How to Work From Home Like A Boss

Person working from home on a laptop laying on their bed

So You’re Working from Home…

Did you know that April 10 is Global Work from Home Day? As an entirely remote agency, we’ve become experts in how to work from home like a boss. 

As we navigate the nuances of working from home, striking a balance between productivity and self-care is an essential part of your success. So, let’s explore some actionable tips to help you thrive in your work from home (or “WFH”, as the kids like to call it) environment that will keep you focused, organized, and productive all while taking care of your mental health.

Get Comfy, Stay Active

Whether you’re new to working from home or have been doing it for a long time, one thing is for sure: being comfortable and staying active during the day is a must. While it’s very easy to slip into the habit of staying put at your desk/kitchen table/couch/bed/wherever you work, it’s important to get up, move around, and get some fresh air once in a while. Take your dog for a walk, go grab a coffee, or fit a little yoga into your breaks. It’s not only good for the body, but for the mind as well. In addition to this, here are some products that we love that’ll help you stay comfy and active during the day:

Buy a Footstool to Put Under Your Desk

Adding a footstool – like this one from BlissTrends –  to your home office setup is a game-changer. Bid adieu to uncomfortable seating positions and say hello to ergonomic bliss. With a footstool tucked neatly under your desk, you can eliminate cramps and stiffness, while improving posture and comfort. Elevate your feet and your productivity as you conquer your day with ease.

BlissTrends footstool to go under desk

Sit Pretty with a Criss-Cross Chair

Investing in a criss-cross chair – like this beauty from Sweetcrispy – is ideal for home office setups. With a 360° rotating seat and adjustable features, this chair offers optimal comfort and versatility. Its wide seat size and U-shaped design reduce hip pressure, while the high-density, sponge-filled cushion ensures long-lasting comfort.

beige criss cross office chair

Get Moving with a Walking Pad Treat 

Who said you can’t walk a mile or two while you work? Place a walking pad – like this one from Yagud – underneath any table where you can stand and work, and start your journey towards consistent exercise while you crush your to-do list.

woman walking on walking pad. amazon product photo.
woman rubbing her eyes from eye fatigue with glasses in her hand

Easy On the Eyes

Comfort doesn’t always have to come in the form of how your body is positioned. Since we spend upwards of 7-8 hours a day glued to computer screens during the week (instead of socializing by the office copy machine), your eyes are getting a heck of a workout. 

Pick Up Some Blue Light Glasses

Luckily, there’s a solution to eye fatigue in the form of blue light glasses – like these trendy cuties from Visoone. With the capability to block up to 99% of harmful blue light, they should be your go-to solution for preventing visual fatigue, eyestrain, and those pesky headaches. Plus, they’re non-prescription, making them suitable for anyone.

       

Quit the Squint with a Sleek Monitor

If you’re someone who works at a desk, managing lots of projects at once, there’s no need to try to fit all your windows and assets on one 11-15” screen. With its expansive screen real estate and crystal-clear display, a monitor – like this one from HP – enhances productivity by facilitating seamless multitasking and providing clarity for documents, presentations, and detailed design work.

HP desk monitor with beautiful landscape
Person working from home with monitor, laptop, and phone on desk along with iced drink

Stay Productive

One of the more challenging aspects of working from home is trying to avoid distraction. Cohabitating with family members, pets, and life noise can often create a recipe for disastrous workflow…not to mention the laundry that has been piling up all week. While it’s healthy to take a break to throw in that laundry, it’s important to learn how to identify and minimize common distractions in a home environment, including noise, social media, and household chores, to maintain focus and concentration during work hours. Here’s some tips on how to do just that:

Manage Your Time Effectively

Consider exploring strategies for effectively managing your time, such as setting daily goals, creating schedules in your calendar, and utilizing organization features/applications that will help you maximize productivity. At Random, we use a combination of Google Workspace, Slack, and ClickUp to keep our team in communication and hold one another accountable for getting tasks done. That said, nothing is wrong with keeping a notebook, some sticky notes, a whiteboard, or any other tool that will keep you on task near your workspace to maximize your productivity. 

face profile with flowers coming out of head representing good mental health

Change Up Your Scenery

A major part of working from home is working alone throughout most of – if not all – of your week. If you allow yourself to be sequestered to your everyday workspace without regularly interacting with the outside world, your mental health has the potential to decline significantly.

One way to shake things up (if your job allows for it) is to challenge yourself to work from a coffee shop or a coworking space. This could be once a week, once a month, or even sporadically. Either way, getting out of the house and into the world can be just what the doctor ordered; the change of scenery can really boost your productivity and creativity levels in ways you have to see to believe, just purely based on a different environment, the buzz of the other people around you, or both!

If this isn’t an option for you, find other ways to stimulate your brain outside of your home. Go for a walk on your break or sit on your porch/balcony (as long as the WiFi reaches). Anything that allows you to switch things up without sacrificing your workflow or efficiency is worth the extra effort if it ultimately boosts your mood.

Set Boundaries

There can be a lot of crossover between work life and personal life when you work from home, and the laptop can end up staying open a lot longer than it might if you worked in an office. The good news is that there are lots of ways you can avoid blurring the lines between your 9-5 and your 5-9.

One of the most important concepts to embrace is the act of setting boundaries. Setting boundaries between work and personal life is essential when working from home, especially if the space that used to be used for relaxation and decompression is now the same one in which you take meetings and work on presentation decks.. Creating dedicated workspaces, establishing clear work hours, and communicating expectations with family members, housemates, and even your coworkers will help you foster a more productive work environment.

We understand that setting boundaries can be challenging and anxiety inducing for some folks; nobody wants to seem like they aren’t a team player. That said, communicating healthy boundaries is the best way to set yourself (and your team) up for success. To dive into this concept more, check out this blog on Weworkremotely.com for even more tips.

Guess What? You’re a Boss Now

By implementing these products and strategies to maintain focus, protect our physical and mental health, and establish clear boundaries, we can navigate the intricacies of working from home with resilience and wellbeing intact, like the boss that you are. Remember, it’s all about making your workspace work for YOU.


Looking to level up more than just your WFH setup? Random can help you with everything from A to Z in the digital marketing realm. Contact us here to get started!

All Eyes and Ears: Best Practices for Podcast Cover Art

So you’ve entered the vibrant world of podcasting, have you? You’ve brewed up the perfect blend of wit, insight, and hilarity. You’re all set up and ready to inspire the world with your unique perspective … but hold on! You need a podcast cover. Or maybe you have one, but it’s just not cutting it.

What are you going to release into the crowded digital landscape of podcast-dom to vie for the attention of billions of daily users? A podcast cover isn’t just eye candy; it’s the first impression, the tantalizing teaser, and the magnetic force that says, “Hey, listen to this!” 

So, buckle up as we reveal our best tips for making your podcast cover the secret sauce to transforming curious browsers into dedicated listeners.

Cornea Catchiness

Your podcast cover is the visual equivalent of a catchy jingle that sticks in your head and elicits a feeling — comfort, shock, or what have you — each time it is seen. A well-designed cover serves as the face of your show, creating a lasting impression that lingers long after the episode ends. It’s the sly wink that says, “Remember me?” when your audience is scrolling through a sea of listening options.

As Spotify puts it, you should never “​​start designing a cover before understanding your podcast’s visual identity”. So, before you dive into graphic design mode, here’s a simplified version of their step-by-step guide to doing just that:

This approach is exactly how we helped our client Point NorthEast develop the cover image for their podcast, Level Up Your Business. Given that Point NorthEast is a business consulting firm, we wanted to make sure that the keyword “business” was not only in the podcast title, but also prominently displayed on the cover art.

Podcast cover with blue background, white text that reads "Level Up Your Business", with yellow arrow behind the text that points up into the top right corner of the image.

We took inspiration from Point NorthEast’s “Up and to the Right” mantra, which focuses on the upward momentum that is necessary for a business to grow. We not only incorporated the “level up” keyword into the podcast title, but used a non-linear, up-and-to-the-right arrow to give a visual example of this.

We tied it all together with Point NorthEast’s logo (which features mountain peaks with the same upward trajectory as the arrow), their brand colors, and text that really pops off the image, giving an almost 3-dimensional look. We think it really works!

Quick Tips:

How to Captivate “Your People”

As previously mentioned when discussing Spotify’s tips, you have to consider this: Who is your target audience? A successfully captivating cover invites your type of people — the ones to whom you wish to cater and convince to take the plunge into your content, promising an experience that’s as delightful as the imagery suggests. After all, who can resist the allure of a podcast that satisfies the eyes and the ears?

Podcast cover with illustrated images of Gareth Reynolds and Jake Johnson, wearing sweaters and using vintage headphones, mics, and sound equipment.

Jake Johnson and Gareth Reynolds, a goofy actor/comedy duo with no real qualifications to guide you through life’s challenges, started a podcast called We’re Here to Help where they offer up “free advice that feels … free”. Funny concept, right?

Here’s why their cover art works so well:

Quick Tips:

Click-Worthy Charm

If a potential listener is scanning through an ocean of podcasts, your cover is the lighthouse guiding them home. An aesthetically pleasing and professionally crafted cover not only piques interest but also signals quality and trustworthiness. If a user is easily and quickly able to discern what your podcast is about simply based on your cover art, then you, my friend, are nailing it. 

Here’s a few examples of branded podcast covers that exemplify what we’re talking about.

Podcast cover with an illustration of a McDonald's red sauce container, with a yellow background. The font and color styles emulate McDonald's brand.
Podcast cover with artistic, illustrated images of food, eating utensils, and a shovel, intermixed with the text of the podcast title, "Why We Eat What We Eat."
Podcast cover with solid red background, the white Trader Joe's logo, and white text beneath it that reads "(inside)."

All three of these podcasts are owned by their respective brands, and each does a great job of putting recognizable iconography and additional branded elements front and center to inspire clicks and listens.

Quick Tips:

The fact of the matter is, there’s lots of directions to take your podcast design; sometimes it’s just the initial spark of an idea that can get the ball rolling. That being said, we’ll leave you with this helpful link of pinned podcast covers that will hopefully get your creative juices flowing!

Bonus Content! Random Podcast Recommendations

Did you think we were going to just leave you without a few podcast recommendations of our own? Check out what the Random team always has in their podcast queue:

Lauren Patterson, Co-Founder and CEO recommends The Economics of Everyday Things. “I love this podcast because it dives deep into the economics of a topic in a really interesting way. It’s a great reminder that there are so many angles to tackle a problem or to tell a story with. The episodes are short and engaging, even if you weren’t an econ major in college.”

John Patterson, Co-Founder/Chief Strategy Officer recommends No Such Thing As A Fish. “It feeds my curiosity and is unstructured enough that it still has some thrill of discovery. Even if you see the title of the episode, there’s still something surprising and useful to learn.”

Ryan Allen, Director of Marketing: “My favorite podcast is Kreative Kontrol, hosted by Canadian music journalist Vish Khanna. It’s an interview-style podcast, with no real special hook or clever angle. Instead, the set up is an intimate conversation between an interviewer who is clearly a huge fan of his guest’s work and independent musicians, authors, comedians, and other entertainment related folks looking to promote a new project. Vish’s interview style is humorous, informal, and relaxed, but also very well-researched. 

Recent guests include Tommy Stinson from the Replacements, 90s rockers the Breeders, new twangy indie band Ratboys, and author Michael Azerrad — who wrote “Come As You Are”, the definitive book on Nirvana. I’m a huge music nerd, so this is all like aural candy for me!”

Stefany Graves, Account Executive: “I have been an avid listener to most/all of the comedy podcasts out there. The ones that I keep in a constant rotation are Your Mom’s House, Bad Friends, Whiskey Ginger, Good For You, Are You Garbage?, Hey Babe, Taste Buds, and sooooo many more. I just really love to escape into other people’s lives and get a good laugh.”

Allison Andres, Senior Social Media Marketing Specialist:13 is the quintessential podcast for every Swiftie out there, with deep dives into everything Taylor Swift. I’m also a huge fan of Brittany Broski’s podcast, The Brittany Broski Report. She really knows how to make you laugh and then have an existential crisis in the same episode.”

Shelby Cron Boyd, Social Media Marketing Specialist: “My podcast recommendation is two-fold. My first rec has to be This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass. It’s such a fascinating listen each week with folks from all walks of life, with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Each week they choose a theme and then interview people with experiences related to that topic, producing riveting, relatable and sometimes wild stories that ‘unfold like little movies for radio’. 

My second recommendation would be Films To Be Buried With hosted by Brett Goldstein (Roy Kent from Ted Lasso). As a self-proclaimed cinephile and talented actor/director/producer, Brett creates a very welcoming atmosphere for each of his guests to talk about their life in the context of film.”

Looking to create your own podcast, but you aren’t sure where to start? Random can help you with everything from cover art design to production and distribution. Contact us below to get started!

The Rise of AI: How AI Tools are Affecting Social Media

The concept of artificial intelligence may seem like old news, and we get it – ”AI is going to take over the world and steal all of our jobs!” (insert scared face emoji here). Movies have been made and theories have been shared. But whether we like it or not, AI is a fast-growing industry, rapidly becoming the Internet’s most informative, creative, and efficient tool.

Average daily social media usage is on the rise, and with it comes an increasing need for AI solutions to knowledgeably discern audience preferences. There is still so much to be learned about this seemingly all-knowing intelligence, the industry isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and content creators all over the globe are starting to get wise to its capabilities. But if you’re still on the fence about jumping aboard the speeding train we call AI, allow us to share with you some of the best ways that you can harness its power to improve your performance as a creator, influencer, businessperson, and/or casual social media user.


1. ChatGPT

One of the more popular forms of AI you’ve probably heard about is ChatGPT. ChatGPT is self-defined as an AI-powered language model developed by OpenAI, capable of generating human-like text based on context and past conversations. Or we can define it the way the guy sitting next to us in the coffee shop just did: “It’s like a pet. It just wants to make you happy.”

ChatGPT’s knowledge spans from the dawn of the internet all the way up until 2021. It can rewrite your emails, explain metaphysics to you like you’re five years old, or simply act as another search engine.

How can I use it as a social media guru?

When it comes to social media, ChatGPT can quickly become your best friend. Do you have a client with a lot of the same talking points that quickly become monotonous in your copywriting? ChatGPT is great at taking any core concepts you give it and generating masterfully worded, exciting content that will capture your audience’s attention. You can be as specific or as vague as you’d like, but just remember: ChatGPT is only as helpful as the prompts you give it and nothing it produces should be regarded as hard facts until verified. 


2. Image Generation (DALL-E, Midjourney, etc.)

The concept of AI-generated images produces both fear and inspiration in the minds of social media creatives. On one hand, it can appear as a threat to individuality and artistic expression. On the other, it can also open up a whole new world of possibilities, especially when it comes to people who struggle to create a visual that matches their idealized concept.

According to Forbes, Text-to-image AI models like DALL-E, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion have been revolutionizing the way visual content is created. These systems use machine learning algorithms to create images from a text description or even to generate new variations of existing images.

How can I use it as a social media guru?

For social media creators, AI image-generators can be great for creating assets that your brand lacks or has yet to acquire. If you just can’t nail down a photo from your client’s image library that fits your vision, try AI image generation instead. 

For example, if you want photos of specific people doing a specific task on a specific holiday, you can generate them. If you want to know what your corporate office building would look like in the year 3084, you can generate that. If you want to know what a Barbie dreamhouse in every U.S. state would look like (which you do), you can literally do that and share it with your audience. The possibilities are endless and tons of very successful brands are already implementing this method into their creative strategy. (One thing to note: Some AI-generated images come out a little bit strange ” especially if the image is of a human ” so be sure to check for extra teeth, fingers, etc. before posting your creation!)

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A post shared by Topgolf (@topgolf)

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A post shared by Waterloo Sparkling Water (@waterloosparkling)


3. Influencer Marketing

By now, most of us are aware of the term influencer, but for those uninitiated, an influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. Businesses have been leveraging the market influence of powerful people for decades and now, in the era of the online influencer, brands are finding immense success in paying notable individuals to promote their product/service on social media.

That said, some rather notable challenges have presented themselves in the age of social media. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Around 67% of brands are concerned with influencer fraud [when influencers use dishonest methods, like buying followers, to inflate their influence], and almost 30% of marketers have difficulties measuring the ROI of their campaigns. Other common issues include finding the right influencers and knowing the appropriate compensation.

With such a highly saturated market, how can brands be sure they are making prudent decisions that will benefit their business?

The answer: artificial intelligence.

How can I use it as a social media guru?

Artificial intelligence has the power to recognize even the smallest signs of fraud in a person’s account. From poor account ratios to abnormal spikes in followers, AI can easily spot suspicious behavior in a potential influencer’s account and help you steer clear of any fraudulent activity.

AI can also help you feel confident that your money is being spent well in the right places. It will help you identify the best influencers, best platforms and best audiences for your product/service, thus helping you create a pathway for optimal return on investment. 

If you want to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck from influencer marketing partnerships, check out platforms like Grin, Influencity, Find Your Influence, Influsoft, CreatorIQ (influencermarketinghub.com).


4. Audience Management and Support

AI is changing the way we do social media through audience management and support. It’s doing what humans can’t, which is constantly being there for everybody all at once. Because social media has made businesses and other users more accessible, it can be a challenge to keep up with and personalize responses to customer inquiries and comments. One of the most popular methods of utilizing AI for audience management and support is by way of social media chatbots. These are primarily used to provide immediate assistance to customers 24/7.

How can I use it as a social media guru?

If you recognize a common question or concern that exists in your audience’s minds, you might consider setting up a chatbot. This handy tool can help you mitigate overbearing customers with complaints and a thousand questions by weeding through comments, direct messages, and chat rooms. Thankfully, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp all have chatbot functionality built into their system to make answering direct messages easier.

If you’re using a platform without capabilities, however, there are some third-party platforms that are there to help. Among their top recommendations, Forbes suggests HubSpot Chatbot Builder, Intercom, and Drift.


5. Data Analysis

One of the more time consuming and daunting tasks that social media specialists are tasked with these days ” especially if you are working on a small team ” is processing and analyzing data. Luckily AI has entered the chat, and is now a powerful tool when it comes to generating insights, automating processes, delivering predictions, and driving actions that lead to high quality outcomes. Now we can not only understand what happened, but also why, what might be likely to happen next, and what could potentially happen if a specific action or course is taken. All thanks to AI. 

How can I use it as a social media guru?

Content creation tools, apps, and platforms like Hootsuite, Flick, Brandwatch, and Socialbakers (plus a slew of others) are starting to implement AI tools into their platforms. These tools typically help social media managers with tasks like figuring out optimal posting times, smart scheduling options, and integrations with ChatGPT to produce natural language summations of data sets.


Our Greatest Tool

At the end of the day, artificial intelligence is more than just a concept that will take years for people to come around to. It’s happening NOW, and is undoubtedly the future of content creation, research, social media monitoring, and so much more. What’s even more fascinating is that the more people embrace AI and use it, the more it learns every day.

The question on everyone’s minds right now is: will AI replace social media marketing and graphic design jobs? 

Mike Maynard of Forbes doesn’t think so. He says, Don’t fear AI. Embrace it as a tool. 

AI doesn’t have to threaten anyone’s livelihood or unique purpose in life. Some marketers might be hesitant to use AI for fear it will rip away all individuality and creativity, but that won’t be the case if we can all collectively figure out a way to leverage it to make our jobs and lives easier, more efficient, and more productive.

The fact is that AI complements our creativity and skills, becoming a vital partner in our digital journeys. It empowers us to reach new heights, uncover hidden opportunities, and navigate the ever-evolving landscape of social media and digital marketing. As we continue to integrate AI into our workflows, we must remember that it’s not here to replace us but to amplify our potential. By embracing AI as an ally and harnessing its capabilities, while preserving our unique human touch, we can look forward to a future where technology and creativity coexist harmoniously, ultimately delivering even more extraordinary experiences to our audiences.

Don’t believe us? Just ask ChatGPT it wrote that last paragraph.


Are you feeling behind when it comes to AI? Don’t worry! Here at Random, we’re already becoming experts on how to integrate AI into our workflow to help our clients keep winning. Reach out below to find out how we can help you, too! 


Check out more examples of brands using AI here:

Coke Joins the AI Hype Train

BMW Projected AI-Generated Art Onto Its Cars for New Campaign