Shawn MatthewsStreetwise Marketing & Growth Expert

I have 20+ years experience as a creative professional. I love teaching & helping startups, big brands, and struggling businesses, streetwise techniques that get attention. I help create big results by using story, organic product placement & social ampification to create measurable growth.

As CCO/CEO of Swagbot Creative, I create social, marketing and apparel campaigns that produce results. I have worked on projects for O'reilly Auto Parts, The Wikimedia Foundation, eHarmony, Upwork and Fox Television.

I can help you turn your ideas into a reality. At my core I am a connector, storyteller, and promoter.

The broadstrokes:

• Confident, fun, energetic creative talent
• Self directed team player who thrives in collaborative environments
• Visual storytelling specialist with strong budgeting, communication & design skills
• Clients & credits include projects for Wikipedia, Fox Television Studios, Universal Pictures and MTV

My skill set is a balanced mix of both the strategic and tactical, including:

Creative Direction + Creative Strategy + Visual Thinking + Brand Storytelling + Logo Design + Creative Development + Marketing Campaigns + Video Production + Music Composition + Fundraising + Project Budgeting + Project Management + Team Building + Business Plan Writing + Graphic Design + Content Production + Publicity

I am based in Springfield, Missouri. I have a wife, three dogs, love urban farming, foods that make you smarter and 3D printing. Please say hello, I love meeting new people.

Recent Answers

You are competing against Amazon at that point, I would pick an underserved niche that you are most passionate / knowledgeable about and start there. For instance, drone after market accessories like stickers, lights, carrying cases, etc. Look for some trends using Google, Pinterest, etc. It's business 101, find a need and serve it. Your best bet is to focus and go very deep, than casting a wide net because you're resources will be spread to thinly. I'd be more than happy to help you narrow your list and am available any time for a call. Good luck!

It sounds like you are going after high value targets who have layers and layers of insulation between your company and decision makers. If it were me, I would find someone either on here or on Linkedin who have existing relationships in your core industries and work out compensation deals with them directly. Everyone is different with how they want to be compensated, however, since you have self-funded, any revenue is good revenue at this point. I have some ideas for you if you want to contact me directly.

For a startup, external traction is crucial. Traction means that you are creating (hopefully meaningful) moments and activity that are getting noticed from users, media, press, and the tech community. This helps attract new users, more media attention, and possibly investors.

Milestones are equally important to your company. Milestones are simply internal markers on your development timeline that keep you and your team on track.

I think there are a number of factors at play. What is your funding goal? Would you hire them directly or would they take a percentage of the total amount raised, or both? Are you looking for a PR firm or a growth hacker? While the lines are blended now between PR and social, I personally would lean toward someone who has promotion, growth, social and PR experience to help promote your project.

Depending on your budget and end use, you may want to consider talking with a local screenprinter who can handle flatstock, not only can you do a cool logo, you could have your graphic artist design a killer box to reinforce your brand.

Hi Rebecca, I would love to connect you with one of my contacts that brings medtech inventions like yours to market. There are an R&D wing of a healthcare provider and have brought some cool products to market already. Please send me a quick message and I'll get you my email address and set you up with my contact.

If I was going to start over, with a blank slate I would do several things differently.

1. I would hire an accountant and bookkeeper on day one. I know that on the surface it's easy to look at the cost of an accountant and justify spending those resources in other areas, however I have seen this play out horribly for a number of businesses (ours included.) An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

2. I would make a list of all of my start up items, edit it and then edit it again. Start as lean as you can. We started our t-shirt company with basic equipment in my mom's attic and slowly moved into proper production space as we needed to, however we made the mistake of buying too much equipment early on because we thought we needed it. Get by with the bare minimum for as long as you can, get traction, customers and cash flow and then expand cautiously.

3. Don't listen to salespeople! Talk to friends, other businesses and look on the web for answers to common questions. Salespeople are great when you know what you need to buy, however often times you are going to end up wasting money that would be better spent in other places, like on your accountant.

4. Don't take on bad customers just to make a buck. If you are interested in knowing our 10 tell tale signs of bad customers, schedule a call with me and I'll run down the list. It will save you hours and it only takes a few minutes.

5. Find a team of advisors and listen to them. I wish I would have listened to advice that people were giving me for free when we first got started. There's an old saying, "if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in trouble." Find good council and listen.

Hope that's helpful, I've been a freelancer and small business owner for almost twenty years and enjoy coaching startups and entrepreneurs in getting their ventures off the ground. Feel free to schedule a call and I can help get you started.

What an awesome question! Businesses are running into this issue more frequently that ever, good news is, it can be done. Having worked on projects with oDesk, Fox Television and Wikipedia and having a very very small staff, it's certainly possible.

Here's how I say it in our pitches to larger organizations:

"Tractive West provides tailored video production services to organizations of all sizes. We have developed a distributed workflow using the latest digital tools. We leverage our small creative and management team with a world wide network of creative professionals, that means we can rapidly scale to meet the demands of any project while keeping our infrastructure and overhead lightweight and sustainable."

Cheers and best of luck.

Great question. I think you'll find that most video production companies are "reputable" however the bigger question is what kind of quality do you want and what is your budget? Having been a creative and video director for 20 years, I've seen budgets from $1,000 to $100,000 for videos, for widely varying types of projects. For a simple explainer you are looking in the realm of $500-$5000 depending the on quality and customization. There are places that charge more and do amazing work but those companies are typically creating work for bigger brands. Hope that helps.

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