NIKE: Greatness is not beyond your reach

I’m super impressed with Nike and their ability to reach pretty much everyone – out of all the brands out there, they get it. Watch this video and try to disagree with me.

They recently released this honest and brave statement and call to action under their #findyourgreatness campaign – It features a 12 year old Nathan from London OH. He’s overweight, but still getting after it and it’s down right moving and motivating.

And the thing that impresses me is how they’ve gone from serving a narrow athletic market to serving pretty much everyone: athletes, action sports, males, females, and even overweight 12 year olds.

Personally, I’d love to see Nike stick with Nathan and follow him in his journey to losing weight. Who knows, maybe they will.

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What do you think?

 

Want To Enhance Conversions? Here are 15 Ideas

You should constantly be trying to enhance your conversion rates. Why? Because conversions are the lifeblood of your organization – they are what make you $$$$$$.

I’m no professional by any means, but I did put together some ideas that I thought I would share with you this morning. Feel free to go and act on some of these things. Try them out, see what works for you and your company. The same things don’t always work for everyone company – it’s about trial and error.

Here are a few of those ideas:

  1. Eliminate clicks for the user. Make it simple for them to convert. Don’t ask too much information. Don’t make users click-through7 pages to get to your product or offering.
  2. Combine as many things as possible into one click user experiences.
  3. Try adding a video to your homepage that explains your product, value propositions, and who you are as a brand – be sure to give it some personality and realness.
  4. Make sure your homepage is intuitive and experiential. Don’t lose your customers at the first step.
  5. Make sure your language sounds like a human wrote it – not a robot. I hate when I see people writing like a robot.
  6. Study your traffic sources and look at behavioral trends. After this, use the results to for A/B test within your website.
  7. Don’t be a fool. Use social signup and make it seamless – it will be one of the best things you’ve ever done.
  8. Quality content over quantity of content. This isn’t 2001 where you were only looking for SEO results. Users are way smarter these days.
  9. The path to purchase should be easy.
  10. Try using live chat to engage with every customer at they navigate through your site.
  11. Test out the timing of users. When are they coming to your site? Where are they at that time? What are they thinking? What are they feeling? Ask questions from the user perspective and try to get into their head.
  12. Free shipping works every time.
  13. Put your search bar big and right out in the open on your homepage. Don’t make users go searching for it.
  14. Show the product on the homepage.
  15. What are the benefits for the customer – put these out there for the customer to see.

I hope these help. Again, the key is trial and error.

 

Grab a pen and paper and go to work

Sometimes you just have to grab a pen and paper and go to work. I think we’ve become so accustomed to using tools that we have forgotten the value and efficiency of a simple pen and paper.

Simple is always better – that’s a fact.

The best approach to building an idea starts with sitting down with a trusty pen and paper or at a Think Table (Like that plug didn’t ya) and sketching out your thoughts and ideas.

A blank canvas or lots of white space provides this place to think different and generate lots of ideas quickly without any restraints. You can also explore other options and variations without any real risks – you can just throw it all out their and start to visualize something amazing.

While complex technology programs are great for putting the finishing touches on something, they’re not the quickest way to start the ideation process.

Here’s the question: Are you making things to difficult by pulling up another program when you could just be sitting down and starting to explore?

There is a simpler way. Try it. Use it. Go.

 

20 User Experience Questions for you and your team

This week while working on a website project it was decided that we take a step back and consider the user experience. We needed to ask ourselves some tough questions. With this, I organized some interviews and insights to make sure that what we thought aligned with our customers think.

Photo Courtesy of: Pocopina

Understanding each project is unique and different, here are 20 questions you and your team should take into consideration when designing a UX project.

  1. What is the purpose of the site? Sales? Marketing? E-commerce?
  2. Who will use the site? What are the customer segments? What is their behavior?
  3. What action would you like the people coming to your site to take?
  4. For each action, what do they think? How?
  5. What sites do your audience currently frequent?
  6. What is your customer(s) online behavior?
  7. Where are the people physically at when taking these actions? (home, work, on a bus or at a cafe) and what will they likely have access to (computer, laptop, mobile etc)
  8. Are you the only company offering these products or services? If not, how will you set yourself apart?
  9. What three things can you do really well that others will have trouble duplicating?
  10. What are the things operationally that need to happen in order for the site to do what it needs to do?
  11. For each of those things, is the company setup and prepared to execute?
  12. When these people use your site, what perception/tone/voice do you want them to leave with?
  13. In considering the above question, how will you design the visual elements, the content strategy, the interaction, social, the customer service, the functionality, and performance to make that perception a reality?
  14. What information architecture will best support the actions your visitors need to take? And how will they flow from one action to another?
  15. How will you channel the users through your site?
  16. What navigation structure best fits your audience?
  17. How will people find your site? Organic search, Adwords, social media, other?
  18. How will people engage with your site?
  19. What search functionality will you provide to help people find things on your site?
  20. What you don’t track you can’t measure? What key things will you track to determine your success?

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Anything you would add?

 

Quote: Brad Feld

It’s not about having a Silicon Valley attitude—it’s about having an entrepreneurial attitude.  It’s about partnering with other organizations in and around your area.  It’s about thinking big with entrepreneurs that sit next to you in your coworking space.  It’s about collaborating with tech gurus, social media wizards and community leaders at cool business events.  It’s the people that make a community an entrepreneurial one—not the location—and it’s up to you to contribute.

Building landing pages that get the official seal of awesomeness

You might have heard, but people are out there looking for your company. That’s great news, right? And, the new stat is some 90% of people are using search when starting the buying process. This means that you need to be there when they come a looking for you.

Try this. Put together some sweet landing pages that allow you to reach more prospects,  attain more customers, and get the official seal of awesomeness…who doesn’t want that!

Here are 10 things you can do to get your seal!

1. Take the time to build simple (not complicated) templates that focus on a single call to action. This can be download, call, or check out the demo. The more information and bells and whistles you put on the page, the less likely you are to get a new customer. Simple.

2. Create beautiful graphics and don’t let your 5th grader make them. You should include your logo – obviously – and a hero image that is clickable. People will always click on the large hero image.

3. Content is king so don’t clog it up. Get straight to the point. And, give your potential new customer a reason to give you their information. Maybe they get a chance to be entered into something…blah, blah, blah. You get it.

4. Lists are easy to read and people really do appreciate them – I do. The people that visit your landing page are going to do a few things: look at the logo, read the call to action, read your bullet points, and maybe your about or bio. Beyond that, it’s too much.

5. Integrate a form and don’t ask for too much information. You’re not the fricken government. Name, email, description, and maybe a phone number are just fine.

6. Email something back to the potential customer. Maybe a white paper, registration, etc. You want to make sure that you’re not getting a fake email address.

7. Confirmation or thank you pages are nice and they give you one last chance to sell them something. If you don’t try, someone else will.

8. Pretty URLs baby. People and search engines care about your URL. If it’s ugly, no one really cares. If it’s pretty, everyone cares and they’re looking. You should use dashes between words, not underscores.

9. Oh the Meta Data! Even though everything is moving to social search, the search engines still care about the meta. When it comes to the results lists, meta matters.

10. AB Test. Put up a couple of different pages and test them. What works best, A or B? You will then find out what works and what doesn’t work.

 

Winning teams have diversity and perspective

Everyday, I’m learning what my strengths are and who else I need to surround myself with to win in business. What I’ve learned, (The hard way as always) is that you need to know your gaps and be willing to fill them in with people who offset you. Don’t try to be a hard ass and go at it alone…you will fail hard.

When you think about your company and all the things you need like: strategy, innovation, finance, marketing, management, hiring – these things aren’t made up of one person, but you do need these people on your team. If you don’t have them, you lose the game.

There are things that I’m good at, such as vision, strategy, marketing, and getting people fired about a project and the potential that it has to change the game. However, when it comes to things like management or finances, I suck (and I’m happy to say that). This is why you need a diverse team.

The other thing you need is perspective. Perspective is something that all winnings teams have – a team of people all looking at things in very different ways. I might see it this way, when she or he sees it a totally different way. But, as we come together afterwards we can put our heads together and come up with a fantastic solution.

The collective perspective of a group of diverse leaders is what will in the end allow you to win the game. Value a diverse team, value perspectives, and get started building.

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What kind of team are you building?

 

Why realistic optimism?

Over the years I’ve been an overly optimistic person not always looking at the reality of the situation – it got me into trouble more than once. If you know me personally, you can probably appreciate the above statement. This has since changed (In the last year or so) and it’s treating me very well.

I was the fired up dude drinking the Kool aid not willing to face and embrace that which was real. Why? I don’t know why, really. Maybe  the thought of failure scared the shit out of me. So, instead of focusing on that, I would just focus on being optimistic and hoping and wishing for the best.

I was also raised that way. My mom is probably one of the most optimistic people you will ever meet. And, she was the one making the Kool aid!!! Haha.

Looking back, I use to say things like this, “Everything is going to be fine, we just need to keep going!”. Not taking the time to analyze the problem or challenge and build “several” plans that could be executed. This was so stupid of me to say these kind of things. Idiotic. If I would have only been more realistic with a dash of optimism. Not to drown on that though. There is a fix.

I haven’t given up on optimism, I’ve just decided to lean on the side of realistic optimism where today I say things like, “We are up against some serious challenges and here is how we propose to overcome them. We are not sure any of this will work, these are just the plans we’ve come up with thus far to address them. And, I do believe that together, as a team, as passionate warriors, (You need to be a warrior if you want to be in business today) we will meet these obstacles and challenges and find a way over them. I don’t doubt it for a second.”

This is what it looks like to express realistic optimism. Feels just as good, and, it is realistic!

Have fun and keep it real friends!