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At Twentyone, we’re always striving to improve what we do best. Creativity is a key principle behind everything we do, and in order to keep that creativity flowing we’ve got to keep pushing ourselves. With that in mind, we’ve gone away separately to each have a think about our individual goals and targets for the year, enriching our own skills and talents while bringing fresh value and innovation to you, our customers.
So without further ado, here’s how we’re going to better ourselves in 2017:
As the primary point of contact for clients, I’m very aware of how I communicate. In the New Year I plan to focus on the tasks that add the most value to my customers and to my agency as a whole. This means not only effectively managing campaigns from a business point of view, but also making sure that my clients fully understand every step of the process. A key part of my plan going forward is helping clients to identify what’s working for them and what’s not, and capitalising quickly on the strengths of each campaign.
Video-blogging has been quickly dominating the digital landscape for years now, and it shows no signs of slowing. We already provide extensive copywriting services for our clients, but a key consideration of mine in 2017 will be focusing on v-blogging and video production, and looking at what new benefits it could offer our clients.
As a business, it’s safe to say we know what works for our clients from a design point of view, and I always make my design recommendations with full confidence. But I think it’s important not to become too rigid in our approach, or it stems the flow of creativity. A key part of the creative mindset is to take risks in order to find new ways of delivering continuing quality to our customers, so my big personal resolution for 2017 is to continue experimenting with layouts, video, typography, animation and colour.
Rather than being a separate goal, my professional aims this year support my personal ones – I’m going to develop my skills in CSS3 Animation, Animating SVGs and Bootstrap 4 framework. As well as this, I’m going to keep a careful eye on design industry trends for 2017 – after all, in an industry as flexible and as changeable as digital, we at Twentyone always need to be well ahead of the curve to continue delivering the very best results.
As Steven says, Digital is one of the fastest evolving industries on the planet. Digital experts are always finding new ways of effectively marketing to customers, so rather than just reading their findings I plan to use 2017 to lead the charge. Though it’s always good to keep an eye out for new marketing methods and techniques, it’s crucial not to neglect what we already offer. I intend to keep my focus on Twentyone’s core services, using my own technical skills to explore new ways to develop their flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness – essentially, continually striving to be better at what we do best.
My professional resolution is centred upon finding creative ways to improve page speed. It’s a key part of what Google’s algorithms consider when ranking pages – which means that even if your site is perfect in every other way, if it loads slowly it’s going to be penalised accordingly. Improve page speed and loading times also improves the user experience – which affects how easy and pleasant it is for your clients to use your site. Once again, it’s all about staying ahead of the curve.
The growth in mobile browsing is showing no signs of stopping, and Google are changing their operations to reflect that. Google have announced they’ll be releasing a separate mobile search index, which they’ll then be making their primary one. My own resolution in 2017 will be to consider the implications this has for SEO and think about ways we can turn this into fresh opportunities for our clients – whether that’s in the form of increasing their visibility, their reach, or finding new ways to engage with their existing target audiences.
For the professional side of things I’m going to look at integrating schema markup more fully into my workflow. Basically, schema markup is one of the newest and so least-utilised forms of SEO around today – I’m going to look at the improvements it brings to existing SEO techniques, and how it can help me analyse key data in order to make more informed business decisions, and drive greater numbers of conversions for clients.
The personal side of my own New Year’s Resolution is to do with my photography. I’m a professionally-trained photographer, but I started out as being largely self-taught. Like many arts, photography is a constantly evolving medium, with new techniques and new technology being invented all the time. Successful personal development means not becoming complacent, so I’ll keep an open mind for developments in the photography industry, actively watching for and experimenting with new techniques and trends – especially in the commercial sector – in order to keep my skills sharp and versatile.
There are around 100 keyboard short cuts per program in the Adobe Creative Suite, and even the most experienced of designers still don’t know them all. Knowing the correct keyboard shortcut can save a Graphic Designer on average half an hour a week (that’s more time to be creative). Part of my New Years Resolution for 2017 will be to learn at least 20 more keyboard shortcuts within the Creative Suite, enabling me to spend more time on what I love doing (creating beautiful design) and getting the job in hand done efficiently.
My personal goals revolve around my research – there’s far more ways to research online now than simply reading articles, so I plan to incorporate further online resources such as webinars and influencer Q&As into my research process. This will expand not only my knowledge of the subject in question, but also encourage me to keep thinking about the different ways it can be communicated.
My professional goal ties closely into my personal one; video and motion is still becoming an ever more important medium, and so with Sam I intend to devote more time to considering how video – as well as other mediums – can reach new audiences. I’m also going to think about how to incorporate trending technology into my social media strategies (for example Facebook Live), in order to engage my audience with more immediacy.
Over the course of the next year I intend to set aside a bit of time each week to research more about the industries of my clients; learning the characteristics of their industries and the unique ways in which they behave, and how to identify and anticipate their trends, thereby helping me to conceive ideas for articles. Alongside this, I’ll be developing a glossary of key terms to allow me to use the relevant language with greater confidence and authority.
Meanwhile, in terms of what I’m doing for our clients, I intend to give more thought and focus to target audiences during the course of my writing, namely how they consume content. For example, I’ll be thinking about when and where they’ll read it, so I can deliver tailored, quality content in a way that maximises reach and readership.
Of course, just because we’re looking at new ways of doing things doesn’t mean we’re going to be neglecting the established ones. You can still count on Twentyone to lead the way in Web Design, Web Development, SEO, Google AdWords (PPC), Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing. Whatever your core business goals, we’ll build on your strengths and use our own creative insight to bring you new levels of success.
Remember – we may be small, but we’ve got big ideas.