I can’t thank you all enough for filling out our 2017 annual survey. If I could give each of you a giant bear hug through my computer, I totally would!!!! I must admit to you, 2016 was filled to the brim with endless learning experiences. I winged and questioned A LOT of things, but in the process developed quite the back bone and realized the importance of listening to my gut.
Last year I FINALLY re-branded BFFF into a personal brand that felt right and more authentic to me. Finding my voice and producing content that truly fires me up has been a process. I felt like I had to REALLY pump out content to know what worked best for me and what felt right by doing it in the process.
So after a lot of thought, team meetings, and conducting this very informative survey, I am excited to tell you that we have even MORE exciting surprises in store for you at BFFF in 2017!
But first, let’s talk about what worked for us and what did not work for us as a brand in 2016.
Here’s what worked for us:
- Transferring BFFF into a personal brand. It feels so much more authentic, and I feel so much more connected with you guys. Can “I” tell you how much I love writing “I” instead of “we” on this blog? Writing “we” used to be a rule of thumb at all times for the past several years, so it feels so liberating to be connected with you as a real person!
- Hiring professional photographers to consistently work with. In the past, we used to work with a ton of different photographers versus consistently working with professionals who truly understood our brand on a more consistent basis. Let me tell you, all photographers have their own preference of “white,” where some look more on the bluer side, while others could be more yellow. This year I have learned that consistency has been key for us. The look and feel of the brand has stayed consistent throughout the entire re-brand which makes me SO happy! This year we plan on bringing on an additional photographer outside of our 2 main go-to photographer friends to help us with our load as our content increases. I couldn’t be more excited!
- Expanding our team locally. I have had an entire list of goals over the years – we’re talking big goals, but every single year they never get accomplished. It felt like all I’ve had time to do is clean out my inbox… but this year I recruited a great team so that I can focus more on working “on” my business rather than working “in” my business. We recruited an Operations Director, Business Development Director, Creative Team, Marketing Director, Editor, a couple contributors, and even contracted with an incredible talent agency! Who would have thought a blog would have so many people involved?! In 2017, I plan to expand our team even more to bring you guys an even higher level of engaging content.
- Trusting my gut. I love the rule “When in doubt leave it out.” I am learning to listen to my gut more, whether it be content, processes, or any other big decisions I have to make. The struggle is real you guys! ;) Also, I am noticing that the more I trust myself, the happier I am with the results. I used to always be that girl who called a million people to get second, third, and fourth opinions, but that is becoming a thing of the past more and more each day.
- Really connecting with our readers. As we had been a “we” brand in the past, I used to have a social media director who would write all of our social media posts. But now that BFFF is back to a personal blog, I am writing all of the blog posts and social media posts, and it feels so right to me! Recently, I’ve even gotten bolder and have been sharing a lot of video time such as Instagram stories and Facebook live! Having the opportunity to have conversations with each of you has made working at BFFF the best it has ever felt to me! I am so thankful for the authentic connection we get to experience together. Love you guys!
Here’s what didn’t work for us & what I’ve learned:
- Motherhood Posts: So here’s the thing. I’ve never felt over-the-moon about about writing about parenting topics like “Why holding Charlie back from Kindergarten was the best idea ever” or other parenting tips. I LOVE being a mother, but I feel really awkward about going deep on how I feel about parenting or projecting parenting advice on the internet about this topic. I am not an expert, and I often turn to other blogs or friends to learn about this topic. I feel like parenting doesn’t come with a map, and you just have to listen to your gut and do what works individually as a family. Sharing deep stories about parenting has always felt off topic with the BFFF brand. What really fires me up when it comes to sharing info about my kiddies on the blog is incorporating Charlie and Claire into other posts such as sharing the parties I throw for them, the recipes they love, the DIYs or baking we do together, or other things that pertain to creativity! This angle definitely feels more aligned with the brand, and I think you will have more fun reading it too! ;)
- Fashion: Same as above for these two bad boys! ;) I LOVE fashion but it doesn’t quite fit the brand to do a post like “this is where I am just walking about town wearing these clothes.” However, fashion is a topic that I am really passionate about – especially more so recently. I would LOVE to share my fashion with you in a post that feels more fitting to the BFFF brand. Ways this would feel more on-brand to me is by sharing accessories that incorporate parties, DIY, baking, or interior design within the same post. So for example, me sitting in one of my new favorite dresses in my styled living room or baking in the kitchen with my favorite new apron, etc. I really just want to make sure that the topics I am so passionate about covering don’t get lost with content that does NOT feel relevant. I want you to feel like the content really flows throughout BFFF. Thanks for being so patient through our re-branding growing pain! ;)
- Creating content based on keeping up with the trends. It’s SO easy to go on Instagram and on Pinterest and see trends going wild, and next thing you know, you feel like you have to keep up and make content in a similar style too. For example, this DIY Rainbow Sprinkle Pineapple did not feel like ME at all, but I posted it anyways. ;) But on the other hand, this Pink & Gold Polka Dot Cactus Piñata was one of my favorite DIYs of 2016! They still make me feel so happy when I see them! This year, I plan to produce more content that makes me feel the same way when I hit publish on the pink & gold cactus piñata post that I loved! ;) I want to make sure our content feels fully aligned with the BFFF brand. This year I will be creating content that I am OVER-THE-MOON EXCITED ABOUT (notice the all caps – I am stoked!). Raise the roof!
- Winging a schedule. AHHHH! With a new schedule and the constant battle with not sleeping and mamma guilt, this was something I struggled with immensely in 2016. It was only in Novemberish that I felt the dark cloud leave over me. My clarity came back, I had more energy, and was finally sleeping again as Claire was too! ;) This year, Andy and I have already begun coordinating a schedule together that works with our goals. I plan to have a set schedule and work hard!
And of course, as promised, I wanted to share with you our results from our survey. I cannot thank everyone enough for taking time the leave comments, fill out the survey, frequent this blog, and hang out with me on social media. Your comments and feedback are so meaningful to me. I read every single one of them, and it truly means so much that you care enough to join in the fun.
WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT OUR 2016 RE-BRAND
- 75% It was the best thing you could have done
- 25% I like it, but I also miss some of the older features you did like the interviews / featuring other people’s work.
- 0% I miss the old model
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CONTENT THAT WE POST
- 34% DIY Recipes
- 29% Dessert Recipes
- 19% Interior Design
- 8% Motherhood
- 6% Blogging Tips
- 4% Motivational Speaking
When reading the blog, do you feel connected with Melissa in real life like she is your real life friend?
- 27% I am pretty sure we were sisters in a past life
- 35% I feel like I know her to an extent, but would love to learn more about her personal life- the good and bad!
- 38% I just come for the pretty content!
Do you think Best Friends For Frosting should launch a product line?
- 37% 100% Best idea ever! I have no doubt it would be an incredible extension of the BFFF brand! #BringOnThePink
- 50% I am very interested! I would be so curious to see what BFFF would release!
- 13% I just come here for the fun content. Releasing a brand would just be an added bonus.
- 0% Eh! Sorry to be an Eeyore, but I don’t really care.
What type of content would you like to see more of in 2017 on BFFF?
- 46% Product round-ups – BFFF has such a fun style, and I would love to find more chic things to buy in that sort of aesthetic.
- 25% Melissa styling parties
- 19% Melissa sharing blogging & business tips!
- 11% Melissa talking about her personal life more often. This means more than just skimming the surface. ;)
If I ever had coffee with Melissa, I would love to know…
- 41% How bloggers make money
- 26% Advice! I have several things that I would LOVE your second opinion on!
- 17% What inspired Melissa to start BFFF!
- 16% How to juggle it all between being a mom, wife, and business owner.
What is your favorite color? Seriously, we really want to know!
- 31% PINK
- 21% White & Gold
- 18% Purple
- 12% Pastel Mint
- 14% Blue
- 4% Yellow
- 0% Orange
How many years have your read BFFF for?
- 37% I am no newbie. About 2-3 years.
- 20% It’s been a while! About 4-6 years!
- 18% I am new to the club. About 6 months!
- 14% I am a pioneer about 7 years!
- 11% Welp, about 1+ years!
In ALL honesty, what would you LOVE for us to do differently? This includes removing, adding, or doing different things? If it’s constructive and for the best interest of our business, I promise it wont hurt my feelings! ;)
This area actually ended up getting flooded with results so I ended up picking a few of my favorites! I read through every single comment and included my favorites below. These were the comments that helped myself and our team determine where 2017 is going to take us! ;) Thank you all SO much for sharing your heart with me!
Melissa! I think the rebrand is one of the best things you’ve done – it’s nice to connect with YOU and not a ton of contributing bloggers. It felt like YOUR voice was being lost in managing that content. BUT I did love when we did product round ups and interviews – maybe just with YOUR flair and not other people doing it! Keep up the good work – you’re doing a fantastic job girl! Miss our conversations too!!! Hope all is well with you and your beautiful family!
There is nothing that I would do differently. Follow your heart – pivot, add shiny new things, bring back your greatest hits, continues sharing your heart…. do what feels good to you beautiful…that’s ultimately what matters. I’m like totally obsessed with everything you do! Such a down to earth, gorgeous, talented lady.
Honestly nothing! I feel like BFFF is totally keeping up with the times and this blog always gives me tons of ideas for parties or decorating!
Post more often!
I think sometimes it can seem like you just want our approval so the content seems a bit forced or awkward. But the readers who love you just want you to do you – don’t try so hard to always do things we’ll like. We like you so be yourself and don’t worry about pleasing everyone all the time. ❤
I love your site! My favorite content is styling parties and how-to’s!
Less pink. I know it’s kind of signature but im not a huge pink fan
It would be great to have more of a balance between M’s awesome work and interviews with other creatives and small business owners :)
I love the blog…I look forward to it everyday.I don’t have anything negative/criticism to say about it.I just love that you were inspired to start it!!??
I’m in my young twenties, so I tend to skip over the motherhood posts – they don’t seem to necessarily fit with the projected lifestyle of the BFFF brand. That said, I’m sure they’re some of your readers’ favorites, so I don’t mind continuing to skip ’em as long as you keep putting out great content!
I would do a bit more DIY and recipes. A little less fashion because it doesn’t seem like that is what the blogs main focus is?
If you’ve gotten this far, I want to give you the biggest bear hug for reading this. I truly cannot thank each and every one of you for your encouragement, support, and simply for clicking on this website to read my blog. If it was not for you, I would not have this blog. Cheers to making 2017 our biggest and brightest year yet!!!