High Roller, Storyteller – interview with Brian Gidda (18 November 2008)

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Introduction

Brian wrote to me some time ago saying that he had been a subscriber to the newsletter for a while. I ‘hopped’ over to his site and was pleasantly surprised by what I read. I decided to ask him if he cared to be interviewed and he agreed. Therefore, without further ado, I have great pleasure in introducing you to Brian Gidda …


Aneeta: Brian, thank you for writing to me a few days ago and telling me about your work.

Brian: My pleasure, Aneeta. I enjoyed visiting your site recently, and wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the content there.

Aneeta: Let’s start with a little about you. Please tell me where you were born and brought up. What was your childhood and youth like? What do you do for a living and where do you live now?

Brian: Well… I have travelled a little.  I was born in a little town on Vancouver Island, Canada called Port Alberni. From there, I lived in several towns in British Columbia, Canada during my childhood and youth.  We moved quite often during that period so I never really settled into any kind of a “lifestyle habit” I guess you could say.

Following that period, I ended up settling in California during early adulthood.  That was followed by a period of teaching in Reno, Nevada and yet another relocation to Washington State. These days I operate my own small businesses, centring on advertising, offering high end consumer products to the public, and also providing businesses with revenue increasing services.

The constant moving about from place to place did seem discomforting at times, but in the long run I’m grateful as it’s allowed me to experience the richness of a variety of life styles and living conditions.

Aneeta: I know that you have a website: High Roller Toys – Gifts for Men and Women (http://www.highrollertoys.com/index.php). Please explain a little about your business. What does it involve?

Brian:  Yes, High Roller Toys is a favourite site of mine – it offers high end consumer products to what you might call “affluent” clients.  The products are carefully selected – you likely won’t find them at your local department store, or even most popular online stores.

For example, you can purchase a good quality digital camera and your local department or online store.  Many are waterproof – but are they waterproof at 70 feet?   With this camera you can take it under the sea… to take photos to a depth of 75 feet.  It has a host of other features as well.  They’re listed here:

http://www.highrollertoys.com/best-underwater-digital-camera-plus-dv3-p-38.html

Aneeta: Of all the products you feature, please pick three of your favourites and tell me why they are so?

Brian:  Three favourites?  Hmmm… I like them all, but two more favourites are the marine end tables we offer:

http://www.highrollertoys.com/unique-end-tables-marine-accent-p-33.html.

And I also like the Epson “Memory Maker”.  It allows you to store all of your personal documents, photos,  music, videos, multimedia and any other digital data.  The product has such a high end storage capacity that an enterprising individual could use this product to offer a document storage service to local businesses and corporations if wished.  It’s here:

http://www.highrollertoys.com/memory-maker-dvd-duplicator-epson-p-46.html

Aneeta: Brian, I know you told me that you use storytelling as a method for explaining some of the items you have on sale. Can you please share with us one of these stories?

Brian:  Yes, one is mentioned above – the end tables.  For that copy, the end tables are interwoven into a story relating to viewer’s desire to be known as a person who is admired in their community.  We all wish to be admired in our community right?

So this story of the end tables plays to that desire in us.  Another story, for the “jade monkey” product, plays to our desire for serenity, peace of mind and tranquillity.  That story is here: http://www.highrollertoys.com/stunning-red-jade-thinker-statues-p-30.html

Aneeta: What effect has telling a story had on your sales?

Brian: Story telling has had a positive effect on sales.  It is difficult to “marry” story telling with creating copy – but when done well, it unwittingly and seemingly without effort creates the one effect in the reader that all copywriters strive for in their copy.

And what is that?  TRUST.  That is so powerful.  When a reader trusts you, they are open to buying.  So story telling can be an ultra effective way of creating sales.

In fact, your readers may not know this, but one of the greatest pieces of copy ever written was a story!  One estimate is that it brought in $1 Billion in revenue for its company.  The story was the famous “Two Young Men” copy written in the early 1970’s for the Wall Street Journal.

If you’d like a copy of it, the best way to find it is just to Google it.  If you’re still stuck, send me an email at cs@highrollertoys.com and I’ll send you a copy.

Aneeta: So, Brian, besides the consumer products that you offer, what else do you do?

Brian: The consumer products site is a b to c (business to customer) business. I also operate a b to b (business to business) business. The business to business offering is two-fold. First, we offer a revenue increase service to businesses. Through our proprietary system we evaluate inputs (costs) and outputs (revenue) of the business to eliminate unnecessary costs of doing business as well as identify optimal marketing processes for it’s business products and services so that additional revenue can be generated.

The second way we help businesses is to purchase their unwanted inventory and assets. In this troubling economic climate, many businesses are in dire need of cash so that they can continue business operations. Essentially they gain a welcome cash infusion – as well as eliminate unneeded inventory/assets and their associated costs (warehouse costs, depreciation, etc).

Aneeta: What types of businesses are the best candidates for these services?

Brian: We deal with all types of businesses, although we specialize in electronics type businesses.

Your readers may wish to know that we offer a lucrative affiliate commission program for those who refer businesses to us. The commission is $2000 for each business that signs on for the revenue increase program. For the inventory program the commission will generally also be at least $2000 (except for small inventories where a percentage commission is paid out.)

Aneeta: How do affiliates find businesses who may wish to sign up for these services?

Brian: Each affiliate is free to use their own resources – they may wish to advertise, use ppc, set up websites, etc. to attract suitable businesses.

We also maintain a database of several thousand businesses – complete with contact info – which are prime candidates for these services. We can provide this information to those who wish to pursue this opportunity, and are proficient at contacting businesses (getting by gatekeepers to decision makers, gaining commitments, etc).

Aneeta: How can those who are interested learn more about this opportunity?

Brian: It’s a wonderful opportunity for those who are skilled in this area – just a couple of business signups per month equates to $4000 in commissions – a nice monthly side income!

Feel free to contact me at cs@HighRollerToys.com with any questions and to sign up.

Aneeta: As you know, this website caters for storytellers. What advice would you give people who are interested in telling stories?

Brian:  The best advice I can offer your readers is to make good friends with your website, http://www.howtotellagreatstory.com.

It contains a wealth of information on how to properly structure stories.  And then, ply your trade – practice makes perfect.

The only other thing I can add is that good stories usually have an underlying theme (eg. local boy makes good, homely guy gets beautiful girl, etc) – one way to search out themes, is to simply thumb through Grimm’s fairy tales or some other similar book.  Dozens of heartwarming themes can be found by perusing these childhood favorites.

Aneeta: Brian, thank you. This is all I have to ask. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Brian:  Yes… if I can be of help to your readers in any way, I’m happy to help – you can contact me at the email address above.

Aneeta: Brian, thank you.

Brian:  Thank you, Aneeta.  And again, thank you for your site – it’s a wonderful resource for story tellers.


This piece may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact editor @ howtotellagreatstory.com for reprint rights.

Click here to return to the index of interviews on ‘Blow Your Own Trumpet!’


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