Show Notes

Intro

 

This is Rob Cairns CEO and Chief creator of mazing ideas at Stunning Digital Marketing with this week’s STM interview show. Today’s guest is Travis. Travis is a young man who has an interesting niche. He’s in the cigar industry. And what he’s doing is using YouTube and Instagram to build content to be in that cigar industry. And he’s apparently attempting to become a certified tobacco and so he wants to stay in the cigar industry, and he wants to

 

Rob

 

grow his business in the industry. So I’m very excited to bring to you the interview that Travis and I did. And we hope you enjoyed this interview as much as we did doing it for you.

My name is Rob Cairns with the SDM interview show. I’m here with my good friend, Travis Macklin. And we’re going to talk a little bit about what he does the interesting niche then how he works with social media and kind of where he’s going with all that hydrocephalus. How’re you today?

 

Travis

 

I’m doing very great. How about yourself?

 

Rob

 

Doing a little chilly in the Great White North today? But it’s all it’s all good. You know? I’ll pick sunny Florida any day, my friend?

 

Travis

 

Oh, yes, it is beautiful down here. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything

 

Rob

 

you want give us a little introduction of who you are what you do. And just for listeners sake, Travis and I met in an amazing group from by the wonderful Kim Doyle. Shout out to Kim Kim, for those who don’t know, was branded as WordPress check. And now she’s kind of in the content creation and does an amazing job on Facebook. And I met in that group no question. And you know, I’ve been kinda active in the group more in the last six months, but I’ve known him for a couple years. So I mean, she’s awesome. And we met in there and you know, we talked quite a bit. So how about your introduction?

 

Travis

All right, well, um, no, I am Travis Macklin. I am a content creator. I run a YouTube channel called the better savage lounge where I review cigars and cigar accessories. I’m beginning to branch out a little bit more into the cigar world. But that’s pretty much my life right now is the cigar industry. Hey, Ron, a Instagram page called the smoking Savage, where I post you know, cigars interesting facts about them try to help people educate a little bit on them. And, you know, I just trying to build my name in the industry and kind of get more information out to people who are kind of interested in scar industry but not sure what what all it entails.

 

Rob

 

So how did you get into the cigar industry? That’s a really interesting niche to be in.

 

Travis

 

Yet Well, I’m honestly I’m just like anybody else. I’m a fan. Um, when I was when I turned 18, my brother took me down to his favorite cigar shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan. And we he took me in and this place is just awesome. It was the worst part of town. And you know, the outside of the building looked all rundown and beat up but when you walk in, it was like, you know, walk into a doorway to a whole nother world. Like the place was beautiful. It was amazing. And humidor that was just great. I sold instantly. I didn’t even smoke a cigar yet. And I was like, I knew that’s where I was gonna want to be.

 

Rob

 

That’s really cool. Actually, yeah,

 

Travis

 

I loved it. And oh, my brother, let me pick out any cigars. I wanted. I picked out one that I just Tuesday, I cannot remember what it was. But I remember it was a good one. And then but the one I do remember unfortunately was a chocolate flavored cigar. Which was awful.

 

Rob

 

So what kind of videos are you producing on YouTube around the cigar industry in terms of education and things like that?

 

Travis

 

Currently, it’s it’s mostly reviews. Um, you know, I got started a friend of mine, who is very big in the cigar industry himself, reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to start doing a couple of videos for a small Facebook group. And I said, Okay, sure. You’re not thinking much of it. He knew I was interested in cigars and I wanted to learn and it was kind of his way of, you know, helping me learn by doing and, you know, it just kind of took off and I love doing it so much that I you know, branched out to YouTube. bid, no bid shoot, and started posting my videos on there. And you know, it’s just slowly picking up and I’m starting to gain some steam. And I’m hoping in 2019 to branch out not just doing cigar reviews, but doing, um, you know, other types of things in this car industry, like I want to do interviews with people in the business, I want to go to shops and do like video tours, you know, I have all these plans for it. And it’s just gonna, it feels like it started with something so small and simple. And it’s just kind of snowballing.

 

Rob

 

And each thing is kind of cool when you, when you find something you’re really passionate about, that you’ve loved to do. And then you can kind of take it and built the content around that passion that goes way better than just creating the content for the sake of saying, Hey, I’m a content creator doesn’t?

 

Travis

 

Absolutely. I’m doing every second of it. Yeah, what

 

Rob

 

do you when you do your YouTube videos, what type of equipment you using right now,

 

Travis

 

I’m currently, I’m just using a simple, I’m using my iPhone, and the stands that I actually just bought, before that I was kind of setting it up, it’s kind of a, you know, simple setup to it, um, I have a little little bar in the back in my backyard that I set up, um, you know, get everything all set up, and, you know, put my displays out. And it’s just a very simple setup. You know, that’s one thing that I really like about this is, I mean, yeah, you could do all these great production things, but at the same time, you can do something simple like this and still be semi successful with it.

 

Rob

 

And they’ve now got a few everybody jumps on Amazon or, or anything like that. The you know, if you, if you jump on like Amazon, you can order cell phone folders now for a tripod. So yeah, it makes it really easy. If you want to pick up to start somewhere at a low entry point, I can buy a holder for 15 bucks a plastic one, and then go from there. So

 

Travis

 

yeah, I bought a really nice tripod off of Amazon for $30 that I just started using. And I love it. It’s so simple to use, and it’s great. It’s great, good quality, you know, it’s really worth it.

 

Rob

 

Yeah. And I think like, the next step, when you’re doing stuff like YouTube is maybe to get a good mic, and then audios is as important as at video now and then kind of keep building from there.

 

Travis

So absolutely. And that’s what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna build slowly and, you know, create, you know, get new stuff to help create things. And you know, the best thing too is like, even when you’re recording on, you know, your phone these days, it doesn’t matter if you have an apple or an Android or anything. There’s so many good editing apps, there’s no camera apps there. You know, literally the sky’s the limit if you want to. It’s not like the old days where you had to have the giant cameras set up and the backdrops and all that you can do everything very easily and actually pretty cheaply.

 

Rob

 

Yeah, there’s a couple you know, since we’re talking about editing, a couple quick tips is GoPro who’s the author of The Great cameras that they use in like extreme sports, kind of where they’re known for, they actually took their video app, and it’s called Quick qu ik and they released it for free in the iTunes and the Android store. I have quick quick is cool. The other cap is you’re talking about the green screens and stuff watch it Tech’s got a new camera called the Bria era. And it’s it’s a little pricey. It’s about 289 Canadian so I did us probably 20 to 30 and it has the capability in it to put a green screen behind you as it’s filming in part of the software isn’t that alone. So these the point I’m making is these prices have come down for content creators you know, by the day, the things like smartphones that kind of changed all that we used to carry you know back in a day you would carry a point and shoot camera video camera, a cell phone and believe it or not for those who remember we carry a PDA a personal device around you know,

 

Travis

 

back in the day.

 

Rob

 

Now the right now it’s all on your phone and you know, and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the new big phones whether it’s LG, iphone, samsung,

 

Travis

no not at all and people have their preferences and some people fight you to the death on them. But at the end of the day, if you have whatever you if you can figure it out and make it work for you. That’s really all it matters.

 

Rob

 

Yeah And, and i and i and i agree and I agree 100% within this getting to know your tools, I mean, I’m a Windows Android guy, but I have to tell you I don’t believe in nice Coke and Pepsi fights as I call them with people. You know, they they can they’ll drive you insane as I call it. Oh, yeah, you don’t.

 

 

Rob

 

a big believer with my clients and my people and 18 years in tech before it’s get to tool that works for you learn it well. And then you’re good to go. Right? And that’s exactly kind of the way it is.

 

Travis

And only two if you think about it, they’re all ripping each other off so much with all their technology. They’re all about the same anymore.

 

Rob

 

Yep. Yep. Which I found using. Just for curiosity.

 

Travis

Right now I have the seven. Okay. Chevron a little bit fine, but it works.

 

Rob

 

Yeah, I went to a g7 fin q in July, which is the LG, their latest phone and they’ve now got a new one. And this phone is kind of cool, because it actually has a wide angle lens on it, as well. And, and it’s, I mean, for me, it’s it’s a phone, it only comes with a 64 gig base. And you know, I have some requirements on the phone. But you know, as I say, Get to know your tool, use it. Well. I would suggest anybody that’s doing video, don’t spend the time buying a video camera. If you want some more high end, go get a good point and shoot camera with a good lens, a Nikon Canon or even a Sony? Believe it or not, the pros are all starting to use Sony’s and get one of those with a good lens. Don’t waste your time. Spending oodles of dollars on on a video camera, I wouldn’t do that. I don’t think it’s worth Not at all. No, not at all. Um, I know we’re talking video. And if you want some good tips, Travis and I were talking to a friend by a mutual colleague who’s in the content creators group I name a Ross brand for Ross. The other chip I’ll throw out to a good friend of mine who’s a bit of a journalist or her neighbor is known as Amber. Amber McArthur in Canada, Amber and her husband, Chris stick, do a lot of video production, follow them and look at some of the stuff they’re doing. Amber’s showing a lot of Facebook Lives and things like that. And it’s well worth looking into. In terms of social media platforms, are you posting live or using any automation tools to be posting,

 

Travis

 

I’m pretty much posting live, I’ve used some automation tools, and I like them. I just My only problem is the one that I was using, which was

 

Rob

 

Oh,

 

Travis

 

I can’t remember the name of it because I have to skip a little while back. Because, um, My only problem is I couldn’t figure out how to use the hashtags on there. And I know hashtags are a very important part of posting when you’re trying to create content and you know, direct traffic. And I just had such a hard time getting the hashtags to work when your auto posting. So I’ve just gotten to the point where I’ll just post, you know, live now. I tried to do it a couple of times a day. And honestly, I don’t mind doing it, I usually find that I have the time when I want to do it. So it doesn’t get in my way. Really, it’s not something I have to go all I have to post otherwise, you know, it’s something I can definitely easily get

 

Rob

 

  1. Yeah, I know I’ve seen the draw traffic to what you’re doing. I mean, Facebook puts a higher emphasis on Facebook wise, we know that from metrics and numbers. And I can tell you I’ve been doing I don’t know face book, Oh, I should do one a day, every business day, sometime when, excuse me when I have time. And all do. And I don’t schedule mine, I haven’t yet. And I’m not using any third party software yet. And my traffic to my websites by not by probably 200% in the last two months of small business. So they do have some value. And then there’s all kinds of tools you can use like OBS which is free. You can use tool I’m working on playing with a good friend of mine users. It’s called VM mix. And there’s several other tools that will kind of push out to YouTube and Facebook at the same time. So there’s some ways to do stuff like that. So yeah. How is your traction with Instagram going?

 

Travis

 

very good. I’m actually you know, picking up people left and right. I get a lot of of interaction, I have a lot of likes, on my posts, you know, it’s, it’s just a matter of, you know, putting in the right hashtags that people are going to pick up on. And, you know, it’s simple when you start picking out, um, you know, who’s using what, what, what I like to do is I go through all their pages and, you know, look at hashtags that others are using, you know, popular ones, and I’ll just, you know, kind of pick up on what’s doing really well and what’s not. And I’m also like, you know, looking at other pages, and just checking out their content, and I’m not stealing it, but obviously, but you know, kind of looking and seeing, okay, well, they’re doing this, this kind of work, I’ve seen this on other pages, you know, they’re doing this, these kinds of angles, these kinds of lightings, you know, these captions, you know, stuff, and it all kind of, you know, they’re all very, very similar to each other to a point where you can get a pattern going as to what’s popular and what doesn’t pick up as much. So that’s what I’ve been really working on doing is just building traffic through that and trying to build my own algorithm, if you will, as to what you know, will pick up the most traffic and honestly, it’s been doing really well, I think it’s been really connecting. And I really like it.

 

Rob

 

What I would suggest is on Instagram video seems to work really well as well. I think it’s just video. It’s just pictures, I have a client who’s a jewelry store. And he’s has a part timer that worked for him. That is like absolutely awesome at Instagram. And she was hired for that reason we actually hired her for, for her social media, and she produces videos that are like, just unreal. And oh, yeah. And they get traction. The other thing that many people don’t know that Instagram announced this week is if you have a business page on Instagram, you can now schedule videos, believe it or not. So I was seeing that.

 

Travis

 

And I think that’s so cool.

 

Rob

 

Yeah, it is. But you got to be careful with scheduling too. Because you know, you don’t want to over saturate but and you also got to be really careful for anybody out there listening of what’s going on in the room, because I’ve had clients who have made the mistake of not pulling scheduled posts, and they contradict with what’s going on regionally or nationally at the time. Oh, yeah. And then and then get rid of the damage control mode for weeks at a time. That’s not pretty.

 

Travis

 

It happens horribly. And that’s another reason why I don’t, you know, I don’t lean so much towards on scheduling posts, because I know that I’m gonna run into that issue. And it’s just kind of, I can react a lot quicker if I am doing them live. And, you know, it’s just because like you said, there’s so many things, especially in the cigar world right now. The FDA is just fighting this horrible battle on the cigar industry. And it’s one of those things you don’t know what’s gonna happen day to day at this point, like a could, you know, I could wake up tomorrow, and the FDA is gonna propose that they ban all types of cigars. And I

 

Rob

 

just don’t know. And, and the problem too, in the us right now is the political situation, as we all know, without getting into it, and the merits of it, it’s unstable at the best of time. So you know, you’re kind of you don’t know where things are gonna turn and and you don’t know. And attorneys.

 

Travis

 

I used to be very, very involved in politics, and I used to pay attention to it. I’m actually one point I considered running for mayor of my hometown. But, you know, I got to that point where I started, you know, my, I kind of opened my eyes to everything went, you know, man, politics is just, that’s not fun. It’s a nightmare, you know, you have to deal with a bunch of stuff that you don’t want to deal with, in order to get to the stuff that you do want to deal with. And, you know, it’s just one of those things. And especially nowadays, like you’re saying, the political landscape is so hostile, like you don’t know, what’s gonna happen one day or the next.

 

Rob

 

It’s true. It’s actually pitted friends and families against each other. It’s just now so my rule, my rule of thumb on social media is I ignore every political post in my feed, I don’t want anywhere near it. Part of the reason is, I actually do some marketing work with some of the political writing, so I don’t even want to get in the middle of it. And I just, and I just don’t need to negative energy or think, you know, socially, there’s so much negative stuff out there. You can choose to be part of the negative stuff or you can be choose not to be part of the negative stuff. And that’s kind of your choice that at the end of the day, right,

 

Travis

 

absolutely agreed and You know, like I said, the only politics i get involved in or, or the car industry and the FDA battle right now that’s only thing I really keep up with, um, you know, and some people go, Oh, you support you gotta look into it, but at the same time, it’s like, I could sit there and watch, you know, the news channels 24 seven, I’ll just drive myself sane.

 

Rob

 

Yeah, yeah. Yeah,

 

Travis

 

yeah, I just can’t do it. Yeah, I

 

Rob

 

agree. I mean, my rule of thumb with the news now is watch 10 minutes in the morning, I’ll watch 10 minutes at night to find out what happened locally. I don’t even care about the national stuff anymore. Because at the end of the day, they’re gonna do it, whether you like it or not, and does it impact me directly? That’s kind of my philosophy these days. Not that I’m not aware. And not that I don’t go out to vote cushy? Oh, by the way, if you don’t go for it, you’re never right to complain. So no, I do all that I’m quite aware of what’s going on. But then I just kind of, kind of look at stuff. And I say, you know, there’s more pressing things to do, if you know, read. So what would you suggest that anybody since you’ve kind of started to build your social media from scratch? We’re gonna do it, how should they do it?

 

Travis

 

Um, make friends. That is one of the biggest things I can tell you is, you know, I’ve joined so many groups, and, you know, learning, we’ve met so many people, and just whatever your niches, like, you know, feel cigar industry, for example, you know, I’m committing 2019 to going into events, I’ve got a couple lined up already. You know, I’m just going to go there, I’m gonna meet people, but I’ve already met a bunch of people online, I’ve joined groups, you know, and those are going to help you build traffic because word of mouth, no matter what day and age, no matter what time we’re at, nothing will be a better marketing tool than

 

factory. Yep, yes. So tell somebody to check this out. That’s what we’re gonna do.

 

Rob

 

 

That’s all about relationships. can take those friends, I would go one more step and eat and get those friends to muskie fans, right? I mean, you know, Tony Robbins once said, it’s better to have 10 raving fans and 100 friends. And to some degree, that’s true. I mean, if it was at Apple, and how they how their launches go, and every time Apple doesn’t launch that people out the door at every Apple Store. I would agree with that. And beyond that, where do you plan on going in the industry, besides doing YouTube in the social?

 

Travis

 

Well, I’m I’m actually getting ready to get my first certification in the industry, which is a tobacco license. Um, yeah, you just take it, take a class for it, and, you know, learn the ins and outs. From there, I’m hoping to get a job, either with a shop that tobacco shop or with one of the cleaning companies, and, you know, my end goal is to become a representative. So I would go around and go to events and meet people talk about my product, you know, build brand recognition, you know, just stuff like that. And that’s honestly what my main goal is for it. And, you know, there’s so many great companies out there right now to work for so many big names that you can, you know, get into. And so I really want to work with that, and then perhaps maybe even build my own from the ground up to somebody.

 

Rob

 

Yes, it sounds like a challenging and interesting way of doing to somebody wants to get a whole deal. How is the best way? hitting you over the head?

 

Travis

 

Right. I mean, if you see me on the street and just slapped me upside the head, say, Hey, I know who you are. But I don’t mind a home. Now the best place to get a hold of me are my Instagram, which is the smoking Savage. It’s the underscore smoking underscore Savage. And I’m on there, that’s one place. So that’s my, probably my main account that I go to I do a lot of interactions off of that. And I, you know, that’s kind of one of my main things. Um, you know, Twitter, it’s the smoking Savage, on there. And, you know, I’m building up my own Facebook page. I haven’t gotten that far yet on that one. I’m just on my main one right now. I’m kind of learning and trying to figure out the best way to start, you know, the Facebook page and a website. So honestly, Instagram is probably the number one to check me out on right now. That’s where you can find the links to my all my YouTube videos on my YouTube shows actually called the smoke excuse me the better savage lounge on YouTube and I post videos weekly. I’m have collaborated with another great content creator named Angelica Lynch. We’re going to work on some stuff we’re we’re actually working on a separate show that it’s in the works right now. We’re hoping to get that off the ground. But for now, we’re just kind of you know, I’m doing my show. And it’s Lisa weekly episodes, check them out. And there’s so much fun.

 

Rob

 

Thanks, Travis. And thanks for joining me and thanks for your time today and

 

Travis

 

have a thank you for having me on you as well. Thank you so much.


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