The number of unincorporated self-employed workers has been growing since late 2020. As of December 2021, there are 9.28 million self-employed workers in the U.S. alone.
There are many reasons for the rise of self-employed people, like the desire to explore creative interests and build passive income streams. But unfortunately, freelancing isn’t a stress-free route. Self-employed people still have to find clients and become trustworthy vendors.
After working in tech sales for 10 years, Louis Ceaser IV noticed he could solve both problems through animated videos. “In sales,” says Louis, “you tell stories that lead to trust and business outcomes.” He founded Launch Your Story in 2021 with this in mind.
The animation and content house helps entrepreneurs and freelancers tell their own stories. These stories show viewers that freelancers are also humans who experience growth and pain. When customers of Louis’s clients see these videos, they are more likely to support their businesses.
We interviewed Louis to discover how he uses Vyond to grow his and other people’s freelance business.
What does Launch Your Story do for your customers?
Louis Ceaser IV: I help entrepreneurs tell their stories in a way they’ve never told it before through animation storytelling. This video asset can be repurposed across their website and social media channels to give their current audience a behind-the-scenes look into their lives or used to attract new clients.
Typically, how involved are your clients in the creative process?
Louis: I like to take a hands-on approach when working with my clients through the creative process. My skillset is listening, writing, and interviewing. It’s about asking the right questions to draw the right answers to form a strong script. Once a solid script is in place with emotion and flow, the animations come alive.
Speaking of your creative process, what does your video creation process look like?
Louis: I have a seven-step process:
- Virtual meeting: I like to have a brief conversation with my client to understand what they’re looking for and see if I can deliver that vision.
- Record the message: If they don’t know what to say, I’m great at interviewing them and pulling out the answers. I then take the recording and produce a script.
- Place the script in Google Docs: Make any revisions/edits as they see fit.
- Storyboard before the script is finalized: I already have a good idea of the best-animated scenes available in my toolbox to help bring their story to life. I’m a visual learner, so combing their script and going line-by-line helps me with the imagination process.
- Voiceover: I love doing voiceovers, but if they want to use their own voice, that’s cool, too.
- Animate: Using my notes from storyboarding, I’ll go into Vyond and start creating the scenes, along with customizing the avatars, camera angles, and transitions. I also add in the voiceover audio and search for the best non-copyrighted music that matches the emotion of the video.
- Approval: I send them a private link to view the video. If I get two thumbs up, they now have a video asset they can repurpose across any platform to help amplify their personal or business brand. I’ve had one person cry, a few who are super thankful, and some have walked me to the next referral. I’m humbled to use my gift to positively impact the world with animation and story.
What interesting opportunities have your videos led to?
Louis: I’ve been invited to the LinkedIn Creators Program, taken on LinkedIn influencers like Justin Welsh and String Nguyen as clients, and proactively done animated videos for Rachel Beck, Heather Monahan, and Lewis Howes. I’ve also had the pleasure of personally connecting with Vyond Rockstar Rued Riis for business advice.
It sounds like you have a great relationship with LinkedIn, which you’re also very active on. Why did you choose that platform?
Louis: I chose LinkedIn because this platform is kind to animated video and the potential organic reach your asset could experience. Also, my clients are entrepreneurs and small business owners, and, now more than ever, they are looking for innovative ways to share their personal stories on LinkedIn.
Why did you decide to use Vyond for your work out of all the animation tools?
Louis: As a Mac user, Vyond’s interface reminds me of iMovie; it’s easy to navigate around. Being able to record my voiceover, complete the animated scenes, and import music all in one user interface is a game-changer for me.
How long did it take you to become a Vyond expert? What’s the biggest takeaway from your experience so far?
Louis: It took me about nine months before feeling truly expert-level comfortable with the tool. I still have some growth to experience when it comes to scene transitions and understanding camera angles. However, the business-friendly avatars are my favorite. Vyond is so fun to use, and I love the new updates every month.
What advice would you give to folks who are new to Vyond?
Louis: Be confident in yourself and give yourself enough patience and grace while learning the tool; it’s not going to happen overnight. Also, play around with the tool and with the new features. You don’t need a fancy mic or recording studio to make professional videos. I used some simple headphones and recorded them in the car when I started. Don’t let perfection get in the way of your progress. Get started today!
What’s your next project?
Louis: I will be releasing the Launch Your Story animated podcast to encourage 1M+ to share their personal and career stories with the world. I’m also taking on new clients, so if you need to transform your story, book excerpt, or podcast soundbite into an animated video, we can work with you.
Create animated videos to grow your business
You can use Vyond’s set of intuitive animation tools to create engaging stories that tell your brand’s story. Like Louis, you can create an engaging story from scratch that amazes your peers, colleagues, and clients. Or you can use Vyond’s templates to build your story on top of a pre-animated one.
As a first video, you can share your company’s mission, the reason you founded it, and your values. You can eventually tell more complex stories as you become better at animating. Like Louis’s stories, these videos help you build trust with clients and attract new ones that value what you stand for.
Animate your first video