Tag Archives: how do I market my horse business

Monday Morning Quick Tip – Postcards Aren’t The Only Item That Can Carry Your Horsebiz Message

Last Friday’s 52 Fridays post about creative ways to use postcards in marketing your horsebiz turned out to be a 5-star favorite – thanks to all the readers who shared their own tips and thoughts on the topic of postcard marketing! However, those aren’t the only collateral items that can carry your marketing messages to the masses.

One option that dropped into my email inbox recently is from Vistaprint, an online company that puts printing on everything from business cards to bumper stickers. I used to get my business cards through Vistaprint when they first started, and I’ve been thinking about giving them a try again.

The option they sent to me is t-shirt printing; they were doing a promo on ‘one white t-shirt free’ which I just might take them up on to see what the quality is like. Here are Vistaprint’s Top 5 suggestions for using t-shirts in a business.

 

There are other sites for getting t-shirts printed, such as Zazzle and Cafepress. Are there any online printing websites you’ve used? Share your experience (good OR bad) via the Comments link below.

Vistaprint’s email also included lots of specials and freebies; I’m able to ‘mail this offer to a friend’ so if you’d like a copy of that email passed along to you for some good savings on printed marketing collateral, send me a message via the Comments link and I’ll forward the email to you. Your request and email address won’t be made public.

One postcard comment over the weekend mentioned the ins & outs of actually mailing the postcards, and the design considerations along the way if you’re going to mail them; in looking over Vistaprint’s site, it turns out they have an option for mailing the postcards for you, including getting a bulk postage rate, and mailing lists you can buy; here’s a 6-page guide to postcard marketing from their website, which has very good tips and ideas even if you don’t order your postcards through them.

As with any marketing tactic, it’s essential to tie strategy to your goals. What do you want to accomplish? That’s the question to ask first, before you order any printed merchandise.

Did you enjoy this article or find it useful? Please take 5 seconds and scroll up to the top to give this article a score, from Very Poor (hope it’s not at that end of the scale!) to Excellent, via the new Rate This tool right under the title (hint, look for the stars!). You can also share your thoughts and experiences on the topic via the Leave a Comment link in the grey box below.

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This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Brands and trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit. Thanks.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, New Media, Uncategorized

52 Fridays – #32 Postcards: Something To Write Home About When It Comes To Horsebiz Marketing

52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

I really like postcards as a piece of marketing ‘collateral’ and a multi-use tool; here’s why….

Marketing collateral is the term for the various types of promotional information used to inform potential customers about a product or service. Traditionally this has referred to printed matter such as brochures and mailers, but really the term collateral can include anything from your business cards and letterhead to signage for your tradeshow booth or horseshow stall row.

Postcards are great because they’re easy to design, inexpensive to purchase, and have lots of uses that you might not think of:

  • Bookmarks
  • Thank-you notes, whether mailed or included in a shipping box
  • Large-scale business cards
  • Background on tradeshow booths or stall walls (think ‘red carpet backdrops’)
  • Collector series (like baseball cards – feature different horses, products, or other images from your horsebiz)
  • Multi-use promotion (print card one-sided, then use stickers or stampers for custom information on the 2nd side)
  • Folder covers (glue-stick ’em on) for your media kits or special event information
  • Taped to the outside of shipping boxes
  • Quick & easy identification on a rented golf cart
  • Coupons or gift certificates

For most of these uses, I’m referring to one-sided printing, with the unprinted side a flat (not glossy) paper stock. Glossy is great for the printed side, and make it a WOW image or design that includes your business name and website URL. But keep it simple and not overly promotional to get the most flexibility from it.

Does this list get your creative spark going? What other uses can YOU think of? Share some of them in the Comments below! And be sure to Rate This article up above (hint, look for the rating ‘stars’ – if you don’t see ’em, click on the blog post title to go directly to the page for this post, where the stars will then show up).

Postcards are a great way to stretch a marketing budget and show off your creativity; for even more details and tips on using postcards as marketing tools, here’s a No Biz Like Horsebiz post from December 2010.

Share your 52 Fridays-inspired success stories or marketing tactics via the Leave a Comment link below. See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #33!

Read other posts by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting a category, or you can select 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #31.

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This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit. Thanks.

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Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quick Tip – Are You Doing The Bump?

I’d heard of Bump a while back (it was the billionth app downloaded through the App Store, giving it some real exposure shortly after its launch), but because I have a Droid and not an iPhone, it wasn’t available to me at first. Now, the Bump developers have created a version that’s Droid-compatible, so I decided to give it a go.

What’s Bump? It’s a free app from Bump Technologies that allows your smartphone to exchange information by gently ‘bumping’ another. Both of you have to have the Bump app, holding your phones and bumping hands together (like a fistbump but with your phone in your hand). Now, even iPhone to Droid bumps are possible, as are like-to-like phones. How does this bumping thing work?

By using a number of different factors, from geolocation to cloud interface, Bump ‘matches’ the bump registered by your phone with a matching bump by another phone. So it’s not directly sending content or contact information, but both phones are sending stuff out into the atmosphere on your Internet signal, where it gets sorted by a server and an algorithm, connected, and sent to the appropriate phones. And all that happens in an instant.

I set Bump up on my Droid so I could use it at the American Equestrian Trade Association tradeshow this month…I’ll let you know how it pans out in actual practice. (UPDATE: I didn’t have a chance to use it with anyone at AETA; it seems paper horsebiz cards are still the norm. However, my partner JR sent a pic to me (of our dog Bella) using Bump – it showed up as a ‘share’ option. I’ll keep you posted on my Bump experiences.)

Here you can see how some ‘test bumps’ looked on my own phone.

Bump Technologies also offers the ‘bumping’ code via an API key, which developers can add into their own applications. One company integrating Bump into their app is PayPal, which offers a way to exchange money by bumping and entering in the transaction amount. Yes, no need to carry money anymore when you have your smartphone, apparently!

Read more about how Bump works, and the Bump FAQs here. The Droid version lags behind the iPhone version in terms of features and what you can exchange via bumping, but the Droid version allows the exchange of contact information (are business cards really necessary then?), photos, other apps, and contacts. Just met someone and have a perfect contact for them to connect with? Bump it to their smartphone, and you’re done! It looks like you can also bump things from a distance once you’ve bumped with someone, as they remain as a Friend in your Bump network. Intriguing possibilities for horsebiz, methinks.

Did you enjoy this article or find it useful? Please take 5 seconds and scroll up to the top to give this article a score, from Very Poor (hope it’s not at that end of the scale!) to Excellent, via the new Rate This tool right under the title (hint, look for the stars!). You can also leave a more detailed comment via the Leave a Comment link in the grey box below.

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This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Brands and trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit. Thanks.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, New Media, Uncategorized

52 Fridays – #31 Some Final Words On Finding Media Outlets For Horsebiz News

52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

Rounding out the 52 Fridays section on media, I wanted to add in a few final recommendations about locating media outlets.

To find outlets for equestrian news and stories requires research in addition to the effort needed in building relationships with them, understanding their audiences and what they want so you can craft a good story angle, etc. It can be both time and labor intensive. That’s one part of why businesses hire PR people, we either have or can build the infrastructure for your news efficiently and effectively, with a strong chance to get that desirable third-party publicity for your horsebiz.

But if you want to DIY, it can be done. Start local, keep good contact records, put out solidly-written and strategic press releases, and do all the things I recommend here in the No Biz Like Horsebiz blog! If you missed any of the 52 Fridays posts about media, you can find them in the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu in the panel to the right.

As for some specific equestrian media resources, here are two I like and recommend:

  • One option I recommend to my clients is the American Horse Publications (AHP) Newsgroup. I’ve been a member for something like 6+ years already; AHP celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010, and has been making organizational changes to take into account the evolution of, and challenges facing, publishing and other types of media. With a reasonably-priced AHP membership, one of the perks is that you can send up to two press releases per month. The Newsgroup not only goes to all other members (including equestrian media editors, publishers, writers, and corporate members, among others), news releases are also housed online where they’re accessible by the general public and will frequently attract additional attention, postings by bloggers, etc. Of course all the ‘dos & don’ts’ of press release writing apply – be sure to also include a link back to an online version of your news release at YOUR site!
  • Horse Radio Network logo http://www.horseradionetwork.com/I also love the folks over at Horse Radio Network (HRN) and all the cool and fun things they’re doing in terms of Internet radio and equestrian programming. HRN founder and ‘America’s Horse Husband’ Glenn ‘the Geek’ Hebert says they’re always looking for guests, so you can get in touch with Jennifer Hebert (jennifer(at-sign)horseradionetwork.com), Glenn’s ‘better half’ and the network’s producer and ‘chaos control officer’ if you’ve got something interesting going on you want to share with the world. HRN is on Twitter, where you can follow them via @HorseRadio, and they live-Facebook during the weekday morning Horses In The Morning show.

Handling horsebiz public relations and media strategy responsibly and effectively can be a complex recipe, requiring some trial and error before you’ve got the hang of it. AHP and HRN are but two more resources in the marketing toolbox…but if you sign up for AHP membership or contact HRN about being a guest, be sure to tell them Lisa Kemp sent you!

Did you enjoy this article or find it useful? Please take 5 seconds and scroll up to the top to give this article a score, from Very Poor (hope it’s not at that end of the scale!) to Excellent, via the new Rate This tool right under the title (hint, look for the rating ‘stars’ – if you don’t see ’em, click on the blog post title to go directly to the page for this post, where the stars will then show up!).

Share your 52 Fridays-inspired success stories or marketing tactics via the Leave a Comment link below. See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #32!

Read other posts by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting a category, or you can select 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #30.

This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit. Thanks.

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Monday Morning Quick Tip – What’s It All About, AETA?

All right, raise your hand – who here has heard of AETA?

AETA is the American Equestrian Trade Association. You can read all about AETA here, but basically it’s a nonprofit association formed about four years ago to support and improve the equestrian manufacturing and retailing industry. You know, the people and businesses that make the horse stuff we buy, and the stores and websites that sell it to us.

AETA has some interesting stuff going on now, and plans for more in the future. How do I know? I was asked a few months ago to join the AETA marketing committee, an honor I appreciate and welcome as an opportunity to contribute my experience and expertise to the equestrian world.

The association has two industry-only tradeshows each year, one in August and one in January. There’s a lot of buying and selling that happens there, but tradeshows aren’t open to the public; it’s retailers, manufacturers, sales reps, etc.

Oh, and this August it’s also yours truly.

I’ll be at the tradeshow this month, teaching workshops on social media with Chad Mendell of CowDog Media. Should be fun, we’ve got lots of information to share. If you’re attending and a No Biz Like Horsebiz reader, please be sure to find me and say hello!

You’re not a retailer nor a manufacturer? There’s still room for you and your horsebiz in AETA, which offers membership categories for Suppliers, Industry Partners, and Affiliates, with very reasonable annual fees and lots of member benefits; read about categories or apply for AETA membership here

To me, it seems like AETA has strong possibilities for the future, but I’m curious and would like to hear YOUR opinion about AETA…what do you already know about the organization? Or, what do you think the equestrian industry needs, manufacturing, retailing, or otherwise? Share your thought(s) via the Leave a Comment link below – and if you want your comment to be confidential and not publicly posted, please indicate that in your comment.

Did you enjoy this article or find it useful? Please take 5 seconds and scroll up to the top to give this article a score, from Very Poor (hope it’s not at that end of the scale!) to Excellent, via the new Rate This tool right under the title (hint, look for the stars!). You can also leave a more detailed comment via the Leave a Comment link in the grey box below.

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This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Brands and trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit. Thanks.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, New Media, Uncategorized

52 Fridays – #30 How To ‘Fish’ For Media Coverage By Starting Small

52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

If you combine media outlets who are on a constant search for new content, trying to do more news with less budget and staff, with the availability of social media and social networking tools, you’ve got an equation that’s tailor-made to help your horsebiz get some publicity. But sometimes you gotta start small to get there.

When it comes to media coverage, don’t be afraid to work your way up. Many media outlets monitor the competition to see what they’re reporting on, and are now often using social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote interaction with their audiences, plus using social media such as YouTube videos or Flickr images to illustrate news stories.

This image, taken one morning this week while I was watching my local NBC morning news show, illustrates how the anchors are watching items on their Twitter feeds, right at their desk.

How can you leverage this trend for your own horsebiz? By paying attention to local media such as TV and radio shows, daily or weekly newspapers, and local monthly or quarterly magazines.

Watch how they reference social media items, stories found in other media, or online videos; they’re all looking for news stories, and larger media often look at news that’s coming up on the local level, then take it up to a national scale.

For example: A recent segment on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams featured an Arizona equine rescue that saves horses abandoned by drug runners crossing the U.S./Mexican border as one of their Making a Difference features; while the rescue organization was the focus, it’s part of a larger national story about the drug trade and so made the ‘big’ media.

Are you ready to start ‘fishing’ for media coverage? Here’s how:

  • Start small: Use smaller media outlets to practice your skills, such as staying ‘on point’ when being interviewed, working successfully with editors, and building your library of high-resolution images. Learn how to make a case to mainstream media about how and why their audiences would be interested in ‘horsey’ stuff.
  • Build your media connections: If you’ve been a good resource for an editor, producer, or reporter, ask if they have suggestions for ways you can connect with other media folk such as journalists, editors, or bloggers.
  • Watch how the media are inter-connected and when ‘crossovers’ happen: Brian Williams from the Nightly News was recently on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and he’s hosted Saturday Night Live a number of times – all of those shows are on NBC. No surprise there…NBC wants you to watch other shows on their own network, and doing these types of crossovers exposes you to their other offerings. ESPN is another franchise that does crossovers well.

‘Buzz’ often starts small, then spreads as people start talking. No one can predict when or how a topic or idea will go ‘viral’ and spread, but you can improve your chances by being strategic, starting small, and looking for opportunities to go big. Who knows, you might get on a local TV or radio show someday which then gets noticed by an editor as a ‘trend’ so you get interviewed for a national magazine. It happens.

Did you enjoy this article or find it useful? Please take 5 seconds and scroll up to the top to give this article a score, from Very Poor (hope it’s not at that end of the scale!) to Excellent, via the new Rate This tool right under the title (hint, look for the stars!).

Share your 52 Fridays-inspired success stories or marketing tactics via the Leave a Comment link below. See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #31!

Read other posts by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting a category, or you can select 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #29.

This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit. Thanks.

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Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, New Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quick Tip – Publicity Could Result, If You ‘Help A Reporter Out’

The 52 Fridays article from last Friday received some nice extra traffic – it was picked up as a StumbleUpon item, quadrupling my traffic for Saturday. Nice to have, so thanks, StumbleUpon! However, many of those readers probably weren’t in my target markets (horsebiz owners and managers and equestrian professionals), so I’m not expecting those one-day numbers to continue as the norm. Likewise, don’t be disappointed if that happens in your marketing efforts, just take the ups and downs in stride.

Image courtesy HelpAReporter.com

However, since the 52 Fridays series is currently focused on media and publicity topics, I thought I’d share a resource that might help you with getting connected with journalists. It’s a website called Help A Reporter Out (HARO) at HelpAReporter.com.

Founded by Peter Shankman and now owned and run by Vocus, Inc., this site allows people and businesses to sign up as sources, and it allows journalists, writers, authors, bloggers, and reporters to send out queries when they’re looking for a specific type of interview source or a subject matter expert.

Queries from journalists are sent via email newsletter 3X daily, so you’ll need to review and respond quickly in order to snag a potential story opportunity. You can follow HARO on Twitter via @HelpAReporter, and connect with them on Facebook, too.

An audio intro on the homepage (a 3-4 minute spiel by founder Shankman) says they’ve helped over 100,000 journalists globally, many of them repeat customers. Over 130,000 sources are signed up, and Shankman says they’ll never charge for this service.

It’s pretty easy to sign up as a source; just fill in your email address and password, and voilà! The site does use cookies and collect some information, but they don’t sell/rent the information according to HARO’s privacy policy.

HARO, just like any tool, isn’t a ‘magic bullet’ when it comes to getting publicity, building brand awareness, and attracting new customers for your horsebiz. But, I’ve heard from a number of my equestrian writer colleagues that they’ve found it a lifesaver, and since it’s f-r-e-e, why not? And, if HARO brings you some media attention, I hope you’ll come back here and share your results in the Comments section.

Did you enjoy this article or find it useful? Please take 5 seconds and scroll up to the top to give this article a score, from Very Poor (hope it’s not at that end of the scale!) to Excellent, via the new Rate This tool right under the title (hint, look for the stars!). You can also leave a more detailed comment via the Leave a Comment link below.

This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit. Thanks.

2 Comments

Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, Uncategorized