EASLE; How to create a creative brand creatively.
‘How to create a creative company by two techies and founders of just launched EASLE, the creatives answer to airbnb.’
Kicking off the plethora of presentations at Enterprise city were Scott and Nick from EASLE, a platform designed to help artists and creators to make money online. EASLE explored how they went on the journey of developing the platform, and some of their key takeaways from the process so far.
Starting off on their journey, Scott and Nick (both experienced developers) spent a solid eight weeks initially developing the initial platform, once they had done this, they came to the sudden realisation that they might be ready to launch technically, but there was no marketing plan in place along with no creators to be featured on the space. So Scott and Nick took to all of their social channels to spam friends and family with the request of putting them in touch with potential artists.
The initial idea was that the site would house a wide selection of artists, and if you liked the work which they created, you have the ability to donate 1, 3 or 5 pounds to the artist. Unfortunately, after the initial launch, there were no donations, which meant, no revenue, and no incentive for users to be on the site equalling overall, no business. Naturally, artists began to drop off site pretty quickly.
When taking a look back at the EASLE model, the pair realised that they had created a chicken and egg situation. Artists needed to be on the site for donations to be made, and there needed to be incentives on the site for artists to want to participate.
Following on from the incentive model, EASLE team tried to build this into the site through gamification and allowing users to messaging artists if you like their pieces of work. Again, this didn’t quite hit the mark.
Early on, Scott and Nick learnt that they needed to adapt.
It soon occurred to EASLE that they hadn’t actually spoken to users. When they did, they soon learnt that no one understood the model, there weren’t enough incentives for users to be on the site and there was actually a bulk load of functionality unused.
It soon became clear that the idea had been completely over engineered.
After this bout of realisation, Scott and Nick turned to their users to find out how they could actually be of help, what came back from artists time and again was that they really struggled to find work and recruitment was a large challenge within the industry. Team EASLE then immersed themselves in their user world and decided that they needed to take on a retrospective build.
So, they went back to the start to create a low tech solution which was a stripped back version of the site and made use of existing tools and functionality that they knew were worthwhile.
To make sure they created a seamless process from enquiry to booking, EASLE created a one pager process which simply explored, wanting to hire, slack integration and the tracking of email threads. Scott and Nick also thought that by dealing with all contracts and invoices, they would be enriching user experience even further.
Following on from this planning, the pair decided to validate the idea before adding in too much tech.
When they presented this idea to potential clients within illustration and demand came in and people were ready to pay to use the end to end solution. Within this process, EASLE outlines all of the steps, gauged interest from early adopters and decided to move forward with the next version.
During the development of the next version, Scott and Nick decided upon a new process which included wireframing, presenting to customers, iterating and then building the final product. Again, this was a 8 week build, however this time, functionality would only be built if it were to be deemed necessary, plugins would be used and all features would be tested with new users.
Once the final platform was built, it was agreed that proposing a potential recruiters with 1000 users would be far too overwhelming, equally, it wasn’t guaranteed that many artists would even be found with such a high volume of featured talent. It was very much decided that more did not make merrier meaning that 1000 artists had to be whittled down along with the creation of a strict approval process.
The new process was agreed that a recruiter would search for what they required, speak to potential creators over chat, agree on a proposal and proof of concept and if both parties are happy; the client pays and the artist gets to work.
And with that journey, EASLE was ready to go live. The Airbnb for artists.
During their presentation, EASLE presented a few key takeaways of wisdom to pass on to all fellow start ups:
Carefully map every assumption.
If you have a small team you can really create a focused marketing effort.
Continually address feedback.
Build a strong community.
Validate an idea with as little tech and upfront investment as possible.
Never lost sight of the bigger picture.
Celebrate all the wins, even if they are small.
Being in a co-working space helps with people to speak to and you can bounce ideas off of others.
Be scrappy, get your hands dirty, do everything and don't say no.
If you were at the launch of enterprise city we would love to hear from you! Or if you are a startup looking for some digital support, we are always up for a coffee. Get in touch at, firstname.lastname@example.org.