Marketing like a Rogue Cow! How to Market Your Horse Business
Republished with permission from Yellow Barn Media
Let’s take a moment and learn from a rouge cow how to better market our horse businesses. Many of you are asking yourself how this can possibly relate to marketing and building my business. Let me share how.
Driving down country roads I often pass many pastures full of cows just eating and swishing at flies. You know the scene. There is nothing exciting happening and they are just there. They have always been there. They hang out with the same cows in the same pasture doing the same thing for weeks on end. The fencing at some of these farms consists of a strand or two or wire fence that could easily be knocked down by a cow with half a mind to do so with little to injury to it in the process.
Now that I have painted the picture in your mind let’s talk about how this related to marketing your horse business. I urge you to grab a pen and paper and take notes while you read this as I have a few questions for you.
#1. How do you currently market your business?
Do you use word of mouth, a website, Facebook, email marketing, print ads, sponsor horse shows or events or just hope and pray that by doing nothing you will be successful? That last statement may sound a tad harsh but so many are doing it that way without even thinking about it. Start by making a list of what you have done in the past no matter what the results were. Your list may be as short as an 8 second rodeo ride or as long as a relaxing 3 hour trail ride. Do you test and measure the results that you are getting from those marketing outlets?
#2. Who is in charge of your marketing?
Do you “wing it” with the spare 10 minutes you have once a month between riding, training and all the other perks of the equestrian lifestyle? Do you have a barn kid that runs your Facebook page or do you have a designated person or agency guiding you along the way? Do you have a vision for your business? Where do you want to be in 2, 5 or 10 years?
#3. Is your business where you want it to be?
Have you always envisioned a large training facility with XX amount of students or do you have a product or service that you know will help the equine community if they only knew about it? Are you willing to go through a little “pain” to grow your business?
So if you are a great student you wrote down the answers to these questions. I know there were a few, but this will help you get on the right track with building your business! So let’s go back to the rouge cow. I recently heard a story of a cow that decided she had enough. A friend shared with me how her cow busted through the fencing and headed down to join a larger herd of cows. The cow had been in her field for quite some time just eating, sleeping and swishing flies – day in and day out. She was just doing what she had always done.
This story got me to thinking about the entrepreneur & business owner. I hear from almost all of my clients, at one point or another, this exact phrase, “This is how we have always done it”. I challenge you to think outside of YOUR box. If you have always done print ads, why not try some online marketing in addition to the print ads? If you have never had a website or it has not been updated since the late 80’s, it’s definitely time to invest in a NEW website that will sell for you. Are you sending a monthly newsletter to stay top of mind for your clients/customers?
We are headed into the off season for horse shows and events (it never is truly the off season, but it slows a tad) and this is the time to re-evaluate 2013 thus far and start your plan for 2014. How will next year be better than 2013?
Will you grow, gain new students or impact the horse industry with your product or service? It is truly up to you. It is your CHOICE as a business owner to go ROUGE! It is time to decide that you are not doing what has always been done. Bust through that barrier – whatever it may be for you – and change your business for the better!
Yellow Barn Media is truly a company that was built on a passion. From a young age, I knew riding horses was important—so important, that I made it a priority to learn anything and everything to be successful at it. The young businesswoman in me took to showing my pony and selling tack in between classes to make money for more horse supplies, and it took off from there!
I became healthily obsessed with the equine industry, and I have the track record to prove it. From starting my own business at age 13 to winning the Sportsmanship Award at the World’s Largest All Breed Youth Show at 14, my passion for making a name for myself grew with each achievement.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned that the buying, selling, and marketing process is all about one thing—telling and selling your story to the right audience.