Factor1Studios.com is donating a website to a deserving West Seattle non-profit.
Factor1Studios.com is a web, design and marketing agency that has just opened a West Seattle office. As part of our grand-opening introduction we are completely gifting the design and deployment of a custom website for a high-impact and critical non-profit in the West Seattle area.
West Seattle, Wa (October 15, 2009) — Factor1Studios.com is now open in West Seattle, WA. We believe in positive change for our world, we believe in people, and we believe in leaders who sacrifice to make these things happen.
Our hope is that our new community will participate in selecting the recipient of our website gift. This is no gimmick. There are no strings attached. Our hope is to be a integral part of the fabric of our new community. A critical requirement in making an impact is communicating effectively and creatively with many people on a consistent basis. An effective web presence can be a powerful asset in accomplishing this objective. Help us say ‘hello’ in fine fashion. For details, see http://www.factor1studios.com/nonprofit-gift
Co-owner, Factor1Studios.com – West Seattle
Factor1 is a team of creative individuals who passionately believe that great service and good design work always win. Founded in 2004, Factor1 has grown to a small staff of 4 based in Maricopa, AZ and a new office in Seattle, WA. We have created hundreds of websites across the US, and internationally in Canada, UK, and Australia. Factor1 has primarily grown by word of mouth and continues to rely on their great reputation. Matt Adams is the president and creative director in the day-to-day operations of Factor1. In 2008, long time friend and business strategist, Ryan Russell joined Factor1 to enhance the impact and breadth of the company’s influence for positive contributions in the world through non-profits, churches and good business.
People reference your work whether you think so or not.
There are a lot of things going on around here, I thought maybe I would share.
1. Shannon (our rockstar resident web designer) is getting married tomorrow.
Congratulations Shannon & Spencer!
2. Ryan (business development partner & marketing guru) and his family will be moving to Seattle at the end of May to pursue starting a church. Ryan will still remain a partner here at factor 1, and be working with internal and client projects the same as he does now. But now we can say we have offices in Phoenix & Seattle. Should be a very cool experience for all of us.
3. I (matt, creative director, IT guy, janitor, & former head designer) and my wife Stephanie (factor 1 accounting gal) are adopting twin baby boys from Ethiopia. We should be home with 6 month old Noah & Ezra in early June.
Thats the big news around here. What’s new with you guys, our faithful readers?
This is NOT one more post about the tough times… you can get that negative talk anywhere. We all need some inspiration, motivation and ideas to move forward and upward in our pursuits. —- One of the most foundational contributions to my personal leadership & business development was being pressed by a friend to read “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber. A key principle from the reading,
“work on your business, not in your business”.
Translation: On good days most of us small business owners slave away trying to keep up with all the items that are going on. We run form one urgent item to another following the squeaky wheel axiom. On bad days, we moan, groan, have lunch with buddies and hope that our yellow page investment will finally pay off with the phone ringing in new work any minute.
Every day that you are in business that you don’t invest in working on the development of your business or organization is a wasted day. QUIT wasting your days! Take at last 30-60 minutes every day to look ahead into areas where you need to do something better, different, more efficient, etc. Build your business, don’t just work in it.
Start by picking up a copy of this particular book and reading — it will inspire you to grow!
Whenever something takes longer than the predetermined time I have alloted for it, I can feel my satisfaction and enjoyment waning. On the other hand some things in life need to be extended: mountain bike riding, a very nice meal with my wife, a good fight scene in the movie and a much needed Sunday afternoon nap. But, finding a critical piece of information or receiving a needed service are not among those items.
Unashamedly, I like to fly Southwest Airlines. Online check-in is quick and easy (although I do have a suggestion about how to make it quicker) and boarding is a breeze. Today I found myself riding ‘twinkie’ on a very full flight to Atlanta via Delta. I don’t love Delta. The online check-in was very SLOW, requiring me to visit 3 more screens than S.W. and also much less user friendly. The ‘boarding’ process had 7 zones, people still mysteriously crowd up to get on and amazingly they found a way for it to take longer getting on. The beverages cost money PLUS they are slow in coming, the airplane & internal tv’s are OLD and even though I could pick my seat, I still have to ride in the middle cause that is all that was left.
I expound on all of this because when it comes to websites, service companies, responses to needs in the world, finding vital or common information, telephone & email interactions… ALL OF THEM should be quick and easy. WHY? Because people just like me and you have already experienced that they can be, so now we won’t find it reasonable or enjoyable to experience anything contrary to that.
this commercial has a GREAT spin on name recognition, humor with the obvious and not taking yourself too seriously – who won’t remember this the next time they are needing some quick money for their gold? (how many of us can really relate to that anyway?)
have you ever noticed how many web pages you visit NEVER change after they are released? OR have you been to a website that has a posted item or a blog where the date is still form last year? What were your thoughts? Did you you think the company had died? Did you think that no body cared? Did you wonder if the owners & employees had lost interest in what they were doing? By chance did you think that you weren’t likely to engage with them because the would undoubtedly show you the same inattention as they do their own website?
Prevent your site from being stale!
Often organizations fall into the trap of assigning NO LEADERSHIP to their Internet presence. Sometimes they rely on the IT dept. to also be marketing geniuses just because they figured out how to put something out there in ‘cyber-space’. Think about these items:
- who is responsible (the leader) for your web content?
- what regular pattern do you want to adhere to for new content?
- what are the top 3 goals for your site to accomplish?
- what measurement do you have in place that enables you to know for sure that your site is driving traffic to your organization?
- does your audience find your site useful? how do you know? how long are they staying? how many pages are they reading?
there are so many things that you can be doing to make your site fresh, easy to use, and a powerful too for your organization. Give your website some love and attention and it will give it back to you.
Designers & idea people are NOTORIOUS for dreaming and promising far more than they deliver on.
9 times out of 10 you can completely forget about these creatives delivering your product on time.
Communication, clear, detailed and consistent, will be missing almost every time.
So, why like an addiction, in this era of highly competitive and open business do they continue to survive? The reasons a too numerous to list. The main 2 would be relationships and lack of knowledge on another option. Like anything else you go to people you know and when you make a bad choice it is probably because you didn’t know that there were other options.
When you hire a creative firm, you should expect & demand leadership. You are paying for the service! Ownership, detailed communication, problem solving, delivery of all the pieces… these are the types of things that you should come to rely upon.
Also, never pay ANYONE in full before they deliver the project. You should expet to pay deposits BUT you should also expect to see a finished project BEFORE anyone gets paid.
LEADERSHIP – expect it from your service provider, even if they are an artist!
I hate to be the guy to tell you this, but YOUR ideas are getting stale.
OK, maybe not all of them, but that is what most people in your office, market place or in your store are probably thinking. Even if you have a creative and interesting idea to help you gain new customers or have greater impact in communicating your message, the likelihood is slim that you have the time or the creative resources to pull it off. YOU are all alone on this front. There is a reason that vibrant, compelling and creative movies are the result of teams. Sure, there is a mad genius or two with a vision, BUT it takes a team to hone and harness that full potential of a great creative idea.
So, I ask you this very important question…
WHO is on your creative marketing team?
Who are the people sitting around the table that want to throw random ideas out, laugh, think, research and dream about what your organization could be? Who are the mad, sick, talented and fresh artists that are developing your designs, web site, ads and essence of your product or message? Are you communicating precisely and in such a way that it captures the most important seconds of your audience’s attention and imagination?
Your potential in the market place or in the non-profit sector is limited by the team you have surrounded yourself with to “get the message out”. If you are doing it by yourself, I will be the one to tell you that you are in serious trouble. So, the challenge is, why haven’t you engaged more people beyond yourself yet? Where have you gone looking for creatives that ‘get’ your industry and also ‘get’ the power of creative messaging? Go on, get started. Find them. Start here. Ask around. Risk investing a little time and a little cash in getting the product or message that you believe in out to the people who really need or want it.
Lately some of you may have noticed a few articles on the blog that “didn’t seem like Matt”. Well, that’s cause they weren’t from Matt. To protect Matt’s reputation from being altered (he is such a great guy) I thought I would take just one post to introduce myself.
Factor 1 Context: Matt & I have been friends for a few years now. We started collaborating on creative projects together while he was still at his first place of employment and while I was a pastor in a local church. Those early years helped us refine some of the products we deliver today. Matt, as many of you know, is a pretty uber creative dude. Together we decided last year to officially join forces as “Partners”; we’re pretty pumped about what the future holds for Factor1.
Personal Vital Data: Married w/ 3 awesome boys (www.Russell5.com) – I am older than Matt by almost a decade; I am younger inside than I look on the outside – passionate about Mtn. Biking – excited to get up each morning and make a difference with my life – need to begin each day with a Starbucks coffee fix (Venti Pike’s w/ room for 1/2 & 1/2 + 3 raw sugars just in case any of you should need to order if for me)
Professional Skills: – VARIED – for Factor1 I bring business & creative development skills to the table. Most of my practical skills as they relate to our clients are in Marketing; helping you reach your audience & customer w/ a high degree of impact.
I hope this helps you get a flavor of the ‘other guy’ at Factor 1. While there are times when Matt & I vary in our styles & approaches to challenges put in front of us you can know 2 things for sure:
1. our partnership is rock solid w/ the unified goals
2. we aim to deliver creative, original, excellent & high impact products for every one of our clients