Thank you to everyone who attended yesterday’s second annual hashtagHerHalton International Women’s Day Breakfast. It was amazing to see so much passion for women’s leadership and innovation in the Halton Region. We here at Haltech Regional Innovation Centre just wanted to take a moment and give thanks to all who made yesterday possible #IWD2019
Our Sponsors: Enable Training and Consulting Inc. (Enable Education), Cogeco Connexion, Javelin Technologies, Amanda Steene Cosmetics, CCV Insurance & Financial Services Inc. and Northbridge Insurance, SkyHawk Telematics, BDO, Devreve Inc., Able-One Systems Inc., WBE Canada and Bergs Law
SEE EVENT PHOTOS HERE
Written by Charles Javelona, CEO & Co-Founder of UnivJobs | www.univjobs.ca
Original post on byvi
Before fully building UnivJobs, we were still in school. First, we needed to validate our assumption that students and recent grads would want a platform to help them with their employment search. We decided that a landing page would be a good start. Over the course of a few days, our team managed to get over 200 student sign-ups. This gave us the confidence to move forward with this project.
As a startup, you have limited resources, so the goal of a homepage is to be self-evident. Prioritize clarity, directness, and brevity. No need to be innovated on your design, unless you have a great reason to do so.
When site visitors come to your site, they want to figure out what you do right away. Give them that info as quickly as you can to help them decide whether to sign up or not.
To start off, let’s identify 3 types of landing pages:
Homepage – general page for all visitors to see.
Persona landing page – a page that has a tailored message to a specific audience.
Product page – detailed description of a particular product/feature.
In this post, we will focus on the homepage and how to maximize your conversion rate. Conversion in the context of landing pages means proceeding to the next step. Most of the time, it means signing up for your service or becoming your client.
Here is the conversion equation I’ve learned:
Conversion rate = Desire – Labor – Confusion
So what we need to do to maximize the conversion rate is increase desire, decrease the labor and eliminate confusion.
The first step is to focus on your messaging.
The messaging first approach maps well with the conversion rate equation. Below are the general steps to take.
- Find the value proposition that outlines the most desirable asset about your product.
- Next, identify the text and media that convey those points clearly and concisely.
- Finally, design your page in a way that it enhances the clarity and facilitate #2.
Say a lot with fewer words.
This is the principle of information density, which aims to avoid giving the visitor a surplus of reading labor.
Here are some tips to write a value proposition with high information density:
* Refine words until there’s no room for improvement – Write a list of variations. Then, find the most enticing and concise variation. Ask others to rank your best ones.
* Delete unnecessary text – Each word on your page must be necessary. Excess of words increases your visitor’s labor and triggers the impulse to skim. Tip: avoid marketing fluffs like “revolutionary”, “incredibly powerful”, “best-ever”, and so on. Visitors are blind to them. It’s better to describe your key differentiators that define your product.
* Pitch using the 80/20 rule – The more visitors are given to read, the less they read in total. So prevent triggering their reflex to skim. Always identify the two or three sub-points that convey the most value.
Landing Page Guide
Follow through this template and only detour away if you’ve released your first version and need to do A/B testing.
All your navbar needs is a logo, optional key links on your homepage or links to other pages on your site, and a call-to-action button such as a login or signup.
“Hero” in layman’s terms is the section where site visitors normally see first before scrolling down the page. Hero consists of title-text, subtitle-text, and often an image.
This section is very important, it has the highest impact on whether your visitors will sign up or scroll down to know more about your product. Remember about the first impression? This is the first place where you would place your value proposition.
Hero – Image:
To start off, the purpose of any visuals in this section is to support the text and to reinforce the value proposition. Your priority is to get the messaging first before the image, always remember that. Above is an example of our landing page at UnivJobs for employers with real people involved.
You can also use product shots or illustrations, below are examples from Front and Envoy.
What you don’t want is random photos that don’t match with what you offer, this leads to lower conversion rates. Your hero section is the first thing that people will see, don’t waste precious seconds by confusing them.
Another thing to note is that you want to be as literal, concise and clear as possible. Just get to the point and save you and your site visitors time and energy. You don’t have the same luxury as the well established companies who can show a lot of marketing fluff and still get away with it.
Hero – Title:
To reiterate, the hero section has the title and subtitle text. Your title most likely is the first thing your site visitor will read. Therefore, it must be fully descriptive and punchy so that the person reading it will instantly get what you’re doing. If your site visitors get confuse right away, they will likely skim your website, and finally will leave, simply because they didn’t understand what you do.
A perfect example of inefficient title would be a brand slogan that is general and not descriptive enough. For example: “Increase your productivity!” or “Save time and make money!”. Those lines don’t say what you do, and clearly they don’t explain how your product works.
Here are some examples of a descriptive title:
* For a piano home service – We come to your home to teach piano.
* For a mobile website builder – Build a website from your phone within minutes.
* For a quiz application – Study, challenge and share class notes using online flashcards.
There’s no confusion whatsoever what the products above do and those who resonate with the messaging will likely be more patient to read the rest of your site.
Title with Value Proposition
Going back to the original examples I have, the second sentence always points out the core value of your proposition, mainly from the pain points your key audience currently experience without your solution.
* For a piano home service – We come to your home to teach piano. So you don’t have to drive your kids anymore.
* For a mobile website builder -Build a website from your phone within minutes. You can even in do it while you commute.
* For a quiz application – Study, challenge and share class notes using online flashcards. So you don’t have to study alone and miss out.
Remember, keep it punchy and concise. It would help if you keep the sentences 6 – 12 words max.
Hero – Subtitle:
The title explains what you do. Now, the subtitle will explain how. A crucial element that will help you accelerate your customer acquisition. This is where you show your site visitors how your product/service can help them solve their problem. Use your subtitle to differentiate yourself from your competitors or to address pain points and objections. Do this clearly and concisely in a single sentence.
Here are examples we use at UnivJobs for students and employers:
Student side: A marketplace to find part-time, co-op, entry-level jobs and internships.
Employer side: A network of young talent from different post-secondary schools to source, recruit, and hire.
Keep your sentences to less than 12 words as much as you can to help with readability.
Now that you’ve explain to people what you do and how you do it. Let’s build trust and credibility by adding your existing clients’ logos. Here’s a tip if you don’t work with any big clients yet. You can provide your service or platform access to well known companies for free to get a feedback. If any of notable companies ended up becoming your clients, you can place their logos on your site.
Call To Action:
This is the part where you nudge your site visitors to the next part of their journey towards conversion. It could be getting them to sign up, to create a profile or to book a service. The call to action consists of three things: title, subtitle, and button.
Call To Action – Title:
The title is there to convey what a person will receive after they sign up. It needs to be specific, clear, and concise. For example:
- Get your meals delivered to your door.
- Find a pet sitter nearby.
Avoid the general marketing jargon or things like “Get started now”. Here is a landing page that we had before:
- Title: Get help and save money with UnivJobs.
- Button: Try it now!
Notice that I’m vague in what it means for the site visitor to get help and save money ? The button text also doesn’t help. I just simply told them to ‘Try it now!’ without knowing what they’re trying. Here is the new landing page that we have for employers.
- Title: Get early access to young talent now
- Button: Start hiring
As you can see, it says clearly what the employers will get by signing up. After this adjustment, I’ve been noticing a pattern of employer signups on our platform. On the last week of every month, this section has the most clicks and the highest conversion rate across our site.
Call to Action – Button:
The button text is there to remind your site visitors the value your are giving them once they take an action.
Here is a tip: Start with a verb to remind visitors why they came to your site. Guide them through their conversion journey and let them know their next step (ex. ‘Start’, ‘Signup’, ‘See’, ‘Browse’). Here are some examples we used at UnivJobs:
- Start hiring
- Find jobs
- Recruit students
You should not put clickbait all over your call to actions, this would be absolutely annoying to your site visitors. Instead, you can use a different color with another font weight to make the button stand out.
Features And Objections:
This section is the last piece of this tutorial. The features and objections section helps you close a sale if your site visitors are not convinced yet. Here is where you handle most of the objections and criticism from your site visitors about your value proposition. Features and objections contain multiple sections:
- Value proposition title
- Paragraph to handle objections and facts supporting your value proposition
- Image to reinforce the value proposition
Here’s an example from Stripe:
Features & Objections – Title
Write only 3 – 5 words defining your value proposition. Bluntly describe what it is so that readers can quickly decide whether the value proposition is valuable or not to them or if they should read the feature paragraph. Here are examples of feature headers from Memora Health:
- Cut your outpatient communication overhead
- Modernize outpatient communication
Features & Objections – Paragraphs
Every time your site visitors will read this paragraph, they will decide whether to believe you or not. If they don’t, hook them with something after each sentence to get them to read the full paragraph. Here are some examples:
- But it gets worse…
- You would know believe this…
- Sadly, this always happens…
If the narrative is too complex to break down, but has the potential to convert people, use a link to a separate page where site visitors can get more information about it. In addition, a simple button to reveal more info can help as well.
Features & Objections – Images
A product screenshot with relevant visuals will help you support your value propositions. Even better if it’s GIF or a SVG animation. It’s always better to show than tell.
Get feedback on your page:
Normally, your first version will not be your final version, and you should get the feedback from two types of reviewers:
- People who don’t know your market. Learn from them if your product is enticing and understandable. Do they get what your product does? One way to find out is to ask someone who’s not in your market.
- People in your target market. Understand whether your message is unique and descriptive enough to convince your target audience with high intent to choose you over the competition.
Here are some questions you can ask them:
- Conversion – Are you willing to hand over your credit card and signup right now? If not, what would you need to see to get to that point?
- Interest – On a scale of 1-10, how well the landing page kept your interest?. What would you suggest to rewrite or to redesign?
- Disbelief – Was there anything that triggered you to say ‘Untrue!’?
- Clarity – Which part is unclear? What unanswered questions are you left with?
- Expansion – Did you find something impressive on the page that you would want more details on?
- Brevity – If you had to delete half the page, which imagery and copy would that be?
Charles Javelona | CEO & Co-Founder of UnivJobs | www.univjobs.ca
To reach out for any questions:
firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @charlesjavelona
Haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet? Keep up with our 8 Days of Techmas for innovative gifts that the whole family will enjoy.
Codify Zone Inc. provides your child with the right set of tools to enhance their confidence, boost their self-esteem and let their imagination run wild. Get the little coder in your family ready with the winter program session.
Amanda Steene Custom Cosmetics takes what you love about colour, texture, tone, fragrance, and skin care and create a premium custom formulated product to your liking. See here for customized beauty and skin products.
House of Anesi changes fashion with their innovative bra that adapt up to two cup sizes and two band sizes. See how you can get your hands on their brassiere.
GardenJet Root Feeder is a sub-surface watering device which delivers water to the most important part of a plant, its roots.
Enable Education brings learning to life and captivates young readers with their new book “Hey, I’m a Story!
Gate Buddy GateBuddy™ is a magnetic gate holder that installs effortlessly in the ground. See how this is the perfect gift for the gardener in your family.
Designed to protect joint tissue, improve mobility and decrease stiffness, Tri-ACTA is a powder to mix into your pet’s food each day to keep him healthy and happy!
Discover beauty professionals near you with the Fleeky App – Join the community to meet with beauticians, estheticians, and dermatologists looking to get connected with beauty seekers like you.
Haltech hosted our Fall Hi5 Pitch Competition on November 29th which brought in over 120 registered guests to see five of Haltech’s high-potential clients represent their businesses to a judging panel of technology executives and industry professionals.
“This event brings together the ecosystem and showcases local talent in the region – we are proud to help recognize these companies for their innovative thinking,” says Shann McGrail, Executive Director of Haltech and event Master of Ceremonies.
The competition took place at The Marquee at Sheridan College, Oakville Campus, where the startups were able to set up booths and meet with the public before taking the stage to pitch their businesses. Participating teams IT Curate, Better Money Choices, Enertics, Ergotech Solutions (Leen) and House of Anesi dazzled the crowd with their new innovations and technologies.
Thank you to all the companies that took part in this event and congratulations to our winners of the night; IT Curate won people’s choice, and House of Anesi came in first place for the Hi5 Pitch Competition.
A special thank you to our judging panel: Jamie Barron of BDO Canda, Marybeth Edge of BDC, Emily Moore of Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering, Mark Fornasiero of Shirlaws Group and ACE Coworking, and Robert Buren of NBT Mentors.
See our video highlights here:
Haltech is at the nexus of Halton Region’s innovation ecosystem, working with technology companies to accelerate innovation for business growth. We help technology entrepreneurs and companies to validate, scale and grow product and service innovations with a wide range of free services that include: Business Advising & Innovation Support, Entrepreneur Skill Development and Corporate Innovation Partnerships.
House of Anesi is a lingerie tech startup based in Toronto. Anesi means comfort in greek, and our mission is to create products that improve the health and wellness of women. The Anesi bra is our first product, it uses high-tech instinct to adapt to women’s breast size changes and bio-compatible gels to reduce back pain. It can expand up to two cups and two band sizes and can wick away moisture from the body.
Better Money Choices is an online financial planning platform that has been designed to specifically suit the needs of Robo advisors as they pivot toward wealthier clients. Robo advisors’ initial success can be attributed to an enhanced client experience at a significantly lower cost. Partnered with Robo’s, Better Money Choices brings a better client experience to financial planning and advice in a low cost and scalable platform. A cornerstone of the Better Money Choices offering is that enables clients to build plans that match the lives they want to live and in the process, allows financial advisors to be just that, advisors.
Enertics provide an early asset health warning and predictive maintenance intelligence for electrical assets in heavy industries. Our solutions prevent catastrophic failures in large heavy industries as well as help our customers save significant failure and maintenance costs by preventing unplanned outages. Enertics provide a comprehensive toolkit to provide a scalable, vendor agnostic digital analytics system to proactively alert the owners and users of assets for predictive maintenance & diagnostics, connectivity, and big data processing, and providing useful operations process intelligence.
ITcurate is a Furniture Trade Platform which connects consumers to retailers through a unique method of curating furniture and home decor. It solves the online shopping dilemma by matching a consumer’s space, preference and budget. The platform dramatically increases order value, allows total visibility for the retailer through the sales process and drives customer retention. Over a short period, ITcurate’s unique Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize the way we all shop for an assortment of high-value product like furniture.
ERGOTECH Solutions (Leen)
Leen is a product designed for temporary body support which consists of ergonomic properties. Leen is a wall mounted device designed to save precious floor space, while offering an alternative to traditional methods of seating. Leen has been designed to provide ergonomic benefits to the user by firmly supporting their lower lumbar and removing any discomfort from the lower back and feet associated with sitting/standing too long. The user will lean onto the device, thereby removing the downward pressure on the lower vertebrae which is consistent with traditional seating.
See presenters pitch live at the Fall Hi5 Pitch Competition on November 29th, 2018.
November 16, 2018, Burlington, ON – Innovation in Action Tour Highlights Halton Innovation
The Innovation in Action Tour, hosted in partnership with TechPlace and Haltech, brought together over 50 attendees for an action-packed day of facility tours, lightning talks and networking opportunities. “This event is dedicated to supporting and showcasing best-in-class innovative businesses in Halton Region” said Anita Cassidy, Acting Executive Director at BEDC, “we wanted to give people a look behind the doors of our most innovative and inspiring businesses as peer-to-peer learning is vital to today’s entrepreneurs and this event was focused around just that.”
Mark Majewski, Business Development Manager at OCE.
Attendees started off the day with an engaging discussion kicked off with a lightning talk by Mark Majewski, Business Development Manager at OCE. Mark discussed opportunities and trends in technology highlighting the importance of corporate culture as integral to innovative businesses. The breakfast agenda concluded with Tracey Kadish, Associate Dean, Business and Media Graduate Studies, Applied Research and Entrepreneurship at Mohawk College, highlighting Mohawk days at TechPlace and the talent and resources post-secondary institutions can bring to a business, big and small.
Attendees in Javelin Technologies 3D Printing Lab.
Following the breakfast agenda, guests hopped on the bus to the first stop of the day at Javelin Technologies. Guests heard John Brown, Director of Sales, discuss how Javelin Technologies continues to breed a culture of innovation by focusing on their employees through Human Resource driven initiatives, emphasizing the importance of business partnerships, customer relationships and clear communication, “innovation means communicating what you are going to do and what you aren’t”.
Attendees touring Urtech Manufacturing with Karen Bozynski, Director of Business Development.
Urtech Manufacturing was the next stop of the day where attendees took a tour of the Urtech Manufacturing facilities, the UrStart Hardware Accelerator and learned valuable lessons from Karen Bozynski, Director of Business Development. “Enabling agile engagement of electronics experts and resources helps support innovation” said Bozynski. “The UrStart Accelerator offers membership services and events to help Canadian electronic hardware companies get to market faster. At Urtech, our team applies our decades of industry experience and adapts our world-class manufacturing capabilities and global supply chain to support the realization of innovative products, from prototyping through scaled volume production. Events like today provide awareness this capability exists not only in California or Asia. We have a valuable, competitive offering to bring products to market here in Ontario.”
The final company visit of the day was iLLUMA-Drive who use the services of Urtech Manufacturing and Javelin Technologies to procure their equipment. iLLUMA-Drive was founded in 2015 and has been in heavy research and development mode; the team was thrilled to share their experience with the audience. Derek Hopkins, Founder, President, and CEO, gave an engaging talk to attendees about their trials and triumphs to produce their revolutionary Digital Smart DC power and Energy Management solutions.
Derek Hopkins, Founder/President, and CEO at iLLUMA-Drive and Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament Oakville North-Burlington demoing a CENSE green DC energy management system.
Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington, Pam Damoff, attended the iLLUMA-Drive visit and even got to wire a CENSE green DC energy management system. Mid-tour iLLUMA-Drive received some exciting news that will take their business from research and development to commercialization as iLLUMA-Drive learned they had achieved electrical certification for their first product, CENSE, with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approval. This allows them to connect CENSE to the electrical grid in both Canada and the USA. CENSE is a low voltage DC panel that allows in-building DC grids to be constructed with huge improvements in electrical efficiency.
“I was thrilled to join the Innovation in Action Tour” said MP Pam Damoff “Having met with the company In their early stages, seeing this innovative business moving forward with their product and operating right here in North Burlington was truly inspiring. Even more exciting is Illuma-Drive’s electrical certification which will allow them to commercialize their products in North America.”
From left to right: Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament Oakville North-Burlington, Shann McGrail, Executive Director at Haltech Regional Innovation Centre, Derek Hopkins, Founder/President and CEO at iLLUMA-Drive, Anita Cassidy, Acting Executive Director at Burlington Economic Development Corporation and Mark Steffler, Manager at TechPlace.
Burlington Mayor-Elect Marianne Meed Ward spoke in support of the Innovation in Action Tour, “this event helped bring awareness to the Burlington business community. Both Urtech Manufacturing and iLLUMA-Drive have leveraged Burlington’s highly connected location and top talent pool to succeed as leaders in their respective fields. These businesses have, and will continue, to bring a number of highly-skilled jobs to Burlington and, I am very excited to see what the future holds for these two innovative Burlington businesses.”
The day ended with a networking reception at TechPlace, where attendees shared key learnings from the day. TechPlace and Haltech would like to thank our sponsors Ridout & Maybee, Gowlings WLG and Nickel Brook Brewing Co. This event would not have been possible without our fantastic host companies, Javelin Technologies, Urtech Manufacturing and iLLUMA-Drive, who kindly opened their doors for this event.
About the Companies
Javelin Technologies are experts in 3D. They have enabled thousands of Canadian Designers and Manufacturers to aim high with solutions for Electro-mechanical Design, Data Management, 3D Scanning, 3D Printing, and Post Processing.
Urtech Manufacturing provides a wide array of services from product prototyping and engineering, to production-scale manufacturing and post-production services to both North American companies and global Original Equipment Manufacturers.
iLLUMA-Drive is a Digital Energy company that plans to reinvent the use of power through their unique solutions– Digital Smart DC power and Energy Management.
TechPlace is a one-stop destination for new and growing technology companies. With the support of partners from across the public and private sectors, it is dedicated to connecting, developing, and advancing entrepreneurs at all stages. This means providing access to space, programming, mentorship, networking, and resources that are fundamental to growing a business in today’s technology-driven marketplace.
Led by the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), TechPlace exists to help technology, talent and ideas come together under one roof to create and promote opportunities for economic growth.
Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) has a mandate to enhance the growth prospects of existing companies and bring new high-value firms to the community. BEDC’s focus is on growing the economic base to sustain Burlington’s competitive and prosperous community. BEDC is the first point of contact for companies looking to expand, start-up or locate in Burlington.
Haltech is at the nexus of Halton Region’s innovation ecosystem, working with technology companies to accelerate innovation for business growth. We help technology entrepreneurs and companies to validate, scale and grow product and service innovations with a wide range of FREE services that include: Business Advising & Innovation Support, Entrepreneur Skill Development and Corporate Innovation Partnerships.
Article provided by Crawford & Canada (Company) Inc.
TORONTO, Oct. 9, 2018, /CNW/ – Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc. today announces the integration of Crawford EmployerWORKS™ software with its human risk service line. Crawford EmployerWORKS is an innovative software platform powered by MyAbilities™. It was designed to streamline and standardizes the collection, communication and analysis of physical, cognitive and psychosocial demands tied to risk assessment and return to work efforts. As a tool for the adjudicators, case managers and workers’ compensation consultants of Crawford’s Human Risk division, Crawford EmployerWORKS further empowers our professionals to effectively and efficiently handle disability claims by ensuring a prompt and successful return to work and implementing proper measures to prevent workplace injuries.
On Thursday, July 26th, Haltech played host to 150 guests from Halton and neighbouring regions to celebrate achievements of the past year. The evening began with an initial cocktail hour and networking where guests had the chance to interact with Haltech’s clients who showcased their innovative products and services. Among the evening’s exhibitioners were iCare Home Health, TechLink, Creations 3DP, Kinjunxion, and Ergo Tech.
Jamie Barron, Chair of Haltech’s Board of Directors, began the official program with opening remarks and success stories of the year. Guests also had the opportunity to meet the new Executive Director, Shann McGrail, who led the panel discussion that featured three Haltech clients; Michelle Gorman of Kidictive, Alan Hopkins of Purity Gas and Rick Menassa of iCare Home and Health. Panelists discussed the challenges they faced as tech startups and which Haltech services helped them the most. Speakers also shared their own advice to Shann as she begins her new journey as Executive Director.
Haltech invited co-location partners TechPlace and MEV Innovation Centre (MEVIC) to speak about the services and programs they provide to the startup community in Burlington and Milton. Both introduced local companies who reside in their coworking space and benefit from their resources and networks. Haltech clients GoWrench Auto, Tech4life Enterprises Canada Inc. and MyAbilities Technologies Inc. shared their unique journeys and how the use of their co-working space has facilitated their businesses to take new shape.
Haltech would like to thank all clients, sponsors, partners, board members, and attendees for their participation and continued support towards emerging technologies and innovation in Halton.
To see the 2017-18 Annual Report, Click Here
Article provide by univjobs.ca
Despite misconceptions, hiring college students can have a number of benefits for your business. Here are the top 5 reasons that post-secondary students are the best hires for part-time positions.
1. They’re Full Of Energy
Younger people are some of the most energetic employees, making them an excellent hire. They can go above and beyond what is required of them and will naturally inject this energy into the workplace.
2. They’re Highly Motivated
Post-secondary students are eager to gain work experience. This contributes to a positive attitude and a determined approach to work life. Students eagerly accept new challenges and will conquer them with gusto.
3. They Quickly Adapt to New Tech
In today’s digitally connected world, young adults are at the head of the game. The average student owns at least seven tech devices and is proficient at using all of them. Most young adults have grown up connected to digital technologies and social media, making them fast learners when it comes to picking up new processes in the workplace.
4. They’re Affordable
A business is there to earn profit and save money. Students are still gaining experience, so their salary expectations are lower, as opposed to established workers who naturally require a higher wage. Students are often looking for part-time work due to their school schedules, which makes them an economical hire.
5. They’re Moldable
Young-adults haven’t developed any of the bad habits that someone with years of ‘know-how’ may have picked up along the way. This means that they are highly trainable to a company’s unique standards.
Don’t let the misleading stereotype of a post-secondary student prevent you from leveraging the valuable addition they can make to your team. When you’re hiring, consider these reasons that make post-secondary students the ideal part-time hire. Browse univjobs.ca to find and hire qualified post-secondary students for your business today.