We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful David Crawford. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with David below.
David, appreciate you joining us today. Do you manage your own social media?
For me I run all of my own social media projects, and I’ve helped other small businesses manage their own social media. The majority of my background and education is in the field of recreation where I’ve been a mountain guide, river guide, to youth sports coach, and Director of Recreation at a small University. As social media has expanded and become a mainstay I’ve looked to utilize it as a resource to build the businesses I’ve worked for or own. The main reason I started CRAW Media was based on getting inquires to help small businesses with their social media creation and management. I noticed that people either didn’t know what to do, how to do it, and/or just didn’t like social media. In that instance it can make sense to hire a company to manage it.
David, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I’ve always enjoyed photography. From a young age I dabbled in film and really enjoyed the process. As film turned to digital I was fascinated with the advancement in technology and what the new DSLR cameras could do. It took me years before I could afford my first DSLR camera, and by the time I took the leap technology changed again. With my career aspirations at the time I went through college and completed my Bachelors and Masters in Recreation. I’ve always enjoyed being in the outdoors and spent my time building my skills in the mountains climbing, kayaking, rafting, and hiking. Eventually I moved into working in youth sports, and university recreation before I stumbled back into photography.
I had been focusing on the role social media plays in business and was actively building content for my day job and other side projects. However, it was during the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 that I decided I wanted to spend more time exploring my skills in photography, videography, and graphic design. I don’t have a formal education in any of these areas, but built my skills doing projects, learning through YouTube, and just being willing to learn, try, fail, and succeed. My buddy Matt is a motorcycle racer and brought me out to the track to do some photography. It was at this time that he hired me to manage his social media. This became my outlet and opportunity to build my skills. I even helped a local business called the Cider Barrel in Olympia, WA transition their brick and mortar store into an online retail operation to keep their business going. There was a lot going on at that time, but I had the time to do it.
In August of 2020, and seeing I enjoyed this type of work, I saw an opportunity and formed CRAW Media. As businesses began to start returning to work they were looking for digital resources to help inform and I felt I could provide a service.
As we fast forward since August of 2020 I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing people and businesses doing some fun projects. I’ve been able to cover some national events such as Moto America, and Monster Energy Supercoss Live. I’ve also adapted my business to offer more including live streaming operation to meet the demand for businesses looking to offer in-person and remote options for meetings and events. While I’d love to be taking photos, doing videos, and building content, this has been a great addition in what I can offer businesses in my local area. As a small business it’s hard to figure out where to put your resources, and I’m thankful this area has been profitable to help me expand my operations. That’s part of the challenge in business. Being open to change while being willing and able to adapt in the moment.
The past year has been a whirlwind as I continue to find my path. I’ve been focusing on sports in particular because it’s an area I really enjoy. I’ve been able to do some minor league events, and for the 2021-22 season have been part of the photography staff as a volunteer with the Portland Winterhawks hockey team. This is not a paid gig, and travel on my own dime to cover the team, but the amount of what I’m learning as a result has made it worth it for me right now. I’m a better photographer as a result, which helps my business down the road. I’m not really sure what the future holds as I go forward. I know I enjoy this line of work, and I’m getting better each time I work on a project, or just shoot for myself. I’m just thankful for every project or opportunity comes my way, and I don’t take that for granted. One of the things I’ve found true enjoyment in is getting to learn more about the businesses I work for to find those messages that set them apart. Once I figure that out, the development of content and media to bring that out is the best part.
What do you think is the goal or mission that drives your creative journey?
For me the goal in my process is to provide value while telling a story. I’ve found that value varies for everyone, and that when I work with clients the I start with one question. This question is one that was asked of me at one point and helped me put into perspective what I wanted to do. What does success look like? Sounds simple, and to some ways is, but if you don’t spend time understanding what success looks like for you and your business you’re going to struggle. Whenever I meet with a client that’s the first thing I ask. I do it because I want to know where they’re at, but I also want to make sure we’re on the same page. As a creative I find there’s a balance between being creative, and meeting the needs and vision of the client. Once I understand what success looks like for my client I can better work to meet their needs. The fun part comes when we look to push the envelope a bit in those areas too. That comes with trust, and is something I spend a lot of time building.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
I’m in that mode personally right now. I’ve spent the past 15 years following one particular path. It’s what I went to school for, and I’ve had a wonderful career so far. I don’t have complaints about where I’ve been or what I’m doing. However, I realized that I have more that I want to do. This was the main reason why I started CRAW Media. While I was already doing a lot of social media development, content creation, and management I never truly focused on it before. I found that I really enjoyed it, and set out to learn skills that would help me get to where I wanted to go. That’s a hard thing to come to grips with. It’s not that I don’t enjoy what I’m doing in my day job, but I wanted more. I felt that there was a new path worth exploring so I’ve spent the past two years doing just that.
Once I let myself open up to the possibility of a career and life change doors started opening. Slowly, and that’s still the case, but it changed my view on the process. For now it’s a side hustle. I’ve learned how to balance all the other commitments I have and utilize my day to get things done. You’d be amazed at how much you can accomplish between 7-11pm. I have a wife and two young kids and at times it’s crazy to make it all work, but it can be done. You’ve just got to be smart about it. I’ve learned when and how to say no to projects, or communicate with a client to get a job done on a different timeline so that I can adjust accordingly. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and you have to say no, and be ok with that. Time will tell, because as I write this I’m not really sure what the future holds. Either way I think I’m on the right path, and excited to see where it goes.
- Website: www.crawmedia.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/cramedia
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crawmedia
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-crawford-84a20913b/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CrawMedia