Please say the following sentence out loud.
“I love marketing my business.”
What did you feel when you said it? Your internal
reaction may have been:
- I‘ve had a few encounters with marketing
and am fond of it, but I don’t know it well enough to
- How can I love something I don’t even
- That statement about marketing produces the
same feeling inside me as the statement, “your horse
- How true it is. I love marketing and could do it all
You’re part of the majority of professional horsemen
if you chose one of the first three. If you chose
statement number four, stop reading and go do
some more of it.
For the rest of you, take comfort in the fact that
you are not alone because marketing is one of the
most difficult parts of owning your own business. I
spoke with Lisa Munniksma, an experienced
writer for horse industry and small business
publications, about the topic of marketing by
professional horsemen. I asked her what are the
three things professional horsemen need to know
about marketing programs in the equine world.
Professional horsemen “shut down” when they hear
the word marketing according to Lisa. Perception of
the concept of marketing is a problem. She offers
that you don’t have to be an expert, or invest weeks
of time or pour in barrels of money to have a
marketing program for your horse business.
Creativity, not money, is needed for a successful
If you're not a writer,
free lance professional to help you with the best
wording possible in your display ads, brochures and
website copy. If your budget is limited, find a
communications or journalism college student to help.
Or if you are a riding instructor, one of your students
or a student’s parent may have the skill you need to
polish your wording.
2. Use W.O.M.
Munniksma highly recommends W.O.M. (word
of mouth marketing) which means let others tell your
story for you. There is no better marketing program
than the endorsement by raving fans of your
Asking for recommendations and referrals from others
in your network including farriers and veterinarians is
the best way to improve your marketing program.
Lisa suggests “be present and be seen” at
events. For example at a horse show, spend time
talking with people, show off your ribbons and
promote your stable. Admitting she is an introvert,
she adds talking about her business doesn’t come
naturally for her either, but with practice it gets
3. Have a Website
Websites aren’t just for businesses that have
worldwide customer bases; locally based businesses
should have websites, too. You use Google to check
out local businesses, don’t you? Your potential
customers are doing the same with your business,
even when they may be only ten miles away.
One page websites are a good start to creating a
web presence, make sure you put your photo on
Lisa recommends avoiding music, the hoof
beats sound effect and the “whinny” on websites.
While sound and music add atmosphere, personal
tastes vary too much to be able to please every
visitor to your site.
So get to it. Practice saying, “ I love
use W.O.M. and create or tune up your website.
Choose success for your business.