The Best Podcasts: What You Should be Listening to Now

Since 2017, six million more Americans started participating in the same activity.

Any guesses about what this rapidly growing pastime could be?

People are listening to podcasts. 

One-third of Americans between the ages of 25-54 currently listen to podcasts monthly and this number is expected to continue rising this year due to their convenience and intimacy.

No matter your location, you can download and listen to a podcast at any time — information and entertainment wherever you want it at the touch of a button. In fact, 52% of people listen while driving, 46% while traveling, and 40% while running, walking, or biking.

But there are thousands of podcasts available, so what podcasts should you listen to? And if you’re already a listener, are there any other shows you should consider tuning in to? It can be hard to find a podcast that really piques your interest, so we put together a list of suggestions to help:

 

Business

There are hundreds of business and management related podcasts that will help you stay on top of the latest industry trends, lead in the most effective way possible, and keep your fellow employees excited about coming to work.

Planet Money

planet-money

It’s like sitting down with a friend who tells you everything you need to know about the economy …. and you actually enjoy yourself.

The Growth Show

the-growth-show

Since this is an original podcast by HubSpot, I asked the show’s producer — Matthew Brown — to describe it: “The show features interviews with industry leaders about what it’s really like to grow a business, a movement, an idea, or a team.”

How I Built This

How-i-built-this

Guy Raz discusses the story behind some of the top companies in the world and the entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, risk-takers, and pioneers who made them so successful.

Business Wars 

business-wars

Ever heard the saying “business is war?” It certainly appears to be that way for some of the biggest competitors in the world, such as Google, Apple, and Samsung. 

Host David Brown takes listeners through the ways these battles shape businesses, what they produce, and how consumers are impacted.

HBR Women at Work

women-at-work

This podcast — hosted by three women — sheds light on the issue that so many females face in the workplace: gender discrimination. 

Some of the topics discussed include unequal pay, differing workplace standards between men and women, and advice for women on how to communicate with male colleagues in a professional setting. Hosts and guests share real experiences about coping with various issues as a female leader, coworker, and employee.

WorkLife with Adam Grant

work-life-adam-grant

Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, helps listeners uncover the keys to success and happiness in the workplace through descriptions of some of the most unique and impactful businesses. Grant provides listeners with advice that encourages them to view their work in a new light.

Startup

startup-gimlet

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to start a business? Gimlet’s StartUp podcast will take you through the ups and downs, challenges and rewards of starting your own company, all while analyzing real stories and examples.

Masters of Scale

masters-of-scale

How do certain companies grow quickly and substantially? Host Reid Hoffman interviews some of the top CEOs today — such as Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and Eric Schmidt — on how their companies made it big.

Side Hustle School

side-hustle-school

Is there a product you’ve been thinking about creating?? Or a passion project that will help you enter the career you actually want?

Side Hustle School gives entrepreneurs who have jobs — that they want to keep for the time being — advice on how to build a business on the side. The host interviews guests who successfully created their own side hustle to inspire listeners to make the leap.

For more on which business podcasts you should listen to, check out this blog.

Comedy & Entertainment

These humorous and engaging podcasts will make you laugh and smile wherever you are listening.

The Joe Rogan Experience 

the-joe-rogan-experience

This podcast features comedian Joe Rogan hosting long-form conversation with his friends and special guests, such as MMA fighters, comedians, actors, authors, artists, and other entertainers.

They discuss their personal lives, funny stories, and really anything that comes up naturally in conversation or that Rogan has on his mind. The show is entertaining and exciting for listeners of all backgrounds.

Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me! 

wait-wait-don't-tell-me

Are you up to speed on current events?

This podcast quizzes you on your news knowledge. With questions and statements that are both real and fake, it’s your job to determine what’s correct and what’s fake.

Heavyweight

heavyweight-gimlet

Do you remember a time in your life when you felt as though something should have ended differently? 

Heavyweight’s host, Jonathan Goldstein, tells stories about normal people who can pinpoint a specific decision or an event in life that they believe ended poorly. Goldstein then helps these people confront their issues, come to terms with the situation, and move on.

2 Dope Queens

2-dope-queens

Hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams are best friends — and they’re funny. They host a live comedy show in Brooklyn and talk about real issues, share humorous stories, and discuss their personal lives, as well as the lives of their fellow comedian guests. 

Side note: We have good news for you 2 Dope Queens fans — Robinson and Williams will be speaking at HubSpot’s INBOUND event in Boston this September!

Hold On 

hold-on-podcast

True stories about comedians lives, work experiences, and friendships are all covered in Eugene Mirman’s podcast Hold On. Mirman doesn’t let anything slide — the funny, embarrassing, and personal details are always uncovered.

The Dollop

the-dollop

Are you a history buff? If so, you may love The Dollop.

The entertaining, comedian-hosted podcast takes important moments in history and examines them in detail.

WTF with Marc Maron

wtf-marc-maron

Maron interviews other comedians, celebrities, and public figures about specific situations in their personal lives and their work. Maron is one of the best interviewers out there, and he always makes learning something new about his guests fun.

Comedy Bang Bang

comedy-bang-bang

Scott Aukerman chats with celebrities and some of the funniest comedians around in this weekly podcast. Guests answer fun interview questions, play games, and engage in comedic banter. Aukerman’s open door policy always allows for entertaining and eccentric guests to join the show.

You Made It Weird

you-made-it-weird

Everyone has that thing that makes them a little weird — a talent, interest, obsession, or hobby that they may keep secret from others. Host Pete Holmes invites other comedians and celebrities on his show to uncover their weirdness.

How Did This Get Made?

how-did-this-get-made

Do you ever find yourself loving a movie even though you realize it’s actually a bad film? The three hosts of this podcast will watch these movies with some of their comedian friends and report back on how they felt about the flick.

Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People 

beautiful-anonymous

Host Chris Gethard opens the phone line once a week and picks up for one anonymous caller. That person can talk for an hour about anything – embarrassing stories, self-promotion, family problems, serious personal issues, or a funny incident.

The best part: Gethard can’t hang up the phone first.

R U Talkin’ R.E.M. RE:ME? 

r-u-talkin-rem-re-me

Any R.E.M. fans out there? How about Parks and Recreation fans? Adam Scott (of Parks and Rec) and co-host Scott Aukerman discuss the impact that the band R.E.M has had in the music industry through album and song analysis.

Educational

Looking to learn something new? Need some interesting trivia questions? Stump your family and friends with fun and important facts that you’ll learn from these educational podcasts.

Stuff You Should Know 

stuff-you-should-know-podcast

This award winning podcast is published on the How Stuff Works site and covers a wide variety of topics – pop culture, historical information, crime, technological advancements, and more.  

The SYSK hosts are humorous, keeping this education podcast light and entertaining.

TED Talks Daily

 ted-talks-daily-podcast

This is the podcast version of the popular TED Talks, which are viewed by millions of people around the world and cover every topic — from science to creativity to psychology.

99% Invisible 

99%-invisible

Whether or not we realize it, design is everywhere. This podcast brings forward the design and architecture that surround us all and explores the power behind their method, process, and form.

This American Life 

this-american-life

This journalistic podcast stems from the This American Life weekly public radio program and features nonfiction reviews of essays, memoirs, historical content, and current events.

The show has won several of the top broadcasting awards and 2.5 million people download the podcast every week.

Lexicon Valley

lexicon-valley
Lexicon Valley is about words, vocabulary, and language — as you may have guessed based on its name. Hosted by a linguist, topics covered include current and dead languages, syntax, meanings, and pet peeves.

Reply All

reply-all-podcast

Reply All is produced by Gimlet and explores the vast world of the internet. The podcast features stories, facts, and studies that explain how we interact with the internet, and how the internet shapes so much of our lives today.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History 

dan-carlins-hardcore-history

Carlin — podcast host, journalist, and broadcaster — examines major historical events with his unique and often unorthodox way of thinking..

Every Little Thing

every-little-thing-podcast

This Gimlet-produced podcast will answer your most interesting, specific, and random questions such as, “do dogs have belly buttons?” and “how old is Winnie the Pooh?” Listen to ELT to get some of the best trivia questions to ask at your next family dinner.

Revolutionist History 

revisionist-history

Malcolm Gladwell explores events, people, ideas, and more from the past to try and gauge whether or not people got it right the first time around. He takes listeners through moments in their pasts that may have been ignored or forgotten and highlights the decisions that were made around them.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness 

getting-curious-podcast
This podcast has one simple goal: review any topic that host Jonathan Van Ness is curious about in detail. All fields and subjects are up for discussion in the weekly show.

Invisibilia 

invisibilia

Invisibilia is Latin for “invisible things.”

The podcast reviews the invisible things, or unseeable forces, that drive human behavior and decisions. It gives listeners insight into how their brains work and why they feel tempted to act in certain ways or make specific decisions.

Kids

If you’re looking for some entertainment while you drive your kids to school in the mornings or if you’re heading out on a family vacation sometime soon, these educational podcasts may be of interest — and you might just learn something too!

Brain’s On! Science Podcast for Kids

brains-on-podcast

Both children and adults will love this science podcast fit for those with curious, wandering minds. Every week a new science-related question is asked and both kid scientists and adult radio hosts work their way through answers and conclusions together.

Storynory 

storynory

Classic fairy tales, short stories, poems, myths, and more are read by Storynory’s narrators every week. These audio stories are great when traveling with children or for some simple, educational entertainment around the house.

Wow in the World

wow-in-the-world

Stories about some of the world’s most exciting places, people, events, and buildings are discussed in this fun podcast for inquisitive children. The two hosts make audio learning fun.

Dream Big

dream-big-podcast

This family friendly podcast teaches children the importance of following their dreams and finding their passions at every point in their lives. 

Eva Karpman — the 7-year-old host — along with her mother, Olga, interview some of the world’s best performers about what motivates them to stick with what they love and become successful.

What If World

what-if-world-podcast

Children and their parents are encouraged to use their imaginations to come up with the wackiest and most exciting questions for the hosts of What If World to discuss on their show. These can be unrealistic and fun questions such as, “What if there was never-ending recess?”

News and Politics

In a society where the news cycle runs 24/7, it is easy to miss important stories and breaking information. These podcasts will help you stay on top of the ongoing news cycle so you never fall behind on the latest breaking broadcast or political story.

The Daily by The New York Times

the-daily-podcast

The New York Times produces this 20-minute current events and news podcast five days a week. The shows are ready by 6 a.m. Monday through Friday so listeners are able to catch the biggest stories prior to or during their morning commutes.

Pod Save America 

pod-save-america

Four of President Obama’s former aides discuss a wide range of political topics with journalists, comedians, and influencers about the current situation in Washington D.C.

BBC Global News Podcast

global-news-podcast

BBC is one of the most trusted news sources in the world. Their Global News Podcast provides listeners with coverage of the top current events around the globe.

Today, Explained

today-explained

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by current events? Or that you’re not getting important the news-related information you want throughout the day?

This podcast is produced every evening for listeners to enjoy after a day of work and catch up on the news they may have missed or misunderstood.

Embedded

embedded-podcast

Embedded host Kelly McEvers takes specific news stories and dives into them one at a time. She goes into great detail about one recent event per show so listeners can get all of the facts they need.

Rough Translation

rough-translation-podcast

Have you ever wondered how news stories are translated throughout the world? How is a story, conversation, or event being talked about in another country?

Rough Translation will walk listeners through these changes and renditions.

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

the-axe-files

David Axelrod is the founder of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and his podcast is produced by CNN. He interviews important members of the political world and gets the details on newsworthy events.

Culture

Places, people, and jobs you know little to nothing about explained — these podcasts will make you smile, laugh, and cry.

Ear Hustle

ear-hustle-podcast

Have you ever wondered what it’s like living in prison?

Ear Hustle is created and produced by people actually living within the prison system. They share information about their lives, mistakes, and other personal stories to give listeners an accurate view into the American prison system and the humans who are living behind bars.

Song Exploder

song-exploder-podcast

It’s no secret that every song has a meaning — that’s why people create and listen to music.

Song Exploder interviews musicians and has them explain one of their songs in detail. The artists give listeners background information on why they created their song, what went into the production, why certain decisions were made, and more.

Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin

here's-the-thing-alec-baldwin

Actor, producer, and comedian Alec Baldwin takes listeners into the private lives of some of the most famous celebrities. His interviews take place in the celebrities’ homes, studios, offices, and dressing rooms to give listeners a new point of view on their favorite famous figures.

Radiolab

 

radiolab-podcast

Culture, science, and music all come together in Radiolab — broad topics related to one or all of these fields are investigated in detail through stories, sounds, and interviews.

Weird Work 

weird-work-podcast

Another awesome podcast — if we do say so ourselves — produced by HubSpot. Not everyone sits at a desk from 9-5, five days a week. This show highlights some of the weirdest jobs people have, how they got started in the field, and what it’s like to have an unconventional career.

Keep It!

keep-it-podcast

Keep It host Ira Madison III discusses the importance of the intersection of politics and pop culture in today’s society. Madison invites journalists, politicians, celebrities, activists and more onto his show, which airs every Wednesday.

True Crime

Do you like thrillers and scary movies? Spooky stories — both fiction and non-fiction? The following true crime podcasts will give you the chill you’re itching for.

In the Dark

in-the-dark-podcast

Have you ever heard the name Curtis Flowers? 

Over the course of 21-years he has been tried six times for the same crime — the murders of four people in Mississippi — and has been found innocent every time. Reporter Madeleine Baran investigates the case and examines the reasons behind Flowers’ innocence.

Serial 

serial-podcast

This podcast — which is part of the This American Life production — uncovers the truth behind one real crime story every season. The host of the podcast — Sarah Koenig — learns the details of the crime in real time, so listeners are able to follow along as the case unfolds.

My Favorite Murder 

my-favorite-murder-podcast

The two female hosts of this podcast have been fans of horror stories and true crime for as long as they can remember. During the show, they share their favorite thrillers along with stories of horror and crime from their friends, family, and fans of the podcast.

Death in Ice Valley 

death-in-ice-valley-podcast

As part of the BBC World Service, Death in Ice Valley brings listeners a crime that has been unsolved for nearly 50 years.

An unidentified woman’s body was found in Norway — but who was this woman? Why has no one come forward with information about her life or disappearance? How has no one ever reported her missing?

Lore

lore-podcast

This award-winning, bi-weekly podcast reviews non-fiction scary stories and thrillers that are perfect tales to share around the campfire or during the Halloween season. Superstitions, crime, unknown creatures, and haunted places are all talked about on this podcast.

Crimetown

crimetown-podcast

Organized crime has changed the way certain cities in America have grown and developed. Crimetown, another popular podcast produced by Gimlet, reviews the ways organized crime has left a mark on different cities throughout the U.S. A new city is discussed every season.

Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo

missing-and-murdered-finding-cleo

Cleo — of the Cree tribe in Canada — was taken from her family by child welfare as a young girl. She was relocated, and adopted in the United States in the 1970s. 

But Cleo then went missing and was found dead. Host Connie Walker tries to uncover the truth behind Cleo’s disappearance.

Criminal 

criminal-podcast

Criminal has been in production since 2014. With a new story every episode, the show tells listeners about people who have committed a crime, have been the victim of a crime, or are affiliated with a crime in some way.

Personal & Health

Whether you need help relaxing, motivation to stay active and healthy, or inspiration to find your next career move or hobby, there is a podcast to help you reach your goal.

The Art of Manliness

the-art-of-manliness-podcast

This podcast — which is targeted at men — was created to promote kindness, strength, love, and understanding in boys and men of all ages. 

The show reviews studies on manliness and parenting, philosophy, biology, and more to explore ways that all men can become better men.

Sleep With Me: The Podcast That Puts You To Sleep 

sleep-with-me-podcast

High strung or wound up? Thinking about a million things when you are trying to sleep? 

This podcast will help you get the rest your body wants and needs. Listeners hop in bed, close their eyes, and listen to a story that gets progressively more boring with time so they can drift off and get to sleep faster.

Savage Lovecast

savage-lovecast

Advice columnist Dan Savage answers fans questions about sex and politics. Listeners can also call in and ask Savage a question that he will answer on his show, so it’s about real people and real “love” problems..

Good Life Project

good-life-project-podcast

Good Life Project will inspire you to live your best life, find what you’re passionate about, stay productive, and learn to be fully-engaged. The conversations between the podcast’s hosts and guests are relatable, touching, and honest.

Hidden Brain 

hidden-brain-podcast

Whether or not we realize it, brain patterns drive the way each of us think, react, and behave every day. 

Hidden Brain — produced by NPR — takes listeners through a multitude of reasons why they behave in certain ways. This podcast will help you better understand yourself and the people you interact with.

Technology

Learn about the newest developments and innovations happening every day in tech and media with these podcasts.

Recode Decode

recode-decode

Host Kara Swisher — a well-respected technology journalist — teaches listeners about the biggest names, developments, and innovations in tech and media. She interviews industry leaders about their experiences, plans, and achievements.

Crazy / Genius

crazy-genius-podcast

This podcast — produced by The Atlantic — poses questions, possible conclusions, and ideas regarding the culture and innovation happening in the tech world today.

Online dating, blockchain, Facebook, space, and smartphones — are human interactions with technology actually sustainable? Listen to find out.

Note to Self

note-to-self-podcast

The relationship between humans and technology these days is a complicated one. We rely on technology in so much of what we do — but when is it too much?

Note to Self looks into this situation and asks questions about the way technology fits in our lives today, and how that relationship may change in the future.

a16z 

a-16-z-podcast

Experts in tech, business, media, and news discuss trends, developments, and cultural changes within their industries. This podcast — which is produced by a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley — includes interviews with some of the most prominent figures in the tech world.

Gadget Lab

gadget-lab-podcast

This podcast covers the latest tech information about social networks, entertainment, mobile, services, and more.

The Vergecast 

the-vergecast

The Vergecast provides listeners with an overview of what’s new and changing in the tech industry with a rundown of the week’s latest stories, developments, successes, and failures.

Marketing

The way companies market their products and services has changed dramatically in recent years — consumers have all of the resources they need to make an informed purchase at their fingertips.

The following podcasts will help you reach your target audience and keep up with the latest marketing trends.

Skill Up

skill-up

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and the search landscape is becoming more and more competitive. This podcast gives up-to-date advice on SEO and content strategy — from voice search to featured snippets to international SEO.

Skill Up is a modern guide to getting your content to rank and driving more traffic to your website.

Call to Action

call-to-action-podcast

Online marketing successes are explained in this podcast so listeners can take the lessons and apply them to their own businesses.

Interviews with campaign managers and digital marketing professionals provide people with tactical advice on how they can improve their marketing campaigns and overall online presence.

Copyblogger FM

copyblogger-fm

Content marketing, copywriting, digital marketing, and lead and conversion optimization are only some of the topics discussed in this weekly podcast. Experts chat with host Sonia Simone and analyze the changes within the marketing industry.

Social Media Marketing Podcast: Helps Your Business Thrive with Social Media

social-media-marketing-podcast

Companies know social media marketing is important these days, but not everyone knows how to do it well.

This podcast teaches listeners how to go about social media marketing in a smart and effective way with applicable advice, tactics, ideas, and methods to successfully reach their target audience.

#FlipMyFunnelPodcast

flip-my-funnel-podcast

This daily podcast includes interviews with some of the top leaders in the marketing and sales industries on ways to help B2B professionals stay on top of the latest trends and reach their goals.

The shows also give professionals advice on how to stay aligned with their fellow employees and customers to achieve success.

Conclusion

Stay entertained, learn something new, keep your brain sharp, and remain informed with podcasts. In a world where everything seems to be getting faster – and where more is expected from people in less time – it’s easy to fall behind on the book you are reading or miss a section in the morning broadcast.

Podcasts move with you and create a great solution for those of you looking to stay informed while on the go – or even those of you who would rather sit back, close your eyes, and listen to a story in bed rather than read a novel, watch TV, or listen to music.

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity every year so why not give one a try? Search any topic on a platform such as iTunes or Spotify, download a show to your device, and start listening.

Since 2017, six million more Americans started participating in the same activity.

Any guesses about what this rapidly growing pastime could be?

People are listening to podcasts. 

One-third of Americans between the ages of 25-54 currently listen to podcasts monthly and this number is expected to continue rising this year due to their convenience and intimacy.

No matter your location, you can download and listen to a podcast at any time — information and entertainment wherever you want it at the touch of a button. In fact, 52% of people listen while driving, 46% while traveling, and 40% while running, walking, or biking.

But there are thousands of podcasts available, so what podcasts should you listen to? And if you’re already a listener, are there any other shows you should consider tuning in to? It can be hard to find a podcast that really piques your interest, so we put together a list of suggestions to help:

 

Business

There are hundreds of business and management related podcasts that will help you stay on top of the latest industry trends, lead in the most effective way possible, and keep your fellow employees excited about coming to work.

Planet Money

planet-money

It’s like sitting down with a friend who tells you everything you need to know about the economy …. and you actually enjoy yourself.

The Growth Show

the-growth-show

Since this is an original podcast by HubSpot, I asked the show’s producer — Matthew Brown — to describe it: “The show features interviews with industry leaders about what it’s really like to grow a business, a movement, an idea, or a team.”

How I Built This

How-i-built-this

Guy Raz discusses the story behind some of the top companies in the world and the entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, risk-takers, and pioneers who made them so successful.

Business Wars 

business-wars

Ever heard the saying “business is war?” It certainly appears to be that way for some of the biggest competitors in the world, such as Google, Apple, and Samsung. 

Host David Brown takes listeners through the ways these battles shape businesses, what they produce, and how consumers are impacted.

HBR Women at Work

women-at-work

This podcast — hosted by three women — sheds light on the issue that so many females face in the workplace: gender discrimination. 

Some of the topics discussed include unequal pay, differing workplace standards between men and women, and advice for women on how to communicate with male colleagues in a professional setting. Hosts and guests share real experiences about coping with various issues as a female leader, coworker, and employee.

WorkLife with Adam Grant

work-life-adam-grant

Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, helps listeners uncover the keys to success and happiness in the workplace through descriptions of some of the most unique and impactful businesses. Grant provides listeners with advice that encourages them to view their work in a new light.

Startup

startup-gimlet

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to start a business? Gimlet’s StartUp podcast will take you through the ups and downs, challenges and rewards of starting your own company, all while analyzing real stories and examples.

Masters of Scale

masters-of-scale

How do certain companies grow quickly and substantially? Host Reid Hoffman interviews some of the top CEOs today — such as Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and Eric Schmidt — on how their companies made it big.

Side Hustle School

side-hustle-school

Is there a product you’ve been thinking about creating?? Or a passion project that will help you enter the career you actually want?

Side Hustle School gives entrepreneurs who have jobs — that they want to keep for the time being — advice on how to build a business on the side. The host interviews guests who successfully created their own side hustle to inspire listeners to make the leap.

For more on which business podcasts you should listen to, check out this blog.

Comedy & Entertainment

These humorous and engaging podcasts will make you laugh and smile wherever you are listening.

The Joe Rogan Experience 

the-joe-rogan-experience

This podcast features comedian Joe Rogan hosting long-form conversation with his friends and special guests, such as MMA fighters, comedians, actors, authors, artists, and other entertainers.

They discuss their personal lives, funny stories, and really anything that comes up naturally in conversation or that Rogan has on his mind. The show is entertaining and exciting for listeners of all backgrounds.

Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me! 

wait-wait-don't-tell-me

Are you up to speed on current events?

This podcast quizzes you on your news knowledge. With questions and statements that are both real and fake, it’s your job to determine what’s correct and what’s fake.

Heavyweight

heavyweight-gimlet

Do you remember a time in your life when you felt as though something should have ended differently? 

Heavyweight’s host, Jonathan Goldstein, tells stories about normal people who can pinpoint a specific decision or an event in life that they believe ended poorly. Goldstein then helps these people confront their issues, come to terms with the situation, and move on.

2 Dope Queens

2-dope-queens

Hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams are best friends — and they’re funny. They host a live comedy show in Brooklyn and talk about real issues, share humorous stories, and discuss their personal lives, as well as the lives of their fellow comedian guests. 

Side note: We have good news for you 2 Dope Queens fans — Robinson and Williams will be speaking at HubSpot’s INBOUND event in Boston this September!

Hold On 

hold-on-podcast

True stories about comedians lives, work experiences, and friendships are all covered in Eugene Mirman’s podcast Hold On. Mirman doesn’t let anything slide — the funny, embarrassing, and personal details are always uncovered.

The Dollop

the-dollop

Are you a history buff? If so, you may love The Dollop.

The entertaining, comedian-hosted podcast takes important moments in history and examines them in detail.

WTF with Marc Maron

wtf-marc-maron

Maron interviews other comedians, celebrities, and public figures about specific situations in their personal lives and their work. Maron is one of the best interviewers out there, and he always makes learning something new about his guests fun.

Comedy Bang Bang

comedy-bang-bang

Scott Aukerman chats with celebrities and some of the funniest comedians around in this weekly podcast. Guests answer fun interview questions, play games, and engage in comedic banter. Aukerman’s open door policy always allows for entertaining and eccentric guests to join the show.

You Made It Weird

you-made-it-weird

Everyone has that thing that makes them a little weird — a talent, interest, obsession, or hobby that they may keep secret from others. Host Pete Holmes invites other comedians and celebrities on his show to uncover their weirdness.

How Did This Get Made?

how-did-this-get-made

Do you ever find yourself loving a movie even though you realize it’s actually a bad film? The three hosts of this podcast will watch these movies with some of their comedian friends and report back on how they felt about the flick.

Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People 

beautiful-anonymous

Host Chris Gethard opens the phone line once a week and picks up for one anonymous caller. That person can talk for an hour about anything – embarrassing stories, self-promotion, family problems, serious personal issues, or a funny incident.

The best part: Gethard can’t hang up the phone first.

R U Talkin’ R.E.M. RE:ME? 

r-u-talkin-rem-re-me

Any R.E.M. fans out there? How about Parks and Recreation fans? Adam Scott (of Parks and Rec) and co-host Scott Aukerman discuss the impact that the band R.E.M has had in the music industry through album and song analysis.

Educational

Looking to learn something new? Need some interesting trivia questions? Stump your family and friends with fun and important facts that you’ll learn from these educational podcasts.

Stuff You Should Know 

stuff-you-should-know-podcast

This award winning podcast is published on the How Stuff Works site and covers a wide variety of topics – pop culture, historical information, crime, technological advancements, and more.  

The SYSK hosts are humorous, keeping this education podcast light and entertaining.

TED Talks Daily

 ted-talks-daily-podcast

This is the podcast version of the popular TED Talks, which are viewed by millions of people around the world and cover every topic — from science to creativity to psychology.

99% Invisible 

99%-invisible

Whether or not we realize it, design is everywhere. This podcast brings forward the design and architecture that surround us all and explores the power behind their method, process, and form.

This American Life 

this-american-life

This journalistic podcast stems from the This American Life weekly public radio program and features nonfiction reviews of essays, memoirs, historical content, and current events.

The show has won several of the top broadcasting awards and 2.5 million people download the podcast every week.

Lexicon Valley

lexicon-valley
Lexicon Valley is about words, vocabulary, and language — as you may have guessed based on its name. Hosted by a linguist, topics covered include current and dead languages, syntax, meanings, and pet peeves.

Reply All

reply-all-podcast

Reply All is produced by Gimlet and explores the vast world of the internet. The podcast features stories, facts, and studies that explain how we interact with the internet, and how the internet shapes so much of our lives today.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History 

dan-carlins-hardcore-history

Carlin — podcast host, journalist, and broadcaster — examines major historical events with his unique and often unorthodox way of thinking..

Every Little Thing

every-little-thing-podcast

This Gimlet-produced podcast will answer your most interesting, specific, and random questions such as, “do dogs have belly buttons?” and “how old is Winnie the Pooh?” Listen to ELT to get some of the best trivia questions to ask at your next family dinner.

Revolutionist History 

revisionist-history

Malcolm Gladwell explores events, people, ideas, and more from the past to try and gauge whether or not people got it right the first time around. He takes listeners through moments in their pasts that may have been ignored or forgotten and highlights the decisions that were made around them.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness 

getting-curious-podcast
This podcast has one simple goal: review any topic that host Jonathan Van Ness is curious about in detail. All fields and subjects are up for discussion in the weekly show.

Invisibilia 

invisibilia

Invisibilia is Latin for “invisible things.”

The podcast reviews the invisible things, or unseeable forces, that drive human behavior and decisions. It gives listeners insight into how their brains work and why they feel tempted to act in certain ways or make specific decisions.

Kids

If you’re looking for some entertainment while you drive your kids to school in the mornings or if you’re heading out on a family vacation sometime soon, these educational podcasts may be of interest — and you might just learn something too!

Brain’s On! Science Podcast for Kids

brains-on-podcast

Both children and adults will love this science podcast fit for those with curious, wandering minds. Every week a new science-related question is asked and both kid scientists and adult radio hosts work their way through answers and conclusions together.

Storynory 

storynory

Classic fairy tales, short stories, poems, myths, and more are read by Storynory’s narrators every week. These audio stories are great when traveling with children or for some simple, educational entertainment around the house.

Wow in the World

wow-in-the-world

Stories about some of the world’s most exciting places, people, events, and buildings are discussed in this fun podcast for inquisitive children. The two hosts make audio learning fun.

Dream Big

dream-big-podcast

This family friendly podcast teaches children the importance of following their dreams and finding their passions at every point in their lives. 

Eva Karpman — the 7-year-old host — along with her mother, Olga, interview some of the world’s best performers about what motivates them to stick with what they love and become successful.

What If World

what-if-world-podcast

Children and their parents are encouraged to use their imaginations to come up with the wackiest and most exciting questions for the hosts of What If World to discuss on their show. These can be unrealistic and fun questions such as, “What if there was never-ending recess?”

News and Politics

In a society where the news cycle runs 24/7, it is easy to miss important stories and breaking information. These podcasts will help you stay on top of the ongoing news cycle so you never fall behind on the latest breaking broadcast or political story.

The Daily by The New York Times

the-daily-podcast

The New York Times produces this 20-minute current events and news podcast five days a week. The shows are ready by 6 a.m. Monday through Friday so listeners are able to catch the biggest stories prior to or during their morning commutes.

Pod Save America 

pod-save-america

Four of President Obama’s former aides discuss a wide range of political topics with journalists, comedians, and influencers about the current situation in Washington D.C.

BBC Global News Podcast

global-news-podcast

BBC is one of the most trusted news sources in the world. Their Global News Podcast provides listeners with coverage of the top current events around the globe.

Today, Explained

today-explained

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by current events? Or that you’re not getting important the news-related information you want throughout the day?

This podcast is produced every evening for listeners to enjoy after a day of work and catch up on the news they may have missed or misunderstood.

Embedded

embedded-podcast

Embedded host Kelly McEvers takes specific news stories and dives into them one at a time. She goes into great detail about one recent event per show so listeners can get all of the facts they need.

Rough Translation

rough-translation-podcast

Have you ever wondered how news stories are translated throughout the world? How is a story, conversation, or event being talked about in another country?

Rough Translation will walk listeners through these changes and renditions.

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

the-axe-files

David Axelrod is the founder of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and his podcast is produced by CNN. He interviews important members of the political world and gets the details on newsworthy events.

Culture

Places, people, and jobs you know little to nothing about explained — these podcasts will make you smile, laugh, and cry.

Ear Hustle

ear-hustle-podcast

Have you ever wondered what it’s like living in prison?

Ear Hustle is created and produced by people actually living within the prison system. They share information about their lives, mistakes, and other personal stories to give listeners an accurate view into the American prison system and the humans who are living behind bars.

Song Exploder

song-exploder-podcast

It’s no secret that every song has a meaning — that’s why people create and listen to music.

Song Exploder interviews musicians and has them explain one of their songs in detail. The artists give listeners background information on why they created their song, what went into the production, why certain decisions were made, and more.

Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin

here's-the-thing-alec-baldwin

Actor, producer, and comedian Alec Baldwin takes listeners into the private lives of some of the most famous celebrities. His interviews take place in the celebrities’ homes, studios, offices, and dressing rooms to give listeners a new point of view on their favorite famous figures.

Radiolab

 

radiolab-podcast

Culture, science, and music all come together in Radiolab — broad topics related to one or all of these fields are investigated in detail through stories, sounds, and interviews.

Weird Work 

weird-work-podcast

Another awesome podcast — if we do say so ourselves — produced by HubSpot. Not everyone sits at a desk from 9-5, five days a week. This show highlights some of the weirdest jobs people have, how they got started in the field, and what it’s like to have an unconventional career.

Keep It!

keep-it-podcast

Keep It host Ira Madison III discusses the importance of the intersection of politics and pop culture in today’s society. Madison invites journalists, politicians, celebrities, activists and more onto his show, which airs every Wednesday.

True Crime

Do you like thrillers and scary movies? Spooky stories — both fiction and non-fiction? The following true crime podcasts will give you the chill you’re itching for.

In the Dark

in-the-dark-podcast

Have you ever heard the name Curtis Flowers? 

Over the course of 21-years he has been tried six times for the same crime — the murders of four people in Mississippi — and has been found innocent every time. Reporter Madeleine Baran investigates the case and examines the reasons behind Flowers’ innocence.

Serial 

serial-podcast

This podcast — which is part of the This American Life production — uncovers the truth behind one real crime story every season. The host of the podcast — Sarah Koenig — learns the details of the crime in real time, so listeners are able to follow along as the case unfolds.

My Favorite Murder 

my-favorite-murder-podcast

The two female hosts of this podcast have been fans of horror stories and true crime for as long as they can remember. During the show, they share their favorite thrillers along with stories of horror and crime from their friends, family, and fans of the podcast.

Death in Ice Valley 

death-in-ice-valley-podcast

As part of the BBC World Service, Death in Ice Valley brings listeners a crime that has been unsolved for nearly 50 years.

An unidentified woman’s body was found in Norway — but who was this woman? Why has no one come forward with information about her life or disappearance? How has no one ever reported her missing?

Lore

lore-podcast

This award-winning, bi-weekly podcast reviews non-fiction scary stories and thrillers that are perfect tales to share around the campfire or during the Halloween season. Superstitions, crime, unknown creatures, and haunted places are all talked about on this podcast.

Crimetown

crimetown-podcast

Organized crime has changed the way certain cities in America have grown and developed. Crimetown, another popular podcast produced by Gimlet, reviews the ways organized crime has left a mark on different cities throughout the U.S. A new city is discussed every season.

Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo

missing-and-murdered-finding-cleo

Cleo — of the Cree tribe in Canada — was taken from her family by child welfare as a young girl. She was relocated, and adopted in the United States in the 1970s. 

But Cleo then went missing and was found dead. Host Connie Walker tries to uncover the truth behind Cleo’s disappearance.

Criminal 

criminal-podcast

Criminal has been in production since 2014. With a new story every episode, the show tells listeners about people who have committed a crime, have been the victim of a crime, or are affiliated with a crime in some way.

Personal & Health

Whether you need help relaxing, motivation to stay active and healthy, or inspiration to find your next career move or hobby, there is a podcast to help you reach your goal.

The Art of Manliness

the-art-of-manliness-podcast

This podcast — which is targeted at men — was created to promote kindness, strength, love, and understanding in boys and men of all ages. 

The show reviews studies on manliness and parenting, philosophy, biology, and more to explore ways that all men can become better men.

Sleep With Me: The Podcast That Puts You To Sleep 

sleep-with-me-podcast

High strung or wound up? Thinking about a million things when you are trying to sleep? 

This podcast will help you get the rest your body wants and needs. Listeners hop in bed, close their eyes, and listen to a story that gets progressively more boring with time so they can drift off and get to sleep faster.

Savage Lovecast

savage-lovecast

Advice columnist Dan Savage answers fans questions about sex and politics. Listeners can also call in and ask Savage a question that he will answer on his show, so it’s about real people and real “love” problems..

Good Life Project

good-life-project-podcast

Good Life Project will inspire you to live your best life, find what you’re passionate about, stay productive, and learn to be fully-engaged. The conversations between the podcast’s hosts and guests are relatable, touching, and honest.

Hidden Brain 

hidden-brain-podcast

Whether or not we realize it, brain patterns drive the way each of us think, react, and behave every day. 

Hidden Brain — produced by NPR — takes listeners through a multitude of reasons why they behave in certain ways. This podcast will help you better understand yourself and the people you interact with.

Technology

Learn about the newest developments and innovations happening every day in tech and media with these podcasts.

Recode Decode

recode-decode

Host Kara Swisher — a well-respected technology journalist — teaches listeners about the biggest names, developments, and innovations in tech and media. She interviews industry leaders about their experiences, plans, and achievements.

Crazy / Genius

crazy-genius-podcast

This podcast — produced by The Atlantic — poses questions, possible conclusions, and ideas regarding the culture and innovation happening in the tech world today.

Online dating, blockchain, Facebook, space, and smartphones — are human interactions with technology actually sustainable? Listen to find out.

Note to Self

note-to-self-podcast

The relationship between humans and technology these days is a complicated one. We rely on technology in so much of what we do — but when is it too much?

Note to Self looks into this situation and asks questions about the way technology fits in our lives today, and how that relationship may change in the future.

a16z 

a-16-z-podcast

Experts in tech, business, media, and news discuss trends, developments, and cultural changes within their industries. This podcast — which is produced by a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley — includes interviews with some of the most prominent figures in the tech world.

Gadget Lab

gadget-lab-podcast

This podcast covers the latest tech information about social networks, entertainment, mobile, services, and more.

The Vergecast 

the-vergecast

The Vergecast provides listeners with an overview of what’s new and changing in the tech industry with a rundown of the week’s latest stories, developments, successes, and failures.

Marketing

The way companies market their products and services has changed dramatically in recent years — consumers have all of the resources they need to make an informed purchase at their fingertips.

The following podcasts will help you reach your target audience and keep up with the latest marketing trends.

Skill Up

skill-up

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and the search landscape is becoming more and more competitive. This podcast gives up-to-date advice on SEO and content strategy — from voice search to featured snippets to international SEO.

Skill Up is a modern guide to getting your content to rank and driving more traffic to your website.

Call to Action

call-to-action-podcast

Online marketing successes are explained in this podcast so listeners can take the lessons and apply them to their own businesses.

Interviews with campaign managers and digital marketing professionals provide people with tactical advice on how they can improve their marketing campaigns and overall online presence.

Copyblogger FM

copyblogger-fm

Content marketing, copywriting, digital marketing, and lead and conversion optimization are only some of the topics discussed in this weekly podcast. Experts chat with host Sonia Simone and analyze the changes within the marketing industry.

Social Media Marketing Podcast: Helps Your Business Thrive with Social Media

social-media-marketing-podcast

Companies know social media marketing is important these days, but not everyone knows how to do it well.

This podcast teaches listeners how to go about social media marketing in a smart and effective way with applicable advice, tactics, ideas, and methods to successfully reach their target audience.

#FlipMyFunnelPodcast

flip-my-funnel-podcast

This daily podcast includes interviews with some of the top leaders in the marketing and sales industries on ways to help B2B professionals stay on top of the latest trends and reach their goals.

The shows also give professionals advice on how to stay aligned with their fellow employees and customers to achieve success.

Conclusion

Stay entertained, learn something new, keep your brain sharp, and remain informed with podcasts. In a world where everything seems to be getting faster – and where more is expected from people in less time – it’s easy to fall behind on the book you are reading or miss a section in the morning broadcast.

Podcasts move with you and create a great solution for those of you looking to stay informed while on the go – or even those of you who would rather sit back, close your eyes, and listen to a story in bed rather than read a novel, watch TV, or listen to music.

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity every year so why not give one a try? Search any topic on a platform such as iTunes or Spotify, download a show to your device, and start listening.

How Digg.com’s Kevin Rose Crashed My $30,000/m Web Hosting Business

8 Excel Error Messages You're Sick of Seeing (And How to Fix Them)

Here’s the truth: Excel struggles are real.

As a marketer, it’s likely that you know these tiny conflicts all too well. From accidental deletes to misplaced numbers, one click can throw your spreadsheet all out of whack. And putting it back together once you’ve done the damage can be seriously frustrating — not to mention, time-consuming.

Keep track of your marketing reporting all in one dashboard. Try HubSpot's  Reporting Add-On here for free.But you’re not alone: Even the most advanced Excel users experience these errors from time to time. For that reason, we’ve put together some tips designed to save you a few minutes (or hours) when solving frustrating Excel errors. Check them out below.

Best Practices That’ll Help You Reduce Excel Errors

Before we go over the errors and tips, we wanted to share a few helpful tricks we’ve learned from our own Excel experts. These precautionary lessons are designed to help you avoid errors altogether, making your life a whole lot easier:

  • Begin every formula with an equal sign.
  • Use the * symbol to multiply numbers, not an X.
  • Match all opening and closing parentheses so that they are in pairs.
  • Use quotation marks around text in formulas.

8 Excel Error Messages You’re Sick of Seeing (And How to Fix Them)

We’ve all fallen victim to the little green arrow in upper-left hand corner of a cell before. You know, that pesky little flag that Excel uses to indicate something has gone wrong with the values in the cell.

In many cases, clicking on that arrow will pull up enough information for you to remedy the problem at hand. Take a look:

Options dropdown to the left of a #VALUE! Excel error message

But in other cases, you still can’t seem to figure out what’s gone wrong with your spreadsheet to solve this error. For those cases, we’ve provided the following list of common errors, explanations, and tips for overcoming them. Dig in for the context you need to right your wrongs and get back on the Excel saddle.

1. #VALUE!

Excel displays the #VALUE! error when it finds spaces, characters, or text in a formula where it is expecting a number.

Excel requires formulas to contain numbers only and won’t respond to formulas associated with numbers, so it will show you an error is if you’ve included anything else.

#VALUE! Excel error message shown vertically down the Sum column of a spreadsheet

How to Resolve This Error:

An easy solution to this error is to double check your formula to make sure that you only used numbers. If you’re still seeing an error, check for blank cells, missing formulas linking to cells or any special characters you may be using.

In the example above, the “Sum” column is referring to empty cells. Excel can’t calculate the sum of empty columns, so it gives us an error.

2. #NAME?

This is a slightly more complex Excel error. Here’s a summary of why this might appear in a cell you’re working in:

No, Excel isn’t looking for your name in this case. The error, #NAME?, appears in a cell when Excel can’t read certain elements of a formula you’re trying to run.

For example, if you’re trying to conduct the =VLOOKUP formula, and you spell “VLOOKUP” wrong, Excel will return the #NAME? error after you input the values and press Enter. Check this error out below — as you can see, the cell is missing the “U” in “=VLOOKUP.”

#NAME? Excel error message created from =VLOOKUP formula

You might also have spelled the formula correctly, but don’t have enough information entered in the formula’s individual entries. Check out how this error might look below — as you can see, the table array entry is incomplete. It needs an actual spreadsheet name to know where to look up our desired value.

#name-error-message-in-excel

How to Resolve This Error

To fix the #NAME? error in Excel, check the spelling of the formula you’re trying to run.

If the formula is spelled correctly, and your spreadsheet is still returning an error, Excel is probably getting confused over one of your entries inside the formula. An easy way to fix this is to have Excel insert the formula for you. Highlight the cell in which you want to run a formula, then click the “Formulas” tab in the top navigation. Select “Insert Function” (If you’re using Microsoft Excel 2017, this option will be on the far left of the Formulas navigation bar).

insert-function-in-excel

Once you select “Insert Function,” a Formula Builder will appear to the righthand side of your spreadsheet where you can select your desired formula. Excel will then walk you through each step of the formula in separate fields, as shown below, to ensure no errors are made and the program can read your cell correctly.

          Excel's Formula Builder, used to ensure no errors are made     vlookup-formula-builder

2. #####

When you see ##### displayed in your cell, it can look a little scary. The good news is that this simply means the column isn’t wide enough to display the value you’ve inputted. And that’s any easy fix.

##### Excel error in cell A2

How to Resolve This Error

Click on the right border of the column header and increase the column width.

Resolving ##### Excel errors in column A by expanding the width of the column

Pro Tip: You can double-click the right border of the header to automatically fit the widest cell in that column.

Double-clicking a column in Excel to eliminate ##### error message

3. #DIV/0!

When you see #DIV/0!, you are asking Excel to divide a formula by zero or an empty cell. In the same way that this task wouldn’t work if you were doing division by hand, or on a calculator, it won’t work in Excel either.

How to Resolve This Error

This error is pretty easy to resolve. Simply change the value of the cell to a value that is not equal to 0 or add in a value if your cell was blank. Here’s an example:

DIV_Excel_Error.png

Correct_Excel_Outcome.png

In some cases, you might find that you’re simply waiting for input in a particular cell. Rather than including a “0” as a placeholder, and subsequently turning up a #DIV/0! error, you can add a custom display message. Learn more about your alternative options here.

4. #REF!

This one can sometimes be a little tricky to figure out, but Excel usually displays #REF! when a formula references a cell that is not valid. Here’s a summary of where this error typically comes from:

Now, what does this error really mean? That means you may have accidentally deleted or pasted over a cell that was used in your formula. For example, let’s say the “Outcome” column, below, references the formula: =SUM(A2,B2,C2).

=SUM formula in Excel

If we were to accidentally delete the “Number 2” column, we’d see this error:

#REF! error in Excel due to a deleted column

How to Resolve This Error

Before you paste over a set of cells, make sure there are no formulas that refer (hence, “REF”) to the cells you’re deleting. Also, when deleting cells, it’s important to double check what formulas are being referred in those cells.

Pro Tip: If you accidentally delete a few cells, you can click the Undo button on the Quick Access Toolbar (or press CTRL+Z for PC / Command + Z for Mac ) to restore them.

5. #NULL!

#NULL! errors occur when you specify an intersection of two areas that don’t actually intersect, or when an incorrect range operator is used.

To give you some additional context, here’s how Excel reference operators work:

  • Range operator (semi colon): Defines a references to a range of cells.
  • Union operator (comma): Combines two references into a single reference.
  • Intersection operator (space): Returns a reference to the intersection of two ranges.

NULL_Error.png

Correct_Range_Excel.png

How to Resolve This Error

First things first, check to make sure that you are using the correct syntax in your formula.

  • You should be using a colon to separate the first cell from the last cell when you refer to a continuous range of cells in a formula.
  • On the other hand, you should be using a comma should when you refer to two cells that don’t intersect.

6. #N/A

When you see #N/A, this typically means that the numbers you are referring to in your formula cannot be found.

You may have accidentally deleted a number or row that’s being used in your formula, or are referring to a sheet that was deleted or not saved.

For advanced users, one of the most common causes of the #N/A error is when a cell can’t be found from a formula referenced in a VLOOKUP. (Check out this post for more on VLOOKUPs.)

How to Resolve This Error

Triple check all your formulas and be sure to look closely at which sheets or rows may have been deleted or incorrectly referenced. If you have a few formulas linked together, check to see that everything in every formula has a value.

For advanced users using VLOOKUP functions, reference this guide.

7. #NUM!

If your formula contains numeric values that aren’t valid, you’ll see an #NUM! error appear in Excel. Often times this happens when you enter a numeric value that’s different than the other arguments used in your formula.

For example, when you’re entering an Excel formula, make sure you don’t include values like $1,000 in currency format. Instead, enter 1000 and then format the cell with currency and commas after the formula is calculated.

How to Resolve This Error

Check to see if you have entered any formatted currency, dates, or special symbols. Then, make sure to remove those characters from the formula, only keeping the numbers themselves.

Here’s how you can format numbers after removing the commas and currency from your formula:

Adding and removing commas and currency format from numbers in Excel

(To adjust the currency, select the small triangle to the right of the icon to select an option from the dropdown menu.)

Want more Excel tips? Check out this post on simple Excel tips, tricks, and shortcuts.

free excel templates for marketing

 
Free Download Excel Templates

Here’s the truth: Excel struggles are real.

As a marketer, it’s likely that you know these tiny conflicts all too well. From accidental deletes to misplaced numbers, one click can throw your spreadsheet all out of whack. And putting it back together once you’ve done the damage can be seriously frustrating — not to mention, time-consuming.

Keep track of your marketing reporting all in one dashboard. Try HubSpot's  Reporting Add-On here for free.But you’re not alone: Even the most advanced Excel users experience these errors from time to time. For that reason, we’ve put together some tips designed to save you a few minutes (or hours) when solving frustrating Excel errors. Check them out below.

Best Practices That’ll Help You Reduce Excel Errors

Before we go over the errors and tips, we wanted to share a few helpful tricks we’ve learned from our own Excel experts. These precautionary lessons are designed to help you avoid errors altogether, making your life a whole lot easier:

  • Begin every formula with an equal sign.
  • Use the * symbol to multiply numbers, not an X.
  • Match all opening and closing parentheses so that they are in pairs.
  • Use quotation marks around text in formulas.

8 Excel Error Messages You’re Sick of Seeing (And How to Fix Them)

We’ve all fallen victim to the little green arrow in upper-left hand corner of a cell before. You know, that pesky little flag that Excel uses to indicate something has gone wrong with the values in the cell.

In many cases, clicking on that arrow will pull up enough information for you to remedy the problem at hand. Take a look:

Options dropdown to the left of a #VALUE! Excel error message

But in other cases, you still can’t seem to figure out what’s gone wrong with your spreadsheet to solve this error. For those cases, we’ve provided the following list of common errors, explanations, and tips for overcoming them. Dig in for the context you need to right your wrongs and get back on the Excel saddle.

1. #VALUE!

Excel displays the #VALUE! error when it finds spaces, characters, or text in a formula where it is expecting a number.

Excel requires formulas to contain numbers only and won’t respond to formulas associated with numbers, so it will show you an error is if you’ve included anything else.

#VALUE! Excel error message shown vertically down the Sum column of a spreadsheet

How to Resolve This Error:

An easy solution to this error is to double check your formula to make sure that you only used numbers. If you’re still seeing an error, check for blank cells, missing formulas linking to cells or any special characters you may be using.

In the example above, the “Sum” column is referring to empty cells. Excel can’t calculate the sum of empty columns, so it gives us an error.

2. #NAME?

This is a slightly more complex Excel error. Here’s a summary of why this might appear in a cell you’re working in:

No, Excel isn’t looking for your name in this case. The error, #NAME?, appears in a cell when Excel can’t read certain elements of a formula you’re trying to run.

For example, if you’re trying to conduct the =VLOOKUP formula, and you spell “VLOOKUP” wrong, Excel will return the #NAME? error after you input the values and press Enter. Check this error out below — as you can see, the cell is missing the “U” in “=VLOOKUP.”

#NAME? Excel error message created from =VLOOKUP formula

You might also have spelled the formula correctly, but don’t have enough information entered in the formula’s individual entries. Check out how this error might look below — as you can see, the table array entry is incomplete. It needs an actual spreadsheet name to know where to look up our desired value.

#name-error-message-in-excel

How to Resolve This Error

To fix the #NAME? error in Excel, check the spelling of the formula you’re trying to run.

If the formula is spelled correctly, and your spreadsheet is still returning an error, Excel is probably getting confused over one of your entries inside the formula. An easy way to fix this is to have Excel insert the formula for you. Highlight the cell in which you want to run a formula, then click the “Formulas” tab in the top navigation. Select “Insert Function” (If you’re using Microsoft Excel 2017, this option will be on the far left of the Formulas navigation bar).

insert-function-in-excel

Once you select “Insert Function,” a Formula Builder will appear to the righthand side of your spreadsheet where you can select your desired formula. Excel will then walk you through each step of the formula in separate fields, as shown below, to ensure no errors are made and the program can read your cell correctly.

          Excel's Formula Builder, used to ensure no errors are made     vlookup-formula-builder

2. #####

When you see ##### displayed in your cell, it can look a little scary. The good news is that this simply means the column isn’t wide enough to display the value you’ve inputted. And that’s any easy fix.

##### Excel error in cell A2

How to Resolve This Error

Click on the right border of the column header and increase the column width.

Resolving ##### Excel errors in column A by expanding the width of the column

Pro Tip: You can double-click the right border of the header to automatically fit the widest cell in that column.

Double-clicking a column in Excel to eliminate ##### error message

3. #DIV/0!

When you see #DIV/0!, you are asking Excel to divide a formula by zero or an empty cell. In the same way that this task wouldn’t work if you were doing division by hand, or on a calculator, it won’t work in Excel either.

How to Resolve This Error

This error is pretty easy to resolve. Simply change the value of the cell to a value that is not equal to 0 or add in a value if your cell was blank. Here’s an example:

DIV_Excel_Error.png

Correct_Excel_Outcome.png

In some cases, you might find that you’re simply waiting for input in a particular cell. Rather than including a “0” as a placeholder, and subsequently turning up a #DIV/0! error, you can add a custom display message. Learn more about your alternative options here.

4. #REF!

This one can sometimes be a little tricky to figure out, but Excel usually displays #REF! when a formula references a cell that is not valid. Here’s a summary of where this error typically comes from:

Now, what does this error really mean? That means you may have accidentally deleted or pasted over a cell that was used in your formula. For example, let’s say the “Outcome” column, below, references the formula: =SUM(A2,B2,C2).

=SUM formula in Excel

If we were to accidentally delete the “Number 2” column, we’d see this error:

#REF! error in Excel due to a deleted column

How to Resolve This Error

Before you paste over a set of cells, make sure there are no formulas that refer (hence, “REF”) to the cells you’re deleting. Also, when deleting cells, it’s important to double check what formulas are being referred in those cells.

Pro Tip: If you accidentally delete a few cells, you can click the Undo button on the Quick Access Toolbar (or press CTRL+Z for PC / Command + Z for Mac ) to restore them.

5. #NULL!

#NULL! errors occur when you specify an intersection of two areas that don’t actually intersect, or when an incorrect range operator is used.

To give you some additional context, here’s how Excel reference operators work:

  • Range operator (semi colon): Defines a references to a range of cells.
  • Union operator (comma): Combines two references into a single reference.
  • Intersection operator (space): Returns a reference to the intersection of two ranges.

NULL_Error.png

Correct_Range_Excel.png

How to Resolve This Error

First things first, check to make sure that you are using the correct syntax in your formula.

  • You should be using a colon to separate the first cell from the last cell when you refer to a continuous range of cells in a formula.
  • On the other hand, you should be using a comma should when you refer to two cells that don’t intersect.

6. #N/A

When you see #N/A, this typically means that the numbers you are referring to in your formula cannot be found.

You may have accidentally deleted a number or row that’s being used in your formula, or are referring to a sheet that was deleted or not saved.

For advanced users, one of the most common causes of the #N/A error is when a cell can’t be found from a formula referenced in a VLOOKUP. (Check out this post for more on VLOOKUPs.)

How to Resolve This Error

Triple check all your formulas and be sure to look closely at which sheets or rows may have been deleted or incorrectly referenced. If you have a few formulas linked together, check to see that everything in every formula has a value.

For advanced users using VLOOKUP functions, reference this guide.

7. #NUM!

If your formula contains numeric values that aren’t valid, you’ll see an #NUM! error appear in Excel. Often times this happens when you enter a numeric value that’s different than the other arguments used in your formula.

For example, when you’re entering an Excel formula, make sure you don’t include values like $1,000 in currency format. Instead, enter 1000 and then format the cell with currency and commas after the formula is calculated.

How to Resolve This Error

Check to see if you have entered any formatted currency, dates, or special symbols. Then, make sure to remove those characters from the formula, only keeping the numbers themselves.

Here’s how you can format numbers after removing the commas and currency from your formula:

Adding and removing commas and currency format from numbers in Excel

(To adjust the currency, select the small triangle to the right of the icon to select an option from the dropdown menu.)

Want more Excel tips? Check out this post on simple Excel tips, tricks, and shortcuts.

free excel templates for marketing

 
Free Download Excel Templates

The 27 Best Instagram Accounts for Design Inspiration

Instagram has become a finely curated destination for gorgeous photos, videos, and visual content that all clamor for the best Likes and comments. It’s as if the urge to visit a modern art museum can now be satisfied from the comfort of our own homes — or bus seats, or lunch breaks.

That is, if you follow the right people. As social media generally provides a platform for individuals to become brands, so it goes for the artists and designers who have found Instagram to be a method of building a miniature, digital art gallery — a social portfolio, if you will.

And as for the people seeking remarkable design work? Jackpot.Download 25 free Instagram templates to increase engagement and elevate your  presence. 

But to help you narrow your search, we’ve done a bit of our own curation of the best Instagram accounts to follow for design inspiration. We’ve broken the list down by category: illustration, graphic design, pop art and installation, color palettes, street art, photography, typography, and calligraphy — although, you might notice that some of the work below could fall onto more than one list. notice some of their work could fall into a number of different lists.

Check out how these artists are sharing their work with the world — we’re sure you’ll find them as inspiring as we do.

The 27 Best Instagram Accounts for Design

Click on a category below to jump to that section:

Illustration

1) Steve Harrington: @s_harrington

Steve Harrington is a Los Angeles-based designer who describes his own style as having a “psychedelic-pop aesthetic.” His Instagram is full of his brightly colored, playful illustrations, many of which he’s created for brands — most notably Nike, for which he’s designed sportswear, including shoes.

2) Rachel Ryle: @rachelryle

Rachel Ryle is an illustrator, an animator, and a storyteller — and she combines all three on her Instagram account. Most of her posts are beautiful, clever, and often super cute stop-motion videos like the one below. She told Mashable that each animation takes 15–20 hours from the beginning concept to final editing, on average. If you like her work, Instagram is the place to follow her: It’s her most dedicated channel for showcasing her work. 

3) Mikey Burton: @mikeyburton

Mikey Burton, based out of Chicago, calls himself a “designy illustrator” — his way of saying he works part time in both. Burton has done work for clients like Converse, ESPN, Target, The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and Esquire. He’s been working on a lot of editorial pieces lately, which he posts proudly on his Instagram — along with other, often-whimsical illustrations both as sketches and as final, published projects.

4) Jamel Saliba: @melsysillustrations

Jamel Saliba, a.k.a. Melsy, is equal parts artist and entrepreneur, having quit her job in her mid-twenties to become a successful, full-time fashion illustrator. Her sketches are beautifully done and cover themes like fashion, friendship, and love — all in the style of contemporary chic. Since her initial success on Etsy caught the eye of consumers and brands alike, Melsy’s done client work for Hallmark, T.J.Maxx, and Home Goods.

On Instagram, she posts a combination of illustrations added to her portfolio, as well as those celebrating events or holidays, like the illustration she posted for Halloween.

Graphic Design

5) Neil A. Stevens: @neil_a_stevens

Neil A. Stevens specializes in poster design, and he’s particularly good at creating sharp, dynamic pieces.  He’s created posters for many cities and countries around the globe, including a handful for the Tour de France. 

6) Hey Studio: @heystuxdio

Hey Studio is made up of three designers: Ricardo Jorge, Veronica Fuerte, and Mikel Romero — and is one of Spain’s most popular graphic design studios. A lot of their work features stunning geometric shapes, which they post to their Instagram account in combination with pictures of their team during the creation process (and when they’re just fooling around).

Tip: Shuffle through the entire carousel of images in the post below to see the full dimension range of work.

7) Luke Choice: @velvetspectrum

Luke Choice is an Australian living in New York whose work covers graphic design, illustration, and typography. His style is very colorful and very unique — I especially love the 3D illustration work he does, some of which are crazy cool animations. Check out his Instagram feed to see his latest work, from his own personal projects to collaborations with brands like Nike. 

Pop Art & Installation

8) Jessica Walsh: @jessicawalsh

I’m so inspired by Jessica Walsh, both as a designer and as an entrepreneur. She joined the design firm Sagmeister & Walsh, Inc. at age 23 — back when it was just Sagmeister, Inc. Two years later, the firm’s founder Stefan Sagmeister took her on as a partner when she was only 25, and the firm eventually became Sagmeister & Walsh. They’ve designed work for very high-profile clients, such as Levi’s and HBO.

Walsh’s Instagram account is a gorgeous display of her own work, the firm’s, and design inspiration from others. 

9) Daniel Aristizábal: @darias88

Colombian Digital Artist Daniel Aristizábal’s talent is transforming regular, everyday objects into surreal, colorful renditions that are full of character. His work is “saturated with science references, retro hues, strange imagery, bold geometric patterns, and a playful sense of the absurd,” reads his SkillShare bio.

Follow him on Instagram for a peek into how he sees the world, including the collaborations he’s worked on with clients like Toy Nail Polish and Refinery29.

10) Dschwen LLC: @dschwen

Dschwen LLC is a creative studio based in Minneapolis that employs collaborative designers throughout the United States. Their design projects are created mainly for brands — including some big names like Amazon, Apple, Juicy Couture, General Electric, Uber, Twitter, and more.

They’ve won a plethora of awards, including a Design Gold at Cannes Creativity Festival for the second image below, “traffic cone in disguise,” which they created for Twitter and Niche. Their Instagram page is chock full of creative, surprising, and clever designs — including some sweet animations.

11) Leta Obierajski: @letasobierajski

Leta Obierajski is a New York-based art director and graphic designer with an eye for bright colors, angles, and curves. What I like about her Instagram account in particular is that she writes descriptive Instagram captions that give her followers a behind-the-scenes look at her thoughts and processes, making for an incredibly interesting read.

For example, in her caption for the image below, she describes her collaboration with a fellow designer on this installation for local restaurant Le Turtle:

Color Palettes

12) Design Seeds: @designseeds

The folks behind Design Seeds’ Instagram account do a wonderful job of showing their followers just how important color schemes are to beautiful design. They use Instagram to create color palettes inspired by images submitted to them on Instagram using the #SeedsColor hashtag. This is a fun way to share their passion for nature’s beauty while encouraging engagement. 

13) Canva: @Canva

As a design tool, it makes sense that Canva’s Instagram account would be centered around design. Not only do they post gorgeous photos and design work, but I especially love their color palette series, where they create color palettes based on photos, much like Design Seeds.

As an added bonus, they include the names and hex codes of each color and prompt their followers to punch the hex codes into their Canva color wheel to use them in their own designs.

Street Art

14) Jaime Rojo: @bkstreetart

Jaime Rojo isn’t a street artist; he’s a photographer of street art. One of his goals, which he articulates on his website, is to photograph new public art, street art, graffiti, and urban art as they’re created, not just in Brooklyn, but all over the world (thanks to a partnership with Urban Nation Berlin). He keeps an eye on developing trends and strives to lead a worldwide conversation about how these trends affect popular and art culture. His Instagram is a live collection of his photographs, in which he credits and tags the artist when known.

15) Biafra Inc.: @biafrainc

Biafra Inc. is an anonymous Minneapolis-based street artist who creates his work via spray paint, screen printing, stencils, stickers, and posters. As he tells it, his work is often “a visual retelling of stories that are apart of his life.” As a self-proclaimed news junkie, he also incorporates socio-political themes in his work from time to time. His Instagram account is an inspirational showcase of his work in a variety of urban environments all over the Midwest. 

biafrainc-instagram-4.png

16) Fumeroism: @fumeroism

“My art is an extension of my character, bold and uninhibited, assertive and unorthodox.” That’s how anonymous street artist Fumeroism describes his colorful, expressive, contemporary street art. His designs are often caricatures of real subjects, like his portrait of fellow street artist Sebastien Waknine in Barcelona in the image below. Follow Fumeroism on Instagram for colorful, bold, and energetic street art in locations all over the world.  

17) Banksy: @banksy

Unsurprisingly, the famous British street artist Banksy often goes for long peiods of time without posting to his Instagram account. And yes, it is his official account — Banksy’s publicist Jo Brooks confirmed it in a tweet:

But when he does, it’s not something you’ll want to miss.

For example, in February 2015, after almost a year and a half of nothing new on Instagram, Banksy posted a caption-less photo to his Instagram account of a brand new, never-before-seen piece of street art that Paste Magazine theorized appeared to be “done over a door. The location has not been discovered or revealed as of yet.” Follow his account to scroll through some of his great work and to stay in the loop in case a new piece appears.

Photography

18) VuThéara Kham: @vutheara

When it comes to beautiful photography, there are a whole lot of Instagrammers to choose from. One of my favorites is Paris-based photographer VuThéara Kham, who actually started his career on Instagram and became quite popular in the Instagram community. Follow his Instagram account for gorgeously framed photos of Paris’ (and other European cities’, as per below) landscapes and people.

19) Hiroaki Fukuda: @hirozzzz

Instagram is actually the basis of Hiroaki Fukuda’s photography career, which is why his posts on there are so darn good. Like Kham, Fukuda started as an Instagram hobbyist in Tokyo and ended up gaining a huge following.

When big brands caught wind of his talent and began hiring him for different projects, he became a full-time Instagrammer. Now, he travels all over the world taking photos for companies like Nike and Christian Dior. Side note: He told CNN in an interview that he likes when people comment on his photos … so comment away! 

20) Dirk Bakker: @macenzo

Although Dirk Bakker is an Amsterdam-based graphic designer, he likes to take photographs of art, design, and architecture — and post it to his Instagram account. He has a keen eye for taking something “normal” — like cranes or a staircase — and transforming it into a stunning image with a great sense of depth. He’s especially talented at capturing repetitive patterns like lines, geometric shapes, forms, and colors, making for striking images with strong visual impacts.

21) Max Wanger: @maxwanger

Max Wanger is a Los Angeles-based photographer who specializes in portraits, including wedding photos. His Instagram posts are a combination of his personal photography and the work he’s done for clients. What I love about his photos is that they have a romantic, personal touch, and often make beautiful use of negative space.

Typography

22) Erik Marinovich: @erikmarinovich

Erik Marinovich is a lettering artist and designer and an entrepreneur. In addition to drawing letters, logos, and type for big brands like Nike, Target, Google, Facebook, Sonos, and Sharpie, Marinovich has also co-founded Friends of Type, a collaborative blog and shop, and Title Case, a creative work space that runs workshops and lectures. His Instagram account is a great showcase of his impressive lettering work, from branded design work to impressively cool doodles.

23) Ahda: @misterdoodle

Ahda, the man behind the Mister Doodle pseudonym, is a hand letterer who’s done design work for big brands like Element Skateboards, The Sunday Times U.K., Citizen Apparel, and more. His specialty is incorporating his beautiful, curvy hand lettering into shapes and illustrations. Check out his Instagram for photographs of his lettering work, including t-shirt designs and creative showcases of his projects alongside relevant props.

24) Cyril Vouilloz: @rylsee

Cyril Vouilloz, a.k.a. Rylsee, is a Berlin-based designer with a fun and experimental take on typography. His unique hand-drawn lettering work plays with lines and dimensions — and what makes his Instagram posts so cool is that many of them show his fingers “interacting” with his illustrations, enhancing the optical illusions in a way that’ll blow your mind a little bit. Browse through his crazy cool work on Instagram, and follow him to see what original artwork and distortions he comes up with next.

25) Arabic Typography: @arabictypography

Beautiful typography doesn’t just mean Latin letters. In fact, some of the most beautiful typography in the world comes from Arabic script. There are many features that make Arabic lettering so aesthetic: It’s written from right to left, it can include accents and dots or lines, and its letters can vary in shape depending on their position in a word.

The Arabic Typography Instagram account, run by Egypt-based Noha Zayed, is a collection of beautiful Arabic typography — from signage to street art to tattoos — that’s crowdsourced from all over the world.

Calligraphy

26) Seb Lester: @seblester

Artist and Designer Seb Lester is one of the most famous calligraphy artists on Instagram, with over one million followers (as of this posting). The vast majority of his posts are actually videos — and for good reason.

“So much of calligraphy is about movement and rhythm, and a short video can capture the beauty and the magic of calligraphy in a very Internet-friendly format,” he told The New Yorker. “Recurring words in people’s comments are ‘mesmerizing,’ ‘hypnotic,’ and ‘satisfying.’ For reasons I don’t fully understand, people clearly enjoy watching the process of something perceived as ‘perfect’ being made from start to finish.”

27) Lindsay Oshida: @lindsayoshida

Lindsay Oshida is a Los Angeles-based graphic designer who posts beautiful calligraphy work to her Instagram account. She gained a lot of attention on Instagram for her “Game of Thrones” quotes, which she posted once per day during the ten days leading up to the 2015 season premiere.

For example, she did her piece “Kill the crows” (the image below) in black letter with walnut ink, according to The New Yorker, and the black crows were sketched using a crow-quill nib — “a calligrapher in-joke.” She’s since posted quotes both from “Game of Thrones” and other popular TV shows, and claims other calligraphers have followed her lead.

We hope this list helped you find some new designers to follow. May your Instagram feed be much more beautiful for it!

Instagram Templates

 
Instagram Te

Instagram has become a finely curated destination for gorgeous photos, videos, and visual content that all clamor for the best Likes and comments. It’s as if the urge to visit a modern art museum can now be satisfied from the comfort of our own homes — or bus seats, or lunch breaks.

That is, if you follow the right people. As social media generally provides a platform for individuals to become brands, so it goes for the artists and designers who have found Instagram to be a method of building a miniature, digital art gallery — a social portfolio, if you will.

And as for the people seeking remarkable design work? Jackpot.Download 25 free Instagram templates to increase engagement and elevate your  presence. 

But to help you narrow your search, we’ve done a bit of our own curation of the best Instagram accounts to follow for design inspiration. We’ve broken the list down by category: illustration, graphic design, pop art and installation, color palettes, street art, photography, typography, and calligraphy — although, you might notice that some of the work below could fall onto more than one list. notice some of their work could fall into a number of different lists.

Check out how these artists are sharing their work with the world — we’re sure you’ll find them as inspiring as we do.

The 27 Best Instagram Accounts for Design

Click on a category below to jump to that section:

Illustration

1) Steve Harrington: @s_harrington

Steve Harrington is a Los Angeles-based designer who describes his own style as having a “psychedelic-pop aesthetic.” His Instagram is full of his brightly colored, playful illustrations, many of which he’s created for brands — most notably Nike, for which he’s designed sportswear, including shoes.

2) Rachel Ryle: @rachelryle

Rachel Ryle is an illustrator, an animator, and a storyteller — and she combines all three on her Instagram account. Most of her posts are beautiful, clever, and often super cute stop-motion videos like the one below. She told Mashable that each animation takes 15–20 hours from the beginning concept to final editing, on average. If you like her work, Instagram is the place to follow her: It’s her most dedicated channel for showcasing her work. 

3) Mikey Burton: @mikeyburton

Mikey Burton, based out of Chicago, calls himself a “designy illustrator” — his way of saying he works part time in both. Burton has done work for clients like Converse, ESPN, Target, The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and Esquire. He’s been working on a lot of editorial pieces lately, which he posts proudly on his Instagram — along with other, often-whimsical illustrations both as sketches and as final, published projects.

4) Jamel Saliba: @melsysillustrations

Jamel Saliba, a.k.a. Melsy, is equal parts artist and entrepreneur, having quit her job in her mid-twenties to become a successful, full-time fashion illustrator. Her sketches are beautifully done and cover themes like fashion, friendship, and love — all in the style of contemporary chic. Since her initial success on Etsy caught the eye of consumers and brands alike, Melsy’s done client work for Hallmark, T.J.Maxx, and Home Goods.

On Instagram, she posts a combination of illustrations added to her portfolio, as well as those celebrating events or holidays, like the illustration she posted for Halloween.

Graphic Design

5) Neil A. Stevens: @neil_a_stevens

Neil A. Stevens specializes in poster design, and he’s particularly good at creating sharp, dynamic pieces.  He’s created posters for many cities and countries around the globe, including a handful for the Tour de France. 

6) Hey Studio: @heystuxdio

Hey Studio is made up of three designers: Ricardo Jorge, Veronica Fuerte, and Mikel Romero — and is one of Spain’s most popular graphic design studios. A lot of their work features stunning geometric shapes, which they post to their Instagram account in combination with pictures of their team during the creation process (and when they’re just fooling around).

Tip: Shuffle through the entire carousel of images in the post below to see the full dimension range of work.

7) Luke Choice: @velvetspectrum

Luke Choice is an Australian living in New York whose work covers graphic design, illustration, and typography. His style is very colorful and very unique — I especially love the 3D illustration work he does, some of which are crazy cool animations. Check out his Instagram feed to see his latest work, from his own personal projects to collaborations with brands like Nike. 

Pop Art & Installation

8) Jessica Walsh: @jessicawalsh

I’m so inspired by Jessica Walsh, both as a designer and as an entrepreneur. She joined the design firm Sagmeister & Walsh, Inc. at age 23 — back when it was just Sagmeister, Inc. Two years later, the firm’s founder Stefan Sagmeister took her on as a partner when she was only 25, and the firm eventually became Sagmeister & Walsh. They’ve designed work for very high-profile clients, such as Levi’s and HBO.

Walsh’s Instagram account is a gorgeous display of her own work, the firm’s, and design inspiration from others. 

9) Daniel Aristizábal: @darias88

Colombian Digital Artist Daniel Aristizábal’s talent is transforming regular, everyday objects into surreal, colorful renditions that are full of character. His work is “saturated with science references, retro hues, strange imagery, bold geometric patterns, and a playful sense of the absurd,” reads his SkillShare bio.

Follow him on Instagram for a peek into how he sees the world, including the collaborations he’s worked on with clients like Toy Nail Polish and Refinery29.

10) Dschwen LLC: @dschwen

Dschwen LLC is a creative studio based in Minneapolis that employs collaborative designers throughout the United States. Their design projects are created mainly for brands — including some big names like Amazon, Apple, Juicy Couture, General Electric, Uber, Twitter, and more.

They’ve won a plethora of awards, including a Design Gold at Cannes Creativity Festival for the second image below, “traffic cone in disguise,” which they created for Twitter and Niche. Their Instagram page is chock full of creative, surprising, and clever designs — including some sweet animations.

11) Leta Obierajski: @letasobierajski

Leta Obierajski is a New York-based art director and graphic designer with an eye for bright colors, angles, and curves. What I like about her Instagram account in particular is that she writes descriptive Instagram captions that give her followers a behind-the-scenes look at her thoughts and processes, making for an incredibly interesting read.

For example, in her caption for the image below, she describes her collaboration with a fellow designer on this installation for local restaurant Le Turtle:

Color Palettes

12) Design Seeds: @designseeds

The folks behind Design Seeds’ Instagram account do a wonderful job of showing their followers just how important color schemes are to beautiful design. They use Instagram to create color palettes inspired by images submitted to them on Instagram using the #SeedsColor hashtag. This is a fun way to share their passion for nature’s beauty while encouraging engagement. 

13) Canva: @Canva

As a design tool, it makes sense that Canva’s Instagram account would be centered around design. Not only do they post gorgeous photos and design work, but I especially love their color palette series, where they create color palettes based on photos, much like Design Seeds.

As an added bonus, they include the names and hex codes of each color and prompt their followers to punch the hex codes into their Canva color wheel to use them in their own designs.

Street Art

14) Jaime Rojo: @bkstreetart

Jaime Rojo isn’t a street artist; he’s a photographer of street art. One of his goals, which he articulates on his website, is to photograph new public art, street art, graffiti, and urban art as they’re created, not just in Brooklyn, but all over the world (thanks to a partnership with Urban Nation Berlin). He keeps an eye on developing trends and strives to lead a worldwide conversation about how these trends affect popular and art culture. His Instagram is a live collection of his photographs, in which he credits and tags the artist when known.

15) Biafra Inc.: @biafrainc

Biafra Inc. is an anonymous Minneapolis-based street artist who creates his work via spray paint, screen printing, stencils, stickers, and posters. As he tells it, his work is often “a visual retelling of stories that are apart of his life.” As a self-proclaimed news junkie, he also incorporates socio-political themes in his work from time to time. His Instagram account is an inspirational showcase of his work in a variety of urban environments all over the Midwest. 

biafrainc-instagram-4.png

16) Fumeroism: @fumeroism

“My art is an extension of my character, bold and uninhibited, assertive and unorthodox.” That’s how anonymous street artist Fumeroism describes his colorful, expressive, contemporary street art. His designs are often caricatures of real subjects, like his portrait of fellow street artist Sebastien Waknine in Barcelona in the image below. Follow Fumeroism on Instagram for colorful, bold, and energetic street art in locations all over the world.  

17) Banksy: @banksy

Unsurprisingly, the famous British street artist Banksy often goes for long peiods of time without posting to his Instagram account. And yes, it is his official account — Banksy’s publicist Jo Brooks confirmed it in a tweet:

But when he does, it’s not something you’ll want to miss.

For example, in February 2015, after almost a year and a half of nothing new on Instagram, Banksy posted a caption-less photo to his Instagram account of a brand new, never-before-seen piece of street art that Paste Magazine theorized appeared to be “done over a door. The location has not been discovered or revealed as of yet.” Follow his account to scroll through some of his great work and to stay in the loop in case a new piece appears.

Photography

18) VuThéara Kham: @vutheara

When it comes to beautiful photography, there are a whole lot of Instagrammers to choose from. One of my favorites is Paris-based photographer VuThéara Kham, who actually started his career on Instagram and became quite popular in the Instagram community. Follow his Instagram account for gorgeously framed photos of Paris’ (and other European cities’, as per below) landscapes and people.

19) Hiroaki Fukuda: @hirozzzz

Instagram is actually the basis of Hiroaki Fukuda’s photography career, which is why his posts on there are so darn good. Like Kham, Fukuda started as an Instagram hobbyist in Tokyo and ended up gaining a huge following.

When big brands caught wind of his talent and began hiring him for different projects, he became a full-time Instagrammer. Now, he travels all over the world taking photos for companies like Nike and Christian Dior. Side note: He told CNN in an interview that he likes when people comment on his photos … so comment away! 

20) Dirk Bakker: @macenzo

Although Dirk Bakker is an Amsterdam-based graphic designer, he likes to take photographs of art, design, and architecture — and post it to his Instagram account. He has a keen eye for taking something “normal” — like cranes or a staircase — and transforming it into a stunning image with a great sense of depth. He’s especially talented at capturing repetitive patterns like lines, geometric shapes, forms, and colors, making for striking images with strong visual impacts.

21) Max Wanger: @maxwanger

Max Wanger is a Los Angeles-based photographer who specializes in portraits, including wedding photos. His Instagram posts are a combination of his personal photography and the work he’s done for clients. What I love about his photos is that they have a romantic, personal touch, and often make beautiful use of negative space.

Typography

22) Erik Marinovich: @erikmarinovich

Erik Marinovich is a lettering artist and designer and an entrepreneur. In addition to drawing letters, logos, and type for big brands like Nike, Target, Google, Facebook, Sonos, and Sharpie, Marinovich has also co-founded Friends of Type, a collaborative blog and shop, and Title Case, a creative work space that runs workshops and lectures. His Instagram account is a great showcase of his impressive lettering work, from branded design work to impressively cool doodles.

23) Ahda: @misterdoodle

Ahda, the man behind the Mister Doodle pseudonym, is a hand letterer who’s done design work for big brands like Element Skateboards, The Sunday Times U.K., Citizen Apparel, and more. His specialty is incorporating his beautiful, curvy hand lettering into shapes and illustrations. Check out his Instagram for photographs of his lettering work, including t-shirt designs and creative showcases of his projects alongside relevant props.

24) Cyril Vouilloz: @rylsee

Cyril Vouilloz, a.k.a. Rylsee, is a Berlin-based designer with a fun and experimental take on typography. His unique hand-drawn lettering work plays with lines and dimensions — and what makes his Instagram posts so cool is that many of them show his fingers “interacting” with his illustrations, enhancing the optical illusions in a way that’ll blow your mind a little bit. Browse through his crazy cool work on Instagram, and follow him to see what original artwork and distortions he comes up with next.

25) Arabic Typography: @arabictypography

Beautiful typography doesn’t just mean Latin letters. In fact, some of the most beautiful typography in the world comes from Arabic script. There are many features that make Arabic lettering so aesthetic: It’s written from right to left, it can include accents and dots or lines, and its letters can vary in shape depending on their position in a word.

The Arabic Typography Instagram account, run by Egypt-based Noha Zayed, is a collection of beautiful Arabic typography — from signage to street art to tattoos — that’s crowdsourced from all over the world.

Calligraphy

26) Seb Lester: @seblester

Artist and Designer Seb Lester is one of the most famous calligraphy artists on Instagram, with over one million followers (as of this posting). The vast majority of his posts are actually videos — and for good reason.

“So much of calligraphy is about movement and rhythm, and a short video can capture the beauty and the magic of calligraphy in a very Internet-friendly format,” he told The New Yorker. “Recurring words in people’s comments are ‘mesmerizing,’ ‘hypnotic,’ and ‘satisfying.’ For reasons I don’t fully understand, people clearly enjoy watching the process of something perceived as ‘perfect’ being made from start to finish.”

27) Lindsay Oshida: @lindsayoshida

Lindsay Oshida is a Los Angeles-based graphic designer who posts beautiful calligraphy work to her Instagram account. She gained a lot of attention on Instagram for her “Game of Thrones” quotes, which she posted once per day during the ten days leading up to the 2015 season premiere.

For example, she did her piece “Kill the crows” (the image below) in black letter with walnut ink, according to The New Yorker, and the black crows were sketched using a crow-quill nib — “a calligrapher in-joke.” She’s since posted quotes both from “Game of Thrones” and other popular TV shows, and claims other calligraphers have followed her lead.

We hope this list helped you find some new designers to follow. May your Instagram feed be much more beautiful for it!

Instagram Templates

 
Instagram Te

How to Provide Better Customer Service by Implementing Live Chat

It’s no secret that businesses need to prioritize the customer experience. Ultimately, keeping your customers happy will help your business grow and prosper.

In fact, 80% of consumers say they’re willing to spend more money to have a better customer service experience.

As a business owner, you need to recognize this and adjust your approach accordingly.

Ask yourself if your current customer service strategy is more convenient for you or more convenient for your customers. Here’s what I mean.

If the only way to contact a customer service representative at your company is via telephone during business hours on weekdays, that’s more convenient for you.

But if a customer has the ability to reach you on weekends or after hours, this will provide them with an enhanced customer service experience.

Improving your customer service may cost you more money. I understand this can be discouraging for some of you.

But as discussed, customers are willing to spend more money for this experience. So you can increase your prices accordingly.

Let’s take a look at the most important elements of the customer experience:

most important customer experience

If you look through these responses, you’ll see a common theme across the board.

Customers want fast response times. This is especially important if they have an issue, need, or complaint. But you also need to provide fast response times for general inquiries.

Your customers want to speak with knowledgeable staff.

They also want the option to reach customer service representatives, regardless of the time of day or their location. The contact method needs to be fast and easy to use.

Implementing live chat addresses all these factors.

For those of you who aren’t currently using live chat to connect with your customers, that needs to change.

I’ll explain how live chat will improve your customers’ service experience and ultimately help you make more money. Here’s what you need to know.

Customers prefer live chat

Now that we’ve had a chance to look at the elements of good customer experience, it’s time to take those results one step further.

By reviewing those responses, it’s logical to assume that live chat would meet the needs and requests of the consumer. But is that really what your customers are looking for?

Absolutely.

Research shows that live chat has a 92% consumer satisfaction rating. This is the highest rating compared to phone support, social media, and email.

Furthermore, when asked directly, consumers cited live chat as their most preferred method of customer service communication:

preferred method

Live chat is not a new advancement in technology. It’s been around for decades.

That said, we’re seeing an increase in its availability and popularity in customer service. According to experts, in the next 12 to 18 months, live chat for customer support is to grow by 87%.

It’s in your best interest to implement this now, before your competitors beat you to it.

With the popularity of live chat increasing, consumers will be more likely to favor brands offering this most preferred method of communication.

Failure to jump on board with this trend now could result in you falling behind the competition and losing some customers.

Make your live chat option easily accessible

Let’s say a customer decides they have a question, need help, or have an issue that needs to be addressed. Now what?

They shouldn’t have to spend much time searching and scrolling through your website to find a representative. This is a navigation mistake that you need to avoid.

The live chat feature needs to be readily available, or it won’t be as effective.

The best way to do this is to provide a live chat pop-up in the corner of your page. Check out this example from Warby Parker:

warby parker

Your live chat option should be easy to find, even when a website visitor isn’t initially looking to speak with a representative.

Just knowing that this option is available will improve their experience. If they don’t want to use this feature right now, they can simply minimize the chat window and continue browsing.

I really like this live chat feature from Warby Parker: it’s big, but not too intrusive.

Website visitors can continue to navigate and use the site, even while the chat box is open.

This makes it easy for customers to tell your live chat representatives exactly what they need if they have an inquiry that’s specific to something on your web pages.

Provide fast response times

Think about the last time you contacted a business that didn’t have a live chat feature. How did you reach out to them?

Chances are you used one of the following methods:

  • phone
  • email
  • social media

Several times, I’ve spent over an hour on the phone waiting to speak to a representative. We’ve all been in this situation before.

You pace around the room listening to terrible hold music or some other automated loop of a voice saying “your call is important to us.”

It’s frustrating, to say the least.

Email communication isn’t much better. This could take days or potentially even longer. I sent an email to an airline a few months ago, and it took them three weeks to respond.

But live chat gives you the opportunity to respond to customer inquiries as fast as possible.

Here’s a look at the top reasons why customers say that live chat is their preferred method of contact:

why is live chat preferred

As you can see, getting their questions answered immediately ranked first on this list.

Just implementing live chat isn’t necessarily effective if it’s taking forever for your representatives to respond. So make sure you properly staff your agents to handle the volume of customer messages.

Even if an agent isn’t ready to respond as soon as a new chat starts, there are still ways to keep the customer happy.

You can use automation to your advantage. Set up instant responses using artificial intelligence software asking the customer what they need help with.

Based on the customer’s answer, you can connect them with the next available and knowledgeable staff member, but we’ll discuss that in greater detail shortly.

You can even gather more information about the customer once the chat is initiated and before an actual person starts responding.

Ask for details such as:

  • name
  • email
  • phone number
  • account number
  • order number
  • shipping number
  • product code

This buys you some time, but it also gives your chat agents more information to further assist the customer as fast as possible.

Include typing indicators

Once the chat starts, you want to make it clear to your customers that someone is there to respond.

When they ask a question, it may take your agents some time to read through it and research a solution. Plus, not all of your customers will be sending perfect messages.

There could be some spelling and grammar mistakes. They also don’t know your products and services as well as you do, so they may not even know how to ask the question properly at first. It could take your agents a minute to decipher the question and understand what the customer needs help with.

But with all of this in mind, it’s important to let the customer know that an agent is present. The best way to do this is with a typing indicator.

This shows the customer their question is not being ignored, even though they haven’t seen a response yet.

Train your staff to acknowledge all messages from the customer, even before they provide a response.

For example, let’s say someone asks a question, but the agent needs a minute or two to research and type the resolution. Rather than having a minute or two of downtime, the agent can respond with something like, “Yes I see what you’re talking about.”

Then the customer will see the typing indicator as well while the agent continues writing the solution.

Now the customer knows their question isn’t being ignored and doesn’t think there is a glitch or problem with the live chat platform.

Connect customers with knowledgeable support agents

When a customer has a question or problem, it’s important it gets answered not only fast but also efficiently.

If you can’t come up with a solution for your customers, you aren’t providing them with the best possible customer service. It’s important to connect your customers with support agents who are able to help them with their problems.

So you need to gather more information about the inquiry before connecting the chat to an agent. Here’s a look at how Apple handles this:

apple

Obviously, Apple is a major company with a wide range of products, software, and services.

While overall their staff may be knowledgeable, they have experts for different departments.

For example, if someone has a question about their Apple Music subscription, they will probably be connected with a different agent than someone who is having issues with their Macbook software.

So if your business has lots of departments, you’ll want to have some type of filtering system like this as well.

Don’t have your agents answer questions they are not qualified to answer. In the event that an agent doesn’t know how to provide help, there should be an option for them to transfer the chat to another representative.

Let’s say you have retail store locations that sell various home improvement products, furnishings, and electronics.

A customer starts a live chat, indicating they need help with outdoor patio furniture, and then gets connected with a proper associate.

Once their question is answered, they may have another question about installing a sound system in their living room. So the agent could say they’ll transfer the chat to someone who specializes in electronics.

Send your customers a chat transcript

Once the chat is over, your customers may want to refer back to the conversation.

This is especially true if they were troubleshooting a problem and the representative offered a step-by-step solution.

The chat transcript also shows you’re being completely transparent. It keeps your staff accountable for what they say as well.

It’s basically the same concept as phone calls being recorded for quality or training purposes. Sending the transcript to your customers proves you’re recording and monitoring the conversations.

This may also reduce the chances of a customer reaching out for help again when they have the same question or forget something that was said.

They can simply refer back to the chat. This is one of the reasons why live chat is more cost-effective than phone support.

cost

Plus, with live chat, your agents will be able to speak with multiple customers at the same time. This can’t happen over the phone. But I’ll discuss this concept in more detail shortly.

Either way, not only will you be improving your customer experience by implementing live chat, but you’ll also be saving money.

This, in conjunction with the consumer willingness to spend more money for better service, is a formula for increased profits.

Build an FAQ database

If you see common questions coming in via live chat, you can use this information to improve your website.

Start an FAQ page.

Write detailed responses to those questions. Customers may search or check this page before connecting with a live chat agent.

If they see their question, they won’t even need to contact your customer support team.

The database will also help you improve your products and services.

For example, let’s say you’re selling a product that requires customer assembly, but you’re seeing a huge number of customers asking questions about the instructions.

You may need to go back and re-evaluate those instructions. Make improvements in areas where customers had questions.

This FAQ database will help both you and your customers.

Train your staff properly

To maximize the efficiency of your live chat, your agents will be dealing with several conversations simultaneously. Make sure they are able to handle this.

Provide proper training so they can navigate between windows and stay organized.

Even if they are knowledgeable about your brand and products, that’s useless if they don’t know how to properly use the live chat software.

You don’t want them to feel overwhelmed, or it will hurt the quality of their responses and ultimately reflect poorly on the customer experience.

Look at how customers respond after they have positive and negative experiences:

how consumers share feedback

They share their feelings on multiple channels of both good and bad encounters. But they are more likely to tell people about bad customer service experiences.

Make sure your staff are friendly. Train them to be both helpful and understanding.

Customers may say things in a wrong way or use incorrect terminology. Don’t make them feel bad about it.

Apologize for any inconvenience your product may have caused them. Thank them for reaching out and supporting the business.

Stay engaged. Ask the right questions in response the customer inquiries.

Even if the customer communicates using slang, shortcuts, or acronyms, your staff should always be responding with proper grammar to stay professional.

Conclusion

Your business needs to implement a live chat feature. Ultimately, this will improve your customer service.

Customers prefer live chat over other methods of communication. They want their inquiries answered as fast as possible.

Add a typing indication feature to show customers that an agent is there and working on a response.

Make sure your staff is knowledgeable. If a support agent can’t answer a question, allow them to transfer the chat to an expert in that particular department.

Send your customers a copy of the chat transcript so they can refer to it if they need any clarification. Use common concerns to build an FAQ database.

Your support agents need to be able to accommodate multiple conversations simultaneously. Make sure they’re trained to be helpful and professional at all times.

All of these factors will keep your customers happy and increase your profits.

How is your brand using live chat to improve the customer service experience?

It’s no secret that businesses need to prioritize the customer experience. Ultimately, keeping your customers happy will help your business grow and prosper.

In fact, 80% of consumers say they’re willing to spend more money to have a better customer service experience.

As a business owner, you need to recognize this and adjust your approach accordingly.

Ask yourself if your current customer service strategy is more convenient for you or more convenient for your customers. Here’s what I mean.

If the only way to contact a customer service representative at your company is via telephone during business hours on weekdays, that’s more convenient for you.

But if a customer has the ability to reach you on weekends or after hours, this will provide them with an enhanced customer service experience.

Improving your customer service may cost you more money. I understand this can be discouraging for some of you.

But as discussed, customers are willing to spend more money for this experience. So you can increase your prices accordingly.

Let’s take a look at the most important elements of the customer experience:

most important customer experience

If you look through these responses, you’ll see a common theme across the board.

Customers want fast response times. This is especially important if they have an issue, need, or complaint. But you also need to provide fast response times for general inquiries.

Your customers want to speak with knowledgeable staff.

They also want the option to reach customer service representatives, regardless of the time of day or their location. The contact method needs to be fast and easy to use.

Implementing live chat addresses all these factors.

For those of you who aren’t currently using live chat to connect with your customers, that needs to change.

I’ll explain how live chat will improve your customers’ service experience and ultimately help you make more money. Here’s what you need to know.

Customers prefer live chat

Now that we’ve had a chance to look at the elements of good customer experience, it’s time to take those results one step further.

By reviewing those responses, it’s logical to assume that live chat would meet the needs and requests of the consumer. But is that really what your customers are looking for?

Absolutely.

Research shows that live chat has a 92% consumer satisfaction rating. This is the highest rating compared to phone support, social media, and email.

Furthermore, when asked directly, consumers cited live chat as their most preferred method of customer service communication:

preferred method

Live chat is not a new advancement in technology. It’s been around for decades.

That said, we’re seeing an increase in its availability and popularity in customer service. According to experts, in the next 12 to 18 months, live chat for customer support is to grow by 87%.

It’s in your best interest to implement this now, before your competitors beat you to it.

With the popularity of live chat increasing, consumers will be more likely to favor brands offering this most preferred method of communication.

Failure to jump on board with this trend now could result in you falling behind the competition and losing some customers.

Make your live chat option easily accessible

Let’s say a customer decides they have a question, need help, or have an issue that needs to be addressed. Now what?

They shouldn’t have to spend much time searching and scrolling through your website to find a representative. This is a navigation mistake that you need to avoid.

The live chat feature needs to be readily available, or it won’t be as effective.

The best way to do this is to provide a live chat pop-up in the corner of your page. Check out this example from Warby Parker:

warby parker

Your live chat option should be easy to find, even when a website visitor isn’t initially looking to speak with a representative.

Just knowing that this option is available will improve their experience. If they don’t want to use this feature right now, they can simply minimize the chat window and continue browsing.

I really like this live chat feature from Warby Parker: it’s big, but not too intrusive.

Website visitors can continue to navigate and use the site, even while the chat box is open.

This makes it easy for customers to tell your live chat representatives exactly what they need if they have an inquiry that’s specific to something on your web pages.

Provide fast response times

Think about the last time you contacted a business that didn’t have a live chat feature. How did you reach out to them?

Chances are you used one of the following methods:

  • phone
  • email
  • social media

Several times, I’ve spent over an hour on the phone waiting to speak to a representative. We’ve all been in this situation before.

You pace around the room listening to terrible hold music or some other automated loop of a voice saying “your call is important to us.”

It’s frustrating, to say the least.

Email communication isn’t much better. This could take days or potentially even longer. I sent an email to an airline a few months ago, and it took them three weeks to respond.

But live chat gives you the opportunity to respond to customer inquiries as fast as possible.

Here’s a look at the top reasons why customers say that live chat is their preferred method of contact:

why is live chat preferred

As you can see, getting their questions answered immediately ranked first on this list.

Just implementing live chat isn’t necessarily effective if it’s taking forever for your representatives to respond. So make sure you properly staff your agents to handle the volume of customer messages.

Even if an agent isn’t ready to respond as soon as a new chat starts, there are still ways to keep the customer happy.

You can use automation to your advantage. Set up instant responses using artificial intelligence software asking the customer what they need help with.

Based on the customer’s answer, you can connect them with the next available and knowledgeable staff member, but we’ll discuss that in greater detail shortly.

You can even gather more information about the customer once the chat is initiated and before an actual person starts responding.

Ask for details such as:

  • name
  • email
  • phone number
  • account number
  • order number
  • shipping number
  • product code

This buys you some time, but it also gives your chat agents more information to further assist the customer as fast as possible.

Include typing indicators

Once the chat starts, you want to make it clear to your customers that someone is there to respond.

When they ask a question, it may take your agents some time to read through it and research a solution. Plus, not all of your customers will be sending perfect messages.

There could be some spelling and grammar mistakes. They also don’t know your products and services as well as you do, so they may not even know how to ask the question properly at first. It could take your agents a minute to decipher the question and understand what the customer needs help with.

But with all of this in mind, it’s important to let the customer know that an agent is present. The best way to do this is with a typing indicator.

This shows the customer their question is not being ignored, even though they haven’t seen a response yet.

Train your staff to acknowledge all messages from the customer, even before they provide a response.

For example, let’s say someone asks a question, but the agent needs a minute or two to research and type the resolution. Rather than having a minute or two of downtime, the agent can respond with something like, “Yes I see what you’re talking about.”

Then the customer will see the typing indicator as well while the agent continues writing the solution.

Now the customer knows their question isn’t being ignored and doesn’t think there is a glitch or problem with the live chat platform.

Connect customers with knowledgeable support agents

When a customer has a question or problem, it’s important it gets answered not only fast but also efficiently.

If you can’t come up with a solution for your customers, you aren’t providing them with the best possible customer service. It’s important to connect your customers with support agents who are able to help them with their problems.

So you need to gather more information about the inquiry before connecting the chat to an agent. Here’s a look at how Apple handles this:

apple

Obviously, Apple is a major company with a wide range of products, software, and services.

While overall their staff may be knowledgeable, they have experts for different departments.

For example, if someone has a question about their Apple Music subscription, they will probably be connected with a different agent than someone who is having issues with their Macbook software.

So if your business has lots of departments, you’ll want to have some type of filtering system like this as well.

Don’t have your agents answer questions they are not qualified to answer. In the event that an agent doesn’t know how to provide help, there should be an option for them to transfer the chat to another representative.

Let’s say you have retail store locations that sell various home improvement products, furnishings, and electronics.

A customer starts a live chat, indicating they need help with outdoor patio furniture, and then gets connected with a proper associate.

Once their question is answered, they may have another question about installing a sound system in their living room. So the agent could say they’ll transfer the chat to someone who specializes in electronics.

Send your customers a chat transcript

Once the chat is over, your customers may want to refer back to the conversation.

This is especially true if they were troubleshooting a problem and the representative offered a step-by-step solution.

The chat transcript also shows you’re being completely transparent. It keeps your staff accountable for what they say as well.

It’s basically the same concept as phone calls being recorded for quality or training purposes. Sending the transcript to your customers proves you’re recording and monitoring the conversations.

This may also reduce the chances of a customer reaching out for help again when they have the same question or forget something that was said.

They can simply refer back to the chat. This is one of the reasons why live chat is more cost-effective than phone support.

cost

Plus, with live chat, your agents will be able to speak with multiple customers at the same time. This can’t happen over the phone. But I’ll discuss this concept in more detail shortly.

Either way, not only will you be improving your customer experience by implementing live chat, but you’ll also be saving money.

This, in conjunction with the consumer willingness to spend more money for better service, is a formula for increased profits.

Build an FAQ database

If you see common questions coming in via live chat, you can use this information to improve your website.

Start an FAQ page.

Write detailed responses to those questions. Customers may search or check this page before connecting with a live chat agent.

If they see their question, they won’t even need to contact your customer support team.

The database will also help you improve your products and services.

For example, let’s say you’re selling a product that requires customer assembly, but you’re seeing a huge number of customers asking questions about the instructions.

You may need to go back and re-evaluate those instructions. Make improvements in areas where customers had questions.

This FAQ database will help both you and your customers.

Train your staff properly

To maximize the efficiency of your live chat, your agents will be dealing with several conversations simultaneously. Make sure they are able to handle this.

Provide proper training so they can navigate between windows and stay organized.

Even if they are knowledgeable about your brand and products, that’s useless if they don’t know how to properly use the live chat software.

You don’t want them to feel overwhelmed, or it will hurt the quality of their responses and ultimately reflect poorly on the customer experience.

Look at how customers respond after they have positive and negative experiences:

how consumers share feedback

They share their feelings on multiple channels of both good and bad encounters. But they are more likely to tell people about bad customer service experiences.

Make sure your staff are friendly. Train them to be both helpful and understanding.

Customers may say things in a wrong way or use incorrect terminology. Don’t make them feel bad about it.

Apologize for any inconvenience your product may have caused them. Thank them for reaching out and supporting the business.

Stay engaged. Ask the right questions in response the customer inquiries.

Even if the customer communicates using slang, shortcuts, or acronyms, your staff should always be responding with proper grammar to stay professional.

Conclusion

Your business needs to implement a live chat feature. Ultimately, this will improve your customer service.

Customers prefer live chat over other methods of communication. They want their inquiries answered as fast as possible.

Add a typing indication feature to show customers that an agent is there and working on a response.

Make sure your staff is knowledgeable. If a support agent can’t answer a question, allow them to transfer the chat to an expert in that particular department.

Send your customers a copy of the chat transcript so they can refer to it if they need any clarification. Use common concerns to build an FAQ database.

Your support agents need to be able to accommodate multiple conversations simultaneously. Make sure they’re trained to be helpful and professional at all times.

All of these factors will keep your customers happy and increase your profits.

How is your brand using live chat to improve the customer service experience?