American Horror Story is an anthology TV series that explores life in different types of “haunted houses” in American culture. The first season took place in a home with a dark history, the next season in an insane asylum and now, in the third season, it’s in a witch coven in New Orleans.
Over three hundred years have passed since the Salem witch trials and only a few powerful witches are left. Under attack by unknown forces and facing extinction, the young girls in the coven are left to defend themselves, but they must function as a team or face devastation, much like life in the business world. But what makes for a great team and what can a television show possibly teach us about that?
Let’s check it out, witches!
Lesson #1: Have a strong leader
This one seems like a no-brainer, but without a great leader, the team isn’t going anywhere. Someone needs to have vision and an understanding of all the moving parts so that the team sticks together and works efficiently. In the coven, that leader should be The Supreme witch, Fiona. She’s not very good at it though as she’s distracted by her secret battle with cancer, which is leaving her depleted and her powers diminished. The other option is Cordelia, Fiona’s daughter, but she is also too distracted to take a strong leadership role.
The girls at the coven are very much on their own. They’re reduced to simply reacting to situations that arise instead of having someone with foresight and wisdom to guide them toward the bigger picture. This is not a sustainable situation, but perhaps there’s still hope that Cordelia will find some strength and take control.
Lesson #2: There’s no “I” in team
Often, it’s not a bad thing to have a strong ego. If you’re in sales, it can actually be a really good thing! But in general, for a team to function well, folks have to check their egos at the door and do what’s for the good of the team and their collective goals. Backbiting and plotting against one another will only end in disaster.
Here’s another way that our Supreme witch, Fiona, has failed. Sensing her diminishing powers, she identified Madison, one of the young witches in the coven, as the next Supreme. Fiona’s weakening powers seem to be transferring to the new Supreme as Madison seems to be gaining strength as Fiona loses hers. Fearing the loss of her status as Supreme, Fiona kills Madison. Doing this means that she eliminated a very powerful member of the coven, leaving them down by one—a bad idea since they’re so vulnerable.
Lesson # 3: Have clearly defined roles
Leaders need to identify the specific talents of every individual on the team and make sure they’re assigned a role that fits that talent. Without that, team members may wind up doing things that don’t make the most use of their skills, wasting time and energy.
All the young witches in the coven have specific talents: Nan is clairvoyant, Zoe is great with spells, Queenie is a human voodoo doll, and Madison has psychokinetic powers. Right now, nobody’s talents are being used for the good of the coven. Instead, it’s every witch for herself as the girls use their magic to advance their own agendas. If these powers were coordinated and their talents organized, they would be unstoppable against the forces that threaten them.
Clearly the big key to great teamwork is having strong leadership. Leaders need to help organize, define roles and keep egos in check—even if it’s their own ego that needs to be left at the door! Without these things in place, disaster awaits. As far as the ladies in the coven are concerned, there’s some indication that Cordelia will take control and organize the girls. Hopefully they’ll be able to work as a team before it’s too late and the coven is destroyed!
You are very much like us, GLAD WORKS friends. You have a business to run. You have a life outside of your business to run. You may even have a couple of kids or Chihuahuas to take care of. Maybe, if you’re like Gina, you throw in some sports training here and there just to keep things interesting and…nuts. Lots of people ask us how Gina manages to run her successful business while at the same time training hardcore for athletic competitions. Well? She applies what keeps her in good condition at the gym to her professional life. Wanna hear about it? Here’s how it goes…
The busy life of Gina
As you all know, Gina is our Founder, Principal and Creative Director at GLAD WORKS. She started this business when she was but a wee girl in college doing freelance work on the side so she could buy herself such luxuries as a working computer and heat. Fast forward to today and she’s still a total bada** in charge of all us kids who make up her creative team. In addition to the rigors of having a professional schedule so packed that she has to specifically set aside time to eat or she’ll forget, she manages to be an excellent mama to two Chihuahuas named Bella and Dolce and a doting wife to one Mr. Adam Harvey. She participates as a board member for many different non-profits, and she attends lots of networking functions.
Oh yeah, and she’s a triathlete.
How does she manage all of this without tapping out her energy?
Turns out, some of the same things that make her a great triathlete, also make her a successful entrepreneur.
When an athlete cross-trains, it means that they switch activities to avoid burning out or getting hurt doing the same old exercises over and over again. This is why Gina chooses to do a triathlon instead of a marathon, a bike race or a long swim competition thingy (what are those called, anyway?). By switching it up and spreading her training across three types of exercise, she keeps herself fresh, strong and fit in many different ways. This is exactly how she handles her professional life as well. While it may seem a bit chaotic to switch from meeting with a client about creating a marketing plan, immediately leaving to go design a logo for someone else, and then taking a conference call about scripting a video, she’s constantly changing her activity. It keeps her mind nimble so she never has a chance to get bored doing anything.
Athletes who do interval training alternate between high-intensity exercise with periods of rest. Clearly, if Gina were to work as hard as she does ALL the time whether she were at work or at the gym, she would definitely burn out. This is what her athletic training does for her. She works with her mind during the day while her body rests. After work, she hits the gym and works her body while her mind gets to take a breather (quite literally, actually). Her life has built in intervals that help the different parts of her get the rest they need.
By switching activities frequently and giving herself time to rest, Gina manages to avoid professional burnout and keep rockin’ it hardcore!
While on one of our famous walks through a nearby neighborhood admiring all the lovely gardens, we started to think about how much work and care and time it takes to grow something beautiful. Then a light bulb moment occurred: it dawned on us that gardening is a lot like running a business. And it really is when you think about it! Just like a garden, a business requires constant attention if it’s going to be fruitful. Today we thought we’d share with you a few of our thoughts on nurturing a business for maximum blossomage! (Yeah, that’s right: we just made up a new word! Go us!)
It all starts with a seed
Some of the most successful businesses the world has ever known began with a tiny “seed” planted in someone’s basement or garage. GLAD WORKS is no exception, starting with Gina freelancing in college. Fast forward ten or fifteen years (who’s counting?), and now we’ve got a bunch of folks with a diverse set of skills working here! Modern-day giants like Hewlett Packard, Apple and Microsoft started out very small (garage-sized, really) and blossomed into the behemoths they are today.
Business owners and gardeners alike know that you can’t just toss a bunch of seeds on the ground and expect success. Those little seeds have to be carefully selected, planted properly, nurtured, watered, fed, loved and pruned meticulously so that they reach their full potential. When things look sketchy and the caterpillars move in and start destroying all the hard work, it just means that all the more care is needed to get through the dark times.
If a garden is going to be successful, you have to start with a plan for how you’re going to do things. Will the basil be next to the tomatoes? Should the teepees of peas and beans be in the middle or in the corners? What worked last year and what didn’t? In business, you always have to plan your next steps, using what you’ve learned from the past to inform your decisions. Sometimes, you still have to go back and pull something out of the ground, but that’s ok. It’s a constant learning experience and mistakes are inevitable. Just embrace them and keep on growing. If there isn’t continual assessment and refinement of decision-making, then you’re never going to have a bigger pumpkin than last year.
Not only do you occasionally have to change direction on an idea that didn’t work out, but sometimes you have to prevent weeds from choking out those plants you’ve been nurturing. Sometimes, it’s not a weed that’s infringing on the growth of a plant, but another of the same species that’s not doing as well, or is in the wrong place. Spend time keeping things organized and make sure you remove the bad so the good can flourish, even if it means giving up on an idea that you previously thought was awesome. Let the strongest survive! Your time and efforts are valuable and should be well spent to produce the best results.
Diversity, diversity, diversity!
Any gardener knows that having a diverse array of plants is better than having just a few. Nobody wants to eat just squash all summer, so you’ve got to mix it up and add some fun stuff like Swiss chard and watermelon! This is the same thing with many businesses. Unless you’re a dry cleaner and your customers need to keep coming back or they’ll be naked, it’s essential to have more than one thing that you do. Having diverse skills and doing a variety of things for your customers is the best way to make sure they keep coming back even when their needs change. Add new inventory and new services to keep folks interested in what you’ve got. A varied diet is a good diet!
Reaping the rewards
Once you’ve done all your planning, nurturing and weeding, it’s still not time to sit back. It’s harvest time! You’ve got to get in there and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Pick it, clean it, store it or eat it… whether it’s in the form of great referral partners (or tomatoes) or a bunch of loyal customers (or broccoli), you should enjoy and call on the relationships (and produce) you’ve spent time and effort and money to build. Just don’t forget to keep nurturing them with an eye to the future or they’ll dry up!
When we were approached to design a logo for Paula Abdul’s latest project called IGNITE! Spark the Moment, we were pretty stoked to help out. In fact, we were all saying “yahoo!” on the inside. We love taking part in great projects like this, so we were happy to add this feather to our cap. Today we’re going to talk about the project a bit but we’ll also talk about what got us the job. It’s a little something called “relationships.”
The Paula project
Paula Abdul’s IGNITE! Spark the Moment is a brand new cheerleading and dance championship where cheerleaders and dancers from all over the country will compete for national recognition. It’s a highly competitive contest and only the best of the best will be striving for the top prize. Clearly, as big a deal as this needs to have a smashing logo! So, Paula turned to an associate for help finding a great design agency and they recommended us!
Working with Paula
Working closely with Paula, we came up with a stunning and fun logo that expresses the energy and enthusiasm that fuels her project. Just looking at it makes you want to get up and move! She’s quite the perfectionist though and had us pulling a few all nighters– tweaking this, moving that and changing colors around. But in the end, we have something we all totally love and can be proud of.
The best part
Even though the whole thing was pretty cool, the best part of the experience isn’t that we got to meet and work closely with Paula Abdul. However, we’ll Straight Up tell you that although we had to Rush Rush throughout the design process on a tight deadline, she was awesome to work with. But even attending the launch party where we got to see our logo plastered all over everything wasn’t the best part of the experience.
Our favorite thing about it was that we didn’t know her prior to this, so we got the job through another business relationship. It just goes to show you how having great contacts and maintaining solid relationships can bring you terrific opportunities. The fact that we were thought of for the project speaks to the strength of those relationships and the amount of trust people have in us. You know they’re not going to trust just anybody with Ms. Paula’s stuff, right?
We don’t do a lot of advertising of our own (weird, huh?), so lots of our business comes from word-of-mouth referrals. We have a great combination of talent and awesome customer service and we strive every single day to deliver the best possible outcomes to our clients. It sounds so cliché to say that, but it’s the truth. We’ve worked hard to build this reputation. Couple that with our efforts to build solid relationships with other folks in the community, and we’ve got a strong network built on trust and friendship.
It feels incredible to see what we work so hard to achieve actually pay off. We enjoyed working with Ms. Abdul and we hope she’ll be Forever Our Girl and come to us with her next design project!
We’ve been hearing a lot of talk lately about Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform used by creatives to raise money for their projects. All this talk is getting hard to ignore, as Kickstarter becomes a stronger and stronger force in helping folks meet their funding goals. So, today we thought we’d talk about it with you and maybe even give you a few tips for success if you decide to go the crowdfunding route.
Crowdfunding is a pretty neat concept. It’s a collective effort by a group of folks who network to pool their money in support of a particular project or organization. Crowdfunding can be used to raise money for anything from political campaigns, scientific research or inventions to art exhibits and theater productions. Basically, if it needs funding, you can probably find a way to do it through crowdfunding.
Kickstarter is one of many crowdfunding platforms. Others include Indiegogo, RocketHub, GoFundMe and many more. Some of them are for funding just about anything and others specialize in a particular area. Kickstarter, for example, focuses on creative projects ranging anywhere from films, dance projects, music, art, design, games, and technology. And it really works! Since their launch in April of 2009, over $500 million has been pledged by more than 3 million people.
How Kickstarter Works
Let’s say you’re a wonderful dancer and you’ve created a show you think people will love. You got a fantastic composer to write music, your best friends from Julliard are going to play and record it for you, and you’ve hired some other amazing dancers to dance in your show. Problem is that you don’t have the money to pay these people, let alone get them dancing shoes, costumes and other stuff they need. So, you need some help raising money. Here’s where Kickstarter comes in.
As the project creator, you set your goals for funding and deadlines. Make sure you’ve done the math here and that you’re asking for enough money and giving it enough time to meet your funding goal. Also, make sure you do some solid marketing to help inspire folks to help you. Here are a few things you need to do.
Create an engaging video
The projects that get the most funding on Kickstarter are the ones with great quality videos that tell a story really well. Now is not the time to give your elevator speech to your webcam. You need to have a well thought out script that tells a story of passion and drive that will help people see your vision and want to take part in it. Make sure the production value on the video is good and that you invest in hiring a professional to help you. If your video is boring or it’s hard to understand, people won’t watch it and won’t care about your project.
Reward your backers well
Kickstarter wants you to give out rewards to your backers for different levels of funding. So, for example, if a backer donates $20 to your dancing production, you’ll send them a tee shirt with your logo on it. If they donate $500 they get to have dinner with the cast, etc. Make sure your reward system is clear and easy to understand so that people have clear expectations of what they’re getting from you in return. You don’t want angry backers with unrealistic expectations!
Write an incredible email pitch
In order to drive traffic to your Kickstarter page, you’ll need to reach out to people like friends and family, bloggers, journalists—anyone you think would care. One way to do that is by writing a killer email that will motivate them to at least consider helping you out. Make sure you describe your project very succinctly at first and include a link to Kickstarter early on in the email for all those skimmers out there. You can go into more detail after that and explain your vision in more depth. Don’t forget to include a call to action and another link toward the end. If you tell people what you want them to do and then make it easy, they just might do it!
Watching the dollars roll in…hopefully
If people like your project, they will pledge money to make it happen. If your project inspires enough people to help you fund it and you meet your funding goal, then you get the money and all the backer’s credit cards will be charged for the amount they pledged. If your project fails to reach it’s funding goal by the deadline, the backers don’t get charged and you don’t get the money. It’s that simple.
This all-or-nothing approach seems harsh but it helps project creators stay motivated to keep pushing the fundraising effort. It’s also less risky for creators and investors alike. It’s hard to see money you donated go to fund something that ends up being under funded and never gets off the ground. It’s also hard to only have some of the money you need and have backers expecting you to produce something with inadequate resources.
If you’ve got a super-duper creative idea or project in the works, but lack the funds to make it happen, we think Kickstarter is a great way to make your dream come true. If you need any help making your video, writing your email, or coming up with a marketing strategy, make sure you hire someone like us to help you out. A little investment here can make the difference between making it happen or being disappointed.
We recently came across an article about Apple being in decline. We’ve been seeing a lot of stuff like that out there lately, and now we’re noticing that their stocks have fallen. Could these headlines have something to do with that? After the release of the iPhone 5, major newsmakers blasted the launch and implied that the disappointing features of the new iPhone implied that there was a lack of creativity and innovation at Apple. But could this really be true or does it become true because some people are saying that it is?
What’s happening with Apple happens to lots of businesses. Things that have been said around the Internet, whether they’re true or not, can negatively impact the reputation of a business. Even a giant like Apple is not immune! Clearly, content matters whether it’s stuff you put out there yourself, or something someone else says about you. It becomes true. It becomes part of what defines your brand.
So, how is a business that doesn’t have a monstrous PR machine on their side supposed to manage their online reputation?
One way to start is by coming up with several ways to make sure that the stuff you put out into the universe is the first thing people see and not what others are saying about you. You can do this by having a content strategy. Here’s some stuff to think about.
Look up your name and see what comes up in a Google search. It’s important to be aware of exactly what’s out there. You may even find that there’s someone else operating a business with a similar name as yours. While you can’t do much about that, you can take steps to make sure that your content is the first thing everyone sees. And, you can set up Google Alert so that you’ll know when any new content with the name of your business in it hits the web. The first step to managing your reputation online is knowing what’s out there about you!
We know we keep saying this, but you need to be actively participating on social media. We prefer Google + for all the reasons we mention in this article, but we also think your time will be well spent maintaining a Facebook profile as well as one on LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest and YouTube. Of course, prioritize which ones are best for your audience and focus on those. Just make sure that if you create any of these accounts, fill out the profile thoroughly—complete with a picture! When people find your profile, you want to reward their search with at least some information about you.
Speaking of being social…
If you’re the owner of a business, always be aware that nothing you do is private on the Internet. It may seem that way, but it’s not. So, constantly be aware of what you’re posting on both your personal and public social media accounts as well as comments you leave on other websites, etc. You should also be aware of stuff your friends are posting about you. If somebody does post something on Facebook that you’d rather not share with your potential customers, remove the tag that identifies you. And don’t be afraid to ask other people to take stuff down, either. A good rule of thumb is never assume that anything you put on the Internet is private or that nobody will ever find it.
Create your own content
One of the best ways to make sure there’s great content connected to your brand is to create it yourself! Part of how you do this is through social media, but you can also have a Tumblr or Wordpress site where you put frequently updated content. Write a blog, share great news, or attach a terrific article you found with a comment about why you liked it so much. Whatever you do, make sure it adds value and isn’t too sales-y.
Be master of your domain
Be sure to purchase your domain name. It’ll cost you $12 - $15 a year to do it and it can help you control what people out there see about you. When people enter the name of your business into Google, there’s a better chance that the search will go directly to you since the way Google organizes search results partially weighs domain names. Just make sure that the name of your business is in the domain name.
These are just a few of many things to consider when thinking about managing your online reputation. It’s a game of search results and making sure there’s plenty of stuff out there about you to be excited about!
In our blog post about Game of Thrones, we talked about how young or inexperienced people like interns and new hires can bring a lot to your business. GLAD WORKS usually has at least one intern present at any given moment, so we have a lot of experience working with them to help them make the most of their time with us. We think it’s important to talk about them today because the word “intern” seems to be becoming synonymous with “free labor.” That’s not the case at all, and treating it that way cheats the business and the intern out of a very valuable experience.
Let’s talk about how to properly nurture an intern for a mutually beneficial relationship!
Know their goals
Many employers go on to hire their interns, so choosing carefully can be a great investment in the future. That’s why you should always make sure you interview interns before taking them on. You need to know what they’re hoping to get out of the experience. Sometimes people choose internships based on how it will look on their resume, but they may not actually be interested in what you do. If you wind up with that situation, you’ll lose the chance to bring an enthusiastic and original thinker on board. Understanding what an intern needs and determining whether or not you can fulfill those needs is a sure way to find people who will learn and grow with you.
Give them variety
Having an intern is great because you can give them some tasks that don’t require a whole lot of expertise, and that frees you up to take on some bigger things. But it wouldn’t be fair to saddle them with only those small things. Bring them to meetings, let them shadow you and take part in the more exciting parts of your business too. They need to see all sides if they’re thinking about what career path to take.
Keep in mind that while these folks are with you, they’re NOT somewhere else earning money at a job. Unless they’re incredibly lucky, they’re fairly penniless at this time in their lives, so keep that in mind. Maybe have a pizza day, or if you can afford it, take your intern out to lunch. If you’re strapped for cash yourself, coffee and a muffin would be a nice gesture, too. Feeding people is always a great way to build bonds and show appreciation.
Don’t assume they learned things in school
How often do you use things you learned in college during your job? How much of it actually applies to your daily work life in some direct way? Sometimes it absolutely does, but other times what’s taught in the classroom doesn’t resemble the real world at all. When you’re giving your intern instructions, never assume they know what you’re talking about. Explain yourself very clearly and then make sure they understand what they’re doing. You don’t want to set someone off on a task and then find out later that they were clueless. You’ll have to go and clean up the mess, plus you’ll probably make your poor intern feel like a doofus. That said; don’t be afraid to challenge them…
Throw them to the wolves!
(…and there goes any chance that we’ll ever see another intern in here again!)
Seriously though, this is not to say that you need to torture your poor intern, but don’t be afraid to give them safe challenges. Assign something that puts them to the test and forces them out of their comfort zone. Quite frequently, we don’t know how strong we are until we’ve been to hell and back. Be there to support them and guide them, but let them struggle a little bit too. Of course, don’t ever do this with something that could really mess things up if it goes badly. It’s just never a bad thing to strain the brain a little bit.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about having an intern is that if the match is right, it can be a mutually beneficial relationship. They get to see what life is like in the real world and learn from your wisdom. You get the benefit of their enthusiasm and just maybe the chance to sculpt and mold a future employee.
Maybe you’ve only heard of it, or maybe you’re obsessed with either the book series by George R. R. Martin or the HBO television series. Whatever your experience is with Game of Thrones, you know how amazingly intense and deliciously dangerous every plot-line can be as the story chronicles the violent dynastic battles between the noble families of the realm for control of the Iron Throne.
“Battling for control of the throne? Sounds just like doing business!” you say.
We think so too!
There are many parallels that can be drawn between Game of Thrones and all of us who are out there trying to make it in the business world. Today, let’s take a look and see what Game of Thrones has to offer us, GLAD WORKS friends.
This is gonna be fun and hopefully nobody will lose their head!
“There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: “Not today.”
As the young girl Arya is learning how to use her sword, her “dancing master” gave her this advice to help her find courage to keep fighting when it seemed she would lose the struggle. Indeed, her instructor’s advice came back to her when she was in danger and gave her the strength she needed to escape harm. When times get tough in business, it’s very tempting to throw in the towel. But refusing to yield and declaring “not today” when you’re faced with adversity can be a driving force to help you stay in the game and keep fighting.
“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.”
When Jon Snow leaves to join the Night’s Watch, he must say farewell to Arya, his beloved half sister. These words to her represent his hope that they’ll see one another again someday. Sometimes in business, just as it is in life, we have to part with people we love and respect. Maybe a favorite client stops using your services, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t ever be back. People come and go for all kinds of reasons, but if you have faith that your product or service is the best, and that you did all you could for your customer, have faith that they’ll be back again someday. Maybe they just have to explore other options first before realizing how much they loved you.
“The man who fears losing has already lost.”
We’ve heard it time and time again. In order to succeed in business, you can’t be afraid to take risks. It’s become a cliché, but it’s completely true. If we’re so afraid of failure that we shy away from trying new things, we’ll never get anywhere. We have to put on our armor and march off to battle. And remember the dancing master’s words to Arya: when you’re faced with defeat, say “not today” and then make some heads roll (figuratively speaking of course)!
“Wisdom oft comes from the mouth of babes.”
There is no question that many of the young folks in Game of Thrones are incredibly smart and savvy, but let’s face it. They have to be to survive! Although life in the real world isn’t quite so dangerous, there are still some super bright kids out there and we can learn a lot from them. Interns and new hires are often full of fresh ideas, so never underestimate them. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so be open to it all and good stuff will come your way.
“Life is not a song, sweetling. Someday you may learn that, to your sorrow.”
Just as we see with what Sansa, Danerys, and Arya have experienced, being thrown to the wolves is exactly what a young and inexperienced person needs in order to find their power. You can’t be afraid to give an intern (Hi! GLAD WORKS interns!) or a newbie a tough assignment. Going through a hard time is exactly what they need in order to truly find their talents and strengths. Of course be there to guide them and provide a safety net, but don’t be afraid to challenge them! They need to learn how to fight for what they want.
“Ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”
The dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, is smarter and more mentally agile than most other men. And although he is frequently disrespected because of his size, he’s still one of the most brilliant minds in all of the seven kingdoms. When King’s Landing was being attacked by Stannis, it was Tyrion who had the courage and skill to fight off his army until reinforcements arrived just in the nick of time. In business, you don’t have to be a goliath to shape the landscape. Even a small business can make an impact and do really big things.
So, who’s going to be watching the season 3 premiere on Sunday?
Happy New Year, GLAD WORKS friends!
Last week we did a recap of 2012, so naturally this week we need to take a look at the year ahead! What’s going to be the new hotness, and what should you be thinking about to keep on top of trends in technology, marketing and consumer habits? We’ve done a little poking around in our collective brains and we’ve come up with a handy dandy (albeit slightly random) little list just for you.
This year is gonna be rockin!’
Remember that awesome Janet Jackson song, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” (Do yourself a solid and click that link! OMG the big hair!) Well, this is what your customers are thinking. Gone are the days when people will passively accept whatever you tell them. They’re also not going to just accept your price as the best one and leave it at that. They’ve got the power of the Internet right in their pockets and they know how to use it. Your competition is literally right there telling your customers what they have to offer them, possibly tempting them away from you. Business owners are going to find themselves playing the role of concierge—finding out what the customer needs and wants and providing it before someone else gets the chance.
If you don’t have a website already, what on earth are you waiting for?
Having a website is as important as having a logo these days. If you don’t already have one, or the one you have now is a bit, ahem, old, you’re really going to need one over the coming year. Now more than ever, folks want to check out what you have to offer them before coming to see you. The world has also become full of people who hate picking up the phone to talk to an actual human being. They’re far more likely to go online to get their questions about you answered. If they don’t find you online, it’s almost as if you don’t exist and they’re going to hunt around for someone who has a website to look at. You might want consider having an online catalog or even setting up e-Commerce on your jazzy new website too. Make it easy and convenient and people will gravitate to you. We promise.
This is a prediction we made last year and it’s even truer for the coming year. So, while you’re thinking about that website, keep in mind that folks are increasingly accessing the web from tablets and phones. Desktop users are still out there for sure, but the number of people who shop on the go is rising and that trend isn’t going to take a downward turn any time soon. A mobile friendly website can keep you accessible no matter where your customers happen to be, and that is a very good thing indeed!
Case Studies and portfolios
Case Studies are incredibly cool because they give you the opportunity to show your potential customers the thought processes you went through to solve a problem for someone. Oftentimes, we see a screen cap or a quick photo of the work with a bullet point list of things that were done. The tough thing about that is that it doesn’t really give a potential customer a true impression of how you solve problems for folks. In this ultra competitive marketplace, more businesses are finding it necessary to share a little more of who they are and how they work. This is not to say that case studies are replacing portfolios, but we’re going to be seeing more of them popping up on websites over the coming year.
We’re all gonna be video stars!
Businesses everywhere are getting into video these days! We’ve definitely seen an up tick in the number of businesses coming to us for help doing product videos, digital annual reports, and promotional videos. We think this trend is most certainly going to continue and expand into new areas. For example, businesses who’ve been doing product videos are going to start adding customer support, product tutorials—all kinds of video content related to the sales cycle. We’re also going to start seeing businesses that would benefit from having video portfolios get into making them and posting them on their websites.
Remember what we said about being customer-centric? All of the things we’ve mentioned today have to do with making things as easy as possible for your customers to find you and get as much information as they need. So, in addition to our list here, think about your customers and focus on what’s going to make life easier for them. Then, do that.
What would a holiday blog post be without a roundup of some kind or another?
We think it would be lame and not at all festive. It would be tragic.
So today we’re going to talk about some of our favorite GLAD WORKS moments of 2012. And we’re going to be really shameless and selfish about it too because we’re only going to talk about cool stuff that happened to US this year.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
After the post, we’re going to open it up to you because we want to hear about your favorite moments of 2012 too! Be thinking as you read! We’ll expect an answer at the bottom of the page!
So, You Wanna Be A Copywriter…
This year we made our breakout humor video about the incredible work life of our copywriter, Kristen. In fact she’s writing this post right now and it’s so glamorous that she’s writing as if she isn’t writing at all.
Her life is all glory, all the time obviously.
The whole team participated in the making of the video, and even if you didn’t see all of us in it, every one of us was involved in some capacity. Some of us held lights; some made suggestions about the script, and some worked on a plan for the launch and promotion. We enjoyed this experience because we don’t normally get to shake our sillies out like that. There’s another one in the works, so keep an eye out! We have more silly to give!
Oh, and if you missed it the first time, here it is! Enjoy!
We’re famous now! Talking to The Rhode Show about apps
When The Rhode Show approached us to do a story about app development, we couldn’t have been happier. We love what we do and we’re very proud of it, so we were thrilled for a chance to share that with the world. Besides, who doesn’t love being on TV?
GLAD WORKS pitches itself
We’ve told you guys about our obsession with the TV show The Pitch before. Short of being on the actual show (which we’d love to do! Call us, AMC!), we thought it would be amazing to try it with our own team, so Gina, Adam and Evangelia divided us into two separate, strategically created groups and handed us a creative brief asking each team to address the following issues:
• Redefine GLAD WORKS online presence
• Showcase the use of new technology
• Recreate our website
There was some real smack-talking going on that week, but in the end our teams actually came up with similar ideas. We love that because it meant that we were on the same page as a team and we had a clear idea of what we needed and wanted.
Rubbing elbows with BOOtiful people: annual Halloween Spooktacular
In a world where many of our modes of communication are so impersonal, it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to connect with people face-to-face. There’s something really great about talking to someone in person and having actual, real-time conversations with them that aren’t happening through Facebook or limited to a scant 140 characters. That’s why we think it’s important to host an annual event here at the studio.
Our Halloween Spooktacular has become something that everyone looks forward to. We love it because it gives us a chance to hang out together! We understand that we need to have some face time with our clients to help us build lasting relationships with them. Even if we haven’t worked with someone in a while, it’s always awesome to check in and say “hey, nice costume!”
What made your 2012 list of moments full of The Awesome?