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2018 Mixtape – the year in review

2018 Mixtape.

The year in reflection and review

2018 was a year of contrasts. Swinging from highs to lows and everywhere in between. A year of re-evaluation, consideration and picking up the pieces from the aftermath of 2017. 2018 was a year of steep learning curves, learning (but not always mastering) the art of surrendering and embracing the practice of being gentle. In all its forms.

As the year evolved, many skins were shed, ideas considered and reincarnations attempted. A year for learning and remembering. Now, today, my birthday, I’m reflecting on the past twelve months, how far I’ve come and what the year (and Ganesha) have presented on the obstacle course of life. And it looks somewhat like this…

Braving the Wilderness, Dr Brené Brown

  • Books that blew me away: Braving the wilderness, I literally felt like I was reading about myself, and realised I was not alone in feeling the way I do. Revelatory.

Another book that made me sit up was Arianna Huffington’s Thrive. Redefining the idea of success and addressing the need to change our perceptions of what we actually need to focus on in 2018.

Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success – money and power – has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses. An erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters.

Sarah Blasko, Depth of Field, 2018

  • What’s on repeat: Sarah Blasko‘s new album Depth of Field. It makes me want to dance, every time. I saw her in Hobart, Tasmania and she was all of her amazingness on stage. It was a sight to behold her singing and dancing her heart out, and the crowd along with her.
  • Hanging out with a blanket on the couch with Harvey from Suits, his confidence, and the journey of self -realisation towards acceptance was a familiar one. That, along with his outrageous one-liners, and overall deliciousness.

 

 

On the subject of travel

  • Following the advice of the Dalai Lama. 

2018 saw me adventuring to a few destinations that were completely new to me. As the new year dawned I hopped over to New Zealand for a month of adventures. An epic road trip around the south island, exploring the wild west coast (my absolute favourite).

I soaked in an onsen on the Shotover river (beyond amazing). Camped under the stars. Watched the cosmos from my sleeping bag. Woke up at dawn to listen to the cracking and shifting of the glacier on Mt Cook whilst watching the morning sun creep over the mountains.

Uluru, Central Australia

Midway through 2018 saw me do something I didn’t think would happen. An epic road trip from Adelaide to Alice Springs via the Oodnadatta track and Uluru. This trip changed me. Things inside shifted, changed, broke open, healed. Uluru is considered to the spiritual heart of Australia, and if it’s not on your list.

Add. It. Now. Run, don’t walk.

  • Discovered the amazingness of…living in my home country after many years of not wanting to live or be here. I have been rejoicing the loveliness in being able to speak my local lingo. Meeting people organically as well as through the maze of networks and our hyperlinked world. Feeling grateful for my home country that has so much to offer, and so many good people.
  • Rediscovered the salty goodness of margaritas. Need I say more…
  • I have been inspired by the photos of Australian photographer, Kara Rosenlund. She made me fall in love with the Australian landscape all over again. Motivated me to pick up my camera (again) and get out into the wilderness to take photos, recharge my batteries and reconnect with one of my first passions. Taking photos.

On the topic of gratitude

  • Felt repeatedly grateful for the love and support of my friends, from all the corners of the world. There were moments I felt completely alone, and then suddenly someone would pop up and give me a virtual or physical reminder of how much they love, miss and think of me.
  • Learnt the lesson that losing people from your life, isn’t always a loss, but more of a liberation. A tough one and it caused many sleepless nights. Angry conversations. Copious amounts of tears. A vicious circle of questions. But finally and slowly resulting in exhausted surrender (which I still sometimes forget, and leap back on the roundabout before remembering and leaping straight the f*ck off). 2018 has been a tough one for the repetition of this lesson.

On what turned out to be our last holiday together, September 2016.

  • All of this has been happening whilst riding the waves of grief. In 2017 I lost my father after a very brief fight with a late diagnosed cancer, at stage 4, to be precise. In 2018 I’ve been trying to regroup and return to my state of being. Not an easy task, I’ve discovered. The road of grief is a long, winding one that has a tendency to blindside you when you least expect it. Or at least, when I least expected it.

What this has taught me though is that health is more valuable than anything. Especially money. There are many ways to approach the topic of health and wellness, none of them are absolute. Time is one of the key healers, but so are sleep, sunshine, gazing in the never-never (distance) and laughter. Oh, and margaritas with girlfriends. Not to mention outrageous stories, cups of tea and hugs. On top of tests, days in hospital, and seeing every specialist under the sun.

And so we begin a new chapter, 2019

Wishing you a super fantastic end to another year. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 holds in store for us all.

Cheers to us and our fabulousness, thanks for joining me on this journey.

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If you’re looking for more posts from 2018 check them out here – or if you’d like to say hi or get more information about my coaching, training and workshops drop me a line – info (@) wayfairer.net

Hashtags, what are they and how important are they, really?

Hashtags

Hashtags, what are they and how important are they, really? Every minute thousands of images, videos, sound clips and links are posted on social media platforms. In the increasingly crowded social media space businesses need to stand out amongst the crowd. Unless you have a huge following the likelihood of your posts being missed is quite high. This is where hashtags come into the picture (pardon the pun). Hashtags came into their own when Twitter was launched into the social scene. Nowadays they’re used as common practice across all media platforms.

Defining the hashtag

A hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by the hash symbol (#). Written within a post or comment to highlight it and facilitate a search for it. Essentially, by including hashtags in your post; it will be indexed by the social network and search engines so that it can be discoverable to everyone. Even if they’re not your followers or fans. For example, if your company is based in Hobart and your desired audience is both local residents and visitors to the city you could use the hashtag #hobartandbeyond to tap into the tourism sector of your client base.

Instagram (and social media in general) has been changing the rules of the hashtag game. And with that, we need to change our methods of engagement from the types and frequency of our hashtag usage. Focusing on more what, how, and when we post our content, so it counts most.

Hashtags

Hashtag heaven

Social media statistics will help you track your hashtag engagement

To put it simply, Instagram has divided their hashtags into three different categories, genericcommunity, and branded hashtags

Generic: 

These hashtags are the least specific of the three, but they do help with random discovery by users. However, the drawback is if you use the same hashtags too often your account could be flagged as ‘spam’ which you don’t want. This type of hashtag is more like a generalisation. And when it comes to business, it doesn’t work. Most businesses, or almost every business, have a niche (a specific type of product or service). And using a broad hashtag is akin to stabbing wildly in the dark. So, if you are going to use a generic hashtag, make sure you mix them up. Generic hashtag examples are: #travel, #love, #paradise

Community:

Related to the gathering of people who have similar interests or have similar content. Some examples of these communities are #fromwhereistand and #ihavethisthingwithfloors. To find these look at your followers and the types of accounts and people they follow. The narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the following.

Branded:

Unique to your business, branded hashtag, they can be your business name or tagline, specific product name. They can be helpful in encouraging UGC and increasing exposure specific to your business, services and products.

Don’t make your hashtags too long and hard to read, and, check your spelling.

Last but not least, you can now follow specific hashtags on Instagram, and so can your followers. This game changer will either boost or kill your visibility. Which is one of the reasons why using the relevant hashtag is so important. Once a hashtag is followed you’ll be given suggestions from Instagram of other hashtags, accounts, images, content that may be of interest. A form of organic discovery, using Instagram centric algorithms and hashtags. By following specific hashtags you’ll be able to see what other people are doing. Who is using the same hashtag and if this is on point for your business, brand and target audience.

Plus, you’ll gather a cache of hashtags relevant to your industry as deemed by Instagram. If that’s not the golden ticket, we don’t know what is!

A closer look at social platforms & what works best

Instagram

  • Between 3-5 hashtags in your description, and up to 10 in your comments.
  • To keep everything organised and visually appealing. It’s best to put your hashtags at the end of your caption preferably separated by either dots or asterisks. If you’re a bit OCD, you can also add your hashtags in a comment to your post (10 maximum).
  • Instagram’s algorithm has always favoured specific and relevant hashtags. Using hashtags that make sense is super important. That’s because users now have the power to edit your hashtagged content as something they don’t want to see.
  • Instagram insights will give you an outline of which hashtag groups are working best for you. From there you can narrow down your hashtag use to the ones that are most effective for you, and your business.

Facebook

  • Surprisingly the use of a hashtag is not very important on Facebook, it’s the title, heading or description that punches its weight.
  • Use hashtag groups, but keep them to an absolute minimum, a branded hashtag is the best course of action.
  • Content posted on Facebook can now be cross-posted onto Instagram if images are part of the post.

Pinterest

  • Don’t use more than 20 hashtags per pin (that’s a lot!) and they only work in the pin description.

Twitter

  • More than two hashtags have been shown to reduce visibility and reduce the tweets to being allocated as ‘spam’.
  • Unlike Instagram, hashtags can be used anywhere. In the tweet, whether as part of the text or afterwards, it makes no difference. #But #don’t #tag #every #word – #its #annoying #to #read.

Google+ and LinkedIn

  • The humble Hashtag can be used, but they don’t impact the visibility of the post. Again, focus on using branded hashtags only.
  • On LinkedIn, the most important feature is the fact that any activity on posts (e.g. likes, shares or comments) are broadcast on the wall of everyone who is following your company or you as an individual. An easy way to get exposure is to post regular content and encourage engagement.
Hashtags are go!

Hashtags help make you and your business more discoverable

 

 

 

 

 

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*This post was originally written by Wayfairer for Digital Dandy If you’d like help or some further information about coaching services in relation to digital media, social strategy and business presence online get in touch here  – info (at) wayfairer.net

 

 

 

 

GDPR + Your Business

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into effect today, May 25th, 2018. Whilst there has been a lot of hype about the updated regulations, the core essence of the policy is to protect the data of people collected by businesses.

LET US EXPLAIN….

General privacy policies are related to information attached to an individual and these can be broken down into:

  • email address
  • first and last names
  • date and place of birth
  • city, town and country
  • shipping and/or billing addresses
  • e-commerce information – banking or card details (there are additional Privacy Policy requirements for e-commerce sites)

Anonymous data, which is data that is not specifically personal but can be classified as ‘ personally identifiable information‘ when used in connection with other types of data that can lead to the identification of an individual.

Any business or website that collects data (as outlined above) is subject to this law and are applicable to the following platforms:

  • Websites
  • WordPress blogs (or other platforms)
  • E-commerce stores
  • Mobile apps – across all phone platforms (iOS, Android, Windows)
  • Facebook apps, desktop apps, Saas apps
  • Digital products or digital services

The GDPR is applicable to any individual or business that offers products or services to citizens of the EU and / or collects information from EU citizens. Regardless of where your business is located. This means that Australian based businesses that collect data, whether emails or data related to e-commerce transactions are required to comply with the GDPR

Part of the new regulation outlined in Article 12 of the GDPR stipulates how your business communicates with customers about the way personal data is processed, and it must be:

  • Intelligible and concise, in clear plain language that is easily understood
  • Easily accessible
  • Free of charge

In addition to the new GDPR regulation, more information is required in your business Privacy Policy, which like the GDPR needs to outline the following points –

A sample email marketing permission consent form

  • What personal information you collect
  • How and why you collect it
  • How you use it
  • How you secure it
  • Any third parties with access to it
  • If you use cookies
  • How users can control any aspects of this data

Dense legal jargon must be avoided, the purpose of the legislation is to allow individuals to easily understand what your privacy and data protection policies are.

Privacy Notices are also a new mandatory requirement, and these are a short, concise note to let the user know why you are collecting their data (see image for an example) A sample email marketing permission consent form

HOW TO GET STARTED

Enabling GDPR fields in your sign up forms will not make your business compliant. It’s a multi-step process

1. Set up a GDPR friendly sign up which has the following:

Sample information about how an individual can contact the DPO (Data Protection Officer)

  • Marketing permission text – advise sign-ups that you’re collecting their information and how you’ll use it.
  • Opt-in checkboxes for all of your channels – Customers can choose how and where they hear from you. Including the most common marketing channels you use e.g. email, direct mail, customised online advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Google ads)
  • Your company privacy policy and terms –Advise people where they can find your privacy policy and how they can contact you
  • Data storage policy – Let people know how you will store their data, if you plan to keep all data within a marketing platform. For example, MailChimp, provide links to their Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, to ensure both you and your email marketing provider are GDPR compliant.

2. Send a re-permission email to your existing email list. Most email marketing providers, like, MailChimp, have templates you can use to get contact permissions that are GDPR compliant. Once re-consent has been received this will be stored with your emails and collected user data.

3. Stay compliant with data management and security. This means enabling 2 Factor Authentication (known as 2FA) and allow users to modify their contact information through a link to their profile. This includes deleting all personal data.

 Sample information about how an individual can contact the DPO (Data Protection Officer)

GDPR data protection compliance

4. Provide information about how an individual can contact the DPO (Data Protection Officer) in your business (in the case of small businesses this is the business owner / sole trader who responsible for data management and compliance)

Creating these Privacy Policies and GDPR compliant guidelines can be daunting. There is an option to have a Policy created that is compliant with both Australian law and the updated GDPR. They are:

  • Privacy Policies – free for personal use and a fee for business, after inputting your information a Privacy Policy is created (please note that this is a generic privacy policy and may not cover all the legal requirements of your business and/or the updated regulations of the GDPR – if in doubt, please seek legal counsel) USD $29.99 per policy
  • Terms Feed – create legally binding agreements for users, they create Privacy Policies, T&Cs, EULA, Returns and Refunds, and Cookies policy. Prices start at USD$14.00 and increase according to the complexity of your website, services and products. This is considered to be the best option to cover all regulations – specifically GDPR, CalOPPA and Australian data protection laws)
  • WordPress offers a free plugin that generates a privacy policy for your WordPress site. Download the free Auto Terms of Service and Privacy Policy WordPress plugin from the WordPress plugin directory.

Please note, the above information is not legal advice. Please seek professional guidance should you have any doubts or queries as to how to protect and make your business compliant with the new Data Protection regulations both within Australia and internationally.

See our Privacy Policy here