Notes

News: How Tasty Is Your Website?

Are your prospective clients being put off before they even reach out to you?

A business’s online presence can have a massive impact on their success. Yet even today, some businesses underestimate how many of their potential customers will visit their website before making a purchase, or even an enquiry.

A website is often the first place customers go to when researching a product or service, meaning your site is the first impression your customer will have of your brand. It provides more than information – it also establishes credibility. Unfortunately, having an outdated or confusing site may cause people to question your business’ credentials or professionalism.

There are many ways a website can actually work against you instead of for you. If your site is cluttered, has confusing navigation, lacks visual appeal or has a non-responsive design (i.e. it doesn’t resize properly for mobiles and tablets), it might be time to consider an overhaul.

Every brand is unique, and in addition to providing vital info on your business, it’s important your website communicates your brand’s values, vision and personality. This comes through in many ways; from the layout to the images and choice of wording.

If you’re a super cool brand wanting to reach younger customers, you could put them off with very serious or formal copywriting – and vice-versa, if your business requires gravitas such as a legal or accounting firm, you could easily put people off if your copy is too flippant.

This is where an experienced branding agency like the Incubator comes in handy. Here at the Incubator, we eat websites for breakfast. We can help your business express itself professionally, by creating a website for you that articulates clear messages, with easy navigation, all presented in a layout that’s tailored to appeal to your target market.

We’ve helped numerous companies create and upgrade their digital presence, so they can put their best foot forward in cyberspace. Give us a call to have a chat about how we can do this for you!

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News: Call Your Auntie

We’re thrilled to announce the exciting news that one of our senior Incubatees has recently become an auntie. But we’re not talking about the biological kind… we mean the feminist kind! The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb, after all.

Already an endless source of information and guidance around the office, our resident Head of Strategy, Alison Rentoul, has joined great new ad industry initiative: The Aunties. On achieving her official status, our Auntie Al has now been paired up with an industry mentee from another agency, because – let’s face it – Al’s hard-earned wisdom is too good to be shared only within our office.

Launched by the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club, The Aunties is a program designed to inspire and connect women of all ages across Melbourne’s creative industries, through mentorships, seminars and networking opportunities. Named after legendary advertising mentor Esther Clerehan, who often referred to herself as an “Auntie” to countless women she’s mentored over the years, the Aunties’ focus is on pairing successful experienced women in Advertising with younger counterparts, for one-on-one mentorships.

Founder Phoebe Sloane, copywriter and Director of Empowerment & Inclusion at the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club explains, “We want to give young women starting out in our industry as much support as possible right now. Due to Covid, they’ve missed valuable opportunities to build networks and they’re vulnerable in many ways. We hope by giving them an Auntie, they’ll have an objective person they can confide in and establish a deeper connection with.”

Although applications for the first mentorship round are now closed, until the next round opens, perhaps consider taking the initiative of finding a mentor of your own – either in your office, or another. In this male dominated industry, young women can benefit greatly from hearing the stories of other women who’ve travelled this road before them, paving the way for a new generation to learn from their experiences. There’s a reason feminism comes in waves.

We can indeed confirm the benefit, as our Junior Designer Sophie is also in the Aunties program, as a mentee… or a niece, if you will. Meeting up with Mavens’ Leah Morris monthly has helped Sophie focus ideas for the future, figuring out the path she wants to take and the steps needed to get there. (Honestly, Sophie is yet to define her role in this program to anyone in the office without getting dangerously close to describing the plot of The Karate Kid.)

With interests in both design and writing, Sophie didn’t know if there was any career that could combine the two passions. So Leah has organised a meeting from someone with a similar career journey, to see what kind of path she might want to take in the future. Within the first get-together, they had discussed everything from imposter syndrome to salaries and sexism.

Our newly appointed Junior Account Executive Chrissie also came to us already enrolled in the Aunties, forming the perfect Venn diagram of ‘women in our office’ and ‘women who are in a mentor program’. Jessica Graham of Thinkerbell is helping Chrissie build her industry network, offering guidance on reaching her full potential and advising on how to address new situations. As a fresh graduate, this program has been invaluable in giving Chrissie real-world knowledge of the job – and it certainly helped her stand out from the crowd of applicants when we were hiring recently!

While not every woman will follow the same career journey, there are specific challenges we as women in creative industries all face together; and, let’s face it, we all need someone in our corner. Mentors can guide young women through the challenges they will face at the start of their career, using their experiences to make more informed decisions during the transition from student to professional. Mentorship gives young girls a role model, someone they can look up to and a strong supporter who believes in them. Mentors can improve your leadership skills, help you gain fresh perspectives, and in turn help you help your younger sisters (and nieces!) as you make your own way up the career ladder.

Find out more about, and follow the Aunties on Instagram.

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The four-letter word you should always use with clients.

Every company has (or should have!) their values, mission statement and vision defined and ready to impart to eager new employees. On my first day at The Incubator, I sat down with Jeremy, our CEO, to nut out our plans and objectives for the road ahead and receive a download from him about The Incubator ‘way’. Pen in hand and ready to absorb the pearls of wisdom about to be imparted, as Jeremy began to speak, I dutifully took down his words.

F-U-C-K-I-N-G  C-A-R-E, I wrote. And then stopped, pen poised, waiting for more. But no further words were forthcoming. I looked up. Jeremy looked at me. “That’s it,” he said. “Nothing else matters.”

As someone who deeply believes you should only ever do something with care, or not do it at all, in that moment I knew I’d truly found my people.

In the year since this, I have come to learn not only is Jeremy a man of his word, but he is also absolutely a man of these particular two words, in every sense. This ‘mantra’, for want of a better term, infiltrates every aspect of our daily work at The Incubator. Not in a trite, put it up on the wall and pretend to worship kind of way, but in a very real, we actually do it kind of way.

Those two words float through my mind every time I’m about to send a client email, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Is this email as succinct, helpful, friendly and informative as it can possibly be? Could I make it easier to read, shorter or simpler? Have I attached the document or link referred to, to save them looking it up? Have I kept the job number in the subject to make the string easier to refer back to? Is the work or attachment I’m sending the best it can be? Has it been proofed, checked and double checked to save wasting their time?

When I’m working on creative, I ask myself: have we considered every angle? Even if I think we have, I take a few minutes to think it through one more time, just to make sure. Is this work going to serve the client, their customers, our community and even the world in the best possible way? Or could we push it that bit further? Dig that bit deeper, and go that extra mile to unearth something truly great?

In building connections with suppliers, I hold those two words at the heart of our relationship. Give them what they need so they can produce their best possible work for us, and so we all get to shine. Respect, respect and respect some more. And choose partners who work the same way, who demonstrate that they, in turn, really really care.

Recently we brought three new juniors into our team; and guess what was the number one hiring criteria? Yes, we considered their experience, work and talent. But more than anything, we considered their capacity to care. Of the hundreds who applied, the three we selected were not quite as experienced as others on the list: but they all demonstrated they had the right character to live and breathe The Incubator way. As one of my mentors once told me: hire character, train skill. You can always teach people how to do new things, but you can’t teach anyone how to have the right attitude—if it’s not already part of their nature.

In a world where cutting corners, rushing, bodging and ‘that’ll do’ has become far too common, it’s both reassuring and heartwarming to work with a group of people who still value doing things properly. It’s a point of difference we pride ourselves on, and one so deeply built into our DNA it’s become second nature. I love this about us, and I know our clients do too.

So as you go about your work today, see how often those two words pop into your head, and notice when and where taking those few extra moments to reflect on this fundamentally improves the quality of your work and interactions. It’s surprising how much richer your work and life becomes, when you really Fu@king Care about everything you do.

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