Our team knows better than anyone that managing a small business requires a unique mix of trusting your gut and relying on facts and data. It’s a blend that we are trying to get right every day - for all of our amazing clients, but especially for our own content.
When you don’t trust yourself, you end up creating something that isn’t true to you, something that you don’t love - and that definitely won’t help your brand grow! But at the same time, if you keep creating things without checking how it’s received, you won’t get the results you need. Your brand will plateau, and nobody wants that!
We’re feeling that so much at the moment as TLSE grows and shifts...
We have ways of creating that we are well versed in, that we know and love, but as we grow and take on new people, we are trying to push things a little further.
We ran a giveaway over the summer inviting people to download our 2020 summer trends (if you missed it you can still sign up for it here) and we had three different images to promote it. All of these images were very, very true to our brand - but they were all different, and we were pretty confident about which one would do the best. Before we tell you - take a look for yourself! Which of the three below images do you think would be the most effective?
Well - and this is hard to write because it means admitting we were wrong (!) - we were convinced it would be #1. I mean think about it - it’s brighter, there is much more activity in the shot, and flowers always do well - especially on our socials. We actually considered just running image 1 - that’s how confident we were. But we were wrong.
Image #3 far outperformed the other two images - on every platform! It was cheaper, reached more people and helped us connect with a meaningful audience much more effectively. After just one week, we stopped using all the other images, because #3 was seriously doing THAT well.
It was such an important reminder not to take things for granted.
It’s a hard balance to crack because it means admitting that we don’t always get it right the first time. But, hey, we're only human, and it also gives us a pretty great gift: freedom. Freedom to try new things, approach things differently. It’s one of the things we love about social media - it’s a testing ground where we can connect with our valued, awesome community and learn what they love directly from them.
Our best advice to trust your gut while also growing and learning.
1. Start with your gut
You are the thing that makes your business unique. There is no point in creating something that makes you want to close your eyes and run away. So always start with the things you love and the ideas you are passionate about. Make sure everything you create is something you are proud of.
2. Make sure you are collecting as much data as you possibly can!
We can’t emphasise this enough! Set up the analytics and the pixels - make sure every time you post something, you can see how it performs. It may sound a bit boring, and it does take some time - but that time pays off so quickly, and trust us, it's WORTH IT. We are currently doing this ourselves - going through the process of updating the tools to track the impact of our content - and it’s taking us a bit, but we know it's a process we couldn't do without.
3. Don’t be afraid to try something new
Try a new image style or a bolder colour. If that’s what your gut is telling you - why not jump in?! You can always come back and change it, or worst case scenario, pull it down completely. You can treat your online audience like customer research - take note of what resonates and what doesn't!
4. Evaluate how things go
The data you collect won’t do anything unless you start to read it (groundbreaking stuff, right?). You might think your target audience is 25-year-old hipsters, but through your data realise you are actually connecting with 45-year-olds with bigger budgets. This will help you refine your messaging and super-charge your impact.
If you’ve got any questions - about finding your voice and trusting your gut, setting up the tests your brand is CRYING out for - or maybe you just want our opinion on what you’re already doing. Feel free to reach out.
WORDS | Hannah Steele Thiem, TLSE