321 Millennials Interview on Space Coast Daily

I had the chance to interview the board of 321 Millennials yesterday (well, all but one board member!) on the Space Coast Daily TV Business Spotlight where I have the honor to interview and engage with businesses, organizations and leaders from across Brevard County. We gathered at Intracoastal Brewery and spent about 8 minutes learning more about 321 Millennials and how they impact the community.

321 Millennials is a group of young professionals here in Brevard who decided to create their own organization to impact Brevard’s community and economy. The acknowledge that millennials are the next generation to lead and influence the word and have pledged to stay involved in the community to ensure that next generation is the best it can be. Watch the interview below to learn more!

Call-to-Actions and How to Make Them Effective

We all can name a website or two that doesn’t do much more than take up memory in cyberspace. It doesn’t engage visitors, and it doesn’t generate leads. It’s possible your current website isn’t rocking the web like it should either.

The majority of our clients at Rock Paper Simple need a website that’s designed to impress and drive results. One of the many ways we help our clients generate leads and create conversions is through effective call-to-actions on their website. Some websites don’t use call-to-actions, and if they do, they aren’t effective. All of our websites are designed with results in mind, which means more leads, conversions and sales for you. Would your business benefit from that? We thought so too!

What is a Call-to-Action?

A call-to-action is a line of text, usually placed in an image that prompts visitors to take action. The action you want the visitor to take could be anything – “Click here to schedule your 30-minute consultation now,” “Download our free e-book,” or “Get started today!”

Call-to-actions can also be placed in e-mails, at the end of a blog or a social media post.  Of course in the non-web world, call to actions are also used on just about any type of media advertisement including printed pieces, radio, TV and more.

Five Tips for Effective Call to Actions

Writing a call-to-action that compels your web visitor to action doesn’t have to be this long, overwhelming process. In fact, these five tips will simplify the process and allow your website to kick your business into overdrive.

1. Alignment/Relevancy

Have you ever clicked on a call-to-action only for it to lead to the wrong page? How does that affect business? If you’re depending on your website to bring you leads, a disconnect will have the visitor more likely to leave than become a lead.

The call-to-action must align with the page it lives on and where it redirects. We have a call-to-action at the bottom of our web design page encouraging visitors to schedule their 30-minute consultation. Since this page educates the visitor about our services, this call-to action fits the page by giving them the option to find out more about our web design services, ultimately creating a visitor into a lead. However, if that particular call-to-action lived on “The Simple Team” page, the visitor may feel that we are pushing our services too soon.

2. Clear and Compelling Message

Before a visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they have to be convinced they will get value out of doing so. One way to communicate value is through a clear and compelling message that creates a sense of urgency.

First, every call-to-action created needs to answer what you want the visitor to do and why. No one is going to click on a call-to-action that doesn’t communicate the benefits up front. When writing a call-to-action, plan for results that will not only accomplish your goal but also the visitors.

3. Use Them-Centric Copy

The majority of your website’s copy, including call-to-actions, should be solid, benefit-based content that speaks to your target demographic. It’s likely your customer is visiting your website to learn how a product will benefit them. Vague descriptions, fluffy words and industry jargon are too hard for visitors to understand and should be avoided.

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we practice what we teach. Using them-centric copy is one of our seven steps to building a marketing-focused website. Our webpage has call-to-actions and messaging that speak directly to our clients and their needs.

4. Visibility

Seems kind of obvious, but if your call-to-action isn’t visible, it’s pointless. Whether the call-to-action is placed above the fold or below, we found that as long as it’s near strong, supporting information, conversions will take place. Size and design are also important elements to consider. Visitors won’t notice your call-to-action if it falls flat and blends in with the page. By changing the button’s design to a complementary color (we call this an action color) and an appropriate size, it’s likely the visitor will notice and take action.

5. Keep It Simple

One of our company’s favorite phrases is “Keep It Simple.” Too often, we see businesses over-complicate their websites and marketing strategies to get a lead, when in reality, they end up pushing consumers away. Simplicity is what consumers want. Focus on delivering compelling content that concentrates on the user’s benefit and interests. Keep it simple, and they will engage.

Call-to-actions are one of the many ways Rock Paper Simple helps your website work for you and kick your business into overdrive. Would your business benefit from increased engagement? Click here to schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation now!

How Company Culture Makes All the Difference

J. Williard Marriott, founder of the Marriot Corporation, once said, “Take good care of your employees and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.” Marriott achieved great success, but he would have never been able to do that without his colleagues and employees.

Marriott understood the importance of building a positive work environment. He took the time to learn about his employees’ workplace needs and found a way to meet them. From uniforms to equipment, nothing was too small to help make his employees’ job better. To take it one step further, Marriott made the effort to communicate with employees – showing interest in both their career and personal life. He truly did care. By practicing these two things, Marriott created a workplace environment and culture that his employees thrived in.

Company culture makes all the difference, and the workplace environment and culture you create sets the stage for how team members are treated and valued.

Now you may be thinking that your team should be grateful to have a job in this economy and not expect anything more than a paycheck. And maybe you’re right, they should be thankful (we all should be thankful for what we do have) but if your culture doesn’t empower your team and emphasize the value they add to your company, chances are they aren’t going to stick around. Or worse, they will stick around, but not have their heart in it.

Marriott worked hard. He was successful. And he found ways to encourage and motivate his employees to do the same, which meant treating them as he would want to be treated.

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we believe we should “empower talented people”. It’s on a plaque on the wall in my office. That is one of the most important jobs I have at Rock Paper Simple. If I’m not empowering my team to do their jobs better, I’m a poor leader and am not pulling my weight here.

At our office, we don’t use the word “employee” because we consider every person on our team a “team member,” a valuable contributor who has his or her own unique talents to bring to the table.

In the early days I would correct my Team Members often, “You guys aren’t employees… stop saying that. You are team members!”. And now I find it funny when I slip up during press interviews or financial conversations and my own team corrects me, “Joshua! It’s Team Members!”. I firmly believe they take great joy in correcting me on this, and truth be told, so do I… because it means that component of our company culture has really taken root.

Our meetings and brainstorming sessions are exciting and full of energy because everyone has something to contribute. We often schedule Rock Paper Simple “Hang Outs” where we take off early and enjoy fellowship with each other along with our clients and colleagues. We have a lot of fun at our office, but we also know how to get down to business and get the job done.

Speaking of our awesome team, meet the ‘Simple’ team here!

 

The company culture and workplace environment at Rock Paper Simple empowers each team member, and as a result, we give our clients only one level of service… awesome service!

I truly believe that what we’ve built is about more than just doing some marketing and making some money, that it’s about people… it’s about the clients, it’s about our team and it’s about the community.

Having a great company culture doesn’t always have to mean the cliché bean-bag chairs and humor-laced company statements, though. Every company is different and yours might take a more serious note than ours… but that’s not what is important. What IS important is that your team grabs hold of the vision, that they feel empowered by the culture in a way that allows them to serve each other, your customers and your community in a big way!

Take care of your people and they will take care of you. I am blessed to have an amazing team and we enjoy a wonderful company culture here at Rock Paper Simple!

Marketing Podcast – Joshua Adams on the Robert Plank Show

Our Head Honcho recently recorded a marketing Podcast! Joshua is the 195th Feature on the Robert Plank Show, and is now a resource on Plank’s marketing-centric online hub for business success seekers.

The podcast discusses Rock Paper Simple’s 7 Steps to a Marketing-Focused Website, and Joshua’s candor helps break it down into plain english- so you can immediately start implementing strategy and seeing results.

Give it a listen, and follow along with this fun printable graphic!

 

LEAD Brevard High Ropes Challenge!

2016leadbrevardropes-3Last month my LEAD Brevard class hit the high ropes course as part of a team-building experience. We conquered challenges that required team-work, brainstorming and some facing of fears! It was an incredible experience to work together with leaders from across Brevard and to face their fears with them.

The last thing we did was climb some crazy high ropes and walk across things that your mind tells you that you shouldn’t walk across! I found myself volunteering to go second in my group… this coming from the guy who was so afraid of heights when he was a kid that he couldn’t climb a ladder!

It was a thrill to cross the beam and then drop down to safety. Boy was I glad to be back on the ground. I was then able to encourage and be there for the other members of my group as they challenged their fears and scaled the course.

It was a fantastic experience and I will remember this day spent with a great group of people for as long as I live. Life is full of challenges, but those challenges are so much easier to traverse and conquer when you have a team to support you through it all… and I had a great team!

It reminded me of the team I am a part of back at Rock Paper Simple and how we band together not only to build websites, develop brands and launch digital marketing campaigns, but also encourage each other to grow, support one another, solve problems together and sometimes even help each other conquer our fears. I am blessed to be a part of such a team. Thanks, guys! (and gals!)

(Click here to view more photos on Facebook!)

….one of these days I’ll have to share what cured me of my fear of heights years ago. But that’s a story for another day!

The Amazing Space Coast Free Day

We had an absolute blast at the Space Coast Free Day, an event to benefit the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation. Teams from across Brevard County raced to compete in zany games and challenges at businesses all around the community. We setup a silly game for teams to work together to catch as many of our orange stress balls as possible. One teammate tossed them out the second story window as fast as they could, while their teammate tried to catch them in a basket in the grass below. Of course we wired a GoPro and an iPad so the player upstairs could see their target!

Days like this remind us just how awesome it is to be involved with our community and not get lost in the day-to-day mundane web design work days. We met so many wonderful people and maybe we didn’t make any new websites or sell anything… but we sure as heck had a whole lot of fun!

(oh, and we won Best Sponsor… so it was even more awesome!)

Here’s a great video of the day!

And here’s some of the pictures of the teams!

Having an Awesome Day with some really cool people!

Posted by Rock Paper Simple on Saturday, March 7, 2015

Integrity Breeds Profit

integrity“We believe that our integrity and honesty is worth more than profit.”

Uh oh, this sounds like it’s going to be one of those posts that complain about why everyone is in business to make money, doesn’t it? Well, never fear, this is NOT one of those… because I absolutely think that we are in business to make money, to generate a profit, to grow and better serve our clients and create more opportunities for our team. Why else go into business? Why else put in the endless hours and build a company and a team if not to generate profit? The entrepreneur… we have a dream for something bigger, to go further and explore opportunities, to take risks, to dream big and shoot for the stars, to make a difference and yes… to make money! It’s just not in our blood to punch a clock 9-5. And if we are going to go big, it better be making us some dollars!

My point is not that we shouldn’t make money or that it is somehow evil or disingenuous to make money. Integrity and profit are not diametrically opposed as some would have you believe. Preserving the integrity of your company is worth profit in of itself, because integrity will breed profit. I was speaking with my pastor recently about a statement I had written on our white board at the office.

“It says ‘Integrity trumps profit’… I want my team to understand how important it is!”, I told him confidently.

“You know that’s wrong, right?”, he replied with a grin on his face, “It should actually be ‘Integrity BREEDS profit'”.

And he was right! Because that is truly the power of cultivating a culture of integrity within a company like ours. It’s more than just a moral principal, more than just being able to sleep at night… it’s more than that. It is actually an investment into our clients, into our vendors, our community and our team. When a company acts out of integrity, it shows it can be trusted, and that, my friend, is worth cold hard dollars.

People come back to companies they trust. People refer their friends, family and colleagues to companies they trust. People want to work with companies that have a reputation for treating their customers and clients right. Integrity is a foundational element for your company; for your brand. It makes all of your marketing more effective because it has something solid to stand on. And not only that, but it gives your team confidence that their company is backing up their promises and will honor its commitments.

If you are an entrepreneur and business owner, you know you have to think long-term. You aren’t just thinking about the next couple moves… you are looking at checkmate in 19 moves, and to do that you are building one move upon another. That final checkmate move seems so important, but it would never have happened without the move that was 19 moves prior and set it all up. Cultivating integrity in your company and your team is one of those early opening moves. Build a foundation of integrity and, if you are moving forward with purpose, watch it breed profit!

10 Reasons You Might NOT Want To Hire Rock Paper Simple (The Glorious REMIX!)

Joshua Adams Rock Paper Simple HappyBack in March of last year, I was up far too late and had far too many cups of coffee… so I wrote the 10 Reasons You Might NOT Want to Hire Rock Paper Simple and posted it to our poor unsuspecting blog. We all had a good laugh and got back to work. Well, a few months ago, our very own Russ Wood (he’s awesome, give that man a high five if you spot him), converted this goofy blog post about NOT hiring us into an awesome graphic that has since been printed on all sorts of fun stuff! Since we now have a much cooler version of the 10 Reasons, we decided it was time to make sure everyone got to see this glorious remix!

So… anyways, we totally realize that not everyone is a perfect fit for Rock Paper Simple and even if you are looking for web design in Melbourne, FL, we get there might be perfectly valid reasons NOT to go with us. Below are best reasons we could come up with after a very deliberate (and caffeinated) brainstorming session. If we missed any big ones you can think of, please, you must immediately notify us by any means necessary! Whatever it takes, email, post card, phone, telegraph, carrier pigeon; get that on over to us ASAP and if it is indeed a legitimate reason, we will owe you a big high five (and a coke… we will owe you a coke too).

Without further ado… I give you the 10 reasons! (well, actually, I give you one more line of italic text AND THEN I give you the 10 reasons)

We have come to terms with the fact that if one of these are you… it is very likely you will not use our services. We understand, do not fault you and will wait patiently for your circumstances to change.

 

10 Reasons NOT to Hire Rock Paper Simple

Another one of our awesome clients makes Inc500!

Check it out… one of our clients hit Inc500, #126!!! We love it when we get to work with such AWESOME people. But listen to what they told the Orlando Sentinel:

Dew Sheahan freely admits that other companies offer services similar to his fast-growing Oviedo-based Virtual Fleet Supervisor. But with 3000-percent growth reported in one year, Sheahan said there are a few secrets to his success. One of them is simply website design.

“Our website design was critical. I’ve never met many of my clients in person. A few of the local ones, but most come through our website and we ship the product to them,” Sheahan said.

Click here to read the whole article about this awesome company.

The ribbon cutting for our new office is coming up on Thursday, February 13th!

Ribbon Cutting for Rock Paper Simple

We got to thinking one day…
“we should have an awesome office!”

So we went out and got one; then we built, painted and decorated until we had something we think is really awesome and now we want you to come check it out!

You’ll get to meet the team, see where we work, have some great food, win some door prizes, network with other business professionals and learn more about how we build our websites, what our seven steps to a marketing focused website are and why we do what we do.

It all starts Thursday, February 13 at 4pm and we will be cutting the ribbon at 5:30pm! Afterwards, we will hang out, eat more food and talk about websites and marketing to our hearts to content.

One lucky winner will win a website valued at $1250 after we cut the ribbon! (must be present to win)

For those of you using Google, click this button to add to your calender:

 

 

Here’s a handy map to find us!

1360 Sarno Road, Suite C, Melbourne Florida 32935

 

Here’s the event on Facebook

 

Resources

-Click here to download event flyer

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