Keenan Hauff | Nice Alumni Series

Advertising - Commercial Video Production | Class of 2014

Hometown: Bismarck, ND

Growing up in Bismarck, North Dakota, Keenan displayed the archetypal traits of a budding entrepreneur. He sold lemonade to construction workers, mowed lawns in his neighborhood for cash, and set his creativity free by making videos with friends. (One day, this last activity would become much more than a hobby.)

After two years at Bismarck State College, Keenan transferred to NDSU to study economics. At the same time, Keenan’s brother Caleb began producing videos and freelancing with agencies around North Dakota. Together, they noticed an opportunity to better serve clients with video production services when they realized larger agencies weren’t as nimble in keeping up with trends in the industry.

Early on, we took on everything that was video-related and it took us a while to say no to projects we didn’t want to do. It freed us up for other projects and didn’t let us sink into those we didn’t want to do. Also, we learned how to charge what we’re worth.

After graduation, the brothers went all in on this opportunity and in 2013 founded With a focus on serving regional clients, they captured work that had been fleeing to agencies based in Minneapolis and Denver. A key factor in their success was a clarity of focus—they were determined to be the best in the region.

Early on, Keenan simplified their approach by acknowledging that, “If we make customers successful that will, in turn, make us successful, too.” One project led to another, and their client base grew.

Keenan shares two things that have helped him and become successful: 1) Invest in your strengths and further develop what you’re already good at and 2) Understand the demand before spending time and resources on something that no one is interested in.

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Credits: Story by Scott Meyer & Dane Johnson / Illustration by Izak Moleterno

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Posted on November 18th, 2020 by Dane Johnson in News and Stories