Q&A with the Simple Team – Joshua!

You might have met us at Headquarters, skimmed through our Team Pages, or you might already be our amazing and awesome friend, but do you know how we’ll answer these questions? Get to know the Rock Paper Simple Team a little better, and follow our Q&A series!

This time we’ve got answers from Mr. Bossman… El Captain… our Head Honcho, Joshua!

Joshua AdamsWhat was your dream job growing up? 
I wanted to be a programmer and a business owner… I got to be both! I also wanted to be an architect for a while there and in many ways I feel like I got to be that too. I am very blessed to be able to do the things I have always wanted to do.

How do you overcome (big or small) challenges?
Ever Forward. It’s my philosophy. To always always go forward. I’ve had colossal failures earlier in my career seemingly block my path to success, but I’ve just never stopped going forward. Treating failures or mistakes as road signs pointing to success instead of roadblocks makes all the difference. There are very few challenges that a person can’t overcome if they have the determination to do so.

You drank the kool-aid and now you have a superpower. What is it?
Definitely super-speed! You can get so much done with super speed, haha! On a side note, I always preferred the “super” heroes without super powers like Green Arrow and Batman. Super powers make things too easy! 

Choose between an actual working lightsaber and pokeball with your favorite pokemon inside.
Definitely the lightsaber… all day long! Who doesn’t want a lightsaber?! Oh, and better make it an orange lightsaber.

You have a 2-week, all expenses paid vacation. Where do you go?
A trip around Europe. I’d love to hit as many countries as I can in a couple weeks. Rome has always been at the top of my list. Venice, London, Paris… those are all up there too!

How do you define, or measure, success?
I define success as a balance between financial success, the ability to control and enjoy my time, the relationships I build with friends and family, how much I impact people around me and how I can serve my God. I’m not there yet on all points, but I continue to work hard to create a strong balance of success across all of these areas.

Who will win the battle, Stormtroopers or Red Shirts?
Storm Troopers, because they wouldn’t actually have to shoot the Red Shirts… they would just die some other really bizarre and unfortunate way while all the blaster shots miss.

How do you think The Team would describe you, using one word?
That’s a great one… I would love to know that. I would consider myself a leader, so the word I would choose would be “Inspirational” or “Empowering” as those are key aspects of my leadership style. I would hope those would be words used to describe me.

⤷  Team Says: “Overworked! Kidding aside, we said ambitious, impressive, passionate, and of course awesome!”

Welcome to the Team, Isa and Tom!

Rock Paper Simple has two new additions to the team, helping us kick off the new year the right way- with growth and talent that means even more awesomeness in store for 2017!

Tom is a Brevard native who, after meeting the love of his life during a brief exploration of the cold weather and mountains in Wisconsin, returned to sunny Florida with a wife in 2004. With a broad range of experience from graphic design, IT, web marketing, print, and web development, Tom is a total asset and makes a great addition to the Rock Paper Simple Team!

 

Isa’s love for art always lead her to pick up projects that involved artistic expression, often including charity work and projects for friends. She has a degree in Network Technology, and has worked various jobs since graduating, but everything paled in comparison to her passion for design. She is currently perusing another degree in Graphic Design, and her commitment to community and creativity make her a fantastic addition to the Simple Team!

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!

 

Google Chrome Version 55 – Another Push for HTML5

The new Google Chrome Version 55 release marks another benchmark in the HTML5 migration. With this Version 55 update (besides Google’s pre-determined Top 10 Sites) most of the websites you visit while using Chrome will default to using HTML5. Even then, the following sites are only exempt from Google’s limit for one year…in the hopes that by then, they too will have switched from Flash to HTML5:

YouTube.com
Facebook.com
Yahoo.com
VK.com
Live.com
Yandex.ru
OK.ru
Twitch.tv
Amazon.com
Mail.ru

It’s important to note that the websites you visit can still utilize and offer Flash content, but as a Chrome user you will be prompted to give permission.

The reasoning behind the pushing out Flash is based in cyber security fears and the desire for better loading times, and HTML5 has proven to be better in both of these ares. Companies like Mozilla, Microsoft, and Google have endorsed the migration of HTML5 to be the new standard, and others starting to agree with the switch. We’ve already seen HTML5 pushing out Flash as the default format for videos and ads….it’s only a matter of time before HTML5 completes it’s takeover!

Top 10 Website Myths

websitemythsWith the rapid growth of technological ability, there’s a lot a misconception about what it takes to create and market a website. In an effort to clear up those misconceptions, and the resulting mistrust of digital agencies, this post breaks down the top 10 website myths- in regards to development, design, and marketing.

Website Myth #1: I Can Do It Myself and Save Money

As long as you are a web developer, this is absolutely true!

The first thing I’d suggest doing is to look at how much your billable hour is, then decide how long you think it will take you to learn several languages and design concepts… then do the math. Likely you’ve already realized you can save money by hiring an agency! You are awesome at what you do… and likely that is not web design.

That point aside, one should also consider that an agency brings a world of experience in not only development and design, but also marketing and branding. This allows the agency to help you build a website that is marketing-focused and that will communicate the right message to the right audience. Simply put, a website that converts is going to make you money…and website that doesn’t loses you money.

Consider how important your website is to your business. Your first impression is to most of your prospects. What is that worth?

Website Myth #2: I Can’t Afford a Custom Website

Think of your website as an employee – one that works 24/7 and is the first impression a potential customer may have. Do you want that employee to be unprofessional and sloppy, or would you rather that employee be professional and ready to serve your customer?

As we mentioned above in myth #1, you get what you pay for. That bargain website will get you a lazy, inattentive “employee” that will end up costing you more in the long run. Whereas getting the right “employee” upfront will actually save you money and help you create more business, conversions and leads.

There are many options and packages that agencies can provide. Have a conversation with us and you might be surprised that you can afford a professional custom website that helps your company grow. The question you should be asking is if you can afford NOT to get one.

Website Myth #3: I Can Reach Just As Many Prospects by Spending Money on Other Marketing Materials

We aren’t going to tell you to ditch your marketing materials, nor will we tell you that a website is all you need. However, we do believe in integrated marketing strategies that include both print and digital mediums.

A website allows you to update your customers with new products, services, and offers easier than traditional methods. Plus, when your doors are closed and brochure is inaccessible, your website is the “employee” that’s always available.

Website Myth #4: Creating a Website is a Huge Time Commitment

 Yes, creating a website will require a time commitment from you but nothing quite like you imagine. A web design experience here at Rock Paper Simple is not only profitable for you once it’s completed but is also educational, exciting AND fun. Our process includes questionnaires to help guide you through the process, fun graphics to announce your new website, convenient online forms for you to send us your information, and “web guys” that are knowledgeable and easy to reach.

We develop your website quickly and efficiently, and while we do ask for some of your time, we know you are busy so we do our best to guide you along the process. This way we can get to work on your site and have it launched ASAP!

Website Myth #5: Once I Have a Website, I’ll Immediately Get Leads

 You can have an awesome website that kicks your business into overdrive. In fact, it can conquer whole galaxies and cook your breakfast for you, but if you don’t market your business, no one will know about you or your website. Even the organic SEO value (search engine optimization) that your website has on launch will need some time to pick up steam. It takes time and some marketing efforts… but soon, you will be out there earning market share! The trick is to have a strategy!

Website Myth #6: The More Elements On the Site the Better

When it comes to web design, we like to say, “Keep It Simple.” From typography and colors to images and your logo, every element communicates something to the visitor. If your company’s website is too busy or distracting, it’s likely that visitors won’t have a positive experience, nor is it likely they’ll stick around and convert to a lead. Focus on a simple design that enhances the features, attracts visitors and limits distractions.

Website Myth #7: Photos I Find On Google Will Work

So you want to use an image you found on Google for your website? This is almost always a bad idea! It’s considered illegal to use any copyrighted image without the owner’s permission or without purchasing a license that grants permission. It would be best to use your own photos, but we also understand that’s not always possible. We suggest buying royalty free images or using free ones with common license; however, you still run the risk of looking like every other site in your industry.

Best case scenario, you have your agency (that could be us!) come out and do a photoshoot for you to create some amazing pictures to use in your marketing, but alternatively most agencies have access to royalty free images they pay a license to use.

Website Myth #8: I Don’t Need Custom Graphics

Most WordPress-powered websites start off as a generic template that can be tweaked here and there to the look and feel of your brand. There are probably multiple websites using the same theme as yours, so what makes you stand out? By designing buttons, slider images, navigation, and colors to reflect your brand, you distinguish yourself from your competitors and taking that next step and having the site designed custom from the ground up allows you to stand out all the more!

Website Myth #9: If It Looks Fine on a Mobile Device, It’s Responsive

More and more people are viewing websites on their smart phones and tablets, but just because your site looks fine on a mobile device, that doesn’t mean it’s responsive. A mobile website is a different website at a different URL designed specifically for mobile devices. A responsive website adapts to the device’s screen, so whether you’re viewing a website on your Smartphone or desktop computer, the website will adapt for a seamless view. By having a responsive site, you have only one website to manage. Plus, the technology is forward thinking and will work for years to come.

Website Myth #10: Once My Site is Created, It’s Difficult to Make Changes

Truth is, it’s not difficult to make changes to your website. Most WordPress-powered websites have a user-friendly interface, so you can easily add new content and keep your website updated. However, you’re awesome at what you do and you shouldn’t have to worry about keeping your website up-to-date, setting up forms and making sure your web presence is being used to its full potential. Imagine if you had a trusted team on your side maintaining it all for you. Wouldn’t that be more manageable than handling those confusing and annoying issues? We thought so too!

 

We’ve heard a lot opinions when it comes to digital marketing, and web development and design. No doubt there’s many ways to achieve goals and solve problems, and here at Rock Paper Simple we have our own proven process that delivers results. However one thing to remember is that in the end, every process requires trust. Trust in yourself that you’re making great decisions for your company, and also trusting in turn, that the digital marketing agency you choose will help you accurately express your company to the world.

At Rock Paper Simple we build awesome websites that are designed to impress visitors and drive revenue- and we’d never sell you short or ask you to break the bank for quality service. Trust an award-winning team of experts, and get the awesome website you deserve by starting here!

Q&A with the Simple Team – Colleen!

colleenYou might have met us at Headquarters, skimmed through our Team Pages, or you might already be our amazing and awesome friend, but do you know how we’ll answer these questions? Get to know the Rock Paper Simple Team a little better, and follow our Q&A series!

Colleen Clement has volunteered to go first, and chose to answer the following from our quick questionnaire:

 

What were some impressions you got from walking into RPS for the very first time?
I thought it looked like a fun place, and that made me less nervous to apply/work here.


Why were you interested in working for RPS?
I was enrolling at the Graphics Tech class at EFSC, and I wanted to see what a web design and digital marketing business looked like.


How do you define, or measure, success?
Success is when you meet your personal goals. Everyone is successful at something, and you don’t need recognition to be considered successful.


Tell us about something that you are proud of, outside of work.
I switched to a full American Sign Language congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was a big step for me because it’s a different language. But they needed help, and I have the time to help.


What would you do if you won the lottery tomorrow?
I’d buy a desk for my room, and then go out to dinner somewhere nice.


Who will win the battle, Stormtroopers or Red Shirts?
Stormtroopers. I know it sounds horrible, but Red Shirts are supposed to die!


You drank the kool-aid and now you have a superpower. What is it?
Speed! You can do anything when you’re abnormally fast.


Choose between an actual working lightsaber and pokeball with your favorite pokemon inside.
Pokeball. I’m not talented enough to wield a lightsaber.

 

Read more about Colleen’s other skills and hobbies here!

Google Is Dividing Its Index Between Mobile and Desktop Search!

googlemobileGoogle uses an index to allow for all the searches their users do on a daily basis and this index holds information about your website our website and a whole host of websites. That index is about to be split between mobile and desktop… meaning that the mobile index will actually be populated completely independent of the desktop experience.

Remember “Mobilegeddon”? When Google announced that the mobile versions of our websites would impact our ranking? Well, this is the next step. We are still vague on the details, but it sounds like instead of it just having an impact on our overall rankings, it will now crawl and index and rank the mobile version of our websites and ONLY take the mobile version into consideration when displaying results to mobile searchers. This is a huge change and one we all need to keep an eye on.

We will post again once we know more, but it is definitely time to think about ensuring the mobile version of your site will stack up. The rumbling is this may be implemented in a matter of months.

A Simple Explanation of Why There is So Much Darn Orange in The Office!

If you’ve visited our office, surely you noticed that orange is everywhere. Upon the first meeting or visit to our office, most reactions are along the lines of “Wow! It’s so bright and happy in here!” or “This wall is so cool, I love it!” and even, “You guys really like orange huh?”

Yes, you might say that we’ve gone above and beyond to incorporate Rock Paper Simple brand colors into our environment. But these colors (and most importantly the orange) were chosen because they best represent our brand personality and values. Our vision, mission statements, and values are all part of our brand core – oops, we’re getting ahead of ourselves! Messaging and identity are an important part of Branding, and that is a discussion we’re saving for another time.

So anyway, the explanation as to why there’s so much orange around the office is really simple. It’s an energetic, high energy color and it helps to represent that not only the freshness of our approach, but also highlights one of our six core values, and that’s FUN! That’s right… FUN is one of our values.

Here’s a bit of a mental picture on how we make it fun at the RPS office. The office is home to roughly a thousand stress balls (at least!), which frequently get bounced around or
thrown at other team members. We host hangouts (complete with drinks and snacks) for the team, our clients, friends and colleagues, and we participate regularly in fun community events. A lot of work gets done from the Dev-Room couch, especially when we’re streaming Netflix, and laughter is common in meetings and conversation – although that might be because we’ve had too much coffee…or too little!

A lot of study has gone into the power of a positive and fun workplace environment, and the benefit of going against typical business tradition. What was found was an affirmative correlation between happy offices and growing profits. Fun in the office leads to a more creative approach to problem solving, strengthens coworker relationships, and increases trust and confidence in the employer.

Brand identity aside, Rock Paper Simple adopted the idea of a fun workplace because it’s also just part of who we are individually. We’ve said before; while we take what we do very seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and that mentality contributes significantly to the positive solutions that come out of our office.

We truly believe that fun fuels a creative and productive atmosphere… and that just means better results for clients.

So all the orange in the office is a reminder… a reminder of who we are as a brand and as a company. By having a strong brand that is present internally, we are able to cultivate a culture that cares about the company, the team, the clients, the projects… and enjoys the work day. We are reminded by the very environment we have created to enjoy the work we do, because life’s too short not to have fun.

And really, why wouldn’t we want to surround ourselves with such a happy and fun color?

Meet Haley. Newest Member of Team Awesome!

haley-cabre

Haley is the newest addition to Team Awesome. (Yay!) She graduated from U.C.F. with an Interdisciplinary B.A. degree, which she feels accurately reflects her creativity and interest in learning about many different things.

Wait, a degree in what?! Haley… explain what this interdisciplinary thing is!

Haley: “Think Leonardo da Vinci, who beautifully mashed science and art together to create amazing things and solve problems uniquely. He’s basically the father of Interdisciplinary Study. I have a degree in crossing professional knowledge, allowing for more a fluid way of thinking in regard to problem solving.”

Her role here as the Digital Content Coordinator at Rock Paper Simple provides Haley a chance to flex her interdisciplinary muscle. She gets to write content, create and implement social media plans, optimize websites, plan events, analyze SEM data… the list goes on. Her ability to “mash” knowledge to create distinct solutions and create positive results makes her great at what she does… creating and pushing out content for both RPS and our clients.

When not in the office you might find Haley out kayaking, wandering around with friends trying catch Pokemon, or volunteering her time to Ambassador Bullies. If you didn’t find her doing any of those things… then it’s likely she’s at home, covered in flour from rolling croissants (oooh tasty!).

We’re excited to have her creativity and ambition around the office. Welcome to our Team Haley!

The Top 10 Website Pitfalls to Avoid #10 – No Traffic Strategy

The Top 10 Website Pitfalls to Avoid Rock Paper Simple 10Oh yea… we made it! We’ve gotten through all 10 pitfalls and with plenty of time to spare… and here’s #10! 

This one doesn’t really have anything to do with your actual website at all… but it is just as important as all the others, because if you have no strategy to drive traffic to your website, there really is no point in having it!

This is one of those questions we ask our clients. “How will people be coming to your website?” This really should be determined before even building your website, as it can greatly affect how it should be laid out.

Many companies have great websites with fantastic visual and call to actions, but they are not seeing the results they expected? Why not? Because there is simply no traffic going to the website! A website can only convert traffic that it receives. So how are people finding your website?

Without some sort of marketing to drive people to your site, your website would be like a billboard put out in the middle of the Sahara desert, wouldn’t it? It would be completely worthless and it won’t be seen by anyone… except the random gerbil and gazelle (yes, I used gazelle as an example on purpose and yes, they live in the Sahara desert).

So make sure you come up with a strategy to drive traffic to your site. It can be any number of marketing techniques including internet marketing. You could try search engine optimization, pay per clicks, social media marketing, content marketing, blogging, postcard mailings, speaking engagements, networking, radio and any other number of methods.

Just make sure you don’t have any of the other major pitfalls on your site once you do drive traffic to it!

Download our FREE eBook that includes the other 9 reasons!

[freebie id=”1423″]

Get Started