When horse owners are faced with choosing the right barn for boarding and training, no two options are alike. So what will it take to make your show facility stand out from the rest?
Start with a professional website
Your website is home-base for your business and will often provide a first impression to your potential clients. It doesn’t have to be expensive; however it does need to portray quality and a high standard of professionalism. Great photos and videos showing happy clients, quality horses and a clean, safe, well-equipped facility are a must! Your website is also your most powerful list-building tool. Considering adding a “Subscribe” button and landing page so those who are interested can opt-in to receive your news.
The Power of Social Sharing
Along with a professional website, these days a business presence on one or more of the major social media channels is also a must. Social media marketers recommend not using your personal profile as a substitute for a business page. Keep it professional. Share the accomplishments of your clients and horses, promote upcoming events and educate your audience with brief training videos or “how-to” tips, linking back to your website. Develop an attention-grabbing paid social ad campaign periodically and target your specific audience demographics for high-yielding results. All of these content types will raise your visibility and help shape your reputation as an authority, so when potential clients are looking for your services, they will think of you first.
Email Your Contacts with Featured News
Using a dedicated email service such as Constant Contact or Mail Chimp allows you to send professional, graphic announcements and news items to those who have expressed an interest in hearing from you. Top marketers recommend integrating email marketing with social media promotions as the best combination for reaching out to your audience and increasing website traffic.
Resource: Email is Still the King
Be visible at shows and local industry events
Consider sponsoring a high-profile class, hanging a banner in the arena or hosting a social at events where your ideal client will be present. Keep business cards at hand to provide to interested potential clients or industry associates.
Host a Collaborative Event
Host a clinic, seminar or social event and partner with a well-known professional or local cause/charity to spread visibility throughout the industry. It’s recommended to start planning six months to a year in advance to assure all of the details fall into place with time to spare. Consider inviting vendors and local businesses to set up promotional booths. Then, be sure you have all of the details accounted for before you set the participation fees.
Resource: Bringing In A Clinician
In her article, “Low Cost Ways to Promote Your Horse Barn,”Donna Campbell Smith suggests: “If you breed Arabians, have an Arabian Nights festival, or with Quarter Horses a Cowboy Party with a campfire, chili feed, and western music. Have draft horses? Plan a party with a renaissance theme.”
If an onsite event seems a bit overwhelming, consider an online event such as a webinar or digital video course. Whichever format you choose, when managed properly, a collaborative event can significantly boost your farm’s reputation and your bottom line. And, when it’s time to get the word out, you’ll benefit from the added promotion your collaborative partner can provide as well, doubling your reach!
No matter how many of these strategies you implement, the key is to promote consistently and professionally. Strive to connect and build relationships with other complimentary business owners and potential clients, so when the need arises your business will be recommended and recognized as a top consideration among your competition.