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Tag : small business

18 Apr 2016

Celebrating Two Years in the Video Biz & What it Takes to get Here

We have hit our two year mark this April which is a big milestone for any small business. As you could imagine, it’s been a crazy couple of years that have gone by in a flash. It feels like a bit of a roller coaster ride with all its highs and lows… but that’s the nature of a start up, and we wouldn’t change it for the world! It has been the most humbling, life changing and thrilling couple of years. We couldn’t be more excited about what we have accomplished & where we are headed.

Kicking off our two years, we have a lot of exciting changes to come. We’ve decided to take this time to rethink the direction, and representation of our company by rebranding. We wanted to create a fresh look and style for Siren Vid, something that is simple, modern, and elegant that achieves our overall style and persona of the company. With that, we are also revamping our website to be more comprehensive representation of our work, our mission & goals, and the overall state of the industry.

The great thing about hitting the two year mark is thinking about the future of the industry. The video world is progressing exponentially by pushing the boundaries to capture and tell stories, and change the ways we express these stories and share them. The feeling is contagious and we know it’s just the beginning for us to explore different ways to expand, and evolve our creativity. Siren Vid is taking this next step to reach new goals for growth, develop a more creative outlet for projects & collaborations, and create a larger presence in the Denver & Boulder metro area. We are constantly inspired by the community we live in. We’re immersed in a place where so many different industries are forward thinking, and we seek that same momentum to tell those stories and be a part of the change and innovation happening.

One thing that we’ve learned is that it’s important to think about the future of your company, and not only that, but the overall industry you find yourself in. It’s fundamental to constantly think about how to better your business, and we know that being a part of a start up and small business can difficult, but you can never lose focus of your ultimate goals. Here’s a few of our simple things to appreciate and remember when being a part of a small business:

1. Make great connections

Having a support system, being involved in your community, and creating opportunities for open conversations will help build a strong foundation for your company and brand. Creating awareness, making connections, and building relationships can lead to so many different opportunities by just having a conversation and following up with the people in your circle. Having a presence wherever you go, and getting the word out about your brand & services makes all the difference in the world.

2. Wear many hats

This is a unique opportunity because you are able to be involved, and understand all aspects of the business. Use this to your advantage to really develop and know the in’s and out’s of the company. This can help you overcome the curveballs that come along the way, and help you expand and know where you need more support, or change things up if needed. Learn and absorb as much as you can because it will always help in the long run.

3. Have the hustle

There are great things that come with being an entrepreneur and running a small business. Every day is different and unique especially in the video industry. Whether it be heading out for a shoot, contacting people for new business, or diving into post-production… there is something always going on. You’ve got to make the most use of your time & energy because you are doing all of the leg work. The biggest thing is maintaining that drive and passion to push your business forward.

Celebrating two years of business has us really appreciating how far we’ve come so far, as well as thinking about the direction we’re headed & all the exciting things that come along with it. We now know that it’ s not all a cake walk, but we are not intimidated by this challenge, we are ready to take charge! It is such an inspiring feeling to be a part of the video industry, particularly in such a creative and forward thinking community. Our biggest takeaway with hitting this milestone is the intention to continue to tell compelling stories, and giving a voice to those people to create meaning and impact for all walks of life.

03 Feb 2016

16 Tidbits to Kickstart your Creative Side

Let’s face it. We all kind of need to hit the refresh button when the New Year rolls around. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on milestones and mishaps, while being able to plan ahead & set goals.  We are making conscious decisions to make improvements in different areas of our lives.

One thing I find myself thinking about a lot is how to incorporate new, exciting, fresh ideas into my work environment & even my personal life. It’s important to have these things on the back of your mind, and find ways that work for you to keep the creative energy going. Here are 16 tidbits that might just help motivate you or give you a little push to think outside the box in 2016.

1. Mindfulness: Research on practicing mindfulness has shown to decrease stress, and help us objectively analyze ourselves and situations. Taking a moment to focus, and be in the present moment lends to being more conscious of your surroundings. I believe it also encourages to be more open to reflection and growth.

2. Getting outside the comfort zone: One of the most refreshing ways to find creativity is trying something new. It’s getting outside of your routine, and going to that class you’ve had on your radar, spending more time on one of your favorite hobbies, and meeting new people in the process.

3. Collaboration: This can be a great strategy to boost your creative flow! Engaging in conversation, brainstorming, and getting others’ perspectives is highly effective when it comes to bringing new ideas to the table. It challenges you to think a little bigger, and increases productivity.

4. Inspirational Outlet: Having that go-to person, place, or thing that gives you a refreshing sense of purpose can curate new ways of thinking. We are able to appreciate & admire those certain things that can result in intellectual development, and a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve. Find something that gives you that balance and ease of mind in your daily routine.

5. Reflection: When you reflect on your experiences, you are actively taking what you already know & working towards improvement or a new goal. It has an affect on your performance by stimulating the link between learning-by-thinking. This helps when it comes to creativity because you’re able to build and expand your ideas.

6. Your Workspace: From your desk to your hard drive- There can be benefits to having a tidy desk vs. a bit of a mess. A study showed that some clutter can’t hurt. It can actually produce fresh insight, and more creativity. However, having things in order limits stress & distraction.   (keep it clean, up to date, organized, make it your own- from the desk to your hard drive)

7. Rest: Give yourself a break! Continuous work can steer you in the opposite direction of accomplishing tasks. Being able to unplug and step away will let things simmer for a bit, so you can come back and give it all your energy.Recent studies show that our mental capacity starts to diminish after an full hour of ongoing work. Relax and take a breather.

8. Plan of Attack: Even creatives need to go in with a mission. Whether it be a project, or deadline it’s important to know what you can handle & complete on time. Planning ahead and allotting enough time can help you deliver.

9. Create a Framework: Having a fine tuned business model is of the utmost importance. Cover all your bases, set your goals, and keep the work flow going. When you have this down, you’re able to spend so much more time on the creative side.

10. Take some risks: According to evolutionary psychologist, Daniel Kruger, risk are “activities with uncertain outcomes.” While it may seem uneasy, how exciting is it to know that there are so many possibilities out there. Listen to your inner self and give it a go. Try something new, take the pressure off, let loose… because you won’t know until you find out.

11. Get Feedback: Receiving constructive criticism can be beneficial to help strengthen your work & your mentality. It helps you see other perspectives, think through your process & deliver the best execution of a project. This also enables more open conversations, and trust in the project & your team.

12. Make Mistakes: This is one sure way to see how you truly learn and grow in the process. Things aren’t always going to go according to plan, you just have to know how to handle the situations as best you can. When you see things get a little messy, you can take those lessons learned and use them to your benefit in the future.

13. Collect Ideas: Whether it be a mental note, or you write it down somewhere… keep track of these! It can be helpful when you’re feeling stuck and need a refresher. From passion projects, stylistic ideas, branding inspiration, etc. you won’t have to feel like “Oh why didn’t I think of that?”, because in fact it might be somewhere in the back of your mind.

14. New places & new faces: Get out there. Travel. Meet new people. Share your story… You already know all this & all the richness that comes with it. Being able to broaden your horizons and get a glimpse of the bigger picture not only helps to put things into perspective, but helps you think bigger & dream bigger. Have appreciation for all the things that this world and people have to offer.

15. Don’t Force It: Things will occur that we may or may not have control over. It’s important to remind yourself that it will work out the way that it’s supposed to. You have to give & take a little in order for it to turn into something great.

16. Finish something: This comes full circle back to setting goals. You’re able to define & measure your progress and completion of a project. It’s a satisfying reward seeing the final product. Knowing all the hours and work that went into it can be beneficial to plan out your strategy, execute the process, and achieve your goals. It will feel good to mark that off the list & move on to the next big thing!

Having creative freedom is such a wonderful thing. Anything is possible! These tidbits have helped remind me of that. We are always trying to push the boundaries, and grow in the process. At the beginning of the year, we talked about what we wanted to focus on… I think this is a good description of how we plan on taking on the rest of the year. Incorporating these different elements into our business & daily lives will benefit us in all the things to come! We’re ready!

 

Photo: Brad Neathery

30 Nov 2015

Living in a World with Entrepreneurs: How Passion & Innovation can make an Impact!

Entrepreneurs are spread across the globe, with the same ideals and goals to improve different aspects of the world. We are fortunate enough to be located in a entrepreneurial hub in Boulder, Colorado where the town is buzzing with small businesses & startups. There is a great sense of empowerment being surrounded by the spirit, and motivation of other likeminded entrepreneurs.

When we combine the efforts & innovations of all of us, we can make great things happen. Reaching our efforts in all industries everything from technology, education, health, food, media… can reach a larger audience, thus making a bigger IMPACT than we could even begin to realize. Through meet ups, events, panels, and communities we are able to motivate and empower ourselves & others to not only improve different aspects of our lives, but create positive social change.

Social entrepreneurship should be a foundation for all businesses; integrated into our missions and values, as well as an extension to create products & services to benefit the well-being of others and our society overall. Entrepreneurs are leaders. We have the power and innovations to create opportunities and make positive changes. We all have to do our part, and it starts with coming together and recognizing what needs to happen next, what to look forward to on the horizon.

This past month we have focused on social entrepreneurship, gratitude & mindfulness. We celebrated with other entrepreneurs world wide for the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week where hundreds of cities participated in activities, events, etc. that connect self-starters, investors, and like-minded people together to examine policies necessary to promote entrepreneurial growth, and explore new possibilities and exciting opportunities.

Not only were these events happening across the globe, but right here in Boulder. It was the 2nd annual NewCo event held in Boulder that invites the public to the most important founders and entrepreneurs headquarters in this area to talk about topics related to business, growth, cutting edge innovations, work environments, and much more.

Our takeaways:

1. Find your team. It’s important to surround yourself with people that are going to support, motivate & contribute to your company and the goals that you set together.

2. Work closely with your clients. Be transparent and open with the people that you work with. It’s here where you’re able to easily approach and overcome challenges, as well as the chance to create new opportunities for your company.

3. Find your creative inspiration. Find something that allows you to take a step back from your routine & see something in a different way. Whether it’s a place or thing that gives you that feeling, use it when you feel like you need a refresher.

We had a great time getting together with other amazing entrepreneurs in the area. We collaborated to pitch a creative campaign exercise at Godot Communications, chatted with the team at Anthem Branding on their creative style & processes, and joined all the attendees at Shine to celebrate being entrepreneurs. It goes to show when we come together, we can forge new ideas, relationships & make things happen.

This month continues to remind us of the great potential we all possess to create positive changes in the world. When we use our resources and do our part, we are able to empower & motivate others to accomplish high goals, set new standards, and create innovations that will have a huge impact. I believe we will see great changes in the coming future in all areas of our lives.

 

Photo: Garrhet Sampson via Unsplash

14 Oct 2015

Event Videography: Value of Short-Format & Long-Format Event Documentation

Major corporations and small businesses alike have seen the advantages of documenting events in video format. They are a great way to diversify your video marketing campaign, because variety is key when creating a content strategy plan. Event videography is a vast category and covers all types of events from the colossal week-long conferences to even the smaller events like a startup’s launch party or company’s team building event. There are 2 main types of  event videography: long and short format.

Long-format event videography is generally documenting the event in it’s entirety, recording from start to finish. This type of video is usually recorded with a multi-cam setup (two or more cameras) which creates more visual interest, compared to one camera with a static shot. Your audience is in it for the long-haul, since these videos are generally over an hour. These individuals are interested in learning about the topics being covered during the event because they were either not able to attend in person, or are interested in a refresher later down the road. The types of events are usually educational in nature (i.e. a panel discussion, seminar or presentation).

From an event planning standpoint, it’s a good idea to organize the discussion in sections. That way the production team can either edit chapters within one video based on subject matter, or create multiple videos based on subject that still cover the event in it’s entirety. The latter option- create more volume of video content that can be navigated by your audience more easily. We also recommend adding an Intro/Outro to the video and a motion graphic of the company’s logo for added production value, and that creates continuity between multiple videos.

In short-format event videography, the production team is creating a two-to-three minute reel capturing the essence and feeling of the event. This is achieved through filming more B Roll than A Roll throughout the course of the event. The crew is documenting the actions primarily; candid shots of people interacting and having fun. In post-production, the editor will intercut the event footage with testimonials from attendees and short sound bites from presentations within the event. Add fun and fresh music to give it a little zip!

This option is much more editing intensive, but the marketing value is high, for a couple different reasons: 1. You have more control over the brand tone, style and messaging and 2. Shorter videos are more shareable on social media & more people will learn how awesome your company culture is!

Check out a couple examples of our event videos below.

Short-format event video here: https://vimeo.com/105440424

Long-Format event video here: https://vimeo.com/137867640

 

Photo: Jo Jo via Unsplash

08 Oct 2015

5 Important Things to Remember for Women Entrepreneurs

“Infinite love is the only truth. Everything else is illusion” -David Icke

This quote rings true in many aspects of my life, but sometimes it can be hard to grasp through the weekly grind of work. I think it’s important to reflect on your accomplishments & strifes, see what works & doesn’t, and really understand what it is you’re doing in this world. At the end of the day, it should be something that you love & that you are passionate about.

There were a lot of recurring and common themes that I gathered from our experience at Denver Startup Week, loving what you do being a very prevalent one. It makes a huge impact and determines a lot of things in the way you work & live your life. We heard a lot of great panels & met some pretty incredible people that have started or are in the same spot as we are.

However, the women highlighted panels we attended (Women Who Launch, Women Who Startup Summit & Women Makers in the Sporting World)… blew us away! They were chalk filled with awesome women who are doing it all, they gave some great insight that every entrepreneur should know.

1. Have Confidence

The old saying still stands true, confidence is key. I don’t know if that will ever be proven otherwise, because in any circumstance confidence can carry you a long way. It’s the ability to be able to carry yourself, speak up, express your ideas & emotions, and ask for things. It can feel a little uncomfortable or intimidating at first, but we’ve got to stop suppressing the idea that we can’t do it. We all have it in us. Displaying self-confidence is something we should be integrating into all aspects of our lives, it is an important part of the equation to success. Believing in ourselves & our abilities and being able to communicate that to others fuels our confidence to be able to accomplish anything we set our minds to.

2. Create your Ecosystem

Some call it balancing, while others have referred to it as congruence. We all know the feeling of being pulled in different directions; work and life being the oppositions. I look at it as an ecosystem- something that is both internal and physical & that depends on each part to work together. The key is to finding what works best for you. Knowing your strengths and limitations, goals and expectations, hopes and fears- I believe this leads you to creating your own ecosystem and being able to listen to yourself & knowing what makes you happy and how to achieve that.

3. Celebrate your Successes

We often get caught up in moving on to the next thing coming up, and we forget to celebrate our own successes. We shouldn’t be shy about expressing our excitement, it’s something we all deserve to feel good about. Whether it was reaching a new goal, or scoring a new project we should share these moments because it’s what pushes us to move further and do it again. Those successes all start to add up! AND it’s okay if there are mess ups along the way… guaranteed there will be. That’s also an opportunity to reflect on what works & doesn’t work, and get there the next time around!

4. Take the Plunge

Any business that I’ve known has started from that jumping off point and going all in. It’s following your passions and making that commitment to transform your idea into a business. There’s all the necessary risks to get to you that point, but it also comes with being prepared. Running your own business isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time and energy to research and understand how you’re going to fit in. Knowing the ins and outs, nooks and crannies of the industry and aspects of running a business are essential to being successful. Grace, grit, humility are key components- you’ve got to have the confidence & knowledge, the hard work & determination, and the humbleness & curiosity to run your own business and getting others on board with you.

5. The Next Step

You may experience those growing pains that comes along with taking your business to the next level. It can be hard to know when you’re ready, but taking it step by step will allow you to reflect and lay all your options out in front of you. Being strategic in knowing what you have the capacity to do, and seeing what it will take to do all the other things you have planned will give you a good indicator to know what the next step will be. Be confident in your decisions, and there is no need to rush or jump into anything too quickly when it comes to growing your business.  

I think it comes full circle- going back to doing something you love. That’s where the passion is, that’s what gets you excited every day, and what brings you happiness. Taking a step back and reflecting on yourself & your business as a whole will give you new insight on where to go next. The women at Denver Startup Week and the topics we covered were a great reminder of the things that we all need to hear and express ourselves as women entrepreneurs.

Thank you to all the ladies at the Denver Startup Week to share your stories!

(Sirvo, Meet Mindful, Artifact Uprising, She EO, P2Binvestor, Kindara, Havenly, SaraBella Fishing, Goldilocks Gear, Guerilla Gravity, Onus iV Hydration & many more!)
#WhyIStartUp #WomenWhoStartUp #DENStartupWeek

06 Oct 2015

A Siren’s Call: the story behind Siren Vid

It all started with an average girls night in the Winter of 2013. My girlfriends Kenya Brading, Megan Golliday and I were sharing a bottle of wine and were discussing our plans for starting a company together. We all shared the entrepreneurial spirit and desire to contribute to more meaningful content creation. Our career paths in casting at the time in was in need of a little shaking up, and the production of short format video content or promotional videos was our point of entry into the industry. We had also recognized how quickly videos were becoming a desirable marketing tool not only for major brands, but also small business and organizations.

While balancing our day jobs with our startup, we burned the midnight oil (so to speak), writing our business plan, researching the market, and setting up our branding & website. The name of the company took awhile to decide on, because knew how important it was and we wanted it to truly represent our values. Similar to many other industries, we believed the film industry was gravely in need of more diversity. The Sirens, from mythological folklore, are known to be temptuous mermaids that lure sailors to their demise in the depths of the ocean. We flipped this idea on it’s head, and translated it as a modern representation of fierce, empowered women, the types of women that should be making films! and thus Siren Vid was born.

We officially launched in May and hustled for 6 months to build a foundation solid enough to go full time. Over the last year, Siren Vid has evolved it’s services to cover the production of a variety of video types, including live-stream, motion graphics, and has created partnerships with various women’s networks within Boulder and Denver, always staying true to it’s roots.

So what’s next on the Horizon? We are participating in a creative movement to bring artistic video content to the foreground. Video is a powerful way to tell stories, connect & collaborate with others out there. We want to lead the conversation… talk about our experiences, our work, and our insights on the film industry, in hopes to transform the way that we create & share content.