar opposite of what everybody else is doing, so that people do see you for who you are, as opposed to just another talking head that’s creating content like, It is heartbreaking to see where social media is right now because I think that it is just completely blanketing the potential that so many entrepreneurs have to speak up, use their voice, share their thoughts, and like show us their brilliant brains that they have.
Yeah, like there are some wicked people that I work with that are just everywhere with really cool, like the way their brain works is so cool and they don’t get to utilize that and share it, because what works right now is. , it’s the stupid ship that like gets people’s attention, but also people’s attention evolves so quickly.
Yeah. That what’s garnering attention right now is not gonna garner attention in three months from now. Yeah. And so it’s like just get out of the system. Like literally [00:29:00] get out, get out of that matrix and do something that is. you times a thousand. And that’s what I love about creatives. Like what you do as a videographer is giving people the opportunity to say, okay, here’s who you are now, but who do you wanna be?
And let’s bring her out. Like let’s just let her out of the box and let her do her. And let people see that because that’s something fresh. It’s new and it is so authentically originally you that no one can deny that that is literally you and your brand. And I think that is the beauty of working with creatives and working with video and working with media and just anything that captures your energy, cuz you literally feel that through the
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: screen.
100%. 100%. Yeah. Clearly
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: I have a lot of feelings. Yeah, it was so well said . I got a lot of feelings about this. Cause I do this every day, you know what I mean? Like I work with people and they feel so stuck in what quote unquote works. And I would love to hear, so let’s just [00:30:00] do like a, let’s do like a fun little hypothetical situation.
I’m gonna use myself as an example for everybody since we, you know, , and I’m selfish , so I’m also selfish. So let’s just say that. All right. I’m the founder and the CEO of Wild Wind House, right? It’s my branding agency. We work with a team of creatives, like everything I love and now we are ready to really.
Say we are unlike any other agency that exists. We are ready to show our personality, to show our quirks, to show up big time. And I have this team with me. I am in the position of being the founder and the brand strategist, and I come to you with the these ideas of being like, We love to have fun together.
We are the most creative. We are super analytical and can see where each person that we work with, where their magic is, how they need to be amplified. How do we showcase that on video? How do we showcase that? In [00:31:00] photography, like what does your process look like when somebody comes to you and they’re like, this is what we’re trying to accomplish in terms of how we present ourselves.
Where do you come in And like magic mind, the whole thing.
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Yes. Yes. Okay. So talking about process, cause yeah, I think I might have mentioned this before of like, you know, Typically it was like, here’s the Pinteresting of what I like. We don’t really do that like at all. So we have really in-depth questionnaires that we have our clients fill out, and they have a lot of like future.
Focused questions like where, like what are your goals this year? Where do you wanna be in five years? Like, we have a lot of those types of things. So we can get a full picture of like, where are you now, but where do you want to be? Um, and just like a deep, deep, deep dive into their brand. And we’ll ask for inspiration of like, you know, you can send us a Pinterest, you can send us some like media posts you like, send it our way.
But we actually create the creative concepts and we pitch [00:32:00] them to the. So, because again, otherwise you’re gonna be making the same shit that everyone else is doing. If you’re leaving it up to the client to like give you the initial inspiration, like mm-hmm , this isn’t their field. They need and want someone to step in.
Like at least that’s how I view it, because I used to do it the other way and my work significantly changed once I was like, actually I’m gonna like operate. , my team is going to be the expert and we’re really going to step into that and really help with that process versus really even giving them the option of telling us what exactly they want.
Because the reality is most people don’t actually know. And two, we want them to be different. So even if they do bring things like, I really love this. We’ll be like, okay, well we’re going to like go off of. But we’re going to make it different and we’re going to make it you because it needs to stand out.
It can’t be another [00:33:00] Pinterest photo that everyone is pinning and wanting. Um, so in terms of. What I would do though, like you want me tell you, that’s fucking gold by
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: the way. Like
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: I gold
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: love that. And it immediately got me thinking like, I wonder if like brand designers and website builders and more people just need to be assertive like that and say, oh, no, no, no.
Thank you and we can do something 10 times better. Because this is literally what we do. Like, yes, thank you for the inspo and we’re gonna do something that’s gonna like blow this out of the water. Yes. Not many people are bold
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: enough to do that. I keep bringing this person up, but, um, yesy is actually the one who also copy that because she did our copy and I was like, I don’t know if I really like this because it just feels like, again, I was in my imposter syndrome and I’m like, could we change it?
And she was like, [00:34:00] And that was the . That was the first time I had had like, you know, like, and she’s. She very much so embodies that whole thing of like, we’re the experts. You’re coming from us because we actually know what the fuck we’re doing and love it, and you don’t. And again, seeing that done. And then two, I had a lot of trust in her because, , she felt so strongly about something that she was willing to tell me no.
Mm-hmm. . And as a recovering people pleaser, I’m like, you can do that. You can say, no, that’s an option. Or even like I had a client who was like, can you add this copy into my video? And I was like, Uh, no, um, and I was like, here’s, here’s why I left it. That, you know, I know you said you wanted that, but here’s why I left it out.
It’s because it’s like redundant. The visuals are already communicating what that says, and we already have other copy within the video that communicates something similar, so it’s just [00:35:00] over the top and the edit needs breathing room. Mm-hmm. so that there’s not text over the entire edit. Mm-hmm. . And so, again, though, a year ago, Natalie.
Would have not said that I would’ve just done it because that’s what the client wants. But I’ve just gotten to a point where I’m like, no, I actually know. I like, I know my shit and so I need to stand in that and be confident in that. But yes, delivering it in a way where I’m not like, your idea sucks. I’m gonna do my own thing, but in a way that.
Like, yeah, collaborative, authoritative still, but also authoritative and, but again, I do think it makes people trust you more because you’re willing to say no and stand up for what you actually. Believe within your work.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: So I think that is, I think you just said a year’s worth of wisdom in that one little statement right there, because how often do we get in this dynamic where we’re working with clients or customers and we’re so [00:36:00] concerned with like quote unquote customer satisfaction.
which plays into how much money we make, which plays into our reputation, which plays into the likelihood of that person referring us. So there’s a lot weighing in on customer satisfaction. But what you just said, and I Fullheartedly stand behind, is customer satisfaction in terms of them feeling powerful and in control when they walk away because they got what they thought they wanted is not really delivering.
All of what you can do for them and what you know will benefit them with the work that you’re doing regardless of whatever industry you’re in. But because you are a creative and because this is what you do day in and day out and you know what’s gonna help them get to that next level because you see the same shit every single day.
And oftentimes people just. what they’ve seen to work for other businesses. They want that. So they think they have to do [00:37:00] exactly what that business did or did do something similar, whatever it may be. And you’re saying, no, no, no. Here’s why we’re gonna do it this way. I actually will not do that because of this.
And it does take a little bit edu, a little bit of education to like educate your customer or your client in terms of why that’s actually not in their best interest. But you literally just said a mouthful with that one sentence, because not very many, especially creatives, not very many creatives are bold enough, and I would even say like confident in their expertise enough to stand for the quality of their work, the way that they intend to deliver it, rather than morphing it.
And Frank Stein it so that the customer walks away happy. That’s
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: huge, man. It took a long time to learn that again, I was a people pleaser to a fault for most of my life, like 30 years. Yeah. So it’s been [00:38:00] a journey getting to. This point for sure. That’s
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: amazing. That’s really amazing. And so like when you, and we can, I would love to kind of like close on this, cause I think this is the, like, just the, the wisdom nugget of this conversation.
It’s like when somebody comes to you and they have all these ideas about what they want to create and what they want to accomplish with this media and with this content. and you know that it’s just the same thing that’s everywhere and you know that there’s something better. Like what does that conversation look like between you and the client where you’re kind of pulling out something different and like basically pitching, like what you said you are pitching Yeah.
A better solution than what they came up with.
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: I actually have a great real world example. So I worked with some people in the hair industry and they, which it was a really last minute project, so it was a rush production plan. Um, [00:39:00] and they were like, we wanna do it at our salon. And, but then at the same time through my calls, they were like, we want to like really stand out.
Um, you know, we wanna be innovative, we want like a cool, like a cool city girl vibe type of thing. and a week, not even six days before the production. Cuz again, it was only like a two week buildup. It was very fast. Um, six days before I’m like, Hey, can you jump on a call? Because in my gut I’m just like, I literally couldn’t shake it.
I’m like, we are not supposed to shoot in their suit, in their salon, like they are going to look like everyone. But again, it was that whole practice of like, I have to actually speak up and tell someone, like, to me it feels like I’m telling you your idea sucks. That’s how it feels to me again, as. As a recovering people,
So I just asked if we could hop on a call and I’m like, Hey, you know, I have to be honest with you, like I’m just kind of feeling conflicted about like the [00:40:00] direction we’re going. Like, you know, we’ve been talking a lot and I know you want it to be at your, at your salon, but at the same time I’ve heard you say that you really wanna stand out.
You wanna like creatively be different, all these different things. You want like the city vibes. And so I was. . I highly like, I strongly feel that we need to shoot in the city and do half of it in a studio, half of it in the streets, and I was like, I just have a, I, I just really feel strongly about it and I know that this is a really, like, it’s six days before, but what do you think?
And the client was like, oh my God, anything you tell me to do, I will do. She’s like, I completely trust you. I hi, am hiring you for your creative vision. So yeah, you just tell me like where we need to book and where we need to be and we’ll be there. Like, and I was like, oh my God, how did that just happen?
When you, [00:41:00] but when you have those types of scenarios happen, it just validates that even further of like, again, people want you to speak up and push back if you believe in something different, right? If you believe in a different direction. And so I ended up just like going wild with it. And we like ended up booking an all white space.
I got a bunch of hair. Like tools and spray painted them all white. So we had like, like it was a completely, oops, I just hit my microphone. Um, it was a completely different vibe than like, we’re gonna be at the salon doing hair. Like we still got that vibe within these different places. But it was in a way that actually translated with what their goals were, which was to stand.
Be different from the hair salon in like the hair industry, which is very like boho, like that’s a really strong creative niche in mm-hmm. , the hairstylist space. Mm-hmm. . Um, so [00:42:00] yeah, it’s just really fun when you do have those clients though that 100% trust you, and that when you do bring things up like that, they’re like, oh, fuck yeah.
Which absolutely thankfully, like that’s, again, that’s how my most of my clients are at this point. Um, Yeah, I don’t know. That’s like, that’s like my real world example of when that’s happened. .
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: I absolutely love it. I absolutely love it. And like I said, I think what you said in sharing that story and your experiences with being more assertive with your skillset and more assertive with your clients.
is they, they get a far superior result and they do get something that really showcases their personality, helps them stand out and helps them ultimately, you know, position themselves the way that they think in their head, the way that they feel that they want to be positioned, but don’t necessarily have like the creative vocabulary or vision to bring that to life is where you.
And I think that’s just such a good lesson for anybody listening is [00:43:00] like a trust your gut. Yes. When something comes up that you know is actually not gonna benefit who you’re working with and just to really let yourself have a voice throughout any project that you’re on. When you are creative and you have those ideas, like that’s part of your superpower is the way that you think is unlike any other people, you know?
So let yourself lean into that. I think that’s epic. Yeah, that’s epic.
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: It’s, it’s been a good, it’s been a good journey, and two, learning that balance of like how do you do it in a kind way. Yeah. Because I definitely have worked with people who will straight up be like, that idea is stupid and overdone. And I’m like, you can’t talk that way.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: in my head at you. Right.
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: You can’t say that . Yeah. So I mean there’s like, there’s a way to like advocate for your creative vision in a way that empowers the client rather than, because it is like, the best things are collaborative, right? When like you [00:44:00] are sharing and also them. And like the quickest way to kill a collaborative spirit is by making someone feel stupid or feel like their idea what they bring to the table.
Is, you know, not cool enough or whatever. And I’m very aware of that because I’ve had that experience. I’ve seen it before when it just gave me like, I don’t know, I’m very much so like advocate for yourself, but still be a kind human, like, you know, you can stand up for. Yeah, you can tell me been up for like your stuff without putting others.
I’m like, yeah. Again. Amen. A learning, a learning
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: journey. But no, I mean, my job right there, and I just appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. This was a super fun conversation. Like I said, selfishly, this was awesome for me, so I hope everybody listening got something out of it, because I really do think, like what you’re talking about is a, don’t be a dick.
Be a kind. And use your [00:45:00] voice like speak up, share your ideas. Yes, share your ideas. Use your creative power. So Natalie, thank you so much for coming on. I know you have a lot going on behind the scenes in terms of ways that you’re helping fellow creatives, but then also serving entrepreneurs to. Tell us how people can work with you.
You guys have to go see her Instagram, even though she says she’s not that active on it, it doesn’t matter. The content on there is so good. That’s how I found you. I was like, okay, I’m working with this woman at some point and I just wanna have a conversation with her. . Yeah, I was wondering how you found you.
Yeah, go check out her Instagram, but tell us all the things. Yeah.
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Okay. So, I mean, again, we do a wide variety, like, oh, that’s my wiener dog barking. Um, I do a lot of different things, so sometimes people will bring me on because they just need a, a videographer and they already have things planned and they want me to come on and do video, and then people will also hire me for strategy and full production.
So it really varies a lot. What I [00:46:00] do, which is fun because it keeps things interesting. Um, and then in terms of like, we have our education, which I do consulting, like one-on-one consulting with videographers who are really wanting to get into the brand space or wedding videographers who are wanting to get out of weddings and get into the brand space.
Um, and then we have like our great Super eight course, which is. Again, most of our education is for photographers and videographers, so we have our how to become an in-demand video or photo editor. We have our, um, like a masterclass of our pre-production process because that’s something I’m really passionate about because really like that’s the thing is so much of a production, so much of the success of.
Relies on the pre-production process. If you don’t have that on. Y it’s just not going to turn out how you want it to turn out. Um, so that’s something I’m really [00:47:00] passionate about and passionate about teaching. But those are kind of our different, our different offerings. I don’t think I’m missing anything.
That’s awesome. My patient services. Yeah. But
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: yeah. That’s awesome. I love it. So for anybody listening that is a creative videographer, photographer. Hit Natalie up. If you need help with your business or just like branching out into a different niche, she’s done that super successfully. So can 100% guide you?
And then if you’re an entrepreneur that needs to really create something that’s gonna help you stand out, create those digital assets that are going to help you add value to all of the things that you do through your business. Like I know without a shadow of. That working with you is in my future. Like I said, when I found you, I was like, dream videographer,
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: 100%.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: I love it. I love it so much. And so knowing that and knowing like it is incredibly valuable and it is something that really just helps people connect with you on an emotional level. I, without a shadow of the doubt, no, that I’m gonna work with you at some point, [00:48:00] so I just
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: appreciate you. I.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: This was super fun and everybody, everything that you need to know will be in the show notes.
Go check out Natalie’s Instagram. Like I said, it’s incredible and I thank you so much for your time today. This was super fun.
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Thank you for having me. This was a really good time. I’m like, , they’re not as scary as what I thought they were. But also you’re such a great host, like 10 Outta 10. I’m like, how is she doing this?
It’s just, oh my God. A skill a
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: talent. The chatterbox. I have the gift of gab. So that’s how it, Natalie, thank you so much. This was super fun. .
GUEST: Natalie Bergfolk: Yes.