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  • Writer's picturesusanporter41

Covid Schmovid - you can't keep a good Mama down!

Hi all, what a crazy time we’re all living in hey.

But despite Covid, mother nature waits for no one and there are always jobs to be done at the farm. At the moment we are deep in the middle of propogation - and mud. We had 48mm of rain this weekend - hence the mud.

Like everyone, Covid has certainly impacted us in many ways. Most importantly though, we are all healthy and our wonderful Deans Marsh community just proves the importance of a good community. But I'll be honest, Covid has tried to take a few kicks at Hot Chilli Mama.

But as the old saying goes "when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade."

Whilst most of our markets and festivals have cancelled all the way out to February/March next year, the one upside is that it has given us time and a chance to look back, to reflect on what has worked, what hasn’t; and where we want to go from here. You don’t often get that chance in life, even if you have to eat a lot of beans, tins of tuna and pasta for the privilege. For us, it highlighted there's a whole big world out there waiting for us. But to get into that world, we need to shake things up, to do things differently.

In particular, it's highlighted the need to confront the beast that is social media and the role it plays in business. I’m so used to seeing mindless drivel, or dog rescue videos that shake my faith in mankind, that I’d dismissed it. But then I realised not only how important and powerful it is, but that is the future and 'it ain’t going nowhere'. So time to bite the bullet.

So for the last couple of months I have been knee deep in training programs on social media marketing, Facebook and Instagram. My god has it fried my brain at times and tried my patience. Pixels, analytics, algorithms and the list goes on, there’s so much to it. I didn’t even really know what a meme was, let alone a GIF - not sure I still know the difference to be honest. But with the help of the Hot Chilli kids, Prue, Scott, Kathryn and perseverance, I think I’m finally getting there.

I’ve managed to get online stores up on both Facebook and Instagram, so people can buy straight from there if they want to. I've worked out how to do email marketing campaigns, and even how to improve my automated responses when people buy from us. I'm even starting to master Wix, which is the base of this website. I actually feel quite professional now. I would never have had the time to do that if it was ‘business as usual’. And it has started to really take off, which is exciting. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

But what I have found is that social media is a hungry beast that needs constant feeding - just like a teenage boy.

So I’ve been getting busy making social media posts like this one. And to be honest I’ve become a little hooked.

I’ve found Canva and that’s dangerous. So now I pour a glass of wine (or 2), sit in front of the computer for a few hours of a night or rainy day and make posts about what’s happening at Hot Chilli Mama Central. I’m loving it! Although I’m worried I’m embracing or exposing my corny side a little too much, so my apologies if its a bit over the top. Or at least that’s what Hot Chilli Son and Daughter say as they violently roll their eyes at me in embarrassment. But hey – if makes me and someone smile that’s all that counts.

But what is also really great about is that this is something the Hot Chilli kids can sink their teeth into and start taking ownership of. It's their thing. They can finally get to use their skills for good rather than evil. Having been brought up with social media they have such a natural gift for it. Their fingers move at the speed of light, they know what’s in, what’s not, and they save me from putting up inappropriate emojis. I mean, I thought it was only rain, how was I meant to know it have a sexual connotation.

But as good as social media and online shopping is, I do so miss the market scene and all my regular customers and fellow chilli lovers. I miss that buzz of talking to people, having a good chat and a laugh. But I’m confident we will get there again and hopefully soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to pour myself another glass of wine as I have a date with Canva.

Stay safe and positive everyone and I’ll see you soon at the other end!!

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