Tips & Tricks For Your Online Presence

by Michelle on April 23, 2020

Get Social With Your Equine Business Part 2:

It’s me! Back again. Shelby here sending you a big virtual hello and hoping that you and your families (and your horses!) are keeping well during this time. I have been racking my brain thinking about what valuable advice I could share with you next when it comes to getting social with your equine-related business. If you thought we were spending a lot of time online before, you were wrong. With all this time at home, almost everything has gone virtual, and now is the best time of any to establish the professional and effective online strategy your equine business needs to stay relevant. Today I am going to talk to you about my top tips for maintaining that online presence and making it work for your business. Enjoy!
(Part 1)

1. Create a brand identityimage0

I briefly touched on this in part one, but it is such a crucial aspect of presenting yourself online that I feel the need to discuss it with you all again. Who is your brand and what do you want to be? If you could pick three words to describe your business, what would you choose? Based on this description, create your image. Logo. Brand colors. Written material. Use these branding tools consistently. For example; your logo, brand colors, and overall “mood” of design should be reflected in everything you do from invoices to stallion posters, sales ads and your website. This is what we call consistent branding. We want your audience to see what you are putting out and be able to identify it with your business immediately.

2. Know your audience
This can be tricky, and I do recognize that often you have more than one audience. One specific example I want to use here is writing descriptions for sale horses. Who would be the ideal buyer for the horse you are advertising? What do they look like? Where do they live? What do they do for work? What are their goals for the said horse? What is important to them in an equine partner? Write down everything that comes to mind, then build your description for the sale horse around all of those points. Tell a story with your description that will pull in the RIGHT buyer.
Another example would be if you provide a product or service related to the equine industry. Ask yourself the same questions when brainstorming who you want to use or purchase said product or service. Keep that in mind with your advertising, social media posts, print material, labeling, and product launches.
It’s hard to believe but it’s true – identifying the niche will actually gain you more exposure than if you were targeting a broad audience. Try it out!

3. Get personal

It has always been true that humans seek connection from social media, and now we are witnessing first-hand how precedent that truly is. Take this in to account and pivot your social media presence to create a relationship with your followers, friends and potential buyers. I run social media management and marketing for many clients and regardless of the industry they are involved in – I operate on the same strategy “building genuine relationships through authentic content”. Be real and make the effort to connect with your audience. If they aren’t in a position to “buy” right now, they will remember you and come back when they are. If they are in that position currently, showing up consistently and building a repertoire with them, will earn you their business!

4. Always bring the value
I talk about this one constantly. What are you doing to bring VALUE to your followers and potential buyers? Think outside the box. What can you do to enrich them a few times a week via your social media presence to establish the relationship we discussed earlier? If you’re a breeder, perhaps giving them a snapshot into your everyday life during foaling season. Show them what goes into naming a foal. Educate them on how you choose the right stallion/mare combo. If you’re a trainer, perhaps you share drills or exercises that address certain issues that a horse may be having. Show up for them every day with VALUE!
Now is the time to pivot your online presence to show up consistently and effectively for your consumers – both current and potential. These tips will keep you on track for staying true to your brand and giving the people what they need!

Shelby Wickson of Sweetgrass & Saguaro SocialSweetgrass and Saguaro is a social media whiz specializing in platform management, brand strategy, and online marketing. With specific experience in the equine and western industries, Shelby believes in creating genuine relationships through authentic content. Sweetgrass & Saguaro Social offers a variety of services including social media management, website design, brand coaching and more!

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Get Social With Your Equine Business

by Michelle on February 19, 2020

I’m excited to bring you part 1 of a series of guest blog posts with social media expert Shelby Wickson of Sweetgrass and Saguaro Social.   Enjoy these great tips.   ~Michelle

If you haven’t heard, social media is the fastest growing, most responsive, revenue generating marketing tool out there. Why? Because it allows you to connect with real people, in real time. In an industry that is greatly centered around connection whether it be two or four legged, it is important that as a business in the equine industry you begin to take note and take advantage of this incredible marketing tool. You’d be silly not to!

In a series of guest blogs, I will be exploring how you can tap into this exciting new marketing tool, tailor it to your equine related business and be successful while doing it!

Part 1: How to present yourself professionally through social mediaShelby Wickson

This is probably one of the most important points when utilizing online marketing, and something I see so many struggle with.  A common misconception is that people see this type of marketing as casual and sometimes present themselves too much that way. The truth is that being professional AND remaining approachable is so much easier than you think!

Setting yourself up for online success. Whether your business is based out of your barn, has a storefront or is strictly online – there are a few essential steps in creating your online presence that will contribute greatly to your success.

1. Create a logo
You need something that represents your brand or business and tells your story. I recommend utilizing a professional graphic designer for this. This part of your marketing setup is so much fun! You get to choose brand colors, elements and images that are going to represent who you are and what you stand for. Logos are important to attach to print material, use online, and for physical marketing material if applicable. When it comes to logo design, I like to stick to a minimalist approach, typically sticking to clean lines and two or three brand colors or tones and clear, easy to read text. Your logo should be able to stand alone and tell your story.

2. Website
I truly believe that every business no matter how big or small needs a website to keep their market informed. Your website can be so simple and still be so effective. In three pages, viewers can tell who you are, what you believe in and what you do. Based on that, they will form an opinion on if they want to buy into you and your business.

3. Brand Identity
In order to establish your brand identity, it is first crucial to identify your target market. Who is your ideal customer? Write down everything you can think about them. Get creative with it! Where do they live? How much money do they make? What is their occupation? What do they value? All of these points play an important role in ensuring that you are tailoring your online presence to the RIGHT people. The people that are going to potentially be customers!
From there, you can develop your brand identity. Your brand identity encompasses the language you use, the platforms you are active on, how you engage with your audience, and how you tailor your service or product.
For example; let’s say you own a small stallion station. Likely your target market is going to be individuals, male and female, 30+, experienced in the horse industry, with steady jobs and income, looking to make an “investment” in your “product”.
If I were creating a brand and identity for your business, I would be intentional about the following:
-use simple, classic graphic design with basic colors (nothing too crazy and outside of the box!)
-write with proper grammar, using a mature tone and language.
-keep up with professional engagement, encouraging the conversation with your audience.

Whether you are re-working your online presence or just launching a new equine related business, focusing on these three topics will give you a head start in attracting the right audience and keeping them around.

Head to part 2. 

Sweetgrass and Saguaro
Shelby Wickson of Sweetgrass & Saguaro Social is a social media whiz specializing in platform management, brand strategy, and online marketing. With specific experience in the equine and western industries, Shelby believes in creating genuine relationships through authentic content. Sweetgrass & Saguaro Social offers a variety of services including social media management, website design, brand coaching and more!


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