“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others”Tony Robbins, author, and philanthropist.
As a freelance animator or an animation studio owner, you are out there running an entire business. Besides designing, illustrating, and animating, you probably know by now that running a business involves a lot of communicating. Basically, you’re always going to be talking to people, whether online or face-to-face.
Thus, mastering animation communication is vital for the success of your animation career.
In animation communication, you would be expressing the value of your animation studio or business – your animation vision and mission, branding, and strategic positioning – through your products and services, such as your animated videos.
However, animation communication also extends to other aspects of your animation studio. Let’s say you put up a website and social media accounts to market your animated videos or to introduce them to a wider demographic, in order to effectively utilize these platforms, you’d need to learn and master your animation communication.
You’ll use animation communication when messaging your clients or prospects, conducting cold calls or emails, working on your animation script or storyboard, writing the content on your online media platforms, and ensuring your animated videos reach the right audience.
That’s why, as early as now, you must understand good animation communication and how you can make the most out of it.
So look no further because, in this blog post, we will teach you exactly that. We’ll explain the different types of communication in animation, the importance of clear animation communication, and how you can develop your animation communication for your animation studio.
Different Types of Communication in Animation
When it comes to communicating your animation value and ideas, it helps when you play around with the various communication styles and strategies, including the platforms where you can express your animation ideas.
With a little creativity and experience, you will find that there are so many ways for your animation communication to flourish and reach your intended audience, especially in the age of social media. Chances are, you could even have a little fun exploring and trying different styles before settling on those that suit your goal.
So, to give you a little head start, here are a couple of different types of communication you can do and how you can take advantage of them for your animation values and ideas.
Visual Animation Communication
Creating a rough draft for your animations is one of the most important types of animation communication, as well as a vital step in the animation production pipeline. The rough draft establishes the essential ideas in an animated video but without any precise details.
Through your rough draft, you could communicate the purpose of every animation movement, scene, or background and how they serve the overall objective of your client’s animated video.
Additionally, besides communicating the intended message of the animated video, it allows you, your team, or your animation client room to make any changes or revisions.
Mastering a rough draft means you are able to capture what your animation client wants –– it means you know how to analyze the creative brief and put it all into something visually-comprehensive or inspiring for your client.
Keep in mind that making a rough draft is not about making something neat and perfect, it’s more about getting the main ideas down on your paper.
You can improve the way you make your rough drafts by thoroughly reading the creative brief and keeping in touch with your animation clients. Avoid assuming or going beyond the main idea without consulting your team and client, as that may only lead to wasted time, confusion, and frustration.
Finalized Animation Storyboards Or Animatics
Once you’ve had most of the details hashed down on the rough draft, finalize them. This means adding more details and nuances to your animated scenes, characters, and movements. It can also mean inserting the music or a tempo so you can gauge the speed of each scene.
The entire storyboarding process is integral in communicating your value and ideas as an animator. This is because it forms the very skeleton of your animated video. Each part relies on a good animation storyboard. Even your animation script depends on your storyboard’s effective translation of its words into visuals.
For more, it’s what you send back and forth to both your team and client to express how you have understood and captured their idea, ask for any input, and/or seek their approval.
Media On Social Media Pages Or Animation Websites
Besides the visuals on your animated video, another means of animation communication is through the media on your or your animation studio’s social media accounts. This pertains to any video or photo uploaded, such as the media on your landing page, video testimonies, demo reel or portfolio, and many more.
This is important in communicating your value and ideas as the internet, and social media are powerful tools in marketing anything under the sun. It not only expands the reach of your animated videos but it also helps you build an online base that’s supportive of who you are as an animator.
Take advantage of the visual media you upload on social media and your website by making sure it’s enticing, complete, and cohesive. It should communicate the goal of your animated studio and your capabilities as an animator.
For instance, you can upload a brief video on your landing page, one that shouldn’t be longer than 2 minutes. This video can explain what your goals are and the kind of animation services your clients can receive from your animation studio. Keep it simple and direct to the point –– that way, prospects know what they’re getting into.
But that’s not all. In order to effectively execute animation communication in your online media, the content you post must be relevant and a clear reflection of your animation studio’s values.
In a Forbes article on social media’s powerful communications tool, marketing officer Niki Hall shares, “Ensure the tone of voice and messaging are consistent, content is fresh, and you’re leveraging social for one-to-one engagement”.
In line with animation communication using online media is making an excellent demo reel and portfolio.
Displaying an animation portfolio and demo reel is crucial for leads and prospects to see your past animation videos. That way, they can decide whether or not you’re the right animator for the job. In making your demo reel an effective means of animation communication, there are a couple of things you should remember.
First, keep it short and simple. Don’t clutter it with fluff. Second, include your best work at the start. Prospects most likely won’t have the time to watch the whole thing, so place your most relevant and up-to-date work at the beginning. And third, put your contact information. If you’re too hard to reach, people will quickly lose interest –– you wouldn’t want that to happen, right?
Verbal Animation Communication
Earlier, we touched on animation storyboards and animatics. However, we shouldn’t leave out their basis: Animation scripts.
Although they help form the storyboards, animation scripts are a kind of verbal animation communication as they consist of your story’s narration and your characters’ dialogues, expressions, and actions.
Animation communication in scripts comes in the way you interpret your client’s ideas and vision for their animated videos.
Use your animation scripts to show how well you understand the creative brief; that the animated video to be made manifests the message your client wants to put out. That way, you’re presenting your animation studio as one that’s professional, creative, and, most importantly, values its clients’ ideas.
There are some tips you can follow to make a good animation script. One tip is that you should gather all the needed information and materials beforehand. This especially pertains to the creative brief.
Another tip is to make sure the script is detailed. The best animation scripts contain everything that must be included in each scene and sequence so your storyboard artist can work more productively.
With that, your animation scripts can best communicate that your animation studio is capable and skilled. Besides, of course, communicating the content of the animation videos.
Private Messages With Animation Clients
The act of sending a message itself is a form of communication, whether or not you’re an animator. However, in your case, private messages with clients or prospects refer to the back and effort animation communication you must do to either: Get a good grasp of what your client expects for their animated video or convert a prospect into an animation client for your studio.
In terms of messaging animation clients, there are a few things you should remember:
You can make the most out of this animation communication by sending consistent updates on your client’s animation video, replying to their queries and concerns promptly, speaking in simple and direct terms, and being honest whenever you encounter setbacks and challenges.
When it comes to unexpected circumstances and situations that are sure to affect their animated videos, it’s best if you reach out to your client as soon as possible. Also, make sure that you have or are working on a solution to the problem so as to ease any worries.
Always keep your animation clients in the loop, especially when it comes to hitting deadlines. You’re more likely to lose their trust when you hide certain mishaps from them.
Finally, if all things go well, through these back-and-forth messages, you’ll be able to directly express how you intend to execute your clients’ vision.
Cold Messages, Calls, or Emails With Prospects
Now, when it comes to messaging prospects, you can opt to send a message through social media, email them, or simply ring them on their phone. But there is also a fair share of tips and reminders for you to do this animation communication well.
First, get to know your target demographic. More importantly, master the best time to send your cold message, where you should do it, and how often you should do it.
Make a profile of your demographic and learn about more than just their age and gender –– that way, you can appeal to them better. It will prevent them from shutting your animation studio out, which leads us to our second tip.
Second, bear in mind that the objective is to appear as human as possible to your prospects. Nobody likes the feeling of speaking to an AI, so be sure to connect with them on a deeper level.
Start off by introducing yourself and what you do. You can also mention why you work as an animator. Briefly share your goals and ambitions to show your prospects that you’re genuine.
Third, be clear about what you want from them: You want them to be your client. You can also send them your portfolio or client list (if you have finally earned a respectable list) to establish your legitimacy and credibility.
In order to do this well, it’s important you show them a problem that only your animation studio can solve. Strive to communicate what they lack and how much better they’re off by choosing your animation studio.
The moment you’ve earned their sweet “yes”, you’ll know that you’ve done a good job.
But in case you don’t, that’s alright. Keep trying. Sometimes, people are looking for something your animation studio simply doesn’t offer or you might’ve slipped up while reaching out to them ––either way, that’s okay.
Cold calling or messaging is an animation communication that takes a lot of effort and practice but you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
For instance, what we do here in Promoshin. In simple terms, making an SEO-powered blog refers to writing content for your animation studio’s website with the intent of ranking on the first page of search engines. It’s an animation communication that practically gives your audience answers to questions they type online.
According to software company hubspot, “...blog posts that use a variety of on-page SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and make your site more appealing to visitors.” But what are some SEO tactics you can use, especially if you’re a beginner?
One SEO tactic is keyword research. This means identifying and analyzing the right keywords for your animation blog to specialize in. You must look for keywords related to what your target audience is looking for in order to do this well.
If you choose to use keyword research, the first thing you can do is make a list of topics related to your animation studio or niche. You can use Google Trends or AnswerThePublic if you need a little help. Attach a couple of keywords to your relevant topics and then analyze how each keyword can relate to the intent of your animation prospects.
Think about whether they would need to know about a certain animation and why.
If done effectively, keyword research will lead to an increase in website traffic, client acquisition, and valuable market insight.
Another SEO tactic is link building. This is the practice of creating backlinks. Backlinks, which are also called inbound links or one-way links, are links that redirect audiences to a page on another website.
According to Backlinko, “Google and other major search engines consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page. Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings.”
To give you a better grasp of this type of animation communication, here’s a list of SEO-powered blogs you can review.
Importance Of Clear Animation Communication
Foster Positive Relationships With Your Animation Clients
When you communicate with your animation clients, you are building a foundation for your relationship together; therefore, you should make it strong. Build a loyal client base through good animation communication.
Focus on being sincere about the values of your animation studio and transparent with your intentions. Furthermore, you should also be empathetic and flexible when communicating with your clients.
If done right, you can make the most of your animation communication skills to develop your relationship with your clients and expand your animation career.
Avoid Conflicts And Misunderstanding
Clear animation communication is more than just talking to your client. Remember, good communication is a two-way process. It’s about listening to your client – particularly during challenges – and taking a beat to weigh in on the different possibilities so you can react appropriately.
If you are on the verge of a conflict with your client (or lead or prospect), not only must you consider how to react toward them but you must also look at their point of view, particularly how they view certain ideas or issues. That way, you can empathize with them and come up with a solution that satisfies both you and your client.
Conflicts and misunderstandings often arise whenever people disagree over values and ideas. In some cases, the problems may be trivial yet can negatively affect your animation career. That’s why you need clear animation communication.
Achieve Your Animation Goals
Through effective animation communication, you’re imparting the vision, mission, goals, and values of your animation studio. Whether it be in the consistent updates with your clients or the conversion of a prospect into a trusty client, every word you speak and every action you do reflects who you are as an animator.
The way you communicate also shows people what you want to achieve. Meaning that if you’re clear and firm with your animation values and ideas, people will know what it is you set to accomplish.
Furthermore, this applies to the way you communicate with your teammates. Good animation communication means you know how to accurately relay the creative brief to your team, motivate them, and remind them of your short- and long-term goals. Effectively doing so will encourage your animation team to do well and help each other along the way.
So What’s The Deal With Animation Communication And How You Can Develop It
Running a business consists of a lot of communicating, whether it be with your client, your team, or even yourself with your internal monologue.
Thus, mastering animation communication is a crucial step in driving your animation career to success. It helps you foster positive relationships with your animation clients, avoid and remedy various conflicts, and ultimately achieve all your goals as an animator.
There are different verbal and visual types of animation communication. Verbal animation communication can be in the form of your animation scripts, private messages, cold calls, and blogs, particularly SEO-powered blogs.
While visual animation communication consists of the rough drafts, animation storyboards, and media uploaded on your social media accounts and websites.
Once you’ve practiced enough, you can take advantage of these animation communication types to connect better with your clients, expand your online and offline reach, and grow as an animator and businessman.
Although, bear in mind that it’s not always an easy process. Sometimes, it’s hit or miss. Other times, you may forget important details. But like all worthwhile things, you should be patient. Good animation communication pays off, and the moment you can effectively communicate your animation value and ideas, the results will be fulfilling.
For more tips on developing your business skills as a freelance animator or animation studio owner, you can join our informative free masterclass, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!