After Mhairi and I had released the first season of Feathers and Toast, and were in our experimental year where we were playing around with social media and attempting to build an audience, we began receiving a lot of advice from many diverse sources about what we needed to do to enhance the show and get our numbers up, some we listened to and some we did not, because as I said before “Not all advice is created equal.”
Now I am not saying this in order to give myself and others an excuse to just throw away any advice you get that is not to your liking, in fact, I think you should listen very carefully to all advice, particularly the advice that’s hard to hear, there are gifts in there, I am saying this because advice is something you need to treat with caution.
The thing is, it is the rare person that can step out of their own life experiences, needs and wants, and listen to yours purely and deeply in order to give you unbiased advice tailored just for you and what’s best for achieving your specific vision.
More times than not the advice you are going to get will be based on the advice givers view of how things work, or the brand of success they themselves are seeking, their personal area of expertise, or the style of entertainment they like the best.
All of this information is very valuable and should not be overlooked, its just that when listening to it, it needs to be placed in the right context, particularly when you are a creator at the early stages of your vision.
The early stages are a precarious time for content creators. You haven’t even worked out all the answers yourself yet and already there are opinions about the direction you should go, opinions that are often presented to you with great confidence, as if they are fact, at a time when you are anything but confident, and if you are not careful they can alter your vision in a direction you never intended for it to go which leads me to…
Industry Tip #12
When receiving advice regarding your content (particularly in the early stages) it is important to remember 4 things:
1) Always be grateful to those who take the time to give you solicited advice. (those who give you unsolicited advice, you can do whatever you want with them 🙂 )
2) Always consider the source (what their personal experiences and biases are) so that the information they give you can remain in proper context.
3) Give yourself permission to trust your own gut. Regardless of the stature of the advice giver, if the advice given doesn’t jibe with the direction you feel you are going, give yourself permission to respectfully follow your own intuition.
4) If in following your own path, you discover that one of your former advice givers was right along, its okay and encouraged to admit that, readjust your course and become all the more grateful.
As some of you know, this particular topic became fodder for a good portion of Season 2 of Feathers and Toast as we delved into the age old battle between Art and commerce. But even earlier on it came into play with the clip I am about to show you that comes from our Holiday Tidbit series.
We had been given advice from a senior exec in the Youtube world who had suggested we needed to incorporate topics that were trending into our show, like twerking. Naturally the Tallulah side of Mhairi was like “twerking? Does he really expect me to twerk darling?”
But after much thought, we decided, yes, let’s have Tallulah twerk, but in her own Tallulah way. The result was our most viewed video to date. I guess that guy did have a point, particularly when it comes to increasing your views.