Meet Kristin, a Social Ads Strategist at Tuff. Kristin partners with Tuff clients and social media platforms to build measurable, data-driven, bottom line growth.
Below she shares about her love for numbers, her first-place grade school science fair projects, and advice for people getting started with running ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and more.
Can you tell me a bit about your 3-5 years before Tuff? What were you working on?
My whole career has been at different advertising agencies.
I started out at a small agency where I dove in as the first full-time hire. I loved it. That’s where I got my start in organic social media, making content calendars, scheduling posts and all that fun stuff. I learned SO much. We worked with a handful of really large clients who were spending upwards of $85K a month on Facebook ads, so I was able to learn a ton really quickly through that experience.
Much of my agency experience had revolved around organic social media marketing and creating content with consumption on social media in mind. But I found myself looking for freelance work and opportunities to help other teams run paid social ads. I’m a numbers and spreadsheets sort of gal, so this focus on content creation early on in my career really pushed me out of my comfort zone.
I learned so much about creating content, but ultimately I wanted to get back into a role focused on paid acquisition – like what I’m now doing at Tuff! I love working in a startup environment on a smaller team where you get to wear a ton of hats, learn daily from your peers, and do what it takes to get a project done.
Why did you decide to join Tuff? What was it that made you say ‘yes’?
Many years down the road (if I could ever get the guts to do it!), I would love to own my own business. That’s a big dream of mine, so mentorship was a big factor when I decided to join Tuff. When I met Ellen in my first interview, I knew I’d be able to learn so much from her on how she’s grown her business.
I also want to grow my skill set in other digital marketing areas. I have a strong background in social, but I was hoping to find an opportunity to work closely alongside other marketing disciplines. At Tuff, I get to work closely with other channel specialists like Chris and Derek to learn more about what they are so great at. I’ve already picked up so many little nuggets, just from being in meetings with them.
What have you been working on since you joined Tuff?
I have been building a LOT of Facebook ads! I currently work with nine clients, so onboarding included learning about their businesses, learning the processes at Tuff, and then implementing social ad campaigns to help achieve their goals.
Another big project that I tackled was building out a paid social training course! It’s about five hours long, and will help us teach future and current employees how we run social ads here at Tuff.
What is it about paid social that gets you fired up?
I really like A/B testing.
I always have. When I was in elementary school, I would go all out for science fair projects. (I’m a little competitive… and by a little, I mean A LOT.) For one science fair project, I made everyone I knew take a test to see which side of their body – right or left – was dominate. It was like 25 different exercises, and I meticulously recorded all of the data in a little notebook. I took home the blue first place ribbon that year.
I like to treat paid social campaigns kinda like my elementary school science fair project (but without all the exercises). You can tell quickly what’s working and what’s not. I find testing audiences and creative to be super interesting – especially when what I assume won’t work is among the top performers.
What has your experience been like working for a fully remote team?
I love it. I feel more in control of my workday when I work from home, and I love not having to commute to an office. My legging collection has increased tenfold, but who needs real pants anyways?
What do you like doing outside of work?
In the summers, we spend a ton of time at the lake on our boat! I have a one-year-old son, Liam, who keeps me busy. When I’m not chasing him, I’m usually throwing a frisbee to our two dogs.
I also love to cook, bake, and entertain! With COVID and quarantining, we really haven’t gotten to entertain as much this year, but I’ve had a lot of time to try new recipes. One of our pandemic purchases has been an electric smoker, and I can make some mean smoked chicken wings.
What is something about you that typically surprises people?
I poke fun at people (lovingly) and pranks are my thing. I grew up in Tennessee and that’s just part of how my family has always expressed ourselves. That’s been one of the more interesting parts of working remotely – learning how to implement my communication style via Slack and through Zoom calls without a ton of body language. GIFs are emojis help me out though!
What is your best advice for people looking to get into social ads?
Read, read, read as much as you can! Social ads are constantly changing – from creative best practices and trends to tiny nuances in Facebook Ads Manager. A few of my favorite social ads gurus are John Loomer and Neil Patel – they’re both transparent with their data and constantly post content about the latest updates.
When you work in social media, it’s easy to be glued to your phone. I know I constantly feel the need to keep up with all the latest trends. Recently, I read a stat that on average, Americans have 8 social networking apps downloaded on their phone and spend upwards of 3 hours a day on them. WHAT.
You have to find a happy medium so you stay up to date without burning out or missing time with your friends and family. I like to devote time each week for researching trends, and I have screen time limits set up on my phone.
Ellen is the founder at Tuff and one of the team’s core growth marketers. She is a versatile marketer with expertise in multiple channels – from ppc to seo to email to others – responsible for the experiments and testing. She is happiest when she’s on the ski hill or outside pointing her mountain bike downhill.