This week we feature Justin Little, Co-Founder and CTO at uHerrd. uHerrd is an engaging online poll search engine that aims to replace comment sections on websites with a more quick and natural suite of applets for Readers to share their opinions.
In this interview, you can read more about his work at uHerrd, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.
Your location: Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland.
Your favorite gadget: My MacBook Pro. It’s my main design and development tool. Also there is the portability factor if I need to attend an event of conference.
You start your day with: I get up at 7.30am to have a swim before breakfast. Helps clear my head and get straight into work mode a lot easier.
Your favorite time-saving trick: Always end a work day on having completed a task so you can easily start the next day without backtracking.
Your top 3 blogs you read daily: I browse Medium.com on a daily basis for general industry opinion pieces. Siliconrepublic.com covers Irish and international technology and business news so is a frequent go to site. I browse Thejournal.ie at lunch for general Irish news articles as it’s easy to just forget what is happening in the outside world when you are running a business.
A picture of your workstation:
Describe an average day at uHerrd?
In uHerrd we work with a fortnightly sprint setup using Trello with each task ordered by a due date and/or priority. I normally perform communications and social media tasks in the morning along with some design work. The afternoon will revolve around content work for any marketing campaigns that need to be scheduled the following week.
As my professional background is in design and development, I am constantly reading up on articles and trends around content marketing. We have our fair share of mistakes with sending out the wrong marketing message but most importantly we are listening to feedback.
As a Founder/Marketer what are some of your favorite productivity hacks?
I use an application on my MacBook called Sketch which allows me to easily design and resize my vector imagery to suit recommended image dimensions for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.
Mailchimp has quite a powerful email template design tool with an easy drag and drop editor tool. It saves quite a bit of time to design just 1 generic boilerplate template with your branding, social links, contact info etc. and then just duplicate that template for any marketing campaign and alter the body text or add additional imagery.
Be realistic with your workload and communicate with other founders if you cannot make a deadline. Rushed work will lead to lower quality output. It’s simple advice but agency life can get quite hectic!
Before even thinking about working on a landing page or infographic, sketch out your layout ideas with paper and pencil. This will help you with your thought process and also give you a feeling of progress.
As a person who is well-versed with online marketing/ inbound, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3–5 tools you use?
With my previous agency experience I have learned that email marketing is still of great importance to a company’s online marketing strategy. We use Mailchimp to manage general promotional emails plus a suite of scheduled onboarding emails for registered uHerrd users.
We perform competition analysis using a combination of Google Adwords and Google Analytics. From there we can curate our website and social content to target niche keywords in a bid to increase natural search. This process is always ongoing.
I find TweetDeck extremely useful for managing our scheduled tweets. The startup and technology industry has been easiest to communicate on this medium, especially publishers and bloggers who are the main target audience for uHerrd. Also you can create a ‘team’ in Twitter so a selection of company staff can tweet as uHerrd under their own Twitter account.
Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?
Upon first launching uHerrd earlier this year we have discovered people using the website in ways we didn’t imagine. Ideally readers would vote on a poll via our own Poll Search Engine that would have been posted by a blogger or publisher but readers started to create their own polls and link it to another publisher’s article. Compiling this user experience data along with the insights recorded using uHerrd polls, we are writing blog posts and social content to attract only bloggers and publishers about how readers are interacting with our opinion polls.
Each marketing message would convey interesting and relevant stats like how readers will interact with polls more than comment sections and how many additional search impressions a publisher will gain by using uHerrd.
What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?
We are in the process of creating a full on marketing campaign to run early next year but currently we have been focusing on a mix of online and offline marketing.
With online, we have promoted uHerrd with blogging groups, scheduled small social media campaigns on how uHerrd increases reader engagement, and contributed to online media pieces (like this one!).
Offline has been necessary for us as a startup to get our name out there. We have worked at events such as the Uprise Festival and Publish or Perish while also networked with people at technology and marketing conferences. We feel the most genuine feedback and interest is given face to face at this early stage of uHerrd’s life while we gain momentum.
Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?
Create original but relevant content. Content is the most important aspect of online marketing we have learned about over the recent months. It seems to be easy to write some content to fit your product but it’s worthwhile to spend some time to make it interesting.
It’s easy to reference data from other articles but remember that your own website and social channels also have analytical data that could add uniqueness to your own content.
It’s good practice to enforce a ‘reality check’ on yourself by attending online marketing workshops and conferences. It’s easier to discuss approaches or problems that you may be having in the online marketing space — moreso if you attend some workshops.
How do teams at uHerrd have fun at work / make work fun?
We are very busy working on uHerrd and at it’s difficult to inject fun into the day to day. That being said, we do enjoy meeting and interacting with people at events and conferences as we are outgoing people and we enjoy the feedback (both good and bad) about our company and service.
What I find energises me is creative design. I love to create imagery and iconography based on ideas I sketch down. I am slowly getting better at Vector based design and have added this into my repertoire of skills I contribute to uHerrd.
A big thanks to Justin for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out uHerrd.
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