Coulee Creative™ http://couleecreative.com Mon, 20 Apr 2015 16:46:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2 Why Storytelling Matters and How to Tell Yours http://couleecreative.com/why-storytelling-matters-and-how-to-tell-yours/ http://couleecreative.com/why-storytelling-matters-and-how-to-tell-yours/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 22:45:46 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=3286 The post Why Storytelling Matters and How to Tell Yours appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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A friend of mine recently bought $28 leggings for her 6-month-old baby. Other than the cute pattern, they’re not much different from the cotton leggings you can find at most big box stores or baby clothing retailers for half the price or less. Her daughter will outgrow them in about three months, maybe four, yet she decided they were worth the price anyway. What could have caused her to find that much value in this product?

Storytelling

The shop she purchased from wasn’t just selling baby leggings. One look at their message and imagery online and it’s evident that they’re selling the experience. You see the mom and daughter, the cuddly moments, the laughter and play. You read about love, caring and something handmade from one mom to another. She bought into the feeling and doesn’t regret a single penny spent.

It’s not the Latest Catchphrase

Brand storytelling is the value of our products and services that goes beyond the sticker price. We perceive that something is worth a certain value because of our beliefs about the company selling it and how we expect the product or service to impact our lives. What story do your customers believe about your business? What can you do about it?

5 Suggestions for Telling Your Story Online

  1. Step outside yourself. You have certain assumptions and beliefs about your company, your products and services. But do you know if this is the same story that your customers believe? Step outside of what you know to be true and figure out what’s being told beyond your corporate walls.
  2. Know your audience. Focusing on a target customer is a critical step. You’ll never be everything to everyone, so figure out exactly who is your best customer and work to deeply understand them. What motivates them? Why would they purchase your product? What value are they truly looking for?
  3. Understand what you’re really selling. You may have online accounting services available to purchase on your website, but what you’re really selling is convenience, saved time and more money in your customer’s pocket. Figure out what your service does to change your customer’s life and you’ll know a lot more about what you sell.
  4. Make your customer #1. Your customer should always play the lead role and your product the supporting character. Photos and videos on your website should feature people meaningfully interacting with your product or service as they would in real life, not just a hero shot of your latest offering.
  5. Write with meaning. Your customer will find your product specs on the appropriate page if, and only IF, they connect with your initial message. Write like you’re speaking directly to your target customer. Tell them about the experience, not the specs.
We all believe a story about the products we purchase, the services we use and the companies that offer them. It’s easy to default to talking about features and specs, pricing and promotion, but a better way is to focus on telling the story. That’s how you make a lasting connection with your target audience and increase perceived value.

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How Design Impacts Your Website http://couleecreative.com/how-design-impacts-your-website/ http://couleecreative.com/how-design-impacts-your-website/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 19:06:16 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=3269 The post How Design Impacts Your Website appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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You have great products or services, a finely tuned business model and a marketing strategy that’s paying off in big, measurable results. One might agree that you’re firing on all cylinders and have nowhere to go but up. Before you slip off your shoes at the front door of success, you need to take a second look at one vital element in your master plan.

Your website

Yes, you’ve got content, a few photos of your best products and a picture of a smiling person in the corner of your homepage. That should be all you need, right? Wrong. To your website visitors, what your business offers isn’t even half of the story. In dollars and cents, a good design boosts revenue. Whereas a shoddy design can send your potential customers running the other direction. Here’s how design impacts your website, and what it means for your business.

The impact of appearance

First impressions are everything. The visual appeal of your design can mean instant bounce rates, or it can mean boosting conversions. The reason for that is obvious. People don’t linger on a site that looks cheap, terribly outdated, hastily cobbled together or that serves up a confusing mish-mash of content and graphics that makes no obvious sense. Even if your homepage looks halfway professional, if it doesn’t convey your value proposition while leading seamlessly into a call of action, then your efforts won’t yield the results you’re hoping to achieve.

Crafting an effectively designed website means developing an atmosphere of trust with your clients. A clean design with the appropriate use of color and graphics for your unique company culture, coupled with content that drives to the point, delivers a powerful message while offering visitors a reassuring experience. Appearances matter, and so do the look and feel of your website.

The impact of interaction

Let’s be clear: visitors never come to your website to read old articles about your incorporation or to see a photo of your new building. Think like your customer, or at the very least try thinking about your actions as someone else’s customer. The things that matter to you within your own business are often not the same things that your customers care about. Visitors want an experience that truly engages. They want something fluid. If you have a prehistoric interface that involves little more than a pop-up “subscribe now” window over a wall of dry text, your visitors are going to exit and head for something more interesting. You need to add engaging content that gives visitors a reason to act and react. Keep your website current with technological trends like parallax scrolling and other engaging formats. Integrate social media channels to invite comments and conversations. You need to interact to keep up with visitor wants and needs, or you risk fading into yesterday.

The impact of connection

Effective, impactful design means more than adding a few bulletpoints and a smattering of big, pretty graphics on your pages. Establishing an emotional connection with your visitors is paramount to conversions. Real photos (hint: your own professional photography, not the token group of suits with fake smiles purchased on the cheap from a stock vendor) convey meaning and catch the eye like simple graphics cannot. Even better, your own professional videos connect with people on all levels, visually, emotionally and on even a subliminal level. Incorporating design elements that not only attract, but connect with visitors, is what will make people remember your company, your brand and what you have to offer.

An effective, well-crafted design attracts more viewers and leads to more conversions. A poor design detracts, meaning less interest, decreased brand awareness and slowly deteriorating sales. Your design impacts not only your website and your online presence, it impacts your business and your bottom line.

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How to Get Your Visitors to Love Your Brand http://couleecreative.com/build-value-by-creating-a-connection/ http://couleecreative.com/build-value-by-creating-a-connection/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 17:09:31 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=3254 The post How to Get Your Visitors to Love Your Brand appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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We recently had lunch with a client who is in the process of rebranding. The company is growing, as well as starting a new division, so  in the midst of growing pains and joys, they recognized the importance of making sure their brand accurately represents the direction they’re headed in.

As we discussed our client’s vision, stories about her quirky and fun colleagues emerged and it was clear that she understood the importance of not only getting the right design but also that communicating their brand’s culture and personality is critical in unlocking the potential of the company as it moves forward. She gets it.

Marketing messages may get someone to your website, but people connect with people.

And so we discussed the all important topic of how we could build value for their customers by creating a connection to the company and the people who work there. Among many of the ideas we discussed, below are three tactics that you could implement on your website to demonstrate your brand’s personality:

  1. Show people. It doesn’t matter if your business is a solo entrepreneurship or a massive enterprise, get some faces on your website because people connect with people. Backcountry enhances their live chat by adding a photo of the employee who’s helping to solve your problem, giving you the virtual experience of personal service. Dollar Shave Club‘s president takes you on a hilarious tour of their facility in their wildly successful ad, rather than just some actor in a commercial. The people you feature and how you do it can give your brand the personality it needs.
  2. Hone your About Page. As soon as your potential client gets past the initial seconds on your homepage and clicks for more, they’re ready and open to make that connection with you and your brand, so give them the real deal by investing some time writing your About Page. MailChimp mixes humor with just enough technical terms to instill confidence in their potential customers while seeming like a company that would be a blast to work with.
  3. Feature your customers. After you, the person your potential customer is most likely to connect with is another customer that was once in their shoes. Traditionally customers are often featured in testimonial sections, but there are fun and unique ways to up the design factor with customer features. Beardbrand and Nixon incorporate a Twitter feed display of customers interacting with their products, which not only lends to credibility but also gives potential customers style ideas making the product that much more invaluable. AirBnB includes a review section with the reviewer’s image, knowing full well that we trust a person more when we can see their face.

People don’t just buy things, but rather they buy from people they like, trust and find a commonality in. If you value your website as your digital salesperson, be sure that you’re giving it enough personality to make a connection with the people who use it.

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Get More Customers to Complete the Sale http://couleecreative.com/get-more-customers-to-complete-the-sale/ http://couleecreative.com/get-more-customers-to-complete-the-sale/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:14:40 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=3209 The post Get More Customers to Complete the Sale appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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I remember the day not too long ago. I was paying pretty good attention to the lecture and taking some notes during the hour-long Buyer Behavior class when my professor introduced the concept of Cognitive Dissonance. It was as if the proverbial light bulb turned on.

Maybe not quite so dramatic, but the professor asked us to recall a time that we made a significant purchase and think about how we felt leading up to, during and after the purchase.  

Oh (sigh) those tan leather pants were such a stupid idea. It went like this:

  1. Poor college student? Check.
  2. Part-time job barely covering rent with just enough extra cash for the $5 wristband at the popular campus bar on Friday but going shopping anyway? You bet.
  3. Do these pants make my butt look good? Why yes, I believe so.
  4. Get in line, grasp credit card, prepare to pay…wait, what am I thinking? I shouldn’t do this, can’t do this, but it’s all wrung up and she’s looking at me expectantly and I’m beginning to think a tad judgmentally, ARGH, no!

Lightbulb: there’s a name for that sequence of events.

Chances are that we’ve all experienced cognitive dissonance on some level during which we feel mental stress, guilt or discomfort during the process of making a purchase.  So how does it all relate to increasing conversions on your website?

This kind of situation is often what happens when your customer finds your product or service, becomes interested and reads more, clicks to place it in their shopping cart and then BAM! They close their browser and do not return.

It is a perfectly normal reaction when faced with parting from our hard earned cash. But we don’t have to just accept abandoned shopping carts or a low conversion rate. Instead, it’s time to start thinking about the objections that your customer might wrestle with in the purchasing funnel and get to work.

Minimizing objections isn’t trickery or even an involved sales pitch. Instead, your goal is to be as clear and honest as possible about your product or service and begin setting expectations for your customer.

Set the Stage

Scribd

Scribd provides a great model for minimizing objections by setting clear expectations for accessing your favorite novel. The call-to-action boldly and brightly informs subscribers that they can try the service for free right now and they have one month to decide if they like it before they get charged a fee. It’s clear in the sub-headline that $8.99/month is the cost after the free trial. It’s also noted that a reader can use any device they prefer. The browsing customer knows instantly what to expect before they click through for the trial.

So how can you set the stage for a confidence-instilled transaction?

Be upfront about your offer. If you provide a free trial, introductory offer or any other kind of hook to get a potential customer interested, be sure to identify what exactly is free, what is not and when the customer can expect to get charged. Leave the sneaky stuff to subscription shoe salesmen. Your goal is to build trust with your customers so they return again and again.

Outline Additional Charges

nest

KISSmetrics posted an article depicting the #1 reason for shopping cart abandonment is due to unexpected shipping costs. Not that you must ship everything for free but instead providing clarity about expected additional charges, like shipping, before your customer enters credit card information helps complete the sale. Note how the Nest thermostat reinforces the customer’s expectations by calling out free shipping before you click to add to cart and again under the checkout button. What’s left is a confident feeling that there will be no surprises.

You have plenty of options for when and where to display additional fees, but by all means call out extra charges before checkout. Whether in the sub-headlines of a product listing such as Nest or by providing a shopping cart preview with a subtotal and fields for tax and shipping, your customers will appreciate the upfront honesty and will be less likely to ditch your goods.

Establish Security

ebay

Security during online checkout is a big deal these days. Before a browsing lead converts to a paid customer, they must be willing to divulge private information such as their name and email, billing address and credit card information. Have you gained their trust? Or will they have second thoughts about your company right at the moment when they’ll either become a customer or never visit your site again? The big ecommerce sites like Ebay have the confidence thing down to a science. Not only do they have the all-important https and badges of security like TRUSTe and Norton logos, but they also highlight their guarantee right where the shopper is going to look one last time as they make that final decision to buy. How could you not feel good about your purchase with all that confidence boosting?

If you provide a warranty or satisfaction guarantee, confirming it at checkout is a great way to help minimize objection to the sale at a pivotal moment. A lot of companies miss this opportunity to briefly (as in brief copy so as not to distract from the end goal) remind shoppers of the low risk of completing the sale.

Minimizing objections is one of several expert techniques to increasing conversions on your website. Make it clear and simple for your customer to proceed with confidence and enjoy watching sales go up.

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Line25 Sites of the Year! http://couleecreative.com/line25-sites-of-the-year/ http://couleecreative.com/line25-sites-of-the-year/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:22:53 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=885 We’re honored to have Kaber featured on Line25 Sites of the Year 2014.

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We’re honored to have Kaber featured on Line25 Sites of the Year 2014.

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Does Blogging Really Matter? http://couleecreative.com/blogging-really-matter/ http://couleecreative.com/blogging-really-matter/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:58:57 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2681 The post Does Blogging Really Matter? appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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In a word: yes. Blogging can significantly impact your business’s bottom line. Perhaps you’re a dedicated blogger and already know how much it has worked to increase traffic, qualified leads and boost sales.

Or it’s possible that you’re like a good many business owners who had good intentions of keeping your blog current, posted initially when your site (re)launched and then quickly forgot that you even have a blog. If you’re part of the latter group (or just curious), this post is for you.

You don’t have to take my word for it that blogging can make a huge difference in your bottom line because now there’s proof in the form of a nifty infographic, thanks to Neil Patel.

How Blogging Affects Your Bottom Line
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

That’s some powerful stuff! Now that you know it’s worth your time, set aside regular intervals throughout your week to get blogging! Here are a few quick tips to really get the most out of your blog posts:

  1. Write really great posts. It’s not as impactful to do quick <500 word posts on something super top-level in your industry or worthy of a Geico quip “everybody knows that.” Instead, hone in on industry-related topics that you know well and work up to 2000 word articles that serve as a great guide for your audience. These are the types of posts that get shared.
  2. Create a catchy titleWhile you don’t want to get so caught up in keywords that your title makes zero sense,  it would benefit you to think about how your audience searches in your industry and utilize commonly searched words in a similar phrase structure as one your audience might use on Google. Another consideration? People love numbers, such as 3 Quick Things or 5 Tips you Must Know. And finally, consider the benefit that the reader will receive by digesting your post and hone on this one great thing as the hook to get people reading.
  3. Enrich your content with valuable keywords. Again, don’t make keywords the focus, but be sure to utilize ones that add value to your posts and are relevant to your industry.
Great content makes a difference!

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How to Boost Your Website Traffic in 3 Steps http://couleecreative.com/boost-website-traffic-3-steps/ http://couleecreative.com/boost-website-traffic-3-steps/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:05:34 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2672 The post How to Boost Your Website Traffic in 3 Steps appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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It started with those five little words, “we need a new website.” Now it’s launched and positioned to compete, but there’s just one thing missing: visitors.

If your website traffic gets less hits than the San Diego Padres, then it might be time to revisit your web strategy. Thankfully, there are some tactics that you can employ right now to improve your web presence. Follow these three must-dos for your site and get the response your business needs to succeed.

1  Get noticed with great content

Compelling content not only draws in visitors and serves as an engaging way to tell your audience what you’re all about, but it also helps to establish your expertise and solidify your brand. Set up your blog and maintain a consistent stream of engaging articles that’s relevant to your niche.

Sounds so simple, right? I’m detecting an eye-roll from your side of the interwebs.  You’re sitting there thinking “I’m not a writer” and here’s one more person preaching about the almighty content king.

You CAN do this.  You can fill your blog with great content with some focus and practice.

Get started with your document of choice (Word, Google Docs, good ol’ pen and paper) and create an outline for one potential article. An outline will help you organize your thoughts, but more importantly it will take you from blank page to actual stuff on paper without the overwhelming task of doing it all in one shot. Some ideas to get outlining:

  1. Share your expertise with tips relevant to your industry
  2. Identify trends that correlate with your business
  3. Consider some DIY solutions aimed at your target customer
  4. Answer questions that your customers often ask

Still not totally feeling confident about generating content? Find a good copywriter or freelance writer who could help you create articles to publish. You’ll want to work closely with someone who has written about your industry and provide good guidance on what you’re looking for.

Know this: great content gets noticed and it gets people talking.

2 Rank higher with an optimized site

We’ve all heard of SEO, but not every site capitalizes on it. Incorporating basic SEO elements, such as commonly searched keywords that tie into your brand and niche, will help Google rank your site and help your audience find you.
So how do you get started?  First, make sure the content on your homepage is, at a minimum, these two things:

  1. Clearly written
  2. Compelling

This may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised.  Just like your customers, search engines need to know what your company is all about too, so be sure that your homepage content is easy to understand. Someone who’s never come across your website before should quickly understand who you are and what you offer from the content on your homepage.

Speak human: minimize the unnecessary jargon and puh-leeease do not try to fool Google by packing keywords and locations into content in a nonsensical manner.  While you’re at it, review all pages to make sure you have useful, relevant content across your entire website.

Next, keep your content fresh or maintain a blog.  Wheeeeeee!  We’re back to tip #1.  Excited?!  Google loves fresh content and will reward you in rankings when you keep your site updated and post regularly on your blog.

Finally, double check your tags. Your title tag is about 75 characters and should be a very short summary of the page with your primary keyword phrase, business name and city/state for local optimization. If the ideas of keyword density, meta tags and alt tags make your head spin, hire an SEO expert to guide you through the process.

3 Build an audience via social media

Social media as a marketing tool has grown up.  Popping a few social media buttons on your site is a good first step, but if those buttons don’t lead to something interesting, your visitors won’t have any reason to follow you.

Social media is an opportunity to give your brand a personality and reinforce it with regular posts.  Do your followers a favor and don’t use social media just to spam up newsfeeds with marketing (instead, use ads for that kind of thing).  How about you try this:

  1. Share your blog posts (Tip #1 again. Boom.)
  2. Post interesting and relevant information that appeals to your audience, not just from your site but from other related sources
  3. Snap some photos that demonstrate your brand personality
  4. Create an infogram
  5. Engage in conversations
  6. Announce contests, promote discounts and take polls

Give your audience incentive to follow you on social media, and awareness of your site and your business will grow.

Ready to get started and build your website traffic? Follow these three steps and you’ll be busier than a beaver.

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Behind the Scenes Photoshoot http://couleecreative.com/behind-scenes-photoshoot/ http://couleecreative.com/behind-scenes-photoshoot/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:12:26 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2658 The post Behind the Scenes Photoshoot appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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A beautifully designed website with engaging content is a winning combination. But what’s one thing that can negatively effect even the best design? Poorly chosen stock photos.

Your audience has gotten smart and knows that the cheesy group of suits shaking hands is a cheap image found on any stock photography site. Instead of connecting with your audience, a mediocre stock image could impact your credibility and decrease the likelihood of getting that all-important conversion.

So, what to do?

Not all stock images are bad! In fact, with a little searching and a decent budget, you can often find great photography that will resonate with your audience and help to reinforce your brand. But if you really want to make a great impression, a real photoshoot is the way to go.

There are many benefits of utilizing images from your own photoshoot, such as:

  1. Your own products and services displayed beautifully on your site
  2. Locations and models that represent your brand
  3. Creating a look that connects with your audience
  4. Elevating your look to be professional and authentic

Our team is on-site today shooting real photography for our latest project currently in the works. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s happening…

canvas photoshoot

Jared working on photoshoot

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5 Ways to Boost Income through Your Website http://couleecreative.com/5-ways-boost-income-website/ http://couleecreative.com/5-ways-boost-income-website/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:06:35 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2648 The post 5 Ways to Boost Income through Your Website appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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We’ve only just met, but I’m pretty sure I know that you know that repeat business is super important to your financial well-being.You’ve heard of that 80/20 rule, right? Pareto and his peas, my friend.

Plus, you can crunch your own numbers, but I’ve read that it costs anywhere from 4-10 times as much for customer acquisition versus customer retention. Repeat business not only plays a major role in your business success, it’s also a key indicator of how well your website is performing. If you’re not seeing repeat activity on your site, you need to make some changes—and fast. Here are 5 tactics to earn repeat business through your website.

1 Get more by giving something good

Everybody loves a bargain. What’s even better is that a limited time incentive creates that sense of urgency that compels a customer to make the purchase.

Because hey, it’s on sale. Right. Now.

Right now is a goooood time to buy.  (Because, well, that offer could end any minute now.)

Advertise promotions on your site and send out personalized emails to each customer, thanking them for their business and offering discounts, deals and rewards to be used the next time they visit. Repeat customers are valuable. Why not give them a little value back?

2 Be easy. Really easy

Is it easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for on your pages? Are visitors funneled smoothly into a conversion, or are they bombarded by distracting links, graphics or other content? Dial down the unneeded frills on your site and keep the directions simple.

I need to let you in on a little secret: your industry jargon can be like reading lorem ipsum.  So please, save “448-bit security encryption” or “archival hinging technique” talk for Game of Thrones night with your coworkers because your customers don’t want their heads to spin.

When working on your navigation, content and calls-to-action, step out of your expert shoes and view your website from your customers’ perspective. Are your directions easy to understand if this is the first time to the site? Can the customer quickly understand the value of your product/service? Is it easy to buy? The smoother the experience, the more likely your customer is to do business with you again.

3 Build a great customer list

This may seem about as basic as customer retention gets, but surprisingly, many sites and businesses omit this step. Gathering personal information doesn’t have to mean demanding your customers fill out an intrusive, lengthy form. Registration forms with too many fields tend to scare off even the most excited customer.

Don’t scare customers!

All you really need for an email database are a name and email address to ensure you can reach customers later with a new product announcement or promotion. Provide an incentive, like a free ebook filled with engaging content or offer a product/service discount as a reward for providing their information. If you offer something of value with registration, your customers will be happy to oblige.

4 Gain repeat readers with compelling content

Is your content fresh, interesting and tailored to your audience? If not, there’s no reason for a visitor to come back and take another look at it. A great way to get repeat business is to provide content that’s relevant to your brand and to your audience. If you’re consistently writing about topics that appeal to your customers, your customers will keep coming back to read it, and they’ll likely decide to take you up on whatever service or product you’re currently promoting as well.

5 Follow up

Gathering customer information does no good if you don’t act on it. Sending out a personalized “thank you” email is a great way to make customers feel appreciated.

And now that you’ve been acquiring visitor information, alert your customers to new products and services, items they’ve left in a shopping cart or current promotions. This simple step is key to reminding them of the value you offer and encouraging repeat business. Follow up with a survey, poll or questionnaire to make your visitors feel valued, not to mention obtain feedback to help you improve your site and your offerings.

Earning repeat business through your site means taking some simple steps toward giving each visitor and customer a great experience. Show appreciation for your audience and they’ll appreciate you back–and they’ll keep coming back.
And hey, thanks for reading!

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Holiday Survival Tips You’ll Love Year-round: Let’s Get De-stressed http://couleecreative.com/holiday-survival-tips-youll-love-year-round-lets-get-de-stressed/ http://couleecreative.com/holiday-survival-tips-youll-love-year-round-lets-get-de-stressed/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:30:06 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2620 The post Holiday Survival Tips You’ll Love Year-round: Let’s Get De-stressed appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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Every year around mid-December, a flurry of articles on “Holiday Survival” and “Avoid Overdoing it During the Holidays” and the ever popular “How Keep Your Sh!t Together When Drunk Uncle Jerry Starts Talking About Your Ugly Duckling Phase at Christmas Dinner…Again” hit the interwebs, news stands and magazine covers.

You browse a few headlines and take a mental note that this week you really do plan to take a walk after dinner and learn to say “no.”

But wouldn’t it be better for your general health and wellness if you employed these strategies year-round? After all, practice makes perfect.

Know Your Limits

Buffy_drinking

This is true on so many levels from the number of last minute tasks you agree to take on to the consumption of Jingle Juice cocktails. Keep yourself feeling sound of mind and body by knowing your limits and stick to it. Taking on too much in a day can leave you feeling spread thin and unable to really focus on the tasks that matter, regardless of the time of year. So can that one last round.

Exercise. Just Dooo It Already.

Do it.

Seriously, do some exercise. Not tomorrow. Today. It doesn’t have to be some big to-do that involves navigating to the nearest CrossFit location and slogging through rounds and rounds of burpees and air squats. Unless that’s your thing (go for it! you’re my hero). Think of exercise like brushing your teeth. It should be part of your daily routine knowing you really stink without it, whether it’s taking a quick walk after lunch or following along with a sweet fitness app. You’ll be more focused, sleep better and feel pretty darn good.

 

Be Present

Baby_laugh

As a new mom, I make an effort to be in the moment no matter what the task. It’s so easy to start thinking of the grocery list during yoga, my kiddo’s supply of diapers while I’m working on web content or the worst…email or Facebook while I’m rocking our daughter to sleep. Ugh, how awful to wake up one day and realize that I missed those precious moments because I found myself sucked into yet another BuzzFeed quiz?! No way. Instead, be present in what you’re doing so you can give the current activity the attention it deserves. You’ll find that the unpleasant tasks will take less time and the fun activities are more enjoyable when you give it 100%.

Set Your (Holiday) Schedule

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This is critical, especially for the small business owners out there. How many times have you caught yourself just taking a quick look at work email that you’re really not going to read until you see that one message from BEST client and suddenly you’ve read it and now it’s been two hours…holy crap I need to go to bed like an hour ago and I still haven’t wrapped presents. Been there? Yeah, it happens a lot if you don’t set boundaries on your time. Want to enjoy being at home after 6pm? Hoping to take three extra days off around the holidays? Ok then, make the commitment to your time away and communicate with your customers about your Out Of Office time and the game plan in case of an emergency. Clients understand that you want to enjoy time off not only during the holidays, but that you also deserve your own regular free time after all the awesome work you do. And those pesky notifications? Turn them off. Instead check your email at dedicated times that you set aside specifically for work.

Accept Help

You can do this. Accept help when it makes sense but maybe not when your well-intentioned but way too hip niece Maddie suggests helping you shop for drop-crotch pants (no. just, nooo). Throwing a holiday party and someone offers to bring an appetizer? Drop the control freak nature and say, “wonderful, thanks!” An officemate suggests handling this year’s Christmas card? Seems like a great time to delegate. Unless the Xmas card is your thing, then go ahead, do your thing.

Be Grateful

Is Thanksgiving the only time you’ve counted your blessings this year? It’s easy to lose sight of the things you’re grateful for when life gets hectic, holidays or no. Being grateful not only amps up your own warm fuzzies, but it also increases happiness and motivation in those to whom you’ve expressed your thanks. If you can’t say it in person make the snappy effort to send a, quick note email or text to people who deserve your gratitude. If you’ve received excellent customer service somewhere, share your appreciation via online review. And take a few moments to embrace the things that you’re most grateful for in life and you’ll find your mood elevated and your stress lessened.

The holiday season is a good time to start practicing survival tips that you can utilize all year round for a more enjoyable work-life balance. Go ahead, get started. Doooo it.

The post Holiday Survival Tips You’ll Love Year-round: Let’s Get De-stressed appeared first on Coulee Creative™.

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