Equestrian & rural business blog posts

Blogging has been so beneficial for my business. I enjoy it too. I started off in copywriting and, for me, this blog is a great way to share equestrian and rural businesses as well as PR, marketing and social media advice. All posts have been written to inspire, educate or to share something that is important to me, my business, or my customers.

The blogs you’ll find in the category are likely to be varied in content. Yes, there will be an equestrian, rural or country connection in them (mainly because that’s just who I am!), but be prepared to see a range of subjects. From business profiles, sharing information about the people behind the brand to social media know-how and how to promote your equestrian and rural business more effectively, you’re likely to find it in here.

hihoandco group shot
Image by Matt Sweeting Photography

Unless you’ve been in a hole for the last few weeks (and that’s fine, we all need to go to ground occasionally!), you’ll know all about #hihoandco. This event was put on at Blackdown Shepherd Huts in Somerset, by Hiho, on Monday 11th Feb. As you’ll know if you know me at all, I work with Hiho (and have done for a while!), and I was also part of the organising team for the event. Hiho & Co was, quite simple, amazing, and I loved every moment. I lost my voice for three days afterwards but gained huge amounts of amazing memories and good vibes… so I’m fine with that!

I could write a very long blog about the Hiho & Co day, but I thought it would try and find the top five things about the day… it’s taken some thinking about, but here goes…

Five things I loved about #hihoandco

  1. The venue. Oh my. This was something else. I work with Blackdown Shepherd Huts and was absolutely blown away the first time I visited. The huts are like nothing I have ever seen before and are so beautifully designed. Not only was I amazed by the huts, but the workshop. I have this thing about workshops and warehouses – I kind of love them. I see them as the heart of the business and am always amazed by the degree of organisation in them. The Blackdown workshop was next level with specially designed bit for each thing – like the special sinking floor, for example. More than the beauty of the venue alone – the Blackdown team. Will, who owns Blackdown, along with the rest of the team, allowed us to completely take over their premises for two days… seriously- how many people would let you do that?! They also let us use another hut (the selfie hut) and take over their tearoom. I loved them all before but I love them even more now.
  2. Capture By Lucy. I’ve been a fan of Lucy and her amazing backdrops for quite some time. I think she’s incredibly talented and I love what she creates and the story behind her brand. But in person? She’s absolutely lovely! Not only did she handle the level of madness that follows me around, but she delivered the most amazing talk to the Hiho & Co guests. I’m going to treat myself to a backdrop too – I just need to decide which one!
  3. The brands. We were very, very lucky to have the most amazing support from some incredible brands in the equestrian and country industry, as well as those beyond. Mackenzie & George are heavily involved with Hiho & Co as Melanie (co-founder) is also part of the organising group. We had Fairfax & Favor, Albion Saddlemakers, Joules, Cupsmith, Hullabaloo Drinks involved with the goody bags. In addition we had additional props loaned from The Tartan Blanket Co and Albion Lifestyle. It was great having such an incredible range of products to use in our workshops and for dressing areas.
  4. The team. I have to talk about the team, don’t I? Whenever we embark on one of these events, I’m reminded how incredible the people I work with are. At the head of the Hiho & Co idea is Emma Warren – who’s also MD of Hiho Silver. This lady is so hardworking, kind and welcoming – words can’t express it. She’s also a sandwich short of a picnic. But no one who wasn’t would suggest these big things… and pull them off to such a degree, would they? Next up, Melanie Clarihew. Melanie, and her husband Chris, founded Mackenzie & George, and are some of the kindest, hardest working and most talented people I know. I’m regularly found laughing about something random with Melanie, but I am always in awe of what they create. The new luggage tags that they made and personalised for each goody bag were a great example of this. They’re amazing. Ruth Chappell- my little roomie and organisation whizz kid. Ruth is the lady behind Dressage Anywhere and I’m so impressed with how she runs, manages and promotes that. But at Hiho and Co, she keeps us organised. She sorts out so many behind the scenes things, and is a fixer. She makes me laugh a lot and has the kindest soul. I love Ruth a little bit. Then we have Rachel Bragg aka Sweet Images aka the flatlay queen. Rachel is also a very good friend and her gentle encouragement to everyone is incredible. She has no idea how good she when it comes to her teaching or photography, but she is next level. And shares this all so so willingly too. And last but not least is Sophie Callahan. The photography whizz kid. I have so much respect for Sophie – not just her skills but her whole demeanour. I adore Sophie and constantly learn from her attitude to life. She’s very laid back and takes the knocks in a way that she uses them to fuel her rather than lets them get her down. If you’ve read her baby blog you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. She’s stubborn as a mule too – and if I told her off once for trying to lift something heavy, I told her off 10 times… but I was the same when I was pregnant!
  5. The people. And this is a big one. The people who came to Hiho & Co were incredible. We had a lot of people come and see us for the second time (after coming to the first event held at The Fish in September) and it truly was like meeting up with a load of friends. How good is that? I feel that everyone who comes to one of these days is there for the right reasons. They get a huge amount of value from the workshops we run, but there’s also a lovely vibe, the chance to find new friends and so much more. Some of the people attending shared lifts – some even went out to dinner the night before – and this really did warm my heart…
hiho and co cupcakes

So there you have it – five things I loved about #hihoandco – but be in no doubt I could have written a book on the subject! If you want to see a little more of the magic, pop on over to Instagram and have a look at the #hihoandco hashtag. Equally, have a look at Hiho’s own blog and follow the links listed to the blogs created by some of our amazing guests.

Rhea Freeman Newsletter Link
Image by Sweet Images UK

Today’s blog focuses on one of my lovely clients, Hiho Silver. Well, after #hihoandco on Monday, it seemed as good a time as any to share this!

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Hiho Silver for quite a few years now and I’m so, so proud to work with them. Not only is the jewellery stunning (and can put up with the level of abuse that happens to it in my daily life!), but the people are lovely too.

As I get to hang out with Hiho Silver a lot, I thought it might be fun to share five things you might not know about Hiho Silver. I mean, you might do, but I thought it would be quite a fun way to lift the lid on this popular equestrian jewellery company. Are you ready? Let’s look at five things you might not know about Hiho Silver…

Hiho Silver is 25 years old this year!

Yep, Hiho is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. On the wedding anniversary chart this is… silver! To celebrate its 25th year, Hiho will be releasing a number of super special, limited edition pieces. I can’t tell you what they are or who Hiho is working with – because Emma and the team would actually shoot me – but trust me when I say you have some real treats in store!

Not all silver is the same

Ok, this is a fact about silver rather than Hiho Silver, but it’s an interesting one all the same. Not all silver is the same. Hiho use sterling silver, meaning it contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% of another metal. Pure silver is a really soft metal, meaning that if you were to make jewellery out of it, it wouldn’t stay in the shape it was meant to for long. By adding another metal and making sterling silver, Hiho’s pieces are a lot more durable, but the additional metal is chosen so it doesn’t detract from the silver’s beauty.

But before you think ‘this sounds odd’ – it isn’t. The hallmark 925 is used on a lot of silver, including Hiho’s, and the 925 refers to the percentage of pure silver in the jewellery. All Hiho is made with the highest quality 925 sterling silver, and pieces over the minimum legal weight threshold have a hallmark as a further guarantee of quality.

The Cherry Roller

Ah- the Cherry Roller. I LOVE this piece, but there’s a lot more to it than just a beautiful piece of jewellery. The Cherry Roller was designed by the Hiho team and is exclusive, trademarked and copyrighted. This piece took a long time to refine – and I know a lot of testing went on behind the scenes before it was sold. There are lots of clever elements in the design, not least the fact it can be customised with the beads a customer chooses. This, to me, makes it even more special.

Hiho Silver was in an old piggery for a number of years

Hiho may have started life at Forde Abbey, but a good fews years ago the team relocated to a piggery. Ok, that’s not quite true. Although the building used to be a piggery it had, obviously, been converted into a pretty impressive office space with everything you’d expect. They’ve now moved to the old granary.

It really is a team effort…

And this is one of the really lovely things about Hiho. The team. When a piece is designed, so many people chip in with their thoughts, ideas and so on, to help perfect each piece and make it as good as it can possibly be. Of course there’s usually a lead and someone brings the seed of the idea which is then developed, but everyone brings something to the party and I really think that is why Hiho’s jewellery is so special. This collaborative way of working doesn’t stop at design – on no. When we are planning a campaign or a sponsorship or anything else, everyone involved has a say on how we can make it better so we get the desired outcome. It’s a rather lovely way of working…

To find out more about Hiho, have a look at the Hiho Silver website, or go on over and follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

If you liked this, you might also like…

Why I love the CZ Roller Bead

Hiho & Co Instameet

Instagram stickers you might not use (and why you should)

Have you used Instagram stickers? These can be such a great way to add something extra to your Instagram Story and, actually, encourage engagement too. And that’s what today’s Small & Supercharged Podcast is all about.

In addition to Instagram stickers, I’m also going to talk about GIFs, which can be great things to add to your Instagram Stories, to make them more fun or relatable, or just to add an extra dimension.

Instagram stickers, GIFs and more that you might not use…

In today’s Small & Supercharged Podcast, I talk about Instagram stickers that you might not use, the great things about GIFs, and what you can link to from Stories. Here are the show notes from episode 22, Instagram Stickers you might not know about or use…

  • I talk about GIFS. I love a GIF. I talk about the kind of GIFs you can use, when and why you could use them, and why you need to keep on brand when adding them.
  • The Product Tag. I talk about how the Product Tag works, when it’s useful for brands (especially those with under 10k followers). The Product Tag allows people to move from Instagram to your website without having to go to the link in your bio and embark on a rather clunky process. If you have over 10k followers (and a business account) you can have swipe up (which is also good!), but the product tag can provide more information in a shorter amount of time.
  • The Countdown Sticker. This is a great way to show how much time you have until a launch, event or something else. The Countdown Sticker automatically updates too, so you don’t need to worry that someone looking in 12 hours will be receiving out of date information.
  • The Poll Sticker. This is not a new thing, but it’s still great. It’s a really good way to get feedback on any question you like (that has two possible answers!). You could ask people what colour they prefer in a piece of clothing, for example, which can be useful and great for engagement. You can also change the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to words of your choice. Don’t forget, you can share the results of the poll, which can help you with your content creation and, also, shows that you value the opinion of your fans.
  • The Questions Sticker. This is good for lots of different things. Make sure you guide them with the sticker – sometimes being really broad, like ‘Ask Me A Question’ can be a bit wide, depending on your audience. Try and make it easy for them to ask a question. You can use the Questions Sticker for so many reasons – what’s your favourite event, share a winter must have, etc. Use these instead of Polls when you have more than one possible answer.
  • Links. Not quite a sticker but (maybe) even better. We talk about what you can use this for. If you have over 10k followers, you can link to a URL, and then swipe up to a page on your or any other website. If you don’t have over 10k followers, you can add a link to an IGTV video, which can be a good way to get it under the noses of your following.

Don’t use the same stickers each time as people will just switch off… and you don’t want that. It can turn something that should be engaging and fun into an annoyance.

So here are six ‘functions’ you can add over your Instagram Stories. Go off, have a play, and I would LOVE you to tag me if you give them a spin. I’m @rheafreemanpr on Instagram, as always!

Rhea Freeman Newsletter
5 apps that help me run my business

How many apps do you have on your phone? I have quite a lot on mine. Some apps I use once in a blue moon (like Shazam… I use that as my musical memory!!), but some apps I use each day, and some apps help me run my business. These five apps are ones that you might not know about – or at least, don’t know loads about. So you won’t find Instagram, the Facebook apps, or Twitter in this list. I mean, they really do help me a lot, but I think everyone has those on their phone, don’t they? These are five apps that help me run my business that you might not know about… are you ready?

5 apps that help me run my business…

  1. Later – now, I don’t really use Later from the app but it’s very useful to have! If you don’t know about Later, it’s a social media scheduling tool that I first learnt about because of Instagram. It’s an Instagram approved app and allows autoposting. Until fairly recently, you couldn’t autopost on Instagram. This meant that scheduling apps would send you a tactful nudge to crack on and do it. They allowed you to copy and paste but, for me, it didn’t really help me. Autoposting does. I do all my scheduling from the laptop but I find the app really useful in case I’m out and about and something hasn’t autoposted or I need to tweak the schedule due to any number of factors. It’s really handy to have.
  2. Repost – I know there are a lot of apps that let you repost – and I’m not saying that this is the best out there because I honestly don’t know, but this is what I use. I like the simplicity of it. Quick sidenote, you should always ask permission to repost or share someone’s pic on Instagram too, but this means that if you want the image credited in this way, it does it for you. It’s free too!
  3. Dropbox – as with Later, I use the desktop version a lot more, but I do use the app version too. When I give seminars or anything that requires slides, I usually take them on a USB stick (usually as per the venue’s instructions), but I put them in Dropbox too, you know, just in case. Equally, I have a LOT of images in my Dropbox from different clients, so if I’m out I can quickly find something if needed.
  4. Quickbooks – this is the app that I invoice through. I kind of hate invoicing anyway, but this app makes it very easy and very quick to do. As with Repost, I know there are quite a few invoicing/accounting apps out there… I just use this one!
  5. iMovie – this is a little miracle worker. For all my ‘big’ videos, I get my husband to edit them. He has a Mac, uses Final Cut Pro, and can do a lot more than I can. But over Christmas when I was making a lot of short videos that didn’t need a lot of editing, I used this. I think for basic edits, the app is superb. It allowed me to add titles, music, trim clips and add different transitions really easily. It was a bit fiddly when I did a more complicated edit on one of the Dimpsey videos so it’s not something I would want to use routinely for more complex projects. That isn’t because of the capability of the app though, that was more screensize. I think when you have a few things at work, you need all the space!

So there are my top five apps that help me run my business. If you liked this, make sure you check out the Small & Supercharged Podcast all about apps I use to help run my business, there’s even more on there!

5 ways to use Instagram challenges

Did you take part in Sophie Callahan’s #jan19ruralbusiness challenge? I dipped in and out (sorry Sophie!), but I did do most of the days and really enjoyed in. At the end of December, I ran a short five day #5thingsimproudof Insta challenge too, so I have experience from both sides of the coin! With this in mind, I thought I would use the opportunity of two recent Instagram challenges to chat about their value and how you can use Instagram challenges for your own gain.

How to use Instagram challenges – five ways…

  1. They inspire you. If you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’ about Instagram, an Instagram challenge can really help. With specific prompts for as long as the challenge lasts, you can use the ideas listed to create your content. Saving you from having to worry about the idea behind the content.
  2. For blogs. Yep – you read that correctly. I launched my Instagram challenge with a blog about five things I was proud of. I did this as a way to explain the challenge. However, a number of people also wrote their own blogs around the theme, which was great. If you can use the prompts or ideas to create additional content, then get on that case!
  3. They can organise you. If you know you need to get images for your challenge, you can look ahead and see which images you have/source the props you need for when you get time to take the images. This can be really useful if you’re a busy bee.
  4. You can use it on other social media platforms too. You might be taking part in an Instagram challenge, but there’s nothing to say you can’t use the prompts on other platforms too.
  5. To connect. Most Instagram challenges are connected by a hashtag. Search that hashtag and you can find others who are also taking part. You might find new people to follow in your field, or new brands to love, And you might get found by these people too.
Rhea Freeman Newsletter
What rocks and sucks about running facebook groups

Do you run a Facebook group? Have you thought about it? I run the free Small & Supercharged Facebook group and the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group too. The free group started life a few years ago and, since it launched, I have been on a very steep learning curve when it comes to running Facebook groups. So in this episode of the Small & Supercharged Podcast, I talk about what rocks… and what sucks… enjoy!

What rocks and sucks about running Facebook groups?

Here are the show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast episode 20 – what rocks and sucks about running Facebook groups. In this episode you’ll hear…

  • Why I started the Small & Supercharged Facebook group and the kind of people you’ll find there (as in, people connected to the equestrian and rural industry).
  • The differences between Small & Supercharged and the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group.
  • What rocks- you get to know people really well when running Facebook groups. You get to see the people who support others and understand what makes people tick too.
  • What sucks – it is hard work. The vast majority of the Small & Supercharged group members are very good, follow the rules and work together. One thing that takes a lot of time is the questions and the requests – particularly when people don’t fill in the questions.
  • What rocks – the engagement. In a group you get much better engagement than on a page. This can work whether you’re the admin or if you’re an active member of the group.
  • What sucks – people breaking the rules. I have really simple rules for the Small & Supercharged group, but these do still get broken. If you are involved with running Facebook groups, rules are really important as they allows everyone to work in the same way. When rules get broken, it does make you feel like the bad guy when you delete posts. That’s not fun.
  • What rocks- groups can be real forces for good. I give a few examples of how Facebook groups can do great things together. Being able to achieve lovely things, as a group, is such a great feeling. Without groups it would a lot more fragmented.
  • What sucks – copycats. I know I’m not the first person to ever have a Facebook group, but copycats in the same area are a bit of a kick (often using very similar wording and sometimes even promoting their groups in yours).
  • What rocks- the support of a community. This can be so, so lovely when people are having a challenging time or having issues. A good group means that you have somewhere to go and share and get support as needed. It can help to break a cycle of frustration and sadness and allow people to kick on.
  • What sucks – not answering the questions. Even if you set questions for your Facebook group, be aware that a LOT of people won’t answer them. I have just under 200 requests at the moment from people who haven’t answered the three simple questions that allow me to make sure they’re a good fit for the group.
  • What rocks – collaborations. I know that because of the Small & Supercharged Facebook group, a lot of collaborations have happened. Without the Facebook group they may not have found each other. And being able to facilitate this is so, so lovely.
  • What sucks- things can escalate really quickly. It can be a little stressful if something gets out of hand and it can get out of hand very quickly.
  • What rocks – people have got to know me. I really like the fact that people have got to know me better. It means that when I meet people at events and shows, we don’t have to go through the awkward first stages of a connection and friendship. It makes networking so much easier and it feels like I’m meeting up with friends at these gatherings, rather than strangers. I might not have met them in person all that much, if at all, but I know them.
  • what sucks – people not using the group properly. This is more disappointing I guess. It’s all about give and take, and some people tend to take a lot and give very little. This isn’t so much against the rules but it doesn’t feel great.
  • What rocks – it allows real life activities to happen. Things like the Small & Supercharged meet ups at Badminton. It’s nice to see people in real life, of course it is, but without the group I wouldn’t necessarily know these people. With the Hiho & Co event, a lot of people from S&S are coming, and I think letting people make these connections before an event is a real biggy.

So, that’s my what rocks and sucks about running Facebook groups podcast. I hope it shed a bit of light on the subject of groups for you, whether you want to run one or just want to get the most out of the ones you’re in!

If you’d like to join the Small & Supercharged Facebook group, you’d be very welcome – just join the Facebook group here.

Are you Small & Supercharged (find out more about the Facebook group)

Behind the Small & Supercharged group

5 ways to use testimonials

Do you ask your customers for testimonials? If you don’t, now’s the time to start! You might feel like you’re asking people to stroke your ego, but you’re actually providing a service to potential customers. How? Well, think about testimonials. Do they normally share the same kind of information that you share? Mine don’t – have a look at some of my testimonials here and you’ll see. Would I say any of these things about myself? No. I wouldn’t. But more than that, these words show what it’s like to work WITH you, which is something I can’t really do. So you might be wondering what you can do when you have these amazing testimonials. So I’m here to help with five ways to use testimonials…

  1. On your website. I have a testimonials section on my website and I also feature a section on the homepage with a testimonials in a slider. This means that if someone wants to come to my website and find out what it’s like to work with me. They can. The side benefit of this area is that people get to see who I have worked/do work with too.
  2. On your social media. Add your testimonial (or a bit of it!) to a nice graphic (something you can do on Canva) and use it on your social media. Again, don’t feel icky about this. You really are providing a service to your potential customers about what it’s like to work with you.
  3. On your email signature. Signatures can be dead space. I know mine has my contact details and a disclaimer, but I have seen some people add testimonials here and they can look really good, and also link to your website too.
  4. In a blog. Yes, you can use a testimonial as the foundation of a blog all about your amazing client who shared the testimonial with you. It’s a great way to talk about their business, what they do, how good they are and so on. Add your testimonial at the bottom and thank them too.
  5. On printed material. Yes. Business cards, flyers and brochures can benefit from well placed testimonials alongside specific services and products. You don’t want to overdo it, but it can work really well!

As a tip, always make sure you have proper permission to use testimonials from clients. An email saying you’re amazing isn’t permission. Be really clear how you are planning to use their words and make sure they’re happy you do this. Also, it goes without saying that fabricated endorsements are a big fat no too… they have zero value if they’re not real!

Rhea Freeman Newsletter
pile of business books

If you had a listen to my Small & Supercharged podcast about how to learn on a budget, you should have heard one of my book buying tips. I wasn’t planning to go into it again, but when someone posted on my Instagram feed stating that they had just saved £80 because of this tip, I had to share. It’s completely legit, I promise. But it could save you a lot of money on business books. Well, any books in fact… are you ready?

How to save money on business books

There’s no hiding that I am a big fan of business books. I read a lot and I listen a lot too. I love them. But a book habit can get a bit expensive, if you consume them at the rate that I do. Of course, good books are worth their weight in gold, and the value of the book vs the cost is a whole different blog, but I’m talking about the straight up cost. Now, a few years ago, I stumbled across a few options on Amazon that made buying books a whole lot cheaper. I have bought books for 1p (plus postage). And good books at that. It’s not a dark art, but it might be an area that you may not have explored before. And that’s what this blog is all about.

Let’s walk it through…

So, the best way to show you what I mean is a real life example. So let’s start with Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crushing It, shall we? If you have a look at the link, you’ll see the cost for a shiny new copy of Crushing It is £9.34 (Jan ’19) with free postage if your book order comes to over £10. So if I was being picky, I’d add the postage charge to make my hack seem even better value, but I’m not going to do that. So let’s say this new book costs £9.34. To be honest, for this book, that’s a real bargain.

But before you press Buy Now, take a stroll with me. Under the title of the book you’ll see other buying option. There’s a Kindle version, audiobook, hardcover and paperback. Now, under paperback, see the ‘Used’ option, and see it’s from £3.67 (Jan ’19)? Click on there. This will take you through to a list of used books and their various conditions. So if you spend an extra penny, you can get a ‘Like New’ book for the sum of £3.68. And the postage is £2.80, so we need to add that on. This comes to £6.48. Ok, it might only be a saving of £2.86, but it takes no more time, and could add up to quite a lot.

The thing is, many people aren’t happy to have pre-read business books. Me? I don’t really care! I tend to go for ‘Like New’ or ‘Very Good’ in the condition stakes, and on a number of occasions I did think they probably were new. And that means I can buy more books with that saving!

I do appreciate it’s only a few pounds saved, and if you want to buy new books all the time – DO IT – it’s fine! But if you’re on a budget or really like a bargain, this is quite fun.

Here are a few more business book bargains…

Just to prove the point a bit further, I’ve had a little look at some other book bargains in the business book category. These are all books I like and have read. And these are all correct as of Jan ’19… prices will and do change…

Gary Vaynerchuk – The Thank You Economy – new £14.54. Used (Very Good condition) inc postage £6.65.

Gary Vaynerchuk – #AskGaryVee – new £13.65. Used (Very Good condition) inc. postage £4.31.

Natasha Courtenay-Smith – The Million Dollar Blog – new £11.43. Used (Like New condition) inc. postage is £6.03.

Seth Godin – Purple Cow – new £8.69. Used (Very Good condition) inc. postage is £4.87.

Michelle Mone – My Fight To The Top – new £7.99. Used (Very Good condition) inc postage is £2.89.

Now, before you think all your business book costs have been slashed forever, this only applies to some books. I look at every one I buy and I have a good hit rate, but some cost the same if you buy this way. That said, it’s very easy to see if that’s the way it’s going as all prices are clearly displayed!

Have you bought books like this? I’d love to know – come and find me on Instagram and share!

Rhea Freeman Newsletter

This is more a DON’T DO THIS post, but I think it’s a good thing to draw attention to. See, we all invest so much time in growing our social media followers, nurturing them, creating engaging content, trying to take lovely pics… the last thing you want to do it pee them off. But it’s actually amazing how many people upset their social media followers. Some are minor infringements and some are a lot more significant. And there are way more than five ways to upset your social media followers, but it’s a starter for 10, isn’t it? I’d urge you though, when you notice someone doing something on social media that seems a bit out there or wrong, note it. Then think about it. Is it going to upset their followers? Why is this? It’s interesting if you’re a bit geeky… yeah… I’m that person. Hopefully the five below will provide a little food for thought and get the grey matter whirling… it’s something I am thinking about way too much…

5 ways to upset your followers…

  1. Inconsistency – you don’t have to post three times a day, but I see so many people who post in an almost scatty fashion. I know that sometimes it’s unavoidable but most of the time, it isn’t. Consistency matters. Being inconsistent is a really easy way to upset your social media followers. People like to see things they expect. And you ‘going dark’ doesn’t help. Also, the way we present ourselves on social media does reflect in us as a brand or a business. Does sporadic posting give off a solid, reliable vibe? Or not?
  2. Demanding things from interested people. Private accounts, blocking people for no reason/because they won’t do what you want… just don’t. If you want people to learn about you, let them see you. Whether they follow you or not, let them have the chance to get to know you. Of course, it would be nice if these people followed you but for whatever reason, they haven’t. Don’t stress. Nothing says ‘you’re here for my ego and nothing else’ more than making demands on people interested in your account.
  3. Never comment. Have you ever commented on someone’s post and they haven’t so much as bothered to tap the tiny heart? Or like your comment? And I’m not talking about people like Taylor Swift who have millions of followers, I’m talking about ‘normal’ people, and normal accounts. If you never so much as tap the heart on anyone’s comments, don’t expect people to keep coming back for more. It’s a bit like trying to start a chat with someone in a room and they just keep blanking you. How long do you try for?
  4. ‘You know I’m great, don’t you?’. Please stop. I like to see what people I follow are up to, I like to smile at their stunning images and stories. But what I don’t like is someone continually telling me they’re great. You don’t need to say ‘Wow, I’m great, did you know’, just share in a way that others might enjoy it. I share when I’ve done idiotic things (quite often!), I share content I produce, I share testimonials, I share lots of things, but I personally despise arrogance… and I’m not alone in that.
  5. Have someone who doesn’t get your audience run your account. How many times have you followed a brand, noticed a weird change in style and then felt really disconnected to the brand. I have. I’m not against working with people to help you run your social media (I do this for a number of businesses), but an understanding of the audience and industry is key. Otherwise you just leave your audience scratching their heads, wondering what’s happened. This is such an easy way to upset your social media followers.

What tips would you add to this list? Pop over over to my Instagram and comment on the graphic – I’d love to hear some of your top ‘don’t’ tips!

Rhea Freeman Newsletter
learning on a budget with rhea freeman

Continual learning is something I am a huge advocate of. But not just the kind of learning that goes on via courses, coaching and workshops. Don’t get me wrong, I do all three of these, but I’m also a big advocate of learning when you have zero budget. The great thing is that there are lots of ways to learn on a budget. Even if that budget is zero. And by putting in the work and learning, you’ll not only be able to deepen your understanding and increase your knowledge, you’ll be up-skilling to make yourself a more ‘valuable’ addition to anyone’s team. Even if you’re the only one on that team.

Learning on a budget – how to learn on a budget and why you should look into it!

I’ve actually written a blog about how to learn on a budget before… and I produce a lot of content to help people learn for free. This podcast is just one example. Of course, this podcast isn’t about what I do that you can use, but the variety of resources available to help you learn on a budget. Even if your budget is non existent! Show notes for episode 18 – Learning on a budget…

  • We talk about the variety of learning options out there- from resources that are free to thousands of pounds.
  • I talk about when I learn (walking the dog, in the car, etc!)
  • We discuss overwhelm and how it’s important to pick the people you want to learn from and focus in on them.
  • How you need to pick a few people you really rate and trust, so you don’t get overwhelmed and procrastinate.
  • We talk about podcasts and the value that these can bring. I also recommend Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast and Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. And I also talk about the problems I had when I listened to too many.
  • Moving through to a low cost paid for option, I talk about the value of audiobooks and how I use Audible. I really do like Audible – I wrote a blog about my Audible obsession a little while ago.
  • We talk about books and a little hack I have on Amazon where you can pick up books for much less than the new price. I’ve actually picked up books for a penny (I have to add postage, obviously!), but these can still be a lot less than the new price.
  • I talk about blogs and how these can provide a great free resource of tips and information. You can subscribe to people’s mailing lists too, so you get that information into your inbox.
  • Video – there’s a surprise – yes, video is a great way to learn. YouTube is a fountain of free how to videos (and, you know, baby monkeys riding on pigs). I use YouTube a lot actually, especially for more visual things.
  • How membership groups can be really, really useful. I also talk about the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group and how group coaching can work and deliver really good results for a good price.
  • We discuss paid for online courses. I talk about the courses I’ve done online, particularly with Fiona Humberstone, and how these go a lot deeper into subjects and are usually better produced and more structured than free content.
  • ‘Live’ events, like workshops, talks and seminars, can vary hugely in price, but are a great way to learn. Websites like EventBrite can be a good way to find workshops and events near you.
  • We talk about low cost courses, like the ones provided by providers like Udemy. These are generally much lower value and run by people who aren’t brands in their own right. But if you have something specific to learn, Udemy might be perfect for you.
  • And we finish by talking about the main differences between free and paid for content. Not just the cost…
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