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Automation Unplugged

Automation Unplugged is a Facebook Live show recorded weekly with our host Ron Callis, Owner and CEO of the digital marketing agency, One Firefly. In each Automation Unplugged episode, Ron speaks with leading industry personalities and technology professionals to discuss all things business development, technology trends, and more. These interviews are designed to help our clients and members of the custom integration industry keep up-to-date with the latest news as well as learn from experts in the field.

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Home Automation Podcast Episode #43: An Industry Q&A With Brian Jones

Making technology easy for everyone

Home Automation Podcast Episode #43: An Industry Q&A With Brian Jones

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Brian Jones. Recorded live on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. EST. 

About Brian Jones

Brian started working for a car stereo shop part-time after school in 1996. He worked as a lead installer and fabricator until 2000 and then started working at a company as an install apprentice.

After 9 years, Brian became a Field Supervisor, managing a team of 3 installers, and assisted the store’s general manager and his sales staff in system design and sales.

In 2009, Brian decided to go out on his own and never looked back, founding Alpha Dog AVS in 2016.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Brian:

  • Brian’s past experience on working in car audio and how it compares with home integration projects
  • How to make technology easy for anyone
  • Working with baby boomers vs millennials
  • Staying on top of changing technology

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #42: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Frank White

Transcript:


Ron:  Hello everybody. Ron Callis with another episode of Automation Unplugged. This is episode 43 brought to you by my day job over at One Firefly. It is a Wednesday. We're back into filming on Wednesdays, which is good. It's Wednesday, about 12:36 PM on May 9th. I hope this a live recording or if you're watching it up on Facebook or on our website and it's not live regardless. I hope you're doing well out there. I'm going to jump over to our Facebook page just to see if technology is actually cooperating and delivering this content out there to the interwebs. Our guest is going to be on here in just a moment and I was talking to him. His name is Brian Jones and I was talking about kind of sometimes the finger crossing I do and where we get all the software set up and we we are ready to go live and we hope that we stay live and we hope that our internet connection stays in place and we hope Facebook cooperates. And he said, you know, it's kinda like using an HDMI cable. Sometimes you plug it in and pray. I was like, man, I'm going to give that example. That's a perfect analogy. All right, well let's meet Brian. Let's just dig right in. We have Brian Jones. He is an integrator out of the Jacksonville market and he is the owner operator of Alpha Dog AVS. Brian, how are you sir?

Brian: I'm good. How are you doing Ron?

Ron:  I am good. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and, and joining me here and I'm glad the lawn care people that were just outside your window there have wrapped up their duties. I was afraid we were going to hear lawnmowers and weed whackers.

Brian: Thank goodness it's just a small yard they're in and out pretty quick.

Ron:  Pretty quick. Well have you have you done or been on Facebook live before maybe on your own website or for another show?

Brian: I have not. I've followed some of the episodes that you guys do and sometimes I don't get to see them live. I go back and watch them after they're recorded, but have not previously done anything like this before.

Ron:  All right, well I'm happy to be your first and to take you down this voyage. Speaking of the Automation Unplugged, I've been doing a bunch of travel the last heck the last maybe six weeks, but just the past couple of weeks you know, attended a couple of events. I guess it was post the last recording I did of Automation Unplugged. And so last Wednesday I was attending the tech and business summit in Fort Lauderdale and I was sitting in a class, you know, being a student like everyone else. And I had a gentleman walk up to me out of Miami, so maybe he's watching and and he wanted to shake my hand and tell me that he watches or listens to every episode of Automation Unplugged. He said he's usually doing it between the job sites. So I hope he's listening and not watching, by the way, just putting that out there. And so while he's driving between job sites and he had one request, he said, Ron, please bring on more integrators because I really get a lot out of those conversations. And Brian, you are a very successful integrator. You're newer in entrepreneurship and so I think there's some fun things to talk about, but that that just means we have at least one person that's watching the show. And two, you watch the show Brian.

Brian: That's right.

Ron:  That's right. So Brian for our audience we've got some people jumping in here by the way. Hello, please like this feed or share it if you're so inclined. That's the way others can see the content. And please post your questions for Brian as we go along here. Now that I've got the basics out of the way Brian, can you tell our audience a little bit about yourself and kind of what got you started into the CI space? And what's kept you here?

Brian: Well, originally I was a mogul installer, so I did car stereo and it was more of a hobby when I was growing up. First got my first car and decided to get a little part time job when I was in school after school and stuff and was gotten pretty good at it. And I actually went to a company one time to get a job in their mobile and they told me, Nope, we have plenty installers there, but we're looking for a person that can do home integration. And I politely told him, I said, it's the same stuff. It's just wires plugging up to something. And they kind of laughed and they gave me an apprentice job there and worked for Brad at almost 9 years or almost 10 years or so, and become a field supervisor with them and managed a couple of crews and worked with a couple of stores on their designs. And honestly, I realized I liked doing homes a lot better because they were easier to work in.

Ron:  Sure. All right, now you're saying a home was easier to work in than a car?

Brian: Absolutely.

Ron:  How is that? I would think a car is a smaller space so that you wouldn't have to crawl through a hot attic in a car.

Brian: Yeah. but it's exactly what you said. It's a smaller space. So you're usually crawling up under a dash or into an engine compartment trying to pull wires that maybe full of motor, maybe easy, a lot of fragile parts. Sometimes cars can be a lot older. And just made it a lot more difficult. And then as newer cars were coming out with more computers and stuff, you just couldn't take a radio out, put one in. You had to have special components and everything for that to work. Where on the home side of things pretty much every problem that anybody ever ran into, someone had already come up with a black box. You just put in the middle of it and 99% of the time it fixed the problem and made it work.

Ron:  Okay. So you did the apprenticeship gig and then worked your way up and was it a jump from that into starting your own business in 2016? Was it really just all that experience under your belt?

Brian: It kind of was, owning my own business was really never the plan. I was a technician. I kinda got thrown into it, always give my wife the credit of starting my own business. Cause after I had left that one company worked for a couple of other places and just didn't agree with the way that they did things. And my wife was like, well, either suck it up and shut up or do it your way and start your own. And I said, it can't be that hard. So here we are.

Ron:  Sometimes naivete is a beautiful thing. I go back to when I started my business in 2007, and I think my wife was in my ear in a similar way. She's like, shut up and stop complaining or go start your own thing. I'll support you either way, but let's just make progress.

Brian: Yup.

Ron:  That's pretty funny. Now, when you were deciding to launch your business I mean it's not that long ago, two years or so. If you don't mind, I'd like to just dig into that. You know, there's probably some people watching that maybe are newer in their entrepreneurial effort in at least in this industry and they are either thinking about starting their own business, their own integration firm or maybe they've recently started. Can you take us through some of the thought processes you went through, kind of how you went about it?

Brian: Well, I come from kind of the old school of doing things a little bit where you had to pull a lot of wire. I learned programming on a Phillips Pronto remote, so if anybody still remembers what those were, those were quite fun to set up and every house was different and we didn't have these wizard based machines like we do now where it's all kind of already pre done for you. So I was working for some other companies and as we kind of developed and grew, I was looking at wanting to basically kind of start a lower-end kind of entry level type company that would handle more homes per se. We were doing high end custom at a previous place and I wanted to be able to get out of that top 3% and be able to work with the other 90% of people out there. So I kind of developed Alpha to be a company that was gonna kind of go in and be alarm.comish, have some lower in options for home automation. And as we sort of doing it, it started growing and as it grew we developed and kind of become all things doing the high end and still having a really nice, cool packages and products that we can do for those entry-level homes as well.

Ron:  So what type of, what market are you in, just so the audience understands what part of the country geographically you're serving?

Brian: I'm in basically Jacksonville, St Augustine, Florida area. We focus pretty much in Jacksonville, St Augustine, Palm coast areas.

Ron:  Okay. So when you're doing an installation, what's a typical spectrum? Like what's a small project and what's a big project? What's that swing look like?

Brian: A small project could be, you know, a simple alarm install that we're going to integrate a couple of lights and maybe a door lock into that could be $400 or $500 and it could be as much as a full home integration where we're integrating all of that. Of course their audio, their televisions, doorbell systems all over a massive size house. And it could be as much as you know $100,000 to $200,000.

Ron:  Okay. And do you try to target one or the other or do you have, I'm going to say marketing and sales strategies to try to bring in the smaller projects? Which are probably a little bit quicker cashflow versus the bigger projects, which can be, you know, certainly fun and attractive in terms of dollars, but they also take a lot longer.

Brian: Yeah. We've kind of learned over the last few years of doing this that the smaller projects for us are, like you said, they're our cashflow. They're fun. We can get in and out. They're pretty simple. We don't have to have a lot of high level technicians that have to go through rigorous amounts of training and stay up on that training. And then we're able to take the custom projects that we want to do, analyze them and actually go, yeah, that's going to be a fun one for us to do and be able to allot the amount of time that it's going to need, to be able to put the people it's going to need on it and really plan that out. You can go broke really fast taking on a big project if you're not ready for it.

Ron:  Is there a chance you've had any of those stresses as Alpha or have you learned some of those lessons prior?

Brian: I really haven't had any of those lessons yet in Alpha. It's always fun, kind of doing things a second time so you know what you do and don't want to do. And so working at some of those previous places we were able to kind of, I was very focused and knew what I did. More importantly, I knew what I didn't want to do. And that's where you can really at believe if you know the things you don't want to do, don't want to be involved in, you go ahead and take them right off your plate and then it leaves the things that you need to focus on right there.

Ron:  Yeah. What are some of your I wanna talk about a number of topics in terms of business development side of things. What is the strategy that you go through in terms of trying to earn new business? Right? So do you, and I know in particular you have some builder relationships and that's a thing that you have cultivated. Do you mind expounding on that a little bit and or other avenues that you go use to secure business?

Brian: Well, of course builders are a necessary evil. Yeah. They, they can give you a lot of homes. The biggest thing with builders is make sure you're diversified and you're not putting too much, I guess, stock into that because they're always going to look for the cheapest person typically. So you need to make sure you can make money doing it that will keep new customers coming in and as long as you can keep those new ones coming in, that's more emails, that's more of this contact information and hopefully that's more marketing we can do on the digital side of things. That's saying, Hey, you know, we've got some specials this week mounting a TV. Well, if you get 10 people in a neighborhood that you can go Mount 10 TVs for that week, well that's, you know, that's easy. That's low hanging fruit as we call it. You don't need a very super skilled technician to be able to ride over there and do that. So you could do three or four in one house in a day that's even better on there. Then that gives you just the ability to kind of keep looking for or marketing for those people that want to do a second project. Maybe they're building their first custom home and the builder that they're using doesn't care, just says pick who you want to use and pay for it and then you're able to do those type of jobs. Or maybe they're just doing a big remodel or wanting a new TV. Those types of relationships help you get that new customer. That I guess it's the purchase of buying a client is kinda how we look at it. And we get paid to buy a client from the builder and then we can eventually earn more business from them. Then we also keep a big email list. Email marketing is probably one of the best things we do period is we constantly keep that content out there of what's new, what's latest, what's greatest, keep them looking at relevant information. And as we do that, we'll get calls pretty much every month from something we send out. Whether it's alarm, new speakers, new television technology, something. Someone's calling, wanting something to do from an email. And then typically if you just do a good job, you'll get your referrals from those customers as well.

Ron:  Got it. No, that makes sense. Now maybe unlike some, that's a very broad statement. You right out of the gate we're very focused on your branding and your image and you know, and I know that, and just full disclosure, you know, you're a good customer of One Firefly. But you really even though you were a young company, you knew that imagery, branding, online presence, it was very important to you on day one. And can you tell me why, where that came from and kind of why you have that perspective?

"A customer is going to look probably three to five times online for a recommendation. If they hear of a name, they're going to Google you, they're going to go check Facebook, they're going to ask friends."

Brian: Well, pretty much if you look on statistics of Google Analytics or whatever, a customer is going to look probably three to five times online for a recommendation. So if they hear of a name, they're going to Google you, they're going to go check Facebook, they're going to ask friends. If anybody has heard of this and the more relevant that you can look and be, get that name out there as much as possible where they're like, Oh yeah, I've heard of them from somewhere. It makes getting that trust with that customer one step easier. It's probably the hardest sale to make that a customer just happens to find someone online and then calls them out and they know nothing about you. If they've never heard of you, they don't know what you do. You haven't presented what you do to them clearly enough. That's always a tough sale.

Ron:  Got it. That makes sense. Now you also have an interesting perspective on the idea that the customer base for technology is changing and you know, you and I have talked offline about that. You know, you have the baby boomer generation that has been spending a lot of money on our industry for the last, I dunno, 20 years and you know, they're starting to die, they're starting to go away and it sounds terrible. Fortunately, God bless my parents are still alive. But the generation that's been feeding really the birth of residential CI in a big way, it's changing. It's changing into the, I guess they've skipped my generation, generation X and they've gone right into the millennials. So what's your opinion on that? And what are you doing about it if that's your take?

"The learning curve will, technology is very different, mainly because that millennial age group has grew up on it."

Brian: Well, what we're seeing is, is that generation, we call them the baby boomers, or so the 50 and up crowd. Most of them are not very good with technology. So you give them an iPhone and you say, Hey, go download these two or three apps. And the first thing they ask you is how do I do that? Where you give it to a 20 to 30-year-old buyer something and you tell them they need these apps and they've already got them loaded. They've already got their accounts created. So the learning curve will, technology is very different, mainly because that millennial age group has grew up on it. You know, I'm not very old. I'm only 38 but I can remember when I was in school and we got the very first computer lab and it was Mac, Apple machines and we played a floppy hard disc in it. And if you were to show you some of that to some of the people nowadays, I'd be like, what is this? How did that even work? I mean you use this, I don't know how you could even get anything done. So the training on stuff like that is very different. We're always trying to figure out with us is, well one, how are we going to appeal to both sides? We can be that company that can go out for that customer, walk them through every step of it, make sure that they understand it and then try to provide them ways of continuously learning for their system. Whether it's paperwork, documentation, which most times it is because that's what they prefer. Sometimes it can be videos that we are recording or posting online, a forum or even maybe custom videos that we might even record something right there in their house for them. That's just for them and getting it on their phone for them so that they can always go back to that and watch it. The newer generation, if you've got a good YouTube channel and can present what you do very well, they're going to pick it up a lot easier and you're going to have a lot less questions. Sometimes in houses on those types of buyers, we don't even have to do a tutorial. They're not even home to do it with, for one. And then when they get there, they may ask a question or two over text or email and then you ask them, do they need anything, any more help? And they're like, Nope, we got it. Awesome. Very simple. Love it. And then they move on from it and hopefully they recommend us to all their friends and family.

"There's the do it yourself marketplace you know, you can buy almost anything these days on Amazon or Amazon Prime and then you have the do it for me crowd the idea that they're doing their research and they're maybe even buying it, but they want someone that will come in and just deploy it."

Ron:  Are you finding, you know, there's the do it yourself marketplace you know, you can buy almost anything these days on Amazon or Amazon Prime and then you have the do it for me crowd the idea that they're doing their research and they're maybe even buying it, but they want someone that will come in and just deploy it. Are you seeing that in the millennial crowd in your market and if so, what are you doing about it?

Brian: Well, you're always going to see a little of both of that. And I always refer to it as how my time, how much time do I have? You know, I can very well cut my own grass, but I don't want to. So I hire that out. Even the millennial crowd, the successful people that are out there, they're extremely busy. Can they do a lot of this stuff themselves? Probably so. But do they have the time or do they want to a lot of people don't. The older crowd, they just don't know how they want it. They may have the time, they don't have the comprehension of doing it or don't want to do it or don't want to know how to do it. The younger ones, it's really how much time do they have? We see a lot of people both ways where they may buy a few products off of Amazon, and you know, gonna hook them up themselves and then they come in and they sit on the counter for three weeks, a month or two, and then we get the call from the wife, Hey, can you come over here and get this hooked up? He keeps saying he's going to do it. He hasn't had time to do it yet. And so that's a lot of what we see with things.

Ron:  Got it. By the way, if you're out there in Facebook land please post a comment. Let us know you're there. Share this and by the way, Sean Starmer says hello Brian. Hey, how you doing Sean?

Brian: I know him as Kelly. That's how far we go back.

Ron:  Oh, you know him as Kelly. Well, we're just calling him out now, aren't we? I hope your day is going well sir. That's pretty funny now. Well, I appreciate you, you giving us your kind of take on the millennial scene. Brian, I want to switch gears here, just a hair and specifically I know that you have partnered with a builder and you've designed some rather creative solutions for a special needs customer and I'd love to hear more about that. And more specifically, I'd love the audience to hear more about what you did and kind of your view on that even being maybe a business opportunity.

Brian: Gotcha. Well, this particular builder here that we've been talking with, he builds a unique or remodels a unique style of homes. So he has special needs, whether it's wheelchair, handicap, accessible type floor plans, I guess is what you'd call it. And I was talking with him one day and you know, five years ago, automation was still pretty expensive and still can be. But with all the new types of tinker toys or gadgets that are out there, I told him, I said, there's no reason we shouldn't be doing something now. And he kind of agreed. So we've developed some packages with him and you know, to be able to sit there from someone's phone controlled their lights or thermostat. I mean you've got products like Nest and Ring and Doorbird. Those are all very easy DIY type products that can be stuck in a house to make someone that can't very easily get up or go to the door or can't get up and adjust the air very easy or turn off lights and really give them something where, I mean even with Alexa, you know, to tell them to turn a scene off or something. So there's different ways of being creative like that I believe that can really help folks.

Ron:  Now, how do you get out and get the word out to the people that would, I'm just being specifically maybe the handicapped, maybe the elderly where, you know, I'm remembering, I did an interview not too long ago with Dave Podengo or Pedago of CEDIA and he was talking about how he had brought a, I think it was an Amazon Dot and a one of the controllable dim light bulbs and how he had given that, brought that home and his dad started using it and now his dad wouldn't let him take it back. Although it was a short term demo from a vendor and right. So he could lay in bed and turn the lights on or off with his voice. I mean, what a neat concept, but yet I'm not sure that the general public knows that it can be that simple. So what do you think about that?

Brian: Well, those all are really cool products that you can do. The biggest thing that you want to make sure of or that we try to make sure of is that in some cases, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. And we've learned that over the years as well with programming. Just cause I can give you a button that does all these crazy things doesn't mean we should because a lot of times I can get someone in trouble. Voice is going to be the next big, is the next big thing. Keeping it simple commands where you can do things and you don't have to hit a button, touch anything, get up and walk anywhere. And these with the Dots and the Google, little small pucks and stuff that they have, you know, $30 and $40 a piece. They're just great microphones. You put them in everywhere and now you can talk to them. And then, not only that, they integrate with so many other devices. You can just, it's endless almost of what you can do with it.

Ron:  Are you scared or concerned about the changes that are happening in the technology sphere? You know, as fast as technology is advancing, do you embrace that or are you, and maybe scared, I don't know that you want to admit publicly on Facebook with a couple thousand people that you're scared. But how do you think about that and what do you do about it?

Brian: Well, I say everybody should be scared a little bit. And the reason for that is because if you're not steady trying to learn and adapt and evolve, you will be phased out for quite some time. We always had people that would come in, apply and they were like, I can pull wire anywhere and work. And those were the guys you would hire in a heartbeat. I can get a wire anywhere, I can fish walls this. And then in the last three or four years, people would come in like I could pull wire and am I okay? And it wasn't important anymore because of all the different wireless devices and technologies that were out then. And it's even getting bigger and more. So those type of things, if you don't evolve, and it was kind of one of my interview questions is always can you type? Oh yeah. Can you use all 10 fingers? Not so much. You know, which tells me immediately they're probably not very good with a computer. You know, it's just, usually if you're fluid you can type with all fingers and might be able to type fast. But you can type.

Ron:  Brian, I'm going to challenge that. I'm a six finger typer. I was just talking to my team about this. I mean, I got two fingers and a thumb on each hand, but I don't know that I could keep up with your general office manager, but I can type out a few words, but you don't want me programming anything. So it's really a moot point.

Brian: Yeah. So those are to be scared of where technology is going. If there's always things to be maybe an excited scared, like you don't really know what it's going to do or go. I think that's probably the biggest thing. I've always been someone to embrace it. Sometimes I do it a little too soon as products come out that aren't quite ready and you get them out there and then they're all of a sudden next year there's version two that's got all these problems fixed and we're like, great, we should've waited, saved our stuff a headache or two. But, you know, I hope that answers that question for it.

Ron:  No, it absolutely does. And believe it or not, we've been chatting for almost 30 minutes now and for our audience out there, thank you for watching. I'm looking this way when I'm doing things. My Facebook feed is over here on my left. Thank you out there for watching, but I do wanna ask you one more question and you and I recently got to hang out in, I want to say Nashville, we were at the Pro Source event. I got to see you and your lovely wife boogie down on the dance floor at the One Firefly party, which is pretty cool. But you are a member of a buying group and and that buying group is Pro Source. Can you kinda talk through the decision making process cause there's a bunch of groups out there and I have an opinion that there are some real strong benefits of being a part of a group. Irregardless of what group that is. But your business is only two years old and you've already, you know, A) reached revenue levels to join and B) made the financial decision to participate. Can you talk through that, how you went down that decision making process?

Brian: It's really not a hard decision to make. You know, all of them are going to have their dues and fees that you have to pay to be a part of. Take that, just push it aside. It's not important. What's important is you need to look at the vendors you're using, the other partners that are in it and decide which of those can you work with or are working with already and then look into what they're bringing in new to the group. So for me it's always been pretty easy because of the manufacturers that I've used that are all part of that group. So I get discounts and stuff with them, which helps usually offset the money that you pay on your dues. But the other things that you have access to that can actually make your company seem even bigger in a customer's eyes. You know, having 12 month, no interest financing, having certain benefit programs that you might be able to set up for your employees. There's all, there's just all sorts of things in there. So if you look at that and try to utilize every membership or every partnership that you have available in that, it usually works out pretty well in your favor.

Ron:  Got it. Well that sounds like sage advice. Well, Brian, what do you do for fun man? When you're not busy saving the world from bad audio or bad TVs? What do you do you and your wife do for fun?

Brian: You know, we love to go out and listen to live music everywhere. There's a lot of good places to eat and go visit around here in Jacksonville, St Augustine area. So that's always pretty easy to do. Of course. Football season, big time, Florida Gator football person, go Jags. So you got plenty of that to do in the Fall. Okay. Couple of great beaches and rivers around here to fish and do things in. So I'm up for about anything usually ask her what we're doing for the weekend.

Ron:  Are you a salt water fishermen or a freshwater fishermen?

Brian: A little of both. My dad has an offshore boat over in the Gulf, so actually here, the middle of next month the, I think fishing season and over there starts around the 11th of June. So we'll go over there for a week or two and go fishing and go try to catch up a bunch of fish.

Ron:  So I'm going to take my, there's a fishing pier in Fort Lauderdale called the Dania Beach Pier. And I'm taking my son Friday night with one of his school buddies. So what should we what should we use as bait and what are we going to catch?

Brian: Look for honestly, it would be hard to say, I don't know what you usually catch right in there.

Ron:  Well I normally don't fish. So I'm going in completely blind.

Brian: Probably just, you know, some cut-up squid or something. Maybe some cut-up cigar minnows. Best thing to do is ask for someone fishing around there and kind of find out what they're biting, what's biting and mimic them. Okay.

Ron:  No, that's great advice. Why reinvent the wheel? Go to the people that know.

Brian: Yup.

Ron:  Awesome. Well Brian how can those that are watching and listening follow you or learn more about your business and, or even get in touch with you? What would be the best avenues?

Brian: You can always go to our website, chat with one of us there. You can go to our Facebook page, you can message me. I've always been very fortunate that I've had a lot of good friends, met a lot of good friends that either train me, that I've worked with, that I've met at some kind of class that I've always stayed in touch with and there's nothing better when you have an idea or question about something to be able to pick up the phone and call one of them or send them an email and get feedback. And sometimes it might not be the opinion you want to hear, but at least you getting some opinions of things. I'm on there. So I've been very fortunate to have a lot of people that I can reach out to when I have questions or didn't have the answer I thought I needed for something and have some guidance. As far as me, I'm always available to help anybody in the industry with questions. If it's something I know, cause you never know when I may need a helping hand from somebody else. So I had a friend tell me it's better to make a friend than a sale.

Ron:  Good advice, I have included your website URL in the comments here under this video. So it's Alpha Dog AVS. I also want to add that on Facebook. So we're on live Facebook here. So if you want to check out Brian's business on Facebook, you go to facebook.com/alphadogAVS. So pretty straight forward there. And you're gonna see, and I'm gonna call you out, Brian. You're gonna see Brian being adventuresome and doing some live videos and posting them to his social platform. And this was a technique that Brian and I had been chatting about the past few weeks in order to try to better share his knowledge and wisdom with his customers and friends that follow his business. And it's a pretty solid technique to get your word out. I mean, I'll give you an example on May 4th. That's a couple of days ago, Brian posted a video. I don't even see any money or promotion behind it and you've had 177 people watch that video and four shares of that video. So that's.. Do you mind even closing Brian on kind of you're venturing out the uncharted territory here. Why you're doing that and how that's gone for you so far?

Brian: Well, it's pretty new right now, so I can't even really say how, how it's going so far. It's a little fun trying to get it up there. As soon as I get a video, it's always funny how many people were sitting there on their phones. That like it no more than you kind of put it up there. So but it's getting more message out there. Maybe in simpler forms. We are just trying to pick out some neat topics how to use or what they'd be looking for or industry terms that we'd sling around. Like nothing that everybody kinda has that glazed up look in their eyes when you tell it to them. And maybe just try to simplify it, get it to where somebody can see it. And hopefully if somebody is out researching me and my company and they find a couple of these videos and they say, man, this guy, he's on top of things. Or that's really interesting. Or, you know, I'd like to know a little more about what we're talking about here. Maybe they'll reach out and, you know, pick us to be that partnership person.

"Anybody watching this content knows that to go and start filming yourself and talking into the phone or camera, you can sometimes feel a bit silly and you gotta just have the faith that there's going to be someone on the receiving end and that it's the right thing to do."

Ron:  Awesome. Well, you get an a for effort and being innovative. I commend you. That is not easy. Anybody watching this content knows that to go and start filming yourself and talking into the phone or camera, you can sometimes feel a bit silly and you gotta just have the faith that there's going to be someone on the receiving end and that it's the right thing to do. So I'll just close on that. Good job, Brian, for going down that path. All right. Brian, thank you for joining me and my audience. It was a pleasure having you on Automation Unplugged.

Brian: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

Ron:  Awesome. So ladies and gentlemen, thank you. That's been episode number 43 of Automation Unplugged. That was Brian Jones of Alpha Dog AVS. That's audio video security out of Jacksonville. I am sorry that I was not with you last week and I got tied up in the tech and business summit, but I'm here today, but I think I am going to go live next week. I'll be out in Vegas for the Bravas meetings. Bravas is the the group run by Steve First and Paul Starkey. I've had Paul on my show a couple of times and they're doing some pretty exciting things and they've gained quite a bit of momentum with their dealer roll-up, reverse merger deal and they're excited. We do the marketing for that group and you know, prospects are looking very good. So I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do an Automation Unplugged. It's just, I'm not sure the logistics are gonna work out, but how about this? I'll make a commitment. I'll go live and so I'll go live from the Palms in Vegas and I'll try to have some folks on. So on that note I'm going to sign off. Make it a great day, make it a great week. And if you need anything from me or my team, of course, never hesitate to reach out. So I will see you folks soon.

Show Notes

In 2009, Brian decided to follow his wife's advice and go out on his own, founding Alpha Dog AVS in 2016. Brian's background in the industry started at a car stereo shop part time after school in 1996. He worked as a lead installer and fabricator until 2000, and then started working at a company as an install apprentice. After 9 years, he became a Field Supervisor, managing a team of 3 installers and assisted the store’s general manager and his sales staff in system design and sales.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly became the leading marketing firm specializing in the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

Resources and Links from the Interview:

You can also learn more about Alpha Dog AVS at https://alphadogavs.com/. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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