I showed up for and actually enjoyed a sit-down interview which focused on me, and my outlook for the coming twelve months and beyond. Last year – maybe even last month – this would have seemed an impossibility from the viewpoint of my nerve-wracked innards. I have been struggling enormously with anxiety, confidence and self-esteem for a long time (probably longer than I would like to admit), resulting in a range of problematic and disruptive symptoms when it came to verbal discussion of my hopes/fears/plans/abilities/limitations/point. As an even more detrimental result, these failures in being able to simply discuss my prospects left me stewing in a pot of self-loathing, where my mind took the opportunity to register these incidents, translating them as, ‘I have no prospects to speak of’. These confining cycles are commonplace enough (to me and to other neurotics in varying degrees), and I understand that today’s successful result does not mean I am clear of the orbit, but I do think it helps to exemplify the gradual progress I have been making in learning to recognise myself as: as much a person of worth as anyone else. It seems I was not applying the values of equality I hold in such high regard to myself. In addition to this, I feel as though the shroud of terror that I had at some point draped over the concept of The Interview is beginning to slide off, which means future interviews are suddenly a great deal less daunting to this fearful human.
Let’s look at this article in conjunction with the prompts from today’s interview with Marianne and Graham. Though I am not necessarily the target audience for this article, the attractive introduction and a quick read through the headings prompted me to tailor it to my own needs.
The ultimate guide to startup pre-launch marketing in 5 simple steps (Manish Dudharejia via VentureBeat)
Step #1: Launch a free side-product
Everybody loves free stuff! Time and time again, freebies have been the foundation stone in getting people excited, interested in you and what you have to offer. An echo of what was noted in the interview with Victoria Ying and Mike Yamada, if you want funding for your project, you’d better be giving something to prospective funding parties. Stickers are good. Stickers and character cards and pencil toppers and badges and all kinds of crap with your name and designs on.
I will begin with my business card. I want to make it look pretty, and silly, so that it not only communicates my name and what I like to make, but so that other people with like-minded sensibilities will be happy and excited about receiving it. This is the plan, let’s hope for a fast-paced realisation before Here and ELCAF later this month.
Step #2: Pull a stunt
Well, I don’t know what kind of stunt I could pull in the next while. Maybe chaining myself to something I love and kissing it for a week? The Royal Armouries is pretty kissable-looking, but I think this will be confined so such daring stunts as:
- speaking to strangers without the help of alcohol
- writing stories and finding places to air them
- being pleasant, and engaging
until I have a solid idea of what kind of press-coverage I really want to receive.
Step #3: Get the timing right
No more tweeting in the middle of the night in the hopes that no one will notice what I’ve said and judge me for being stupid or making stupid things. This may not be exactly what the article is talking about, but I have got to learn that trying to stay under the radar to avoid embarrassment means endless disappointment when I get no response from the world.
Step #4: Capture the audience
This was one of the interview questions that gave me the most difficulty. Who is your audience? What is your message? I was completely stumped. Gone were all notions of making people laugh, smile, or think – it felt as though these ambitions were too fragile to think of in this environment. I have to remember that ‘you can be daft’ (Graham’s words), and source out my audience via this thinktube.
Once I have found and made contact with some people who I think would be interested in seeing what I can do/what I have to offer, dropping an email with a certain few to display a new project or something equally exciting seems a great way to go about it. The added confidence (like, secrecy) of conversing via email before you have publicised it on social networking sites could make it much more likely that these people will actually look at your work, and engage in conversation with you.
Step #5. Be press friendly
YAY! Let’s make a website and professional email and Vimeo account, gather them all together, and be a better-rounded virtual entity.
I need to follow Marianne’s advice in not getting distracted now that I have achieved some focus in my work. It is wonderful to attend lots of networking events, meet new people and take in new experiences, but be sure that you always bring this back to your own practice. This will serve me much better personally, as well as in my professional, online persona.
In addition, three very important pieces of advice from the interview that come well before all of the marketing stratagem:
- Learn to balance your pressures in a way that keeps you sane, happy and functioning the majority of the time.
- Find out how to make a living as an animator – what does that life entail? (briefly examined in interviews with Bahi JD, but not so well in looking at studio practice…)
- Find the stories you adore, and examine why.
All in all, this was a good result on my end. I feel uplifted and optimistic for the future of my life as an animator.
The showreel I brought along to the interview (which I will need to export this as a smaller file when I get to college next week):