Following Craft: September 2016

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This article is part of our monthly series, where we share the status of our business and lifes around our startup Craft — The Art of Visual Storytelling.

Our hope is to give you, our great community, and anyone interested in startups a sense of what is going on behind the scenes. #ShareYourProcess preaching practiced.

You can read part 1: July here and part 2: August here.

following craft september

New Content

Junkyard by Hisko Hulsing — Award winning animation short with gorgeous oil painted backgrounds. We also just published a lecture he held at Disney, Blue Sky and Dreamworks.

A 45 min interview with first-time game designers — They share their experiences with Unity, playtesting, designing zombies and other topics.

Feature film Adama — A beauty really. The first thousands of art-of are live, with more to come. Color scripts are amazing.

New Song of the Sea animation — Several sequences are live and we’ll release more this week.

Mark Oftedal — Our first individual artist. He’s been active at Pixar and Google Spotlight Stories over the years. Now he’s sharing his creative process of his in-development graphic novel. Users can also slide before/after on the production stages.

Tomm Moore shares thoughts on creativity — We initiated a series where succesful directors grant insight into how to get ideas and stay creative. Tomm Moore created his first, more to come.

Schools and Universities

Students are now back from their holidays. Therefore we initiating school campaigns to bring students aboard Craft. We’ll be travelling to some of the top animation schools worldwide to present Craft and how you can use it for your studies.

Our network is very useful in this endeavour, but we have to resort to cold emails as well. We dislike smooth-tongued emails ourselves, though, so we created a few mantras to stick to:

Lists are digestable

Shorter gives better response rates

Introduce yourself — It’s nice to know who you are talking to

Don’t hide your light under a bushel

Use GIFS and Video

Focus on benefits instead of features

Don’t be a sales guy, be human

Build relationships, don’t close deals

Address the customer’s primary pain point in your email, and tell them clearly how you can help them solve it

Hopefully we’ll come off as humans and get in contact with a lot of interesting people this way.

Comic Con Copenhagen

Our first trade show! Wait…we need flyers, banners, roll-ups! Hm. After scrambling everything together, we actually created a quite nice booth. Not Playstation VR-booth-quality (how much on earth do they spend on those booths?), but acceptable for a startup. The event was a great opportunity to chat with possible leads — we ran a discount code campaign granting a free 30 day trial and all 250 were grabbed.

Takeaways:

  • Plan well in advance
  • Have a clear understanding of your goal. Social media followers? Signups?
  • Run a special offer
  • Allow people to walk past, don’t be a lion waiting for prey
  • Ask people if they would like to hear more
  • Have a 30 sec max pitch to allow people to digest it

Change of Twitter Plans

Twitter is great for creating awareness. At the same time it’s great to post a lot, which is great when you have much to tell your audience. So far we have refrained from posting news from the industry. Instead we only told about news on Craft; new content, new features etc. That’s fine, but we believe our users are essentially interested in art-of content, not exclusively Craft art-of content.

So from this week off, we’ll share behind the scenes footage, interviews, concept art etc. that we believe our community will find particularly interesting.

Take aways:

  • Provide value
  • Don’t be afraid to link to your competitors

How To Stay Organised!

There’s a billion things to do in a startup, and Craft is no different. We address this by specifying who’s in charge of what and keep everyone up to date on Slack. While still retaining the flexibility of the startup-life.

Timeline responsibility overviews like this one, is one of our tools to align.

That’s a snippet of all the things that happened in September!

Thank you for sticking around in September as well — October will give you a new type of Enhanced Content, more than 6 new projects (if all goes as planned) and a lot of additions to the shop.

Emil — Co-founder and Creative Director of Craft.

Anything you’d like us to work on in October? Let us know in a comment below.

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