Blogs By Author

Will
What's for Lunch?

The dartboard comes in handy for when we just can't decide what to have for lunch.

This blog was posted by Will on September 15, 2014.
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

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Will
Playing at the Table

Sandstorm's lunch area.

This blog was posted by Will on September 16, 2014.
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

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Will
The Purple Palace
This blog was posted by Will on September 19, 2014.
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

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Will

We give a lot of #thanks (You Rocks!) around Sandstorm. Check our Sandy’s collection.

This blog was posted by Will on August 22, 2014.
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

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Will
Sandstorm at DHCU
This blog was posted by Will on .
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

THIS FILE WAS POSTED UNDER: 
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Will
Interactive Agency Looking for a Digital Strategist

Sandstorm Design is hiring! Our interactive agency in Chicago is seeking a Digital Strategist to join our team with an entrepreneurial spirit. If this is you, contact us.

The perfect candidate is a forward-thinking, self-starter to lead client projects through their entire lifecycle. (This isn’t just a project manager.) The Digital Strategist is consulting role that helps define the vision for our projects. They need experience cultivating long-term marketing relationships and comfortable envisioning and delivering in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary environment. Like all Sandstormers, the strategist has to understand and embrace the history, core values and culture of our agency.

It is a digital role. They need to understand how the web and application design and development process work, recognize problematic areas, as well as provide solutions to move projects forward. They are responsible for accurately understanding the client’s objectives and requirements and communicating the information to the design/development team. This requires  excellent written and verbal communication and leadership skills.

All Sandstorm employees must meet deadlines, be aware of scope and budget of projects they are assigned to and work cooperatively with the team and clients.

To apply, please submit resume and cover letter. Please NO phone calls. If you have any questions, please comment to this post.

Specific Role Components

  • Accounts for overall financial performance of client
  • Creates clear and informative project briefs to outline priorities and motivate teams
  • Assists with quarterly or semi-annual strategic business planning meetings to develop near and long term strategies
  • Determines appropriate engagement models for the project and client relationship (time and materials, fixed fee, retainer, other)
  • Seeks opportunities to apply previous strategies and project methodologies to achieve desired outcomes efficiently
  • Develops proposals and sales presentations
  • Assists existing client growth
  • Enters time and cost estimates
  • Reviews and approves invoices and payables
  • Assists with strategic planning, concept development and requirements gathering
  • Identifies resource and personal needs to fill gaps in the agency’s capabilities
  • Participates in industry and local events/associations to build awareness and reputation of agency and to network with clients
  • Creates case studies
  • Seeks media coverage of client work to increase awareness and solidify reputation in the digital marketing space
  • Consults as needed

Qualifications

  • 3–5 years of account management in similar organizations
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business or equivalent field
  • Previous experience working in agency or professional services
  • Experience in digital marketing
  • Proficient writer
  • Exceptional communications skills
  • Social media platform experience preferred
  • SEO and/or SEM experience preferred
  • Information Architecture understanding, Axure familiarity a plus
This blog was posted by Will on October 1, 2013.
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

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Will
Crowds cheer for Sandstorm social media strategy

The big game is this Sunday. It’s going to be cold. There will be a lot of parties. It’s sure to be a great matchup between the Seahawks and the Broncos with a number of memorable commercials. But between cold brews and bowls of flamin’ hot nachos, fans will use this major media event to get their thoughts out on social media.

Both teams are supported by very outspoken fanbases, on the field and in front of TVs across the country. These are true blue fans who are constantly advocating their team (or should we say brand). Even on social media, their fans are constantly liking, commenting and even defending.

So they’re football teams, what does that mean for you? You too can create superfans for your brand. It takes time and effort, but these four points will help direct your initiative to the endzone.

1. Make a Conversation NOT a Speech

It’s all about social engagement. Think about it in terms of a party (not a football party, one with more mingling). What are the most memorable experiences? Ones where you are involved in a conversation or where you’re forced to listen while someone expounds? It’s probably the former, and chances are that you were so involved that you lost track of time, too.

Why not replicate that with your social media presence? If you create something that asks questions or welcomes discourse, you’re putting forth a memorable experience for your users.

2. Be Fueled by Your Focus

Do what you set out to do. If your goal is to sell a service or product, be sure that your interaction supports that. Your social media presence should be positioned to support your business, not just to support itself.

If you are posting just funny pictures, comics, or non sequiter posts, what does that do for your business? They can relate to you with some copy, but you need to make sure that what you put in front of your users is reflective of your business. [If you want to read more about making sure your content fits your brand, I wrote a post on Voice and Tone.]

3. Make a Game Plan

You don’t find social success by luck. You need to examine the field, size up your competitors, and find out what makes your users tick. Success comes from practice and preparation. By setting up a strategy you have a plan to keep your momentum. A well executed Social Media strategy can assist with how you respond to user comments as well.[To learn more on the importance of thinking, check out this post from Laura.]

4. Keep It Personal

The social aspect of social media is the instant human connection. Traditional media created campaigns that presented ideas, feelings, products with a passive connection to the user. Content, ads, articles, commercials, were seen and read.  Social media is interactive. Whereas with a commercial, a user might be part of an invisible conversation based on the business’ assumptions. Now you can promote and present useful content on a platform ready for consumer reaction.

As opposed to having your brands message as part of a TV program or in a magazine, your content is within your users feed of personal information. So, you’ll be interspersed with personal contacts, family photos, and old high school crushes. With that their likes and comments are open for their network (and yours to see). Ensure you are creating a conversation where your user would be open to comment and like in an open, personal forum.

What’s Your Next Play?

After 10 years of Social Media, it’s a mainstay of our lives and businesses. With some preparation and thoughtfulness you can mold your brand’s online presence into an important part of their social media experiences. To create super fans, you have to first create something super. If you can get them cheering, the eventual results will make you cheer, too.

This blog was posted by Will on January 31, 2014.
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

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Will
Taking time to create great brand strategy

I enjoy comedy, and I’m a big Monty Python fan. It’s no surprise that when I found a lecture by John Cleese on creativity, I was excited. He’s incredibly funny, smart and hard-working. What surprised me was how his 1991 talk resonates with me today.

What’s the path to creativity?

No matter how hard one tries, you can’t put creativity into a box or a process. The road to results is non-linear. In the talk, Cleese lists, not attempted process, but the conditions under which creation can happen. They are:

  1. Space
  2. Time
  3. Time
  4. Confidence
  5. Humor

All of these steps make sense. I really like that he mentioned ‘Time’ twice. An emphasis on time is crucial. Creating something innovative from scratch takes time to steep. Time is the secret ingredient that allows creative brains to make unique connections.

There are no shortcuts.

People are in awe of the beauty of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, without thinking of how Michelangelo dreamt it, designed, planned and painted it. This took time. A lot of it. This is true of any major creative undertaking; sculpting from clay, writing a novel, composing an opera.

Effective marketing takes time, too.

The importance of time goes even further: design and development of a web site, strategic marketing plans, content strategy, social media strategy, usability, user research. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was any reputable web site.

So, when preparing a request for proposals, and eventually statements of work, keep in mind that to create something great, you’ll need to allocate an appropriate amount of time so your creative partner can build something impactful. Find a partner you trust to assist you with the appropriate level of effort so you get the maximum ROI.

Great things can come to those who wait.

Dreaming, Planning, Preparation, Research, Thinking, Designing, Execution: they all take time. So the next time you visit a blog you enjoy or walk past a sculpture in the park, consider who created it, and more importantly how.

[I encourage you to watch Mr. Cleese’s lecture, too. There is a shorter and full version available.]

This blog was posted by Will on January 17, 2014.
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

Will
Cornucopia of thanks from Sandstorm

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and Hanukkah begins this week as well. It’s a time to be grateful for the goodness of life. To mark this festive time, I asked Sandstormers: “What are 3 things for which you are thankful?”

Interestingly enough, I noticed a number of patterns in the responses. (I’m always looking for patterns anyway). So, here are the many thanks of Sandstorm by the numbers:

We all love our families, friends, and Sandstorm. (No one was bribed to say Sandstorm and co-worker related things.) We also are appreciative of our health. Sandstormers also rank food and drink highly, which depending on the food and drink might actually counter our good health.

I also asked what everyone is most anticipating at Thanksgiving dinner. The most common answer was stuffing followed by the chaos of having a big family get together. (I said pie and expect there are more pie lovers out there.)

As much as I hate cliché (which, might I add, is a terrible way to start a paragraph), Sandstorm is a cornucopia. We’re all different but still belong in the same basket. (Someone please explain the cornucopia basket to me, it seems so inefficient). We all have different backgrounds, but still share the same values (and cravings).

Take some time to think about what is important in your life (at work and at home). For what are you thankful?

As a special holiday bonus, I’ve included everyone’s full responses below. Enjoy!

(In no particular order)

Sandy

The one thing I am most anticipating at Thanksgiving dinner is eating carbs with no guilt.

I'm thankful for:

  • My fellow awesome Sandstormers
  • My family
  • My health

Janna

Having dinner at our new house with my family and new friends.

I'm thankful for:

  • My first holiday in our new house
  • Healthy family and friends
  • Good food and beer

Nathan

I am most anticipating seeing my family, playing pool with my grandfather & uncles and celebrating my Mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!

I'm thankful for:

  • Friends and Family
  • Freedom to make my own decisions
  • My fantasy football career success

Derek

Anticipating a delicious prepared meal as last years venue was really pretty awful.

I'm thankful for:

  • A continuously interesting workplace and colleagues
  • HBO GO
  • Upstairs neighbor that is never home

Jason

Stuffing!

I'm thankful for:

  • Jon [his husband]
  • Sandstorm
  • comic books

Drew

The thing I am most anticipating at Thanksgiving dinner is finding out where Bree’s chosen to order from.

I'm thankful for:

  • My Wife and Cats
  • My Health
  • My Creative Freedom

Emily K.

Stuffing

I'm thankful for:

  • Cheese
  • Pajamas
  • Family

Mike M.

NOISE! Thanksgiving is at the Marsico’s this year!  We are a bunch of LOUD Italians! You’re welcome, Sandy. ;)

I'm thankful for:

  • My loving family
  • Good health
  • Mexican food

Alma

Chaos. There will be 10 people and 2 dogs, so something is bound to happen!

I'm thankful for:

Andy

Stuffing

I'm thankful for:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Football

LLK

Sufganiyot, since its Hanukkah

I'm thankful for:

  • Coffee
  • Sleep
  • Mexican beaches

Kyle

Stuffing. I love it.

I'm thankful for:

  • The Internet
  • Friends
  • Family

Megan

Cranberry wine

I'm thankful for:

  • My family
  • The Clinton family
  • Dogs

Meaghan

A full belly

I'm thankful for:

  • Old Fashioneds
  • Ira Glass
  • Airplanes

Emily Y.

Not a joke, my grandma’s homemade ranch dressing.

I'm thankful for:

  • Family
  • Friends (yes, including coworkers)
  • Health

Michael

Staying home.

I'm thankful for:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Food

Jesse

I’m looking forward to seeing all of the family that I haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful for:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Health

Will

Pie… all of the pie.

I'm thankful for:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Cats
This blog was posted by Will on November 27, 2013.
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

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Will
Sandstorm Bowling at Timber Lanes

On November 1, if you called our office in the afternoon, you weren’t able to reach anyone. We all played hooky and went bowling.

Our core values rolled into one event

Sandstormers have three core values, and our experience on Friday tied together all three:

  • Warrior Spirit: Things got competitive, and we fought through our bowling shortcomings to, for the most part, stay out of the gutter.
  • Learning and Sharing: Some of us were re-learning how to bowl and learning how to score by pencil. Others were sharing technique, pointers, and math skills.
  • Have Fun: We were bowling! Some pizzas, some beers, a few laughs. Plus, we had a jukebox playing tunes such as the Gipsy Kings rendition of Hotel California.

Strike? Spare? Turkeys!?

Our expedition started with a good (and thorough) presentation on scoring by our in-house bowling aficionado Derek. It was a good refresher for everyone. This is bowling. There are rules.

Rolling the Lanes

We headed to Timber Lanes, swapped our shoes and got to business. It got competitive, but everyone was perfectly calm, dude. No one entered a world of pain. (Though, I’m pretty sure I went over the line on one occasion.)

All right! Way to go, Sandy!

Thanks for a great time. I can’t wait to share our next adventure. You can see more of our bowling shenanigans on Facebook and Instagram.

This blog was posted by Will on November 19, 2013.
Will Biby

About the Author

Will Biby

Will wears many hats at Sandstorm. From writing web content to executing social media strategies, he is quick to act and insistent on a job done right. Will enjoys writing, so expect to hear from him often on the blog.

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