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    8 Meeting Scheduler Tools to Make Your Day More Productive

    By Jami Oetting

    meeting-scheduler.png

    We complain about spending countless hours -- billable hours at that -- in unproductive and mismanaged meetings. 

    But the greater crime is the time we all spend scheduling any type meeting. The endless back and forth communication and steps -- reviewing calendars, finding out the best place to meet, seting up a call-in number, adding the meeting to the calendar, and inviting all the necessary attendees -- can ruin your ... Read More

    The 14 Coolest Beer Label Designs You've Ever Seen

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    While it's certainly important for a beer to taste good, there's no denying that packaging has some influence on people's buying decisions.

    Ten years ago, a lot of breweries found they could get away with soliciting a friend to design their beer packaging. Not anymore. With so many beers competing for attention on the shelves, standout beer labels have become a critical part of any brewery's marketing strategy.

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    What Does Your Handwriting Reveal About Your Personality? [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    When was the last time you paid attention to how you dot your i's and cross your t's? Probably never. Well, you may want to grab whatever handwritten notes you have handy and take a look.

    As it turns out, how you write can indicate more than 5,000 personality traits. The size and shape of your letters, spacing between words, and even how hard you press your pen down can signify all sorts of characteristics. It can even give clues about your health and energy levels.

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    Is Your Company Giving You Burnout? The Dangerous Side Effects of 24/7 Work

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    How many times in the past month have you answered the question "how are you?" with something along the lines of "busy" or "stressed"?

    People love talking about how jam-packed their schedules are. I'm no exception. In some sick way, it kind of feels good to share with people how much I have going on.

    In a great article for SlateHanna Rosin writes about how complaining about business has become a mark of social status for some people.

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    How to Tap Into Your Inner Don Draper to Win Your Next Pitch

    By Rohan Juneja

    When it comes to delivering a powerful pitch, few fictional characters inspire as much as Mad Men’s Don Draper. You may not be over 6 feet tall or have his chiseled jawline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pitch like him.

    A presentation that wows the audience often means the difference between a great idea being squashed in the conference room and seeing it on billboards across America.

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    How to Manage, Centralize & Learn From Client Feedback

    By Carly Stec

    From the shade of blue you chose for their newsletter header to the timeline you set for their latest campaign, your clients are apt to have an opinion about everything. It's their business, after all. 
     
    Sometimes their feedback is grounded in legitimate concern; othertimes, it leaves you scratching your head in utter confusion. 

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    How to Use Excel to Run a Blog Content Analysis

    By Rachel Sprung

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    Have you ever poured your heart and soul into a blog post only to see it completely tank?

    It doesn't generate leads and barely sees any views, while that silly GIFs article that took you half the time and energy goes viral. Doesn't that drive you crazy?

    To gain a better understanding of their audience's interests -- and ensure that their content is actually resonating -- smart marketers are turning to the performance numbers of existing content to inform their strategy. 

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    The 10 Least Useful Trends in Agency Websites

    By Tim Williams

    Do you know what proportion of serious new business prospects visit your website? 100%. They all do. Because all prospective buyers of your services want to know what exactly what it is you’re selling. And although different marketers might want to know different things about your firm, they’re all ultimately looking to find one thing: expertise. 

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    5 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Marketing Technology Partners

    By Lisa Waters

    A company is only as good as its employees. 

    And the best companies spend their time cultivating a superior talent pool. Unfortunately, even those companies that prioritize the employee selection process don’t always take the same approach to evaluating potential marketing technology partners.

    In reality, these partners influence and represent your company every bit as much as your employees -- if not more so. Choosing the right partners requires just as lengthy and thoughtful of a process as hiring an account executive or project management.

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    Can a Company Policy Improve Creative Output? Here's How 4 Companies Are Experimenting

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Nowadays, you don't hear the phrase "office culture" without someone bringing up the open office concept. Cubicle farms have gotten a bad rap over the past decade or so, replaced with more innovative workplace setups that supposedly help breed creativity and collaboration. (Whether or not they actually do is up for debate.)

    But open office plans aren't the only way to spark employees' creativity and innovation. According to the New York Times"Studies of innovation come to the same conclusion: You can't engineer innovation, but you can increase the odds of it occurring."

    Read More
    The Agency-Client Gap: Bridge the Divide by Asking the Right Questions

    By Gina Lee

     

    An agency-client relationship is not unlike that between a film’s producers and its directors. When filmmaker Christopher Nolan spoke earlier this year at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, he summed up the ad land paradigm perfectly:

    [It’s] a very paradoxical position. You are hired by people who then give you the appearance of wanting to control you, but they’ve hired you to resist them, they’ve hired you to have a point of view.

    We’ve heard the story before: Everyone involved in a project seems to be pulling toward a common goal, but somehow, a tug of war ensues. The stakeholders pull the rope of productivity back and forth so often and so frequently that the project feels like it’s at a standstill.

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    8 Powerful Healthcare Marketing Campaigns You Need to See

    By Jami Oetting

    The health and wellness industry is booming. Consumers are hungry for organic and healthier food, the cost of healthcare is spurring many people to consider alternative treatment options, and technology has opened up new ways to treat and serve patients and brand advocates. 

    Consumers have and want more control in their health decisions -- and brands have taken notice. They are creating tools, resources, and products that not only make consumers lives easiers but also educate them on living a healthier, more fulfilling life. 

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    Does Your Agency Need to Be More Agile?

    By Jami Oetting

    You can be meticulous about scoping, researching, and planning for a client project, but that is not going to matter when the completed work is vastly different from what the client wanted. 

    And then what are your options? Start over? Revise? Push forward?

    Clients value the output of the project. If your visions don't match up, then the project is ultimately a failure.

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    Increase Your Agency’s Value by Focusing on These 7 Things

    By Jami Oetting

    Most days, you are just trying to catch up to the current issues plaguing your agency, rather than the previous week's. 

    There's simply not enough time to think about the future. 

    The problem is that the future -- including the time to sell or exit your firm -- will be here before you know it. And you need to be thinking about this day years before it actually occurs. 

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    10 Psychology Tricks to Persuade Customers to Buy [Infographic]

    By Emma Snider

    This post originally appeared on HubSpot's Sales blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

    Just like any complex system, the human brain contains quirks. For instance, a multitude of details unrelated to an object's inherent worth can significantly skew our perception of it -- its color, the time at which we first come into contact with it, others' perspectives on it, what we were doing just before it was introduced, the words used to describe it, and so on.

    Bottom line? If you think each opinion you form is totally rational, you're sorely mistaken.

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    6 Things to Check Before You Launch a Social Media Campaign

    By Lux Narayan

    Social media is the siren song of marketing. It lures you in with temptation, but if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself dashed along the rocks. Creating a successful campaign for a client requires a considerable amount of planning, data, and yes, creativity. Getting the right balance of all the elements takes patience, knowledge, and the ability to execute.

    Read More
    7 Creative Ways to Increase Your Billable Rates

    By Darren DeMatas

    One of the best ways for an agency to make more money is through increasing billable rates.

    But there are a lot of different pricing models. It's important to understand how different agencies bill, so you can experiment with new structures and approaches to billing clients. 

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    Should You Strive for Work/Life Balance? The History of the Personal & Professional Divide

    By Erik Devaney

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    It’s the self-help topic du jour: achieving “work/life" balance.

    Tips for reaching this coveted state-of-being range from the physical (like exercising and unplugging from technology) to the psychological (like meditating and mentally “disconnecting” from work) to the sociological (like meticulously scheduling all of your outside-of-work interactions/activities with friends and family).

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    Why You're Ruining Your Account Management Team

    By Jami Oetting

    The account executive, in many agencies, has a confusing role: She must be the client's best friend and advocate. She should represent the firm's values and attitudes. She has to organize and manage projects to completion, allocate resources, and even sell. In addition, she also might need to come up with ideas, set KPIs, and balance budgets. 

    You would need multiple personalities, an unbending will of focus, and a few expensive degrees to be able to do well at a role that encompassed all these skills, yet many agency owners believe they can find or even mold a person to take over this role. 

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    5 Ways to Deal With Distractions & Find Your Focus

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    How often have you or one of your coworkers uttered the phrase, "I wish there were more hours in a day"?

    Between work, your commute, the gym, cooking, kids, happy hours, baseball games, knitting, your band, and whatever else it is you try to squeeze in -- oh yeah, I almost forgot sleep -- it can be hard to accept that 24 hours in a day is all you get.

    Read More
    Gone But Not Forgotten: 13 Things We Wish Would Make a Comeback

    By Carly Stec

    It's no secret that competitive eater Kevin "L.A. Beast" Stahle is passionate about food -- his award-winning eating accomplishments are all over the Internet. (Fun fact: He once ate 31 meatballs in just 10 minutes.) 

    But if there's one thing that Stahle loves more than food, it's Crystal Pepsi. In fact, he's so enthusiastic about the short-lived clear soda of the '90s that he's taken to social media to create demand for a comeback. 

    Read More
    Zen and the Art of Mindful Leadership: 6 Skills to Develop

    By Jami Oetting

    We all want to be better leaders. We want to create environments where people are successful, happy, and creative. We know that this contributes to the health of our businesses.

    But being thoughtful and purposeful in our approach to leadership takes work. Sometimes, it requires some temporary navel-gazing. To be a great leader, you need to be mentally strong and emotionally intelligent. You need to understand yourself before you can support and guide others in the right direction.

    Read More
    Why Tiered Pricing Could Be Hurting Your Agency

    By Eric Pratt

    When we were transitioning into an inbound marketing agency in 2012, I spent hours and hours reading articles and books and reviewing other inbound agencies' websites. I wanted to know what the best of the best were doing. They were the experts, and I wanted to be successful in this new type of agency as quickly as possible. 

    Now, we've made more mistakes over the years than my pride would allow me to admit here. But there is one mistake that was extremely costly and the result of my initial "study the experts" approach: tiered pricing. 

    Read More
    How to Put Together the Perfect Press Page

    By Carly Stec

    Let's say that you just wrapped up a super successful campaign for one of your clients. 

    You're thrilled, your client is thrilled, but when it starts to pick up a bit of media attention, it becomes very clear that you're unprepared. 

    Read More

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