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Continuing the Potpourri section of 52 Fridays, this week encourages everyone in the horse industry to identify what’s special, unique, and/or amazing and then package and promote that. It’s great for building ‘buzz’ and creating awareness of your equine business, and it’s even something that can help you focus your marketing strategy.
Do you know the name Stacy Westfall? Back in 2006, she was the first female trainer to win the Road to the Horse colt starting competition, and in 2011 is still the only woman with that distinction. In early 2008, Westfall AND her horse Roxy were guests on the Ellen show on NBC. When I saw that marketing coup right before my eyes, I went digging.
Turns out it was by accident, but happened when something amazing was shared with the public. Westfall had launched a new website in January, 2008, but shortly thereafter the new site was slowing down. The webmaster reported to Westfall that her site had gotten over 200,000 hits in a 24-hour period, so they started looking to see what had caused it.
The root of it all was an 8-minute video of Westfall riding Roxy, bareback and bridleless, at the 2006 All American Quarter Horse Congress; someone had pulled the video from her site, uploaded it to YouTube, and attached it to an email that eventually went around the world and landed in Ellen DeGeneres’ emailbox, and voila! Westfall had a captive audience of millions of passionate Ellen fans learning about what she does with horses. Great for her business, great for the equine industry.
Another outstanding example of sharing what’s amazing is what Karen Murdock has done with her ‘throwaway’ rescue horse, Lukas. He’s now an official Guinness World Record holder, as the ‘World’s Smartest Horse.’ And Murdock has been pretty smart about how she’s handled his PR and marketing, too.
I first came in contact with the pair on Twitter (@playingwithlukas). Murdock was just beginning to promote the work she’d done with Lukas, and it snowballed from there once the media caught wind. Lukas is now her best salesman when it comes to demonstrating the results Murdock obtains with her gentle and positive training methods.
Neither of these women ‘manufactured’ their amazing and special aspects of their business; they’re doing what they’re passionate about. Where they’ve been smart is in using technology and the media to bring what they’re doing to a wider audience.
If you find it difficult to identify what’s unique and amazing about your own horsebiz, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It can be quite a challenge to identify and market oneself or one’s own enterprise since you’re so close to it. Finding what’s amazing can be easier with an external viewpoint, so bring in a trusted friend, hired expert, or even someone you meet on the street to see what makes them go ‘wow’ about your horsebiz.
What in the horse world makes you go wow? Share a link to it via the Comments. If you liked this article, you can easily tell others about it via Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, and even by email with the Share button below. Pssst, pass it along, and see you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #43!
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