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Casting for clicks: Social media lessons from fly fishing 

By Mike Lahoda

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Image by Brian Dionisi

I’ve recently taken up fly fishing and it’s more complicated than I expected. There’s a whole host of variables to factor in: stream flow, temperature, depth, seams, riffles, pools. Not to mention a dizzying variety of flies and the puzzle of selecting one that effectively imitates a particular insect. It’s a mixture of relaxation and frustration. Connecting with nature and cursing at knots. Muttering absurd phrases like “that looks like some fishy pocket water, maybe I’ll try a hopper dropper with a chubby Chernobyl and a bead-headed pheasant tail” while standing alone in a crystal-clear mountain stream.  

There’s one variety of fly called a streamer, which mimics small fish the bigger fish like to eat. When fishing with a streamer, you make your cast, let the fly flutter in the current, and strip it back to tempt an opportunistic trout. One tip for increasing your odds? Add a little wiggle action to the fly during your retrieve. Fish love the wiggle.  

As it turns out, the humble wiggle can also be a successful tactic in your social media marketing. In a stream of static social posts, a touch of motion can be just the thing to motivate scrollers to bite on your content. At 2A, we call these posts wiggles. These short GIFs perform exceptionally well at reeling in traffic and linking to long-form content. A recent series we created for the Microsoft Power Platform team gained a cascade of impressions on LinkedIn and Twitter—and no one had to put on waders or spend hours standing in a cold river.  

Looking to cast your content further on social? The marketing guides here at 2A know how to read the water and help you land the big ones.    

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Swipe right for a committed agency partner

By Mike Lahoda

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Image by Thad Allen

Summer has finally arrived here in the Pacific Northwest. We’re swapping raincoats for sunscreen, marveling at the bright skies, and for some, diving into the dating pool. That’s right—time to refresh the Hinge profile pics, add a quirky blurb to the Bumble bio, and find that summer love.

Here are 5 tips for online dating success. Kidding! This is not that kind of marketing blog.

But there are parallels between dating and working with an agency. We find that the most successful marketing assets are the result of a great client-and-agency partnership. So how can you build a lasting, healthy relationship with an agency?

  1. Be upfront about what you’re looking for. Just looking for a casual infographic? Or are you seeking a committed partner to help strategize the best lead-gen methods? We appreciate and respect your preferences, just let us know so we’re on the same page.
  2. Introduce us to the family. No need to wait until things get serious to meet the parents and siblings. There are often numerous stakeholders involved in any asset development, and we’re happy to coordinate with the whole team. Let us know who’s involved at the start, so we can account for feedback and reviews to deliver on time.
  3. Communicate your feelings. We have many talents at 2A, but we’re still working on mind-reading. Share how things are going early and often. Straightforward feedback cultivates collaboration, builds trust, and leads to a fulfilling partnership.
  4. Don’t ghost. No one enjoys getting stood up, canceled on at the last minute, or a lack of responsiveness. We understand that schedules are packed and conflicts arise. That’s ok, we just appreciate some advance notice.
  5. Express gratitude and love. Did that eBook make your prospects swoon? We’d love to hear about it! And if you have friends in the market for marketing assets, we hope you’ll recommend 2A. There’s a whole team of consultants, program managers, designers, and storytellers ready to get to know you.

Think we’re a match? Reach out and let’s set a date to connect.

Image of a baby pushing a toy ruck on top of the planet earth


Life stinks without diapers

By Mike Lahoda

Image of a baby pushing a toy ruck on top of the planet earth

Image by Guangyi Li

Let’s talk about diapers.

Not being a father myself, I’ve never actually changed one.

But if you’re a new parent like several of our 2A staff members, you’re likely waking up at odd hours of the night to sounds of wailing and whining on the baby monitor that you now instinctively know translate to “change me.” Or maybe you can vividly recall how your once-tiny human laid on the changing table in front of your sleep-deprived eyes. And now you’re in awe at how much they’ve grown, and how much more they’ll continue to grow.

Thinking back, were you at all concerned about whether or not you could afford a fresh diaper to wrap your precious cargo with? Studies show that up to 36 percent of families struggle to afford diapers. This can lead to high rates of depressive symptoms among new moms, as diapers, unlike baby food and formula, are not covered by programs like WIC or SNAP.

You may be wondering why this B2B marketing company is blogging about diapers. While, yes, we are trying to contain a few messy projects right now, really this is a celebration of Evelyn, Lucy, Maren, Nolan, Oliver, Rowan, Ruth, Sophia, and the 2A babies we’ll soon welcome into the world.

We invite you to join our rapidly growing 2A family in supporting WestSide Baby—a Seattle nonprofit that provides essential items to children in need by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing, and equipment like car seats. We’re glowing with the pride of new parents to share 2A’s sponsorship of WestSide Baby’s annual Beyond the Basics event that enables the organization’s extraordinary impact in our community. In addition, our team donated a total of 5,930 diapers to help keep kids safe, warm, and dry.

Diaper need stinks. Change it.

Remote onboarding is like flying an alien spaceship


Remote onboarding is like flying an alien spaceship

By Mike Lahoda

Remote onboarding is like flying an alien spaceship

At 16, I started my first job as a busboy. The most memorable part of that first day was meeting the bartender, Ryan. He didn’t even introduce himself. He just looked me in the eye and launched into an Oscar-worthy recital of Bill Pullman’s speech from Independence Day. You know, the one just before the ragtag team takes to the skies to fend off the aliens. The waitstaff assembled behind me and cheered as Ryan climbed onto the bar and finished his address, fired up for a night of slinging wings, pouring drinks, and defending the earth from alien overlords. I was pretty confused.

Leading up to my start at 2A, I was a bit nervous about the remote onboarding process. Starting any new job can be stressful, and with the addition of being remote I worried about feeling lost in space. Fortunately, Planet 2A is home to some of the friendliest, smartest humans in the galaxy, which made for a stellar onboarding experience. Here are my tips for getting up to lightspeed when beginning a new job remotely. 

Study your spacecraft

When Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum pilot the alien spaceship for the first time, they accidentally set off in reverse and almost crash. That’s kind of what starting a new job is like: there are a lot of unfamiliar buttons and you’re not sure what each of them do or when they should be pushed. Be patient and learn from others before flying solo.

Have a Will Smith to your Jeff Goldblum

You’re going to need a good co-pilot, and my manager Annie is an ace. In addition to frequently checking in with me, Annie guided me through our 2A Living Practice trainings, had me shadow her in client meetings, and answered the millions of questions I asked. She’s at the controls beside me as I take off on my own projects. 

Make contact and show that you come in peace

I made it a priority to schedule meetings with my teammates. In the dark void of space—I mean, the remote-working world—there’s no watercooler talk or popping over to a colleague’s desk to brainstorm. I’m still waiting on holographic communication, but video chat is a capable substitute, especially in one-on-one and small-group settings.

We’re living through a strange time. In 2020, the prospect of waking up to news headlines of invading extraterrestrials seems entirely plausible. Work is different now. If you’re starting a new job remotely, remember that this is uncharted territory for everyone. It will require patience, trust, and communication as we learn new ways of working together from the comfort of our own home planets.