Creating a Digital Strategy with Limited Resources

Mentoring Case Study: Gina Biggs from SheWolf

Wedi’i gyfieithu isod

Arts Council of Wales logo | Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru logo
Arts Council of Wales logo | Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru logo

A number of people seek help from The Space in writing their first digital strategy – a task made all the more daunting for those creatives working in small teams or even as individuals.


This was certainly the case for Gina Biggs from SheWolf, a disabled-led performance company based in Wales. As the sole member of the Company, and as she has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and early onset osteoporosis arthritis with additional mental health challenges. Gina is supported by producer and support worker, Lydia Bassett, who first joined Gina via the Develop Your Creative Practice fund.


‘Gina had received further support for her practice from Unlimited, Arts Council Wales, National Theatre Wales, National Dance Company of Wales and others. Having created a pilot film, filmed on Flat Holm island in the Bristol Channel, about her embodied work in landscape, Gina was keen to learn how best to use the film as an ongoing element of her wider digital presence. She wanted to make the legacy of her work more visible, and use this help with future funding applications.


Prioritising is key

Additionally, she was keen to develop her audience further with whatever materials she applied her time and energies to creating. She was matched with mentor Sarah Fortescue and as Gina and Lydia are the whole team, it was agreed that they should focus-in on fewer channels initially in order to try and maintain a level of visibility. They promote SheWolf’s work through Facebook and Gina has an Instagram registered with the company handle. Given the need to work efficiently as well as effectively, Sarah also encouraged Gina to ‘maximise her tour partner channels, and lean into those partnerships.’


Wales Millennium Centre had discussed commissioning an expansion of one of Gina’s pieces and their Digital Producer was due to mentor her one day a week for a year. For Gina, though this was an invaluable offer, she was unsure of how to make best use of this time.


Rob Lindsay, Head of Programmes for The Space, says that this is an incredibly common challenge. “When your resources are limited, and you get an offer of help, it takes confidence to prioritise, and to know that you’re deploying that support in the right area, or in the right way. Lots of mentees worry that if they don’t make use of offers of assistance in exactly the right place, then they’re missing out in the long-term. And that concern can stop people moving forward at all.”


Sam Vicary at Small World Theatre Company has felt similar pulls on her time and on her list of priorities. Her first experience of receiving mentoring outside of the Small World company was through The Space programme and it helped her to feel less alone in her goal to broaden their digital outreach. She says that within the company: ‘I work with performers who want to make things onstage so understandably backstage isn’t always that exciting to them.’ 


Developing a strategy

Through her experience on the programme with mentor Amy Rushby, Sam was able to develop her confidence and to write a draft digital strategy for the company: ‘I didn’t know what I was going to do or how to do it and we went through that process. Taking notes at each session was really useful and they became the bones of the document itself.’


By formalising her digital aims for the company through the writing of a strategy, Sam was able to communicate more effectively with the extended team and the board about the importance of planning whilst also reflecting on what they had already achieved: ‘I hadn’t realised how important this is. There’s an end result which can now be seen, whereas before we were experimenting. It’s just now part and parcel of what we do.’


Rob explains that this visibility is incredibly important, as is remembering who you are writing the strategy for. “If you’re writing a strategy for a small team,” he says, “it should simply explain to them the decisions that you’ve made around digital, and why. It can be something as simple as a list of activities, with your reasoning for each one so that you can prioritise tasks when time is tight. It needs to be readable, and accessible, and clear, and it can evolve over time, so don’t worry about making something perfect.”


For Gina at SheWolf, there are plenty of creative ideas, just a struggle with time and work hours in order to move the digital output forward. On a recent project, she has been recording photographs, diary entries, sound recording and creative writing so there is potentially lots to work with in terms of social media output and leaning-in to digital engagement with her story. She acknowledges that the sense of being given ‘permission’ to focus on just Instagram and to say no to other platforms at this point, has been helpful.


Gina Biggs sitting on a rocky outcrop against a blue cloudy sky.
Gina Biggs


Prioritising both her creative work and her mental health are of paramount importance and she has seen a positive response from people when she is honest about working within realistic, honest boundaries: ‘When I am, that’s what people respond to. They say things like: I’m feeling this, thanks for describing my experience. I definitely have a stronger sense of voice. The mental health side is much more difficult sometimes but I feel I want to be doing more work which connects people to nature and creativity, and supports their mental health.’


Sam at Small World has seen the benefits of writing down a digital strategy in order to galvanise the different stakeholders into sharing the vision: ‘I wanted to present how digital has helped develop our live performance. It has enhanced the process of making new work with artist collaborators. This new area of digital involved a leap of faith from the creative team and through training it is now part and parcel of what we do.’ 


Communicating with your audience

Post-mentoring, the changes she has implemented have proved positive for Sam and for the wider Small World company and their audiences. Further digital improvements are now underway: ‘I’ve taken away the old WordPress website and put it in Squarespace with a new online payment system which saves us time and money. The staff and the audience are enjoying using it, as well as enjoying our social media posts. It’s more fun and truly reflects what we are doing, and yet the company hasn’t changed – which is an interesting process!’


By becoming more confident with social media posting and following the updates to their website, Sam has allowed Small World’s audiences to access and appreciate the company in a new way. She points out that their mentor, Amy, had clarified how a digital strategy should be working for them: ‘You’re doing it all – you just need to say what you’re doing.’


Top Tips


  • Think about who will need to read this strategy – is it clear, is it concise?
  • Your strategy should include the audiences that you want to reach, why you want to reach them, and what you want them to do. This way, you’ll be clear on which types of activity should be your priority, and which types of activity you can confidently say ‘no’ to.
  • Your strategy should celebrate what you’re already doing well, and why you feel they’re important.


Creu Strategaeth Ddigidol gydag Adnoddau Cyfyngedig

Astudiaeth Achos Mentora

Mae nifer o bobl yn gofyn am help gan The Space wrth ysgrifennu eu strategaeth ddigidol gyntaf – tasg sy’n ymddangos yn llawer mwy brawychus i’r bobl greadigol hynny sy’n gweithio mewn timau bach neu hyd yn oed fel unigolion.


Roedd hyn yn sicr yn wir am Gina Biggs o SheWolf, cwmni perfformio dan arweiniad pobl anabl sydd wedi’i leoli yng Nghymru. Fel yr unig aelod o’r Cwmni, ac wrth iddi gael diagnosis o Fibromyalgia ac arthritis osteoporosis cynnar gyda heriau iechyd meddwl ychwanegol. Cefnogir Gina gan y cynhyrchydd a’r Gweithiwr Cymorth, Lydia Bassett, a ymunodd â Gina am y tro cyntaf drwy’r gronfa Datblygu Eich Ymarfer Creadigol.


Roedd Gina wedi derbyn cefnogaeth bellach i’w hymarfer gan gwmni Unlimited, Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, National Theatre Wales, Cwmni Dawns Cenedlaethol Cymru ac eraill. Ar ôl creu ffilm beilot, a ffilmiwyd ar ynys Flat Holm ym Môr Hafren, am ei gwaith ymgorfforiad mewn tirlun, roedd Gina yn awyddus i ddysgu sut orau i ddefnyddio’r ffilm fel elfen barhaus o’i phresenoldeb digidol ehangach. Roedd hi eisiau gwneud gwaddol ei gwaith yn fwy gweladwy, a defnyddio’r help hwn gyda cheisiadau ariannu yn y dyfodol.


Mae blaenoriaethu yn allweddol

Yn ogystal, roedd hi’n awyddus i ddatblygu ei chynulleidfa ymhellach gyda pha bynnag ddeunyddiau yr oedd hi’n rhoi ei hamser a’i hegni i’w creu. Fe’i parwyd â’r mentor Sarah Fortescue a gan mai Gina a Lydia yw’r tîm cyfan, cytunwyd y dylent ganolbwyntio ar lai o sianeli i ddechrau er mwyn ceisio cynnal lefel o amlygrwydd. Maent yn hyrwyddo gwaith SheWolf trwy Facebook ac mae gan Gina gyfrof Instagram wedi’i gofrestru gyda dolen y cwmni. O ystyried yr angen i weithio’n effeithlon yn ogystal ag yn effeithiol, anogodd Sarah Gina hefyd i ‘wneud y gorau o’i sianeli partner taith, a gwyro i’r partneriaethau hynny.’


Roedd Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru wedi trafod comisiynu ehangu un o ddarnau Gina ac roedd eu Cynhyrchydd Digidol i fod i’w mentora un diwrnod yr wythnos am flwyddyn. I Gina, er bod hwn yn gynnig amhrisiadwy, roedd hi’n ansicr o sut i wneud y defnydd gorau o’r cyfnod hwn.

Yn ôl Rob Lindsay, Pennaeth Rhaglenni The Space, mae hon yn her anhygoel o gyffredin. “Pan fydd eich adnoddau’n gyfyngedig, ac rydych chi’n cael cynnig help, mae’n cymryd hyder i flaenoriaethu, ac i wybod eich bod chi’n defnyddio’r gefnogaeth honno yn y maes cywir, neu yn y ffordd gywir. Mae llawer o bobl sy’n cael eu mentora yn poeni, os nad ydyn nhw’n gwneud defnydd o gynigion o gymorth yn yr union le cywir, yna maen nhw’n colli allan yn y tymor hir. Ac mae’r pryder hwnnw yn gallu atal pobl rhag symud ymlaen o gwbl.”


Mae Sam Vicary yng Nghwmni Theatr Small World wedi teimlo pwysau tebyg ar ei hamser ac ar ei rhestr o flaenoriaethau. Ei phrofiad cyntaf o dderbyn mentora y tu allan i gwmni Small World oedd drwy raglen The Space ac fe wnaeth ei helpu i deimlo’n llai unig yn ei nod i ehangu eu cyrhaeddiad digidol. Mae’n dweud o fewn y cwmni: ‘Dwi’n gweithio gyda pherfformwyr sydd eisiau gwneud pethau ar y llwyfan felly mae’n ddealladwy nad yw cefn llwyfan bob amser mor gyffrous â hynny iddyn nhw.’


Datblygu strategaeth

Drwy ei phrofiad ar y rhaglen gyda’r mentor Amy Rushby, llwyddodd Sam i ddatblygu ei hyder ac ysgrifennu strategaeth ddigidol ddrafft i’r cwmni: ‘Do’n i ddim yn gwybod beth o’n i’n mynd i’w wneud na sut i wneud ac fe aethon ni drwy’r broses yna. Roedd cymryd nodiadau ym mhob sesiwn yn ddefnyddiol iawn a daethant yn ffrâm i’r ddogfen ei hun.’


Drwy ffurfioli ei hamcanion digidol i’r cwmni drwy ysgrifennu strategaeth, roedd Sam yn gallu cyfathrebu’n fwy effeithiol gyda’r tîm estynedig a’r bwrdd ynglŷn â phwysigrwydd cynllunio tra hefyd yn adlewyrchu ar yr hyn maen nhw wedi ei gyflawni yn barod: ‘Doeddwn i ddim wedi sylweddoli pa mor bwysig yw hyn. Mae ‘na ganlyniad sydd i’w weld bellach, ond cyn hynny, arbrofi oedden ni. Dim ond nawr mae’n rhan iawn o’r hyn rydyn ni’n ei wneud.’


Mae Rob yn esbonio bod y gwelededd hwn yn hynod o bwysig, fel y mae cofio pwy rydych chi’n ysgrifennu’r strategaeth ar ei gyfer. “Os ydych chi’n ysgrifennu strategaeth ar gyfer tîm bach,” meddai, “yn syml, dylai egluro iddyn nhw’r penderfyniadau rydych chi wedi’u gwneud ynghylch digidol, a pham. Gall fod yn rhywbeth mor syml â rhestr o weithgareddau, gyda’ch rhesymu dros bob un fel y gallwch flaenoriaethu tasgau pan fo amser yn dynn. Mae angen iddo fod yn ddarllenadwy, ac yn hygyrch, ac yn glir, ac mae’n gallu esblygu dros amser, felly peidiwch â phoeni am greu rhywbeth perffaith.”


I Gina yn SheWolf, mae digon o syniadau creadigol, dim ond brwydr gydag amser ac oriau gwaith er mwyn symud yr allbwn digidol ymlaen. Ar brosiect diweddar, mae wedi bod yn recordio ffotograffau, cofnodion dyddiadur, recordio sain ac ysgrifennu creadigol felly mae’n bosib y bydd llawer i weithio gydag ef o ran allbwn cyfryngau cymdeithasol a gwyro i ymgysylltu digidol â’i stori. Mae hi’n cydnabod bod yr ymdeimlad o gael ‘caniatâd’ i ganolbwyntio ar Instagram yn unig a dweud na wrth lwyfannau eraill ar hyn o bryd, wedi bod yn ddefnyddiol.

Gina Biggs sitting on a rocky outcrop against a blue cloudy sky.
Gina Biggs


Mae blaenoriaethu ei gwaith creadigol a’i hiechyd meddwl o’r pwys mwyaf ac mae hi wedi gweld ymateb cadarnhaol gan bobl pan mae hi’n onest am weithio o fewn ffiniau realistig a gonest: ‘Pan ydw i, dyna mae pobl yn ymateb iddo. Maen nhw’n dweud pethau fel: Dwi’n teimlo hyn, diolch am ddisgrifio fy mhrofiad i. Yn bendant mae gen i ymdeimlad cryfach o lais. Mae’r ochr iechyd meddwl yn llawer anoddach weithiau ond dwi’n teimlo mod i eisiau bod yn gwneud mwy o waith sy’n cysylltu pobl â natur a chreadigrwydd, ac sy’n cefnogi eu hiechyd meddwl.’


Mae Sam yn Small World wedi gweld manteision ysgrifennu strategaeth ddigidol er mwyn ysgogi’r gwahanol randdeiliaid i rannu’r weledigaeth: ‘Roeddwn i eisiau cyflwyno sut mae digidol wedi helpu i ddatblygu ein perfformiad byw. Mae wedi gwella’r broses o wneud gwaith newydd gyda chydweithwyr sy’n artistiaid. Roedd y maes newydd hwn o ddigidol yn cynnwys naid o ffydd gan y tîm creadigol a thrwy hyfforddiant mae bellach yn rhan annatod o’r hyn rydym yn ei wneud.’


Cyfathrebu â’ch cynulleidfa

Ar ôl mentora, mae’r newidiadau y mae hi wedi’u gweithredu wedi profi’n bositif i Sam ac i gwmni ehangach Small World a’u cynulleidfaoedd. Mae gwelliannau digidol pellach bellach ar y gweill: ‘Rwyf wedi cymryd hen wefan WordPress i ffwrdd a’i roi yn Squarespace gyda system dalu ar-lein newydd sy’n arbed amser ac arian i ni. Mae’r staff a’r gynulleidfa yn mwynhau ei defnyddio, yn ogystal â mwynhau ein negeseuon ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol. Mae’n fwy o hwyl ac yn wirioneddol adlewyrchu’r hyn rydyn ni’n ei wneud, ac eto dyw’r cwmni ddim wedi newid – sy’n broses ddiddorol!’


Drwy ddod yn fwy hyderus gyda phostio ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol ac yn dilyn y diweddariadau i’w gwefan, mae Sam wedi caniatáu i gynulleidfaoedd Small World gael mynediad i’r cwmni a gwerthfawrogi’r cwmni mewn ffordd newydd. Mae hi’n nodi bod eu mentor, Amy, wedi egluro sut y dylai strategaeth ddigidol fod yn gweithio iddyn nhw: ‘Rydych chi’n ei wneud e i gyd – dim ond bod angen i chi ddweud beth rydych chi’n ei wneud.’


Cliciwch yma i ddarllen mwy am waith Small World Theatre

Cliciwch yma i ddarllen mwy am waith SheWolf


Gair i gall:

  • Meddyliwch pwy fydd angen darllen y strategaeth hon – ydy hi’n glir, ydy hi’n gryno?
  • Dylai eich strategaeth gynnwys y cynulleidfaoedd rydych chi eisiau eu cyrraedd, pam rydych chi eisiau eu cyrraedd, a’r hyn rydych chi eisiau iddyn nhw ei wneud. Fel hyn, byddwch yn glir ar ba fathau o weithgaredd ddylai fod yn flaenoriaeth i chi, a pha fathau o weithgaredd y gallwch chi ddweud ‘na’ yn hyderus wrthynt.
  • Dylai eich strategaeth ddathlu’r hyn rydych chi eisoes yn ei wneud yn dda, a pham rydych chi’n teimlo eu bod nhw’n bwysig.


Arts Council Wales logo | Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru logo
Arts Council Wales logo | Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru logo

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