When I decided to create two new brands I knew it would be a lot of work. Registering them for their own Facebook, Gmail, Etsy and Felt accounts made my head spin. I didn’t really make it easy on myself though, I did it all in one sitting, for both brands. Then there was all the work I had forgotten about, Imogen Wilson Jewellery has been around for so many years, and I built it up as I went, I didn’t go in with a fully rounded brand. As a result I had forgotten how much was involved with starting out. It’s all well and good to have a product you’re proud of and think people will be interested in buying/ wearing, that’s almost the easy bit. Logo design, brand ethos, packaging, photography, photo editing, domains (Facebook, Etsy, Felt, Gmail, they feel never ending when you jump in), product descriptions and measurements for online listing…and that’s all before showing the public anything (or emailing shops)… it can seem daunting for one brand let alone three. Then when you think you have a handle on it all there are the statistics to think about.
Love them or loathe them, business statistics are everywhere. At the top of your Facebook page, your blog, your Etsy account, and of course the mother of them all Google analytics. I am still in the early stages of understanding how they work, how to read them, what it all means.
Actually, that’s a lie, a total lie. I have absolutely no idea how they work, I understand them as much as a child might. When the graph or the counter goes higher it means more people have visited my site, which is a good thing- WIN. Pretty basic right? Well apparently not. As with SEO (something else I understand about as much as a chimp) it’s an ever changing game. There is so much information on the internet about it all, yet it all seems to be written for someone else, someone that speaks this ‘other’ language I’m not privy to.
When Imogen Wilson Jewellery was my one and only brand I was obsessed with the statistics behind each website I used. My Etsy stats page was always open in one of my browser tabs, I looked at my Facebook stats daily. As I said above, I didn’t really understand what I was looking at, but that didn’t stop me being distracted by them often and excited when the numbers rose higher. Another tab to distract me from what I was ultimately supposed to be doing. Then I launched Ex Libris, my second brand, in the background all the while still chipping away at brand #3, suddenly I was logging in and out of Etsy, changing Facebook accounts left, right and centre. It was much like what I’ve heard having a second child is like, I suddenly had three times the work to do (not twice as much, like I had expected).
I realised I was so busy I no longer looked at my stats every hour, sometimes I didn’t even have the time to look at them every day. Checking my emails and looking at facebook just to see if ‘anything had changed’ didn’t occur to me, I had become so busy doing actual work that my mind had focused, and time had become more precious. Perhaps once I’ve gotten into the swing of things and all three brands have been launched, once a ‘normal’ daily routine is established then I’ll learn a bit about how to accurately read and use my stats, then at least if I fall back into old habits I’ll understand what I’m looking at.
When I started my blog, the goings on of Create & Thrive blogger Jess often inspired what I would write about. However as my blog has continued I don’t rely on her posts to spark something in my brain, to inspire me, I stand on my own two feet a little more and write about what is happening in my world with no prompting. However, I wrote this blog yesterday, and this morning in my inbox was an email about Jess’ digital sabbatical and a blog about the experience. She realised that it wasn’t necessarily that she was spending so much time online, it was the work (or lack of) that she was doing when she was there. The topic couldn’t have been more perfectly suited to include here if I’d asked her to write it myself;
“By constantly ‘checking in’ on social media, email, and other interactive online spaces (like checking our blog comments or stats, for example) we are caught in a loop of reactive work. We’re looking for something outside of us to give us something to respond to, rather than sitting back, turning inward, and focussing on what WE can create and give out to the world.”
I spoke a little bit about reactionary work flow here, but it’s so hard to make yourself stop when you are so caught up in it. Luckily for me it’s no longer an issue, for now at least… Watch this space…