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2 years since launching Vertical River… 3 Things I’ve learned

Vertical River is officially two years old today. They say 30% of small businesses fail by their 2-year anniversary, so we feel lucky to have made it this far, especially because the Covid-19 pandemic has really sucked.

We announced the launch of Vertical River on April Fools Day, not because we were trying to be clever, but because that’s when we finished editing our launch video.

It seemed like a no-brainer to make a commercial because that’s just what we do. We craft creative content that engages audiences. The commercial explained our company vision (Content Creation + Amplification) and showed off our creative video capabilities. We decided at the last second to include some bloopers at the end of the video which ended up getting a lot of laughs. That leads me to the first lesson… Find ways to inject some fun into your work or you’re not going to enjoy the journey.

That commercial got us one of our first big clients, the Home Depot Backyard at the Mercedes Benz Stadium. They saw the commercial on LinkedIn, invited us to pitch some ideas to them, and they loved what we presented so they asked us to make it a reality. Here’s a second lesson learned: Put yourself out there. If you don’t share your vision, then how do you expect to grow? Take advantage of the power of video marketing to connect with audiences in an authentic way.

Later that summer, a trusted contact in our network led us to working with The Southface Institute, which led us to working with The Kendeda Fund, which led us to working with Georgia Tech, which led us to working with Mecho Shade and Epic Metals. The third lesson I take away from our early days is that “work begets work”. When you make your clients happy, they will naturally refer you to other people in their network. Word of mouth is a powerful form of advertising and fresh new additions to the portfolio are vital to a new company.

We’d love to keep looking back on lessons learned, but we’re honestly too busy to spend much time reminiscing. There are projects to shoot and edit, campaigns to strategize, and new relationships to build.

It’s been a wild two years with serious challenges and some twists and turns no one expected. We’ve kept our foot on the gas, prioritized making clients happy, and continue to have fun building this company. Thanks for being a part of Vertical River’s journey!