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Mastering Marketing with Motion Hatch

By Adam Korenman

Motion Hatch wants freelancers to take control of social media to better market themselves, and they might just have the formula cracked!

No matter where you are in your career—whether you're just starting out, freelancing like a boss, or running a studio—marketing is a key to your success. Our dear friends at Motion Hatch have been helping artists and designers find their paths forward, and now they want to share actionable tips on mastering marketing.
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It's easy to say, "Have a social media presence," but what does that actually mean? If I'm posting ninety pictures of my adorable feinting goat on Insta, is that marketing? If I'm dropping Heavy Metal Sea Shanties on TikTok (Sea Shouties©), is that marketing? The truth is, a lot of people think they know how to build a brand...but Motion Hatch has actually done the research.
Social media can be a great productivity hole, or can be a gateway for attracting new clients...it all depends on how you work it. That's why Motion Hatch released the Social Media Guide for Motion Designers—an awesome collection of best practices to help cut through all of the hard stuff and make it easy for you to post engaging, quality content that takes no time at all—for FREE!
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This guide contains: 
  • 52 ideas for weekly posts to cover a whole year
  • Tons of inspiration to draw from when promoting work online
  • Insights and tips on what works and what doesn’t 
  • Resources to help schedule posts, manage feeds, and measure success.
  • Built in system for tracking growth 
The guide will help those who struggle curating their online presence to make genuine connections, offer value to an audience, attract bigger clients AND focus on real engagement when sharing work.
This episode is packed with goodies, so grab your favorite notebook and smelly marker. We're gonna learn how to master marketing with Hayley Akins and Motion Hatch!

Mastering Marketing with Motion Hatch

Show Notes

Artist

Studios

Resources

Transcript

Joey:
Hayley, it is lovely to have you back on the podcast. It's been a little while and yeah, it's always good to hang out with you. So, thank you for coming back.
Hayley:
Yeah. Thanks for having me. I'm absolutely thrilled to be here again. Do you know that the last time I came on was in 2018?
Joey:
I was thinking about how long ago it was, because I wanted to give you an opportunity to catch everybody up on what's been going on with Motion Hatch. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago, but I guess, considering last year was actually a decade packed into one year, it's really been, I think, about 15 years since you were on the podcast.
Hayley:
Yeah. It kind of feels like a long time ago and then feels like a short time ago. I don't know, like you say, 2020 was a strange year. But we're here. We're here. We're on the podcast again. It's exciting.
Joey:
Yeah, we made, and everything's better. Why don't we start, just update everybody on what's been going on with Motion Hatch. In the meantime, you've launched a lot of things. I'm trying to remember. I don't even remember if you were doing your masterminds the last time you were on the podcast. Since then, you've been doing a lot more and you've helped a lot of people. Why don't you just give us the update.
Hayley:
Yeah, so I wasn't doing the mastermind. I had to actually check. I did go and check before we started recording this.
Joey:
You did your homework.
Hayley:
Yeah.
Joey:
At least one of us did.
Hayley:
I was like, what was I doing last time? I think I was ... I launched a podcast. We had the community. We'd just launched a freelance contract bundle, which is actually no more, so that's kind of interesting. We hadn't done the masterminds yet, which has turned into a huge part of what we do at Motion Hatch, and now we also have a course called client quest, planning on doing some more courses. There's just so much stuff in the works basically. I'm growing the team now, which is super exciting. Yeah, there's a lot going on and there's a lot that's happened. I don't know that you want me to go further into detail or?
Joey:
Well, first of all, I just wanted say, just so everyone can hear, at how proud of you I am, because I've been watching you and we've connected and talked many times over these last two years. It's pretty rare that someone has a big kind of hairy idea that they want to go after and then they actually follow through and do it. I remember when you told me that you wanted to launch the mastermind program, and I thought, wow, that's a ton of work, and it's going to be tricky. And you're trying to sell this idea of a mastermind to an audience, motion designers that probably isn't familiar with it. That's really tricky, and yet, you pulled it off, and the results are incredible.
Because I've heard from a lot of people that have done it, how great it's been and the results they've gotten. I think, probably a lot of people listening don't actually know much about your mastermind program, and I think Client Quest is a class, so we sell classes. It's probably a little more obvious what that is, but what is the mastermind program for people who don't know?
Hayley:
Yeah. A mastermind, it isn't like something that I just made up. Masterminds are usually ... People who are in business and stuff like that, they have like peer support groups. I think that's the easiest way to describe it. So, a support group with other motion designers. You get together every week and we have a mentor in there. It's all on Zoom. Everybody knows about Zoom now. When I started, no one knew about Zoom.
Joey:
It's funny, right?
Hayley:
Now it's weird that, that's the whole thing. But yeah, so a mastermind is like a peer support group. In our groups, we have four motion designers in each group. You meet once a week with the mentor and we have two people in the hot seat each week. When you're in the hot seat, it sounds really scary, but it's not scary at all. Basically, it just means that's your opportunity to ask the group any questions, to brainstorm any ideas, to show your work, all of that kind of stuff.
A big part of being in a mastermind is the accountability, which is my favorite bit. If anyone knows me or has been to any of the programs, will know that I'm really, really hot on accountability, and I love it, because I think it's really the most powerful thing to help you to achieve your goals. What we do is we set a goal for you every week. Well, we kind of work with you to set the goal. We make sure it's a smart goal. So, we make sure it's specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. That's like something that a few people might have heard of before, but we really try and drill down.
Because what happens is, every week, usually, people are trying to set these big goals, and they don't know how to break them up, and they're like, oh yeah, I want to edit my show reel, and it's like, cool, well, how are you going to do that? We talk through all of these things. I think it just really helps people to have that support network, but also to get things done. So, we have an eight week mastermind, which is a bit like, I like to think of it as like a sprint. So, you are trying to work out what you want to do.
Maybe you're trying to do a new reel, maybe you're trying to go freelance, something like that. Works really well for those kind of things. Then now, I've actually just launched a six-month mastermind, which isn't publicly available at the moment. It's usually people who've gone to the eight week one. With that one, I'm diving a little bit deeper with people doing a bit more one-on-one coaching and that kind of thing.
Joey:
I love it. I love it. So, you have been working really closely with a lot of artists over the last two years, and I know that you've gotten results from them. I'm curious what you've been hearing from your community and the people you've been working with as far as the impact on their careers from everything that happened last year.
Hayley:
Yeah. It was kind of a mixed bag really. So, some people were contacting me and saying like, there's no work, it's all dried up, that kind of thing. Then some people were like, I've got more work, I've made more money than I ever have done. I think it was really mixed. I mean, one thing, I had some of my friends who work more in live action and stuff, saying, "Hey, can you recommend motion designers? Because we're going to expand more into that area because obviously it's easier to do that during a pandemic than obviously filming and that kind of thing with all the restrictions." Yeah, I think it was really mixed.
It was obviously pretty difficult back in March when everything initially happened, but I think it was more because of the panicking than anything else in our industry. I think like, from companies, from studios trying to move to a more remote working and all of that kind of stuff. I think after that settled down. I think it kind of settled a little bit. Then obviously, I've had, at the beginning of this year, like from January, it's just been mega, mega busy, and I think everybody's just getting back on it now.
Joey:
Yeah. I've heard the exact same thing. One of the things that I noticed was that the people that work dried up and never came back, they weren't really doing a great job on the business side of things. That's what you teach is how to get work, how to approach your practice and your career and things like that. The artists that I knew, especially freelancers who had a good handle on prospecting and getting leads and following up and good email habits and things like that, almost all of them had record years, which it's weird in the middle of a pandemic and just the carnage of 2020, to have an amazing financial year.
But a lot of artists, frankly, I think experienced that. Hopefully, what we can get to today is some of those tactical things that people can do to get work. This is going to be probably mostly geared towards freelancers, but I really think this stuff applies even if you're at a full-time job somewhere thinking about, okay, what does the next five years look like for you? Maybe you will be freelance. Maybe you want to level up and get a job at a studio or something like that. The tactics are the same, the networking things are the same.
Why don't we start with this Hayley, freelancing, I think it feels like it changed a little bit last year, because prior to last year, there were still a lot of companies that would really like you to be in their office freelancing. Now it seems like everybody's realized at the same time, oh, we don't actually need that. There's times where that's still helpful, but for the most part, everything can be remote and so it seems like there's more freelance opportunities. From what you're hearing from your students and your audience, what are clients looking for now in freelancers? What are they like in a freelancer as far as hireability?
Hayley:
Yeah. I think that it almost hasn't changed too much because I don't know, but maybe it's like, everything is a bit more heightened. The first thing that comes to my mind is being reliable, which obviously, when you're working remotely is even more important, because you've got to be there, kind of answering emails, or I don't know, Slack messages, things like that, and being there and being around for those things and not disappearing, and clients not knowing where you are.
I have mixed feelings about it because I think that I don't really like it when clients are like, you have to be on Slack and we have to see that green light or whatever, and all of that kind of stuff, all the time. I started hiring people and I just like them to have a bit more freedom, and it's like, as long as you get the results and the work done, then that's what's important. But I know that not everybody who is not used to working remotely is going to feel that way. I think being responsive to your clients emails and that kind of stuff will really help in this remote working environment.
But then some of the same things apply that applied before like being friendly and professional, helping them to solve problems. I guess, in terms of having the right equipment and things like that, when you're working remotely can help, having good internet. It sounds like really basic stuff, but these are the things that come to my mind when I think about what people want when they're working remotely as a freelancer, which I think is ... If we're talking about what's different now to before 2020, I guess that's the big difference.
Joey:
Yeah. I think, when I think about reliability, I really think that that is kind of just ... It's almost like a nickname for trust. They just need to trust that you're going to get it done and it's going to be done on time. So, all of those things you mentioned, you know being available on Slack, not making them wait four hours to reply to an email, all of that kind of stuff really, those are just tactics, I think, to make them trust you. Once they trust you, I don't think most clients really care how responsive you are within reason.
I'm wondering, in your masterminds or in any of your courses, do you teach people how to be reliable? Because I think it is kind of common sense, but there's also probably some things that people just miss because they're not thinking about it, or they've never been a client, and they don't know what it's like to have this deadline and someone else is doing the work and you have no control over how fast they're doing it, you know?
Hayley:
Yeah. I think there's a few things. I think really following up with your clients and stuff. It's almost like you can do a lot of things after you've had your first project with them as well, which I think people don't think about at all, something that we teach in our Client Quest course is how to create fans, or advocates of you and your business is things like following up afterwards and doing a little after action review with them, and saying like, "Hey, how did that go?" And that kind of thing.
What went well? What didn't so well? What can we improve on next time? I think this sort of stuff, maybe sometimes doesn't apply to agencies and animation studios. It's a bit difficult because when we're teaching things, we're thinking about it in terms of agencies, animation she does, and then almost like direct to client and we teach both. Sometimes I might say things and I'm like, that doesn't really work that well for this type of client, but it works well for this type of client. Because not everything works for all types of clients, which I think is really, really important for everyone to understand as well.
Joey:
Yeah. One of the things that I guess I would throw out there, and this is something that ... We've been doing this at School of Motion now for a few years, and we've been a remote company the whole time. Now that freelancers are basically 100% remote for the most part, I think that there's some things that you can actually adopt from remote companies that will really help you gain trust and reliability. So, one of the things that we do, and it kind of depends on which department it is. Every everybody does it a little differently, but we have essentially like a daily standup, and it's just on Slack.
It's just essentially a daily update. This is what I did yesterday. This is what I'm going to do today. As a producer, if you got that at 9:30 in the morning from a freelancer, I think the rest of your day you'd have half the weight on your shoulders because you'd know like, oh, I know what they did yesterday. I know what they say they're doing today. Then tomorrow I'm going to get another update. It's little things like that. Like, first thing in the morning, just doing an update, I think it can really establish trust early.
The thing about trust, and this is such a cliche, but I'll say it anyway, it's hard to get it. It's really easy to lose it. So, little simple things like that, I would definitely recommend.
Hayley:
Yeah, we do that as well. That's that's really funny. We do the same kind of thing.
Joey:
Yeah. Well, it's funny. I mean, as School of Motion has grown, a lot of the, and we are remote, and it is almost like a little laboratory in a way, where I've gotten to see, oh, that's really cool. Alaena, our president, she's really good at organizing things, which is not really how my brain works. So, I've learned a lot in terms of project management and how to get updates and how to see things on a Gantt chart and things like this, where now I'm thinking, huh, if I knew all of this stuff when I was freelancing, I would have been the best freelancer in the world.
Anyway, so I'm glad that we get to share some of this stuff. Now, one thing I want to dig in with you, Hayley, is I want to dig into social media, because when I was freelancing, it was not really a big thing. I'm trying to remember. I'm sure I had a Facebook page or something, but it just wasn't really the way that I got work. I'm really all about that outbound email approach. That's what worked for me and I know it works for other people, but you seem to preach both, right? Outbound and inbound. You've talked a lot about social media on your podcast on Motion Hatch. First of all, how do you think about social media in terms of getting client work? How important is it?
Hayley:
I think it's really important, and some people would disagree with me, but then I know that a lot of people are out there thinking, okay, I mostly get my clients from referrals. What else can I do? It's like, everyone's read The Freelance Manifesto, and it's great. And we all love it. We love you, Joey. It's awesome.
Joey:
Thank you.
Hayley:
But I think there's like a little bit of a missing piece as well for me, which is potentially using social media in two ways. Right? In one way, you have the bit that almost comes before all the emailing parts, which I think that people should do. So, you can use it as a research tool to get more personal with your clients, but also to warm them up before you email them, which is what I've been talking a lot about lately in my podcasts and my masterminds, and basically to anyone that'll listen, is about warming up your clients.
What you do is you basically go out there and find the people that you want to work with, and LinkedIn is an amazing tool for this. I know that you talk about that in The Freelance Manifesto as well, but I'm just getting really excited about LinkedIn right now. Just been exploring the sales navigator.
Joey:
Yeah, it's amazing.
Hayley:
Yeah. The sales navigator is really good because you can actually go and see who has posted in the last 30 days, so then you can go onto their LinkedIn profile and comment on their posts and things like this. Usually, if I'm a producer or a creative director, or something like that, at an animation studio, I'm probably going to be posting about the work that we've been doing on LinkedIn. Some people aren't using LinkedIn and stuff like that, so it's kind of going on there and trying to find clients, but not using the sales navigator. It can be a bit tough because then you've got to go through and figure out, well, are they actually posting? And stuff like that.
So, it just saves you a lot of time. You don't have to use it, and obviously you have to pay money for it, but I feel like it's a really good thing to go in there, figure out, who are the producers in my area in the companies I want to work for, and which one of those has been posting in the last 30 days? Because then you can go on there and you can comment on some of their posts. You could maybe endorse them. If they like one of your posts, you can send them a message saying, hey, thanks for liking my posts and all this kind of stuff.
You can use that to warm up your clients before you email them, but then as well, what it's really good for is posting your work and stuff out there. So, like doing some more content marketing type things. This is more known as inbound marketing. I know Joey, you mentioned outbound. If we think of outbound marketing, like you're sort of interrupting people. You've got a big megaphone you're going around and saying, hey, look at me, look at my work. That kind of thing. Inbound marketing is like a big magnet where you're trying to draw people towards you.
So, you can use social media to help you with the outbound marketing, with the research and warming up side of things, but you can also use it for the inbound stuff. So, posting your work, posting behind the scenes, posting about your process, sharing other people's work is really good too, because you become part of the community. So, I think you can use it in two ways and that's how I think it's really, really important.
Joey:
Yeah. I have a few questions about this. First, I wanted to ask you, the way you were describing, in this case, LinkedIn, as this tool where you can essentially warm up somebody before you reach out with an email, which is more outbound. You can sort of just comment on something that they posted on LinkedIn. I think that's a really great tip, and I used to call it the triple touch, where I think it was, you follow them on Twitter, because everybody likes to get a new follower, and then you add them on LinkedIn and then you email them in that order.
It's like, there's just something psychological about, they've seen your name, then they've seen it again and then they've seen it again, they're more likely to open the email. Is that how you think about warming them up? It's really just about, they've seen your name, or is it really like, you're trying to start a conversation with them on social media before emailing them?
Hayley:
Yeah. From my point of view, it depends how long you've got. My preference, what I tell everyone is that you warm them up for a longer period of time. You can do kind of, like you were saying, a triple touch strategy, or a short term strategy where you're like, okay, cool, one week I'm going to go and like comment on their posts, the next week I'm going to email them, or something. Maybe you need to add another step in there, but something like that.
That's quite quick for me, and I would prefer it if people took their time over it a little bit. Use like a client tracker or a CRM. This is what we teach people to do in Client Quest, basically in our course, is to track people through these stages as well as when you reach out to them by email. You've got these people into, in your first stage where you're warming them up. In Client Quest, we call it the awareness stage. It's like a traditional marketing funnel. So, you've got like awareness, attraction, action, and advocacy.
What you're trying to do, you're trying to draw these potential clients down to your marketing funnel. So, we're in the awareness bit. We're trying to warm them up in there. We're like, cool, okay, I've got these five producers, or whatever. They're in my little awareness part of my funnel. Then you spend like a month or something kind of warming them up. I guess you're like stalking them a little bit, but we have to use our common sense and not be like a crazy stalker person. Because I feel like if you do it too quickly and you do it too much, then it can have the opposite effect.
But if you do it slowly and you make it seem more natural, then I think it can really help you, because then maybe the next month, then you email them. You've took your time over a bit. Maybe you've shared a piece of work from the studio. You liked one of their posts. You did one comment, something like that. Then the next month when you're emailing people, you're like warming up another new set of people. Does that kind of make sense?
Joey:
Yeah, that does make sense. I like it because you're using social media. It's very similar to the way that I actually use email, and all of the stuff that is in The Freelance Manifesto, I still use it every day if I need to reach out to someone who runs a company that's far bigger than us, but I want to connect with them or something like that. I use all these same tracks. I mean, it's really just networking and relationship building. It works regardless on what platform you're on, as long as you have a light touch.
I think that's kind of what you're saying. If you do it too quickly, if you're too forward, buy me dinner first, that kind of thing, it can turn people off, and they're not going to want to work with you or talk to you. You do need to have some, I guess, some interpersonal skills, or at least be able to fake that if you don't have them. But I have another question about social media though. On the inbound side, so I totally get that if you are some incredible designer where people like Tim Ferriss follow you and stuff like that, just because your work is so good, that you're going to get a lot of inbound work requests.
Now, if you're a motion designer that's been in the industry two, three years, and you just left your first job and you're freelancing, and your work, frankly, isn't that awesome yet, but you have a lot of it on your Instagram page, who is actually looking for you and going to your Instagram page? That's where I have trouble seeing how inbound social media marketing works well for people who don't already have that bad-ass portfolio. Am I thinking about it the wrong way, or is it really meant for certain parts of your career to really be effective?
Hayley:
Yeah, I don't think so. I mean, I think, if you think of it in a way, I'm just going to go on Instagram and put my work out there and not interact with the community at all, then yeah, maybe, you probably aren't going to get anything. But I would look at it in a different kind of way. I would think about it as I'm going to share what I'm doing, I'm going to share my process, I'm going to share some values, some behind the scenes, all of the kinds of things that surround what we do and not just talking about my work all the time, and kind of showcasing other people and helping other people and stuff like that.
I think what worked really well for me in the past is I did a project called Bingomation. I don't know whether I've talked about this before, but basically, that was really good because it got me in touch with a lot of other motion designers and it kind of gave me an excuse to email people. I was like, hey, I'm doing this little project, it's called Bingomation. We're doing 90 animations based on Bingo calls. Do you want to take part? Then I kind of got a lot of contacts. There were other motion designers, but that actually led to a lot of work.
A lot of people follow me on social media and stuff like that. So, it's like social media can lead you indirectly to a lot of work without you having to just use this cold email strategy, and it doesn't always have to be as straightforward as, hey, I post a new project and then that creative director gets in touch with me. It can be, I built a relationship with other motion designers on social media because I'm a nice, helpful person. I put my work out there so they know what I do, but I also share them. I also help them and stuff like that. Then maybe they know a creative director who's hiring.
Joey:
Ah, okay. That makes a lot more sense to me. That solidified it. Just let me make sure I understand this. The way I was looking at it is, let's say that you want to go get a big job because you're Austin Saylor, and you want to try to make $200,000 in one year, which I think is amazing and admirable, and I hope he does it. Let's say you want to go out and you want to get a big $15,000 job, and you figure, oh, well, I don't know, maybe Boeing headquarters are in my state or something. A project manager at Boeing is not likely to stumble across my Instagram.
It's different than like, I want to do some work with, I don't know, with STATE, or with Gunner. Well, they're far more likely to stumble across my Instagram because they're run by artists. I guess that's how I was looking at it. It sounds like what you're saying, Hayley, is that, social media, the inbound part of it, it's not necessarily bringing gigantic corporations inbound who will then see your work and want to hire you. That does happen, I think, for artists like Ariel Costa, who's made a really great name for himself and now big brands actually hear about him, and come to his Instagram, come to his site and hire him.
But for the rest of us, mortals, earlier in our career, it's really more about engaging with the community, which can lead to things like referrals. Is that kind of more accurate?
Hayley:
Yeah. There is sort of a stage of your career type idea in here. I think we can explore more. I think that, that's what I would do if I was just starting out. I would use it as a tool to engage with community, to get to know people. Yeah, you're right about saying some of the more artist-led studios do look on Instagram. I know that Goldenwolf people like that, are actively looking on Instagram for freelancers to hire staff, that kind of thing. But I think that you can, even if your work isn't great, I think you can use social media, like in the traditional inbound marketing sense.
But I think that you'd have to niche down. I think that's what you'd have to do, and I wouldn't really recommend people do that when they start out freelancing, because I feel like you need to do a lot of different projects with a lot of different clients, and there's many different ways to niche down, so we can dig into that as well, if you want.
Joey:
Yeah, I do. I do. Let's dig into that in a minute because I want to stick to the social media platforms for a second. If anyone's listening and doesn't know what niching down is, then stay tuned. It's called Ts, Hayley. That's how you get Ts. Let's get specific with the platforms, like Instagram is, to me, the most obvious one that makes sense for motion designers, but are there other platforms that you recommend people are on?
Hayley:
Well, like I said, I really liked LinkedIn, and even for content, like posting stuff about your work and things like that, because we've seen recently, in our mastermind, and the feedback that we've been getting, and from the course as well, is that obviously you're getting more organic traffic from LinkedIn, because Instagram kind of wants you to pay for ads more. LinkedIn's more new in the content marketing space. So, I think they're pushing people's posts out there. Then if someone likes your posts, then it turns up on their followers feed and stuff like that.
I think I'm really excited about LinkedIn and I feel like people should be posting their work on there as well. But I do think it depends on the types of clients you want and things like that. I feel like what we promote in our course is doing many experiments. You pick a platform, you kind of say, right, I'm going to go all in on this platform, I'm go to learn how this platform works. I'm going to research it. Then I'm going to try that for three months, and then I'm going to test, I'm going to do a client audit, and then I'm going to see if that works for me and see if I get any clients from it.
If I don't, cool, let's try another platform. That's how I'd recommend people get started. At the start of the course as well, we give them a client audit, where they can go through and work out what's working for them now, and maybe it's just the case of double doubling down on what's working for you right now to get clients.
Joey:
Yeah. A lot of the things you said, they remind me of the things that Gary V. talks about. He's gone all in, on every single social media platform that's ever existed, I think. Then, as soon as he realizes this one's not working, he just kills it. But because of that, he's able to get in really, really early on platforms right when they start up, because he knows this may work, it may not, but if it works, it's going to be really valuable. It's funny, there's actually a brand new social media platform.
I guess it's a social media platform called Clubhouse, which I started hearing about on Twitter six weeks ago. It was really, at the time it was just like Silicon Valley VCs and investors talking about it, because Naval was on there. Now, Chris Do seems to be doing ... It's basically a live audio chat social network, and he's doing these talks seemingly every day. I've heard the School of Motion community start asking about it.
I'm curious, why don't we use that as an example, here's a brand new social media platform. It's not obvious how this is going to turn into work for motion designers, how would you kind of guide your students and the mastermind artists you're working with to evaluate something like Clubhouse?
Hayley:
Yeah, I think this is a great question. I'm excited about it because I literally just debating whether I should get on that platform right now as well.
Joey:
I have an insight for you, Hayley, if you need one.
Hayley:
Oh, thank you. Thank you. I need to get an iPhone first. This is my biggest struggle, but it's fine. We'll sort that out. Yeah, I just want to say that I haven't used it, but I have done some research. From the research, the kind of thing, I think is really good, like you were saying, for conversations and stuff like that. So, people, what happens is, as far as my understanding, is that people are on a stage. Chris Do or whoever will be talking on a stage and then if they allow it, you can put your hand up and then you can talk too.
It kind of seems like you can get access to some people who you maybe wouldn't have access to otherwise, because you can actively have a live conversation with them, and it's not as curated as something like a podcast, like what we're doing right now. I think that it could be really powerful, especially if you're looking to get into a niche that isn't, like you want to be a motion designer for a certain type of company or a certain type of industry, because then you can get involved in these industry conversations.
Similar to what you'd do if you were like go to a conference or something like that, and then you can kind of go to that profile, I think, and then you can go to their Instagram and kind of start a conversation with them there and be like, hey, I heard you talk about this on Clubhouse. That was really cool. I'm interested in that kind of thing too. That's how I think it could work. But as someone who hasn't used the platform yet, I just want to reiterate that, but that's how I see it working from the research that I've done.
Joey:
Yeah. I love it. That's a really brilliant idea actually. Because it almost sounds like you can look at it like you're going to a conference. I know, just as an example, I know that one of the things you talk about is niching down. You could be a motion designer that really wants to be in the health space and you love working with yoga brands, and you could go to a Clubhouse room, and I guarantee probably 10 of them where they're talking ... It's like yoga instructors, or people who run yoga studios, and you can be there, and you can introduce yourself, hey, I'm an animator and designer that works with yoga brands, and just talk about yoga.
Then after that, you can follow up. Now, they know your name, they've heard your voice, you added something to the conversation that has nothing to do with motion design, but now you have a personal connection to them, and it's voice. So, it's a lot different than, oh yeah, you retweeted my thing. Thank you. I think you're onto something.
Hayley:
Yeah. I want to try it out, and if anyone's listening and they're like, yes, let's do it. Let's all get together and we can make our own club. We can have a Motion Hatch club, we can have a School of Motion club. I'm up for it. I think we should go for it.
Joey:
I like it. Maybe we should tag team. We should have the School of Motion Hatch Club, and we'll have like 10,000 people in it all talking at the same time.
Hayley:
Yeah. We'll be the leaders. No, no, we can. No, it sounds awesome. If anyone's interested in Clubhouse, let me know. Because I want to see if people are actually interested in jumping on there or if anyone already has, and their experience too.
Joey:
Yeah. Well, hopefully somebody can slip quarantine and give you an iPhone in the meantime and you can get on Clubhouse. All right, so let's talk about consistency on social media. One of the things like basically everybody, Chris Do, Gary V., I'm sure you would agree with this, but one of the main ways to get engagement on social media and to build a following, if that's your goal, is to be consistent. It was interesting, because earlier you were talking about, say for Instagram, it's not just about posting work and doing every days or something. It's also a place to sort of show the world what you're like and your process, and how you're engaged with the community.
What are some ways that motion designers can be consistent and post ... I'm sure, ideally, you want them posting every day, but it's hard to come up with something. How do you tell people this is the kind of thing you should be posting?
Hayley:
Yeah. I really want to start with, I'm not fan of the dailies thing. I know, I love people, it is a great job. That's awesome. I don't think we should be thinking, as motion designers, I have to post every day. It's just not sustainable. What you're going to do is you're going to post like five days in a row, then you're going to burn yourself out and you're going to say, I hate social media. It doesn't work for me. So, please don't do that. I think, like you were saying, I'm completely in agreement. Consistency is the main thing because you want to get engagement and that really, really helps with that.
I think what I'd rather you do is decide, okay, I can post once a week. I can post twice a month. It doesn't matter. I think you just have to be consistent. I mean, YouTube is a great example of this, because usually people are posting once a week and kind of sticking to that and it works really well. I think that applies pretty much across most platforms. I mean, obviously we just talked about Clubhouse, and that's completely different, but not like LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter. I think we can apply that there.
What it's about is it's about spreading your content a little bit. For example, everyone always comes to the mastermind, and they're like, I want to make a three minute film, and I'm like, okay, cool, that's going to take you a long time and you're probably going to go through this dip where you're like, oh, this is great, this is awesome. I love it. Oh no, this is rubbish. Everyone's going to hate it. Sometimes you don't even finish those projects. That's definitely been me many, many times. What I prefer to tell people to do is can you come up with some sort of theme or some sort of series, and then kind of break that up into smaller little animations that you could use and posts over a longer period of time, because that's going to give you more content, but for the same amount of work.
Joey:
That's interesting. In the world of social media, 10, 15, second animations is worth more than one, 150 seconds two and a half minute animation, right?
Hayley:
Yeah, 100%. I think so. Then also, then where you can do, this is where it gets really good, you can also put the sketches and all of the behind the scenes of all that stuff online too. You can do it at the same time, which on Instagram works really well because you can use carousels and everybody loves those, because basically if you have people swiping on the carousel, that signals to Instagram, oh they've engaged with your content, so then it will show it to more people. So, carousels are really great. People should definitely be using those.
Joey:
Yeah. I want to ask you about Mair Perkins, because I know you've spoken with her and I see her on LinkedIn a lot. She posts a lot on there, and it's always processed stuff, and it's just a little quick video she shot with her phone, showing her Cintiq with some animation on it and you can kind of see the after effects interface. I think it's brilliant. I assume she's getting work by doing it because she's been doing it very consistently. Have you seen that kind of content actually result in somebody saying, wow, I want a book that person?
Hayley:
Yeah. I think Mair's a perfect example of this, and we talked about LinkedIn with her on our podcast as well. I think it works great. Especially on LinkedIn, she's doing a lot of stuff for social impact kind of environmental companies, and then she's showing them the behind the scenes, and because they're not ... They don't know about animation and that kind of thing, I think they really appreciate seeing all the behind the scenes stuff like how she works, like her craft, right? She's almost sharing how she works and how she builds her craft and kind of showing ...
I guess it's more like showing yourself as more of an artist, which I like the idea of, and it shows the value of what you do to clients as well and like how much work and time and effort that we put into it. Everybody as well, even not just like direct clients, but everyone in the industry loves to see behind the scenes. So, it can just be as easy as applying the Cyclops plugin by Kyle Martinez. It's really, really awesome.
Basically, it just shows you all the paths and everything kind of the behind the scenes of after effects. People just love that stuff. All the time, when we post behind the scenes, even on the Motion Hatch Instagram channel compared to like final polished projects, they always get more likes, more comments and that sort of thing. You can even ask people questions. What I really like is when people are like, hey, what do you think of this? I'm thinking of doing this design. Do you like the blue version? Or do you like the purple version?
Then you're asking people a question, and obviously everybody's going to answer that. It can be like blue, red, everyone likes to have their own opinion, and that's just going to really help you to get lots more engagement. It's showing that process stuff, but getting people involved in the work that you do can be really helpful. We're actually making a social media guide for motion designers, which I'm hoping is going to be out by the time this podcast comes out. In there, we take you through four different types of posts.
Basically, we have relatable posts, interactive posts, promotional posts, and community posts. This is kind of how you can think of it, breaking it up. So, relatable is obviously you getting to know people, telling stories, some behind the scenes, some parts of your life and stuff like that, which Instagram stories is really good for that interactive, like I was saying, asking questions, getting to know your followers, like maybe collaborating with them in some way. Promotional is pretty obvious, it's like what we're all doing anyway, showing your work, showing your projects, and community posts are more sharing other people's work, or maybe even sharing a course that you like, sharing some work from a course that you did with School of Motion, for example.
Joey:
Thank you for that.
Hayley:
Because then, probably School of Motion is going to share your posts and then that's going to get you more followers, just saying as an idea.
Joey:
That's actually very true. It's very accurate. This is actually amazing and I'm definitely going to download The Motion Designers Guide to Social Media as soon as it's available. Well, by the way, everyone listening, we have show notes for every episode. So, just go to schoolmotion.com and you can find this episode, and look for any links or anything we talk about. But it's a brave new world with social media. What I like about the way you're talking about it, Hayley, is that it's not like you're doing anything completely new.
The way I look at freelancing and getting work in general is it's probably been the same for thousands of years. It's like make that person like you, get them so they trust you and they trust that you can do what they want to pay you to do, and then just subtly ask for the work. You're just using social media to do that. You're not using it in some crazy way and posting selfies, and lots of hashtags and stuff like that. I mean, do you think any of that works? When we say social media, if you said social media to your grandma or something, what she's imagining in her head is not what you're talking about.
You're talking about very tactical social media, but is any of that sort of fluff side of social media useful to motion designers?
Hayley:
Yeah. I don't know. I mean, I just really like to think about it, like what you're saying, building human connections. I think what we just have to be ... Just be human and don't be like robots. This is what I hate about social and when people are on LinkedIn. People hate LinkedIn because they're thinking that everybody's just going around and saying, hey, it's nice to meet you, Hayley. I have a company called this, would you be interested in getting on a call with me? Don't be a robot like that. I'm going to be like, no, you seem like a spammy kind of person.
But then if you're, I don't know, interested in talking to me, and you're hovering around motion hatch, and you're liking and commenting on our posts and stuff. I'm going to see that, and I'm going to be like, huh, this person, I see them around, and then if you send me an email, I'm more likely to be like, oh, oh, do I know that person? Maybe I should probably reply to that email. Because they seem they're interested in what we're doing and things like that, and it works like that for all companies, I think.
Yeah, I just hate the whole idea of social media, just being like, I'm just going to talk about myself all the time and not give anything back, give any value to the other people. Cause that's what people care about. Unfortunately, they don't really care about you. They care about, how are you entertaining me? How are you educating me? All of that kind of stuff.
Joey:
Yup. All right. Let's explain what niching down really means. So, when you say that one way you can sort of differentiate yourself and maybe, I guess even as a strategy for having less competition, you can niche down. So, what do you mean by that?
Hayley:
Yeah. It's funny because you say niche, and niche, so that's even more confusing for everyone.
Joey:
I know. Well, I said niche, and then I realized I said niche, and I'm like, but is it niche? So, I just, I hedged. Listen, I'm going to get canceled about it, either way, it's fine.
Hayley:
I just think it's UK versus US [crosstalk 00:44:21], it's okay.
Joey:
Well, let's use the UK. Out of respect, let's use the UK pronunciation.
Hayley:
Okay, cool. Yeah, so niching down, well, basically in the motion design industry, I think you can do it in at least three ways. Either by style, which we're very used to. We see a lot of people that have their own styles by like market or industry, which we're not as used to or skill as well. You can be like, I don't know, the best cinema 4D character artist, or something like that. I think there's kind of different ways of doing it. I think when people think of niching down, they think, oh, do I just have to be like the motion designer for doctors or something? [crosstalk 00:45:04].
Joey:
You could, I guess.
Hayley:
Yeah. I just think like there's a lot more different ways that you can do it. For example, Ross Plaskow, who was just on the podcast, on the Motion Hatch podcast, he's like a really fantastic after effects character animator. He's niched down more in the skill area. Then Roxy Valez has a company now with vegan and sustainable businesses. Obviously, that's more niched down on an industry kind of perspective. Obviously, style, like I said, we know a lot of people who are niched down in that kind of area. That's how I like to break it up and how I like to present it to people so they can think about what they're passionate about and how motion design can intersect with that if you're kind of looking at a different industry or market, or maybe about what kind of skills they really like doing or what kind of styles they really gravitate towards.
Joey:
That's great. Yeah. I think you're exactly right that we're already familiar with the idea of niching down for a style, right? Like Ariel Costa's style is his style. Then having being the best RealFlow artists in New York or something like that. I think niching down into a specific market is a really interesting idea. I think more artists should think about it because one of the things that I talk about and I harp on it in my book is that there's like this overarching goal that I think most motion designers have when they start out, which is like, do the best work, work with the best clients, have a great career.
As you get older and maybe your life changes, it can be more specific. It could be like only work 20 hours a week, spend more time with my children, things like that. Your goals may shift, and so while I know you were kidding, maybe half kidding to be the motion designer that services doctor groups is probably a pretty good way of having not much competition and a client that, I don't know, maybe ... My father was a doctor before he retired, and they can be pains in the asses, but big doctor groups, they're going to have probably not super crazy expectations. You're going to be able to work quickly.
You're going to be able to get away with things you might not be able to get away with if Buck hires you, and you're probably gonna make more money and be able to do more work and scale pretty quickly, because who's going after doctor groups, right? Coming at it strictly from the business side, it seems like a pretty smart move. It's also useful, like you said, you can align your personal values more with your work. I only want to work with companies, or I want to be known as the artist that works with companies that are helping to protect the environment.
That's awesome and that's also a great strategy, but you could also be the person that wants to go after every waste management organization in the country and help their motion design look better because no one is doing that and no one's trying to do that. They have government budgets, which are often bloated. It could be lucrative. Do you think of it that way too? Or is it primarily a tool for your students to just align their values with their work more?
Hayley:
I think it is a tool to align your values. I get worried when people are like, oh, I'm going to go after this niche because there's lots of money in it, and I sort of try and veer people away from that because I feel like, basically what happens when you start out in this industry, and we're all like, oh, okay, we want to be freelance motion designers, or we want to make a company, or want to start creating motion design, whatever it is, and then you kind of get to a point where you're like, okay, I'm making money now. I'm doing okay. Then there's like a big, now what? I feel like this happens a lot. This is what we see in the mastermind all the time is like, okay, cool. I can get work as a freelancer, but now what do I do?
Maybe it's not the quality of work I want to do. Do I build a studio? Do I do something completely different? I think if you're kind of just going after the money, it's not going to last very long as a sustainable career or business. I try and talk to people about their purpose and that kind of thing. I'm really excited because there's a few people in our mastermind right now that have got some big plans for some companies that aren't really what you would think about when you think about a motion designer and what kind of company they could start. I'm super excited about that.
Joey:
It's interesting that I think you're right, and I think this is something that, no matter how many times you or I say this, or anybody else says it, I think most people probably need to experience it. It's like some people, and there's definitely been times in my career where this has been a driver, where it's like, okay, the next score that I want to increase is revenue and earning. How do I make more money? There are very specific things you can do to make more money. Then, it sounds like what you're saying is the problem with that is that that motivation will fade out pretty quickly.
You could make more money and then find yourself making a lot of money doing work you hate doing, and kind of pigeonhole yourself a little bit. Is that kinda what you're saying?
Hayley:
Yeah, definitely. I think for me, what I really want to do with Motion Hatch is give people a place where they can come to find out more about how to build a successful career and business. But the purpose of that then is so that they can have more freedom in their lives so they can concentrate on other things that isn't just about making money. So, it's kind of like, yeah, we're going to help you to make money, but we're helping you to make money because we want you to focus on either having freedom in your life and like spending time with your family and all that kind of stuff, or having a larger purpose, and whatever that might be.
It's very different for lots of different people, but I feel like that's a bit that I'm excited about. I like making money, and I like teaching people how to make money, but the bit that I really care about is you following your passion and your purpose, or even figuring out what that is.
Joey:
I love it. I love it. I mean, that's really what freelancing has always been for me in a nutshell. It's just a tool that you can aim and wield to help craft your life the way you want and the types of work you go after, the types of clients you work with, how much you charge, all of those things are actually like leavers and gears that you can turn and pull and adjust once you learn how to do it. All right, so I have another question that I feel like you're in a good position to answer, which is are reels, and I mean, frankly, even having your own website and having a portfolio, are those still important as important in 2021 as they used to be?
Hayley:
I think they're very important. I know we've been talking a lot about social media, but what made me laugh, I literally saw yesterday, I think, on Twitter or something, I can't remember who it was, but they were saying, hey, can people make reels? We're trying to hire some and it's really difficult to go through all their portfolio and something like that. Basically someone complaining about people not having show reels. I think that are important because it does give you a quick highlight of what you can do.
Also, in terms of how many of your own portfolio compared to, I guess we're talking about just having an Instagram portfolio, or something like that. The thing about that is I think you should always have your own website because it's like your home on the internet. You control it, you control what people see and all that kind of stuff. If we're talking about Instagram and stuff like that, people, they could just pull that at any time. I mean, they're probably not going to, but you don't own that space. I like the idea that people have their own little home on the internet. I think it makes you look more professional.
I'd just like to say one thing about websites and portfolios as well, because I feel like I repeat it a lot and I think it's a really good tip that I want people to know and really obvious. You really, really need to make it easy for people to find your contact information. Please, if you take like one thing from this podcast, is go to your website and look at it with fresh eyes and say, cool, I'm a client, I'm coming into this website. Can I find the contact information within like, I don't know, five seconds or something. Basically people don't put even like contact me, or schedule a call, or anything, and you should put it in the top right, because that's generally where people go to click on buttons and to the call to action kind of space.
Please, please, everyone make sure you do that. It's not good enough to just have it buried in the about section, because that takes me too long to find your email. Would you agree with that?
Joey:
I love it. 100%. Not only do I agree with it, I actually chastised someone right before we got on this call, Hayley, because I went to their portfolio site and I could not find their contact info, as funny as that sounds. In the bottom of my email to them, I was like, PS, I couldn't find your contact info on your website. That's really funny. That's good to hear too. The way that I've looked at portfolios over the last few years, it's really ... Here's the thing I get sent reels and portfolios on a daily basis, way more than I can actually look at. It's surprising to me, in 2021, just ... Because it's mostly professionals who are already working, and I would say, maybe less than half have their own websites and are still using something like Behance, or just using Vimeo.
To me, if I'm hiring, that's ... I mean, if their work's good, their work's good. It shouldn't really matter. But I always tell students when you want to be taken seriously, you need to go pro. You need to act like a professional. Have your own website. Don't have an email that's Hayley [email protected] That's not Hayley's email by the way. I didn't just dox her. But have [email protected], like have something that is professional sounding, even if it gives you imposter syndrome to have it.
I think portfolio, it's really important. It just shows people that you took the time to set one up. Then as far as reels go, have you heard anything about, there's always like the debate about how long the reel should be. 15 years ago they were much longer, I think. I think now it's fine to have literally, a 30 second reel. I think most people that's probably what they need. But do you have any thoughts on real sort of best practices?
Hayley:
Yeah, I completely agree with you about all the things you were saying about having a professional email and things like that. It's a real big pet peeve of mine. I sound like I'm just moaning to everyone, but when they send you a Vimeo link, it's just not good enough anymore. Everybody can make a website pretty quickly and pretty easily. You can make a free one with Adobe portfolio, so just putting that out there. It's really, really easy. Just do a few YouTube tutorials, get some work up there. It's just so easy, and it makes you look ...
I think the most important thing is it makes you look like you care about your work and you care about how people view you and I think that's really important. In terms of reels, I agree with you. I think 30 seconds is absolutely fine. I'm probably maybe going to say something controversial right now.
Joey:
Let's do it. Let's do it. Let's both get canceled, Hayley. Come on.
Hayley:
No, it's like, so basically what I see a lot of the time as well, is sometimes, because a lot of people are doing skill emotion courses under the courses, which is very good and awesome, but then sometimes, if they have a lot of that work on their reels, I think because people are used to seeing it a lot, people who are hiring, I think it makes them potentially look a little bit more junior than they should. What I would suggest is please do School of Motion courses. I'm a massive fan obviously, but I think what you should do is go away and take what you've learned and make a personal project out of.
Unless it's kind of unrecognizable. I know that some of your courses, they kind of do design and stuff like that, and I think that's fine, but I just see that turn up a lot, and I think it's like, it doesn't take that much to take those skills and over a weekend or something do a little project, or like I said, do a little series of 10 second animations or something like that, and get a new piece of work out of what you've learnt. What do you think of that?
Joey:
Yeah. This comes up a lot actually. It's one of those things that I never really planned on turning into a problem. Anyone who's seen one of our animation bootcamp final projects, I mean, there's probably thousands of them now just wandering around the internet. It's pretty recognizable if you're in the industry. I do think that if you're sending your reel and your portfolio to studios and advertising agencies, and places where it's more likely that they work with motion designers pretty often, then yeah, they're probably going to recognize, oh, that looks the same. I've seen that same thing on 10 reels.
I think it really kind of depends on the artist. If it's a brand new artist and they don't even have any professional work, all they've done is be a student, then I think it's fine to just have a real and a portfolio of School of Motion work. I don't think that a studio is going to hire you based on that reel or that portfolio, it's unlikely anyway, because what studios want, and this is what every studio owner tells me. They want to see what you come up with on your own, specifically like design seems to be the thing people really want. So, you do need to be doing your own work to really level up.
But I think when you're starting out, it's still okay. The other thing I would say is that I would say if you're like a mid-level motion designer, it really does depend on the assignment. Because some of our assignments like the ones from our 3D courses and our design courses, they all look completely different from student to student. But say, for example, in Advanced Motion Methods, which is the advanced animation class that Sander teaches. Well, the, the final project in that class is we give you a set of storyboards and a soundtrack.
The storyboards were done by Sarah Beth Morgan, so they're just immaculate and gorgeous, and you get all these Photoshop files and all these assets, and you're told, "Animate this." That is 100% accurate representation of what will happen should Buck book you as an animator. You're not going to design anything. You're going to get boards and you're going to animate them. That's frankly what I did for most of my career. So, being able to demonstrate that you can do that at a very high level, I still think is useful. I'm not sure I'd put that piece in your reel, but I would put it on your portfolio with the breakdown, which is another thing we recommend, and you've mentioned several times in this podcast, like show your process.
I think it can be done in a way where it's okay, Hayley, but I definitely agree with you, if you're a mid-level motion designer, certainly if you're experienced and you're putting recognizable things, it kind of doesn't matter if it's School Motion homework or a Video Copilot tutorial, it just sends the wrong message. It says, I don't care that everyone else has this in their portfolio, and I think that's almost worse.
Hayley:
Yeah. There's ways to get around this. So, if you are an animator and you're a fantastic animator, but you're not really a designer, why don't you just team up with a designer or an illustrator? Lots of people are doing that at the moment in my masterminds, because they're like, hey, I just want to flex these animation skills. I'm not too bothered about doing design work. Lots of illustrators and graphic designers and stuff would absolutely love their stuff to be animated. I think it's just about thinking about things in a bit of a different way and you can easily get around these problems if say one of your problems is yeah, okay, but I want to do the animation part. I don't really want to do the design part or something like that.
Joey:
Yeah. That's super good advice. I've seen Steve Savalle and Reece Parker team up and do some cool stuff like that over the last year or two. So, it's definitely happening. I think if you're listening to this and you're thinking, yeah, but why would some awesome designer want to work with me? Well, just ask, and I would say you probably have at least a coin toss odds to get a yes. It can't hurt. I wanted to ask you, we brought him up already once, but Austin Saylor.
For those of you listening, who don't know who Austin is, awesome, awesome dude. Awesome motion designer. I think he also has taught, I don't know if he's still running it, but he's taught a class in the past on how to animate lettering in After Effects. He's got a whole bunch of things he's doing, but one of the things that I thought was fascinating, he came out, I think at the end of last year, and he said, "All right, I'm saying this publicly, my goal for 2021 is to freelance and make $200,000. Boom." Now, $200,000, I know not a ton, but I know more than one hands worth of people who have made over $200,000 freelancing.
I know there's many more out there and they generally don't talk about it. But I'm curious, if you were advising Austin, because I know Austin is also a friend of yours, what would you tell him that the strategy should be if your goal is to freelance and make $200,000? Because that is a lot. That's a pretty high-end freelancer.
Hayley:
Yeah. I would do one or two things. I think one, he's said that he doesn't want to do, because I would probably lean on some sort of passive income, which is like a really buzzy word, and we're going to, I swear, soon, I'm going to do some sort of workshop or something about it because I feel like everyone wants to do it, but really people don't understand the ins and outs of passive income. Even though you might be earning some money while you're sleeping, you've still got a market that product, or course, or whatever, all of that kind of bit.
But I think he doesn't want to do any of that. I think it's just, if we're talking about purely freelancing work, then what I would do is I would say, obviously go probably more direct to client, because hopefully you're going to get bigger budgets and that kind of thing. I think that he really needs to utilize his network in that way, and also figure out potentially more of a niche market that he could go after. I know that he sort of tried to start to do this a little bit with the entrepreneurial industry and working for some people like that.
Potentially, that could be a route that I would go after and see if I can get into a certain type of industry or market and be the person to go to, where there's going to be like a lot of referrals between the same kind of people. Also, I would maybe build up maybe more of a productized service. Even though that's not sexy and people don't want to do that, and they're like, yeah, but Hayley, we want to do custom nice work all the time. But if you're going after the money, maybe having a couple of tiers of different types of animations, and maybe even one of them is a bit more templated, if that's a word, then you're going to make more money by doing that because you can charge more on the custom and then you can do more work quickly on the lower end. I'd maybe try and explore those kinds of avenues as well.
Joey:
Yeah. That's all good advice. Everyone listening, we'll link to Austin's Twitter account because that's where he's talked about this. Just to be super clear about it, knowing Austin and having sort of followed him, Austin was actually one of the first people ever, I think he might have been literally in the very first School of Motion class. I can't remember if it was the first or second, but he's been a friend to School Motion for a long time and he's definitely like a tinkerer and an experimenter. To me, the impression I get, and I want to have him on to talk about this and to hear if it was successful or not. But I get the impression that he's not doing this at all out of greed.
It's really, it's like a challenge like, is this possible? Can I do it? Let me let you follow along. I'll tell you what I learned. In the spirit of that, this is the advice I would give him, if he's listening to this, I would say, and it's funny, Hayley, because it comes back to something we were talking about earlier. I think it's going to be a lot harder to build $200,000 in a year doing $5,000 projects, right?
You're going to have to do 40, $5,000 projects to get to 200,000. That's a lot, and the clients that have $5,000 or $7,000, there's a lot of competition there, and ironically, I think it's probably easier to go after some $20,000 jobs, and maybe some $25,000, $30,000 jobs, but I think the easiest way, if it was me is I would not go after cool jobs. I would be the motion designer for the doctor group. I would go after financial companies that have animation on their homepages, which almost all of them do, explaining how options trading works and all this kind of stuff.
I wouldn't be going after YouTubers and animating ... and I don't know what Austin's doing, so I'm just like using this as an example, but for example, wouldn't go after YouTubers who need an intro animation for their channel, and maybe are big enough where they can spend five grand. I would go after the gigantic publicly traded ad agency that works with Chase Bank and let them know that like, hey, I can animate 3D credit cards all day long. Yeah, I think that strategy would probably be more lucrative, even if it's a little more soul sucking.
Hayley:
Definitely, and that's why I was talking about with trying to do maybe a bit more of a productized service. So, you kind of have products as your ... Here are the different levels of animations we offer, and this is what you get type thing, and this is an animation that's going to solve this exact problem that you have client in whatever market you're in, whatever problem you're trying to solve, because I think then that's worth more money to those people. If those people are used to spending a lot of money on marketing and that type of thing, I think it would be pretty easy to get as big a type jobs. We know that Austin is all over this and I really hope that he achieves it because it's-
Joey:
I'm rooting for him. Yeah.
Hayley:
It's great. Yeah. I think it's awesome. It's all the kind of stuff that I really like to talk about, but I think as well, I just want to bring it back to what I was saying earlier about, you can think of your career in lots of different ways, so it can be about like, yeah, I want to make six figures, blah, blah, blah. You can do that, and there's ways to do that, or you can think, hey, I want to get up every morning and I want to do this type of work. Or I want to only work four hours a day.
I know people in our mastermind that just work four hours a day, and that's what they want to do, so they have to build their business around that. Then it's like, well, how do I make more money then if I'm only working four hours a day and I'm charging a day rate? Well, it's like, okay, well you need to charge a project rate, because you're kind of getting punished for being fast, and charging a day rate for four hours is obviously half of a day rate for eight hours and that kind of thing. The things with like business and stuff like that, there's so many different ways to look at this stuff and so many different ways around it, but that's why I was bringing it back to like, what do you want your life to look like and where are you trying to get to?
Because ultimately, that's going to guide you to where you want to go. I think we're such a young industry that there aren't really that many role models who are quite far ahead. I mean, most people are like, being freelancing for three to five years. I think, unless you're building a studio, that's kind of where people are. I feel like everyone's struggling to know what to do next. I think it's about just feeling like there's a lots of opportunities out there. People are starting to create their own content, build their own companies around that. I think there's just so much exciting stuff. I'm really excited.
Joey:
Well, Hayley, I agree with all of that, and I think there's been a ton of actionable kind of tactical tips in this episode, which is what I was hoping, so thank you. I wanted to ask you one last thing as we land the plane, and it's something I think you're in a unique position to talk about, which is, and I'm trying to think of the best way to ask it, because on the one hand, I'm guessing a lot of people freelancing, the number one thing that they would say if you ask them, what do you wish you could change about your freelance career? They might say, ah, I wish I could make more money. But I'm sure that also a lot of freelancers are making the amount of money they want. They just don't like the work they're doing, or they're working too many hours.
However your students and your mastermind group defines success in their lives and their career, have you noticed any common threads with the artists that end up succeeding at their goals? They want to make a hundred thousand, they do X, Y, Z, and then they do it, or they're already making the amount they want, but they want to work with studios and do cooler work, and so you help them, and boom, they do it. I'm sure that there are some that just don't, they don't succeed. It's just human nature. Is there anything you can say about the ones that do that maybe everybody can learn from?
Hayley:
Yeah. I think it comes back to what we were saying about social media. It's all about consistency. It's about consistency and confidence. Mindset is half of the battle with everything when you're dealing with this kind of stuff, because a lot of people are holding themselves back in the way that they go about things. They don't want to put their work out there. They don't like emailing people, they feel salesy, all of this kind of stuff. That's all to do with mindset.
I think I like to encourage people to think of themselves like, hey, I'm running a business. If you're freelancing, you're running your own business. So, if you start to think of yourself as more like a business owner, and you're like, hey, this is my services and stuff like that, it kind of makes it like a little bit less personal and it's not just ... You're not just thinking, oh, no, but I don't want to like try and sell something to someone, and think of it in a way of, okay, I'm trying to solve someone's problem.
I'm trying to help them and solve their problem, because no matter what we're doing, we're solving problems as motion designers. That's kind of what half we're doing is, every day in After Effects, we're just solving problems in After Effects, and that video is ultimately solving problems for a company, whether that's more sales or telling their customer's information, or their staff information, or whatever. That's the kind of mindset part of it. People don't have a lot of confidence. We've all got imposter syndrome. I feel like this is why masterminds are so powerful because they allow people to see what others are doing and they feel like they're not alone in what they're doing.
Then the consistency part of it is being consistent with your outreach. So, doing the cold emailing, kind of keeping up with your potential clients and all the leads and having a CRM or a client tracker or something like that, and blocking out a time in your week where you look at that every week, and then also being consistent with social media and all of your relationships and all that kind of stuff, which is basically what I'm trying to teach people about, especially in my Client Quest courses.
Build a system. Build a system so you don't have to think about what you're doing. So, it's just like you're on autopilot. You're like, okay, Thursday morning, I open up my client tracker and then I see who I've got in the social media section, who I need to kind of engage with on social media. I see these people who I need to reach out to via email and all of that kind of stuff. So, it's just about putting the systems in place so you don't have to think about it. Then I think you can sort of stop yourself sometimes from doing stuff and taking action.
Really, this is ultimately what everyone should be doing, being consistent and taking action. If you just keep doing that, it sounds really simple, but you'll get to where you want to go. It's just about having a clear vision and taking action and being consistent. If you need to experiment and kind of be along different paths to figure out what the right direction is, then do that.