Visualizing Information

Part of an Infographic about handwriting (source: educatorstechnology.com)

Part of an Infographic about handwriting

Infographics. Do you remember them? Have you seen any lately?

In our internet, SEO-obsessed world, the question arises from time to time, should we bother with the graphics, especially something like an infographic?

Courtney Gordner  asked “are infographics dead?” at tweakyourbiz.com recently. Seems that many feel that graphically conveying the information is a dying art because SEO cannot really read text in a graphic. Well, my question to you is, are you looking for SEO points or are you looking to make your information useful to others? Courtney points to evidence that they are not, because of the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook or Pinterest. Courtney points out five reasons you ought to use them:

  1. Statistical data is more compelling and easier to understand when placed in charts and graphs
  2. Visual stimulation is the highest sensory detail we have, since 90% of our daily information intake is visual
  3. Most social networks are built on picture oriented platforms
  4. Pictures reach a wider demographic
  5. When someone uses your infographic, they link back to your page

Let’s face it, connecting with others takes work. Infographics take work to create. (If you want to read the one on this page, click the infographic or here to see the full-sized version. It is quite interesting.) But as John Maxwell says, connecting takes work and connectors are willing to do the hard work of creating connection.

If you are interested in infographics, there are plenty of places to learn more. I did a post a few months back on the subject.

Also, if you are really interested in learning to visually display information, you should consider getting one of Dr. Edward Tufte’s books, or even better, attend one of his marvelous seminars. I attended one some years back and, while I have always appreciated the power of the visual arts, Dr. Tufte helps you really understand how to make information live visually.

If you find a way to make information interesting and compelling, you will have no problem with SEO. Rather, you will have people flocking to your site to see more about your compelling information.

Using Infographics For Your Company by Courtney Gordner at tweakyourbiz.com

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In the End, Business IS Service

Miracle on 34th Street (1994 film)

Is your team as committed to customer service as Kris Kringle? (source: Wikipedia)

How would you like to have 75% of your business be repeat customers who seek you out to get things? Most businesses would be thrilled, especially if those customers checked in regularly to see what you have. As Jeanne Bliss shared at smallbiztrends.com recently, when your company is clear about who it is and what it does, amazing things can happen.

Using internet retailer Zappos.com as an example, Bliss explores how clarity from the boardroom to the customer service floor can make a big difference in the decisions made, which create a trusted relationship between retailer and customer, keeping them coming back. The company was founded on the idea of great customer service after its founder, Nick Swinmurn, couldn’t find a pair of shoes he wanted back in 1999.

Today, if Zappos does not offer what you are looking for, their customer service reps will help you find it elsewhere on the web–sort of like Kris Kringle in the Miracle on 34th Street sending people to Gimbels when Macy’s didn’t have what they were looking for. As Zig Ziglar said, “when you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” When your customers know you are looking out for their interests, you create an emotional connection with your customers and they will patronize you loyally–even becoming your evangelists.

Are you one of those people who has “internal customers” — other organizations within your company that you serve? They may be forced to come to you for service, but what if you treated them with all of the respect and courtesy of an outside customer? Treating others with respect and providing them great service will also make these people fans of you and your organization, making it easier for your company to meet its mission and creating valuable contacts who might be able to help you in the future.

In the end, business is service because the best businesses in every field realize they must create a relationship with people about an offering. They may have to buy from you the first go-round for any number of reasons, but they will come back because of the relationship. Service provides a means to create that relationship. Clarity about this essential truth will help your organization grow.

Clarity of Purpose: What’s Your Promise? by Jeanne Bliss at smallbiztrends.com