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?

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!

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.

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!!

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.

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!

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.

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

How to split test your Facebook advert - Rhea freemanHave you heard of split testing? It’s a really clever way to test two ideas and show these to a small amount of your audience (at a lower cost) before launching a full campaign. You can do this with many things, but Facebook adverts have a built in feature that makes split testing a breeze. And here I’m going to tell you the basics of how to split test your Facebook advert (and why you should have a go)

How to split test your Facebook advert

Split testing your Facebook advert is a lot easier than you might think – in fact – there’s an option on the ad platform designed JUST for this! Clever, hey?

  • Go to Facebook Ads manager
  • Pick A/B testing
  • Start creating your ad

How do you split test?

You can split test your ad in a number of ways. On Facebook, you can pic imagery/graphic, audience and caption. You do one of these at a time so you can see which variable has worked the best. If you ran two completely different adverts with different imagery, ad format, audience and caption – how would you know which ‘bit’ had worked?

If you like, you can test each area at a time.

Why would you split test?

Quite simply, to see which advert is likely to get you the best result before you put a lot of budget behind it. You can spend a few pounds over a few days split testing a Facebook advert (you can spend a lot more too, obviously!), but it is so useful. You might find a different style of image performs better, or a reworking of your caption, for example.

Have you tried split testing? 

As I was looking through Instagram Stories on Friday night, something caught my eye. I was watching Jasmine Star’s Insta Stories and under her name it said the filter she was using. The Face Filter to be precise. What was strange was that I hadn’t noticed she was using a filter. And that was kind of the point. This was no ordinary Instagram Face Filter. This was an Instagram Face Filter by Kylie Jenner. And, for me, it’s really changed the game on filters.

What’s an Instagram Face Filter?

First things first, if you’re not sure what I mean by Instagram Face Filter, let me explain. Have you seen people on Instagram Stories with dog ears and rainbows and other craziness on their faces? Yep? Instagram Kylie Jenner Face Filter - augmented reality (1)That’s a Face Filter. They’re usually comical in some way and it’s very, very obvious that one’s in use. But this was different. It wasn’t like that at all.

Kylie Jenner

I am sure you don’t need me to tell you who Kylie Jenner is… but I’m going to because if you don’t know then the next bit of this blog is going to make very little sense to you! Kylie is part of the Kardashian clan, and she has her own make up collection. As you’ll know if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I have no idea about make up. It’s more luck than judgement that I know about her make up range, but I digress…

So what’s the Kylie Face Filter?

It’s a form of augmented reality and an absolute stroke of marketing genius in my opinion. I had a jaw dropping moment when I realised what the filter did and how it worked. So, unlike comical filters, the Kylie Face Filter makes you look, well, really quite good. But it’s more than that. Inside the Kylie filter you can chose from one of eight different looks with the central focus being the lip colour. These eight different options show a range of colours and are, wait for it, based on her lip colour collection. This sounds good – I mean, when I discovered it I was pretty tired and I was not looking my best…. and this filter definitely improved things, put it that way. But it’s SO much more than this. I really believe that this is part of the future of marketing. Want to know how make up is going to look on your with your colouring? Easy. How about furniture in your house? Clothes? All from your phone. Even through on of your favourite apps?

The one obstacle in the way of shopping online has always been that you can’t really see the products and how they’ll look on you through a computer screen. With this kind of technology being used, can you imagine the scope? Can you imagine the potential?

Blummin well done Instagram. Another absolute triumph in my eyes. And I for one can not wait to see how augmented reality grows in this accesible way.

I’m beyond excited to be part of Hiho Silver’s Style, Skills & Silver, which will be taking place at The Fish Hotel, Broadway on Thursday September 6th. I’ve had a few people ping me messages about it, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to have a little chat with your about this fab event. Whether you’re a business, a blogger or a vlogger, I KNOW that you’ll love this event!

What’s #styleskillsandsilver all about?

Well, that’s the hashtag for the Style, Skills & Silver event – but as for the event itself, read on…

The event, hosted by Hiho Silver, has been designed to bring together Hiho’s brand ambassadors, team, brand friends and more under one roof. The day will be lighthearted and fun, but also packed with value. There will be…

  • A style workshop run by Melanie Clarihew from Mackenzie & George, Harriet Edwards aka A Girl About Country, and Karen McConnell aka Karen & Clan
  • A skills workshop run by Rachel Bragg from Sweet Images, Sophie Callahan from Sophie Callahan Photography, Emma Warren from Hiho Silver and Ruth Chappell from Dressage Anywhere, and me too.

And they’ll be lunch, tea, cake and the most amazing goody bag.

What will happen in the workshops?

I’m heavily involved with the Skills workshop, so I’m going to focus in on that! I know that we’ll be learning all about flatlays and have expert advice on how to create them and use them on in our businesses, we’ll have real life examples of how flatlays can work for all businesses including service based ones too. We’ll chat about the power of social media and how to harness it for what you want and we’ll be looking at how to repurpose and use the content you create, to help ensure that all your effort works as hard for you as possible AND generates the response you want. We’ll also be talking about how to manage that little voice in your head that suggests you shouldn’t do things and you shouldn’t try… because what if you’re not good enough? What if you fail? We don’t like that voice… we appreciate his good intentions but there’s no need for that kind of madness in #styleskillsandsilver.

In the Style workshop, the three ladies will be looking at how they style outfits, how accessories make all the difference, and how you can dress up and dress down looks with a few minor tweaks. I’m excited.

But I won’t know anyone at Style, Skills & Silver?

You know me, don’t you? In all seriousness, I know all the ladies involved and they are all absolutely lovely and within a few minutes you’ll feel like you’re lifelong buddies. I also reckon that you’re connected to a lot more people than you think. That’s the beauty of social media. I know a lot of people from my Small & Supercharged group are going, so if you’re in there, it’s a great place to meet the people you chat to. In real life. And if you’re not in the group, you should join now… here’s the link.

But in all seriousness, I get it. It can be really daunting to think you’re going to be spending the day with people you don’t know and you’ll be on your own and isolated. You won’t be. The way the workshops are designed means that you’ll have lots of chances to engage, interact, chat and enjoy. Yep, the day will be really interesting and you’ll be learning new skills, but you will also have chance to speak to people, pick up ideas to help you grow and develop your business or blog, and meet new people. And if you’re feeling funny, I’ll be the tall one eating the sweets and the cake – we can have a chat, OK?

OK, you’ve twisted my arm, how do I book a ticket for Style, Skills & Silver?

I know that #styleskillsandsilver only have a few tickets left, so crack on! You can book up through EventBrite here. If you have any other questions, just drop me an email or a DM. I promise you that I won’t bite and that I’m really looking forward to the event. I should be able to answer your questions, but if I can’t, I will find the answer! Hope to see you on 6th September in Broadway!