Episode 373 – How To Stand Out from Competitors


Episode 373 – How To Stand Out from Competitors

You need to be ultra specific in how you define yourself when you’re applying for jobs as an artist. It’s the difference between being front-of-mind and standing out — or blending in with all the other applications. And it’s something that none of us do. By not niching down — by not being a specific brand — you’re missing out on an opportunity to make yourself the ideal candidate for the job.

So what are you doing to stand out? How do you make sure your reel doesn’t blend in in the hundreds of other reels? You have to be ultra specific on how to categorize yourself. Because you need to set context for the positions for which you’re applying. It also helps to have your name anchored to the solution to their problem. 

The more you’re able to clearly define yourself and associate your skills with something — the easier it is for your name to resonate when that something is needed. That singles you out as a go-to person.

In this Podcast, Allan talks about finding your niche, how to have different niches for different audiences; but most importantly, why having a niche is so crucial for getting hired for the jobs you want.



Hello, everyone! This is Allan McKay. 

Welcome to Episode 373! I’m going to talk about how to stand out from your competitors and stand out in a noisy world. I’m really excited about this Episode!

I cannot believe that it’s already October of 2022. It’s been an interesting year for me. At the beginning of the year, I took a staff position running a 3D company for a company in San Francisco, as well as building their Unreal team. Another thing I haven’t talked about is getting Bell’s Palsy. The most substantial health issues I’ve gotten were related to work and stress levels of that. Burnout is another subject. This time around, the tension of the job was tied to a health issue.

So I think it’s time to do some Episodes on health. I think it’s important to bring awareness to the subject.

Here I talk about the importance of niching down to stand out – and how to offer problem solving to studios looking for solutions.

Please support this Podcast by sharing it with others!

Let’s dive in!



[01:01] Have you ever sent in your reel and wondered why you didn’t get the callback or what the reason was you didn’t get the job? Over the past 20 years of working for studios like ILM, Blur Studio, Ubisoft, I’ve built hundreds of teams and hired hundreds of artists — and reviewed thousands of reels! That’s why I decided to write The Ultimate Demo Reel Guide from the perspective of someone who actually does the hiring. You can get this book for free right now at www.allanmckay.com/myreel!

[24:20] One of the biggest problems we face as artists is figuring out how much we’re worth. I’ve put together a website. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com! This is a chance for you to put in your level of experience, your discipline, your location — and it will give you an accurate idea what you and everyone else in your discipline should be charging. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com!


Thanks for listening! I hope you enjoyed this Episode. Please take a moment to share this Episode with others. 

Next week, I am interviewing Emily Dean who is a Director. One of her recent projects is LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS on Netflix. 

Until then —

Rock on!


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