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?

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

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.

 

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Equestrian social media – 5 ways to promote your equestrian business on social media this Christmas

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!

Equestrian Social Media – 5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories

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

Small & Supercharged Podcast – Let’s talk about Instagram Stories

Well hello there- and welcome to this Small & Supercharged podcast… well, the show notes. To listen to the Small & Supercharged Podcast, you can listen below or you can follow the iTunes link here. Today it is all about Instagram Stories. I adore these. I add to mine every single day and I love the engagement, the comments, the responses and more I get from it. In this Podcast, all about Instagram Stories, I share why I love them, five ways to use them… and there’s a freebie you can download too. I know, I spoil you. Enjoy…

Let’s talk about Instagram Stories…

 

Let’s talk about Instagram Stories and how you can use them for your small business

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 8 – Instagram Stories. What you’ll hear in this episode..

  • The difference between Stories and the grid… and the difference in the kind of content you’d post on the two
  • How Instagram Stories can be used to show the behind the scenes of images you post on the grid
  • How to access Instagram Stories (sorry if you feel I’m teaching you how to suck eggs. I just think it’s good to make sure everyone can get involved).
  • We talk through the different kinds of Stories.
  • Why I usually do Stories when walking the dog (and why you might like to do something similar).
  • We talk through ‘behind the scenes’ ideas.
  • How you can use them to share a thought, talk about something you’ve seen and loved… or just #firstworldproblems. Such as when you have a hole in your sock… yeah… I’ve added that to notes too. I’ve not got over that…
  • We talk about how you can use Instagram Stories to show a process – taking ‘behind the scenes’ to an extra level.
  • How you can use stickers and how these can encourage engagement and can also create additional content.
  • Using Stories to show what’s new. You should never use social media as a hard sell, but you should use it to tell your customers, fans and followers about you and what’s new.
  • I touch on shoppable links and how these can be integrated.
  • How to hide hashtags in your Stories, and why hashtags are good on Instagram Stories.
  • And for the freebie – download the pdf here about Five Ways To Use Instagram Stories.
  • Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

If I’ve whet your appetite, I have a few blog posts about them too. To get some tips, tricks and hacks to take your Instagram Stories to the next level, they’re all on this website!

Equestrian business – 5 reasons to use social media

Do you use social media in your equestrian business? If you’ve answered this question with anything but ‘yes’ (and ‘meh’ and ‘kind of’ counts as no!), you’re missing out. Social media can be game changing for your equestrian business in lots of ways. I don’t want to overwhelm you and leave you tutting/shaking your head or throwing your computer across the room… so here are just five reasons to use social media in your equestrian business…

5 reasons to use social media for your equestrian business

Reason 1- Equestrians are on social media!
It’s so, so important to be where your customers are. And the good news is for you, you equestrian business owner you, THEY’RE ON SOCIAL MEDIA! With over 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 1 billion on Instagram, there’s a LOT of people to go at… and a number of these are equestrian!

Reason 2 – Your equestrian business can reach new people if you use social media

social media for equestrian businessYour social media won’t just reach your current customer pool – depending on how well you use the platforms, you have the opportunity to reach new people interested in your brand/products and services all over the world… or just a few miles away.

Reason 3 – You can use your social media to show behind the scenes of your equestrian business

Customers and people who might be future customers love this. This might be you receiving a new delivery, opening corporate clothing, visiting a sponsored rider at home… you name it. This allows your customers to see what really makes your equestrian business tick. And you can utilise this ‘behind the scenes’ story telling in so many different ways with video, Lives, filters and effects… the social media world is your oyster.

Reason 4 – It’s free to get started

How many ways to market your equestrian business start at zero cost? Completely free? You can get yourself set up on all the places your customers are NOW and start promoting your equestrian business through social media. Within the next hour you could have fans and followers on all these platforms for nothing. How good is that?!

Reason 5 – People buy from people

Don’t just use your social media as a way to tell people to ‘buy stuff’. No. It’s social media for a reason. And a good reason. It’s the perfect place to be sociable. The internet is the most amazing tool but the screen and a lack of face to face contact can make customers feel distant. And they feel the same distance too. So how can you address that? But using your platforms to communicate directly to them. Become the face of your equestrian business, like you would if someone walked in your shop. This is a great way to bridge this gap in the digital world we live in.

I’m hoping this ‘take five’ blog series will inspire you, make you smile… maybe it’ll just get your head nodding as you enjoy a well earned cuppa and a biscuit. Either way, I’d love you to carry on the chat over on Instagram or Facebook. Hope to see you there.

Small & Supercharged Podcast Ep 4 – how Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter changed the game

In this episode, we’re talking about Kylie Jenner, augmented reality… and how all this matters to your business! This is a solo show, so we’ll be hanging out for the next few minutes. I hope you enjoy it. So, without further ado… shall we have a chat about Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter, augmented reality… and why I’m very excited about both!

Have a listen here…

 

Let’s talk about Kylie Jenner, augmented reality and why Face Filters could rock your business

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 4 – augmented reality, Face Filters and Kylie Jenner… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • What augmented reality is and how you’ve (probably) already used it.
  • How Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter didn’t just make me look a whole lot more polished, it also signalled the start of new applications for this function inside an app.
  • How powerful Instagram really is and how many users it has.
  • How the Face Filter and its application connects to real life sales.
  • How filters could help to bridge the gap between the online and in store shopping experience.
  • How augmented reality could make shopping from home even more realistic and useful than going to a shop.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Small & Supercharged Podcast so you don’t miss an episode! You can find it on iTunes, Spotify and Podcast Player – just search ‘Small & Supercharged Podcast’ or my name. Another perk of having a weird name!!

Small & Supercharged Podcast Ep 3 – Sophie Callahan on commercial photography

In this episode I chat to special guest, equestrian photographer, vlogger, blogger and all round legend, Sophie Callahan. You’ll know I love Sophie from, well, most of my content(!), but on this episode we’re talking about commercial photography. Commercial photography sounds a bit scary, but it isn’t – and more than that, it’s really important for your business. So, over to Sophie… and a huge thanks to her for her help with this episode.

Have a listen here…

Sophie Callahan on commercial photography

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 3 – Sophie Callahan on commercial photography… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • The scope of commercial photography, the kind of shots that can be taken and why. Sophie has done a lot of work for country and equestrian brands and she shares some quite eye-watering examples!
  • How to organise a shoot, whether you’re a brand or service provider
  • How to work out which photographer is the best one to suit your needs, what kind of questions to ask and more.
  • Even though it’s a good idea to find a photographer whose style aligns with your business, a photographer will usually adjust their style, if requested, to align with your brand better… but it’s also important to remember why you chose them.
  • You can be as involved (or not!) as you like. Some photographers will source models, locations and everything else – you just send the product. But there are opportunities to be more involved with your commercial shoot too.
  • What to send your prospective photographers to ensure they understand your vision and can do what you need.
  • Why it’s important to be clear about what you want to do with the images after the shoot. Images for social media, like Instagram, will be taken in portrait rather than landscape, for example.
  • Copyright and what you can do with the images you have taken.
  • The importance of communicating with your photographer to establish what you can and can’t do with the images you have taken.
  • How you can cost shoots and possible different options available.
  • How often you should have a shoot for your brand, whether it’s a service or product based business.
  • Why phones are great, but the camera isn’t what you’re paying for!
  • The importance of good photography on social media.
  • The difference good photography can make, even to eBay sales.
  • Combined shoots and how these can keep the cost of photography and commercial photoshoots down.
  • The difference between lifestyle and packshot photography, if there’s a place for both and how to know which to pick.
  • The value of using photographers who are skilled in your niche for lifestyle images – so using an equestrian photographer for your equestrian business, for example.

A HUGE thank you to Sophie Callahan for being an amazing podcast guest and for helping to demystify commercial photography. Sophie is EVERYWHERE on social media – here is where you can find her:

Thanks so much for dropping in. Don’t forget you can subscribe on Spotify, iTunes or Podcast Player, just search ‘Small & Supercharged Podcast’ or my name.

If you’re an Apple fan, you can subscribe here.

Small & Supercharged Podcast Ep 2 – Social Media Scaremongering

This week we’re having a solo Small & Supercharged Podcast episode with me – and it’s all about social media scaremongering… and why it drives me mad!

Have a listen here!

Social media scaremongering – and why it drives me mad!

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 2 – Social media scaremongering… what you’ll hear in today’s episode…

  • I recorded this episode as I wanted to talk about something that really annoys me –  scaremongering connected to social media algorithms. I see so much of this.
  • Every time a new update is announced on any social media platform, you see all the messages popping up about how it’s the end of the world. You read how Facebook’s dead and how Twitter is dead and how Instagram is dead and how everything is dying and dead because of this algorithm change. I want to tell you why these changes are not a cause for you to panic.
  • The main thing we need to realise here is that these are not our platforms, we have the absolute luxury and privilege to use these platforms for free, yet we can pay to advertise.
  • When some of these algorithm changes happen, it means that perhaps we need to pay to play a bit more.
  • When Facebook announced that they were changing the way that posts for businesses were displayed in the newsfeed, you would have thought that Facebook had announced they were coming to live in all your houses.
  • We’re so lucky that we get the opportunity to be part of these platforms, to be part of this. We don’t have control over it and that’s why it’s really important to grow our following in different ways, which is a subject for numerous other podcasts, but it maybe it should make us think about how vulnerable some businesses are to these changes that we cannot control.
  • The algorithm works on a series of things that we don’t know everything about. People don’t reveal the in-depth elements of that algorithm. All you can do, and I really believe this, is do your best work. Look at the response, adjust accordingly and go again. Rinse and repeat.
  • If you have a post and you put it out there and nothing happens and it’s rubbish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an algorithm is screwing you over. It could mean your post is rubbish. It could also mean you’ve placed it at the wrong time of day. It could also mean that maybe the imagery isn’t as strong. It could perhaps mean the title isn’t getting people engaged. There are loads of different reasons and one of the best ones I heard was just your content isn’t that good?
  • The other thing I think it’s really important to think about when these big social media giants announce these changes, think about why they’re doing it. A lot people will say it’s to make money. But think about it even harder, Facebook has got over 2 billion people using it. If the Facebook community is getting really bored and detached from the newsfeed and they don’t want to click on the apps – we all have a problem!
  • If Facebook didn’t protect its community, it would hurt us all. If people did leave Facebook on mass, it would hurt us all when magazines were really the only way of getting your message out there, which was a while ago.
  • If you are putting out rubbish content, it’s going to hurt anyway, but you need to look at your content. Don’t blame any of the social media platforms, when you put out rubbish content and it does badly, that’s on you. You need to address what you’re doing. You need to do the research, do the legwork. You need to look at what your audience actually care about and you need to create content around that. There’s going to be loads of ways you can do this.
  • Make sure that you are thinking about your customer and you’re creating content that works for them.
  •  It should not all be sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. Social media has got the word social in it for a reason. It’s important to you. Respect your audience, you speak to them, you talk to them, you actually care what they’ve got to say.
  • I know some people who don’t have websites and have everything running through their Facebook page. Please don’t do this. If you do this, look at ways to make sure you are putting your eggs in more baskets. Get yourself a website, start growing your email list.

Thanks so much for tuning into this week’s episode of the Small & Supercharged Podcast – don’t forget to subscribe!

The Small & Supercharged Podcast is here!

I’m a teeny tiny bit excited about this – welcome to the Small & Supercharged Podcast – episode 1…

Yep, the Small & Supercharged Podcast has officially launched! Named after the Small & Supercharged Facebook group (the group I set up to help support small businesses, particularly in the equestrian and rural sector), this podcast is going to be embody the group. It’s going to talk about PR, marketing, websites and social media (of course!), but also interview a range of business owners about their skills and knowledge too. The aim of the podcast is to be a real hub for small business. To help business owners feel a whole lot less alone, more informed and ready for whatever challenges their business life brings.

And, of course, for people who want to join the Small & Supercharged Facebook page and feel more of that community love and support, please accept this as an invitation to join the group… just please fill in the questions!

So, without further ado – here’s episode 1, enjoy!

 

If you liked the Small & Supercharged Podcast (and I’m kind of hoping you did!), the please consider popping over to iTunes and subscribing. And if you’d like to leave a review and rating I would be SO grateful. Thank you.

I’m speaking at TEDxTelford – get your tickets!

TEDxTelfordI’m really, really excited to say that I’ve been invited to give my second TEDx talk this month. The talk will be at TEDxTelford and, like my previous talk, it’ll all be about social media. Of course the actual subject will be slightly different but it’s about social media all the same. I’m really excited to have this opportunity and can’t thank the selectors and the team at TEDxTelford enough. However I want to tell you a little bit more about this talk and about the superb venue it’s being held at. At the time I write this, I know there are few tickets left. I also know that the speaker schedule is incredible. I’m really excited to go and do my talk, but I am also really excited to hear the other speakers that I and anyone attending gets to listen to on the day.

Where is it

TEDxTelford is being held at the Telford Innovation Campus, part of the University of Wolverhampton. It’s a really lovely campus (and really easy to find too!). For someone that only goes places on their satnav(!), trust me when I say it’s really easy to find! The venue is lovely and the campus is clean and there are lots of places to park to. The room that we’re in is nice and airy and as you walk into the main building there is a Formula 3 car on its side. I don’t know why, but this  impressed me, and I spent more time than I should have done taking pictures of it from all angles!

When is it

TEDx Telford will be held on Saturday 29th of September this year. Some tickets are still available, the price includes lunch and a whole day’s worth of amazing talks. When I say amazing, trust me on this. I had a rehearsal last weekend and the talks I heard were absolutely mind-blowing. The journey home was quite something as my little mind kept churning away and thinking of all the superb things I’d heard and how inspiring they were. And I only heard three of the speakers. Altogether there are 16 speakers giving talks on the day. All the talks sound really interesting. I know that you’ll take something amazing away from listening to them.

Who’s speaking?

Well as I said above there are 16 speakers talking at TEDxTelford. The theme is ‘not business as usual’, but within that the topics are hugely diverse. We have social media talks, we have talks about helping to educate children, we have talks about all sorts of things, and they all sound incredible. Here is the link to the TEDxTelford site where you can get a full list of the speakers and the titles of the talks. All the people who are giving talks have had to go through a pretty rigorous application process. Obviously I went through this process so I know(!). Not only did we have to apply giving our credentials and detail the talk and why we should give it, we also had to submit a video. From what I understand, a number of speakers applied and only 16 (including me) were selected. I think this really shows the level of the talks you’re going to listen to because I can’t imagine anybody who applied was anything less of fabulous.

Should you come?

If you’d like to listen to some really superb speakers, feel motivated, and spend the day in a really lovely inspiring setting around people who are there for the same purpose, then absolutely yes. As I said, there are still a few tickets available and I would be going if I wasn’t already speaking at the event.  Another great thing is as this is a day-long event, the speakers will be there over lunchtime and you can go and speak to them if you’d like to. I really like this idea because it means I get to speak to people who have heard or will hear me speak.  It also means that you get to interact with people who you want to ask more about. The thing about TEDx is it’s all about short and punchy talks with most ranging between 10 and 15 minutes as the limit is 18 minutes. I like this idea because it means that people have to really think about what they’re saying and condense whatever they’re saying so you get the key info. The negative side of this is if it’s someone that you’re really interested in and really like listening to you may feel that you want to know more. But you can ask them at lunchtime. How good is that?

So that’s a brief overview of TEDxTelford. I really think if you can come and you’re in the area, do. There are a limited number of tickets and it’s amazing value. If you want to get in get in now, here’s the link. I hope to see you there