Lessons learnt from making 100 podcast episodesw/ Hayley Akins
When Motion Hatch first started it was a side hustle, now it's a company! Have you considered starting your own motion design project to help you grow your career?
Our founder Hayley Akins explains how and why she started this motion design podcast and what she’s learnt along the way.
About Hayley Akins
Hayley started Motion Hatch with the aim of helping freelance motion designers with the business side of motion design – but she wasn’t sure how to achieve this.
At the time, Hayley felt she had three choices for a motion design project: a podcast, blog or YouTube channel (she now has all three!). Initially Hayley didn’t feel confident filming videos and writing wasn’t her passion, so she decided to focus on creating her own motion design podcast.
Drawing inspiration from another niche
For Hayley, the desire to travel was a big inspiration for setting up her motion design project, and ultimately the podcast. She didn’t want to work non-stop as a motion designer and wanted to retain a work/life balance. Because of this, Hayley and her friend decided to travel to Thailand and Myanmar and having never backpacked before, Hayley started listening to lots of podcasts.
When binge-listening to podcasts, she came across Location Indie – a podcast and community about digital nomads and how they could freelance abroad. However, it wasn’t the travelling side that piqued Hayley’s interest, rather it was the business side of the discussions.
The concept of a lifestyle business appealed to Hayley, so she joined their membership and attended lots of online lessons and sessions. She was impressed by the model, and she wished there was something similar specifically for motion designers.
At this time Hayley had been freelancing for a while and had been working as a motion designer for almost ten years. The more she thought about this approach, the more she felt she could start a project offering something similar for motion designers.
Setting the wheels in motion
Initially, Hayley hired an editor (her friend Jeremy) who helped her to get the podcast up and running. To begin with Hayley and Jeremy wanted to create three episodes and then create an episode weekly after the launch. This was to ensure there was a backlog of content to use and help get the podcast off the ground. Later the podcast moved to bi-weekly episodes.
Around four months before the launch, Hayley started to reach out to potential guests. She started thinking of motion designers who inspired her and reaching out to them directly. She recalls reaching out to School of Motion’s Joey Korenman at the time, who she didn’t know personally but really admired. He accepted the invitation to come onto the podcast and was in episode six!
Hayley appreciates everyone of her podcast guests but gives extra thanks to those who she feels ‘took a chance’ on her at the very beginning.
Keeping the momentum
Hayley notes that getting past the 20th episode mark was a big achievement. She acknowledges that many fledging podcasts and projects stop before they start to gain momentum.
How did she remain motivated? Hayley says that actively battling imposter syndrome and showing up was a big part of this. She recommends practising and continuing to show up, regardless of whether you are seeing traction. Over time, she started to find that podcasting was just something she did, it became natural for her. Hayley says this is the same for any motion design project or business.
Hayley firmly believes that “done is better than perfect” when it comes to creating. She says that no matter what you’re working on, get things done and put them out there as that’s the only way you can get better.
Another top tip from Hayley is to think of everything you work on as a version. Think about what’s the most viable initial version of your project be that your website or a showreel. Start from there and get the first version out there, then you can build on it and improve it over time.
Setting goals and measuring success
Reflecting on the podcast’s success, Hayley considers how it has enabled her to build a network, secure work and get in front of many people she admires.
Whether you’re looking to start a motion design podcast, or another motion design project, Hayley recommends thinking about what you can create to get in front of your ideal client.
Similarly, she believes it’s crucial to set yourself tangible goals. When she first started the podcast Hayley’s goal was to stick to it for a whole year, and once she achieved this, her next goal was to hit episode 100. And now here we are!
Now Hayley has reached her goal of creating 100 episodes of the podcast, the Motion Hatch podcast is going to have a short break.
Now the team will be focusing on the newly launched YouTube channel until at least 2022.
However, Hayley hopes to return to podcasting soon and is looking for listener feedback on what they’re after from the podcast in the future. She urges listeners to reach out on social media using the hashtag #motionhatch100 and let us know what you’d like to see from future episodes.
Have you got a motion design side project? Share lessons you’ve learnt in the comments section below!
ln this episode
- Choosing a side project
- Drawing inspiration from other niches
- Keeping up momentum on your projects
- Done is better than perfect
- The benefits of creating side projects
- What Hayley has learned
- What's next?
“I thought ‘everyone might hate my voice’ you know? That’s the worry everybody has.” [1.57]
“Sometimes what we need to do is look for opportunities outside of the motion design industry.” [8.24]
“After a while it kind of felt like something I just did.” [11.26]
“If you feel like an imposter, then I would definitely recommend practising.” [11.49]
“Being a professional is doing the things that you need to do, when you don’t feel like doing them or don’t want to do them.” [13.30]
“You might want to think about in your career, what you can create to get in front of your ideal client.” [17.13]
You can listen to Location Indie here.
Read Hayley’s blog on starting a YouTube channel here.
Subscribe to the Motion Hatch YouTube channel here.
The motion designers that we featured on this episode were:
Hey, hatchings, welcome to the Motion Hach podcast. I'm your host, Hayley. Hello, hello, hatchlings, and welcome to the 100th episode of the Motion Hatch podcast. I am so excited. I cannot believe that we actually made it to 100 episodes.
It's really unbelievable. It's amazing. I'm just I'm absolutely thrilled about it. So I want to thank every single guest that has ever been on the show. Everyone who has ever shared this podcast, and of course, I want to thank you as well, the listener.
So thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We really wouldn't have a show without the audience. So thank you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you. What are we going to do on this episode today?
Well, I want to cover how it all started. The lessons I learned and throughout the episode, you'll also hear from the audience about how the podcast has impacted them and their motion design careers. So thank you so much to everyone who's contributed and sent us a voicemail to include in this episode.
I really appreciate it. So when I first started Motion Hatch, I knew that I wanted to help mission designers with things like Price in their work and freelancing, but I didn't really know how to do that. It seemed like I had three options.
one was the YouTube channel. one was a podcast and one was a blog. And now we kind of have all three, but a bit more on that later. But at the time, I felt really intimidated by starting a YouTube channel because I didn't really want to put my face online.
Everybody kind of hates looking at themselves. I'm not a really confident writer, so a blog didn't feel right to me, and I wasn't really sure about a podcast because I thought, Well, everyone might hate my voice. You know, that's the worried that everybody has, you think?
Does everyone want to listen to me while they're doing the dishes and running? You really can't imagine that when you first start out. So how did it actually happen and how did I come to start the Motion Arch podcast?
Well, some of you might know this story, but I thought it was good to recap again on this 100th episode. For those of you who maybe are a little bit newer or maybe haven't heard some of the other shows I've done on the channels such as School of Motion, the feature where I've talked a bit more about
my journey. So it all started with the desire to want to travel. So when I was freelancing first as a motion designer, I knew that I didn't want to be one of these motion designers that worked all the time, didn't do anything with their extra time and was always worried about where the next client was coming from
. I didn't want to be like that. So I kind of forced myself to say, Okay, well, I'm going to do some more traveling. I'm going to actually pluck out my time in my calendar, and I'm going to do that because I didn't have a gap year when I finished university or anything like that.
So I decided with my friend Younger, who is an editor in I think it would have been probably January 2016, maybe that we would go together to Thailand and Myanmar. At the time, I'd never been to any of those countries before.
I'd never been backpacking. I was pretty nervous about traveling. So what I did was I started listening to some podcasts and I really liked them. I feel like back in 2016, you know, it was less known. Now these days, it kind of feels like everybody has a podcast, but back then it kind of was sort of a
new thing. So I was like, Cool, well, I wonder if there's any travel podcasts. So I started listening to two travel podcasts, and it turned out that they both did a podcast together called Location, Indie and Location. Indie was about digital nomads and how they could freelance while living abroad and stuff like that.
So I kind of got interested in this. I was never really a digital nomad. It wasn't really my thing. I'm kind of a bit more of a, you know, I like staying at home, I like home comforts, that sort of thing.
But it really intrigued me, and I loved the idea of a community that would help people freelance and help people build a business and a life that they loved and have the freedom to travel and do things that they want.
So I started listening to Jay and Trav on their location. Indie podcast. If you're interested, we'll put a link in the show notes as well. And I really got into this, and the thing that really excited me about it was not really the traveling part of it, but more the business side of things and then discussing how
you could build a business and how you could build a freelance business in a way that you could travel and you could do the things that you want and create more of a lifestyle business for yourself. So this idea of a lifestyle business really appealed to me.
So eventually, I decided to join the membership, which was also called location in D and in their membership, they. Had lots of workshops and lessons around, been a digital nomad around building online businesses and around being a freelancer.
And I thought, this is really fantastic. I really wish that someone would create something like this for the motion design industry because we didn't have anything like that at the time. There wasn't anyone talking about pricing your work or freelancing or anything like that.
And when I first went freelance, it was quite a struggle and I felt like there. Anything that I could do was take my freelance friends to the pub and, you know, give them a beer and say, Please let me know what you're charging and that kind of thing, which I'm sure most of you have also done as
well. I was really excited by this prospect, and I was thinking, Yeah, be really cool if someone did that and I didn't really think, Well, maybe I actually can do it because you have this interest in business, you have a background in freelancing.
I felt like I kind of took to freelancing quite well. I'd been a motion signing already for seven years, so I had quite a lot of experience. So I kind of came around to the thought of, OK, well, maybe I can sort of start something where I interview at the people or something like that and get their
experience because I felt like an imposter. You know, I didn't feel like anyone would listen to what I had to say. No one really knew who I was in the motion design industry at that time. So I sort of felt like, well, if I could get other people and interview them, then you know, that is more legitimate
and they can give their points of view and more people will like that and more people will listen to it. But I came back to this idea of, Okay, like your options are, create a YouTube channel, a blog or a podcast.
And I was stuck in this place for a while where I was thinking about, well, which one is it? Is a YouTube channel, a podcast or a blog. And then one evening I went to the pub and I met up with some location indie people and I met this person who is now one of my best friends
, probably. And he was actually building a podcasting company. And I was talking about my mission of that. I wanted to help motion designers with the business side of things, help them pricing that work and freelancing and things like that.
But I didn't know how to create any content around that because I didn't feel comfortable with these options. So he proposed to me that he thought podcasting was a great idea. I actually hired him as my editor, so half of me thinks maybe it was a trick so that I would hire him.
But no, I'm only kidding. But he suggested that I do that because he actually had someone else who is working with Coleraine. Coral and Ryan Coral had a show called Studio Sherpas. Now I've had Ryan on this podcast as well, and I've also been on Ryan's podcast and studio Sherpas, teachers, video editors and videographers about how to
run their business. So obviously, you can see that motion hatch and studio Sherpas is quite similar, and it's serving quite similar audience and stuff like that, but slightly different. So that was kind of the proof that I needed that a podcast could work, and seeing someone else out there do a similar thing led me to think, Well
, maybe I can do this, you know, like Ryan is just starting out too. I think he started maybe or something before me. So it was also quite new, but I could see that success and stuff that he was having.
And I think this is a really important lesson of maybe sometimes what we need to do is look for opportunities outside of the motion design industry and not always be focused so much on what's going on inside of the design industry as well.
So after my friend Jeremy convinced me to start the Motion Hatch podcast and I hired him to help me to do that, we went about starting to plan the episodes. I decided that I wanted to have three episodes to begin with on day one and then have a episode per every other week after that.
So a bi weekly cadence, I think at the beginning, potentially we did weekly at the very start, and I think that was because of Jeremy's advice on how to launch podcasts and stuff like that. So I'm really grateful to him for helping me to launch this whole thing.
It kind of felt like a little bit of a blur from deciding to do it to actually having a show out there and people responding to it. So I really appreciate having his help at that time. So in 2017, in about August, I started reaching out to guests and things like that.
I really, really wanted to get Joey Kahneman on the show from school motion because I think he'd maybe just brought out the freelance manifesto. So it seemed like such a great fit to have him on the show, but I thought he's probably not going to come on the show.
I don't even have it podcast out yet. It's not alive. He doesn't know who I am, and I'm really grateful to him that he said yes and he came on the show. So I think Joey is about the sixth episode.
Maybe it was amazing to interview him and have that ready before we. Actually launched, and I want to thank all the first, you know, probably like 20 guests because they really took a chance on what I was doing and, you know, people didn't really know anything about motion hatch then.
So thank you so much. If you have any of the guests but also feel one of the first tickets, I appreciate you taking a chance that it would be a success and it was worth your time as well.
It was really, really important to me at the time, and I feel like without people saying, Yeah, sure, I'll come on your podcast then. You know, I wouldn't have got anywhere. And I've in, you know, over the past few years also helped other people and gotten on their shows when their podcasts have been really small to kind
of in return just to kind of give that back a bit of podcasting karma for you there. So around 2017, in November, we actually launched the show. The show was met with a lot of enthusiasm and support, which I really, really appreciate, and it just kind of kept me going in the beginning.
You know, one of the things I wanted to cover today was how I kept this show going, because most podcasts don't get over 20 episodes. And when I first started out, I really didn't feel like our podcasts. I felt like an imposter.
I thought that everyone would hate my voice, and I was thinking, like, Why am I even starting this show? Why would anyone want to come and talk to me? But I did it anyway. And after a while, it kind of felt like something that I just did that I was a podcaster like I was part of who
I am. And I felt like I could say, I'm a podcaster, I'm a podcast host. I'm the host of the Motion Hatch podcast. But that didn't feel very natural to me when I first started out, and I think this is mainly down to practice.
So if you feel like an imposter, then I would definitely recommend practicing, you know, and it's even you can even practice out loud saying, like, I'm a podcaster, I'm a motion designer, I'm a YouTuber. Like, whatever your thing is, you know, I think if you practice saying it out loud, you get used to hearing yourself say it
. It becomes more natural to you and obviously doing activities that evolve that. So doing motion design work and putting that out there or doing YouTube videos, putting it out there or doing a podcast and putting out there that will all help you to feel legitimate as well.
Going into freelance is always scary for anyone who's never done it before. When I found Motion Hatch's podcast, the entire process 100 times less scary and more confident now than I have been my entire career all the way from getting perspective from my peers in the mastermind group to being motivated by the incredible guests that are on
the podcast. So one of my favorite sayings is done is better than perfect, and I really, really have taken this to heart. I think throughout creating this podcast, I don't think I would have gotten to 100 episodes if I felt like every single episode had to be perfect.
I mean, I feel like even this episode is an example of this because, you know, today I kind of feel like I've got a bit of a cold. I'm not feeling too well, but I'm like, I'm a podcaster.
I need to do episode 100. This is just what I do. I join the Mastermind program. That and the motion hatch community overall have given me the support and motivation I was needing. Just wanted to congratulate Motion Hatch on hitting 100 podcasts.
I've had the pleasure of listening to most of them now and each time I've learned a lot and I've always been inspired. Being a professional is doing the things that you need to do when you kind of don't feel like doing them or, you know you don't want to do them.
I think that's when you still do them, and that's what being a professional is about. So maybe you can think about that and apply that to what you're doing or what you want to do. So you could apply this to your website, maybe or show reel that you want to put out there and think about, OK, well
, this is, you know what I do. I'm a professional motion designer. I just need to get this done. It doesn't need to be perfect. It just needs to go out there. So what would your minimum viable product version of your website look like?
Or what would your minimum viable product version of your show really look like? I think this is a really good way to look at things and think of everything is a version and something that you improve over time, and everyone knows that when you create a website, it's never.
The final website like website is never done. So we might as well just get the minimum viable product version of a website out there and then keep iterating on it. And that's kind of how I feel about this podcast and also my YouTube channel that by doing it, I'm going to get better.
I'm going to improve. And it doesn't matter if it's not perfect because I'm a professional, and that's kind of what I do. Another lesson that I learned from building this podcast is that building relationships with others is very, very important.
And. It can have a huge impact on your career. Listening to the interviews Haley had with all these great experts helped me to find new perspectives and to open up for new ideas and possibilities. It got me out of my local bubble and gave me confidence to grow.
Hi, I'm Catherine from Form Place Studio. I became a hatchling a few years ago when I joined the Mastermind program. It's not only influence the direction of our studio, but I've made fantastic friendships and have great discussions. So thank you, ocean hatch.
It has helped me to feel more connected to the industry rather than that whole entity. Hailey's interviews are so insightful, diverse and relevant to the business side of freelancing that I joined the McGrath Mastermind program, which ultimately helped me find the community that he didn't know that I was missing.
I'm so much better equipped with sustainable tactics and strategies and feels so much more supported by my community. So there's many people out there that have played a huge role in helping to build motion capture where it is today, including mentors, coaches, peers, friends, family and of course, you, the listener.
And if it wasn't for the relationships I have built and also the support I've received, I would never be able to build the show and motion match with all the courses and resources that we have on the website to help you.
So I just want to again, thank you so much and thank you to everyone out there who's ever helped me with the show. I really, really appreciate it. It means so much to me, and it's quite emotional to get episode 100 and be kind of doing this podcast today.
So I just want to thank everybody again. It really means a lot. So having the show as well is also meant that I've met some pretty amazing people that I never thought I would get to meet. I really, really want to thank every single guest that we've had on the show.
And yeah, I mean, I can't believe that I've been able to interview people. You know, he's like mega famous now. So that was pretty awesome. And Chris Doerr and Joey Coleman and Melinda Livesey, everyone who has participated in the show, it's been amazing and I really, really do appreciate you all.
So thank you so, so much. And I've been able to do this and meet those people because I had something valuable to offer them by coming on the show. So you might want to think about in your career, what can you create to get in front of your ideal client and what value can you give to them
? Because I think this is a really important lesson to learn is that, you know, you want to be able to provide value to the people, you want to be able to help them solve their problems. So how can you do that?
And I think that the podcast has been a way for me to do that and definitely to show everybody what I was about and what I wanted to do. And then obviously, some people have gone on to work with me, one on one in my coaching programs and do masterminds with us and take our close client quest
. So it's been really, really awesome to be able to have this podcast to, you know, help you get to know what motion hatch is about and, you know, teach you things that maybe I might not otherwise been able to do.
So school taught me the technical side of design, but it taught me nothing about running a business. Then I found the motion has podcast and it open up so many doors. For me, being on the macro accelerator program helps me to understand processes to scale.
My animation studio motion hatch is really pacified that saucepot created by being a motion designer and has the function in a world of business. I love hearing about all the things no one else will talk about and just hearing the ways to think about the business differently.
So the final thing that I want to talk about today before we talk about what's next for the show and motion hatch is the lesson that I've learned around focusing on one thing and how it can help you to not get distracted and build that and the best way you can.
So I stick with the podcast for a long time, even though I really wanted to build a YouTube channel, but I wasn't willing to let the channel take over and not be able to put out bi weekly episodes of this podcast because I've had such great feedback from the show and I wanted to continue doing it.
My goal in the beginning was to do a year of the podcast, no matter whether anybody listened or not. But my next goal at that was to get to 100 episodes, which I'm really thankful that I've managed to achieve that goal.
So kind of as a side note, recently I put a blog about why it's taken me for years, some YouTube channel, which you can read in the show notes. But the biggest thing for me was to not follow shiny objects.
I think it's good to experiment, but maybe with ten to 20% of your time. So when I was working at Google, the stuff they were doing 20% of their time on things that they were choosing to do. I think this gives us a lot of freedom to play in a.
Experiment and also leads to innovation, so I would encourage you to do that, but I would encourage you also to not get distracted by some of the things shiny objects. I feel like experimenting with them for a little bit of time.
Then we'll help you to figure out whether it's something to dove deeper into. So just a little recap before we get onto what's next for this show is that some big lessons I've learned are done is better than perfect.
I think we just need to get things out there. We need to ship them, so I'd encourage you to do that. I also learned that building relationships is extremely important, so I definitely think that you should put a lot of time and effort into networking, into thinking about how you can provide value to somebody else.
And the fourth lesson that I learned was not to follow shiny objects and to be focused on one thing at a time and to kind of set big goals for yourself as well. I guess, because I did one year of the podcast and then I decided to set another goal of 100 episodes, and that is what has
really helped me to keep going, as well as the awesome feedback that I've received from all of you. And the final lesson is to give yourself a little bit freedom to play and experiment, but don't get distracted from the main thing that's working for you right now.
So I hope that these lessons have helped you today, and I hope that you've enjoyed this episode and listening as well to all the wonderful people that left us voicemails for this episode. So now I want to go on to what's next.
What's next for Mason Hatch? Well, we are going to take a little break from the podcast because now we're episode 100, and that was one of my goals, but we are most likely going to come back to it.
So we're taking a little break because we've launched our YouTube channel. We just launched a few weeks ago. So if you haven't checked out, please go to youtube.com. Forward slash mason hatch makes you. You go over there and subscribe for weekly videos, helping you to grow your Mason zine career and a successful business.
I'd love to see you over there, and it's something that I'm paying a lot of effort into now, so I know that you're going to get a lot out of it. We will be concentrating on the YouTube channel until at least 2022, but I'm hoping that we can pick up the podcast again next year.
So I would love your feedback. I would love to know what you think we should do with the podcast next. Should we go to a seasonal model where we release 20 episodes rather than biweekly so you can kind of binge through them all?
Or should we have different types of guests on the show? I just want to know, I want to know what you thought of this episode. I want to know how it's impacted your career. So please do share it on social media and use the hashtag Motion Hatch 100.
Also, make sure you tigers at Motion Hatch wherever you post because I want to hear from you. I want to know, you know, how this has impacted your life and your career. And I want to know what you want to see from us next, because that's what's really important.
So thank you. Thank you so much for listening to this episode 100 of the Motion Hatch podcast. It really, really means so much to me to, you know, have been able to do this show for 100 episodes, and I hope that we can continue next year as well.
And like I said, I really want to hear from you, so make sure you do use a hashtag motion hatch 100. Let us know what you thought of these 100 episodes and what you want to see from us next.
I just want to thank the motion hatch team for doing such a great job. I really don't deal with this on my own. I didn't start doing it on my own. I had a lot of help from my friend Jeremy, and now I want to thank the B media team for helping me to produce this show.
I also want to thank the marketing team for helping me to put the show out there. So thank you. Thank you so much to all of you, to Brandon and Hannah and Kristi. I really appreciate you so much and I really couldn't do the show without you.
So thank you for helping me to put out there because it means a lot to me, and I'm sure it means an awful lot to the listeners as well. I also want to thank Sono Sancta and Done Coach for the music for this podcast.
They were very kind to license it to me in the beginning, so I just want to thank them again and we'll put all the links to the show notes. If you want to find out anything more about any of the people that I mentioned earlier in the show, and if I haven't mentioned you and you've helped me
in some way. Thank you so much. It means the world to me. I've had such an amazing time doing this podcast. Like I said, this isn't the end. I hope we can continue, but I think we are definitely going to take a little break while we focus on the YouTube channel.
So if you want more of motion hatch and you can't get enough of this show, then please go over to the Motion Hatch YouTube Channel YouTube.com forward slash motion hatch because. That is where myself and the team are going to be putting most of our effort next.
So we've already got some really great actionable videos over there for you to help you to grow your emotions on business and your career. So I feel like I've said thank you so many times, but the final thank you to you, the listener.
Thanks so much for showing up and listening to the show. I hope that you've enjoyed it. I really appreciate you as always. And yeah, I hope to speak to you very soon. All right. Thanks, everyone. I appreciate you.
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