Lincolnshire Lockdown V2.0 With #LincsConnect

Lincolnshire Lockdown V2.0 With #LincsConnect

Lincolnshire Lockdown

Lincolnshire Lockdown V2.0 isn’t what we want but we can work together to turn it to our advantage. If you work with #LincsConnect we can get results together. As the country enters its second Covid-19 lockdown on Thursday 5 November we need a plan. Lincolnshire has been in this situation before and as a result we’re better prepared now. Do you have a plan for Lincolnshire lockdown V2.0?  Your first round of plans may have worked well and as a result you’re just needing to make some minor adjustments to keep trading. Perhaps the first lockdown was a disaster for you? As a result you’ve tweaked and manipulated your plan to make it work this time. Good for you, that’s exactly what is needed to keep going.

Free Advertising

We all like something that’s ‘free’ but we probably also know that nothing is truly free! Twitter – that’s free! Facebook and Instagram are also free too so where’s the catch? Simple! If you want ‘free’ advertising you’re going to have to invest your time. By investing your time your posts are more likely to be seen and acted upon. Would you like to know how to do it?

Social Media Interaction

I’ve said it many times before, the clue is in the name. ‘Social’ media should be exactly what it says in the title. Actually ‘talk’ to your followers.

There’s a TV advert for a room freshener implying that the character has gone ‘nose blind’.  In social media terms, if you post, post, post with no interaction your followers will see your posts but they won’t register in their mind.  However, if you ‘talk’ to your followers they’ll remember you as that nice person/business who takes an interest.  Obviously talking to your followers doesn’t mean telling them how good you are and what you have to sell them.  Instead, you need to show an interest in other people to let them know you care about them. Given time they will ask you what you do and what you have to offer.  As a result, you don’t need to do the ‘hard sell’.

 

Lincolnshire Discount Scheme

Would you be interested in joining a local discount/special offer scheme?  A scheme where ‘you’ set your discount level or special offers.  As a result it could lead to more people visiting your social media pages and/or shop and buying your products. Shopping in your physical store, website or virtual store could suddenly be more appealing.  What if the logo is readily downloadable from social media platforms to be stored on a mobile device ready for use when shopping? Matching the downloaded logo from a smart phone with the logo displayed in your window, on your social media page or website to claim a special offer sounds appealing.

What if the download is free? Surely that would make it even more appealing to the shopper. As a result they try your shop over others because they know there is something in it for them. Store cards sound great but often don’t live up to expectations! What if you offered a 5% discount to customers who present the logo? Perhaps you might prefer to have a special offer on selected items rather than all of your stock. It’ll work for service providers too of course.

Feedback Please

Does this discount/offer idea sound good to you?  I really need your feedback (positive or negative) before I decide to take the idea forward so please do let me know your thoughts.  You can leave a comment at the bottom of this blog or email me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk

Advert

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Help Me, Help You

To help me help you please add a link to this blog in your social media advertising.  If you’re talking about Christmas, Christmas gifts, Christmas offers and postage you can add a link to this blog to help explain that you’re trying to compete against ‘the big boys’ but at the same time you’ll be increasing readership of this blog.  With that achieved I’ll be able to reach out to more people to help advertise your business.  We really can help each other.

Incase You Missed It

Local Shopping

Below is a list of some local traders taking part in the #LincsArtCraftHour on Monday lunch times. Please take a look to see what they have to offer. After all, Christmas ‘is’ coming and I’m sure that you’ll agree that it’s good to support our local traders:

Twitter, Facebook & Etsy/Folksy          

Twitter:      @MelLangtonArt Facebook:                       Mel Langton Art

Twitter: @BurtonWardCraft Facebook: BurtonAndWard      Etsy/Folksy          BurtonWardStudio

Twitter:      @origartprints Facebook:        fiduncart

Twitter: @elliestreasures Facebook:     elliestreasures     Etsy/Folksy:    elliestreasuresuk

Twitter    @chrisdobbinart Facebook:     watercolourportraits    Etsy/Folksy:   ChristineDobbinArt

Twitter: @Amanda_Schonhut Facebook:          aschonhutphotography

Twitter:  @jpbphotography Facebook:                 Light And Dreams Photography

Twitter: @Scarletimpress1 Facebook:                    Scarlet Impressions Art                      Etsy/Folksy Scarletimpressions

Twitter:    @EnglandCreate Etsy/Folksy:            Create-England

Twitter:         @ShaliniAustin   Facebook:      Shalini.Austin

Twitter:       @Blackbird1976 Etsy/Folksy:   HDArtandIllustration

Twitter:      @KcbraidsBeads Facebook:                       KC Braids And Beads   Etsy/Folksy:     KCBraidsandBeads.

Twitter: @Anitas_Cards_4U Etsy/Folksy:  HeCraftsAndSheCrafts

Twitter:         @TuluDraws    Facebook:                                Tulu Draws 

Twitter:    @JaneHaighArt Facebook:                         Jane Haigh Country Art

Twitter:     @2021VisualArts Facebook:                            20-21 Visual Arts Centre

Twitter:    @MadeWithMud Facebook:                           Made With Mud Etsy/Folksy:               Made With Mud

Stay Safe

Look after yourselves and you neighbours.  I’ll be back with another blog very soon.

 

For A Lincolnshire Christmas Use #LincsConnectChristmas

For A Lincolnshire Christmas Use #LincsConnectChristmas

For A Lincolnshire Christmas Use #LincsConnectChristmas

If you’re wondering who is posting on the hashtag I suggest you have a look today. For a Lincolnshire Christmas use #LincsConnectChristmas on your tweets to reach more local people. Don’t forget to search the hashtag too because you’ll find lots of lovely gift ideas there.  The hashtag isn’t just for Twitter though;  There are posts on Facebook and Instagram too so go to your search bar and type in #LincsConnectChristmas to see what comes up.

A Lincolnshire Christmas

I don’t want to say ‘I told you so’ but…. I told you so way back in September! Christmas is coming early this year as people fear uncertain times ahead.  Christmas shopping has started early for most people. If you’re a small business who isn’t prepared yet you’re in danger of missing out on your local market.

Many people have started (or already finished) Christmas shopping! With that in mind, coupled with the growing numbers of unemployed ‘The Big Boys’ will be putting on some huge discounts to increase High Street footfall and spending.  If you’re a small business and not yet selling your Christmas products you really are in danger of missing out. I’ll say it again “For A Lincolnshire Christmas Use #LincsConnectChristmas” – it’s obviously a seasonal hashtag but the #LincsConnect hashtag is here for you every single day of the year so please feel free to use them both.

Shop Online I Lincolnshire And Beyond

Shopping online is set to increase with the multi-nationals gearing up to steal the market.  ‘Now’ is the time for the local independent traders to get their offers onto their websites and online shops. Don’t expect everyone to find you and buy your products though.  You have to earn that right!

Once you’ve posted your goodies onto your online shop or local High Street shop you need to be working flat out to advertise. Continuous posting on social media will bring sales but not enough.  You need to interact with people to get them to want your product. Sell, sell, sell doesn’t work on social media so for best results get chatting.  Obviously your followers know what you do so you’ll need to reach out to new customers if you want to make your advertising work. Online shopping is very attractive in the current pandemic so ‘now’ is the time to get talking and making your social media sites look Christmassy.

Lincolnshire, Regional and National Deliveries

Many items can be posted in the normal way of course but if you have awkward sized gifts you might want to employ a courier. Including the cost of the courier in the sale price of the gift is an ideal way to plan finances so perhaps negotiating with local couriers early will be your best bet.

Click on the picture to visit @manwhitevanhire on twitter

Travel may be a problem this year so grandparents may want to send a bike to grandchildren by courier. What about plants? Transporting plants by post can be difficult so a courier may be your best option. Negotiating rates early may be a good idea so perhaps now is the time to get it organised.

Charity Shops

Don’t forget our local charity shops when you’re shopping this year. Many people have been de-cluttering during the lockdown and charity shops have had a bumper intake of stock. Perhaps now is your chance to grab a bargain while helping out your local community. Many items will be brand new too so it’s always worth popping in.

Advert

Stresses can increase during this time of year and injuries never take a holiday so contact @MandarinTherapies for your Covid19 safe treatments. Tel 07966 174878. Emergency services and Armed Forces enjoy 20% discount too. 

Help Me, Help You

To help me help you please add a link to this blog in your social media advertising.  If you’re talking about Christmas, Christmas gifts, Christmas offers and postage you can add a link to this blog to help explain that you’re trying to compete against ‘the big boys’ but at the same time you’ll be increasing readership of this blog.  With that achieved I’ll be able to reach out to more people to help advertise your business.  We really can help each other.

Incase You Missed It

Local Shopping

During the recent #LincsArtCraftHour sessions we have seen quite a few artists and crafters joining in and showing their gift ideas.  Below is a list of some of them so please take a look to see what they have to offer. After all, Christmas ‘is’ coming and I’m sure that you’ll agree that it’s good to support our local traders:

Twitter, Facebook & Etsy/Folksy          

Twitter:      @MelLangtonArt Facebook:                       Mel Langton Art

Twitter: @BurtonWardCraft Facebook: BurtonAndWard      Etsy/Folksy          BurtonWardStudio

Twitter:      @origartprints Facebook:        fiduncart

Twitter: @elliestreasures Facebook:     elliestreasures     Etsy/Folksy:    elliestreasuresuk

Twitter    @chrisdobbinart Facebook:     watercolourportraits    Etsy/Folksy:   ChristineDobbinArt

Twitter: @Amanda_Schonhut Facebook:          aschonhutphotography

Twitter:  @jpbphotography Facebook:                 Light And Dreams Photography

Twitter: @Scarletimpress1 Facebook:                    Scarlet Impressions Art                      Etsy/Folksy Scarletimpressions

Twitter:    @EnglandCreate Etsy/Folksy:            Create-England

Twitter:         @ShaliniAustin   Facebook:      Shalini.Austin

Twitter:       @Blackbird1976 Etsy/Folksy:   HDArtandIllustration

Twitter:      @KcbraidsBeads Facebook:                       KC Braids And Beads   Etsy/Folksy:     KCBraidsandBeads.

Twitter: @Anitas_Cards_4U Etsy/Folksy:  HeCraftsAndSheCrafts

Twitter:         @TuluDraws    Facebook:                                Tulu Draws 

Twitter:    @JaneHaighArt Facebook:                         Jane Haigh Country Art

Twitter:     @2021VisualArts Facebook:                            20-21 Visual Arts Centre

Twitter:    @MadeWithMud Facebook:                           Made With Mud Etsy/Folksy:               Made With Mud

Stay Safe

Keep a mask on and your hands clean to protect yourself and everyone else around you.  Happy shopping and happy selling folks.

 

Don’t Rely On Algorithms For Lincolnshire Connections

Don’t Rely On Algorithms For Lincolnshire Connections

Don’t rely On Algorithms

Don’t rely on algorithms for Lincolnshire connections. In short, a computer algorithm can be set to find a solution to a single or set of questions.  If you wan’t any further information about algorithms I’m afraid I’m not the person to ask!  However, I do know that social media platform use algorithms to plot your interests and feed you the information it thinks you want to see. If that’s the case, it’s pretty obvious that you don’t rely on algorithms for Lincolnshire connections unless you use key Lincolnshire phrases regularly. Cast your mind back to the last elections.  If you were a Jeremy Corbin supporter and posted messages of support you will have been fed more information about him for you to see and comment on. Likewise, if you were a Boris Johnson supporter you will have been fed information about him.  From what I can tell, you will have been fed information (good or bad) about politics at the time but with emphasis on your preferred leader or political party.

That sounds great; you’re getting to see all the information you want (good or bad, true or false).  However, you may have been steered away from your primary goal which is doing businesss with your Lincolnshire neighbours.

I’m not a football fan so I don’t see posts about football.  I do like to help and support all sorts of local businesses, charities and organisations though so I get to see a wide range of messages on social media. The algorithms have identified that I like Lincolnshire and connecting with Lincolnshire people to help and support them. However, if you’re mainly posting about football it’ll be pretty clear that you don’t rely on algorithms for Lincolnshire connections.  However, help is at hand…

Connecting Lincolnshire – Reset The Algorithms

From what I can gather, the more you engage with the information fed to you by the algorithms, the more you are likely to see related posts.  I have a hunch though that you can bypass the original algorithms and reconnect with your Lincolnshire friends using these methods:

Lists

On twitter you have the option to Create lists. I have lots of Lincolnshire lists ranging from ‘Accountants’ through to ‘What’s On’ with all manner of Lincolnshire trades in multiple lists (depending on their expertise) as well as geographical location.  You can create a list and call it whatever you like and you can add or remove people to/from the lists at will. You can even make the lists private or open for everyone to see.  Looking at your lists you can quickly see the recent posts by the people you want to hear from.  It’s an excellent way to keep up to date with your favourite social media friends or influencers.

Hashtags

The beauty of the hashtag is that it is useable across various social media platforms.  If you type into your search bar ‘Lincolnshire’ you’ll see all of the posts that have used that hashtag.  However, that could be overwhelming as so many people use that tag.  I’ve seen many, many people adding the hashtag #ShopLocal to their posts but I have a strong suspicion that they haven’t searched the hashtag to see what’s on it!  If you want to sell something ‘locally’ to Miami, Adelaide or Ontario then by all means carry on using that hashtag.  However, if you really want to get the attention of your local Lincolnshire, Newark, Retford or Hull based contacts you need to be using the hashtag #LincsConnect.  Try searching it now to see who and what pops up.  I can guarantee that it’s going to be local.

#LincsConnect

My account has been through several guises before I settled on #LincsConnect.  Would you believe that I even created the hashtag #ShopLocal over 11 years ago? It quickly became evident that, although it was extremely popular, it was neither use nor ornament for the local Lincolnshire area.  After a few months I stopped using it and tried several other hashtags before settling on the one we all know now.

Connections In Lincolnshire

Searching the hashtag #LincsConnect will instantly show you who has been posting locally.  The easiest way to connect with people is to get into polite conversations so why not give it a go now? The more conversations you have with local people on #LincsConnect the more the algorithms are likely to pick up what you want to see and feed you more relevant information.

What Else?

The #LincsConnect hashtag is an ideal way to search and connect locally but there are also some other hashtags that you may be familiar with that will be more specific to you;

If you’re looking for local traders to support or are a local trader yourself with something to sell or offer for Christmas you might want to search the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag or add it to your posts for more people to see.

I’m sure this doesn’t need any explanation?  If you’re looking for jobs or are advertising jobs the #LincsConnectJobs hashtag will be very useful to you.

Two hashtags! Adding a hashtag to a post sends your message to the relevant section in a massive global database.  If you add two hashtags your message will be sent to both locations in the database. Using a specific ‘hour’ hashtag is extremely useful and can help you reach people with the same or similar interests as you.

Get The Picture?

In summary, the algorithms can steer you away from the people you really want to talk to so don’t rely on algorithms for Lincolnshire connections! Using the hashtag #LincsConnect and making your own lists can bring you back to the people you want to connect with.  Adding a picture or video to your message will help you to be seen but it will also allow you to put a lot of information into a poster while making your initial message short and to the point.

New Lincolnshire #LincsHours

Would you be interested in joining a new themed #LincsHour to help you connect with like minded people as well as new customers?  Some of my plans include #LincsGardenHour #LincsFoodHour #LincsCharityHour #LincsHealthHour #LincsITHour ….

I have lots of new plans for the new website but can’t run everything at the same time.  With that in mind, would you like to take on one of the hours?  It’ll help you connect with lots more people while at the same time encouraging people to use and search the #LincsConnect hashtag to expand our readership and support network.

Lincs To Past Blogs

I hope you find this blog of mine interesting. Simply click on the blue link below to go straight to the blog:

Help Me, Help You in Lincolnshire

Advert 

#MandarinTherapies provides Covid Safe bespoke mobile complementary therapies sessions from the comfort of your own home in and around Lincolnshire. Call 07966 174878 to book your appointment today

Local Shopping

During the recent #LincsArtCraftHour sessions we have seen quite a few artists and crafters joining in and showing their gift ideas.  Below is a list of some of them so please take a look to see what they have to offer. After all, Christmas ‘is’ coming and I’m sure that you’ll agree that it’s good to support our local traders:

Twitter                                        Facebook                                        Etsy/Folksy                                      Website

@MelLangtonArt                        Mel Langton Art

@BurtonWard9                          Burton&Ward                                     Burton Ward

@origartprints                            fiduncart artist 

@elliestreasures                       elliestreasures                                     Ellies Treasures UK

@chrisdobbinart                       watercolourportraits

@Amanda_schonhut               Amanda Schonhut Photography

@jpbphotography                    Light And Dreams Photography 

@Scarletimpress1                   Scarlet Impressions Art                        Scarlet Impressions

@EnglandCreate                                                                                  Create-England

@ShaliniAustin                        Shalini.Austin

@Blackbird1976                                                                                   HDArtIllustration

@KcbraidsBeads                     KC Braids & Beads                              KC Braids & Beads

@Anitas_Cards_4U

@TuLuDraws                          TuLuDraws

@HeyBeretDesigns                                                                             Hey Beret Designs

@JaneHaighArt                     Jane Haigh Art

@2021VisualArts                   20-21 Visual Arts Centre

@MadeWithMud                    Made With Mud                                    Made With Mud

Advertising

Would you like to advertise on the #LincsConnect blogs? You could be reaching a wider Lincolnshire audience if you do so please get in touch if you’re interested. You’ll be able to speak to me on 07966 174878.  Likewise, if you have a blog that you would like linking here please get in touch.

Stay Safe

Covid 19 is still around and threatening to disrupt our lifestyle once again so please follow the rules.  Wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth, keep a safe distance from other people and keep washing your hands.  Don’t forget to clean your trolly and sanitise your hands when supermarket shopping and keep your distance wherever possible.  It could save your life!

 

 

 

Christmas ‘Is’ Coming To Lincolnshire

Christmas ‘Is’ Coming To Lincolnshire

Three Months And Counting Down…

As I write this blog (25 September) it’s exactly three months until Christmas.  Yes, I’ve said it again …. ‘Christmas’ is coming and Lincolnshire businesses need to be ready for it.  I’ve been talking about it for a few weeks and now the BBC have finally caught up with me. Dare I say, if you haven’t started gearing up for Christmas you’re already late to the party!  The major shops are gearing up for Christmas NOW with predicted record online sales. To those of you who groaned when I mentioned Christmas I sincerely hope you manage to catch up with the traders who are already planning. The big spending retailers ‘will’ take your market from under you so isn’t it time to get your advertising sorted?

Don’t forget, Christmas ‘is’ coming to Lincolnshire so make sure you’re prepared.

Click on this picture to find out what you’ve been missing on Twitter

 

Time To Catch Up

You may already know about the Lincolnshire based #LincsArtCraftHour and #LincsConnectChristmas hashtags on twitter but did you know that the hashtags also work on Facebook? Try it today because it’s free and local. Just type in #LincsConnectChristmas to your Facebook search bar to see what and who are there. FREE and it’s LOCAL sounds good so isn’t it time you engaged with the hashtags?

Search for the hashtags on Google, you’ll find that they’ve been ‘trending’ – now ‘that’ really is impressive! Follow the links below to go to the relevant pages for the Lincolnshire people who’ve already started planning and producing fabulous creations for Christmas.  The blue links under their logos will take you straight to the relevant pages to make life easier for you too.

Join The List

To have your name added to this list just join in the Twitter hour on Monday lunchtime to qualify. It doesn’t matter if the day or time doesn’t fit in with your schedule because the hashtags are always there and ready for you. Shouldn’t you try it  today in when you have a moment? Additionally, if you’d like to have a feature here and a link to your website please talk to me about advertising. The rest is FREE.

Remember, the #ShopLocal hashtag doesn’t work as a medium to get local customers because it’s used so widely around the world. Trust me, ‘I’ invented it!  As a result I went on to invented #LincsConnect and can assure you that this hashtag ‘does’ work. After all, it’s truly local to Lincolnshire and our neighbours.  You can use and search the #LincsConnect hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to find your truly local traders so why not give it a try today?

Christmas ‘is’ coming to Lincolnshire so should.t you be a part of it?  #LincsConnect is always here for you.

Twitter:      @MelLangtonArt Facebook:                       Mel Langton Art

Twitter: @BurtonWardCraft Facebook: BurtonAndWard      Etsy/Folksy          BurtonWardStudio

Twitter:      @origartprints Facebook:        fiduncart

Twitter: @elliestreasures Facebook:     elliestreasures     Etsy/Folksy:    elliestreasuresuk

Twitter    @chrisdobbinart Facebook:     watercolourportraits    Etsy/Folksy:   ChristineDobbinArt

Twitter: @Amanda_Schonhut Facebook:          aschonhutphotography

Twitter:  @jpbphotography Facebook:                 Light And Dreams Photography

Twitter: @Scarletimpress1 Facebook:                    Scarlet Impressions Art                      Etsy/Folksy Scarletimpressions

Twitter:    @EnglandCreate Etsy/Folksy:            Create-England

Twitter:         @ShaliniAustin   Facebook:      Shalini.Austin

Twitter:       @Blackbird1976 Etsy/Folksy:   HDArtandIllustration

Twitter:      @KcbraidsBeads Facebook:                       KC Braids And Beads   Etsy/Folksy:     KCBraidsandBeads.

Twitter: @Anitas_Cards_4U Etsy/Folksy:  HeCraftsAndSheCrafts

Twitter:         @TuluDraws    Facebook:                                Tulu Draws 

Twitter:    @JaneHaighArt Facebook:                         Jane Haigh Country Art

Twitter:     @2021VisualArts Facebook:                            20-21 Visual Arts Centre

Twitter:    @MadeWithMud Facebook:                           Made With Mud Etsy/Folksy:               Made With Mud

Advert

Christmas is coming so now is the time to order your Lincolnshire Christmas Gift Voucher for that extra special gift. A luxurious Mandarin Therapies bespoke massage from the comfort of your own home. What better way to let someone know how much you care? Call now to book your voucher 07966 174878. Click on the picture to start the video

Lincs To Past Blogs

Help Me, Help You

What are your thoughts on holding more LincsConnect dedicated Twitter hours? Try following the link above to read some of my ideas and perhaps come up with some of your own.  The more people interact with these hashtags, the more we will be able to help each other.  Give it a try.

If you’re a Lincolnshire blogger and would like to have a link to your blog on here?  I’ll be more than happy to hear from you.

Download The Covid-19 App

Get the Covid-19 App NOW. If you haven’t got it already, click on this picture to go straight to the NHS website that will help you produce the required posters and direct you to the .Gov link to produce your own QR code. It’s easy – even I can do it!

Create A Coronavirus QR Code For Your Venue

Click on this picture to go straight to the relevant .Gov website page 

 

If you are a Lincolnshire business, charity or organisation that has a venue or multiple venues you need to generate a QR Code for visitors to scan using the new Covid-19 App.  The QR code will be sent to your email address for you to print and display.

Mobile businesses can still generate a QR code with your home or office address as the location. On arrival ask your client(s) to scan your QR code.  The App will scan distances between smartphones and will send an alert to the person or people you have been in contact with if there is a risk of infection.  It’s pure voluntary and does rely on people having the App on a smartphone but, as the saying goes, ‘every little helps’.  Obviously it isn’t a substitute for keeping a 2m safe distance, washing your hands or wearing a suitable face covering over your mouth and nose but it is another tool to be utilised in the fight against this invisible virus.

Stay Safe

Be good to yourself and to others.  Keep your distance, keep washing your hands and keep a mask that covers both your nose and mouth with you and wear it as instructed.

You can find Lincs Connect on twitter @LincsConnect or on Facebook Lincs Connect

Saving The Planet – Online

Saving The Planet – Online

On The Plus Side…

Covid-19 has wreaked devastation across the world with many lives lost while others have become (and remain) seriously ill as a result of this deadly virus.  ‘Normal’ has changed over the last few months with travel, work and personal restrictions causing much disruption and heartache.  Finances have been seriously challenged for all of us be that directly or indirectly but we have also shown remarkable resilience and a desire to keep going.  Some industries have carried on as normal while others have had to significantly increase working practices to cope with demand.  Others, on the other hand, have suffered greatly with many paying the ultimate price of permanent closure.

On a positive note though, many of us have adapted our working practices to keep going which has in turn resulted in a significant reduction in pollution, fossil fuel emissions and litter.  On a personal note I have significantly reduced my vehicle use by taking my work online.  The knock on effect of that has been that my clients have been able to manage injuries, carry on with their rehabilitation programme under personal instruction, maintain their strength and monitor fitness levels as my training programmes have been adapted for home exercise.  Those training at home have also had reduced car usage of course so the reduction in the burning of fossil fuels has been reduced even further.

While I’m used to visiting clients in their home, the lockdown has made me re-evaluate my working practices.  The home exercise sessions really do seem to be the way forward and I will definitely keep them going.  I had been looking for ways to become more environmentally friendly with my working practices so this is definitely a step in the right direction.

I’m Not Alone

Since many people have turned to working online through Zoom, WhatsApp Messenger or FaceTime video sessions my thoughts have turned to those who have been doing it for some time.  I do wonder why it’s taken me so long to catch up of course but having been forced into a new practice I wonder how many others will continue with the online working practice too.  It’s not until I start to apply the ‘grey matter’ that I realise how many businesses have already been working successfully online.  How many can you think of?  I’m aware that authors have been selling online for some time as we have become accustomed to buying books for our e-readers.  Many courses and tutorials have been firmly embedded into the online platforms too while shopping online has become the norm.

Libraries

Lincolnshire Libraries (@lincslibraries on twitter and Lincolnshire Libraries on Facebook) are set to reopen on 13 July with a phased reopening of their larger premises first and hubs/mobile libraries opening later in the season.  However, although there is a real joy (well, there is for me anyway)! to be had when browsing through the physical books on the shelves it has to be said that our libraries have really stepped up their online services to keep us all happy.  Perhaps you’ve been enjoying some of their audio books, e-books or music from their ‘Freegal Music’ selection?  It’s all online and free with your Library card so if you haven’t already experienced it perhaps now is the time.  Not only will you be accessing the library from your home or mobile device but you’ll be helping to save the planet too by reducing your travel requirements.

If it’s a good read that you’re looking for and are a regular browser of the amazon or Apple libraries youo may have a favourite local author who has been keeping your reading habits and imagination alive.  Some of them have been mentioned in previous blogs of course from the very imaginative books by local Grimsby author Lynette Creswell who sells her books on Amazon (find her on Facebook ‘Lynette Creswell Author’ or via her website www.lynettecreswell.wordpress.com ) and has a new book of short stories ‘The Cat Thief’

Lynette Creswell – A local author based in Grimsby with quite a collection of published books now has a new book ‘The Cat Thief’ – click on the picture for more information.

to factual eBooks about growing vegetables in straw bales.  Simon Gibbins has produced both an e-Book and a DVD which can both be purchased through his website www.strawbaleveg.co.uk

Simon Gibbins is based in Waddington, Lincoln but his e-Book and DVD are both available from his website. Click on the picture for more information

Home fruit and vegetable growing has certainly seen an upsurge during the lockdown so with fresh food readily available in our own garden perhaps shopping habits are set to change again as even more people discover the joy and convenience of home grown produce.  If you fancy giving it a go you can contact Simon through his website or on twitter @strawbaleukman where he also has information about his seed sales as @SeedsSimon

Lockdown Hobbies

While many of us have utilised the lockdown to learn new skills (it’s been blogging for me) it’s worth remembering that many local businesses have been providing their services online for quite some time before the virus hit us.  Rosemary from Inavanti Learning has been providing language courses on an individual basis with online learning to compliment her sessions but during the lockdown she has moved exclusively to online sessions.  It can’t have escaped your notice that Lincolnshire is a large County so for a business based in Grantham it’s important to be able to reach customers both near and far.  ‘Online’ is most definitely the way forward, not just for reach and accessibility but for reducing traffic and helping to look after our planet.  Schools have had to embrace the technology to keep in touch with students but as the schools gradually return to building based lessons it’s important to know that personalised online learning is very much available for you.  ‘Thank you’ to the dedication and hard work of private tutors like Rosemary.

Inavanti Learning – click on the picture to go straight to the website. This could be the start of your next journey…

 

Inavanti Learning – Click on the picture to watch the Inavanti video and get a feel for your next learning experience.      

 

Download It…

Music is part of the online and download revolution with lots of platforms available to artists of any genre. I often search YouTube to listen to local artists so, as I’m writing about ‘online’ I thought it would be a good time to share some local bands here:

Trak3 Official is a Grimsby based band singing rap. I’ve chosen ‘Caught Up’ as a featured track here but please keep in mind that other tracks of theirs do contain swearing. Click on the picture to hear the YouTube track and don’t forget to give them a follow on Twitter @TRAK3_Official 

If you fancy something different this very young band from Cleethorpes definitely deserves a listen.  This group of youngsters really have been doing some good things and have been getting their name around the music scene quite successfully too.  Have a listen to ‘Bullet’ and don’t forget to see what else they have on their Youtube channel:

Revivalry – A band of youngsters from Cleethorpes doing some great things. Click on this picture to hear the track and don’t forget to give them a follow on Twitter too @revivalryband 

Another great Lincolnshire band destined for great things is Shout Inferno.  They’ve appeared on my tweets and blogs before as one of my featured local bands of the week so it’s no surprise to see them here again:

Shout Inferno – Live at The Sweet Factory. Click on the picture to go to their youTube channel and hear another great song from their library. You can also follow them on Twitter @ShoutInferno 

The Saboteurs have also featured as one of my ‘Local Bands of the week’ and I’m sure you won’t mind if I feature them here too:

SaboteursClick the picture to hear ‘Coraline’ – it’s the latest single from the band and it really is a good one. @sabsbanduk were also a recent addition to my local band of the week feature on twitter and when you hear this track you’ll understand why. I think this band from Sleaford are destined for big things.

Follow The Leader

If you like local music you need to follow Dave @laamb4 on twitter or visit the website for lots more music and arts information.  As usual, you can click on the picture to go straight to the website:

LaambClick on the picture to go to the website. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

A Word From The Sponsor

If you would like to sponsor the next blog please do get in touch.  I hope you like what you see and can see the value in it for local businesses, charities and organisations.  Until next time though, I’ll leave you with a short video by @MandarinMothers who provide bespoke complementary therapies from the comfort of your own home:

Mandarin Therapies and Mandarin Mothers provide bespoke complementary therapies from the comfort of your own home. Why not surprise someone special with a gift voucher today? Visit www.mandatintherapies.co.uk for more info.  Click on the picture to view the video

Back Soon

If you have any suggestions for future blogs please do let me know.

Stay Safe

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#ShopLocal?

#ShopLocal?

Hashtags – Do They Work?

The simple answer here is ‘yes’ and ‘no’!  How many times have you seen posts on social media with the hashtag #ShopLocal on it?  As crazy as it may sound, the hashtag really isn’t much use if you’re using it to help people find you.  It’s fine as a statement of fact on your post but when you search for it you’ll find that the posts are anything but local.  In fact, the posts you’ll find there are for all around the world so if you’re expecting people to find your cheese that you produced in Sleaford I strongly suggest you think again!  When I set up Lincs Connect in 2012 I experimented with several hashtags and names before settling on #LincsConnect.  Other examples of my trial hashtags included #ShopLocal (ironically I created this hashtag in January 2011 for use on my @MANDARINLEISURE account but scrapped it because it went global) #SupportLincolnshire #SupportLincolnshireBusiness #SupportLocal #SupportLocalBusiness with the latter being shortened to #SLBiz. However, my early research made me realise that the ‘Support…’ hashtags were just too long and people refused to use them because of the amount of space they took up on the posts.  Another reason for scrapping them was because they start with the word ‘Support’.  When searching social media for relevant hashtags to do with Lincolnshire you’ll find that typing the letters ‘Linc’ into the search bar will give you LincsConnect on twitter and Lincs Connect on Facebook in the top three names to visit. Compare that to typing in ‘Support’ which will give you all sorts of connotations from TwitterSupport to a whole host of other national and international business support sites. It makes sense then that the hashtag to use on your tweets needs to be #LincsConnect as it is at the top of your searches and is truly local to Lincolnshire.

How To Use A Hashtag

If you’re happily adding hashtags to your post but never searching them you’ve truly missed s trick!  Here’s what to do:  Type in #LincsConnect in your search bar then press enter. Don’t click on the account @LincsConnect as that’ll take you to the account only which means you’ll miss all the good information.  Once your device takes you to the messages on the #LincsConnect timeline you need to look for the ‘Latest’ tab at the top of the Twitter page.  If you type #LincsConnect into the search bar on Facebook you’ll need to look for the ‘Posts’ tab at the top of the page (this’ll also show you related Instagram posts). Once you’ve discovered these pages you’ll realise that there is a huge amount of information, business posts, personal posts, charity posts and requests for help etc etc that are all related to our local area.  Try it now to see what you can find.  It’s a fantastic way to network and find out what’s going on locally.

Supporting Local

How do you support local?  Is it as easy as going to the local shops and picking something from the shelves?  In case you hadn’t considered it before, let me share some of my ideas about shopping and supporting locals:

  1.  Shop locally – supporting local traders by buying their produce in local shops, garden centres, farm shops and markets
  2.  Online – Many local traders have online shops.  A more cost effective way of selling may be via platforms like Etsy shops or even selling directly via social media
  3.  Don’t forget the local charity shops.  Dropping off your unwanted items is absolutely crucial but don’t forget they are there to help raise funds for the many worthy causes that otherwise would’t survive without our support.  Buying from the shops is absolutely essential if the charities are to survive.
  4. Social media – In the 10 years that I’ve been running #LincsConnect I’ve noticed some big changes in how people use the various platforms.  I’ve noticed a big rise in the professionally run accounts (some companies run several accounts for different clients) and I’ve also noticed the reluctance of many accounts to share anyone else messages or support others.  I’ll talk more about these two subjects later.

Obviously there are many other ways to support local businesses, charities and organisation but I’ll focus on my main observations first if that’s OK?

Shop Local

This concept certainly isn’t new.  However, during the Covid19 pandemic it has become much more important and (thankfully) much more prolific.  We know how important our local CoOp, Post office, newsagent and Spar shops are.  Many of them are in walking distance (for those who are able) and stock locally produced products.  Perhaps, with the use of ‘people power’ they might be able to stock more local local produce to help the local economy even further.  A polite request from customers or local traders may be all it takes.  It’s worth a try! In addition to helping to support local traders (including the shop owners and staff) it must have also come to your attention that during the lockdown there have been less emissions, less fossil fuel burned and less litter.  All of these positives are good for the planet so let’s see if we can maintain our recent good practices.

Online

This isn’t something that I have ever considered for my own businesses before Covid19 but it is something that I have been doing during the lockdown.  FaceTime and WhatsApp video calling has been a fantastic way to maintain contact with my clients while reducing my fuel usage in my truck.  It’s definitely a practice that I intend to maintain. During the lockdown I’ve been busy writing blogs and searching for companies who sell online.  Some are using Etsy, some use Facebook and others use Twitter.  I’m sure there are other platforms that are equally as good or even better but I haven’t come across them yet.  The obvious choice and probably the most popular is direct selling from websites.  Many people have their own eCommerce shop on their website which is easily maintained by the trader and convenient for the customer.  If, like me, you are a bit of a technophobe you’ll be able to find website designers who will be able to build a site for you or help you with your existing site.  If you would like to get in touch with any designers please feel free to ask me for some suggestions.  After all, that is what Lincs ‘Connect’ is for!

Charities

I often include charities in my blogs because I feel they need all the help they can get.  I’ve focused on very small charities through to the very big charities and the one thing that they all have in common is their use of social media.  The posts may not raise funds directly but their constant presence certainly helps to raise your awareness of them

Share The Love

Looking at the various accounts on social media I often make up my mind whether I should support them or not simply by looking at their posts.  The ones who never share anyone else posts, have conversations or try in any way to support anyone else is a big red flag for me.  I find myself asking the question ‘why should I support them when they don’t support others and are very unlikely to support me?’ I’m a big believer in helping others so when I find someone who shows no interest other than to post their own tweets I tend to move on to find someone who is more sociable and supportive.

Buying And Selling

I’ve noticed Fiona @OrigArtPrints on Twitter while searching the #LincsConnect hashtag and really like what she has been painting on old maps.  Her main sales come from Craft Shows but obviously they haven’t been open over the last few months so, being creative she turned her attention to Facebook and Twitter for her sales.  Facebook has been successful but Twitter less so.  However, her Twitter account is a good platform for showcasing what she does and for directing people to her Facebook account.  It is important to use more than one platform on social media if you want to increase your client base.  It’ll be interesting to see if future sales turn more towards social media and less towards the craft fairs.  Only time will tell. I think these paintings on old maps are fabulous.  You have to admit, they do bring the map to life. Here is another example:

If you would like more information about Fionas art just click on the picture for a link to her Facebook page. I’m sure she will be happy to see you there and you’ll be Able to see selections of her cards and key rings too.

Websites, Social Media And YouTube

I’m no expert of course but it does appear to me that one of the best ways to find a website (given that you probably didn’t know the sites name or even that you wanted to make a purchase) is through social media.  I’ll say that bit again just to clarify, “through ‘social’ media”.  Why the emphasis on ‘social’?  Well, I’ve noticed far too often that many people are using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show off their products and gain new customers but quite often don’t realise that they need to talk to their followers to get continued engagement and (hopefully) new sales.  Put it this way, if you don’t talk to me on social media I’m not likely to notice you.  On the other hand, if you do talk to me but I don’t talk back you’ll soon stop talking to me.  Either way, I would be the loser so that’s why it’s always best to be ‘social’ on social media! While being pre-occupied with social media I almost forgot about YouTube.  Surely I can’t be the only person who searches YouTube on a very regular basis for music and information?  I do think it’s a great platform for showing your products (you’ll have seen some of my YouTube videos if you’ve been reading my other blogs), courses and skills.  While the social media could drive potential customers to your website the same driving force could apply to YouTube.  I feature a local band of the week each day on twitter and invariably I find the bands on Twitter or Facebook first then either follow a link to their YouTube channel or take a few seconds to search for them in the YouTube search bar.  This band (Saboteurs) from Sleaford have really got my attention this week.  You can follow them on Twitter @sabsbanduk for regular music posts and updates about upcoming gigs when Covid19 restrictions allow.  Alternatively you can go straight to their website www.saboteursband.co.uk for lots more info and a chance to purchase their new album.

The Saboteurs YouTube channel – just click on the picture to go straight there. It’s as easy as that and if you like good Indie music I think you’ll like this too

See You Soon…

I hope you like my brief blog about using social media for selling and finding new customers.  Please feel free to leave a comment below and share the post with your friends and contacts.  Hopefully I’ll see you when I search the #LincsConnect hashtag again soon.

Stay Safe 

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