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34 minutes | 9 months ago
The farewell episode
Creator’s Block comes to you this week with a heavy heart. It’s with all the best intentions that we have decided to take a break from producing the podcast. We have loved sharing this experience with you and being able to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you, but right now it’s time for a change. So what better way to send off CB than with the originator, the queen of content herself, Liz Moorehead. Listen in as we look back at some of our favorite memories and learning experiences through the years and of course one final *secret question time*.
25 minutes | 10 months ago
The power of sharing personal stories
My friend and colleague recently published an article that shared her deeply personal story about experiencing a miscarriage. I was moved. I had goosebumps the entire time I was reading, teared up when she mentioned what it felt like first learning she lost the baby and outwardly shook my head at learning how so many baby-planning apps and websites seemed blind to such a large demographic of women. I personally have not experienced what my friend has. And yet, I was still able to connect with her as a reader and was able to better understand her opinions on app-related UX... all because she shared her personal story. Personal stories draw people in and can be such a powerful tool in marketing. Readers, listeners or viewers can connect with you on a deeper level, building trust and -- ultimately -- a relationship with you and your business. In this week's episode, Marcella and I dive into why and how sharing personal stories can be so powerful.
25 minutes | 10 months ago
Why emotional design is so important
Even though I've talked about the importance of reading in past episodes, the practice hasn't always been perfect. I find my days are filled with with more meetings than I anticipate each week and can truly only dive into a book over the weekends. What I've been doing instead, though, is filling the cracks of my days with words. When I find I have 15 minutes in between calls or meetings, I grab a nearby book or pull up Medium articles to find a topic that peaks my interest. The latest to do so? "What Is Emotional Website Design?" by Abigail Stock In it, she notes that 95% of consumer decisions are made subconsciously. That is a crazy statistic! But, is there a way to still influence buyers even in their subconscious? Stock goes on to cite Don Norman and his book Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things. "The essential premise is that emotions have a crucial role in the human ability to understand the world and learn new things. In reality, all design is emotional, whether intentional or not; the trick is in shaping the user’s emotional response to the benefit of your product or service." The concept is simple -- tapping into consumers' emotions can help position your product or service as the superior choice when buying. In this week's episode, Marcella and I break down how that's possible and why it's so important companies keep this front of mind when redesigning their websites.
28 minutes | a year ago
Down with New Years Resolutions, Rethinking Goal-Setting
New year, new me mantra. That’s right. This year it’s just the same old me. I’m not doing my usual New Years' resolutions and here’s why. 2019 was a rough year for me. I had a lot on my plate and even more pressure that I put on myself. It was hard and most importantly it didn’t help my personal growth. So, this year I’ve decided to give myself a well-deserved break. Not a break in the sense of a gap year or not challenging myself, but a break in being so hard on myself. The first step towards this: 👏 NO 👏 MORE 👏 RESOLUTIONS. With help from an article by Sarah Bedrick (previously of Hubspot Academy), in place of setting lofty, pie in the sky, year-long resolutions I will be working on 30-day challenges. 92% of people fail to achieve their New Years' resolution. Why? Because setting goals like that simply doesn’t work for most people. 30-day challenges are a much healthier way of goal setting because they are: More manageable (mentally and physically). They build confidence instead of reducing it. And science says doing something for 30-days is enough time to develop a new routine around it. Join Justine and I as we discuss breaking up with traditional resolutions and kindling a new relationship with 30-day challenges. (And if you’re really curious here are our resolutions from last year.)
30 minutes | a year ago
How do we measure success in our careers?
I feel like I blinked and 2019 is already over. Wasn't I just celebrating getting engaged and enjoying a trip to Mexico? Certainly feels like it... As we're all entering a new decade, it hit me that I'm also entering the second decade of my career. That is crazy to me! The last 10 years have flown by, but have also seemed to linger forever. As a bright-eyed 22 year old, I had so many big goals of everything I wanted to accomplish in the first 10 years of working. For instance, I wanted to be named as one of Forbes' 30 Under 30 and nearly triple my starting salary. (Spoiler alert: I wasn't and I didn't.) I often fell victim to the comparison game and would feel down on myself for not being able to achieve something in the arbitrary time I set for myself. But as the years continued on, I changed jobs, changed roles and -- frankly -- changed priorities. What really defines success in your career? To some, it's money. To others, it's awards and recognition. To me? It's being able to have an impact on others' lives. Join Marcella and I as we discuss looking inward to determine how we measure success in our careers and why it's so important to do so.
38 minutes | a year ago
The Anti-Productivity Mindset: How Doing Less is Doing More
With the impending holiday and the time away from the office that may require I know I am not alone in saying I am feeling stressed out, under water, and *pause for dramatic effect* burnt out. Every morning I wake up and will myself to be as productive as possible just to make it through the day, but turns out this may just be part of the problem. Professor Christine Seifert writes, “A productivity mindset is … problematic when the relentless quest for it results in burnout. Studies show that putting in too many hours is bad for our health, bad for the bottom line, and bad for workplace cultures in general.” But our jobs rely on the bottom line. On results. On revenue. So, what can we really do? Join Justine and I as we chat about adopting an anti-productivity mindset and how to implement it.
30 minutes | a year ago
How to Take Client Feedback Like a Pro
Marcella and I have found ourselves in the endless round of design revisions on a recent project. I, acting as a project manager, have fallen short in getting to the root of what the client truly needs. And because of that, Marcella has spent weeks trying to get one particular element "just right." It got me thinking... what could I have done from the start to ensure I knew exactly what to relay to Marcella to update? I found a recent article that dives into this very topic where the author provided actionable steps to take to make clients feel heard while still maintaining creative integrity. In this week's episode, Marcella and I breakdown the 10 tips and share our own insight, especially on one item that both took us by surprise.
42 minutes | a year ago
Why We Should Play at Work
We've covered a lot of different ways on how to re-ignite the creativity flame or find inspiration when the well seems to be dry, but this seems to be one way we have yet to discover. The answer is simple: PLAY! Designer, Drory Ben-Menachem, was inspired to bring the idea of playing into his routine after watching his young child grow and explore through play. His article "Why We Should Play at Work: Embracing play in our creative field can make us happier and more productive" talks about the benefits the incorporating more fun/creative/exploratory time into our jobs not only for us as happier employees, but in the outcomes those sessions will influence. Join Justine and I, as we delve into what it looks like bring a little more play into all of our days!
27 minutes | a year ago
To Become More Efficient, Ask Better Questions
At the beginning of October, I created a goal for myself to have more time available for me to read and research business-related articles and books. Why? Because leaders are readers. It should come as no surprise then that I learned this in a book called Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't by Vern Harnish. In it, he talks about how Larry Page, the former CEO of Google, "was asked how he learned to run a company, he responded 'I read a lot.'" And how Marc Cuban reads three hours every day, with the goal to find "just one idea he can use to give him and the over 150 companies in which he's invested an edge in the marketplace." As Harnish wrote, "having a natural curiosity and thirst for learning separates the good from the great in our experience." Now, I'm no Larry Page or Marc Cuban, but that doesn't mean I can't take some of their best practices and apply it to my own day-to-day. Hence why my Tuesday afternoons have now turned into a dedicated time for me to read. During my time this week, I came across an article by Thomas Oppong titled "To Become More Efficient, Ask Better Questions." I immediately dove in. His approach is intriguing and honestly, not all that difficult. Essentially, you should be asking yourself better questions that can then lead to better and stronger results. Questions like: What specific outcomes do I want more of? Am I working too long or too short of a time for certain tasks? Am I trying to be more effective (i.e., doing the right things) or more efficient (i.e., doing things right)? When do I have the most energy? What 1–3 things would I like to have done (today, this week, this month, this quarter, this year) Each of those questions can help you come to realizations or ideas on how to be more productive and improve your efficiency. In this week's episode, Marcella and I share our opinions on the subject and brainstorm how we can apply these questions to aspects of our days.
28 minutes | a year ago
The Biggest Misconception of Client/Agency Relationships
Here at IMPACT, we produce a lot of content (and I mean A LOT) so I can't always consume every single thing we do. But the one thing I absolutely cannot miss each week is The Latest. The Latest is our hand-curated marketing-insights newsletter where I know I'm going to get a hit list of the top topics our IMPACTers and marketing community have been discussing throughout the week. So when I saw "Agency Outsourcing Is Broken" as the start of the subject line in one of the newsletters last week, I knew it was going to be good. The article linked was one written by Marcus Sheridan where he talks about why we need to rethink the relationship between client and agency. I. Was. Hooked. (And I wasn't the only one...) What Marcus says in his article is somewhat controversial but ultimately boils down to a single point: "When you own your content creation, you own the soul of your business." All too often, clients think they can outsource ALL of the marketing efforts to an agency and expect to see huge results when the reality is, they themselves need to own a big portion of their own efforts. After all, aren't clients the true experts in their business? Join Marcella and I as we dive into the biggest misconception clients fall victim to when working with agencies and what they can do differently to see the success the need.
27 minutes | a year ago
Are Designers Ruining the World?
Can you imagine your life without a car? For most of us, it seems impossible. Of course there are large cities with quality public transportation systems, but I'm sure the 85% of Americans that commute to work by car probably couldn't imagine it being different. This wasn't always the case, though. When the first "vehicle powered by a gas engine" was patented in 1886, there wasn't the vast majority of people who would claim the invention to be a necessity. In fact, this often is the case with new technology. More times than not, new technology is met with fear. Does our fear for new technology stunt its possibility? It's unrealistic to just "let go" of your fear of the unknown so how can we use fear to help drive better designs? Join Marcella and I as we dive into the affect fear can have on technology designs and how we can channel that emotion for good.
21 minutes | a year ago
How To Really Win The Afternoon… or Not.
I’m back from vacation at the beach and feeling super relaxed and well rested… she said through clenched jaw. It’s the week after a vacation and LDW and I feel anything but relaxed (I’m sure many of you can relate). Work is quickly piling up and I’m struggling to barely keep my head above water. Under the weight of the impending doom I turned to Medium, as I often do, to see a shining beacon of hope “How To Really Win The Afternoon”. As I started reading, I quickly realized this was not the kind of help I was looking for, stating that “powering through is the worst thing you can do.” But what is that’s exactly what I HAVE to do. Join Justine and I as we attempt to figure out how to get through this short week without totally losing our minds.
34 minutes | a year ago
The Biggest Mistakes You’re Still Making on Your Website
We’ve talked about purposeful website design before, but there is more to a great website than just a functional design. There are many strategic components that go into a great website that are simple yet efficient changes anyone can implement. Getting out of your own head, and thinking like your user is always a great place to start. What do they want from my website? What is the next logical step for them? How is my content speaking to their problems? How are they finding me? By focusing on your messaging, conversation path, on page SEO, and your content overall you can significantly improve the experience your users have with you website without touching the design of the site itself. In other words: theses are things you can do yourself. Join Justine and I as we talk about the simple oversights we see daily that could really improve the return you are seeing from your website. ...and if you need some help viewing your own site through a critical lens, reserve your own live website throwdown for free at the IMPACT Booth in Club INBOUND!
33 minutes | a year ago
Are Voice Assistants the Next Frontier or the Start of Armageddon?
My dad is retiring from his job of nearly 32 years. As my brother, mother and I sat around brainstorming ideas on what to get him as a congratulations present, we kept circling back to the Amazon Echo and its accessories. Now, my dad has a serious love/hate relationship with Alexa. He loves that he can ask her to play pretty much any song at drop of a hat, but hates when she doesn't understand what he says and some of her other limitations. He doesn't just use the voice interface enough, so we ultimately decided against another Alexa product. But the whole situation got me thinking about how I interact with voice and what the future for it holds. According to Adobe, 91% of brands are already making significant investments in voice and of those, 71% see voice as improving the user experience. I, like most people, tend to utilize a voice interface with my more tactical, day-to-day tasks: Driving directions Phone calls Texts Checking the weather Playing music But if voice is truly going to make an impact, it needs to be able to adapt to the more complex items like online banking or booking travel. So, how can we ensure the growth of voice interface? Through design. Join Marcella and I as we dive into our thoughts on developing and using a voice interface and the obstacles many marketers will face.
44 minutes | a year ago
10 Bad Habits of Unsuccessful People
When looking to improve ourselves, we often focus on the good habits we should strive to have to build or own success. But, sometimes it can be tricky to really outline what that looks like. This article by Darius Foroux makes that a little easier by looking at what things we should actually avoid to be more successful. When I started reading his list I was looking at it from a career perspective, but part of what this helped me realize is that it’s not just about shaping your career. If you shape your life in a way that sets you up to be a better, more well-rounded person, that really helps you succeed in all aspects of your life. Join Justine and I as we discuss these 10 habits to avoid!
31 minutes | a year ago
How to Survive a Company Restructure at Your Agency
In the nearly three years I've been at IMPACT, I've experienced four different company structures. The latest iteration just launched last week where we moved individuals into teams based on their roles, with the intention to allow for a better learning environment and career advancements. Personally, I'm excited for this restructure but I'm not naive in thinking it will go perfect and smoothly over the next several weeks (even months). As agencies continue to grow, company restructuring is inevitable. What worked for us when I was hired on as employee (approximately) number 23 doesn't work for us as an agency of 65+ people. And what currently works may not as we continue to hire, which means additional organization structures are bound to happen. This week, I had Director of Client Services Katie Pritchard join me to talk about how to survive a company restructure. Listen in and let us know your best tips!
37 minutes | a year ago
How Minimalism Fosters Productivity
As we all know Monday’s typically go one of two ways for me. Either I’m super productive or riding leading the struggle bus. Today, with a much overdue blog post and a growing list of tasks at hand found myself unfortunately in the latter scenario. So, I did what I always do when I’m in a rut… turn to medium for help. Being attracted to all things Minimalist, I found myself on an article by Jennifer Chan, entitled “How Minimalism Fosters Productivity”. When I clicked in I expect a list of quick “hacks” I could do to my workspace to create a more work-conducive, minimal environment, but I was pleasantly surprised when it was more about changing HOW you actually work. Chan outlines the four main groups in which we should aim to reduce. Less Choice. Less Tools. Less Friction. Less Urgency. Join Justine and I as we discuss the ways to create more “space” in our workload and increase productivity.
26 minutes | 2 years ago
Avoiding Empty Promise Purgatory - When Good Intentions are Not Enough
I can't even begin to tell you how often I've seen -- or been stuck in -- "Empty Promise Purgatory" as a marketer. Let me know if this sounds familiar. You and your boss come up with a killer marketing strategy and seem completely aligned in what you need to do in order to get it done and see the leads roll in. At some point in the strategizing though, she or he says they need final approval on items -- and I mean any item. It could be something as small as the color of CTA buttons or as complex as the pricing page content, but regardless, your boss needs to review and approve before the item goes live. Unfortunately, though, your boss -- who has countless other priorities and initiatives -- is not as available as you originally thought and does not seem to dedicate the time needed to approve the items you (and possibly your agency partner) have worked so hard on. What then tends to happen? Nothing. That's right -- nothing goes live; the leads don't come rolling in. This is what I like to call the Empty Promise Purgatory in marketing. And we've all been there before! You feel defeated, frustrated and like your energy is wasted. In this week's episode of Creator's Block, Marcella and I dive into how you can better align with your boss to become unstuck and make your way to marketing heaven.
43 minutes | 2 years ago
Progress Over Perfection, How Striving For Perfection Hurts the Creative Process
The word "perfect" may not mean much to some people, but for those like me (a perfectionist to the core) it can be paralyzing. I have struggled most of my life with striving for perfection in many ways. When it comes to my work as a designer we often use the term "pixel perfect", but striving for perfection can actually stunt achievement and growth. In an article I recently read by Thomas Oppong, he describes perfection as "an endless productivity loop." It can actually hinder the creative process and compromise your work. The desire to keep reworking an idea often stems from self-doubt or second-guessing your ideas. This ultimately could dampen your boldest, brightest ideas without giving them a proper exploration. Join Justine and I this week as we discuss why the search for perfection truly is a detriment to the creative process and how to get around it!
45 minutes | 2 years ago
Agency Tough Love: When It's Time to Break Up with a Client
Over the past several months, IMPACT has fully embraced the They Ask, You Answer model and all client-facing employees have been educating clients on the practice because, frankly, it works. Ultimately, it boils down to producing content that answers your prospects and customers questions. To help our clients succeed, we've grown our consulting side of services to empower clients to improve their marketing and sales alignment and rely less on outsourcing work to a marketing agency. Because of this, some of our relationships with clients have changed over the past couple months. This made me think, when is the right time to re-evaluate your agency-to-client relationship and -- in some cases -- agree to part ways? In today's episode, Marcella and I discuss this very question and give examples of when you will want to consider breaking up with a client for the better good of both parties.
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