Kannu instrumental in VFX Apprentice becoming a very profitable growth business in under 6 months

About 4 years ago, I started out with my online efforts to share my love of visual effects for games. My first content was on YouTube, where I created a series of videos teaching people to animate 2D FX frame-by-frame. After that, I made a series of bite-size breakdowns explaining how I do what I do in the 3D FX for the game “League of Legends.” Throughout this time, I was wondering how I might actually take a stab at creating paid content. Whatever route I would take, I knew the first step was to gain an audience that could make the whole thing viable. So I kept making more content.

Then in August 2018, I launched my first attempt with paid 1:1 mentorships on Patreon. Any time I mentioned “I wanna sell VFX education online,” the immediate answer from all my professional artist friends was “PATREON!” So I gave it a shot.

Patreon has an amazing reputation and I am grateful that I was able to get started there and connect with my target audience.  Over the next 7 months, as I set out to implement my plans, I realized that I needed much more in order to offer the experience I sought for my patrons and to build my education business to the level I desired.  I needed a platform with a robust and comprehensive toolset, including in the area of payment processing.  As important, I needed individualized customer service and even some hand-holding.

So in February 2019, I decided that I would build a stand-alone course, and began looking for a platform I could use. Friends of mine had tried to build their own website from scratch, which had led to a myriad of problems, both in cost and maintenance of their technology. And I knew I didn’t want to publish courses on someone else’s store, as the income from those wasn’t enough to build a thriving business model. I was hoping to find something in-between the two: a platform with all the trappings of an online course that was already built, which I could use as the back-end for my own unique web site. 

I mentioned this search to a friend who knew one of the founders of Kadenze, Inc., the company behind Kannu, the leading learning management system for the creative world. I reached out and learned they were conveniently located in northern LA county. We set up an in-person meeting, and it was immediately clear this was the partnership i needed to launch the next phase of my online teaching.

Not only did they have the technology already built, but it had been in use by major creative institutions for years already. So we met at their office in Valencia, and got to work. By April 2019, I had announced the course, and we successfully launched in September. Throughout the journey getting there, I felt supported and guided by their staff, to whom I sent far too many emails, I’m sure! Being so new to all of this, I had many, many questions. They were nothing but helpful in return. 

Then when it came time to record a promotional video for the course (green screen and all) Kadenze, Inc. was all set up with an in-house studio, and gave me a great price on the production and editing costs. You can see how the promo video turned out here: 

Working with Kannu has been an absolute perfect fit for my business plans, and I recommend them without hesitation. I’m so excited to launch even more courses on my site, adding even more teachers and mentors to help my growing audience of students reach their artistic and career goals.

Jason Keyser is an artist, animator, and founder of VFX Apprentice