It’s been a while between drinks, but we are back! My clever co-host Skye Manson has been MIA for the past couple of episodes, and with good reason; she’s has a baby and moved with her family to their new farm in Grenfell NSW. So yes it was super exciting to have her back in the studio – or rather, my garden, to record this episode to the tune of birds singing, machinery turning on and off and baby Florence gurgling and and making the odd noise of protestation in the background.
Thanks first up must go to our much loved series sponsor Country Style magazine, without their support we wouldn’t be able to keep chatting with you so THANK YOU! Plus, their latest issue is absolutely gorgeous, as are they all.
And also, just a subtle reminder below about the e-course!
So anyway… this episode is all about how social media can help anyone in rural, regional or urban based business build communities around their actual shops, drive their online sales and draw more people through their doors. And it’s also about how much we are loving newsletters these days.
To chat about all this, we brought in the big guns – two women who run online and virtual shops in regional NSW and do it all so beautifully we just wanted to pick their brains on how it all comes together. First up is Megan Trousdale from Nundles’s Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores and then Orange’s Pip Brett of new concept store The Sonic. I interviewed Pip for this month (July’s) Country Style magazine so please do check that article out for more of Pip’s story and some beautiful pics of her store.
Interview one – Megan Trousdale of Nundle’s Odgers and McClelland Exchange stores
Skye’s Top 5
My love of a good podcast has gone from an interest to a full blown obsession. I have listened to SO many in the last few months……. And I look forward to refreshing my podcast inbox, like I look forward to a parcel in the mail!
1. A new-to-me podcast Tea and Tattle – which I think I might have found through Me and Orla ……… it’s the most English things I have ever listened to! A range of topics from social media, to travel journaling, to daily routines to gardening. I’ll post a link to their latest episode, which was all about small urban gardens but totally got me motivated to get out in our garden despite it not being a small balcony.
2. Another podcast… Now that I am a full bona fide ‘farmer’ – the Rural Business Collective is right up my alley. Fleur Anderson has really hit the nail on the head with the people she chooses to interview – entrepreneurs and people who are doing things differently in agriculture and making money to boot. I love it!
3. @activefarmers on Instagram and Facebook. I admire this concept – which is all about people in the country looking after their health. Its not so much about beautiful pictures or words on social media but more about community and bringing small communities in rural Australia together through exercise classes.
4. I have long been a fan of Abbie Melle on Instagram – her pictures are a sanctuary of green lusciousness. I started following her journey through the United Kingdom last year, which so accurately reflected the beautiful walks I remember from my days living in England. And now she is in the Southern Highlands and pops up frequently in Country Style. We need to have her on My Open Kitchen – her Instagram stories are refreshing, clean and beautiful!
5. #simplenaturefinds – As the name suggests this hashtag is a beautiful treasure chest of nature’s goodies.
Sophie’s Top 5
1. I’ve been raving about this book in my Kassia St Clair’s book the Secret Life of Colour, goes through every shade in the rainbow with wonderfully written stories behind each. She also has a great IG feed and her blog is a new favourite of mine.
2. Talking newsletters and how awesome they are for building your business online – here are some of my favourites. These are all examples of regular newsletters that are full of personality ‘reader value and are super popular.
Ann Friedman Weekly – lots of great things to read, think about and look at. Out of the US and quite political and anti-Trump so if you aren’t it might not be your cup of tea! Ann is also the co-host of another favourite podcast of mine, Call Your Girlfriend.
Head Overy Heals – Sent out every Wednesday night by Felicity Loughrey, she of the excellent podcast of the same name. Felicity also wrote a great article recently for Whimn about why newsletters are the new Sunday Papers…
Lenny Letter – One of the original and best ‘high value’ newsletters, sent out weekly and full of beautifully written essays, thoughts and ideas.
The Exchange Stores Nundle of course! Don’t miss Megan’s wonderful quarterly newsletters full of recipes, stories and beautiful things.
The Do lectures newsletter, related to the wonderful podcast featuring lectures from the Do gatherings held every year in Wales.
Also the newsletter for Lunchlady magazine
And here’s a new one – our very own Skye Manson has just started a newsletter and you should totally sign up to it.
Megan Trousdale who we interviewed first up this episode also suggests these newsletters to check out. She also highly recommends engaging a graphic designer to help you set up your newsletter template/design from the get go. For their gorgeous one, and website/shop/everything, they used Dan Phelan of Safety Pin Design, Newcastle.
Fat Pig Farm
The Conscious Farmer
3. Grids – allows you to have a nice clean Instagram experience on your desktop. You can add posts or stories from your desktop – yay! switch between accounts without logging out. watch stories, comment, add hashtags. Great for those who don’t love tip tapping on their phones with their fingers! There’s a free version or you can upgrade for more accounts.
4. Focusbooster app – Based on the Pomodoro techqnique which says if you work in 25 minute focused blocks your productivity will skyrocket. According to their research – For every interruption it is proven to take up to 25 minutes to get back on course – so focus booster gets you to set up your day in increments and block them out with no distractions. It you work freelance, it allows you to log ‘time sheets’ for different clients – love this. At the least, their blog is full of great ideas and tips for productivity. The basic version is free..
5. A website and a new series to watch in one – the show is Anne with an E – Netflix’s new take on anne of green gables, the book and original mini series were a big deal for me so I had high hopes and when I started watching this with my daughter Alice. She’s been sick this weekend so we tucked into bed and watched a few episodes and SO SO SO LOVE. Also love the review of the series on Australian writing website Kill Your Darlings which a friend sent me to. Lots of great reviews, writing tips and competitions here.
Interview 2 – Pip Brett
Pip can be found online here @jumbledonline and at @igloustore
The difference between inspiration and imitation from Design Sponge and from the same website, check out this virtual tour of Pip’s amazing concept store The Sonic.
Last episode we announced a competition, the prize being to win a spot in the August round of the My Open Kitchen ecourse – and the winner is…Ali Cooper from Jamestown SA. Ali’s family are graziers, croppers and she’s also worked as a low rainfall agricultral consultant. She wrote the loveliest long email telling us why the course would be a nice thing for her to do, including these words which I loved “ . .so tonight, after listening to Barbara with my cup of tea, I feel empowered to take control of these negative feelings. I am going to not ‘sweat it’ and ‘keep it simple’ and simply tell my experience to my audience. I am going to continue with my aim to show people how beautiful food is in every aspect of its life and how important its impact is on our families, communities, and lifestyles.”
SOPHIE – We are also going to finish today’s podcast on a very sad note – one week ago, food writer and friend of My Open Kitchen Valli Little passed away. Valli was a hero of mine for many years, she was the food director of Delicious magazine for over 10 years, wrote countless books and was one of the most generous, hard working and talented people in the food game. We will miss you Valli. Thank you for being so very generous to everyone you met. We interviewed her in episode 5 of series 1 and please do go back and have a listen if you like, but this morning I found this little snippet which we didn’t include in the original podcast but which I thought might be nice to share here. she is reading words of Beth Kirby from Local Milk blog.
Thank you once more to our sponsor for this series Country Style magazine.