Failing Forward

| August 10, 2011
Lincoln Crum and Dustin Davidson.

Lincoln Crum and Dustin Davidson.

Ten years ago, Dustin Davidson and Lincoln Crum met on a trip to New Orleans and headed to Mardi Gras with a few mutual pals, but it wasn’t until a bit later when the duo donned Elvis suits in Las Vegas that their friendship really took off.

“We think a lot alike,” said Davidson. “We’re kind of idealists. We’re dreamers. We were talking about big, fun stuff” – even though not every moment was exactly fantastic.

When the real estate and mortgage company they built together with other partners crashed right along with the market, the optimists didn’t falter. Instead, they adopted the term “failing forward” and used the experience as motivation and the catalyst to what has become known as The Local Guys, a video production and social media company promoting – of course – all things local. In fact, they’ve been so successful at it, Intuit Inc. has hired them to work on a national campaign spotlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs.

After the failure of their mortgage company, Davidson began shooting marketing videos for Crum, a realtor. He also applied at a local Internet company, which wouldn’t grant him an interview “because I didn’t have a degree,” Davidson recalled. “So I made a video resume. And then I made another video and another video and I discovered doing that, that I loved doing video and this is what I was meant to be.”

Dustin Davidson and Lincoln Crum.Soon, the two partnered again, this time filming “good news shouts” about local businesses they loved and posting the short clips online, one after another after another. “We started having fun with it,” Crum said, “and when we started having fun and were comfortable talking with other people, that’s when it took off.”

Davidson, who is now chief creative officer of Cool World Productions in Jeffersonville, Ind., and Crum soon garnered the attention of others, including Intuit. They were hired to film videos for the software company’s “Love a Local Business” campaign, an endeavor that awards small businesses cash. The two are in talks to produce even more videos for Intuit.

“We have the uncanny ability – Dustin really does – for every video to pull out the human element,” Crum said. “We have found that’s the most powerful sales element. We operate under the premise that Gen X and Gen Y don’t want to be sold to; they want to be engaged with. Talk about what makes you work, what makes you tick.”

The local guys recording their interview with Angie Fenton.

The local guys recording their interview with Angie Fenton.

The philosophy is simple: If a local business owner can make you “like” them, then you’re more apt to like their business – or at least try it. “We go out and interact and we’re goofy and have fun. To see the business owners smile for me makes me want to go to that place,” Crum said. “I want to know about them, because if I don’t like them, I don’t want to buy from them.”

That likability extends to the filmmakers, too. Watch them enthuse about a local business on video and the genuineness is palpable, but that’s because they see themselves as “two local guys who have the ability to make videos and share them (online). … We love where we’re from. We discover local gems within our own hometown and then we do a video about it,” Davidson said.

Added Crum: “We get by giving. We keep it positive and we know if we put that out to the universe, we get back what we put out there.”

Follow The Local Guys on Twitter: @TheLocalGuysTV

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Category: The Profile

About the Author (Author Profile)

Angie Fenton
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.

Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.

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