Our Word of the Week – Welcome

Our Word of the Week – Welcome

You’ve just landed at the airport in another country and as you walk into the terminal you’re greeted by a sign. You know, the one that has the word ‘welcome’ spelt in so many different languages that you never reach the bottom of reading it.

Like the air you first breathe when you leave the plane, the welcome sign is the symbol of excitement, the promise of good things to come and a moment of reflection. Wherever you go in the world, one of the most basic of human desires, is to wish new visitors well.

It’s the same in our houses too – we welcome people as they wipe their feet on a coir mat or we may share the same sentiment on a hand painted sign or plant pot.

All these signs show our willingness to make our guest feel at home, to feel respected in another’s personal space and to convey our gratitude for taking the time to visit us. In short, we want to make a good impression.

It makes absolute sense that we carried this idea over to when websites started to mushroom in the distant early days of the Internet. Then home pages were bursting with welcome notes and messages.

In the mobile age, you could be forgiven for thinking these pages, once regarded as the “shop window” for any business trading online, are becoming redundant. Who bothers to land on a home page any more when Google delivers exactly what you want from a quick search?

But that’s not the case as Hubspot’s recent round up of good home page designs illustrates. Even if the methodology and presentation has changed over time, the general message of this article is to make sure your visitor feels welcome. 
[https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34006/15-examples-of-brilliant-homepage-design.aspx]

So take a moment to look at your website and ask yourself the one question: do I feel welcome on this page?

If you don’t then maybe it’s time to take a look at reviewing your messaging.

And if you contact me to thank me, then I will say you to that you’re most welcome.

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Ahoy there Katie! Introducing our newest recruit.

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We’re thrilled to be joined by a new member of the By This River team. Katie Clarke, joins us fresh from college as a digital marketing apprentice. When she’s not tapping into Twitter, creating on Canva or having fun with Facebook, you’ll find Katie teaching youngsters as an award-winning cheerleading coach in her spare time.

Katie’s social media skills are a welcome boost to By This River and will help us bring more insight to this rapidly changing landscape.

If you’d like to hear more about how we help clients with their social media, please give us a call today for a free consultation.  

 

Five apps that will change how you work

Five apps that will change how you work

If you run your own business then the chances are you often feel like a juggler, fiercely focused on all the tasks at hand, but at times struggling with the effort of delivering them – keeping all the balls in the air.

In today’s mobile age, there are myriad ways that are revolutionising how we manage our working lives, many of them in the form of apps.

In my personal life I use apps to help me lose weight, get fit, and catch up on podcasts. They’ve helped me cut down some of my daily business workload too, freeing me up to focus on the stuff only I can do.  But there is the lurking danger of ‘app overload’ - a phone that’s bulging with icons, some of which are so under-used you’ve forgotten why you downloaded them in the first place.

So before diving into the wonderful world of productivity-enhancing apps, it’s worth taking a moment to think clearly about what you want them to do for your business.

According to research by Ipsos and Google, two thirds of us use an app frequently

when it simplifies our lives (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/mobile-app-marketing-insights.html)

In my business I consider how an app can :

·      save time & money

·      increase productivity & profit

·      develop my skills

Here are five favourites that hit those buttons.

Canva  simplifies graphic design. I manage social media for clients and my own business and as many of you will know, a large time-sucking part of this work is spent creating appealing and relevant visuals. Step inside Canva and you’ll feel like you’ve unleashed a genie in the bottle. Quick results, fresh designs, templates for the different social platforms and the app version makes mobile-ready images too. Plus, it has recently launched a low-cost subscription based service ‘Canva for Work’ that can store your company branding and make designs that can be automatically re-sized for whatever social platform your business uses.

Second is Xero, a cloud-based accounting software package that simplifies the financial management of your business in a friendly and approachable way. You can integrate your accounts with your bank feeds and see very quickly what money is coming in and going out. We all know cash flow is king, so using Xero will ensure you can have quick control of your company accounts, even from your phone.

The next two apps relate to productivity – one on a personal level and the second is more business wide.

My journalist background means I have a tendency to thrive on time pressures and deadlines in my working life - but like many of us I also struggle with distractions. When I came across the Pomodoro technique, I was immediately struck by its relevance to my own working pattern. It consists of breaking tasks down into 25-minute chunks - when the timer goes off, you must then take a five-minute break. After four of these, you take a longer break of ideally 15-30 minutes.

The idea is that by focusing on short sprints with a break, you are able to better manage your attention span and concentration. Many apps have sprouted up to assist the Pomodoro technique - if you like the sound of it, then search the app store. I use Pomodoro Time.

The second one is Trello. Keep a track of who’s doing what, get an overview of all the working parts of a project and keep tab of individual tasks. You can invite team members, post links, checklists, visuals and it is all laid out in a fast, visually appealing way. One food business liked the sound of it when I explained how it could be used to manage new business enquiries as they came in so that they didn’t get “lost” in the fight for attention and time. It’s fully mobile and integrates with other apps too.

Finally I wanted to include something with the potential to rejuvenate our brains and help us deal with the daily overload that life and work can sometimes be - and that’s Headspace. The simple ten-minute guided mediations, led by founder Andy Puddicombe, will create some calm every morning, before you start your day. Try the Take 10 course for free to see if it works for you. Do the 30-day course and you’ll open up a whole host of packs to use for all aspects of your life. Mindfulness made easy.

Before you jump headlong into the app store though, let me leave you with this. If browsing there reminds you of being the kid in the sweet shop, next time:  

·      Ask yourself where do I most need help and will this app help?

·      Don't buy an app just because you feel you “ought to” – if you don't end up using it, it’s a waste

·      Read the reviews, not just from the store but on other sites too to get the true picture

Good luck! 

One Minute Wednesday Tip

One Minute Wednesday Tip

Every Wednesday we share a tip from the world of video production, social media or PR. This week we're being festive about content.