Digital Automation: friend or foe?

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Entrepreneurs are busy, very busy! So, any opportunity to eliminate some menial tasks, or make the entrepreneurial life easier and more efficient is of course very welcome.

I get the question quite regularly which tools to use to help automate some of the social media workload. There are some great planning tools out there (Later or Hootsuite) as well as design tools that automatically create the right kind of template for you as well as allow you to plan ahead (Canva for example).

You can even take it a step further and work with automated messaging to connect with your followers and potential customers directly. Typeform offers innovative messaging on your website to gain insights into your customer’s shopping needs or just simply getting them to sign up for a newsletter in a more personal way.

You can even send automated responses to new followers on Instagram or have a fully automated conversation with a potential customer. (You can find a good ‘how to’ guide HERE)

+  Pro’s

It simply saves time and lets you plan ahead (great for holidays!). These tools provide a preview and overview you would not get if you post ‘one at a time’ as well as a way to check if your communication fits with your overall marketing plane.

-/- Con’s

If you get a bit complacent and let it run on its own, then it can tip over into the blatantly obvious automated segment which will not have the desired effect on your potential customer. The beauty of social media is that it’s SOCIAL: followers and potential customers expect (and rightly so) to actually be interacting with a person behind the account, so make sure you maintain a personal touch.

A great example of how NOT to use message automation was a recent Instagram messaging conversation I had from my TSE consulting account, which was not only targetting the wrong type of account but also resulted in a very interesting message exchange … enjoy:

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Want to know more about how to find the mix of manual and automated tools that work for your Equestrian Business?

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Focus

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If you’ve been part of one of my coaching series, or free call sessions, then you must have heard me going on about the importance of focus at least more than once. It is so tempting for entrepreneurs, especially if you are working alone, to get caught up in the never-ending ‘to do’ list, trying to do everything at the same time and end up getting… well… not getting a whole lot done.

Here are some TOP TIPS to help you focus on what’s really important for your business:

If it doesn’t fit… don’t do it!

Of course, we all need to pay the bills, fix the bug in the website, call the plumber to get that leak fixed, scroll through the latest Instagram posts or work on the technical drawings of the latest design about to launch, but does it all have to be done right now at the same time? And, is what you’re doing really contributing to your long-term vision, or is it just fun / a distraction? Focus on what’s really going to drive your business, prioritize a few essential to do’s and go for it 100%.

When in doubt, ask yourself the question: what would my boss tell me to do right now?

“nerd hour” vs “play hour”

OK, so 100% focus and doing everything in line with your business vision sounds great, but we can’t be all-in all the time. Carve out two separate time slots in your busy agenda: one for “nerd hour”: the time in which your only priority is to get those bills paid, update the database, work on your long term marketing plan or sort out your office. Then, plan another one for “play hour”: the time in which you let your brain rest a bit, get creative, have a coffee in a new place, be inspired, go to a museum, anything that gets you to think about your business from a different perspective, and helps you relax and re-charge for another busy day of being a best-in-class entrepreneur.

Get it done, then time for fun

Getting ahead in business and staying motivated to reach your seemingly impossible goals can be really hard, you might find yourself losing focus of the really important things that will really drive your business…. especially if you are in the start-up phase. One thing that I’ve learned myself is that if I get the hard, annoying, difficult stuff out of the way first and then allow myself to work on the things I really love, I get a lot more done in the day and it feels like a little reward every time I do so. And, make sure you celebrate your little victories (website live, first product shipped, first 100 followers on Instagram…..) with your friends, loved ones and/or business coach.

Need help structuring your time, finding what’s the most important thing to focus on for your business or just start-up support in general?

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for a free of charge 30 MIN start-up call

The stylish equestrian consulting collaboration with Equitrends Magazine

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Equitrends is THE magazine for retailers, producers, and service providers in equestrian sports. With a focus on the German, Austrian and Swiss market, but with a reach going far beyond the Germanic countries in Europe, Equitrends is the ultimate business to business equestrian platform.

They not only provide a monthly magazine, but are also actively present at the bi-annual SPOGA horse trade fair in Köln with their SPOGA awards program recognising excellence in a variety of categories, but also have a strong collaboration with E-Horses working on providing social media and marketing support.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 08.43.35The stylish equestrian consulting teamed up with Equitrends initially on a style post for their April 2017 issue (read the April article here: equitrends_0417_Archiv country style), which is all about contemporary country style. They have since extended the collaboration to a regular column about winning with social media in the equestrian world. (read the May article here: equitrends_0517_Archiv social media schule )

 

The June issue will be out any day now, you can go to their website and order your trial edition for free right here.

Special thanks goes out to journalist and contributor for Equitrends magazine Jeannette Aretz.

Boosting your brand visibility with targeted social media collaborations

4 seasons in one day

You want a very select group of consumers to get to know your brand, but you’re not sure how to go about it?

Why not work with a select group of social media influencers who can not only showcase your brand to an extremely targeted audience, but also endorse your products with genuine support and product reviews for increased credibility.

A good example is thestylishequestrian.com: a platform that showcases the latest trends and provides daily inspiration for the ultimate street to stable lifestyle. Working with the stylish equestrian has brought small businesses new distribution opportunities and large brands the targeted visibility they require for growing their brand with the right audience.

The stylish equestrian provides tailored visibility packages that include visibility in the signature sets on multiple social media platforms, but also brand ambassador programs that include product reviews, Instagram endorsement to over 31K followers and the option to run give-away competitions.

Want to work with The stylish equestrian or need some advice on how best to increase your brand visibility?

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How to get more likes on Instagram – equestrian style…

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 17.12.26.pngData tells us that colorful pics, particularly those predominantly washed in blue, get the most likes on Instagram (blue, really?). But it takes more than a fast filter to attract, and engage, a dedicated following on instagram.

I’ve done some searching to find the magic formula… which unfortunately doesn’t exist. I did however come across some top tips from the fashion industry and have translated them into equestrian relevant instagramming tips and tricks.

 

1. Be you

If you want to build a real presence on Instagram, you must first and foremost “be you” or keep it real (read more on that here….), and although you should keep your followers engaged with a regular flow of relevant and curated content, there should not be an overdose of you. Most successful instagrammers and bloggers mix it up with a few personal posts and other original content. So maybe mix up the horse selfies or Eskadron sets with a spontaneous snap or an impression of your beautiful barn surroundings.

2. Find your groove

Finding your groove applies to how you pace your posting to the general ‘theme’ of your stream. Being consistent helps followers to get a sense of who you are and really get connected to your point of view. It took me over a year to find my groove, but paying close attention to what your followers want to see, is worth the time spent and the homework done. Find what they love and suits you best and stick with it. This takes time and there will always be a pic with a little less engagement, but keep going. Do you have great shots of you and your horse at competition, or are you best at artistic seat shots, and do your followers respond to these? Keep’m coming!

3. Connect

Want to gain engagement fast without compromising your account by using one of the many like-follow bots out there? Connect! Connect with accounts you love and the ones with followers that you think would be a great fit for your account. Find a creative way to collaborate (don’t just ask for a shoutout, there needs to be a benefit for both of you!) and be active on their accounts. On my own account (@the_stylish_equestrian currently at 28.4K followers) a major growth boost has come from my collaborations with larger accounts in the form of special edition blog posts. This not only got me noticed, but also landed me some great new Instagram friends.

Would you like an objective editing eye to have a look at your Instagram and help you find your groove?

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