When I first met Tim Molinaro @into_the_dirtshop online, I was impressed with his YouTube channel. But it wasn’t until I was speaking with him here on this show, that I learned how he started his contracting business.
Typically, a contractor will go into business, and then start marketing it. First, build a website, then start doing social media. And if you’re really motivated, you start a YouTube channel.
Well, Tim’s story is totally different. He started with YouTube. This generated so much work for him, that he started his own contracting business.
Wow! What a story! I know you’ll be inspired, motivated, and educated by Tim’s story. There’s so much to learn in here. I bet you’ll want to come back and listen to this not a few times in the future.
>>>Here’s The Full Blog Post<<<
Tim Molinaro, owner of Into the Dirtshop, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tim has been building things throughout his entire life, and has never had any formal training, from school or from personal experience. Tim’s father and uncles were handy and he would build things with them. In this way, Tim truly had a “learn as you go” experience throughout his upbringing. Tim says that he had a natural talent for math and science, and was therefore pressured to pursue the engineering path by his teachers.
At university, he got his degree in engineering, but during his college years Tim learned a lot about metal fabrication as well. After graduating, Tim landed an engineering job, where he was a field service engineer in the mining industry for approximately two years. But, over the years, Tim had become obsessed with Youtube.
How Tim Got Started On YouTube
He had been using Youtube since it’s inception, but hesitated to make his own content until he was older. He started by making simple videos about different subjects, like car repair.
It soon evolved into a platform where Tim could share his own woodworking projects. Tim says that he’s really intrigued by the “makers scene” that is growing on Youtube right now. “Youtube pulled me into the craft,” Tim remarks, “Almost everything I’ve ever learned has come from someone else’s youtube video.”
Tim has never had a plan for his Youtube channel and its content. Because of the nature of Youtube, it was never meant to be a full time thing, Tim says. Everyday, Tim would return home from his day job as an engineer thinking, “I have to build something today.” Filming himself building that piece and uploading it to Youtube encouraged him to work at his craft everyday.
His Youtube career began with sharing tables and other woodworking projects, but would soon evolve into a more consistent effort to brand himself.
From YouTuber To Contractor
Tim now sees himself as a custom builder, who also does contracting. He prides himself in custom pieces, and wants his brand to reflect that. However, in the beginning, finances held him back from building his own business. He didn’t want to start a business until he was completely debt-free, so he waited over a year until he could begin.
Tim says that he can’t stand anything mundane, like his former nine to five engineering job, and this attitude encouraged him to become debt-free so that he could eventually be his own boss. When he first quit his job in order to pursue his new, independent career, Tim viewed his new opportunity as a sort of vacation. Tim admits that his initial pricing reflected his desire to land any job that he could. In other words, he was getting paid less to do great work.
At one point, Tim started to get an influx of projects, and he wasn’t able to properly price any of them. Family, friends, and acquaintances would request certain projects from him, and Tim refused to turn anyone down. He was still profiting, but any profit he made, he would re-invest in tools or ways to improve efficiency. At one point, Tim was working almost eighteen hours a day, but felt that his work was not earning the profits it deserved.
For Tim, one of the hardest tasks with his job is asking the customer about their budget. When he was first growing his business, Tim would have easily accepted a remodel job or project that required him to make less than he should. He would do this because he valued the learning experience, but after a while this willingness to work for less began to hurt his business, especially after bringing on his first employee. His employee actually went to high school with him, where they built theater sets together.
What Tim Says About Hiring Contractor Help
Tim hired him because he valued his positivity and work ethic, despite the fact that he had a degree in photography and not a trade related to Tim’s work. That doesn’t matter, Tim says, because the most important part about a new hire is their ability to learn.
Tim believes that people new to a trade will learn quickly, and can become more valuable to a growing business as opposed to a trained individual.
Even with an employee to help him, Tim is still working eighteen hour days, but wants to grow out of that, eventually.
Contractor Marketing On YouTube
There are a couple reasons that contractors should consider youtube as a platform for growing their brand, Tim says. Gaining a following is one thing, but to do that Tim says that it’s crucial to “format your content in a way that is both consistent and easy to watch.” One way this can be done is through vlogging, which Tim describes as a daily blog but in video form.
At first, Tim was filming his work with his iPhone and using iMovie to edit the video. One tip he has for people editing iPhone videos on iMovie is to edit clips in multiple sections, and use iCloud to store them in order to take up less space on your phone.
He’s now moved on to using a DSLR camera and Final Cut, but Tim claims that beginners can make great content without all of the expensive equipment. Additionally, Tim thinks that content on youtube is more effective if it is more like a story to its viewers, meaning that the content must flow in a way that content on Instagram stories cannot.
The one drawback Tim finds about Youtube is that, as a platform, it does not allow him to properly market his business. It’s just not built for that like Instagram is, Tim remarks.
Apps And Tech That Tim Uses In His Business
Tim knows of some apps which have been especially helpful to growing his presence online.
Social blade, for instance, gives Tim a real-time view of his Youtube followers or his followers on other platforms.
Likewise, the tool Twitch gives its users a live subscriber count and growth statistics for Instagram and Twitter. Twitch is also popular with contractors because it is a live streaming app, which allows them to showcase their work in real time. Both apps can be extremely useful to a content creator who is just starting out on Youtube or other platforms. Tim has also picked up apps to alleviate the stress of everyday business tasks.
Tim mentions Venmo, which is an app by Paypal. Venmo allows Tim to pay or receive payment on his phone, and this simplifies payments for things, such as giving his employee money for gas or other minor expenses.
Here Are The Contractor Apps For Your Convenience:
Tim Molinaro Highly Recommends This Book!
As always, if you have any questions, please send them to me at [email protected]
Thanks so much joining us today!
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