Success Stories

Relationship Marketing With Kody B: Josh Rossi

Marketing strategy is a big deal when it comes to business. But when people hear the words ‘Relationship Marketing” they want to know exactly what “Relationship Marketing” is.

Generally, the curiosity is because of the word “Marketing.” Reason being, marketing is a way to generate more ‘business’, and ‘money’ which is the goal of any company.

Relationship marketing is a great format, and it’s essential to have a building relationships inside your marketing strategy in today’s day and age. Besides, building business relations with kindness has never gone out of style. Most importantly most salespeople don’t think about the heart of their business, they focus on the numbers, closing the sale.

Josh Rossi is a perfect example of this. He owns and runs an online photography school, and he has worked on many charitable projects such as;

  1. Justice League for Kids that went viral @ 240 million views
  2. Avengers of Bullying @ 1 million views

Josh has an impressive resume and has made such a huge difference in the lives of kids around the world. And man, it just gets to your heart when you hear these stories…

Watch the latest Relationship Marketing With Kody B and Josh Rossi!

Kody Bateman: Hello, everybody! This is Kody Bateman. Welcome to a new edition of our Relationship Marketing Podcast. Very, very excited as always, very excited for the guest we have on today.

And before we get into that, I just want to reach out and say thank you to so many people for all the wonderful things that you’re doing out there to make the world a better place. I mean that’s really the format of this podcast is to talk about how to be nice to each other in your personal life and in your business. And it’s interesting because a lot of people joined this podcast because it says relationship marketing and people want to know what relationship marketing is. And that word “marketing” is really important to people because marketing when you see that word, you’re thinking, “Well, that’s a way for me to generate more business.”

 

And so, we leverage what you want from us which is how to be a better marketer. And relationship marketing is a new buzz word and it’s a great buzz word and it’s a great format in today’s day and age. In fact, it’s essential in today’s day and age to have a relationship marketing plan. And if you don’t have a relationship marketing plan in today’s day and age, you’re kind of – not kind of, you’re going to get left behind.

 

So relationship marketing is a big deal. That’s what you want from us. But what you need from us is the relationship side of it, talking about the importance of genuine, heartfelt relationships with other human beings without an attachment to marketing. And so in our podcast, many of our podcast shows, that becomes kind of a theme of our discussion and I’m sure it will become one today as well especially with this guest.

 

All right. Goodness. I mean you better have your seatbelts on today for this guy. He’s just incredible.

 

So Josh Rossi is based out of Puerto Rico. Josh, welcome to our show today.

 

Josh Rossi: Thanks for having me. It’s exciting. Glad to be here.

 

Kody Bateman: Well, it’s really exciting to have you on here and a lot of people, I’m going to do a little bio here so people understand who you are and some of the cool work that you’ve been doing. You’re a young guy too, man. I mean you’re super young. I mean when I go through this list of accomplishments like what, did you start when you were five years old, dude or what? How old are you? How old are you?

 

Josh Rossi: I’m 34.

 

Kody Bateman: Thirty-four years old. We’re going to learn some incredible things from this guy today. Let me just kind of read through some of this stuff because I don’t want to miss any of this. I mean there are some real important stuff, a lot of which we’re going to talk quite a bit about today.

 

Josh, his passion is creating relationships with people that are bigger than he is through those relationships. That is what has allowed his work to go viral. Now, this is a viral guy. I mean a lot of stuff that he has done has just kind of exploded out there because there’s so much value in Josh’s content.

 

Josh owns and runs an online photography school and he has worked on many charitable projects. And the big projects that we’re so proud of because we’ve been involved with, is the Justice League for Kids and the Avengers of Bullying. My grandson, Benson, was actually featured in the Avengers of Bullying, so we were kind of part of that whole thing. We’re going to get a chance to talk about that today because Josh, you’re making such a huge difference in the lives of kids around the world. And man, it just gets to your heart when you hear these stories.

 

But before we do that, I want to just kind of go through the resume a little bit here. Your work has been seen on Forbes, Good Morning America, People Magazine, Billboard, Teen Vogue, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Inside Edition, The Weather Channel, USA Today, Business Insider, the list goes on and on. I mean I could go here all day long.

 

Client list includes Adobe, Acura, LG, Nickelodeon, DC Comics, Champion USA, Xerox, Wacom, Mountain Dew, my goodness, it’s longer and longer. We’ll spend the whole show talking about all of your client base and where you’ve been seen. I mean I’ve actually seen you on a lot of these morning shows and stuff like that. What’s it like to go on like Good Morning America? I mean what is it like? Like the first time you did that, what was that like?

 

Josh Rossi: I mean – well, here’s the thing. I run a podcast for a couple of years. I was doing content for a few years. So thank goodness I had experience talking on camera because yeah, I mean you’re on – it’s crazy because like People Magazine, they are talking about Michael Strahan and Mario Lopez then all of a sudden, they jumped to you. I’m like just random dude in an apartment, not famous at all. I’m like, “Hey, guys!”

 

So I mean I guess I had some experience talking on camera which made it easier but I can tell you, I went – the most nerve-wrecking one even from my friends watching was I – so I’m Italian, born in Italy, but I’m like half and half, half American, half Italian, and so I got invited to Italy to speak on the biggest like TV show that they have over there. And so obviously, I had to speak in Italian. I know how to speak Italian but speaking Italian to a live audience with cameras all around, that was nerve-wrecking. That was crazy, sweaty hands. Before I went on, I was like I just got to – my mindset was you either do it or you don’t do it and you just fail in front of everybody. So I was like, OK, the only option is to just to do it. So I put aside my nerves. Anyway, that was an intense one.

 

Kody Bateman: Wow! So you spoke in Italian?

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah, it was in Italian and the guy was speaking a hundred miles an hour. I was just in my head praying that I’d get the main gist of the whole thing. But yeah, it was fine.

 

Kody Bateman: OK. So you got to give us a line in Italian. Just talk to us in Italian for a second.

 

Josh Rossi: [0:06:06] [Italian Language]. There you go.

 

Kody Bateman: Awesome. So what did you just say for all of our English-speaking people here? What did you just say?

 

Josh Rossi: I just said – I just told you basically what I said in English that I went to Italy. I got interviewed and the guy was speaking super quick and it was – it made me nervous. So I didn’t know – I mean I spoke well but it was a little bit scary.

 

Kody Bateman: [Laughs] So now that we got the interest of all of our lady listeners, ladies like that Italian …

 

Josh Rossi: Romantic fling …

 

Kody Bateman: … romantic – yeah, exactly. It’s very cool. Well, let’s talk a little bit – first of all, your main passion is photography. I mean that’s really your gig, right? I mean tell us a little bit about what you do.

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah, totally. So I grew up – growing up in Florence, Italy, my dad sort of put this idea on me that I was an artist. I came from the place of the Renaissance. And so, I began with art, got into film and then got into photography. And I just – I really just tried to master photography. That was the thing I really love. And so for – that was about 10, 11 years ago that I started.

 

And since then, I’ve just – I basically just hone my craft more and more and more. And the thing that I keep hearing is that if you want to be successful, you got to just focus on one thing you’re good at. Be the best at that one thing. And so, I’ve just stuck with photography but everything I’ve done has been based around photography. So I haven’t really gone any different direction but like I started a software for photographers. I have an online school for photographers. I also do photography. My projects are all photography-related.

 

Kody Bateman: Well, you’ve done some unique projects and I want to jump right into those. I think as I watch your career, there are millions of great photographers out there. They know how to do the cameras and the lightings and all the stuff and make it look really cool. What I think is unique about you at least from my perspective, what’s unique about you is you see opportunity – you really see unique opportunity to photograph. And we’re going to talk some of those.

 

And you’re highly creative in what you’re shooting. It’s not how you shoot it. You’re good at shooting but it’s what you’re shooting and you’re seeing opportunity to create highly unique stories from your photography. And that’s what I love about what you’re doing. And I want to jump into one of those examples because correct me if I’m wrong but a lot of the invitations on to these big shows ties to your project of the Justice League for Kids and the Avengers of Bullying. Is that correct? I mean that’s – those are the ones I’ve seen that they invite you on to talk about it.

 

So tell us a little bit about the Justice League for Kids. And I’d like to know, our listeners I think, they need to hear your whole story of how it all started and what it turned into.

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah. So it was really interesting. It started by me initially trying to kind of get my work out there for people to see. And I tried different projects, some stuff kind of worked. But I remember talking to a friend and I was just saying, “Man, why …” I saw this other photographer photographing his kids and I was like, “Why is this guy so big? Why is his work out there and people love it?”

 

And my friend is just like, “Well, people can relate to that. People might not be able to relate to your stuff but if you shot kids, maybe they would relate to it.” And that’s where I got the idea. I was like, “OK, let’s photograph my daughter as Wonder Woman.” And there was more to that which it’s just a longer story where I wanted to empower her and whatnot.

 

So anyway, I had a …

 

Kody Bateman: OK. So your daughter’s name is Nelly, right?

 

Josh Rossi: Nelly, yeah.

 

Kody Bateman: So I want to make sure that our listeners kind of capture this. You wanted to empower your daughter by photographing her as Wonder Woman. Now, so does she – was she a big Wonder Woman fan or what? How?

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah. Well, I mean initially – so I’ve done photo shoots of her every year for her birthday and they were all based around something like Red Riding Hood or Mulan. And this year, we started getting into Wonder Woman. We just really – I don’t know. It was the first time I’d seen Wonder Woman be so powerful out of all the superheroes. She was not sexualized like all the other superheroes, women superheroes were. And she was super powerful and I sat, man! I’d love for Nelly, my daughter, to be this person.

 

And so I said, “For this year, let’s just make her Wonder Woman.” So I had a …

 

Kody Bateman: How old was she when you did that, the first time you did her as Wonder Woman?

 

Josh Rossi: She was three.

 

Kody Bateman: OK. Cool. Cool.

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah. So it was just really fun. We had this costume created that was all leather. I mean it was just so awesome. And then I photographed her and I basically just applied all the commercial photography skills to kid photos, which was just kind of different, hilarious. People were like, “What the heck is this? It looks like a movie poster but it’s like a little kid.”

 

And so, speaking on relationship marketing, we can get into that a little bit later but I built up these relationships just years prior with mastermind groups and online groups and whatnot. So when it was time to post the series, they actually got on board and they were some of the first people to promote the series on their Facebook page. And yeah, it just started going wild after that. I mean we basically hit a critical mass where People Magazine saw it and there was from People then Huffington Post and Huffington Post Daily Mail and it started going worldwide. So that was the first series we did.

 

Kody Bateman: That happened relatively quickly, right? I mean you started taking these pictures, you posted them basically through your network of friends.

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah. And here’s the funny thing was, I sent it to one of my friends because I never want to like use the relationship for – I don’t know, I don’t want to abuse the relationships. So I sent it to my friend. I didn’t even ask him to post it. I said, “Hey, man, what do you think about this series that I just did?” He was another big photographer. And without me knowing, he posted it. And it was actually the night before I was planning on launching, which is really funny because it was late at night. I was like, “Oh dang it! I was supposed to launch this the next day and he launched it right now.” And I mean he – it hit the critical mass with him where he had people that were on board like news stations, I think it got maybe hundred thousand views that night and then the next morning, I had all these requests in my inbox from mainstream media that wanted to post about it.

 

Kody Bateman: So there is an element when people talk, there’s a big subject there. Everybody talks about, “How do I get something to go viral?” I mean everybody wants to go viral and get some online fame or whatever. And it’s interesting because most of the stories I hear are similar to this. There are a lot of people that try to strategize a plan to go viral and what I found is most stories are like yours. There’s a lot of what – a lot of going viral is kind of by chance. It just kind of – tell us a little bit about that because again, you weren’t – you sent this to a friend not for the intention of having him post it and go viral. You sent to a friend just to see what he thought about the picture.

 

Josh. Yeah.

 

Kody Bateman: And then it just so happened that because you had a relationship, whatever, he ended up posting it.

 

Josh Rossi: So I don’t ever tell people like if I’m consulting with somebody about going viral, like I don’t tell them like, “We’re going to make you go viral.” Or I don’t guarantee mainstream media exposure. It’s just – the whole idea is creating a story that like is attractive, that you think is attractive or somebody hasn’t been done before.

 

But there is some sort of strategy behind it that can, I don’t want to say guarantee the results because you can’t guarantee, but it really increases the chances that more people are going to see it. I mean you’re playing on just sales tactics. Social proof is a huge one. That’s probably one of the biggest ones. If somebody else is posting about it then it must be popular.

 

And so, the strategy was – so years prior, I met this friend I had and brought him into a mastermind group, created a relationship. So I was sending it to him in hopes that he would post it maybe the next day but he posted it that instant. And it wasn’t me asking. I was just kind of like nicely saying, “Hey, check this out.” But I was hoping he’d post it.

 

Kody Bateman: For sure.

 

Josh Rossi: Which he did. So, he posted it but then our strategy was to get it out to as many people as we could right away to distribute it to everybody. So when we distribute it to him then all of a sudden, it started ramping up. I sent it to mainstream media, to this, that. And so, a lot of people were posting at once. This is actually the next day. So after I woke up and realized that it had already started. I was like, “Dang it! Let’s keep going for the strategy.”

 

So we’d send it out to a lot of people and everybody was posting about it at the same time, which created – in my mind, it’s like just this craziness of people sharing. I thought, “Oh my gosh! It’s going viral.”

 

I actually learned this from a friend of mine that runs a huge company, Chamber Media. He is in Salt Lake. And his whole idea is to fake that you’re going viral, to not – you might not be going viral but to fake it, to even put money behind it. And so, on some of these series that I did, I actually put some money behind it just to create that like social proof.

 

Kody Bateman: Yeah. When you say put money behind it, what does that mean?

 

Josh Rossi: Like Facebook ads. We target specific people on Facebook and we retarget them over and over and over over the span of a couple of weeks about this project. And it wasn’t an ad like, “Hey, buy my thing.” It was just – it looked like a plain article that said – what was it? “Dad turns daughter into Wonder Woman,” or something like that. So it looked like just a normal article and we targeted specific writers from magazines and from blogs.

 

And then they would pick it up like – so they’d be picking it up at the same time. People are posting about it. So then when I would ask – by the way, stop me if I’m going too …

 

Kody Bateman: No, you’re good. Man, let me tell you. Everybody is hanging on your every word right now. I promise you. Yeah.

 

Josh Rossi: All right. So then – yeah, so then they started picking it up and I would ask every news outlet like where did you hear about me and they didn’t know where they heard about me. They are like, “I think I saw something on Facebook but then maybe somewhere else.” And that was sort of like the whole plan was just to get like all these people just saying, “I don’t know where I heard about it but it looks cool and let’s post about it.”

 

So I wanted to actually test this out again afterward because I said, “OK, maybe we were just lucky that this one is huge. It was just one of those things.” And so, I did another series a few months after, maybe four months after or it was – yeah, I flew to Europe, photographed a bunch of castles, came back and I turned my daughter into Beauty and the Beast, Bell from Beauty and the Beast. And so, I created all these really fantastic photos around that and that was like my Valentine’s gift to her. And I opened it up in front of her. Super cute.

 

And we did the same strategy and that hit 100 million views. So first it was 60 million. This was 100 million. And maybe that was another fluke. Let’s try it again. And then out comes the Justice Leagues Kids series. And we did the same thing. Now, we had more media contacts. We pushed it again. That hit 240 million views.

 

And so, it’s not like there is a specific thing that’s going to make you go viral because then after that, I did two other series. I did the Avengers of Bullying with you guys and then I did a Star Wars shoot. They got a lot less views online. I mean they still had awesome impact but from 240 to like 5 million, 5 million seems small compared to 240.

 

Kody Bateman: Right. Right. But still, pretty significant.

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah, it is significant.

 

Kody Bateman: Anyone of us listening like, “Gee, 5 million views, that would be awesome.”

 

Josh Rossi: No. I mean it was. But I mean it’s funny. You hit 60, 100, 240 and then 5 and you’re like, “What went wrong?” But you can’t really guarantee like how viral or whatever. But there is a strategy.

 

Kody Bateman: Yeah. I want to back up for a second because I think you’re talking to us kind of about the strategy of getting the message out there and the chance of it going viral and all that, which is fascinating. It’s very, very fascinating. But I want to go back to the purpose. What was the purpose or the intent when you first started? Because when you started, it was about you taking a picture of your daughter. So what was the original intent in your mind? What were you trying to accomplish by taking a picture of your daughter? Who was this for?

 

Josh Rossi: Well, so first, I was doing it for her because I just thought – like I said, people don’t realize that I had this every year up until – I keep doing it. But yeah, I had done it before. It wasn’t like, “Oh, let’s just do this to go viral.” The year came and I actually missed her birthday or to do a photo shoot on her birthday so I was like, “OK, I’ll go all out.” My wife was saying, “Come on. Why don’t you do something cool for her?” I said, “All right. I’ll go all out. I’ll do something awesome for her that she can remember.”

 

But then it turned more into like, for me, like a life message that I wanted to teach her. I said, “All right. Wonder Woman is just the strongest character. I want my daughter to feel like she is Wonder Woman.” And so I did that photo shoot. And a lot of really awesome things came out of it. One of them was that my daughter, whenever she falls or whenever she gets hurt or feels sad, she always references Wonder Woman that she is strong like Wonder Woman, which has been amazing over the past like three years. She just keeps referencing that and she takes strength from just some fictional character but it gives her strength.

 

The second thing that it really did which surprised me but like this is one of the best things was that fathers would reach out to me right after the series and they said, “Hey, thank you so much for doing that because this actually made me want to spend more time with my daughter.” And so, it encouraged other fathers to spend time with their daughter and have similar moments.

 

Kody Bateman: But see, I think that goes back to your original purpose. I happened to know you and your wife, Roxanne, and I know your hearts, and you’re incredible family people, you have such a huge passion for your children and you guys are very active with your kids. And so, I know kind of who you are from that standpoint and it’s really important for our listeners to know that everything we do in life comes back to core purpose. And your core purpose is to empower your daughter. That’s your core purpose. The core purpose is to, what can I do to make my daughter feel like Wonder Woman or make her feel better?

 

And then when that happens, you’re like, “Wow man! It would be cool if other kids felt that way.” And so, it has been fun to watch the process even when you went into the Justice League series. That was the whole purpose. In fact, we’re going to talk about that. The whole purpose of the Justice League, at least in my mind, correct me if I’m wrong, but the whole purpose of the Justice League for Kids was to, “Man, if I could help other kids feel the way my daughter feels, this would be kind of cool.” Isn’t that kind of how that all started?

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah, totally. A woman reached out to me after I photographed my daughter and said, “My daughter is the real Wonder Woman.” I think that was like the email title. And so, I called her and she said, she told me how her daughter had cancer and still have cancer and she was the real superhero. And it just totally changed my mind around. I started thinking, “Wow! That is so true.” And I almost felt guilty for photographing my daughter and having all these hype around it, even though I helped a lot of people, I just thought, “Man, there are these little kids that are suffering from disease and cancer and they are the ones that are real superheroes. I mean how much pain do they go through and sadness?”

 

So we went into the Justice League Kids with that idea, to find the real superheroes in society. And so, we went through a bunch of – and I mean it was a long road. Like initially, we could not find any of the kids. There was so much red tape in the hospitals. They would not let us – they would not give us access to any of the kids. And we were thinking, “How are we going to find kids that have cancer that are specific to these superheroes?”

 

And so months went by. We got – we had some lady helped us and it just didn’t happen. And so, we actually quit the project. We were like, “Man, it is such a good idea but we just don’t have the resources. We can’t do this. And it’s going to take too much time.”

 

And it literally seemed impossible. I mean I talked to my wife. I said, “We literally can’t do this because it will be impossible. It’s going to cost so much money for the costumes. It’s going to take so much time.”

 

So three months went by and I felt – something happened that somebody tried to copy this series and so that sort of brought it back up into my mind again. But more so than revenge or whatever it was, I just had a lot of feeling come up of just reminding me like why I was doing these things, why I’m doing these things. And it wasn’t for me and I just all of a sudden, this fire kicked everything into gear and I said, “I can do it. I don’t care what it takes. I’m going to do this.”

 

The main idea, talking with Roxanne, my wife, we said, “Look, if this doesn’t go viral, like who cares?” My only goal was to make these kids happy for even just one day. We were like, “If we can just make one kid happy, it will be just a fun little project that we do for ourselves.”

 

And so, we went through a lot of the kids that were submitted to us. We found the kids that were similar to the superheroes just so they would have a connection with them. For example, there was a kid, Tegan, from Salt Lake, he had half of a heart. And so, we paired him up with Superman. Superman’s defect is kryptonite. And so we thought that they would pair super well together. It was also his favorite character.

 

And so, the same thing happened with all the other kids. The one that stuck out in my mind more than anything was Sophie. She was going to be Wonder Woman, sort of the new Wonder Woman on this project. And she was bald because of chemotherapy. And I just thought, “Man, how powerful of a visual would that be for her to be Wonder Woman and to be in the front and to not have any hair, to be bald?” Like that right there is the statement that I want to make.

 

And so, I got that in my head. And from then on, visuals just came. It just happened. I was really emotional even on the day of the shoot. The kids, Sophie showed up and she had cancer in her eye and her eye was swollen like she was crying. She didn’t want to get up and be photographed. And my daughter, Nelly, actually gave her some strength because I say, “Hey, Sophie, do you want to talk to my daughter, Nelly, who was Wonder Woman before?” And she said yes. And so, they started Skyping and Nelly went like this, she crossed her arms just like Wonder Woman does and Sophie did it back to Nelly.

 

Kody Bateman: Wow!

 

Josh Rossi: And they had this connection like this strength that came from it. I mean it’s just such a little thing but …

 

Kody Bateman: How fun is that to be able to witness that?

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah. It was just incredible. I mean I have no words. I feel like I was allowed to experience this but I still don’t fully realize the impact that it has had. I mean like to tell you one more thing really quick, when I went to Italy, they actually invited me. I mentioned being interviewed in Italy. They invited me over because they have a really famous doctor over there that actually opened up a new type of research because of this series that we did. And the research was the effects that projects like these have on cancer patients and if it improves their condition to some extent. So I mean they opened up a whole field of research.

 

And to on my point a second ago, I have no idea what I’ve done to be able to experience something like this or to be a part of this whole process. But I mean it’s just been awesome.

 

Kody Bateman: Well, so the Justice League for Kids, how many kids ended up being in the actual shoot?

 

Josh Rossi: So it was six.

 

Kody Bateman: So each one was a different superhero character.

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah.

 

Kody Bateman: All fully dressed in beautiful stuff. And didn’t you have some other people getting involved who started building these suits for you and volunteering to – I mean a lot of people kind of jumped in on the cause, didn’t they?

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah, totally. We had Julie Whiteley. She did the costumes. She was amazing. There were actually two, Julie Whiteley did the majority of them. She put in all the time, all the hours. And McGraw [0:28:09] [Phonetic] Studio, they did the Wonder Woman costume. It was actually my daughter’s costume that we passed on. And then yeah, assistants, whoever else wanted to help.

 

Kody Bateman: So the Justice League for Kids project is the one that ended up with 240 million views.

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah.

 

Kody Bateman: OK. Now, I want to talk about something that’s a little bit sensitive but I think it’s really important for our listeners to kind of really digest this. Unfortunately with success, it’s kind of funny. It’s like you’ve heard the term before, if you haven’t heard this term, it’s really important, “If you don’t have critics, you’re not doing much.” So it’s hard for me to believe that through this process and all the good you’re doing for these kids, you ended up having critics. And I remember seeing some of that and I got so angry at some of the comments people were making trying to play you out like you were using these kids for your own personal gain and all that kind of stuff.

 

And in my line of business, it’s the same thing. You try to do good in the world and you end up having people that are critical of what you’re doing and it kind of – sometimes if you let it, it kind of takes away from what it is.

 

What I want to know from you is how do you – I mean with 240 million views, you end up with a lot of that kind of noise out there. How do you deal with that? How do you deal with that and stay focused on the right stuff?

 

Josh Rossi: Literally don’t even pay attention to it. Like I didn’t – I don’t think I read one comment.

 

Kody Bateman: That’s good.

 

Josh Rossi: Good or bad because I learned my lesson before. On the Wonder Woman shoot, some lady from Cosmopolitan that got posted on Cosmo, out of all the places, this cute little girl in a Wonder Woman costume, this one lady comments, it was the only comment, said like, “I would have taken that money you spent for the costume and adjusted her teeth and given her a nose job.” I was like, “Are you kidding me? She is 3 years old. You’re messed up in the head.”

 

So after that, I just didn’t read comments. And that was fine. Ignorance is bliss sometimes so I was good.

 

Kody Bateman: Yeah, I think it is. And I think that’s great advice. In fact, I’ve heard a lot of people say, “Don’t pay too much attention to the comments, the good ones or the bad ones.”

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah.

 

Kody Bateman: Because if you pay too much attention to the good ones, it kind of runs away in your head. If you pay attention to the bad ones, it takes you away from the focus. So your strategy is just don’t look at them at all, and that’s kind of where I’ve gotten to as well.

 

So I think that’s interesting. But I think that’s interesting in life too. The bottom line is, here is what you’ve taught me. What you’ve taught me is that first of all, you’re very passionate about what you do, very creative, you take a concept and you run with it. Your purpose is to do good in the world and you stay laser-focused on that purpose. Any critics or anything else just kind of falls by the wayside. You just kind of stay focused and keep doing what you’re doing.

 

It’s really important for everybody to listen to this to remember that. Just find a good cause, be passionate about it, and stay focused on it regardless of what anybody else is going to say, good or bad. This is how you can make a mark on the world and make a difference in the lives all of these kids. And so I just think that that’s really important.

 

Now, the Justice League for Kids, there are other things. I would like to talk briefly about the Avengers of Bullying because my grandson was actually featured in that. So, tell us a little bit about how did the Avengers of Bullying – tell us a little bit about how that started because that’s a great story.

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah, totally. So to comment on something you said a second ago, there is a distinction between like not listening to your haters, I mean because running my other businesses, I listen to the haters because it helps me build a better product.

 

Kody Bateman: Right.

 

Josh Rossi: But with this, it was a charitable thing. I mean I don’t really know what the difference is there. But I was so focused. I knew that I had to do this and I knew that what I was doing was good. And so, I didn’t care about what people said because I like how that conviction. Anyways, there was – there is that distinction.

 

Kody Bateman: That’s good.

 

Josh Rossi: That’s just interesting. So the Avengers of Bullying, so yeah, we just want to continue the projects. And so, the next – actually, right after the Justice League Kids, I thought, “Man, what’s going to top this?” Like this was a huge hit. This helps so many people. What’s going to top this? And I thought, bullying. That was the first word that came to my mind. That was the first thought that I had was bullying. And I knew that I had to attack bullying.

 

And so months later, I had this idea to go along with like Avengers movie and I say, “OK, that’s a cool like hot topic. Let’s try to figure out bullying within this.” I want to fix – I want to join the cause somehow to end bullying.

 

And so, we just couldn’t pay for it. We were like, “Man, if we could barely pay for the last one, this one is going to cost $20,000 just for the costumes.” And it’s all charity like I don’t have that. We got to find somebody to pay for that. And so, that was another huge roadblock.

 

And Roxanne, being amazing, my wife, she is amazing at PR. So she reached out – amazing with relationships. She reached out to the owner of Vera, which is an app. It’s like – kind of like Instagram or Facebook. And he is such a good guy like he got back to us and to cut the long story short, he ended up paying for the project donating all the money and we were able to create the costumes for this. And Roxanne is friends with you guys. We’re friends with you guys. So she just thought, “How amazing would it be to include you in the project?”

 

And from there, another really emotional experience because once again, I didn’t realize what I was getting into. I just felt compelled and pushed like I needed to do these projects. And I didn’t realize until the day of the shoot, people came in and I realized how severely bullied they actually were and their stories and how sad they were. And so, it just gave me fire to keep pushing this project forward.

 

And then the climax of the whole thing, it wasn’t the numbers, the millions of views, it was of you guys pushed it at one of your conferences, SendOutCards Conference. That was – that did it for me. Like even if it didn’t get any views at all, I think the kids just absolutely loved that. That was such an awesome event. So first of all, thank you.

 

Kody Bateman: Oh sure! And I got to tell you, in fact, I’m getting the chills right now just going back to that memory. At our events, they’re action-packed. We got a ton of stuff going on. There is a big, huge format to our big show and you got to follow and make sure all the stuff happens. We got a big stage producer that makes sure that everything is on cue and stuff.

 

And in the middle of all of that, we put in this feature to honor these kids. And we had all the Avengers of Bullying come up on our stage and there was local news there. They came in and they were filming it and whatnot. And we did a pre-recording of you talking – teeing it up and telling the story of it all. And then we brought these kids up and oh my goodness, the emotion of that was just unbelievable.

 

So you thank us, but we have to thank you because of how much – like to this day, that was a couple of years ago, to this day, everybody who was at that event, that’s the first thing they talk about, “Oh, those kids up on the stage, that was the coolest, most incredible emotional experience.” Because they are seeing what – these kids are in these outfits and they are feeling power. They are overcoming being bullied and they are feeling like they are somebody. And a couple of thousands people stand and cheer for them and oh my gosh, the emotion of it was intense.

 

Josh Rossi: It was amazing. And I mean the kids – the crazy thing about these photo shoots was that they actually produce results. It’s not just fun art that inspires people and goes away. These kids report back to us afterwards how confident they feel. They’ve changed 360 degrees. They are completely different people. They are confident at school. They have friends now that can talk with them. I mean it’s really transformative for these kids and I think that more than anything, aside from the viral views and all of that, it’s just amazing that the photography and art can actually have an effect in somebody’s life. And I think that was my original goal was – one of the things I’ve always wanted to do is to inspire people just to do better things.

 

But also, help with my photography. Early on, I saw some photographers that were taking some pictures of like indigenous tribes and poor people. And in my mind, I was thinking, “Man, that’s cool to inspire the world.” But I was like, what is the actual kid get out of that? They need food and they are getting a photo. I’m not saying that those projects didn’t work because those have been amazing but since then, that was years ago, I just thought, “Man, I want to do something that actually affects a person’s life in some way.”

 

And I really think these projects have done that. I mean – but really though, with your help too, that project like going up on stage, yeah, I agree that was like one of the best.

 

Kody Bateman: It was neat. In fact, just to go along with what you just said. I’ve seen what you were just talking about. I’ve seen firsthand because I have a grandson that was one of the featured kid, he was Spiderman, in the Avengers Bullying. He was one of the children that were up on the stage. And again, this is couple of years ago. He is 7, almost 8 years old now, and it has been interesting to watch what’s happening – and he went and did a couple of other events after that where they were actually able to meet some of the real Avengers which was super cool.

 

Josh Rossi: Totally!

 

Kody Bateman: He got pictures with the movie stars and all that. So just really neat things. But one of the things that we’ve noticed with our grandson since all this happened, he was a victim of bullying. He had a situation at school and it dramatically affect him for a period of time. And when you have people that you love dearly go through that, boy, it puts a lot of emotion in you too because you want to protect your loved one.

 

But it has been interesting to watch that boy since then because he has always been a sensitive, loving kid. He is really – he is very sensitive to people around him. But he has become very sensitive to people – to kids that might not be as popular or kids that are left out and especially kids who are being bullied in any way. He stands up to them. I mean he stands up to it and he befriends these kids and he is just a very sensitive, yet strong young kid. And I do attribute a lot of it to this experience. So I just got to say, kudos to you, brother, for what you are doing for all these kids.

 

Josh Rossi: That’s amazing.

 

Kody Bateman: Yeah, it’s fun to watch. Now, as we – I want to talk a little bit about you have an online photography school. It’s at FullTimePhotographer.com. So tell us a little bit about that.

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah. So that was also – it stemmed from me wanting to help other people learn how to get into photography because when I first got into it, it was a huge struggle. I didn’t really know how to make money in photography. Like there was no guidelines. Like going to school, nobody tells you about this stuff or about the business side of things. So I was like, “Man, I got to figure this out.” And I was so hungry to figure stuff out.

 

So then at some point when I started having some success in photography and I’ve worked with big companies like Adobe, Acura, whoever else, I started – I just had a thought like I should teach this stuff. And I really was – I really did not want to teach it. I mean anybody that’s good at anything, you want to keep it for yourself, for your own success. You don’t want to give your secrets to other people because it’s like why would you give your secrets to other people that you can create competition?

 

And once again, I just got over that and I kept thinking and hearing motivational speakers talk about when you truly want to help and care about others like that’s when you get a return. And so, I was like, OK, I’m not going to hold anything back. If somebody screws me over in the future, whatever, I’ll just do this.

 

So I start teaching business of photography. I started teaching my skills, how to do Photoshop and whatnot. And it did really well. It has been a business that supported us for a while now along with my photography. And we’ve created an awesome community of people. And at the same time, I’ve been able to inspire other photographers to do photo shoots like the superhero kids.

 

So I have my community actually goes out and they are constantly working with hospitals. They are constantly reaching out to other people to try to do these photo shoots like sick kids. And it’s just something that spread. But if I never would have decided to share my talents and like build an audience, it would have just been me doing this like I wouldn’t have been able to get the word out or talk to other photographers.

 

Kody Bateman: Well, I think you’re really touching on what the essence of relationship marketing is. We live in a day and age now where look, this is an age old fundamental law, what you send out is what comes back to you. It’s law of attraction. And so, you talk about giving of your knowledge away for free to people online with an online school, what’s going to happen? Well, what you send out comes back to you tenfold and you’ve lived that and experienced it.

 

And I think it’s even more important in today’s day and age because there’s so much out there and so much opportunity and we’ve talked on this show a lot about the polished sales pitch is kind of a thing of the past now. Today, it’s more about relationships than anything before. So people are looking for those that are willing to give of themselves. People today do business with those they know, like, and trust. Well, how do you know – how do you get to know, like and trust somebody?

 

If I’ve got Josh Rossi, did I say your name right?

 

Josh Rossi: Yup, Rossi.

 

Kody Bateman: I got Josh on there, teaching fundamentals of photography is giving this away to me. He is the first guy I’m going to go when I need photography or he is the first guy I’m going to refer to somebody else when they need photography because he is the guy that gave to me. They do business with those they know, like, and trust. And so, you’ve really hit on one of the key powers of relationship marketing. It’s just – we say it in our workshops, seminars all the time, find out who you are and then give yourself away. And that’s what you’ve done. You know who you are and you just give yourself away every day. And then everything kind of comes back naturally tenfold. So really good stuff.

 

Now, you’ve got a quick story here about picking up and agent. That’s kind of a big deal in your line of work. And there’s kind of a story of how you went about getting your agent that’s really helped you with your business. So can you share that with us?

 

Josh Rossi: Totally. So we – so my wife used to work with you guys at SendOutCards. And so, that turned me on to SendOutCards. And she, like I said, really good with PR and relationships, and so what we did was – well, first of all, I got an agent because we send out like these mailing blast using SendOutCards to different agencies in LA. And I actually got one of the biggest agents in LA that called me back right away and just – and got me on board. They signed me to their agency which led to some really big work with some international stars. And that was because of using SendOutCards. It was just awesome. It was so easy. I mean not to be like a commercial here about SendOutCards but it was just awesome.

 

And then aside from that, after the viral series and after working with the clients, my wife will send a SendOutCards to these people and they’re not used to getting things like this. They’re used to people just using them, throwing them away like a writer from blog. It’s like, “Oh, thank you. You wrote about me. See you later.”

 

She will send them cards. She will send them brownies. And we’ve created relationships to where like one of the head reporters from CNN comes out to Puerto Rico to film us then we go out to dinner with her. We are really good friends with her. And I mean that’s just – it’s not a relationship that I’m abusing like we’re not like constantly asking her to post about us. But it’s just one of those things that’s really nice and wife is just great at that like sending those cards to everybody and creating good relationships.

 

Kody Bateman: Yeah. Again, it’s just a matter of – it all comes back to the same thing. It’s just a matter of creating the relationship for the sake of the relationship, not for what you can get out of it but for what you can give to it. The cards help you do that. And I think that’s powerful thing.

 

So there you have it my friends. This is Josh Rossi out of Puerto Rico. I got to tell you, where else can they go see some of your work? I mean can we send them to some of your websites or where can they go?

 

Josh Rossi: Yeah. Go to JoshRossi.com.

 

Kody Bateman: OK. So that’s J-O-S-H-R-O-S-S-I.com, JoshRossi.com. And check out stuff. And you’ve got features of – you got the – all of the kids on there. You got some of those photography on there. So they could go check that kind of stuff.

 

Josh Rossi: Yup, it’s all there.

 

Kody Bateman: Yeah. Just powerful stuff. Josh, we appreciate your time. We know you’re extremely busy. And so we just appreciate the time you spent with us today. Thank you so much. Just in closing, one final question from you. What do you want to be remembered most by? What is it you want to be remembered as? Go ahead.

 

Josh Rossi: Well, one of my friends, he told me the other day, he is like – well, we were talking about projects and this other stuff. He was like, “You’re just the guy that – the feel good guy.” Like what is that – I’m trying to think of what that means. He was like, “You’re the guy that always just do this charity work. You make people feel good. You’re the feel good guy.” So, I love that.

 

And then the other thing is, making people rich like myself. And I’m not talking like money. I mean sure money, if I were to become like a multimillionaire, I’m always trying to help with business, people with business. But I just think just the idea of making others rich like yourself mean making people happy like yourself, making people just have good relationships like yourself. And so, I’d like to be remembered like that. That I’m constantly making people rich in their lives.

 

Kody Bateman: That’s fantastic. Great, great work. Thank you, Josh. Appreciate you being on the show. So all of you, just remember, Relationship Marketing Podcast with Kody B. That’s me. I’m on here with some of the most incredible guests in the world are coming on this show now and you just want to tell people about this and jump on to the Relationship Marketing Podcast show and you’re going to be filled full of wisdom by people like Josh. So thanks Josh for being on the show with us. And we will see all of you yet on another episode. So take care, everybody. We’re out.

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