BABE #237: ELIZABETH GIORGI - Founder/CEO, Mighteor
Elizabeth founded Mighteor — a video production company working with high-profile brands around the world — when she realized the need for video content focused around digital platforms. As a true hustlin’ babe with a passion for equal parts production, digital strategy and distribution, she has grown her company across two cities and 14 employees in just five years of business. She not only understands the importance of quality storytelling, but also the importance of prioritizing the goals of her clients and audience alike in order to make them a reality.
Hometown: Mt. Iron, Minnesota
Current city: Denver, Colorado
Alma mater: University of Minnesota
Degree: B.A., Journalism
Very first job: Newspaper delivery girl
Hustle: Founder and CEO, Mighteor
Babe you admire and why?
Ellen Pompeo for her bravery in speaking up about diversity in production. She blows me away with her commitment to diversity and inclusion. Shonda Rhimes for her creation of “Grey’s Anatomy” in the first place. And Tory Burch, for her commitment to passing on her business success to future generations of women through her Tory Burch Foundation.
How do you spend your free time?
Since starting my business, I have determined the only way to stay sane is to be really committed to fitness and fulling indulging in my hobbies. So you can usually find me at the gym or the movie theater when I have a free night off.
Favorite fictional female character?
I have always had a love of Hermione Granger. She made smarts and commitment to doing your best feel like it wasn’t weird—it was a way of life.
Go-to coffee order and/or adult beverage?
Grande Americano every morning, and a little Italian red wine on celebratory nights.
What’s something you want to learn or master?
I have been working with a tutor on becoming fluent in Spanish in the last year. It’s been a journey, but I feel myself get closer every week.
Tell us about your hustle.
As Mighteor’s CEO, I do a lot of the strategic planning. That means figuring out what kinds of clients we want to focus on serving, how to better serve them and how we can continue to be leaders in our industry by putting ourselves out there in a meaningful way. It also means answering important questions like: Are we delivering on our value proposition? Are we meeting the demands of our contracts? Are we happy with what we’re producing? And while we do all that: Are employees satisfied with their output? Are they working too much? Or too little? One of my primary role is asking the important questions we need to ask so I feel 100 percent confident to make the right decisions for our company and our employees and our clients.
What does your typical workday look like?
Every day I have an up to date to-do list, which usually includes watching a lot of draft videos from the team that are being prepared to go out to a client, and then all kinds of pitching materials for new clients. Most days I have at least one or two conversations with new potential partners or customers to talk about how we might work together or help one another. Sometimes I’m helping lead a production and other times I’m just offering another director a point of view on some of our work. Inevitably, I have to put a legal or financial hat on at some point in the day, which I don’t love, but I know is important.
What inspired Mighteor?
Mighteor was born out of my experience in several areas of production. When I was working inside a traditional production environment, I was drawn to digital platforms and thought they presented a smart distribution platform. When I was on the digital strategy side, I kept looking for production companies that understood the value of digital. Mighteor combines a passion for production with digital strategy and distribution.
What sets Mighteor apart from other video production companies?
Truly, the thing that sets us apart is our team. The people who work at Mighteor watch video online religiously, they have a passion for diversity and inclusion and think about how to take ideas to the next level every day. So while we are one of the first internet video production companies and I’m quite proud of that, I’m most certain the reason our clients work with us because of our people.
What makes a video impactful?
The most important thing any video can do is understand who they want to speak to and what they need to hear. Every question we ask during our initial creative onboarding is structured around the audience, their point of view and how we can best speak to them and capture their attention. While we love our clients, it’s our business to love their audiences!
What’s the most important of the client relationship during the production process?
The most important part of any client relationship is listening with an open mind and an open heart. Oftentimes, creatives can make up their mind about what they want to do before they hear the whole story. At Mighteor, we are invested in listening to our clients, to our partners, to our vendors and to each other at each stage of the process. By being good listeners, we uncover new ideas and build a trusting relationship at every stage of the production.
How have your past professional and academic experiences prepared you for the work you do today?
Going to journalism school doesn’t prepare you to run a business from a financial or legal point of view, but it does prepare you to think hard about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and who you’re trying to serve. A lot of the formational questions of news (who, what, when, where) are the same important questions a person must be prepared to answer when forming their business—who you service and the services you provide. So, while I never felt prepared to understand a balance sheet, I feel as if I’m uniquely talented at solving big, complex problems because I ask big, complex questions.
What’s been your biggest career milestone?
Mighteor turned five years old in December and honestly, making it to five years (from me in my spare room to two offices in two cities, with 14 amazing creatives) feels like the biggest milestone to date.
How has being a woman affected your professional experience?
The world of production is largely led by men, so in starting a production company, I’m already part of a very small group of women who are leaders in the space. The thing we do here to ensure it’s an equal and uplifting space is make sure there are equal number of women and men leading teams. This simple shift means our hires are more diverse and our teams are more gender-balanced.
What’s the gender ratio like in your industry? Do you see it evolving?
The gender ratio in production starts out very equally balanced coming out of college, but quickly shifts more male after the entry-level positions. It’s slowly evolving because of some of the amazing leaders in Hollywood and New York, but we have to continue to do that work in the middle of the country too.
Who are some women in your field that you look to for inspiration?
All of the women I know personally who are growing crazy impressive businesses. Liora Dudar of oVertone, Sashee Chandran of Tea Drops, Pooja Bavishi of Malai Ice Cream, Melanie Elturk of Haute Hijab, Krista Morgan of P2Binvestor—just so many incredible, real, passionate women doing their damndest to grow something that matters.
Career and/or life advice for other babes?
Treat your goals and aspirations with respect and care. Too many people belittle their own ambitions by saying “they aren’t that important” or “it’s OK if it doesn’t work out.” By treating your goals with love and respect, they become priorities. And when something becomes a priority, you start making decisions that actualize those ideas into more than just an aspiration—they become an action.
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