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.
With more people doing freelance work, working for themselves or working in small business startups, there are more people than ever without an office space in the traditional sense. This means a lot of people have begun working from home, or from cafes and libraries, or whatever suits them. However, what if you are someone who finds a more social atmosphere is the most productive? Many people gain enjoyment from a more traditional office environment, and find it to be the most beneficial way to work easily without the potential distractions of home or a public area.
The term “coworking” was first launched in 1999, by Brian DeKoven. He coined it as a description of an environment that facilitated collaborative work and business meetings. Then, in the same year, one of the first coworking studios opened in New York City, called 42 West 24, although it had been open long before the term became popular. Then, in the UK, the first official coworking space wasn’t opened until January 2005 in London. However, “coworking” only became popular in March 2007, when it was trending on Google Search. Soon afterwards, in October 2007, it was listed as a term on Wikipedia.
Since then, coworking has only expanded in popularity and many offices designed purely for coworking have been founded. It is easy to understand why the demand for coworking spaces has developed so rapidly, as there are many positives to working in such an environment. However, you can’t undertake an organic Google Search of the term without finding a few horror stories about the negatives to coworking. The pros easily outweigh the cons on this one, though.
In starting up your own business, or working for yourself beneficially, it is paramount to create connections and utilise networking in order to succeed. This is one of the main benefits and positives of a coworking environment – everyone you meet and work with is a potential network connection, or even a client for your business. Through coworking, you meet dozens of people simply through working alongside them during your normal day. Whereas, if you were working alone, it would be more difficult to connect with new people and potential clients.
Asides from the networking factor, the people you work with in a coworking space can benefit you and your business in another way. It is proven that working with people who are likeminded and similarly creatively driven would help enhance those skills in you. Ideas people thrive in a situation where you can bounce ideas off others, as it creates a more stimulating environment. Other people and businesses are willing to help you out in a coworking environment, and often an exchange of services can be given. For example, a website designing business may work in the same coworking space as a marketing business, and they could compliment each other by exchanging certain online services.
In a coworking office space, there is an existing sense of community. This creates a certain feeling of belonging, which you wouldn’t necessarily get from working alone or at home. Your coworking colleagues become your friends, as well as associates, which is one of the most enjoyable factors about traditional office work. It also creates the opportunity to still participate in work events, such as Christmas parties or get-togethers.
A particular main feature of working in this refreshing coworking environment is that most coworking spaces are often very forward in their attitudes towards work, and constantly trying to improve and finding new ways to produce results. This means that you will often find coworking organisations that host events and seminars, which are designed to host new ideas and inventions, as well as showcase up and coming business ventures. These events provide you with the opportunity to learn new things and discover interesting projects, which can lead to growth within your own business and create innovative ideas for ways to improve.
Working hard at the Indycube Tondu office!
As with most things, there are downsides – yet, as much as I have asked around for ideas and Google Searched my way through the topic of coworking, there aren’t a lot of cons to create an equal balance to the positives. However, the one recurrent negative to a coworking space seems to be the noise levels, particularly when someone appears to be persistently too loud. Sometimes, if a space is too noisy or crowded, it can become difficult to concentrate and work to the best of your ability. This one works on respect, though; if everyone in the office understood the necessity to keep the noise level at an acceptable level, then there wouldn’t be a problem.
Another potential negative, slightly related to the first point, is that other people can sometimes be a distraction. It is easy to get sidetracked from working by getting involved in conversations with your fellow coworking friends, but that is possible in every job, and you must maintain a level of focus in your work. In a coworking office space, it is possible to listen to music through your headphones, for example, and often the office will have the radio on in the background (at the workers’ discretions).
The only remaining negative I uncovered is the feature of messiness in a coworking environment. This is definitely one of those office complaints in every work area. There are countless jokes online about sarcastic and passive aggressive signs above kitchen sinks, in regards to the doubtless dirty dishes waiting to be washed. This is something that can’t easily be avoided in any work office space situation, as you may often find yourself guilty of slacking off your cleaning duties when there’s work waiting! A factor that’s similar and does relate to coworking spaces, however, is the concern with who provides the general amenities, such as toilet paper, washing up liquid, milk and teabags. Each coworking office space is different, but in general it is the facilitator of the particular space who takes care of those things, but it would be important to check.
Cowork with us today! #epic
Yet, despite those certain points, one of the main positives of a coworking environment is that it creates freedom for you and your business. The hours are far more flexible than in a typical nine-to-five office job, and, if you work for yourself, you can pick certain days to work in the coworking space and other days you can work from home – whatever suits you! The point of a coworking environment is to be flexible and help each business succeed in their individual way.
Ultimately, coworking is all about the people, who become your friends and motivators in your business. The sense of community is paramount, and stimulates your own business growth and improvement. Coworking spaces themselves are all designed with business advancement in mind: the spaces are generally open and designed to enhance productivity in this professional environment. You have the freedom to interact and generate social and professional encounters, or simply choose not to.
Coworking is a far more stimulating environment for freelancers and small businesses, rather than working from home. The interaction and sense of community generates productivity, collaboration and resulting success for everyone involved.
Here at Bright Yellow Creative, we work in a coworking office space as part of a growing business of coworkers called Indycube. There are several workspaces available through Indycube, all throughout South Wales currently. As a Community Interest Company, Indycube is not profit driven, which means you can get ideal, stimulating coworking office space at excellent value! (As little as £10 a day!)
The particular office where Bright Yellow is located is Indycube Tondu, which is perhaps the smallest of the Indycube offices, and actually (handily) located in a pub! The coworking office space is brilliant, and full of interesting, likeminded people who can all exchange ideas and stimulus – as well as partake in a minor cheeky gossip about last night’s television. Indycube Tondu is the ideal creative atmosphere to encourage your business’ growth and success, so if you are interested, then try it out for a day!
You can find all of the necessary information about Indycube Tondu here, as well as information about our fabulous facilitator and Indycube associate anchor, Emma Jones!
You can also find other available Indycube office spaces, on the website here – as well as the official blog, Twitter accounts and news features!
Join our community – Come and cowork with us today!
If you search for the term “Search Engine Optimisation”, it returns with more than a few million results. It is mainly full of articles giving similar explanations and tips on how to make it work for you and your website. However, the clear repeated exhortation is the term “linkbuilding”, which generally refers to back links from other websites and blogs to your website. This is commonly known to improve your website search rankings, and is one of the main ways that every search engine judges how worthy or useful (and, therefore, searchable) your website is. Although, one of the most important platforms where link building works well to improve your search rankings doesn’t seem to be emphasised as much as it should, which is blogging. There are two main ways that you can use a website blog to work for you, in order to improve your search rankings and the amount of consumer views and attention to your website or business.
Start a Blog
Firstly, the importance of starting your own blog and utilizing blogging to improve your website. So many websites and businesses have begun their own blogs and articles in order to boost their business and consumer awareness, although often it seems difficult to find relevant and original content to create and blog about. Finding fresh and original content is often stressed in improving search rankings: each page on your website is a separate searchable page, so any traffic you would gain through new, interesting blog articles would be creating interest and a bigger consumer base for your business. If you are stuck for ideas for written articles, original content always helps in the form of varied multimedia, including images, videos, podcasts, or even tools and plug ins that you could create. This multimedia becomes searchable by itself, for example in an image search, which will help boost your search engine optimisation further. So the more various multimedia that you include on your blog, the more interesting your blog will appear, and the more searchable it will become.
The content is what will attract new viewers and thus consumers for your website and business. However, it is equally important to make sure your blog (and website) is easily navigated, performs properly, and loads quickly and accessibly. The site performance is what keeps viewers on your website, and clicking through the various site navigations and links, and it is crucial to create a naturally flowing hierarchy or sitemap for your site. If the navigation is an issue, it may be helpful to utilize Google Analytics, because it provides insight into how viewers behave on your website or blog. It shows how users reach your site, the most popular and viewed content, and where they decide to drop out of the site. It would also be helpful to create user friendly URLs for each page, because your URL is also featured in search results. Consider how search engines work, and the relevant keywords or what specifically users would search for, and make sure they are included in each blog page title or URL.
Connect with Your Community – Linkbuilding
The second way you can use blogging to improve your search rankings and consumer base is through using other blogs, and discovering your related blog community. It is possible to discover a wider consumer base through related blogs, where you can reach out to their users easily. Using a blogging system, it is easy to discover other blogs and advertise your website through the comments, through creating links on other blogs through the comments. However, bear in mind that some blogs become no-follow links, meaning they won’t count as a back link. Yet, if your comment is well articulated and doesn’t seem like comment spam, other readers will want to click and discover your blog and website through this method. Also related to linking through blog comments, it is possible to implement forums in order to help boost your website viewings and consumer base. On forums, you are allowed to comment freely and often include your blog or website in your signature, as well as a description enticing new consumers. It is important to create an interest and buzz for your blog and website, and socially communicate with other users to improve your viewings and, ultimately, your search rankings.
Quality Link Building and Google PageRank
There is a Google link analysis algorithm that can be used to improve your search engine optimism, however. This algorithm is called PageRank, which is one of the main methods used to measure the importance of web pages. PageRank was actually named after Larry Page, who was one of the Google founders. Basically, the formula measures the worth and importance of a page based on the number and quality of links from other websites. Google uses an automated “web spider”, called Googlebot, which counts links over the Internet and gathers information about sites to contribute to each page’s PageRank. Although, it isn’t the quantity of links that matters, Google’s PageRank is based mostly on the quality of links your website can achieve. Your website can trade links with many others, but it is paramount to make sure the links are only relevant to your site, and that you’re not trading with a link farm. Link farming is a dangerous way to generate links, as Google penalises for spam links, so in the long term it would negatively effect your website and decrease your PageRank.
A good way to easily target a reliable linkbuilding source is through registering your site with online directories, especially if you make sure to use high search ranking directories. Another way is through creating links and expanding in your blog and website community, ensuring that every website linked is relevant to yours, as previously discussed in the article. Both of these methods are good to increases your website reliability and search rankings, and ultimately Google PageRank, although they are not as effective as using quality PageRank websites to trade links with. An example of a quality PageRank website is a legitimate college, university, or a government website, and if your website receives a link from one of those, then your PageRank increases significantly. Also, if your website simply links to one of those respected sites, then it can increase your PageRank slightly as well. Basically, your website becomes golden, and your search rankings rocket, if you link to a college, university or government website, and achieve a link back in return.
In conclusion, linkbuilding plays a highly important factor in improving your website search rankings and Search Engine Optimisation. One of the most important ways to make the most of linkbuilding is through creating a blog attached to your website, as well as implementing other blogs to improve your consumer reach and optimise your search rankings. However, the importance and ranking of the website you are exchanging links with is a significant factor, and the more reliable and respected the website, the better for utilising your links. The goal for creating a Search Engine Optimised website and blog should be simply to create a seamless user experience, and to communicate content in an interesting and original way, in order to generate link backs and become recommended for relevant searches. Each blog article generates interest and potential for link building and individual search rankings, meaning more users accessing your website. Therefore, most of all, your blog must contain original, unique content, which would appeal to reliable, quality PageRank websites, as well as potential consumers, and ultimately increase your business exposure and sales.
We have thoroughly discussed the idea of Search Engine Optimisation through blogging, and the idea of utilising linkbuilding between your blog and other reliable websites and other blogs to improve your website search rankings. However, if you are still struggling with this idea and making the most of blogging and link building to help your website and business, then we can help you further!
Here at Bright Yellow Creative Group, we are experienced at creating a successful blogging platform, and making the most of blogs in order to improve businesses’ search engine optimisation. We can help run a blog for your website, including creating interesting and unique written content to attract new consumers and respected websites to your business and website. We can boost the blog posts with images and videos, and make sure to use keywords to improve your search rankings and Search Engine Optimisation, leading to a considerable expansion of your consumer base!
If you are interested in any of our services, including blogging, any social media platforms or alternate digital marketing, please get in touch with us here! Also feel free to comment below if you have any further queries or suggestions!
Making the most of search engines and optimising your search rankings is one of the most important factors involved in online marketing and businesses. It is crucial to become search engine optimised in order to reach a bigger customer base, and reach consumers in your local market. One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to do this is through registering your business on Google Places for Business. It is a highly effective way to improve your search rankings, particularly through Google Search, in comparison to using possible alternatives such as Foursquare. It also works as a helpful way for you to control the information about your business that Google shares with its searchers. As a business, you can add crucial information, such as: contact details, a description of your business, images and hours of operation.
Through Google Places, you are able to manage your business’ information in your dashboard, and edit it as you wish. More importantly, you are able to fill your Places page with lots of interesting, unique content. This will attract many new consumers to your business, as well as improve your search engine optimisation. Allow us to explain, with our easy 3-Step Google Places for Business Tutorial, how to make the most of Google Places, and help it maximise your business.
3-Step Google Places for Business Tutorial
Setting Up Your Google Places Account
Before you can get stuck in to Google Places, of course, you will have to register and get your business verified through Google. Firstly, make sure you have a Google or Gmail account set up for your business, log in onto the Google Places for Business website using that account. If you don’t already have a Google or Gmail account set up for the business, then you can create one on the Places website also, and ensure that you are not using your personal account.
After you have logged in, you can check how much information Google already has stored about your business. Places allows you to enter your phone number to view your business details, if any, where you can then add or edit as much information as you like. Make sure the information is all correct and accurate, and include your business address, email, website URL and a description of the business. Google Places also asks that you use something called business categories to define and help describe your business further. These categories are important, as the keywords are often featured in Google searches, and therefore will improve your page rankings right away. Places gives default business categories suggestions, so it would help to use at least one suggestion.
The final stage in setting up your account is verifying your business listing and Google Places account, which you can do via phone, SMS text or postcard. Verifying your listing via your phone is the faster and easier option, where they would send you a code to validate online. However, Google does claim that verifying via postcard is the safest method, but be aware that this can take up to 2 to 3 weeks to arrive.
Connecting and Communicating with Your Consumers
Once this account is all set up and verified, you are now ready to connect with your consumers! It is possible to share all types of unique and interesting content on your Google Places listing, including a total of 10 images and 5 videos (via YouTube). It is essential that you share correct information, and always link back and promote your business website. When consumers search for your business via Google Search, they will find a box on the right side of the search results, containing all your essential business information as well as a link to your Google Places for Business profile. In accessing this profile, they will be able to view any uploaded content, including images and videos of your business.
This platform works like a social media for businesses, and allows you to post as much essential information as necessary to attract consumers. However, the main difference is that it also acts as a ratings website for businesses, but on a platform that you are able to control. Your business consumers are able to rank your business on a 5-star scale, with an accompanied written review, which you can read and respond to. It offers a place to communicate freely with your customers and any critiques, so you are able to promote your business in a positive way and on a more personal level.
Rocket Your Search Rankings
One of the major bonuses of creating a Google Places profile for your business is the fact that it will increase your search rankings, on both Google Search and Google Maps in particular. Also, the amount of information that comes up on a Google Search will be far greater, which would hopefully generate more interest for the searcher that would make them more inclined to go onto either your Places profile, or your website directly. It creates a more professional looking business profile, and makes the business look more authoritative in your desired field. However, even though the Google Places profile itself will act as an advertisement enticing consumers back to your website and business, you must also make sure to link back and personally attach links to your website and blog in any way possible. It is all about promoting yourself and your business, and generating views for your website, which will equate to more search rankings.
The final step in utilizing your Google Places profile properly, therefore, is to promote your website and business as much as possible. It acts as another platform, not so dissimilar to social media platforms such as Facebook, where you can promote and generate interesting content to attract new consumers to your website and business. In the same way that your Facebook or Twitter is operated, you can generate similar content to reflect your business. Utilizing a network spanning multi social media platforms helps you reach different kinds of consumers, and allows you to try and reach as many as possible. It is important to make sure your business is featured wherever possible, because this makes people view your business as more endorsed and authoritative, and you come across as an expert in your desired field.
Making Google Places Work for Your Business
We have walked you through the process of setting up and the best way to utilize your Google Places for Business profile, which we hope you find beneficial and feel inspired to set up your own Google Places profile. However, if you are still struggling with this platform, then we can help you further! Here at Bright Yellow Creative Group, we can set up and run your own Google Places profile for your business. We would add your crucial business information and details, as well as interesting and unique content to attract new consumers to your business and website. We can offer our services to support you in any way possible to help your business improve with search engine optimisation, leading to a considerable expansion of your consumer base! We can help with your Google Places profile alone or including various other social media platforms as well, such as Facebook or Twitter.
If you are interested in any of our services, or need any more help with making the most of Google Places for Business, please get in touch with us! Also feel free to comment below if you have any further queries or suggestions!
“PPC” stands for Pay Per Click!
Pay Per Click (PPC) is web based advertising, and a key method of online marketing.
Pay per click allows you to buy, or bid for a customers attention, bringing them through to your site in the hope that they will then buy something. if the customer does buy buy, sign up, or contacts you as a result of clicking through to your site from a PPC ad, this is then called a conversion.
It’s relatively easy to set up your own PPC campaign, but it’s not so easy to get it right. Bright Yellow Creative have recently spoken to a company that were getting under a 0.5% conversion rate on a campaign that was costing them far too much through the use of vague keywords. We now run their PPC campaign for them and together with a 12% conversion rate, the campaign is much cheaper and more successful even factoring in our fee!
Our Pay per click specialists craft an effective paid search strategy to be highly targeted, cost effective, and to deliver maximum return on investment. We’re only as good as the talent that we employ, and that’s why we only employ the best talent to do it.
posted by Emma
The best thing we’ve read all month
As a team we see some great things on the internet from day to day. Plenty of dancing cats (sooo 2010), the odd bike crash through a hedge, mexican themed Vines and GTA5 inspired parodies of popular safety songs (http://bit.ly/1hJpASy). This tops the lot this month!
As a massive fan of the Back to the Future films I always dreamed of going back to my own school disco to cause chaos, get back at the school bully and be saved from the grips of my own mum. So when I found this article about actual time travelling experiments using my beloved Twitter it conjured up new kinds of musings.
I promised myself that if time travelling became the norm in the future, I would travel back to this exact moment and tweet some profound advice to myself (not showing up in real life as that would be too much). The Tweet never appeared, so this must mean that I have a terrible memory or that this stuff just doesn’t work.
[A nod to great mini blog post “No time travellers on the internet” by Doug Belshaw http://discours.es/no-time-travellers-on-the-internet.]
“Time travel has captured the public imagination for much of the past century, but little has been done to actually search for time travelers. Here, three implementations of Internet searches for time travelers are described, all seeking a prescient mention of information not previously available. The first search covered prescient content placed on the Internet, highlighted by a comprehensive search for specific terms in tweets on Twitter. The second search examined prescient inquiries submitted to a search engine, highlighted by a comprehensive search for specific search terms submitted to a popular astronomy web site. The third search involved a request for a direct Internet communication, either by email or tweet, pre-dating to the time of the inquiry. Given practical verifiability concerns, only time travelers from the future were investigated. No time travelers were discovered. Although these negative results do not disprove time travel, given the great reach of the Internet, this search is perhaps the most comprehensive to date.”
“Searching the Internet for evidence of time travellers” http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.7128
If those Busted boys ever did go to the year 3000, we’ll have to wait nearly 1000 years to see if they did actually tweet about it.. (Twitter didn’t exist until 2006, brain exploding yet?)