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The Cobblers kids got some new shoes!

As the saying goes “The Cobblers kids don’t have shoes”. For anyone that doesn’t get the reference it means that when you are good at doing something for other people it is difficult to do the same thing for yourself.

Since we have spent the past few weeks putting the finishing touches on our new website, it felt appropriate to talk about the trials and tribulations that we went through.

While you would think that it would be a no-brainer building a new site for ourselves, it seems that it is easier to focus on client websites than it is our own. Dedicating the time was probably one of the most challenging aspects of this project. Our client projects also seem like more fun or interesting, sort of like when your parents come over to visit and your mom starts doing stuff around the house. It’s more interesting to straighten up a different home than your own.

Another situation that continued to pop up was how close we are with the services and messaging for the site. It is easy to drone on for hours and hours about a specific area of expertise that you have. The challenge there was to make sure that we were creating information and messaging that our customers would like to read about. That meant taking ourselves out of the designer, developer, marketeer mindset and putting on our customer caps!

We organize and manage each of our clients projects a specific way and while it makes perfect sense to do the same with Atomic, it was easier said than done. We have scheduled meetings with our clients where we discuss the project and gather feedback. This was difficult because while we are here, we tend to focus exclusively on our clients (and funny memes). Buckling down and setting a schedule for ourselves became tedious so it evolved into a structure but more casual gathering around a team member and reviewing the status and issues remaining.

Since hindsight is 20/20, Here are my suggestions for any businesses considering a new website.

  • Define your goals upfront. How will you know it will work if you don’t define measurable goals.
  • Clean house. Similar to packing your house when you move, do an audit of your existing site and decide what stays and what needs to go!
  • Don’t over complicate the content. Make sure that you have content that speaks in the tone of your brand and have a conversation with your customers.
  • Stay focused. There will always be issues that pop up but finding a way to enjoy the work and stay on task is critical.
  • Communicate often. If you have others that are involved in the project, make sure you include them and bounce ideas of them.
  • Work with a digital marketing agency like us. With our experience you’ll have a dedicated team to guide you through the process.
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Working Remotely

Last week in Ohio, the temperature dropped to -3. The week before, we had two nights of freezing rain, followed by snow. Dayton was pretty much shut down.

But here at Atomic, things were business as usual. Development meetings, client meetings, preparing new designs… it was all good. Why? Because we were already using technologies that enabled remote working. So when we had to work from home for a few days… it was no big deal.

Remote working is becoming increasingly prevalent, across a variety of industries. But we think that some of the tools we’re using are making it more effective than ever. Here are two of our favorites.

  • We’ve used Basecamp for years to organize all of our projects. It provides web-based project management and collaboration, so everyone on our team – from designers and developers to clients and consultants – can see the same information, in real time. Basecamp also helps us keep projects on track – everyone can see the same schedules and milestones, and whether they’re completed or outstanding. It also lets us keep all the messages and files related to a project in one place – so they’re not spread across multiple hard drives and emails.
  • join.me is a free online meeting space that we use to hold staff meetings and client meetings. Join.me lets you “share” your screen with each meeting participant, so everyone can see the same thing you’re looking at and follow exactly what you’re clicking on. We use join.me in a variety of ways – to orient new clients to Basecamp, to train them on new content management systems, or to review wireframes and designs.

As Atomic’s “air traffic controller,” I also love the fact that projects don’t fall behind just because we can’t meet in person. Effective remote meetings let us keep things moving – even when snow, travel, or busy schedules intervene.