Hashtagging brilliance!

OK, so what is wrong with a tweet like this:

@ClairCFAR Happy #Monday. I’d love to #promote by #beauty #business in #Nottingham

#salon #massage #nails #facial #eastmidlands?

Firstly, it’s quite difficult to read, no? All those hashtags are getting in the blinking way, infact they are making me blink to adjust my eyes to what the message is trying to say. Secondly, there’s no need for all of those hashtags!

So what is a hashtag? Years ago (i may be showing my age) the hashtag symbol was used before a number to denote the word ‘number’. Telephone number would be written as Telephone #. It was a short cut I guess and I believe that’s why there is still so much confusion surrounding the small # symbol.

Nowadays, this simple stamp is a way of communicating effectively through social media. However, as with many things in life, each social media platform has it’s own set of ‘rules’ for how effective the hashtag will be against their ever changing algorithms. The first things to consider is that the hashtag is a way of communicating a topic of interest to your audience. You must consider what your audience might be searching for so that you can show up in their results.

If you are in the beauty industry, you may want to refine your hashtags to be more specific to what you offer for example – it could be eyelash tinting, intimate waxing, rather than the rather large subject of beauty. Similarly, for those in the fitness industry you should consider drilling further down into the industry and the classes / services you offer and both of these examples should include a location hashtag unless you can go worldwide with your business.

In the example tweet above, there were far too many hashtags used. But unless you are ‘in the know’ you aren’t going to know that! But now you know, so no excuses! To make your tweets more legible for your audience on Twitter, good form would be to include 2 -3 relevant hashtags, no more than 4!

Now to confuse people, especially if you link all of your Social Media accounts together, Facebook doesn’t really do hashtags. Well, it does but no-one uses FB to search for things using hashtags. Where as on Instagram you can use a shit ton of hashtags, up to 30!

This is where you need to be careful, if you have your Twitter or Instagram hooked up to your Facebook to post automatically (and  this is a whole other blogs post!), and you are using these posts for business, you might end up looking a bit like a numpty who doesn’t know what they are doing. if you are comfortable going in and editing after they’ve posted to take out the not need hashtags then great. But if you aren’t up to speed on all of that, then please unlink your accounts for now!

Back to Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags but rather than putting them all in your initial post or comment, post them all in the second or 3rd comment. Again it’s much more pleasing on the eye for the reader and the Insta algorithms seem to favour this approach too. Check out what I mean on my Insta account.

Is the above clear?

Twitter – preferably 2 or 3 hashtags, no more than 4

Facebook – none

Instagram – up to 30

Struggling with which hashtags to use?  There’s a great site called Hashtagify.me which will let you pop in one hashtag and show you a plethora of linked hashtags that you can use for your business. How cool is that!

If this was helpful for you at all, please share it with those who you see struggling!

If you would like any more tips on maximising Twitter for your business, BOOK IN NOW FOR YOUR MAXIMISING TWITTER FOR BUSINESS SESSION


Where do we go from here?


January, that time of the year where your brain is all fired up and you have the desire to nail everything you missed the boat on last year yet your focus is only working part time as it tries to re-instill the festive freedom it experience just a week ago!

I hear ya! But if you don’t get back on that entrepreneurial treadmill now then you will only make life that little bit harder for  yourself next week. Focus is a tricky little bogger, give it an inch and it will take a yard. Like a habit, you have to work on training yourself to focus on activities each day. I’m not here to give you a complete solution to the January ‘slump’, but there is a lot to be said about creating blocks of time each day to complete small tasks.

Have you read Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy? The emphasis of the book is that you get your hardest, most challenging or time consuming task out of the way first. this way you feel like you have achieved something and all of your other small tasks will take less time. It’s true, it does make you feel great but sometimes you’re not in the mood to tackle that one big one!

And what if your focus won’t let you concentrate long enough to complete that task? Maybe your sense of achievement will come from setting yourself the goal of ticking off 3 smaller actions from your to do list. Or reward yourself everytime you work for 60 mins without getting distracted. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. There are apps out there that can help you regain your clarity. If distraction from your phone is an issue then i recommend Forest: Stay Focussed, designed to help you beat the addiction to your phone. If your Facebook newsfeed is an issue whilst you are working within Facebook on a laptop, you can install a plugin which allows you access to groups and pages whilst making your newsfeed appear blank. Search for Kill My Newsfeed!

I wish you luck as you activate all of your cylinders again this month. It’s definitely taken me a week to get back into the flow.

Look out for a new blog soon in which I’ll list the apps my business couldn’t live without.

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Don’t let fear get in the way?


You’ve been running your business for a while now right? Your turnover has been up and down over the last few months or years, but what you’re doing is what you know works. I get it, a campaign you ran last year successfully just didn’t cut the mustard this year. Those around you are seemingly nailing every angle of their business, they are the epitome of ‘busy-ness’. You are projecting the same image but deep down you have the sinking feeling that something just isn’t quite right.

What you aren’t seeing is that those successful people around you, are often having those same niggling doubts about themselves. It’s completely normal. Those feelings of ‘I fear being successful’ to ‘I can’t do this, I don’t deserve it’, the gut wrenching ‘I hate promoting myself’, the downright self-depracating ‘I’m worthless’. All of these emotions have their place in our journey along this path of self-employment.

All too often it’s not even our jobs that have lead us to have these feelings, our pasts, our childhoods and our relationships have left markings within us which characterise how we deal with situations. I know that many of us, myself included have suffered from a fear of rejection – this can be in relationships or in business. We want to be accepted, we want to be liked. This is one our basic needs as humans as shown in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. After air, water, shelter, food, feeling safe and secure we cannot expect to achieve high self esteem without having met the requirements of feeling loved, having a sense of belonging both within our relationships and our friendships. These are our social needs and sometimes when an element of those are missing we struggle with our self-esteem and self-worth.


Feeling safe and secure is the 2nd rung in the hierarchy and this element combines our environment – having rules in place to help us feel safe from harm, having an income so that we can pay our rent and mortgages. There’s a reason why Maslow structured his pyramid in the way he did, it simplifies our progression to being truly content – he calls is self actualisation.


Take a minute and think about where in YOUR pyramid you might have elements lacking in fulfilment and how those many be having an impact of your day to day life and consequently on your business too. Right now I’m assuming that you are on the right track to achieving rungs 1 and 2, I’m hear to help you work through your fears and doubts so you can move higher up the steps towards self-actualisation.


As always life will throw curveballs at us to knock us back down from time to time, I’m a great believer that the more curveballs you encounter the closer to the top of this pyramid you will become. Self-doubt is a negative energy, being proactive is its positive cousin. Being ready to accept your fears and work through them is such a cathartic process, one you should feel excited about.


Is Hilary Clinton a good role model?


Let me get this out there first and foremost, I am not political. Not in the slightest. My parents weren’t political and I guess I grew up believing that my one, solitary vote wouldn’t make a difference. There are still people around me who believe this now. However, I remember being at university and putting the cross in the box for the first time. I felt it was my duty. I haven’t missed an election since and have tried to educate the younger generation around me as to why we should use our vote. I’m not even greatly educated on politicians and will admit to ‘cramming’ my policy knowledge in the week before a big election.


But who couldn’t be enthralled and drawn in by the US election of 2016? The cartoon character of Trump versus the strong, determined and qualified Hilary Clinton.

As the campaign went on I grew to like Hilary Clinton, she had clearly overcome her husband’s very public infidelity, her policies were ones that made me nod my ahead in accordance, her patience during the presidential debates was admirable (I don’t think I could have maintained my posture as well as she did), she gave me the sense that if she were to become POTUS that all would be good in the world, despite our looming Brexit!

Then we learnt about Weiner, the toerag who scuppered her campaign at the last hurdle. Do i really care that she used a separate server for emails – nope, I do not. Do i feel like the FBI made a huge media circus out of this issue? Yes I do.

I really hoped that Hillary would be successful in her campaign, as most of us did. I listened with empathy when she gave her speech just hours after her defeat and her words directed at young people once again filled me with pride


You will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts, but please, never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it.

She continues: “And to all the little girls watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your dreams

Her concession speech, in my personal opinion was awesome and filled with positivity despite her losing to a muppet! I listened in, almost fist punching the air but the shock of the win forbade me to do so. I could easily quote this to every client I mentor for years to come. Each and everyday we all have fears we need to conquer and setbacks to overcome, but if you believe in it strongly enough then it is definitely worth it. She seemingly wants the best for families, low income families and students, believes in the rights of minority groups – issues i believe are important. She doesn’t come across as a racist either. I would be happy if she were grandma to my son.

BUT…..I’ve since learned that she has also been quoted to have said that you must always have a different professional personality to your private one. Errrrmmm, Hillary….No! Why would she think that? People see through fake. People will only do business with people they feel like they know and trust. Is this her failing? Maybe the folk of America knew this about her and although they didn’t want the foolhardy, bigot of Trump, they voted for a change and against the establishment.

What am I taking away from the presidential race this year?  Hillary, would still be my preferred candidate despite her recent scandals. I still think she is a strong, determined woman with whom I have a shit load of respect for. But perhaps this is just her public persona that I’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for.

Trump, even with all of this sexist, racist,arrogant faux pas I can still learn something from this new leader of world’s most powerful nation. He has shown me that if you, really, truly believe you can do something you must surround yourself with the right people and get yourself on the right path, then ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! (ignoring that fact that he has shed loads of money to pay people to ‘do things for him’).

I’m not a natural sales person

I’m not a natural sales person.

Despite the appearance I seemingly project, I hate trying to convince people to sign up for, take part in or buy anything. I would much prefer that they approached me for said service or product. It doesn’t matter how much I believe in something, trying to “sell the idea” to someone else pushes me so far out of my comfort zone I might as well be sitting on the moon.

People always seem surprised when I tell them this, however I think that they are confusing my confidence with salesmanship. You see I’ve always had a natural confidence, I don’t get anxious or nervous about speaking in public or interviews nor did I fear my exams. They all fall within that cozy comfort zone of mine. We all have one don’t we.

Apparently, I’m not the only one – many people have said to me that one of the reasons they don’t want to take a risk is because it pushes them into a place they’ve never been before. This can be a fear of going to a networking meeting (fear of the unknown, fear of being left alone), it can be being afraid to take a risk (fear of failing) or even being worried that our other halves won’t approve of what we are going to do. I’ve heard many of these phrases over the last few weeks and months.

What changed for me? I’ve had many ups and downs over the years, far too many personal episodes that brought me down – but each and every one of them left me with a sense of achievement, a sense of coming into my own. I’ve read many articles about people ‘not giving a shit’ about the thoughts of others as they get older and I have to say I somewhat agree. I don’t let the idea of what others think affect the way I do anything.

So back to not being a natural saleswoman – I’ve been reading A LOT lately about network marketing. Having been in the industry for 9.5 years I can tell you that is much different today compared to when I first began my MLM journey. Countless are the times I’ve heard “pyramid scheme”, the ‘pitch’ I tried to give never quite felt natural enough to convince others to join me. My conversion rate was low. What has changed? Digital media has entered our world and it is huge – your network of friends can span the globe without you ever having met anyone. Sometimes your online relationships can feel more meaningful that the ones you have in ‘real life’. And…here’s the biggest change, it’s possible to project a lifestyle that people aspire to through all of these mediums we have available to us so that you can grow your business without ever having to ‘prospect’ another person.

People will sit back and watch you for a while, it’s not an over night solution to sales but a long term effort to consistently project the image you want for your lifestyle. Don’t put posts that are overly salesy on your social media, provide information people find useful or interesting and ensure that these people are interacting with you on a regular basis….soon enough your friends and their friends will see the opportunity you are presenting and want to become part of it.

I no longer have to worry about being salesy!!IMG_685202281622

Facebook Ads v Boosted Posts and poor reach!

This is the first time I’ve embedded one of my periscopes into WordPress so fingers crossed it works!

I wanted to share this scope with you as I know alot of small businesses are worrying about Facebook algorithms ruining their post reach. I listened to an amazing Fb ad expert, Zach Spuckler, who basically tells us to ‘get over it’.

The main focus you should have is being consistent, providing great content and analysing what works best for your business page.  Have a listen and see if it makes sense for you.


Do you need a coach?

Do you need acoach-

Do you know the reason business coaches, sports coaches, life coaches are called coaches? It really does stem from the mode of transport, coaches. The horse drawn coaches, way back in the ‘olden’ days were used to take people on a journey from one place to another. Can you see the connection now?

Everyone from CEOs, managers, group leaders and sportsmen benefit from having a coach. They don’t employ a coach to beat them up about what they are doing wrong or to point out their inadequacies. Coaches aren’t trained in every industry, that would be an impossibility, but what they do bring is an unwavering, determination to help others succeed.

How do they do this? The time you spend with your coach is entirely about you, your coach should be able to recognise your strengths and how to maximise them to their full potential.The most important aspects of being a coach is engaging trust and having an understanding of confidentiality of everything that is discussed during your time together. Your coach should be able to give you a custom tailored experience which is lead by YOU! Coaching is about finding out what YOUR potential is, how you can achieve new and better things that you though might have been out of your reach.

Your story should be listened to empathetically, this is important for your coach to have an understanding of how you work and reasons for your beliefs and desires. A life of disappointments will lead to an expectation of failure perhaps. Your coach should make you feel like you are really understood.

A good coach will offer effective feedback, will pay attention to your smallest gestures as to what you might actually be feeling about things rather than what you are saying. Verbal behaviours can tell us so much but using eye contact can tell us so much more. Emotional behaviours – avoiding to talk about a certain topic, but can tell a coach an enormous amount as to where that fits in with your overall story and how that can effect your business.

Coaching is a process which can change your mindset to one full of positivity and the drive to achieve your goals. Your coach will help you gain clarity on what you need to do using your skillset.

The one thing your coach can’t do it actually do your work for you, they can help you recognise what is holding you back from success and help create a list of achievable actions to get there.

Exciting Times

Sometimes life has a habit of getting in the way of our pre-planned, pre-organised schedule of events. For me, this means that life has distracted me from writing this blog for a few weeks.

But guess what? I’m not concerned. Why? Because I’ve been working on other things and as a consequence I have 3 new clients this week – which for me is so exciting. I love the thought of being able to help others strive for their dreams and putting plans in place to help that happen for them. Helping others has been proven to make you feel good about yourself, and don’t get despondent if the receiver doesn’t return the favour, it will all come back around to you in the end.

What have you done this week that has helped someone else?

What are your building block to success?


What is stopping you today from achieving what you set out to achieve?

No time? No customers? No money? Theses are the usual go-to excuses when I challenge my clients. Let’s be honest we can all think of excuses of why we aren’t achieving the success we so desperately want. If you want it bad enough, if you want to succeed to prove to yourself or to others that you can do it then the excuses will soon fall by the wayside.

Having no time is an easy excuse to diminish – it’s purely about better time management. That can be covered in a different blog. Having no money can be a tricky one but there are lots of things you can be doing that are either free or cheap to access.

No customers? Then lets look at why that might be. You have a website and it’s attracting some traffic, you are active on Facebook, you just don’t understand why you aren’t getting the sales you need for your business to grow.

Take a step back and look at the process through the customers eye’s. How are you driving traffic to your website? Are you advertising it in the best way you can to your target audience. Don’t let the word advertising (or marketing for that matter) scare you, you are probably doing it without realising – it might just need to be refined. Your ideal customer isn’t going to find you – you need to find them.

Once they have found you, how simple have you made the sales process for them? Do you have alternative payment options available for example? Try to think of all the possible reasons that customers might not be completing a sale with you.

Is your customer service consistent? Do you have a process in place – inconsistent customer service is a big block to being successful. One wrong review can hugely damage your business. You want your ideal customer to have a smooth transaction with you, receive some great customer service and then they are much more likely to refer you to friends and family.

Blocks to success are usually down to a lack of knowledge or belief or missing skills. Skills can be learnt or you can outsource that part of your business, beliefs can be re-written and knowledge can be also be learnt.

I ask you again, what is the block that is stopping you on your road to success today?

What are you worth?

How much are you worth?

Have you ever openly discussed your salary with a group of people? For some reason this is a topic that keep closely guarded and only divulge in confidence to those closest. Is there a fear that you will be judged for what you earn?

One of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make when starting out on your own is how much you want to charge people for your time and services. I’m guessing you will be swaying between wanting to offer discounts and freebies to get your brand recognised and needing to earn a decent living.

The additional problem is that everyone is out for a bargain nowadays, but the truth is that people will pay for quality every time. If you buy a curtain rail from the bargain basement shop and it breaks you wouldn’t be surprised and you’d wished you’d had spent more more on a better quality one. The same principle applies to your business. If you know that you are offering a quality product or service then you must charge accordingly.

So back to the earlier question…yes you will be judged by how much you charge. If your prices are premium then a premium service is expected, are you sure that you can match up to your high end competitors? Go in with your prices at the lower end and you risk people assuming that your product isn’t going to be of a high standard.

So how do you know how much you are worth? I did a workshop with Marketing Jumpleads who gave me this useful insight into working our how much you could be charging for your time. (http://www.marketingjumpleads.com/) You could always work backwards from what you want to earn. Take what you want to earn in a year. Work out how many hours a week you want to work, multiply that by how many weeks you want to work. Use that figure to divide the the amount you wanted to earn and that gives you a baseline figure from which to work from. But remember that all of those hours you won’t actually be productive in so you may have to add a bit onto your new hourly rate!

So how much are you underpaying yourself right now?