Archive: Jun 2018

  1. 6 Skills You Should Refine When Working from Home

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    People are increasingly choosing to work from home due to the amplified flexibility of workplace conditions. Companies can enjoy greater time and cost efficiencies as this overcomes long commute times for employees who reside in rural or remote geographical locations.

    Working from home also allows for lower staff turnover, where people can work from home even when injured or fallen ill. The flexibility is particularly relished by people who struggle to balance a home and work lifestyle, owing to caretaking of children, pregnancy or other family circumstances. This opens the opportunity for diversity and inclusion, allowing work for people with disabilities and people who may be unable to work within office spaces owing cultural or religious conditions. Further, there are people who believe to be more productive without the constant chatter of work colleagues and work more effectively when utilising their own computer desktops and equipment that they are more familiar with.

    Although working from home has its evident benefits, there are 6 skills that are required and should be further refined to work effectively within the home environment.

    1. Avoiding distractions

    Owing to the household atmosphere, you may find it to be a rather relaxing setting, with no genuine rush to arrive on time and no need for a professional appearance and attire. You also do not have any direct supervision from your manager or other fellow staff. You can work at your own pace, as long as you complete tasks before set deadlines. However, this may generate lethargic and unmotivated behaviours and can cause significant impacts to your work productivity. It is critical to develop the skill of self-motivation, through completing your office tasks in a separate room from where you would typically use to relax. This may include working on the kitchen table, dining area or even outside on the patio. Set an alarm to wake up, allowing yourself decent time to freshen up, wear a change of clothes and have breakfast before starting the day at work (at home). Keep in mind that you are technically still working, just aside from the commute and physically being inside the office. Remain a professional and organised mindset whilst you are at work.

    2. Communication skills

    Since your main form of communication to your workplace is via online platforms, it is integral that you are proficient with the functions of video call applications such as Skype and Google Hangouts in the event of long-distance meetings. You will also be required to speak clearly and coherently as there is a lack of communication cues such as gestures, eye contact which can limit the effectiveness of conveying your point across. As direct verbal communication is not as fully required, it is effective to further refine phone call and email responsiveness as well as email writing skills, to remain informed with the updates of the workplace.

    3. Technical skills

    If you are seeking jobs that allow you to work from home, most require you to be tech savvy and qualified areas of IT, customer service, administration and marketing. You will be required to be proficient with the latest software and programs to enhance your capability of working at home as well as IT to overcome potential internet connectivity issues. Acquire qualifications and enrol in specialist training courses from Upskilled to keep updated with the latest skills required in your role and remain as a valuable employee to your company.

    Avoid distractions

    Are you highly distracted by your bed or comfy sofa and would rather nap, attend your social medias or play with your pets as opposed to working? It may be hard to resist, but distractions are detrimental to your work productivity and efficiency. Set your phone on the ‘do not disturb’ mode to limit calls only from certain people such as your emergency contacts and your employer. Removing the notifications and banners will keep you less distracted to use your phone and remain on task. You can also turn off your Wi-Fi and data internet to refrain from attending to your social media. Clearly vocalise to the people in your household that you are working and be adamant in not allowing them to distract you and limit the time to chat with them.

    Balanced lifestyle

    Working at home would compel your personal and work lifestyles to intertwine, so you should ensure that you are able to balance the two. Flexibility and adjustment are skills you will be required to refine. You may need to set time to complete household and childcare tasks but also give time to work on tasks set by your employer. Complete and organise each task around consistency. Allow the same length of time to complete a household task at the same time of day to avoid variation and irregularity. With a set schedule, you will be able to easily balance and keep track of time given to home and office work.

    Keep organised

    You may find yourself not keeping track of time as effectively as you would in the office space, as you do not have a supervisor to notify you of impending deadlines. Here, you will need to develop time-consciousness skills. It is an effective idea to use management tools and applications such as Trello, Asana and Wrike to keep note of completed and yet to be completed tasks. You can also use sticky notes to organise tasks into lists and prioritise which tasks are needed to be completed.

  2. The Psychology of Landing Page Conversion

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    The digital world has changed marketing significantly. Alongside this change, digital marketing has begun to require the use of more complicated methods to ensure success. Long gone are the days where banner ads and pop-ups pulled in high amounts of lead generation and conversions on landing pages.

    The average consumer is much smarter at navigating marketing tactics these days than they were in the recent past, and we should give them credit for this. However, there is one thing that hasn’t — and won’t — change in the years to come: human psychology.

    Several different spheres of psychology can be applied to marketing as a whole, but landing page conversion requires marketers to focus on more specific parts of their website. By looking at these five different aspects of psychology to build out landing pages, you are sure to raise your conversion rate.

    1. The Psychology of Pleasure

    High conversion rates begins with good optimization of your landing pages, plain and simple. If your web pages are not aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate, a customer may become irritated and simply leave before exploring your brand further.

    Freud—the father of the pleasure principle— refers to the instinctive nature humans have to seek pleasure and avoid pain (or unease) in order to satisfy their biological and psychological needs. This principle directly influences what Freud called the id, or the driving force for human instincts.

    Applying the pleasure principle to landing pages can be invaluable when seeking high conversion rates. Focus on highlighting colors that both represent your brand and bring joy to your consumers. The psychology of color is vital to a marketing campaign and can play a role in the pleasure a consumer finds in your website.

    Consumers think of themselves first, so to create a high-converting landing page, focus on them. By simply using the word “you,” the focus is shifted to the consumer and their feelings instead of your products or services you are selling. Referring to your consumers’ well-being by connecting how your products or services will make them feel is a great tactic.

    2. The Psychology of Pain

    The psychology of pain is the opposite of Freud’s principle of pleasure, as it is what a consumer avidly wants to avoid. No matter what form pain manifests in — physical or mental — we are hardwired to avoid it, and so are your consumers. This can be a tricky tactic to integrate into a landing page, but it can be done.

    Since consumers purchase based primarily on their emotional response, ask yourself: What do your potential customers want to avoid the most? Focus on the pain points of your consumer and offer them a solution.

    A good landing page pinpoints where a potential customer is hurting, offering your products or services as a solution By poking at a pain point for your customers, a landing page can help them become aware of their issue and then see a solution with your product or service.

    3. The Paradox of Choice

    The psychology of the marketing behind the paradox of choice is based on a book written by psychologist Barry Schwartz in which he explains why giving consumers more choices can actually paralyze their ability to make a decision.

    This theory says that if a consumer is presented with too many options, they are less likely to actually make a decision. It’s easy to want to give consumers coming to your site the option to see everything and anything that you offer that may increase the chances of them purchasing — but this will most likely harm your sales efforts.

    There is no magic number of options to present because it depends on your company’s personal goals and the types of choices you are offering. But try testing this psychological theory by offering a few of your top sellers on the home page, allowing consumers to explore your entire collection from the menu. This gives them a few  choices to consider while giving you credibility.

    4. Opportunity Cost

    Opportunity cost is an economic concept concerned with potential losses and gains when making a decision. Consumers weigh their options before making a purchase, and the digital world has made this easier than ever.

    Time has been found to play a valuable role in almost every decision-making process. An experiment conducted by Duke University asked participants to make a choice between different gambling options that provided them with real money wins to determine how time pressure impacts decision-making.

    Participants were given information that helped them estimate how much money they might earn for each option, and then they were timed. The participants were told that less time left on the clock after making a decision would mean winning less overall money. The study confirmed that when participants are pitted against time, they change their decision-making process.

    The more that a consumer spends thinking about and executing a spending strategy, the more profits you seek to lose. As a business, it’s important to incorporate this idea into your landing pages. Determine your most important products or message, and optimize your landing pages to reflect that, front and center.

    5. Informational Social Influence

    As individuals, consumers are heavily influenced to fit in with those around them, with collective opinions and habits influencing their own personal actions. A survey conducted found that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Consumers have increased their reliance on social influence and opinions of a product’s validity before making a purchasing decision.

    These days social influence is affecting the ways that even doctors work to improve their online reputation. For many years doctors relied on word of mouth to keep patients attracted to their practice, but with the increased use of technology, consumers are looking to review platforms and social influence when making health decisions as well.

    Apply this psychological principle to your landing page by adding in customer testimonials. Short quotes from satisfied consumers is a good way to boost the credibility of your brand. Including quantifiable proof of the popularity of your content or products is valuable.

    You can choose to show how many subscribers you have to a blog or how many times a piece of content was shared to help boost your authority and show your social influence. Design plays a huge role in the conversion rates of your content and products. Tailoring your landing page to play on a consumer’s interests and needs is the best way to keep them engaged.

    *   *   *

    Like everything in marketing, when and where to use these different types of psychological tactics will depend on your target market. By applying each of them seperately, or a few at a time, you can A/B test your landing pages and determine what works best for your target audience.

    Photo by Sergei Akulich on Unsplash

  3. What Makes a Good Web Design Client?

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    A web design agency can help someone design and maintain a website optimized for search, and filled with engaging content. Partnering with an agency can help a brand owner maintain a competitive edge, differentiate themselves, and achieve their business goals. As a designer, establishing a good working relationship with your client is essential to making the most of their investment and your time. Both parties should be receptive and communicative with one another so that the collaboration can be its most fruitful.

    Why Is This Relationship So Important?

    A web agency represents an important investment, both of the client’s time and their marketing budget. A good working relationship will help ensure that you, as a designer, can fully understand the client’s goals and effectively bring their vision to life. The best web designs come from a foundation of understanding and creative collaboration.

    When business owners feel their website does not reflect their goals or objectives, it’s often the result of a creative disconnect between the business and the web agency. Fortunately, you can have a beautiful website and set the stage for a productive relationship by following some simple tips.

    How To Design A Website

    High quality web design products result from a culture of transparency and mutual respect. Here’s how you achieve it:

    Spend Time In The Planning Phase

    Miscommunications can by prevented by encouraging your clients to be upfront about their personality and goals during the planning phase. As a web design client, they have a responsibility to clearly communicate their goals and objectives for the finished product. Articulating their business clearly is a must, as failing to do so could lead to brand confusion.

    However, if you do not feel as if the client was clear enough, or if you require another meeting or phone call to get a better grasp on their needs, then it’s your responsibility to convey that to them. Do not rush this phase; it’s better to know exactly what is expected of you before you begin making any initial drafts. Moving too fast during the planning stage can backfire in epic proportions when both parties eventually realize that they aren’t on the same page. Uh oh!

    Ideally, a web design company will use the information the client gives them to guide the creative process of building their website. As a designer, make it a priority to find out the client’s business goals and objectives, buyer personas, preferred brand specifics (color, logos, etc), and overall personality of their brand. Share this information with everyone on your design team who will have a hand in the final project. Most of this information should already be in the client’s original business plan, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. Using this information, you can create schematics that will eventually turn into the client’s website.

    Provide Examples

    Ask client for examples of competitors in their field. Look at their websites together and discuss what exactly they like or admire about the competition. If you like the look or overall feel of a competitor’s website, be sure to say so and listen to the client’s opinion. During the planning phase, you may show the client a portfolio of your previous work. Tell the client that they should feel free to use this as inspiration and point out features that they would like you to implement. Keep in mind, however, that it’s just that – inspiration. Remember that you will use the client’s ideas to create a unique, innovative product that still aligns with the company’s brand personality and goals. This ties directly into our next tip:

    Resist The Urge To Micromanage

    Client feedback is a useful, even essential part of the design process – but only at certain times. As a designer, you will likely provide regular progress reports and even give the client access to the site on their own server so they can see how it’s progressing for themselves. A good web client will give their designer lots of feedback – but only when they ask for it. More often than not, they will.

    This can be one of the trickiest tips for a web design client to follow. A client will usually know what they want and have a lot invested in the success of the website. On the other hand, micromanaging can disrupt the creative process. Instead of calling you up and providing guidance every time they think of an improvement for the site, tell your client politely to create a running list to refer to at the next progress meeting.

    Chances are, some of their issues may already be resolved by the time you both touch base.
    Many clients find it helpful to arrange regular meetings so they can reiterate their goals and connect with the designer on a pre-arranged basis. This allows the client an opportunity to provide you with feedback about color and other aspects of the site; and it won’t disrupt the creative process.

    Have Realistic Expectations

    Every business has different goals and budgetary concerns. If you’re working within tight budget guidelines, be realistic about what your web design company can achieve. A Fortune 500 company with an unlimited marketing budget may produce a much different website than a small- to medium-sized business working with less.

    At the same time, make the client realize that “you get what you pay for.” A professional website development company takes a raw concept – the client’s vision – and produces something tangible. A client is paying for both a designer’s technical expertise and creative talent. Someone who is paying $10 an hour for these services might be disappointed with the end result. Just as one wouldn’t hire a carpentry student to build a custom home, don’t rely on a novice or cheap designer to create a converting website.

    Be Open-Minded To New Website Marketing Possibilities

    It’s the designer who will ultimately guide the process of the web page design, which requires clients to be open-minded. You may pitch ideas or present specifications that the client may not immediately identify with (or even like). On the other hand, you are the expert – a good web designer knows the current best practices for designing a website that drives traffic to a site and keeps it there. A good web design client is respectful of your expertise and isn’t afraid to venture from their comfort zone – it might have a greater impact on the end product than they think.


    The success of the client’s website directly relies on the working relationship between the client and their web design team, based on a culture of mutual respect and collaboration. A client can enhance this relationship by being upfront about their goals and objectives and respecting the creative process, offering feedback when solicited from their web design team. By being open-minded to new ideas and resisting the urge to micro-manage, you and your client can create a beautiful, optimized website that meets all of the business objectives.

  4. Setting up a copywriting process from scratch

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    If you work for a web design agency, your process is pretty much out of your hands. Your project runs through a project manager, gets assigned to you, and it’s your job to get everything written, approved, and set up.

    But what happens if you don’t have a clear copy process set up? How are you going to get the clients to believe that you have anything to offer? How are you going to hit project deadlines and get your boss’s approval? We have some ideas.

    Here’s what an old copywriting process looks like on a regular Tuesday:

    9-10 a.m.: 1-hour phone chat with client where you frantically scribble chicken scratch on a notebook

    10-11: coffee, coffee, think think, think, and pace

    11-2: Stare at computer screen, write down things client mentioned

    2-4: Coffee, research cats stuck in wells, write one paragraph of web copy

    4-5: Note to client that things are in progress

    Okay, that’s great, except for one thing: there’s no process. A streamlined copy process will help you do a few things:

    1. Stay organized
    2. Share your plan with potential clients (hint: get more sales)
    3. Cut down prep time
    4. Deliver quality goals every time (hint: impress your boss)
      So what does a streamlined copy process look like?

    Exterior organization

    • First point of contact between you (or your team) + decision maker
    • Project deliverables are explored
    • Contract is drafted and signed
    • Payment is processed

    Internal Organization

    • Project is distilled and information is sent to you, the copywriter

    How to organize content so you don’t have to plan from scratch

    To do this properly, you need to see and understand how you work. Each content plan will differ depending on the content writer.

    Copy Checklist

    For one month, create a checklist that includes every step you take for every deliverable you produce
    Your checklist might look something like this:

    • Client discovery call (30 mins)
      • Note client’s main goals
    • Draft Proposal
      • Develop main nav
      • Draft mission statement
      • Note potential issues
      • Develop ain architecture
    • Draft deliverables
      • Headline (3 options)
      • Tagline (3 options)
      • Web copy for 5 pages

    Once you have a checklist, you should start uncovering exactly what processes you need to organize. Notate each item in your list. Note what works and what doesn’t work. Describe, in detail, what questions you ask clients, how they respond, and how you get to your goals easily.
    Have great client calls but get caught up on the small details? You may need to be more thorough in your proposal.

    After that month, you’ll be able to fill in gaps and see what’s working and what wasn’t working.

    Copywriting Process Goes Into Effect

    Customer details are gathered and any important information is filled in

    After step A, you should have full information about client needs, goals, and set backs, you should understand who their target audience is, you should see what’s holding them back from hitting their goals.

    Client’s Main Pain Points Are Uncovered

    Use the data from step A to uncover and write down client’s main pain points.

    Develop a list of 3-5 main pain points that you’ll address in the copy.

    Copy Plan is Developed

    1. Gather customer details and information (through a discovery call or discovery chat)
    2. Identify client’s main pain points
    3. Propose detailed copy plan to help client resolve their issues

    How to Develop Copy Plan that Converts

    Now that you have a process set up, you’ll free up some time for the fun part. Creativity. This is the part that everyone thinks of when you tell them you’re a copywriter, right? It’s the money maker. It’s the whole shebang. And now that you have space for it, you better understand how it works.

    Writing good copy is about one main point: understanding your audience deeply and conveying a tailored message directly to them.

    If you’re selling oranges to people with citrus allergies, it doesn’t matter how good your copy is. So how do you remedy it?

    1. Discover everything you can about your audience

    2. Use apps wisely

    • Localytics helps you create ads and target specific audiences
    • Mixpanel helps you see how users engage with your products
    • Heap provides info on customer touch points

    3. Plan for content design, not just good copy

    Copy isn’t just about writing some interesting bits of content; it’s about uncovering user needs and designing content for that main goal.

    In her book “Content Design,” Sarah Richards (the woman who helped refine the website) talks about some main ideas for good content design

    • Use high frequency words (i.e. easier words)
    • Use Google Trends to figure out how people look for your content
    • Look at bounce rate to see what pages are working
    • Determine why people come to your site and what sort of goals they want to achieve with it

    Once you have a content plan set up, you can start to develop copy that works toward your content goals. CTAs and ROIs will roll off the page even easier with this copy plan.

    Share it with your team members and bosses

    Good copy doesn’t matter unless you have approval. Here’s our 5-step process to approval

    1. Organize everything in an external platform

    • Jumpchart lets you create clean sitemaps and professional wireframes so your boss or clients can approve it quickly
    • Dropbox Paper is a mobile app that allows you to organize your content
    • Google Docs is an easy collaboration platform that lets you share large files with team members

    2. Plan a session. Gather all the decision makers in your company and organize a decision making session.

    3. State a clear purpose. Describe in clear terms what the purpose of the session is, what you’ll be presenting, and what you hope to achieve at the end of the session.

    4. Use stats to back up your goals. Share clear user stats to make your point clear.

    5. Have a clear path to approval. Let the decision makers know that you’ll need to come to a clear decision about X before the end of the meeting. If everyone knows what you’re working toward, it’ll be easier to reach your goals.

    Writing good copy is as much about the copy as it is about designing a plan, so remember: create a good plan and execute it by sticking to clear, well-defined goals. Your boss will approve, and your clients will be as excited as you are.