What’s up everybody, welcome back to the show! Today I have a very special guest, Vince Palko! You might know him from his company Adtoons, where there’s a lot of pretty amazing visual graphics! Today we’ll talk about using visual communications in your marketing, how you talk to customers, and how you tell the story of who you are and what you do. Let’s get started!

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Mike: What’s up, everybody? Hello. Welcome back to the show. Today, I have a very special guest, Vince Palko. You might know him from his company AdToons. He does a lot of visual graphics, creates some pretty amazing graphics. But today we’re going to talk about using kind of visual communications in your marketing and how you talk to customers, and how you tell the story of who you are and what you do.
Welcome to “Real Estate Investing Secrets.” We’re all looking for freedom and the opportunity to live better, more fulfilling lives. But most of us were trained our entire lives to work for someone else to chase their dreams. How can we use real estate investing as a vehicle to achieve financial freedom? My life is dedicated to answering your real estate investing questions, and helping you build an investing business that allows you to change your life and the world around you and to enable you to turn your dreams of financial freedom into a reality. My name is Mike Hambright from flipnerd.com, and your questions get answered here on “The Real Estate investor Secrets” show.
Mike: Hey, Vince Welcome to the show.
Vince: Mike, thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited to be with you and your audience and share kind of some tips and tricks on the subject of storyselling but visual story-selling so super pumped to be here.
Mike: Yeah. A little side note for people as I’ve known Vince and I’ve known of your company AdToons for many years from some digital marketing realms and stuff. And we happened to be at an event together about six months ago, I guess it was about six months ago roughly, Corey Peterson’s event, multifamily event, the Big Kahuna, some of you that know Corey by the Big Kahuna instead of his real name.
But anyway, you happened to be there. You’re also buddies with Corey and you created this amazing kind of graphic of . . . you’ve done some actually some really cool graphics for Corey and just kind of telling the story of financial freedom through, like, one big graphic, which was really awesome. And it just got us talking about this idea of coming on the show and talking about, you know, visually telling your story and visually communicating to sellers or prospects or people that we touch in our business, as opposed to . . . I mean, that’s pretty rare, as opposed to kind of the traditional way of just letters and phone calls and all that stuff. And so it’s pretty cool. So I’m excited to learn more about it today.
Vince: Yeah. I appreciate that. And if you recall that day at Corey’s, I wasn’t just taking notes, I was creating visual notes because that’s how I hear information. And so that’s kind of my superpower, if you will. And really, you know, had a great experience there and learning all about kind of real estate investing from him, so yeah.
Mike: Yeah. For those of you that are listening, it was amazing. Like, all of us were filling notebooks and writing notes the traditional way, and Vince has, like, one piece of paper and he’s creating a cartoon strip almost from what he was learning there. It was just like kind of blew our minds.
But the truth is, is and I’m a very visual person. I like graphics if it pertains to numbers and other things. I’m just very visual, right? I mean, a lot of us, you can obviously tell by the fact that social media sites and stuff like that get way more attention when there’s video involved, right, than there is just written text these days. And so it just makes sense, but it’s something that we don’t do a tremendous amount of, in terms of our lead generation and in terms of how we talk to and in our business meeting with a distressed single-family house sellers or other investors that we want to do business with. Like, we don’t really speak that language, but it’s pretty cool when you think about it.
Vince: Yeah, I mean, my business AdToons, for those that aren’t familiar with that, it’s been around since 2005. Back then, I had to educate people on why they would want to use a cartoon so I wrote the book “The Art of Selling Using Cartoons” in 2006 because everyone would say, “But Vince, my business is too serious. Why would I ever want to use a cartoon?” And there’s many reasons for that and we’ll cover off a lot of those today, but the essential gist of it is you have to connect with people, you have to make yourself different from, you know, all the people competing in your marketplace. And cartoons do that really easily on top of the fact that they can communicate a value proposition very simply.
We had one guy that was investing, and he was telling us about this complex story of how he wanted to leave Wall Street and he wanted to start this coaching thing and how it’s going to be a hub-and-spoke approach where he would make a trade and then everyone else would follow him. And we took the 30-minute conversation, condensed it down to two minutes, and he’s still using it on his website to communicate kind of his offer. And so that’s the power of visuals and cartoons and you can get away with a lot of things with cartoons that you don’t typically get or can present in live action or PowerPoint presentations, and so that makes it fun as well.
Mike: Sure, sure. Well, Vince, before we get too much further, tell us your background. How did you get into that? You, obviously, you were born a creative person, I assume this isn’t something that you just decided to do one day, this is something you’ve been doing for a long time. But tell us about kind of your background and how you got into this space.
Vince: Yeah. So my mother is an art teacher. She’s been teaching art for my entire life. And I grew up with two passions. One was sports and football and the other was art. And I grew up in an environment where really, I could thrive to do both and went on to play in college and overseas in football. And along the way, you know, graduated with a design degree, but along the way, also using visuals to help myself achieve more on the football field. I’m still in the Hall of Fame at Bowling Green and St. VM, my high school, to give a few shameless plugs to those universities. But, you know, along the way, visuals have always been a part of goal setting for me, communicating with others. And really, I’ve always had a job. Like, the first time I went to Germany to play, the owner said, “I hear you’re an artist. Would you like a job in our marketing firm?” And I’m thinking to myself, “Here’s where they invented the Bauhaus design. Sure, why not?”
So I played football during the day and do design and art. And then we got practice at night and then games on the weekend. And then I came back to the States got another job, working as an apprentice as an artist for a company that created learning tools. And that’s the foundation behind all this because they would just throw on our desks all these complex dry, dull business information and you had to turn them into colorful pictures. And so that’s really been my passion. And now, I do more the managing of everything now, but, you know, there are times when I’ll get out pens and pencils and doodle and help with storyboards and things of that nature. But, you know, the visuals and cartoons and illustrations, like you said, you know, I’ve been doing this my whole life.
But I also think that, you know, we’re all born artists because I went to speak to my daughter’s kindergarten class many years ago. And I said, “How many people here are artists?” And before I said, “tist” in artist, everyone raised their hand. And then after time, if you were to go back to that same class, there’d be less hands being raised and even a few years after that, even less. But we’re all born creative geniuses, I feel, and we all have the power to take a pen and doodle and create and communicate with your audience so that it differentiates you and it communicates clear when someone looks at a piece of paper and just a napkin in front of you with little doodles on it. But well, so that’s my background, and I have a lot of fun doing what we do.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I’m glad you’re here. So let’s talk a little bit about, you know, one of the things that we’ve kind of found is there’s a lot of people . . . I obviously we’re doing video right now, right? There’s a lot of people that have podcasts and do shows and are not afraid to pull out . . . It’s easier than ever to create a video with cell phones, right, as you can just pop it out and do a video. And that’s the easy button for some people. It’s like, “Man, I don’t have to write all this. I can just say it in a video.” Right?
But they’re often not professionally done. And then there’s this whole other subset of people that, for example, my wife hates being on camera. She is more of an introvert, she doesn’t want to . . . she would rather sit down and write a long blog and pull in a couple pictures that she took with their camera or whatever to display things visually, right? And so there’s these people that are, you know, maybe more introverted, they don’t want to be on camera, and maybe not that kind of cartoons and explainer videos and stuff like that graphical explainer videos are only for introverts, right? But that is, in some ways, kind of the easy button for somebody that would prefer to not be on camera themselves, right?
Vince: Sure. Sure, I mean, we hear that a lot from folks that, you know, “I’ve got a big Italian nose. I don’t want anyone reacting to, you know, my face on camera.” Or, “I have an accent and I don’t want that to hinder them from hearing the message.” And so that’s pretty common with us. And I think those videos are perfect for once people are into your world into your funnel, building rapport with them, but to grab their attention and build a brand with what you’re offering, what your company’s all about, and what makes you unique and different, these ad toons do amazing job to just communicate that on the front end. And then once they’re in, you can start building that rapport with, you know, more personalized videos.
Mike: Right. Right. And if done right, this stuff can be pretty catchy, right? It can stand out from . . . I know there was a time, you know, maybe five or six years ago when a bunch of people started jumping on the bandwagon of the whiteboard kind of drawing stuff, right? And I don’t really see much of that anymore. And then there was always, of course, like a huge quality difference between some of those services that were maybe out there obviously. But talk about like the, I guess kind of the life . . . where that visual storytelling is in the life cycle of marketing, if you will.
Vince: Yeah, I think in art circles, where marketing is huge. You know, they’ve been around for a long, long time. And the amazing thing, Mike is when I go to do trade shows, in different niches in different markets, people are like, “I’ve never seen this before.” I’m like, “Are you serious? You know, out for like seven years.” But, you know, it is if you’re going . . . the unique factor is important. But the other thing is being able to tell a story visually that is paramount. That’s, you know, it’s universal, it speaks to many. We’re doing one project that we’re translating, you know, into German into Mandarin. And, you know, we’re not really changing many of the graphics in the visuals. We’re just putting in, you know, new audio for the actual narration.
But the bottom line is, I think what’s kept these around so long the longevity that they have is being able to tell, like I said, a 30-minute conversation in two minutes and get someone excited to hear more. And that’s really our . . . I think Dan Kennedy said it best. He said, “Your job is to create, when someone comes to you, is to create thirst, right, is to get them to take the next step. It’s not to quench their thirst, is to make them more thirsty.”
So when you’re drawing a picture, we’ve done a split tests where it has we’ve done a Saturday morning cartoon fully colorized, and we’ve done the black and red, black and white approach. And in all of our split tests, it’s been interesting because the black and the red, black and white has out converted the cartoon. I think there’s something magical about the hand telling the story. The viewer wants to see what’s coming next.
So as the marketer, it’s a marketer’s dream because we can share our story, we can share whatever it is that we need to communicate with that audience, and we know they’re going to sit around and listen to it. And so we’ve done videos, two-and-a-half minutes long, all the way up to 15 minutes long. Now, not everyone is going to watch the 15-minute video, but if we can get them from watching zero minutes to 10 minutes, that’s success. And then we can cut down the sales cycle time by them getting excited and sharing it with others, and we’re not doing a thing. We just got this message out there, you know, creating interest. So that’s really the magic behind, you know, kind of what we do.
Mike:Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about like, when we buy, you know, the way that I teach in our coaching program and the way that we actually run our business is we meet with sellers directly. We market to them in a number of different ways, online, direct mail, a number of different ways to kind of get them to respond to us that they do have a house for sale and they’re looking to sell it at a discount really is the customer we’re looking for. And, you know, when we meet with them ultimately, they might be pulling out a legal pad and kind of showing, well, if we offered you this, here’s what you would walk away with. It’s very number-centric, right? And it’s often very little of that it’s usually just conversational, right?
And there have been times in the past where we’ve tried to use some visual cues like, “Well, here’s how you would compare if you sold your house the traditional way, if you fix it up versus this.” But it’s very clear that there are people like me, right, that are very visual based. Like, if you wrap something in a story, or if you wrap it in some graphics and I can understand a little bit better, then it’s easier than like, “Here’s a sheet full of numbers necessarily, right?”
So talk about like who . . . because probably not everybody is that way. So talk about, like, maybe who that would appeal to, the type of person, and how you could know that sitting across the kitchen table, or across a living room from somebody that you just met. How would you know whether they’re receptive to that type of communication versus other ways?
Vince: Sure. Yeah. So, you know, in my experience as not only an artist, but as a business owner, every time I sit down across from someone, and I take out my pen, and I say, you know, ‘We could set up your story like this, this, and this.” There’s a magnetic, hypnotic, you know, response from them in that they’re going to listen to what I have to share. And the best example of this is if you go to a theme park and you see those artists sketching, there are kind crowds around the artist because they want to see how that’s going to turn out.
Mike: Right.
Vince: The secret behind all that is you don’t even have to know how to draw to be able to command that attention because in general, people are amazed if you can draw a straight line or a stick figure. And so there are certain personalities, and you can kind of sense of like what you’re drawing, they want to get it straight down to brass tacks and then just pull back. But you’ll know when they’re sucked into the conversation by it and you can talk as slow as you want, “And let’s just picture you in the future in your new home.” And you’re just drawing simple boxes with, you know, a person next to that house or, you know, things of that nature.
So you have to have good, you know, social skills to see how well that information is conveying. But if you do have someone that’s visual, like yourself . . . and I always tell people, I’ve done these workshops where I asked people, “How many here, you know, when I say the words pink elephant, how many here see the words actually written out? P-I-N-K Elephant versus, “How see this?” And I draw a little sketch of a pink elephant or an elephant on a circus ball.
And 9 times out of 10, everyone raises their hand when I point to the elephant on the board. And so they’re probably a few, and that’s just my humble opinion. But I think being able to create rapport with someone with picking up a pencil and drawing out kind of your value proposition. And I’m not talking elaborate pictures, I’m talking simple boxes, “We are going to do this for you.” And you can put that in a box. “We’re going to do this for you. And we’re going to do that for you.” And when they see that laid out in front of them, I’m guarantying you, no one else is doing that in your marketplace.
Mike: Yeah. It’s the way you stand out for sure. Yeah. So talk a little bit more about because I think, like, I definitely cannot draw characters or anything like that. I mean, certainly not quickly. Like, it would take a tremendous amount of time and a lot of redoing and all that stuff. And I know that’s not necessarily what you’re talking about. I mean, there are people that have that gift, right. But what you’re saying and, like, it could be something as simple as boxes. Like, “You’re here and you want to get there.” Or it could be a stack of, like, “Here’s a stack of cash versus how high it is.” I mean, it could be just visual cues, right, not necessarily characters and cartoons.
Vince: Sure. It’s simple images, like, this, or this. And maybe I should take a so you can see it better. But it’s let me give you an example. Here’s just the simple kind of, you know, it’s like cave paintings, very simple icons and arrows. But when I map out for people, what they get with me, I’m just going to draw this out really quickly. I’ll start with the main video in the in the middle, and then there’s a 50-second highlight trailer, and then there’s an e-book, and then you get screenshots of all the art. You know, essentially, that’s all I’m drawing for people and they instantly get all the work we’re putting into it, all the value that they’re going to receive.
And anyone can draw a box, anyone can draw a line, anyone can draw an arrow. And that’s the secret to my coaching, when I’m coaching individuals on how to draw is fake it, do it confidently, because you’re going to wow the other person and really pull them in. But if you’re kind of like, “Oh, I don’t really. I don’t know how to do it here.” They’re going to sniff that out, you know, faster than anything.
Mike: Sure. Sure. Yeah.
Vince: If you say, “This is what we provide, folks.” And you draw it. And, you know, and maybe you have to practice it just like you practice certain closing techniques or objections. You’re going to practice it. I’m not saying you’re going to do it perfectly but that it becomes part of your repertoire. That becomes part of your toolbox that you can pull out when you want to really separate yourself from the others out there competing with you.
Mike: Yeah. It could be like, “Here’s the three easy ways we can help you today. One, two, three.” And you just write a key word there, right? Like, quick and easy, close on time. It’s just it’s the same things that we say, it’s just visually showing it, right, writing it out?
Vince: Yeah. And give me an example of like a goal that someone might have that your audience might be working with them, and I’ll draw up a quick doodle. Like, let’s see, are these other investors that they’re working with or is it . . . ?
Mike: No. Let’s just say it’s a distressed . . . a seller that’s inherited a house and they live across the country and they don’t want to have to fly across the country and manage vendors in a far off land or may not even have the money to do it. So they want the easy button a lot of times, right? Is just, “How do I make this easy?” Without feeling like they’re leaving money on the table. It’s like a balance between, you know, how much more do they have to put into it, how much they have to deal with it versus just making it go away?
Vince: Yeah, so here we’ve got first image.
Mike: For those of you that are listening, Vince has drawing some pictures here, so you might have to go to flipnerd.com and look up this video if you want to see the images. But go ahead, Vince.
Vince: So here’s the distressed house and the seller, and here’s the easy button below it. They hit that and they make the house go away.
Mike: Yeah. Vince is using stick figures and poof clouds that made a six-figure house go away. Yeah, that’s easy. That’s easy enough.
Vince: Yeah. Don’t you think anyone could do that?
Mike: Yeah, I think I could even do that.
Vince: Yeah.
Mike: And the truth is once you develop a couple of scenarios, you’re using these things over and over again when you’re talking to a seller.
Vince: Exactly.
Mike: It’s usually, “We’re going to make this easy for you and we’re going to do this fast, and we’re going to remove your problems.” And that’s usually pretty common, depending on how you say it. But for the most part, it’s the same general maybe graphic over and over again.
Vince: Sure. And you can even like when we were talking about storyselling and visual storyselling, you can even talk about someone that you helped, you know, get rid of their house in a month or whatever that is. But, you know, other success stories that you’ve had, you can build that in, “Well, you know, let’s look at what I did for Jane and Bobby. You know, they had a house, they had to get this thing sold because they were, you know?” I don’t know. But you can definitely pull that into a story that makes it even more powerful.
Mike: Yeah. Talk a little bit about, you know, one of the other things that we believe and we teach is just the consistency in your marketing, consistent message, right. And folks could use explainer videos that are kind of cartoon-based or graphical-based on their website. You could carry that forward into your direct mail, and you could carry that forward into the living room when you go meet with people, right? So just this consistency across the board of, you know, it’s really kind of branding, right? And so talk about the importance. I mean, obviously, we don’t talk too much about the importance of that, but talk about maybe some kind of ways that you could do this consistently across the board.
Vince: Sure. Yeah. So the biggest thing is automatizing your lead flows, so you can focus on other elements or just hanging out with your family to get those leads flowing into an email where you can pick and choose who you want to work with based on what they fill out. I mean, that’s the creme de la crème, right?
Mike: Yeah.
Vince: And so, you know, essentially, you can do that in many different ways. I don’t know what your audience does if they do more direct mail, but you can put cartoons that grab attention, jump off the stack of mail using cartoons. And you can, again, do funny, silly ones that really grab their attention and create personality in your marketing. You can do that in the video. I could show you a sample of that, and you can do that on your website. You can use it as lead traffic on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. And then here’s the magic bullet, the secret one, it’s a business card with a video on it, so you can go ahead and . . .
Mike: Oh, boy.
Vince: And now these are a little more costly, but it’s a DVD and a TV in a business card, you know?
Mike: That’s amazing.
Vince: So you want to talk about really creating the wow factor when you sit down with someone and say, “Hey, Jim, why don’t you take a look at this two-minute video? It’s something probably unique and different.”
Mike: Yeah.
Vince: Or you can send them out in direct mail. And, you know, if they give it back to you, they’ll get another bonus. You know, but you kind of recycle them. But yes, consistency, continuity across all marketing platforms, to drive them into your funnel, drive them into your website, get leads, start the conversation with that. And then once you have them, you know, then that’s a whole different series of kind of what we’re just talking about with using visuals.
Mike: Sure. Sure. For some of you that are visual and those of you that are listening, which is probably a lot of you, you know, I encourage you to go to his AdToons website and just check out some of . . . he has lots of examples there of what these things are like, and it’ll probably spur some ideas in your mind of like, how you might be able to utilize that in your business.
Vince: Yeah, we’ve got a YouTube channel as well. And you can see we’ve got it separated out in different playlist, it’s A-D-T-O-O-N-S. And essentially, you can see like real estate videos, investor, investing videos, and things of that nature. So you can check out all the different samples to get some ideas of how you might position yourself.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and we’ve talked about, you know, using this with sellers, but you could use it in everything you do, raising money from other private investors maybe, or networking with other investors. And, you know, there’s always we all know the guy that, like, every time you see him, he’s got a bow tie on. Like, there’s people that kind of, like, branded themselves almost as a caricature of a character of some sort, right. And so, you know, there’s probably plenty of . . . and, of course, we know some huge brands too that use cartoon characters or characters, or even real actors, right, to kind of brand themselves. And I think there’s some unique opportunities to do this with graphics and cartoon-type stuff that we’re talking about here.
Vince: Yeah. GEICO is the number one example of that silly little lizard that gets me laughing.
Mike: GEICO. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
Vince: In my market, I’m the godfather of cartoon marketing, and I’ll go onto these, you know, trade shows and they’ll say, “Hey, godfather.” And I’ll turn around and I’m like, “Oh, yeah, that’s me.”
Mike: Yeah.
Vince: So it is a fun way to . . . and that’s other services that we provide. You know, creating almost a moniker or, you know, just another character to you, because it’s going to stand out and grab attention.
Mike: Yeah, for sure, for sure. So, Vince, if folks want to learn more about your products and some of the stuff that you’re doing, where’s a good place for them to go?
Vince: Yep. If they go to www.adtoons, A-D-T-O-O-N-S.com, or they can shoot us an email at [email protected] to get more information. We’re on Instagram, we’re on Twitter, we’re on Facebook, YouTube, you know, we’ve got a small following there, too. We would love to share some of those, you know, samples and, you know, give them ideas to kind of help your audience, Mike, present themselves.
Mike: Yes. Yeah. We’ll add the links in the show notes down below here as well for those of you that weren’t able to write it down, so awesome.
Well, everybody that’s joined us today, thanks for joining us. If you have not subscribed to the show yet, we’re coming up on five and a half years. Actually, a little over five-and-a-half-years of doing this show. And it’s been a lot of fun. I’ll tell you what drives me and keeps me going forward with this is your feedback, your subscriptions to our channel on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, YouTube. And, of course, you can watch over 1,500 videos that we’ve created across different podcasts over the years on flipnerd.com, you can get access to everything there.
So, Vince, thanks so much for joining us on the show today.
Vince: Michael, thank you so much for having me, real pleasure to be with you today and be with your audience.
Mike: Absolutely. Awesome.
Hey, everybody, thanks for joining us again today. We’ll see on the next show.
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