Keeping Our Skills Sharp: How the Yak Pak Stays “In School”

Read how marketing experts stay curious and improve their skills, whether in the studio, in the kitchen or online

Did you know that being curious has big benefits for business? Research shows that encouraging curiosity can lead to fewer decision-making errors, more innovation, reduced group conflict and better team performance. That’s why “curious” is one of Yakkety Yak’s core values and something we bring into all the work we do. We checked in with the team and asked: How are you staying curious? What skills and hobbies are you leveling up or exploring? Here’s what they had to say.

Balta Self-Portrait Challenge

Taking Photography to the Next Level

Throughout the month of June, Yakkety Yak Senior Art Director Baltazar Rosiles challenged himself to complete a month-long self-portrait challenge on Instagram. He posted one self-portrait per day, utilizing different backgrounds, filters, effects and techniques to push the boundaries of his creativity and flex his photography muscles. For some of these photos, he even shared behind-the-scenes videos. Check out his Instagram to see the full gallery of his work!

On what he learned from partaking in this challenge, Baltazar says, “Fail fast, so if an idea doesn’t work, you can pivot and try something else. Because I had a short amount of time to take each photo, I had to learn to let go and not worry about the little details. If an idea or execution didn’t work, I was OK with it because I learned something from the process.”

Baltazar plans to do more challenges in the future to grow his photography and art direction skills. To enable this growth, he’s been taking photography courses on CreativeLive, a platform that offers expert-taught classes on topics including photo and video, self-improvement, money and finance, design and illustration and more.

WordPress Courses UX UI

Studying Web Design and Development

Marketing Intern Avery J. has been taking introductory Skillshare courses on WordPress, the free and open-source content management system that hosts 42% of all websites. In addition to these classes, she has had the opportunity to practice her new skills by helping our web team build out two new websites. 

Avery is also expanding her web design skills by learning more about Sketch. Yakkety Yak uses Sketch to build templates for client websites, giving a preview of what the website will look like after it’s designed. This software also offers interactive elements for templates, allowing clients to see how the site will function once the pages are linked together. This way, we can design each website to work the way our clients want it to while also following UX/UI best practices

“It’s been really cool to see how website templates are used and edited. Seeing how an old website is refreshed and comes alive is super rewarding,” Avery says. 

Brewing Kombucha

Brewing Up a New Skill

What would you do to save some money? Video Producer Jason Hamidi is making his own kombucha at home. “I drink a lot of kombucha, which is expensive at the store, so it just made economic sense [to start brewing it myself]! Plus, I feel like a mad scientist while mixing and matching new flavors.”

And while Jason isn’t an expert kombucha-brewer yet, he gave a rundown on the basics. Depending on personal preference, you’ll usually start with either black or green tea. Combine the tea with sugar, water and a SCOBY, or a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast—and let it ferment twice. During the second fermentation, add different fruits, herbs, syrups and other ingredients to customize the flavor. With fall fast approaching, Jason wants to create an autumnal kombucha using flavors such as apples and cinnamon or pumpkin. Interested in exploring the world of kombucha brewing? Here are a few of the resources Jason referenced to get started: Good Housekeeping, Delish and Kitchn.

Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead

Leading the Pak 

Yakkety Yak has been growing fast over the past year after acquiring video production company Kindred Content, taking on a host of new clients and adding new roles to our team. As we continue to grow, strong leadership will provide an essential solid foundation. That’s why our leadership team, including CEO & Founder Ashley Logan and Director of Operations Lindsay Swift, have recently been hyper-focused on team building, leadership development and goal setting. 

Inspired by Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead, Ashley has been concocting plans to ensure team members are always set up for success. From implementing new project management and onboarding processes to encouraging a “paint done” mindset, she’s all about accountability—another one of our core values!—and clear communication. “As a team, having extra tools to unearth stealth expectations and unsaid intentions can be groundbreaking. Taking an extra step to “paint done” to help give those who are charged with a task color and context will help us foster curiosity, collaboration, realism and remove frustration from the process and outcomes of a project,” she says. 

Additionally, the leadership team is enrolled in EO Chicago’s Emerging Leaders Program, a six-course, three-month virtual session where they’ll learn about the business fundamentals that are key to entrepreneurial organizations. We’re excited to see how they will apply their learnings to the company. 

What skills are you hoping to improve? Stay in school with Yakkety Yak by checking out marketing tips, tricks, advice and more on our blog

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