psyborg® blog

Keep Your Trail Clean

Keep Your Trail Clean

Keep Your Trail Clean

Keep Your Trail Clean

Clients of mine not only hire me for more work but they refer my business to others, it’s how I have run my business for over 12 years. The reason for this I believe is because I have a clean trail and because I am completely aware of it.

Keeping a clean trail means keeping a positive reputation for your business. You want the trail to be clean so people feel confident to employ your business. If the trail is messy and obstacles are in the way then this will be reflected in the growth of your business.  

So as you move down the trail of life, in doing business, you need to be aware of the reputation you are leaving behind you, or the cleanliness of your trail. All businesses should aim to have a clean and tidy trail.

 

Why Should you be Managing your Reputation in Business?

Lets pretend that every time a client or customer has a negative experience with your business, symbolically they leave a piece of rubbish on your trail. The more negative experiences, the more rubbish. Unless that experience turns positive then the rubbish will stay there forever, and even worse, with each year that goes by, it grows a little. This causes you to have a trail with obstacles. If someone wants to use your business they must get around this mess to get to you.

This is why you need to manage your reputation. In business the rubbish is a negative experience. Once a customer has a bad experience with a business they won’t use the business again. For a business owner this one lost client probably doesn’t have an impact on the business. The problem is that just one client has the power to sway others, like their family and friends, from using your business. The reason the rubbish grows each year is because those family and friends may then sway their family and friends from using your business and so on. To make things worse if someone decides to slam your reputation on social media then more people are learning negative things about your business, making your trail a mess!

Now on the flip side lets look at a positive experience. Every time someone has a positive experience with your business the trail widens, vegetation is less overgrown and the path almost shines and lights the way right up to your door. Your path is perceived positively and people have a spring in their step as they walk along it, to your business.

Businesses should not only aim for positive experiences with clients but for enjoyable and memorable ones. This will ensure they have a path that is desirable to walk down. A clean path is that of a business where clients are painting a good picture. They are telling friends and family of their positive experience and this is bringing in new clientele and in turn making the business grow!

 

Personal Branding

Managing your reputation relates to personal branding as personal branding is defined by the memories, values and impressions that others have of you. Your personal brand has the most impact on your trail because it will directly effect the perception that people have of your business. Read more about personal branding and the importance of it here.

 

What can I do to Ensure a Clean Trail?

A clean trail can be achieved by ensuring customers have a positive experience with your business and brand. There are different ways you can ensure that this happens.

I find one of the best methods to ensure my clients are happy with me and the work I am producing is by being approachable and allowing them to have constant input or by creating a culture of open communication. Customer feedback along the project process helps to keep your trail clean as it engages the customer in the design process. For me this is a constant process not just a one off feedback form but in the constant meetings, phone calls, emails and even social media posts used in the consultative process. You must make sure throughout the working relationship that they are happy with what is being produced. Not all clients are as straight forward as others or know exactly what they want and these clients need to be given opportunities to voice their opinions throughout the process. Being aware and acknowledging this will ensure that they are happy with the end product.

I also give out customer feedback forms at the end of the design process to help me manage my brand. If a client comes back with a negative comment or scores me at a lower then desirable place then I work to rectify this. I do what I can to make their experience a positive one, as I don’t want a messy trail.

 

Exceeding Customer Expectations

A way to ensure your trail is the best it can be is to not only meet the expectations of clients but go above that. I aim to exceed my customers expectation to create a trail not only clean and obstacle free, but one that has a working travelator that allows customers to be brought right to my door! Read more about how you can exceed customer expectations here.

The flip side of this is also setting & defining appropriate customer expectations at the start of the customer journey. This is done by setting your brand up appropriately and ensuring that this brand is further reflected in your culture. These values are then projected into your customer on boarding process so that they clearly understand what is expected of them and of your service at the outset.

 

To Sum Up

Keeping your trail clean is a way to ensure you are accountable and credible. It fuels word of mouth referrals and repeat business. Do the best job, make sure your customers are happy and exceed expectations and your trail will be full of clients waiting to get though to your door!

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 1900 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

What’s in a name? The story behind the psyborg® name.

What’s in a name? The story behind the psyborg® name.

What's in a name?

The story behind the psyborg® name.
Sometimes I get asked ‘what’s the story behind the name psyborg®’ and what does it actually mean so I thought I’d take a little time to put it down here.

I came up with the name whilst studying a BA of Design in my 3rd year back in 2000. I was brainstorming a bunch of names for an assignment where we had to design our own business cards for our own fictional design studio.

After vigorous brainstorming with nothing that really clicked, I woke up in the middle of the night and the term ‘psyborg’ just came to me.

Sounds a bit bullshit right, but from my experience with the design process and in hindsight I find that you need to research and brainstorm a problem, flood your brain with potential and then have some faith to let it go allowing your mind to come back to you when it’s ready. I think that is what happened here and I think we have all experienced this when tackling a problem.

I had pondered many names for days and had written pages full of potential names which all did not fit, until I woke up with the name and it was just right! I did not know it was just right, just because of the name itself but more so because I could see it as a brand that represented so much and therefore could serve me in the future. It was more of a vision then just a name.

If I think about the anatomy of this name so as to break it down it worked for me because of the combination between ‘psy’ and ‘borg’ creating it’s own uniqueness and synergy.

For one I was dating a psychology student at the time (now my wife whom is a Clinical Psychologist) and I was discovering and learning about the power of psychology. As psychology is in reference to psyche & the mind this would perfectly link to thinking analytically and/or creatively which one needs to harness in order to be a designer and a business operator.

Furthermore, when people think of a cyborg, they think of a part man, part machine, humanoid robot so I have used that metaphor to my brands advantage to associate my brand with part mind, part machine… part thinker, part worker… part creative, part technician… part designer, part engineer… right brain, left brain… etc

So my slogan ‘part mind | part machine’ complimented the ‘cy’ from cyborg, a well known character in pop culture with references to the future, innovation and a human relationship with computers that we are all living through.

The ‘borg’ part was a little easier to rationalise, it obviously came from my surname so it worked to personalise the brand whilst also being useful from a corporate point of view as the business grows so as to still hold roots.

Looking back I think this name stuck because the synergy that was created when these two words were put together was greater than the sum of their parts and I think we all recognise this when we are lucky enough to come across it. I had a sense that I could leverage it’s meaning into the future which is what I have been doing. The rest is history, really as it has served me well and even though it’s been live for almost 12 years, I can still see even more potential as fantastic new opportunities keep coming my way.

In many ways this is the power of a name in action that more importantly is positioned more like a vision which becomes a brand.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this, so let me know!

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 1900 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

How to Ask for Testimonials

How to Ask for Testimonials

How to ask for Testimonials

What is a Testimonial?

A testimonial is a recommendation from a satisfied customer conveying the performance, quality and value of a service or product. They can be requested for or just given when work has been completed.

 

Why are Testimonials Important?

Testimonials can be an extremely strong and necessary marketing tool.

If a new client or customer is trying to decide whether to choose to work with you, then a few good testimonials can prove that you really are the right choice.

When perspective clients or customers are searching for an expert they often visit webpages, social media, Facebook reviews, GoogleMyBusiness reviews to learn what quality to expect from a business, and essentially decide whether or not they will choose that business to give their work to.

 

What Type of Testimonials are Out There?

Testimonials can be text, image, or video. While a written testimonial is the most common form of testimonials, images and videos can be very effectives as well. Images may be of a client using their purchase or showing a final product. In my line of business it might be a client standing in front of a sign I created. Often images will include a written testimonial as well stating why they are happy with the completed work. Videos can be great because unlike written content, you can see the customers expression and passion for what they are talking about. It is good to keep all forms in mind when asking for a testimonial and perhaps give the client the option.

There are some 3rd party review sites where testimonials can also appear. These generally rate a particular profession though and unless you are in that profession and keeping an eye online to see if any reviews have been written they may or may not work for your business. Some of these include Rate My Agent, FourSquare, TripAdvisor, GoogleMyBusiness, Yelp and more.

Also tools such as Facebook & GoogleMyBusiness reviews are becoming more and more popular and you can choose to put testimonials on your businesses website.

 

How to Ask for a Testimonial?

Firstly make sure you are testimonial worthy! Make sure you do a great job consistently! You should work like everyone you work for is going to review your business. This way you should never have a bad testimonial and you can ask everyone for a testimonial.

It’s pretty easy to get testimonials and no harm in asking. Not everyone has the time to do one and people are forgetful so don’t push it but, at the end of a job, ask for it in a survey form via an email with a link to the form. Surveys are easy to create, easy to fill out and can give some great information about a business. Within the survey a written section can give more detail and be used on your websites or social media if desired (ask permission in the survey). Also if some negatives do come up in the survey you can either work to rectify the issue or keep it in mind for future business dealings.

If you are after reviews on GoogleMyBusiness or the like then give written instructions with screen shots on how to complete it and offer a discount or a gift to encourage clients to do it.

An example of how to do this is… you could offer a box of chocolates with a note on the lid explaining how to give a review on GoogleMyBusiness, this could be a small flyer with graphics showing the steps. This would be effective because every time the customer has a chocolate you are reminding the customer to write the review. It may take a little while but no doubt by the time the customer has finished the box of chocolates the review would have been made. 

 

To Sum Up

Word of mouth is an amazing advertising tool. Testimonials aid in this as it can help build and promote a business giving it credibility. Remember to work like everyone is reviewing your business and don’t be afraid to ask for a testimonial at the end of customer interaction! This is made a lot easier by coming up with a system for asking that could involve templated emails, online surveys and carrot to encourage the user to take action. Check out some of my testimonials at psyborg®.  

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 1900 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

Where is your Brand Positioned?

Where is your Brand Positioned?

Where is your brand positioned?

Where is your brand positioned?

Have you ever thought about or determined where your brand sits amongst it’s competitors? In this article I discuss brand positioning and why understanding this can help you when creating or communicating your brand.

 

What is positioning and why is it important to your brand?

Positioning refers to where your brand is positioned in the market place in contrast to your competitors.

Positioning is often differentiated by price which usually also reflects quality and can be communicated by design.

Typical positions are;

  • Cheap
  • Value
  • Premium
  • Luxury

As an example, lets look at these four price positions and a business type that would fit in each. I am going to use restaurants as an example.

CheapCheap

Your local fast food restaurant of choice. Currently offering a value meals for $4.95 which includes a burger, chips, drink and ice cream. Now that’s cheap! Perhaps aimed at teenagers or an easy and cheap family meal. They buy bulk food and everything is pre-processed ready to be served. The quality of the products may be questionable to some people. The design aesthetic is usually loud and chaotic, sometimes messy and disorganised giving the perception of cheap.

 

Value

Value

Here I would classify a pub restaurant meal as value. You can usually get a meal for $20-$30, they often have specials on or occasionally a ‘kids eat free’ night. The quality isn’t 5 star but usually tasty all the same. Here the design aesthetic could take on the current fashion and trends of the day, they are not cutting edge or out of the ordinary. The branding is usually normal & ordinary in order to appeal to a mass market.

 

Premium

Premium

Moving away from the pub and going to a ‘real’ restaurant. Who’s focus is to serve higher quality cuts of meats and more upper class food. I would put your al a cart restaurant on your local dining street into this category. Here the branding is more refined with it’s own personality to attract a particular market. In premium brands the branding tends to become more unique, considered & focussed.

 

Luxury

Luxury

Here is the restaurant you would propose at! Something often with a view and where they sell quality sourced fresh food cooked by an experienced sous chef. Less is more comes to mind when thinking of luxurious brands where messaging is very confident as there is not need to say that much as consumers either get it or they are not in the know.

 

If we look at products on the market designed by different companies you can usually pick where their brand is positioned by the price which is then reflected in the design aesthetic of the brand.

 

Why is knowing your brand positioning important?

As a designer I like to understand the position of my clients brand as this dictates the design style we move with so as to create the right perception.

If you have created your client avatar, that is know who your target market is, you should have some idea of where you would like to position your brand. This can also help you to create your business culture, which looks at the internal aspects of your business. To determine business culture a business needs to have a set of beliefs, values and attitudes, if these are determined and are very clear then the business will attract the clients and customers that they want. So the culture of a luxury positioned restaurant will be very different to the culture of the cheap one, and this is then infused into the brand so as to leave a cohesive memory in the consumers mind.

Designers appreciate businesses who know their position, client avatar and culture as it will allow the designers to determine the appropriate style for the visual representation of the brand. So logos, colouring, advertising messaging, office interiors etc can all be created around your brand positioning.

If you do not know these things this is where we can help as this is one of the aspects we consider when hosting our brand workshops.

 

To Sum Up

Who is your client avatar? What is your business culture? How is your brand positioned? For a strong brand these are the questions that need to be answered to create a solid image for your business. And remember, as I have said many times, once it is set, consistency is key!

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 1900 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

Content Marketing Speeds Up Trust

Content Marketing Speeds Up Trust

Content Marketing Speeds Up Trust

Content Marketing Speeds Up Trust

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. Source; Wikipedia

Content marketing can help build trust and generate business. Unlike other marketing, content marketing must give customers something useful… content! It is not focussed on producing demand for a new need or product but rather focussed on giving something valuable to new and old customers.

Why Spend Time on Content Marketing?

In essence by using content marketing (blogging, social media, videos, podcasts) you are becoming known as an expert to potential opportunities, establishing your credibility, building up trust and making it easier for the purchaser to make a decision. Content Marketing is the practice of supplying targeted, relevant and sharable content to your audience in the hope that it will be shared, liked and enquired about.

If content marketing is done right then you will build trust, which in tern will expand your customer base and increase brand awareness and credibility.

For a quick guide to Content Marketing check this out.

How Does Content Marketing Build Trust?

Creating content that is aimed at helping your customer base will build trust because the brand will be seen as giving useful information and therefore will be seen as transparent. As long as the information you produce is authentic and credible then it will build trust amongst the clientele that are viewing it.

It also allows you to build a ‘following’ or community as you become seen as an expert in your field. The community will continue to grow if you consistently share information to help those who are following you, in-turn they share the information and it keeps going giving you a bigger following and generating trust amongst your followers who view you as the expert in your field.

When people read your articles, follow you on the relevant social media and become part of your professional community they begin to ‘know’ you and will potentially trust you over the name and phone number that could be pulled from the yellow pages or somewhere else online. It also makes you more approachable to your community and potential customers are more likely to get in touch if they are in need of assistance.

Why is Trust Important?

I don’t actually think I need to answer this question as I put it here more to be rhetorical and get you thinking about the importance of trust. Obviously people are more likely to go with someone they trust than someone they do not know and content marketing will help get you over that line, from stranger to trustworthy.

The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey

The Speed Of Trust

The Speed of Trust is one of my favourite books (by Stephen Covey) and goes into depth on different kinds of trust and the underlying importance of trust. It is a real eye opener on trust and looks at it not only in relationships with those you are close with but more from professional perspective. Convey asserts, 

“The ability to establish, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders – customers, business partners, investors and coworkers – is the key leadership competency of the new, global economy.” Speed of Trust

To Sum Up

While content marketing does take time I find the rewards are worth it. I also see it as a bit of fun and it feels less like work than I initially thought. I write about things I am passionate about and get excited when I see a need of a customer that I know I can meet. Not to mention the new clients I meet along the way!

In summary the quicker you can build trust with your customer base the quicker you have an opportunity to help solve your customers problems and isn’t that what business is all about.

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 1900 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel