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Business can be stressful, especially when you add agitated or angry customers to the mix. Every once in a while, you’ll come across someone who is particularly vile. Maybe they call you names, refuse to treat you with respect, make lofty claims or refuse to pay for goods and services.
It’s not an easy situation to deal with, but we’ve all been there. The most important thing is to keep your cool in the moment so that you don’t lose yourself and damage the brand’s reputation. It’s almost always true that others are watching — including like-minded clientele — and if you explode, it’s not going to be good for anyone.
I’ve had my fair share of dealings with testy customers, and I’ve discovered many ways to make it through to the other side.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood said it the best: “Relax, don’t do it.” Of course, the song has other connotations when you get further in, but the hook sure fits because first, you need to relax. When emotions are running high, it’s not the time to make split decisions or react to others around you, at least not without calming down. That’s when you make mistakes, which can lead to harsh reactions or responses.
I’m not going to spill some mantra about finding your center, going to a happy place or doing yoga right then and there — although yoga and exercise can help. Instead, I’ll share a few tips that help me calm down in just a few minutes, like a spot treatment. If you’re susceptible to panic attacks like I am, you’ll want to remember these.
The eyes are the window to the soul, or so they say. They’re also the main point of sensory stimulation for your body. By sitting down and closing your eyes for a moment or two, you can give your brain a much-needed break, severing an endless stream of sensory input. That's likely why people who are stressed find comfort in sleeping. Besides feeling great, it also gives them a break from the outside world for a small time. And since some people are more sensitive than others, it definitely helps.
It’s rude to close your eyes without saying a word, of course, so just ask for a moment to compose yourself, then retreat to a remote office or isolated area. Sit for a moment, close your eyes, and let your body simmer down. Your client(s) can wait.
Breathing exercises are phenomenal for reducing stress and anxiety. Close your eyes, inhale deeply for about three to four seconds — letting your diaphragm expand as much as possible — then exhale for the same amount of time. Take it slow and repeat it as many times as you need to calm your nerves.
Lots of people squeeze or play with actual stress balls — they feel and work great. But if you don’t always have one lying around, remember that tennis balls are just as effective. Roll it around in your hand to tighten up and stretch your muscles. Doing so will help to release tension.
Fidget spinners are a bit ridiculous to some, but others swear by them. I prefer something a little different. It’s still a toy, mind you, but it plays on the idea of euphoric sensory input. It’s a cube with a variety of buttons, toggles, switches and interactive elements on it. When I’m really stressed, I just palm the toy and play around with it a bit. You can use the same toy or find something different, as there are tons of options for adults.
You can’t do it right in front of the customer, but when you get a moment to yourself, return to your desk or personal area and put on some of your favorite music. It’s even better if you get up and move, dancing to the beat. It doesn’t matter whether you’re listening to Beethoven, Five Finger Death Punch or Lady Gaga — just get up and move.
If you’re agitated or feel uncontrollable rage, it’s probably best to just get away entirely. It's a good time to take a walk, which will increase your circulation, especially if you’ve been sitting most of the day. Walking also releases a lot of built-up static energy.
Relaxed? Good, let’s move on.
Since many different situations can play out — all clients are different — it makes sense to specifically look at what’s happening. For example, what you should do when a client doesn’t pay on time or flat out refuses to collaborate is different from handling a micromanager.
While freelance is one of the most frequent places to find these tough clients (and more), they exist everywhere, even in retail. It helps to know how to deal with them and proceed with your work so that you can stay focused on the finish line.
Keep in mind that sometimes it’s not worth dealing with these clients at all. If you have the power, it may be necessary to cut them loose. If that’s the best option, I’ll point it out first. Don't worry, I've sent many a client packing myself — it's something we all need to do every now and then.
Here are some of the most common troublesome clients and how to deal with them.
The client approaches you for your help, you discuss the project and finalize a deal. Everything goes swimmingly until it’s time for the client to pay up. They flat out don’t pay, drag their feet or continue making excuses. In the end, you deserve to be paid for your work, and you invested your time, so what can you do?
It’s a smart idea to cease future projects with the client even if they pay well. Once they start giving you trouble with payments, it’s time to move on. There are exceptions such as emergencies or major personal events, but that’s up to your discretion.
Sometimes, the client thinks they know best — better than you — and will lob an endless swarm of suggestions, requests and comments at you. Incorporate what you can, but remember, they came to you for help. At some point, you’ll need to use your own judgment and experience to decide what happens next. What you know absolutely trumps what a client “thinks” they want — but don’t tell them that!
Don’t placate the client every time. Follow the process that you think is best for the project and its outcome. Politely explain to the customer that you have more experience. If they do not understand or continue to fight you, it may be best to set them free.
Poor communication is never good. Whether the client is not sharing enough about what they want, sharing too much or being incredibly vague, it can certainly grind a project to a halt. Find ways to meet with the client in person and be specific when you're asking questions or trying to collect ideas. Show them visual examples or past work and try to glean their likes and dislikes as early as possible. Doing so will help you avoid major revisions later.
Poor communication is one thing, but when clients disappear altogether, that’s another. It’s even worse when they’re missing and a big decision needs to be made. That situation can result in your entire team waiting around to complete work or continue.
Of course, you won’t know the client is going to disappear beforehand but get as much information about the project as you can upfront. If you come to a crossroads and they’re not around, move to another part of the project that you do have information about.
The client seemed a dream, you’re nearly done with the project and you approach them with what’s ready. Suddenly, they decide the work you put in is not good enough and they want something entirely different. If you continue, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.
If you made a mistake that caused the change, own up to it. If no mistake was made and they’re just being demanding — which happens more often than I’d like — make it clear that you kept to the original plans and you expect to be compensated. Be firm, be persistent, but don't be rude.
Explain to them that the costs will increase for the new approach and that the work will take longer to complete. If the client cannot understand that changing the scope near completion causes too much extra work — and may even ruin the deadline — it’s not someone you want to be working with long-term anyway.
I get this all the time in freelance. Clients don’t want to pay my rates and often tell me I either charge too much or have an inflated sense of self-worth. They want to pay an incredibly low price for lots and lots of work. If you’re not careful, they’ll continue to increase the workload as time goes on, but they certainly won’t pay what it’s worth.
If you notice the clients are cheap up front, just walk away. Take a moment to explain that the cost is the cost and you won’t budge. If they can't accept that they have to pay for quality work, they don’t need to be seeking help.
“I can do that in X time so much better!” Great, go do it then, bud.
With larger teams — organizations especially — managers aren’t truly managers, at least when it comes to making decisions. Generally, they have to go through a system of checks and balances. This process means consulting others on their team, including alternate executives. Dealing with these kinds of clients is challenging because getting a straight answer is rarely possible.
Make time at the beginning of the project to sit down with everyone involved, get the appropriate input and collect all the necessary contact information. In some cases, it may be necessary to go right to the source, asking outright what they want or what should be done, as opposed to going up the chain of command one by one.
The client wants something and may even be specific, but they have absolutely no clue what kind of work, value or time is required to get it done. Maybe they want you to complete an incredibly difficult project in half the time you usually do, or perhaps they’re offering a fraction of the overall cost. Again, this is best left to your discretion. Is the compensation they're offering worth all the trouble? If not, walk away.
I have found that the best approach is to educate the client using industry-specific examples as evidence. Show them your past work and explain how long each project took. Point out the value in your efforts and politely explain why the costs are higher than what they want or why it will take longer. Smart clients will recognize right away that you know what you're talking about.
You probably can't afford to turn away every difficult client. Sometimes, even I have to accept the undesirable client to make sure I can pay my bills on time, that’s just the nature of the business. That said, it’s not healthy to build an entire portfolio with these types of clients. Avoid working with them on future projects when you can, especially if they don’t pay, change the scope of the work entirely or remain unsatisfied with your work. Some relationships just aren’t meant to be.
When you're choosing what clients are good to work with, assess the impact on you and your team's health. If they're too difficult and it's going to cause stress for everyone, it may not be worth the trouble.
Sleep is one of the most important activities that we engage in and it’s essential to ensuring optimal health. Lack of sleep can compromise your ability to perform even the most basic mental functions like focusing on a task or processing thoughts clearly. That’s why it’s paramount to not only focus on the quantity of sleep but on the quality as well.
According to experts, light exposure can have a tremendous effect your body’s internal clock. This is what makes us feel sleepy when it’s dark and energized when the suns out. New research suggests that it’s not just the presence or absence of light that affects our circadian rhythm, but the color of that light as well.
This might explain why we feel a certain way when we see a beautiful peachy sunset or the blue light emanating from our electronic devices. Read on to find out how lighting color can affect your sleep.
It’s a well-known fact that the blue light coming from our laptops and smart devices can have a detrimental effect on our circadian rhythm. That’s because it suppresses the body’s ability to produce melatonin and this gives rise to problems like insomnia and restlessness. That’s also why we tend to have a harder time falling sitting in front of a laptop or smartphone screen.
The PLOS Biology journal published a 2015 study which was aimed at understanding how mice responded to light color exposure. What makes this study unique is the fact that it focused on the effect of light color on suprachiasmatic nucleus. This is the part of the brain that regulates time through chemical signals. As such, the researchers checked the mice’s mental and physical chemical reactions to light color changes.
During the research, the mice were exposed to different levels of light intensity and darkness while measuring their suprachiasmatic nerve signals. To achieve this, the researchers used a “fake sky” setup, kind of like in the Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show. The researchers also tested the mice’s response to different light colors like the purples and peaches that you get during sunrises and sunsets.
The data showed that the mice reacted normally to regular light exposure. However, the response of their suprachiasmatic nerve signals showed a 30 minute delay whenever they were exposed to conditions that went from light to dark without any changes in color hue. This is like working on your laptop all night and being exposed to its blue light and then suddenly switching it off without any sort of transition light color.
This research also shows us that the mice actually needed changes in light color to help them transition from light to dark. So the intensity and color of light has a strong correlation to our sleep patterns because science has shown us that there is a strong link between humans and mice in terms of suprachiasmatic nerve signals.
It’s also interesting to note that LED light bulbs may affect our ability to fall asleep because they emit more blue light than other light bulbs. But, according to the Elektra lighting design team, light fittings with specially engineered LED light can actually facilitate better sleep by emiting a unique amber glow.
Rectifying the Problem
The good news is that there are certain methods that we can apply to correct the problems caused by blue light exposure. The most obvious solution is to work on drastically reducing your exposure. This is understandably difficult for anyone living in the 21st century because we conduct most of our lives through a screen interface.
But, even if you can’t eliminate the use of blue light emitting screens during the day, you may do so at night. Try and read a book instead of looking at your cellphone, resist the urge to check emails or texts before bedtime, and avoid watching TV for at least two hours before you sleep.
If you can’t completely avoid blue light exposure at night, then wear orange tinted sunglasses while looking at the screen to reduce its effects on your biology. Orange tinted glasses help to block the blue light, thus making it easier to fall asleep afterward.
Whether you’re a big believer in marketing, or you think that if you build it people will buy it, the fact is that your business is a brand. Your brand is like your business card, and it’s what people will experience long before they actually do business with you. It precedes you, and it’s something that you need to fine-tune constantly if you want to be able to stand out from the crowd.
To give you plenty of food for thought, we’ve put together a simple 5 minute read that will tell you everything you need to know about a commonly overlooked creative tool: the style guide. Have a read, sit back and reflect, and then put the hints and tips into action. Your brand will be all the better for it in no time at all.
A style guide saves you from wasting time discussing tangential ideas
The first thing to note about a style guide is that it will always save you time in the long run. People will probably think you’re indulging in a drawn out needlessly creative endeavor when you suggest creating a style guide, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
It will take some time to get it right, but that’s just the cost of building a brand that actually stands for something. Commit to finishing your guide no matter what, and always remember that it will save you plenty of time later on. It’s there as reference material for the lifetime of your business, and it will prove invaluable when it inevitably comes time to rebrand, or when you’re launching a new product or service. The more you put into it now, the more it will give back when you need it.
It will ensure you stay ‘on-brand’ at every creative turn
Staying true to your brand is easier said than done. When you’re in the thick of it and faced with half a dozen mounting deadlines it can be all too easy to churn out a logo that’s okay, and a tagline that you think is ‘good enough’. The problem is that once you launch them into the market they’re now the face of your brand. If they don’t fit with what you’ve done before then they’ll just confuse people.
You could always retract them, but then you just look like you’re chopping and changing the offering based on negative feedback. And that’s a surefire to lose your voice of authority and open yourself up to further criticism. Your audience doesn’t want to believe that you’re just telling them what they want to hear. They want to believe that you’re the authority, the thought leader, and the trendsetter that they’ve been waiting to buy into.
They connect your brand to your target audience
If you want to know why style guides matter, all you need to do is think about the last bad branding exercise you saw. It could be a website, fashion label, home collection, or anything that left you speechless. With so many different creative threads to play with, you’ll probably have been confused at how they could have got it so wrong.
The issue will, more than likely, have been that there was no style guide in place. The style guide is what you use to ensure there is uniformity and a common thread running through every aspect of a marketing campaign. It’s easy to copy and paste the same old tagline, but there’s a lot more to uniformity than that. You need to tailor each offering so that it’s suitable for every new platform and setting, but in a way that’s sensitive to the core of your brand. Which leads us nicely onto the next point on our list.
You can express your brand’s core ethos in a variety of different mediums
Your brand needs to have something at the center of it if it’s going to connect with the people you want to do business with. It’s an emotion that it evokes in people, and it will be far stronger than their memory of your latest tagline, sale, or discount offer.
The problem with tackling different promotional mediums without a style guide is that most of the time a different person will have input into each platform. You may all be working for the same end goal, but unless there is central creative guide you can all refer back to then it’s unlikely you’ll end up pulling in the same direction.
Your customers will actually know what you stand for
Businesses like the The Word Point work in a very specialist niche, and so need to target a specific section of the online market. This means that they need to stand for something, and just as importantly, they need to ensure that their customers know they stand for it.
By compiling a style guide that focuses on precision, flexibility, and knowledgeable input they can build a creative framework around their brand. If you can do the same, you’ll be able to tell a potential audience of millions what your business stands for.
What should your style guide include?
The specifics will depend on the size of your brand, and what industry you work in, but there are a number of core features every style guide must have:
Static or dynamic style guides?
A style guide has to be a dynamic document, but one that is governed by a certain set of creative rules:
Getting the balance right between process and creativity
The final thing to say is that a style guide is a great way to help you find the right balance between process and creativity. If you have a deadline, it can be all too easy to submit something that does the job and be done with it.
What the style guide does in these instances is keep your output honest so that you can see whether your new content actually adds anything to your brand. Often you’ll find that referring back to the style guide points you in a subtly different direction that makes all the difference to the finished article. Ideal if you want to enhance your brand every single day.
BIO: Pauline speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She travelled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.
In our previous articles, we've talked about color and psychology, the meaning of colors in different cultures with particular attention to how colors evoke emotions. We know that music holds the same power - we are able to experience a variety of emotions by listening to music, and today we are wondering what is the connection between sounds and colors - can we connect one color with a certain sound and whether these have the same meaning when interpreted by our brains?
To discover more, we are talking to Umut Eldem, a composer, pianist, and art researcher. His main field of research is synesthesia, and he will tell us more about this curious phenomena.
Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which a person experiences multiple senses from only one sensory input. For example, along with hearing a sound, a person with synesthesia can also feel a certain taste; or while reading they can see that some letters are in different colors. What is particularly interesting for me is when people can see colors and shapes when they hear music, or so-called chromesthesia (sound-to-color synesthesia).
It is known that certain composers had synesthesia, such as Alexander Scriabin, Franz Liszt, and Duke Ellington, but we didn't know much about it until recently. Now, we can do MRI scans and see that different parts of the brain are active when people with synesthesia experience an input of sound or other senses, which is different than the reaction of an average brain. Science couldn't prove it before the technology allowed us, but what is more interesting for me is to understand how these composers correlated notes they wrote and instruments they used to create music with their condition and the colors they saw. This could also help us understand their music better - the ideas they expressed and what we actually identify with.
There are scientists researching synesthesia, especially cognitive scientists and neuroscientists, and what they are exploring is a more practical side of synesthesia. They are researching whether is more common to males or females, is it more common with artists, left-handed people, etc. They are trying to answer the question of why is it happening.
As an art researcher, I am looking into the ways that we can have a better understanding of the manifestation of synesthesia, and how to use it to express artistically. What I'm exploring is how we can use synesthesia even if we don't have it, and how an average brain connects colors and signs. Knowing more about it can help musicians understand musical concepts of the composers we listen to and bring the process of creating music to the next level.
My current research is pointed at discovering a general set of rules to develop software which can convert music into visual ideas, shapes, and colors, and use it as a tool for performing musicians. So, as the violin plays, you can project the video performance which directly responds to the music played.
I am conducting artistic experiments where I can see how visual input affects musicians. I add colors to their music sheets and learning whether it is easier for them to play like that, or more difficult. The practical result of this research is to enhance music performance.
Before learning about synesthesia, I didn't. But now, my interest is growing and I am trying to implement colors in my performances. For example, I did a performance with a narrator, which was reading a piece to the audience, and my music was playing from four speakers set in the room. I used light bulbs which were connected to an app on my phone, so I was able to change the color of the lights based on the tone of the story and also the sound, integrate different colors in different parts of the storyline.
The thing is, when you present an audio-visual piece, music, and colors, the audience will find it pleasurable, so we can't really understand these sensations deeply. However, the audience said that they did find harmony in the way the lights were responding to the music and the story, and connect to the story on a new level.
Although, what is much more interesting for me, as I said before, is to have a video which response to live music. This will be a new way of experiencing music.
What is interesting for me to work with is improvisation. I like to see how a musician will play a "red triangle" for example. If they see shapes changing on the screen, how will pianist, violinist, and a drummer react to these shapes as they change? For me, as an observer, this reaction of music to visual art has an aesthetic value, but for the musicians, it has an insightful significance - by doing this they discover more about themselves and how they correlate visual ideas with the music and which aspect of music they will turn to.
Next week I am delivering a workshop as a part of my project "Drawn to music", in Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, in Belgium. There will be musicians playing in response to visual art, but also the musicians that will draw what they hear. This two-way process will repeat itself and we will see how artists react visually to music and musically to visuals.
Visual art is stationary, comparing to music when we talk about paintings for example. There is a static image that we process in our own time and have an individual experience, while music has a more temporal effect and we all have the same time to experience it. When a classic artist responds to music visually, they are putting music into one frame. There are also synesthetic painters who are well known, such as contemporary Melissa McCracken. When you are a visual artist with chromesthesia, it is easier to express it because you already see colors and you are creating a visual output. It is also easier for the audience to relate to the synesthesia of a visual artist, but for music, it often requires an interpreter to explain the synesthetic potential of the music.
We are reflecting differently, it is all very idiosyncratic. Everyone has a different color for the same thing, and you will always get something different. Although it is interesting that we always react to music in the same way, there is still a pattern there. The experience is unique, but there is a general tendency of people to connect music and art in the same way. I believe that the biggest value of my research is understanding this general tendency in combining visuals and music in creating something new.
If you want to contact Umut and give your input to his research or ask him about it, you can reach him by email.
Author: Nina Petrov
Content marketing is essential for branding. Special marketing content plays an important role to increase the engagement of customers. To get desired results, you have to create engaging web content with a tagline, a catchy message, and call to action. With inspiring stories, you can create the first impression with your customers. Consider the advice of professional writers with the story and essay help to give a different voice to your business. Make sure to engage people with your brand to drive desired behavior.
Every brand needs high-quality, original content to bring your brand to life. Here are some essential components of strategic writing:
Strategic writing for your brand is necessary to increase the engagement of customers on a deeper level. Feedback and involvement of people are essential to get fresh ideas to make your brand memorable. Original content is authentic and compelling for your customers.
As per Derek Halpern, you have to spend 20% of your time in writing and 80% in its promotion. If you know promotion tactics, you can bring visitors even with mediocre content. Without contagious content, your dream to get tons of traffic can’t become a reality. Communicable means engaging articles. Try to write on interesting topics that force readers to share it with other people. With contagious articles, you can naturally increase your traffic.
If you want to increase awareness of your brand through your writing, you have to be shameless to steal ideas of other people. A tool like Buzzsumo may help you to find strong ideas. Type your keywords in the search field and check the most shared blogs and articles based on your anchor texts.
Check community sites to see massively contagious articles and blog posts. If you are blogging in the marketing niche, you can find great ideas from Buzzsumo. It is true that you can steal ideas, but you can’t steal words from other articles. Your readers will ultimately find that you are a copycat. This situation can ruin your credibility.
Keep it in mind that you can improve articles and an original idea so that people can’t recognize it. Here are some ideas to enhance the quality of your article.
Before writing on an idea, read maximum articles available on the internet. Keep it in mind that stealing an idea from a person is plagiarism, but stealing from several sources is research.
People love graphics, so include several images in an article. Make sure to create custom images to illustrate important points. Your article must have these visual assets.
A story can sound completely different depending on the narrator. A few people have extraordinary talent to tell a boring story into an engaging manner. If you are not gifted to write creative stories, you can create viral headlines. A weak headline can kill your article, so create an exciting headline. Clickbait headlines aim to exploit the inquisitiveness gap to provide enough information to make readers curious.
Without targeted keywords, you can’t optimize your articles. The Keyword Planner of Google helps you to brainstorm potential keywords. Keyword optimization is essential for link building, content creation, and content strategy.
After choosing focused keywords, you have to mention it in the title tag. Keyword optimization is essential in a link building strategy. Navigational links, breadcrumb links, inbound links, and internal links must have optimized keywords. To get a better ranking, you have to connect with searchers. Target keywords are necessary for your content.
There are several factors that will be influential to the success of your business. The quality of the products and services, location of the physical store, human resources, and timing are just some of the most crucial.
In most cases, people tend to focus on the bigger picture when talking about business success and they ignore the small details. Among others, one that you should not miss is the importance of a logo, which should speak about the personality of the business. More than the actual design, there is another factor that will contribute to its success – the color.
In the rest of this post, we will discuss some of the reasons why the color of the logo is important. While we’re at it, we will also look at some of the best colors to incorporate in your business logo and their meanings.
Before we proceed, if you need help in designing a logo for your website, check this out - https://www.thetop10sites.com/logo-design/. You will find a variety of choices to help you in coming up with the perfect logo that will speak about your business.
The Importance of Color in your Logo
On top of the list is the obvious – aesthetics. The color is important because of the overall appeal that it provides the logo. Would you choose a color that won’t speak to your target market? Of course, not! Pick a color that will immediately captivate their attention the first time they see the logo. If they do not find the color appealing, they might not even notice that it is a company logo. In line with this, it is said that 93% of purchase decisions are based on visual perceptions, which can rely not only on the color of the packaging but even the color of the logo that is printed on it.
To add, the color is also critical because it will allow you to make an instant connection to your target market. Are you trying to target people who are young? Probably, you will benefit from using colors that are vibrant and energetic. On the other hand, if you wish to target professionals, you might want to choose subdued colors. Meanwhile, if the affluent market is the target, choose colors that are elegant, which will make the logo appealing.
In one article from Harvard Business Review, it has been noted that trust matters more than ever for brands. It is one of the most important goals of branding. How exactly can this be done? Probably through the use of the right color.
Aside from building trust, color also builds brand recognition. Meaning, it will be easier for the people to link the logo to your company.
More so, color is important for differentiation. It makes you unique compared to your competitors, and hence, will be easier to recognize. For instance, if there is a row of shops along the street, all of which are offering the same product or service if your logo color is different, you will easily stand out.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, logo appeals to the emotion. It provides the business with the opportunity to develop a connection to its customers. In fact, color is the biggest emotional trigger in logo design, which is why it is critical to give this a careful thought. This brings us to the next part of this post, which will discuss the colors of logos and their meanings. If you are unsure how to design or redesign your logo, take note of the discussions in the next part.
Picking the Right Color
Now, let us have a look at some of the colors that you might want to consider for your logo, as well as their meanings or the messages that they convey.
For a more detailed guide on how colors will be able to manipulate emotions, check out this link - https://www.businessinsider.com/the-importance-of-a-logos-color-2014-4. This article from Business Insider also comes with practical examples that will make it easy for you to realize that the things we tackled above are indeed right.
So, do you want to create an effective logo that connects to the emotions of your customers, stands out from the competitors, and captivates attention? As noted above, there is one way to do it – choose the right color for your logo.
While color is important, however, it should be emphasized that there are other elements that will affect the perception of the logo, including the shape and the font.
There are two main ways you can boost sales of your products on Amazon: drive more traffic to your listing, or increase conversion rates, that is the percentage of visitors who actually make a purchase.
When it comes to improving conversation rates, one of the essential elements to consider is great product design. Check these tips and ideas for great Amazon Product Design which will help you to improve conversions, boost sales, and grow your business.
Start With More Ideas, Not Less
When designing a product it is best to start with as many ideas as possible: you can narrow them down later, but the more ideas you start with the more likely you are to have that one winning idea. Start by brainstorming as many product ideas as you can. Conduct research – talk to previous customers and your ideal target customers to see what they’re interested in buying. Be as creative as possible to come up with a long list.
Conduct Market Research
Once you have a healthy ideas bank, you can start to narrow down that list to things you think will sell. A good place to start with this is to conduct market research. There are many ways to do this – surveys, trade shows, online trend tools and industry news and blogs, to name a few – and all are important to gauging the market to get a feeling for the kinds of products customers will be looking to buy. Knowing and listening to your existing customer base is also key in this process – they can give you great insights. Of course, you should simply look to designing a product simply because of sales potential, but you also don’t want to design something no one will buy because there is simply no market demand.
Consider Your Brand
As an Amazon seller, your store is your brand. Branding is incredibly important in any kind of business: it tells your customers who you are, helping you build relationships and trust with your customer base. When designing products for Amazon always keep your brand in mind. Will the product be in line with your brand as a seller? Does it appeal to your target customer? Most successful Amazon stores have cohesive ranges of products which reflect their strong brand.
Look To Your Competitors
Competitor analysis is an important tool in product design. Look at what products your competitors are selling, what is successful and, even more importantly, what isn’t. Read the negative reviews which customers have left on similar products to see what features you could add to address these concerns. Better to learn from your competitors’ mistakes rather than make these mistakes all over again yourself!
Don’t Forget Legal Concerns
This will not be necessary in every case, but in some cases it is advisable to patent new product designs. A patent can be advisable if you have created a new manufacturing process as part of your product design, your product relates to a discovery in a new field, or if you are looking for external investment. Patents can be expensive, so if you are unsure a good middle-ground could be to file a provisional patent application.
As we mentioned in our previous article, the thing with VR software is that everybody has a preference and each company is developing new features every day. Here are top picks from designers around the world, and some of their main features.
Developed by Autodesk, Forge represents a great platform with team management features. Their great toolkit enables you to merge your design with engineering and enable you tools such as Model Derivative API, Reality Capture API and many more.
This modeling application was developed by Google, with excellent tutorials to get everyone to model basics quickly. This is an absolute winner for beginners, to get you used to the language quickly before you move on to modeling on some more professional platforms. There is a free trial for this software, so see for yourself.
Blender is a perfect example of what you can move on from SketchUp, although you can also dive into it straight away. Blender is open source and free for all, which makes it favorite for many developers. This software uses Python and it is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac. Another great advantage is the ability to export your work in many different formats, including a format for JanusVR with a free open source plugin FireVR.
UE4 is the main competitor to Unity 3D, also a leading gaming software with many integrations, wide store, and good support. It is comparably good as Unity, although some say the results are much more realistic and with better navigation. Unreal Engine also allows you to export to various formats, although not as much as Unity.
These are our current top five picks of software to design an awesome virtual reality. Their abilities range based on their target groups - some are more basic like SketchUp, and some way more advanced like Unity 3D and UE4. What software do you prefer for designing and modeling virtual reality? What are the most important features for you, how important are the learning materials and the community?
Tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.
Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com
Whether you have an existing company or are planning to start your own business, branding strategies are key to surviving a competitive market. Market conditions are constantly fluctuating as every industry continues to get more saturated with more competition. With that growth comes the challenge to make sure your brand and your company stand out and are capable of countering your rivals.
Branding initially seems like a simple idea, but it is anything but simple. Branding requires a bit of thought and intention, and more often than not, it can deliver high rewards. Branding is how you create a positive audience perception that establishes trust between you and your customer base. This trust is what keeps people coming back to your brand and that is what you, if not all, businesses desire.
Below, we have compiled a list of branding ideas that can keep your brand name ahead of the game.
When you are branding for your company or for a product, you are essentially trying to tell your company’s story, goals, and mission in little to no words and in a very concise and eye-catching design. You do not want people to feel unengaged or take your company as unprofessional because of a dull logo design.
Revisit your logo design to see if it is influential and effective at drawing positive attention. How does your logo look on packaging, on merchandise, and on letterheads? Does it look effective on a big billboard? What about on a laptop screen or a small cellphone screen? Could it still be clear if you put it on a moving vehicle? If not, your logo may need a bit of a refresher. Pinterest is a good place to find ways and inspiration on how to spruce up your logo. Play with your design. Maybe your logo is too busy and needs paring back. There is nothing wrong with making good use of white space in your designs. Perhaps, it needs a new color palette. For example, Colourlovers is a great place to find trendy color palettes that fit your brand personality but also draw the consumer’s eye.
As the market is always evolving, your logo should tweak and change with it. Whatever you do, your logo should represent the spirit of your brand so strongly that people know immediately who you are at the sight of your logo.
Once you have a logo that is fresh and unique, make sure to use a variety of ways for people to see and interact with it. If you are selling a product, your packaging should be something appealing and memorable. The first thing consumers are drawn to is the packaging and ensuring it matches the tone and personality of your product and company is important in keeping their trust.
Get your brand logo printed on business cards, brochures and postcards. First, it is a strong traditional move of professionalism to have business cards and brochures. Also, sometimes the best way to get your brand out there is by putting it right in people’s hands. Having something substantial to hold does bear quite a bit of meaning to people. Websites like MOO and Primoprint are online printing services that can help you get your logo out there.
Another great way to get your logo out there is to put your logo on the things you work with every day. Get your logo printed on your office supplies. Seeing your logo on letterheads, coffee mugs, mousepads, pens and pencils, notebooks and more show people that you are in support of your own brand. People are able to trust you when they see how much you back your own name. You should try to be your brand as often as you can because it instills a sense of confidence in yourself and in your brand. Sites like Artik and Avery can make custom office supplies and personalize your letterheads, among other things.
It goes without saying that people really enjoy getting custom swag. As such, promotional products are another great way to spread your brand. T-shirts, keychains, magnets, glasses, water bottles are among some of the things you can get your logo on.
An interesting option is lapel pins. Vivipins is a great website where you can order customized lapel pins. Get your logo on these high-quality lapel pins and watch them end up on teenagers backpacks and bags as extra decor. You can also give them to your employees and co-workers as a sign of gratitude as well.
Custom swag is an effective way to create a network of people who help create interest in your brand. The people who were your logo will likely share it with other people. Thus, your consumer pool grows. Look at websites like Vistaprint and Artik to create custom swag for your business.
Make your website or brand standout by making a URL that features the name of your brand in the web address. It helps for marketing and search engine optimization so your website or brand name is likely to come up first when searched online rather than getting lost or overlooked.
In fairytales, fables and parables, archetypes are the character types that we see so often that they become easily recognizable to us. Who knew the same concept would apply in marketing?
Now you do not necessarily need to blast this to all of your customers, but even on the marketing playing field, everyone fulfills a type of role. Identifying what role you play in the greater branding narrative, ensures that you create a compelling personality for your brand that users can identify no matter what.
Social media’s importance to how people relate and connect with each other continues to grow each day. In the context of marketing, the very same still applies. You must understand which social media platform is important to your brand. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites all have different target audiences. Make sure you are connecting with the right audience for your brand.
Instagram is one of the ways brands connect with the younger generations. It can curate the best and most stunning images of your brand more than a paragraph of words can and create a spark of interest in an instant. Images give off moods and suggest a number of things to your audience. As such, you might consider investing in a social media manager or a photographer to capture the best images of your brand. Also, watermark your Instagram pictures with your logo. It will help people associate your high-quality images with your brand name.
If having multiple social media accounts is not doing enough for your brand, brand influencers are a good way to go. Brand influencers are social media stars who are connected to your industry. Research who your customers are following. Find the top names on social media, especially those who line up with your mission. An influencer can not only bring more exposure with their large following, but they can also help create a sense of personalization for your brand because if a person’s favorite social media star is using your brand then they gain a sense of trust in you.
Custom hashtags are also a great way to grow your social media footprint. Creating a unique hashtag that embraces your company’s mission is a great way to share your brand in an online language that everyone understands and knows how to share.
Blogging is a great way to better engage with an audience about your brand. Blogs usually have a very casual and personal tone, giving them a sense of individuality and personalization that maybe ads or professional articles lack. People flock to blogs because its seems like real people talking to real people. Starting a blog about your brand too will show your audience that you are a professional about your field, and it can unite text and visuals in a great engaging way.
People have short attention spans so people are more likely to engage more with video content than to read a long post. The world of YouTube has quickly brought video culture to a high where being a youtuber is now a viable career. Not to mention how much of our entertainment consumption is done through videos. Videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, it seems like the internet is just a constant loop of videos. Just think about how quickly and easily people are likely to send funny videos over their phones or share it. Now think of how well your brand might do if its brand video was handed the same exposure.
Visual media is an immediate form of connection that people can understand and translate faster than reading. Beautiful graphics, illustrations, and vibrant colors present your brand in an engaging way that is easy to access, understand and share.
One great way to stay on track with trends is to ask your customers questions. Issue surveys and get feedback. This shows that you value what your consumers think, and it keeps you updated on what they want to see from you next.
On that note, stay on top of what is trendy in the world. Content Gems is a website where you can research different topics and find relevant content based on your particular field of interest of your company. Similarly, Buzzsumo is also a place to discover what people are “buzzing” about online. You can also conduct research on this website to find what people are currently sharing or talking about. It is also a great place to see where your brand falls among trending topics. In another way GoogleAdWords allow you to see relative search keywords that can help you create ads or content that target particular niche markets.
As much as your branding efforts has everything to do with your audience, your branding efforts start from within your company. Just as you want to build a trust with your audience, build a trust with your coworkers and employees. They are your first line of action when it comes to branding, and you want to ensure that they are all on the same page as you, ready to not only support your brand but also share their positive experiences with other people. Again, it looks good when real people who work for a company or brand really get behind it.
People, consumers especially, like to feel valued and wanted. People can tell when they are being sent the same mass correspondence or when they are not being treated as an individual. Give any email correspondences a sense of individuality by signing off them with your name and your logo. People want to feel like they are talking to real people. Whenever it is possible, be personal, warm and friendly with your customers. Allow the opportunity for your customers to want to connect with you and trust you as a friend.
These are some unique and effective ways to show off your brand to the world. The methods mentioned above strive to not only empower your logo in a competitive market, but they also bring you closer to a strong, trusting audience. Earning and keeping your audience’s trust takes some time so be patient with yourself. It is important to pick the methods that fit best with what you are offering the world. There is no one right way to do it. However, you should always remember that you have plenty of options that work for whatever stage your brand might be at.
Present day, choosing the most powerful web tools is an art in itself. There are so many options that look very similar and are extremely hard to differentiate without spending money and time to test them. The best web design tools out there help you work smarter rather than harder and achieve the desired result within a shorter period of time. We bet that you’re after such tools. However, you probably don’t feel like trying and testing all the solutions available on the web to determine the best ones among them. That’s why we bring you a collection of 39 powerful tools to use in 2019 to sizably rev up your workflow.
We covered the most popular fields for you: website and logo builders, website themes and much more.
Creating a website in 2019 is simpler than ever. There are many ways to do it but today we will discuss the best way. WIX is a brilliant website builder packed with over 500 beautifully designed website templates that can be used by anyone. WIX is being already used by over 140 million users from 190 countries, every minute a professional and stunning website being published on their platform or on private domains.
WIX is packed with tons of features and options. You will find a friendly interface that will guide you every moment, a professional logo maker, a drag-and-drop builder that will help you fully customize everything you need, over 200 Apps designed to help you grow your business online and over 500 designer made templates to get you started.
Whether you’re a designer, developer, marketer or digital agency, you’ll get all the resources you need: tutorials, training programs, webinars, professional forum, the Wix Experts Blog and more.
Build the exact website your client needs with advanced design features and professional business solutions. With Wix, your clients can manage their entire brand or business online.
Everything matters in business and many things can and will have a huge impact on converting and growing your company numbers. Your website design, your logo but also your invoices and contracts. These are your business card. Improve your company image in seconds with the right tools. With eversign you can sign electronically contracts, NDA’s and many other document types. If you are a freelancer, you can easily get out of the crowd by using this modern and secure solution.
In a few steps, your new document will be signed electronically by all parties. The built-in document editor gives you all the tools you need to edit, send and sign documents in seconds. Use the powerful features to make your life easy. Set up templates for your most frequently used contracts or forms, share them with your team and reduce drafting time. Configured to allow for simultaneous work, eversign will increase your document-related workflow immediately.
Go paperless and register for free with eversign.
If you’re looking for an entire collection of design tools that anyone can use, you’ve come to the right place. The Tailor Brands branding suite starts with a logo maker, which comes with preset color palettes that make any logo look good. What’s cool about Tailor is that they provide a quick solution for people who want a unique, professional-looking logo, but they give you full control over your logo design if you want to make your own changes.
However, Tailor’s pièce de résistance is their new and improved Master Design Tool, which comes with a studio full of top-notch, editable designs, and an intuitive editor that you can use to design anything from social cover banners to email headers. Whether you need branding materials or just want to design a nice holiday greeting, this platform has you covered across the board.
Don't let your WordPress theme limit your creativity. Instead, choose Total. The Total drag & drop WordPress theme includes intuitive, built-in options to create your dream website. Use the drag and drop page builder to create custom layouts (bonus: you can even create custom header & footer layouts!). Then take advantage of hundreds of live Customizer settings for fonts, colors, backgrounds, archive pages, and more to finish your design. Total also comes with portfolio, staff, and testimonials posts types as well as compatibility for popular plugins including WooCommerce, bbPress, the Events Calendar, and WPML.
Creating highly converting land pages is super simple with Landingi. This is the most complex, all-in-one and easy to use the solution on the market that you can use for building unlimited pages, without having any programming skills or previous experience.
Create great landing pages with Landingi.
Darwin Pricing is like the swiss knife in the dynamic pricing software development field. They are an expert, a key partner that you need for increasing your sales volume, revenue, and the net profit. Darwin helped Otto Group which is a huge corporation with over $13 bn annual turnovers to do that and they will help you for the same.
Drop them an email.
Codester is a huge marketplace where designers and developers will find thousands of awesome scripts, codes, app templates, themes, plugin, graphics and even more. Always check the Flash sale section where hugely discounted items are being sold.
Are you preparing to launch a new product, company or you want to buy a new website domain and you are out of ideas regarding the name? Using Name QL you will get solutions in seconds. You simply write down the base name that you like and the software will offer you lots of variations to pick from.
Bad links (broken or malicious) are extremely bad for your company. Most of the visitors that are finding such links are never coming back to that websites. Their trust is quickly lowering, and they get angry for losing time.
Manually searching for these links can be extremely complicated or even impossible for large website which are having thousands of links or even more.
Use Dr. Link Checker to automate the scanning for you and repair the links in minutes.
Rank Math SEO is the most powerful WordPress plugin that will take care of your SEO. It is packed with
lots of great stuff while keeping the interface simple. It loads super-fast, it is easy to configure and use, and it has everything you need for on-page SEO .
Generate more traffic with this effective, yet very simple solution.
A good-looking poll, quiz and survey will be completed and shared. How to achieve that? It’s super simple. Use the online quiz maker by Opinion Stage and you can design you own without having any coding skills or previous experience.
Join over 10,000 happy users and create gorgeous, fully customized quizzes.
WP Hacks is a highly respected WordPress resource website which is packed with lots of great stuff. You will find detailed tutorials, themes, plugins and deals, everything being handpicked. Check it.
Meridian Themes is a powerful WordPress theme developer which is quickly becoming a top solution for many of us. In their portfolio you will find pixel-perfect themes that load very fast and are easy to fully customize for your needs.
WP Review Pro is the best review plugin for WordPress, being loaded with 14 types of rich snippets, with multi types of designs, Facebook and Yelp reviews and many more.
Build a great WordPress review website in minutes with the best solution on the market.
Grace is a powerful HTML template that is featuring a high impact full-screen homepage header and a full-screen image slider for your projects. The theme is lightning fast, SEO friendly and it is loaded with lots of features and options that will make your website stand out of the crowd.
Looking to build a high converting landing page for your website? Landing is a free Bootstrap 4 website template that you can use for any type of landing pages you need. This one-page theme is having a pixel-perfect designs and it features a smooth scroll, slick slider, slant sections, table pricing and a lot more awesome stuff.
Presenting your website design or mobile app correctly will help you as much as creating high-quality stuff, improving your ROI. Now you can present your iOS app in a professional and easy way using this excellent iPhone X PSD mockup.
NextGen Gallery is used by over 1 million happy users, being the most complex, all-in-one and preferred solution to display stunning galleries or sell images. Make it even more powerful by getting the PRO extensions.
Use NextGen in your projects and make your website stand out of the crowd.
Photocrati is building the best photography themes on the market, working closely with photographers to solve all the issues that general themes are having for this niche. These themes are pixel-perfect, SEO friendly, are super simple to customize and load extremely fast, which is very important when displaying stunning galleries with lots of images
For $99 you will get the theme plus the NextGen gallery plugin.
TeslaThemes is among the few premium WordPress developers which is focused on building the best themes that man can possibly create. All their templates look great, are fully responsive, SEO friendly, and are loaded with tons of features and options.
With over 6,000 customers worldwide, ShowThemes is building the best WordPress event themes on the market. The secret behind these awesome themes that solve all the issues that general themes have in this niche, is that they have worked closely with event professionals, knowing perfectly what and where to fine tune.
Getting your website up and running has never been easier. Create your unique website today with uKit. It’s an all-in-one solution where you can browse the library of designer-made templates to choose the one that suits your needs, set up SEO, add social media accounts, and go online in a matter of minutes! Don’t wait, start your exciting web adventure!
uLanding is an easy-to-use, yet powerful landing page builder that has everything you need to create your professional digital identity and get online in a matter of minutes. Select one of stunningly-looking designs and customize it by adding texts and images. Custom color schemes, font combinations, and parallax effects will allow taking your landing page design to a completely new level. Fast, easy, and hassle-free.
Want your site content to go viral? uSocial offers a set of effective tools to achieve that — modern and beautiful like and share buttons. In addition to like and share buttons, you can take advantage of the Social Locker (hides your web page content behind social buttons until a visitor performs a required action) and Get More Visitors tools (an inviting pop-up window).
Logaster is the way to go if you are looking for a brilliant logo design and you want to keep spending at its minimum. Write the logo name and in less than a minute, the logo generator will show you lots of designs to choose from. Pay only if you find the design you like.
Content Snare will help you get content from your client without the hassle. Create "requests" with all the pieces of information you need from the client. Use the built-in templates or create your own. 2. Send Specify a due date and a follow up schedule. Let Content Snare do all the client chasing instead of wasting your precious time. 3. Approve Content Snare will notify you when something is ready for approval. Lock it in, or request changes before checking it off.
The company is also dedicated to helping digital agencies grow through the accompanying podcast, Agency Highway.
It's as simple as it sounds, start using it. Start a free trial.
Work Examiner is a popular internet monitoring software that you can use to improve productivity, to prevent data theft and for many other scopes. It is loaded with tons of features and options that you should check on their website to have a better understanding.
Start a 30-day free trial.
MailMunch is a popular landing page builder that you can use to build unlimited landing and squeeze pages, without having any programming skills or previous experience.
Create high-converting landing pages within minutes using the drag-and-drop landing page builder.
InvoiceBerry is a dedicated invoicing platform that works excellent for small and medium businesses. Creating and sending fully customized invoices takes less than 60 seconds and the platform can be used also for tracking expenses, managing customers and much more.
Sign-up for a free trial, no credit card required.
Bonsai Contracts is a dedicated solution for freelancers, where they can create, fully customize, sign and store contracts and invoices. It’s the most professional such solution in this niche, solving all the normal issues that general software suits have.
SuperbWebsiteBuilders.com is the number one destination for users, who are searching for simple yet powerful web building tools. The website contains dozens of reviews, which provide truthful information about hosting providers, website builders, their overview, merits and demerits as well as niche specialization. Users, who have doubts regarding the best service to work with, may use the ratings compiled based on the reviews.
Xfive has a team of developers who care, and they can be hired as an extension of your team or separately for bringing to life your projects. They have over 10 years’ experience in web and mobile development, being a top choice for all types of customers, from small companies to large corporations.
Discuss your project with Xfive.
actiTIME is an online project time tracking software that allows users to track time, register leaves and add comments in a weekly timesheet. It works excellently for all kind of companies, from the small ones to Fortune 500 huge corporations.
Start a free 30-day trial.
One of the best ways to take your business up to the next level is to integrate online calculators and forms to your site. How can that be done? Easy. That’s what uCalc was created for! Allow your customers to calculate your services costs. They can also make online payments via the PayPal payment processor. Don’t wait, try it today — it’s free.
You found an awesome font, but you don’t know how to identify it? What Font Is represents the best font identifier on the market, being super simply to use and free. You upload the picture with the font or you write down the URL, and the rest is being made by the software. This web tool is loaded with over 450k fonts (premium and free) and a powerful font AI that will show you the font you are looking for plus over 60 similar fonts.
Wokiee is more than a gorgeous multipurpose shopify themes, it’s a powerful design tool that is packed with lots of designs and layouts, tons of features and options and a friendly interface that will help you build a store that stands out of the crowd.
With Pixpa anybody can create an online portfolio, without having any coding skills or previous experience. It is having a powerful drag-and-drop builder, lots of gorgeous templates, a friendly interface and tons of features and options that will make your portfolio stand out of the crowd.
You need urgently a logo design, or you have a tight budget? Instant Logo Design is the best solution for you. You simply write down the logo name, you decide if you want a slogan or a symbol and then you are good to go, choosing the design you like.
Everyone wants to get a strong online-community around his or her services. How is it possible? When you have Gravitas, nothing will be impossible for you. This marvelous MotoCMS 3 flagship has rich functionality and unforgettable design that will make people fall in love with your website. There are several key factors that you will be extremely happy to take advantage of. As an example, you are going to get seven ready-made websites, 30+ elegant pages, social integration, Google Map, and many other excellent features.
Founded in 2014, TMS was built and grown around developing a powerful service to extend or back up your tech team. Since then they represent the expert solution that you need for PHP, Node.JS, React, Symfony, Laravel and many others. Thousands of businesses and people around the world are using web applications built with TMS.
Get in touch with them.