The Simple Test That Doubled Leads in One Week

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We’ve talked about the best practice of matching your offer and blog post topic as tightly as possible many times on the HubSpot Marketing Blog. But just in case you haven’t heard of this best practice before, I’ll give an example.

Let’s say you have a post explaining different types of commercial cooling systems that gets a steady amount of organic traffic each month. The best fit offer for this post would be a quiz to determine the right cooling system for your business, or a cooling systems pricing comparison sheet.

Because the offer closely aligns with what brought the visitor to your blog post in the first place — an interest in learning about commercial cooling systems — it’s natural for visitors to want to consume this additional content and convert on a lead form. On the other hand, an ebook on ventilation best practices probably wouldn’t convert traffic as well, since it’s not as well-aligned with the topic of the blog post.

A few years back, we did an audit of our highest organic traffic posts on the HubSpot Blog to see if our offers were as optimized for conversion as they could be. We found several areas to more tightly align blog post topic with offer topic, and saw CVRs climb. For example, conversions from this post increased considerably when we swapped a generic marketing offer for a press release template.

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The bottom of the post CTA

Fast forward to today. It had been a while since we took a look at those posts. After all, all of the optimization work that could be done had been done, right?

But then I started digging into the conversion rates of the offer landing pages themselves … and discovered a whole new gold mine of opportunity.

Here’s the quick and dirty of how I doubled leads from 50 of our top-performing blog posts in one week by analyzing landing page CVRs.

Gathering the Data

First, I created a massive spreadsheet that included data on:

  • Blog post traffic
  • Leads generated from blog posts (HubSpot customers, you can do this via attribution reports. Learn how here.)
  • Conversion rate of offer landing page

Here’s what that looked like (this snapshot features some of our worst-converting blog posts — clearly, there’s some work to be done):

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Blog data: URL, views, leads attributed, and CVR

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Separate tab with offer LP submission rate data

Then, I sorted by highest number of blog post views and highest number of leads generated, and started comparing to offer landing page CVR. This helped me prioritize my optimization efforts so I could see where the potential to move the needle was the greatest — i.e. an offer with a 70% submission rate but 800 monthly views wouldn’t be as good an opportunity to increase raw leads as one with a 45% submission rate and 15,000 monthly views.

The sweet spot was high blog post views + low number of leads generated + low landing page submission rate.

Auditing the Offers

Then, for the top 150 viewed blog posts, I manually audited and noted the URL of which offer LPs were being used. I found that some offers were tightly aligned to the topic of the blog posts while others were not. I also found that some of the offers we were directing visitors to were out of date — not the best experience.

Next up? Some VLOOKUP magic to match offer landing page submission rate to the blog posts that offer was being linked from. It quickly became clear that some of our best-performing blog posts were pointing to some of our worst-performing offers. I also spotted a few trends in subject matter among our lowest performers, such as social media, career development, and content creation.

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Finally, I went through our offers library and identified the content offers with the highest submission rates, and sorted them by topic category. These would be the replacements for the laggards.

The Results

After all this number crunching, I was able to identify 50 blog posts that represented our lowest-hanging fruit. I went through and swapped out these posts’ CTAs (or created new ones from scratch) for the most tightly-aligned offers with the highest submission rates.

The results were even better than I expected. After one week, these posts generated 100% more leads than average — even while post traffic was down 10%. This seemingly small tweak made a big impact on our leads.

We’ll be keeping an eye on how this pans out long-term. But in the meantime, here are a few takeaways and lessons learned I hope will be as valuable for your team as they were for ours:

  • When deciding what offer to pair with what blog post, don’t neglect to check the submission rate of the offer landing page. As we found, this is an easy way to quickly increase the number of leads you’re generating from your best-performing blog posts — especially if you have multiple offers on the same or similar topics.
  • Regularly audit your offers to ensure the content isn’t out of date. Outdated content will create a negative visitor experience and hurt your conversion rate.
  • Regularly audit the conversion paths of your top blog posts. Set aside time for optimization every few months so you can ensure you’re using your content to generate the most possible leads. Optimization isn’t a one-and-done thing.

Have you ever done a similar optimization project? Comment below with your best experiments and hacks to increase conversion rate below (and hey, we might even feature your experiment on our blog).

Intro to Lead Gen

How to Keep Your Computer’s Desktop Clean & Organized: 7 Helpful Tips

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If you fell behind on your spring cleaning this year, it’s okay — so did I. I haven’t put away my winter coats, I haven’t unpacked all of my moving boxes, and I haven’t cleaned my computer’s desktop lately.

You know what I’m talking about — all those forgotten documents and miscellaneous screenshots that have been slowly taking over our screens for weeks — and sometimes, even months.

Hoarding files on your desktop not only makes it challenging to locate what you need when you need it, but it can also compromise the speed of your computer. Download our complete guide here for more tips on improving your productivity.

To help you keep your desktop tidy, we’ve come up with a few helpful tips. From creating a folder system, to trying out a new desktop design, these suggestions are designed to help you unbury yourself and stay productive in the process.

7 Computer Desktop Organizing Tips

1) Create a folder system.

Be honest: How many files do you have on your desktop right now? 10? 20? 100? Have you lost count? If your desktop looks anything like the image below, you may want to start by moving everything into one folder to clear the air.

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Source: Gizmodo

To create a new folder on a Mac, right-click on your desktop and select New Folder from the menu. The folder will appear on your desktop instantly. To change the folder’s name, double-click on “untitled folder,” and you’ll be able to edit a text box with a new name.

To create new folders in Windows, right-click on your desktop and select New > Folder from the menu. To rename the folder, click on it, enter a new name, and then press Enter.

Once you have your folders created, you can begin to divvy up your files. How you choose to organize your folder system will be dependent on your specific role. For example, I frequently write blog posts that contain a lot of visual examples. To simplify the process and keep a record of what I’ve included in the past, I’ve created two folders: Current Examples and Example Archive.

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When I’m rounding up examples for a new post from the web, I drop them in the Current Examples folder. This way, I can easily locate them when I go to write the post. Once the post is prepped and scheduled, I move the images to the Example Archive folder to make room for my next post.

2) Choose a naming convention for your files.

One of my biggest worries when I implemented a folder system was that it would be too difficult to find my files once I got organized — ironic, right?

But between documents, screenshots, and other files for the multiple blog posts I work on each week, there are a lot of different items I’m dropping into folders that can get lost in the shuffle. That’s why I started using a naming convention to organize my files, so I could quickly find them once they were organized into folders.

Choose a naming convention for types of files, topics, projects, or any other way that makes it easy for you to search for them. For example, when I’m creating files for HubSpot Marketing Blog posts, I use this naming convention:

  • MKTG-Draft-OrganizeDesktop
  • MKTG-Screenshot-OrganizeDesktop
  • MKTG-GIF-OrganizeDesktop

This way, it’s easy for me to find files by typing Command + F (Mac) or Control + F (Windows) and typing in the naming convention to narrow your search:

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This way, I don’t have to click into my perfectly organized, but likely very full, folders to find exactly what I need. Instead, I can simply search for and immediately find files by using my naming convention.

3) Experiment with a sectioned wallpaper.

Want to take your folder organization a step further?

While your desktop wallpaper is a great place for you to display a photo of your dog or latest vacation, there are also a ton of wallpaper options available that can actually help you stay organized. These wallpaper designs — in combination with your folder system — make it easy to corral specific sections of your work. (It’s kind of like using iPhone folders … but for your desktop.)

To get you started, we’ve included a few options to choose from below.

MoritzFineDesigns Yellow Wallpaper

[Download here via Moritz Fine Designs]

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[Download here via Lifehacker]

MoritzFineDesigns Chalkboard Wallpaper

[Download here via Moritz Fine Designs]

Lifehacker Organized Wallpaper Design

[Download here via Lifehacker]

4) Use a Chrome extension to pre-organize your screenshots.

Screenshots are one of the biggest contributors to desktop clutter. When you capture a screenshot on a Mac (Command + Shift + 3) or PC (Alt + Print Screen), the image saves directly to your desktop. And if screenshotting is something you find yourself doing a lot, you’ll notice that it doesn’t take very long for it to make a mess of things.

To avoid having your screenshots automatically save to your desktop, you can use a screen capture tool such as the Awesome Screenshot extension for Google Chrome. Not only does this tool provide you with more advanced screen capture capabilities — annotations, selective capture, delayed capture, etc. — but it also aims to simplify the way you store your shots.

With Awesome Screenshot, you have the option to manually choose where you’d like to save your file, or you can create an account where you can save files to specific projects.

The latter will require you to sign up for a free account, but here’s how it works:

  1. Capture an image by clicking the extension and selecting an option from the menu.Capturing a Screenshot on Awesome Screenshot
  2. Crop and annotate your screenshot as you see fit, and then hit Done.Awesome Screenshot Annotation
  3. Select your desired option for saving from the menu on the right. If you’d like to save the image to a project’s folder on Awesome Screenshot, select Save on Awesome Screenshot at the top.Awesome Screenshot Save
  4. Insert a name for your file and identify which project you’d like to save it to by selecting an option from the menu. To save it, hit Upload.Awesome Screenshot Saving Option
  5. To access your file at any time, visit the appropriate project folder in your account dashboard. Awesome Screenshot Project Library
  6. When you add screenshots to a project folder, you can then collaborate with other members of your team by sharing the folder, adding point-specific comments, further annotations, etc.Awesome_Screenshot_Project_Commenting.png

5) Get inspired by a motivational wallpaper.

Not a fan of the sectioned off wallpaper? No worries. There are other wallpaper options that can give you the motivation to stay organized.

According to psychologist and motivation expert Jonathan Fader, inspirational or motivational messages often serve as a powerful incentive for us to try harder. “There’s a little bit of implicit coaching that’s happening when you’re reading it. It’s building that self-efficacy in that kind of dialogue that you’re having with yourself,” he explains.

So if you’re looking for a little coaching to help you stay organized, adding an inspirational message to your desktop can serve as a friendly, daily reminder.

Want to create your own motivational wallpaper? Follow the instructions below to learn how using Canva.

  1. Click on “Use custom dimensions” in the top right-hand corner and add your dimensions. Some of the most common desktop wallpaper resolutions are: 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, and 1920 x 1080.Canva_Custom_Dimensions.png
  2. To add a background image, click on Elements > Photos. You can also choose a plain color or pattern background by selecting Background.Canva_Elements_and_Photos.png
  3. Select a photo and adjust the size using the resizing points around it. Canva_Photo_Background.png
  4. To add text, click on Text and choose a heading or template from the options listed. Adjust the template text by adding your quote of choice. (I chose a quote from Barbara Hemphill on clutter.)Adding_Text_to_Canva.png
  5. To save your creation, click on the Download button in the top right-hand corner and select Image: high quality (PNG).Download_Your_Desktop.png

To set this image as your wallpaper on a Mac or Windows computer, refer to the following tutorials:

6) Invest in a storage solution.

If you’re constantly dealing with managing and organizing a lot of files, you may want to invest in an application like Dropbox to better manage your assets.

Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage and file synchronization. Users can create a folder on their computers that syncs with the service, making it easy to access the content no matter what device you’re using. Rather than dragging everything onto your desktop, simply store it in Dropbox where you can quickly and easily search for it whenever you need it.

You can also share folders with other users to create a central space for all of your shared files. This helps to prevent any bottlenecking that might occur when others are forced to wait on you to locate a specific file.

Clean desktop. Organized files. It’s a win-win for everyone.

7) Schedule a weekly or monthly cleaning.

As shown by the example we used back in the first tip, it’s easy for your desktop to get kind of, well … scary.

To ensure that you’re keeping up with desktop maintenance on a regular basis, set a recurring event on your calendar to remind you to get rid of anything unnecessary. This can be a weekly or monthly event, depending on how much damage you typically do.

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How do you organize your desktop for optimal productivity? Share with us in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Important Lead Generation Lessons Learned from Over 1/4 Million SlideShare Views

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According to DMR Stats, SlideShare users add more than 400,000 new presentations per month. The site receives 159 million page views per month, and has more than 70 million users.

And it’s one of the most underutilized lead generation tools we marketers have in our quiver.

Sure, it has a paid lead capture form, but even without it, organic calls-to-action (CTA) work beautifully. Plus, with the embed feature, you presentations are highly portable and easily placed in blog posts, bylines, and on social media.

Out of the 30-plus decks I’ve posted, four of them have been featured on the SlideShare homepage. That helps drive a considerable amount of visibility and referral traffic. While I can’t tell you exactly how to get featured there, I do have a few ideas.

The icing on the cake, perhaps, is that incoming traffic from a CTA slide can convert at incredible rates — much higher than any other social media platform. Here are some analytics from a new deck after just a few days live:

Here are the lessons learned in more detail:

Always end with a top to mid-funnel CTA slide.

As content marketers it is our duty to provide our content consumers with what to do next. If someone is going to take the time to read, watch or listen to our content we owe them the next step. As a result, it is absolutely prudent to include a top to mid-funnel CTA at the end of the presentation.

There’s a reason to put it at the end, too, but more on that shortly.

Also know that the lower the CTA is in the funnel, the less conversions you’re going to get. Having a CTA to sign up for a free demo will get far less action than offering up an ebook.

Above are examples of what CTA slides can look like. All but the last CTA are just JPGs so the buttons don’t work. You’ll want to make sure your buttons do. If you want more examples feel free to check out my SlideShare account. I’ve retired some of the really old stuff, but there are plenty of goodies still in there.

SlideShare referral traffic has more inherent trust in you.

How would I know this? Easy, look at the conversion rates below. These are Relevance.com conversion rates since November of 2012 for social media channels. Meaning – if someone clicked on any link to our website on social media this was the percentage of people that converted on a landing page.

Here’s the thing — If someone is going to trudge through 30, 50, 100 slides and get to the end, they clearly liked the content and found it helpful. Otherwise, they would jump ship before the end, never see the CTA, and never become referral traffic.

I’ve experimented with placing CTA slides in the middle of decks and they don’t perform nearly as well as the ones at the end. Besides, you want to give the content consumer a chance to get through the deck before they click away. They might not trust you enough to click through to your landing page yet, let alone fill out your form.

Slide embeds on bylines and guest posts on popular sites get a ton of views.

Below is a chart of all of the traffic sources to my presentations. Sometimes these presentations are from speaking appearances, but sometimes I’ll create one just for a post. There’s a reason why almost 75% of the traffic comes from embeds and referral sources. Anytime I get the chance to write for HuffPo, Guardian, Moz, Social Media Today, etc. I try to include an embed of a presentation.

This serves three purposes — more visibility, a baked-in CTA (many of the sites I write for don’t like overtly written CTAs, but have no issues with one in a deck), and the slide view count is a way to monitor how many people are reading the article.

With the embedded deck I can go back to SlideShare and get a rough estimate as to how many people read the article I wrote on Moz without having to ask them how many views it got. While Moz does indeed show 30 days of analytics via a link below the comments section, SlideShare gives a lifetime view count.

SlideShare will feature your deck on its homepage if it’s good.

Here’s where I have to rely on my gut since I don’t know exactly how SlideShare determines which decks are considered to be featured on the homepage or in a category. Since I’ve had four decks featured on the homepage and four more featured in the marketing category I have a hunch.

If you can get your deck embedded on a highly traveled website within 24 or 48 hours of uploading someone at SlideShare takes notice of its popularity. I believe it’s at this point they determine whether or not to feature it in a category or the homepage. This has held true with all of my decks that have been featured.

If SlideShare isn’t a channel you use to drive leads, I highly recommend you make it one. The numbers don’t lie — it’s arguably the most efficient social media lead generation tool on the Internet. Making a presentation can be a lot of work, but if you repurpose it well and get it out there it can sure be worth the effort.

Now let’s see what I can learn in the next quarter million views …

Editor’s Note: a version of this post first appeared on Inbound.org, HubSpot’s community for inbound marketers. 

HubSp

How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable: 7 Tips for Having More Productive Discussions

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George S. Patton once said: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

In business, stirring the proverbial pot can be a good thing. And while negotiating these matters can be challenging — especially when they involve our teammates or bosses — differences in opinion will often lead to progress. 

The most important thing to remember is that there is a big difference between healthy, productive disagreements and heated arguments. In order for two parties to come to a mutually beneficial agreement, there has to be a level of professionalism and respect. Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your productivity at work.

While navigating this territory can feel like a slippery slope, we’ve defined a few tips below to help you speak your mind, without letting the situation spiral out of control.

How to Disagree (Without Being Disagreeable)

1) Be mindful of your tone.

Research has found that the sound of a person’s voice has a lot to do with how he or she is perceived. In fact, the sound of a speaker’s voice matters twice as much as their message, according to a study of 120 executives’ speeches.

So if you’re raising your voice during a disagreement, will it negatively impact the delivery of your message? Or will it help you command attention?

MIT research fellow, Michael Schrage, suggests that your tone is often dependent on the situation, as well as the person you’re disagreeing with.

“If you’re yelling because humiliating and demeaning people is part of who you are, you’ve got bigger professional issues than your decibel level,” he explains. “But if raising your voice because you care is part of who you are as a person and communicator, your employees should have the courtesy and professionalism to respect that.”

The lesson? Be in control of your own voice. If you feel yourself becoming agitated, take a moment to pause and think about the situation before choosing to raise your voice.

2) Don’t use “you” statements.

Falling back on “you” statements when you’re disagreeing with someone can easily be perceived as combative. Just look at the statements below to see what I mean.

“You always ask me to complete a last-minute assignment when you know that I already have my hands full” sounds more argumentative than, “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of work on my plate. Is there anyone else that can take that on?”

Notice the difference?

Let’s look at a few more:

  • “You never fact-check your reports before sending them in,” vs. “I noticed a few errors in your last report. Would it help if I showed you my approach for fact-checking?”
  • “You always forget to attach documents when you send an email,” vs. “I had trouble locating the document you referenced in the email, mind sending it again?”
  • “You should pay more attention to what’s being said in the meetings,” vs. “I find it helpful to take notes during meetings to make sure I don’t miss anything.”

“Most people don’t like being judged or told what to do, and when we use ‘you’ language plus directives, it’s easy to arouse in others feelings of resentment and defensiveness,” explains professional communication specialist, Preston Ni.

While there are situations where someone should be held accountable for their actions, leaving “you” statements out of small disagreements can help to ensure things don’t escalate into an argument. 

3) Avoid filler words or hesitant phrases.

Filler words like “um,” “ah,” and “uh” tend to signal doubt. These disruptions can instantly take away from the credibility of your claim, and also serve as a distraction for those listening. 

Researchers John Sparks and Charles Areni set out to prove the influence of these hesitations by asking 118 undergraduate students to read a transcript of a testimonial about a scanner. One version of the testimonial used hesitations such as “I mean” and “um,” and the other was fluid with no filler words. The results of the study revealed that when hesitant language was used, it was more difficult to convince the listener that the scanner was worth buying — even when it was positioned as a better, lower priced scanner. 

Point being, it’s important to be aware of these placeholders — and limit the use of them during disagreements. One way to work these fillers out of your speech? Try wearing an elastic band around your wrist and shifting the elastic to your other wrist any time you catch yourself using “um” or “uh.” 

4) Do your research.

To make a strong case against your opposition, it’s important that you do your research. 

Let’s say, for example, that you and your team are planning your marketing strategy for the quarter. Your boss is set on keeping up with your direct mail and print efforts, but you think it’s time that the business head in a new direction — an inbound direction. 

Rather than base your suggestions on what you think could happen if you shifted gears, start the conversation with a data-backed assessment of why the current strategy isn’t working and what you can do today, next month, or next quarter to fix it. 

But don’t just throw around numbers. “Tie data like this into the overall vision and goals of the business,” explains John Bonini, Growth Director at Litmus. “A statistic in and of itself isn’t all that impressive. If you’re looking to resonate with your more traditional boss, provide context.”

This type of strategic preparation will make it difficult for others to poke holes in your assessment. It will also help to communicate that you’re passionate about your resistance and that you’re not just disagreeing to disagree. 

5) Don’t get personal. 

When a disagreement gets heated, it’s easy for people to call upon “low blows.” These personal attacks are often used as an intimidation tactic or defense mechanism, but that doesn’t make them appropriate in business situations — or any situation for that matter. 

When disagreeing with someone, your claims should be based on the outcome over that you are debating, not on what the other person has done (or not done) in the past. 

“Try to make sure the conversation stays focused on facts, not personalities,” management professor Nate Bennett told QSR. “And if the other person gets personal, remember that you are not your job.”

“It’s a lot easier to embrace criticism of your work when you don’t let your work define who you are,” insists Jeff Atwood, co-founder of Stack Exchange and Discourse. “Even if someone says something out of line, avoid the itch to retaliate by keeping this notion in mind. Instead, refocus the discussion back to the subject matter at hand.”

6) Be mindful of your body language.

When communicating disagreement, it’s important to be aware of our non-verbal body language. You might be saying one thing, but if your gestures or facial expressions suggest another, it’s easy to rub someone the wrong way. 

“Avoid putting up a barrier like a hand, your bag, or whatever else you have between yourself and the person with whom you are speaking,” urges former U.S. Army interrogator and body language expert Greg Hartley

If you want to disagree politely, try raising your eyebrows slightly to convey receptivity, or smile and nod along while others are speaking. This way, when it’s your turn to talk, those around you will feel that you’ve actually listened to their take on things.

7) Know your non-negotiables. 

When you disagree with someone or something, there’s no guarantee that it’s going to be well received. In fact, often times, it probably won’t be. But then what?

In an effort to disagree respectfully, you’ll need to learn how to compromise. Aside from the obvious differences, business relationships are a lot like any other relationship we share with someone — even a significant other. 

“Lots of happy couples have differences in relationships — the trick is to learn which ones are more important to you than the relationship,” explains relationship expert April Masini.

That said, go into every disagreement knowing your non-negotiables — things that you absolutely aren’t willing to compromise on. While this approach may vary depending on the exact situation, it will often make it easier for you to prioritize what matters and what you’re willing to reconsider. At the end of the day, it’s all about give and take.

8) Assume best intent.

Here at HubSpot, our Chief People Officer, Katie Burke, has a great guiding principle: Assume best intent.

Taking a page out of Pepsico Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi’s book, Burke believes in the importance of coming into discussions, meetings, and relationships assuming the best in your fellow colleagues, friends, and family members. As Nooyi puts it:

When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed … You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.'”

If you know you’re headed into a conversation, a meeting, or an email exchange where you might disagree with someone, pause before reacting immediately. Instead, take a moment to assume the best of the people around you. For however strongly you feel about your position, the other person you’re engaging with does as well, and working together from a place of mutual respect and kindness will ensure better results — and relationships.

9) Know when to take a break.

In many cases, a disagreement or challenge won’t be solved in a matter of one email chain or one 30-minute meeting. It might take several meetings, email follow-ups, or looping in other people to get to the bottom of a contentious problem or a bigger challenge.

In these cases, it’s important to know when to step away from the disagreement, regroup, and press pause. We suggest the Pomodoro technique and keeping meetings to 25 minutes and under — any longer, and participants should take at least a five-minute break to regroup and decompress.

Learn to recognize when you’re reaching a point to stop your disagreement — especially if the matter at hand doesn’t need to be resolved all in one day. Recognize breaking points in your own behavior — such as negative body language and emotional impulse reactions — and suggest taking a break. This will help the conversation stay more positive and more productive in the long run.

What are your top tips for disagreeing in the workplace? Share them with us below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Side Projects: How to Start (and Finish) One

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It might be an unpopular opinion, but I do believe that having tons of great ideas isn’t always a good thing.

There just isn’t enough time in a single day to tackle all of them — let alone while also doing your day job. So how do you choose just one — and once you do, how do you make time to work on it, and see it through to the end?

That, my friends, is why we get search results like these:

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We get it: Finishing a side project is really, really hard. After all, when you put in long days or weeks at work, the last thing you want to do is, well, more work — even if you have a remarkable idea. New Call-to-action

But it’s not impossible. In fact, with a few changes to your outlook and approach to your side project, it might actually be what you had originally imagined — fun. That’s why we compiled this list of tips to complete those side projects that you’re determined to see through to the end.

6 Tips to Start (and Finish) a Side Project

1) Make sure the novelty isn’t going to wear off.

Many moons ago, I was having a career chat with my then-editor about some business ideas, when she introduced me to my favorite term: “shiny object syndrome.” I use it to describe my tendency to think of a great idea, jump into it with full force and excitement, and after a month or two … lose interest.

From what I’ve observed, it’s a common phenomenon among creative people, which makes it that much more difficult to actually finish a side project before you think of another one that’s, well, “shinier.” So to prevent that, we’ve established a few steps to follow:

  1. Make sure you’re really excited about the idea — really excited.
  2. Give it 10 days, and see if you’re still excited. If you are, proceed to the next step.
  3. Acknowledge just how difficult this project will be. How much time will it require? Are you actually going to be so excited about it that you still want to give it your attention after a terrible day at work?
  4. Give it a trial run. For one work week, schedule an hour each night to do research on the project.

If your responses to each step are pretty much affirmative, then that’s a good sign. Proceed — but not without caution.

2) Be respectful of your employer’s time.

Sometimes, your employer might encourage you to execute a side project on the company’s behalf. It might be an experiment with new types of blog content, or starting a branded podcast. But never forget about your “day job” — you know, the thing you were hired to do because of its ultimate impact on the product and customer.

In other words, even if the side project is something your manager signed off on, be respectful of the company’s time and resources. Here at HubSpot, we approach everything we do with a general formula:

customer > team > individual

If your instincts tell you that you might be neglecting your “normal” work for the sake of your side project, they’re probably right — and that can have a negative impact on both your team and the company. Until you can provide evidence that your side project will have equal or greater impact, always give priority to the job you were hired to do. After all, it’s called a side project because it’s something you do on the side.

If the project isn’t being carried out on behalf of your employer, then it’s best not to give it much, if any of your attention during work hours. Many times, employees are required to sign documents agreeing not to use company resources — like computers or other supplies — to work on anything other than the work they were hired to do, so it’s better to be safe than sorry, and work on your project during your own time.

3) Wave your “nights and weekends” white flag of surrender.

If you really want to see your side project through to the end, be prepared to lose the vast majority of your nights and weekends to it. Of course, watching another episode of “Orange Is the New Black” might be easier and more enjoyable — in the moment. But is it going to lead to something that’s ultimately fulfilling in the long run? Probably not. Sorry, pal, but step away from the Netflix.

But even that might not be enough, and you might have to treat your nights-and-weekends dedication the same way that you would treat anything with longer-term benefits, like a healthier lifestyle, or saving to buy a house.

“If you’re planning to work on your side project ‘whenever you get a chance’,” says Dmitry Shamis, HubSpot’s senior manager of web development, “you’ll never touch it.”

It might mean that you have to stay up later or skip happy hour, but build time spent on your side project into your routine. If you go to the gym after work, schedule an hour after you get home and make dinner to work on it. Or maybe you’re an early bird — I am, and I’ll be the first to admit that the hour I spend each morning drinking coffee and scrolling through Instagram could probably be spent more productively.

In any case, make your side project part of your day-to-day activities. It’ll feel less like a burden, and more like something that you just naturally do.

4) Tell other people about it.

A few years ago, researchers at Dominican University conducted a study to see if writing down goals or sharing them with a friend correlated with a higher rate of meeting them. In short — it did.

side projects goals.png Source: Sid Savara

Notice how the groups that wrote their goals down and committed them to a friend outperformed on accomplishing them, compared to the groups with unwritten goals. Putting our ideas on the record, even if just by writing them in a notebook, gives them life, and makes us that much more likely to follow through on them. Plus, by telling a friend, you’ll avoid those awkward moments of stammering for a response when she asks you how your project is going.

“Hold yourself accountable by telling other people about your project,” says HubSpot ‎Senior Marketing Manager Lindsay Kolowich. “Better yet, tell other people about the smaller parts of it you’ve vowed to complete by a certain time. I always find a little external pressure to be a helpful motivator.”

5) Join an industry community.

Depending on the category your project falls under, there’s likely an online community or Meetup group for it. Let’s say I wanted to find a meetup where I could talk about an SEO side project. Even with this fairly narrow search criteria, I still managed to find three relevant groups:

side projects meetup.png

Much of this goes back to the idea of accountability through others. And by sharing your side project with a community of others who are interested in the same topic, not only are you getting the motivation of external pressure that Kolowich mentioned — you’re also improving your chances of getting objective insights and feedback on your ideas.

6) Reward yourself for progress.

Finally, if you’ve followed the above five steps, it’s okay to independently recognize your own hard work. External praise is great, but sometimes, it’s nice to reward yourself for your accomplishments.

“I pay myself in cookies and mozzarella sticks for completed tasks,” says Niti Shah, a senior growth marketing manager at HubSpot.

Hey — whatever it takes.

Whether it’s a nap or a special treat, sticking to your resolve to see a side project through to the end deserves recognition.

What are some of the best ways you’ve found to finish a side project? Let us know in the comments.

Productivity Guide

The Greatest Marketing Growth Hack of All Time (Hint: Cupcakes)

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A few years ago my team at RJMetrics was launching a short survey over the holidays. It’s a tough time of the year to get attention, especially when you’re a B2B SaaS company. At some point, someone suggested a cupcake giveaway.

So we did.

Ten participants were randomly chosen to receive a dozen cupcakes, and people LOVED it.

  • They sent email responses to the request saying they hoped they got the cupcakes.
  • They tweeted delighted responses about the campaign.
  • When we delivered them, they tweeted pictures of them and their co-workers enjoying the cupcakes.

The response to the cupcake campaign was completely out of proportion to the $50 cost to us.

So we decided to make cupcakes a bigger part of some other marketing initiatives. Prior to this first cupcake encounter, we would use iPads as an incentive to promote our webinars. You know, that post-registration page that says “Tell your friends you’re joining us for a chance to win!” We decided to scrap the iPad in lieu of cupcakes…and our conversion rate skyrocketed.

No joke.

People would rather receive a dozen cupcakes than an iPad.

And inevitably we would ship the cupcakes and see a cupcake photo plus a tweet like: “RJMetrics has the best webinars, and you might win cupcakes!”

So there it is, the greatest marketing growth hack of all time. The next time you’re trying to motivate people to do something for you, offer the chance to win some cupcakes.

The Psychology of Cupcakes

Now, let’s talk a little bit about what’s happening here. There are a few good theories. I first shared a version of this post over on ThinkGrowth.org and the responses there aligned pretty closely to what I hear whenever I share this story. 

Cupcakes seem like a more achievable prize.

In the case of the survey, the odds of winning cupcakes were actually better than the odds of winning an iPad — we were choosing 10 winners instead of 1. But for webinars, the odds were exactly the same — only 1 winner. Still, there’s something about a dozen cupcakes that just seems more possible.

One commenter summed it up perfectly:

The Lake Wobegon Effect

As in Lake Wobegon of Prairie Home CompanionThis theory was presented by HubSpot’s co-founder and CTO, Dharmesh Shah and is a variation on cupcakes seeming more achievable, but with a little more detail on the psychology of why they feel more achievable:

Valuing Experiences Over Things

Another theory on why this is so effective is that people actually want the experience of winning cupcakes more than they want the experience of winning an iPad. Winning an iPad is kind of a lonely experience, tell your co-workers and they’ll probably feel bored or jealous.

But winning cupcakes? That’s a community experience. You can gather your co-workers around to share in your success, eat cupcakes together, take a picture. And maybe on some sub-conscious level we all just want that feeling of community more than we want an iPad.

My hunch is that if you ask someone outright, they will always tell you they would prefer to win an iPad, but actual behavior reveals we might want something a little more meaningful.

The Element of Surprise

This is a less popular theory, but personally, I think it carries a lot of weight. In marketing, all strategies erode over time. Andrew Chen calls this “The Law of Shitty Click-Throughs.” He uses the example of the internet’s first banner ad: 

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 11.14.22 AM.png

But by 2011, Facebook ads were converting at .05%.

And we see this play out again and again in marketing. As more businesses adopt a tactic, the better people become at tuning it out, and the effectiveness of that tactic wears off:

We’re just not used to seeing cupcakes show up in marketing. It surprises us, forces us to pause and pay attention. And attention, after all, is what marketers are always chasing.

If the surprise theory is true, this holds implications beyond cupcakes. It means there’s an enormous edge given to marketers who can navigate the balance of being familiar enough that people feel comfortable, but surprising enough that people actually pay attention.

I’ve recently fallen in love with CBInsights newsletter. The author of the newsletter and founder of the company, Anand Sanwal, has an amazing sense of humor and I’ve found myself hooked on his storylines. Here’s one of this latest newsletters:

How many business communications lead with “I love you”? Or talk about bromances in a way that makes you want to keep reading?

And you actually want to read the copy because Anand is constantly dropping little remarks like “a not very useful graph” that are so refreshingly honest about the things marketers are often trying to hype. I mean this graph is interesting, but he’s right, it’s not very useful 😂

And of course, this is all held together by a core of content that is top-notch commentary on the tech industry.

Why do I love this newsletter so much? Yes, it’s providing incredibly useful information, but I’m constantly surprised and delighted by what Anand is writing. I read what he’s writing because it’s different from how everyone talks about similar things.

He’s not giving away cupcakes, but there’s still power in the art of surprise.

Now it’s your turn.

After I published this post on ThinkGrowth.org I heard from two marketers who were already implementing the cupcake test. So, the time to try this strategy is now. It won’t be crazy effective for too long!

But seriously, cupcakes or no cupcakes, keep your eye out for opportunities to share a little joy with your audience. We’re all busy and distracted and overloaded with information. Ask yourself how you can add just a little more humanity to your marketing, how you can create moments for your audience to connect with other humans, how you can make them pause and maybe … just maybe … how you can even make them smile.

Editor’s Note: This post was adapted for the Marketing Blog from ThinkGrowth.org, HubSpot’s Medium publication. You can check out the original version here

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How to Make an iPhone Video: A Step-by-Step Guide

film-videos-iphone-compressed.jpg

You might know that video is important, that your audience wants to see it, and you might even want to make it a part of your strategy. But you’re still asking the big question:

“How?”

If you aren’t producing video content because you don’t think you have the ability, time, or resources to do it, we have some good news: Your answer to the video content question could be sitting in your pants pocket. (Hint: It’s your iPhone.)New Call-to-action

You or a member of your team most likely already owns a great video camera — one that’s easier to use than a traditional, high-tech setup. In this post, we’ll walk you through our tips and best practices for filming high-quality marketing and social media videos with your handy iPhone and a just a few other tools. And if you don’t have time to read them all, we’ve demonstrated how to do it in the video below.

P.S. We filmed it with an iPhone.

How to Shoot Videos with an iPhone

1) Find a quiet place to film.

This might seem obvious, but if you’re filming at work or out in public, the sight of a phone might not tip people off to keep the volume down if they’re nearby. If possible, book a conference space, hang signs telling people to steer clear of where you’re shooting, or bring a coworker with you to block off the area where you plan to film.

2) Make sure your iPhone has enough storage space.

Have you ever experienced the dreaded moment when you were unable to capture a video because you got this pop-up notification?

cannot-record-video.png

If this notification pops up while you’re filming a video, your phone will stop recording, and you’ll have to start over. To prevent this, make sure you have enough space before pressing “record.” Delete as many unnecessary files and apps as you can, and if needed, purchase iCloud storage for files to free up more space on your device itself.

To do this, navigate to “Settings,” select “General,” “Storage & iCloud Usage,” and tap “Manage Storage” to buy more space for as little as $0.99 per month.

icloud-manage-storage-1-1.png

icloud-storage-plan-2-1.png

3) Turn off notifications.

Another distracting iPhone feature that could interrupt your filming is how frequently your device receives notifications. Before you start filming, set your iPhone to Do Not Disturb mode to keep notifications going in the background so you can film uninterrupted.

Swipe up on your phone and tap the crescent moon icon to put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode, and tap it again when you’re done to return your phone to normal settings.

DND-2.pngDND-1.png

Pro tip: Do Not Disturb is a great way to watch YouTube videos, play games, and sleep uninterrupted, too.

4) Use a tripod.

I don’t care how steady you think your hands are — they probably aren’t steady enough to film a video. 

Now, it’s one thing if you’re scrappily putting together a Snapchat Story, but if you’re filming a video for your brand — especially one that will live permanently on your blog, YouTube channel, or other social media assets — you’ll need the help of a tripod to keep the video steady and clear.

You can purchase full tripods, or smaller versions for your desk on Amazon, at Best Buy, or other vendors.

5) Light your video.

This point is especially important if you’re filming in an office building with lots of overhead lighting. You don’t need to buy anything fancy for this step — in fact, our friends at Wistia put together this guide to a DIY lighting setup. You need enough light to give the impression of natural light, which means it’s coming from a variety of different light sources, and not just directly overhead. 

If you don’t have the time or budget to purchase a lighting setup, find a room or location with plenty of natural light — and remember to turn off the overhead lights — to keep your video subject looking good.

6) Use a microphone.

Make sure you use some sort of microphone to minimize the impact of distracting ambient noise. The expression “the silence is deafening” is real — especially when it comes to video production. 

You don’t need a fancy microphone and boom setup like in the movies, although those would be a great investment to make if you plan to film a lot of videos. You can use something as simple as a microphone that plugs into your iPhone’s headphone input to get great audio for your videos — and you can buy one here.

7) Film horizontally.

When people view videos on mobile devices, the video automatically rotates according to the orientation of the device it’s being viewed on. So, it makes more sense to film horizontally so your video can be viewed if the user rotates his or her phone, or is watching on a large tablet or computer screen. If you film vertically and the viewer’s screen is rotated, the video will appear more constricted.

There are exceptions to this, of course — if you’re filming a video specifically for Snapchat or Instagram, for example, you should film your video vertically on your iPhone, because that’s how the videos will be consumed. But if you’re filming for Facebook, YouTube, or another video hosting site, film horizontally to help viewers get the best possible viewing experience, no matter what device they press play on.

8) Don’t use the iPhone’s zoom capability.

Simply put, iPhone’s zoom will most likely make your video look bad.

We’ll elaborate: Unless you have the ultra-fancy iPhone 7 Plus camera, zooming in on an iPhone will simply enlarge the image — it won’t get you closer to what you’re filming — so it’ll make your final video pixellated and blurry-looking.

Instead, physically move your filming setup closer to your subject to eliminate the need to zoom in.

9) Lock your exposure.

The iPhone does a fantastic job of finding the subject to focus your camera’s exposure — which is great for taking a photo. But when it comes to filming a video, its super-powered exposure will continue adjusting and readjusting according to movement — leaving your final video occasionally blurry and out of focus.

You can solve this problem by locking the exposure while you’re filming. Before you press record, hold down your finger on the subject of your video until a yellow box appears around the person or object and the words “AE/AF Lock” appear:

exposure-lock-iphone.png

10) Edit on a computer.

Once you’ve filmed your video, you need to edit it and get it ready for publication. And although the iPhone offers a lot of visual editing tools within its interface, it’s best to use editing software on your computer to fine-tune the images. Software like iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro let you add sound, captions, and adjust filtering to make your video look (and sound) as professional as possible. 

Lights, Camera, Action

You don’t need a ton of expensive equipment to film and edit engaging videos — you just need to follow the steps above to film something that looks professional with the help of your handy iPhone. If you don’t have an iPhone, never fear — we’ll create some guidance for Android devices soon. In the meantime, download our guides to creating videos for social media to get started distributing your content today.

What are your tips for filming videos on the iPhone? Share with us in the comments below.

social media marketing assessment

127 Time-Saving Keyboard Shortcuts for Social Media Marketers

I used to think the few seconds I save by using keyboard shortcuts are not useful. I mean, what can I do with those few seconds?

A lot, it seems…

A few seconds here and there can add up. And according to Brainscape, you can save up to eight workdays per year! Just by using shortcuts—enough time for a long vacation.

Being a social media marketer, you spend a lot of time on the various social media platforms and your favorite social media tools. Often repeating the same actions: Like, reply, and more.

Let’s help you save your eight precious days every year with these social media keyboard shortcuts.

Social Media Keyboard Shortcuts

Top Social Media Keyboard Shortcuts to Save You Time

Here’re all the social media platforms and tools we’ll cover in this blog post. Click on the respective bullet point to jump to the platform or tool you’re interested in:

Social media platforms

Tools

One Keyboard Shortcut to Rule Them All

I struggle to remember all the keyboard shortcuts since different platforms and tools tend to have different keyboard shortcuts (even for similar actions such as Liking a post).

Fortunately, many platforms and tools have a keyboard shortcut to show all the keyboard shortcuts! If there’s one to remember, this is it.

“?” or Shift + /

The one keyboard shortcut to remember

Facebook Keyboard Shortcuts

Facebook keyboard shortcuts differ by computer operating system and by browser:

  • Chrome for PC: Alt + #
  • Firefox for PC: Shift + Alt + #
  • Internet Explorer for PC: Alt + #, then Enter
  • Chrome, Safari, and Firefox for Mac: Ctrl + Opt + #

Replace # with the following numbers to access the respective features or pages on Facebook. For example, Alt + 1 will bring you to your Facebook home page on Chrome on a PC.

0 – Help

1 – Home

2 – Timeline

3 – Friends

4 – Inbox

5 – Notifications

6 – Settings

7 – Activity Log

8 – About

9 – Terms

Here’re a few more keyboard shortcuts for actions you might regularly take:

j or k – Scroll down or up between News Feed stories

Enter – See more of the selected story

p – Post a new status

l – Like or unlike the selected story

c – Comment on the selected story

s – Share the selected story

o – Open the link or expand the photo from the selected story

/ – Search

To see the full list of keyboard shortcuts, type “?” on any Facebook page.

Facebook keyboard shortcuts

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Messenger Keyboard Shortcuts

Increasingly, more businesses are using Messenger to provide social customer support. Being able to speed up your workflow allows you to reply your customers faster. The only keyboard shortcut for Messenger seems to this:

Opt + Up arrow or Down arrow / Alt + Up arrow or Down arrow – Jump to the conversation above or below

If you want to enhance your Messenger workflow, Allen Guo has developed a Chrome extension and a Firefox add-on, which adds several useful keyboard shortcuts to the Messenger web app (i.e. messenger.com).

Here’re two handy ones to know:

Opt + Shift + (number) / Alt + Shift + (number) – Jump to the X-th conversation from the top (e.g. Opt + Shift + 3 brings you to the third conversation from the top)

Opt + Shift + q / Alt + Shift + q – Search

Messenger keyboard shortcuts

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Twitter Keyboard Shortcuts

Hop to different Twitter pages with these keyboard shortcuts:

g + h – Home

g + n – Notifications

g + r – Mentions

g + p – Profile

g + l – Likes

g + i – Lists

g + m – Messages

g + s – Settings

g + u – Go to user…

Here’re a few more keyboard shortcuts for actions you might regularly take:

n – New tweets

Cmd + Enter / Ctrl + Enter – Send tweets

j or k – Next or previous tweet

l – Like

r – Reply

t – Retweet

m – Direct message

Enter – Open tweet details

o – Expand photo

/ – Search

To see the full list of keyboard shortcuts, type “?” on any Twitter page.

Twitter keyboard shortcuts

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LinkedIn Keyboard Shortcuts

It seems that LinkedIn does not have keyboard shortcuts for navigation and actions. But here’re two browser shortcuts you can use when commenting on a post:

Tab + Enter – Add an image

Tab + Tab + Enter – Post your comment

Do you know of any other handy LinkedIn keyboard shortcuts? Share them in the comments. 🙂

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Instagram App Shortcuts

While Instagram doesn’t have any keyboard shortcuts, it has some shortcuts for its mobile app.

Tap and hold a post in grid view in Search & Explore or on a profile – Expand the post (then swipe up to like the post, view the profile, or send the post as a message)

Tap and hold a profile or hashtag on your feed – Get a preview of the recent posts (then swipe up to view the profile, turn post notifications on, or send the profile or hashtag as a message)

Give the app icon a firm press – Get shortcuts to create a new post, view activities or direct messages, search, and more (only for iPhone 6s or later)

Instagram app shortcuts

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Pinterest App Shortcuts

Pinterest also doesn’t have any keyboard shortcuts but if you use Pinterest on your mobile phone (iPhone 6s or later, Android 7.1 or higher), give the app icon a firm press and you’ll see four Pinterest shortcuts.

Lens – Find pins related to anything you snap (only available to users with the Lens feature)

Explore – See the trending ideas for the day

Saved – Jump right to the ideas you saved

Search – Search for ideas on Pinterest

For Android users, you can even move the shortcuts onto your home screen by tapping and dragging the shortcut over.

Pinterest app shortcuts

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Google+ Keyboard Shortcuts

Google+ uses a few different keyboard shortcuts from most social media platforms for common actions such as comment and +1 (or Like). Just type “?” on most Google+ pages when you want to see the keyboard shortcuts.

j or k – Next or previous post

/ – Search

c – Create a new post

r – Comment on selected post

s – Share selected post

v – View attachment on selected post

+ – Add or remove a +1 on the selected post

Google+ Keyboard Shortcuts

Here’s a little bonus: Google+ might be the only major social media platform where you can style your text with markdown.

– (dash before and after the text) – Strikethrough

* (asterisks before and after the text) – Bold

_ (underscore before and after the text) – Italics

Google+ Styling Example

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YouTube Keyboard Shortcuts

YouTube has over 30 keyboard shortcuts. Here’re the few you might use most often:

k or Spacebar – Play or pause video

Left arrow or j – Go back 5 or 10 seconds

Right arrow or l – Go forward 5 or 10 seconds

1 to 9 – Skip to X0 percent of the video (e.g. 5 skips to 50 percent of the video)

0 – Restart video

> or < – Speed up or slow down the video

Shift + n or p – Next or previous video in the playlist

c – Turn captions on or off

If you would like to learn all the keyboard shortcuts, Hong Kiat has compiled a great list on its site.

YouTube Keyboard Shortcuts

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Medium Keyboard Shortcuts

Medium does not have keyboard shortcuts for navigation but its keyboard shortcuts for editing and formatting can save you quite some time!

Here’re a few notable ones:

Cmd + k / Ctrl + k – Add a link (works for images, too)

Cmd + Alt + 5 / Ctrl + Alt + 5 – Block quote (press again for a pull quote)

Cmd + Enter / Ctrl + Enter – Add a separator

t + k – Leave a TK reminder

Cmd + Alt + 8 / Ctrl + Alt + 8 / Shift + f – Set image as featured image

Opt + Click / Alt + Click – Set focal point on featured image (which will be taken into account when the image is cropped on the feed)

` + ` + ` – Add a code block

To see the keyboard shortcuts while you are writing your Medium post, hit Cmd + ? or Ctrl + ?.

Medium Keyboard Shortcuts

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Tumblr Keyboard Shortcuts

Tumblr has keyboard shortcuts for navigation, posting, and composing (such as inserting a GIF 😍). Type “?” on your Tumblr dashboard to pull out the list of keyboard shortcuts.

Here’re a few you might use more frequently:

j or k – Next or previous post

l – Like a post

s – Share a post

n – View a post’s notes

Enter – Open a post’s blog

/ – Search

Opt + c / Alt + c – Compose a new post

Opt + r / Alt + r – Reblog a post

Opt + e / Alt + e – Add a post to your queue

Oh, and of course,

Cmd + Shift + g / Ctrl + Shift + g – Insert GIF

Tumblr keyboard shortcuts also work on its mobile app if you have a Bluetooth keyboard connected to your mobile device.

Tumblr Keyboard Shortcuts

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Buffer Keyboard Shortcuts

We also have some nifty keyboard shortcuts for the Buffer app and browser extension to help you speed up your social media sharing and management.

Opt + (number) / Alt + (number) – Switch between your connected profiles in the Buffer dashboard

Opt + b / Alt + b – Open the Buffer browser extension if you have it installed

Cmd + Enter / Ctrl + Enter – Add updates to your Buffer queue

You can customize the keyboard shortcut for opening the browser extension in your browser extension settings. For example, for Chrome, go to Settings > Extensions > Options (under Buffer).

Buffer Keyboard Shortcuts

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Respond Keyboard Shortcuts

We built Respond to help you engage with your social media fans more effectively. Naturally, we included many keyboard shortcuts to help you zoom through your social media conversations. (This is the secret to our fast responses during #bufferchat!)

Here’re the few shortcuts that I use regularly:

g + o – Go to team inbox

g + m – Go to mine (conversations assigned to you)

f – Like a tweet or Facebook comment

w – Follow user

e – Archive conversation

Enter – Focus on the composer

Cmd + Enter / Ctrl + Enter – Send reply, archive conversation, and move to the next conversation

Cmd + Shift + Enter / Ctrl + Shift + Enter – Send reply and stay in the conversation

: – Insert emoji (e.g. :smile:)

You can see the full list of keyboard shortcuts here or from the app (Help > Keyboard Shortcuts).

Respond Keyboard Shortcuts

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Feedly Keyboard Shortcuts

Feedly is my go-to tool for staying up to date with industry news. Learning its keyboard shortcuts allowed me to quickly navigate around my Feedly dashboard and catch up on the blogs I’m following.

Here’re the few I found very useful:

g + g – Search and navigate to a particular feed or source

g + f – Go to Favourites feed

g + l – Go to Read later feed

n or p – Next or previous story

o – Open or close currently selected story

v – Open original in a new tab

x – Mark as read and hide

Feedly Keyboard Shortcuts

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Pocket Keyboard Shortcuts

Pocket is one of our favorite content curation tools, and I found out that it also has several keyboard shortcuts to help me navigate and find the articles and videos I want quickly.

Here’re the ones I like:

g + l or f or a – Switch to My List, Favorites, or Archive

g + r or v or i – Filter by articles, videos, or images

g + s – Search

j or k – Next or previous item

a – Archive the selected item

f – Favorite the selected item

o – Open the original of selected item in a new tab

Pocket Keyboard Shortcuts

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Canva Keyboard Shortcuts

We use and recommend Canva regularly because it’s easy and quick for creating social media graphics. With its keyboard shortcuts, you can reduce the time you take to create graphics even further.

Here’re a few handy ones to know:

t – Add a text

Opt + Shift + b / Alt + Shift + b – Add border around your text box

Cmd + Shift + k / Ctrl + Shift + k – Transform your text to uppercase

Cmd + Shift + l or r or c / Ctrl + Shift + l or r or c – Left or right or center align your text

Cmd + g / Ctrl + g – Group elements (Add Shift to ungroup)

Cmd + Click / Ctrl + Click – Select elements behind other elements

Cmd + Up arrow or Down arrow / Ctrl + Up arrow or Down arrow – Move an element in front of or behind other elements

Cmd + ; / Ctrl + ; – Turn grid lines on or off

Canva provides tutorials where you can learn and practice the most useful keyboard shortcuts.

Canva Keyboard Shortcuts

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Trello Keyboard Shortcuts

Trello is a great tool for managing your social media schedule (and a tool we heavily rely on in the marketing team). While Trello is already easy to use, knowing the keyboard shortcuts can help you quickly create, change, and archive your cards.

Hover over a card to use the respective shortcuts on the card.

e – Open quick edit mode (for changing the title, labels, members, and more)

l – Open labels option

c – Archive the card

d – Set or change due date

f – Open card filter menu

, or . – Move the card to the bottom of the list on the left or right

< or > – Move the card to the top of the list on the left or right

Trello Keyboard Shortcuts

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What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts?

With so many keyboard shortcuts available on all the social media platforms and tools, I’m sure you have found several that you love and use regularly.

Which are the ones that you use most often or the ones that save you the most time?

Image credit: Unsplash, Tumblr, MacRumors, and Hong Kiat