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I thought I would round up 2015 with a little blog post on what we've been up to. It's been a busy year. To the point where I've not written as much as I'd should have.
Let me start at the end. I was asked to go to St. Kilda to make a short video. However, this wasn't the eventful part. To get there I needed to take a helicopter and by taking the helicopter, I had to get myself a HUET certificate. If you don't know what that is, it's when the throw you into a pretend chopper, strap you in, dip you into a swimming pool and flip you upside down.....7 times. It's a terrifying as it sounds. I've embedded a video below (this isn't me, just a demo of what it is)
Despite feeling like I've been buried alive 7 times I got my certificate and free scarf and headed of to St. Kilda. For all of 90 minutes but it was worth it. An amazing place to visit and spend some time. If you get the chance, go by boat from Uig.
The next notable experience this year was working with Lakeland. The marketing team contacted us asking for a film to work in conjunction with their new booklet. We were all ecstatic to be working with such a well known brand. Scary at first but the team at Lakeland knew what they wanted which is a big deal (ask anyone in the film production industry). It was the first time that Ailsa, Helen and myself had worked together as closely as we did which was a big deal. We also got to learn some new skills, eg. roto-scoping, motion tracking, and a few animation techniques we'd never used before. The film forced us to learn lots to new things that we can take into all future films. I cannot show off this film just yet as it's not been shown to the Lakeland staff. But as soon as it's live, I'll paste the link here.
A video we can show, is one that Helen animated for a company called Rekko. Was great fun to shoot and I'm sure it was a blast to edit/animate.
I'd like to be able to create a 2015 showreel really show you what we've done, but we just don't have the time. So this blog will need to do.
And that's it. My favourite bits from the year. Our updated portfolio is fully updated if you fancy a look.
We've been very lucky to be based on the Isle of Skye, UK since 2011. However, since moving here, we've focused solely on creating websites and explainer videos for our customers. It's been fun and we're still working away on them. They allow us to be creative without having to worry about the weather stopping us! However, earlier in the year I got to leave the house to shoot a live action advert for a company based in Scotland. You can see the video below.
Since that experience, Ailsa and I have decided to enter the wedding videography market, but only for Skye (and mostly Loch Coruisk) based weddings. We've noticed a rise in weddings/elopements in Loch Coruisk and a lack of wedding video services on the Isle of Skye. So, we're going to fill that void. In doing so, we've decided to work with other companies within the area. We have partnered with Mary's Thatched Cottages, Love Skye Photography and Misty Isle Boat Trips to really showcase what talent is on offer on the Isle of Skye. So, if you're looking to have your wedding filmed (in 4K!) then please do get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.
If you're anything like us then you'll rely on the Internet for your business. Without it, we would not exist. It truly is one the most important business tools today. The Internet allows us to work at home on the Isle of Skye. Which is our dream.
However, ensuring that our business survives is always at the forefront my mind. Every month we take on around 8-10 explainer videos and 1 or 2 website design projects. With this, around 75% of these comes from referrals. Which is great because that's what you need. People sharing our services around the global town. However, ideally, I'd like 50% of our projects coming from new customers. But why? We are busy enough as it is. It's because the more new customers we get, the more people we have referring us. This secures the future of our business.
Getting to the top of search engines is key to finding new customers. But how is this done? Well, for the past 3-4 years we've paid various SEO companies overseas and here in the UK. It's not just pennies either. It's thousands of pounds, and in all honesty, each company has been a disaster. Either poor tactics, not enough research into our target market or, like our latest experience, very poor communication. The latest did know what they were doing. I paid £500 for one month of SEO with the plan of running for a further 5 months. But they simply didn't deliver. I had to push them to do the work. Call me old fashioned, but the customer should never need to persuade the business to do the work that has been paid for.
Since my SEO disaster I've decided to say R.I.P to all SEO companies. It's really not worth the time, the money and the hassle. Unless you have £3000+ to spend per month on one of the big SEO companies, I'd recommend doing it yourself. Before doing this, there are lots and lots of things you should be reading. So, over the course of the next 3 months I'm going to be creating a PDF of my progress and what I learn (the good and the bad) and how our site is performing. But why? Well, as you may know already we work with a lot of start ups who have great ideas but limited budgets. This is another way of helping out. And, at the end of it all, if successful, we will develop a budget friendly SEO service to add to our website. I will also be blogging about the whole experience over the course of the 3 months.
If you'd like advice on other money saving tips when starting a business then please just fire us an email. Or, create some questions on our forum.