Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Clients,
Please stop adding “I’m not creative so what do I know” to your feedback, comments, and questions when you work with a Designer on a design project.
Because you are, absolutely, creative.
At some point, usually around age 9 or 10, our brains start comparing ourselves to others, and we get sorted, by us or by our teachers, into “creative” and “not-creative”.
That, my friends, is a quantifiable metric f&ckload of horsesh&t.
I could go on for 10 paragraphs explaining why. But you can use Google. So take a few minutes to look up “creativity”. It’s not what you think.
And please—Give me your thoughts, not your apologies. The first is absolutely welcome. The second is completely unnecessary.
What happens when you combine a Freelance Web Designer, some free time between projects, a love of Photoshop, and an enthusiasm about various entertainment properties?
Why these, of course.
Because these photoshop mashups that I created are so consistently well visited on my website as well as here on Tumblr, I’m consolidating them into one page, called Creative Cross Training at http://newleafinteractive.tumblr.com/creative-cross-training
It’s linked at the top of my website. Links to the original Tumblr posts of these images, as well as High Resolution versions, are available on the page as well.
I recently became aware of this company — www.WeAreColony.com — a pay-Video-on-Demand provider.
After getting an invitation to their service and looking around, it’s pretty clear that they understand the whole New Entertainment Marketing Thing which is gaining momentum among Creative Professionals and hopefully set to disrupt the existing film distribution model.
Along with providing quality content, We Are Colony does the following Entertainment Marketing things right:
- build a community for the film and the film’s production house by encouraging email signup. This is hopefully the prelude to a real, long-term, customer relationship strategy.
- heavily encourage social media sharing on each individual piece of content. Also, and very importantly, they watermark their content, so that it can be traced back to its source when it is inevitably loosed into the wilds of the internet
- offer exclusive content with the purchase of the VOD property being provided to give viewers a unique value-added experience. You don’t get that on iTunes or Amazon for the cost of admission.
- have a website that responds to desktop/tablet/mobile devices. I recently looked at most of the major film studio websites out there. This is surprisingly not the case on almost all of them. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Film Industry - are you even looking at your Analytics? Good heavens. Get those sites working on tablets and mobile!
- allow simple online payment through PayPal (with hopefully a more branded and seamless ecommerce checkout coming soon)
And now, because I’m a web designer and internet marketer and can’t help myself…
Here’s a few suggestionsfor the folks at We Are Colony about how they can make their services even more awesome for small film production houses.
- Consider offering “movie website” solutions for the films you offer. Many smaller film production companies don’t have the budget, or the marketing staff, to create their own. Those movie-specific sites will help Search Engine Optimization, and links on the movie websites to your site will help drive organic internet traffic.
- Consider offering “film studio” website solutions for the film production companies as well. Same reasons as above.
- Integrate Email Collection and Marketing Campaigns into these as well. Building community is excellent. Communicating with them not only via Social Media but also email is essential. Even with young audiences, trigger emails and opt-in emails get a huge response.
All in all, this is very exciting stuff, not just in terms of Marketing, but in terms of the changing Entertainment industry.
Hopefully companies like We Are Colony will help return control of creative properties - and revenue for them - back to the Creative Professionals who actually create them and who deserve it most.
Now wouldn’t that be a novel idea.
For more information on We Are Colony, visit: http://www.wearecolony.com
- L Mitchell www.newleafinteractive.com
1. On your own, you’ll have trouble building a high-end design portfolio.
Working with Joe’s Corner Sandwich Shop is not as impressive as working with Microsoft. With an agency, you’ll be able to work on some of the world’s largest brands.
2. Agency work gives you critical experience in multiple industries.
Pharmaceuticals, Entertainment, ecommerce… all these have their own needs. They’ll expect you to know them in order to work with them.
3. Agencies want their freelancers to understand the agency process.
You’ll need to know what Wireframes are and why they’re important, why it’s important to clean up your Photoshop files for Development, and why tracking your hours to 15 minute increments is critical to a project’s success. The easier you are to work with, the more likely it is that you’ll get freelance work from the Big Guys.
4. You’ll work with amazingly creative people who will challenge you and make you grow.
I have had the pleasure of working with immensely talented and diverse people, including Designers, User Experience Experts, Programmers, Salespeople, and even the amazing support staff. I would be less of a designer without all the mentoring I’ve received. I try to pass that on when I can.
5. You may discover you want to do something different.
I know lots of people who started as HTML Developers and went into Project Management, or started in I.T. and went into Design, or started in Design and went into User Experience. Working with other disciplines means that not only will you understand them, you also might want to become them.
6. You’ll be able to learn from other people’s mistakes.
This is especially helpful if you ever want to not only be a freelancer but also start your own small agency. Watching and learning from the agency’s mistakes where you work is what I call Free Business Education. It’s all the information without any of the personal consequences.
7. You’ll be able to save up 6 months of income in preparation for going Freelance.
Because yes. That’s what you need. Do not jump from a job into the freelance life without savings! Even if you have That Big Project lined up. Even if you have a contract signed. Timelines shift. Projects disappear. Businesses declare bankruptcy. Have money saved up. Seriously.
8. While you’re learning your trade and the industry, you’ll be able to get paid vacations
Other wonderful things will include 401K benefits and paid sick days. You’ll miss these as a freelancer. So enjoy them when you have them.
9 You’ll work with amazingly creative people.
Did I mention this already? No, seriously, it deserves to be mentioned twice.
10. You’ll learn more than you can imagine.
Working with other designers, other programmers, other front-end developers — whatever your field — is so very educational, in a way that learning on your own cannot be. And this, from someone who teaches herself foreign languages for fun. Self-education is wonderful. But learning with a team of like-minded geeks and nerds… that just has no comparison.
To see proof of what I mean about getting experience with global brands, you can check out my portfolio of work at my professional website: www.newleafinteractive.com