Tag Archives: marketing to horse owners

Monday Morning Quickie – Change Is The Only Constant

Greetings, my lovely and loyal readers! I’m now into Year Two of the No Biz Like Horsebiz blog, and Year Seven of writing about equine industry marketing…and while the subject matter is consistent, my how things have changed!

  • Social media was hardly a blip on the radar screen back then
  • What’s this gizmo called an iPhone?!
  • Decent quality video (and photography) required costly equipment

And so on. So much has changed since I started sharing my marketing and PR knowledge and expertise with the horse world that I love, even my own methods of delivering information have changed dramatically. Who’d have thought I’d ever be called a ‘Twitter Badass?’

Way back then, I started writing about horsebiz marketing because I saw all the talented, knowledgeable horsemen & woman who weren’t succeeding because they were spending all their time and energy on the horse end, and not enough on the marketing end. I had the hope and the dream of inspiring horsebiz owners to improve their marketing, and the plan to teach them about tools they could cost-effectively use to do so.

I’m now seeing a lot more marketing folk travel down this same path, of helping horsebiz owners improve their marketing, which I love! A rising tide floats all boats, and when we’re all succeeding, the industry is succeeding and getting stronger as a result, with more people experiencing the joy of horses.

So, as I review my own work, and consider how to reach bigger audiences and have a bigger voice, I’d like to make a few changes to the Monday Morning Quickie. But first I want to learn about how YOU read and absorb the information, so I hope you’ll help me out by filling out the quick survey below.

The one thing that will change is the name – instead of ‘Monday Morning Quickie,’ going forward you’ll be greeted with the ‘Monday Morning Quick-Tip’ – too many people were finding this blog from a Google search on ‘quickies’ and I thought better to nip that in the bud. Not something I fully thought through when I named it, but lesson learned!

Many, many thanks to each of you that reads this blog, shares your thoughts and comments as part of the conversation, connects with me by Twitter or email, and joins me at events where I’ve been a speaker. I truly appreciate your support, and it helps me to hear how this blog serves you now, and can do so better in the future.

All the best,

Lisa Kemp

Please note: You can check all the boxes that apply. Thanks in advance for completing the survey!

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quickie, Polls & Surveys, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – ‘Horse World Gives Back’ Radiothon Today

Last Monday featured the PR campaign for the Horse World Gives Back radiothon & Retailer Day to benefit horsebiz owners affected by the recent flooding and tornado disasters throughout the U.S.; tonight is the radiothon, and tomorrow (June 7) is the Retailer Day. I hope you’ll tune in and consider a donation, no matter how large or small. Horse Radio Network founder and radiothon host ‘Glenn the Geek’ Hebert says have the Kleenex ready.

Here are a few tips to add to last week’s post about the PR campaign:

  • Social Media Avatar Images: If you have images or logos available for the media to use, add in a square-shaped image or two that folks can use as their social media avatar. I used the Horse World Gives Back logo and it worked fine, but it did cut a bit off the top and bottom. Consider it another way to ‘get the word out’ about your campaign, by giving supporters a way to show that support.
  • Live Social Media Messaging: Myself and Jackie Baker from the Regarding Horses blog will be live-messaging during the radiothon, both via the Horse World Gives Back Facbook page and Twitter account, and I’ll also be live tweeting via my own @KempEquine account. Remember that the official Twitter hashtag for the event is #horserelief, but you can also use #HorseWorldGivesBack; including one of those in your tweet turns it into a searchable active link. The #horserelief hashtag is also shown on the Horse World Gives Back website Twitter timeline. Live messaging via social media is a way to engage people in the moment, and share the experience across your social media community.
  • Giving Thanks: Pulling together and promoting any event takes a lot of time, effort, and people. Be sure to build in a place to give acknowledgement to those that helped you along the way. Keep a running list so you don’t forget anyone! I’d also include their contact information, so that you have it all in one place and don’t have to dig for information you thought you had.
You’ll be able to listen live via the Horse World Gives Back radiothon internet player – please join in to make a difference for all the folks who lost so much in the recent disasters.
Disclosure note: I’ve been helping Horse Radio Network with some promotion for this event on a pro bono basis. In case you were wondering.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, Monday Morning Quickie, New Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Are Facebook Deals Better For Horsebiz Than Groupon?

As reported last week on Fast Company’s website, Facebook’s Deals has launched in five U.S. test cities. Due to the social networking aspect of Facebook, Deals could prove to be a better deal for the equine industry than Groupon, and here’s why.

Facebook Deals doesn’t focus on the cheapest prices, or the deepest discounts. Instead, the focus is on experiences, things that you and your Facebook friends can do together, deals that you can pass along to your network of Friends or Fans. Here are some Deals that were on Facebook when I checked this morning:

  • A 3-hour Tuscan cooking class for two at a California restaurant
  • A full-day photo safari and workshop
  • A hot air balloon ride with a tour of California wine country

You get the picture. Experiences to share, gifts for friends and family, memory-makers.

Creating memorable experiences will help your horsebiz take advantage of Facebook Deals

Now, what if those Deals were equine-oriented?

  • An autumn country outing, complete with hay-wagon ride, BBQ, fireside sing-along, and s’mores
  • A lunchtime workshop on how to bet the ponies, followed by an afternoon visit to your local racetrack to put those theories into practice
  • Art workshops on how to sketch, paint, sculpt, or photograph horses, with live equine models
  • A romantic trail ride & picnic dinner for 2 to celebrate a June wedding anniversary (remember, all those June brides have June anniversaries!)
Putting together a Deal might require some out-of-the-boxstall thinking:
  • Instead of a package of riding lessons, what about a riding lesson for a group of four friends, complete with a limo ride from their pick-up location to your facility and back, plus gourmet lunch al fresco and candid photos of the experience?
  • Instead of a birthday party with pony rides, what about ‘pony learning stations’ combined with games for kids to show off their newly gained knowledge, plus a barnyard treasure hunt with prizes?
  • For a tack shop, partner with a local stable to have a Fashion Day with the latest trends in clothing for the show ring, with outfits on horse & rider models under real-life conditions instead of just inside the store. Add in brunch or hors de oeuvres & drinks, and you’ve got a social experience.

What you come up with for a Deal depends on your own particular business, but I think Facebook Deals opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for equestrian businesses.

Remember, promoting experiences requires that you know your target audience; what will make them say ‘I can’t pass this up!’ and reach for their credit card? You’ll also need to put effort into your copywriting for the Deal, so that it paints a clear, compelling picture of the experience for your potential customers.

Read up on how Facebook Deals work here, and how your business can set up a Deal here. While currently only in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco on a test market basis, Facebook has plans to roll out Deals to other areas of the country.

What do you think of Facebook Deals? Would your horsebiz or equine organization use them? Why or why not? Share your thoughts on Deals via the Leave a Comment link below.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, Monday Morning Quickie, Uncategorized

52 Fridays – #16 Using Social Media: There’s A Policy For That

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.

Sharing information on social media can help build connections and attract customers. But too much information, called ‘oversharing,’ can be downright dangerous for your horsebiz. If you’re using social media for your business or brand, it’s a good idea to protect them from risk by developing a policy about what to share, where to share, and by whom.

It's a good idea to define what to share, and how much, on social media.

Social Media Is Often Free, But It Can Also Be A Free-For-All…So How Do You Protect Your Horsebiz?

There’s A Policy For That

Social media use for horsebiz is sort of a ‘wild, wild west’ right now. More and more people are jumping in and connecting via social networking sites like Facebook and ‘real time’ social media networks like Twitter, and more equine-related businesses are also getting on board. But when you’re new to social media, it can seem very intimate and personal, so you might inadvertently share information you don’t want others to know:

    • Do you take photos with your mobile phone at horse shows and post them to Facebook or Twitter? Your smartphone could be ‘geotagging‘ or marking photos with your exact location, potentially leaving your home and barn vulnerable while you’re away.
    • If you have employees, do they post to your business social media? Do they talk about work on their own social media accounts? The line between ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ is grey, at best, when it comes to sharing on social media, and inappropriate sharing by employees could affect your business or brand.

These are just two examples of the many ways that sharing on social media could hurt your horse business. It’s become such a potential risk, with real-life situations involving lawsuits, that insurance companies are now starting to develop social media insurance coverage.

But, social media and the interaction it can provide with customers can lead to beneficial opportunities for both, so proactively developing a policy, and putting it in writing, can help minimize risk to your horsebiz.

Setting up a basic social media policy can be fairly easy; you’ll want to include things like ‘avoid sharing proprietary information’ and ‘remember you’re representing the business both at work and during leisure hours.’ But think about the upsides of social media and the opportunities as well, such as ‘consider what our audience needs and wants from us.’

For more understanding on social media policies and what to include, here are some good resources:

Different types of social media have different benefits, opportunities, and risks. Start by becoming familiar with each kind as you’re getting started, and set up a basic policy for each one. You can revise as you go, but writing a policy after something’s happened is like closing that barn door once the horse has galloped away.

Does your horsebiz have a social media policy? Is this a whole new concept? Share your thoughts on social media, risk, and policies via the Leave a Comment link below. See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #17!

Read other 52Fridays posts by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #15.

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52 Fridays – #12 Using Twitter Allows You To Connect & Share…In Real Time

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.

An assortment of Twitter logos & icons

It’s been two years since I joined Twitter. While I know there are many out there still digging in their heels and resisting the call of the twitter-bird, I’d say ‘c’mon in, the water’s fine!’ Here’s why….

Twitter has evolved quite a bit in the past few years. Just celebrating its 5th birthday, Twitter has become a source of news and community for over 200 million registered users, sending a BILLION ‘tweets’ a week, as reported in this article by The Telegraph’s digital media editor. Yes, that’s right, a billion.

Twitter’s equestrian community is growing by the day, with big name retailers and professional horsemen/women tweeting right along with horseshow moms.

That’s what I love – we’re all just horsefolk on Twitter, we can connect with each other online despite geographic borders or what discipline we’re in. People share resources and ideas with each other on Twitter. And no matter what time of day it is, if I’m feeling a need to connect with someone and chat for a bit, I can usually find one of my horse ‘tweeps’ (Twitter peeps, or people) online.

If you’re already on Twitter, then you understand the community and sharing that happens there daily. If you’re not quite convinced, you might like to read these articles I wrote back in 2009, shortly after I started. In the first one – How Tweet Is It, To Be On Twitter? – you might laugh that I was such a newbie, I didn’t even realize that the correct way to list your Twitter name is to include the @ sign before it. That’s @KempEquine, not KempEquine. But hey, we all have a bit of a learning curve when trying something new, eh? And if you’re new to Twitter, just tell people…they’ll understand because it wasn’t so long ago they were new, too.

How Tweet Is It, To Be On Twitter?

Across The Twitterverse

Both of these articles include a few ideas on how a horsebiz might use Twitter and its ‘real time’ nature; I’d have a lot more ideas now that I know more. Ultimately whether or not you use Twitter and whether it makes sense for your equine business depends on your overall marketing strategy. But it’s free to sign up, so why not give it a whirl? You might meet some new friends, or learn something that could help you grow your horsebiz. In either case, wouldn’t that be a win?

Read other posts about Twitter by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting the Twitter category, or you can select 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #11.

If we’re lucky, see you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #13!

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Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Talking With Media: You’re Never Too Big, Too Small, or Too Prepared

In addition to marketing and PR for the horse world, I also write articles for equine publications such as The Horse and Equine Journal. In doing so, I often talk with people who are at the top of their game when it comes to their careers and ability to be subject matter experts.

I’ve often found that the bigger the ‘name,’ the more likely that person is to be prepared with their responses, generous with their time, and available for follow-up or additional questions. This makes everything proceed more smoothly, and is a big help to the person trying to tell your story, who is often doing so under deadline and other pressures.

Past interviews I’ve done have included top veterinarians (even an incoming president of AAEP), large-scale equine business owners, international equine researchers, and world-class equestrians, including Olympic medal winners. Despite busy schedules, they’ll carve out time for a phone or in-person interview, give me private contact information such as their personal mobile number or email address for any additional questions or clarifications, and have high-resolution images that can be used. While they might have had coaching by a public relations pro, they’ve also likely had some past media experience that’s helped them learn the ropes.

Preparing For Your Spotlight Moment

For your own horsebiz, journalists, bloggers, and photographers are the conduits to your audiences; they’re the ones who can help you tell your story and get your name into the media. You can never be too prepared for these media moments.

If you’ve never thought about media interaction as part of your marketing strategy, it’s worth spending some time to review, and to practice. Have a friend pretend to ‘interview’ you and see how you do.

  • Are you prepared and articulate in your answers, or do you stumble on words or concepts?
  • How do you come across on audio (I use a digital voice recorder, as do many journalists) or video?
  • Do you say ‘ah,’ ‘um,’ or ‘like’ a lot? Or have other vocal habits that don’t come across well?
  • Are you able to be calm, comfortable, and engaging?

I’ve coached clients for interviews; sometimes helping them identify the topics and reminding them they know more than they think they do is enough to help them feel confident for speaking to the media, but a little practice never hurt anyone! It’s like preparing for the showring…all the hard work happens back home during schooling, so you can really shine when the spotlight, and all eyes, are upon you.

I’ve found some excellent Media Interview Guidelines from the California Association of Realtors, and I’d also add in the following horsebiz tips:

  • If you can, research either the interviewer and/or the media outlet before the interview. Knowing the interviewer helps you feel prepared for questions they might ask; knowing the outlet helps you understand their audience.
  • Ask the interviewer about the story angle and focus of the article, so your answers can be targeted and concise. For example, if they’re interviewing you about newborn foals, you shouldn’t give answers that are about mature horses.
  • If you’re being interviewed by a ‘mainstream’ journalist rather than an equine-industry one, be aware they’ll likely know very little about horses, so it’s your job to help them understand important details that are second nature for you.
  • Have high-resolution (300 dpi) images ready to send in digital format, with appropriate photo releases signed and on file, and photo credits listed. Be sure you have permission from the photographer or copyright owner to use the image, and remember to include your own metadata in the image files! And, because of the seasonality of the horse world, think ahead for photo opportunities; take images in all seasons, of all aspects of your horsebiz throughout the year.
  • If it’s a print article, ask the interviewer if you can review a draft for fact & quote accuracy before the story. I always ask my sources to do a review to be sure I’ve captured information correctly, since it helps everyone. But you also have to be available to review a draft and turn it around quickly.

Media opportunities can come up suddenly and when you least expect them, so taking time to be prepared will let you take advantage when they do arise.

Have you been interviewed and/or photographed for the media? What worked well, and what didn’t? Share your media stories via the Leave a Comment link below.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quickie, Uncategorized

52 Fridays – #11 To See Where You’re Going, Map Out Your Website Architecture

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.

Did you know that approximately 65% of the population are visually-oriented? Or, according to research by 3M Corporation, that the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text? When trying to either outline your website structure (called ‘sitemapping‘), or convey that structure from your mind to that of your web designer (oh, if only telepathy were practical!), visuals can provide the roadmap to help you arrive smoothly at your destination.

Let’s say you’re getting ready to design, or redesign, your website; you’ve pulled out your ‘good websites’ file, got yourself settled into a comfy chair with a beverage close at hand, and you’ve got ideas swirling in your head about the kind of information and images you want to put onto your site. This is the point where I’ve found it’s helpful to get out a large newsprint or flipchart pad, plus some colored markers, and let the ‘inner grade-schooler’ take over….

I’m going to say right now – there’s no ‘one’ right way to do this. Do what makes sense for yourself, try a few different approaches. It’s only paper, right? Here are a few options to get you started:

  • Like columns? Write your categories (About & Contact, plus all the topics specific to your enterprise) across one side and start your lists.
  • Prefer circles? That’s OK, too. Use big circles to hold the category titles and all your content and image ideas for each one. If you like circles, you can even use a Venn diagram to map out the relationships (and resulting links) between various categories.
  • Remember flowcharts? I like them as a way to ‘drill down’ into various categories and show how pages can be connected.

If you’d prefer making your sitemap via an online tool, or want to take your freeform diagram and put it into a format to share with others, here are some sites that can help:

  • SlickPlan.com allows you to easily create flowcharts and sitemaps to help organize and communicate a project’s details. It was developed specifically for website designers and developers, but their site says it’s for anyone wanting a quick and professional-looking sitemap for their project. Under the FAQs there are some brief video clips showing how easy it is to generate a PDF of your sitemap, or HTML code or an HTML link for sharing with others (slick!).
  • WriteMaps.com has options to create sitemaps or flowcharts, plus export and share either your sitemap-in-progress or your finished product. Click on the View the Tour tab for a step-by-step diagram on how to use it.

Both of these sites require accounts & logins, but they’re free and supported by donations, so why not give them a try? Each has the ability to save as many versions of your sitemap as you like, so you can track changes as you go, and always return to an earlier version if you get off-track. Ultimately, a well-organized sitemap will help your web design process flow more smoothly, and might reduce your overall web designer expenses since you’ll already have things mapped out.

Have these website ideas and resources given you food for thought? Are you considering a new website, or plotting to redesign your current one? Let us know what you valued about the website ideas in 52 Fridays #5 through #11 by clicking on the Leave A Comment link below. This week is the last in the ‘website’ portion of the series, so see you here next Friday for a brand new topic category and 52 Fridays #12! 

You can read all the 52 Fridays posts by clicking the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu and selecting 52 Fridays.

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