Blog - Page 3 of 23 - Rock, Paper, Scissors

Posted 23 Aug 2016

Case Study: Boyce Design & Contracting – Brand Refresh & Marketing Support

Boyce Design & Contracting is Atlanta’s premier Design/Build firm. Initially founded as a landscape company by Thomas Boyce, the company has expanded its offerings over the years, developing into a full scale design/build firm that creates exterior and interior living spaces that match the lifestyle of the client.

We first connected with Boyce through the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. At that time, the company had a solid lead generation plan in place but was in need of a brand update that more accurately reflected the exquisite living spaces they create, as well as marketing support. To get a true feeling for who the company is and what they do, Rock Paper Scissors completed a Brand Immersion with Boyce. This allowed us to really get to know the business and its history, how it has changed over the years, the team, and the quality of work that goes into each project. After observing the team and their work, we suggested making some slight modifications to the current logo to make sure that it still felt fresh and up to date without losing the brand recognition.

Boyce Design & Contracting

We also helped Boyce refine their marketing materials to match the new look of the logo. We worked with photographer Jim Roof to capture photographs of interior and exterior projects that reflect the quality of work and attention to detail Boyce is known for. The new images were incorporated into the company’s portfolio, website, and marketing materials and allow the work to speak itself.

Boyce

“We worked with both Boyce and Jim Roof to create a style for their photography so that people could imagine themselves enjoying and living in these beautiful spaces.” Amanda Sutt, Creative Director.

Boyce

Before we started to make suggestions and recommendations for marketing materials, we completed a Sales Audit for Boyce. Through this process, we helped refine their marketing materials so that potential clients were given a thorough overview of the company and its history, as well as what they can expect when working with Boyce. We were also able to help Boyce refine their position as a full service renovation partner for their customers in need of interior and exterior home transformations.

Boyce

We also created a beautiful website for Boyce. Our goal was to focus on past projects since that is what prospective clients want to see and is what sets Boyce as a leader in the industry. We designed the website experience around the portfolio. However, there is a lot more to the site than just the portfolio and we did not want viewers to get bogged down, so we created clear next steps on all pages to make navigating the site and knowing what to do next as simple as possible.

Boyce Design and Contracting

We’ve had the opportunity to continue working with Boyce by providing creative support for their various marketing needs. This is just one example of the lasting partnerships we like to build with our clients and we look forward to continued collaboration with the team at Boyce in the future.

Boyce

Posted 16 Aug 2016

EMyth Business Coaching Q-and-A With Amanda Sutt – Part 1

With our 30th birthday celebration coming up, we have been looking back at some of the events and happenings that helped us get to where we are today. One thing that helped our business during the economic recession several years ago was our year-long participation in EMyth Business Coaching.

If you’re not familiar with EMyth, let us fill you in. EMyth was founded on the simple concept that most businesses aren’t started by business-minded people, but rather passionate individuals that have a product or service to offer and know how to do things better than or more uniquely than others can. However, these individuals don’t always know what it’s going to take to get to their vision. They are in the moment and truly think starting a business is a great idea. EMyth refers to this as the “entrepreneurial seizure” – essentially, you think that being able to do the work is all there is to starting and building a business, never giving thought to all other aspects of running a business like handling cash flow and managing employees, and eventually, you wind up overwhelmed and exhausted. That’s where EMyth can save the day for business owners because business coaches can help you work through those tough aspects of business ownership so you can enjoy your life and your job just like your original vision.

Now that you’re caught up, let’s sit down with Amanda Sutt, CEO and Creative Director of Rock Paper Scissors, to discuss how EMyth’s coaching services helped our business thrive, as well as what motivated her to become a certified EMyth Business Coach.

EMyth Business Coaching

What first attracted you to utilizing EMyth Business Coaching for RPS?
A: A few years after I graduated college, a friend recommended I read the book “The EMyth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” because he thought it would be helpful for me as I dove into the family business. As a small business leader, the book feels like it is written for you and your particular struggles as a business owner. It stands out for people who’ve made mistakes and are trying to figure out how to make a business successful because EMyth was founded on one simple idea: “That small businesses are not started by business people. They’re started by people like you. People who have a craft — something you know how to do better or different than anyone else. And who woke up one day and realized that their businesses had turned into a job. A really hard one. With lousy pay.”

There was a big gap between me reading the book and starting the coaching service! When I read the book around 2006, it referred you to downloads on the website. I dabbled with those worksheets from 2007 to the beginning of 2012. I knew the principles and concepts to build your business like a franchise with systems so it’s replicable,  but didn’t get very far. Going into the recession, we had experienced economic dips before, but not like this. We thought we could put our heads down and work hard until it was over, but things kept getting harder. We never knew anything but manic chaos.

Around 2011, EMyth had a leadership change and the company went through its own process (they “Emythed” Emyth) and during this time, they started going back through the files of people who had downloaded resources from the site. In early 2012, I got a call from a coach who asked how the business was going, and I answered honestly and what I thought was going to be a quick 10 minute call, ended up being an hour and half. The coach then asked, “Do you think coaching would help?” Not even two weeks earlier I had said to my mom I could go at this pace for two more years and then I’d be done. It was really rough, but when EMyth called I was ready to learn how to really work smarter and not harder – we were all maxed out.

The recession was tough on all businesses, but you credit the coaching RPS received through EMyth as part of the reason the company survived. What are some specific examples you can share on how the coaching helped RPS survive (and thrive) through that time?
A: Part of it was having someone hold us accountable. We were really good at starting things, but not finishing them. Our coach helped us fix that. It also helped us realize that not having a single vision and leader was hurting the business. Between my mom Cindy, our CEO, my dad Randy, our CFO, and myself, an art director, we had some very different ideas for the future of the business and there was no consistency between us. We realized we all needed to get on the same page with our vision as well as all other areas of the business. At that point, we were also taking any work that came our way and were generalists. EMyth coaching made us realize we needed to establish a clear vision. It made us learn everything that was changing in the marketing world – the rise of social media and how it changed consumer perception, the tools we were using, etc.

EMyth Business Coaching

The coaching also helped us realize that if we love what we’re doing, the quality of our work will improve. So we started looking at what we wanted to do and learned we wanted to build partnerships with our clients, to talk with them earlier in the process, and to interlace that with the sales process. We didn’t want to have our hands tied behind our backs, so we set up new processes. We established set times for regular staff meetings, as well as meetings for sales, operations, technology, and more. We also got to know our staff on a different level. We moved away from the superficial relationships and built camaraderie. We realized how we can collaborate and develop talent, which helped us built longevity with our employees. We started looking at how we could create a company culture that not only reflected who we are, but also one that makes us look forward to coming to work each day. We work hard and play hard, and we love to have fun. Our culture is part of what makes it a joy to work here, and also part of what attracts prospective clients and employees to our business.

How have the things you learned through EMyth coaching influenced how you do business here at RPS?
A: First, EMyth hasn’t stopped influencing us and that’s why I enjoy working with them. One of the aspects of running this business and working for EMyth that’s important for me as a leader is that I’m able to watch another company from the inside to give me perspective of what that is like while I am also in a leadership role. I’m still working for someone even though I have people working for me so I know what it is like to be in the trenches. This is something I have always done; when I was just art directing, I still did theatre work and graphic design on the side. I feel it was important as a leader to know what it’s like to work under someone and receive criticism.

EMyth also helped me realize that every business is dysfunctional and to just embrace it, and to drop the idea of perfectionism. I started looking at problems differently – what’s the biggest problem and what can we do to fix it.

What would you consider the greatest benefits RPS received from its year of EMyth Business Coaching?
A: Clarity and purpose as a company, for everything. We took time to understand why we’re doing this and, because of that we are able to make better choices and are a much more solid company. Now, our world doesn’t fall apart when something goes wrong. We have new tools in our toolbox that we can use for any problem thrown at us. We know how to think strategically and everything seems fixable. It’s a great new perspective for a company’s leadership and is the difference between a small, mom-and-pop type of business and a sustainable one.

It seems that RPS and EMyth are very similar in terms of wanting to make an impact and leave things better than we found them. How do you feel RPS experienced that first hand with EMyth?
A: One of my reasons for becoming a coach was because I saw the services as a good compliment to our current client base. I was tired of creating beautiful campaigns and clients not using them or not being prepared for an influx of sales. I wanted to have greater conversations with clients that go deeper about the business. It’s an extension of what we do. We have the same values and end results of growing our businesses.

There’s more to our EMyth story. Stay tuned for the continuation of the story next month! 

If you don’t want to wait, connect with Amanda to learn more!

Posted 20 Jul 2016

Marketing Makeover for Nonprofits

We’ve been connected with the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia (CFNEG) for quite a while, developing the nonprofit’s brand, helping prepare the organization’s Giving Reports and providing support for the annual Good2Give Gala. We recently collaborated with the CFNEG and Heather Loveridge on the presentation “Marketing Makeover for Nonprofits” to help nonprofit leaders better understand branding and marketing. The event allowed us to work with local nonprofit leaders to start the process of developing a Brand Commitment and providing helpful tips for creating a marketing plan, storytelling, and more.

If you’re a nonprofit leader looking for some branding and marketing assistance, we invite you to take a look at our presentation below.

We also invite you to download a copy of the workbook so you can get started.

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As you work through the workbook, you are asked to create a Brand Commitment. Below we have included some sample Brand Commitments to help get you started:

  • “When someone sees the Community Foundation brand, we want a smile to come to their face, an approving nod of their head, and a feeling that they received far more in return than they gave.” – Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia
  • “To be the premier sports and entertainment brand that brings people together, connecting them socially and emotionally like no other.” – The NFL
  • “To inspire moments of optimism and uplift.” – Coca-Cola
  • “To be genuine, fun, contemporary, and different in everything we do at a reasonable price.”- Virgin Airlines
  • “We’re working to prevent child trafficking & exploitation, care for survivors, and empower a growing movement. Love is the foundation of our motivation.” – Love146

If you need further assistance in creating your Brand Commitment or with learning how to better tell the stories of your nonprofit, contact us or Heather Loveridge. We are available for consultations, workshops, and creative work (both visual branding and storytelling) and would be happy to set up a time to work with you and your organization’s leadership.

Posted 15 Jun 2016

Welcome Imogen!

Say hello to the sweetest new addition to the Rock Paper Scissors family, Imogen Cynthia Thompson! Imogen was born on May 23, 2016, coming in at 7-pounds and 19.5-inches long with a full head of hair. Congratulations to Amanda, Hugh, Randy, and of course, big sisters Ava and Kyla!

20160527_RPS_NewsletterImogen-Vert

 

Posted 10 Jun 2016

Our Top 10 Favorite Things About Google Analytics

When you’re making plans to improve your website, it helps to know how current visitors got there. You need to know what messages are sticking with them, as well as what’s not, and Google has a handy tool to help you discover that and more! Google Analytics is a free service (who doesn’t love free!) that happens to be one of our favorite marketing tools here at Rock Paper Scissors.

When you embed the Google Analytics code on your website, Google can keep track of what’s happening on it. Google is in the business of getting people to the websites that are relevant to them, and to do that they need to know how people are interacting with the sites they visit. With this service you have the power to have a better website and create a better user experience. Google Analytics is also very helpful for branding because it gives you the ability to see how your brand is resonating with your audience, if they’re doing what you need them to, and make necessary adjustments. Think of it as a way to connect the dots between launching a brand and the ideal end result of people investing in your product or services.

Now that you know the basics, here are our top 10 favorite things about Google Analytics!

  1. Compare
    Unless you have something to compare your data to, it’s not very helpful. When we first look at a client’s analytics, we like to compare the current month to the previous month to see what has changed in the last 30 days. Then we’ll compare the current month to the same period from the previous year. This latter comparison is important because it is comparing apples to apples from one year to the next and shows how you have progressed.
  2. Annotation
    The annotation function allows you to add comments to your traffic data so you can remember that you launched a blog, email campaign, updated your website, etc. This will help you be consistent in the future as well as have a record of what helped your numbers increase.
  3. Location
    The location feature is great for seeing where your audience is. If you are doing targeted campaigns or you serve a specific geographic area, this lets you know if you are getting your message to and attracting the specified audience. The location is based on the IP addresses of your users.
  4. User Flow
    We really love this feature! User flow tells us how visitors are using the website. It breaks down where they entered the site (what page they land on first) and what they do next. It also shows whether they come to the home page and just leave, if they go to the special offer you just set up, or another page. This is a great way to see if your users are using your website the way you intended.
  5. In-Page Analytics
    In-page analytics tells us where people are clicking on each page. Can they tell that graphic is a button? What is your most popular navigation item? Are they scrolling below the fold? Again, this feature helps determine whether visitors are using the site the way you want them to.
  6. Acquisition
    So now you have a ton of traffic coming to your website, but you’re probably wondering how these folks found you. Was it through a social media campaign, or your SEO and referrals campaigns? The acquisitions overview tells us how people are entering the website so that we can answer these questions, and more importantly, see what is working and what’s not so you can stop efforts that are not yielding beneficial results.
  7. Devices
    Are you wondering if you need to upgrade your website to a mobile-friendly, responsive design? Google Analytics will tell you! You’ll see what types of devices visitors are using and make adjustments for an improved user experience.
  8. Site Speed
    Google’s built in speed test lets you see how quickly your site loads. It also gives you suggestions on how to improve the page for both desktop and mobile users.
  9. Email Reports
    You are busy running your business and doing your job, so remembering to log in to see how your website is performing may not make it to your to-do list often. There is a feature that you can set up so you are emailed a report regularly.
  10. Google Search Console
    Okay, so this is actually a tool that’s separate from Google Analytics, but it’s extremely useful so we have to tell you about it! Formerly Google Webmaster Tools,  Google Search Console will let you submit your site and tell you if there are errors on the site – especially ones that will affect your search engine ranking. Think of it as a step-by-step walk through to help make your site as Google-friendly as possible.

If you would like to listen to our full webinar, check it out below!

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