A story about great leggings, and how simply having a good product isn’t enough

A story about great leggings, and how simply having a good product isn’t enough

A story about great leggings, and how simply having a good product isn’t enough

My new favourite leggings are from a company called Sweaty Betty. 

I like what they make, but that isn’t all, and it’s not enough. 

I like what they say in their marketing, and who they are, and the way they interact with me as a human (not simply a “buyer”).

A few weeks ago they shared a new swimwear line on Insta, with models who looked like normal people. 

Not the super-perfect, ultra-skinny, airbrushed models we’re used to….just normal women, as they are. 

I noticed it (on Insta, of course, my favourite platform of them all) because for a second I was kind of startled. These women looked different. It looked like a picture I could have taken on my phone (if I was hanging out with three friends casually in new matching swimwear). But you get what I mean. It was…imperfect. 

Interestingly I used the word “imperfect” and had a few friends message me to say using that word implies that perfect is possible. I still think it’s the right word, but only because we ALL are imperfect. That there is no perfect human body (on this earth anyway) and therefore it’s not about these models being imperfect and the others being perfect…it’s about these models being shown for who they actually are. 

Either way, the point is, i loved it, we’re all tired of being shown fake-perfection, and it’s great marketing. 

But good words on their own, or good photos or a good concept, isn’t enough.

I shared it then on Insta, and I’m telling the story now in my Notes, because i loooooooove the Sweaty Betty leggings I own. (I now own two pairs, which I consider to be merely the start of my collection). 

They fit beautifully, they feel amazing, they’re tough enough to protect me from stinging scottish nettles but light enough to not weigh me down, and I like how I look in them. 

The Sweaty Betty stuff isn’t cheap, but I spent ten quid on a pair of leggings from tescos, and I liked them for a few weeks until they got all ratty and pilly and stretched out, and after a few months I realised I never wear them anymore. 

I thought about that, and i thought about their insta post, and then I thought about the very first time I went to buy a pair of leggings from them. I found exactly the ones I wanted, but it appeared they were out of stock. This is what happened: 

  • They had a live chat option, so I picked that to get an answer quickly
  • Someone came on live chat very quickly, and was friendly and grasped the issue quickly as well 
  • They offered to check stock in a local store 
  • They found it in stock, and gave me two options – go to the store and pick it up, or have someone ring me to take my order over the phone so they could deliver it to me 
  • I am not a big fan of phone calls, but I wanted the leggings sooner rather than later, so I said they could ring me
  • They rang me maybe ten minutes later, took all my details quickly and simply, and put the order in
  • The order arrived a few days later, along with a handwritten note from one of the team at their Glasgow shop to thank me for buying

(Do you notice how many times I used the word quickly? When a buyer is ready to buy, after all their research, make sure they can get what they want when they want it.)

So yea, i really like what they sell. 

But I also like their marketing.

And I also like their people. 

You have to have all of these combined. 

If you do great work, but your marketing is rubbish or your people aren’t helpful (or both), you’re not getting as much business as you could be.

If you have amazing marketing and really nice people, but your product isn’t write-an-email-to-everyone-you-know-worthy, clients won’t stay with you or buy more. 

You get the idea. 

What I’d love to hear from you today is:

Which one of the three do you think needs most work in your business, or in the place you work? 

Product

People

or 

Marketing?

 

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ON THE GRAM

I’m not actually bummed about the grey weather we’re having. Here’s why.

I went for a walk in the MORNING today, which felt like i’m winning at life. 🏆 

Lately I’ve been fitting in my daily walk at 9 or 10pm after a long day of meetings. I’m super grateful for the way it’s still light so late at night, but a walk-at-end-of-day doesn’t have the same motivational kick as the walk-at-the-start. 🌑 

So that one little thing I did puts me at champion status, and affects my entire mindset for the day. 💪 

There are a lot of contributing factors to this morning’s walk, but the top one was that it was grey, cool, and windy...which is far more motivational to me than bright sunshine. 🌬 

I know, it’s weird.

The rest of britain is like UGH WHAT A SHIT SUMMER and i’m here going um...i really, really love the rain. And clouds. And cool breezes. And grey skies. ☔ 

I’ll join in the conversation and be like yea, yea, it really does suck...but that’s just to start conversation and show British solidarity. Deep down I don’t think it does suck. 👀 

I do like sunshine, but after spending 25 years of my life in Arizona, I don’t love or crave the heat. ☀ 

Anything over about 20 degrees and i start getting a bit antsy...and my limit is “23 with a breeze”. 😎 

If it’s higher than that I’ll literally hide inside, not rush out to sit in a beer garden or at the beach. I really don’t enjoy heat at all. 

So thanks grey skies and wind, you helped a lot today. 💪 

Just me? Everyone else dreaming of 30+ degrees and sunshine?? It’s okay if you are...i just...don’t get it. 🤣 

#justkeepgoing #walkoftheday #goodmorning #wegotthis #onestepatatime #motivation
Cancelling things is a superhero skill.

Not all the time, of course: we want to be trustworthy.

And the sheer stubbornness of being a business owner is good.

I can do it. I will do it. No matter what! I can make. this. work.

A product, an event, a new hire, a business.

So we keep pushing. Show up, send the emails, make the phone call, record the videos. More training for the new hire, more new hires. Make sure we never let anyone down.

Of course, things happen. We get sick, something happens to a family member, or there’s an emergency and we need to shift things around.

But cancelling things can be a superhero skill: when you do it well, knowing why it’s time to cut the cord and communicating it well.

Here’s some of what I consider when I’m trying to decide if it’s time to dig in, or stop & go another direction:

1. Does anyone even know about it?
Sometimes it’s been a big part of your business life and used a lot of brainpower, but no one outwith you and your team know it was meant to happen.

2. What’s the cost of not doing this now?
The full cost, more than financial, including:
- Motivational cost for you, team, clients
- Decreased trust for clients
- Loss of strategic partnership connection

3. Could you replace it with something else?
Another day, an online option, a template instead of custom build? Sometimes a replacement isn’t a cancellation at all. You’re doing it, but in a less costly way.

4. Do I have the energy and appetite to keep going?
I can do it with an automaton approach…but given the other things on my plate, where do I want my energy to go? How much do I have to give? Will it renew energy, or drain it?

I ended up cancelling a small event recently, & whilst I was disappointed, it was the right decision for these reasons.

It can feel embarrassing...but cancelling something can be a superpower, if it’s done well & communicated clearly and honestly. And when it’s more the exception than the rule.

Anything you are considering stopping? What impact might that have?

✨This is from this week’s Creative Headspace note. They go out every Friday - except for the rare occasions I skip a week for my own sanity. 😄 Sign up in bio!💌