How To Get Motion Design Clients | Marvin Te | Skillshare

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How To Get Motion Design Clients

teacher avatar Marvin Te, Cel Animator & Motion Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Motion Design Foodchain

    • 3. What's A Rep?

    • 4. The Sales Funnel

    • 5. How To Get Known

    • 6. How To Get People To Like You

    • 7. How To Gain Trust

    • 8. How To Be Recommended

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class

So you have developed your animation and illustration skills, so what's next? Technical skills are important, and the skill to get clients is as important. First and foremost I'm an animator. It's my passion. That's what I love to do. And what I've learned early on in my career is that one should also learn the soft skills. I have been in business for about 9 years now and for those 9 years I have learned how to find clients, work on my network, and build genuine connections. 

And in this class I will share with you everything I know about this topic.

In this class I will teach you:

1. What's the motion design food chain look like

2. What's a rep?

3. What's a sales funnel?

4. How to get known

5. How to get potential clients to like you

6. How to gain trust

7. How to be recommended to other people

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Marvin Te

Cel Animator & Motion Designer


Hello, I'm Marvin. I'm the creative director and owner of Plainly Simple, a motion design studio based in the Philippines. I started my animation career way back in 2011. 

When I started, believe me that I was really bad at this and it took long before I understood the fundamentals of animation. I had to learn all of this on my own and over time I was able to get it. Even until now I'm still learning. And my goal with my skillshare classes is to share what I have learned with you. I will teach it in a way that my past beginner self would be able to understand. I hope this would serve as your starting point in your animation journey. 



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1. Intro: Are you an animator, motion designer, or an illustrator and have this question, how to get motion design clients? If so, then maybe this is a class for you. Hi, I am Marvin there. I'm an animator and great director and i, o, and the motion design studio based in the Philippines. We have been creating explainer videos for about nine years now. And one of my roles is finding and getting clients. In this class, we will start by discussing the motion design food chain. And then we'll discuss the sales funnel. How to get known, how to get people to like trust higher and recommend you. Just a disclaimer, this isn't a quick way on how to get clients kind of glass. The things that I'm going to teach in this class with the time and effort to do. And in most cases it's not going to give an instant result. But once you're able to build that foundation, it's going to give your motion design business benefits in the long run. Now that is out of the way. Let's get to it. 2. Motion Design Foodchain: So how do we get clients before we get into the how we first need to answer the who. So who are our clients? In order to do that, let's discuss the food chain in the motion design industry. On the top of the food chain are direct clients. These are clients or companies that has the problem to solve. It may be that their product isn't getting enough attention or there's no sales or any business problem that you can think of. And on the next, on the line in the food chain are agencies. You see if client has a problem and business problem, let's say a marketing problem, What they do is they go to agencies to help solve that problem. So what are these agencies? The agencies are companies that do branding, strategy, do marketing. So it's a big overview, debut a lot of things in that space. If you have seen a marketing campaign in YouTube, are in Facebook, it's most likely that agencies are behind that. Its agencies that made those ads, those marketing campaign possible. So what would happen if the agency needs a video as part of their strategy for their client? And what if they don't have an internal team to do that video? So what they do is they go to motion design studios. They hire motion design students to do that one piece that they need to do for their client. So we are a motion design studio. And what happens if the video project has a very big scope? And this motion design studio, I'm kind of in a free resources. What they do is they look for a much smaller motion design studio now, couldn't help them. It's going to be more of a collaboration. So actually we are in that part of the food chain. We are a small motion design studio. So if this motion design CDO, or motion design studios as a whole, has on staff motion designers. I name ethers designers, illustrators, storyboard artist as part of their team. But what if they don't have enough manpower? What do they do? They hire freelancers. So that's the overview, That's the food chain in the motion design industry. So we have clients that are direct clients who also have clients that are agencies. And we also have glands that are a much bigger studio than us. So what happens our dissipation of when we are hired by agency is that the agency have a client and we don't have access to the client. We have access to the agency. The agency and the agency is the one that works with the client. So what happens if we are hired by a much bigger studio is that that bigger studio was hired by an the agency and the agency was hired by the client. So we don't have access to the agency. We axis due to the client. In that case, you only have access to the bigger studio. We communicate and collaborate with a bigger studio. So that is the overview of the food chain and I hope you now get the bigger picture of what this looks like. 3. What's A Rep?: So what are representations are? What does it mean to be represented by a third party? So let's say a client has a problem and you are a marketing problem. And visually they go to agency to have that problem. So what, what if the client is a startup and doesn't have enough budget? Hiring an agency can be expensive and it would be beneficial for that client. You just hire the studio or freelancer directly. But finding the right people at the right time can be challenging. And it takes a bit of luck and time and effort to define the right people that fits your project. And that's where representation companies come in. So if a startup needs an explainer video, for example, they would go through the representation company and say, I need an explainer video. The representation company would take a look at the requests at the project. And these representations companies, they have a roster of studios and freelancers that they would refer the clients. So once the assessed the project, and if you fit the project, if they think they're perfect for your project, you will be part of the list that they would send to the client. And you will have the chance the opportunity to bid on that project, along with other studios are freelancers that are part of that list. And if you do when the representation company would pick a commission, about 15 to 30%. And you may think that 15, 30% can be a big amount of money and it is. But in our case, that's where we got our Google project. So being 15 to 30 percent commission is not that bad. And we wouldn't be able to meet and connect with that client if not for D representation company. So for me, personally, being the amount as Commission is only fair. So that's it means to be represented by ih bar d. So for our client racial, it goes like this on the top of the list. Majority of our clients are direct clients. And on the second of that list, we got our projects from a much bigger studio than us. The third on that lists are projects that are referred by the representation company. So we are being represented by a third party. And the fourth on that list are projects that comes from agencies. So sometimes we do get project requests from agencies. So that's our client ratio. 4. The Sales Funnel: How do we get clients? It really boils down to five steps. No, night, trust higher and recommend. So what does this mean? Think of like a funnel. Everyone in the world, they are outside the funnel. And a portion, a small portion of the world's population? No, you so those people, they go at the top of the funnel. A small portion of the people who know you like see you. So those people, they go down one step. The final down, a small portion of the people who likes you trust you. And a small portion of the people who trust you would hire you. And a small portion of the people who hire you would recommend you to someone else. So now what you need to ask yourself is how, how do you get people to know you? How do you get people to like you? How do you get people to trust you? How do you get people to hire you? And lastly, how do you get people recommend you to someone else? And let's go through this one by one. 5. How To Get Known: So how do you get people to know you? So I have three things to tell you about that. And the first one is to get out there. So post your work on social media like Instagram, facebook, build an online portfolio. You can choose either on Behance, Dribble, build a website. Ivs are the things that you can do to get known. And if you don't get out there, no one's really going to know you. So that side, the first step is to get out there. The second. And you're not going to like this, is that working? Meaning, building genuine connections. And there's a paradox, do not working that you should understand. Because the primary reason why you are networking is to get more work, right? Because naturally you don't want, and I assume that you are an introvert like me and you don't want networked. And only thing that we know and the reason that we network is because we wanted to get one work, right? But not working would only work if you don't sell to the people that you network do. So there's a little bit of contrast between what works and our intention or the reason why, why we do this. And big for example. And if you're just trying to look for a genuine connection, right? You're just trying to make friends and all of the people that you need are trying to sell you something. You feel bad, right? So it thus other people, so does your professional network. No one wants to be sold do. So what do you do? Do you hide your intention that you are actually selling something? D. So do you need to befriend someone first, gain their trust and then saw them something. My answer to that is No, don't do that. Never done that doesn't work. Because think of it like this. You have a friend that you haven't seen far away. And suddenly this person message you on unfeasible or any messaging app, right? So you feel happy because you haven't heard about this person for awhile and this person. So I'm going to the message you and say, Hey, I want to catch up, Let's meet up. So and then you meet up. And then you knew that the reason why this person's message was, this person has something to sell you. So what do you feel? You feel for shaded, right? You feel betrayed. So this is also the same for your professional network. Don't use manipulation. Manipulation has never been the way to go. So what do you do? So this is what I do and this is what works for me before networking, right? Before garnering that the energy do not work in the first phase. I, I put it in my head that I understand I need the network so that my motion design business would grow. But once I actually do then that breaking stuff, I put out, I troll away that selling part in my head, right? Once I'm actually not working and not looking to sell anymore, I'm just trying to build connection. I'm just trying to find people have the same interests as me, or I'm trying to look for like-minded people. So again, for example, if there is a conference, for example, or a networking event prior to that event. I remind myself that I'm doing this because I need to grow my business. But once I'm at the event, I throw away the idea of selling and I'm just looking for genuine connections and just trying to make friends. I'm just trying to get to know other people, know their business and just trying to form that genuine connection. And it prints out. And you realize that if you have this mindset that people who'd, we are all just human beings. And then of the day, we're just trying to make things work for us. And the end of the day we're just trying to look for things to improve our lives. Either in knowledge will be our business or looking for more work. At the end of the day. That's basically what we can do. And if we see each other as human beings instead of like a robot trying to sell something. Our natural response, our human instinct is we want to help each other out. And I have friends in the space. I have a lot in design friends, I have a lot of friends in the branding, in industry, marketing industry. And it turns out that if you have this mindset and if you are a human being to other human beings, and that you're not looking at them as a business opportunity, but you're looking at them as a human being. And what happens is they will also look at you as a human being. And human nature is we want to help each other out. And we've, have had projects that my network has referred to us. I have projects that my branding friends because they don't do video, that they refer projects us and we've actually have clients in dose not work. And also, since there are also my friends, I also want to help them out. And if I also have clients that I think we're not a good fit, I refer to my network. And also, I also have friends who asked me, where do you get your voice actors? Where do you got sound effects or other resources? I share it to them. And to some of these networks. Technically she could consider them as competitors. But I see them as human beings. End of the day, we're all just human beings trying to help each other out. And if you have that mindset, you will form that genuine connection. And that is something that she will never form if you're out there the cell. So that is not working, that is the second step. So now afford the third step. The third step is SEO or search engine optimization. So if you have a question in mind, what do you do? You go to Google or YouTube? So what do you think? A start up plant or a company? I'm an explainer video and they had no idea there to find one. That's right. They're gonna go to Google and your website better be on the front page when that happens. So in order to do that, you need to do SEO. You need to optimize your website. So it's much easier for search engine. Do your website to certain keywords that your clients are most likely going to type. So that's SEO. I'm not anymore kinda talk about SEO because that is an entirely different video. And besides, I'm not an expert in SEO, but that is something that you should learn. If r, one of the things that you could learn, if you want to get people to know you improve the SEO of your website. And all of these steps, posting on social media and networking and SEO. All of these steps, they don't have instant results, right? These things take time to build. But once you're able to build that foundation, it's going to be worth it. 6. How To Get People To Like You: So now that people know you, how do you get them to like you? So I think the number one requirement here really is you need to have a good enough work and good enough portfolio. I think that's the number one requirement because no matter how I potential clients like your personality, if you don't have a good enough work, then they're not going to argue. So I think that's the first step, but that's not the only thing that will get people to like you courts. So what are the other things? Let's just say that you are with your friends and ask them, what do I need to do for you? Do like me. And the natural response of your friends would be something like this, right? They're going to look puzzled and say, What are you saying? You don't need to do anything. We like you for where you are. And that's the same with Misenus. You just need to be yourself. You don't need to be someone you're not. You just try to be authentic and genuine. And you need to be able to communicate that through your website and how you talk to you, uh, through your website, how you talk during a client call, how you respond to emails and other multiple touch points. And you may say that, okay, I just need to be myself. That's easy. Actually. It It's not being able to know who you are. Being able to know what you wanna do with your life. Being able to know, stand for what your strengths and weaknesses are. That is challenging enough. And being able to communicate that, communicate your personality. Communicate what you stand for is a whole different story. So that takes time and practice. So you would really need to sit down with yourself and tried to articulate, identify who you are. Trying to articulate, why you're doing this, why You're in this business. And once you do try to channel that, tried to channel your inner self. How you talk to your audience, how you capture in your post, how you talk through your website, how you respond to email, everything. So let's say you are in a call with a potential client who has the same personality as Zu, who has the same values as u. And then of the poll, their reaction to be maybe something like this right? Colon. And like the guy. And I don't know why, but I have a good feeling about this. Let's hire him or her. Right. And you are able to do to do that because you they were able to get to know you as who you are. You're genuine and authentic self. And I cannot stress this enough, and this is just my own point of view. My opinion, that I tried to be authentic and genuine across every step in the sales funnel. 7. How To Gain Trust: So now that some people like you, how do you get them to trust you? So trust is a bit harder to get. I guess one way to gain trust is experience, right? If you've been doing this for about nine years already and you have a good good clients that you work when you have a strong portfolio that is volunteer to gain trust. But what are other things? What if you don't have experience, how do you gain trust? So I think this is just a personal opinion. I think it's in the small things. Right. How quick the respond to e-mails and that would give, but then show clients a glimpse of your work ethic. Oh, what are other things too, to gain trust? Transparency, if you are transparent with your prospects, that is volunteer gain trust. What is one way to destroy trust is if you lie, if you mislead people or manipulate, that is bound to destroy trust. So be honest. Do your strengths me honest with your weaknesses. And I use do I use to panic whenever a potential client ask where we're based from. I before I use Staedtler or have a long pause. And I tried to really avoid that question, but when I got more confident, I got more experience, I was comfortable answering that question. So whenever someone asked where we're beast from, I just see here from the Philippines, Is there a problem? I hope there isn't the problem. And if the potential client would see there isn't a problem, but we're concerned with I'm different. And how I respond to that is I first embrace the situation. I just say, yes, there is that there are certain the time difference, but we're willing to work with you. And I could really see an advantage and disadvantage. This time difference issue. That advantage is that when we work, that's going to be our working day and for you that's going to be or sleep hours. And by the time we finish our day, we've finished our work, we send you a preview that would be marking for you time for you to have one day to review the whole thing, pass it along the team. And when you're done consolidating your feedback, you could send us the end of your day. And then over a day is the start of our day. So once you receive the feedback, we couldn't begin working on it. And that would be the time that you would go to sleep. And once we finished the revisions, when you wake up, you get the revisions and there's snot, I am wasted. The only disadvantage or downside that I could see is if you wanted to talk with me, if you want to have a call with me in your morning which is 90 m, then it would be hard for me to meet that because 90 M ben am going north time is about who I am. My thigh. So it's hard to meet that specific time that what if it's going to be if that's going to be your requirement. And if we really need to work together, we really need to find the perfect time for both of us. And when I explain it like that, some potential clients prospects would say, thank you for your honesty, thank you for your transparency. But I think we need someone within our area to work with because of the time difference. And if that happens, that is completely okay. But some clients are impressed with how I deal with that issue. Right. And they're impressed with with how I responded to that because I just played by my strengths and I identified my weakness. I didn't lie, I did try to mislead people. I just was honest with what we have, what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are, and that is bound to gain trust. Another thing to gain trust is professionalism. So if you encounter an issue or you encounter an inquiry with a client, it's always in your best interests to act in a professional way. Don't let your emotions get in the way. Or don't let your emotions dictate how you would behave on your potential clients prospect or even their current clients. Always keep calm and always be a professional or act in a professional way. And if you do that from the beginning of the sales score, the beginning the sales funnel, if you act in a professional way that is bound to gain trust. And all of these things that we have talked about, this isn't really a sure way to gain trust. But they be sure how those little things, if you add them up, that will get your client to trust, you are trusting more. So that's about trust, gaining trust and hopefully your client or defiant trust you enough to hire you. So once the client hires you, what sex, how did you get them to recommend you? 8. How To Be Recommended: So there are only two key points that I would think about here. And first is to manage expectations and the second is to exceed expectations. So how do one field by about a certain product or service? That is, if you've seen the poster and the product or service doesn't look anything like it, right? You feel bad and feel frustrated. Or if the promise wasn't fulfilled, you feel bad and feel you've wasted money. How do one keep a customer happy? You meet expectations. So if a product is everything or it looks like it looks everything is in the box and does everything that the box promises the customer is happy, right? And if you add a little bit of something in there that wasn't included in the box. Right. And let's say these are stickers or maybe there's a handwritten note, you're just blown away, exceeds expectations. And that is the same with business. So you need to know what your clients expectations are. And in order to keep your client's expectation in check, you need to update them regularly and again exceed them. So let's say a client expects that the video would be delivered by Friday. So at the very minimum, midnight, deliver it by Friday. But we set an internal goal beam. Do deliver it by Wednesday. You get where I'm getting at here, right? So knowing your clients lactation gives you the opportunity to exceed them. And if you do exceed them, There's a very good chance that your client would recommend you to someone else. 9. Conclusion: So this is it. You have finished the end of the class, and this is everything I know about how to get motion design clients. So this is just a picture of me and there's no more video, no more graphics. That's going to explain what I'm about to say. So it's just my picture and my voice. And I just want to talk to you because sometimes when I'm in front of a camera, I freeze up. And I just want to be I just want to talk to you in the most personal way. I just want to talk to you. And my last thoughts before we end this class. So I know everything we have discussed year is it would take time to take effort. For me. It took me about nine years due to develop their website or to improve their website, improve the SEO. And I know you have a lot of questions. And the point that I'm trying to make is that you have to learn this. You know, you need to continue to study. We need to continue to study SEO. And for me, over the nine years, I have observed a lot of websites. I have observed other Behance projects done by and motion designers that I admire. I study how they present their projects and I tried to replicate it and adjust it as I go, that feels like me. And for SEO, I know you've got a lot of questions. What really is SEO? And I'm gonna give you a little bit of introduction here. Seo basically is trying to be on the rock, on the search engine to whatever keywords that you want, right? So first, think about what are the keywords that your clients are most likely going to type? Is it explainer videos? Explainer videos in the Philippines? Effective explainer videos, strategy driven explainer videos, story-driven explainer videos, and whatever those chosen keywords are, you, you try to optimize your website for that specific keyword. So for example, we are trying to target the keyword story-driven explainer videos. So we will put that on the website, right? So your website with that would have had their words, the script friends, right? So the word story-driven explainer videos should be there, right? Should be on the tax there. And that's just one way. Another way is when you also upload pictures on your website, try to change the file name of your picture. Do whatever you want to target. For example, I have a picture that is about sorry driven explainer videos. So you should change the name to story-driven explainer videos, not JPEG or PNG. And you could think of it like this search engines. They have this algorithm, and I think of it like they have this. A lot of tiny robots, right? Spread over the Internet and these robots, they go through each and every of the web pages on the internet. And they tried to catalog, they tried to tag and find little bits of information there or get the user whenever a user searches a certain keyword that they would be given the most relevant webpages. So these are just some tips on how to optimize your website so that it's easier for those tiny robots to find your website. And SEO is a big topic, but that's the start of it. And you can search for it and go enroll in online courses to improve the SEO of your website. So that's just one. And when I said that, you need to channel your inner self. Whenever you talk, what I meant about that, one of the things is that when you go to your website and the way you speak in the tax in the header. And the words that you use in the website shouldn't sound like, you know, one would be captivated if they go to your website and when they read the tax on your website that it sounds like a robot. It should sound like you. So it needs to be a little bit of balance between who you are. And it should also be something that it's easier for the search engine to your, to your website. So you need to use a keyword. So story-driven, expand our videos and at the same time, it should sound like you, not like our robot. So those are just a few things. So nowadays it's much easier to make a website than it was 10 years ago. So if you want to make your website, you can use Squarespace. Our website was built on sclera space. And with Squarespace, you don't need coding knowledge. You don't need to code. You just drag and drop the elements. So it's much easier to make a website. So if, if you plan to make a website, go checklist, Squarespace out. And I think there are also other website providers that you could check out. I think we are planning to migrate to Webflow because it could be more, it could be customized more. But Webflow has a little bit of coding. Still, it's drag and drop, but it's more customizable in terms of changing the code. So we're thinking of going in that route. But there are also other, other providers that is like that that you could choose from. I think Squarespace is much easier than Webflow. So those are some of the choices you could go if you want to make your own website. And what else, what else do I leave you with? So this is my last step before we end this class, is you need to be nice to everyone. Not just because you're trying to get clients or because you see this person and you think this is a good business opportunity. So your nice setup person. So. Be nice not only because of that, but be nice because you're just a nice person. And you have never known that the person you meet, the person you talk to, the person that you have that you're exchanging e-mails with, could be a potential client, device, could be a potential partner, potential collaborator, but then show friend, or maybe a potential employee. Potential coworker is, there are lots of possibilities and you need to be nice to everyone. Not just because you're trying to get their business, but because you're just a nice person and try to practice being nice. And I know, I know that when you are, especially when you're in a third world country, chances are people are going to look down on you, right? I did experience, not all, but I did experience that early on in my career. And some of this potential clients are going to low ball, you know it in terms of price and going to take advantage of the fact that you are from a third world country. I get that. But even still, this is what I meant in the previous lessons. Said, don't let emotions get in the way. So if you are offended anyway or form and you feel like there's anger, take a deep breath and pause. It's always in her best interests. The app in a professional way. So don't be don't be rude to a person. Don't be disrespectful to a different person. Always be nice, right? I'm not saying that. You're just going to let other people to step down and, you know, I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is hold your ground. But respond in a respectful way. Respond in a nice way. Be firm with their value. Be firm with your price. But always, always respond in a professional way. And trusts me, that's going to benefit you in the long run. I think that's it. I'm just going to leave you with that. I wish you all the best and good luck out there. And also if you want to reach out, you can reach me on Facebook and on Instagram. And you also have a studio account on our Instagram, you can also follow. So I think that's it. And I hope you enjoyed this class. And I really do hope that your motion design business would flourish. Or even if you're not trying to be a motion design studio, just being a freelancer. That's also a business, right? You're just a one man studio. But basically, a freelance business is still a business. So I hope this helps and I wish you all the best. So I think that's it. And goodbye for now.