Whether you’re a big science fiction fan or not, Internet advertisers can pick up some great online marketing tips from the blockbuster trilogy of Matrix movies.
The stories behind this trilogy, how it was made and the people who made it can actually teach us a lot about online marketing and how to run better businesses.
Don’t believe me? The Matrix movies grossed more than $1.6 billion dollars in box office revenue alone! So, it’s safe to say that the people behind these hits know a thing or two about success.
Here’s our favorite online marketing tips you can pull from the Matrix:
Get a Percentage
Even though Keanu Reeves, the star of the Matrix trilogy, was a solid leading man in Hollywood, he couldn’t quite command top dollar like stars such as Brad Pitt or George Clooney. He actually wasn’t even the first choice for the role of Neo.
When the producers offered him the movie they had a limited budget (more on that later) and could only offer him $10 million. Keanu liked the movie and thought it would do well, so he negotiated a 10 percent cut of the box office sales on top of the $10 million. When it came time for the sequels he got even more: $15 million and 15 percent of the box office sales for both.
All in all, the actor who was most famous for playing surfers and brain-dead teenagers banked a reported $260 million. Yup, this guy made over a quarter of a billion dollars:
Online Marketing Tip: When you see potential in something, don’t be afraid to make less money up front if you get a portion of the revenue generated down the road. This could be using your online marketing skills to help a startup get going, partnering with a salesman or other professional or even affiliate marketing in general.
But always get it in writing (contracts, affiliate network agreements, and so on). People have a bad habit of questioning your worth and how much money they are paying you when the cash starts rolling in.
When You Believe In a Project, Go All In
The creators and producers of the Matrix Trilogy are the Wachowskis, Andy and Larry (now Lana), and they believed so much in their vision they were willing to risk everything.
When they approached Warner Brothers about making the first film for $80 million, the studio wasn’t ready to bet that much money on relatively untested movie makers. Instead, they gave them $10 million.
They knew they could not make the science fiction masterpiece they envisioned with only $10 million. Instead, they took that money and spent it all on the first 10 minutes of the film!
The finished product is arguably one of the most intriguing and visually stunning open sequences in film history and used technology that was groundbreaking for the time. The Wachowskis showed the studio execs what they had done and they were so blown away, they gave them the rest of their requested budget.
Online Marketing Tip: When you believe in a project, do whatever it takes to make it work.
Don’t let people sway you from what you know you can achieve. Building websites, running PPC campaigns and using social media to make money all sound like black magic to some people. They don’t understand it, so it’s easier to be negative about it. Don’t listen to these people!
Likewise, don’t let yourself sabotage a project by not funding it properly. Paying for the right tools or training might seem like a hefty up front investment but will pay off down the road if you are ready to give it your all.
Pay Your Team Well
The Matrix movies wouldn’t have been the mega hits they were without an army of special effects wizards pushing the bounds of what was possible. Nor would it have had the same iconic look without some of the best costume designers out there.
Keanu recognized this and doled out bonuses to the crew members on the special effects and costume teams to the tune of $75 million. That was enough to make each one of them an instant millionaire!
Online Marketing Tip: When you have a team of people who support your online business, pay them well and reward them for hard work.
If you use outsourcers or freelancers to help you create your Internet marketing campaigns, make sure you are taking care of them. Even if they are from another country where lower wages are standard, pay them what they deserve.
Not only will you continue to have loyal workers who are happy, but you’ll continue to get the best work from them.
Take the Red Pill
Keanu’s character is given the choice of breaking free from the computer generated dream world that is holding him back and all he has to do is choose the red pill, rather than the blue one that will send him back into a state of blissful ignorance.
Well, you’ve been given the same choice, friends. Watch or (hopefully) rewatch these movies and think about what it took to create these elaborate films. Think about the risks the producers took and imagine what it must have taken to hold onto their vision.
Remember that the next time you start to doubt yourself and free yourself from your own online marketing Matrix.