#24 Starting an agency can be hard - why do we do it?
On this episode Jon & Dan take a listener question. Steve Cowburn writes in to ask:“Why do people start their own companies, given that the rewards and workload can be tough? What is that 'certain something' that we get out of doing it for ourselves?”To answers Steve’s questions, Jon & Dan cover the following topics:What was the initial decision process in starting our agencies - what led us to take the plunge?What was the turning point where it first felt like a business and an agency?Working on our first ‘product’ and finding our nicheWhat were the first things that began to highlight how hard it can be to run a businessDoing the first business activities as new foundersWho did we look towards as inspiration - who could we learn from?What was our fallback plan?Business and personal milestones that forced us to make decisionsHiring the first employeeWhat do rewards do we get from it personallyWhat are the purely financial rewards?Working hard and what you need to put inIf for some reason we no longer had our companies, what would we do next?Show notesMaverick!: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace - Ricardo SemlerFind us onlineJon Darke - @darkejonEvery Interaction - @everyinteract / www.everyinteraction.comDan Gent - @gentusmaximusLighthouse London - @wearelighthouse / www.wearelighthouse.com
21 Jun 2017
#23 Managing productivity and feeling productive
This week Jon is joined by Dan to talk about how we manage your time and feel productive while running our agencies. It’s a hard thing to quantify and we feel every business and person running them are different. But we talk about what works for us, along with what doesn’t.In this episode they discuss:How the problems changes as you begin to scale.Various tools we use to manage teamAbiding by systems or not?Understand what you have achieved rather than not achievedTracking your activity and productivityEmail etiquette, and when to allow it inMeetings; good or bad?Coming away feeling goodDiversifying task types and being realisticShow notesPerspective #13 Brexit; concerns about the leaving the EUThe book Jon was referring to but couldn't remember the name of; The E-Myth RevisitedThe important/urgent quadrant diagram Dan was referring to; The Eisenhower MatrixFind us onlineJon Darke - @darkejonEvery Interaction - @everyinteract / www.everyinteraction.comDan Gent - @gentusmaximusLighthouse London - @wearelighthouse / www.wearelighthouse.com
28 Apr 2017
#22 Selling the value of design, and design process to clients
This week Jon is joined by Dan to talk about how to sell the value of the design process to clients. If you’re working with clients who don’t understand the value of design or simply don’t have any experience working with a design team, how do you communicate the value your design process can bring? The benefit of doing this well can mean:the project will run betterthe communication is easierthe decisions you make are understood and respectedeveryone enjoys the processthe end result is likely to be more successfulIn this episode they coverHow do you sell the value of design to a client?How do we communicate the value of design thinking and the time to do it properly?How do projects go differently if the client gets it or not?How do the results differ if you've applied design thinking throughout?Show notesBook: You’re my favourite client, by Mike MonteiroLighthouse event, 14 March 2017 - An Evening of Startup Product Questions AnsweredFind us onlineJon Darke - @darkejonEvery Interaction - @everyinteract / www.everyinteraction.comDan Gent - @gentusmaximusLighthouse London - @wearelighthouse / www.wearelighthouse.com
6 Mar 2017
#21 Getting your story straight - brand & communication strategy for agencies
Jon is joined today by Anna McLoughlin of Inkspiller. Inkspiller are a copy and brand strategy consultancy helping businesses find their inner voice and communicate to the world. Anna recently took Every Interaction through this process and the result was a new content strategy that led a revamp of their website.In this episode they cover:Creative companies and how they struggle to communicate what they do effectivelyMaking your agency stand out and getting your key differentiators acrossHow Every Interaction worked with Anna to update their messaging and website copyAnna’s workshop and the exercises she undertakesWorking with different sized businessesCreating a company brand handbookWhy should someone hire you over another agency?Show notesMade to stick - Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck (book)Every Interactions new website (just the homepage & the 3 ‘about us’ content sections - more changes to come in 2017...)Post about the process in rethinking Every Interaction website with Anna - how we used card sorting on copy to create a sitemapInkspiller academy & online coursesAnna’s FREE online Build a Standout Brand course
30 Jan 2017
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#20 A globally distributed product team - a new model for design agencies?
This week Jon is joined by Matthew Lenzi of Hanno - a globally distributed product design agency. Hanno are quite unique in the way that they run their business; a distributed team working around the world using a forward-thinking vision of 'how companies should work in the future'. They’re living the dream sold to us by the level of communication offered by the internet - something that’s quite unique and I’ve not seen anyone else do as successfully before. We talk about how they got started and made this model a success.In this episode they cover:The history of Hanno; how it formed and how the idea of using a distributed team model came from.Using regular company retreats to work/be together in person.Daily communication technique, such as: PPP - plans, progress & problems.Working around the clock in different timezones.Using ‘pods’ of team members on projects.Letting everyone choose where and when they work, and how much they get paid.Pairing up remotely by planning around people's schedules.Over communicating.Introverted and extroverted personalities in distributed teams.Show notesHow I quit my job as a janitor and became a web designer - blog post by ArnasReinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating OrganizationsTeal OrganizationsHanno PlaybookOskar the slackbot happiness trackerPingpong - user testing tool
16 Jan 2017
#19 What makes a company like Clearleft successful? A conversation with Andy Budd
This week Jon and Dan are joined by Andy Budd from Clearleft - a well known UX Design agency based in Brighton. Clearleft are well known for their high quality of work as well as advancing the field by putting on a number of UX, Design and Development events around the country.In this episode they cover:Small vs large agenciesQuality vs quantity of client workHow do Clearleft judge their success metricsTaking on the projects you want to work onGrowing the team from the founders and adding new skillsHow adding content strategy skills to the team has helped Clearleft enhance their offeringWhat are the driving factors behind the events and conferences Clearleft put on, and what effect does that have on their businessGiving back to the design community - why we do these thingsShow notes:Clearleft’s website, including their work and blog. Keep an eye out for the new website & rebrand launching end 2016/early 2017.Clearleft’s new event; Leading Design (24 - 26 October 2016). At the time of publishing, now in the past, but sign up for details next year.Clearleft’s other conferences:UX London (24-26 May 2017)dConstruct (on a break this year)Every Interaction’s website update, taking a content-first approach.
14 Nov 2016
#18 Scaling an agency from 1 or 2 people to a growing and stable team, with Pete Campbell from Kaizen Search
This week Jon is joined by Pete Campbell from Kaizen Search - an SEO and digital marketing agency based in London. Pete started his agency less than 3 years ago by himself, and has since successfully scaled to 9 people.In the episode they cover:Starting a business as just one personHiring the first personShould you take on interns or apprenticeships when you’re a small agency?What skill levels should your early employees be?Handling cultural differences in a small teamShow notes:Kaizen Search websiteKaizen are hiring a developer
30 Oct 2016
#17 Introducing systems and process to give your business more structure, with Brad Flowers from Bullhorn Creative
This week Jon is joined by Brad Flowers from BullHorn Creative - a brand & communication strategy agency in Kentucky USA. Brad and his fellow directors have been making changes to how they run their business, inspired by meeting folks at peer groups and studying business books. This inspiration has helped provide them with a more solid foundation for growth and stability. In this episode Jon and Brad go over this experience, and share how anyone else can do the same.In this episode they coverFocus on working more on your business than in your business.Adapting and assigning roles to individuals as you grow.Having accurate data to be able to make informed business decisions.Understanding your core values of your business - why you exist.Using peer groups to share experiences and learn from others locally.Show notesEntrepreneurial Operating System📖 Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman📖 Get A Grip: How to Get Everything You Want from Your Entrepreneurial Business, by Gino WickmanLeading vs Lagging indicatorsMaking company culture a major focus of your core values. 📖 Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony HsiehEvery Interaction new website with new value focussed copy, and the blog post about the process and the story we took.There are some great blog posts over on Bullhorn’s blog. A few recent examples include:An introspective look at Bullhorns own brand valuesSome by-products of thinking about core values.Brand language - what’s in a name?Brand meaning - what do you mean?Brand tone - take that tone
16 Oct 2016
#16 Delivering website development projects using agile processes, with Rory MacDonald from MadeTech
Jon is joined by Rory MacDonald from MadeTech - an agile development agency - to talk about how you can use agile methodologies to deliver website development projects.In the episode they cover:What characteristics make a successful agile delivery?How to spot a if a client is going to be suitable to work in an agile wayManaging scope, budget and timelines with agileWorking with clients to understand complexityManaging risk to ensure software is shipped and deliverablesReassuring customers that the agile processes you are proposing will deliver them the results they needEducating clients about the benefits of agile processes and transforming businesses from within using itShow notesAgile Manifesto - 12 principles
2 Oct 2016
#15 How to create a winning proposal with Dylan Baskind from Qwilr
This week Jon is joined by Dylan Baskind - designer/developer and founder of proposal writing tool Qwilr. We speak about Dylan's journey from working in the agency world, having direct clients and hitting frustrations with creating proposals in the ‘print’ mentality of an A4 PDF doc that takes way too much time to create and delivers an inferior experience for both creator and client. We talk about how Qwilr came to be and what goes into making a great proposal.Dylan also shared with us his top tips for making sure your proposal has the best chance of helping you win the work:Make sure it looks fantastic. You can’t put a price on first impressions and if the first thing a potential client sees from you has a design that is not pleasing to look at, then you’ve almost already lost. That first impression must be made immediately, as they will form an opinion within the first few milliseconds. Web users judge sites in the blink of an eye.Use data-driven quantitative proof to back up your claims for case studies. Tie your work directly to project success metrics to validate the worth and investment in your input.Use a compelling story to communicate past case studies to clients. Teehan+Lax used to write case studies in a wonderful way. An approach we've started experimenting with at Every Interaction.
3 Sep 2016