One year down. With everything looking up. Well, it has been a year since we opened the doors at Talewind Creative. It feels like weeks. When you’re developing a new company, and life is “go-go-go!”, so much happens and time just seems to fly by. The good news is that it has been a great year, full of new clients, engaging projects, and solid results. Of course we dealt with challenges and growing pains too, but it has overwhelmingly been a net positive. But rather than reflecting on wins and accolades, sometimes it’s best to just take a good look at what we’ve learned. Some of the key lessons from Year 1: The model is working. We went into all of this with the idea that we could deliver a different kind of model. Combining what we do on the front end (brand story, creative and content) with what our sister companies do on the back end (Scratch Media for video production, Lionshead Studios for photography, and Studio 760), seemed like a logical combination to us. Well, it apparently seems like a logical combination to marketing clients as well, as they fully embraced the premium level of creative talent delivered with internal pricing. (Whew. Glad it wasn’t just us.) Commitment is key. When clients take a long-term view and put an intelligent program in place, good things happen. There needs to be a focus on building a brand in concert with the immediacy of driving sales and leads. There needs to be a cohesive story behind the marketing to build a company’s positioning and engage the audience. There needs to be the discipline to avoid distraction and stick to a strategy. And there needs to be a level of spend that supports the objectives. (The idea of just throwing stuff into social media and hoping for success is most often misdirected optimism.) The good news is that we’ve helped our clients understand these levels of commitment and hit objectives as a result. Content needs a reason. Just because you develop and publish a lot of content, doesn’t mean it’s good content. Or smart. Or meaningful to the audience. We try to take the approach of building intelligent hierarchies for content delivery (especially video) from the top of the funnel all the way to the bottom, so we can engage the audience at every level, whether they’re unfamiliar with the brand or are loyalists. We make sure there’s utility and purpose at every level. Content for the sake of content is just burning cash, and we make sure our clients understand that. Immersion is the first order. We have found that we regularly attract new clients because their existing agencies and other vendors simply don’t “get it”. Not that they’re not smart or talented people. It’s that they haven’t taken the deep dive with their clients and really gotten to understand what drives their businesses (as opposed to just what’s interesting marketing). We’ve taken the approach of not spreading ourselves too thin, and instead getting fully immersed with our clients as extensions of their own teams. When we focus on the business results first and the creative execution second, we all win in the long run. These are just a few of our key takeaways from the past year. We’ll continue to share our learnings, and we want to thank all of our clients who have jumped in with us in our first year. The road continues to be fun, and we’re looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in our next year. We expect big things.