OK, so I know my last post on this blog was the end of September, and I have not been doing a great job at finding the time to write my posts. This makes me sad, because I was doing so well for such a long time at keeping up with my weekly posting. I kind of expected as things got busier with the business it would be harder to prioritize the time to write in my blog. I know, these are all excuses. I have been working on a new project which has been taking a lot more of my time then I expected. I thought since I have not posted in a while we are about due for a Company Update post.
Progress on Bink has been extremely slow, and we are still working on two different parts. We are still slowly working on getting the fur to work better in lighting, and currently testing the changes we have made. We are also working on the story. Awhile back we changed from the idea of creating multiple 30 second shorts to a longer more thought out short. I wanted a short with a powerful message, and want to make sure it is great before moving it into production. We have had a lot of ideas, but we are doing a lot of massaging of those ideas trying to find the best version. Jared White is doing most of the writing, and Charlie Petrek is helping more as a consultant. When we can we have our story brainstorming sessions as we move the story along.
We were commissioned to do 4 episodes, and we have completed the 4th and final episode. We will be sharing this episode tomorrow on our social media channels, so keep an eye out for it. We had a lot of fun creating these 2 minute webisodes, and hope the client asks for more.
We have actually been doing some work for Honda, and this is the project which has been taking up a lot more of my time then I originally expected. It started out as 1 small little video, but that video turned into a much bigger deal which required a lot more work. The first video was shown in the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, but we don’t have permission to share it. They also asked us to do a second video which we are currently working on, and hoping to have it finished by next week. There was talk of a 3rd video, but I don’t know if this is still happening or not. I was very excited to get to work with a big client like Honda, and hope we can do more work with them in the future.
We have had a lot of projects I got to bid on, but for one reason or another we did not win them. There is a lot of competition out there, so I’m often bidding against several other companies for the same project. The more projects I bid on the more I learn about what the clients are looking for. The good news is that I’m now getting more clients with more realistic budgets asking us to bid on their projects.
Social Media & Website:
We have recently seen a big increase with our social media followers, and myself and our Marketing and Social Media Coordinator have been trying many different approaches to build our following. The last two months we have also seen a significant increase in our organic web traffic to the company website. I have been seeing a lot of our keywords climbing the ranks. We are on page 1 of Google search for the keywords “animation studios” which generates about 68.6 clicks per month to our site. As we continue to move up in the search rankings the traffic to our site will increase. The goal is if someone is looking for animation services we will be on the first page of the search results increasing our chances of getting to bid on the projects.
I’m also still hosting our monthly animation & VFX society mixers. Our next one will be next Tuesday for anyone in the area who might be interested in coming. We are returning to the same place we went to last December, Tonga Hut. We will be there from 7pm-10pm, so stop by and say hello.
I have also been going to different industry events like The Animation & VFX Summit(AVFXS) and the CTN Animation Expo(CTNX). This was my second year going to the AVFXS, and I feel I get a lot out of it each year. We posted an article about it on the company blog which you can read here.
This was my 3rd year going to CTNX. It is geared much more to artists and animators then the AVFXS. I really enjoy going to the different panels, and meeting all the artists. Majority of the people I meet are students, and I always enjoy talking with them to see what they want to do after school. You can also read more about my time there on our company’s blog CTNX Recap.
As far as business is going we are doing well. The company will be profitable this year, and I will be able to take a paycheck. I have not been taking a paycheck throughout the year, and wait until the end of the year. If we are at a loss then I don’t take out a paycheck, and if we are profitable then I do take a paycheck. As business continues to pick up I will be able to take a steady paycheck, but for the first few years in business I will do it this way. Right now it is all about growing the company.
Well, there is a quick update on what I have been doing with the company. Running your own company is not always as glamorous as you might think, but I really enjoy it. I hope you enjoy following along on my story in creating my company.
If you have not already, please join me on my journey by subscribing to my blog. Also, if you have any thoughts or advice I would love to hear what you have to say, so please feel free to leave me any comments below. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@MillerAnimation). Only Time Will Tell.