marketing

Getting Seen on Facebook

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It has become trickier than ever to ensure your brand’s content is being seen on Facebook. In 2018, Facebook began prioritizing “meaningful interactions” from friends and family over brand-generated content, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see […] should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

To give your content the best shot at being seen, engage using Facebook’s most valuable behaviors (from social media scheduling platform Hootsuite):

Comments

The algorithm prioritizes active interactions like commenting and sharing over passive interactions like likes and click-throughs — the idea being that actions requiring more effort on the part of the user are of higher quality and thus more meaningful. Rather than passively scrolling through the News Feed and occasionally pausing to “like” a photo or an article, Facebook wants users to be inspired to engage in conversations with each other.

This means brands should create quality content focused on sparking conversations between users. Try including questions in your posts, or writing about timely, relevant topics that users are sure to have an opinion on. The point is, users will be more likely to see your Facebook posts if their friends and family are commenting on it.

The algorithm not only favors comments, but also replies to comments. These signal that a piece of content is inspiring conversation between users.

Reactions

If a user takes the time to hit the “love” icon vs. the “like” icon, your content will receive a minor boost in the News Feed. Just as in life, “loving” is a more valued emotional signal than “liking.”

The same goes for all Facebook’s reactions: Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. Facebook wants to see those “active” emotions.

Use Messenger

If a user shares a piece of content to their wall, that’s great, but it’s even better if they take the time to send it to a friend (or a group of friends) over Facebook messenger.

Engagement on Shares

While sharing a post is a pretty “active” interaction compared to most, simply getting shares is not enough. Your post must be shared and get engagement on that share to be prioritized in the algorithm.

Tips to increase organic reach on Facebook:

  • DO create quality content that resonates with your audience! This is the single most important piece of advice in this list. Everything about “meaningful interactions” boils down to creating quality content that people actually want to see.

  • DO use video & live video. People linger over a video post five times longer than at a static post. Video is not only good at capturing attention, it’s better at inspiring action, too.

  • DO use a clear call-to-action so that the audience knows how to engage, whether that’s liking, commenting, or clicking through your ad. Where relevant, ask a question that can be answered with a like or comment.

  • Don’t post engagement bait like “COMMENT here if you love puppies!” It’s spammy and will get you demoted.

  • Use high quality visuals: Skip low res, blurry, stock-quality images.

  • Keep copy direct: Short and sweet copy is always best.

  • Optimize for mobile: 88% of people use Facebook on mobile.

  • Limit text in visuals: Use Facebook’s Image Text Check tool to ensure your image passes the test.

  • Target the right audience: Facebook allows advertisers to target audiences based on their location, behaviour, demographics, connections, and interests.

  • Time strategically: Running ads at the right time will have a positive impact on your ad’s performance.

And finally…

If you’re attempting to target a younger audience, you might want to consider some of the data from this article: “44% of people aged 18 to 29 said they deleted the Facebook app from their phones in the last year.”

That doesn’t mean they’re deleting their accounts, but it does mean they’re going to engage less often and less consistently.

Let’s talk about which social media platforms are best for your brand and audience!

Packaging News

We have been so excited to write this blog since the start of the year – there is so much packaging news to share and it feels like companies are getting more and more innovative every day (truly it feels like we hear about a new product once a week and keep editing this post, but it’s time to finish… for now)!

There is an undeniable consensus that we have a huge plastic problem and OVER half of all plastic pollution is from packaging. [source]

There is a movement to place more pressure on manufacturers to take back their packaging and let them deal with the burden of all the trash they’re producing to bring their products to market. For years, manufacturers of products with plastic packaging have actually touting their recyclability, but buzzwords like “recyclable” have begun to mean absolutely nothing (OK fine, it’s *something* - “recyclable” plastic gets one star). To even begin to make a dent, we have to stop producing the plastic in the first place because we have nowhere and no one to recycle it all. What we really need are products with compostable packaging or zero waste.

‘Loop’ is the kind of idea that gets me crazy excited

A coalition of giant brands is promising to change how we shop, with a new zero-waste platform. Loop will launch its first pilots this year: “While recycling is critically important, it is not going to solve waste at the root cause,” says Tom Szaky, CEO and cofounder of TerraCycle, a company that is known for recycling hard-to-recycle materials, and one of the partners behind the project.
– Fast Company [read more here]

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I’m not the only one excited… there’s even more Loop news here:

"By mid-May, products from Loop will initially be available online to customers in Paris … and … in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. TerraCycle is finalizing grocery partnerships in the U.S. and Toronto, adding distribution through London’s Tesco later this year, and targeting Tokyo in 2020. Loop will collect a refundable deposit that customers will get back when they return their containers. UPS will pick up the empties for no additional charge."

Tiny Products, Big Culprit: Health & Beauty Packaging

The HBC/HBA industry (health & beauty care/health & beauty aids) has huge strides to make in this area and some companies are already taking the lead.

Lush has a “naked” line of products with no packaging at all and they are gaining in popularity, buzz, and market share. “When we can’t eliminate packaging completely (like in the case of shower gels or gift boxes), we use only recycled, recyclable, reusable or compostable materials, like our post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and biodegradable bags.” Read more about their fresh take on packaging: When it Comes to Packaging, Less is More & Reduce Packaging Waste with Lush

Lush also accepts their pots back as well and will give you a free face mask when you bring in five (see 5 Pot Program).

Austin, Texas-based cosmetics company Everyday Minerals also takes back their empty packaging, and will send you a free full-size blush in exchange for 12 empties (plus, their makeup is vegan, sustainable, and cruelty-free too). Read more about the company’s values here.

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The Dirty Business of Cleaning Products

Think about some of the biggest pieces of plastic you put in your recycling bin - laundry soap and other cleaning product bottles are probably some of the worst offenders.

Home cleaning product startup cleancult is selling its soaps and cleaners in milk cartons, which we think is really cool. (In fact, a LOT of things that are typically sold in plastic packaging could be sold in paper cartons. Find alternatives – they exist!)

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This clothing tag is actually a dissolving detergent sample from Unilever; unfortunately it’s only being trialled in Beirut for now, but we love seeing out-of-the-box ideas like this and wouldn’t be surprised to see more things like this in the future.

So what does all this mean for design?

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There will be cost variations and printing limitations for manufacturers to consider when planning to switch packaging materials. Let’s face it: plastic is cheap and so are plastic labels - we don’t expect those to go away anytime soon. But we do expect to see a lot more brands make the move to paper, glass, and aluminum packaging.

Designers need to be aware of how their perfectly-picked colors will print on natural paper stock or cardboard vs. bleached white paper, or how the colors will need to be altered to achieve the desired effect on aluminum or metal. We’ve also been noticing folks having fun with their barcode shapes lately (Kodiak Cakes and Mother Beverage shown here).

MORE PACKAGING NEWS:

Eleven companies take major step towards a New Plastics Economy

Eleven leading brands, retailers, and packaging companies work towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier. Amcor, Ecover, evian, L’Oréal, Mars, M&S, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Walmart, and Werner & Mertz – together representing more than 6 million tonnes of plastic packaging per year.

The world’s largest packaged food company will ditch single-use plastic

Nestlé will say goodbye to straws beginning this year, and some plastic bottles by 2025, but hopefully we’ll see an even greater commitment from the company soon. Either way, when you produce as much plastic packaging as Nestlé, something is better than nothing for now.

Trader Joe's plans to cut one million pounds of plastic from its stores as soon as possible

Milkmen are returning to London as millennials order glass milk bottles in a bid to slash plastic waste

Client Spotlight: Cloud Creative Events

We first began working with modern luxury wedding planner Cloud Creative Events a few years ago, the way we start working with many of our small business clients – on a single small project. She had created her own website, as many solopreneurs do, and got in touch with us for a little SEO treatment, which went really well.

As Cloud Creative has grown, we’ve implemented several short rounds of website improvements over the years to expand on the site’s content and reflect their growing team and portfolio.

In the last six months though, we’ve been working with Cloud Creative a lot more. Owner KC Cloud was ready to make some big moves, so in that time we have redesigned their logo, made several more website updates (especially to expand the portfolio and publicity pages), and we’ve also updated their pricing booklet and created new business cards for KC and her team – all without complicated and expensive design “packages” since we just track our time.

We couldn’t be more proud – take a look!


Updated Website:

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New Business Cards:

 
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Updated Pricing Booklet:

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Client Spotlight: Lindsay's Art Cart

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When we were initially referred to Lindsay’s Art Cart by mutual friends and clients, the art-teacher-turned-small-business-owner said she was ready for her very first website. Up until then, her business, which offers private art parties and public art classes at various locations around Arlington, TX, had grown popular among friends of friends, and she would market the classes and parties by creating facebook events, and using the eventbrite plugin for merchant services. Lindsay already had a logo she loved but she needed a dedicated home on the web for class info and an event calendar she could populate with classes and parties so customers could register quickly and easily.

We went right to work on what turned out to be a ridiculously cute web design for Lindsay and her adorable Art Cart logo, which went live New Year’s Day 2018. Shortly afterward, we began working on promotional pieces for her first summer art camp for kids (2018), a t-shirt design, A-frame signage she could haul along with her to any venue, and more.

Last summer, we pitched another project to Lindsay: an ABC’s of Art Coloring Book which she positively LOVED. Together, we came up with the art mediums for each letter and with the help and creativity of our summer design interns, we launched the coloring book at the end of summer 2018, which can be purchased at several shops around town and also on her website. Lindsay said it was a dream come true!

As a result of what began with just a website, business is booming: so far in 2019, her revenue has increased 71%, with unique visitors to the site up 150%, and overall visits to the site up 167% (2019/2018). Some sessions of her 2019 summer art camp have already been sold out for weeks. Lindsay’s boundless energy and positivity are unmatched in the business world, so it is always a pleasure to work on projects for Lindsay’s Art Cart, and it is a joy to watch this business continue to grow and flourish – we can’t wait to see what comes next!

Client Spotlight: Devan Allen Campaign

It’s been years since we last blogged about Devan Allen and our design work on her personal projects in speaking, advocacy, and real estate, but not long after that, Devan discussed with us her next big endeavor: running for Tarrant County Commissioner.

We immediately hopped on board and began designing logo concepts, building her campaign website, and creating several social media graphics as well as signage for her campaign kickoff event.

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This was the largest campaign we worked on to-date, as Tarrant County has a population of just over 2 million (each commissioner represents roughly a quarter of the county, but that still requires a sizeable campaign)!

Devan always said, “We will not be outworked” throughout the campaign and she was absolutely right. We’re proud that she chose Green Apple Lane as the creative agency for her campaign branding, website, and graphics and we were overjoyed to witness the moment she won from the watch party at her campaign headquarters. We learned so much about big campaigns and the many rules and regulations required for political creative, and we’re so proud that the work was not only popular and well-received by the community, but successful in the end.

Client Spotlight: The Oakridge School

We have worked with The Oakridge School for nearly 10 years on all kinds of projects from their golf tournament collateral, summer programs brochure, booklets, invitations, flyers, and logo modifications. Then, almost a year ago we were invited to respond to their RFP for an opportunity to become their official Agency of Record, which would make us responsible for their admissions campaign for the entire school year. We jumped at the opportunity, and to our delight, our proposal was accepted. Design is our first love and we are happy to invest our creativity into any project, but putting together a complete campaign is every designer’s dream.

Our Methodology

We wanted to keep the amount of text minimal but include words associated with the cornerstones of an independent education: Academics, Arts, and Athletics. The background is a photo we shot of their iconic fence line – it not only provides a visually dynamic eye-line, but it represents being “inside the fence,” and it also showcases the oak tree line along the edge of campus. The ornate frame at the top holds the call to action, which literally points straight into the word cloud. Or, if your eye lands directly in the word cloud, there’s a good chance your line of sight will be directed upward into the call to action, as it springs from the center like a thought bubble.

“When you really break it down, marketing is just the psychology of getting someone to give you a moment of their focus, with the hope and possibility of something more. The only way they’re going to give you something more, however, is if something about you makes them take a second look. Something that makes them pause,” said Chris O’Neill, the CEO of Evernote, at SXSW 2018 (see our Conference Recap here).

Many private school ads heavily incorporate the school’s colors, but their signature deep navy and hunter green were getting a little bit lost in print publications, as many other schools share at least one of these colors in common with The Oakridge School. So we went in the complete opposite direction and used a sunset colored overlay, including the famed “Millennial pink” and coral (the 2019 Pantone color of the year), which really help the ad pop off the page. “It’s so different from what everyone else was doing, and that’s what we loved most about it,” said Laura Heymann of Green Apple Lane.

The campaign design worked well in print, online, and even fit in seamlessly with the school’s website. We isolated each word and included a photo background to correlate with that word (the art room for “create,” a cheering crowd for “win,” etc.), all accented in a blue overlay to fit right in on the existing home page carousel.

In addition to the campaign graphics, we used hard data from their web analytics to advise and make media placement recommendations for the duration of the campaign term, including a radio broadcast ad on KERA (the Dallas-area PBS and NPR station), for which we also crafted the copy.

Additional design projects

(unrelated to the campaign)

  • 40th Anniversary (“Ruby” anniversary) logo alteration and related signage

  • Assorted social media graphics

  • Athletics marketing piece (select panels shown)

  • Admissions marketing piece (not shown)

  • Infographic marketing pieces (select area shown)

  • Custom “instagram photo frame” signs for various occasions, and more!

Ready to stand out?

Project Spotlight: Website Redesign for Inspirations Catering

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Business owners are used to wearing a lot of hats and handling everything from the accounting to the janitorial duties around the office. There are tons of companies out there trying to capitalize on this fabulous trait shared by so many entrepreneurs. Business owners are increasingly being told they can quickly, easily, and beautifully build their own websites. And while it’s not exactly untrue, it’s untrue for many. Don’t forget from our Conference Recap: 94% of first impressions are based entirely on design, and 90% of the information people retain is visual in nature.

So how do you want to introduce yourself to your customers?

What information are potential clients going to infer and retain about your business, based on the functionality, professionalism, and the overall look of your website?

These are important questions to ask before you set out to save a few bucks and settle on a DIY website. There is no way to know how much money you might be leaving on the table from customers migrating away from your website because it didn’t feel like an extension of your business. We work with a lot of folks who have started out on their own, and whether we redesign the site from scratch or even spend just a few hours organizing and rearranging things, the site feels completely new.

Working with a professional designer should not be seen as an expense to your business, but an investment in your business.

Here’s a quick case study in the website of Inspirations Catering & Events. We’re not here to call them out, in fact, we love these folks and love their shop even more, but their previous website is a perfect example of a small business owner feeling like they MUST handle everything themselves and doing the best they could. The previous site didn’t include their logo, didn’t make use of their color palette, and some of the pages weren’t very easy to read due to dark type on a dark background or wonky spacing.

Click any photo below to enlarge it.

New Homepage (left) vs. Old Homepage (right):

We were able to take all their existing content and put it into a format that is SO much more user friendly, clean, open, organized, and professional. They are masters at what they do with food, and we’re happy their new website better represents that expertise to their customers. We still have a few new photos to swap in but it’s a huge step up!

New website:

Previous website:

The previous website simply didn’t represent the upscale look and feel of this business. Check out the gorgeous interior of their shop and some of their beautiful charcuterie boards from their grand opening:

*And please note those super-cute cheese-board cookies from Sugar Bee Sweets, too!

So whether you’re …

  • starting a completely new endeavor and need an online presence

  • you designed a website on your own but it doesn’t feel like the best representation of your business

  • you worked with another designer previously and need some help with website updates (due to lack of time or skill - makes no difference to us)

  • you want to switch web platforms (leave Blogger or Wix, for instance)

… we can help! We work on all kinds of websites - Wordpress, Squarespace, you name it. You keep being an expert at what you do, and WE will help you showcase it.

2018 Conference Recap

Over the past year, we took every opportunity to attend conferences and luncheons, hear from the best of the best, and take tons of notes with the intention of learning, growing, and of course sharing all these nuggets of wisdom. Please reach out if you would like to discuss any of these topics in more detail, or brainstorm how we can apply these ideas to your business. Here’s a recap:

SXSW Interactive Conference

March 2018 | Austin, TX | sxsw.com

  • It should be considered best practice to add captions to all social media videos – 85% of videos on facebook are watched without sound on.

  • Snapchat & Instagram are best channels to reach Gen Z.

  • Facebook isn’t dead – it’s like a lifelong photo album/footprint (sometimes started by someone’s parent when they were little) that is undeleteable. Kids who are on it may get on it less, but they won’t completely delete it.

  • It takes 12-14 different pieces of content to get one single point across.

  • Get the point across with micro-narratives – one tagline & one image – super shareable – no stock imagery. These are like billboards, where you have to tell a story in 6 words or less. Make them even more successful by using repeat images across the pieces.

  • Audiences are only reading 20% of content delivered with 600+ words.

  • 91% of consumers prefer visual content over traditional formats.

  • Visual communication graphically represents information to efficiently and effectively create meaning. When necessary, limited text is used to explicate the meaning.

  • Objections you may hear/have to visual storytelling: That “story” is cute, but we need results; Our message isn’t that compelling; People can just check out our website; We are just going to DIY; We don’t have a budget for that; We just need something quick.

  • 90% of the information people retain is visual in nature.

  • 94% of first impressions are based entirely on design.

  • Line art/icon style is effective – combines well with photography as a backdrop; original photography – feels more sincere and real than stock imagery. Black & white adds to the urgency/mood. Use colors that resonate with your intended audience. Use ambiguous characters – avoids stereotypes and allows viewers to have a more open mind on the topic.

  • Motion rules – keep it around 90 seconds (first 30 seconds should make up the problem statement; next 30-45 seconds should explain why your product is the solution; final 15-30 seconds should provide a call to action for the viewer); make it original & custom!

  • Emerging Tech Trends Report from Future Today Institute - download here: www.bitly.com/FTITechTrends2018

  • Learn to distinguish between a trend and “trendy”

  • It is the beginning of the end for smartphones

  • Non-visual UI will be at least 50% by 2021

  • AI is not a trend, it is the next era of computing

  • 78% of consumers will trust you/your brand if you create customized content

  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.

  • Step 1: know who you’re creating content for

Age/gender/location
What activities interest them?
Topics they love talking about?
What motivates them? Convenience? Quality? Affordability? Belief System?
What are their pain points/challenges?

  • Step 2: Let your audience inform your content

Utility (useful/helpful)
Relatability (make them go “ha – that’s so true!”)

  • Keep it entertaining/funny – people love content they can personally relate to. Brands often run the risk of becoming detached from their audience and presenting content that serves the brand, rather than presenting content that serves the people.

  • When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.

8 Elements of Visual Storytelling

  1. Show, don’t tell: Don’t tell your audience something if you can make them see it. Use vivid text or images.

  2. Remember First Impressions: The human brain is programmed to make quick impressions followed by fast decisions Make the first impression one that sticks for all the best reasons.

  3. Make it Move: This doesn’t necessarily just mean video or animation, although it can. A photograph can also be made to portray dynamic movement.

  4. Build an Arc: Remember that a story must have exactly that – a story arc. This means having a clear beginning, middle, and end. In other words, it must take us on a journey.

  5. Conflict: Without some form of conflict, there is no story.

  6. Use Effective Images: These are the meat and potatoes of your visual story. Use images that complement the story well and help it to flow.

  7. Hold their Focus: Don’t get lost in providing details, details, details. Some are important, of course, but remember to keep the intended message out in front.

  8. Remember the Hitchcock Rule: basically states that the size of any object in your frame should be proportional to its importance to the story at that moment.

  • When you tell yourself you can’t do something, this is the “fallacy of uniqueness”

  • Go back to basics – Get the right people the right message and the right time

B2B & B2C are Dead: Now What (Evernote) Read/Listen to this session here

  • People are overloaded with information

  • 64% feel “very or somewhat” stressed/overwhelmed.

  • We're feeling overwhelmed. The avalanche of stuff that we're expected to keep up with absolutely sucks. We surveyed our users and almost two-thirds of them say they're feeling somewhat, or very, stressed out in life. 

Organization is personal

Teams are the future of work

Getting Things Done

  1. Capture. We need to capture ideas big and small, and we need to park them somewhere. That allows you to free your mind of the obligation to carry your ideas. The notion of an idea can be the most inconsequential thing in the world or it could be game changing. You never know if you don't capture those ideas.

  2. Clarify. Once you capture it in a trusted way, you have to go back and clarify what that was. So is that idea a project? Is it a bucket list type of thing versus something you need to act upon right away?

  3. Organize. Organize these different things in terms of context. So you know when you should go back and find it. What is the context in which that information would be useful?

  4. Reflect. Probably the most important, and one that people do the worst at. Spend the time to understand what matters to you in your life and really be diligent about clarifying the stuff that you're doing in your life that goes against the higher order and your 'North Star' objectives.

  5. Engage. Take the time to determine "What should I be focused on in this moment? What is the highest and best use of my time at this point in time?"

Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025

What this notion of productivity and organization really has to do with is the rise of the millennials. The Wall Street Journal estimates that, every year, knowledge workers spend about six weeks just looking for stuff. That translates into multiple hours per day. Millennials are already the largest force in the segment in the workforce population. Forbes has estimated that by the year 2025, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce. Why should we care about that? Because this is the group of digital natives, and they demand that every aspect of software and technology be really, really good.


Evernote staff attended many of the SXSW sessions and did what Evernote is best known for - they took notes. You can access loads of course info here: Evernote SXSW 2018 Notes


Lunch & Learn: Emotional Intelligence

August 2018 | Arlington, TX | arlingtontx.com


Organized by the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, featuring Orange Compass Founder & CEO Dr. Stevie Dawn Blakely

The definition of emotional intelligence is “the learned ability to manage emotions effectively AND interpret messages correctly.”

The 3 Cornerstones of Emotional Intelligence:

  1. Awareness (The takeaway: Your thoughts trigger your emotions, so be careful what you think about.)

  2. Understanding (The takeaway: Give people conversational grace and forgiveness.)

  3. Influence (The takeaway: It doesn’t matter what you say. It only matters what they hear.)

  • Instead of saying “does that make sense?” ask, “What obstacles do you foresee that I haven’t considered?”

  • Silent expectations kill relationships!! (personal & professional)


Inspired Women Luncheon

October 2018 | Arlington, TX | arlingtontx.com

Organized by the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, featuring Keynote Speaker Kelli Finglass of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, who offered inspirational and humorous stories, and let us in on how she organizes her week:

  • Make a Dent Monday (start a project or make headway on a long-term project!)

  • Teamwork Tuesday

  • World Class Wednesday (use this time to work on your DREAM project and make it come to fruition)

  • Thankful Thursday (send your thank you notes, gifts, emails of gratitude)

  • Finish It Friday (tie up loose ends)

  • Selfish Saturday

  • Spirit & Soul Sunday


The Texas Conference for Women

November 2018 | Austin, TX | txconferenceforwomen.org

Enjoyed the morning keynote with Nina Shaw, entertainment attorney & co-founder, Time’s Up; Renata Quintini, venture capitalist and partner, Lux Capital; Marjorie Clifton, principal, Clifton Consulting, LLC; and Tyler Haney, founder & CEO, Outdoor Voices. Afternoon keynotes included Dr. Brené Brown, research professor and #1 New York Times best-selling author; and Reese Witherspoon, actor, producer, entrepreneur and advocate.

Keynote nuggets:

  • From Dr. Brené Brown, on having the hard conversation…

    • “Choose discomfort over resentment.”

    • “Clear is kind, unclear is unkind.”

    • “Courageous leaders are never silent about hard things.”

  • Re: Venture capital, men are thinking of world domination and women are thinking of survival - we have to change this (men tend to ask for more money than they need and factor in structural growth plans with it; women tend to ask for just enough to get by)

  • We have the unique struggle of balancing confidence & warmth… if you have confidence without warmth, you’re a “bitch” and if you have warmth without confidence you’re a “pushover.”

Breakout session: Why Simple Wins by Lisa Bodell

Emails are for information, meetings are for decisions!

Simplification Code of Conduct

I PLEDGE TO:

  1. Eliminate redundancies & unnecessary work.

  2. Not create false urgency.

  3. Use clear jargon-free language when I communicate.

  4. Keep my emails, documents, meetings, and conversations short.

  5. Limit the amount of information I need to make a decision.

  6. Empower others to make decisions without me.

  7. Make information available to others (unless illegal to do so).

  8. Say NO whenever possible.

Kill stupid rules (if you could kill or change any 2 rules at work, what would they be, and why?)

Start Simplifying… ask yourself:

  1. If I had to eliminate 25% of what I do every day, what would I eliminate and why?

  2. What can I start saying no to?

  3. If a new CEO started at our company tomorrow, what processes would s/he immediately observe as the biggest time-wasters?

  4. What zombie meetings serve no purpose and should be stopped?

Tips & Tricks:

  • Want less email? NNTR (include in subject line - stands for No Need to Reply)

  • Want more decision making? Who’s the ‘D’? (D for “decision maker”)

  • Want fewer zombie meetings? Change the frequency & see if you can do without.

  • Want more accountability? Create a “cut the crap” committee