Shopping Made Easy

Shopping Made Easy

Click on the picture to go to the Twitter hashtag. You’ll see lots of local goodies there

The Funny Thing Is…

Hashtags! Do you find them confusing? Do you use them but don’t know why? The funny thing is that many people don’t really know how to use them so let me try to quickly explain;  A hashtag is just a label or name given to a section in a very large database.  That’s it!  It’s just a database.  Every time you write a post and use a hashtag your post will go to the appropriate folder in the database.  If you use two hashtags your message will go to two folders in the database.  To search for your messages just go to the search bar in your chosen social media platform and type in the name of the hashtag.  From there you’ll find your post as well as everyone else posts who have used the same hashtag.  However, do be aware that the hashtag is specific to the social media platform you’re using so if you type a message on Twitter you won’t be able to find your post if you search for it on Facebook.

At this point you may be wondering what the hashtag has to do with Shopping Made Easy?  The answer to that is quite simple of course.  Using Twitter just type in #LincsArtCraftHour to your search bar to see what local art, craft, sculpture and photographic posts have been included over the last few weeks.  You’ll find everything from needlework to paintings, cards and photography and the list is growing steadily.  Not only will you find pictures but you’ll also discover links to local Etsy shops and Facebook pages too so you really can shop on line while keeping your money in the local economy.  It’s a win, win situation don’t you think?  To make life even easier for you I’ve included links to the most recent artists & crafters below.

Not on Twitter? Not everyone is of course so if you’re a Facebook user don’t despair because you can still access some of the messages from the local artists by typing in #LincsArtCraftHour to your search bar.

Facebook #Hashtags

If you’re a Facebook user please don’t despair because you can type in the hashtag #LincsArtCraftHour to the search bar to find everything that’s been posted there.  You’ll find several blogs as well as some posts by the local artists.  I haven’t tried it on Instagram yet but I can assure you it will be coming.

What’ve You Missed?

Lots of gift ideas have been posted including Christmas decorations and cards but the question really should be ‘who’ have you missed?  That’s easy to remedy; You’ll find a list below which includes some contact details too

Advert

Breakfast £3.70, Afternoon Tea £7.50 and 3 course dinners available too. What’s not to like? Why not visit The Eatery, 36 Park Street, Lincoln next time you’re in town? Please get in touch first though to book your visit. Just click on the picture to go to the Lincoln Age UK Facebook page or follow them on twitter @ageuklsl It’s all for charity and you get fed at a bargain price too! 

The Local List:

This list is set to grow and grow so please do make a note to keep checking in to see who else has joined us:

Twitter                                        Facebook                                        Etsy                                      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

Advert 

Mandarin Therapies and @MandarinMothers provide a bespoke mobile complementary therapies service throughout the County and beyond. Call 07966 174878 to book your appointment today. Click on the picture to go straight to the Mandarin Therapies Facebook page.

More To Come 

So far the active hashtags are #LincsConnect #LincsConnectJobs #LincsConnectChristmas and #LincsArtCraftHour but keep watching as there will be more interesting hashtags coming very soon.

In Case You Missed It…

Here are some quick links to take you to some more blogs that you may find interesting:

How Will Christmas Look In 2020?

Help Me, Help You

#LincsConnectChristmas

Charity

AgeUK Lincoln & South Lincoln are a registered charity needing your donations. However, you also have the chance to purchase an inexpensive meal here and be pleased to know that the profits will be going straight to the charity.

Let’s face it, you’re older now than when you first started reading this blog! Age creeps up on us all so it’s nice to know there is a charity here to help us when we need it.  If you would like breakfast, afternoon tea or a full meal don’t forget to book your place early.  Breakfast starts at 9.30am.

Stay Safe

Please go ahead and enjoy yourself but lease also remember to stay safe.  Keeping a social 2m distance, regular hand washing and wearing a mask when required will help you, your family, friends and everyone around you.

How Will Christmas Look in 2020?

How Will Christmas Look in 2020?

Christmas 2020

With the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag set to go live on 7 Sep the big question is “Will Christmas be any different for you this year?”

It’s certainly going to be different for me.  Some Christmas traditions will be abandoned completely! Four days in London for festive shopping, to see the lights and to see a show or two…. CANCELLED.  Spending lots of money (probably too much) on presents and ‘niceties’ ….. CANCELLED.  Pantomime on Christmas Eve…. CANCELLED. Festive Christmas Market….. CANCELLED.

Will visits to different Counties for present deliveries still be allowed or will there be travel restrictions? Christmas parties will certainly be different;  A Zoom party may be the best we can expect!  On a different note completely, many people will be experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one.  With lots of deaths as a result of the pandemic lots of families have been affected by the sad loss of loved ones.

Christmas Is ‘Not’ Cancelled

I for one have been affected by the virus, both as a casualty and financially.  Although some symptoms still linger from the virus I’m grateful that they are minor.  Financially I have been hit hard by the virus so a big spending spree this year is most certainly off the agenda.  However, some traditions will remain.  I’m looking forward to getting the decorations down from the loft and seeing the trees decorated.  I’m also looking forward to doing some Christmas shopping (yes, I ‘really do’ enjoy Christmas shopping) even though it’s going to be different this year.  I think it’s going to be important to keep in mind that Christmas ‘is’ coming and will be here on 25th December just the same as it is every other year.  With that in mind I think it’s going to be even more important this year than any other year to support our local traders.  The temptation may be to ‘go online’ to shop and have the presents delivered but please don’t forget that our local traders supported us throughout the pandemic whenever they could and will be more than happy to help with your shopping needs now.  It’s been a very steep learning curve for many but the majority of our local businesses have adapted well to the concept of ‘click and collect’ or home deliveries.

Shop Early

If we are to see our local businesses continue to thrive we need to get behind them more than ever now.  The supermarkets had bumper sales during the lock down while most local traders struggled to keep afloat.  Our High Street has changed with many big name shops either shedding staff or closing for good.  If we are to see our economy grow, ‘now’ is the time to support the smaller shops, markets and sole traders.

#LincsConnectChristmas 

The #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag will be live from lunch time on Monday 7 September so I have two very important requests:

1.  Please use the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag on your Christmas tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts

2.  Please, please, please search the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag on social media to see what local messages/offers have been posted.

Don’t know how to search a hashtag?  Actually, it’s really easy.  All you have to do is go to the search bar on your chosen social media platform and type in #LincsConnectChristmas and look at the latest posts.  Yes, it ‘is’ that easy!

#LincsArtCraftHour 

The #LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour starts on Monday 7 September so please make a note in your diary to visit the hashtag every Monday from 12.00pm.  The hashtag should gain momentum each week and it’ll be an ideal way to shop for local gifts either for Christmas or for any other occasion. In fact, who needs a special occasion? The thing is with art, craft, sculptures, jewellery, decorative furniture and nice things to hang on your wall or put on a shelf, you never know when you’ll find that one single item that really catches your eye and calls out to you in its own special way.  Obviously we don’t all like the same things so a diverse array of goodies is what we need and a regular look at the hashtag to see what new items have popped up.  Even if you’re not in the market for a new item it’s worth having a look just to help support some local traders by sharing their posts.

More To Come

If there is enough interest I’ll happily include more hashtag hours to help our local traders.  How about #LincsAuthorsHour #LincsMarketsHour #LincsGardeningHour ….. What would you like to see?  Please take a look at one of my previous blogs to give you some ideas:

Help Me To Help You

Click on the picture or on the blue link to go to the ‘Help Me To Help You’ blog 

Help Is At Hand

I touched on the subject of bereavement at the start of the blog but some of you may have found yourselves taking on a carers roll too.  If this is you or you know someone who is caring and could do with some support have a look at this checklist from Age UK:

Click on the picture to go straight to the main website and don’t forget that there is always support and advice available from @AgeUKLindsey and @AgeUKNELincs

Advert

Mandarin Therapies provides bespoke mobile complementary therapies and injury rehab across Lincolnshire and beyond. NHS, 999 services and Armed Forces are also entitled to 20% discount.

If you would like to have an advert here or provide a guest blog please get in touch.

Stay Safe

Don’t forget to wear your mask as directed and wash your hands regularly.  We need to keep on top of the hand washing if we are to conquer this virus.  Stay safe and look out for your neighbours.

#LincsConnectChristmas

#LincsConnectChristmas

#EatOutToHelpOut Ends But…

The #EatOutToHelpOut scheme officially comes to an end on Bank Holiday Monday 31 August and I sincerely hope it has been a great boost to our local businesses and economies.  Not all of us have been able to take advantage of course as we’ve experienced some serious income deficits during the lockdown period.  However, ‘every little helps’ so let’s hope that the restaurateurs have been able to recoup enough income for them to feel confident to spend more of their money locally.

Recession?

We’ve heard the stories about the recession and possible price rises over the coming months but there are also stories about ‘green shoots’ in the economy and the resilience of the British people to get on with their businesses to make money and pull the economy forward.  There’s much speculation with stories of ‘doom and gloom’ but I think it’s important to remember that many of the stories are literally just ‘stories’ written by journalists (trained or untrained) who may have an agenda unbeknown to us.  With that in mind, my cup is definitely half full.  Focusing on the bright side and being determined to make business work is what I do.  I truly believe that we (that’s you and I) are capable of making our businesses successful regardless of the circumstances surrounding us.  Do we need help?  Do we need to collaborate? Do we need to focus on the good things?  Absolutely!  I’m prepared to accept help and advice all day long and I believe it’s one of the keys to success.  Knowing when you’re out of your depth and needing help is crucial as is knowing when to employ an expert to do a job properly.  When we work together we can often achieve much more so let’s Keep working and talking to each other.

#LincsConnectChristmas 

Use the hashtag to promote your business, charity gift idea or event this Christmas

After a pretty dreadful summer I believe we need to look forward to a bright Christmas.  We don’t know what the future will bring with Covid-19 but we do know that Christmas is coming! Whether you like it or not, celebrate it or not, or even believe in it or not, the fact remains that it will be here on 25 December and we need to be prepared for it.  We may not be out partying as we have in previous years but we are resilient enough and creative enough to make it a good celebration.

#LincsConnectChristmas starts on 7 September to coincide with the new #LincsArtCraftHour.  Combining the two will give us the opportunity to see what our local talented and creative people have to offer.  We’ll have the opportunity to shop early and safely by avoiding the usual Christmas rush because, well, let’s face it, we really don’t know yet if there will be movement and shopping restrictions in place to avoid a second Covid-19 wave of destruction.

A Christmas Hamper

In previous years we’ve had a virtual Christmas hamper where we’ve been able to add items of our own or recommend items from other traders.  The idea seemed to work well so I think it’ll be a good idea to do it again.

It’s time to start filling the Christmas Hamper…

 

The hashtag works on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so let’s start thinking about filling it up with lots of local goodies.  Perhaps an example here might be useful.  How about these messages:

“I think the #LincsConnectChristmas hamper needs some speciality chocolates.  I highly recommend @BonBonLincoln who produce exquisite designer chocolates”

“No #LincsConnectChristmas hamper will be complete without some bespoke Christmas cards by @CardsOfGrimsby”

Adding a picture with each message will soon get the attention of local shoppers and will make the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag the place to look for local independent Christmas shopping. With your help we can get this hashtag noticed and talked about around the County and beyond to turn it into the ‘shop window’ for everyone to see.

A Christmas Meal

With no #EatOutToHelpOut scheme in place hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars will want to advertise their special meals and party events so the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag is going to be ‘the’ place for them to advertise and I’m sure they’ll appreciate our support.

Let’s Work Together

I’m sure we can make Christmas a huge success but I do think that we will have to work together to achieve it.  Am I confident? Absolutely!

Put It In Your Diary

The #LincsConnectChristmas and #LincsArtCraftHour both start on Monday 7 September at noon.  Use the hashtags, search the hashtags and tell your friends about the hashtags.  They’re here for ‘you’. 

Advert

Mandarin Therapies & Mandarin Mothers provide bespoke mobile complementary therapies in the comfort of your own home, hotel or nursing home across the whole of Lincolnshire and beyond. Gift vouchers are available for that special person too.

Previous Blogs

To find out more about the #LincsArtCraftHour follow this link to the previous blog:

#LincsArtCraftHour 

Community

A message from Supt Paul Timmins of Lincolnshire Police following some sad and tragic deaths on Lincolnshire roads recently:

Click on this picture to open the video in Twitter 

Click on this picture to open the video on Facebook

We see far too many road deaths in Lincolnshire so please always ‘be aware’ and don’t become a statistic.  We love you just the way you are…. ‘alive’!

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse doesn’t have age limits. If you know someone who is suffering call the police today.  You’ll find some useful numbers here but if there is an immediate threat of harm call 999.

 

 

A Helpful App

Visit your App Store to download this free App to your device

Let’s pretend you’re out walking or have gone for a drive when you come across an accident.  You dial 999 to contact the emergency services for help but then you don’t know exactly where you are.  You know you’re in the middle of a field or on a country road but you couldn’t direct the emergency services to the incident.  I imagine you might feel completely helpless!

I saw a post on Twitter asking the public to download the App What3Words so obviously I did.  I didn’t expect to ever have to use it but thought it would be a good ‘insurance policy’ should the unexpected ever happen.  I have actually used it though.  I was able to give the three words that were displayed on my iPhone screen to the control room who directed the fire service to the field fire that I had discovered on my way home last winter.  That’s it!  It really is that easy.  All you have to do is open the App and you’re immediately given 3 unique words that identify your exact location.

When opening the App you’re given the option to share the 3 words via social media or email or send it directly to one of your contacts so it’s a great way to pass on your location to friends if you are meeting them in town.  Typing the three words into the search bar your friends are able to navigate directly to you using the App so as well as being the all important navigation tool in emergencies it’s also a brilliant tool for finding your friends.

Louth Museum

Perhaps you could try out your new What3Words App with your friends.  If you’re on your travels why not pop in to Louth Museum?  It’s open to the public again and there is no need to book.  The museum is over two floors (stair lift available for those who may need it) and you’ll be respectfully requested to wait outside if the museum is full when you arrive.  Covid-19 regulations are in place of course so don’t forget your mask.  I’ve had a look at the website www.louthmuseum.org.uk and discovered a virtual tour as well as Ruth’s Blog page.  I thought you might find this interesting; It’s a factual account of the Louth floods on 29 May 1920.  Imagine seeing a 2m wall of water heading into town…

Click on the picture to read the blog

 

Just imagine how useful What3Words would have been in this situation if it had been available then.  Technology has certainly moved on at a remarkable pace!

Stay Safe

That’s the blog done for now but if you have something that you would like me to include or would like to advertise please get in touch. Have a lovely Bank Holiday everyone.  Look after yourself and look out for your neighbours.

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

    Sponsored by Mandarin Therapies. Bespoke complementary therapies from the comfort of your own home.

#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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Bespoke Complementary Therapies from the comfort of your own home

 

After The Coronavirus… What’ve We Got To Look forward To? Part 4

After The Coronavirus… What’ve We Got To Look forward To? Part 4

To order your massage vouchers email massage@mandarinleisure.com or call 07966 174878. Click on the picture to go to the Mandarin Therapies website.  Click here to view the video

Stress Buster

After the recent few months of lockdown stress levels certainly reached a peak for many people and for some those stress levels are still very current.  Many of us have been confined to our home while others have been working at heightened levels of pressure, stress and anxiety.  We are looking forward now to the end to the lockdown and the stress levels experienced by our emergency services and key workers may well be levelling off.  However, where some stress levels are lowering, others may be finding that their stresses are really only just beginning.  The latter is a reference to the teachers and shop owners who have had to make big changes to the way they work in order to keep themselves safe as well as the pupils, staff and customers around them.

Massage For Stress

It’s well documented that massage helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels.  The physical touch and deep relaxation experienced during a massage can last for hours, days or even weeks afterwards.  If you’re familiar with research methods you’ll understand that researching this subject will be difficult, if not impossible!  However, you might like to take a look at this post by Prof James Lake Massage Therapy for Anxiety and Stress

Emotional Benefits

Touch can certainly help to improve your emotional state but unfortunately during the recent lockdown human contact and touch has been severely restricted.  Humans are naturally ‘social’ so these restrictions are bound to have had a detrimental affect on our wellbeing.  However, the good news is that regular massage sessions can help to reverse that problem. The massage effect can certainly be enhanced with the use of essential oils too.  They have been used with massage for thousands of years and the benefits can be quite extraordinary. Each essential oil has its own unique properties but you can be forgiven if you thought they are ‘just’ about the smell. Over the years I’ve witnessed some remarkable outcomes with my Aromatherapy massages.  I’ve used them to treat headaches, insomnia, PMS, fluid retention, back pain, anxiety, stress, depression, and many other problems including pre & post cosmetic surgery treatments

Home Treatments

Treatments range from 1 to 2 hours and are all conducted from the comfort of your own home.  Relaxing? Oh yes! I have clients who leave the massage treatment and go straight to bed leaving me to pack up, put the cat out and lock up!  The last treatment of the day is around 9.00pm so a 2 hours massage will be finishing at 11.00pm.  That’s the perfect time for those who, for whatever reason, have problems sleeping at night.  The salon experience really does come to your home – a professional couch, towels, pillows, oils, relaxing music and over 27 years of experience.  What more could you ask for?

A Mobile Salon could be on its way to you. Call 07966 174878 to book your appointment

Advance Bookings

Although the treatments are all on hold until the official government restrictions are lifted it is still possible to purchase your treat now to enjoy later.  Personalised gift vouchers are available for 1, 1 1/2 or 2 hour treatments from £50.00.  There will be a price rise in August but buying your voucher now will secure the price as the voucher will be valid for 12 months.  Perhaps now, as we can see the end of the Covid-19 restrictions in sight, is the time to purchase your vouchers for a treat for yourself or as a gift for someone special in your life.  It really is the ideal gift.

Gift Vouchers can be personalised with your own message or you can order a eVoucher to be delivered straight to your inbox

Truly Inclusive

The Mandarin Therapies/Mandarin Mothers treatments really are truly inclusive.  Nursing and care home visits are included as well as end of life care.  Everyone deserves the gift of touch and the luxury of a bespoke massage.

Home visits, Care Home visits, Nursing Home visits…. Everyone deserves a massage

Book Now…

If you would like to book your massage or order your vouchers please feel free to email massage@mandarinlsiesure.com

Charity Events

Mandarin Therapies is always happy to support local charities wherever possible especially at this difficult time where many charities have been hit quite hard with reduced income.  With that in mind, Mandarin Therapies will donate 20% (split evenly) of the price of the massage to YMCA Lincoln and #teamleonie  Please quote this blog when ordering your treatment to ensure the donation goes to the right place.  Don’t forget that a discount of 20% is also available for our emergency services and serving military members.  This offer has been available for 27 years and has no end date.

Click on the Discount link below to see more:

Discount

Luxury Is A Mandarin Therapies Massage

Book yours today by email massage@mandarinleisure.com

For Everyone

Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to meet some genuinely nice people who have kept a special place in my heart.  I used to visit one dear lady who, following a car accident where someone drove into the back of her vehicle, suffered with fluid retention her legs. I visited her twice weekly to perform Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massages.  We had a routine where I would leave to wash my hands while she got undressed and climbed onto the couch.  The routine worked well until one day when I came back into the room I sensed something wasn’t right.  Hazel was on the couch as normal but her arms were by her sides instead of on the cradle. During the 30 seconds conversation that took place about her arm placement I realised that something was seriously wrong!  Hazel had suffered a stroke.  I immediately dialled 999 and the paramedics and ambulance arrived within minutes.  Being with her at that moment, having the immediate attention that she needed and the follow up care that was provided by the Stroke Unit at Lincoln County Hospital made all the difference.  Hazel made a full recovery and was soon back home doing her daily The Times crossword.  Her brain was as sharp as ever and her mobility was no worse than it was before she suffered the stroke.  There is no doubt in my mind that my quick phone call and the rapid response by the emergency services saved Hazel from suffering irreversible damage. Hazel died of old age at 92.  I still miss you hazel X

Stroke 

“Still Here, Still Safe, Still Open”click on the picture to wee the Lincolnshire Stroke Unit video 

F, A, S, T.

  1. Face (first check for facial weakness. The face may have drooped on one side.  The person may not be able to smile.  Mouth or eye may have drooped)
  2. Arms (check for arm weakness.  The person may not be able to lift both arms)
  3. Speech (check for impaired or garbled speech)
  4. Time (dial 999)

Stay Safe