Equestrian & Rural Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can sound scary and ‘big’, but I promise you two things. One, it is as big as you want it to be. And two, you need to get a handle on it and make it work for your equestrian or rural business.

This kind of marketing can take many forms. I think of it as anything that is digital – as in – online. There are lots and lots of ways you can promote your equestrian or rural business online and so this area contains quite a lot of information.

But please, please, don’t be afraid of it. This form of marketing is a real gift as the entry level in zero – you can start with no financial outlay and the effort you put in can really deliver amazing results if you just give it a go.

Sophie CallahanProduct photography is incredibly important for any businesses. In fact, for some, the difference between good and bad product photography can be the difference between success and failure. It sounds dramatic but it’s true. In Michelle Mone’s book ‘My Fight To The Top’, she explains how her photoshoots with famous names (notably Penny Lancaster, and then Rod Stewart’s ex wife Rachel Hunter), propelled her business forward. Here, I have a chat to Sophie Callahan about product photography and what things you need to look out for when you decide to work with a photographer and take the leap.

How did you get into product photography? Do you have any specialisms/particular passions?

I originally began by just photographing horses and their owners, and photographing businesses and products was kind of a natural progression, really. Brands begun contacting me asking if I’d photograph their products or services and that side of the business grew from there. I specialise in working with equestrian and country brands.

Can you share a campaign you’ve worked on and tell us a bit about it?

Product photographyI recently worked with a company called Forelock Books, who publish children’s books about horses and ponies. Michelle, from Forelock Books, wanted to increase her visibility and sales online. She asked me to create images that would strengthen her brand and capture the essence of her product. It was such a fun shoot, involving five children and four ponies, and I believe Michelle is thrilled with the results.

How do you go about organising the shoot?

Every shoot is entirely different. Some clients want a lot of creative input and want to oversee the entire shoot from start to finish, in which case, I will have as much or as little involvement with organising the shoot as they need me to have. Whereas some clients are happy to send me the products and trust me to coordinate everything needed to create beautiful photographs. I am happy to source models, both human and equine, locations and props, and if the client isn’t planning to attend the shoot, I try to keep them as ‘in the loop’ as possible, every step of the way. 

What information can a company give you to help you get the best photography for them?

When I’m shooting for a brand or business, I like to do as much homework about them as possible. I want to know who their target audience is, what colours they use in the branding, what their social media presence is like, what marketing campaigns they have run in the past and plan to run in the future, etc. It all helps me create a picture in my mind of what images will align with their brand. 

Some clients are looking for something very specific, for a particular campaign or website revamp, for example, whereas some are looking to create a bank of stock images, to use on social media over time. Some want both. So I also need to know what they are hoping to use the images for.

Do you offer different levels of shoot? Can you tell us a bit about them?

Yes. I know that photography is a big and scary investment for a lot of small businesses and one-man-bands. So, with this in mind, I offer three different packages. The first package is just the shoot itself. This means that my client doesn’t have to part with any extra money until they have seen and are happy with their images. And if they decide to just buy a few, they can do, or they have the option to purchase all. 

The second option is for those with a specific purpose in mind. As I mentioned, this may be an upcoming advertising campaign, a website revamp or the launch of a particular product. They may only require a handful of images and that is what my second option offers. There is, of course, always the option to purchase extras at a later date. 

And my final option includes the shoot and all image files. This is my most popular option and typically my clients will end up with upwards of 100 images.

All of the above options are guaranteed an interview on my blog and exposure to my 35k social media following.

What advice would you give people thinking of getting their first professional shoot organised?

Firstly I would encourage them that getting professional photographs taken of their product or service is 100% the right thing to do. In an era where social media is so prevalent, imagery is king! And secondly, I would advise them to give their photographer as much information about their brand and their vision as possible. Choose the right photographer, one who you think really ‘gets’ what your business stands for, and be super clear on what you want to achieve, with these images. 

What questions should a business owner ask a photographer to make sure they’re a good fit for them?

Obviously it’s important to see previous work, to ensure you like the style of the images, as every photographer’s style is unique to them. But I think finding the right photographer for you is more about getting a good feeling about someone, than it is about asking specific questions. I’d advise chatting either face to face, via Skype, or on the phone. When you’ve built a business, that business becomes your baby and it’s so important that the person who is responsible for creating the images that will bring your ideas to life and present them to the world, understands exactly what the brand is all about and is as passionate about the shoot as you are.

Find out more about Sophie’s business shoots on her website, here. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Small & Supercharged VIPSo, today’s blog is as close to a shameless plug as you’ll see on this blog. It’s all about the members group, Small & Supercharged VIP, which launched on 1st July, which was the Saturday just gone… and even though enrolment is now closed for July, you’re still welcome to register for the August intake here. But let me tell you a bit more about it…

What is Small & Supercharged VIP?

The short answer is it’s a membership group designed to support small businesses from all industries through providing resources, support and challenges to help business owners up skill, become a WHOLE lot more visible and grow their businesses. There’s a password protected area on my site for VIPers where all the content lives, but it’s also posted inside the VIP Facebook group each month too. So you get it wherever you try and hide!

How is it different to Small & Supercharged?

Small & Supercharged, the Facebook group that started this whole journey, is a community area. People ask questions, exchange ideas and chat. And it’s great. But what became apparent was the need for additional help and support… and I don’t mean this in a patronising way. I’m a social media, PR and marketing bore. I read wayyyy too many books, I admin far too many accounts (!) on a number of platforms, I advise a lot of businesses and I have been working in PR, social media and marketing, both running my own agency and in house, for over 10 years. I’m not doing this to tell you how brilliant I am. Far from it. See, the thing is, I’m immersed in this stuff each day. Ask me the best EPOS system and you might as well ask me about quantum physics. It’s not my bag. I know people who know (and you’ll find a few in Small & Supercharged!!), but I know how to promote businesses, how to leverage social media platforms, how to grow a tribe of raving fans and how to develop small businesses and products. So what if there was a way to combine the stuff I knew with the stuff that you knew about your business and your customers?

And that’s what kick started the small business coaching service I offer…

Yes, getting under the skin of people’s businesses excites me. I love it. I like finding out how they work, what makes them tick, how they could improve and develop and how they can do this. Seeing my clients do well gives me a bigger buzz than my own successes, always has done to be 100% honest with you. Combining my skill set, knowledge and my passion for learning and development with the business brains of my clients has worked incredibly well for coaching. The one to one environment allows me to give very specific advice, create very specific links and introductions and come up with very specific plans and strategy. Sometimes these sessions involve sending additional materials too, when I email over my recap. This can be through finding useful Youtube videos and articles to summarise what I’m talking about… but where I can I always try and create my own resources.

And then it struck me – other people could make use of these resources too, along with my one to one coaching clients… and Small & Supercharged VIP was born!

Small & Supercharged VIP provides resource packs, challenges and support for just £10pcm. I’ll be completely honest again and say it’s very different to one to one coaching but works very well in conjunction with this but also well on its own. Not everyone wants one to one coaching and that’s fine. But lots of people want to up-skill and work with experts (and I’m not just talking about me, there’s a raft of experts contributing to VIP…) as well as test new ideas in a closed environment. There’s a lovely range of people in VIP so far and I am SO excited to see how it grows and develops. I’m planning to close enrolment on 1st of each month because each month will have a challenge, and someone joining halfway through won’t get the full benefit. But people can register and get themselves set up for the next wave and join the fun for the next month. Here’s the link

How collaborations work between brandsI’m very excited to be able to bring you a real life example of how collaborations work between brands. Or, at least, how they can work when they’re done well. And, to make it even more exciting, WE HAVE A CASE STUDY. Oh yes. How collaborations work between brands using a real life example. The real life example uses Hiho Silver, who recently completed a superb competition online that allowed people to win a lovely prize each day for 10 days, to celebrate reaching 10k fans on Facebook.

How collaborations work between brands… and why it matters

If you follow this blog you will know that I am a big fan of collaborations. Why? Because they work. They generate feel-good for everyone involved. Customers win. Businesses win. And it doesn’t have to cost all that much either. What’s not to love? Collaborations can add lots of value to your brand, your followers and the company you’re collaborating with too.. so why doesn’t everyone do it? It’s simple, it takes quite a bit of leg work and often an ability to put your brand’s needs on a level to brand you’re collaborating with. For everyone to win. Everyone needs to win. But that’s a whole different blog.

Now, onto the case study – Hiho Silver

As you may or may not know, I am very proud to count Hiho Silver as a client and the people behind this brand as friends. Hiho Silver is interesting for so many reasons, not least because of the amazing exclusive country and equestrian jewellery designs they create. But more about that another time (or just follow them on Facebook or Instagram, or have a look at their website to see for yourself!). Another thing that is superb about Hiho is the company’s ability to fully embrace new ideas and work with others. It’s refreshing, forward thinking and is one reason the brand is as successful as it is.

ANYWAY. To celebrate Hiho Silver reaching 10k fans on Facebook, it was decided that we’d create a competition to thank the fans for their continued support. The Hiho Facebook community is a special one and gratitude is a theme that runs through everything Hiho does, and it’s always nice to have a reason to celebrate. As it was Hiho’s 10k, it was decided that one prize would be offered each day for 10 days. And that fans could enter on Instagram and/or Facebook. The entry mechanisms were slightly different (and native to each platform), but both options were there to give people maximum opportunity to get involved. So far, so good.

So, where does the collaboration come in? And how do collaborations work between brands?

Hiho collaborates with a number of brands throughout the year on a range of different projects, so it made sense to speak to some of Hiho’s ‘friends’ to see if they wanted to be part of the celebrations. Why? Just to get free stuff? No. It was more than that. The brands that Hiho collaborates with have been chosen because they have a similar target audience – ie – they make/sell products and services that the majority or a significant portion of Hiho customers would be interested in. For this competition, Hiho decided to speak to Annabel Brocks (who provided a stunning Contrast Leather Belt), Evemy & Evemy (who provided a Pluma Silk Scarf), Mackenzie & George (who provided a Chatsworth Belt and personalised keyring), Femmes Fatales (who provided a day’s shooting) and Fairfax & Favor (who provided a Pembroke Handbag). In addition, Hiho provided an Exclusive Hammered Pheasant Necklace, an Exclusive Spinner Ring, an Exclusive Cherry Roller Bangle with CZ Roller and a Leather Wrap with horseshoe or cartridge slider. So there were 10 prizes in total. And so it began. One prize a day for 10 days… and didn’t Hiho’s fans love it! Oh yes. And then some.

Did the brands involved benefit from the collaboration?

And did the brands that were involved benefit too – oh yes. Exposing some of their products to Hiho’s fans and followers (and their fans and followers as people frequently shared posts on Facebook even though this wasn’t an entry mechanism… because it can’t be according to Facebook terms and conditions). Hiho put together two graphics each day during the competition and posted these on its various social channels. In many ways it was a simple competition, but the planning to make the simple competition work was quite involved. Worth every second, but it takes time. To make collaborations work between brands – between anyone – you have to dedicate some time to the cause. And then the results really mean something. And everyone wins. Which is what it’s all about!

 

Andrea Owen In this ‘Blogstars’ blog, I chat to Andrea Owen – aka Mud on my Mulberry. Andrea is a country blogger who has horses and dogs, but has really worked hard to create several points of difference between herself and other bloggers. And her look book and ‘Shop My Look’ features certainly do that. Here are a few words from the lady herself…

Why did you start blogging? My blogging kind of came by accident I guess, I began by sharing pictures of outfit ideas, beauty tips, my dogs and horses on Instagram and it evolved from there. I love writing and it felt like a natural progression from Instagram to give people more information and write more which is why I started the blog. It’s really important to me to write from the heart and stay genuine, and I think that comes across in my posts. I have some really exciting projects on the go and cannot wait to get them out there too!

How do you measure the success of Mud on my Mulberry? I measure success by the feedback I get from people, all of which so far has been really positive. I think it’s easy to get consumed with how many followers you have or haven’t got and how many visitors you have to your blog, but I don’t think it matters if you have 10 or 10,000 as long as they like what you are doing and the response is positive then that’s all that matters.

Tell us about the post you’ve most enjoyed writing/has been the best received I’ve just started the look book page on my blog and these features are definitely the most fun, and the feedback on them Mud on my Mulberryhas been fantastic. I began doing the look books as I felt that would make me individual and different to similar bloggers, plus I love photography, so it enables me to get creative with ideas and themes. I’m just at the beginning of the development of these and I have plans to make them even better!

How you promote Mud on my Mulberry? I promote my blog mainly through Instagram. Instagram is a really strong tool to grow your network and following. Using strong imagery and carefully chosen hashtags can have a real impact on your followers. I also find that following interesting brands or people and commenting on other people’s posts grows my following.

Any tips you’d like to pass on to first time bloggers/people who are interested in blogging? My advice to first time bloggers/people interested in blogging would be find what makes you different to everyone else- there are so people blogging now, you need to find what makes you different. Also, be yourself because this is what people want to get to know, stay genuine and true to yourself- it’s easy to be influenced by what others are doing, but don’t be afraid to stand out!

Andrea Owen Mud on my MulberryHas anything ‘good’ come out of blogging? Lots of good things have come out of blogging, I’m lucky enough to be a brand ambassador for some wonderful companies which obviously comes with perks of being sent some lovely things to include on my blog and in my look books, as well building relationships with the people who work for or run those companies. I’ve also made a strong network of like minded bloggers. We all bounce ideas off each other and it’s fab to have them for support and encouragement. It also gives me a platform to experience new things. This year I want to try polo for the first time and I’m also going shooting for the first time too!

Where can we find Mud on my Mulberry online?

Instagram: mud_on_my_mulberry

Blog: www.mudonmymulberry.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTLP4PEag5CmYpddqqKN4pw

does posting natively increase your reachDoes posting natively increase your reach? Well, there are a few things to consider here – and a few points were raised in a previous blog about context and content… but let’s dive in.

What do you mean by ‘posting natively’?

Posting direct to the platform and not making people move around to view content. This works with blogs, vlogs and links to websites. And I get the irony that this is a blog and has been promoted on my social media platforms. But you’ll notice how that even though the blog isn’t native to the platforms I’m promoting it on, I’m creating native content to promote the blog… did you see a graphic on Facebook or did you just see a boring old link with no imagery? I hope you saw the graphic that I uploaded to Facebook so I could combine the benefits of the native posting with the benefits of bringing you here to my little corner of the internet.

Does posting natively increase reach?

Yep. And this is two fold. Thinking of Facebook, it’s said (and in my experience this is correct!), that the algorithm prefers native content. And why wouldn’t it? Watching stuff natively on the platform and not venturing off to other sites is a win for any website. Even when you’re as big as Facebook. For the consumer too, you click it, you watch it, you get bored, you move on. You don’t have to open and close tabs to get back to where you were. And the other reason that native posting can increase reach is simply because it looks a whole lot better in the feed. This means it looks a LOT more interesting and will encourage a lot more engagement.

Should I only post natively?

Yes and no. If you take the example of video, you might be looking to develop your Youtube channel, but want to use your Facebook page to help promote your videos. So what do you do? There are a few options. You can just post a link to your video on Facebook and hope for the best, fully aware that it doesn’t look half as good as a native post and that the reach will be less – but it will link to Youtube and you’ll get your views there. You could post an image from the video natively and also post the link to the video. It looks visually more inviting and you still drive people in the right direction. You create a short ‘trailer’ and post that video natively and include the link to Youtube. You post natively to Facebook. By which I mean you post the WHOLE video natively to Facebook and, if you like, to Youtube. If your objective is views, wherever they come from, this can work well.

Here’s just one example of how posting natively can increase your reach – what do you think? How did you do it? I’d love to hear…

Today’s ‘a few minutes with…’ is all about Samantha Hobden from Haynet. Haynet is a fabulous community online created for bloggers.

Tell us about you and your backgroundSamantha Hobden

I am a half Finnish mum born in the seventies running two businesses, two terriers, a handful of chickens and one huge horse! I have always worked with the public sorting out problems through customer services or promoting companies through marketing and PR. These industries have ranged from the banking sector, hairdressing and medical companies to the car industry. I have also worked in a partnership with a clothing and accessories business. I am now working within the equestrian industry talking all things blogging and social media, which I definitely enjoy the most.

What made you want to start a business?

Having worked for many big companies and sorting out their client’s problems, I knew that I would rather be working for myself utilising these skills and helping smaller businesses. This has now expanded to the rural industry where they are experiencing tough times, so to help with their social media marketing I find hugely rewarding.

How is your business different?

I think because I own and run my own social network it enables me to give my clients and the work I do an extra audience. I would say the experience in running this business over the last few years enables me to use a wider network and encourage them not just to use the basics in social media but help them with content and trying to be just that little bit different.

What makes your product special?

As I don’t sell a product but a service, I would hope that my experience running a social media network would make an extra impact to potential clients needing help. with their social media.

If you had to sum up your business in five words, what would they be?Haynet

Telling your stories from the stables to the fields!! Sorry that is nine…..

Do you have a motto or ethos?

I cannot emphasise enough to have respect for your clients and work colleagues. Just be nice and friendly. There are times where mistakes are made, so say sorry. Don’t make excuses and own your errors. This builds respect and that goes a long way in business.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?

Well as the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and I think that applies to any new business. Give it time, put in plenty of research and thought and go with your gut feeling. It also takes time to gain a reputation and all the hard work you put in when starting will be worth it. However, it just may take some time, so be patient.

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively

As my business is totally online, I would have to say I would be lost without my iPad. I do all my work on a desktop and this is invaluable but my iPad takes over when I am away from home or away from my desk, it continues to work for me. Software wise I am a massive fan of Canva. I am no graphic designer but this piece of software has made my life so much easier. Photoshop made me cry…. So thankfully I discovered Canva before booking on a Photoshop course!

Best thing about running a business?

It is totally flexible and you only answer to yourself. You make the decisions whether they are right or wrong but the buck stops with you. It is also a massive learning curve being responsible for your own income and growing your business. However, it is a great learning curve!

Worst thing about running a business?

Being responsible for your work and this is potentially a tie. You cannot clock off at 5pm and having time off from it can be like organising a military operation. If you work from home like I do, it is not recognised I think as “proper work”. I think perception of working from home is sitting in front of the tv with your iPad watching Phil and Holly!

Top business blog you follow

I suppose it will have to be Andrew William Smith on Facebook. Every now and then you need to take a moment and listen to his video tutorials to make sure you are keeping an eye of the ever changing world of running a business, especially through social media.

Top business book you’ve read

I will side track from a business book and say The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. If you are ever thinking life is not going your way or work is getting you down, please read this book. It will change your outlook completely!

One thing we might not know about you

I love psychic mediumship and all things about it. I have read so many books on the subject and love seeing mediums and have been on workshops too. So make the most of this life before you move on to the next one…

Top business achievement

It has to be Haynet and the recognition and following I have with this now. Someone was talking to me the other day and one sentence from our conversation made me smile and think that running Haynet is all worth it. She was visiting a yard with her work and one of the liveries was telling her how she loved Haynet and had learnt from the blogs and content that was featured on it. She also said what a friendly equestrian place it was online. It may not sound much but it made my day!

Where can people follow you or your business online 

Haynet: http://www.hay-net.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/haynetblog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/haynetblog
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/haynetblog/

 

 

Does context matter on social media?Does context matter when it comes to your social media content? It’s something that I am constantly aware of, but a post I saw on Instagram last week prompted me to blog.

So, what do I mean? Context?

In this blog, I’m looking at the platforms and the way they work – so we’re thinking about Twitter’s 140 character limit – the ‘stuff’ that makes a platform the platform. Now, any social media user will know that all the platforms have their own style and their own limits. We have the retweet on Twitter, for example, that allows you to share other people’s content with your followers, but you can’t retweet on Facebook, you share. And you can’t share on Instagram, you repost. See what I mean?

Does context matter then?

Yes. The example I saw that inspired me to write this blog (and made me revisit the importance of this) was a competition on Instagram. Instagram is a highly visual platform, as we all know, and this competition graphic was, well, underwhelming. White background, common font, pixelated. Ugh. That annoyed me for starters. But you know what annoyed me more? The word share. Like and share. Now, this annoyed me on a number of different levels…

  1. The graphic had clearly been used on Facebook as that’s where ‘sharing’ works
  2. The graphic was rubbish and shouldn’t have generated much interest on Facebook either
  3. The competition was using liking and sharing as an entry mechanism. And having sharing as an entry mechanism breaks Facebook rules.

The last one is a REAL bug bear or mine, but let’s get back to the actual theme of the blog…

The graphic asked people to like and share to enter. How on earth can you do that on Instagram? You can’t. Saying this shows a lack of understanding for the platform and a lack of care. Context matters. It’s frustrating when someone posts competitions and even content that doesn’t fit a platform’s parameters. And there’s no need for it. If you’re doing it to ‘save time’, just don’t. Some content can be shared across platforms, I get that, but if it doesn’t look native, just don’t. It’s better not to bother. Please. Context matters. You could have killer content, but if they context is out, it just doesn’t work.

What do you think? Does context matter to you?

What do you think? Have you see requests for a share on Instagram? A repost on Facebook? How did it make you feel?

Samantha Hobden is the lady behind Haynet, a brilliant website that provides a blogging platform and network for country and equestrian bloggers all over the world. Here’s a bit about her and why she started blogging…

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging purely to keep a journal of my horse’s medical condition on the advice from my vet. My horse had developed a number of sarcoids and at first were slow growing. They then started to increase in size so I kept a photographic digital journal for my own records. This then became a diary about everything to do with my horse and I enjoyed writing it.

How did you/do you measure its success?

I noticed that people were started to respond to the posts, especially when I used an alternative therapy for the treatment which was a success.

Tell us about the post you’ve most enjoyed writing/has been the best received

The post about the treatment of his sarcoids was the most successful as it offered advice on a more natural remedy.

How you promote your blog?

I decided to search other equestrian blogs as I was very interested to read about others who were having medical problems with their horses. However, back in 2011, I found searching for these blogs quite difficult to locate, let alone promoting them. I then decided to launch Haynet, which was a “social blogging network” for equestrian bloggers, to come to a central place on the internet where they could promote their own blog posts. So this was how I promoted my blog in the end!

Any tips you’d like to pass on to first time bloggers/people who are interested in blogging?

First of all, please don’t think you cannot blog because you have nothing to say or cannot put it into words. We all have something to say – it will be that someone may resonate with your posts and some may not. Don’t worry about those that are not interested in your posts, it certainly isn’t personal. Going back to my horse that had sarcoids when I first starting blogging, not everyone has had to deal with them. If your horse is lucky enough not to be blighted with them, then you probably wouldn’t read my post on it. However, with many horse owners struggling to contain these horrible lumps, my post may be of great help to them. Blog for yourself, but never make it a chore. If it becomes a chore then it may be time to stop, take a break or perhaps just change subject!

Has anything ‘good’ come out of blogging?

Blogging has changed my career! Starting my own blogging network has been a huge change in my life by creating a business out of it. I now help clients particularly in the farming sector promote their businesses through blogging and social media. I have made a huge amount of friends through blogging and made many business contacts. So an immense amount of good has come from it!

Where can we find you?

Please come and visit Haynet at:

http://www.hay-net.co.uk/

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

How to pick who to collaborate withHave you heard that collaborations could be big for your business? They could, that is, they could if you pick the right person or company to collaborate with. If you pick a company that isn’t ‘right’ for you, much like a dodgy relationship, it’s not going to work out. If you’ve ever asked yourself ‘who should I collaborate with?’ – this blog is for you!

Who should I collaborate with?

There are a few things to consider when you’re working out who you should collaborate with…

  • Do you have a similar customer profile? If you sell luxury country clothing, you want someone who has customers interested in this. If you sell fine wines or spirits, a company that is pro an alcohol free lifestyle is not for you. See what I mean? In order for a collaboration to work, you need to make sure that your fan base is interested in the person/company you’re collaborating with, and visa versa.
  • Do they share your values? If you’ve ticked the first box, now you need to make sure the second aligns. So, if your customers are anti-fur, don’t work with someone who uses it in their products. If you promote the fact your products are high end and made in Britain, someone who sells bargain basement imported lines is not a good fit.
  • Do they share your brand’s ‘feel’? By this I mean all the other stuff – the customer experience, the tone, the manner – the general vibe. If you’re a happy, friendly, personable company whose customers appreciate you going to the extra mile, a big faceless corporation might not be the best person to collaborate with.
  • What do each of you bring to the arrangement? A collaboration needs to work out well for both parties. If, for example, you’re running a giveaway, you need to make sure that both parties have a useful database/following on at least one platform, in order to ensure that the offer is promoted fully. Size isn’t always important, a very engaged smaller following can have a lot more value than a HUGE following of people who don’t engage or open emails. Of course, it doesn’t stop here. If it’s a giveaway, look at the product value, who’s giving the most in terms of time, etc.
  • Will your customers/fans benefit from the collaboration? This is a must. The offer you’re providing has to appeal to them – or at the very least not offend – because you don’t want a quest to increase your reach and following to alienate your loyal fans.

Here are a few pointers to help you decide who you should collaborate with – what do you think? I’d love to see your comments below.

Do you blog? There are lots of reasons why you should blog, but also plenty of reasons why people don’t. But I’m here to help and explain five reasons people don’t blog. Well, I’m here to explain how to get around these issues, to encourage you to start blogging. It’s a game changer. Honestly. I even made an infographic to prove the point!

So – five reasons people don’t blog… (there are more, but I decided to start with five!)

‘I don’t like writing’. OK, this might seem like a big deal as blogs are written pieces of work, but actually, it isn’t. You could utilise dictation software (here’s blog about Apple’s inbuilt dictation software and how to use it), and if that doesn’t float your boat, you can record you thoughts and use a transcription service.

‘I have nothing to blog about’. I’m going to stop you right there. Do you ever run out of things to say and talk about? If the answer is no, then you have plenty to blog about. A blog doesn’t have to be like a work of Shakespeare (which is lucky, because my blogs certainly aren’t!), it’s a way to document, to share, to engage, to educate. You might not think that the things you know, that you’re passionate about, are of interest to anyone but you. But they are. Honest. If you’re lacking inspiration, have a look at this blog – what should I blog about?

‘No one wants to hear what I have to say’. They do. Ever looked at a review online? Ever used Google? The people who wrote the copy for the reviews and the pages you view could have thought the same thing. It’s only their opinion, isn’t it? But you read it. I read it. It’s how we learn and research.

‘I don’t know what the point is’. This depends on why you’re blogging. If you’re blogging to document an experience, that’s the point. If you’re blogging for your business and to increase your profile, that’s the point. If you’re blogging to help improve your SEO and make your site more searchable, that’s the point. The reason you’re blogging could be completely different to you friend’s, but both are valid. Some people just love writing and that’s the point for them. Don’t overthink it.

‘I don’t have a following’. Who does when they start? Start sharing your blog on your social platforms and you’ll start to get readers and grow the following you want. No one started with a pre-made group of fans and followers, they built these up overtime. The key is to start!

Why don’t you blog? Or what’s your reason for blogging? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Five reasons people don't blog