#HASHTAG I remember someone explaining to me about hashtags sometime back in about 2007 or 2008. I just didn't quite get it, until someone ingeniously explained it's like a filing system for posts. Well, that makes sense! So when I started on Twitter all those moons ago I started to slowly use # hashtags. I didn't really understand the full purpose of them, but, hey, everyone else is using them, so maybe I should too.
Hashtags really made it big in the Periscope sphere, yes I was an early adopter of Periscope but soon waned when I realised I had to be posting videos almost hourly to get any traction. So I gently slipped out of the habit of adding hashtags, that was until Instagram came around. Now, this I was not an early adopter and not that great on it now either. For some reason I just didn't fall in love with using Instagram, I did realise however, hashtags rule on Insta!
My BIG social media platform of time is Facebook and Facebook never really used hashtags, there was no compartmentalising of posts and no one used hashtags, that was really for Twitter and then Instagram. Well, times are a changing. With Facebook purchasing Instagram there has been a slow sweep of Instagram platform-centric tools and quirks showing up in Facebook and vica-versa. Although, hashtags have been floating around on Facebook since 2013, they haven't really been of any use. Facebook have spruced up their hashtag use and have introduced a dedicated # hashtag page similar to Instagram. Use the # hashtag within your post, best placement is generally the bottom of the post so as not to interfere with your message. Use it on your video descriptions and they are also traceable in comments.
So, now, get some traction and exposure to your posts on your Facebook feed, Facebook page and in your groups and start those hashtag tags happening. You can't "own" a hashtag but boy you can make one your own.
There are also some great hashtag generators which make creating hashtags so much easier. This one is one of my fav's: https://displaypurposes.com/
What's your hashtag?
Have you been tempted to put your toe in the cloud so to speak? For me, it started off with a small Dropbox account I used primarily with a creative designer who was doing some work for me many years ago. It was easy to upload and download the work without emailing large files. It was great and I fully embraced it while the collaboration was happening and then I let it wane. Sure, I used my Dropbox account for certain things but not fully to how I could have. For some reason I was hesitant to hand over my work, my ideas, my business and all that it encompasses to the cloud. I mean where is it, where is my 'stuff'?
It is only in 2020 that I have fully embraced the use of the cloud for the majority of my businesses. The standout for me has been my Onedrive account that comes with my Microsoft 365 subscription. It is plenty of space and has basically my whole PC sitting in there. This has been amazing on many occasion. Recently, I had to send my laptop away from some urgent work, normally this would put paid to me being able to do any work for the time my laptop is away. Quite to the contrary, I used my lovely portable Surface Pro for the day (this is always on the road with me when I am out and about) and continued to work on my business projects from the cloud. No downtime whatsoever and everything that I did or changed automatically did a sync in the cloud.
The other great cloud based software has been the use of GSuite. GSuite is basically od Google's business tools in one location. Gsuite means you can have all of your documents in the cloud, this makes it so much easier to collaborate with business associates, outsourced support, clients or colleagues. I recently saw how a business used it to share paid download documents through Google Drive, I thought that was a great use of the resources. GSuite has some really cool resources for collaboration including Google Meet (formerly Hangouts) a great way to hold meetings, run training classes or mastermind sessions.
If you own your business domain name, you can also get your vanity email address via GSuite too!
So, my verdict on going to the cloud? It has been a breeze and I only wish I had listened to others and done it sooner. It has been and continues to be business changing.
Have you been using the cloud for your business? What is your experience or tips?
Do you remember the planning of a road trip? The excitement of the road trip and what was at the end of the road trip? I remember as a child travelling from Perth, Western Australia, across the Nullabor, through South Australia, Victoria, NSW and finally to Queensland, before heading back again across back to WA. The places we stopped, the people we met and the experience were priceless. Over 40 years later and I have vivid memories of seeing snow for the first time, climbing the "Big Banana" and the "Big Pineapple" eating McDonalds for the first time and seeing "The Cross". As a child my brother and I were along for the ride, my parents of course had set the trip up, planned the stops and anticipated any emergency. Taking a young family across Australia in a camper van, takes some planning. Back in those days there was no GPS but there was a map at hand and a keen eye on the destination.
We as business owners need to have our eye on the destination and set ourselves up with a business GPS. The fun and the journey of being a business owner is all in the people we meet, the experiences we gather and the opportunities that are bestowed upon us. Sometimes, it can be easy to divert for a bright shiny object, follow another person's vision, get lost in overwhelm and all other matters of misdirection. Having a good business GPS, helps us to stay on track and not divert to a dead end road or a cul-de-sac, it helps us to maintain a clear vision of what we ant our future business to look like at the destination.
A business plan can act as a GPS and also using some clear guiding questions around your business to formulate what your destination looks like at the end.
Why do I want this business?
When do I want this business to be at it's peak
What do I want it to look like in XX years?
How will I develop this business?
Who is my target market?
Where will I promote my business?
Guiding and open ended questions are a great way to plan your journey so you know exactly what to put in your business GPS.
Over the years I have continued to hold dear the scribbles and musings in many a hard cover notebook. My bookcase is filled with notebooks varying from training notes, business ideas, thoughts, ideas and inspiration and sometimes notes of happiness through to despair. Those notebooks filled with my words have been with me through my darkest moments and into the happiest days of my life. All of them precious.
Recently, I have gone back to my love of pen to paper. Each morning before I start my day I take a few moments to consider how I intend to spend my day. No, this is not a "To Do List" there are no numbers and no specific tasks in this particular book. I found a lovely sized notebook and each morning I write Today I intend at the top of the page. I then consider my day and how I intend my day to play out.
One of my favourite entries are
Today I intend to be kind
Today I intend to focus on the positives
Today I intend to be productive
Today I intend to get a good night's sleep
This one simple act has had a prolific difference to my days, my attitude and my mental well being.
What is your intention for your day?