Why even bother hiring me (1)

Why even bother hiring me!?


Keep it cool, Jacquelyn. 

I straightened my back with the clearing of my throat and eyed his profile as he was reviewing the proposal.

They’re going to ask me, I silently cringed.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to respond if they did, despite the fact that the question had been plaguing me from the moment I set up my freelancing business in 2015.

In my mind, I couldn’t understand why a business would bother spending $__K/month on my services when – really – they could just hire someone in-house for probably less than that.

He closed the proposal with a nod, “Alright, so just to confirm this would include the copy as well? ”

After clarifying the details and agreeing to a non-compete with competitor brands, we shook hands and the deal was done.

“In my mind, I couldn’t understand why a business would bother spending $__K/month on my services when – really – they could just hire someone in house for probably less than that.”

Just like that.

If you’ve ever landed your own clients you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s one of the best rushes on this planet – a validation of all your efforts and work!

I was on cloud nine the whole rest of the day.

But – to be honest – it took me a few more years before I would fully understand why businesses would even bother hiring me when, oftentimes, the cost seems much higher than trying to hire internally.


The truth is there are different motives, depending on the size of the business. And there are pros and cons for both situations. 

For large brands – you know, the Nike’s of the world.  The reason they outsource to agencies is mostly due to something called Opex, which stands for operational expenditure.

These are basically funds used by a company to cover expenses such as wages, maintenance services, rent and utilities, and brands.  Directors are given budgets around these and – while you may think your agency costs the brand a lot more – many of these brands don’t have the budget bandwidths to add more staff to payroll due to Opex and CapEx (capital expenditures) restrictions.

A reminder here – as a former employer myself – I have come to learn through the years that staff are actually very EXPENSIVE.  They get sick, they take time off, they need training and go on maternity leave.  A $5K/month employee will cost a company a lot more than an $8K/month freelancer – who can fulfill work year-round and around the clock. A freelancer also gets more done in that 1-month timespan than an employee can who has to commute to you, settle into the office, leave for a lunch break, get back into the groove of things, and crash at 3 pm. Studies have shown that in the 9-5 work schedule the average “great” employee only gets 3ish hours of impactful work done a day…

But surely in the long run hiring internally is a much smarter idea?

Perhaps, but let’s have a look at why smaller businesses choose to recruit freelancers vs internal staff.  

Firstly – most businesses have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to anything digital marketing – let alone specific marketing activities such as video content and social media strategy. The platforms and tactics are so new and ever changing that, unless you’re on top of it all the time, you get left behind.

And the reality is that in order to manage staff, you need to have a concept of what needs to happen or how to know if they’re even doing a good job.

So for most entrepreneurs and business owners – trying to become an expert in something that would just consume a lot of their time makes no sense.

They simply don’t have the knowledge to even know how/who to hire for such a role nor do they have the time/patience to try and train/manage said individual(s) in their business.

Secondly – for most digital marketing services offered in the market – the skillset needed to complete the full picture often requires a whole range of skills. There’s a saying in the industry of “looking for a unicorn” and it’s not far off. You need a hybrid person of a graphic designer, marketer, strategist, data researcher, and creative content writer.

Take FB marketing, for instance,  in order to be a good FB marketer one must be able to:

  • Write copy
  • Have an eye for creative
  • Understand the potential of Reels and Stories
  • Have an analytical mind able to interpret data
  • Be a strategic and adaptive thinker

So you’re needing someone that can use both their left and right brain!  Not an easy feat as most of these people are already doing their own thing!

When a startup or small business wants to grow fast and has needs for competence, tapping into an agency means they essentially get the whole package – all the skills required – in what would otherwise oftentimes require three people internally to complete.

So – plain and simple – businesses just want the headache taken off their plate and want results. And they want a solution NOW.



  • Fewer headaches
  • Faster results
  • Access to a bigger suite of skills
  • “Round-the-clock” service
  • Oftentimes cheaper than internal staff
  • My favorite… Less B.S.


  • Long term, once Opex stabilizes, wiser to hire internally
  • As your business scales this can get costly
  • Can’t treat like a slave (kidding, kinda…)


Every business has different needs and will require different solutions based on where they’re at.  As a general rule of thumb:

If you’re still in a start up phase – hire the unicorn in small batches, not an employee. It’s the same premise as to why you would lease vs buying a building. It doesn’t make sense to put that overhead on your shoulders when you’re in a volatile and/or active growth stage of your business.

If you’re a well-established business that has had great results from your digital marketing activities already and are spending more than $15K/mth on an employee that you’re not happy with – it may be time to start shopping for your forever unicorn. Please note, to hire a competent full-time digital marketer/unicorn you’re looking at roughly $70K-$120K per year – so it’s not cheap either!

Grab a saddle, and meet your new unicorn!

Jacquelyn Tolksdorf


Why Coworking Spaces Make Sense

In this world of mobile devices and online technology, remote work is becoming a trending thing. Therefore, the use of coworking spaces fills a new void today for people who work at home. Not only does the concept offer opportunities to socialize, but a person working remotely can also interact in a workplace setting. This allows workers to enjoy their time working while avoiding the isolation felt when applying their skills solely at home. 

The benefits of coworking spaces are numerous, as they allow workers to plan their day and interact with others. Using the spaces benefits both commercial real estate (CRE) and the remote workforce. Therefore, coworking takes the most costly price for businesses and transforms it into a service, thereby creating a space-as-a-service model. This model adds to worker flexibility and equalizes balance sheets. 

Along with cloud computing, coworking is a driver – one that will influence where, when, and how people work now and in the future. By combining coworking with mobile technology, people experience work that is more pleasant and conducive to their individual lifestyles and priorities. The advantages greatly outweigh any drawbacks.

Looking at the Advantages

When it comes to coworking, employees find the practice psychologically rewarding. Workers can work when and how they wish and do so in a professional setting. Therefore, they can get into the work habit more easily. For businesses, the use of coworking spaces is often more cost-effective than taking on a larger lease. Also, no maintenance is involved for a site’s upkeep.

As an employee, you can make use of various space configurations – from individual workstations and desk space to private pods for two or more people. The concept accommodates virtually all work hours and routines.

Reviewing the Drawbacks

Some people may find the lack of a hierarchy or the openness of the spaces hard to get used to. However, a worker can overcome these feelings by getting used to a routine and adapting themselves to the environment over time. 

As the demand for flexibility in the workplace grows and CRE costs continue to rise, coworking becomes more and more critical. That is why many businesses and workers see coworking as a major integration into a workplace strategy.

Keeping Pace with the Remote Workforce

Coworking has the potential to transform the way the world’s workforce works. Redesigning

Coworking has the potential to transform the way the world’s workforce works. Redesigning the workplace so that employees have the security of a typical office while benefiting from the freedom that comes with working from home provides a unique opportunity. That is why coworking is fast becoming the norm and continues to gain popularity.

The paradigm of space-as-a-service has layered the ways businesses operate. Coworking enhances the value of a physical workspace by veering away from cubicles, allowing for more networking and engagement. Businesses can also focus more on their workers’ activities than where they conduct business. The resources offered by coworking arrangements also give employees the resources they need to work efficiently. 

Adapting to a More Flexible Work Environment

Adaptability is prized above everything else in today’s workforce. For businesses, the value of a flexible work schedule that doesn’t compromise on quality can’t be overstated. Because of the increased adaptability that coworking spaces provide, more workers are able to respond to shifting market conditions. 

Companies are discovering the importance of coworking in empowering their staff in place of a conventional office. A transition to more remote, self-directed work necessitates the use of coworking.

It’s no secret that some of the world’s largest corporations are embracing the gig economy and flexible work arrangements. This, in turn, is driving an explosion in coworking spaces. 

Coworking is a natural answer to space demands – a solution that helps businesses as well as employees.

Costs for Commercial Real Estate Are on the Rise

In today’s economy, commercial real estate costs continue to rise. This factor impacts the firms renting office space.  According to 2016 FASB accounting guidelines, this ripple effect makes it more difficult to obtain affordable workspaces and adds a significant burden to a company’s balance sheet.

In some cases, a business can save money on this sizable expenditure by moving to a coworking site from their own office facility.

Even if the cost of a coworking membership is similar to the cost of a lease, a firm still has the opportunity to expand or scale their space needs, as required. In turn, companies have some degree of control over the situation.

Coworking spaces therefore can suit the needs of both individuals and businesses. Packages offered by coworking sites make it easy to accommodate work needs and pay for the services.

Working Outside the Boundaries of a Traditional Work Schedule

Today’s remote and mobile worker is no longer bound by the constraints of a typical workday. There are fewer nine-to-five occupations, and business suits are being replaced with t-shirts and jeans. As a result of this shift, a less-traditional work atmosphere is more appropriate. That is why the use of cowork spaces makes perfect sense.

No Restrictions

Employees want to be able to work when and where they choose, and as they like. A flexible workplace allows them to do this. 

A work-life balance is crucial to younger workers who have children and other responsibilities. By using a coworking space, they experience greater efficiency, transparency, and productivity when working remotely. While work is a priority, it proves to be less of a restraint.

Getting Rid of Workplace Stigmas

In a traditional workplace setting, workers may conjure up images of managers peering over their shoulders or strongly feel dread when a deadline for a project looms. In some of the settings, talkative workers swallow up much of the work time. Fortunately, in coworking environments, the stigmas seem to fade from view.

That’s because the framework for the office is designed to work seamlessly. Employees can work autonomously and can adhere to a deadline more easily. Workers don’t have to feel guilty about taking a break because they work on their own time and by their own rules. If you want to experience a more laid-back atmosphere and independent work setting, coworking is designed for you.

Spaces for All Types of Office Work

Coworking offers workers diversity. Because coworking spaces are popular, they are creating a lot of competitiveness in the marketplace. In response, offices that invite coworking are open to accommodating the needs of individual employees.

Coworking arrangements are designed to offer flexibility for various work styles. Instead of accommodating the space to the employee, the employee can change where they are sitting or working.

The Expansion of the Space-as-a-Service Model

The space-as-a-service industry is estimated to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. As the cost of commercial real estate continues to climb, coworking continues to grow in popularity. Many organizations still don’t understand how coworking works, but they are starting to see how it may improve their business operations and increase revenue.

Digital and cloud computing make it simpler for corporations to do away with a central, physical workstations. There is no use in having a workplace if you can accomplish everything you need to do online. 

At coworking sites, you also have access to pay-as-you-go for meeting rooms for holding presentations. With the migration of cloud technology in the workplace, it does not make sense to continue to work in a traditional office setting.

Savings for Businesses Combined with Worker Flexibility

Coworking saves money for businesses, and adds flexibility to a remote worker’s workdays. These reasons alone supplant the need to lease even the most versatile space at a large office site.

 Coworking allows a business to repurpose its lease expenditure while improving the employee experience. As a result, a transition to a coworking model is well worth the investment and time

Pricing at Coworking Sites

You can choose from a number of pricing options when you work at a coworking site. Most of the sites are situated on ground level for additional safety. All you need is a computer and you are good to go.

For instance, you can buy 40 hours of desk space for as low as $4.00 per hour. To buy the desk space, you might purchase 40 credits to apply to the hourly rate.  This amounts to $160.00 and is good for 30 days. You can also buy credits to cover 80 or 160 hours toward a seat or meeting pod. 

You can buy a desk seat for 80 hours for as low as $3.00 per hour in some situations. This arrangement is good for 30 days. The same holds true when you buy 160 hours of office use.

Coworking facilities also accommodate workers with day passes that are good for one hour or 8 hours, or cover the use of a meeting pod for 4 hours or 8 hours at a time.

When you know the pricing for a desk or a meeting pod, you can plan your workday activities accordingly. For example, you may need a meeting pod for a sales presentation  – one that may be impossible to arrange at home. You can also use pods to privately work with other workers on projects.

If you have interruptions working at home, you can rent desk space so you can work on your own without interference. As an individual worker, you can set aside the money for the space as you need it, thereby making it easy to schedule your work and keep track of the costs as well.

In Summation

As workers get used to working remotely, they also have to consider their workplace settings. That is why it just makes good sense to use coworking spaces and to take advantage of their benefits. Working in a coworking space is just not about freedom or savings on costs, it also adds more purpose and meaning to an employee’s job.


Will A Coding Bootcamp Get You A Job?

When considering whether to attend a coding bootcamp or not, you want to know if it will actually result in a job or not. After all, this is the principal reason for which people go. It wouldn’t make sense to attend a bootcamp if it wasn’t going to result in a job opportunity.

So how can you know? What is the likelihood? Should you attend a coding bootcamp?

In this article, we will review the stats, examine the facts and give an answer to all your questions.

What Is The Success Rate?

Though we cannot speak for every single bootcamp and every single applicant, examining the statistics of those who have attended coding bootcamps and those that have gotten work afterwards gives you a good idea of if it is worth it or not.

Some Bootcamps have 90% of their graduates getting related employment within 6 months of completion. Others claim 86% and 79% employment rates. As a rough estimate, you then have a 79-90% chance of employment after attending a coding bootcamp. That’s a pretty decent percentage.

However, all this data is from the boot camps themselves. So to ensure reliability we also want to check elsewhere. The Council In Integrity In Results Reporting collected data from 46 coding bootcamps in 2019 and determined that on average there was a 79% success rate of finding work within 180 days of completing the coding bootcamp. 

You also have to consider that this gives you a 21% chance of not finding work but as far as figures go, it’s pretty good. If you really want it and you work hard for it, chances are you will likely be able to find a job afterward.

What Kind Of Work Will You Get?

Coding Bootcamps are not all the same. They vary in what they teach and therefore the job you get afterward can also vary depending on which one you attend. Most of them usually help you to learn more in the fields of software engineering, data sciences, website development, IT security, and user interfaces. 

Each of these different fields can take you down different career paths and to different types of employers. If you are searching for work after the bootcamp and you are not sure what to look for, here are some of the most common jobs that a coding bootcamp can lead to…

  • Software Product Manager
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Full Stack Web Developer
  • Front End Web Developer
  • Back End Web Developer
  • Junior Developer
  • Software Developer
  • Software Engineer


Attending a coding bootcamp is a good way to open up the path to a variety of other jobs. However, like everything, there is no 100% guarantee that you will get work. That being said, the statistics show that you have a good chance and if you really apply yourself and give it your best we believe that you can achieve success.

Find the right bootcamp for you and make sure that you use the career resources that the bootcamp offers you. 



We’re looking for a two awesome interns to add to our team!

See below for the internship requirements and instructions on how to apply! Please email us at hello@unglitch.io if you have any questions.


February 1, 2022


March 1, 2022 thru June 1, 2022


  • Real-world experience working with leading brands and clients from various industries
  • Flexible schedule – work from home!
  • Fun company culture



Things to note: The social media internship position is unpaid but remote. All U.S. applicants are encouraged to apply.


More than likely, you’ll be required through your school to receive school credit for the internship, which will determine the number of hours you’ll need to work each week (approx. 10-15).


  • Social media content planning & posting
  • Working along side graphic designer to create graphics
  • Assist with basic research, production, posting, and maintenance of client’s social media platforms and related tools
  • Monitor social media engagement on a daily basis
  • Perform routine platform optimization
  • Identify opportunities for additional engagement and messaging for client’s brand
  • Review digital marketing analytics, produce KPI reports, and provide optimization recommendations


  • Marketing, Journalism, and/or Communications major, or similar degree field
  • Strong knowledge of social media platforms, including: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Preferred experience with social media scheduling tools (like Later, Trello, TweetDeck)
  • Passion for social media and on top of current social media best practices and trends
  • Detail-oriented, with flawless editing and proofreading skills
  • Highly-organized
  • Able to meet tight deadlines
  • Data-driven with ability to connect results with goals
  • Self-starting, creative problem solver


In order to apply, please send your:

  • Résumé (no more than 1 page)
  • Cover letter as a .PDF FILE addressed to Jacquelyn

to hello@unglitch.io with the subject line “Social Media Intern” by February 1st.  Feel free to comment on this post or email us with any questions. Can’t wait!


Things to note: The social media internship position is unpaid and while mostly remote will require you to be at the Wausau, Wisconsin studio to assist 1x-2x per week. All local applicants with reliable transportation are encouraged to apply.


More than likely, you’ll be required through your school to receive school credit for the internship, which will determine the number of hours you’ll need to work each week (approx. 10-15).


  • Help pose and move products (mostly for stop-motion animation)
  • Working along side Creative Director on product photography shoots
  • Assist with basic photo editing
  • Schedule brand shoots
  • Create, paint, and craft custom backdrops


  • Persuing photography degree
  • Some editing knowledge
  • Crafty


In order to apply, please send your:

  • Résumé (no more than 1 page)
  • Cover letter as a .PDF FILE addressed to Jacquelyn

to hello@unglitch.io with the subject line “Photography” by February 1st.  Feel free to comment on this post or email us with any questions. Can’t wait!

The studio will be located inside the:

First American Center
500 N 3rd Street
Wausau, WI 54403

We look forward to seeing all of your applications!


Six Mistakes You Could Be Making on Your Facebook Posts

I’m not going to even get into bad graphics here…

Not Playing the Long-Game

A lot of the issues I see having with reach are due to wanting every post to have a financial gain associated with it and, when they don’t, page owners give up. They stop posting, they stop replying, and the page goes stagnant. You have to accept that not every individual post is going to make you money and that your long-term Facebook strategy has to revolve around building an audience and a community of people who want to hear what you have to say.

Understand that social media is social and that Facebook’s algorithms reward pages that interact with their fans positively and engagingly. When you post with that strategy, the strategy that keeps “social” in mind, Facebook (and other social media sites) will show your posts to more of your fans and that will lead to more sales in the long run than if you posted only items that ask for money.

Creating Posts With Outside Links in Every Post

Now I understand how this can be frustrating as you may have the strong urge to promote something (say a web page or product page). When every post you publish on Facebook has a link in it, its reach will be abysmally low.

Social media is for selling, but specific selling or call-to-action posts should be less than 5 percent of your overall posts. Ninety-five percent of your total posts should be brand building, those interactive posts that build trust and connection, and it is these posts that demonstrate to Facebook’s algorithms that your posts are things the social media platform wants to show to your fans. Why? Because that 95-percent of posts are what should keep people on Facebook. Focus on giving great content so that when you do post an outside link, Facebook will share it with more people.

Using Bad Words…

No…I don’t mean swear words, but there are no-no words that Facebook considers naughty. What are they?


Use these words/phrases only when necessary and sparingly even then. Also, try not to use the words in both a graphic and in the caption of the post. Facebook (and in this case all social media platforms) limits your reach any time you use these words in posts, captions, or descriptions. It does this because it knows you want to make money or acquire event, membership, or contest sign-ups, so they’re going to limit your reach.

Only Posting Here and There

If your busy season is only once a year or your page revolves around an event, it can be tempting to post only around that time or event. But your reach will significantly decrease if you do not post consistently, as Facebook sees your page as a dead page.

Believe it or not, regular posting doesn’t have to be a time-consuming thing, and it doesn’t have to be in real-time. Batch-post scheduling lets you sit down and schedule ahead of time your posts for a given week or month. If you do not have the time or do not like creating content for social media this is something you should definitely outsource to a pro.

Not Talking to Your Followers

The biggest issue I see with page owners is that they simply can’t wrap their minds around what people want to see on social media. There is a simple solution if you are in this boat… Ask!

Asking your fans questions is one of the best ways not only to build engagement but to discover what content they are interested in and the new products and services you can sell them. Questions also help you find your customer’s pain points and problems. Not to mention it humanizes your brand. Stop trying to “sell” something or talk down to your audience with complicated info – talk to them like you would in a friendly conversation.

Using A.I. to Write your Posts

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my thoughts on Artificial Intelligence writing content for social media. If you’re interested in seeing what AI can do, companies like Copy.ai or the best out there, Jarvis AI – can do give them a try! However, if you’re struggling with building an audience or getting them to engage on your current page, I would suggest going a human route first.

Not surprising. But my main complaint of bots writing content is it sounds robotic and is not personalized for humans.

This is why it’s a great idea to explore companies and agencies that offer a full spectrum of services to handle your social media management like:

• Creative Writing


• Graphic Design

• Data Analytics

• Target Market Research

Add a heading

Should You Have Dogs in the Office?

A blog post for The Office Dog (Brat)…

Meet Pixel, the Italian Greyhound and official Office Brat.

I love her dearly! She has a sweet disposition, but no definition of personal space. I know what you’re thinking… She’s probably a go-go-go running around like a crazy dog type. Hahaha! No! She sleeps 80% of the day, demands cuddles 10% of the day, and the other 10% of the day pouts until it’s mealtime.

Before the pandemic, I was on the hunt for a commercial space to expand Unglitch.io’s studio from home to a walk-in office/photo studio space. Here’s the thing… I have 2 dogs and have been working from home for almost 7 years. My oldest dog is almost 8 and Pixel is almost 3… Both hypo-allergenic which I can confirm is an actual thing. I’m deathly allergic to most dogs, but these 2 I can nuzzle my face into without any reaction!

Both are well behaved with people they know, but both get a little too excited to meet new people. The old boy needs a 5-minute cool down after meeting a new person. Pixel just wants to meet you and sit next to you right away. If they’ve both met you before and it’s the 3rd or so-on time you come into their presence they could care less about you. (The reason why I’m writing this) The issue is that they’re waaaaaaay too attached to me.


If I leave for more than 5 hours Pixel loses it and a toy or two will be murdered violently and I’ll discover the body(ies) when I get home. While my older dog can hold it that long. Pixel the 8lb monster that has to pee every hour cannot… I leave a pee-pad for her. Subsequently is what brings me to being on the fence of having a public office that has 2 small dogs in it…

Help me decide!

I’d make the office pet-proof. I’ll definitely have pet-free zones and dogs will not have direct access to the front doors where a customer would walk in. I understand that not all people are dog people or would feel comfortable with 2 weird dogs running to greet them.

The Pros & Cons

According to Eden Workplace, here are the pros and cons that I agree with!


  1. Great For Employee Morale
  2. Fantastic for One-On-One Meetings: Are you tired of always grabbing coffee or lunch for a one-on-one meeting? Having an office dog will spice things up. Dogs need to be walked at least once or twice a day. You and your colleague can walk the dog around the block and get some exercise while discussing important matters.


  1. Poop (or pee) Happens…
  2. It Can Get Pretty Distracting

What are your thoughts as someone who would either be a customer walking in and seeing there are 2 dogs in the office OR an employee who has to share their office space with these goobers?


Third-Party Cookies are Dead

Third-Party Cookie in 2022: Everything to know about what it is, why it’s going away, and what’s next…

If you’ve spent any amount of time online, you’ve probably come across cookies daily.
One minute, you’re casually browsing for a new bathing suit then click out of the website before buying. Not long before you’re seeing that product appearing across ALL THE OTHER websites you start visiting.
That experience stems from the third-party cookie, a simple piece of technology that’s had an outsized impact on the advertising industry as we know it today. Now, after years of controversy surrounding the third-party cookie, its days are numbered.

So what is a cookie, exactly? It’s really just a text file that is placed in your browser by a website. It’s sort of like an identifier for…well YOU!

Of course, that definition only scratches the surface. While its origins and the mechanisms that make it work might be simple, the cookie has helped fuel the 455.3 billion digital advertising industry through the 21st century, making it possible for marketers to send personalized—or invasive, depending on who you ask—ads to people based on their browsing behavior.

There’s no denying the third-party cookie has made marketers’ lives easier since its inception. But it’s also come with several drawbacks, some of which have spurred its demise.

Just because you can endlessly target people doesn’t mean they’ll actually buy what’s being sold. Research is mixed as to the effectiveness, and even the relevancy, of targeted ads in influencing users.

Plus, cookies are based on history—where someone has been. Sure, this can help marketers understand where someone might go next, but most people don’t need to be sold on a book they’re already planning to buy, or a hotel room for a vacation they’ve already booked.

All that aside, the biggest problem attached to cookies is that they come with major privacy concerns. The cookie was never designed with privacy in mind. It can be used to capture all sorts of data on you. In the right hands, all of this data can be pretty powerful. 

But fear not, there are many things that are killing the “cookie”.

Consumer Annoyance: Heard about Facebook in the news lately? Simple questions on a Facebook personality test opened up the aperture to a lot of consumers on how your information could be leveraged in negative ways. All from a former president using them to boost $R*#P political ads to unethical marketers watching your everyday choices made on the internet.

GDPR + CCPA: These two pieces of legislation have also contributed to the third-party cookie’s demise.

Chrome Browser: Many browsers are now giving you the option to block cookies, but the real nail in the coffin for the third-party cookie arrived last year. In January 2020, Google said its Chrome web browser would stop supporting the cookie within two years, although the company recently extended the deadline to mid-to-late 2023.

Google: Of course, Google wasn’t just going to stop making money from advertising. In 2019, Chrome rolled out Privacy Sandbox, an initiative to help advertisers reach the customers they want, while maintaining personal privacy for users. One of Google’s proposed replacements for the third-party cookie is “Federated Learning of Cohorts,” or FLoC. Instead of targeting users on an individual level, Google will segment users by interest group—or “cohorts”—based on browsing history. So, even though you might be placed in a cohort of, say, cheeseburger-loving amusement-park enthusiasts, an advertiser would theoretically have a hard time singling you out as one. Cohorts also change each week in response to a person’s browsing behavior.

Marketers, agencies, publishers, and everyone in between are preparing for a mostly cookieless future—and imagining what it might look like.

My Thoughts: 

Some in the industry believe the erasure of third-party cookies will be a good thing for the copywriters and art directors of the world. Why? Without cookies, it will only become harder for marketers to know that someone looked at red lipstick, then serve that person an ad featuring a picture of red lipstick and hope for the best.

In other words, creatives will literally need to get creative if they want to capture attention. I think what this creates is a really awesome opportunity for more data-informed creative. It’s the art of advertising and the art of media coming back. It’s not just about serving an ad to the right person at the right time but making sure the content within that ad is compelling enough to catch someone’s eye.


Branding Mistakes Most Startups Make

It’s impossible not to think about branding as a modern startup these days. With gorgeous visuals dominating our social media feeds; companies with impeccable designs are popping up all the time. And growing fast! Despite the amount of attention, so many new founders give their brand identities… I see some common branding mistakes that can hold their companies back.

The good news is, developing a solid brand doesn’t have to be as complicated as many folks make it out to be. Here are the three most common branding mistakes I’ve seen startups make during my 13+ years working as a brand strategist—and how you can easily avoid them to ensure you’re putting your company’s best foot forward.

Focusing on Form Over Function

Especially when you’re DIYing your logo, it can be tempting to choose what you think looks coolest. Don’t do that. What is cool changes. What functions is best. Consider their usability more. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen brands design funky logos that are impossible to decipher when they’re scaled down to fit in a social media icon, or choose a typeface that looks cool but is challenging for users to actually read.

Instead, make sure you think about your viewers at every step. Any time you’re making a brand decision, just take a step back and ensure it supports your users rather than you.

Spending Too Much on Branding

If you’re like most startup founders, you’ve probably spent a lot of time fretting over your budget for branding. Most ask themselves should they spend upwards of 50K on branding?

I’m going to let you off the hook and tell you, no, it’s almost certainly not. What so many founders don’t account for when doing this math is just how often early-stage startups pivot as they’re trying to figure out their product-market fit. 

Considering that good design is all about tying your brand to your business strategy (more on that in a minute), you don’t want to invest a lot into your brand until you feel secure in that strategy. If you do, that investment is quickly going to feel like a waste when you realize you need to rebrand to match your company’s new direction down the line.

But you also don’t want to try and create a sexy brand on the cheap. You get what you pay for in the design world, so this usually won’t end up looking as professional as you’d like. Instead, I recommend startups aim for simple branding that allows you a lot of flexibility for future changes. Think of this as a black dress: it’s nothing revolutionary, but it also looks timeless and sleek. 

Not Tying the Brand to a Solid Strategy

Of course, a DIY brand strategy may not work forever. Once you’ve found your market fit, you’ll want to invest in professional design and branding work. But too many startups walk into that process with a mood board of what they want to look like, instead of focusing on what they want their brand to convey.

The best brands aren’t plucked out of thin air—they’re rooted in the company’s business strategy. All of the design elements are carefully selected to align with a company’s mission and to attract its target audience. Above all, to set them apart from the competition.

As a professional creator, anytime a business owner tells me they don’t have a business strategy and just want a quick cheap logo – it’s a red flag.

You need to strategize your brand first. Yes, working through these types of questions is a lot harder and a bit less fun than thinking about your favorite colors and fonts. But doing so will be infinitely more valuable to your brand, and the future of your business. That’s why I include it in my branding process. Take a sneak peek at the first part that workshops one-on-one with business owners on what your brand and business should be in The Art of Brand Naming.


About the Unglitch.io: Jacquelyn Tolksdorf, Brand Strategist and founder is a Wisconsin-based creative that’s worked with world-class brands like Netflix, Rocket Mortgage, Buffalo Trace Whiskey, and more. As an online wordmark builder that allows startups on tight budgets to create dynamic, professional-looking logos themselves, she’s here to create for you!


Why Surrender to Your Hired Expert

For anyone, it is an act of humility to surrender to what is. When we surrender, we turn our ego and self-will over to deeper wisdom and improvement. As a creative service provider, there are times when people reach out for Unglitch.io’s marketing strategy, branding strategy, or design expertise. Most are willing to accept they need to hire for what they cannot do themselves for their own business. But some, have trouble surrendering to their hired expert and releasing control. Why?

“It’s My Vision – No One Else Will Understand It!”

We invest a lot of energy into going after what it is we want, and when what we want to elevate our business -behind that energy is a deep longing for something. Success. Acceptance. Acknowledgment. Money. When we let go, stop pulling or pushing, or step away, we feel the impact of that—we might feel loss, grief, terror, or disappointment that someone else can do it better. The sensation of these feelings can be overwhelming and many of us weren’t necessarily taught how to express them; especially as business owners.

When you hire a trusted, proven expert the process only works when the client surrenders to the expert’s knowledge. You wouldn’t hire someone for marketing strategy and management and then undermine everything they do to boost your business because it’s not “your moves” or the path you would take. Your marketing expert has done research on the actual target market you need to serve (and in most cases…) – this is not the target market you had in mind. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that “everyone is my target market!”. That idea is simply not going to help your business grow.

So let’s say you’ve surrendered to accepting your (new) niche target market. Your strategist, designer, and promoter have presented you with the plan, content, and visuals to grow your brand and build a loyal audience-to-customer fan base. You don’t like it. You find the urge to go back to doing the same thing you have been doing all along by yourself. We all know the definition of insanity, right?

To simply think that your vision will not be understood by anyone else is a big red flag that in fact, is the case. Neither your current audience understands your vision either – because your messaging in your marketing reflects that and you’ve thought all along that you are marketing to please yourself and not your target customers.

“I’ve Been in Business for 20+ Years – Why Do I Need to Change Now?”

Pride, on the other hand, maintains our idealized self-image—the self we think we need to be for self-preservation. Pride presents itself as a kind of invulnerability, or a need to be right or perfect. Because surrendering to an expert is an act of humility and an acknowledgment that out of our perfectly imperfect humanness, our business may be out-of-date and out-of-touch. We’re losing old customers and we are gaining no new ones. In many cases, this is why. While change can be hard and it only gets harder the longer you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing – when questioning do you need to re-think or pivot your business strategies, branding, marketing, etc… The answer 99% of the time is always: “Yes”.

“I’m Not Going To Let You!”

The final point is that some people find pleasure (albeit negative) in not surrendering. The unconscious pleasure we get from holding on to something too long can be a real hard to let go. As I mentioned up top, I’m a creative service provider. As anyone who worked in customer service knows, some people just thrive off making others feel small.

I remember when I was in my early 20’s in this business, this would always ‘erk me the wrong way. I would be reeling from a client’s bad behavior in this arena for days, if not weeks. They would then go onto a naughty list of people I would never work with again. I still have a naughty list, but when you’ve been doing this as long as I have (12+ years), you start to realize that psychology plays a big part in providing anything to your clients.

We state in many new client contracts, that if you are not willing to surrender to what will better your business, you simply will not be able to be helped…but still be billed for our time…


I Want to Talk About My Sunday Riley Customer Journey

First off, what is a customer journey…

Customer journey maps clarify, and develop important parts of just that…your customers’ journey. They allow you to stand in the shoes of your customers, enabling you to improve nearly every aspect of their experience. They provide you with the kind of overview to move customers down your sales funnel. Wait… sales funnel…

What is a sales funnel…

Back to Customer Journeys. Why Are They Important?

  1. Shows you how customers are interacting with your business
  2. Gives the brand owner the chance to stop seeing the perspective from the company, but the perspective of the brand through their customer
  3. Highlights what customers need and when they need it at different stages of the sales funnel
  4. Clarifies needs and pain-points of your customers
  5. Clarifies optimization and development priorities

You can see this best with what’s called a Customer Journey Map.

As a matter of fact! I want to talk about the most perfectly detailed customer journey I went on when purchasing from Sunday Riley, a skincare brand. To demonstrate this, let’s go over my Customer Journey Map and furthermore go through the steps to create a Customer Journey Map. I do this with my clients and their eCommerce marketing strategies all the time and trust me, it helps!

Step One: Build Customer Profiles

The data about customers forms the basis of your map. As a result, this data will come from two places: direct feedback and customer analytics. So who am I?

I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely combo of autoimmune issues including dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day, moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this.

Step Two: Define General Stages

Stage One – Discovery: I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely condition called dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day. I moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this. Since this started, someone recommended I try Sunday Riley’s Good Genes lactic acid serum.

Stage Two – Research: Before this, I was mixing a concoction of Licorice Root and oil on my face and it helped a little. So I did my research on this product… Besides other great ingredients, Licorice Root is #2 in the ingredient list for Good Genes!

Stage Three – Choose: Now I’ve never tried a Sunday Riley product so when I visited the site I spent a few minutes reading about Good Genes, but then saw that $122 price tag… I clicked away. I don’t want to spend that much without knowing if it works.

Thus a FANTASTIC customer journey begins and Sunday Riley’s eCommerce team kicks into action to reel me back in!

Stage Four – Purchase: I went to a few more products pages to look around. I knew I wanted to try Sunday Riley in general. So I was delighted to find a sample pack.

I purchased the sample pack and waited for my package. It came less than a week later. Even though I only purchased 3 small jars of product to try out, Sunday Riley sent along with my package an equal amount of product samples too.

Ultimately, I got those (3) 0.3oz moisturizers, a 0.17oz sample of U.F.O. Acne Treatment, a 0.17oz of High-Dose Retinoid Serum, and samples packets of various products INCLUDING GOOD GENES.

This means Sunday Riley gave me more than an equal amount of free samples along with my purchase. But Why?

Well…Who am I as Customer Profile?

I clearly am a first-time buyer wanting to try the brand. I spend a lot of time on the website reading about 1-3 products and even added them to my cart. But deleted them before purchase.

Step Three: Attach Goals to Each Stage

Thus, Sunday Riley’s customer journey is now collecting my goals, needs, and desires.

When you do this, consider the most pressing concerns during the stages in Step Two and how to convert me into being a loyal customer. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty when collecting data too. Asking me straight out what I thought of my 3 moisturizers in a follow-up email after my purchase would have been a great step in itself.

But Sunday Riley went above and beyond for this specific customer profile (talked about in Step One) and now I’m hooked!

Step Four: Identify Touchpoints for Each Stage

Many retailers approach this stage too narrowly. It’s essential to account for all possible “touchpoints” in which I’ll interact with your brand as the customer. Ignoring minor channels or interactions will lead to an incomplete customer journey map. So don’t just do this for your website only.

Account for all of the following touchpoints:

  • Word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Outbound marketing channels like online ads, awareness campaigns, and offline advertising
  • Inbound marketing like content, search engine results, and organic social media posts
  • Social media channels
  • Customer support
  • Your website and apps
  • Email
  • Packaging and delivery

Step Five: Identify Moments of Truth

I had two ‘moments of truth’ here. Moments of truth occur when a customer makes an important decision. Mine was when I decided to buy and when I decided to become a loyal customer after a great experience.

Step Six: Identify Drop-Off Points and Goal Completion

Where are customers typically dropping off and ending their journey? Where did I? Before purchasing many higher-priced products. Where are they successfully completing their goals? When did I? When after getting all my samples and trying them I went back to the site and purchased Good Genes.

Step Seven: Get Even More Feedback

Additional feedback can be immensely useful once you’ve started to put together your customer journey. At this stage of the process, you will likely be aware of what was missing in your original customer research, but it doesn’t hurt to ask a customer outright what their feedback is. What’s mine? This blog post (LOL).

Step Eight: Identify Areas for Improvement and “Amplification”

This step is where the customer journey map moves from being an abstract document to a practical tool. So what would this look like with factoring in metrics and emotions of my customer journey with the help of CTA’s (Call-To-Actions) and little nudges the brand did to make me a loyal customer…? Let’s see a customer journey map! Here’s a basic one:

And a closer look at where you and me are visually right now:

In the End…

Using your customer journey map as an aid for idea generation and really realizing what is going on in the purchasing process for your customers. When you think this way, you’ll make much more sales. So how do you create your own Customer Journey Map for your brand?

Because customer journey mapping tools are essentially diagram-creation apps, they tend to be relatively inexpensive. You should consider investing in one if you haven’t already. The best out there is the Salesforce Journey Planner. If you want to go a free route and DIY yourself you can use HubSpot’s templates.

But if you’ve gotten to the end of this post and are thinking “Where the Hell do I start!?”. There is also another option for creating a Customer Journey Map… Unglitch.io! Get in touch today and we can strategize a custom map for your brand to help you boost sales ASAP!

In the meantime, I’ll be over here obsessively touching my new, soft, happy face!