Scott McMahon, How to Make Money With Films When Content is Basically Free (Film Trooper Podcast)

Scott McMahon is founder of Film Trooper, whose mission is empowering filmmaking entrepreneurs. His entrepreneurial journey started after he left his job at Playstation, and decided to try making his own movie. The movie, called Do-Over, never got made, which was really a frustrating experience for him because of all the different levels of approval and the hoops you need to leap through to get a film made in Hollywood. He then made his own movie “The Cube” as an experiment, and really grew an obsession with helping micro-budget film-makers up their entrepreneurial game. He also authored a book called, How to Make and Sell Your Film Online and Survive the Hollywood Implosion While Doing It: No Festivals, No Distributors, No Budget, No Problem. and is the host of the “Film Trooper Podcast.”


Most recently, he’s turned his video production skills to the real estate market in Portland, and has started a company that leverages the technology and talent he has in content marketing to help sell homes.


We cover a ton of information, but two things were most interesting to me. One is the idea that entertainment content has become “free.” We talk about what that means for films and for how people can make money in media. Second is the general messiness of entrepreneurship, and the roundabout way he (and so many others like him) came to start his current business. Finally, it’s a long conversation, and I apologize since I usually try to keep them under an hour. In editing it though, I couldn’t find any major parts that weren’t important to his story, so hopefully you’ll find our conversation as interesting and informative as I did.

Topics Discussed:

  • Affirmations, reshaping that sense of identity
  • Paredo’s Principle
  • Knowing what to do, and struggling to do it
  • His real estate “greatness tracker”
  • Starting Film Trooper, & finding a unique value to offer the world
  • Going all in on Google Plus
  • Advice from online businesses (put up a consulting page)
  • Creating his online sales funnel (newsletter, book)
  • The poison of limited beliefs
  • Applying his online business insights to his real estate business
  • Understanding the depth of interest of your customers
  • Networking with good people
  • Lifestyle businesses
  • How movies REALLY make money
  • Fat, sick, and dead movie, affiliate marketing
  • Half-Day Film School on How to Make Money


Here’s the email I got from Scott after we recorded our conversation. Great walk-through on the sales funnel, and context for his greatness tracker, and free resources.

“Hey Nicholas,

Thanks for inviting me onto your podcast show.
I’ve attached some useful items for your audience.
You’ll find a drawing I used from my book, “How to Make and Sell Your Film Online and Survive the Hollywood Implosion While Doing It.”  Available at:
This is how the sales funnel works in conjunction with the illustration.
Lead Magnet is a FREE gift that is offered to all your leads.  In my case for Film Trooper, I offer a FREE gear guide of all the equipment I used to make my feature film for $500 with NO crew.  That free giveaway is offered at
Once a lead signs up for your Lead Magnet, they will be offered more FREE content via teh email list that leads to the Trip Wire offer.
The Trip Wire offer is a low priced product designed to get people used to buying something from you.  For me, the lost cost Trip Wire product is my film, “The Cube”.
I continue to offer more FREE valuable content to my email list and then offer the Core Offer.  My Core Offer is my book, sold at a higher price point than my Trip Wire product.
After my Core Offer (my book) … I offer the Upsell.  This is my speaking and consulting services.  This is a higher priced offering.
Lastly, to build some kind of recurring revenue, I offered a monthly membership.  I did a soft launch on this and have a few people who pay me $40/month to get one-on-one consulting access to me in the form of the Accountability Academy.
That’s the essence of the Sales Funnel.  If I’m able to build more traffic, then my revenue increases.  Or if I add higher priced products in the funnel, I can generate more revenue.
Lastly, I’ve attached a spreadsheet template that the real estate business uses for building effective relationships.  It’s called the “Greatness Tracker”.
Good luck on the podcast and your entrepreneur journey too!”

Greatness Tracker for Realtors

Scott shared a lot of his resources, including his “Greatness Tracker” and sales funnel diagram to share with the Why Try community. You can get his book at and you can get his movie-making gear guide free at

Scott shared a lot of good information about making money with an online business, and I really appreciate his candor about how hard it can be to get things done (even when it feels like you have the roadmap right in front of you). This is, I think, an under-discussed area of entrepreneurship, and one where people need more help than they let on. We all have our blocks and limiting beliefs, like Scott said, so getting your head right can go a really long way towards your success. Luckily, I think this is an area I’m well-equipped to help people with, so following Scott’s advice, I’m going to start offering entrepreneurial coaching service for those interested. I’ll start it out hourly, at $75 per hour, and I’ll give you the first 30 minutes for free (so that first hour is really under $40). If you’re interested, shoot me an email at nicholaspihl (at) (the spelling for that is in the shownotes).

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