This year was huge for the Apple TV+ show Ted Lasso, which dropped a successful second season over the summer, pulled in seven Emmys, including the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and just released a surprise holiday stop-motion short called “The Missing Christmas Mustache.”
If you haven’t tuned in yet, it’s a delightful show about an American football coach named Ted Lasso who’s hired by an English soccer (football!) team to inspire the players and lead them to new heights. It’s full of positivity, hope and life lessons — all of which are appreciated by its fans, especially as we continue to navigate the waters of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These “Lasso lessons” can be applied not only to our lives, but our work habits as well, and can be extra real for those of us on the front lines of brand communications in social media marketing. Take them with you through the holiday season and into the new year.
Lasso Lesson 1: Find Your “Nate the Great.”
Coach Lasso is great at making connections with people, but he doesn’t know much about the game of soccer when he first takes over the show’s fictional club, AFC Richmond. As he’s getting his feet wet, he notices that the club groundskeeper, Nathan “Nate” Shelley, has an idea for a scoring play.
Lasso asks him to share the play, and Nate bashfully agrees to hand it over. They test it out in practice, and BOOM! It works! Goal scored. An idea from someone on a totally different work team was shared and ultimately paid off.
It’s a perfect reminder that ideas can come from anywhere. Be open in your editorial planning to bringing people from other disciplines and teams into your brainstorms for the chance that a new perspective could lead to a successful post or campaign.
Keep your creative brain turned on while you browse your own feeds and remember that you can be inspired by the things you love — songs you like, shows you watch, the things you scroll past. The content you’re posting isn’t only competing against like-brands. It’s up against everything else you see on the feed — from the Disneys and NIKEs of the world to your coworker’s dog and your friend’s kids. Pay attention to what stands out, no matter the source, and keep those ideas in mind for inspiration for new, scroll-stopping content.
Lasso Lesson 2: Be a goldfish.
One of the most-quoted scenes from Ted Lasso comes from a moment when the title character pulls striker Sam Obisanya to the sidelines after missing an easy shot. Sam’s down on himself, and Lasso looks at him and says, “Do you know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a ten-second memory. Be a goldfish.”
The quote is simple, but the meaning is deep and can bring you up the next time you’re down on the job. We all make mistakes in social media marketing, whether it’s the occasional typo or the wrong reply to a customer. More often than not, the tough feedback comes from things that are totally out of our control, especially when consumers are upset with a brand for reasons that most of us can’t understand.
Next time they come at you on social, remember that they aren’t thinking about the human being behind the account. The energy they’re putting into those types of posts isn’t directed at you. Let it slide. Follow your best practices in how you handle the situation. And be a goldfish.
Lasso Lesson 3: Be Curious, Not Judgmental
There’s a scene towards the end of the first season where Coach Lasso plays a game of darts against an antagonist in the show. He’s about to take his shot when he goes into a monologue about a quote he loved from Walt Whitman — “Be curious, not judgmental.”
Without spoiling the scene, it’s the quote we’re highlighting here, and it couldn’t be more important in the world we’re living in now. Social media is a useful tool for keeping us connected to our loved ones and discovering new brands and products to enrich our lives, but it’s also a space that makes it easy to create division. As we’re moving forward into the new year, put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Be curious before you jump to the keyboard to battle someone out in the comments. Ask yourself “why” they may be thinking a certain way.
Bring this “why” to work, too. “Why post this?” “Why use this platform over another?” “What’s the goal of this post or this story and who do you want to see it?” “Why will my audience care?” It’s the “why” that will take your content from something fun to something effective. Be curious.
Lasso Lesson 4: BELIEVE.
One of the most iconic images from Ted Lasso comes from a yellow sign with blue paint that he created that reads “BELIEVE” in all-caps. It’s cheesy and sloppy and endearing, and it’s something the team builds their confidence around after he presents it as something to look to for hope.
As you’re working to wrap up your end of year goals, believe that you can hit that finish line on time. As you’re looking ahead into your next year of editorial and strategic planning, believe that you can hit the goals you and your clients have outlined. Try new platforms and let yourself be open to new media (TikTok isn’t going anywhere, y’all, and we can help). Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. You can’t score if you don’t shoot.
Go forth into the new year with high expectations and remember that you’re capable of getting to where you want to be.
What are your goals for 2022? What types of content do you hope to produce more of in the year ahead? Keep those goals in mind each month as you plan your content. And be a goldfish.
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