Blogbook

YouTube and #StayHome

April 1, 2020

Youtube’s #Stayhome campaign has ramped up as part of its previous #WithMe campaign. Via the Verge:

YouTube creators are performing everyday tasks or taking on crafts and activities that people can do at home because everyone is stuck indoors right now. The genre has boomed as a result of social distancing.

Daily views of videos with “#withme” in the title have increased by 600 percent since March 15th compared to the rest of the year, according to YouTube. Uploads of videos from creators with “at home” in the title have also increased by more than 590 percent. Of those two types of videos, titles like “cook with me,” “work out at home” and “home office” have seen their average daily views grow by 100, 200, and 130 percent respectively.

YouTube has asked people to stay home (#StayHome) and encouraged creators to participate in a new “#WithMe” campaign that started today. A number of creators have already started asking viewers to stay home and continue to socially distance themselves as the world tries to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The company has also curated a number of “with me” playlists for people looking to exercise, cook, clean, study, and more through YouTube.

Safe Hands Challenge

March 30, 2020

The Safe Hands Challenge is the latest Coronavirus initiative from the World Health Organisation, promoting proper handwashing.

Animal Crossing

March 27, 2020

Animal Crossing is out on Nintendo Switch — are you trying out this oddly fun, extremely calming game of village organisation?

Toyota Covid19 Campaign

March 26, 2020

Toyota has scrapped its March campaign, instead rolling out a positive message in light of the coronavirus pandemic, as have other brands. Not really sure what the point of the Toyota message is. It’s calm watching, though.

DoorDash

March 25, 2020

International food delivery giant Doordash has pushed out its COVID19 campaign, encouraging people to buy take-out from affected restaurants.

Starting a Business from Home

March 24, 2020

Like us, you may be one of the many Australians who have decided to do their bit and stay home during these difficult times. You might be doing this because you have to — as one of the people who flew in from overseas and are self-isolating for two weeks, or because you’re working from home, or because you’re not feeling well (if this is the case, we hope you get better soon). Or you might be one of the people caught up in the sudden downturn, finding yourself unfortunately at loose ends. It’s ok to take a break. Have a long drink. Exercise. Hug your pet. Practising self-care isn’t some hippie thing off the yoga-enthusiast corner of the internet: it’s an essential part of everyone’s well-being, key to not feeling overwhelmed by the constant barrage news.

Not looking to take a break? Thinking of setting up a small business in your own home? We’re here to help.

The Basics of Home Business

There are some things you’d have to read up on your own that we can’t delve into here, involving stuff like legal things, tax, and company structure that you should sort out on your end. We think of this as the skeletal frame of your business: building a strong foundation by ensuring that your business is feasible, legal, and tax compliant. We suggest government resources such as this and this as a start. Do the research. We can’t emphasize to our clients how important research is to setting up a healthy, future-proofed, agile business. Think about when your business is meant to get going, and how it’d respond to shocks in the industry — like the current pandemic. It’s not enough just to have a cool idea. Running a successful business isn’t just about the fun stuff: you have to build the foundations of your structure before opening your doors. And who knows: you might be able to find a grant or something similar that can get you started.

All sorted? Now we’ll move into the meat and bones of the matter.

Research… from Home

There are no shortcuts about it — research is the best thing you can do for your future business. Take a peek at the rest of the industry you’re about to get into. Identify what you think are your top 3-5 competitors. Don’t just look at what they’re selling, look at their brand as a complete whole: what kind of language are they using, formal? Informative? Positive? What kind of feel does their branding have compared to their price point: do they look and feel like a premium brand, an affordable brand, or a niche/boutique brand? Where are they sold? Do they have an online presence, and if so, what kind of social media following do they have? How active are they? What kind of website do they have?

Now that you have a better idea of what people in your space are doing, now look up the 3 brands that are in your “ideal” space: whether in terms of brand performance, reach, market space, and so on. What are they doing that’s different? How does their brand look? Why do you like them?

Once you have all these questions answered, think about your offering. Where would your brand sit in the market, in terms of who you’re selling to, your price, your service/goods quality? What are you doing that’s different? What’s your brand mission? Don’t rush this part. Some people can and will take years to identify their niche in the world: and the more in demand, more niche it is, the better you’d do. Best of all, you can do the bare basics of all the above steps in this section from the safety of your home. Good for those long self-isolation days.

Design and Marketing from Home

This is the bit where we usually get involved. However, if you’ve just started and have no capital, you can work out something basic until you have the funds to get in professional help. Here are some basic tips:

  • Brand Language, aka How Your Brand Communicates: Where possible, be positive and be professional, even if it’s meant to be a “fun” brand. Be respectful of people. It isn’t being “PC”, it’s just good business. Bad news gets around quickly in this inter-connected world, and people like to align themselves to brands that reflect their values. If they don’t like you because they think you’re rude / annoying / offensive, they might boycott you — and worse — tell their friends.
  • Branding: Ideally, you should get a professional involved, but for a “standby” basic brand, you can do something to put on preliminary packaging/your site/your media. There are a few free fonts out there that are great, like Fira Sans, Roboto, and Playfair, that you can find on a quick search. Put your brand name in bold / light / all caps depending on what feels right. It’s just a standby look for you to get started with, so it isn’t the end of the world. Use the same font or another good workhorse font for everything. Make sure you use a max of 2 fonts. You can get pros like us to give you a refurbished look later.
  • Don’t use Comic Sans.
  • Or Arial.
  • Or Times New Roman, or Papyrus, or Curls, or Wingdings, or Calibri, or Trajan.
  • If you really have to, fine, Helvetica is all right… bland, but better than Arial.
  • Colours: Don’t go too crazy. Black and white is a classic look, if you don’t want to have to decide right now.
  • Graphics: At this point, we wouldn’t recommend trying to do one by yourself. There’s a science to brand mark design, and mocking one up on Microsoft Paint really isn’t going to cut it.
  • Free programs like Canva will work for now for you to create presentations and other documents. It’s basic, but it’d do until you can get professional help.
  • Set up your social media — carefully. Don’t make names like NewCompany123.
  • Free drag and drop website builders like Wix can work for basic sites, but we wouldn’t recommend using them in the long run if you need anything complex. At Starship, we usually build sites off WordPress or other similar platforms for clients using agency tools, but web development and design is difficult for many clients to understand. If you need eCommerce capacity, try Shopify.

Basic ads

Here’s another part where you usually call in professional help. You do need a coherent branding and social media strategy, or you might be throwing in good money for nothing. If you want to give it a shot, though, here are some basic tips:

  • Read the guidelines of the platform you’re intending to use.
  • Research which platform works for your target audience. Different people use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and others.
  • Facebook’s ad manager is free to sign up to, and in its basic form, is fairly easy to understand. You can target audiences by interests, geographic location, and more. Take a look.
  • Think about what you want your ads to do, and set yourself some realistic goals (we call them Key Performance Indicators). Do you want to drive more people to your website? Do you want people to buy a product? The more you can drill down on your goals, the easier they will be to meet, and the more effective your advertising will be.

You Get What You Pay For

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for — but sometimes, there’s only so much you can pay for at the start, and that’s completely OK. There’s only so much you can do from home, and besides, it’s important to get the basics down anyway. Getting a headstart on all of the above will help you build your own understanding of what you’re trying to do as a business, as well as get you a foot through the door. Once you get some traction, you can bring in the big guns.

Looking for more advice? Give us a call. We’re here to help.

Ten Days

March 24, 2020

Ten Days is a short film by the Atlantic, where Italians record messages to themselves from a week ago. Via the Atlantic:

When the Italian media began reporting on the increased community spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, Olmo Parenti, like many Italian citizens, didn’t take the threat of the pandemic too seriously. “My friends and I were almost mocking the few people who believed the issue was serious from the get-go,” Parenti, a young filmmaker, told me.

Just days later, Parenti felt like he was living in a different version of reality—a dystopian one. The number of positive cases had spiked dramatically. The entire country had shut down. The economy took a nosedive. Hospitals, overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, were being forced to make impossible utilitarian decisions: Which critical patients would receive lifesaving artificial ventilation, while the others would effectively be left to die?

Parenti and his friends were disturbed by the fact that they had severely underestimated the situation, a perspective that perhaps contributed to the spread of the virus. “We read in the news that the U.S., England, Germany, and France were all taking the COVID-19 progression just as lightly as we had,” Parenti said. “We decided we had to redeem ourselves in some way.”

Dirty Money

March 23, 2020

Looking for a quarantine watch? Dirty Money is a compelling Netflix tv series about securities fraud, corporate corruption, and “creative” accounting.

Budweiser Coronavirus Ad

March 21, 2020

The Budweiser Coronavirus ad praises frontline health workers through the crisis, likely one of many ads to come from brands in this vein.

The Movies That Made Us

March 20, 2020

The Movies that Made Us is an extensive behind the scenes look at some of the most iconic films in the world, such as Home Alone. Great nostalgia watch.

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