Rural & Equestrian Social Media

I spend a HUGE amount of time in the world of rural and equestrian social media. Not only do I use social media to actively promote my own business, I also use social media to help promote my clients’ businesses to!

For some clients I manage their social media for them – literally scheduling the posts each day, creating the captions, researching the hashtags, etc. For others, I advise them on the kind of content that would work, in the coaching sessions. And other times I’m teaching equestrian and rural business owners about social media and how to use it. This might be in my Small & Supercharged Facebook group, in my Mastermind Membership group, on Facebook Lives, or even in blogs, right here.

Social media is a huge part of many an equestrian or rural business’s success. And when it costs you NOTHING, yes, zero, to get yourself set up and started, it seems silly not to get involved. Why deny yourself access to that many people who are your perfect customer?

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
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

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
Hiho & Co Instameet

What are you doing on Monday 11th February? If the answer is ‘nothing’ or ‘nothing that can’t be changed’ – read on – I have the perfect way to spend the day. The Hiho & Co Instameet. Well, I call it an Instameet because I think that’s a term that everyone gets, but it’s SO much more than that. A bit like saying a Lindt ball is a chocolate. It does it no justice at all.

So what’s Hiho & Co?

You may remember that last September, Hiho ran an event called ‘Style, Skills & Silver’ at The Fish Hotel in Broadway. This was the very first of its kind in our industry and brought together bloggers, vloggers and small businesses with some of the best brands in our space, and various experts too. There were two workshops- one about style and one about skills, and a group of the most amazing people learnt lots and got hands on in both workshops. I ran part of the skills side with Sophie Callahan, Ruth Chappell and Rachel Bragg, and I had the most amazing time. As soon as the first one was finished, we all agreed we wanted to do it again. We’d had the best fun, met lots of amazing new friends, and learnt lots too. It was great. So then we started plotting. And that’s where Hiho & Co came from.

Why not Style, Skills & Silver?

As I mentioned, the first event was called Style, Skills & Silver, but this one has had a name change. Emma Warren (Queen Bee of Hiho Silver) felt that Hiho & Co was a true reflection of the collaborative nature of the event. Not only the brand ambassadors and experts, but also the people attending. Because without exception everyone worked together. And not only that, but created some mind blowing content and further collabs long after the event ended. I like the new name a lot!

So what’s happening at Hiho & Co?

We’re building on the very firm foundations of the first event, but with a few changes. We’ve moved location to Hiho’s home county and are able to hold the event at Blackdown Shepherd Huts. These huts contain the most Instagrammable interiors and details I’ve ever seen, and with the workshops we have planned, are going to work so well. Their exteriors are pretty extraordinary too, with the craftsmanship shining through at every opportunity, providing the perfect backdrop to our plans.

At this event, you’ll still have the chance to work with Sophie Callahan, Rachel Bragg, Ruth Chappell, Melanie Clarihew, me, and the Hiho team, but you’ll also be treated to a workshop run by the very talented Capture By Lucy. I promise you, it is going to be superb.

You’ll also be treated to a delicious lunch, cakes, a goody bag, plenty of opportunities to chat to people to help your business flourish… and you’ll make some new friends too. Probably people you feel you already know through Instagram. But in real life.

The bad news is that, at time of writing this, there are just FOUR spaces left. So if you want one, get in quick! You can book your ticket to Hiho & Co here!

5 things I'm proud of5 things I’m proud of, hey? This might be one of the most self indulgent posts I’ve ever written, so please don’t discount me as an egotistical so and so. If you know me at all, you know I’m not. However, as we look ahead to 2019, I think it’s also important to look at how far we’ve come in our businesses. Do you ever do that?

See, I am a devil for pushing on with things. I’m always looking ahead and onto the next thing. I’ll work my backside off to get it and I’m pleased when I have, but I’ll then assess what’s happened, improve, and move on. Sometimes without so much as ‘yeah- good job’ to myself.

Can you relate to this?

I meet so many business owners who are the same. And that got me thinking. So for the next five days (please join me!), I’ll be sharing five things I’m proud of over on Instagram… and I really would love to know five things you’re proud of. As I said, I’m going to run this over on Instagram (#5thingsimproudof) where I’ll be giving more detail on each of these each day… and I would love you to join me…

5 things I’m proud of…

1 – Two TEDx talks. Being the ‘special’ person I am, I decided getting the first, and not combusting/being heckled or booed, must have been a fluke, so I went again and secured a second at TEDxTelford. I’ve talked about my TEDx talks on my blog before, but I’m really proud of both of these achievements. I know many people have this as a life goal and I would urge you, if you do, to follow it. It did take work to land both, but I think it was a lot easier than many people would have you believe…

2- The Small & Supercharged Podcast. You know when something has been bouncing around your skull for a while and then, even though you’ve spent AGES convincing yourself it’s too difficult, you give yourself a slap? Yep, that’s what happened to me. The Small & Supercharged Podcast is alive and kicking and I’m SO proud of it. I love it.

3- I had a flipping photoshoot. I tell all my clients that they need good quality pics. Because it’s true. But I do not like having my photo taken. And I don’t HAVE to take my own advice now, do I? Well, when Sophie Callahan gifted me a shoot I was kind of screwed as it would be rather rude not to take her up on such an amazing opportunity, wouldn’t it? Well, I had the shoot, and it was incredible, I’ve written all about why having a photoshoot is important and… wait for it… I loved it. I know. I was surprised too.

4- The Small & Supercharged Mastermind Group. This only launched a few months ago but the results that the amazing people inside the group have seen warms my heart. And makes me smile. And I’m so so proud of them all. I can not wait to see the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group grow and develop more during 2019!

5- Getting out of my own way. This year I’ve told my negative self talk to pipe down a bit more… and I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve given a seminar at the Farm Business Innovation Show (which was packed out and people were waiting outside), chaired the PR and marketing panel at the event, worked with the Hiho team on the really successful Style, Skills & Silver event at The Fish Hotel in September and more. If I’d listened to the voice in my head that said ‘I’m not sure you can do this’ I wouldn’t have done any of these things…

I wanted these five points to be specific, rather than ‘grew my business’ or ‘helped other businesses grow’. It does, however, go without saying that I am so, so proud of all the businesses I work with. Working with some of the best businesses in the industry and seeing how hard these people work and the results they achieve is a constant source of inspiration. I know that sounds a bit slushy but it’s true. When you’ve seen people making faux grass boards for selfies, going above and beyond on a customer service level, taking some of the most amazing images you’ve ever seen, designing jaw droppingly beautiful stands and products. Well, it just spurs you on, doesn’t it?

Will you join me and celebrate 5 things you’re proud of?

OK, not me, YOU! Using the #5thingsimproudof hashtag  on Instagram I’d love you to join me in celebrating five things you’re proud of between now (27th December) and the end of the year (31st December, inclusive). Each day, I’d like you to post something you’re proud of, using this hashtag. I’d also love you to search the hashtag and support other people using it… who’s with me?

You can find me on Instagram @rheafreemanpr – come and join me and see 2018 out with a bang!

Do I have a treat for you today! Today’s episode is all about the power of collaboration and trying new things. If you’ve ever wondered about how collaborations work with many brands, or why it’s important to try new things, this is for you!

For this episode, we’re talking to Emma Warren, MD of Hiho Silver. In it, she talks about working together, why it really is important to try new things in your business, and how the Style, Skills & Silver event Hiho ran in September ’18 did this. Emma is a lady who just doesn’t just talk a good talk, she’s always trying new things and testing theories… and we get a look at the mindset behind that here too.

Let’s talk about the power of collaboration and why we should embrace trying new things

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 15 – the power of collaboration and trying news things with Emma Warren. In this episode we have a really good chat with Emma Warren, MD of Hiho Silver, about collaboration, trying new things, and how this all came together in the Hiho Silver Style, Skills & Silver event. In this episode you’ll hear…

  • How the idea for Style, Skills & Silver came about.
  • The idea that was at the hub of the event and how this grew and developed in line with Emma’s vision.
  • How the skills that the group of amazing attendees learnt are being used even now.
  • The ability to collaborate with other brands to make an event like this work – Melanie from Mackenzie & George, Ben from Fairfax & Favor, and Sophie from Evemy & Evemy attended in person, and Annie from Albion Lifestyle and Belle from Annabel Brocks let us loan products to play with and use for the workshops.
  • How Style, Skills & Silver was quite a different concept, and how Emma and Hiho felt about that.
  • We talk about how Emma’s knowledge from different industries has been brought across to Hiho and that can help to encourage her to do new things.
  • How an event, like Style, Skills & Silver, has far reaching benefits – not just for skills but also for people’s lives.
  • That people who attended and presented at the event really pushed themselves outside their comfort zones, as much as the people who attended and tried new things did.
  • How the biggest take aways from the day were things that no one could have really predicted.
  • Why working together with other brands is kind of brave, but also hugely valuable and important. We also talk about balance and how some people and brands really embrace collaboration and others don’t. Emma also acknowledges that collaboration isn’t for everyone, but how this is fine too!
  • How people like different things at different times, and how collaboration isn’t just about the pound notes. It’s about far more than that.
  • The importance of authenticity when it comes to collaborations – how this idea might not work for everyone, but how it works for many brands and when it does, it’s great. But we also talk about why it doesn’t work for everyone and can depend on heritage and company DNA.
  • We talk about the next Style, Skills & Silver event – and how this will be in February.
  • How you can find out about the next event and how the people who came to the first event will get a 24 hour window to order their tickets before general release.
  • Why Style, Skills & Silver was a no shopping event and the benefits of this.

Since this episode was recorded the event has been renamed as Hiho & Co and the next event’s theme is around being all you can be. This will focused around helping people tap into their own skills, using them as well as possible, and not fixating on what you can’t do. I’m excited…

To find out more about Hiho Silver, all the links are below. And if you want to find out more about Emma, I’ve included her links too!

Emma Warren:

Instagram

Website

Hiho Silver:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Dimpsey Glamping:

Instagram

Facebook

Website

 

Oh… apps. My iPhone is full of them! Some are fun, some are useful, some are a huge waste of everyone’s time…and some I can’t remember when I last opened them. Yeah, I should probably delete those. Anyway, this episode of the Small & Supercharged Podcast isn’t about apps I don’t use, it’s about apps I do use. Apps that make running business easier. For me at least!

Have a listen here…

Let’s talk about 7 apps that make running a business easier

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 10 – apps that make running a business easier… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • The apps aren’t the ‘obvious’ ones, like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc… they’re essentials in my world!
  • First up is Audible. If you’ve followed me for any time at all, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of audiobooks. I know you can listen to them in a variety of ways, but the way I’ve been enjoying most is Audible. I do have a subscription which is about £8 a month. This might sound a lot, but for that you get a book each month. If you pay per audiobook, it’s a lot more. And you can’t get many new books for that price either. Here’s more about my obsession with Audible.
  • Quickbooks is the second one. I’m still not sold on the whole concept of invoicing software BUT I can completely see how it can be hugely useful. There are lots of different ones available that allow you to invoice on the move. The concept of invoicing via app is definitely a time saving one.
  • Lightroom – I know – I was surprised at this one too. I don’t use filters on my Instagram images but there’s no doubt that my images could do with a little tweaking. I decided I loved it when Sophie Callahan set up the presets for me and now I use them on the vast majority of my images. I take most of my images on my phone and, not being a photographer, I don’t know what I’m doing editing wise, so using something like this is great. It take seconds to get from Camera Roll to Lightroom and back again too.
  • WordSwag. This is a paid for app – it’s a few pounds – but it allows you to create nice graphics on your phone with ease. Perfect for motivational quotes and lots more. Have a look on my Instagram grid for an example. The pale green posts with the interesting fonts are done through WordSwag.
  • Canva. This is one app that I do like BUT I LOVE the desktop version. I do a lot more on the desktop version, but it’s very useful to have it on the phone for minor things I need to do on the move. I do also think they have upgraded the app version. I wouldn’t personally create graphics through the mobile app on my phone (but that’s my personal preference), but the desktop version is superb. And together they work really well. If you’re not sure about Canva or haven’t used it before – here’s my quick guide to how to use Canva.
  • Repost. I do admin a few Instagram accounts for businesses, so Repost is good for me. User Generated Content is a really big deal, and Repost is a good way to repost images properly, with credit (but you still need to ask permission!)
  • DropBox – I use the desktop version a lot, but I do use the app for sharing quite a lot too. It’s a great way to share big files, and I also use it a lot for videos, podcasts and lots more. I also use it if I’m out and about and might need to access files when I’m out – I did this with a seminar I was giving as I knew the slides would be accessible if the tech failed.

All links above lead to the websites, but if you nip over to the App Store, you can view and learn more about the app versions.

There are lots of apps out there that can make running a business easier – these are just seven that really help me.

 

Subscribe to the Small & Supercharged podcast on iTunes

Five ways to promote your equestrian business on social media this ChristmasAre you getting in the festive spirit? Have you got your Christmas stock in and raring to go? Have you planned your social media for the next few weeks on the lead up to Christmas? The thing is, now is most definitely the time to be harnessing social media for your equestrian business… and it’s definitely worth a bit of thought. From the really obvious posts that drive a sale to something a little more thoughtful, here are five ways to promote your equestrian business on social media at Christmas. And, spoiler alert, none of them are advertising…

Five ways to promote your equestrian business on social media at Christmas

  1. Collaborate – I love a collaboration, and there’s no better time than Christmas. Collaborating with businesses that complement yours can be a great way to get in front of potential customers who might not know about you. One of the key points to remember when you’re plotting your collaboration is that a collaboration should benefit all parties. Your equestrian business, the other equestrian business… and your customers too. It shouldn’t be all ‘me, me, me’, quite the opposite actually!
  2. Shoppable links – have you seen that Instagram has now added shoppable links to Stories? I let out a little squeal when this happened a few months ago. If you have a Facebook shop connected and working, this means you can now add shoppable links to Facebook, Instagram and Instagram Stories. It might be simple, but we need to do all we can to make it easy for people to shop. If they need to remember a complicated website address and type that in to their computer/phone before they get anywhere near your business. Well, it’s just not good, is it?
  3. Behind the scenes – and if you’re so inclined you could have some fun with this too. There’s no better time to show what goes in behind the scenes of your business. How are you making sure that people get their orders on time? How are you harnessing the Christmas spirit in what you do? Has the office dog also donned his antlers to get involved? SHOW US!
  4. Competition – competitions can be a great way to raise the profile of your equestrian business. You can either do this on your own or as part of a collaboration with a sponsored rider or maybe another business. Please, PLEASE make sure you competition is easy to enter, complies with all relevant Ts and Cs depending on the platform you are promoting/hosting it on though. Please. For me. And sharing or tagging on Facebook don’t comply. See the Pages Promotion Guidelines.
  5. New products – tell the world about the new equestrian products you have in store ready to delight and excite them. Maybe you can help to show how these new products work together (and even how they work)? What about who they would be good for? Help people. We all need some help at Christmas time and your equestrian business, if promoted well, could be that beacon of fairy lights for all those tired horsey shoppers.

These are five easy ways to promote your equestrian business through social media at Christmas, but there are plenty more too. What’s more, these ideas aren’t JUST for Christmas, oh no, they’ll work all the time. So yes, they might help you promote your equestrian business this Christmas, but take them into the New Year too!

5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram StoriesDid you know that you can use hashtags on Instagram Stories too? Actually, you can hide hashtags on Instagram Stories too!

If you use Instagram at all, you’ll know that hashtags are really important. These nifty little words and phrases prefixed by  a # allow your content to be categorised and searched by these terms making it a lot more discoverable.

But what about Instagram Stories?  You might not realise, might think that not that many people use them, or might thing they would look ugly. Thing is, you can hide a hashtag on an Instagram Story, which means that more people might be using them than you think… and that they won’t mess up any aesthetic either. So, without further ado, here are five ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories.

5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories…

1 – Colour match. This is particularly good for still images or text based posts on a coloured background. You can type your hashtags in and then just use the colour match option to make the hashtags the same colour as the background. This hides your hashtags. Simples.

2. Make them REALLY small. You can make your list of hashtags really, really small by just pinching them and making them tiny. This doesn’t mean they’re completely hidden from view but depending on the image or video, it’ll make them hard to spot.

3. Put them behind a sticker. For this one, just put your list of hashtags onto your Story and then use a Sticker (like Location, Mention or Hashtag) over the top. Shrink the list down and it’s a lot easier to hide!

4. Put them behind a gif or Emoji. The same as the above applies really – get the hashtags added, decrease their size and pop them under a gif or an Emoji as relevant – and then you’ve hidden them on Instagram Stories.

5. Put them behind a shared story. When people tag you in Stories you usually have the option to share on yours (depending on their settings). When this is the case, you can share at full size, but you can also shrink and rotate the shared image and, if you like, you can pop your hashtags behind it. Good eh?!

These are five easy ways to hide your hashtags on your Instagram Stories. Of course, if you want to use them and not hide them, all power to you! You can even use the hashtag sticker if you like (although this will only allow you to post one). But do give it a spin and have a look and your insights to see if it helps the reach of your Stories, you might be surprised.

 

Pssst – Episode 8 of the Small & Supercharged Podcast was all about Instagram Stories… you can listen here

5 easy ways to use Instagram Stories