Welcome to the first episode of Creator's Block of 2017! To kick off the new year, we brought Shelby Clarke (our amazing graphic designer) back to the recording studio to discuss a blog post she wrote some time ago: "7 Things a Graphic Designer Isn't." 

Not only does she make a lot of great points in the original article - seriously, go read it, if you haven't already - this post opens up a much larger discussion around the unspoken friction that often exists between marketers and the creatives that work with them. 

On the one hand, marketers have a clear vision or idea that they want to execute - but then a project they thought would be "simple" turns into something needlessly complex. Or the final product delivered is nowhere near what they wanted, and they don't know why or where things went wrong.

On the other hand, designers and content creators want to deliver the best product possible for those marketers - whether that be a logo or a blog post - but sometimes feel willfully misunderstood or treated like order takers, instead of the creative problem solvers they are.

So this week, we made it our mission to answer three questions: Why does this kind of dysfunction happen? What can you do to fix it? And finally, what big changes lay on the horizon for Creator's Block? Enjoy!

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Here at Quintain, we practice what we preach. "We eat our own dog food," you might say.

For instance, we spend an awful lot of time talking about personas and how incredibly important they are to marketing. They are so important that we start off every retainer engagement with clients by running persona interviews and speaking directly to their ideal customers.

Well, here's a fun fact: We do it for ourselves too.

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing the head of commercial for a biotech startup, which specializes in scientific wellness (behavior coaching based on your very own DNA), about some new (and long-standing) trends in the marketing leadership world.

But since her insights on generating revenue were so compelling, I knew I had to share them with all of you. Here's what she had to say.

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It seems like we blinked and another fruitful, exciting year at Quintain flashed before our eyes - and as we shared in the past, we had a lot to be thankful for in 2016. However, as we look ahead to 2017, we find ourselves prepping for the embrace of new ideas, strategies and opportunies.

(And we all know the best way to figure out where you want to go is to first reflect on where you've been.)

So, before we say goodbye to this year, we're taking this moment to share with you what our professional resolutions are for ourselves, as well as our advice to others looking to make the most of their upcoming marketing and sales goals in the coming year. Enjoy! 

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By now, we all know rockstar content is really what engages your visitors. It’s what makes those visitors turn into leads and conversions, with a little help from some search engine optimization. However, we also know that great content doesn’t just happen with the snap of your finger.

So, before you go gung-ho and spend hours on hours writing your awesome content, there are two things you should do: create a content inventory and perform a content audit.

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The Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content

Let's face it, there is a lot of content out there. How do you get yours to stand out? Simple, make it mind blowing.

42 pages full of ideas for creating awesome content that converts visitors into leads and leads into customers!

Salespeople have enough on their plates in their day-to-day activities without having to worry about their marketing team's content.

According to a 2011 study, less than half of a salesperson's time — only 41 percent — is spent actually selling over the phone or face to face, with the rest divided among lead generation, research, meetings and other activities.

In an ideal world, sales and marketing teams would operate in perfect harmony, each using the other's successes to improve their own performance. In the real world, however, sales teams are often plagued by marketing content problems that stem from miscommunication and misunderstandings, making them less capable and less effective at their jobs.

So where do these problems come from, and what can you do to fix them?

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Every business owner and marketer I know is somewhat obsessed with ranking at the top of Google's search engine results - and with good reason. Organic listings (the ones that are NOT the result of a paid ad) receive, on average, 90 percent of the clicks on Google's first page of search engine results and fewer than 10 percent of people ever go to the second page.

This means that showing up on page one as part of the organic results is critical if you want your business to be found online.

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One of the most common misconceptions about a website redesign project is that your work begins with an agency as soon as you make the decision that it's time for an online facelift. 

In reality, approaching the redesign of your website with that kind of mentality can be what ultimately makes the project a total disaster. 

So in the last episode of Creator's Block for 2016, Liz and I are verbally rolling up our sleeves and arming you with a step-by-step guide of everything you need to know (and do) once you decide it's time to take the leap with a new website. Because you'd be surprised how much needs to happen before you even start thinking about an agency partner.

Enjoy!

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As the owner of a full-funnel marketing and sales agency, I talk to a variety of companies in a wide range of industries. Through these coversations, I’ve found that many of them already make some effort to measure their financial metrics, such as the numbers of new sales they make each month, the dollar value of their sales, the gross profit on sales, and so on.

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