Vector art and the talented artists who create it

Vectorvault is 10 – Chapter 3

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Vectorvault moved to the WordPress platform

Back in 2007, I was aware of blogs, but unaware of how to build or manage one. Luckily for me, I met someone who changed the game by teaching me. He helped me to understand a few things about how blogs worked and how Google identified content.
A great deal of him is in Vectorvault’s DNA.
He introduced me to WordPress and I’ve never looked back.
First I designed a few conceptual layouts:

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Established “a look”

Eventually, I ended up with a design that worked for me at the time. All I needed now was content. So I established a few social media identities and began to explore the world of vector art. I sent messages and built friendships with both artists that I admired and people who I could see required a helping hand. This was my chance to make a difference. This was the purpose that Vectorvault was missing.

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Putting the right “posts” forward

I started with a few interviews. I wanted to get to know the designers and artists behind this movement. I wanted to present them as real people.
(2007 – *be kind)
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Loyalty is currency

From the very start of the blog, by far Vectorvault’s greatest supporter has been Ansley Greene. She did a couple of great Vectorvault interviews for us: TASSO, Milk, OG Abel and Superfex.
She has been a beacon for this brand. And an active participant. Thanks Ansley. We’re proud of you.

I even hired an Intern

Justin was great, but after the second month, I realized I was cutting him a larger cheque than mine. I was sadly forced to cut our time a few weeks short. It has always been my dream to pass on what I have learned from this project. The universe made it financially challenging for me to do it properly. Thanks for your help Justin.

I’m also a client

In order for me to properly promote my brand, I needed to use it. So I decided to feature vector designs that I had created using Vectorvault vectors.
Soon this small brand was building something far more important than a fortune: a reputation.

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It started to generate design business

My phone began to ring. A delightful byproduct that I welcomed. Not only did I have an organized collection of vector images. I knew where everything was. This made me even faster. When a client briefed me on a project, I could visualize where all of the ingredients were located before I even started. It made my life easier. And more profitable.

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I wanted Vectorvault to get better over time so:

I added tools

Anything to improve it’s value.
Justin helped to build these:

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I expanded the brand

In an attempt to convert freebie-seekers into customers, I built new satellite websites designed to channel traffic back to the parent brand. By getting visitors to register to acquire free vector samples, the Vectorvault mailing list would continue to populate. Adding more opted-in individuals daily, who had an interest in vector art. More connections to speak to. Growth.

Promoted publications and authors

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Splintered the brand

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Built a community newsletter

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Now I had a place to gather up the best content and products for the month. One more touchpoint.

Free daily vector samples

Each day, the system would cycle in a new free vector that was only available to individuals who registered with the community. It would also show you which vector you missed yesterday and which vector was coming the day after. This built momentum. But did little to increase sales.

Soon, my registrations climbed to over 23 thousand members. Then slowly started to taper off. The free giveaways eventually became too problematic to maintain and presented security concerns.

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From the very beginning, I was “Tagging” my posts, products and blog images with a very specific formula (*Sorry. Secret family recipe). Late nights and early mornings I wrote search engine love letters in the hopes that it would one day get me a good ranking. At the time, search engine optimization (SEO) was new territory for me. And in the 10 years I’ve been involved with Vectorvault, it has changed allot.

Large stock brands spend billions (that’s a B) on online advertising these days. It’s highly competitive. In the grand scheme of stock image marketshare, Vectorvault is an insect. Stock brands have perfected the process.

So imagine my surprise when a niche keyword search turned up Vectorvault above all the major players:

Number one on Google for the search key phrase:

“BUY VECTOR”

Huh? Us?
That’s right. And if you think I was suddenly invigorated with optimism, you would be right. At last my long hours didn’t seemed so wasted. The Vectorvault brand value had risen and I was ready to take it to the next level.
– and did I mention, I did it without spending a dime. *Jus say’n.

Advanced Photoshop Magazine noticed us

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Vectorvault Vectors started popping up in the news

The Wall Street Journal to be precise. Was I finally onto something here?
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The community began to grow

It needed a name.

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Making vector artists shine

I designed a much more appetizing look for our social profiles. Something that was clean enough to allow artists to showcase their work. With a touch of Vectorvault branding.

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Money makes the world go round

I knew that if Vectorvault was ever going to get off the ground, it was going to need some capital. This required a business plan, an investors presentation and some good timing.

That meant shifting my efforts from building a brand to searching for the investors to help bring it to life. I quickly learned that it was an entirely different journey. It took my eyes off the wheel and taught me a few valuable lessons.

Vectorvault had become entangled in a chess match. Forcing me to answer tough questions about this project and myself. It was a winding path that eventually lead me face to face with a Canadian Dragon.

And you won’t believe what happened next.

Why don’t you read another chapter and then decide whether you want to see where this story ends up. I’ve had allot of fun reliving it. 10 years is a long time.

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