What Does Creativity Mean to You – Neil Patel?

Neil Patel

Neil Patel, entrepreneur, marketer and blogger; is co-founder of Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics and Quick Sprout. In 2009 Neil was named as one of the top influencers on the web by The Wall Street Journal. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 by the United Nations. Neil is based in Seattle.

[Read more…]

What’s Your Why?

whats your why

When I work on a website, content or online branding project, my starting point is always to ask, why? To find out the essence of why the brand I am working on exists. This is the foundation for their brand message which then informs the design, the website and all their marketing material. I help them define and project the right message.

Why? is emotive and taps into passion, which is the key to it being so powerful. Nothing moves mountains more than passion. ‘Me too’ and ‘vanilla’ brands are easily replicated and easily forgotten, but a brand based on passion connects with people on a primal and emotional level. If you can connect with a user/customer/client on an emotional level through your content you’re on to a winner.

If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.Simon Sinek [Read more…]

Side Projects Save Your Soul

side projects save your soul

The worst client I ever had pushed me to the limits of sanity. I’m not proud to say that I did reach a point where I was avoiding their phone calls. A cheap client who wanted everything for nothing and project creep was out of control. I reached a point where I just wanted to get the job finished, get the guy out of my hair and write it off as a bad experience, but it felt like it would never end. I found the client so demanding, difficult to work with and the project so soul destroying that I stopped building sites for clients for a few years after that.

I have been through several creative incarnations over the years, changing focus to keep chasing money and make a living. And, recently in the last 12 months I have been through massive personal change which has changed my whole outlook on life and by inclusion the work that I do. I have now begun to change my entire approach to ‘making a living’.

The secret of a happy life

I now realise that the secret of a happy life is found within enjoying the action of your work, what you are ‘doing’ in the moment. Not to be driven by awards, recognition or even money, that only serve to feed your ego. If you can get out of bed looking forward to your day and enjoy each moment of your day, with joy and humour, as you undertake your tasks, then you are a success. Material rewards are not a measure of success – they are merely numbers on a piece of paper. Your soul can only be satisfied by enjoying what it is ‘doing’ in each present moment. If you trade off a high wage for work you do not enjoy there is no pleasure in life to be found. Many high-earning CEOs and workaholic executives are living empty lives and are desperately unhappy.

It’s inevitable that you will have to accept projects, to pay the bills, that aren’t your dream brief or from your dream client; but, when faced with the mundane reality of business and life, how do you maintain enthusiasm, inspiration and motivation? [Read more…]

Eating Apples Is The Secret To Success

eating apples is the secret to success

Agatha Christie preferred to work in a large Victorian bath whilst eating apples. Benjamin Franklin would work naked for an hour every morning. Dame Edith Sitwell would lie down in a coffin finding inspiration in the claustrophobic and restrictive space. Does this mean we should emulate the greats and lie naked in a coffin and eat apples?

Are eating apples really the secret to what made Agatha so productive, creative and successful?

Human beings by their nature are essentially lazy; seeking short-cuts, easy solutions and full instruction manuals. That’s why our facebook feeds are stuffed with articles titled: Ten Ways to Make Money like Warren Buffet, Ten Ways to Be A Success Like Steve Jobs and How To Earn 100k As A Writer and Live The Dream. [Read more…]

In-Depth Guide To Creating Personas & Why They Help Produce Better Content

how to create personas

Jane Walker is 34 and lives in Manchester with her boyfriend of 5 years. They have a city centre apartment and one car. She works in a designer clothing store as a manager and loves the perks of discounted clothing. Her parents live an hour’s drive away and she sees them on average every two weeks. She has one sister who lives and works in London, but they are not very close. Jane works from 9.30am till 6pm and has to work every Saturday. She goes to the gym three evenings a week and meets her girlfriends for a drink every Friday night. Jane is internet savvy and uses email, facebook and twitter on a daily basis.

Do you have a visual picture of Jane in your head? Can you relate to her and imagine her as a real person? [Read more…]

Brighton SEO: The Thinks You Can Think If Only You Try

In September 2014 I delivered a presentation to a packed house at Brighton SEO titled: The Thinks You Can Think If Only You Try. The slide deck was uploaded to Slideshare and promptly made SlideShare of the day on the home page after less than 24 hours.