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The History of Typography

by Matt Adams

We spend a lot of time working on the right font pairings in our projects. We try not to get super geeky on you, but sometimes we do want to share the process, get your feedback, or just communicate why we did something.

This is a great short animation on the history of type, showing great key points for anyone.

Also a great read is Seth Godin’s Simple typography for non-professionals (who is Seth Godin you ask?)

Change the rules

by Matt Adams

Sometimes systems and industries get big. The way its always been done grows bigger and bigger as time and more players join. The cost of entry becomes higher and the reward is smaller.

I love what Actor / Writer / Director Zach Braff is doing on Kickstarter. The film industry has a broken model of funding. Zach highlights it really really well by outlining the issues. The money guys have too much say in the production, casting, etc. And I totally get why they want a say, but they are also investing for the wrong reasons.

Radiohead changed the game with their last 2 albums being self released and a “pay what you want” model. A price point that did really really well for them. Nine Inch Nails, and many others have tried this model and found great success.

When you change the rules, you change the game, and who the winner is. When the winner is the customer, trust me, I think everyone wins.

Hackers Point Large Botnet At WordPress Sites

by Matt Adams

Are you using wordpress for your website content management system or blogging platform? If so you need to read this.

In recent news over the last few days, hackers have been targeting and sucessfully gaining access to wordpress admin panels by brute force. The most common issue is out of date plugins / wordpress files, and simple dictionary based passwords.

So what do you do?

4 easy steps to keep your site secure

  1. Stop using ADMIN as the username.
    If you are using admin, login, create a new user with full admin rights. Then logout as admin, and in as your new user. Delete the old admin username, and assign all posts, content and pages to your new user.
  2. Use secure passwords
    8 – 12 characters long, with upper, lower case letters as well as a number. Using names, birthdays and uniqe spellings can help. Like Thom@s1198 would be secure.
  3. Keep WP and all plugins up to date.
    WP makes this process pretty easy. Regular updates should not take long, and are usually pretty painless. In your apperence > Plugins screen you will see which plugins need updated. And WP core can be updated from the dashboard home screen. Be sure you have a recent database backup before doing these updates.
  4. Avoid using too many plugins.
    Yes, there is always an app for that. There are 100k+ plugins for wordpress. Anyone can write a plugin. Often plugins can leave security holes and cause a drain on the server. Remove any and all unused plugins, and always check the plugin reviews before installing.

Need Assistance?

Factor1 members: We’ll do this for you automatically. We do these checks often, but will make a special effort this week to keep your site secure.

Not a member? We can perform a full site security scan, which includes a database back up, run all WP core and plugin updates, evaluate all user logins, and remove any and all issues we find. We have a one time fee of $50.

Start here and we’ll have your site security up-to-date within 2 days.

Sometimes you need to start over to get it right

by Matt Adams

When was the last time you used a company’s mobile app, and their desktop web site side by side and been shocked that the mobile is better? Yesterday I was using the ebay app on my ipad. I have buying and selling for years. Seriously, I think it drives my wife nuts. For years I have seen ebay upgrade their desktop experience, but also over complicate it every time.

Yesterday I spent some time listing a few things on the ipad app. Sure I shop and monitor from the ipad, but always assumed listing would be painful as it is on the main desktop site. I was pleasantly shocked.

With mobile apps, you are forced to start over, and re-think the process, the way you plan a user flow, and the interface for touch. So many businesses just continue to adjust the current version, but rarely do they tear it down to start over. The usual reason is time and money. But saving a little time and money by the company costs their customers time and money. This can lead to customer loss over time, and leave room for a competitor to come in and out innovate you.

Start over every now and then. Strip it back to the process and flow, and build something fresh. Use that experience and insight you have earned from the current version and make something better. Build the 2.0.

Sometimes you have cross the line

by Matt Adams

Who says public service announcements are limited to actual problems? I give huge props to  The Martin Agency for their Cool Whip ad and for breaking the rules and really making a legit problem blown out of proportion with a PSA. I mean come on, who hasn’t ruined a cake when spreading some icing.

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Good Design is…

by Matt Adams

I love reading about designers and what their personal mantras are. Dieter Rams is one of the most influential industrial / product designers in our time. He made Braun a household name in the 50s and 60s by creating simple products that worked well. Design trends that are still being followed and copied today.

When asked if he thinks his work was good, he responded with the statements he designs by

 

Good design:

  1. Good design is innovative.
  2. Good design makes a product useful.
  3. Good design is aesthetic.
  4. Good design makes a product understandable.
  5. Good design is unobtrusive.
  6. Good design is honest.
  7. Good design is long-lasting.
  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
  9. Good design is environmentally friendly.
  10.  Good design is as little design as possible.

I look at these 10 guidelines, and I think they apply to every facet of design. Web, print, branding, but further, and into architecture  interior design, landscape design, fashion, etc. Im pretty sure Ikea, Apple and Audi follow these rules as much as they can, and I think it shows.

What you already know about the web

by Ryan Russel

It’s a common dilemma  you want to build a fantastic new web presence, but you have many voices in the office competing to be heard and postulating about what will make for the most effective next iteration of your website. A lot of questions get thrown around in brainstorming sessions, but what you might need is a very simple roadmap to make use of all of the opinions and allow key players to weigh in and be heard. Matt won’t brag about it, but he has written some fantastically helpful articles that will aid your team in mining your internal data about what you already know about the web in such a way as to put your thoughts and insights into some groupings that any design or marketing team can use.

So, go read this ARTICLE on Church Marketing Sucks.

And you can also read THIS ONE that Matt outlined and wrote for the author.

If you want to follow up with us to launch or lead your next big project, you can share your team’s findings HERE.

Every team that is deeply involved in the success of your organization possesses valuable knowledge, insights and  understandings of your core audience. Don’t leave that data un-mined; put it to work for you and take ownership in communicating about who you are and what you do in a powerful, creative and beautiful way.

Why you need to host with a reputable server company

by Matt Adams

Last week a friend of ours mentioned he was having website issues. As we dug into the conversation, we found out that ‘issues’ actually meant his site had been offline for 4+ months. Yikes!  Now he hosted his site with a friend, who was “working on getting it back up”. But 4 months is too long for any level of friendship when it comes to business if you ask me!

 

So why do you need to host with a reputable company.

To avoid the horror story we just heard, here are a few things to make sure you have when finding a good web site host.

  • Server load. How many clients do the have on one server. Some of the cheapest companies have thousands of accounts on one server. Think of that like a roach motel.
  • Server access. Do you have FTP and control panel access?  You want to be able to log in, and manually save down files, run backups, etc. Maybe not you directly, but you want to make sure you have the access so you can hire someone else if needed.
  • Storage and bandwidth. Most businesses need under 1gb of storage, and 5 – 20gb of monthly bandwidth. Churches that podcast are a different story. You want to make sure you have a hard number. Companies that offer unlimited have a limit, they just hide it and decide on a case by case basis. I know far to many people with normal usage sites, that have been suspended for “resource abuse” by these unlimited companies. Frankly It baffles me that they can advertise this.
  • Support. Can you actually get a hold of someone when you need to? Many companies have amazing support, some make you wait hours. Find one you are comfortable with, because it hurts to have a massive site issue, and no one to talk to about it.
  • Backups. Do they run nightly and weekly backups? Are they offsite? Is the database included with that?
  • What restrictions do they have on WHAT you can host. More important, what are they keeping off the server that other users may be hosting. You never want to be on a server that allows porn, torrents, file sharing, etc. Its bound to tie up the server, and possibly get shut down.

So next time you need to find a great place to host your site, make sure you think through these points. And in case you are wondering, YES the factor1 severs meet all the above with flying colors and we are super picket who we host. We rarely, and I mean rarely host anything unless they are a client of ours.

Developing a strategic marketing plan

by Ryan Russel

Like life, emotion can also rule in our business lives, especially when it comes to marketing. Despite decades of proof about developing strategic marketing plans, we still let our gut instincts or the most powerful voice in the room dictate the paths for how to best engage with our audiences. Especially handicapped in the marketing arena, small organizations by their very nature, do not have a team that is dedicated to developing a strategic plan for how to connect with current customers and new prospects.

We all need a plan.

A plan that we have thought through, consulted, checked, double-checked and really worked on. The plan needs to aim at our goals and our dreams. But, working a plan is harder than running on emotions and “in the moment” results. It takes intentionality to get these end goals that we are each seeking.

The rewards of developing and tracking on a marketing plan are great. A plan can leave contingency for opportunities, spontaneity, and “going with our gut”, but a plan well developed can act as a compass or reference during these key moments. A plan influences how we spend our time, how we treat people, what we do and what we will not do. Achieving our greatest dreams and goals are the ultimate reward.

So what is your plan?

  • Have you thought through you target demographic?
  • Have you researched thoroughly what has worked for you in the past and what is working for your current competitor?
  • Do you have a list that is power-ranked of all the available marketing opportunities for your company?
  • Have you brought in any outside ideas, resources or professionals to elevate your ideas to a new height.
  • What about a budget? Did you scrape together some intentional money yet to attract new customers and retain your best?

Go get it!

Start developing a strategy for how you are going to get from here to there. Then work the plan and stay with it long enough so that you can give it a fair evaluation as compared with your goals.

Using great video to promote concepts

by Matt Adams

Samsung released a new video promoting its eco-line of washing machines. They used a common modern video style of documentary / user produced look, even though its highly produced with skilled directors and video teams.

The take away here, for me, is that telling your story in a simple, clear fashion, is an easy win. The video is cute, funny, and minimal. Few words are said, no motion graphics or gimmicky bullets. Simple video, with a splash of creativity. Probably the best washing machine commercial I have ever seen. Is the product more environmentally friendly or better cleaning than the others, who knows, but If my needs for a washer change, I know I’ll likely give samsung more credit than I did before.

Crate Coffee branding preview

by Matt Adams

Just a quick preview of a new brand we recently developed for Crate Coffee. Featuring locally roasted beans with unique blends specific to their markets. We designed the logo to have a rough, painted look, so to finish the brand implementation we used a rubber stamp on the business cards and coffee bags. It is a very manual process, but the look is spot on.

Full details coming soon in the portfolio.

crateCoffeeBrand

Inspiration from everything

by Matt Adams

As designers, we like to say inspiration can come from anything. The following video showcases just this. Mine Kafon is a project from Massoud Hassani, a designer who grew up in Kabul. Using childhood toys, he modeled a land mine detonation device. It’s fascinating to see how much like his toy the final result is.

Mine Kafon | Callum Cooper from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Why should my company blog?

by Matt Adams

We build WordPress sites here at factor1. We love using it, and love what we can do with it. WordPress is most commonly known for its blogging tools, but has really risen to the top for Content Management Systems (CMS). I recently saw some stats that WordPress now powers 22+ million sites, and 40% of the top 100 sites.

Most of our WordPress development is for organizations, not bloggers per sé. These are mainly non-profits, churches and businesses.  While most of the sites we build are page focused, promoting products, services or general awareness, there is still the built in WordPress functions of posts and blogging. We get this question the most, and I thought blogging about it would be the best way to share the answer.

Why should my organization blog?

A notable close second: What should I blog about?

Blogging tends to have the mass public confused as to what it is, what it should be or why. Most often its associated with personal use. My definition of blogging is content that is clearly categorized, date and time stamped, and on a single topic. Blogging uses the the term ‘post’ to reference a single entry to the blog. A blog as a whole is a collection of posts. Much like a newspaper is a collection of news articles. The term ‘Blog’ has also become a verb, as one is often ‘blogging’ about a topic, in this case, it is synonymous with writing.

So why should we blog as an organization?

Search Rank
Blog posts are highly visible as new, relative content to google and other search engines. If you continue to offer free advice, tips, insight, case studies and relative industry information, google will reward you for that, for terms that align with each post based on their content.

Expertise
Users also see this content, and it can form the base of your credibility with them. Active blogging organizations win new clients, because the prospects see activity, growth, community, and openness.

Reference / Archives
The blog also because a great repository of reference material, and a location to house full articles you mention in conferences, emails or social media.

 

What should my company blog about?

Any content worth calling someone about to tell them, or mailing them a letter, is worthy of blogging. This very post is my clear example of what to blog about. We have insight and expertise to share, and we hope the people reading this find it informative. Would I call a client or send them a letter on this topic? YES, and it is our clients who ask about this topic that lead me to write it.

You can use your blog for:

  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Industry news
  • Company news
  • Insight to your product or service
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Education on a topic your organization is passionate about

I don’t think you need to pick one of the above, but ALL of the above.

Any questions?

 

What if the personal experience stunk?

by Ryan Russel

Everybody loves apple.

Don’t they?

OK, let’s just say everybody loves Apple.

Everybody loves Apple but what if the personal experience stunk, just once? How many more times would you go back to their website, walk into the Apple store or buy more products? Would you keep going back if you loved the hardware but hated the people? Would you go back if you couldn’t get the help you needed? How many more units of merchandise would you buy if Apple nickel and dimed you at every point of interaction?

Seth Godin has some great pointers today about marketing. What stands out on his list is that most of the marketing that we can so easily do begins and ends with the personal experiences of our customers.

#reminders

Visual Information Moves People To Act

by Ryan Russel

We’ve talked before about info graphics.

It is an extremely powerful tool when you can take your data and simplify it into a easy to understand graphic that your target audience can read, see, experience and most of all, understand. Visual information moves people to act.

And now it seems that Pinterest is info graphics on steroids which translates into sales and also donations. Have you ever questioned the need to invest a little more in your marketing or in your digital design budget? When this article by Fast Company publishes I think it will be well worth our time to study and then translate into our businesses and nonprofits.

Consumers are shopping and they make decisions based on what they can see and understand.

More sales.
More donations.
Bigger impact for you.

Social Media is Wrong For Your Business

by Ryan Russel

More is better, or at least that is what we are told. We are also told there is no such thing as bad press. That simply isn’t true when it comes to social media. Your business could be in danger of just being a part of the noise. So how do you know when social media is wrong for your business?

Social media is wrong for your business when:

Your website is stale.
Don’t rush to be online with twitter or Facebook when your website isn’t up to date or a hub for all of the essential things that people really need to know or would want to know about your business. Social media can very easily distract you from being excellent at the core aspects of your marketing plan because it has a way of sucking up so much important time every day. Do the basics first, then focus on additional online conversations and arenas.

The conversation stops suddenly.
Often times social media for companies seems like speed dating. Well intentioned people rush into a conversation and then get distracted and quickly move on to something else. Cultivating a respected voice or dialogue on your area of business will take time. Don’t jump in if it’s just going to be a Friday night fling, because it will harder the second time around for you to get people interested if you drop the ball on the first go around.

There isn’t a reason for people to keep coming back.
What you do or what you sell is always more interesting to you than it is to us. So ask yourself the hard question, “why would people continue to pay attention to what my business has to say?” Are your going to offer regular FREE advice in your area of expertise? Coupons? Great deals? Irreplaceable insights? Profound teachings? You need to be incredibly unique or niche for us to stay engaged.

Bottom Line: Social Media isn’t for everyone and most who attempt it fail miserably. Truth is that google is still the #1 place that people go when looking for goods or services that they need or want. So evaluate first, how are your doing with your website and your local marketing plans?

Effectively Spend On Marketing

by Ryan Russel

As part of our monthly work with UMC Boulder City, we are currently engaged with them on developing a comprehensive marketing plan. UMC Boulder City is a smaller church in a smaller and aging community.

Are you a small, locally based organization or business?

Their pastor sent me her team’s initial marketing plans and ideas. I have to say that I am impressed with the thought and research that they have done. So much so that I thought I would share their categories with you and also give you an idea about how you could effectively spend on marketing, just $250 a month to start experimenting with what works for your organization or your business. Take a look. Keep in mind that you can try 2-3 month experiments and then move money around into different categories until you find the right blend of marketing that works for your team.

Effectively Spend On Marketing

Needless to say, we are excited to work with such an aggressively minded organization that really wants to get the word out about what they have going on for their community. It will be fun to help them develop both their print collateral, their messaging and their online marking presence.

 

9 Tools That Will Increase Your Productivity

by Ryan Russel

It wasn’t easy for me to convert to Mac, mostly cause I’m not the prototypical artist or designer, that’s way more Matt’s thing. But now that I am here I am definitely an evangelist for the performance and the intuitive programs. But, regardless of platform, here are 9 tools that will increase your productivity. Give them a shot… you will not be disappointed.

#1 Evernote - Notes & Ideas
Simply the best, most complete place to start, develop, keep and share ideas. Ditch your wordprocessing program right now.
PLUS it’s Free!

Google Docs - Documents, spreadsheets, word-processing, pdf’s & more
Google Docs started as a cute alternative to word processing on your own machine but is now a viable replacement for ever again paying for a Word or Pages. The best improvement in google docs is the upload feature enabling a simple import for document that anyone sends you. Edit it. Share it. Download it. Convert it. Great stuff!
PLUS it’s Free!

Dropbox - Easy File Sharing
“Get your files anywhere” is the company’s explanation, and that pretty much sums it up. You can also quickly sync files, share files and back-up files of all kinds.
PLUS it’s Free!

Hootsuite - Social Media Management
They explain it better than I do.. “Improve productivity by managing all of your social networks within HootSuite.” Yep. That sounds right. Manage facebook, twitter, blog posts and a ton more.

Wunderlist - To-Do (GTD)
Since Apple can’t seem to ever get it right with a simple and powerful ‘to-do list’ program, everyone is left searching for the best thing. Here it is.

1Password - Universal Password
Worth every penny. Save & recall all of your passwords in one very secure application. This is a life saver with every website having their own log in requirements. The ‘auto-fill’ feature is time saving both for log-ins & for purchases.

Wufoo – Online Form Builder
A what?! A form builder. You will never hate forms again. It’s super easy to use and even easier to install sexy looking forms onto your webpages.

Pocket – Web Reader
It might seem frivolous like an app only geeks would use, but give it a try. Pocket saves articles for later, in an easy readable – text only format. Looks great on an iphone or ipad too.

CloudApp
Quickly share images, links, music, videos and files. We rely on this app every day for interacting with clients in flash.

Email newsletters and you. A true story.

by Matt Adams

So often we all get busy, and our once monthly newsletter goes the way of quarterly, then yearly. It’s okay. Admitting you have done this is the first step to recovery. No judgment from us, we have the same issues. But lets talk about why email newsletters are important, and how you can best manage your newsletters.

So why should you send an email to your customers / supporters / members?

In the world of social media, its easy to see email as outdated or obsolete. Email, especially HTML email, receives a bad rap in general, especially from web designers. For some, it has become a synonym for spam, thanks to the very real problem of mass unsolicited sending. Email done right, on the other hand, is a powerful tool that can produce real value for both the sender and recipient.

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5 tips to planning a website that works

by Matt Adams

Planning a website can be a big task. All the content, users, ideas, and don’t forget the SEO and images.

Pretend your friend Tom just remodeled his house. An amazing kitchen, knocked out down wall and turned a spare bedroom into space for the master bathroom and closet.

Now you see how happy they are, and you want the same thing! Great, you tell your contractor to copy it, and you will be happy. So now you are done, but you remember you don’t need that much closet space, and now you no longer have a home office. And since you would rather just eat out, this bigger kitchen makes coffee and pours a mean bowl of cereal, but thats all it gets used for.

Sure the construction and materials may be top notch, but if the function doesn’t meet your needs who cares, you needed your own solution. It could be made with the finest materials in the world, it still won’t work any better for you.

So don’t approach your website with the same approach. Let’s start with some fresh thinking.

Who uses this site?
Silly question maybe, but really ask WHO. What are your visitors here for? Checking through your site traffic logs may identify key pages and where people spend their time. Maybe it’s research on a product or service, maybe it’s finding your locations, or maybe its to browse and buy your product directly online. Identify the top functions your site must do and do well.

Whats wrong with the old site.
By stepping back and identifying the issues, the pitfalls and things you need changed will help identify HOW they get addressed on the new site. Is it hard to manage? Are the gaps in content and shopping experience? Maybe it’s just out dated and dying.

Knowing the wrong will help identify the right fix.

How should your site work?
Don’t worry about the technical details. How do you think a user should find your site, navigate, and walk away with? Now look at your best customers, what did they do? Did they buy 5 products because the related product widget suggested it? Or did they view your entire portfolio before calling you? This is a harder questions because you may not have specific data to back it up, but knowing what worked for a good customer vs the way you think it should work is key.

How can you simplify?
No one wants to make something more complicated. Adding functions and features often leads to complexity. So in what ways can you expedite the site to fully meet the users needs with less clicks, less searching and less confusion?

Where can we be the best?
Not where can we do what that other site is doing, but where can you be the leader? So often we are asked to simply do what the other guy is doing. This rarely works out well. Recently we had a project for an organization here in Tempe, and they really broke down how their site would be the best site for their mission, vision and audience. They had clear answers on where their site would be the easiest and best communication tool for their organization. This was refreshing. The site is still in development and will be live soon, but its already a great site because they wanted to be the best they could be.

Now that you have some of the first 5 things to work on, you are on your way to crafting a better website.

Want to talk about these questions with a pro? We are here to help.

Website Content, 5 Important Reminders

by Ryan Russel


Why these reminders about your website content?
Because content is king!

We are having a lot of fun around here with a new project for one of our longtime client’s, Amy’s VIP Events, because it’s another opportunity to go deeper and help them receive maximum impact on their site, generating more new sales leads than before. A big step forward on this project will be SEO work focused through website content.

Here are 5 things that you need to know about your website content:

  1. Words matter. There are 1,000′s of webpages not indexed properly with Google and worse yet, 23% of all websites are still coded in flash, making their website content not mobile compatible nor search friendly. Read it straight from apple.
  2. Your words must be your own. You might be in a market with a lot of common phrases, definitions and terms, but the bulk of your website content needs to be original. Google knows plagiarism and just like in school, when you copy other people’s work it hurts you more than it helps.
  3. Do Your Research. There is a lot of competition on the internet, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is stiff competition. Chances are very good that you might find a search rearm or two where there is a lot of opportunity because it they are being overlooked for more obvious terms that have many more competitors. Be sneaky and try related SEO terms where your website content can be a winner.
  4. Stay focused and patient with your words. Believe it or not, everything on the internet isn’t instantaneous. Stay consistent on developing your content using your search terms. Keep writing, some results will come quickly while changes will slowly have impact. It can take up to three months for google to recognize all of your hard work and for your to properly dial things in.
  5. You are never done. Write, write, re-write, watch your performance, adjust, continue on. Writing good copy is an ongoing process. Keep your site current. Never take down old stuff, but rather archive it or hide it, keeping it live but never gone. Google likes a lot of text and it helps the more pages that you have on the relevant topics you are trying to reach.

A piece of encouragement, writing good copy and content for your website is hard work, so don’t be frustrated if it takes you some time.
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of Amy’s SEO and ad placement results and also some (but not all) of our key processes. Amy’s VIP Events specializes in delivering custom Masters Tours and awesome pricing for daily Masters Badges.

We can make your site perform better too, so contact us!

Do Not Be Afraid Of Awesomeness

by Ryan Russel

You hear the crap all of the time. Why? Because you run the place. Every biting email, phone call or walk-in eventually makes it’s way to you. Yet, you can not be all things to all people. So please, do not try.

Specialize.

Remember what makes you great. Think back on the dreams that you had when you began. How were you going to be revolutionary, different, and possibly even extraordinary? That is what your business needs to be about. Make it special. Do remarkable things. But remember, you can not do it all, so you might possibly need to stop trying.

How can you do this?

Eliminate underperforming services. Can a marginally profitable product. Remove a feature of your company that takes up way more time than it should have a right to take.

Focus.

Zero in on your best ideas and your best opportunities. Find the items that will set you outside the normal expectations. Create beautiful work and services that others will pay a premium to receive or donate to if you are a nonprofit. Dream big. Execute daily. Ignore that complaints that you are not “all things to all people”.

Experience Your Freedom From Marketing Traps

by Ryan Russel

You are free!

So avoid the trap of feeling like you need to be just like everyone else when it comes to your website, social media persona and your online marketing. You do not need to be a slave to formulas. You don’t have to have everyone “like you on Facebook”. Heck, it might not even make sense for you to tweet, and you definitely don’t have to be the flavor of the week on Pinterest.

America was built on rugged individualism, strong personalities and a fierce independence. These virtues work online too!

Happy 4th of July!

Your Future Must Involve Change

by Ryan Russel

I want to create change, make money and work on stuff that matters. So do you. That is why you are dreaming, working, investing, planning, sweating, pushing, losing sleep and hopefully doing lots and lots of learning. Can you envision a future for your company or organization that is better than the one that you are experiencing right now? I hope so.

Business is a process. As a leader you know all too well that you can not wake up each morning and do exactly the same things that you did the day before. You must press harder into the profitable areas. You must let of things that take too much time without the requisite return or impact.

This thought process applies to your marketing and your online presence too. It can not be static. Do you know how your online presence is performing? Are you asking your users for feedback? Are you tracking your most clicked areas? Are you thinking through what your customers really NEED versus what you are putting in front of them? Do you have any idea how many potential customers are hitting your site via mobile devices as compared with desktops or laptops?

Ask 5 new people to go on your site and give you honest, real feedback. Ask them is they can find the information that they would want to find or hope to find. Ask them about their “experience”. See what they remember 24 hours later. Find out if they are impressed by your website or thought it was very unremarkable or even cheap.

Don’t be afraid.

Start asking!

letting creative flow

by Matt Adams

Just a great example of a big, giant, corporate site, having some fun.

Lowes.com has a promotional banner highlighting their new paint calculator. The focus is partially on wasting less. So what better way to highlight that message than show some wasted paint. Dripping down the entire home page.

 

I applaud their creativity and ingenuity in pulling this off in such a classy way. Well executed!