Lauren Mercer, from Mercer Marketing Agency, shares her advice on marketing tactics for new equestrian businesses.
If you’re ready to grow or start a business, it can be tough to know where to begin marketing-wise! Where to start? I’ve been-there, done-that personally and have clients from a variety of backgrounds come to me in similar spots. Fear not; here's a few tips and tricks up to help you get started.
1. First things first, determine your brand, and what you have to offer.
This might sound like a given, but saying that you’re an instructor, photographer, or web developer isn’t enough to sell yourself or inspire a client. Ask yourself the following questions:
What are you offering your clients, and why should they pick you? This is the perfect opportunity to brag about yourself a little bit. How long have you been in training or riding? How many of your students have gone on to win major titles? Have your photos been published in a magazine?
How do you make clients feel? Do you foster a calm, comfortable environment for your clients? Do your students rave about your ability to make them feel confident and prepared going into a show or stressful situation?
Who is your audience and what are they like? What problems do you help them overcome?
Who is your competitor and how do you differ from them? What are your similarities, differences, advantages and disadvantages?
2. Now that you’ve determined your brand, get your business listed online!
Whether it’s an elegantly designed website or simply a business listing on Yelp or Google, it’s essential to have an online business presence. If you’re feeling adventurous and thinking of creating your own website, I’d recommend using Squarespace or Wix. Their drag and drop platforms with ready-made themes are perfect for a beginner. If you’re looking to spruce up your site, consider simple changes like a new color scheme, logo, or images. I favor modern, minimalist sites with visually stunning photos that translate well on a smartphone. Be sure to incorporate some of the language you’ve used to describe yourself and your business when developing your biography or business description.
3. How do you advertise your services?
New businesses can find new customers in a variety of ways. Advertising with Equivont and considering purchasing advertising space with relevant magazines are great ways to get the word out. A mention in an eNewsletter, on an Instagram story, or a Facebook post can go a long way! I heard once a businessman refer to the rule of three when it comes to developing brand recognition: hear about it, read about it, and see it. A client seeing your work, hearing a positive recommendation, and reading about your business is going to help build a good rapport.
Figuring out how to market yourself and your business can sound really daunting and scary, but take comfort in knowing that nearly everyone has been in your exact same position. If I were to offer one take away it would be to keep in mind why you’re in your field to begin with. If you have a genuine love for your work, it will show to your clients!
Mercer Marketing Agency is a full service marketing company offering web design, SEO, social media management, and much more! We're all about the personal touch, which is why we work collaboratively with our clients every step of the way. Get in touch with us for a free consultation for your business.