More of a chat than a podcast, we share our experiences, learnings, laughs and *cough* wisdom as we recount stories from our lives as comms specialists, UX and CX advocates, marketing tragics… and our quest to finding a flow between our titles as ‘mum’ and ‘business owner’.
We can already tell we’re gonna be great pals. There are no formalities here - you’re invited into our conversation where things are super relaxed so you can take off those shoes!
This is the last episode of season 3!
Pretend you're in a coffee shop, sitting down with us (remember sitting in a coffee shop?).. and having a casual chat about:
- Laura celebrating a milestone this week!
- Branka needing a drink (haha desperate times)
- Is the black hole of quarantine swallowing us up?
- Laura chats about current work projects and starting a new role
- Branka dives deep into her concerns around superannuation and sole traders during COVID
- How we're coping (or not coping) working from home with kids
- What our work days actually look like at the moment (it’s not pretty)
- Why we haven’t been active on socials
- Yes, we both just need to chill the eff out
- Normal People TV adaptation
- The Danish Way of Parenting
At the time of recording this episode, the world is experiencing a one in a hundred year event with the global pandemic that is COVID-19. Businesses all over the planet are struggling with many things – the most noticeable from the outside being their communication.
So this week, we invited a crisis comms expert on the podcast to guide us all through approaching business comms when things get turned upside down.
Anna Rogan is a foolhardy olive farmer and stubbornly creative copywriter who specialises in personality-driven website and email copy for small biz owners.
Anna has a BA in psychology, a post-grad in writing and a decade-long career in comms and media roles for some pretty big brands under her belt. And though she hails from a background in crisis comms, these days she mainly writes for purpose-driven, heart-led, socially-conscious small business owners and entrepreneurs.
In this episode we talked about:
• The standard format to follow when crafting crisis comms.
• Tapping into empathy to guide communication during a crisis – especially for businesses that tend to be more transactional.
• Finding the balance in your comms between business as usual and ‘business unusual’.
• Respecting brand tone of voice during a crisis.
• Tips for communicating with teams and stakeholders when you’re working remotely.
Find Anna here:
With a decade of marketing experience for brands large and small, Matt applies user research and data to craft results-driven messaging combined with visual design and tech.
By day, Matt works as a conversion copywriter for Kajabi. By night, Matt combines copy, visual design, and tech to deliver high-converting websites for his clients.
No matter what he's working on, Matt obsessively asks how we can lead users on a journey that achieves business goals while making the world a little bit better.
In this episode we talked with Matt about:
• What it’s like to work for an amazing company that always puts the customer first
• How UX, copywriting, and comms strategy fit into the current economic and ethical climate
• How important will our type of work will be in the recovery from Covid-19
Connect with Matt:
As writers, we have a huge impact on making sure digital products are inclusive and accessible – and we spoke with Veronica Camara about how she does just that.
She's is the founder and Principal at AVO Agency, a human-centred content company serving complex industries.
We also spoke about:
- How Avo Agency came about and what cool projects Veronica has been working on
- How she works remotely with a team of freelancers, with people all over the world
- Tips for swapping time for money, and how the Avo business has evolved
- What does accessibility mean to writers and content strategists (and what are some examples)?
- An insight into Veronica's workshops on accessibility and inclusivity
- Range by David Epstein
- Chromatical Club: https://chromatical.com.au/
- Content Design Podcast with Vanessa Barlow
Find Veronica here:
@veronica.avo on instagram
Ethics in product design and UX writing.
It's a pretty heavy topic today pals. But we make it fun ;)
- the addictiveness of apps
- moral dilemmas with projects or companies we’ve worked for and with
- where does the responsibility lie?
- how we do things a little differently now that we have more experience under our belts
- why traditional influence techniques are great to know, but it's how you use them
Here are our recommendations:
• How tech hijacks people's minds (the list we run through by Tristan Harris, design ethicist): https://medium.com/thrive-global/how-technology-hijacks-peoples-minds-from-a-magician-and-google-s-design-ethicist-56d62ef5edf3
• “It’s all just a bunch of BS” (ep 6): https://podtail.com/en/podcast/it-s-all-just-a-bunch-of-bs/
• Samuel Salzer: Humans Design Products...Or Products Design Humans
• Matt Wallaert Salary or Equity: https://salaryorequity.com/
• UX writer (Erik Wong) at Google: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfZCI-SOS2g
• UXWC newsletter signup: thedash.uxwriterscollective.com/newsletter
• 'Hooked' by Nir Eyal
• Matrix for ethical and behavioural design: https://designli.co/blog/using-the-manipulation-matrix-for-ethical-behavioral-design/
• Tristan Harris (again): https://humanetech.com/problem/
In the lead up to International Women's Day 8 March), we spoke to Meggie Palmer, founder of PepTalkHer. PepTalkHer's mission is to close the gender pay gap. The PepTalkHer app helps you track your career successes through artificial intelligence: building confidence, negotiation skills and through giving you a pep talk when you need it most. We spoke about: - Meggie's background as a Walkley-winning journo and what led her down the entrepreneurial track - The inspiration behind PepTalkHer (and some frightening stats about the gender pay gap...) - Our own money stories and how they can hold us back from a young age - How freelancers can use the PepTalkHer app to increase their rates and fight imposter syndrome - The PepTalkHer app launch process – the importance of testing and iterating - Salary surveys and why women with 10+ years experience tend to get less $$ Our recommendations: - The Loudest Voice (TV show on Stan in Aus or Showtime overseas) - Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez - The Crown on Netflix - Girl, Stop Apologising by Rachel Hollis Find Meggie and PepTalkHer: @Peptalkher www.peptalkher.com @MeggiePalmer
Talk about a ripper topic — Employee Experience (EX) is all the rage this year.
BUT it shouldn’t be mistaken as another business buzzword.
It’s actually one of the elements that businesses of all sizes can use to differentiate themselves in an age where standing out is getting harder and harder to do. That’s why we called in EX expert! Kerrie Brown is a seasoned Employee Experience professional who has spent the last decade (and some!) of her career helping companies build inspiring workplace cultures. She knows how to play strategically and tactically, and is most happy when challenging the status quo in organisations.
She’s worked her EX magic in big complex organisations like Colgate-Palmolive and GWF, fast-paced fin-tech startups, and an award-winning employee experience company.
Kerrie blends her commercial smarts with a human-centred approach to deliver engaging people solutions for all things people, performance, safety, leadership and communication.
In this episode we chatted to Kerrie about:
• What is Employee Experience (is it basically CX for employees)?
• How EX is linked to CX?
• Why do businesses need to pay attention to EX metrics?
• Does belong to any one department?
• What part does EX play in the hiring process?
• How does EX work for remote workers?
• Tips on setting up solid EX foundations within an organisation.
Connect with Kerrie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerrie-brown
How it feels to float by Helena Fox
Rowan of Rin by Jennifer Rowe
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Writers of Silicon Valley podcast (episode with Tamara Hilmes from Spotify) by Patrick Stafford
This is season 3!
Today we're having a casual chat about what we've been up to, we dissect our favourite eps from season 2 and what we've got planned for this season (and 2020).
Of course, in Australia we've been facing some horrific natural disasters. We'll also talk about how we reacted to this news over the festive season and the different approaches by small business following it.
Well what fun we had talking to Susan Reoch! Some kindred spirits for sure.
Today's episode is ALL about giving and getting good feedback. In our opinion, both are critical to the role of UX writer.
Basically, get comfy getting uncomfy is the moral of the story.
Susan is a seasoned UX writer with loads of good info to share.
We talked to Sue about:
How she honed her UX writing skills
What working in a team of writers and other collaborators looks like in the wild
The different ways we each like to get and give feedback (very different opinions here!)
What constitutes as constructive vs destructive feedback
Why it’s just as much about mindset as it is about process
How you can adopt super strategies to give better feedback
And how to do it well even when you’re remote
Here are the things we mentioned in the podcast:
- Bossypants by Tina Fey.
- Hey Ladies! by Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss
StartUp podcast by Gimlet Media (https://gimletmedia.com/shows/startup)
UX writing at Booking.com (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/booking-people-podcast/e/64364687)
Have you heard of 'content design'? It's different to content strategy and UX writing... but it's probably not spoken about nearly as much.
We're chatting with Sarah Stanford from Novelise, and this is what we cover:
- What is 'Content Design'?
- The beauty of model-first web projects (Sarah is probably the most passionate person everrrr about this, we love it)
- How is content design different to content strategy and UX writing?
- What kind of clients need this kinda work (hint: the kind with $$)?
- What the eff is headless content?
Podcasts mentioned in this episode:
You’re Dead to Me
History is Sexy
Article group newsletter: https://articlegroup.com/
Guerrilla research for Air BnB by Gary V’s content guy: https://medium.com/interactive-mind/airbnb-guerilla-usability-testing-548b4676d06c
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous - Ocean Vuong
Ordinary People - Diana Evans
Sarah’s contact info:
@noveliseco on insta
In this episode we compare customer experience with customer service.
- How we define the two
- What each one entails
- Why companies who focus on CX earn more $$
- Examples of the good, the bad and the ugly CX
- How to start optimising your CX (hint: start small!)
Mentioned in this episode:
• CX Leaders Podcast
• Book: “Uplifting Service” by Ron Kaufman
• Book: “Tribes” by Seth Godin
Eeeek! This week we took a deep dive into understanding ourselves and our attitude towards work.
Taking time out to practice self-care in an always on world is incredibly important.
But what happens if the way that you are wired as a human, your work actually becomes part of your self-care?
We also explore the meaning of the word ‘hustle’ (don’t shudder, hear us out) and where it fits into the overall picture of work.
Come along for this rollercoaster around our brains and let us know your thoughts, feelings, and vibes after the chat.
Mentioned in this episode:
• The Education Series: https://www.valleyloves.com.au/the-education-series
• The Digital Picnic: https://www.thedigitalpicnic.com.au/
• Craft Coaching & Development: https://craftcoachinganddevelopment.com/
• Sister Scout Studio & Craft Coaching & Development Workshop: https://www.sisterscout.studio/sss-events/purpose-and-values-workshop/
• Clare Wood Coach: https://clarewood.com.au/
• Two Girls & A Laptop: https://www.twogirlsandalaptop.com.au/
• The Danish Way of Parenting
• Company of One - Paul Jarvis
• Building A Story Brand - Donald Miller
• Get To Aha - Andy Cunningham
Our first guest for Season 2 is Melbourne-based UX writer Patrick Stafford. Patrick is an ex-journalist-turned-UX writer, content strategist and podcaster. With almost a decade of experience with online news outlets like Smart Company, Rolling Stone and Vice, he’s been a UX writer for MYOB for over 4 years and has a freelance writing business called Stafford Content.
He also runs UX Writers Collective, which is a UX and CX writing course and produces/hosts the podcast Writers of Silicon Valley.
Here's what we covered in this episode:
- How Patrick broke into UX writing via journalism (and the many different backgrounds of UX writers!)
- What it takes to become a GREAT UX writer
- How to impress UX hiring managers
- An indication of UX writer salaries (based on a recent survey the UX Writers' Collective ran)
- The differences between UX writing in-house vs freelance
- What it's like interviewing some of the biggest UX writers in the world in Patrick's podcast: Writers of Silicon Valley
- Endorsal: https://endorsal.io/ (really great and easy way to collect testimonials and embed them in a cool/interesting way on your site with no IT help)
- UX writer jobs newsletter by Gordon Macrae: http://www.uxwriterjobs.com/
- Radical Candor by Kim Scott: https://www.amazon.com.au/RADICAL-CANDOR-KIM-SCOTT/dp/1250103509/ref=asc_df_1250103509/?tag=googleshopdsk-22&linkCode=df0&hvadid=341744909748&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3762038390647270709&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9072357&hvtargid=pla-432939647199&psc=1
Aaaaand here's where you can find Patrick and his projects:
- UX writers collective: https://uxwriterscollective.com/
- Patrick’s website/s: http://www.staffordcontent.com/
- Writers of Silicon Valley podcast: https://www.writersofsiliconvalley.com/
- Twitter: @pdstafford
This week we're talking all things content, comms, brand voice style guides.
We cover things like:
- Why these guides are the actual best things since sliced bread
- How to create one
- What should be included (we pull apart actual guides we created)
- Who needs buy-in (and how to demand respect for the brand voice)!
- Why we need to change the message for different audiences / formats
Laura's articles we mentioned:
UX writing terms: https://lauraluck.com.au/2019/03/22/a-checklist-of-ux-writing-terms-for-time-poor-humans/
Tone of voice: https://lauraluck.com.au/2018/01/06/why-tone-of-voice-matters/
- The Elements of Fucking Style: https://www.amazon.com/Elements-cking-Style-Helpful-Parody/dp/031258377X
- One link sharing platform: https://narrowr.com/
- JP Morgan Chase using machine learning AI to write ad copy: https://qz.com/work/1682579/jpmorgan-chase-chooses-ai-copywriter-persado-to-write-ads/
Yay! We're back! We had a short hiatus, but season 2 is here with a bang.
This week we're talkin' bout Collaboration: how to work with different departments towards a goal.
In this episode, we'll cover:
How to start relationship-building (especially if you're remote!)
• What kinds of departments we should be speaking with
• How to set up regular communication
• What roadblocks you might come up against
• Why collaboration is especially important if you're working in customer comms
Links to recommendations:
• The day-to-day life of this UX writer at Capital One - https://medium.com/capitalonedesign/how-i-work-as-a-ux-writer-2b4312b01fa0
• User Guiding tool for putting together user guides within products – https://userguiding.com/ • The event Branka went to by 2aT - http://2atstartup.com.au/
• Girl Friday IP - https://www.girlfridayip.com/
Thanks so much for joining us for Season 1 of A Table At The Back. We have loved creating this so much, so if you loved hearing it... please leave us a review and rating :)
For our last episode of Season 1, we spoke to the inimitable Ami Williamson of Damn Write.
Ami focuses on personality-driven e-commerce copy, plus she’s a wildly talented writer, strategist and extremely funny human being. We like her.
She gets her rocks off on consumer psychology and neuro-marketing and she’s got one of the best damn websites we've seen in a while…
Here are just some of the things we covered:
Her new website rebrand (it's soooo beautiful)
Personality-driven copy doesn't mean you have to be loud and bold
How the personality of a brand impacts our purchase decisions
Ami's process to extracting your voice (mad scientist, perhaps?)
Why we can’t all sound like Go-To Skincare (wahhh!)
How CX plays a HUUUUUGE role in eCommerce (and how to improve it)
How to grow an eCommerce business by focusing on more than just getting new customers
The different types of emails you should write for your eCommerce businesses
Why horoscopes are our guilty pleasure
Listen to us struggle pronouncing Enneagrams
The power of repelling customers that aren’t for you
Here are the links to our recommendations:
Ami's website: www.damnwrite.com.au
Friction by Roger Doole: https://www.amazon.com/FRICTION-Untapped-Force-Powerful-Advantage-ebook/dp/B07HRZ7PDJ
How UX influences sales: https://uxplanet.org/ux-is-all-about-sales-db659a1fd853
ALPHALETE eComm growth hacking article: https://www.veeqo.com/blog/alphalete-ecommerce-teardown
Welcome to this week’s episode of A Table At The Back podcast.
To mix it up, we went a little technical-ish this time around and discussed the different types of user research we’ve done in order to help shape and inform messaging for products and services that we’ve worked on.
Research is such an important (and non-negotiable) part of creating powerful, useful, and consistent messaging that connects with your target audience, gets cut through and, ultimately, converts.
Some key resources mentioned in this episode:
* Qualie: https://qualie.com/
* Book: Steve Krug - Brain Surgery Made Easy
* Message Mining Template: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MizdjUBdzIkkneiNpDtzcKHTfE0bLwwQeATfzah2Crs/edit
* Book: Finding The Right Message
* Brain Camp: https://www.kirstyfanton/waitlist
* Existing Copy vs Research Findings: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Z5inv7AxCXre0_VdLj-fOd6Q_lqOgDd0ylQZi_J62DE/edit
Also mentioned in this episode:
* GigSuper: www.gigsuper.com.au
* What’s next for UX writers: https://t.co/2JyOzz0IMF?amp=1
* The user is drunk: https://theuserisdrunk.com/
* Word nerd app: https://erudito.io/
Episode 8 - Kirsty Fanton
Kirsty Fanton brought SO MANY laughs to our Table At The Back. You can come back and sit with us any time :)
Ex-clinical psychologist and university lecturer, Kirsty is one smart (and hilarious) cookie. She's taken her superpowers into the world of copywriting and forged a unique space for herself as a launch strategist who helps her clients successfully achieve six-figure launches. Plus, she runs her own course called Brain Camp – where she teaches her skills to other marketers.
Kirsty also gives good email: we spend a bit of time talking about her very popular email about taking up space as a woman in business, stepping into our man pants and getting what we want.
In this episode, we unpack:
- Kirsty's background and the parts she loves most about her career
- The processes she uses to help her clients launch
- The difference between the launch of an online course and a superannuation app
- How to harness masculine energy to make space for ourselves in business
- The viral sensation of Faceapp (version 2.0)
- And of course a few tangents along the way ;)
Enjoy this episode of A Table At The Back!
Here’s the links to the stuff we spoke about:
Kirsty’s website: https://www.kirstyfanton.com/
Brain Camp Waitlist https://www.kirstyfanton.com/waitlist
Never Regular (Branka's very own cafe!) – https://www.neverregular.com.au/
Russell Brand / Brene Brown podcast: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4Lfwf13k6AoDhrOuClU3Bx?si=tMKeUFuJSoG_Xmg6DXgRcg
Yo Aoife, you can totally sit with us!
This week we were honoured to chat with Aoife O'Connell of Yarnly – a chatbot developer with attitude!
This charismatic Irish ex-pat shared so much valuable content about:
- Her epic story and what led her to Yarnly
- Chatbots (what they are, how they work, why they are cool AF)
- How she maps out her chatbots and the type of talent she works with to bring them to life
- The importance of soft-skills in a digital world
- How Yarnly is using their mission and values for empowering women and parents to change the future
- The future of conversational marketing and voice user interfaces
- Her upcoming Build a Bot workshop in Australia
Here are the links to content and workshops we mentioned in the podcast episode:
- Get tickets to Aoife's upcoming Build a Bot workshop: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/2019-tickets-62295744248
- Free Customer Journey Map (MIRO) for anyone who wants to get started with CX: https://miro.com/templates/customer-journey-map/
- Invision article about product design hiring for soft skills: http://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/hiring-survey
We took another trip down memory lane this week and talked about how businesses used to use brand reps/influencer marketing to grow during the golden days of Instagram.
Most of these principles still apply today and we cover off what you can learn from how things use to be done and how you can apply those learnings today.
Four goals to consider when working with influencers:
1. Top level - there’s social proof.
• Big accounts.
• Pay for the post so you can get social proof (aka credibility) for your business.
• You’re paying for getting seen as a legit business rather than a garage project.
• This can be worth it because big names are connected to other big names and you become a trusted source.
2. There’s reach & brand awareness.
• Very similar to paying for social proof is paying for reach & brand awareness.
• Even accounts that are “only” in the tens of thousands can play a big part in helping you get reach and raise brand awareness.
• Show up in that person’s feed a few times and already your reach and brand awareness is stronger than paying for a cold advertising audience.
3. There’s content creation.
• This is a great option for time poor businesses.
• Unlike the two strategies we previously mentioned, this one doesn't need to involve accounts with big followings.
• What you're looking for here is content creation skills that are better than yours.
• The idea here is to offload the content creation work.
4. There are sales.
• Sales are a bi-product of all of the above + the quality of your product.
• Be careful tying yourself to sales as the end metric.
• You need to build trust with an influencer's audience, before they start buying from you in bulk.
Also mentioned in this episode:
• Sister Scout Studio - https://www.sisterscout.studio/
• The Shed Women - https://www.instagram.com/theshed_women/
• Story Match - https://www.storymatch.com.au/
• Paperform - https://paperform.co/
• Write On - https://writeon.io
You guys love hearing about UX + CX! And no wonder – it's taking the tech, startup and business world by storm.
While it may be a niche area to focus on, in this episode you'll hear about all the things customer and user experience actually covers. You might be surprised!
Some practical takeaways from this episode:
- Have someone do an audit of all current customer comms (what is going out, frequency, etc).
- Map it out in a Google sheet or even draw it all out as a storyboard on a whiteboard.
- ID content gaps or double ups.
- Look at the tone of the comms – is it conveying what you want to be portraying?
- Create a comms guide for consistency (not meant to be a straight-jacket!)
- Apply it to all remaining comms.
Mentioned in this episode:
* Sister Scout Studio - https://www.sisterscout.studio
* One Tiny Tribe sale - use code “EOFY19” for 20% off store wide until midnight Sunday (30/06/19) - www.onetinytribe.com
Wow! So excited to already have some reviews and feedback from you guys. Thank you! 🙏🏼 To everyone who has listened, reviewed, and subscribed - you are golden.
In this week’s episode we covered the amalgamation of mum life and business life. This episode got a little deep, emotionally, as any chat would over coffee at a table at the back. 😉
- Working on weekends
- Sleep training
- Starting a business while on maternity leave/having a break from the workforce
- How freelancing can give you the flexibility to start a family
- Using work to escape postnatal feelings
- Litmus testing clients & putting boundaries in place
- Why flexible working conditions are the way of the future
- The good thing about working as part of teams
Also mentioned in this episode:
- DaFont: https://www.dafont.com
- Marketing Study Lab: https://marketingstudylab.co.uk/why-customer-research-is-so-important-with-branka-injac-misic-cmo-of-gigsuper-episode-64/
- A Study Of 2.7 Million Startups Found The Ideal Age To Start A Business: https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/a-study-of-27-million-startups-found-ideal-age-to-start-a-business-and-its-much-older-than-you-think.html
- Boy Follows Universe: https://www.booktopia.com.au/boy-swallows-universe-trent-dalton/prod9781460753897.html
- Everything Is Fucked: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Everything-Is-F-cked-Audiobook
This week we take a trip back in time to the golden days of Instagram to talk about one aspect of how businesses used to grow using Instagram and what you can learn from it.
We cover off Instagram competitions, in particular:
- How they used to get set up
- Some things to think about in terms of rules & mechanics
- Why it used to grow numbers by the 1000s in 24hrs and doesn’t really anymore
- Some ideas on what to try today
Also mentioned in this episode:
- Sister Scout Studio GET MONEY SMART event: https://www.sisterscout.studio/scout-events//sisterscout-fireside-chat-about-money
- Girl Friday IP: https://www.girlfridayip.com
- Tyler J McCall: https://www.tylerjmccall.com
- Digital Deep Dive Podcast
- 9 Perfect Strangers: https://www.booktopia.com.au/nine-perfect-strangers-liane-moriarty/prod9781743534922.html
- Becoming: https://www.booktopia.com.au/becoming-michelle-obama/prod9780241334140.html
How fun! After some ideas, feedback, and exploration we’ve settled on a name for the podcast - yew!
And this week Laura laid out some UX writing fundamentals (from a biz perspective) and what you should know/consider if you’re thinking about entering the field or you’re already in, but trying to find your feet.
If you have any questions don’t forget you can reach out to either of us directly and we’ll be happy to chat - this stuff is our jam!
Resources were mentioned in this episode:
Laura’s FREE UX Writing course:
(OK, so this one wasn’t mentioned, but you should totally get your hands on it!)
Simple and Usable - Giles Colborne
Don’t Make Me Think - Steve Krug
Content Strategy - Kristina Halvorson
Digital marketing podcast worth listening to:
Digital Deep Dive - Luke Chapman & Lachlan Kirkwood
Marketing book worth reading:
Contagious (Why Things Catch On) - Jonah Beger
Welcome to our very first episode. How exciting! We’re super keen to chat to you about all things UX, CX, Comms, Marketing, and the mum/biz life balance. We wanna do this in a casual environment where you feel like you’re having a warm coffee (or tea) with us and you’re part of a raw, but insightful conversation. In this episode we go back to the beginning to give you a little background into who we are, what our individual journeys have looked like so far, and what we want to get out of this podcast. Hope you enjoy. x Laura & Branka