Today I want to tell you about a friend of mine, Lynda Nicholson, who helps owners of horse businesses to improve their marketing (some people call this equine marketing).
Lynda specialises in Internet marketing and runs the website www.HorseWebsitesThatWork.com
The Missing Piece When Starting A Horse Business
If you are thinking about starting a horse business, then I bet you are just like Lynda. You love horses and you want to work with people who love horses. She’s written an interesting blog on Starting A Horse Business .
While you’re on her website I recommend you pick up her very revealing free report – How To Survive The Tough Times – Horse Marketing That Works – based on a survey she did of horse businesses. I also recommend you take a look at her blog article on the 5 M’s Of Horse Marketing.
There’s plenty of stuff you need to do when starting your horse business but an overlooked area is often marketing.
I see this in many different types of business start-up but those that are based around a strong passion, like your love of horses, are particularly vulnerable to this mistake. There’s an assumption that “if you build it, people will come.”
Unfortunately it’s not true.
Having a successful business isn’t that easy and if you don’t want to have a “hobby business” that is fun but doesn’t make money, you need to focus on marketing very early in your thinking about starting a horse business.
See my Six Step Profit Formula for getting clear on your business model for how to attract, convert and keep customers.
That way you design your business from scratch in a way that is attractive to your prospective customers and differentiates you from your competitors.
Equine Marketing For A Horse Business – Getting More Eyeballs On Your Irresistible Promise
The two big issues you need to think about when marketing your new or existing horse business are:
- Your irresistible promise or offer which has tremendous appeal to your potential customers.
- Getting your offer in front of as many potential buyers as possible in a way that takes people through the classic AIDA process of marketing – that stands for getting Attention, creating Interest, stimulating Desire and encouraging Action.
Marketing has changed since the Internet has become popular.
As customers we are much less tolerant of outreach marketing (also known as interruption marketing) when the marketer tries to impose their agenda on you and me through direct mail, telemarketing, television and radio, newspaper and magazine advertising and similar techniques.
Because, thanks to the Internet, we know that the information we want as buyers is available to us when we want it. We don’t have to pay attention to someone jumping up and down and waving their arms around trying to attract our attention because they want to sell to us. The Internet has empowered us as customers and we can ignore those who try to impose what they want on us.
The Internet has also empowered the horse businesses that have created websites that work.
Many websites don’t work.
Some small businesses have created pretty websites that no one visits even though it may have cost a lot in terms of time and money. Others don’t have a website because they haven’t noticed the huge shift that has happened in the last ten years and how, when people want information, they automatically turn to Google and the other search engines.
An effective website is not just for search engine marketing. Just about all the marketing you do will direct people back to your website because it’s the low risk way for prospective customers to find out more about your business.
Picking up the telephone and calling can feel scary to some people but a website that works lets people visit anonymously and then gives various ways to move the relationship forward.
Horse Business Websites That WorkLynda at HorseWebsitesThatWork.com
If you contact Lynda at Horse Websites That Work, she’ll help you to have a website for your horse business that:
- Ranks well in the search engines
- Gets the click – a vital but often overlooked issue. Just think how rarely you click on more than two or three items listed on page one of Google
- That creates a connection with the prospective customer by showing or telling them the information they need
- Starts an ongoing relationship by providing extra information available to people who enter their email address.
It starts with having an attractive website that has the right information on it and then attracting traffic with search engine marketing.
At the core of search engine marketing are the keyword phrases you’re targeting.
Just as this article is written around keywords like “horse business” and “equine marketing”, your horse website needs to be based around “riding lessons”, stables and “horse trading” (or whatever your horse business does) combined with your local area.
You see, the role of a search engine like Google is to find and present the best, most relevant pages to the query typed into the search box. The very clever algorithm used to decide this is a closely guarded trade secret although Google have disclosed some guidance and extensive testing has highlighted other essential things you must do if your horse business website is going to rank well.
There are three main ways for getting this traffic from search engine marketing:
- Google Places,
- Search engine optimisation – writing the pages so tightly that Google rates them as highly relevant to the keyword search,
- Pay per click and in particular, Google Adwords
Each has its strengths based on the time and money required to make it work for you and the control you have between matching what the prospective customer searched for and the page on your website they land on.
Lynda can tell you more if you contact Horse Websites That Work and she even offers a no obligation assessment of your current website and whether it can benefit from extra traffic or whether you need to improve the conversion issues first. She’s had some rave reviews on these website analysis reviews since they highlight many things horse business website owners don’t know.
Why I Have Profiled Horse Websites That Work?
There are several reasons.
First, I want to help Lynda promote her business. She’s a good friend and I know she’s committed to doing a great job for her horse business clients. I know she loves the mix of horses and business.
Second, I want to use Horse Websites That Work as an example of niche marketing.
It’s a big mistake to try to be all things to all people but it’s one that’s made by many new businesses. You often end up with an unconvincing offer that doesn’t connect with anyone – see my thoughts on bullseye marketing.
Most businesses are nervous about specialising because they feel that it rules out many potential customers.
But what people miss is that specialising makes you much more attractive to people in the bullseye.
A horse business can find plenty of web designers to create a website.
It’s nicer to deal with a specialist who is interested in and understands your business and shares your love of all things horsey.
It’s the same with an accountant. You could choose a general accountant who deals with many different types of business or an accountant who specialises in the horse industry. You may get much the same finance and tax advice but the horse business specialist understands more about your business and can more easily spot things that aren’t quite right so you avoid problems or highlight opportunities that you haven’t taken advantage of. Even better, the specialist can introduce you to other people who can directly help your business.
Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps business owners to differentiate their businesses and develop winning strategies. Get your free copy of my ebook The Six Steps Profit Formula.
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