Learning to walk again…
“Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
Learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?”
Foo Fighters “Walk” chorus resonates strongly with me currently. Over the last few months, we’ve watched the entire world change.
The status quo has become status go.
So as a creative artist with potentially months of quiet time ahead what does this mean? Well, it means we’re going to have to adapt and learn the new normal. I decided to take this time as the development of my business and really nail down some goals, and aspirations.
My overall goal still remains the same: AMP visual media remains focused on helping small to medium brands develop and prosper, by creating a cool, fun work environment for my town to be proud of and rejoice in, a studio space for not only AMP but other creatives to use and join together to form a sort of collective agency of creatives. The goal is to be able to serve our clients with visual media from our small town to across the globe. I imagine this studio being both high tech and environmentally innovative. I’d love to see an off-the-grid system in place, a location for clients and employees to charge their vehicles (I’ve had my eyes on a certain Rivian truck for a few years now) while at our studio. LOTS to do before we get there. So how to get started? I’ll need a plan. Since I like to keep things simple, let’s start with the basics today, we’re going to go through how I plan the basics of my business, step by step. If you want a conversation about this go to our Facebook page (right here) or Linkedin (right here). You can fire away any questions there or give some suggestions or ideas to how I can improve this process!
Defining the outcome is very important. Being hyper-specific is important, as when you get sidetracked you should be able to say: “Does watching Tiger King midday help me get that creative brief written for my client by 2 pm Wednesday?”, specificity will keep you aligned. Here’s what I’m starting to feel more settled on:
“AMP Visual Media* is a Canadian visual media company that helps small to medium businesses become relevant in the ever expanding online marketplace. Amplify your brand with end to end imaging services. From e-commerce ready shots, to hero product imagery and lifestyle shots. We make your product imaging simple, from handling all photoshoot logistics, talent acquisition, cataloguing to post-production, model releases & file preparation. We even have some amazing companies we work closely with if you need a site created too.”
Defining a few elements makes the goal clear. This in turn allows you to refine your process based on the outcome alone. A big fan of Greg McKeowns “Essentialism” I like to make sure the idea is both simple and clear. Ambiguity makes for opportunities to dawdle on the unnecessary. In the above statement, I single out a few elements.
Q: Who is my target audience?
A: Smaller to medium businesses that aren’t currently leveraging quality media assets, however, they understand that in today’s market, those brands that are online * making sales online are more resilient to change.
Q: What do we do to help these businesses?
A: We create media products, ranging from E-commerce ready photos to full creative concept advertising media and lifestyle brand media.
Q: How do we plan to do this?
A: Using local talent and artists, we can create a variety of visuals for a diverse range of clients. We offer a 1-stop shop with clear easy usage rights, and a simple creative system allowing them to focus on their work and allow us to create the visuals for their brand.
This approach is surprisingly new to our industry, to get to this overall concept I started asking clients about pain points of this side of their business. There were a few elements that really stood out to me: The pre-production work for shoots was the number one issue. Clients found it hard to allocate the time to do the pre-production during their busy days, even shoot days can be tricky to allot a representative on set. Obviously with larger companies, there are entire departments SPECIFICALLY for this. Smaller businesses don’t have the luxury of having a team onboard to formulate the ad creative, prepare, and execute the overall concept. Usages and rights are a constant back and forth. There really isn’t an industry standard, this would always be an issue unless there was a singular governing body (good luck in that, creatives are like ADD cats), so we’d have to develop a 1 size fits all policy to image rights, for this we decided to be influenced heavily by online stock libraries, etc. By removing these 2 large pain points we now have a marketable service. This would be the core of AMP visual media:
- Easy to work with, simple approach. Fill out a questionnaire and mail out products for photos.
- Clients spend little to no time on pre-production AMP takes care of that.
- No more confusing licensing! A simple system makes it 100% clear, in layman’s terms!
- Delivery of media in catalog form, allowing for fast and efficient implementation of visuals.
First things first, we have the basics down: Website, Email, Banking, and existing client-base to soft launch this new concept. The website we’ll be developing is www.ampvisualmedia.com, this site will be the platform for the business. Since I wish to build out this business, it’s safe to assume a few things: I’ll need to have a badass accountant, lawyer and employees who all have patience enough to help me develop this idea into a reality, as the company grows we’ll need employees, real-estate and more – all of this must have a solid base to start (hence those badasses).
Second, we’ll be test driving the system. How it works will be integral to the focus of AMP Visual Media. We’ll reach out to a variety of existing clients and go through the system with them, and allow them a “beta” test of the approach. With this, we can outline any areas that need refining!
Third will be the outreach and client awareness stage – this is where we produce work, share it, reach out to new clients, and make the introduction to allow for clients to get to know us!
This will be for another post, the goal of this post was to give you an insight to what we have cooking. From business planning to CGI development, we’re making some changes to help clients, we want to be equipped with solid business strategy and visual strategy to help brands quickly adapt to the new markets and existing ones.
*AMP Visual Media is the name of the company I’ll build out with specific purposes listed above (Ash Murrell Photography Visual Media was a long-ass name). You’ll notice that I also renamed most of my channels to “Ash Murrell Creative”. This is due to the fact I no longer just do photography, I am currently considering a more fine art approach to those channels, all of my existing work will eventually migrate to AMP Visual Media.