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#JustAnExample – Donation options – the canary

#JustAnExample is a series where I share some interesting UX / UI and smart copy for your inspiration (and my archive of references).

Asking for donations is never easy.

Well, the Canary found a nice way to phrase it.

 

Why is good?

  • It gives perspective
  • Make you realise that spend money more on dumb shit – so you might as well give them so of it

Side note: I didn’t give them any money. I didn’t even know this paper before I stumbled upon on an article that I can’t even remember what was the topic. Still, the copy used for their call-to-action is actually cool.

 

 

 

 

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Millennials are a myth

But that's still a good stock photo for this article...

Millenials (people born after 1980 and before 2000) are defined as :

  • lazy
  • entitled
  • unattached
  • not motivated by money
  • want more holidays
  • more horseshit

The point of this post is to share a truth more and more commonly agreed upon: Millenials are not real.

“Millennials” as a concept is mainly a huge pile of crap.

And I just stumbled upon wonderful talk by Adam Conover, and I think he made the point pretty brilliantly so please what the talk down there.

But I have also tried to extract some of his point in this article because that’s really the essence of the 20 min.

TL;DR : People bash young generations. Every time. For centuries. Period.

 

 

Just more cute infographics that mean nothing

 

The reality is that Millennials (people born from 1980-2000) are not more nor less lazy than the generation before them.

However, what seems to be true is the obsession older generations have over the youth and how permanently disappointed they seems to be.

Hesiod, a a greek poet, contemporary of Homer (the guy who wrote of the Iliad and the Odyssey – if this ring a bell) wrote a few centuries ago about its younger contemporaries:

 

 

It is a pattern.

People are trying hard to bash the young generations.

Either because they do not understand them, or because it helps people feel more confident about their own dominance and social status.

(I tend to think the power struggle is real: and comforting a position for which people have worked hard for years is a vital need for every generation. And therefore, as people get older it is easier to go down the narrative that will try to single out the young generation and just complain about them…)

1968 – LIFE magazine is publishing an article to documenting the conclusion of conversations between Ernest Fladell and his nephew, in an attempt to bridge the generation gap. Fladell POV: the young people do not understand the meaning of earning a living… 

Then again, in the 1976, it seems like everyone is turning again into an entitled generation:

Let’s do that again in 1990 – post-boomer generation – soon to be called the “millenials” are tagged “Lazy” (I am sure Hesiod would have agreed…)

 

By now, you got the point.

Millenials are just people and that what the whole talk of of Adam Conover : “Millenials don’t exist” is about – but really worth a watch… he is really funny and provide much more details that I did here.

If you still have some energy, I’d suggest you check this interesting analysis published on the Irish Time “Young people have been letting us down since time immemorial”

 

The funny part: putting generations in a box never seems to stop.

Brace yourself, the new wave of horsecrap is coming – like this article of Business Insider : “Millenials are old news – everything you need to know about Gen-Z”

So I guess, we will soon have more article about Gen-Z being narcissistic and self-centered, lazy, and arrogants and what not.

Whatever…

 

 * Edit * 

From feedback I got (mainly from marketing folks) – I realised maybe there was room for confusion in the core message of the article. See, I am not saying segmentation is not a thing – nor am I saying cultural patterns of consumption do not exist – and yes, you can find a correlation between age and adoption of these patterns of consumption.

But the hype of Millennials – as if they were people completely foreign to human race – a lazy egocentric P.O.S equipped with a smartphone – is total BS – and what I see from board meetings to casual client reactions – is that when people talk about Millennials they usually refer prejudiced stereotype and not to the nuanced and carefully crafted marketing persona..

 

 

#JustAnExample – Newsletter email confirmation – Powazek

#JustAnExample is a series where I share some interesting UX / UI and smart copy for your inspiration (and my archive of references).

Here today we have a newsletter done by Derek Powazek – veteran startup guy now growing vegetables in a farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why this is good :

  • Transparency
  • Empathy
  • Humor

 

Transparency

Sharing his lack of clarity, being very honest from the beginning is a good way to get your people to trust you.

Empathy

Confirmation email sucks. He didn’t shy away from it, he owns it and agree with us while try to spin it in a nice way.

Humor

Well – micro-jokes are always good.

 

Clearly, it is not the only way to do it, but it is one that’s really interesting.

A fews things to pay attention to on LinkedIn

#1 – Pay attention to your photo

Your profile is 21 times more likely to be viewed if you have a profile photo.

That’s also the first thing people will use to get a first understanding of who you are.

So, make sure your photo is clean and broadcast the kind of feeling your want – not just the photo you had available while doing your account.

#2 – Pay attention to your headline

Your LinkedIn headline matters because :

  • it is the first thing people see that define what you do
  • it helps people find you.

Some tips:

  • Be specific .
  • Incorporate relevant keywords

Don’t say “Marketing Rep,”

But say “Marketing Executive/Growth Strategy/Channel Development.” or “Marketing Leader/Sales Generation Specialist.

#3 – Pay attention to your LinkedIn Recommendations

It is easy to get recommended.

But you need to ask for it.

Do it.

By phone, or face to face – better than just by email or by pressing the “request recommendation” button.

#4 – Pay attention to your feature skills and endorsements.

We all know these skills does not represent your true potential

Yet, people pay attention to it.

And it helps to get you traffic to your page.

So think about it.

#5 – Pay attention to add photos and videos to your profile

A picture is worth a 1000 words.

Well, it is true on LinkedIn too.

You can feature content.

So do it.

Think about strategically – like you would for a landing page.

#6 – Use SlideShare

Pay attention to  SlideShare.

SlideShare presentation platform is a part of the LinkedIn ecosystem (a bit like Instagram is a part of Facebook)

It is a separate community but it will get you traffic to your profile and vice versa – will give quality content to your profile.

#7 – Blog with LinkedIn Publisher.

 

The more content you produce the more likely you are to get noticed.

Writing is for everybody.

Salesman, designer, programmer, engineer, supply-chain manager, everyone can write.

Start.

Then keep doing it.

Up your LinkedIn skills with 3 talks on LinkedIn Strategy

Paul Copcutt: LinkedIn -Where your sales and marketing meet

And also how can piñada and LinkedIn help to sell accounting services…

 

Become a LinkedIn Search Ninja

Spend 3 days to find valuable information on LinkedIn search.

Found it.

 

Social Selling by LinkedIn with LinkedIn

This lady kicks ass.

Very good video on social selling.

LinkedIn – Social Media 101

Everyone knows LinkedIn – yet not everybody use it to its full power (and I totally include myself in this “everybody”).

Linkedin has a lot of potential and here are some interesting tips I would suggest you  have a look at.

Some history & stats

Founded in Dec, 2002 (When Windows XP was still at the top of its hype)

Launched in May, 2003 (yes, you were a couple of years younger…)

Started as a place for people to upload their CV – with a slow growth rate of 20 users a day for a couple of month but eventually they reached a critical mass allowing them to rise enough money.

LinkedIn in the its early days

Pivotal to the the success of early LinkedIn was cofounder Reid Hoffman – who was on previously on the board of Google, Ebay and PayPal – he had the best CV for promising a good exit strategy for the young LinkedIn

Today LinkedIn is roughly 500 Millions users – with a reported 106M active user (around 20%).

In the latest historical milestones of the company – Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn in Dec, 2016

It gives some interesting perspective of integration.

Microsofts has a Cloud solution and a CRM solution as well as Skype and clearly own the world of corporate software, but so far nothing really has happen in terms of revolutions – so – we are waiting.

What to do on LinkedIn

People use Linked In to sell.

They either sell themselves (Job Market)

Or they sell their product, or service (Social Selling)

Or they sell their image (Branding).

It might change with time.

Maybe we will see more entertaining content, but for now, the general tendency is “Always be selling”.

 

LinkedIn and the Sales Cycle.

But before we go in there – we shall approach the sales cycle – to understand where LinkedIn can best help you.

  • Prospecting
    • You can use LinkedIn powerful search engine to harvest information about your market place – And are your potential clients
  • Approaching
    • Subtle approach : Simply go watch a profile – they will see you in their stats as people who saw their profile
    • Send them InMail (cold email)
    • Connect with them (better)
    • Use Groups to get known in your industry
    • Like the content they share
  • Qualifying
    • Use private messages
    • Use InMail
    • Call them
  • Presenting
    • Use Slideshare for pre-sales (Slideshare is now a part of Linkedin)
    • Use insights you have collected before to build your sales presentation
  • Handling Objections
    • Use pulse articles on topics
  • Closing
    • Chat in linkedin
  • Getting Referrals
    • Ask for referrals – and give referrals first

Searching

If you don’t know where to start you can check this article by LinkedIn on Search.

But honestly, it’s quite intuitive.

 

Optimise your Profile

  • Customise your public profile URL.
  • Add a LinkedIn background photo to your personal profile.
  • Double check your profile photo
  • Create a Profile Badge for your personal website or blog.
  • Optimise Links text for the blog/website links on your LinkedIn profile. (up to 3 – use them all)
  • Optimise your LinkedIn profile with SEO in mind
  • Write proper descriptions for your positions
  • Show work samples
  • Write articles
  • Add, remove, and rearrange entire sections of your profile.
  • Make use of “Saved Searches”
  • Skills – you have them – list them
  • Get testimonials
  • Languages – if you are into international business contact – you want to add multiple languages to your profile.
  • Public profile – double check how it looks

 

Company profile is following quite the same logic.

Publishing content

Use pulse and Slideshare

Pulse is like the internal article publish for LinkedIn.

Check this video if you don’t know how to do it.

But really, it is very similar to Medium or most content publishing platform.

The main issue is how to write content regularly

How to use groups

The title of this video is click-bait for sure, yet, it is a very good tutorial on how to use groups for marketing and sales on LinkedIn

So I suggest you find some time to watch it.

 

 

That’s it

I will probably update this blog post later.

Content is king

That’s not new.
That’s also not something people pay enough attention to.

Content is king for a reason.
Content is the expression of your knowledge.
Content is what help you communicate your brand.
Content is what define if you exist or not on the internet.
Content is what connect people with each other.
Content is what make your voice meaningful.
Content is what help you make a difference

For all these reasons and many others, content is king.

Creating content is what allow your audience to keep in touch with you.

Creating content allows your brand to be understood better.
When you are understood better, it is easier to trust you.

It is easier to find you relatable.

It is easier to build a relationship.

You stop being a stranger on the internet because people start to know who you are – because you created content.

They start to feel what you feel, they understand your point of view on the world.

They do not have to agree.
They do not have to care.

But if they want to, then you are here.

You made the first step.

Making the first step is always terrifying, because yes, it is terrifying to put yourself out there in front of everyone.

It is hard also for a company.

It is hard for a brand to decide to share its voice. But if companies don’t do it, they will never get through the noise to the heart of their customers, they will never touch their audience where it matters (and no, it is not their wallet).

You can make the best beer in the world, but if you don’t talk about it no one will know.

And if you just goes out and say “my beer is the best in world” no one will listen because “they all say that” so you have to think.

You have to be creative.

And yes, it is hard.

You have to dig deep into the soul of your brand, the “why” of you company, the manifesto of its existence.

Creating content is hard.
But it is worth it.

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What happens when people sign up for your stuff

 

So you have this book that you wrote.

This newsletter you so carefully crafted.

This course you designed with attention and love.

….

You are ready for launch.

The world is waiting for you ….

…. well ….

NOPE.

No one is waiting for you.

Not even the people who registered for (tick the right answer):

  • your newsletter
  • your course
  • your e-book.

 

— But they signed up, right?

— Right…

 

Let’s break down the psychology of this, do you mind?

 

giphy (3)

 

Someone was online. Saw your ad, read your blog post, stumbled upon your site on his/her lunch break, and got excited. Signed up. It’s free. The opportunity is here to be seized.

He knows if he doesn’t do it now, nearly no chance he gets back here. (Today’s internet is a crowded place and you don’t come back very often to places). So he likes what he just saw or read, and in the momentum of the excitement, he signed up.

The moment he signed up, the pressure go down. The panic feeling that “I might miss out on something awesome for free” just left him. He knows he is safe now. He signed up. He knows that from now on, you are the one who will remind him, run after him and he can decide later on if he really needs it.

 

giphy (2)

 

Signing up for free shit on the internet became a lot like binge shopping.

 

It looks good, so you take it now. You’ll see later if you need it.

 

However, on the other side, someone’s tripping.

YOU.

giphy (5)

You think you have a new fan.

When all you have is someone who got excited about your free stuff and fear he might miss out on something so he signed up just in case.

You haven’t sold him yet.

You just started the conversation with that guy or gal.

You have not yet bought him.

All the work is still upfront.

 

 

It’s like when a girl (or a guy) give you her (his) phone number.

You got the other side’s attention, and you have an opportunity to build up the relationship.

So, don’t blow it up by saying non-sense over the freaking phone when you call that number!!!

 

How do you know you’re doing it right?

Once you understand this fundamental principal that a signup is just the beginning, it then becomes clearer you need to monitor how the relationship is growing, 

 

You're email open rate.

 

If it’s a newsletter, you will need to see how often they opens it, do  they click the content in there, do they pay attention over time. From newsletter to newsletter, you need to gain their attention again again.

If it’s a course, they needs to come back week after week, day after day and make progress. If they don’t come back, you need to see when do they stop, was it the content? was it the design? do they all stop at this same point? Try a different format of content, a different topic, a different approach, improve your bugs, fix your design, become mobile-friendly. In short, make sure your users feels at home and enjoy…

Remember, you are dating your customers, so put on you’re best dress, and make the experience unforgettable. Or, if you prefer to go casual, that’s ok too, as long as it fits the expectation. Not every date needs to be in a 4-stars hotel, you can also go to a burger… just make sure it’s cool with the other side. Test, and iterate. Test and iterate. Again and again, until you build the right approach, the right relationship, with your audience.

Content and context

CONTENT IS THE KEY – as you long as you keep the content relevant to the conversation.

The moment your content is getting boring is the moment they loose interest, meaning you’re out of the game because there is no conversation anymore.

Being irrelevant is how you build a huge database of dead-meat emails disconnected from any reality on the ground.

dead horse

 

So before you get to this situation, segment your data properly, analyse how your users consume the content they signed up for, so you can adapt to keep the conversation relevant – to keep your content in context.

Because NOBODY CARES – unless you make them care.

So make them care, each and every freaking time as if it was the first time.

And for this, you need to care about them.

 

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Design like you care

design-like-youcare

Design is at the core of everything you do.

The piece of hardware you are using to read this post has been designed.

The website you read is the result of a design process.

 

Design is about creating the experience that will allow your audience to enjoy from what you want to give them.

 

As a kid you’ve designed carefully this present for your mum on mother’s day.

As a teenager you designed your outfit/personal image to fit in the way-too-harsh world of highschool…

As long as you’ve cared about something you did your best, and it came out some way. It didn’t always work but you’ve learned from it and moved on.

 

Poor design

 

Poor design happen when we look for a shortcut. Something that can sorta ass the job but not quite.

Something “that’ll be good enough for now.”

And it is ok. Sometime a business need shortcut. Deadline are real. Your customers’ experience can wait.

It is true. But it is dangerous.

It is like when poor management decision become normal in an organisation, you just create an horrible culture for your company.

Poor decision happen from time to time in an organisation, and you cannot micromanage your team leaders, so everyone can survive for an other day.

But when it becomes the day to day of your company, the best people will leave, and inner politics will start to cripple the core of your organisation. So you try to fix it.

Same for your product & communication design habits.

If you keep doing what’s easy instead of what’s right, you will lose customers, and you will damage your reputation. It is a game you will lose in the long run.

Examples

No need to go very far.

We all browse the web, and stumble on these every single day.

 

Example 1: Sliders

 

Sliders don’t help end users.

It’s common knowledge.

 

0.11% of your audience will ever click on anything that is not the first slide. (Actually just 1% is expected to even click on this slide).

Yet, we still see them everywhere.

 

Why?

 

Because it was the easier not to make a decision to answer the following question:  “What should be the first thing your visitors will see when they open the site?

 

So you chose this abomination from a forgotten past.

 

While a you know it is just a bad idea…

 

 

And even without having the top designers telling you that on every venue available (like here, or here), you could have know for youself by simple reverse engineering your own personal experience.

You know you do not pay that much attention to these massive sliders, what you do? You just go to the next thing on the site.

So why expect something else people browsing your own website?

 

Example 2: Modal popup

Popup are evil since the beginning times.

Popup blockers were the first thing we invented to block spammy popup everywhere on our computers.

Today, we have this fancy thing called a modal popup.

Ah, and for those who don’t know what I am talking about a modal popup look like this one:

spamy modal popup

 

It usually will popup after a few second spent on a website, and shamelessly asking for you to:

  • Signup to a newsletter
  • Buy something
  • Download something

So while all these things (newsletters/downloads/purchases) are totally ok in itself, how dare you interrupting, like a total jerk, the person reading your site right now.

If you took the time to put content there (on your site that it) and  you expect it worth other people’s time, let them read it, FFS!

 

And if what you say in your popup is sooo vital and sooo important, then please, make it the first content item on the page. You don’t need to go full screen modal on your audience.

 

What is the point to harass your user with useless crappy gimmick that probably won’t convert anyway…

Be logical and pragmatic. The fact that you can technically do it, doesn’t mean you should.

 

Think about your users, about what they think when they see you annoying design choice… Designing is making  decisions on how people will interact with your product or with your site. It’s not a buzzword. It is the essence of the delivered experience and therefore, it shapes the perceived value to its core.

So, lets wrap it up:

We now know that sliders and unwarranted modals are to be use with care. (while that wasn’t the point of the article, I very much wanted to say this.)

But it goes far beyond some web usability.

Design is a core activity for every entrepreneur, business person, and everyone who is creating something to be used by other people. Be it a service, a product, an organisation.

What you do influence other people’s life.

 

Design should therefore embed the will to serve other people for their best interest. Because in the end, it is what is right, not necessarily what is easy, that matter.

 

Still don’t believe me. Read on.

How designers destroyed the world

I didn’t say it. That’s the title of Mike Monteiro talk. Watch it.

 

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The 1 thing you need to make your marketing work

Patience. Grit. Perseverance. Borderline Stubbornness.

<sidenote>

Successful Startup founder are usually painted as stubborn asshole who don’t want to hear anyone else advice. While some are like that (anyone can be a startup founder, especially these days) the one who succeed are not usually stubborn, but they have grit, they do not give up easily. However, pure stubbornness wouldn’t work since they need to be able to learn fast and listen a lot… but I’ll leave that for an other article.

</sidenote>

So, you need to stick to the part of the plan that said keep doing it.

The number one reason people failed, especially when it comes to content marketing and organic reach, is a lack of patience and will try one more time.

The beauty of digital marketing is that it brings you statistics, and you know pretty much what’s happening with your content, which at the beginning, is not much.

It is very tempting to let it go, drop it slowly, miss a few milestones until your plans to post on your page daily are gone, or your twitter engagement is running at an all time low.

Statistics will be your first enemy, and you’d be tempted to drop because of it. Instead, ignore statistics in the first 6 month to a year of your activity, until it become significant, and keep doing it. Every single day. And if you miss a day or a week, who cares, just get back to it, no bad feeling.

For every business owner, the day to day is soooo packed you’d be tempted to drop it entirely, or delegate it totally to some external agency to deal it for you, but even if an agency can come to help you with both the strategy and execution at scale, there is nothing that can replace you own personal involvement in your own company communication.

You have to do it, to be it and to sweat it.

Because in the long run, it matters. For real. To a point you cannot even imagine when you are at the beginning of the way.

So now go and get some of your marketing content done.

Yalla, davai, go do it… stop reading the internet, and go make the internet.