How to find direct clients using LinkedInwith Marc Lawrence
Do you use LinkedIn as a way to get direct clients? If you haven’t previously considered using this awesome platform, then this week’s guest might just persuade you.
Mark has successfully learned how to harness the power of LinkedIn and use it to form connections, find direct clients and expand his network.
About Marc Lawrence
Marc Lawrence spent 20 years working in the corporate world – starting out as a motion designer and moving upwards to eventually have a leadership position in his company.
But ultimately, Marc found himself at a crossroads when he faced redundancy in his job.
The commute to work was becoming increasingly difficult and despite loving his job and the company he worked for, he felt that a change was well overdue.
How to make the transition from being employment to going freelance
Marc decided that he would like to specialise in creating motion graphics specifically for social media.
Despite having no experience running a business, no professional network and very few peers in the industry, Marc was determined to make freelancing a success.
He started his freelance career by becoming a Motion Hatch Mastermind student.
This helped him instrumentally with branding himself, setting up a website and figuring out the practical steps for attracting the kinds of clients he really wanted to be working with – which in his case was working with direct clients.
How to use LinkedIn to get direct clients
Marc soon found that LinkedIn was a brilliant platform to form real connections with people. Though Instagram is also a great platform for motion designers, he believes it’s better suited to those seeking work with agencies than work with end clients like himself.
He started connecting with established creatives in different fields – motion design, graphic design, copywriting and more – and asking if they would be willing to have a quick, 30-minute Zoom call with him.
Much to his surprise and delight, almost everyone he contacted said yes.
Marc says that consistently engaging with people on LinkedIn – liking and commenting on their posts and being genuine in your comments – is one of the key ways to ensure success on the platform.
He also says that the best piece of advice he was given in regard to how to craft posts on LinkedIn was “write as though you’re talking to someone in a pub.”
He says that the minute he took a step away from the dry, corporate posts he’d been writing before and became more personable, people started to respond and engage.
How do I make sure my posts perform well on LinkedIn?
Marc has experimented with posting at different times but he finds that posting first thing before 9am seems to give his posts more traction.
Similarly, many experts recommend trialling posts that are published around lunchtime at 12-2pm and dinner time after 5pm.
Ultimately, how well your posts perform depends on your audience and what time they are online. You should spend some time trying different times and seeing which consistently perform well with your audience.
Other ways to drive engagement on LinkedIn include asking questions in your posts, posting external links in the comments of your post rather than in the main body of text (LinkedIn doesn’t like links that take people away from their platform), tagging relevant people in your posts, and creating a poll to find out your audience’s thoughts on a topic.
How do I make my posts stand out on LinkedIn?
As amazing as your animations may be, Marc says that there is a window of opportunity that motion designers are not taking advantage of.
One of his most popular services is creating animated written testimonials for clients – something that historically has only really been done in static, image form.
This is something that you can easily create from your own testimonials as well. Pick out the best bits of the text, make them kinetic, pick out a nice background and you have a quick, easy way to display your testimonials that are attention-grabbing and unique to you.
Case studies are also a valuable form of content. Take your audience down a journey from when the client initially got in touch with you, to the end result animation. If you can include tangible results and data as well as the actual animation, this puts you in an even more favourable position for potential clients.
Marc decided to offer one of his first-ever clients a discount on the package in exchange for 12 weeks of analytics data from the Instagram images. With this, he was able to show potential clients that what he produces gets brilliant results.
After 12 weeks of posting animated content on Instagram, the client’s revenue increased by 198% and their engagement by 500%.
Also don’t forget to put your contact details in your LinkedIn bio and make your headline stand out.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Izu
As nerve-wracking as it can be starting on a new platform, or one that you have but rarely use, the first thing to do is gather the confidence to post something (our Social Media Guide can help with this!)
It can be hard putting yourself out there – but the more you do it, the easier it will become.
Marc says that the worst thing that can happen is that people aren’t interested in your post – and to bear this in mind whenever nerves, anxiety or imposter syndrome get the better of you.
Do you have a LinkedIn account? Do you remember to post on it regularly? If not, you could be missing out on an awesome platform to grow an audience, engage with people in the industry and attract exciting end clients.
Leave a comment on the episode page and let us know!
In this episode
- Marc explains his journey into freelancing and how the Motion Hatch Mastermind helped to prepare him [4.35]
- What it’s like moving from full-time employment for 20 years to becoming freelance full-time [10.00]
- Reaching out to other creatives on LinkedIn for advice [13.40]
- How to engage with people effectively on LinkedIn [16.46]
- Advice on what to post if you’re new to LinkedIn [22.48]
- The best times to post on LinkedIn according to the experts [24.52]
- The one type of animation that no motion designers are doing but that’s hugely powerful [28.01]
- The benefits of posting results for clients, not just examples of your work [34.04]
- How to have the confidence to put yourself out there on LinkedIn [48.00]
“When I came across your Mastermind what appealed to me was that you were gathering motion designers together from all corners of the globe and helping them to become business leaders rather than just freelancers. [5.31]
“If you want to work for agencies and attract Creative Directors then Instagram is perfect because you just post what you’re working on and people are attracted to your grid. Whereas with LinkedIn, you’re given the opportunity to create real relationships with real people.” [8.00]
“Most people starting out as freelancers do it the other way around – they spend three years at uni, you get your creative qualification, then work for a couple of years and then strike out as a freelancer.” [11.09]
“I started by reaching out to creatives who were doing really well on LinkedIn and asked if they had a spare half an hour for a quick zoom call. I was surprised when every person I asked said yes.” [12.10]
“Reaching out and saying hi is just as much a part of selling as a sales post is.” [15.00]
“One of the best pieces of advice someone gave me about writing on Linkedin was ‘write as if you’re talking to someone in a pub.’” [16.46]
“Even if you’re just starting out and you post “Hey, this is who I am, this is what I do, here are a few examples, if anyone thinks they might be in need of these services people get in touch.” That’s a sales post in its simplest form.” [22.48]
“I find that posting in the morning before 9am gives my posts more traction.” [24.52]
“Asking questions on LinkedIn is a brilliant way to get engagement.” [26.18]
“Just be curious. Don’t be scared to ask questions, it doesn’t matter if you think you look daft. 99.9% of people won’t think you look daft at all.” [27.30]
“After 12 weeks of posting animated content on her Instagram feed, my client’s revenue increased by 198% and engagement increased by 500%.” [36.04]
“Think about what value and help can I give to other people, even if that’s other motion designers.” [41.50]
“Never waste an opportunity to ask a question on LinkedIn, whether you’re just starting out or if you’re in my position, 7, 8 months down the line. “ [44.35]
“You have to put yourself out of your comfort zone and the more you do it the easier it becomes, but it was hard to do I have to say.” [48.53]
“There might be people who never engage with your sales content but later they’ll slide into your DMs saying I’ve been following you for some time. So you might find that your posts are getting tumbleweed, but there are people who are watching. So don’t be disheartened.” [49.48]
Putting yourself out there on LinkedIn can be daunting. But it all starts with a single post. Everyone has to start somewhere, But if you work hard at mastering the platform, the rewards can be significant.
Learn how to master the art of LinkedIn with help from Marc – from attracting end clients, to building meaningful connections in your industry and beyond.
Download the free Social Media Guide for Motion Designers.
Find out more about our Mograph Mastermind program.
Find out more about our Client Quest course.
Hayley Akins (00:34): Hey, hatchings welcome to episode 83 of the motion hatch podcast today on the show we have Mark Lawrence. I met Mark in 2020 when he became a student of our Mastermind program. He just started his freelance business after working full-time at the same company for 14 years, I've been really impressed with what Mark has achieved since then. And I knew I had to get him on the show. He's been using the tips and strategies that we teach in our courses to build a network on LinkedIn and successfully get direct clients as a result. So in this episode, Mark and I discuss what really works for getting direct clients on LinkedIn. There's loads of actionable advice in this one to do stay tuned. We also mentioned the brand new resource that we've created just for you. The social media guide for motion designers in it, you'll find 52 weeks of inspirational posts, a social media tracker, as well as tips and tricks to help you get the most out of social media without leaving you feeling overwhelmed. So download this guide for free at motionhatch.com/socialmedia. Now let's get into the episode.
Hayley Akins (01:41): Hey Mark. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
Marc Lawrence (01:44): Thanks for having me. It's a real honour.
Hayley Akins (01:49): Thanks. So you're freelance motion designer. Now, can you tell us a little bit about what you were doing before?
Marc Lawrence (01:56): Yeah. I, I guess you could say I have come to being a freelance or sole trader in a completely topsy-turvy way. So most people like, I suppose people would spend their days at college and then spend a few years in full time employment and then head out. But I spent 20 years in corporate as a motion designer, senior motion designer. And the last 14 years I spent, I spent in a leadership role for corporate companies, great environment, fabulous culture leading a team of motion designers and graphic player did that for 14 years. And the last year the door opened for me in redundancy. And I thought, if I don't walk through this door now don't take this opportunity now, then I'll end up dying on a train on public transport. The commute was killing me anyway. So I thought I have to just do it.
Marc Lawrence (03:08): The change came at the right time, really. So I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I knew exactly that I wanted to create motion graphics, animation content and promote their products and services on social media. So I knew that was the way to go a hundred percent. I knew that's what I wanted to do, how I went about that, I had no idea. I left my job at the end of March, 2020. I had no network, no experience of running myself as a business. I had very few peers in the industry, just a tight knit, small number of close friends which was strength, support. Really I was clueless.
Marc Lawrence (04:16): So just after university, I was in the same position and I hadn't really put that much emphasis on, on the sort of management experience in all the years of experience I had behind me. I didn't, I wasn't focusing on now. I think I had a lot of imposter syndrome and that's where emotion has came in and I found you guys, I actually found you guys before I left. It was probably a year ago, end of Jan February. I think you might popped up on LinkedIn and I thought, this is exactly what I need. And you were talking about to a mastermind and the fact that you were gathering people together from all corners of the motion, graphic design world and promoting them as business leaders rather than just freelances. You have a skill, you're creative and you can turn businesses around and that's what you did. And I could see very, very quickly through the podcasts that we've been doing over the last two or three years that you had our back.
Marc Lawrence (05:24): I thought you are exactly who I need right now. So I jumped on that mastermind quicker than a ferrett down a drain pipe. I need this and it was, it was perfect. And so that how nine weeks, nine weeks was their process. I got my branding, my website up and running. You know, all the basics that you need to put in place, which were my specific goals in order to start selling on LinkedIn and Instagram. And at that point resort in sort of may, may June time, I still didn't really know how to sell and how to set myself up as somebody that could create motion graphics or direct clients. I was convinced this is what I wanted to do. I didn't really want to work for agencies, it was direct client work.
Marc Lawrence (06:34): So my goals, which at the time were getting my branding up, figuring out how I'm going to do this as a business. And it was absolutely perfect. And I'll tell you what the guys, Ploy, Luca, the guys in that group been absolutely fantastic. And we're still in touch. And that just goes to show the power of what you do is just priceless. Absolutely priceless. So I got myself up and running which was stage one and the masterminds helps you to figure out what you should be doing in the next three months. So I had that plan in place. I have my branding and resources. I want direct clients. Knew there was a big sort of black hole there, but how to go about getting clients. Uand it was at that point, I really started throwing myself into LinkedIn because I was kind of splitting my time a little bit between Instagram.
Marc Lawrence (07:43): And it kind of dawned on me that LinkedIn was for me the best place to go to actually make real contact with people. Instagram was great. I think if you want to work with agencies and of agencies and attract creative directors, Instagram is perfect because you post personal posts. What you've been working on. You don't really have to write a great deal. I don't feel on Instagram, just post what you're working on, because it's such a visual platform. People are attracted to your grid quiet, not instantly, but it takes time on LinkedIn. It's different. I found it's different because you can create real relationships with real people. And if you post and post and post what you do all the time, you don't get as much traction. I found that as if you would on Instagram, because I'm all about making those real connections with businesses. I found them a settled slowly interlinked. And that was really the beginning of the kind of light bulb moment about setting my services, a motion designer to direct clients.
Hayley Akins (09:00): Yeah, that's awesome. So there's lots of dive in there and, and thanks for mentioning the mastermind. I'm really pleased that it was really, really helpful. I want to go back to that, but first I want to ask you a bit about how you felt, because you said that you, you know, had the opportunity to take redundancy. You'd been working at QVC for like four years, I mean, 14 years. That's crazy. So like, how did that feel and what were the thoughts kind of going through your mind, you know, when you were thinking about making that jump to freelance
Marc Lawrence (09:34): Massively scary, you know, you're like, you're a lemming on the cliff and you're, you're jumping off, you know, you have to do it by choice. You're just saying I'm going to do it massively scary. So I just went for it a hundred percent. Like I said, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to sell my shoe graphics on social media, just have no clue about how to do it. And when you've been in a full-time role for that long, and I I've been in full-time roles for 20 years striking out alone is scary. I mean, it's not like I'm 20 anymore. So you know, you got added responsibilities, but you got the movies, you got a family. And so that kind of added to the pressure, like, again, the mastermind was exactly what I needed.
Marc Lawrence (10:27): And it was a kind of route to achieving what I'm still trying to achieve really. I'm some way down the line now, but it helps take away that crap. What do I do now? Feeling plus I mentioned age before, you know, most people striking out as freelancers do it the other way around. So you spend three years at uni, you get your creative qualification. And in my case it was, I started fine. You'll get a couple of years under your belt, you have a side hustle and then strike out. But a lot corporate, I love being in large companies. I like working with lots of people. And I think I used that as a skill which again was a light bulb moment.
Marc Lawrence (11:30): What I did on LinkedIn was just to get in touch with people who I could see were doing really, really well. Other service providers graphic designers, copywriters that I could see where he was smashed into that had huge networks. And I just asked him to say, half hour to spare for quick Zoom call. And I was amazed that everyone said, yes, everyone but one person, I reached out to six months and I still keep reaching out because that's just as important now, as it was eight, nine months ago, everyone says yes. I know I'm know I'm doing something right as I get people reaching out to me now and asking me if I'm paying that forward every time you make half an hour, I remember one of your podcasts. I think it may have been been Mariette, correct me if I'm wrong. But they said there's always somebody, six months, six months. I've got all the time in the world every time.
Hayley Akins (13:10): Yeah, that's awesome. So I know that we talked a bit about in the mastermind about reaching out to graphic designers and other people on LinkedIn and things like that.
Hayley Akins (13:19): So you obviously found that was really, really helpful to you. Do you recommend that other people do that and how would they go about it?
Marc Lawrence (13:28): A hundred percent? If you're just starting out on LinkedIn, just reach out to network network network. I know people don't like that word, but it's, it's helped me no end just seeing them, just start following them. And then DM them a couple of days later. It's always polite to just comment on their posts and like posts, et cetera, all the basics that you should be doing. And then just DM and just say, look, I can see you're doing amazingly well. Just wondered if you've got an hour, hour to chat. Somebody who is really looking up to you and admire what you're doing. I wouldn't see it as the mistake I made with other designers was to say, let's partner up. As what's the phrase you use, let's partner off as a strategic partnerships as a strategic partnership, don't do that straight away because no one likes that to say that if you've got half hour for a chat, because then if they need someone like you and you've had a chat with them, you'll be front of mind setting this'll pass, setting, reaching out and saying, hi is still all part of setting as much as a sales post is.
Marc Lawrence (14:46): And then again, that was a light bulb moment for me, people buy from people that's a cliche, but it's true.
Hayley Akins (14:53): Yeah. So that's awesome. I think it's really important for everyone to do that. And I really liked that you mentioned you know, the warming up pieces, which I'm always talking about to anyone who will listen about going on to LinkedIn or Instagram or wherever and liking people's posts, commenting on them, like giving back and giving people value. Do you think that that's really the key on LinkedIn as well is cause I see you commenting all the time on everyone's posts and stuff like that. Do you feel like that really helps you to build those long-term relationships?
Marc Lawrence (15:27): Yeah, it does. And you've got to be consistent with it as well. It's no good doing it for a couple of weeks and then saying, Oh, nothing's happening. You've got to genuinely enjoy doing it. So the majority of people's posts that I comment on are people in my network who are other service providers, life copywriters, graphic designers, PowerPoint designers video prefers, you know, other service providers who, if they want a strategic partnership with me, they will reach out because I'm front of mind because you know, we've had one-to-one conversations through zoom. They've dammed me for a quick a little bit of advice here and there. There's nothing salesy at bounce it, but a hundred percent, yes. Just, just reach out to other services providers and just make straight relationships. Don't see us to see a salesy. Just that. I think one of the best pieces of advice someone gave me about writing on LinkedIn, it's a DM or whether it's a post is write as if you're talking to someone in a pub.
Marc Lawrence (16:27): And I thought, Oh yeah, that's what I'm going wrong. And then reread it, read it back before we post it. And if it flows as if you're talking to someone in a park, then post it. And if it's a DM that that's a very kind of informal DM about, Hey, do you want a quick half hour to it's just share the braise and say, hi, can we hop on a zoom? That's all you need to do. That's as simple as that, don't complicate things because I had spent so much time in corporate. When I first started, I had corporate language, I was very sort of gray and uninspiring in what, in what I've written. And it didn't really work and I've got tumbleweeds. It was only when I started injecting a little bit of humor or try to and personality in sort of jokey posts and salesy posts that people started liking commenting. I don't forget, you got to keep connecting with people as well as that's part of the whole strategy connect with the right kind of people, because your people, whether they are potential strategic partnerships, other like-minded creatives, or whether they're people you might see as potential clients just keep connecting. I've still got a very, very small network is says, felt two and a half thousand people, which is tiny, but it's steadily.
Hayley Akins (17:51): Yes. I just want to go back to the strategic partnerships bit because we talk about this in our course client quest, but I don't know whether everybody knows what it is. So basically if you have a strategic partner, it means maybe they're a graphic designer and illustrator someone like that. They have clients who might need motion design. So it makes perfect sense for us to collaborate with them as strategic partners. So anybody could be a strategic partner or you for example, could work with a designer if you just wanted to do animation and things like that. So I just kind of wanted to clear that bit up for anyone who's listening. Who's thinking like, what are they talking about? And I want a strategic partner is so yeah, I thought I'd go into that. And also I love what you were saying about reaching out to people and being human and talking like a real person, because I just did a recording for Ben Marriott's YouTube channel talking about social media.
Hayley Akins (18:46): And one of my tips was exactly that like talk like you're a human being, you know, don't talk like a robot. Because I think you must have got these messages too, but when non-LinkedIn people imagine messaging people, they're always like talking like robots. They're like, Hey, how are you? I saw that you might need these services or whatever, you know? Oh, it seems to be like SEO and stuff like that as well. I don't know what that you've got those kind of messages.
Marc Lawrence (19:19): Yeah. they don't work. They don't work. I mean, I wouldn't, I always need the human element really, really works because everyone talks about it. It wasn't until I dropped the corporate kind of facade that was institutionalized within me, that it started working. And with those strategic partnerships that the best things that have happened are referrals. You know videographers who don't do motion design have referred me to some of their clients and illustrator of the same thing. They've referred me to some of their clients. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn't depending on if they like your quote or not, but it doesn't matter. It's still, it's still, I'm still in year one of trading. And honestly I'm not sure office experience. But it's still, once you get that experience behind you, whether it works as a good client experience or not, it's great to get that kind of thing Angie, about if you're just starting out.
Hayley Akins (20:23): Yeah, definitely. I wanted to talk a bit about as well, because you were talking about different types of places. So you were saying like sales posts, and I think you say more personal ones and things like that. I mean, we've just brought out a social media guide, which we'll put the link in this photo notes. And we talk about this using different types of posts, like community posts and relevant posts, like saying, telling more your story and stuff that how do you kind of think about that? And, and how does that play into your strategy on LinkedIn?
Marc Lawrence (20:54): It's changing all the time. Because when, like I said, when I first started, my sales posts were very, very boring, very, very dull. I got tumbleweeds and they weren't working. And that was when I started reaching out to people, the light bulb moment with, Oh yeah. People buy from people. I need to be a bit more human. So it came into play. So I still call them salesy posts, but that, that posts generate interests based on what I provide, but they're not, it's not just a list of stuff. And I've learned from other people who do it really, really well, who write about what they, what they provide. But they write as if they're talking to someone in a park, you know, again, I go back to talking about writing, like you're in a pub talking like you're talking to somebody in a pub.
Marc Lawrence (21:46): It all makes sense. So salesy posts have become a lot more informed for me. There were a lot of people that say, Oh, LinkedIn is becoming like Facebook and it should be to a certain extent. It should be more informal. I've seen links in chain because I've had an account with LinkedIn for over 10 years. I used to use it as a recruitment. So in my previous life in corporate and it wasn't until last year and I've seen how people change their tone of voice. So if you're more informed about talking about what you provide, even if it's like, Hey, if you're just starting out and you're like, Hey, this is who I am. This is what I do. Here's a few examples. If anyone thinks they might need these kinds of services, get in touch, that is a sales post in its simplest form. And then there are other technical aspects that you learn along the way that I've learned through real LinkedIn experts. For example, if you have a link that would take you off LinkedIn, you don't put the link in the main body of the post, put it in the comment because LinkedIn gets very, very grumpy with that sort of thing. And it won't promote your post. It will penalize you. So those kinds of technical things you'll learn as you go along and you'll pick up from people who are doing things really well.
Hayley Akins (23:05): Yeah. I was just gonna say about so what we try and do motion hatches sort of teach people at the moment in, in general about how social media works and stuff like that. But there are so many small things that are happening on Instagram and LinkedIn and the algorithms and everything all the time. So in client quests, what I advise people to do is like experiment with these platforms for three months, really dive into it like what you did go in late, learn everything you want to know about LinkedIn at that time. And then see if that works for you to get clients. Because the problem is, is social media is changing like on a daily basis. So we really need to be doing the tests and the experiments ourselves, and like learning from others who are doing a really great job and everything you just said, basically. I would really recommend everybody try and do that.
Marc Lawrence (23:56): A hundred percent. I was speaking to a guy he used to work for LinkedIn. I spoke to him last week about best times posts because for me over, over a few months, I've found that posting before 9:00 AM, gives me more traction. It gets me more engagement. Other people would say differently, but this guy, his name's Dan Kent Smith, he said that LinkedIn expert he said, you've done the best thing you've tried. You've tried. You tried, you've tested it. You've done for yourself. You've done the actions. And you figured out that that works best for you, which is the best way to do it. Some people will say T time works really well because people come back onto LinkedIn at tea time. I've seen traction in the morning before 9:00 AM lunchtime, between 12 and two. And at tea time between five and seven, it might work differently for other people. Cause that's, that's the way it kind of works. Me. I generally give it about 24 hours as well. If after 24 hours, I'm like a certain amount of views. I kind of leave it at that and think, Oh, that's done quite well. That's got the tumbleweeds again, but 24 hours, January the UK, most and understanding over that kind of period of how well your post is done in generally a day. But you test, like you said, you test and test.
Hayley Akins (25:17): Yeah. Do you find more I found that really works at the moment is asking people questions and then also like comment in, on your own posts as well. And you know, like we said, put in the link below in the comments and also if anything has to do with anyone else, obviously tagging them in because then they're going to like and comment on it. And I think those things really worked really well at the time.
Marc Lawrence (25:40): Definitely asking questions on LinkedIn is a brilliant way to get engagement. And one of the best way to ask a question is to create a poll. So you can create a poll as a post on LinkedIn. It's that easy? I created a poll a few weeks ago on animated testimonials. I posted a testimonial, but I animated the copy. So it's like kinetic text is about 20 seconds long from a client that was particularly happy and a couple of people pointed out, Oh, we should offer this as a service. I'm like, Oh, you might be right. So I created a poll. It was basically what you'd like an animated testimonial as a service, as opposed to just a written copy. Yes, no, maybe three options. And I got about 14 people responding. 13 of whom said, hell yeah. One said maybe, but that gave me enough information to think, right?
Marc Lawrence (26:32): That I'm gonna offer that as a service now as part of a package animated testimonials. And I thought I wouldn't have had that light bulb moment if I hadn't, if that person hadn't commented on, on that original post. And it just goes to show, if you keep posting and asking questions, they'll just take you along on the journey. Just be curious. And don't be scared to ask questions. It doesn't matter if you think you're daft, you might think you're looked after, but so everyone else reading your posts, 99.9% of the time you won't be to conduct and getting over that mindset, I completely understand can be really, really challenging, but once you've done it, one, two, three, four, or more times, there'll be part of your habit, which is massive.
Hayley Akins (27:20): So I wanted to talk about the testimonial posts a bit more because I thought this was fantastic. And I was like, yes, this makes so much sense to advertise our services, but using our own skills because it just shows people what you can do. Yeah. So you had a really good reaction to that. Would you recommend the motion designers try and do that?
Marc Lawrence (27:40): No. I'm the only person that should ever be doing that. Yes, yes. A hundred percent do it, do it. Do I do it, do it, you know, motion designers, posts they're finished explain the videos. They, they post all sorts of amazing content out there, but I see there's not much copy. It's just, this is a job I did for so-and-so client. And that's it. Tell me about the process. Tell me about how they got in touch with you. Give me a story behind that, that amazing animation that took you six weeks to produce. I want to know more about it. That's how you're going to get traction with those posts. So with an animated testimonial, it's going to grab attention straight away. And I love, I love the fact that you can grab attention really, really quickly with motion graphics, right? It stops sums from swiping, which is why I'm always attracted to, to social media rather than explain the videos as a whole.
Marc Lawrence (28:40): I'm going to still produce explainer videos, but I position myself as someone who creates content for social media, short form content. So animated testimonials fits really well into that because it's short form content. It doesn't have to be the whole testimony is that you, that you animate. Because often if you've got a really, really good client, they'll post that two or three paragraphs about you just put out the best few sentences, that's going to really be impactful and just put together some kinetic text. Nice background. If you've got branding sticky on your branded animated background, keep it simple. And then you've got kid of content. You've got kind of content, just talk a little bit in the post about who they are, how they're going to with you and what you, how your services provided an outcome for them. And boom, jot down post it. I think about it. Just do it.
Hayley Akins (29:32): Yeah, I think that's great advice. I want to talk to you a bit more about you know, who you're marketing to and things like that, because I think that your strategy is a little bit different to other people because of the people that you're trying to work with. So do you want to tell us a bit about that and how you kind of came up with that kind of ideal client? I guess
Marc Lawrence (29:54): The honest answer is I'm still working out back on the mastermind. I was aiming my services coaches in the health and wellness sector. I'm a massive advocate of breath, breath, practice, breathing practice as a way of creating resilience, really good mindset. I love whim half. He is an absolute legend to me. I followed him. I followed him since, you know, day one, you know, he's what he preaches. It was his first practice cold shower therapy, cold showers in the morning and brilliant, by the way, you got to try him. It's brilliant. So I thought these are the guys. I want to aim my services at. And you've always said niche down. F1 jet generally tend to say niche down into a a niche, a specific sector because I'm just starting out less than a year into, into trading.
Marc Lawrence (30:56): I found that I get people attracted to what I do from all sorts of different sectors, but they're attracted to what I do because sometimes I talk about breath practice, their businesses might be nothing to do with coaching in the health and wellness sector, but they might have a personal passion for that thing themselves. So that's why they were, they've been attracted to me. So I'm still a little bit quite confused by that I'm still working out. And because I'm a member of the FSP, the Federation of small businesses as well, there are business leaders that assess me, just keep going and you work out you're, you're less than a year into training. Keep going with what you're doing and you'll work out further down the line. It might be that you'll never niche because you don't need to. So I stopped being confused and I'm just continuing to do what I'm doing on LinkedIn with animated content, whether it's salesy posts or a testimonial or whatever.
Marc Lawrence (31:58): But I've put the package that I've had. And again, packaging your services is something that motion hatch has taught me. And it works big time with the package that I've got people from different sectors are coming to me. So I'm just going to continue doing what I'm doing because it seems to be working. So I haven't defined that niche that I thought I would way back when one thing I've stopped beings, I've stopped being confused. I will, I will work out that niche. I'm just in that, in that space where people are coming to me. And I'm happy with that at this point in time. Yeah,
Hayley Akins (32:40): I think that's great. And I, I always think, you know, we shouldn't rush too much to get into the niche because I think I do think it's valuable for direct clients. I mean, you're, are you working mostly with like direct clients rather than agencies at the moment? How's that kind of going? Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Hayley Akins (32:59): Yeah. I think the way that you market yourself on LinkedIn and things like that is appealing more to direct clients because you're showing case studies, testimonials a lot of your personality and things like that. And even without you niching, because you're showing what you care about and you're showing the motion design stuff. I think that's, what's really helping with those clients to come to you because they can see that you're really passionate about motion sign. You make great work. You're putting out like personal work. That's really, really good on LinkedIn, just to describe what, how, what result your client got and stuff like that, which I think is amazing. You know, you talk a lot about results, which I think attracts the direct clients is that kind of what you've been seeing
Marc Lawrence (33:46): A hundred percent I case studies are massive as well. If you've got a, you can do a case study, take, take your audience down a journey of when that direct client got in touch with you, your process of working with each other and the results that you provided them, then that you've got a case study and then just post your, your, the animated content that you did for them to find it, you get assigned with, you know, it's always nice to get sign off nine times out of 10, they'll say, yeah, because it's more advertising for them. And then your post is exposed to their audience. So it's a win-win okay. Study's a win-win. And if you can, if you can include tangible results, as swell as your shiny beautiful animations, those clearly are going to work for their brand. Then that combination is absolute dynamite.
Marc Lawrence (34:38): So I had a a client, she was one of my first clients for my package. She's a VA, she's got a VA business and I create content for her Instagram account. And I gave her a discount because I said, I want, can you provide me the data after 12 weeks? Because that data is going to provide me with a lot of failure further down the line. I knew they would. And I knew it worked. I just need to prove it. So after 12 weeks you gave me the data and Instagram's brilliant for providing data. She sent me the graphs, the pie charts that they've got. And basically after 12 weeks of posting animated content live provided her revenue increased by 198%. The engagement that she had increased by 500% and what was the other one, the hits on her profile increased by 110%.
Marc Lawrence (35:32): And she gave me that all the charts that Instagram had provided her as opposed to the preceding 12 week period when she wasn't posting animated concept. So I use that that messaging in my content marketing, these are examples of what I could produce for your company. I that beautiful, shiny animated content, but these are potentially the results you're going to get. Here's a case study of my previous client and then have those results. There are you not saying, I want to guarantee you the same results, but because you've got those tangible figures you can even post the graphs and the charts from Instagram that would be even even more impactful, but because you've got those tangible figures, direct clients are going to be more just as inclined to look at those figures as they are amazing, shiny animations. And I don't see any motion designers doing that owning 10 or anywhere, which I don't know if that's because of my background, my corporate background, that the experience I've got, but that to me was always really important that the tangible results, because no one can argue with that. People can say, Oh, you'll start. Isn't really for me. But they they're less likely, they're more likely to say that I Oh, getting amazing results. Isn't really for me.
Hayley Akins (36:56): Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's something that we talk about in client quests, the course, and I know that flow creative do it very good case studies, which is one of our, one of our case studies in the course, which hopefully that makes sense. But yeah, and I, I'm a big advocate for this. I think that more motion designers should be doing it. I mean, definitely if you want to go direct to client because you're showing them the results, they don't really care about. The animation is such like they care. Can, they want it to look nice, right. But they want to know what results it's going to get for them and what problem it's going to help them solve. And I feel like a lot of people in our industry, aren't thinking like that, and I'm just so glad that you're doing it and you're proving that it works, you know, and it helps you to get more clients.
Marc Lawrence (37:42): Yeah, it's massive. And you can use those figures over and over again. And, and your salesy and your size face, and, you know, flow creative are the guys that inspired me to do my first case study. I saw what they'd done. You pointed them out. I saw what Carl and his team had done. And I thought, that's great. So I don't have one on my website. As I'm far more active than the nicotine and I put it on his hand and it got a lot of traction. So at the end of my pace, I said, check out my case studies and social proof on my profile, which then encourages people to hop on your profile, which LinkedIn likes that, that outer them loves that sort of thing. So that whole hack, all house case studies are brilliant.
Hayley Akins (38:26): Yeah. Another thing that I was talking to an LinkedIn expert the other day, and he was saying about putting a contact information, the description of your profile and stuff like that. And it seems so obvious, but people just aren't doing it, forgetting about it. Yeah.
Marc Lawrence (38:43): And it doesn't. And you encourage me to do that as well, but it's a, it's the simple things. It's not, it's not rocket science. And that, that little header headline about what you do as well is really, really important because when you pop up in someone's feed, as someone that's commented in a heartbeat, they can see what you do in one sentence. Can you try and keep it short and sweet? So although mine's about, it's quite a long sentence, the first half of that sentence really sort of nails your home. Why do that? So it cuts off, but you can still see what I do. It's really important. And those kinds of technical aspects, like I said, of things you'll, you'll pick up and people will offer you guidance and support with that sort of thing.
Hayley Akins (39:23): Do you want to tell everyone what your headline is? Just out of interest?
Marc Lawrence (39:27): So my headline is so scroll-stopping animated, social media content for smart, talented business owners who want to impress their audience and encourage them to invest in the high-ticket product or service. So when O posts on someone's feed, generally, they'll see scroll-stopping animated, social media content, then it will cut off, but that's all I really need to have been read.
Hayley Akins (39:52): Yeah. That's awesome. I love it because your think you're doing it in a way you're telling them what they're going to get, you know, and why they'd want to get it and the results that they're going to get as well. You know, it's kind of all in that instead of just like motion designer, animator, like that kind of thing. And maybe that's right. If you're going for, you know, more agencies or animation studios, I'd say, I always like to make this distinction because, you know, we are talking more about direct clients right now, but it's, this is something that a lot of people want to do and aren't really doing it successfully.
Marc Lawrence (40:31): I may say, you know, what I say is if, if you want to know more, then get in touch, me happy. I want to pay that support back that I've had and continue to get it.
Hayley Akins (40:41): Yeah, that's awesome. And that's another thing, what I think that more people need to do in our industry. And a lot of people are doing it, but just thinking about what value and help can I give to the people. And even if that's the motion designers, because in my, in the past, when I was freelancing, you know, when I was like help out with the people, give them help advice. I made like a personal project that I collaborated with the motion designers and that got me so much work, you know, because I was top of mind when they were asked for a referral.
Marc Lawrence (41:14): Exactly. Yeah. That's how it works. Not rocket science. Just, I keep going back to this. Think about yourself in a pub with a potential client in front of you at the bar, having a chat, keep it simple.
Hayley Akins (41:28): The, all the us folks listening to this, I can be like such a breath in a bite. Yeah. It's such a British thing, I think, but it makes sense. Hopefully everyone's getting the, the point of it. I don't know where the, like, people take their clients to bars in America to like, let us know on Twitter. That's all I'd say. I wanted to ask you about your branding because you've actually branded a lot of your social media posts and your website and it all kind of ties in together. Is that something that you think that the motion signers should consider? Because I think it looks really good and I'm so impressed by it.
Marc Lawrence (42:08): I think so. I mean the more you post, the more, the more of that brand is going to come across and the more recognizable you're going to be. And again, I go back to the mastermind back in April may, and it was one of my goals to sort of establish my branding. And we chatted about that as a, as a group. And I came out of the most one with branding and it wasn't, it wasn't really complex branding. It was font, colors, logo, Lego animation, and a picture of me period. That was a little had. And I've used that consistently. It's as simple. And it's so hard to do anything for yourself, like, cause I I've struggled and struggled and struggled to get anything that I liked. And in the end I just thought I just got to it, keep it simple and do it.
Marc Lawrence (42:58): And it will feel like after a while, but a hundred percent, it doesn't need to be you don't need to spend months and months doing it. I spent, I think I spent two weeks thinking about it and and taking actions to get out there. And I, I shared it with you guys as well. And it gave, you, gave you the knives and I thought, great, that's fabulous. You know, if you don't have a, a network to share it with, reach out to other like-minded service providers and say what you think, Craig, a question on LinkedIn, what do you think of a new brand? New never, never wasted an opportunity to ask a question on LinkedIn, whether it's yours, whether you're just starting out or whether you're in my positions, seven, eight months down the line, if you're establishing your own brand, ask questions, you're going to get a hundred responses because it's never going to be right for everyone, but he's still generating interest.
Hayley Akins (43:57): Yeah, exactly. Because most of the social media platforms, one thing that doesn't really change is when people engage on your posts, then generally the algorithms will be stopped because they want people to stick around and they want people to look at posts. So, you know, it makes sense. So it's kind of optimizing more for engagement rather than, you know, Germany getting likes and stuff like that. I don't think has as much power as, as it used to.
Marc Lawrence (44:25): Yeah. So you're right. And that's what I've learned. You know, if you try and keep people on your feed or authentically not with know don't waste your time making stuff, because you think people are gonna stick around more, be authentic about Sam, sample yourself, people use the word authentic. But it, it makes sense. Just be yourself, ask questions about your own branding or someone else's branding. I think, I think one of the questions, first questions I asked was what you think of these logo fails on. I found a bunch of it's one of those things you've seen floating around by, by found a collection of them made a slider. I think I posted it on Instagram at the time as well. And they got decent traction, but people saying, why don't you animate them? I haven't yet because some of the Lego is hilarious. Absolutely. There's free purchasing other people's content. Absolutely. But I just started out and I thought, well, I'll, I'll see what works for me and what doesn't, I don't do that so much anymore. But it was part of the process of understand how LinkedIn works properly.
Hayley Akins (45:41): Yeah. So I wanted to ask you as well, because you put a lot of yourself into your profile now and like a bit of light behind the scenes of your life. Do you recommend that other people do that and how effective is it?
Marc Lawrence (45:55): Yeah, it wasyou have to come out of your comfort zone. I think, and in the summer I put myself on a couple of free courses. There was like a five day Instagram course, and a five day free LinkedIn course. And they were both aimed at getting you out of your comfort zone. And the first thing that both of them said was record yourself on camera, talk a little bit about yourself and then post it. Don't think the guy, I thought I'm never going to be able to do this. Never, never going to be able to do this in a million years. So I did it catch it on my camera for about three days. So I failed that first days challenge by posted it later on in the week, I even showed her wife herself that you can't post that.
Marc Lawrence (46:52): But I did. And do you know what the worst thing that can happen is that people don't care. What is the worst thing that can have a think about that as the bottom line? What's the worst thing that could happen. You'll get tumbleweeds. So and I've, I got over the, I saw that as a massive, massive barrier posting putting me on social media. Cause I had to do that. If I wanted to attract direct clients, you have to do that a hundred percent. And that was the easiest way and best way to do it once you're there. But getting there was hard and hitting that button that says post, once you've got that content ready was the hardest thing. Not finger was hovering over that mouse for about half an hour. Can I do this? Can I do it? I did it. And then I saw everyone else who attacked that week's challenge with their video content and all of a sudden you're part of a tribe of people who are doing exactly the same thing.
Marc Lawrence (47:46): And you're commenting on each other's videos. So you have to come out of your comfort zone and the more you do that, the easier it becomes. But it was, it was hard to do, I have to say. And when people, interestingly, when a post about, cause we bought a trampoline and knocked down and I love having a balance with my daughter and I'll post a quick video of us bouncing up and down on the trampoline every now and then. And they are the posts that do the best, nothing stick with what I'm trying to sell. The type that the social posts are, the posts that do the best on LinkedIn. Everyone says the same thing. That's the way it goes. People are like it just resonates with people, you know, friends, staff, that sort of thing. It tends to work, but there are people when you're posting sales posts, they'll never comment. They'll never like it or whatever, but they'll slide into your DMS and say, I've been following you for some time. They're like the locusts. So you might find that your contents getting tumbleweed but, there are people that are looking, there are Linky lurkers. There are people that are watching. So don't be disheartened.
Hayley Akins (49:05): This has been fantastic. Mark. Do you want to tell everybody where they can find out more about you and your work?
Marc Lawrence (49:11): Yeah, no problem. My website is MarcLawrence.co.uk That's Marc with a C. My LinkedIn profile is Marc Lawrence. Connect with me, let's have a chat.
Hayley Akins (49:25): Awesome. Well thank you so much for coming on the show. I feel like everyone's going to get so much value out of this episode.
Marc Lawrence (49:32): Thank you, Hayley. It's been an absolute pleasure and an honour.
Hayley Akins (49:36): Thanks again to Mark for coming on the show. There were so many great tips in this one for getting clients. You can find all the links. So we mentioned in our show notes on our website at motion, hatch.com forward slash 83. If you enjoyed this episode, let us know what you thought of it. We are @motionhatch on Twitter and Instagram. If you think that this episode will help another motion designer that you know, please do share it with them. Since this one is all about LinkedIn, why not share it on LinkedIn and tag us. Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end. I really appreciate you. See ya.
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