Seeing yellow – how we harness change for the better

Seeing yellow – how we harness change for the better

By Danielle Scheepers

Posted on 16th May 2019

You only have to scroll through our Instagram to see how much Yellow Door has evolved over the last couple of years. Not only has the team grown and changed externally, but clients and our approach to marketing is constantly being evaluated and updated.

It’s been a fun, and sometimes challenging ride – but we wouldn’t have it any other way. This article is going to serve as a mini audit on life behind the Yellow Door through the eyes of the resident wordsmith.​

Values

Within the first month that I joined Yellow Door, we sat down as a team and defined our values. There had been an existing set that were agreed upon, but Dom and Em felt it was time that they were revisited.

 

We sat around the boardroom table in the old office setting and wrestled, debated and explained our vote for various values. In the end, there was a surprising alignment of values and consensus on how we define ourselves. Here is what we came up with:

 

  • Integrity
  • Consistency
  • Authenticity
  • Can-do
  • Care why

We feel pretty solid about these, but who knows what the next phase will bring. One thing is for sure, we have returned to these values time and again.

Team

I remember the first time I visited the Yellow Door website (which incidentally has been upgraded in the meantime). I was struck by something that Em had said along the lines of: ‘we invest and develop young, talented people who are eager to learn about the industry.’

 

Every six months we employ a new intern, who brings new ideas, insights, strengths and weaknesses which sharpens the whole team and keeps us on our toes.

 

The proverbial Yellow Door is always kept open for talent from the outside. We have some of the most dedicated, talented people that I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and we are richer with every new addition.

 

Although it is always sad to see past employees leave, there is never a shred of resentment from either side and it makes for a healthy team and office environment. There is always room for all involved to grow, and the door is left open on the way out.

The YellowDoor Co-55

Space

Ergonomics are an important factor in producing quality work. Our office environment has been tweaked, shifted and adjusted to make sure that everyone is comfortable and working well.

 

Very shortly we will be moving into a new venue altogether! Rather than seeing this as an interruption, we are getting excited to make it our own. Watch this space for an address update.

Clients

As a marketing agency, we want to continue aligning with brands which we feel we can connect with, support and build lasting relationships with.

 

Our clientele may be diverse, but we value all of them for the many lessons and opportunities to grow which we have been provided with. As we become more confident in our identity, we have made the point of choosing our clients wisely. Shared values, quality work and sustainability is the name of the game.

Vision

Where to next? We keep our eyes on the horizon and continue to allow the marketing tide to guide us while keeping a firm hand on the rudder at all times. One thing we can say for certain is that exciting times lie ahead.

 

Bring the change!

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How to wear the multiple hats of a business owner with ease

How to wear the multiple hats of a business owner with ease

By Emma Donovan

Posted on 7th May 2019

As a business owner, you have to wear multiple hats and learn to focus on the ones that are most important right now – acknowledging that they will change along the way. As we approach Yellow Door’s fifth birthday, my top two are securing new clients and leading strategy workshops. In this blog post I’ll unpack this a bit further, share some tips that keep me on track.

My new business director hat

YellowDoorCo-105

About 14 months ago we decided to focus on attracting not just bigger clients, but the right clients. Clients that share our values and want a strategic marketing partner to add value to their business over time.

 

I spend more than half of my time on this – and no two days are the same. It ranges from coming up with ways to improve our offering and how we position Yellow Door to networking, meeting potential clients and pouring over spreadsheets!

 

It’s taught me to have patience, to have courage and to really play to my strengths of woo, ideation and communication.

My strategy hat

pooh

This is how I feel when I wake up to run a strategy workshop! In fact, I love everything about them:

 

  • Collaborating with brilliant minds – our clients, our team and often a consultant or two to bring a fresh perspective
  • Quality time – phones are off, and the rest of the world can wait
  • Thinking on my feet – we often go off script, and that’s when the magic happens
  • Creativity – whether it’s a brand story, a marketing plan or a campaign; it’s starting with a clean slate and crafting something new
  • Discovery – we get to learn about an array of industries, suggest ways to incorporate new trends, and improve our offering along the way

Four more hats

In a typical day at the office I also wear hats of an editor, mentor, partner and planner. And the secret is to get the balance right between them. It takes practice, and is a work in progress, but here are seven tips that have helped me to stay sane:

 

  • Start the day with a priority list not a to do list
  • Stay agile
  • Surround yourself with people that you can learn from
  • Ask for help, don’t try to do it all yourself
  • Celebrate the small wins as well as the big ones
  • Set goals
  • Find the balance between the big picture and what needs to happen today

 

If you’d like to work with Yellow Door or find out more about our strategy workshops, pop me an email: emma@theyellowdoor.co.za and we can connect over coffee or Skype.

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An intern’s guide to fulfilling your passions in a new industry

An intern’s guide to fulfilling your passions in a new industry

By Jonny Field

Posted on 30th April 2019

We’ve all had to face the future before; people ask us those kinds of questions all the time. When thinking of what we want to do for the rest of our lives, it seems we have a selection of a few possible futures: doctor, accountant, teacher, engineer… the list goes on, but we all get the gist.

I recently graduated and am finding my footing in a new industry, figuring out how the working world – well – ‘works’, which can be a very daunting task indeed. Every step feels a little closer to solidifying a future, meanwhile the reality is that the future couldn’t be more fluid.

 

I want to share some of my philosophies and experiences that have led me to where I am now, entering into an industry where I have found my passions reciprocated, and can use them as a tool for building a stable yet fun future for myself.

GROWING UP

Something I like to live by is the whole cheesy concept of “follow your dreams”. The funny thing is that in my case, I was so absorbed in my dreams from the start of life that I was oblivious to the world around me and reality in general.

 

I went about my school career being happiest in the arts; subjects like maths and science were interesting, but less engrossing for me. This is where I found my passion for art, design and creativity. Other influencers were things like film, photography, fashion, cookery and especially architecture. Being surrounded by beauty made me want to create more of it, seeking out stimuli that fed my passion for design.

 

Despite the commentary from teachers telling me I wouldn’t get far in life, friends telling me art wasn’t a real subject, and the world screaming “artists make no money” at me, I persisted. As time went on, industries popped up all around me that offered more promise for those with a creative inclination, and this is what sparked the desire to study interaction design at the Cape Town Creative Academy and gave me my work ethic.

 

I was always at my happiest when I was creating something, or seeing beautifully created things, so finding a job where creativity is a daily task was the goal.

SHARD

FINDING PASSION

Believe me, finding my passion in life wasn’t just a fluke, or inherent talent, it was a learned behaviour. Just as there were those teachers and friends who said artists aspire to nothing and remain as such, there were also those teachers and friends who fed those creative tendencies and drove me to try new things.

 

Once life had started in the wonderful land known as tertiary education, ideas about work and finding an industry – where our skills could be used effectively – became more and more apparent.

 

A powerful paradigm that we learned was that design is a powerful tool, it’s always around you but you never realise it unless you look hard. The built human environment is completely and utterly a result of design, everything you see around you that is not naturally occurring was thought up and created by someone.

 

It’s the sudden realisations like that that made me find my passion in design; creativity and innovation are skills that everyone never knew they had, and never knew they needed. Of course, that is a horrendous generalisation, however it drove me to want to work… more and more, until graduation finally hit, and I was free to start working in the Cape Town design industry.

 

And I am happy to finally be here, the daydream prone boy has grown up and realised it is a literal dream come true! (I feel like a Sim that has achieved its lifetime wish)

The YellowDoor Co-100

THE INDUSTRY

Now I find myself doing a digital marketing internship here at Yellow Door; being able to work on a hotchpotch of things including web development, brand strategy, social media management and corporate identity. The work is all well and good, and I am taking in so much knowledge it almost hurts my brain. But the most amazing thing is that I get to learn from people who are just as creative as me – if not even more so – and their experience in the industry I wish to find my footing in makes me even more excited to be with them!

To end off, I’d like to share a far newer philosophy that was sparked by working with my passions and seeking employment in the design industry. If ever you want to do something good for yourself, work at what makes you happy, so you find yourself in a working environment that makes you even happier.

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Website management part 3: how do I improve my SEO?

Website management part 3: how do I improve my SEO?

By Kirsten Meintjes

Posted on 24th April 2019

Let’s set the scene – imagine if I told you right now that that one thing you have always wanted but never found actually exists and is available. Today. Naturally you would ask me where it is, and how you can find it. But before I had mentioned it, you would not have known about its existence.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is much like this. No matter how beautiful and perfectly-suited your website is to your target market, if they have no way of locating your website in the first place, it may as well be an undiscovered desert island in the middle of the sea. Nobody will find it.

 

Global eCommerce sales are expected to break the $3 trillion mark in 2019, and already more than 50% of consumers in both America and the UK prefer to shop online. And companies have cottoned on to this. In an overwhelming sea of goods and services offered online, ensuring you rank well on a search engine is more important today than ever before. The top three listings on a Google search page get 61% of clicks, so it is critical to optimise your website to compete on this front.

 

Here are a couple of systems and tools we recommend you put into place to ensure your business ranks well.

Internal SEO

This is SEO which is ‘internal’ to your website. They are elements which you will have most control over. If Yellow Door creates your website, we cover the first two bases (the third is an optional extra).

1. Meta title, description, and keywords

These three elements are important as they are exactly what will appear in the search engine result. If you have a WordPress website, we recommend using the plugin All in One SEO pack or Yoast SEO to add these three key attributes to your posts and pages.

Capture

2. Mobile-friendly (responsiveness)

It is no secret these days that all digital products need to be mobile-friendly, or responsive. mCommerce (mobile commerce) is set to take over eCommerce in 2019, and this figure is expected to rise to 72% by 2021.

A mobile-friendly website is not just a smaller version of a website, it requires larger buttons (think thumbs and not pointers) and fewer but more powerful images (think data limits when on the move). Google favours sites that accommodate all screen sizes and are therefore easy for a visitor to use, regardless of what device they use to access it.

3. Website relevance

In essence, ask yourself whether your website is stale or relevant to today’s Google searches. You might have created incredible content – or sold brand new products – many years ago. If the most recent product released for sale on your website is an iPhone 5, Google is not going to rank it as a relevant tech eCommerce website.

Similarly, if your recent blog posts about traveling the world were last posted in 2016, how competitive will you be compared to the countless travel blogs that have more recent content?

External SEO

This is SEO which is ‘external’ to your website; in other words, things that are not built-in attributes of your website, yet still affect its ranking.

1. Google Knowledge Panel

Let’s be honest – when we talk about Search Engine Optimisation, we are only really focusing on one of the many search engines – Google. As of January 2019, Google had 89.95% of the search engine market share.

If you have taken the time (or have outsourced the job to us) to claim and update your business listing on Google, the search engine will have more information about your business that will correlate with what appears on your website. You have taken the time to provide potential customers with quick information, therefore you will be rewarded with a better rank score.

google my business

2. Google reviews

If your business has positive reviews on your Google business listing, then the search engine is more likely to promote your business’ website over and above a competitor with a lower average review score (or none at all!)

Tip: encourage current and past clients to leave a review for you on Google after you have successfully completed a project.

3. Traffic

A good indicator as to whether your business will appeal to future website visitors is to see if it appeals to current ones already. In other words, if you have a high volume of traffic to your website, this indicates to Google that your business is of interest to people and this motivates it to display its URL to potential visitors going forward.

One way to improve traffic to your website is via backlinks. If your URL is listed on a number of other websites (i.e. if there are many backlinks), then people on those other websites are easily directed to yours. This also reinforces your business’ legitimacy to Google.

Another way to create high volumes of traffic to a website – the easier method of the two, especially for a new business – is through advertising. Website traffic ads can target people of specific interests and buying habits that match your target market. This method requires digital marketing expertise but is a sure-fire way to increase the number of people accessing your website. Retaining visitors and converting them is another story 😉 The website conversion funnel will be covered in part 4 of this series.

If there is one key insight to take away from this SEO piece, allow it to be my core philosophy: a website can be as beautifully-designed as some of the best in the world – but there is no point in having a beautiful island in the middle of the sea without anything pointing in its direction. Stay relevant and ensure enough people know the route to get to your business’ presence online.

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How measurable is your digital marketing?

How measurable is your digital marketing?

By Dominique Sandwith

Posted on 17th April 2019

In the first week of every month, our team undertakes ‘report week’. It’s stressful for some, but we know it’s important for clients to understand what we’ve been doing for their brands, and what impact this has had on their bottom line.

In our opinion, it’s all very well to set up a website and social media platforms, and start using them to build your brand, but would you know these tools are working without a monthly report?

 

Digital marketing efforts are way more measurable than traditional marketing like newspapers, magazines and billboards. The real problem is figuring out which metrics to focus on and how to keep track of them. Each platform comes with its own analytics or insights tools which you can use to narrow down the information that is important for your brand and business objectives.

 

For each brand we work with, we collate statistics from the following platforms based on what their KPIs are and track their objectives.

Website

Google Analytics is the most well-known and widely-used analytics tool for website statistics. It is cloud-based and as such you can log in from anywhere in the world to track the relevant metrics. It is also simple to set up, any web developer can add the code to your website once the site is up and running. The popular metrics are categorised as follows:

 

  1. Overview: track how many sessions your website has received, pageviews, unique users as well as their average time on site and the bounce rate (how many people landed on the site and left almost immediately).

  2. Audience: insights into the characteristics of your website users (visitors) such as their demographics, geolocation, the device they’re using, the browser and operating system they used to access your site, whether they’ve been to your site before, and more.

  3. Acquisition: how your users (visitors) came to your website, i.e. from Google search (organic), another website (referral), an email newsletter, a paid ad, social media or by directly typing your URL into their browser.

  4. Behaviour: information on what pages your users are visiting, the time they spent on each page, how they got their and what they clicked on.

  5. Conversion: tracks when a user does something that you want them to do, i.e. buy a product, submit an enquiry, etc. This needs to be specifically set up by using a piece of code on your website.

The analytics tool allows you to create your own custom dashboard, so you can just adjust the time period when you log in and immediately see the data that you want to measure. There are also other software applications available for you to collate this information into easily digestible and visual reports – check out Swydo and Databox.

Social media

One of the biggest appeals of social media is the fact that you can track customers and customer relationships in a meaningful way. However, many business owners get bogged down with the idea of tracking vanity metrics, such as the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

While these are nice to haves and definitely necessary to gain reach on these platforms, they shouldn’t be the only things to look at to measure your succeed on these platforms.

Across all platforms, the metrics which matter are the reach of your content, similar to impressions, the amount of engagement that it receives and the number of clicks through to your website (used to calculate your click-through-rate). While these metrics are similar for most platforms, there are some that are worth noting.

  • Facebook: the interesting thing about this platform is the amount of personal information it can gather about your audience. Facebook is the number one social media tool for consumer marketing due to the fact that the targeting of content and advertising is so detailed. The metrics that are available on your page include the age, gender, location and interests of your audience.
  • Instagram: the native dashboard of metrics for Instagram is fairly simple as it is done purely on your phone, however there are plenty of tools available to delve deeper into your statistics such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social. These tools allow you to track your hashtag performance, how many people engaged with the hashtags in your posts and which ones performed the best.
  • Twitter: the use of hashtags is the main differentiating factor of Twitter analytics. From the platform’s analytics dashboard you can find out what the most talked about topics are such as events like Mother’s Day and big sports events. You can then join the conversation by creating a campaign focusing on one of these topics.
  • LinkedIn: as one of the only business-to-business social networks available, the metrics here are a little different. The LinkedIn analytics dashboard shows the demographics of your page by industry and seniority of role allowing you to see who your customer really is and target your content accordingly.

Another important way to measure social media results is to test the content on different audiences. Conducting split testing or A/B testing with your content can be hugely beneficial to finding out what works and what doesn’t. Remember to test only one metric at a time and to give it time to get results.

Reporting Blog Post

Email marketing

Newsletters, when done well, are still a very effective way of reaching customers directly and are extremely measurable. Using platforms such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor you can track your subscription rate, number of opens on a certain email campaign, number of clicks and where the user clicked on the newsletter as well as the number of users who unsubscribe after each campaign. You can also compare these statistics to the average in a particular industry. For example, our client Cape Fish has an open rate of 21%, which is 10% above the industry average! This is a great sign that our content is hitting the mark.

 

Once you have a better understanding of the metrics for each platform and how to find this data, it is important to document the information in a format which can be compared over different time periods.

 

Each platform should have objectives and goals in place to gauge whether the platform is bringing in a good return on investment. The goals should be realistic but should also be aligned with your business goals and should push you or your agency to achieve good results to ultimately contribute to business success.

 

If you’re a Yellow Door client and reading this, tell us what you’d like to see in your next report, and we’ll incorporate it for you; and if you’re new to life behind the Yellow Door and want to find out more – pop us an email to hello@theyellowdoor.co.za.

 

Adapted from an article published in Your Business Magazine Mar/ Apr 2018.

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Being part of a great team makes copywriting better

Being part of a great team makes copywriting better

By Danielle Scheepers

Posted on 10th April 2019

Ernest Hemingway once said, ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’ Of course, we are so much more evolved now – we bleed in front of screens.

Dramatic? Granted, but only a little. Writing can be difficult, it takes a lot of focus, and creatives are not known for this trait! The challenges involved in being a digital marketing copywriter in particular include the need to churn out great work at a break neck pace.

 

There is one advantage that Hemingway didn’t have access to which Yellow Door has, an incredible team. Every person in the office plays a specific role in creating authentic, compelling content for our diverse clientele. What follows is insights that I have gained in my time as Yellow Door’s resident copywriter.

Strategy

Not all writers are strategists, but marketing is all about strategy. The fast pace at which the digital world moves means that copy needs to hit the bullseye every time. The only way to make sure that it does so is knowing what information and direction to give the audience and which platform to use.

 

In order to implement this, our team gets together every Tuesday to strategise about a particular client or project and how we can improve our offering. Being part of a small team, everyone has space to share their ideas, and the client benefits from the input of a host of marketing experts with varying skills. For copywriters, this is golden, because it is an opportunity to listen, learn and gain fresh perspective and insight into how to tell the brand’s unique story.

Input

Another notable benefit of such a tight knit agency is having direct access to the bosses. Dom and Em are both incredible in their respective roles and contribute greatly to my growth as a copywriter.

 

Em is our new business director, which means that her focus is always on the horizon. She shares insights and new ventures with the team constantly. Her input into brand guides and company profiles are what refine and direct the process to bring the final product together.

 

Dom, our managing director, directs the daily workflow. This is invaluable, as it keeps things on track. She makes certain that deadlines are achievable and provides encouragement and input into every project. Because, let’s face it, creatives need boundaries!

The YellowDoor Co-74

Play

As I mentioned earlier, writing can be a difficult practice. Writers are very often their own worst critics. It helps to have a team of people with which you are able to commiserate and also have fun with outside of work.

 

As a team we have danced, celebrated, gone bowling, eaten pizza, hiked and took part in activities that aren’t at all work related. Ultimately, this is almost as important as office hours because it leads to freer thinking and more inspired creativity.

Support

We all deliver the best we can, but there are times when deadlines are tight and things become too demanding to handle alone.

 

Team dynamics at Yellow Door are easy going and we have each other’s backs, pulling together to pick up slack. This gracious dynamic allows for growth and development and a better creative environment. As the resident writer, it takes the pressure off to know that we, as a team, are shoulder to shoulder in carrying the vision of the agency into the future.

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Q&A with Sarah Brownlee

Q&A with Sarah Brownlee

By Sarah Brownlee

Posted on 3rd April 2019

I’m Sarah Brownlee. Hailing from a small town in the Eastern Cape, I’ve been a resident in the beautiful Mother City for the past five years. A lover of fine wine, engaging conversation and interpretive dance – I love to spend hours soaking up the sun and sea on the exquisite beaches of the Cape. When not beaching, you can spot me running on the promenade, cycling Suikerbossie, exploring the mountains or sipping on a fine Chenin with friends.

What is your position in the YDC team?

Marketing strategist and account manager

How would you describe your role?

Strategic thinker, brand builder and compelling content creator.

When did you start working at YDC?

Monday 1st April #ThreeDaysNew 😊

What part of your job do you enjoy most?

It’s still early days, but strategising enticing ways to initiate audience engagement with a brand excites me a lot.

What part of your role do you find the most challenging?

At the moment, it would be getting acquainted with the different systems and procedures followed in day to day account management.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the YDC team?

Its super exciting to be a part of an energetic, talented and passionate team of creatives. It’s great to see the different dynamic each member brings to the team.

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

Go for a run to clear my head – I tend to conjure up my best ideas/ campaigns whilst pounding it out on the pavement.   

What is your pre-work routine?

A run on the promenade or spinning class. Starting the day with a fresh sea breeze restores the soul. One of the fore mentioned followed by a cuppa Mastersons (Eastern Cape’s finest) coffee 😉

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

I’m not that well acquainted with superheros but if Game of Thrones characters can be considered I’d want to be Khaleesi, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. Who wouldn’t want to leap onto a wild animals back and fly around saving lives and conquering land.

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

A combo of a long run/ cycle with my husband, walking our pup in the forest followed by fine wine and catching up with good friends. With one evening dedicated to Netflix and chillin’ 😉

What music do you like to listen to while working?

It’s very dependent on what I’m doing… if I need to concentrate I put on some chilled house or instrumental music. If I’m doing a mundane task that requires less focus, I pump up the Tomorrow Land remixes.

Introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert – I love getting to know people, hearing about their journey and finding out their stories (and sharing my own of course 😉)

Cats or dogs?

Definitely dogs. I’m even mother to a fur-baby boxer fondly known as Mumford.

Shoes or barefoot?

Barefoot all the way.

What’s your favourite spot on Kloof Street?

Bombay Bicycle Club. I went there for the first time at the end of last year and it was love at first site/ bite. Swings around a bar and chocolate chilli steak… what more could you want from life?

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6 lessons we’ve learnt from designers

6 lessons we’ve learnt from designers

By Anthony Horne

Posted on 27th March 2019

Designers can teach us a lot of things. About using space and being creative but also about being succinct and to the point, as well as using new technology to our benefit. What we learn can be implemented in any environment from building a website to creating a productive working environment. Below are 6 lessons we have learnt from design that you can adapt to suit your life and business.

1. Find your space

Many of us spend most of our day at work, in an office, at a desk, and behind a laptop or computer. For most, this can be soul-crushing and ultimately affects their output and quality of work. As an individual, find a space and make it your own. Be comfortable in your space and confident in your abilities. As a company, create a work environment that inspires your employees to produce great work and grow as individuals. This same concept can be applied when building a website, design it like you would your space – in a way that shows off your individuality and sustainable competitive advantage.

2. Clear, straight-forward language

In the words of Blaise Pascal: “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

 

Long-winded copy, heavy with overcomplicated sentences and filled with fancy industry specific jargon and phrases makes for difficult reading! Sometimes this is completely unavoidable. If you are speaking to industry experts and fellow colleagues, then you must talk the talk. In most cases though, especially when you are talking to clients or the general public, this is not necessary. You are more likely to lose a client or scare off potential clients if they can’t understand what you are saying or feel stupid just reading the copy on your website or brochure. Keep it simple, straight-forward and to the point.

3. Don’t be that one-trick pony

It’s great to be an industry expert and a leader in a certain service. It isn’t so great losing clients to a competitor because they think that one service is all you can do. Clearly define your services to potential and current clients. Let your clients know exactly what they can benefit from. It’s always easier to upsell to a current client than sell something to an entirely new client. An ongoing relationship builds strength, understanding, communication, and most importantly, a more rewarding partnership.

4. New projects, new tech

Try to implement some sort of new technology in every project you do – new framework, new syntax or new tools. Trying these small, continuous inclusions during a project will reduce the time spent outside of working hours keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest trends. Be wary though, trying new tech is a decision that needs to be well planned and thought out. If it’s going to severely affect the budget or time you have, it probably isn’t a good idea.

5. Less is more

Learn to say ‘no’. It’s that simple. In order to accomplish more, you actually have to do less. Whatever that means practically is up to you, fewer emails, fewer meetings, fewer new business lunches (which might sound stupid), or fewer team building functions. The more you have on your plate, the less time you have to do each task, and this leads to unfinished or poorly executed work. With less on your plate you can be more focused and driven, and this will lead to results.

6. Be an educator

Clients don’t know what they haven’t been told. Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? But how many times has a client come to you in the middle or at the end of a project with a wildly dreamt up idea that they expect you to just deliver on? Functionality they would take weeks of development to produce, and they expect it tomorrow. At the beginning of every project, clearly define what you can and can’t do, and what level of flexibility you are comfortable with. Changes are inevitable, unless you are perfect (ha, I know you thought it), but unless you set clear parameters and objectives, a seemingly easy project can go on for months.

 

Technology changes and we change along with it. The lessons we learn during these changes are the difference between growing and improving or staying the same. The more adapt you become at implementing the lessons you learn, the more effective you will be at producing results, improving workflow and the quality of your work. So these are the design lessons we’ve learnt that we feel will benefit anyone, and hopefully improve projects and workflow along the way.

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Whoever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot

Whoever gave you confidence,
you owe them a lot

By Emma Donovan

Posted on 20th March 2019

I’ll never forget my first week of work – despite having a degree from UCT and a year travelling the world under my belt, I had no idea what the real world had in store for me, and it was daunting.

I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people I admired and learnt from every day – with special mention going to Catherine Lückhoff, Janine Langheim, Vanessa Clark and Chris Botha. Each one of them gave me confidence in my ability and encouraged me to pursue my ambition.

 

Next up, Dom and I established Yellow Door in 2014 and developed a sound business partnership based on mutual respect and appreciation. The strength of this relationship continues to give me the confidence I need to perform my role to the best of my ability.

 

As part of our approach to develop both Yellow Door and our leadership skills, we get regular input from a number of mentors. Murray Kilgour has been our leadership coach and right-hand man for three years and counting; both our dads (and mums) back us 100% and more recently we’ve started tapping in to the brilliant minds and experience of Flick co-owner Garth Jemmet, eSET CEO Carey van Vlaanderen and Derrick Cape Town creative director and founder Livio Tronchin. 

 

Dom and I now have the opportunity to pay this gift of confidence forward and develop skills within our team, and also give advice to a couple of bright young entrepreneurs just starting out. I find it incredibly rewarding to share my knowledge and life experience, especially as I continue to learn along the way too.  

 

Two lovely examples are from Lindsay LLewellyn, who recently did a short internship with us: ‘Emma, thank you for spoiling me with lunch on my last day, for giving me both professional advice and life advice. Thank you for making me feel appreciated.’

 

And Harry Danckwerts from Moto Health, ‘Thank you so much for meeting up with me and all of the advice. I am really grateful for your time and experience! I have been looking at what we discussed and trying implement as much of it as possible into my business plan!’

 

So this is a really just a roundabout way to say get out there, approach someone you admire and ask them to mentor you – whether it’s formally or just a chat over lunch once a quarter; and then when you’re ready, start to pay it forward. You don’t need to be an expert to share what you know so far, and it’s amazing how much confidence you can give someone just by believing in them and helping them to realise their dream, one step at a time.

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Make your business stand OUT on LinkedIn

Make your business stand OUT on LinkedIn

By Janine Langheim

Posted on 13th March 2019

Since its start in 2002, LinkedIn has grown in fame for connecting professionals all over the world. You might see it as an online tool to find your next position or advance your career. However, it can also be invaluable for growing your brand and expanding networks for your business.

Companies, particularly those with a B2B focus, can use LinkedIn to access a target audience that is not found on other social media platforms.

Here are seven sure-fire (tried and tested) ways to market your business through LinkedIn:

1. Start with your own profile

Yes, we are still focussing on how to market your business on LinkedIn, but the reality is that people do business with people, not companies. Your personal profile, and that of every team member within your company, all form part of the collective perception of your brand and is where first impressions are formed. When looking at someone’s profile, people silently answer the question “Do I want to work with this person?”.

 

Do your best to make sure your profile stands out from that of others in your industry (competitors). Make sure your profile image, qualifications, experience, skill set is always up to date and that your profile is 100% completed.

2. Create a complete LinkedIn company page

Now that your personal profile is set-up correctly, you can focus on your LinkedIn company page. A LinkedIn company page is different to a personal profile and is set up to represent a business or brand to potential customers, investors and partners. The page allows you to post updates and add information that comes across more effectively from a brand name than from an individual.

As with your personal profile, make sure you complete your company page 100%. According to LinkedIn, companies with complete information get 30% more weekly views.

 

A complete page is made up of:

 

  • Your company logo: Upload a quality version of your logo, positioned and sized accordingly.
  • Page cover: A lifestyle image that complements the core messaging of your brand and works aesthetically with your company’s CI.
  • Company info: This includes your website URL, location, company size and type.
  • Description: Include relevant keywords and phrases that best describe your company’s mission and purpose.  This will help LinkedIn members who search by keywords, find you.

Also make sure that you and all your team members link their personal profiles to the company page.

3. Clarify your company goals and audience

You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know what they are. Make sure you know exactly
what you want to achieve with your LinkedIn marketing. Common marketing goals include
generating leads, making sales and/ or creating branding awareness.

 

Understanding what ‘success’ looks like will make it easier for you to identify your audience, strategically populate your profile, target your adverts and decide on what content to share.

4. Share content that matters

Always share quality content that your audience will find interesting, that will help them to perform better in their jobs or help solve their pain points.

 

Although you would naturally want to only focus on promoting your business,  include a good dose of ‘curated content’, which is content posted by other individuals or businesses that might be of value to your followers.

 

According to LinkedIn, their members love a fresh idea. And that is why publishing thought leadership content is one of the most powerful ways to grow your LinkedIn audience. As Laura Ramos from Forrester says, “Business buyers don’t buy your product; they buy into your approach to solving their problems.”

 

Regularity is another key element to success. LinkedIn recently shared that companies that post weekly see a 2x lift in engagement with their content. Posting daily will increase that number even more, however make sure quality is always maintained.

 

Finally, the golden thread should be that all your content must align with, and aid, your company in achieving its business goals (as mentioned in the previous point).

5. Use rich media to increase engagement

We process images much faster than text. So, it makes sense that posts with images garner over six times more engagement than text-only content.

Meet your audience’s craving for visual content by adding images, YouTube videos, and GIFs to your updates. To keep things interesting, alternate between these three to best suit the content shared.

6. Amplify your offering

You don’t have to spend thousands of Rands on LinkedIn advertising each month to effectively reach your target audience. We have been surprised at how a conservative budget of between R200-R500 a month can make a remarkable difference to the effectiveness of brand’s marketing campaign.

 

Choose between ‘boosting a post’ or ‘creating an advert’, and set everything from your target audience’s occupation, age and location to their interests.

7. Regularly audit your page

Make it a priority to audit your business page once a quarter to make sure it always reflects your brand accurately. It should include posts about your latest achievements, service offering and team members.

 

Although it is simple enough to audit your profile yourself most times, we suggest that you get a third party in to do an external audit once a year to make sure there are no blind spots that might be keeping you from that growth you desire.

As with all social media platforms, change seems to be the only constant on growing platforms such as LinkedIn, so make sure you regularly read industry related articles to familiarise yourself with changes or add-ons. However, if you’d rather spend that time on your business directly, it might be time to source a digital agency like Yellow Door to manage your business page for you! Pop me an email at janine@theyellowdoor.co.za if you’d like to take the conversation further.

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