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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Q&A with Jonny Field

Q&A with Jonny Field

By Jonny Field

Posted on 6th March 2019

I am Jonny Field, your average quirky tall person! I was raised in Windhoek, Namibia but moved to Cape Town for a fresh start at life in 2011, and it was one of the best things that happened to me. As a person that attended international schools, most of my friends deserted the country after leaving school and I have a thirst for travel as a result of that ordeal. I studied Interaction Design at the Cape Town Creative Academy in Woodstock, which was the most influential choice of my life, as it set me down a path I never knew I wanted to go down, and now here I am working in the design industry in one of the design capitals of the world… I love it! I have always been a creative and abstract person, so I always knew that art and design would be where I ended up in my working life.

My interests on a personal level really resonate with what one considers “geeky”, as I am a fanatic for fantasy, Sci-Fi and all things adventure. I think we can all agree that Harry Potter is the best thing ever, maybe a little Riddikulus to some, but not me. But don’t get me wrong, I would like to think I am quite a rational person who can look at things from several perspectives before going forward with things. I believe neutrality and a more empathic approach to life is what everyone should strive for.

 

Other than that, you’ll either find me hiking, reading, playing board games and just outright chilling. That’s me!

What is your position in the Yellow Door team?

Interny intern.

How would you describe your role?

To help out with various tasks, liaise with suppliers and learn as much as possible about the company.

When did you start working at Yellow Door?

The 4th of March, 2019.

What part of your job do you enjoy most?

Learning new things as well as gaining new skills in the world of web and digital design, also the people here are fun to be around!

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

Learning all the ins and outs of what each client wants us to do for them, how to handle all the different situations at the company and the daunting task of starting working life.

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

The team seems inviting and ready to help me understand how the industry works, all while being fun and warm.

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

I usually go to Pinterest and type in the topic of my mental block if it’s visual inspiration I need to find, otherwise I will do a searching session on Google for the info I need.

What is your pre-work routine?

I usually have a slow morning with my cat and a good book while I have my coffee, then I do all the basics and get going.

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

An unconventional choice; I would be Avatar Aang from The Last Airbender series:

As a public figure that has to portray neutrality and resolute care for the world, I believe this superhero to be one of the most caring, amazing and talented heroes out there. He always looks at things from an unbiased perspective and displays a neutral footing on any topic before drawing a conclusion, which I like to say we have in common.

Plus, the added benefit of having the ability to make infinite ice cubes on a hot day and start fires really easily for cold ones is pretty cool.

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

Sleeping in, reading my book, seeing friends and playing board games, walking my dogs on the beach or hiking a mountain and probably watching a movie with my family to end it all off. Oh, and of course lots of good foodies!

What music do you like to listen to while working?

Usually something relaxed and without lyrics if typing out words is the task, something like Chill Radio or Lo-Fi Chill Pop because it is warm and unobtrusive. Otherwise for design work I like to listen to anything from generic pop to the golden oldies, my feel-good track would be anything from Fleetwood Mac.

Introvert or extrovert?

Introvert, with a desire to be more extroverted, but also not really, introverted-ness is cool.

Cats or dogs?

I’m a cat person with cat like tendencies, but still love dogs much the same!

Shoes or barefoot?

Depends on the weather, however foot freedom is always amazing.

What’s your favourite spot on Kloof Street?

Unframed Ice Cream, because they have ice cream that won’t make me sick, yay!

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Behind the yellow door: an intern’s view

Behind the yellow door: an intern’s view

By Yellow Door Collective

Posted on 1st March 2019

If the name Yellow Door Collective was anything to go by, I should not have been surprised to be met with an office door painted bright yellow. But I was. Why? Even though Yellow Door is a small agency and I should have been prepared for an intimate working atmosphere, I was fresh out of university with no office experience. I had a picture in my head that the corporate world was one of dull office spaces, professional attire and uninspiring small talk in the office kitchen.

On the day of my interview, I realised I was wrong. My experience at Yellow Door was to be anything but dull.

The office

The space is inviting and full of colour. The Yellow Door team work in one room together and office chats range from what we did on the weekend to ‘you look like a superhero with those arm braces, Ant’. If that wasn’t enough entertainment, the first time I heard a phone alert ringing I soon found out it was only a reminder that it was time for Dom, one of the co-founders to stretch! Well, that was pretty non-corporate if you ask me. Oh, and did I mention that there is an in-house singer?

Into the deep end

Besides learning that the business world doesn’t necessarily align with the cubicle offices you see in Suits, I was thrown into a fast-paced working pool and kindly told ‘now swim’. Yes, I performed typical intern tasks such as collecting the post and restocking the fridge with yoghurt, but I was also given the opportunity to take on real-world responsibilities.

I learned how to conduct competitor research, schedule social media updates and write blog posts that are aligned with a brand’s tone of voice. I was tasked with creating content for clients. I was even trusted in putting together marketing strategies and brand style guides. They were edited, of course, but I was a part of it.

I think that’s the essence of Yellow Door. You are part of the team no matter your position. Team members help each other and lean on each other. I was the new girl. But I was made to feel like an old friend.

If there was one suggestion I could make to Yellow Door it would be this: place a ‘welcome’ mat at your office door, because that’s how I felt from the minute I walked in to the day I waved goodbye.

 

By Lindsay Llewellyn

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How to choose the best social platform to reach your customers

How to choose the best social platform to reach your customers

By Dominique Sandwith

Posted on 21st February 2019

This post was originally featured in Your Business magazine

Are you running a business and wondering how to find time or knowledge to market your business online? According to a study by LeadPages, 47% of small business owners handle their marketing efforts on their own. So, you're not alone; almost half of small business owners have to juggle running their day-to-day business activities whilst ensuring that they are getting the word out about their brand.

Whether you are a retailer, own a dental practice, a tour operator or restauranteur – the options are endless when it comes to digital marketing platforms and how to use them. In order to figure out which ones to use and how often, you need to understand more about them.

Social platforms explained

■ FACEBOOK FOR BUSINESS has the biggest audience on the internet and is where most brands compete for customers’ attention.
■ TWITTER provides a short, succinct way to market to potential customers by sharing news and facts in two sentences or less.
■ INSTAGRAM & STORIES provides a visual way to represent your business and connect with consumers.

■ IGTV is a new kid on the block, with user-generated television for your phone using videos that are up to an hour long.

■ PINTEREST is ideal for a visual representation of your business (most popular with product offerings) or scrapbook style collection of thoughts.

■ LINKEDIN provides a way to connect with other businesses and potential employees.

■ YOUTUBE is the go-to place to keep your video content library.

■ MAILCHIMP is not so much a social network, but a useful tool for email marketing, which is key to a holistic content marketing strategy .

Pick your poison

Equipped with this knowledge, you now need to assess your business and see where your potential content would fit. Think about the type of content you will be able to create easily, and the resources that you have at your disposal. Remember that it needs to add value to your customers. If it seems like a stretch, it’s probably not wise to start down that road.


As an example, if you’re the owner of a dental practice you could realistically use Facebook (for case studies and success stories), Instagram (to show off your clients’ exquisite teeth), LinkedIn (to attract talented new dentists to your practise) and Mailchimp (to market the latest techniques and specials to your database). However, if you’re a ‘one-man-band’ as mentioned earlier, you probably don’t have time for all of that anyway.


Our advice is to stick to two social networks and do them well. According to a recent study by CoSchedule, the most effective strategy is to post once per day on networks such as Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, and up to 15 times a day to Twitter. And as you know, creating and scheduling content takes time and effort. Therefore, it’s better to stick to the ‘less is more’ theory. Choose two that you can handle, and post higher quality content less often, but be consistent.

pexels-photo-1092671

Plan ahead for simplicity's sake

With so many scheduling tools at your disposal, there really is no excuse not to post regular content across the platforms that you have chosen. Apps like Hootsuite, Planoly, Tailwind and Facebook for Business have made it easy for small business owners to spend one portion of time per week or month to plan ahead and schedule content all in one go.


That being said, this would mean that all of the content is created and ready to schedule at one time. Our advice would be to keep it simple. Repurpose content into various forms, linking back to the same section of your website, blog post or video. Ask yourself what your customers genuinely want to see or how you can add value to their lives. Have a conversation with them and make sure you don’t bombard them with sales posts that make them think you only care about making money.

"Our advice is to stick to two social networks and do them well. Stick to the ‘less is more’ theory. Post higher quality content less often, but be consistent."

Once your content is scheduled, you only need to focus on monitoring the platforms and answering any queries or leads that come your way. This is another reason why you don’t want to spread yourself too thin.


It’s also important to value your time and skill. If creating content and interacting with your customers online is not something you’re comfortable doing and it’s going to take you away from building up your business, invest in a good digital marketing team to ensure you have your bases covered. The cost is far outweighed by the peace of mind that your marketing is being done while you can focus on what you do best, whatever that is.

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5 key metrics to track every month

5 key metrics to track every month

Abdul Govender

02/13/2019

In the current age of digital marketing, having an active social media presence is important. For many businesses, this means ticking the right boxes – you’ve set up the various social accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; you respond to questions; follow fans; post important news; and thank your customers for their support.

 

But, what are you doing to track and monitor these social interactions? If you’re engaging on social media, then you should make the time to measure these activities, and understand what it all means.

 

In this blog post, I’ll explain five metrics you should keep track of on a monthly basis.  

Reach

Reach is an old-school marketing metric that still remains important today. It indicates how far your message is traveling and how many eyes are seeing it. Measuring reach on social media can be misleading at times as it only shows how many people potentially saw your post or that it was made available. Unlike engagement, which gives a number of likes, reach is really just an estimate.

Engagement is queen

Engagement is, hands down, one of the most important metrics you should be concerned with on social media. It is the catalyst for improvement in all of the other social media metrics.

 

Simply put, engagement measures the number of likes, shares, and comments that your social updates receive.

Having a large reach with low engagement is a bad sign because it shows that you don’t have a marketing message or content that resonates with your target audience. Reaching tons of people means nothing if they aren’t interested in what you have to offer or share. As long as your audience is engaged, no matter how small that audience is, it will grow organically.

Never underestimate the power of influence

 Who is talking about your brand and what kind of impact do they have? Influence could be seen as a controversial social media metric, but there are countless tools that measure social influence, and they all do it in different ways. But one thing they all agree on is that audience size does not necessarily relate to influence. Just because someone has a lot of friends or followers, that doesn’t mean they can encourage those followers to actually do something.

 

Based on past actions, we can make assumptions about how influential someone might be in the future. This type of potential influence is useful to decide who to reach out to when you’re preparing for a campaign.

YellowDoorCo-116

The art of the chase – leads

Once your social media accounts start gaining traction, it’s easy to get caught up in how many likes and shares you’re getting. It feels good to see people enjoying your content, but what about the bottom-line? To ensure you are getting the best from your social media efforts, you have to ask the tough question: how many of these engaged fans are actually interested in purchasing my product?

 

You might have an enormous following on Instagram because people love your photos, but how does that translate to new leads or sales? To put it another way, say you have a small following on LinkedIn, but it consistently generates new leads. Which one deserves more attention?

 

If you aren’t generating leads, you’re either on the wrong platform or your content isn’t engaging to your buyer persona. The sooner you identify the problem, the better – but you have to start tracking the stats to find out.

Know what has been said – the share of voice

Finally, to really understand how well you’re doing on social media, you should consider a share of voice metric. How does the conversation about your brand compare to conversations about your competitors? Determine what percentage of the overall conversation about your industry is focused on your brand compared to your main competitors. And learn from your competitors’ successes; since so many of these social media conversations are public, you can measure your competitors’ impact just as easily as you can measure your own.

 

If you’d like to understand how your brand measures up, or build brand awareness and a meaningful relationship with your audience, then get in touch with us.

We’d love to help you better understand the impact and effectiveness of your social media activity.

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Marketing internship

Marketing internship

Yellow Door Collective

02/03/2019

Join us for a 6-month internship at our dynamic marketing agency.

Job description:

Are you looking to join a dynamic, full service digital marketing agency based in Gardens, Cape Town? Every day at the Yellow Door office is different, with a wide range of retainer clients, and multiple projects on the go at any one time.

 

A day in the life of an intern includes:

–       Writing content for social media and blog posts

–       Social media community management

–       Scheduling content on social media

–       Basic WordPress website development

–       Image design for social media

–       Taking part in strategic planning and brainstorming new ideas for clients

–       Sourcing quotes

–       Updating media lists

–       Creating reports

 

Our ideal candidate is someone who is reliable, responsible and willing to learn. We’re a small, close knit team and would like to continue to employ people who think outside the box and identify with our company values (having a can-do and care-why attitude, integrity, authenticity and consistency).

Qualifications and experience:

  • A tertiary qualification in marketing or business-related fields
  • An interest in digital marketing and social media specifically
  • A basic understanding of social media platforms and WordPress
  • Experience using Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word and Excel) and Google Docs and Sheets
  • Bonus points for:
    • previous experience as an intern/ office-related experience
    • an ability to write well
    • SEO best practice
    • an understanding of UI and UX
    • experience using Photoshop or Illustrator
    • video editing
    • experience on Hootsuite and Business Facebook

Skills and personal characteristics:

  • Conscientious
  • Attention to detail
  • Good communication skills
  • Enthusiastic & willing to learn
  • Team player 
  • Hard working
  • Creative
  • Adaptive
  • Embraces feedback

Start date:

Mid-Feb or early March 2019

Salary:

R5 500 per month

To apply for the position:

Complete our online questionnaire below, and then submit your CV and cover letter at the end of the form.  

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Marketing strategist position

Marketing strategist position

Yellow Door Collective

02/02/2019

This position has been filled. Come back next time to see what jobs we have available. Thanks!

Job description:

You will be working in a team that prides itself on being agile, providing tailored solutions to clients and taking a holistic approach to every opportunity or challenge. This is a small, close-knit team, looking for people who think on their feet and identify with the company values (having a can-do and care-why attitude, integrity, authenticity and consistency).

Responsibilities include:

  • Taking initiative and ownership of projects
  • Managing a diverse portfolio of clients and being the primary point of contact for 5 – 10 retainer clients
  • Managing client expectations and quality service delivery (ensuring they are updated on projects regularly)
  • Adding value to client’s business by identifying opportunities outside the scope of work
  • Manage and lead a team of 2- 4 people
  • A quarterly strategy for each brand and conceptualise original campaigns
  • Staying on top of trends and new technology
  • Creating content
  • Briefing creative teams
  • Managing work flow and deadlines
  • Overseeing social media community management
  • Creating reports

Qualifications and experience:

  • A tertiary qualification in marketing or business-related fields
  • At least three years of experience in a relevant role
  • A comprehensive understanding of all social media & advertising platforms
  • Experience using Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word and Excel) and Google Docs and Sheets
  • Bonus points for:
    • an ability to write well
    • SEO best practice
    • an understanding of UI and UX
    • digital marketing and/ or advertising experience
    • experience using Photoshop, Indesign or Illustrator
    • experience on Hootsuite and Business Facebook
    • video editing skills

Skills and personal characteristics:

  • Professional approach to work and client relationships
  • Strategic, lateral thinker
  • Personable and able to build meaningful relationships
  • Driven
  • Conscientious
  • Attention to detail
  • Good communication skills
  • Enthusiastic & willing to learn
  • Team player 
  • Hard working
  • Creative
  • Adaptive and good at problem solving
  • Good time management
  • Embraces challenges and feedback
  • Calm and able to manage stressful situations
  • Strong presentation skills

YellowDoorCo-154

The perks:

  • Work from home one afternoon/ week
  • Wrap up at 3pm on a Friday if you’ve hit your targets for the week
  • Bonus leave over Christmas and New Year
  • Work closely with our founders Emma & Dom
  • Every day is different, and there is a lot of potential for growth
  • Have the opportunity to play to your strengths and sign up for courses/ webinars to learn new skills
  • Team building activities from yoga in the park to Pecha Kucha evenings!

Start date:

1 April 2019

Salary:

Market related

To apply for the position:

Apologies but this position has been filled. 

Website management part 2: three steps to update your WordPress website

Website management part 2: three steps to update your WordPress website

By Kirsten Meintjes

Posted on 30th January 2019

Now that you are equipped with the basic terminology, part 2 will dive into the actual website updates. If your website was developed by Yellow Door, it will have been built on the WordPress content management system, so this tutorial will address WordPress websites specifically.

Before I delve in to part two, here is a quick recap of part one. Websites are made up of various little elements that need to all fit and “play nicely” together. A website is a dynamic entity that requires consistent attention and maintenance, otherwise it is at risk of becoming stale. Sometimes there are amendments necessary for which one needs to get professional assistance, but often you will actually be able to perform various tweaks on your own.

 

We choose WordPress to host the websites we build as it is a stable system used globally (it powers 26% of all websites) and it is scalable and adaptable to almost every need. Furthermore, navigating and managing the backend is intuitive, so we are able to equip our clients with the skills needed to do basic updates themselves, thus saving them time and money.

1. Write a blog post

Under posts on the left panel, click the “add new” button.

blog1

You will then be presented with an editing screen with an array of posting features. The first thing to do is enter a title. Next, enter the actual content of your post in the open field below. If you want to format your text, use the toolbar options located just above the text field. These are similar to what you find in MS Word or any other popular text editor.

blog2

When the bulk of your post is written, you will add some information in the right-hand panel area. Firstly, under categories, either select an existing category, or click the blue “add new category” button. “Tags” allows you to quickly add new tags or keywords; basically, any words that are related to the post topic.

blog3

Finally, by clicking the blue publish button, your post will go live, so it is best to do this once everything else has been completed.

2. The header and footer

As mentioned in part one, updates to the header and footer are done in a separate area to the rest of the changes on your pages. This is efficient because once an update has been done, you will not need to replicate it anywhere else. In other words, the changes will roll out to the rest of the site automatically.

 

To update the website header, you are likely to want to do one of two things:

a) Change your logo: navigate to the theme options from your dashboard. You should find the name of your theme in the left-hand panel – this might be Jupiter/ XStore/ Avada. Hover over this name, and “theme options” will come up. Click this and navigate to the “logo” section and add a new image accordingly.

1. logo

b) Add/ remove a page from the navigation menu. To do this, from the dashboard hover over “appearance” and click on “menus.” Here, ensure you have the main navigation menu selected, and add or remove items from the left-hand panel.

2. menus

To update the footer, hover over “appearance” in the left panel and click on “widgets.” A page with various widget areas around the site will load. Depending on how many columns you have in your footer, you will have that number of footer widget areas displayed on the right (e.g. in this example 3 footer columns = 3 footer widget areas). Edit or remove existing elements from each footer column, or add a new element from the options on the left.

3. footer

3. Update general copy and images

Regardless of what page you’d like to edit any copy and/ or images on, the process is generally the same.

 

Click on “pages” in the left-hand panel and then select the page you would like to edit (here we have selected the “about” page). On the page that opens, there will be various containers – correlating to content on the page – with the existing set of content. Scan through the page until you find the content – be it images or copy – that you’d like to edit. Hover your cursor over it and click the editing pen. You can now edit or replace content with your new content.

last img

When all edits to the page are done, you can click the preview button to see how the changes will appear on the site, without committing to them. If you are not happy with something, go back and make the necessary edits. When done, click the blue update button which will make these changes go live.

 

Although this post only covered the basics, about 80% of updates you might want to do on your website are covered in the various steps above. For anything else, please refer to your handover tutorial, or alternatively give us a shout at hello@theyellowdoor.co.za !

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3 Dos so you don’t get lost in communication

3 Dos so you don’t get lost in communication

By Danielle Scheepers

Posted on 24th January 2019

Good, clear communication is a powerful tool when used correctly. Just ask us, we’re a marketing agency where every employee has their fingers in 17 different pies at all times. Seriously, it gets intense and messages are bound to get lost among crossed wires.

Kirsten, our powerhouse project manager and web development guru agrees, ‘There is a lot going on and to keep track of – communication is crucial,’ she says. ‘We are a small agency and each has a role that nobody else plays, i.e. we each have key information to help each other do our jobs – there are no ‘back up’ people to fill in the gaps if someone is slacking in communicating.’ (Incidentally, Kirst is a champion communicator, just take a look at her blog posts on web development basics.)

 

Thankfully, this is not a blind spot, but rather an area which we are constantly refining with processes, templates and straightforward feedback.

 

The lessons we have learnt have been invaluable in helping us build good relationships with clients and one another. So helpful in fact that are too good not share!

Listen and learn

This may be the most important point on communication: listen before you speak. Many times, because of a fast-paced lifestyle and working environment we miss things. It is important to take note of points being made.

 

This not only fosters good relationship with the other person, but they may answer everything and provide extra information you didn’t know you needed if you gave them space to be heard. Do not lose focus: the minute you start building your counter argument, you are taking your attention away from the other person.

 

Make sure that you get all the information and understand clearly what is being asked of you by following these points:

 

– Ask questions if you are unsure of what you are being told
– Paraphrase the statement and repeat back what you have heard
– Try not to interrupt
– Do not assume that you know what is going to be said next

 

Simple, but very effective. This is golden advice for telephone conversations, specifically when it comes to names and details.

The importance of being earnest

Vulnerability is scary, but necessary if you want a tight knit team and an effective business which others trust. Thoughts need to be communicated to make sure everyone adds their unique viewpoint to a situation.

 

As one of our great lady bosses Dominique pointedly says, ‘no one can read your mind.’ 

 

This point is not only relevant for work, but also an important life skill. People really value fresh opinions and ideas – bring your whole self to work.

YDC_Blog_Speak-Designer_0000_Look

Help us help you

As an agency, we have been privileged enough to work with a variety of impressive clientele. You quickly learn that communication is one of the most important factors in delivering quality services.

 

So what is the most important thing to remember when briefing us on what your company needs?

 

Clarity.

 

Make sure to have a strong sense of the objectives to be achieved (more sales, interaction, brand interaction) and the timeline available to get it done. As projects progress, things change – this is normal, remember that you can save a lot of time and money by clearly communicating this to your agency.

 

Draft a quick email with bullet points and ‘cc’ all necessary parties, or call directly with a defined need. We will be on the other line, ready to jump on your clearly defined instructions and make marketing magic happen!

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How to speak the language of design

How to speak the language of design

By Anthony Horne

Posted on 16th January 2019

Designers… beings seemingly from another galaxy, all speaking a variant of an alien language that was created to confuse non-designers. From digital, to graphic, to web designers, no matter the type of designer you’re dealing with, often, it feels like you need to be a linguistics professor just to communicate with them.

This doesn’t have to be the case though, and in this article, I will go through some of the most common terms used by designers and try to simply explain what they are saying.

The acronyms

CMYK – a 4-colour process made up of cyan, magenta, yellow and black, that is perfect for printing.

 

RGB – a digital colour format that stands for red, green and blue, that works perfectly for any type of digital screen.

DPI / PPI – terms used to describe the resolution or clarity of an image. DPI (dots per inch) is a printing term used to describe the number of physical dots of ink that make up a printed document or image. PPI (pixels per inch) is a digital term used to describe the number of square pixels that show up in an inch of digital screen.

 

UI – user interface refers to the actual appearance of a designed website, app, program, etc. In other words, what you see on the screen.

 

UX – user experience refers to the flow and behaviour of a designed website, app, program, etc. In other words, what happens when the user presses, touches, clicks, slides, types on, or moves certain things on the interface.

 

CTA – call to action is a term used to describe specific text, an image, banner or button that uses action-orientated language to persuade a user to take an expected or predetermined action (e.g. Download, Add to cart, Register, Contact us, etc.).

 

CMS – a Content Management System is a software system used to edit the content of a website or app. It allows individuals with little or no technical knowledge of code to easily change images or text on a website or app.

 

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language refers to the markup language that is used to construct web pages and display content like text, images, video and links on the web.

 

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation refers to the method or process of increasing a website’s likelihood of being served up to web browsers that query relevant keywords.

 

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets refers to the code that developers use to designate how a web page should be presented to visitors. It formats the look and feel of a website, and sets the styles for fonts, colours, images, menus, etc

The file types

JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group is a common file type for images and is best used for images that have a gradient.

 

GIF – Graphics Interchange Format is a static or animated image type most often used in digital and web design.

 

TIFF / TIF – Tagged Image File Format is a computer file format for storing raster graphics images, most commonly used among graphic artists, the publishing industry, and photographers.

 

PNG – Portable Network Graphics is a raster-graphics file-format that supports lossless data compression, transparency, and is ideal for the web.

 

PDF – Portable Document Format is a file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else. PDF files are created using Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat Capture, or other Adobe products.

 

PSD – Photoshop Document refers to the default format that Adobe Photoshop uses for saving data.

 

AI – the file extension that refers to single-page vector-based drawing or artwork created in Adobe Illustrator that can also be presented in EPS or PDF formats.

 

INDD – InDesign Document refers to a page layout file designed in Adobe InDesign, that can also be opened using Adobe InCopy. INDD files contain formatting, content, styles, and linked files, and are most commonly used for Desktop Publishing to create books, magazines, newspapers, flyers, etc.

 

EPS – Encapsulated PostScript refers to files that contain vector-based graphics or images, that can be opened using programs like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw.

The words

Typography – the visual component of a written word. In other words, the art of arranging letters or characters in an attractive way.

 

Font – a collection of characters or letters, punctuation marks, numbers, and symbols.

 

Typeface – a family of fonts.

 

Kerning – the adjustment of the space between letters in a word.

 

Tracking – the alteration of the space for entire words or blocks of text.

 

Leading – the vertical space between two lines of text, also referred to as line-height.

 

Serif – the small flourishes at the end of the strokes in some letters (e.g. Times New Roman).

 

Sans Serif – sans means “without”, therefore a sans serif font has no serifs, meaning no small flourishes (e.g. Arial).

 

Script – a typeface that uses flowing, cursive strokes.

The look of things

Bleed – allowing the design to go beyond the edge of the page so that there is no margin. Most often used in Desktop Publishing and Printing.

 

Grid – lines used in print and digital to help align elements.

 

White Space – the area left empty to bring focus to other elements on the page or screen.

 

Gradient – the fading of one colour into another, or from opaque to transparent.

 

Padding –tThe space between a border and the element inside of it.

 

Margin – the space between a border and the element outside of it.

 

Contrast – when one element is completely different to another. Contrast can be created using colour, shapes, texture, size or typefaces.

 

Scale – the size of one object in relation to another element.

The web

Below the fold – the area of a web page or application that the user must scroll down to see.

 

Responsive – a website design that adjusts in size according to the screen it is being viewed on.

 

Wireframe – the basic layout or line drawing of a website that shows the structure of content on the web page without using any design elements, text or images.

 

Hex / Web Colours – colours used on the web, represented by 6-digit hexadecimal codes.

 

Web Safe Fonts – fonts that are pre-installed by many operating systems and can often be used on the web.

 

Domain – the name of the website that people type into a browser to visit it.

 

Favicon – a small icon image, often a company logo, that displays on the title bar or tab of a browser.

 

Hosting – the web servers where your website files are housed, served, and maintained.

 

Plugin – software apps that “plug in” to a Content Management System to allow a developer or designer to add new features and extend the functionality.

The branding

Brand Identity – the visual representation that outlines a brand in its entirety. This includes the values, mission and background of the company, as well as the logo, business cards, memos, packaging design, fonts, colours, etc.

 

Logotype – the name of a company designed in a visually unique way.

 

LogoMark – a symbol or mark used to represent a company without using the name of the company (e.g. the “tick” of Nike).

 

Collateral – the physical, visible objects that have been created to represent a brand. Collateral can include things like brochures, flyers, social media ads and even digital or print signage.

 

While a designer may go through this and think it’s child’s play, those out there not versed in the alien tongue of design can find the most basic of design terms confusing. This confusion can lead to frustration and in the end, an unhappy work environment or client relationship. So, the next time your designer starts blabbering off in some variant of Dothraki Design, just take a look at this list and hopefully you will have some clue as to what they are going on about!

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