David H Lawrence XVII is an actor and voice actor known for his roles on How I Met Your Mother, Lost, and Heroes where he plays the puppet master Eric Doyle. He also has a background with being a news anchor and stand up reporter. David has built two business from his passion and knowledge around acting. One business is a voice acting training company and the other is an app called Rehearsal that has become an industry standard in helping actors learn their lines. He is very much involved in the internet marketing world and works to educate people in understanding both the acting and online marketing worlds.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to build a valuable product (without guessing if prospects will respond)
- The number one marketing tactic that works for you without spending money on marketing
- How to create a business from your passion
To See These Tactics In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: I’ve been noticing a trend lately, more and more folks from industries that traditionally wouldn’t lend themselves to online marketing have been increasing their efforts in that arena and more folks who are seeing a high level of success in their fields have found ways to parley that success into really fantastic entrepreneurial ventures. For a great example of that, check out the episode we’ve done a few weeks ago with UFC legend, Rich “Ace” Franklin.
Today’s guest on ConversionCast is yet another example and he comes with some awesome advice for how to replicate his success. His name is David H. Lawrence XVII. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s a well known actor and voice actor having been on shows like How I Met Your Mother and Lost and you most likely know him as the puppet master, Eric Doyle, on Heroes. But why I have him here is because he’s built two incredibly successful businesses as a result of his passion and understanding of acting. One is a voice acting training company and the other is a now industry standard app called Rehearsal which helps actors learn their lines. Rehearsal has absolutely exploded having over 70,000 users in just 4 years.
On this episode, you’ll hear how David was able to build such massive success for his businesses by leveraging the knowledge and passion that he has and using that to create something that truly solves his costumers’ problems. This is a really fun episode and it’s jam-packed with actionable advice so let’s dive in.
I’m Tim Paige, the conversion educator here at LeadPages and this is ConversionCast.
Hey! David, welcome to ConversionCast.
David: Thank you, Tim. I love being here. I love LeadPages. I’ve been a fun of Clay’s for so long. I had a chance to work with him in a mastermind group and I just think what you guys have built is amazing.
Tim: Well thank you so much. We really appreciate that. It’s awesome that you’ve been kind of a part of this for a long time and you’ve done some really cool things as you gone through this journey of knowledge. Would you mind for folks that aren’t familiar with you, could you just kind of give them a brief overview of kind of who you are and what you do?
David: Sure. I have three main areas of pursuit, #1 I’m an actor and a voice-over talent, #2 I teach voice-over here in Los Angeles and around the world and #3 I have an app called Rehearsal which is an industry standard in our business. It’s been around for about four years or 5 years and it helps actors learn their lines and I have 70 somewhat thousand users. So those are three things that I pursue. I don’t do a lot of marketing online for my acting and voice-over work but I certainly do an awful lot of marketing online for my voice-over teaching and for Rehearsal, the app.
Tim: Yeah. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to you is because there is this really cool convergence and this is probably the third time that we’ve talked to somebody who has been able to do something interesting like this. We had Andrew Zimmer on the show and he was talking about how he built this empire and become this massive behemoth in that space.
David: I do not believe some of the things that that man puts in his mouth.
Tim: Isn’t that crazy?
David: Oh my god.
David: Really? A live scorpion? No, thank you.
Tim: And look what he’s done by doing that.
Tim: It’s so amazing.
David: Yeah. I’m sure that there are people that say to me I can’t believe that guy actually puts himself up for rejection every day.
David: I could never do that. I need to go in to be with my receptionist first and know that I have a job, you know? And I get that. People are different.
Tim: Yeah and you know that’s of the things that or one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on is because I think that a lot of times when were thinking about marketing and we’re trying to figure out ways to grow our business, we get really caught up on here’s this really traditional thing and I can use that and I can use a modernized diversion of that. But you’ve been able to find unique ways to market yourself in the voice-over industry, in the acting industry, in your app and all these things, you’ve been able to find unique ways to market it. Would you say that that contributes to a lot of your success?
David: Absolutely. When I start talking with people in show business about funnels and upsells and double opt-in and A/B testing and all the things that we talk about naturally in the world of internet marketing, they’re like what? And then when I talk to people in the world of internet marketing about prior moments and sense memory and auditions and callbacks and pins and call times and call sheets and they’re like what?
Tim: Yeah. [Laughs].
David: But what I’m seeing is I’m seeing more and more people in both worlds learning about the other and I think–I am like so happy to be perfectly positioned to watch other people find out in the world of show business about internet marketing and watching people in internet marketing wanted to up their game in performance, you know?
David: I do this thing with Jeff Walker. I’ve done it a couple of time at his product launch formula thing where he had me up on stage and we talked about how to be better on camera, you’re doing your prelaunch videos, you’re doing your content for your stuff and I teach people how to do that because at one point in my career, I was a news anchor. I was a standup reporter. I’m very comfortable on stage and obviously I’m an actor so I know to do this sort of thing. I gave Jeff one tip that he consistently says changed everything about how he’s on camera and that is what to do with your hands.
David: People put their hands in their pockets. They put their hands behind their back in a military thing. Just take one hand and grab the middle finger of the other hand and use that as your home base and then as you want to make gestures of emphasis or whatever, let go and spread your hands out or point toward the camera or whatever or point backwards, however you’re doing and then go back to home base. You’ll see people do this on television all the time, the hosts on entertainment tonight or if their standing, they’re doing that sort of thing. David–who’s the new anchor on ABC? David whatever his name is.
Tim: I have no idea.
David: He also does 20/20. You’ll see him doing that all the time. It just gives you a place to put your hands. So little things like that really were effective in doing that and it came from the world of acting. So I love being in both areas at the same time and I love the idea that I can bring value from the other area to that area when I speak.
Tim: I think this is where a lot of folks have seen success in their businesses is combining two worlds that maybe they know well that are a little bit odd together but have purpose together and can really fill a need.
Tim: So I guess what I’d love to know because Rehearsal has been so massive and you mentioned some of the folks who I am huge fan of. Clark Gregg is using it and all this kind of stuff.
Tim: You have all these amazing people using it. How in the heck did you get so–how did you have so much success in getting users for Rehearsal?
David: I think it was building a product that worked period. I had no idea that Clark was using it. I mean I mentioned it to him. We both run for office for SAG-AFTRA on the same ticket and I invited everybody who was in the ticket to be beta testers and half of them of the 40 people said yes and maybe half of those actually did something with it but almost everybody uses it now. Word of mouth happens on set. When I find out that a celebrity is using the app, I’m usually pretty surprised because I maintain their privacy. I maintain their confidentiality. The only time I ever mention when somebody is using the app is if they’ve said so in public themselves. Clark Gregg, he’s been blurting it all over the place.
David: They did an article on USA Today about the technology that Agent Coulson uses. The first thing he mentioned was the app and the second thing was his Tesla.
David: So I’m happy to be in that group of people.
David: I have never ever, ever and this is just–kids don’t do this at home. Don’t do what I did. Do what I say. You got to go market. I have never done anything of note to market the app because it’s been such good word of mouth from acting teachers, coaches, starts, professors at major universities. We had a digital theater project that Rehearsal was part of at the University of Chicago. When somebody comes out in the public like this guy matt Newton who’s a big coach in New York. He wrote an article in Backstage called Three Best Ways To Learn Your Lines, and #1 he begins a sentence with far and away, the most effective way is to use an app called Rehearsal. So when that happens, I see this huge spike in sales for that day and a few days after and I haven’t been able to figure out how to capture that kind of lighting in a bottle and I have a feel that if I did and I sort of artificially tried to promote it in that way, Matt Newton says–I’ll retrweet what he said and I’ll retweet his notes to me and stuff but that’s about as far as it goes. I wanted to that handcrafted old world feel because I have so many competitors that aren’t good. They don’t understand how the business works. They don’t understand how we learn our lines, why we learn our lines the way we do, what we do it for whether it’s auditions or on camera, on set. They’re just developers who think oh I can sell stuff to actors.
David: They think their way’s the better way and it’s always kludgy and it never sorts of fits into the workflow of a professional actor. Mine is built around what happens in the real world. So I think the real answer to your question in the case of Rehearsal is I didn’t do much marketing.
I think the biggest amount of money I ever spent on marketing was a big poster at one of the local casting studios that said hey be off book, book more work and I get some things from that occasionally but I can’t–I don’t know whether they’re using the QR code that I have on the poster or whether they just noted it and then went home and found it. Word of mouth is the biggest one. So my advice to you there is build a freaking great product and then VO2GoGo that’s where I’m really doing funnels. I’m about to implement–I’m threatening to implement LeadPages and I love LeadDigit because it’s like I can pitch from the stage and for me pitching from the stage is every time I’m on in a class. So I’m trying to figure out what can I do in that last slide, text such and such to me and I’ll get you an additional amount of information and then also in there is a little gentle push towards my pro group which is the membership where I teach things.
David: So that’s the area where I think I can do that. But with Rehearsal, the other disadvantage that I have and I’m sorry if I’m taking up too much. But the other disadvantage that I have is that Apple’s Zeitgeist, their app Zeitgeist.
David: It doesn’t play well with any sort of funnel creation. You can’t do LeadPages and have Apple return any information. They really are sideload.
David: I found one way to get in and that’s via Facebook. Because Facebook and Apple have a way to manage apps and I’m starting to see ways that I can do that. But other than that, Apple just doesn’t play well with other internet marketing technique.
Tim: Yeah. That makes sense. This has all been–one thing that I really just take away from this is using what you know to combine together–A few things that might be a little bit unique but then creating something that’s such a big need in that space and just putting it out there but it should serve that need better than anything else that’s out there because you know that’s space better than anybody else.
David: Yeah. In this case, I am my own client.
David: Often, internet marketers are not. They’re like oh I’ll do the fat loss or I’ll do the dating thing or I’ll do–Who can I sell to as opposed to what is my passion and what is it that I can create stories around and create solutions to needs around. How can I do this in such a way that it really speaks to what I’m doing? My girlfriend just came up with an idea last night that it’s really personal to her and it’s really a passion of hers unlike some of the other things that she has built. They’ve done fine but in this case, I think it’s going to be a real homerun because she’s invested in it. So in the case of Rehearsal, I just know how we work as actors and I’ve done nothing with Rehearsal that violates and everything that contributes to that. So just be as passionate as you can about what you build and then later on if you want to go and look at other things, you can.
Tim: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Well I love this. Thank you so much for sharing this with us on ConversionCast. It’s been a cool insight into kind of a different side of things that we don’t get an opportunity to see very often. So thanks again for coming on.
David: My pleasure. Are people able to differentiate between you can clay when you’re both on the air?
David: Because you guys have the most–you could voice match Clay in a heartbeat.
Tim: Maybe I’ll have to do it some time. Thanks so much again.
Crew: Hey! This is Sean Bestor. I am the marketplace copywriter here at LeadPages.
Hey! This is Jack Anderson and I’m the videographer here at LeadPages.
Hey! This is Kayla Sawtelle and I’m one of the web designers here at LeadPages. Thanks for checking out this episode of ConversionCast.
If you’re looking to grow a massive email list and increase your revenue without spending all of your time on marketing, then join us for this Thursday’s live LeadPages webinar. It’s happening at 3 p.m. Eastern Time and it’s easy to register, just text LEADPAGESLIVE to 33444. Again, that’s LEADPAGESLIVE all one word to 33444. We’ll see you there.
Listen To Discover The Marketing Secret Behind David H Lawrence XVII’s App