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392 – BASH – Hashtags – Use Them Or Not?
Episode 39215th October 2022 • Gift Biz Unwrapped • Sue Monhait
00:00:00 00:33:50

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Hashtags. A topic that has been surrounded by a lot of confusion. And if you think you’ve got it all down pat, let me put out there that what you knew to be true even two years ago has all changed today. Ah! The joys of social media. Not to worry. Answers to your hashtag questions and more coming your way right now!

What's In This Bash?

1. Free Training: The Latest Scoop On Hashtags

In this BASH, we cover:
  • What are hashtags?
  • Why use them?
  • Where to use them?
  • What’s the right number of hashtags to use?
  • How do I figure out which ones are the best for my biz?
  • and more!

2. Q&A about this topic with Bash attendees.

3. Business Showcases

Listen to the full episode to hear about discounts, collaboration opportunities, and more!

Listen to this episode to get the lowdown on how to use hashtags for your handmade product business now!

Resources mentioned:

Be part of the newest Gift Biz Opportunities!

The Gift Biz Bash offers you the chance to get added visibility for your business - for free. Who can't use that?! But seats are limited. To see the dates and times and to grab your spot, click here. A Gift Biz Boost is a free one-on-one strategy session discussing a part of your business you're trying to grow. Maybe it's the first steps to getting started, or how to attract more sales, whatever your current focus is. You'll leave with actionable steps to "boost" you forward.

Join our community of handmade product makers

Gift Biz Breeze is an active and inspiring group of creators at all levels of business development. Ask questions, see what others are working on, learn new things, it's all there and we're waiting for you to join us!

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Transcripts

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Gift Biz Unwrapped,

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episode 392.

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Attention Gifters Bakers crafters and Makers pursuing your dream can be

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fun. Whether you have an established business or looking to start

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one, now you are in the right place.

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This is Gift Biz Un helping you turn your skill into

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a flourishing business.

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Join us for an episode packed full of invaluable guidance,

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resources, and the support you need to grow your gift biz.

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Here is your host Gift Biz Gal Sue Moon Height.

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Hi there,

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it's Sue and thanks for joining me here today on the

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podcast. Before we get started,

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I'm gonna share a secret with you.

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You can watch the video for free and then get your

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slash inspired.

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Today we're talking about hashtags,

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a topic that's been surrounded by a lot of confusion,

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and if you think you've got it all down,

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Pat, let me put it out there,

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that what you knew to be true even two years ago

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has all changed today,

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the joys of social media.

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What are hashtags?

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Why use them?

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What's the right number of hashtags to use,

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and how do I figure out which ones are the best

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for my business?

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Answers to these questions and more coming your way right now.

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Hi there,

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and welcome to the last Bash of the Year.

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We have a couple of your fellow handmade creators here today

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who you're gonna hear from a little bit later.

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But first,

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I want to unravel this crazy complicated topic of hashtags.

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Should you be using them?

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Maybe you've never used them and you're thinking about adding them.

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Maybe you've seen things changing,

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you just don't know.

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Maybe you don't even know what hashtags are.

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So we're gonna talk about all of that really quickly before

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we get into showcases because after all,

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this is a bash hashtags along with everything associated with social

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media, they continue to change.

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It's great for people who are experts on certain social media

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platforms because it always gives them content to talk about.

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You know,

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hashtags change how you should be posting on social media is

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changing. What portions of platforms you should be using are changing.

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It's always changing.

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Social is always changing.

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So for experts,

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that's great.

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For those of us who want to use social media to

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grow our business,

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it's confusing because it is changing.

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And if we want to align with best practices,

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that means we have to stay on top of everything all

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the time,

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learn the new things,

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and then rearrange our strategy accordingly.

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So let's get some clarity today on hashtags specifically in terms

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of should we be using them,

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should we not,

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with what is current right now.

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So this is not just me telling you,

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I've resourced a couple of the experts that I follow on

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different platforms,

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merged information together.

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I will enhance that with my own experiences and hopefully at

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the end you're gonna get more clarity about hashtags overall,

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not just for what's current now,

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but also what to do in the future.

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And I think the best place to start is defining specifically

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what hashtags are in case you are not sure.

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Think of hashtags as folders in a filing cabinet.

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If you were wanting to know about your contract with Comcast,

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you're gonna open a filing cabinet,

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pull out the file that says Comcast,

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and there are all the bills that you've paid,

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probably your contract,

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maybe some notes on services that you've had performed,

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things like that.

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They're all nice in a little file folder.

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That's pretty much what a hashtag is.

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When you take that online,

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then think of hashtags like words you would put into a

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Google search event.

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If you are looking for upcoming autumn festivals in your area,

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you would input autumn festivals in your hometown or whatever,

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and then all of those things would come up.

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Those are two examples of what hashtags do in terms of

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services they provide you on social media.

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It's used for discovery to be found.

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And so people want to put hashtags in posts because you

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feel like if you're putting the right hashtags in,

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then people organically are going to find you.

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And if they like what that post is,

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then they're either going to go to your website,

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follow a link that's in the post direct message,

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you from that post,

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et cetera.

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So it's all about discoverability.

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Also, I don't know if everybody is familiar with this,

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but you can follow hashtags on Instagram.

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So if there's a certain topic that you're interested in,

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you don't just have to follow accounts on Instagram.

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You can also follow specific hashtags.

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And again,

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this can be great for discovery and even organic,

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even though yes,

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when you pay,

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you put dollars behind posts,

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they go further.

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But even with organic discovery,

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hands still be a thing,

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albeit on a much smaller basis.

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Couple of other things to know about hashtags is anyone can

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use any hashtag or you can add your own hashtag.

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So if you have a hashtag like you've created or thought

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up some fun name,

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maybe it's even like the slogan of your business,

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you could add that as a hashtag if you wanted to,

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but you don't own a hashtag.

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You might have seen people who,

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like I have a hashtag gift biz unwrapped,

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I use it.

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Sometimes I don't use it.

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Other times you could make a hashtag of your own business,

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but know that other people could use that same hashtag for

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themselves. So anyone can go out and do hashtag gift biz

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unwrapped or anything else.

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So just know that you don't own it.

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And if that were to happen,

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like if someone were to pull up hashtag gift biz unwrapped,

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they may see that it's not all things that are from

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me. They could be from anybody.

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There are also lots of variations on a single hashtag topic.

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You know,

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these hashtags can get niched down.

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For example,

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if you said handmade jewelry,

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okay, there could also be handmade beta jewelry,

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handmade silver jewelry,

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handmade sterling silver jewelry made in Maryland.

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You know,

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like they can just keep going.

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So all different types of versions of hashtags as well.

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So that's definition and a few little facts about hashtags.

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Now, where do you use hashtags?

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In the beginning,

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Twitter was the one who really initiated hashtags,

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and you still will see hashtags today on tweets.

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Instagram, when they came on the scene also incorporated hashtags and

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they seem to be the big one.

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They're the ones who used hashtags really more than anybody.

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You currently can use up to 30 hashtags on any post

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on Instagram.

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As recently as July of 2020,

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Facebook started saying,

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Oh, you can use hashtags now in your Facebook posts.

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They're now appropriate.

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So everyone's kind of getting on the hashtag bandwagon,

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if you will,

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and it still works like this today.

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But do you remember when Instagram was only hashtags,

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but you have the ability within Instagram to automatically let your

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post shoot over to Facebook.

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In the past that looked bad because people were like,

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Well, obviously this is an Instagram account that you are automating

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over to Facebook.

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Hashtags aren't appropriate on Facebook,

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so we all know what you're doing.

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And they would get less attention.

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I was always advising if you were to do that,

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if you automate your post to move over,

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then go back into Facebook and remove those hashtags because it

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wasn't appropriate for the platform.

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Now that's kind of changed because Instagram will allow you to

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have hashtags and Facebook is now saying it's okay too.

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All right,

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if you're confused at this point,

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I get it because there's a lot that I'm talking about.

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So let me circle this in a little bit tighter and

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talk about the current direction.

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For hashtags,

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start with the number of hashtags I already mentioned on Instagram.

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You officially can put in up to 30 hashtags on any

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post. It seems like the sweet spot is somewhere between 10

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and 15 hashtags for Instagram posts.

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Okay? When you bump over to Facebook,

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three to five looks like the sweet spot.

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So that's a guideline for you of what to do.

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Now having said that,

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you're gonna wanna test for yourself.

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And this gets to frequency,

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like should I add hashtags to all my posts?

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Should I add them to some?

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Should I add them to none?

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All of those are options for you.

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And what you need to do is test this out for

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yourself and see if your community and your group want hashtags.

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Like hashtags if your viewership goes up or your reach goes

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up because you're using hashtags.

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If your followers seem to increase when you use hashtags,

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I've heard some people saying that hashtags are great and are

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driving a ton of traffic to their business.

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There are other people who are saying,

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You know what,

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when I don't put any hashtags on my posts,

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they seem to have better reach.

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So it's all over the board.

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There's no good answer for you with that other than test

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it out.

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The way you'll be able to judge,

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especially on Instagram and Facebook,

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is you go into your insights and look at your analytics.

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You can look at different posts by reach and see which

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posts are performing better.

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And then you can look and see,

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well, did I use hashtags on there?

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Did I not use hashtags?

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And then try and start seeing a trend.

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The good news of all of this is it's not black

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and white where if you're using hashtags,

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you look like you're being inappropriate,

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or if you are,

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you're being inappropriate.

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Everything is going where hashtags are involved at this point.

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But let's talk about how you select what hashtags to use.

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And I think this is a big point of confusion and

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a point where a lot of people are getting it wrong.

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I already said to test this out and it's gonna be

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the same here,

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but I want you to think of why you would even

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bother with hashtags at all.

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If you wanna use hashtags and create the little catalog online

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that you would reference to your customers like me for Gift

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Biz Unwrapped,

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I might say,

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Oh, if you wanna look at the podcast that I think

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are the best for new businesses,

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for example,

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maybe there I would put gift biz unwrapped newbies,

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you know,

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and have a hashtag that's called that.

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And then I could reference people over in Instagram to that

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hashtag. You see what I mean?

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This could be your products,

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this could be shows you go to,

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you could use your business name and then say craft shows.

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So you could say,

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if you're ever wanting to know which craft shows I'm attending,

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go to whatever the business name is,

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craft shows,

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and it'll show you where I'll be next.

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So you could use hashtags to categorize,

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and in that way you'd be making your own hashtag,

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remembering that other people could use your hashtag,

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right? But most of it,

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the majority of it,

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when you customize it in that manner would be yours.

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Here's a real important point that,

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and this is when I was mentioning that a lot of

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people get this wrong,

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is the actual word selection.

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When you're doing hashtags,

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want you to think about what your ideal customer,

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so someone who would buy your product would be Searchie for

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from a hashtag basis.

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Let me use an example of candles.

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Surprise, surprise,

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a hashtag that would be Cinnamon spice Candle.

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So let's say you're promoting,

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you're in the back of the workshop and you're making candles,

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and these are the ones that you're doing and they happen

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to be the cinnamon spice,

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or they're part of a number of the candles that you're

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making. One of your hashtags could be Cinnamon Spice Candles.

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That would be something that someone who's in the market to

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buy candles with,

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Autumn Sense,

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especially Cinnamon Spice,

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would then find you because of that hashtag,

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a hashtag that would not attract that person.

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Your ideal customer would be something like candle maker.

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You're describing what you do,

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but you're not describing your product.

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What ends up happening is you get a lot of followers

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of people who are also making the same product.

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You see what I mean?

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So as you're thinking of hashtags,

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don't think of your industry hashtags specifically,

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unless you're just wanting to find other fellow candle makers to

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continue using my example,

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use a hashtag that represents the products that you sell that

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your customers would be Searchie for.

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Another thing that you can do with this is niche down

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with a hashtag specifically so that it serves you.

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For example,

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if you're gonna be out at craft shows,

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don't use a hashtag that says Autumn Craft shows,

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because then you're gonna be in with craft shows that are

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all over the country.

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And obviously if it's a craft show that is local to

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you, you wanna be getting walk-in customers into that show.

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Instead, use a hashtag that maybe the show that you're attending

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has already created like Bakersville September Craft Show.

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So go a little further and see if there's already one

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that's already being populated,

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that is exactly to the show that you want Nicheing down

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with. The other example that I did,

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the Cinnamon Spice Candles,

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that could be cinnamon spice,

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soy candles,

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cinnamon spice,

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Candles in ceramic container.

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You know,

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like whatever,

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like the more detail,

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the more niche down is better as it applies to you

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and your product.

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And when I was talking about the craft shows using these

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hashtags that specific events are using,

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they'll usually say to you,

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Oh, these are the hashtags that are associated with the event.

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When you use those hashtags,

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the event is likely to see that you've used the hashtag

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and share your post forward too.

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So that's also helpful,

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not only for visibility for them,

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but also visibility for you.

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Again, as you're choosing hashtags,

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I would also test,

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and let's go with just Facebook for the time being,

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let's say three to five hashtags to keep this simple,

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choose different size hashtags.

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Also choose some that are bigger,

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some that are medium size if you will,

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and some that are smaller.

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So a little variety of the size of the hashtags.

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When you go in and actually start choosing your hashtags,

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you'll see how popular a hashtag is.

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Test out a hashtag that is a more generic one that

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has a million followers.

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But then also the more niched ones too,

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use a variety as you're selecting your hashtags.

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Also know if you are gonna use a hashtag that's candles,

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but you have no candles in the image that you're using.

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The AI is gonna say,

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Wait a minute,

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are they playing games here with this post?

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And trying to use a hashtag that isn't even representative or

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applicable to the topic of the post.

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So be careful with that.

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But that can also give you clues into other hashtags to

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use. So candles,

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again, there's pictures of candles,

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maybe there's certain wicks or there's scissors or there's a Starbucks

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mug right in your picture.

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And you could easily say,

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Drinking Starbucks while I'm working on making the candles,

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right? Starbucks is a very popular hashtag.

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It could still be appropriate because you have a Starbucks mug

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right in the photo.

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See, you can play off of and be a little creative.

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And when you do things like that with this Starbucks example,

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it might also trigger people who aren't even Searchie for candles

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to come in and find you.

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So as you think of your pictures,

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what else is in the image?

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You could also do this with at mentions,

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of course,

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you know when you're actually tagging a picture,

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but we're talking about hashtags now and you can use them

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here too.

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I would suggest a few standard hashtags that you play around

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with and then some of these more custom ones for each

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post that you do so that you can bring in and

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attract more audience.

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Cuz again,

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the reason that we wanna focus and pay attention to hashtags

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is more discovery for your business.

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In summary,

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still, there's a lot that I was talking about here,

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a lot of points and facts and definitions and all of

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that, but let's boil it down to something here at the

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end. And that is hashtags kind of a mixed bag and

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they continue to change.

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The good news with that is you have a lot of

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flexibility in your testing.

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You're not gonna look like you're wrong if you use or

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don't use hashtags,

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but one thing is certain now,

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and this is totally different than the way hashtags were even

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two years ago,

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don't spend a ton of time curating professionally thought through lists

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of hashtags that is no longer necessary.

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The power that hashtags once had has gone down,

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but they're still valuable and it still makes sense to use

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them. I mean,

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I remember there was a time when I put in hours

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figuring out different hashtags that I would use.

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I had 15 different hashtag lists.

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I would rotate in different ones based on what the images

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were and that was right for that time,

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no longer needed.

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Look at the results in your own audience,

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do some testing and determine what works and then mix things

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up, add in some fun hashtags that you don't even know

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if they're gonna work.

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They're not going to hurt you,

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they can only help you.

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So try things out.

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Discoverability is what we want and this is one way to

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do it,

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especially if you're not putting dollars behind your posts and you

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want some people to find you organically.

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The other thing that is absolutely for sure is this information

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is good for today and it can always change.

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We just never know.

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You can also ask questions in Gift Biz Breeze,

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the Facebook group,

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because we can chat about that there.

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But I know there's been so much confusion around this topic.

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The good news is read the Sigh of Relief because the

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brackets of what's acceptable and what's not has been dropped.

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And you can go through and use the guidelines we just

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discussed here and have fun with the hashtags and see how

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they can help your business and find a custom hashtag that

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you wanna use or try and use and see what happens

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for you from there.

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Any questions on hashtags before we go on to the showcases?

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None for me,

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Anita, you always have questions?

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Okay. All right.

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If there's no questions,

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then let's go ahead and move on to the showcases.

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For those of you who are listening versus those of you

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who are here already know this,

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but for those who are listening,

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bashes are something that I started a little bit earlier this

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year. This is the last Bash of the year because we

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are all focusing and putting a lot of attention towards holiday

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right now.

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For those who are here today,

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want you to share with me who you are,

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the name of your business,

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and if it's not automatically obvious what it is that you

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sell in terms of a product,

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then we have a little bit more time as I was

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anticipating attendance and the bashes is winding down as the year

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is moving and holidays are approaching,

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but you have a little bit more time here.

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So what's going on with your business that you think we

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should be aware of?

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A promotion that's coming up,

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a craft show that you're doing,

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a new product that you want us to know about for

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the holidays.

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Also, if you have any collaborations that are happening,

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feel free to tell us about those two.

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This is your time to chat about yourself,

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let us know more and promote yourself.

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So with that,

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Anita, I'm gonna let you go ahead and take it away.

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Okay, sounds good.

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All right,

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well first of all,

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thanks for having me.

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And my name is Houseman and I am the owner of

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the Hershey Gifting Company.

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And I provide unique gifting and creative marketing experience for my

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customers that help them to remember special people moments and their

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life events.

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I absolutely love helping others create something that will make a

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huge impact that's within their budget and hopefully make them stand

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out and be above the norm.

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I work with corporate and small businesses,

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and even not for profit groups using the creative marketing skills

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that I have,

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and hopefully to help them eliminate the high cost of advertising

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needs that they can do it on their own.

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My number one product is custom print and ribbon that I

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can personalize to order the ribbon can have a message that

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can be fully customized with either a personal sentiment or maybe

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their logo or even a picture for those businesses who really

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wanna make their brands pop.

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So earlier this year I rolled out what I call our

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drop shipping program for printed ribbon called Ribbon on Demand.

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It has really taken off.

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I'm so happy about it.

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I'm always looking to collaborate with either small businesses or even

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other drop shippers to help them generate additional revenue for themselves

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that really requires little to no effort.

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And if anybody would like to get started,

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you can hit me up for a free consultation to discuss

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how I can help you generate an income or promote your

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business. And you can find me online at the hershey gifting

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company.com or on all social platforms at the Hershey Gifting Co.

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So I will be attending the Hershey October Fest on October

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15th. I'm not sure when this is airing,

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so hopefully stop by and meet us at the booth.

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I'll be joining collaborating with marshmallow mba.

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So we'll be there for that event from 11 until six

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in downtown Hershey,

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pa Chocolate Town usa.

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Yay. So if you're listening to this today,

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it is the 15th.

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So jump over and go and see Anita and Amy at,

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what is it called again?

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October? October.

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It's Chuck,

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c h o c t o b e r Fest.

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Wonderful. And where is it in Hershey?

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Downtown Hershey,

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Pennsylvania, right?

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Yep. There's a park right at the center square.

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Oh, that sounds like fun.

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Yep. I wanna,

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We went to come.

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So tell us Anybody who's listening who is a handmade product

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maker and you get a request for customization of your product,

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but you don't have the services to do that,

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or someone wants it branded like you're working with a small

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business and they want their logo on it or something that

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you don't have the capability to do,

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don't lose the business.

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If this is something where a ribbon or some type of

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a label could be applicable,

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you could then call Anita,

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have her do it for you,

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send it to you,

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and you could then apply it to your product and provide

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it to said customer.

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So this is an opportunity to just keep this in your

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back pocket,

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that there is the resource out there to do that if

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you wanted to offer.

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And especially,

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you know,

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for the holidays too,

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Custom ribbon.

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I mean the ribbon is all about holidays,

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right? On wreaths and everything else.

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So that's an opportunity for you if you need it.

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That way you don't lose the business and they move on

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to somebody else.

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You could still do it.

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An additional plug for you there,

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Anita. Thank You.

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I appreciate that.

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Okay. And get Your stuff in early because I'll tell you

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what the orders are,

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just like everybody's planning ahead because the supply chain Issues last

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year. Yeah.

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So well and even so this year,

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right? It's so true.

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And I'm seeing a lot of people offering discounts right now

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too for those early orders.

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Cause shipping is delayed as well if it can't be,

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you know,

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handed over personally.

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Okay. All right,

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Bridget, take it away.

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Hi, I'm Bridget and thanks for the training.

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I got a couple good ideas from hashtag about Oh good

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Training. Yeah,

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wonderful. I have a handmade doll shop.

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Sunny's still away,

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their dolls made to play with now,

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but to keep forever and you can choose a ready to

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ship doll in my shop or order a custom doll with

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your choice of skin color,

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hair color,

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eye color,

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outfit, color scheme.

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And my best seller is the princess custom doll.

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You can make it just like your little princess and it

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comes with little fabric crown.

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And I do have a gift for gift bus listeners and

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the last part of October,

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if you put gift bids in the notes at your checkout,

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then you'll get an extra little set of jammies to go

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with your doll.

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So kudos for ordering early.

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Again, you can have an extra special gift.

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And if you're in North Austin next,

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next month in November,

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I'll be at the Round Rock Holiday Bizarre.

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And the Georgetown Christmas shopping spectacular.

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So you can come by and see sunny stories there and

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I'd love to meet folks and talk to you And pick

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out your do in person.

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Yep, pick them out in person.

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Yeah. Yeah.

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How big are they,

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Bridget? How big are the Dallas?

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I Have a 12 inch or 16 inch dolls And age

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appropriate. Like A three and up.

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Three and up.

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Okay, I love that because what a wonderful holiday.

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Present a new dial that looks like you and I mean,

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there are larger businesses that have done some of that customization

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of dolls,

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but yours even is even more customized cuz it's unique and

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handmade. So Yeah.

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Yeah, I can do special touches like glasses or freckles.

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One person wanted seven freckles across their nose,

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so they got it.

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Oh my gosh.

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So it could really,

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really be customized to the little girl.

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Yeah, that's a nice thing about little handmade businesses is we

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can really make it just like you like it.

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Oh my gosh.

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Oh, what a wonderful holiday gift that would be.

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And you have closed then too,

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it sounds like You Get extra jams when you pick out,

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you pick dress or little romper,

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but for the holidays I have little specials and we're doing

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a little jam's to go with it.

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Oh my gosh,

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that is so adorable.

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Yeah. And where does everyone find your styles online?

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So they can take a look.

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Sunny doorways.com.

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Okay, perfect.

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Very exciting about the shows too.

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My favorite,

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I love,

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love craft shows and festivals of all sorts,

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but there's something about the autumn shows.

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Yes. And walking into Christmas,

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like even when they have the Halloween stuff and then the

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Thanksgiving and you're already seeing the Christmas.

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It's amazing.

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I love that.

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Yeah. Do you do shows all year round?

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I just started last year and I did a fall,

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you know,

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for Christmas show.

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And then I'm coming back this year.

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I have more time now that school has started,

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so There you go.

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That's for sure.

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Yeah, no,

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I was just curious,

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and I can't ask you this question,

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but any listeners,

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if you wanna respond to me about this,

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I'd be curious what you see as the difference between the

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holiday shows versus other shows you do earlier in the year.

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Farmer's Market Summer shows a different story,

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but like when they,

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you do the shows in January through May versus as we're

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going into Autumn,

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what you see in terms of clearly more people are in

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buying mode in the fall,

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but I'm also interested in show attendance versus purchases.

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Any comments?

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I'd be really curious to hear all of your experiences.

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Yeah, me too on that.

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Yeah, it'd be interesting to know.

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All right,

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wonderful. Well,

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thank you so much for coming on to the Bash.

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This is the last one of the year.

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Stay tuned for what will happen with Bashes in the future.

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And I really appreciate you being here today.

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If you have any questions about hashtags,

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please let me know over in the breeze and I will

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clarify that for you.

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And if you're interested in being on a future bash,

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also go into the breeze because that's where I'll be making

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announcements about this for 2023.

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Thank you once again for listening to the podcast,

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showing up in person for the Bash and all eyes ahead

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for holiday sales.

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Bye for now.

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Thank you.

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So have you gotten the clarity you need to move forward

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on the hashtag front?

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If you want to further the conversation or dive deeper into

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any of the specific points we covered here,

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ask away through a question post over in the Facebook group,

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Gift Biz Breeze.

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If you're enjoying the podcast and would like to show support

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for the show,

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a rating and review is always fabulous and help spread the

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word about the show.

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But there's another way for you to get something tangible in

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return for your support too.

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Visit my merch shop for a variety of inspirational items like

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mugs, journals,

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water bottles,

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and more featuring images and quotes to inspire you throughout your

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day. Makes a great gift too.

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And we just added some new products for the season.

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Turnaround is quick and the quality is top notch because let's

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face it,

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nothing but the best for you.

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Take a look at all the options over@giftbizunwrapped.com

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slash shop.

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All proceeds from these purchases goes to help offset the costs

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of producing the podcast.

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And now be safe and well,

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and I'll see you again next time.

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For the Gift Biz Unwrapped podcast,

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I wanna make sure you're familiar with my free Facebook group

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called Gift Breeze.

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It's a place where we all gather and our community to

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support each other.

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I've got a really fun post in there that's my favorite

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of the week,

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I have to say,

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where I invite all of you to share what you're doing

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to show pictures of your product,

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to show what you're working on for the week,

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to get reaction from other people.

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And just for fun,

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because we all get to see the wonderful products that everybody

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in the community is making My favorite post F every single

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week. Without doubt.

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Wait, what?

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Aren't you part of the group already?

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If not,

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make sure to jump over to Facebook and search for the

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group Gift Biz breeze.

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Don't delay.