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Motion Hatch: Helping Motion Designers Do Better Business

Feb 16, 2021

As a motion designer, it’s likely you have a lot of different skills.

But knowing which projects to invest your time and energy in can be overwhelming.

This week’s guest has a successful YouTube channel and Patreon account. But he wants to spend more of his time creating games as that’s what he really enjoys.

Join Hayley as she helps Ross Plaskow to find his direction and focus as a designer.

About Ross Plaskow

Ross started out his motion design career by doing an animation degree at the University of Portsmouth before getting a job working for an agency - the first one he ever contacted!

He worked there for a number of years before leaving that job to go freelance full-time.

How to land that first job once you go freelance

In typical freelance fashion, the road to freelancing success wasn’t straight-forward for Ross. It took him 6 months to get his first freelance gig.

Ross attributes this to not tailoring his approach when it came to approaching clients - his portfolio was very diverse and he feels he should have been more selective in the examples of work he sent over to potential clients. 

It took him 6 months to really perfect his showreel and once he did, he found that getting work became a lot easier. Therefore you shouldn’t be afraid to niche down, even at the beginning of your career.

How to diversify your revenue streams as a motion designer

Ross started his YouTube channel in 2016 making cartoons and tutorials. Things started out positively but he hit a wall with creating content when he got too busy with his freelancing. 

He almost gave up entirely, but then he hit a quiet spot in his freelance career and made the decision to create very niche tutorials and put them on the paid content subscription site, Patreon. 

He now has over 200 paid members on the platform and his YouTube boasts an impressive 105k subscribers. 

Ross says that the reason his YouTube videos have done so well is because of good SEO - using common sense and researching what kinds of video titles are already out there and filling that void. His first tutorial video now has over 2 million views!

How to balance freelancing full-time with other ventures 

These are impressive achievements. However, Ross voiced to Hayley that despite his successes with YouTube and Patreon, he finds it difficult juggling his freelance career with these other ventures and knowing where to invest his time and energy.

Even though he has built up an impressive number of subscribers, Ross

finds himself falling out of love with YouTube and wanting to pursue his real passion of making games instead.

Picking between what you CAN do and what you ENJOY doing

As a freelancer, it’s likely that you can do a lot of different things. But the way to achieve better job satisfaction is to spend more time doing the things you enjoy doing, rather than the things you can do just to get paid.

Even though Ross spends the majority of his time animating characters for other people in his work, he feels that his true passion lies in making games, however, he is doubtful that he could make a living doing what he loves.

Hayley explained that once you take control of these limiting self-beliefs, you’ll see that there are unlimited opportunities to make money as a motion designer or animator. 

Ross and Hayley discuss the different ways in which you could carry on working whilst still working towards your dream of doing what you love full-time.

How to find direction and focus

Hayley recommends picking a focused goal for each and every year - such as Ross’s current goal of saving up to buy a house. That helps you to prioritise and focus your mind.

She also gives her advice on what she would do if she was Ross to combine her dream of making games whilst taking advantage of the large YouTube audience he already has.

She says you shouldn’t under-estimate the power of sharing the journey and behind the scenes with your audience. It’s an effective way to not only add value to your audience but also spark their interest in the project you’re trying to launch.

Sharing your goals with your audience will also help to keep you accountable and creating a proper plan will help you to keep on track.

If creating a plan for the year feels too intimidating, break down your goals into Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4.

Are you brimming with ideas but you struggle to know which ones to invest your time in? Do you believe you can make a living doing what you genuinely love to do? If not, why not? Leave a comment on the episode page and let us know!

Read the full shownotes

Links & resources

Explore Ross Plaiskow’s work on his website, YouTube channel, Twitter and Instagram.

Complete the Perfect Day Exercise and SMART Goals.

Learn more about Client Quest.

Learn more about using accountability to achieve your goals through a Mastermind group.

Podcast music licensed by Big Waves

Podcast production by the team at BE MORE Media

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.