Tom Breeze is founder and CEO of Viewability, a company specialising in YouTube Advertising, boasting an impressive client list of international personal and corporate brands. With a “Pay For Results” financial model, Viewability oversees over $100k/day in ad spend. Tom is also a speaker, author and consultant, teaching businesses around the world how to advertise successfully on YouTube.
Key Takeaways From Our Conversation
- Remove the risk
- Make it easy for them to say yes
- Over deliver
“The thing that makes a big difference is understanding that human psychology is all about status and identity. If we understand what people are going through and how they see themselves in relation to their friends, and what their friends and family are thinking about them, it makes it far easier to start selling products and services. You get to understand what drives them on a daily basis. We all behave based on how other people will perceive us.” – Tom Breeze
To become part of the marketing mix, businesses of varying sizes need to be aware of why they want to obtain status.
For larger scale companies, it is important to find an agency that holds credibility in order to eliminate the risk of expanding their advertising.
Smaller companies, on the other hand, should identify the benefits of diversifying their advertisements by creating a larger online following.
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Resources · Transcript · Tell YOUR Story
Nicole Holland 0:00
Hey there, welcome to the show. I’m Nicole Holland, your host, and I’m thrilled to bring you the fascinating founders Podcast, where we dive in and uncover the stories that came before the success of some of the world’s most fascinating founders. hailing from a multitude of industries and socio economic starts, you are going to learn what’s made these fascinating men and women realize their dreams from an inspired idea to millions in revenue, disrupting, innovating and impacting humanity for the better. You never know what’s going to come up in our casual conversations. So get your notebooks ready, cozy up with a great Cup of Joe and join us as I dive in to learn how these inspiring individuals have figured out how to thrive in a time where most people give up on their dreams. Today for Season One, episode one I am so honored to present You Tom breeze. He is the founder and CEO of viewability. A company specializing in YouTube advertising, boasting an impressive Client List of international, personal and corporate brands with a paper results financial model you ability overseas over $100,000 a day in ad spend. Tom’s also a speaker, author and consultant, teaching businesses around the world how to advertise successfully on YouTube. Tom, welcome to the podcast.
Tom Breeze 1:34
Thank you so much, Nicole, it’s good to be here.
Nicole Holland 1:36
What do I kick off with is back before you you started your first business? How did you know that entrepreneurship was your calling? How did that kind of come to be a good question. So
Tom Breeze 1:47
I think that when I first started thinking entrepreneurially, I suppose is like, I think it’s probably ingrained in me from a very young age in the way that my dad run his own company. He’s an accountant and still doesn’t say and he’s a always loved and thrived in business that he’s already always enjoyed his job and loves client meetings. I used to see him leave the door, work ridiculously hard, but come back with a smile on his face. And he’ll go through tough times. Good times. And so I, I saw that on a day to day basis growing up as a kid. And throughout, I suppose like with that tendency from a father figure that was able to kind of be that person constantly. You start to realize their behavior, typically on a day to day basis tends to be pretty entrepreneurial. So we do crazy things like we’d buy things on eBay when I was younger, and then go and sell them like a car boot sale from more expensive on but I’m ago we made a profit of 50 cents or something like your dad. Yeah, we did that. Yeah. So we tried loads of little things to make money, not the traditional way of doing a job basically. And then we do crazy things like so I used to pay play quite a bit of poker online, just recreationally more than anything else. And my dad I used to do it as well and used to kind of like log into one account, then the next person log into their account and play. And then what we realized would be better as if we actually just joined accounts and burn a seed money and see how far we can grow it. We made a lot of money from doing online poker together. And that like one year paid for the whole family Christmas, and that sort of thing, and quite young age. So there were like, really cool, fun things that I was doing there. And then my brother started his own companies three years older than me. And so then it made me feel like well, maybe I could do that as well. And I had the perfect opportunity to begin because I did Psychology at university for three years, then carried under my Masters for a couple more years. And I was given opportunities to go and work at companies immediately asked that sort of experience, but it’d be more like there’s definitely a kind of a an educational path that they recommend to you to say, Hey, now you’ve got your masters Now, why don’t you become a doctor? And that’s how they’ll get your PhD. I was kind of moving in that direction. But I just thought to myself I’m in so much better. As a student right now, like, how much worse could it get if I try business and it fails? Sounds like, let’s just let’s just see what I can do. And with the skills that I had, I started up my own practice of kind of working with clients and a one to one basis. I was like, 25 at the time, I think. So I definitely wasn’t able to help them with lots of different things in their lives, because he would have come to me, I think this is a 25 year old, what the hell does he know about life right now. And so I started out with just working with people with anxiety issues. So started up like the business, my dad really helped me out with working out how to actually form a company, making sure I registered for the tax and the beauty of having a dad as an accountant, that just that issue just goes away immediately, which is great. I’d have to think about that stuff. And the banks used to lend like nobody’s business. So that was great. I got a loan from him immediately. And I was very wet behind the years but I just started and I was I was quite unlucky and then really lucky. So I kind of put most of the money that I got loan into some local advertising and papers, newspapers, this NPR, there’s always the really expensive stuff. And there’s not really much to go on in the early days. And this yellow pages advertising spend about 5000 pounds, which is about 7000 US dollars. And literally nothing came of it. I was like so excited. I was like, here it goes, here’s how business is done. I’m going to become so rich here and help so many people and just fell flat like zero calls whatsoever. And so I realized that I just been sold Bali on and they’re just wet behind the ears, I suppose more than anything else. And then a leaflet came through the door. That was a 30 pound, like $40 free voucher for Google AdWords at the time. And so I kind of use that I was like, Okay, well, this is free advertising. And that’ll work out well. This is actually is the name of the standard Google AdWords was kind of Google there as I okay, this was pretty cool, and ran my first ad and on the first day I spent about two 20 pounds of the 30 pounds voucher, and I closed two bits of business like my phone just immediately called. And each bits of business was 240 pounds. So I’m a 490 pounds from like a 20 pound investment. And I was like, oh, okay, this works and no one was doing it at a time.
Nicole Holland 6:17
It wasn’t even an investment. It was free money. Right? It was like event. Yeah,
Tom Breeze 6:20
investment of time maximum. That was it. Yeah. So it was literally just followed what they told me to do Google, which I wouldn’t recommend these days. But it was literally just write an ad with your phone number in it type thing. And so I can help people with the fear of public speaking. That’s what I decided to focus on. And I picked up like, as I say to clients on day one, and and the phone just started ringing and I was like, Okay, cool. So I reinvested and put some more money in and that’s when it all just began and I started getting clients booking in on a one to one basis. I was really good at the public speaking fear side of things as well. So that was really lucky. But I’ll just put people in for like a breakthrough session. I called it where it’s like a four hours come in. Come see me, I’m gonna fix it wherever you go back into your public speaking and you’re gonna be great. And, and that’s what I focused on. And I kind of grew that business without realizing, like, what I was really doing. I wasn’t very business savvy at the time I started a business and you just get like, I think most people when they first get started just trying to spin plates and see what you can let you just loads of things are happening at one time you like, okay, cool, I’ll make some more money. That’s great. Another bank wanting now going to pay some tax was that all that sort of stuff that was coming through? So it’s just a really exciting time and, and I was I was always like, embarrassing at the time as well, because I knew how much I was spending on advertising, and how much was making and advertising. And all my friends and all people around me, just didn’t like when I tried to explain Google AdWords to them. They’re like what you’re talking about this is crazy. And then I was also doing psychology. So I was like, What the hell are you doing with people? This is really strange. Just because my of my age and my friendship group like no one was doing that everyone was like starting their first job in a city being a banker or an insurance or something on the line. So I had a very different existence. And I would work from like 10 in the morning until two and then I’ll be done at a one to one work. And then I’ll be like, I’m building a business out of that. So it was a funny time, and very kind of changed my identity, I suppose with myself and also with my friends and things. And then it kind of started to snowball, because I realized I was doing just purely one to one work, I didn’t realize other people could maybe help me in the company that didn’t cross my mind for some reason. And I was trying to work out how I could help more people. So I did like a workshop for business owners who wanted to get really good at presenting. And that sold out because I promoted it pretty hard with email marketing. But then what I ended up doing with one promotion is I ended up using a video, I got challenged by someone to put some audio on my website. That was like the coolest thing at the time to see if you can add some audio to your website. And then I’ll do one better. I’ll put a video on there and YouTube was just becoming a thing. And so I put my video on YouTube and embedded it in my website. And it took ages to create the video is terrible when I first got started, but I created this video and my conversion rate on my site went from about 7% to 22%, literally overnight, and I was at all okay, this video thing is something that is working well. And then when I ran the workshop with these business owners, so many of them came up to me and said, I want to learn how to do that video that you did on your website. That was really cool. How can I do that? So I used to teach people then how to create their own videos, their site, and it kind of just snowballed into video production company. Then we started doing SEO, just to provide more service to people. And then when the SEO world kind of crashed and died very quickly video especially like we had some incredible rankings of clients like the front pages of Google and YouTube for words like public speaking presentation skills, online marketing, that type of thing, like in the good old easy days of SEO, and then it all kind of come crashing down with penguin and Panda and all the Google updates. And I at that point I had like a client of Mine that was really successful to build such a good relationship with them. And the rankings dropped. And I was just embarrassed as I don’t know how to get it back for you. And this might be the end of my company. I was really worried. And I was like, you know what we’ve, we’ve reserved quite a bit of cash here. And so I decided to just run a new Google AdWords from what I’d done previously. And then what I did is I said, I’m going to take that video and promote it as a YouTube ad and just see if I can do anything with that. And I started running the ads, and it started working. I believed I was like, I think it’s working pretty well, but I don’t know. So I called the client, cuz I know we’ve lost the rankings. But how those ads working out for you, and He’s, uh, they’re working really well, like, they’re more than usual. And they’re spending money and I’m happy to keep it going. As a great How much do you because I was funding at the time. So how much are they worth, you know, about 30 pounds per lead that’s coming through because they’re buying all this other stuff that’s going on? I was like, Okay, cool. How much would you be happy to pay me for one of these leads that are coming through. It’s like, Well, why don’t give you 10 pounds. I was like, that kind of works, because for me, it was costing anywhere between four and six pounds for me. So I was like, I was doubling up on ad spend, and the client was happy. And we’re growing and scaling. And I never really looked back at that point. So like, we built YouTube ads now for so many different types of clients all over the globe. And we build the creative, we run the ads counts, but we run our agency now in a way where we fund the advertising and clients pay for results. And the margin is not always as good as that when I talked about before, it’s normally going around about 20% or so. But we’re now able to almost like partner with clients, we have great relationships with them, we’ve worked with them for years, we scale up and it’s it’s I think it’s the best way of running an agency and that’s kind of how we’ve got to be where we are today. But um, it’s been a It’s been one of those like evolutions as we’ve been going through, like from public speaking to video creations, SEO to advertising. It’s just a, I think what I’ve been doing is seeing where the opportunity is and then going all in when I see it. And it’s just that’s the path of which we’ve created as opposed How we putting the company’s where it is today.
Nicole Holland 12:02
Amazing. I love that how you know you it, everybody has a different story and all the stories are fascinating. But it’s not common that we hear that the first thing kept on going, right a lot of founders, they’ve tried a bunch of things in the past. And so it’s really really interesting how it just as you said, the the evolution kept on going. And so as you figured it out early, and you just kept going with it. And
Tom Breeze 12:33
I mean, the thing is, with all of this is that it kind of it’s been underpinned by psychology for me, like everything I’ve done along the way has been very much like understanding the human psyche and understanding, like what people are likely to be going through, putting that empathy on and saying, Okay, cool. What, what, what are they going through right now? What’s kind of what’s going to change, what change they’re looking for? And how can I kind of make sure that we position the products and services that we sell, whether it be my own stuff, Whether it be there’s, it’s understanding that it’s human psychology first. And it all starts there. I mean, I’ve written a book about this thing, we call it viewability. Because it’s never the agency as well. But it always starts with the user and understand like, how can we think about what they’re going through and provide them with what they’re looking for. And then it just marketing becomes so much easier. But the big breakthrough I had probably about, what about two or three years ago was when we’re running ads, and we’ve always tried to focus on the problem and then being the solution to that problem being very direct response with it as well to say, Hey, you got this problem, we got the solution, marry them up. But the big breakthrough where we have much better results is when we figured out the creative part. And the creative part for anything that we look at now really boils down to the fact that there’s all these kind of hacks you can do and everything and all these ways of positioning something and being clever about like the way you phrase something, the language patterns and things that’s all very useful. But the thing that really makes a big difference is understand that human psychology is all about status and identity and If we understand what people are going through, and how they see themselves in relation to their friends and what their friends and family are thinking about them, it makes it far easier to start selling products and services, because you get to understand what actually drives them on a daily basis, like as crass or as uninspiring as it might sound, we all behave based on how we think other people will perceive us, whether that’s in a positive light, like, I’m gaining status, I’m gaining that kind of credibility, or whether it’s basically like I was when I was growing my business, I felt like I was the odd one out, but I kind of liked it in a way like I reveled in that status as well as like, I’m not part I’m not part of this normal, kind of go to the city and have a job type attitude. I was very much like, I’m building my own thing here. And I kind of liked it. It was scary because it could have like blown up in my face and very nearly did a few times. But the it’s kind of like understanding people’s psychology is it makes it so much easier to be a very good marketer and have his daughter status and identity how we see ourselves and how we see ourselves in comparison to other people and how they perceive us then if we get really clear with that then it all normally boils down to status and then it kind of like writing ads becomes a lot lot easier and positioning products and services becomes a lot simpler as well.
Nicole Holland 15:16
Very cool. So I don’t know if this is too personal but tell me episode we can cut it out. What is this? How does your ideal buyer like the the partner, the buyer that you can support the most? How do they see and perceive themselves?
Tom Breeze 15:33
So we see ourselves as a hierarchy
Nicole Holland 15:36
not not you guys, but like for the the person that comes on board with viewability
Tom Breeze 15:41
always on our clients?
Nicole Holland 15:42
Yes. How do they perceive themselves or company Got
Tom Breeze 15:45
it? Okay, cool. Yeah. So when it comes to YouTube advertising, if it’s a large company that’s looking to come on to YouTube is a very large company. It’s normally down to be coming past the marketing mix, and really The person that’s making this decision, whether it’s a CMO or whether it be someone, juniors, that someone’s making a decision to say, we want to get viewability, to be our YouTube ad agency, let’s say, for example, it’s a CMO. What they’re looking to do is have that comfort in knowing that we can do a good job. So they can show to other people, we’ve employed the ability to do our YouTube ads, because they have all the credibility, and I can put my trust in them, and is no longer my fault as a CMO of it buggers up. That’s what they want to say, really, that that’s their status is very much like, I’ve made a good decision, because you can see all the reasons why I’ve made this decision. And everyone can respect my decision. There’s no doubt that this was a good decision. Even if it’s like they chose to. I chose a different agency. They’re looking for someone to be like, I can absolve responsibility. It is all goes badly, because it’s like, well, this is what I was promised. And they’ve done it for other people. And we just or unlucky weather like that’s kind of what they’re thinking they want a safety bet of saying like I don’t want to lose my status of being cmo to the rest of my staff. And my people who are higher than me as well. So that’s kind of a big play in their minds. And so we know that a big part of like putting ourselves in front of the bigger companies is very much like, Look, you can trust us, like it’s very low risk will fund the advertising, you pay for results, you’re not going to struggle with this. And so that’s kind of a big company at a smaller company, where it might be a very fast growing company, like might be lightweight, and the number of people work in the company, and it might be owner that we’re talking to at that point, they’re probably doing it for that identity or that significance. They’re saying, I want to be on YouTube because I want to be like these other people that I see who are getting huge followings. I want to be like that person as well. I want to have a million subscribers as well. And I want to be able to say, Great, we’ve diversified our advertising. So it’s again looks as a diversifying advertising is a good play for sure. But behind that might be I need to make sure I maintain the level of success I’ve got right now because in in front of other people other business Designers we’re still in that group of like people are doing ridiculously well they want to see themselves there all the time and they don’t want to slip that they’re scared of having a fall on one platform not being performing the same way any longer. So like right now on Facebook is going through quite a volatile time and people are worried because like, I might lose a load of money and it has been in the past and that’s going to drop my status looks young look stupid on the look less intelligent or I can’t run a company as excess as successfully as I have done in the past. So that was upon the status play again. And that’s normally what like the money is one thing but the money normally by status, which is a big part of it.
Nicole Holland 18:37
This has been so good. If you could sum up your very best advice for any business owner wanting to follow in your footsteps. What would you tell them?
Tom Breeze 18:47
Yeah, I think that the best way to get to success quickly, with with any kind of agency type model or anything you’re selling is to take away any risk for the public. To do business with you, it’s it might sound counterintuitive, but we’ve always done things. Well, we’ve made it so easy for people to say yes to work with us. And it means you’d have to put loads of effort and time and resources into selling, you end up to put all that effort into delivering. So it becomes so much easier, and the clients love it, and you end up getting a much better deal. So for us, we fund the advertising clients purse for results in most agencies, what’ll end up happening is that the agency spends the clients money and takes a kind of a 10 to 20% Commission on top. We don’t like it that way because the client is that the relationships wrong I feel in my mind, and it doesn’t mean you’re not going to deliver well or anything like that. It’s just the setup is wrong because it’s like means it’s you’re gonna have to sell hard to become that agency for that client. And they’re always going to be thinking is this the best deal we could be having change that up. So it’s becomes whatever custom you’re selling to remove the risk for them. Make it easy for them to say yes, and then just over deliver and do a brilliant job. Build that There’s resources into the delivery side of things. And life as a service provider becomes so much easier and so much more enjoyable. for everybody involved.
Nicole Holland 20:08
So good and such a refreshing view, it’s definitely different than one we’ve been really here. So I would love it if you can share a little bit about how my audience can connect with you if they want to either take a next step with you, in terms of working with you ability finding out about that. And also you speak all over the world is to get a lot of conferences, you’re an author. So if you just anything you want to share to help us can keep connected with you beyond this interview would be amazing.
Tom Breeze 20:37
Yeah, of course. So one of the easiest ways is just to type in Tom breeze.com. And most of my stuff is there. So you’re going to find out loads of stuff there. If you’re more interested in the agency side, then there’s viewability code at UK and we have the agency there. We also have some training products there as well if you want to learn how to run YouTube ads for yourself or for your clients. And then if you just want to dive in Book, then my book viewability is on Amazon. And just like Google that just search it on Amazon, and you’ll find it. And it’s kind of feels like my blood, sweat and tears went into writing that book. And it’s still very applicable today. And so it’s, it’s definitely worth a read and you can read it on an airplane occupied for four hours, and pretty much know the psychology of how to think about YouTube advertising. And that will really help you out.
Nicole Holland 21:24
Amazing. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thanks again to Tom breeze from viewability. for being my guest on today’s episode and for sharing his founders journey story with us. I always find it super inspiring when parents pass on real life lessons to their children that will impact them in ways way beyond the norms. I loved hearing about how his dad really instilled a strong work ethic in him by being a true role model, as well as teaching him from an early age how to create profit from any entrepreneurial endeavor how Tom’s applied. those lessons throughout his life and in large part has gotten him to where he is today is super inspiring and something we can all especially parents really learn from. Thanks again Tom will have links to connect directly with Tom to check out his work and the full transcript from this episode and more in the show notes which you can find at fascinating founders.com. Until next time, this is Nicole Holland, signing off.
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