The terms “Flogging a dead horse” and “Success is only just around the corner” spring to mind when talking about this concept, articulated by Eric Ries in his New York bestseller “The Lean Startup”.
In your business as well as your everyday life, how do you know when to “give up”? Or, if you do change direction or quit, were you JUST about to make that breakthrough or success you worked so hard for? What if you are achieving moderate success and therefore if you quit it would prove embarrassing or would lose you the moderate income you are used to. What if, on the surface, you are highly successful, but actually you are unhappy, stressed and working 60 hours per week just to keep the ‘success’ going.
When do you Pivot? And when do you Persevere?
What does it mean to pivot? To pivot is to change direction, drop something that isn’t working, and take one area or your whole business in a different direction. Most of the time you would take some of the past version with you. Sometimes you lose the past version altogether.
A great example is a tech company started by Dan Carroll, a well-known name in silicon valley, in 2007. In it’s original form it was called “kaChing” and was a online “fantasy league” for amateur investors, designed to spot good investors. They built a sophisticated system, but customers found the concept confusing and didn’t buy in. The team decided they couldn’t persevere as it existed and decided to celebrate what had been achieved up to this date, but make a pivot. They abandoned the gaming concept and instead focused on creating a platform for amateur investors. On the surface, the pivot seemed quite dramatic, a new company name, new branding and discarding a lot of the system that they had built, but underneath a surprising amount stayed the same. What worked in the system became the core that everything new was built around. The company (now called Wealthfront) is now a leader in the field.
If the team hadn’t had started in the first place they would never have had the knowledge and core system that they then built upon.
Another example in The Lean Startup is the online Voters platform Votizen. It took 4 huge pivots to drag it to the success that founder and CEO David Binetti had visioned, each pivot building on the previous versions successes.
The interesting fact is that, every time he decided to pivot, it took less time than his last pivot. Of the 4 major pivots, the first took 12 months, the second six months, the third took four months and the last pivot took only a month to put into place.
This can be attributed to 2 things. Firstly, the structure and business allowed for a pivot and adapted easier each time. Each change built upon the things that were great about the business and discarded the things that didn’t work. With each pivot there was less to discard and more opportunity to build on what worked.
The second observation is that, the decisions became easier to make, as the decision to pivot had been made previously. The team even brought the ‘pivot or persevere’ concept into their strategic meetings, something that Eric Reis recommends that every business do.
The dictionary’s definition of perseverance is “doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”.
A client of mine regularly pivots in her business and on reflection feels that she may have recently made too many. She feels compelled to pivot as she is haunted by the alternative of persevering.
Her dad had a 30-year career working for the same company, with the promise of becoming the first person ever to go from being the apprentice to a director in the 100 year history of the company. After years of blood sweat and tears his final promotion was due. He prepared to become director and enjoy has last years with the company before retiring. The board of directors then decided to promote the boss’s son instead. His hopes, as well as his pride was completely crushed and my client is haunted by the memory of the only time she’d ever seen him break down in tears.
Years of persevering did not bring him to where he wanted to be and the worst thing was that he had no control over the future he’d planned for himself.
What happened to him didn’t have to force him to make a pivot in his life; he could have continued to work for that company. Maybe he might have eventually got the directors role that he was promised. But the pivot he made took his life in a better direction than he could ever have imagined.
An entrepreneur approached him to work as partners. With his engineering background and keen project management skills they start a competing firm. I’m sure you will agree that someone that has been an employee for 30 years starting a business of his own is completely daunting, but he partnered up with the right person. He pivoted at completely the right time, not through choice but nevertheless formed part of the team that, after a couple of pivots of their own, built a company that now turns over in excess of £2million per year. He now has the directorship that he wanted and even better, is working hard for his own company, not someone else’s.
The unplanned pivot was the best thing that could have happened to him. How did this happen? Because his new partner heard that he hadn’t got a promotion and saw it as a perfect time to approach him. This is a perfect example of taking what is good from the previous version and leaving behind what didn’t work, which in his case was the company itself!
How does this translate into our personal success? I’d like you to take these 2 steps, in your personal or business life if you like. Take 10 minutes to think about your answers, write them down and build your findings into your plan for success. Just by being aware, will set your subconscious mind the task of resolving any issues holding you back.
1. Are you a pivot-er or a persevere-er?
Take a moment to think about some pivots and perseverance’s that have led you closer to success, or away from success. Think about how you could have changes your thinking to get a better outcome.
[A classic perseverance is staying in a marriage for too long, out of fear that you will be more unhappy out of it that you are miserable in it!]
I’d like you to think about your life or business, what’s holding you back from that next step of success. What is stopping you? Is it your thinking? What’s the ‘barrier’? Did something spring into your mind while reading this article? That’s probably what your unconscious mind needs to be analysed further.
2. Write down 2 things that are holding you back you right now and then ask yourself the question – Pivot or Persevere?
What we can take from this silicon valley concept:
1. If we want to do something, we need to make a start. Imperfect action will teach you more than no action ever will.
2. It’s not a failure if we have strategically decided to pivot! Start making the changes needed and each time it will be less painful and achieve more in less time.
3. Its ok to pivot and its equally ok to persevere, we just need to know our reasons for doing so.
The ‘About Us’ page is a vital part of any website. It is actually one of the most visited pages of any and every website. Think about it – if you want to find out about a company, organisation or individual, it is probably the first page you look on their website. Therefore, one of the first impressions you can make on a potential consumer is from your ‘About Us’ page. Fortunately, this is good news for everyone, especially because it is one of the best pages on your website for you to truly personalise and get creative with.
We have all seen good ‘About Us’ pages, and we’ve all seen bad ones equally. Therefore, the initial question here is:
What actually makes a good ‘About Us’ page?
Firstly, we definitely believe it should be memorable.
The ‘About Us’ pages that we all remember are the ones that truly stood out to us: perhaps the page was funny, entertaining, used a lot of good imagery, or anything else that made it memorable. Whatever it is, find the unique points of your business and let it shine creatively in your ‘About Us’. Depending on your business’ style, you can make it work to create an ‘About Us’ page that stands out against other businesses in your field.
Also, bear in mind that your consumers will appreciate a company that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you show a little humour, and uniqueness, through your ‘About Us’, then it reveals a quirky side to your business that will appeal.
Personalise Your Page
The second thing to remember when you’re creating a good and effective ‘About Us’ page is to personalise it enough, to suit you and your business. It should contain information that would relate to your users and consumers. Personalisation will also help to show the humane side behind your business and brand; depending on how much information you are prepared to share.
However, if you believe that you are a business that doesn’t want to reveal any personal information about you, or the people behind the company, then there is still a way to personalise your brand through your ‘About Us’. Think like a worldwide brand, and reveal the intricate details about your company: for example, show how your business came to be, and reveal other interesting snippets that only your true fans would care to learn.
Tell Your Story
If your business has a particularly interesting, or unusual, back story relating to how it came about, then that would also be a fun way to make the most of your ‘About Us’ page alone. Reveal your story – the how, why, and what your business ultimately stands for. This is particularly effective if you have a brand message for your consumers, or believe that your company personally has something to offer that differs from the rest of the market.
Although, always keep to the fact that your ‘About Us’ page shouldn’t be too lengthy. You don’t want to overload your consumers with too much information, or, indeed, bore them off the page. You want to keep your page eye-catching and interesting. It is advisable to break up any large bodies of text or information with fun images, or a particularly pleasing colour scheme.
Create a Business Timeline
Another fun way to reveal all about your business, which won’t be too wordy or uninteresting, is through an interactive timeline. This is also a good way to easily showcase significant times that your business expanded, and highlights for your company. It keeps the tone positive, and focuses on how successful your business has become over the timeline.
Also, if you make it interactive, you can allow your users to click through to read more about the milestones that they find interesting. This will then entice them to read more and spend more time with your website and company.
Be Clear and Concise
Asides from inserting fun and your own uniqueness into your ‘About Us’ page, you must remember that the main point of the page is to explain who you are. The page must, most of all, be informative and clear. The ‘About Us’ page should explain succinctly what your company does, and what the goal is, but in a fun and relatable manner. Don’t overdo it with the explanation, however – the best ‘About Us’ pages are concise and simple, making it easy for the audience to understand your business and your intentions.
Another solid way to inform your consumers helpfully is through using a few testimonials. Ask your previous clients for these and feedback – and remember to assign their names and authority to the quotes. Testimonials will make your company look more legitimate and successful, as well as quietly boasting about the strength of your consumer base.
A Cup of Jo
The People Behind Your Business
If your company wants to be more friendly and relatable, then you may not necessarily want to focus on your business and goals. In that case, it may be more appealing to focus your ‘About Us’ page on you and your staff members. Especially if you have a small team, focusing on your staff can be a very effective way to appeal to your consumers, as they can see the people working behind your business.
You don’t have to include a lot of information about anyone in particular, and certainly not any really personal details. However, if you get the staff members to write short paragraphs about themselves, revealing a quirky snippet about themselves or what they do in the team, then this will be enough information.
It is also essential to use photos for every staff member, and make the images look fun and unique, in order to truly reflect the feel and personality of the company. Interesting images compliment any ‘About Us’ page.
We hope that you have enjoyed our examples, and ideas for how to create a good ‘About Us’ page. Check out your own page – do you feel inspired to make the little changes that make it really stand out?
All ‘About Us’ pages are different, and they should be designed to suit your business’ personality! There are no strict rules, just remember to spend time and don’t ignore the importance of this page.
We Can Help!
If you need help with creating an effective ‘About Us’ page, or any other part of your website, then Bright Yellow Creative can help! Contact us today to find out how we can make your website really stand out, and drive traffic; increasing your consumer base significantly.
We also offer bespoke services that will improve the content and the quality on your website, or social media. Simply check out our services here, as well as our quality price packages here!
Email is not dead. It will also most likely never be replaced, no matter how many new social media platforms come out or how the online trends change. It is usually the first place everyone checks at the start of the day, and particularly a working day. Most people can access their emails from their phones as well, so they are literally checking their email all day, intermittently, on the go.
We know this because we are one of those: compulsively checking our inboxes, and still subscribing to our favourite websites or brands. Emails are not dead, so neither then are email subscriptions. They are perhaps one of the oldest online methods to get people to connect to your brand, and they are not outdated yet. Email subscriptions are vital in connecting with your audience, and work as an effective marketing technique that should not be overlooked.
Check your inbox, if you like, and count: how many email subscriptions do you receive? Whether they’re from your favourite online clothing retailers, or just Tesco emailing about your Clubcard points, most people are subscribed to at least one email list.
An email list is therefore an undeniably vital asset for any business, although acquiring one can be the difficult part. It is one thing asking and prompting your users to subscribe, and another actually acquiring an efficient email list.
The majority of email lists people join inevitably come from online shopping, as this is definitely one of the easiest ways for brands to access your email address. Most online retailers require your email address, in order to keep you updated with your order, and then afterwards you find yourself receiving regular email updates as well as short email articles.
This is definitely the best way to access your consumers’ email inboxes, and get them subscribed to your list. Also, in a few physical retail stores, most notably Apple, they have started giving “online receipts”, as opposed to paper ones. The way they do this is by asking for your email address, and emailing you the receipt for your in-store purchase. So, miraculously, you have found yourself subscribed to their email list.
How To Create an Email List
However, what if you aren’t directly selling a product for your online users’ to purchase? This does make it more difficult to create a successful email list, although there are ways around. The crucial part of an email subscription list is simply offering them something in return. In this retail case, they are providing a purchase and service in return for the email address. And, whether you are an online retailer or not, you can also easily offer a service in return for their email.
Examples of a service can be: a discount code or free offer, a newsletter, information about your particular brand or upcoming events, or anything relating to your business and brand. If your online user feels like they will benefit from signing up to your email subscription list in some way, then they are far more likely to sign up. This is a good incentive, plus they won’t feel like they have been deceitfully bribed into giving you access to their email inbox.
Make Your Sign Up Form Stand Out
One of the most important ways to get them to subscribe, asides from offering an incentive, is to make signing up a clear part of your website. You need to make your sign up form stand out, and feature as something for your consumers to complete easily. Acquiring emails for your email list is far more important than getting them to follow you on Facebook or Twitter, so it should be made more obvious on your site.
Many businesses create landing pages simply for this purpose – a landing page is one page, either on its own or as a part of your website, that is intended for people to subscribe to an email list. The landing page is typically designed with only one place for online users to go: the sign up form. This is definitely one effective way that businesses get their audience to subscribe.
However, why not treat every page of your website as a landing page? Link your sign up box to the top or bottom (or both!) of each page, and keep prompting. Many websites put their email subscribe box at the bottom of each page and blog post, prompting their consumers that they will gain more benefits and content from entering their email. Make the sign up form stand out; make it easy to access; you should be sorted.
One of the main points of a sign up box is not to make it too complicated. If you’re asking for too many details, and making them jump through too many hoops, they simply won’t go through the effort to sign up. All you really need for email subscriptions is their email address, and a click button to subscribe. If you want their name as well (to make the emails more personal, perhaps), then that’s up to you. Although, we really recommend asking for the least information you possibly can.
Most email subscription services are double opting in, additionally. This means that each user will automatically receive an email asking them to click on a link to confirm that they really do want to subscribe, even after they’ve entered their details onto your website. Try to personalise this email as much as you can, in order to give them more incentive to click through and finalise their subscription. For example, only offer them their free incentive if they click through.
So, there you go! If you follow these tips, you are well on your way to acquiring a successful, and effective, business email list.
Well, as previously mentioned, your successful email list is one of the strongest assets for your business. It adds weight to your business, and counts far more than any connections on social media, RSS subscriptions and certainly more than website page views. It’s the best way to create a responsive consumer base, in order to build your brand and connect with a wider audience. You can sell your latest product, promote upcoming events, and more: simply through your email subscriptions. You can also use emails to provide your consumers with more content, as it often generates more response than online articles or blog posts.
You can also use your email list as a business asset in another way. An email list adds far more value to your business, and you can use it to create trades with other businesses. There are even ways to buy and sell useful email lists! Use it to build your network connections, and draw more success for your business all round.
If you want to find out more about how to successfully create your own thriving business email subscription list, contact Bright Yellow Creative today!
We know exactly how to connect to your audience, and utilise an effective email list service. Email marketing is a vital part of digital marketing, and you need to make sure that you are making the most of it for your business.
Check out more about the services we offer for email marketing, and creating successful email lists, here. Also, for a breakdown of our services and prices, take a look here!
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