Hi this is Brad Burrow with Real Media and I’m here with John Adams from Arty McGoo and John and I have been friends for a long, long time, really through the sports industry and Liz too, I remember Liz coming, I think the first time I met Liz was in Arizona maybe.
JA: In Phoenix at the conference there.
BB: Yeah. It was an Idea conference and you guys had the Guitar Hero thing going.
JA: It was a blast.
BB: You know, and at those conferences in between sessions, there’s nothing to do, so we were over there playing Guitar Hero for two hours.
JA: On a 16 foot by nine foot television screen.
Brad Burrow: Yeah.
JA: It was amazing.
BB: Yeah. And that was a big hit that year, I remember that. That was a lot of fun.
JA: And nobody can beat Liz. Liz took everybody to the wood shed. It was great. So I was a very proud husband during that weekend, it was great.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Yeah, those Idea conferences are a lot of fun.
Brad Burrow: They were a lot of fun. But today I really wanted to talk to you a little bit, just in transparency, John and I and Liz all worked together on a subscription platform called Arty McGoo and it’s Liz, really her very talented cookie making tutorials.
JA: Her persona, yeah.
Brad Burrow: Yeah.
JA: Her persona, is Arty McGoo and she started by doing cookies for friends and for family and started kind of making this her new canvas. And she’s always been an artist but once she saw a proclivity to creating these individual pieces of art and growing that and growing her skill set and developing new ways to teach and to express herself with this art platform, it grew into what it is today, which is Arty McGoo and she has a website and she goes to conferences all the time and she goes to teach across the world, she’s been in Barcelona and Genoa and all over the place to teach.
BB: So do you ever find her like slipping into a dual personality, like right now she’s Arty, and the next thing you know, she’s Liz and it’s like, hey I want to talk to you, Liz?
JA: It’s kind of funny, because she will put on that Arty hat when she’s around people for the classes, and then the Arty hat kind of comes off and she’s able to get in and out of character I guess, quickly. But the Arty character is so close to her own personality, it’s not that difficult.
JA: It’s like the Arty character is almost the best version of a person that you want, you know?
JA: She’s always, but she’s always like that, she’s always aware of other people and what they’re feelings are and what her affect has on other people. So the person, I think was created originally to protect Liz a bit, because she’s not an A personality like I am.
JA: Where I don’t mind standing up in front of a group of people and giving a talk, or singing in front of people, or doing karaoke, and being goofy and ridiculous. I can do all that and not worry about it. She is a lot more reserved than I am. So knowing that she was Arty when she was in front of the camera, knowing that she’s Arty when she goes out with people, there’s just a little bit of protection there that gives her the ability to do some of the things that she normally maybe wouldn’t do.
BB: You know, what’s interesting is she’s very kind of introverted, I guess you could say.
JA: Yeah. Yeah.
BB: But man, she comes alive-
JA: Oh, she does.
BB: -when we’re doing the skits and the videos and things like that. It’s like she knows how to turn on the charm. Not that she’s not charming otherwise.
JA: Oh, sure.
BB: But it’s like this transformation happens. It’s amazing how that kind of happens, right? Roll, roll it.
BB: And there it is.
JA: She’s very creative, and she lets, she really lets that out when she’s in front of the cameras and when she has the ability to do that. And she always, she won’t admit to this, I don’t think, but I’ll say it anyway, so when she was a kid, she and her sisters used to recreate like commercials that you’d see on TV and so they would recreate the Bounty commercial, you know, the quicker picker upper, or the where’s the beef commercial and those things, with a home camera.
And so they have these videotapes still of the girls when they’re eight, nine, 10 years old recreating all these ads, and so she really started this crap when she was a little kid, messing around with her sisters. It’s great.
BB: So I need to get copies of those.
JA: Yeah. We really do.
BB: I’ll need those shipped to me.
JA: We need to do something with it, it’s really priceless stuff.
BB: Yeah, I bet it is. Tell me when you knew that Arty was going to turn into something. I mean, it’s, you’ve got over 80,000 followers on Facebook, you’ve got tons of subscribers, people kind of flocked to this thing that Liz is doing. When did you guys know that, hey, we might have something here?
JA: Wow, that’s a great question, because this whole thing was very organic. We never, went into this looking at it as a business. Which is also kind of refreshing. We weren’t looking at making money with this, we weren’t looking at this thing supporting anything. We just thought it would be fun and it was a creative outlet, it was an extension of Liz. So we just thought it would be interesting. And a good project. And it started to carry on it’s own life, a life of it’s own, when Liz was asked to attend and to teach at the very first Cookie Con conference.
JA: So she went to this conference, and people were looking at her, as she was getting off of the plane and walking through the lobby, people started to recognize her who were also there for the conference.
BB: I bet that was a surreal feeling, probably, huh?
JA: Yes, she thought it was very weird. She thought, “Wow, is there something wrong? Am I wearing something weird? Why are people looking me?” And then it kind of dawned on her, “Maybe they’re going to Cookie Con.” And as she got over there, people really were wanting to take pictures with her and were saying, “Hey Arty, can I have a picture?” And that’s when she knew, “Oh, everybody knows me as Arty. They don’t know me as Liz.” So that’s when she knew, this is something that has taken on a life of it’s own. This is something that is it’s own, it has become it’s own entity.
BB: Yeah. That’s awesome. Talk to me, last thing I wanted to kind of talk to you abouts the subscription model.
BB: So a lot of people are wanting to learn, how to do things and so we’ve been doing this subscription now for four years, is that right?
JA: Yes. Almost five.
BB: Yeah. So tell me about how that’s worked, and just kind of your thoughts on that as maybe there’s another subject matter expert out there or something, or maybe somebody that does something really well. How’s that worked out for you guys?
JA: We enjoy it. And there’s a little bit of fear also, because once you have a subscriber, they’re subscribing and they’re saying, “I love what you do and I want to see what you’re doing to do for the next year. I’m going to get an annual subscription, so I’m buying today, so you better have something new for the next year.”
JA: So, you are committing to not drop the ball, you’re committing to-
BB: Even if it’s just one.
JA: That’s right. So you want to make sure that you are giving your all to one subscriber or to 1500 subscribers or a million. Whatever that magic number is, you want to just start with one and keep building, keep putting the content out there, and then start getting the subscribers involved. We developed a Facebook group where people share, we go off of the McGoo U theme and like a McGoo University, where you’re learning about how to cookie and how to do these artistic things, so we stayed with that theme, and people share their homework each month, they recreate the cookies from the lessons and then they show their homework on the page and if you get so many months in a row, then you earn little badges and you earn little things.
So we’ve developed a lot off of that education theme. And it has worked very well for us, and we really enjoy it. And we keep wanting to build on that. So it’s important to commit and to commit for a long term if you’re going to be doing a subscription based model.
BB: Yeah. That’s great. And you’ve found that some of those incentives have really, it’s amazing to me that those work.
JA: They’re fun. They’re really fun. And we thought, okay, you have a letterman jacket, so if you go to a live class you can earn your letter. So you get an M and it’s in her colors and all that, and they look great. And then if you do your homework, if you bring in a friend to be a subscriber, you earn these little badges, just as you do for a football to put on that M varsity letter.
JA: So you’re earning your letter, and you’re earning different badges for that. We have ladies who have earned all the badges so far, and keep earning more. And they’re putting them on the M and they’re putting it on jackets and people really have fun with this community. And we have fun with them, we want to continue to provide for them and to make sure that that we’re super serving them. Because once you get a subscriber, you want to keep them.
JA: It’s harder to get a subscriber back, who is unhappy, than to keep one happy and keep them subscribing. As long as you are providing the content that they want, as long as you are super serving them, and giving, really more than you’re getting, then you’re going to have a successful model.
BB: Yeah, that’s great. Well, tell us how we can subscribe, give us all the low down.
JA: Oh, sure.
Brad Burrow: And connect us with you.
JA: You can go visit us at www, or whatever, I guess you don’t have to say it.
JA: Yeah. W, artymcgoo.com and you can go to artymcgoo.com/subscribe, and you can find out all the information on subscribing. If, there are also links on the website for different local classes that Arty will be doing and you can also get gear and you can get tools for cooking along with Arty. And if there are any questions, you can always reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and it’s usually me, Mr. John, that will be reading all those emails and replying. So send me whatever you got. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
BB: That’s great. It’s John Adams, with Arty McGoo, this is Brad Burrow, with Real Media. Stay tuned for more podcasts to come.