Dear Anya customers, shareholders, family and friends,
As you may know, we started as Anya a year ago, with the mission of empowering creatives to help businesses of all sizes grow. Many people have asked me, why Anya? I guess I will just use a quote from Urban Dictionary here:
Thanks for the support and the faith of all of you, we have been growing from one location team to an international team, with locations in countries all over the globe and spanning across multiple time zones.
As we grow and expand, moving forward, we will be adopting the new name: AnyaUp, which resonates our company philosophy and reflects our sole mission of why we started this company:
Relentlessly and fearlessly helping creative talents and businesses grow and succeed.
Moving forward, we will have a new home: https://www.anyaup.com/. We are looking forward to doing all we can to help your business succeed, and most importantly, your personal success. Stay tuned, let’s #AnyaUp⬆.
Are Tinder and Snapchat the Next Big Thing in Marketing?
Like any good millennial, I spend arguably a little too much time on my iPhone. However, like any good marketer, I actually pay attention to all the different forms of advertising I see. Turns out with the mobile revolution in full swing, many of the trendiest companies are turning to in-app advertising. While there is the traditional mobile application advertising, with simply a pop-up message or video, there are cheaper, more engaging, and more fun ways to target customers through apps. These app platforms can serve as creative space where marketers can produce content without having to worry about feeling too impersonal. By compounding some of my personal experience with some good old fashioned research I have put together a few success stories to help inspire your mobile marketing!
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
For many entrepreneurs, their business is what they live and breathe. Why not make that a part of your dating profile and pick up a few new users along the way. Something simple like what Padraig did here is a great way to pick up customers and a few dates. Her profile reads:
“Fashion tech company founder, Fitness, beach coffee, exploring the city. Active and sarcastic.
This is my baby: stylewonder.com”
As you can see she makes her business a part of her profile drawing people to her website who want to know a little bit more about her. Padraig being the successful entrepreneur she is, naturally picks up a solid amount of traction on Tinder in addition to boosting her social currency for ever-valuable word of mouth marketing. People are certainly more likely going to talk about someone they met with a booming new business rather than some random person they met online.
Swipe Right to Adopt Adorable Puppies
Social Tees Animal Rescue in New York City found themselves in a jam similar to that of many animal shelters. They needed to get the word out about their puppies in need of a home, but like many shelters most of their money goes to taking care of their furry friends rather than a marketing budget. What they decided to do was create Tinder profiles for 10 dogs looking for a new owner. Within only 1 hour they had over 1,500 matches, a more impressive total than even the most effective Tinder swipers. Over a couple of days, they receive thousands of more matches, which were used to create meetups between the dogs and potential owners. Not only did adoption rates soar, but the shelter also received pretty significant press coverage praising them on their creative approach to dating apps.
Swipe Right Night
Do you own a brick and mortar location or just have a sweet office space that has plenty of room for a singles mixer? Host your own Swipe Right Night, it basically works as a singles meet and greet, expect people don’t actually have to be that bold and talk to people in person for their first interaction. While this could be fun with any number of people the Atlanta Hawks took it to a whole new level. They started out with a stadium of 20,000 people then set up a singles lounge where those who matched at the game could meet up. Just to take up one more notch they brought in some local celebrities to join in on the fun as well, making this a once in a lifetime opportunity for fans. Great job Hawks marketing team, you guys gave the fans a great story to tell about the team and a personal connection to the brand all with one simple and basically free night of fun.
Become a Snapchat Personality
Nobody does this better than Snapchat superstar DJ Khalid. Say what you will about his music, but nobody can argue that he hasn’t built himself into one of the strongest brands in the industry. With a healthy mix of comedy, exclusivity, and engagement DJ Khalid’s snaps each bring in between 3-4 million views. While he certainly had a bit of an edge by starting out as a celebrity in the first place he perfectly demonstrates the value that Snapchat can add at such a low cost. For only 1-10 seconds of your time, you can create a personalized message to your followers. As seen in our previous blog entry content is key for keeping your followers engaged and Snapchat is the perfect platform to keep that steady stream of content flowing.
These are just a few of my favorite ideas on marketing with apps. It seems like new apps are coming out almost daily and with all these new platforms there are so many new and creative ways for your business to grow. Hopefully, these success stories inspire you to find your own creative path. Of course, by heading over to useanya.com we can link you up with our awesome creatives to help kickstart the process.
By Sam Grossman
Let AnayUp help your startup grow. More at https://www.anyaup.com/
Building a business is lots of hard work, and it is easy to get distracted. Let AnyaUp take care of your marketing for you. More at https://www.anyaup.com/
Digital marketing is the fastest growing set of marketing channels in the business world. Over 80% of businesses plan to increase their digital marketing output over the next 5 years, and digital marketing is also projected to surpass television advertising in terms of marketing dollars spent. Even with all that said digital marketing is still relatively new and can be tricky to navigate. Fear not, here are 5 digital marketing tips that will take your business to the next level.
1. Strong Calls to Action and Catchy Images
If you scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or just about any other website chances are you will come across more ads than you want or can process. That is why it is key that you can genuinely capture the interest of the scrollers-by. Words and phrases such as “Free” “50% off” or “Limited Time Offer” can be attention grabbers that will actually get people to stop, look, and click on your ad. Additionally, strong images can also be a way to get the social media users to take pause. When it comes to images either go with an authentic or over the top look. By genuine I mean to say that you should use images actually people would post. Nothing is more off-putting on social media than when people think they are being forced to interact with robots. In terms of going over the top, it is simply just something that many people may stop to look at such as a bear in armor riding a unicorn. Well, you get the point.
2. Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
While, the Google’s SEO rankings are a bit of a mystery to everyone who didn’t actually write the algorithm there are a couple proved ways to help boost your Google ranking. Naturally, the ranking is going to be largely based on relevance. Turns out the most relevant companies are the ones that real people have said they have used and loved. Encourage your customers to leave reviews by offering small tokens such as discounts or bonus features in your app. Particularly if you can obtain a mass amount of reviews within just a few days you can really shoot up the Google rankings. Additionally, strong rankings can boost your ever-valuable word of mouth marketing. Even if you are not actually selling a physical product the same logic will apply. People trust other people, so the more positive reviews that we get, it only makes sense that more consumers will follow.
A five-star review on Amazon.com leads to approximately twenty more books sold than a one-star review. – Jonah Berger, Contagious: Why Things Catch On
3. Quality, AND Quantity
Many companies often get caught up in what is the absolutely perfect content to write and share, which can ultimately lead to too much time wasted between posts. One of the most challenging aspects of digital and social marketing is that there is no one formula for what is going to be successful. By keeping a regularly scheduled flow of content your followers will know what and when to expect you to post content that will peak their interest. The steady flow of good, solid, if not perfect content can steadily grow your follower base while you work on creating the next viral internet piece. Take Snapchat for example, while the amount of original content that they generate on a daily basis keeps users active and engaged. On any given day you can find pictures and videos from everything from NBA locker rooms, to a political rally in Washington DC, to everyday users spreading pictures of their puppies. While Snapchat’s content isn’t always perfect there is something for everyone and that keeps users coming back again and again.
4. Do Your Testing, Know Your Audience and Post The Right Content
While the internet is full of opportunity, it can also be a cold and unforgiving place. Before I got into the business world I was a political science major in college and one thing I learned when studying campaigns is that bad news sticks even more strongly than good news. The same formula can certainly be applied when it comes to online marketing. I am sure you Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad that was nothing short of a disaster more than you remember Turkish Airlines bringing hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to starving Somalis. Since Pepsi is such a huge corporation it ultimately was able to weather to storm, but for small companies less integrated into society such horrible attempts at marketing can be crippling. While it is alright to have some edge in your posts make sure it does not cross the line into being offensive. Since it is so easy for people to post, comment, and share your bad publicity could spread like wildfire leading to bad PR your company certainly does not need. Therefore, do your testing, know your audience and post the right content.
5. Start Marketing as Early as Possible
For any early stage startup the most important make or break question you will have to answer is what is your market fit. Once you have figured that out, awesome! You are on your way to growing your business, if you can answer the follow up question: how to reach your market. The best way to find out what types of messages will best reach your target customer is by old fashioned trial and error. One of the most frequently overlooked tools in a marketer’s utility belt is the A/B Test. As soon as you are even thinking about launching your product you should already be testing out different content on your assumptions on target customers. Be encouraged by positive responses, but also negative ones as well, this just means you now know what not to do. The most successful companies are not always the ones with the best product, instead, the companies that have paying customers before the product even launches. By starting to market early and often you will have right feedbacks and the data set needed to actually capture the right market fit by the time you are ready to launch. As in the book that launched the Lean Startup revolution, Steve Blank suggests the customer feedback loop cycles, which is closely related to the early marketing approach, are the first two steps of epiphany to building a successful business and company. So startup founders and business owners, it is never too early to market your idea and product.
Author: Sam Grossman
Imagine you are a purveyor of puppies introducing yourself to a new neighborhood, the fabulous up-and-coming Lower North Side.
You know that visual validation with a viral video will capture customers and bring around the barrio. Since the Internet evolved out of the middle ages, it’s been about two things: high quality UI/UX (whatever that is) and high quality content (you’re pretty sure you know what that is). In any case, you know high quality when you see it.
Do it right
But…you’re good at rearing runts and haven’t thought so much about marketing mutts. You have some ideas. You know some people. But, you want to do it “right.”
You have to do everything, but you don’t have to do that
Suddenly a box shows up at the stoop full of the cutest little Samoyed mixes. And, not 5–6 of them in a ratty mini-microwave box, but a dozen — maybe two — in a big, sturdy mini-fridge box. But, you need persuasive content, stat (you’ve got 22 chow-devouring, vaccinated, untrained Samoyeds to find families for).
Their cuteness speaks for itself, and you know your services are sublime, but where to begin with marketing? You’re a market newcomer. You aren’t more than a hobby photographer. You’ve never used iMovie. Your business partner knows the ropes around targeting social media posts and can get your posts in front of eager adopters and would-be pup parents throughout the greater zip code area. You need well-designed strategic content. How about a video? Sure. Let’s find someone to record a video.
Personal networks aren’t everything (literally)
So you enlist your brother’s co-worker’s wedding videographer (hint: they got divorced within a year).
“Videographer” is allergic to dogs (not his fault). Street conscripts lure puppies with chocolate bars(!) to run past the camera. “Videographer” takes principal photography with a flip phone (but it’s just principal photography). You record a 10 second pitch under bad yellow lighting, with an old sheet finger painted by a cat as the backdrop. “Videographer” spends the next three weeks color-correcting and the “final draft” comes back tinted green.
It’s late. It’s bad (really). He charged by the (slow, grueling) hour, and apparently you got the “family discount.”
You need effective content, and a strategy that meets you where you are (new neighborhood, new puppies, focused on what you do best) and takes you where you want to be. Marketing. Creative marketing.
No more self-directed films shot by an estranged relative’s co-worker, aka “where’s the flash button?” videographer. Film production. Actors. Designers. Voiceover artists. Interior designers. Painters.
There’s the yellow pages. There’s Google. Time, effort, uncertainty.
You know marketing can’t wait: we all have to market to stay ahead Marketing is hit or miss: there are too many options, crowded with low quality.
AnyaUp, a white glove platform to the industry’s top selection of carefully curated creatives.
Use AnyaUp. Curated, professional, evolved.
Transform your small business. Create identity. Do what you do best, and enlist creatives to present it and complement it. Send that puppy video viral before they become dogs.
Creative marketing? Use AnyaUp. Done.
Author: John Sanzone
This story is crafted by AnyaUp creative. Interested in becoming a creative? Sign up here: https://www.anyaup.com/become-a-creative
During the week of Barry’s grand opening, Lauren was also feeling a bit worse for wear. She was basically a glorified secretary. She was unbelievably frustrated at her situation and her job, and felt she was back where she started with nothing to show for all her hard work. Lauren used to have all this excitement for her talent and her future in marketing, but life was starting to get her down. Even seeing other people be happy made her angry. She overheard a girl at the coffee shop talking about how she was hired for a marketing project on some website. She was so excited about it, and could not wait to get started. Lauren seethed with jealousy at this person’s luck and excitement about her work, when she could not feel the same about her own in the same line of work.
Later that week Lauren decided she needed to get away and talk through everything with someone. She invited her best friend Sarah for some weekend hiking. Sarah asked how Lauren was liking her job and how everything was going, and Lauren could not help but tear up as she told her friend how all of her ideas and hard work went unnoticed. She even told Sarah about that website those girls were talking about and how some people were just so lucky. Sarah replied and told her she had actually heard of several individual marketers and graphic designers who had found work on this website. Lauren thought it sounded crazy, and a bit too good to be true. She was never the type of person to give up and thought she could just tough it out at her job. She returned to work on Monday.
She tried this strategy for awhile, but work just was not getting better. Her mind kept drifting to the website, but she was convinced to be stubborn, and pushed the thought away. That did not prove to be an effective strategy, and the more she hated her job, the more she thought about her friends suggestion. Work kept getting worse, and she decided that at this point, she would do anything to be able to put her creativity to real use. That night, she made an account, and waited.
That same night, Barry was looking over his books, and saw nothing but red. He was bleeding money and had no idea what to do. He knew his problem was that nobody knew about his restaurant. He was convinced that if he could only get the people to eat there, if he could only market better, they would love it, and come back for more. That being said, he had no idea where to start, or what to do. He barely slept that night.
The next morning, just like every morning since the grand opening, he woke up early and headed to the restaurant. And just like every morning, he got angry at the sign on the bench across the street. It may sound a bit ridiculous, a grown man getting angry at a sign on a bench, but he could not help but be envious of their ad when he himself was unable to get the word out about his own restaurant.
This morning however, he decided to look up what the sign was advertising. He figured if he it was going to made him angry, he should at least know what he was getting mad at. When he looked it up, he almost laughed himself to tears. All this time, he had been getting mad at the possible solution to all his problems. He spent his free time that morning on the website, and could not help but feel a little hopeful.
Author: Andrea Bausch
ENDING, ACHIEVING, AND VIDEO COMING SOON!
Check us out when your ready for some success of your own: https://www.anyaup.com/become-a-creative
Marketing is about getting people’s attention. This is a limited resource — a resource that everyone wants and few can get. If you, like us, have ever tried to get people to care about your product, you’ll know how difficult it is to convince people of the value you provide.
This article is aimed towards anyone who has launched a product that has solved a problem in an innovative way. If you’re reading this, you’ve either created something that offers value to others or you’ve got one in mind. Your goal is to get people to know about it, because it genuinely accomplishes things that your competitors can’t do.
What works may surprise you, and is often counterintuitive. We’re in the business of what works and what doesn’t, so let’s get to it.
Hundreds of thousands of major companies send out regular emails using highly crafted, specialised email templates that look fancy and professional. They do this to stand out and get people’s attention — so that recipients feel that the email’s professional. They are wrong, people respond, without fail, to plain text — anything else turns people off.
The reason for this is simple, people want you to connect with them and they don’t want to have to invest effort in interpreting what you’re trying to say. A fancy email template fails at both of these basic principles, they’re interpreted as something that has been sent to hundreds of thousands of other people in a desperate attempt to get them to care — and worse, it takes time to visually navigate the email and find the content.
People want you to talk to them
To engage people, you’ll need to understand some key principles. Remember that you will always be competing with thousands of others for this engagement.
Here’s what works and what doesn’t in getting people to pay attention:
1. Unique visual content is king
It’s well established that people remember images better than words, but the full extent of this may surprise you. Humans are such visually oriented creatures one study showed that people remembered a remarkable 92% of detailed parts of images after being showed 2,500 unique pictures over 6 hours. It’s clear that visual content is king and should be your focus if you want to engage customers.
Visual content is everywhere — from the moment people wake up they are bombarded with television adverts, social media content, billboards and so on. Welcome to the attention war, if you want people’s attention you will need to fight for it.
In less dramatic terms — this is about standing out from the crowd and having an edge on your competition. Here are some tricks of the trade that professional content marketers are using in 2017 to do just that:
- Video works. Four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it. Facebook engagement ishighest for video content.
- Infographics work. Infographic content is shared 3x more than other content on Facebook.
- Content is scanned. Only 16 percent of visitors to your site will read text word by word, everyone else scans it. This means that the design and layout of your website matters.
- Consider summary images. Twitter ads with large ‘summary’ pictures get3x more clicks.
2. It has to engage and intrigue
People have lost their attention span, it’s now around 8 seconds. We’re not getting stupider — information overload is a real phenomenon. Think about the amount of information that needs to be processed on a simple Facebook page — it’s utterly vast. To deal with this, people have developed subconscious junk-mail-esque filters to categorise information en mass.
An ad is at the bottom of this subconscious junk mail filter hierarchy.
The common retort is that the solution is just to make visual content relevant to your product. One company put this theory to the test and found it false.
The evidence shows that there are a number of things that reliably get people’s interest:
- Use social proof. You might have heard about fake Facebook likes. We definitely don’t recommend that, but people do it because it taps into people’s fundamental desire to like things that others like. A quick search will reveal legitimate, effective ways to use social proof to grow your business.
- Use people’s fear of missing out on current affairs to your advantage.62% of social media users monitor social media because they don’t want to miss things, a fact that can inform how you craft your message as one that is of immediate interest to your customers. One way to do this is to integrate current events with your message.
- Create contests to engage and attract users. Depending on the nature of your company, this can be very effective. 84.5% of people who enter social media competitions continue sharing content after the promotion ends.
3. Content must be up to standard
We know — sounds obvious. But creating high quality content is difficult, skilled work and requires an understanding of a multitude of factors. You genuinely need to bring in the experts — a hack and slash approach will actively harm your business — here’s why.
As Einstein quipped ‘the definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple’. Making something simple is hard work but simple payment flows reap the benefits. You might be aware that choosing is hard work and turns customers off. To market effectively you need to limit what you show to customers, which by necessity means it needs to be of a higher quality. In marketing, less is more. Google published their latest quality guidelines used to evaluate content last year, and they make for an interesting read.
“One of the most important criteria in PQ [page quality] rating is the quality of the MC [main content], which is determined by how much time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill have gone into the creation of the page, and also informs the EAT of the page. … We will consider content to be Low quality if it is created without adequate time, effort, expertise, or talent/skill. Inaccurate or misleading information presented as fact is also a reason for Low or even Lowest quality ratings. Pages with low quality MC do not achieve their purpose well.
Low quality MC is a sufficient reason to give a page a Low quality rating.”
Marketers trip over themselves to improve their SEO rating — there can be no illusion that low quality content will help accomplish this. It’s critical that everything you publish is up to standard and that means hiring the right professionals for the task at hand. A great way to do this is by having guest bloggers contribute to your blog.
How ANYA can help
Marketing is about getting people’s attention — and to do that you’d do well to take a different approach. Hiring the right people for what you need, whether it’s a promotional video or web design, doesn’t have to be difficult. Our platform finds the best talent across the world, who can do things in specific places and regions where you’re looking for materials. Anya lets vetted experts come to you, for any marketing job anywhere in the world. Your budget needs are accounted for and we don’t charge commission.
Our goal is to make it easy for people to contact creative professionals and rapidly get things done, to budget. We’ve learned from experience that hiring creative professionals can be an arduous task, particularly if your needs are specific to a particular place or you need someone with a breadth of skills.
Now it doesn’t have to be.
Check us out at useanya.com or email us at email@example.com.
Author: Andrew Walsh
Introducing AnyaUp: The Key to Finding Your Marketing Match
In today’s digital age, the quickest way for many companies to achieve rapid growth is through expert online marketing. In fact, 80% of companies are planning to ramp up their digital marketing budgets. Unfortunately, for many businesses, trying to create the right content for their customers can leave them banging their head against the keyboard. If you are one of the many business owners or CEOs who have key-shaped imprints on your forehead, have no fear – AnyaUp is here to ease your pain. Surveys of hundreds of marketing executives have shown that the biggest challenge businesses face in creating the right content is finding properly skilled marketers. By connecting your business with experienced creative marketers, we allow you to focus on other aspects of your business, while our expert contractors bring you the content that your business wants and needs.
Let’s take a closer look at how AnyaUp works:
Meet Natalie, a hard working woman living the American dream! Natalie ownsa small brick and mortar accessory shop in New York City. Natalie loves working in the shop and getting to interact with her favorite customers, but the bulk of her business actually comes from her online store. Natalie is looking for some creative new ways to reach out to more customers, however she has always been better with numbers than coming up with creative web content.
As you can see, Natalie had heard from another one of her fellow entrepreneurs that AnyaUp was a great way to find effective and low-cost creative marketing solutions. She needed some new articles and videos ASAP! So, after filling in a few of her specific needs, the search was on for the creative her business craved. Within hours, she had multiple quotes to take on her project… but which marketer would be the one of her dreams?
When Natalie saw Leon, she immediately knew that he was the content producer of her dreams. It was business love at first sight. Leon had not only great reviews, but also experience in e-commerce marketing. Even more, he lived just a short distance from Natalie’s shop and they set up a meeting for that very day. What more could a girl ask for? After a couple great meetings and video chat sessions Leon had produced a small army of web content, and was ready to take Natalie’s business to the next level!
There you have it…a match made in heaven. We know that tens of thousands of business just like Natalie’s, and maybe even yours, have all of the tools in place to be a huge success, except phenomenal digital marketing.So are you and your business looking to find your marketing perfect match? If so, check out AnyaUp. we will connect you with some of the best creatives out there to meet your marketing needs. By allowing us to help automate your marketing process, we can make those keyboard headaches a thing of the past! At AnyaUp, we turn your marketing problems into ease of mind, but most importantly we bring you the tools to make your profits soar!
Author: Sam Grossman
This article was written by the creative minds found at AnyaUp, a creative platform that empower the potential to help other businesses to grow. Want to know more? Check us out at https://www.anyaup.com/
You are a startup founder. You have a killer product. You live on a ramen-noodle daily budget. Now you want to get the most value out of your marketing $$$.
No problem. You want to be creative. You give it your best shot and come up with a campaign.
Let’s give it a try again.
How about buying a “marketing gig” from Fiverr, the marketplace for “$5 can get people do anything”? Like PewDiePie, the 5M+ followers’ YouTube star’s self marketing stunt story: marketing gone wrong and led to a back slash dramatic episode of his self marketing fail. Remember the scene from Silicon Valley, a click farm that gets you thousand of robotic non-genuine followers?
When it comes to marketing, it is all about quality.
So, how do you get marketing done right?
According a market research by ALF in 2015, the marketing budget for most companies is 2% to 5% of their revenues. That probably doesn’t include your startup or your pal’s small business.
If you’re on a limited budget, getting the best value out of marketing becomes the key. Don’t have a full time marketer? No problem, create a project and get the quotes from highly qualified marketers before you start your marketing.
Context marketing is the set of best practices of amplify the value of your content to your prospects and customers. In a nutshell, delivering the right content to the right audience.
“Content is king, but context is god.” — Gary Vaynerchuk, Serial entrepreneur, four-time New York Times bestselling author
To get it right, you need to work with your marketers closely, communicate timely in every single step of the marketing process, and do that with as little friction as possible, without delays in communication and sharing content.
The same research published by ALF, one of the most complaints from marketers is “not being able to effectively track marketing spend.”
What does this mean? You spent $500 wrote an article, $1000 on a promo video, which is on the low end according to this statistic by Entrepreneur. It is just the start. How does it perform and how can we improve it? Good marketing needs a process designed to measure results.
“What gets measured gets done.”
Did I mention you have limited time to do marketing? Because you have limited time to get marketing done, you need to make sure it is done efficiently and improves over time. So you can actually spend the time building your business.
You don’t just need content. You need good quality and highly effective marketing done in the right way.
Yup, that is exactly what we, AnyaUp wants for you as well.
Let AnyaUp take care of marketing for you.
AnyaUp, creative marketing, done.
Get in touch with AnyaUp marketing specialists here:
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
There are some things in this world that are just meant to be. Sometimes, when you do something or meet someone, you just know that it’s the right thing for you; you feel it deep down. In the case of Barry and Lauren, their callings in life found them at a very young age. The two of them exhibited traits that allowed them to find their life’s passion in early childhood.
In Lauren’s case, she loved to draw as a child, but not in the same way every child likes to scribble on paper when they’re young; she showed true passion. She always had a bigger design in mind, a blossoming idea. At the end of every drawing she would beam proudly as she handed it to her parents, waiting for them to hang it up on the refrigerator for the whole world to see; that was her favorite part. Of course, just like all parents, Lauren’s parents never really knew what it was, always looking at each other as if hoping to discern what their child had in mind when putting the crayon to the page, but were proud of her hard work, and happily hung it up.
These feats did not go unnoticed when she went to apply for college, and she was quickly accepted to the university of her dreams. There she majored in marketing, with a minor in graphic design. She was finally in her element. She loved her classes, and projects, and could not get enough. When junior year came, she felt ready to apply to internships. Lauren really thought she was ready and able to take on the world. She was accepted as an intern to a massive marketing business in the city nearby for the summer, and readily accepted.
Unfortunately, this was not what she expected. It turns out all she really got to do was be at the will of the employees. She made coffee runs, sent out people’s mail, even sent their work clothes to be laundered. Lauren tried to put forth her ideas, but to no avail. They just did not want to hear from “the intern.” Not to say she did not try. As the intern, Lauren attended nearly every meeting, and whenever the boss put out a problem or half-formed idea, Lauren had a design and a solution. There was one time the business was hired to redesign the logo for a largely successful local book shop, in order to make it appeal to the youth more. Lauren designed a beautiful, subtle, and colorful design that stayed true to what the business stood for, but also brought in a whole new target group for the company. She tried to pitch the idea, but as always no one listened, and she put it in a folder with all the other ideas that no one took seriously.
She graduated a year later, and was thrilled when the internship offered her a job! She figured that they had seen potential and were finally going to take her seriously. She bought a new, professional wardrobe, and when the time came to start her first real job, she walked in nervous, and thrilled to get started. Unfortunately, the job was not what she expected.
Barry’s childhood exhibited a lot of the same passion. He loved to be in charge, and often bossed around his stuffed animals when playing make-believe. His favorite game was to pretend he had a big office and had to make important phone calls. Every time they talked about their dream jobs in school, Barry said the exact same thing. Most kids wanted to be astronauts, princesses, or professional athletes, and by the next month, they all wanted to be something different and new, but not Barry. Every time someone asked, Barry said, “I want to be my own boss.”
He kept this mentality his whole life. He was always the leader of group projects, he often ran for student government positions, and when he played sports, he always worked to be team captain. As he got older, he also discovered his passion for the culinary arts. He could never get enough of trying new things or making new recipes that could either be wonderful, or terrible. He loved the challenge. Barry excelled in all his home-economics classes in high school and often recorded shows on cooking networks so he could try out the recipes and let his mom try them.
Barry decided that he wanted to go to college, to double major in management and culinary arts. He figured that would be the perfect combination for him to be able to be successful in his real aspiration: opening a restaurant. Unfortunately, Barry’s dad had walked out on him when he was very young, and his mom worked day and night to try and support the two of them. She had no college degree, so she took whatever work she could find, and it was barely enough. Barry knew she could not afford to send him to college, so he got a job at a local sandwich shop dressing up as a giant sub to try and get people to eat there. He worked there most of high school, and all the way through his four years of college to get his own degree. His mom couldn’t have been more proud.
He was eventually promoted to manager of the store, and started saving up money to finance the opening of his very own restaurant. Within a few years, he was finally ready to open the restaurant. That’s when tragedy struck: his mom was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. He knew there was not much to be done, and it was only a matter of time, but he also knew he had to do everything in his power in order to make her time left as comfortable as possible. He spent his savings on medical bills, and experimental treatments. Barry was broken. His mother had so little time left, and he didn’t have enough money left to do anything more for her.
On the last day of her life, his mother called him in the room where she was staying and told him she was leaving him whatever came from her life insurance, and also the house. It wasn’t much, but she said it would be enough for him to open his own restaurant. She had seen him work toward this dream her whole life and refused to see him settle for less. Barry cried and thanked her with everything he had.
In the next month, he looked for a building in town that would have good foot-traffic and that he could afford. When he finally found the perfect building, he designed dishes for the menu and hired staff. Opening day came, and Barry could hardly contain his excitement. Unfortunately, business was slow. Barry told himself it was to be expected , but could not help but be disappointed. As time went on, business did not increase and Barry was losing money fast.
Author: Andrea Bausch
NEXT INSTALLMENT, PERSEVERING, COMING SOON
From the Netherlands to Silicon Valley, from a guitarist in local popular band to seven years’ career in consulting, to building his own rapidly growing product, Sander Mertens is sharing his journey and his AnyaUp story with us today.
Tell us a little about yourself. Who you are, where you’re from, what do you do.
Hi, my name is Sander Mertens. I’m a Dutch transplant currently living in Silicon Valley and a big believer in IoT, with seven years of experience building and designing IoT systems.
Tell us about your business.
Corto is an open source app framework for IoT developers. The IoT ecosystem is very segmented which makes it hard for small businesses and individuals to build IoT apps. What the industry needs is an easy to use framework that engages more people in IoT, basically like what node.js did for web development. With corto, we designed a frictionless environment for building, testing and documenting IoT apps that can seamlessly exchange data with each other.
How did you first get into IoT. Was there a specific moment that made you “take the leap”?
I’m an infrastructure guy. When I see something that is more complicated than I think it should be, I can’t help myself but build abstractions that strip the “fat” from the code. Five years ago I was building a game that used a few different libraries for graphics, networking and level design. After some months I found that 80% of my project was glue-code bridging data from one technology to another. At that point I just had to write an abstraction that could juggle data between these libraries. This eventually became Corto. Because of some cosmic coincidence, I was working for an IoT company at the time, and I found that many of our IoT customers were having similar problems as the ones I had with my game. That is how everything started.
How did you hear about AnyaUp? What inspired you to use AnyaUp?
Corto started as a one-man show, which means I had to do everything by myself, from code to website to social media accounts. Today I often find myself struggling to simultaneously spend time on satisfying existing users and doing things that will push Corto to a wider audience. I found that the time and resources I spent on marketing were wasted as I did not have the bandwidth to do proper follow ups, or execute on a long term plan.
When I heard that one of my friends was working at AnyaUp and learned about what they did I was immediately interested. Together with AnyaUp’s marketing expertise and their pool of creatives we were able to identify pain points and come up with a long term marketing plan. AnyaUp then completely took over the day-to-day chores of making sure that the plan was executed properly.
I am still very much involved in defining and refining the vision for Corto, but I found that the structure and expertise of AnyaUp allows me to focus more on long-term strategy instead of making haphazard decisions on what to do next. Because of that, I feel like I’m getting a lot more value out of the resources I’m spending on marketing.
How did your product benefit from using AnyaUp?
AnyaUp has helped us to refine our message which makes Corto easier for users to understand. We will soon be refreshing our brand, rolling out updates to the website, increase social media engagement and do many other things that I would never have been able to pull off by myself.
What impact has AnyaUp had on your business? Has it changed the way you think about marketing?
Like many founders, I thought marketing was something that you just need to master. I tried to learn as much as I can about growth hacking, SEO, building effective presentations and email marketing. I spent time and money on websites like Fiverr and 99 designs to get designers to create things that I couldn’t create myself. Basically I was throwing things at a wall hoping something would stick.
What I did not realize was that marketing is not just about doing all these things. It is about making sure everything happens within the right context, and this requires a lot of upfront thought and strategic planning.
AnyaUp showed me that having someone who understands your brand and business and is dedicated to the execution of a plan is a difference between day and night. It truly feels like having another person on the team that I can call anytime to challenge me, brainstorm about new ideas and give me valuable advice.
What advice would you give to a newcomer on AnyaUp looking to achieve success?
AnyaUp is not the only company out there that does marketing, but I found their model very attractive. AnyaUp was willing to sit down with me before I signed any contracts. I discussed my business and vision with them at length and not long after that they followed up with a plan for improvement. I was sufficiently impressed with what they came up with and decided to move forward with them.
If you’re looking at AnyaUp, treat them as a partner, not as just another service provider. Tell them as much about your business, your brand and your vision as possible, and you’ll be surprised with what they come up with.
Want to know how Corto makes the world of IoT a better place? Check out Corto here.