Use Twitter Hashtags to create a local business community


Have you notices loads of tweets with #Biz type Hashtags?

For example #Bizitalk #NewForestBiz

Ever wondered what they are? They are a way of attracting the attention of twitter users to businesses that they may be interested in.


Here is a quick summary…

60 seconds on… Twitter Hashtags


So if you are trying to promote your business with Twitter, it can be hard on your own, but if you promote other businesses, and they promote yours, Together Everyone Achieves More (That’s TEAM. See what I did there? :o)

so – here’s a quick plan…

  • Decide on your hashtag
  • Search on Twitter for associated businesses, maybe local to you.
  • Retweet their tweets, but add your hashtag.
  • Tweet regularly something like… “Do you have a business in or around xxxx? Promote it with hashtag #XXXXBiz, then RT others to promote each other. “
  • Everytime you put out a promoting tweet of your own, add the Hashtag to it.
  • … and repeat


Soon, people who you are ReTweeting will start to thank you, and ReTweet your tweets, and those of other businesses using the hashtag.


Bingo! You have your own Online Business Support Community. Long may you grow and prosper.


Bye for Now.

Chris Smith

chris smith





Engage your followers with Twylah

Why do you use Twitter?

Social Media for Business






In my experience, there are 2 main types of Twitter users:

  • Fun users
  • Business Users


Fun users are people that like to tweet for fun – to their friends, and anyone who follows them. They don’t really mind who follows them, but they like lots of followers. They often have some area of interest that links many of their followers, for example their football team.

Business Users are people that use Twitter, and other Social Media, with a specific goal in mind. That is usually to attract followers to their website, or other place of business. Once their, they hope to engage the reader with the hope to generate a sale, or some sort of business.


…and of course there are many other types, and many twitter users who combine both types.


If you are a Business User, then I hope this post is of interest to you.

With Twitter – you have just 140 characters – maybe 1.5 seconds – to arouse the curiousity of your followers, and get them to find out more about you, maybe visit your website.


But there is a new tool now – Twylah – which helps engage your followers for a little longer.


Twylah is a free application that creates a website with menus, based on your Twitter topics.

It analyses the words that you use, and groups together the common topics.

Twylah page

You can also manage these topics, so if there is a topic that you don’t want to include, you can exclude it. If there are topics that you always want to include aty the top of your Twulah page, even when you haven’t been Tweeting about it, you can do that too.


So how does this help?

Well: On one page you can give your followers a visual impression of what you’re about, without having to spend anymore time on it. Twylah does all of it for you!

… and it is always up to date with your latest thoughts!

Have a look at my Twylah page here, and then set yours up! Really – it takes 2 minutes.


Spend a little time working ON your business, not just IN your business.


Bye for Now

Chris Smith

chris smith






Other posts about Twitter:

Is your business Invisible to your Twitter Followers?

Have you hit the Twitter 2000 Limit?

Use Buffer to increase your Twitter visibility

If you’re in business, and you use Twitter, then you should take a look at Buffer too.

Buffer is a very easy to use tool that helps you schedule tweets, and analyse your follower engagement of those tweets.


I love it because it is so easy to use, and I love the layout….


But first – what is your opinion of scheduled, automated tweets?

If you are anti – then stop now, because that is what Buffer does. However, if you are in business, then stick with me for a moment…


Buffer does not replace your personal engagement with followers. You must still engage with your followers by ReTweeting their interesting or helpful tweets, by replying to them, by posting your topical, informative tweets on a regular, frequent basis.

However – it is unlikely that you can do this 24 hours a day. Your average Twitter timeline has hundreds and thousands of tweets an hour. If you are not in there while your followers are looking, you might as well be invisible!

Therefore, to keep you visible, to keep you in the eye of your followers, you can schedule tweets to be posted on your behalf by Buffer, at certain times throughout the day.


I use it to send tweets about my popular blog posts. These don’t change very often, so I can send a tweet out automatically and anyone who sees it and clicks on the link will see my (hopefully!) useful, informative, and engaging blog post.


I also send out regular quotes that are relevant to my business. I use the quotes of Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, and Winston Churchill, aswell as those of many other authors I like.


You can start with Buffer for FREE. If you go for this option, you get 10 slots in your Buffer. This means that you can load up 10 tweets that Buffer will post on your behalf, at the times you select.


If you wish, you can upgrade to the paid version to:

  • get unlimited room in your Buffer,
  • post to more social profiles, and
  • allow team members to post on your behalf.

Personally, I use the free one, simply because it does everything I want.


You CAN get extra spaces in your Buffer by introducing other people to Buffer. When you sign up for Buffer you get an affiliate link. Send this link to your Twitter friends, and for everyone that signs up to Buffer, you get an extra space.

If you like this Blog Post, and you’d like to try Buffer – feel free to use my Affiliate link – I promise to love you forever in return :o)


Getting Started

So – you’ve signed up to Buffer. What next?

First, go to the Settings page and decide what times of the day you want Buffer to post your tweets.



You can spread them out across 24 hours, or concentrate them on the busy times for your business, whichever you prefer.


Next, go to your Dashboard, and load up your first tweets (up to 10, remember) that you want Buffer to post for you.

Then sit back and let Buffer do its stuff.

I do this daily, every morning.

I have a text document where I keep all of my tweets that I want to use. Every time I come across a new quote, or I write a blog post, or something I want to tweet about regularly, I simply add it tjhe tweet to this text document.

Then in the morning I open up Buffer, open up my text document, and just add then next 10 tweets (or however many spaces you have in your Buffer).



I love the simple analysis that Buffer gives you. It shows you your recent tweets (those that Buffer has posted for you), and how many followers potentially saw the tweet. However, if the tweet was ReTweeted, then it includes the followers of each person who ReTweeted it. You also see who did this ReTweeting – so you can see people who have an interest in your tweets, and start to engage with them.

You can also see how many people clicked on any links in your tweets – again to see which of your Twitter Posts are arousing the most curiosity.

So while you are going about your daily business, Buffer is keeping your audience entertained, and you can look at the results when you have the time.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!


Want to know one of the reasons that I wrote this post? (Apart from the fact that I love Buffer).

It was because Buffer Analytics told me that of all of the tweets it had posted for me, the Tweet that got the most clicks (by a long way!) was this…


… and so I wanted to have some more interesting Twitter-Related content for those people. By having related content on your blog, you can keep people reading your stuff, (which is presumably why you have a blog!)
So what drove you here? Please send me a comment below, I’d love to know what made you come to this post.
Best Wishes
Chris Smith
Other posts about Twitter:

 Engage your followers with Twylah

 Have you hit the Twitter 2000 Limit?


How to Save the Planet with Network Marketing

How to Save the Planet with Network Marketing

The Rush Hour. Although it lasts for about three or four hours now.

This is what you get when everyone is driving to work,

at about the same time,

to the same places.

All of that pollution stinks and is doing the planet, and our health, no good at all. Never mind your stress levels if you’re sat in that queue every morning and every evening.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see the family occasionally?


Well Network Marketing is the worldwide phenomenon that can help you with that.


What is Network Marketing?

Basically it is a way to start your own “work from home” business, using a national or international company. So you don’t start from scratch. Everything is in place for you.



You work for yourself, from home, with no boss, and you earn money from selling or sharing the products or services of the company you represent.

In addition, you earn commission on the sales of other people you introduce to the business.

This “team building” aspect can generate large residual incomes as you build it up over a period of time.


The cost to get started is anything from £0 to around £200 depending on the opportunity.



Typically, you start working with a Network Marketing business part-time, but you can soon build up enough income to give up your full time job, and have a great lifestyle, working from home.


Examples in the UK include Kleeneze, Utility Warehouse, Forever Living, Numis, Herbalife.


Time to commute to work? About 15 seconds.


Save the Planet.

Start Today.



and save your own sanity at the same time.

What is your daily commute like?

Best Wishes

Chris Smith

Are you using Pinterest to promote your business yet?


A great way to promote your business.

Social media for Business







Have you got your Pinterest account set up yet?

NO? Do it now, you’ll love it!


What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social media network – a way of sharing things with other people. It is like a set of virtual pinboards.

Do you have a pinboard in your kitchen with postcards of memorable holidays, pictures of the kids, favourite recipes etc?

Well it’s like that, but you can have as many pinboards as you want, and pin as many pictures to a board as you want.



This picture is an example of my old Goal Board, a pin board I used to hold pictures of my goals.








… and this is one of my Pinterest Goal Boards.

I feel a lot more organised. I have boards for short- medium- and long term goals, and I can add comments to them, to help keep me on track and motivated.



Why does Pinterest attract attention?

Pinterest is attracting attention because it is SO VISUAL.


How many times have you logged on to a blog, or a website, and found pages and pages of text. It may be really interesting or useful, but you just can’t face working your way through it.



With Pinterest, you can just browse the many fantastic images, and if you find one that you like, you can repin it to one of your own boards.

There are mouthwatering images with great recipes, fantastic ideas for interior design, beautiful images of your favourite city, all just waiting for you to feast your eyes on.

art, food, travel

You can search for areas that you’re interested in, to find people with similar interests, or just to find fantastic images to repin to your boards.


Business or Pleasure?

There seem to be two main groups of people using Pinterest, those doing it purely for pleasure, and those doing it to promote their business, and there is some crossover too.

Those doing it purely for pleasure have a great way to collect and organise beautiful images that they love – you will find boards with names like…

  • Places I love
  • My favourite recipes
  • Beautiful Clothes
  • My favourite fashions
  • Gorgeous beaches
  • …and so on

You will also find people promoting businesses. this works especially well if your business has a strong visual component. Not so great for accountants, but they sky is the limit?

If you are a maker of beautiful things, then Pinterest is perfect for you…

For example…

  • Mosaics
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Jewellery

Hints and tips









So if you are promoting your business, here are some great hints and tips….

Collect your images into related Boards. Don’t just have one big board with everything on.

Give each pin a meaningful name – remember people will be searching!

Give each board a meaningful name! – people will want to follow the whole board

Do you have a website? Then ensure each PIN points it to your website. There are two ways to do this.

  1. If you have Pinned it from your website, then it will point back to your website by default.
  2. If you have uploaded it yourself, then do this…
  • Log onto Pinterest
  • Hover over your profile (top right hand corner)
  • Select Boards
  • Click on the board containing your new pin, or the ojne you want to change
  • Hover over the pin you want to change, and click EDIT.
  • In the LINK field, enter the url of your website, or the page on your website that you want people to go to.
  • Save the PIN.

Now, whenever anyone looks at your PIN, and clicks on it to find more information, they will be taken to your fantastic website with all of your other products, your online shop, and other ways they can engage with you. Cool huh?


You can pin images to your pinterest boards from…

  • Other Pinterest boards
  • Elsewhere on the web
  • Your own photos
  • Images on your own website


Getting started

  1. Create an account
  2. Search Pinterest for keywords you might be interested in
  3. Repin your favourites onto a board of your own.
  4. upload your own images
  5. Follow people or boards that have images that inspire you.
  6. Engage with them – comment on their pictures. This is Social Media, so they will look at your boards and if you inspiure them, they will follow you, and comment on your images and so on.


Hey Presto – your images get exposure across the PinterestVerse!


To see the Pinterest boards of a complete amateur…

Take a look at my Pinterest Boards.

Bye for Now

Chris Smith

Unable to follow anyone else in Twitter?

Have you hit the Twitter 2000 Limit?

 Social Media for Business


Have you tried to FOLLOW someone in twitter, and been unable to? You get a message along the lines of “You are unable to follow more people at this time


This is due to the Twitter 2000 Limit.

Twitter 200 limit

Twitter sets a limit to the number of people you can follow, in comparison to the number of people who follow you.

Twitter don’t publish an exact figure, but it appears that you can’t follow more than 10% more than follow you.

If you are following less than 2000 people, that is no problem.

Follow 2000 and have only 1 follower – still no problem. Although you might want to ask why nobody is following you!

Follow 2001 – that’s when the problem hits you!



  • Follow 1000, with 300 Following – no problem
  • Follow 2000, with 300 Following – no problem
  • Follow 2001, with 300 Following – BANG! You hit the limit, and can’t follow any more.
  • Follow 2001, with 1850 Following – should be fine, as the count of people you are following is within 10% of the count of people who are following you.


Twitter don’t give an exact number, so don’t quote me, but you get the idea.

Clear? Good.


What I tend to see is people join Twitter. They then follow lots of people to see what is going on. If they are posting interesting and useful Tweets themselves, then many of those people will follow them back. Consume AND Contribute.


However, if they are not posting much, or posting mainly spam, or adverts, then many people will not follow back. Or they will follow back, and then unfollow a while later.


So is there a solution?


It depends what you are trying to do, but here are a few ideas…

  1. Post more interesting stuff yourself – people are more likely to follow you.
  2. ReTweet and Comment on posts you find interesting. The authors of those posts might Follow you.
  3. Use a tool like Untweeps to identify people you are following that are not tweeting very often – you could unfollow those, to create space to follow more people.


I hope that helps.

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisSmith_UK


Other posts about Twitter:

Is your Business invisible to your Twitter Followers?

Engage your followers for longer with Twylah

Posts about Pinterest

Are you using Pinterest to promote your business yet?


Bye for Now

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

How To Start Your Own Business From Scratch

How to start your own business from scratch

Start a business from scratch


It seems like every week now, there is a new headline in the news about the number of unemployed people, the number of people made redundant, a company making some job cuts etc.


Long gone are the days of a job for life, or even being able to move between jobs and stay employed for life.


So I want to suggest an alternative to you:

If you cannot find someone to employ you – employ yourself!

employ yourself

By that, I mean start your own business. It is so easy to do this today. People used to say the British are a Nation of Shopkeepers. Now we are a nation of entrepreneurs. Self-Employment is the new “Job for Life”


There are some big advantages to being self-employed:

  • For one, you get more sunshine.
  • You have no boss, except maybe your other half).
  • If you want a payrise you can simply take on extra work.


So – how do you do start your own business? Here’s a quick checklist, and I’ll go through them in some detail later.

  • Decide on the product or service
  • Advertise
  • Earn Money

OK, that may seem a bit silly, but I wanted to make a point – it doesn’t have to be complicated.


Decide on the Product or Service

This is where you need to look at yourself, and decide what you can do, and look at the marketplace, and decide if there is a demand for it. This could really be anything – From dog walking, car washing, gardening, handyman. Can you do these things? You probably don’t need to invest in loads of equipment to get you started.

There are other, home-based businesses, where you have the support of a national or international company. Examples are Home-Shopping businesses, such as my personal favourite, Kleeneze. If you want to find some information about that, just visit my Kleeneze Information Site.


Find your customers

This is where the Internet, and Social Media in particular has changed the ball game. It used to be that when you start your own business, you rely on friends and family, and then word of mouth. Then you have to place some (expensive) adverts in local papers every week and so on.

Expensive adverts


Still, Friends and Family and Word Of Mouth is the best place to start, but in parallel with that there are loads of Social media applications that are free, easy to use, and have MILLIONS of people out there that you can reach out to.

To start off with I am going to assume that your business is aimed at your local population. However, if you are, for example, a website designer, then that service can be provided for a customer anywhere in the world, so this would not apply to you.

Over the next few days I will write posts, each of which will give you a quick guide on how to market your local business using…

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn






Each one of these will connect you with a different group of people who may, or may know someone who does, want your product or service.

Each of these Social Media will be covered in a new blog post in the next few days.

The basic strategy that you use for all of these Social Media is as follows:

  • Brand Yourself
  • Identify potential customers
  • Engage with them
  • Look for opportunities

DO NOT simply create an account and blast loads of adverts at all and sundry. That will get you no business at all.

I will expand on the details of this strategy in another post in the next few days.


Oh, and last but not least…

Earn Money

If you have a product or service for which there is a demand, and you have found some customers, then you should complete the final step – Earn Money.


I hope that has sown the seeds of some ideas for you. I will write the next posts for you in the next few days, so please watch this space.


Bye for Now


Chris Smith

Chris Smith






Are you climbing your staircase?

Are you climbing your staircase?

Or are you waiting for the things to come to you?


The world is changing. You can’t stand still. You must either climb, or you will descend.


I’m talking about your life, the quality of your life. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.


So if you have a job, and you go in at the same time every day, do the same stuff, and go home at the same time – you are standing still.


However, the world is moving – prices go up, new gadgets come along, kids get more demanding. If you are still doing the same thing that you’ve always done, you’ll be getting the same wages, and you’ll miss out on things.


If you want to improve the quality of your life, you must climb your staircase.


What does that mean? It means learn some new skills. Make yourself more valuable. When the next promotion comes along, and your boss sees that you’ve been putting in some extra hours, that you have some more skills, and you’ve been doing an evening class – there’s a good chance you could get it.


Jim Rohn has a great story of life in USA – he talks about work and pay being like a ladder.


First you have to get on the ladder. At the beginning it pays only $4 or $5 an hour, but learn a new skill or have a good attitude, and you can step up.

If you work at McDonalds they pay you $4 an hour. If you whistle while you take the rubbish out, they pay you $5 an hour.

See – good attitude doesn’t take much, and you’ve taken a step up the ladder already.


Most people do it the wrong way round –

“When they give me a pay rise THEN I’ll have a good attitude”

Why should they?

Have a good attitude first – put in some extra hours, learn some extra skills, become more valuable – THEN they will give you a pay rise!


So if you feel you want a change in your life…..

  • Take a look at the Staircase you are on.
  • Face the right direction.
  • Now take a step.


Bye for now

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Where’s your special place?

Where’s your special place?


Do you have a special place? Here’s mine. Let me tell you why it is special to me.

My special place


This is Goredale Scar, a spot in the Yorkshire Dales near Malham.


About 10 years ago, my Dad and I went for a walk round here. I don’t see my Dad very often, maybe once a year. We live at different ends of the country, and I guess we’re just not the communicative type. ….and then when we do meet up, we chat for about 5 minutes, and then run out of things to say.


Anyway, we had agreed to meet up for a walk. I was coming up North for a couple of days, and we decided to meet at Malham, and walk around the tarn, and the cove and so on. My dad has always been the organised type, so he brought the map and planned the route. I had never been to Goredale Scar before.


So we walk out of Malham, along the road towards the Scar, beautiful countryside, pleasant weather. We were making idle small talk, and admiring the dry stone walls and the sheep. As we come to a field which has a camp site in it, Dad turns off the road and into the field.


We walk along, through the campsite, and take a path which follows this lovely stream. Either side of us the Valley walls rise up steeply…

(Looking back from Goredale Scar towards the campsite)


This is really beautiful countryside, and I look forward to seeing what lies ahead, as I can see the valley walls are closing in…..


…. we continue to the end of the footpath, and have to tread carefully amongst lots of stones, and the stream bed. At this point I can see the Waterfall….


…and I am thinking, “wow, the footpath must take a hidden route around the side”, but I couldn’t really see where it could go.


My dad keeps walking carefully along the stream bed towards the Waterfall, gets to the foot of the waterfall, and says “Right, I think it is safer if we climb up this side. The other side is a bit damp and slippy.”




Damp and Slippy?


Now I am sure we had discussed going for a walk. Taking ropes and belay devices and suchlike had not entered the conversation.


However, I didn’t think of myself is being a scaredy cat, and I didn’t want to decline the invitation to climb, so I just swallowed hard, and waited to see where my Dad went.


…and up he went, large rucksack on his back, climbing up the side of this huge, vertical, cliff face (well, when I say huge, vertical, and cliff, I exaggerate a little) but I can tell you I had a fair old surge of adrenaline flowing round at that point.


So I started climbing behind him, carefully placing hands and feet, and every time I looked down, all I could see were the jagged stones at the bottom of the waterfall, and what a mess they would make of me if I fell.


After a couple of minutes, the climb became less steep, and we were able to scramble up to an area where we could stand up and catch our breath. Well, catch my breath.


I looked back and saw the other walkers at the bottom of the waterfall looking up at us in awe (well that’s what it looked like to me), and I thought to myself “Yeah! we are on the top of the world!”


The buzz of the adrenaline, and the feeling of excitement having attempted and succeeded in something that I could not imagine myself doing was amazing.


We then carried on along the path to Malham Tarn, around to Malham Cove, and back to Malham village for a pie and a pint. At least, I assume that’s what we did, because to be honest, I can remember a lot of detail of that 5-10 minutes at the waterfall, and I can hardly remember any of the remaining 2-3 hours of the rest of the walk.


I guess that is why this place is special to me.


I work hard on my business, and it can be stressful at times, but every now and then I like to go and visit Goredale Scar.


I have never climbed the waterfall since, but just as you walk into the stream bed, and approach the waterfall, on your right hand side, there is a ledge that you can climb up to, which gives you a view down onto any other walkers in the area, and it is large enough to sit and have a sandwich and a drink, and listen to the water, falling down the Scar.


I remember back to that unexpected, scary achievement of 10 years ago, and all of my worries and stresses of my day to day life drift away for a little while, and I remember that, even though I had not planned it, just for a few minutes, I was on top of the world.


Do you have somewhere special to you?


Bye for Now

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Are you following the right path?

Are you following the right path?

Actually – are you following any path, or are you just wandering along aimlessly without any plan or direction…..

are you following the right path?

This photo is from the New Forest, Hampshire, near where I live. Last week I was just stretching my legs, getting some peace and quiet, and I came over a small hill and saw the footpath leading off ahead.


It made me think – this could be like the footpath of your life……




Some people have a dream, a goal, or a destination, and they plan the route, they decide which footpaths to take to get there.

Other people live in the moment, and they don’t know where they are going. They just react to whatever life throws at them, avoid the difficult paths, and just stick to the easy life.


Are you on the right path?

If you can answer YES or NO, that’s GOOD. If you have no idea, thats BAD!


YES?      NO?

If you answered YES, or NO, that means you have a clear goal, perhaps to get a promotion by the end of the year, so that you can save up and buy your first house.


If you answered YES, then maybe that’s because you know what you need to do to get that promotion, what skills you need to learn, what extra commitment you need to make, and you are learning those skills, you are making that commitment.


If you answered NO, then maybe that’s because you know what you need to do, but you are struggling to learn the skills, or you are unable to make that commitment. HOWEVER – at least you know that you are on the wrong path. You can find a different path, a different route to earn the momney to buy that house, and that path may require skills that you CAN learn, and commitments that you CAN make. All you need to do now is decide to change paths.



The big problem is if you answered I DON’T KNOW to the question. If you don’t know whether or not you are on the right path, then maybe you don’t know where the path is leading, or even if you are on a path. Maybe you are simply being blown by the winds from pillar to post, not sure whether one direction is better or worse than any other.


That could be that you don’t have any dreams or goals, so you just live from day to day, spending money as soon as you receive it on consumables. – food, drink, clothes.


If you don’t decide on a path, your life will continue to be what it has always been. Are you happy with that? Yes? That’s great, I wish you well. No? Then you need to discover a dream, set a goal, and find the right path to achieve it.


Bye for Now.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith