10 startups to help you improve your communication skills

Every month Emi Gal provides a round-up of 10 start-up companies which agencies should know about. Emi is the founder & CEO of Brainient, one of the UK’s leading ad-tech start-ups. Headquartered in London, Brainient is backed by some of the most prominent investors in the world including Seedcamp, Arts Alliance, Atlas Venture and 500 startups. You can find Emi on Twitter @emigal.

For communication professionals, sometimes we need a helping hand in order to get our messages across to our target audience or to keep our employees on the same page.

The world’s greatest copywriters can have moments where creativity struggles to come through and writer’s block rears its ugly head, marketers are always on the hunt for a new way to reach customers and teams will continuously adapt how they work together.

There are thousands of startups out there hoping to make us better communicators, often born out of entrepreneurs’ own frustrations with what is available and how it can be so much better. Just look at Skype for instance, the global giant started life with the simple idea of making it easier and cheaper for people to talk, anywhere in the world.

Below is a selection of tools available to all communication professionals from PRs and marketers, to creatives and bloggers, so that we can all get better at talking to our audience.

CommunicateBetter

Sign up online and each week CommunicateBetter will send you one actionable lesson to improve your internal and external communications. Featuring proven advice, case studies, and resources that unify your teams, convert more customers and create products people love from experts in company communications, such as website host chat tool Olark, and email content management platform, sendwithus.

Persado

Struggling to use persuasive language to drive action from your audience? That’s where Persado comes in. It helps to generate the most effective language so you don’t have to, eliminating the copywriter’s guess work while you double your campaign response rates. The platform works by mapping the marketing language that applies to your brand, creating millions of variations of the message to discover the most persuasive emotions and generate the language that will drive the greatest response.

Bond

This app allows you to set reminders to keep in touch with your contacts. You can set which form of communication to use, and how frequently, making sure you stay on top of your growing list of professional and personal contacts. So you can remember to follow up on that new business pitch a week later, and return that missed call from Mum.

Populr

This platform allows sales and marketing teams to create beautiful, engaging web content without a programmer or designer. The pages can be assembled in the same way you pull together a power point slide. You can share your page through social sites and email, and track the response rate. You can also make duplicates and invite team members to collaborate.

WriterKata

Sometimes we need to go back to the basics in order to hone our style and become confident in your writing ability. WriterKata helps improve the craftsmanship of your writing through simple exercises that have been inspired through the practice of coding katas, an exercise in programming which helps polish skills through practice and repetition. A collection of random exercises divided into four stages: sentence, paragraph, sketch, and story. Acting as a writers prompt, the free tool has over a hundred exercises for you to flex your creativity.

Fleep

Fleep is a collaboration platform that aims to bridge the gap between email and various IM and texting services to make it easier for you to work with your team. Created by a group of ex-Skype engineers, the chat tool can be used by those signed up to the service and can also pull in email responses from others, so the conversation can be seen all in one go. Fleep also allows you to pin key actions from the conversation and documents, so you can find them all easily. The team recently announced a new way to share your conversations and have added video calling to the service.

Faqfox

Faqfox is a free content marketing and SEO research tool to help you plan out your blogging strategy. The easy-to-use site will pull together a list of questions that people are asking about your selected topic from a specified website, allowing you to settle on a title for a blog post that people will want to read. So you no longer have to make a guess as to what will gain you the most traffic, but can track down exactly what potential readers want to know.

Panda

We need to continuously learn and be inspired in order to better ourselves and improve our skills. Panda is a newsfeed that aims to do this for designers and developers. It aggregates content from sources such as Hacker News and Product Hunt onto a newsfeed dashboard so that you can constantly stay informed, allowing you to discover quality content in an efficient way. Perfect for your lunch break.

Flounder

Designed for smaller teams, Flounder monitors the @replies to and from each member’s personal account. Once you or your team member have had a conversation with someone lasting a few tweets, the company twitter account will automatically follow that individual with the aim that they will then follow back. It allows you to grow your Twitter audience by using your team members’ personalities as the driving force.

UnSuckIt

Now for a fun one! Want to avoid using jargon heavy content? Try UnSuckIt which will translate all your complex words into comical explanations that might just cause you to simplify what you’re trying to say. At the very least it will make you and your team laugh while you try to come up with something inventive.

Emi Gal is chief executive and co-founder of Brainient

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