So, Anything Good on TV?

Me, a Talk Show Host?

It’s Pat O’Bryan’s fault, really.

One night we were hanging out at Maui Wowi, a local coffee house after I was a guest on his Ustream broadcast. “You need to get your own TV show”, said Pat. At a Siglo IV meeting the other night, he reminded me he’s been telling me this for 15 years.

I may have taken the job anyway but I definitely had Pat’s voice ringing in my ears when the call came…

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. So let me back up a little.

It started about six months ago. I’d just lost my Father and had just completed Ebook Mastermind Live, my first solo live event in San Antonio. A few weeks earlier, I’d spoken at Joe Vitale & Mark Ryan’s Attract Wealth Seminar in Austin, where I’d stood on stage and told the attendees my goal in life was to end employment. I wanted everyone to be an entrepreneur.

So you might find it surprising to discover I’ve taken a job, which is one of the reasons you haven’t heard from me much in the past six months.

Not long after my aforementioned conversation with Pat O’Bryan, my phone rang. It was Daryl Snyder, a long-time consulting client. “We’ve started a brand-new Internet television network. How would you like to have a show and run our Internet marketing channel?”, asked Daryl.

This new network was all about positive TV. TV that inspires you and an antidote to the type of negativity we hear all too often in broadcast media.

I wanted to know more so Daryl and I spoke at length and he showed me a sample of some of the content they’d put together. The picture quality was amazing and content was, too. A couple days later, I was flown to their studio in Dallas and I was totally blown away by the facility and the team Daryl had assembled.

Daryl introduced me to the CEO of the new network. When he found out I’d written a book with Joe Vitale on Mastermind groups, he started telling me about a meeting they had planned later that week in San Francisco that would include over 50 participants.

A true mastermind group with 50 people? I wanted to know more and the next thing I knew I was on a plane to San Francisco.

That’s where I met the most amazing group. People like Frank Maguire, an adviser to two US Presidents, Colonel Harlan Sanders’ marketing VP at KFC and one of the co-founders of Federal Express. And then there was Gary Goldstein, Producer of the films, Pretty Woman and Under Siege. There was Aggie Kobrin, who was bringing some of the biggest speakers in the world to the network. Dave Meyer, former COO for Anthony Robbins, Blake Mitchell from Maui Millionaires and many, many more. It was quite a group.

I knew they were putting together something very special and I was determined to be part of it. As it turns out, they were just as determined to have me join the team. Within a week or two, I officially became the Sr. Vice-President of Marketing for the new network.

My first task was to help the group come up with a new name. They already had a name but it was totally wrong for what they were doing. So I recommended a few branding experts and we ended up bringing in Rob Frankel, who I’d first discovered when I read his book, The Revenge of Brand X back in 2001.

Working closely with Rob, we built a new plan and adopted a new name: The Elevision Network: TV That Takes You To a Higher Level.

I love the name and, even more, love the message. The idea is to provide programming that allows you to improve your proficiency in any area you choose. There will be channels to help you improve almost every area of your life.

Beyond developing the brand, another of my goals would be to develop an affiliate program for the network. But I wanted to go way, way beyond the typical affiliate program.

Prior to hooking up with Elevision, I’d been struggling for sometime to find a way to help struggling Internet marketers get their business off the group. I’d been teaching my Ebook Mastermind class for four years and while I’d seen some succeed, I’d seen far too many struggle. And discovering why so many struggle to get started online and helping them break through has been somewhat of an obsession for the past few years.

One thing I realized along with the way was that I’d overlooked something that might be the key reason people aren’t succeeding online. Especially those that have tried to create their own product without the type of success they’d hoped for.

When I realized my mistake, I started brainstorming like crazy looking for solutions. As it turned out, The Elevision Network provided the perfect solution.

I present my idea to our management team. They loved the idea and gave me a thumbs up to build it. I was assigned a team of programmers and designers and we went to work. Now, after several thousand hours of hard work, it’s ready for you.

It’s called Affiliate University.

Personally, I think you’re going to be absolutely blown-away when you see it because we’ve spent, literally, thousands of hours building it. I was given a wonderful team of programmers and designers and almost a blank check to make it happen. And we’re just getting started, it’ll continue to grow and grow over time.

Affiliate University Dashboard

Last Thursday, I flew to Dallas to tape the first two episodes of my new TV show. Can you guess the name of the show?

Why, Ecommerce Confidential, of course. ECC has been the title of this blog since I launched it five years ago and it seemed like the perfect title for a TV show.

My first two guests were Mari Smith, “The Pied Piper of Facebook” and Deborah Micek (aka @CoachDeb), the co-author of Twitter Revolution (w/Warren Whitlock).

Facebook Expert Mari Smith & Twitter Expert Deborah Micek

Mari & Deb flew in the night before the shooting and we had dinner, along with Chris Hutcherson (our CEO), Daryl Snyder (Executive VP, Phil Vogel (Director of Network Programming), Gabrielle Yuro (SVP of Network Production), Art Jonak (SVP of Network Marketing) and several other guests flown in to film The Art Jonak Show.

Before long, Deb & Mari had the entire group setting up Twitter accounts and discovering the benefits of social networking. These two really know their stuff!

The next afternoon, we headed to Splash Media, our studio in Dallas. I got called into make-up and the next thing I knew, Coach Deb and I were on the set ready to film my first episode.

Our Director, Chris Shelton (right) runs all the cameras from the control room with a joystick controller

The studio at Splash is one of the most technologically advanced in the world. One of the first things you notice upon entering the studio is the camera crew. Well, actually, what you notice is the lack of a camera crew. All three cameras are robotic and controlled by one person in the control room.

On the set with Coach Deb at Splash Media in Dallas while Mari Smith uses her flip-cam

The studio itself is a a bluescreen room. The actual ‘sets’, designed by Brad Murano are virtual and add later by computer. Yet when you see it all on screen, it looks totally realistic. The picture below doesn’t really do it justice but since the episodes are still being edited, the best we could do was show you a shot of show on one of the studio monitors during filming.

Mari Smith & Bill Hibbler on the Virtual Ecommerce Confidential set

My show is broken up into two 12-minute segments. I read a brief intro using a teleprompter and then start the interview segments. Coach Deb gave some excellent tips on how to use Twitter for business and she should know. She’s written the definitive book on Twitter: Twitter Revolution. We nailed the Twitter episode in one take in just enough time for Deb to catch the limo to the airport for her flight back to her home in Hawaii.

After a short break, it was Mari Smith’s turn on the hot seat and time to talk Facebook. In our TV interview, as well as longer audio interview we recorded for Affiliate U, Mari taught me a LOT about how to use Facebook for business. There’s a good reason Fast Company Magazine dubbed Mari “The Pied Piper of Facebook”.

The 22 minutes went by so quickly and we were done for the day. I was just getting warmed up and was ready for more guests. I’ll have to wait until January for my next visit to the studio and I can’t wait.

I had a blast doing the show and am looking forward to getting more experience in the studio. I need a lot of practice if I’m going to give Leno and Letterman a run for their money. 🙂

The entire crew at Splash including Chris Kraft, Toni Donaldson, Brian Shelton, Chris Shelton, Steve Miller and Kurt Knewitz did a stellar job of taking care of us as did my producer extraordinaire, Gabrielle Yuro.

My show, along with the official launch of The Elevision Network is coming in January.

So why’d I choose a J-O-B over being my own boss?

Good question. There are a number of reasons.

First of all, in many ways, my life hasn’t changed at all. See, The Elevision Network is a virtual company. Although our headquarters is in California, we all work at home. So I still work out of my home office and I still get to keep my late-night hours.

The people certainly was a part of it. It’s an incredible team!

But the main reason I signed on is the opportunity to be part of something much larger than myself.

I could create info products, teach online classes, speak on the circuit and so on for years if I wanted to. And while I know I could have an impact on people’s lives, what Elevision has so much more potential.

In my last blog post, I talked about all the negativity in the media. You may recall that I suggested turning the TV off as a way to avoid it. In the case of Elevision, I’ll invite you to tune in again. Except this time, you’ll access it from your computers. The picture quality will amaze you. So will the content. So will the community.

Even though the network hasn’t launched, the buzz has already started. Virtually everyone that hears about the network gets excited. Nationally recognized speakers want to be involved. People are buzzing about it on Facebook and Twitter. And not in a flavor of the month kind of way.

This isn’t the first time something like this has been attempted but I know in my heart that this will be one that is wildly successful. It’s the right time, the right technology, the right message and the right people.

So, yes, Mr. Independent has taken a corporate job. But I get to work at home, I get my own TV show with an Emmy Award winning crew and I’m a Sr. Vice-President. Well, not a bad way to start, right? And just this afternoon, I had a phone call with an award winning composer that’s going to write my show’s theme song. I get my own theme song? Maybe this job thing’s not so bad after all. 😉

I hope you’ll join me on the journey.

Note: Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. It’s a very long story and much of it I’m not allowed to share but Elevision is no more. There’s a plan in place to restructure it which may or may not come about. In the meantime, I’m reorganizing the material I created for Affiliate U for a new membership site. Bulletins as they occur. — BH