Horse show season is in full swing for most of us. From schooling shows to FEI events, equestrians are busy scrubbing, spraying, polishing, and double checking their horses, their tack, and themselves to make their best appearance in the arena. And we know that the bustling doesn’t just stop there. Back at the barn, there are stall drapes to hang, tack and feed rooms to organize, and aisleways to be swept meticulously. In an effort to showcase only their best, the preparation that equestrians dedicate to their horses and their clients before walking into the show arena is incredibly commendable.
But can I ask an honest question? How many people are going see your efforts? Is the dedication and time that you have spent preparing your horses and riders for their classes going to only be appreciated by the judge, the stewards, and casual bystanders? When you walk into the arena, how many people are actually paying attention versus looking down at their phones? Whether they are waiting at the gate for their next class, waiting in the warm up arena for their trainers, or waiting in line at the concession stand, the continuous scrolling, searching, and consuming of digital information seems to never end.
The time and effort that you are investing into preparing for the show could be resulting in more than ribbons and championships. It could also be helping you develop a more profitable brand that showcases the quality of your work. As a professional, it is your responsibility, and quite frankly your livelihood, to make sure that your talents are being showcased and seen. Our industry has operated on word of mouth referrals for far longer than most would imagine, and I believe that it speaks volumes to the connectivity throughout our industry. However, I also have spent years in this industry watching talented professionals lose out on a more profitable business by solely relying on word of mouth marketing.
The top notch experience that your clients and horses receive when they work with you should be something that everyone gets a glimpse of whether they are visiting your website, social media pages, or standing on the rail at a show.
At this point you may be thinking to yourself "But doing that stuff takes SO MUCH time and I don't want to spend any more time on my phone and computer, I just want to ride!". While the effort that it takes to create a recognizable and cohesive brand takes time to develop, the good news is that the main key to making it work is attention to detail and consistency. Something that as a successful professional, you already understand the importance of. Running a social media page doesn't have to drain hours from your schedule every week and updating your website shouldn't be reserved for once a year. Use these platforms to update your clients and prospective clients about what working with you is really like. Have a great win at the show? Post a photo. Hired a new assistant trainer? Post a short bio to introduce them. Hosting a summer camp? Share the details about registration. As you market and showcase your business's best qualities more consistently, both potential and current clients will begin to take notice and think of you more readily because of it.
Whether you are interested in investing in professional services or opting to DIY your branding and marketing, I would be thrilled to help you strategize and plan your way to a more visible, and in turn, profitable, brand that allows you to do spend more time doing what you truly enjoy. Ready to get started? Get in touch!