My own school of hard knocks is building a body of experience with content, from discovery and acquisition to production workflow and editing. Much of that lies with video. My experience however, goes beyond video and fits content encompassing media from video to still image and the word both spoken and written.
Content is critically dependent upon the eyes and ears receiving it. For each project and client, I try and match the words and pictures to an anticipated audience.
I think it is equally important to recognize and anticipate the surroundings in which the content is consumed. Finally, there are critical differences between strategy and tactics and between want and need. These two word pairs often figure into creating a truly good fit between what my client thinks and what their audience sees and hears.
I have a list of buzzwords too! Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, epub authoring, business plan development, developing a client profile aligning client products with customer wants and needs, marketing workflow, content creation.
Thanks for reading this far!
In my experience, a business has to start with content. People need something to look at and connect with. Without that initial attraction to the words and pictures describing your product or service, there is nothing for people to connect with. Creating good content is just the start though. People need to find that content whether by their own searching or by discovery, two different mindsets. Search and discovery start in different places, but both end up at your store, engaging with your content and considering a further connection. I help make that connection happen!
What do you like most about your profession?
1-Variety is good. 2- I enjoy the near universal process of watching people "wake up" and gain confidence in their message delivery abilities. Standing in front of a camera (aka acting) is unnatural. So far, other than repeat clients, I have yet to encounter a business person who has done camera work before. So coaching, cajoling, inspiring, urging, and persuading a reluctant "actor" to get past their nerves and deliver a natural comfortable story, for me, is very engaging.
What questions do clients most commonly ask you? How do you respond?
Most often I get the statement (not a question) "I didn't prepare anything for this". Very few like doing their own marketing. Even fewer will prepare for it in advance, even though they're paying for it. My response is based on a quick tour of their site and listening to the sme talk as I setup, etc. Once I get a bit of a handle on their subject matter expertise, which often coincides with their passion, I urge/push them down that path and get them started on this new experience curve that culminates in them acting in front of my camera. The result is them animatedly and happily showing their potential customers a visual story revolving around their company, product and/or service.
What are 3 attributes you need to be successful in your industry?
making something out of nothing patience dealing with introverted founders and decision makers an awareness of the importance that showing work WAY BETTER than telling #4 BONUS attribute - KISS aka Keep It Simple, Stupid.
What are the most important things to consider when hiring a service provider in your field?
Look at a demo reel. Do you see yourself and your product in their prior work?
How are you different than others in your profession?
I come from a business background, not an art background. I'm also an author. Much of my time is spent writing, so understanding persuasion rather than declaration and showing in lieu of telling are top of mind. Both of these word pairs are critical when it comes to attracting the attention of new customers and drawing them in.
How do you typically handle disagreements with clients?
I toilet paper the trees in their front yard......:)
Marketing & Business Video at Quietwater Media
January 2010 - Present
Founder and Producer at Quietwater Films
November 2006 - Present
Quietwater Films is an award-winning video production company specializing in the creation of content geared towards promoting paddlesports and helping to educate paddlesports enthusiasts.
I am one of two responsible for all aspects of production and scheduling. Manage assets, budgets, contractors, and schedules.
Instructor at Madison Media Institute
April 2003 - April 2007
Instructor in the video and motion graphics department. Classes include Flash authoring, Illustrator, Media trends, and Entrepreneurial skills.
Internet Business Architect at LeMans Corporation
October 1998 - October 2002
LeMans Corp is the WalMart of the motorcycle parts industry. Wholesale not retail, very quiet and low profile, immensely successful in their niche. Whether dirt bikes, road bikes, Harleys or customs, LeMans sells products to the dealers that in turn sell to the retail public. I was a network administrator in the IT Department and a project manager/architect during my time there. I helped develop PartsNetWeb and DragNetWeb, two online order entry systems that the LeMans dealer network used to place their daily orders. They were (and are) wildly successful. Also helped select a Warehouse Management System.
Software tester at Connectsoft Communications Corp.
June 1997 - June 1998
We tried to develop and sell a "filtering" kind of software that "watched" people's online habits and then after "learning" those habits tried to replicate them. I was a software tester there. Looking back on it, the testing was fairly straight forward: use cases, regression, an ability to duplicate the problem, accurate descriptive writing, and an ability to interact with software developers. Our software never quite got out the door. The company drifted along with no certain future and I think it died a quiet death shortly after I left for greener pastures east of the Mississippi. Good people there. Steve Oroszlan, Ben Clark and Bruce Johnson - I wonder what ever happened to them?
Contract Software test engineer at Volt
October 1996 - June 1997
Technically at Volt, but everything I did and all the training and jobs were on MSFT campus. I'm never quite sure how to describe this. My paycheck said "Volt" on it, but everything else, including my spiff little orange badge was MSFT. Quite the experience. I was one of the testers working on "APM", inside of Memphis, which later became Windows 98. High flying MSFT at the time. Incredible energy on campus. Glad I was able to experience it! I left here for a "real" job that offered benefits and stability. If only I had known what Connectsoft offered I don't think I would have departed......
Groundwater Modeler at Landau Associates
June 1994 - June 1996
Very interesting position. It was all about 3D numerical simulation of ground water flow. MODFLOW and Surfer. A hydrogeologist's dream. This was all pre Windows 95, so the computing environment was fairly primitive, but I loved what I did. Biggest client was Boeing. We supported them in a court case to determine who was the "bad guy" unleashing contaminants on the City of Portland secondary water supply system. Tons of modeling. Our side won! But this spelled my demise as there was not a whole lot of work after that. Hank Landau is the founder of the company. He gets my vote as one of the more successful engineering entrepreneurs I have known.
Field Geologist at Golder Associates
June 1991 - August 1993
My first job after leaving the University of Montana graduate program in hydrogeology. Lots of time in the field. Columbia Plateau (anyone been in Washtucna?) preliminary landfill siting, north central WA state (anyone ever been in Chesaw?) preliminary gold mine feasibility work and a fair amount of time in Portland, OR. Lots of learning what the real world was like. This was a good first job. They got a bunch of chargeable hours out of me. I got some professional seasoning out of my time there. I left after two + years to go back to Montana and finish my degree. Golder was a good place.
River Rafting Guide at Action Whitewater Adventures
May 1989 - September 1990
Couldn't leave this position off my CV. Working for AWWA for two summers in Idaho as a whitewater river guide was like getting paid to play. Best summer job a college student could ever ask for. The Main Stem of the Salmon River and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River are two of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I was lucky enough to do numerous 5 and 6 day trips on both those rivers during the course of the two summers I worked there. Idaho is one of the best kept secrets in the entire USA in my opinion.
The University of Montana
Degree: BA, coursework for MS
Field of Study: Geology
University Minnesota Duluth
Field of Study: Geology, French
MCSE - Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
Start Date: Oct 10, 1998