Your press release is breaking my heartIt was Emma Warren, who first told me about Janet Murray. She’d been travelling up to our meeting at Daylesford a few months ago, and she told me she’d been listening to podcasts by Janet Murray. I like podcasts and regularly have a video or podcast rumbling in the background during the day. She recommended a couple in particular, so I duly listened. And they were brilliant. And with nearly 200 to listen to (a time of discovery!) I was pretty much hooked… and continue to be. That’s how I ‘met’ Janet. The author of ‘Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart’, founder of Soulful PR…and a whole lot more…

So what has ‘Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart’ got to do with anything?

Well, Janet is known as a PR expert and draws on her journalism experience, working with magazines and newspapers, to help people get coverage. There’s a lot more to it than that, but in summary, that’s what she does. Have a look at her website to find out more. She’s incredibly knowledgeable without being cocky and doesn’t shout about her excellence… you see it through her actions, and I like that. I can’t really tolerate the other kind. So she ticked another box in my world. Janet does a lot of things, the podcasts are a teeny part. She also has groups, courses, offers products and one to one. And she’s written a book called ‘Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart’. And I bought it.

Why would a press release break anyone’s heart?

I have to say that I do write quite a few press releases, and I think I do them pretty well. They achieve the desired results when I send them to people I have spent years building up relationships with. I have also honed and tweaked the format, length, style and construction of these press releases, through speaking to editors, to make them as user friendly as possible. However, I see a LOT that are, well, pretty awful. They’re long, they’re boring, they don’t focus on the point – actually – some don’t have a point… I could go on. The book confirmed this to me. It actually made me a lot more confident in what I do and why, but that’s an aside. It was easy to read. It was helpful. It was accurate and the techniques Janet suggests work. They really do. Badly written press releases break my heart a bit… and they’re just the ones I see that waft into my inbox. If I was working as an editor or as a journalist at a newspaper where I was barraged with them every day, they would completely break my heart too! The thing that comes to the fore, as Janet explains so well, is that editors and journalists are really busy people. This means the format you present the information in matters A LOT, but there’s more to it than that. And, actually, you might not need a press release at all to get your message out there.

So you’re saying Janet’s book says I don’t need press releases?

Yes and no. It’s a genuinely brilliant read for anyone interested in getting press and column inches for their business, and it’s a really refreshing read for PR and marketing professions as it shows the proper way to deal with the press. As much as PR people and businesses want to get those important column inches, journalists have space to fill. Presenting the information correctly, doing your research, putting the time in can help solve both of these issues. And that’s what the book will help you to realise.

Why do I love ‘Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart’?

Because it echoes what I have found from speaking to editors and journalists and honing my style over the years. And anything that reinforces what we feel to be true (even if it’s a break from convention!), is always nice. However, Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart does more than this. It’ll challenge your thinking, encourage new ideas and additional exploration and is bursting with practical tips to help editors and journalists take your press release and stories more seriously. It helps you form real connections that will serve you and them better, to help everyone win. And if you’ve followed this blog for anytime at all, you’ll know I do like win/win situations.


Find out more about Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart on Amazon.

Alec LochoreI’m really excited about today’s ‘a few minutes with…’, all about Alec Lochore. Alec is well known in eventing circles and has an incredible CV. He’s also one of the speakers at this year’s Farm Business Innovation Show.

In addition to running Alec Lochore Event & Equestrian Consultancy and Musketeer Event Management (the company responsible for Burnham Market International and Houghton International, amongst others), Alec has held many notable positions in the sport. But he can tell the story much better…

Tell us a bit about Alex Lochore Event & Equestrian Consultancy and Musketeer Event Management?

A.L.E.C is an Event and Equestrian Consultancy business which over the past 15 years has been involved with the design and running of sporting events. Predominantly but not exclusively equestrian projects and covering a complete spectrum of the different levels from grass roots through to Olympic Games.

As an equestrian consultant, I look at the design, strategic and operational planning and the management and delivery of projects and events from the small-scale farm diversification to the large scale international facilities focusing on maximising efficiency and profitability.

As well as working as a consultant, Musketeer Event Management was established in 2001 running equestrian events up and down the country including Houghton International, Burnham Market International, Whitfield Horse Trials and Cholmondeley Castle Horse Trials.

What makes your business different to others?

When working with clients both as a consultant and through Musketeer, I always try to maintain a ‘yes’ and a ‘can do’ policy. Working with and to the client’s objectives, being reactive in trying to pippa funnellfind solutions to any problem encountered in order to reach the end goal. To have an idea, go for it and make it happen.

What area of business are you talking about at the Farm Business Innovation Show and why?

At the Farm Business Innovation Show I am going to be examining the opportunities available in the diversification into equestrian events. Making the right choice in the type of enterprise and then turning the plan into a reality. I am also going to look at the different types of opportunities and the benefits they can bring as well as the possible threats that might have to be encountered.

When are you speaking and why should people come along and listen?

I feel that the equestrian events market has a growing potential, and is a good opportunity for land owners to diversify into a different area of business that they might not have considered. My intention would also be to stimulate investigation and provide some context and understanding for those people who are interested in an area of diversification which can be very complementary and work well running alongside already established farming business and other area of rural land management.


Who inspires you?

I am inspired not by a particular person but sports men and woman who have achieved global success on the world stage.  My belief is that no matter what sport or what the athlete’s background, whether rich or poor, a man or a woman, and with no consideration for ethnicity or religion, this person has achieved through the grit, determination, sacrifice, hard work and huge strength of character to persevere through the tough times in order to reach success.

You can find out more about Alec and hear his take on the above at the Farm Business Innovation Show

To find out more about Alec Lochore, his consultancy or Musketeer Event Management, follow the links below…

Musketeer Event Management website

Musketeer Twitter

Musketeer Facebook

Musketeer Instagram

Alec Lochore Event & Equestrian Consultancy website

Alec Lochore Twitter

Alec Lochore Facebook


Did you miss last week’s Farm Business Innovation Show themed ‘a few minutes with…’? Read about Emma Collison from Moor View Alpacas and Debbie North from the Outdoor Guide.

liked posts to liked pages on facebookDid you know that you can invite people who like a post of yours on a Facebook page to like your actual page too? Yep. Honest. It’s a really nifty Facebook page feature that can significantly grow your following over time. And it’s free and REALLY easy to do. I used this as a Tip Tuesday on my Facebook page and on Instagram too and it got a really positive reaction… so I thought I’d share it here too…

How can people like posts and not pages?

If someone engages with your Facebook post, their Facebook friends could see when it appears on their timeline. If one of their friends likes the post, then they could well like your post, but not necessarily the page. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want to like your page, it’s just another step that people don’t always think about. Don’t be offended, this is life… but there is something you can do about it…

You can ask them to like your page

When people ‘react’ to your post, you can click on the number of people who have engaged and Facebook will kindly show you a list of all of those who have liked your Facebook post. But more than this, on the right of the list, it’ll show you whether these people have already liked your page, AND it’ll also give you the chance to invite them. All you do is click the ‘Invite’ button. Facebook will invite them to like your page, and the button will turn to light grey and say ‘Invited’. And that’s that!

And will they then like your Facebook page?

The short answer is they might do… but they might not. You can invite them but like when you ask friends to like your Facebook page, some will, and some won’t… and that’s just life! But if you invite them, Facebook will give them a little nudge and suggest that they do in the form of an invite. It might not work, but I have genuinely grown my following using the next method.


Have you tried it? Did you know about this function? Let me know!

Fairfax & Favor Imperial ExplorersLet’s be honest, you know I love Fairfax & Favor. Not just the products that the company produces, but the branding, the team, the prosecco… I mean ideas. No. There are a few companies in the equestrian and country industry I admire, and I have to say that Fairfax & Favor fall well into this category. So you can imagine my delight when the opportunity to collaborate with them on a project involving the Imperial Explorers came up.

How did the collaboration start?

Well, it all started at Blenheim Horse Trials, although I didn’t realise it had started then! I was having a chat with a friend of mine about the Imperial Explorers, Fairfax & Favor’s award winning boots. I’d had these on my wishlist for a while but was really on the fence. Why? Because I was sure they were water resistant and not waterproof. And my friend thought they were waterproof and not water resistant. Umm. I’m a complete product geek, and I was pretty sure, but still, if they were waterproof, my dilemma was over! Anyway, I wandered past the Fairfax & Favor stand and Ben (if you’ve been to any Fairfax & Favor stand, Ben is the head of brand and retail and is usually clad in tweed) was there. So I went over for a glass of prosecco and took the opportunity to quiz him about the Imperial Explorers…

And what did I find out about the Imperial Explorers?

They’re water resistant. So you might be thinking that that wasn’t a good thing, but actually, after my chat with Ben, they moved from wishlist to must-have. Why? Well, although they are water resistant, actually, when you really delve into how these boots are water resistant and why, you might realise, like I did, that you don’t actually need a waterproof boot. And when you do need a waterproof boot (as in, wading through and standing in water for prolonged periods of time), you should probably opt for wellies, because leather, being a skin, doesn’t really love being submerged in water for long periods of time – even if it is has waterproof membrane behind it. When I spoke to Ben and thought it all through, it actually made a lot of sense. I think we’ve been ‘trained’ to believe waterproof is the only option in a country boot, and in some situations it 100% is, but think about when you’d wear the boot. Are you hoping to stand in water for long periods of time? If so, you’re going to need a waterproof boot – get some wellies. And I’m not saying that in a dismissive way. The boots, at £375, aren’t cheap, in fact, I haven’t met that many high quality leather boots that are cheap. So why spend your money on them and then treat them in a way that could limit their life? You’d be much better investing in wellies too, and using both for their ‘best’ jobs, and both will last longer.

So – about this collaboration with Fairfax & Favor?

Oh yes – I made a video about everything I’d learnt from my chat with Ben. Well, actually, I made two. Being a product geek, I also made a video about the Vibram soles. It was another feature of the boots that ticked a box and one I wanted to tell people about. Both videos below – please enjoy and feel free to comment and subscribe too (!).


Following my blog on Wednesday, you’ll know that I’m very excited to be on the marketing panel of the Farm Business Innovation Show next month. What you might not realise is the diversity of the amazing speakers and stands you’ll find there, so I’m using this week’s ‘a few minutes with…’ to introduce you to two of them. And if you’d like to see them in person, make sure you attend the Farm Business Innovation Show!

A few minutes with… Debbie North – The Outdoor Guide

More than one in six people in England and Wales have an ‘activity limiting’ health problem or disability. British and international visitors from this market segment currently spend over £3 on tourism trips in England each year. In short, improving accessibility could improve your business.

Debbie North and Julia BradburyTell us about your business…

I run the access part of The Outdoor Guide with Julia Bradbury – an online resource relating to everything to do with walking and the outdoors. I am responsible for developing the access and mobility section, promoting walks with wheelchairs. Our aim is to encourage people to get outdoors.

What makes your business different to others?

The Outdoor Guide totally embraces accessibility to provide inclusivity in tourism.

What area of business are you talking about at the Farm Business Innovation Show and why?

I am speaking about access to the countryside, sharing my own experiences and hopefully I will be opening up people’s creativity on how they could promote wheelchair access into their businesses. I use a range of all -terrain wheelchairs and speak about how different chairs can offer different experiences. Like walking boots, it is not one size fit all. Wheels are my boots and there are different chairs for different activities. I will be showing the types of adventures people can have in different wheelchairs.

Why should people come along and listen to you at the Farm Business Innovation Show?

I have a wealth of experience in accessing the countryside. I will be showing other business how accessibility Debbie North - The Outdoor Guidecan be incorporated into their business to encourage more disabled visitors.

Who inspires you?

I have a huge respect for Alfred Wainwright.

Where can we find you online?

Twitter: @AccessTOG

Facebook @AccessTOG

A few minutes with… Emma Collison – Moor View Alpacas

Tell us a bit about your business 
Emma Collison - Moor View AlpacasMoor View Alpacas rears alpacas for their yarn for our knitwear brand Moor Baby, and for their meat. We also rear rare breed Valais blacknose sheep.
We have a varied and unique style of business which promotes grow your own and local business.
What makes you business different to others?
We are a very diverse business. What makes us different is our ability to find new and unique ideas and push the boundaries, being at the forefront of the industry, making new and exciting movements in the farming industry.
What area of business are you talking about at the Farm Business Innovation Show and why?
I will be talking about diversification and how to get your idea from paper to launch and how to get your product out there.
When are you speaking at the Farm Business Innovation Show and why should people come along and listen?
I am speaking at 1.15pm on Wednesday the 8th. It will be an interesting seminar about USP and business and, if nothing else, some super cute photos on my power point.
Do you have any business blogs you follow or any podcasts you listen to?
I am quite interested in Lord Sugar and Deborah Meaden so follow them and some of there advice. I don’t really have time to read blogs or listen to podcasts – I do run a farm!
Emma Collison - Moor BabyWho inspires you?
I don’t get inspired generally by people. But what pushes me to succeed is people who tell me I can’t do it. I like a challenge and I use the negative people to help me succeed, turning it into positives.
Where can we find out more about you and your business

Farm Business Innovation ShowThis week’s Wisdom Wednesday post is a teeny bit different. It’s not so much about the wisdom I’m giving in this post, but more where I’ll be sharing tips and tricks in person, and where you can get a lot more knowledge too. The Farm Business Innovation Show.

What’s the Farm Business Innovation Show?

I’m d-flipping-lighted to be able to share that I am on the marketing panel discussion at the Farm Business Innovation Show. This event, which is held at the NEC on November 8th and 9th, is brilliant for all rural businesses including equestrian, and also takes in glamping, country homes and a few other bits and bobs too. It’s a lovely event – it’s FREE to attend (visit the Farm Business Innovation Show website to find out more), and it’s easy to get to as, well, even I can find the NEC!

Last year I attended the event to watch my friend, client and all round legend, Emma Warren, speak as part of the glamping panel discussion. Emma owns and runs award winning glampsite Dimpsey. Dimpsey is a beautiful shepherd’s hut, based in the Blackdown Hills of Somerset. Build by Blackdown Shepherd Huts, it’s a truly stunning example of what glamping could and should be. In fact, Emma and her lovely husband Andrew have won awards for Dimpsey. But I digress – you can find out more about Dimpsey, its wood fired hot tub (oh yes!) and other facilities on their website. Now. Back to the show…

Why is the Farm Business Innovation Show different?

I have attended a number of events, and a number of trade events too, and each has its own charm. The Farm Business Innovation Show was unlike any other event I have attended, and I really, really liked it. The diversity across the exhibitors was really interesting. One minute I was chatting to the lovely people at The Equestrian Index, then I walked into the Tipi Theatre and Anne Clark from Connected Thinking was giving a talk to a packed tipi full of people. A little further along there was a wooden shepherd’s hut, then there was a stand with alpacas (and they had real ones there), topiary, outdoor play equipment for children, I had a chat with Tally from the fabulous Open Air Magazine. It’s so diverse. And that is just the tip of the Farm Business Innovation Show iceberg.

And this year…

If you’re coming to the Farm Business Innovation Show on Thursday, I’ll be chattering away as part of the marketing panel discussion. I’m really, really delighted to be working with the organisers and rest of the panel for this, and can’t wait to see what questions the assembled group throw at us.

Should you come along to the Farm Business Innovation Show?

If you’re connected with the country and equestrian world in any way, then I would say yes. It’s a really lovely event – I found it quite relaxed (in that there was plenty of space and the layout meant it didn’t feel crowded) and utterly fascinating. They have an excellent timetable of speakers for the two days, there are some great panel discussions, lots of lovely exhibitors and, did I mention it’s free to attend? Yep. I think you pay for parking but there’s no entry fee to enter the show. So you have very little to lose by coming along and a LOT to gain!

Find out more and get your free Farm Business Innovation Show Tickets here.

And there’s more…

Keep your eyes peeled for a new mini blog series all about some of the brilliant speakers. First blog goes live on Friday!

Hiho Silver CZ Cherry Roller BangleMy Instagram, Youtube channel, Twitter feed and Facebook page regularly feature my Cherry Roller Bangle. I flipping ADORE this piece of jewellery from Hiho Silver. So much so that it hardly ever leaves my wrist, And when I say hardly ever, I mean I sleep, shower, cook, clean, work, dog walk, run (in a fashion), manage toddlers… everything, In this bracelet. And now the CZ Roller Beads add a little bit more sparkle to all of the above!

What’s a Cherry Roller Bangle?

I wrote a blog about the iconic design of the Cherry Roller not all that long ago because it’s a cracking story. The piece is unique to Hiho Silver and was designed by the team there. The original design combined sterling silver and rose gold vermeil to mimic the tones of the cherry roller snaffle. A bit created from stainless steel and copper. But you can read more about it here. Needless to say that this pretty bangle has become iconic in equestrian and country circles. More than that, it has inspired and entire collection of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings with roller bead detail, But it’s also inspired a range of other beads too. Including the CZ ones.

What’s a CZ Roller Bead?

The CZ Roller Bead is Hiho’s way to bling up (is that even a phrase?!) your Cherry Roller… or even Foxtail Bracelet. These sterling silver rollers are encrusted in CZ crystals that add shine and sparkle to the piece in a range of gorgeous colours including white, navy, pink, purple, turquoise and more. These beads can be switched for sterling silver or gold vermeil beads at the time of purchase, or can be retrofitted if you fancy it. Actually, Hiho has just introduced a create your own Cherry Roller feature, which shows all the options in more detail.

Why do I love them?

I’m not a huge fan of bling, I adore silver and diamonds but I find a lot of ‘bling’ rather cheap and tacky. And I don’t like that. I’ve had a Cherry Roller Bangle for about a year. Mine had a solid rose gold bead in the centre to start with, solid sterling silver beads either side, and 18ct rose gold vermeil beads beyond that. And I loved it. Bling hadn’t crossed my mind until I met up with Emma Warren, Hiho’s Queen Bee, a few months ago. She was wearing a beautiful cherry roller with a hint of a bling and it looked so special. I think because of the way the rollers have been designed, they add a touch of colour and a bit of sparkle, but they’re not ‘in your face’ – even the bangles with five CZ Roller Beads are still really classy and elegant. I’ve had the two sterling silver rollers replaced with purple CZ Roller Beads (see the pic) and I adore it. I love the way the crystals catch the light and the way they look different colours at different times of the day. And I love spinning them around the bangle’s ‘mouthpiece’ (also known as a shank I think?) too. They’re great for busy fingers!

Are the CZ Roller Beads robust?

Another thing I want to mention is how robust the CZ Roller Beads are. I’m not saying ‘smash them off anything – they’ll be fine’, but I bet they would be! Mine have a really hard life, despite my best efforts, but the way the bead has been designed means it’s really resilient. A bead with a true Hiho pedigree. It’ll take you from mucking out to going, play areas (yep – welcome to my life as a mum of toddlers!) to the pub, and it’ll look great in any situation.

I’d urge you to go and have a look at the Cherry Roller Bangle, and have a look at the CZ beads too. If you already have a Cherry Roller, you can get the beads switched and changed by sending back to Hiho (small fitting fee applies on top of product cost). Just contact them and have a chat with the Countess of Contentment.


Ailsa Reeve
Ailsa Reeve is the lady behind Caracal Equestrian, a lovely company that provides riders from all sports with a range of show and competition shirts made using different fabrics, to produce something special. In addition to this, Ailsa offers a bespoke service, for those who want a specific combination of fabrics or a made to measure fit. In this ‘a few minutes with…’, I quiz Ailsa about Caracal Equestrian and her background.

Tell us about you and your background

I grew up around horses and, on leaving school, I decided to make a career
out of riding. After having a couple of serious accidents, I decided to go
back to education and studied Fashion Design at Manchester Art School. Shortly after I graduated, Caracal Equestrian was born! I still produce young
horses/ponies and still event with British Eventing in my spare time.

What made you want to start a business?

I was interning in London for a large fashion house and I hated how rude
everyone was, so when I got a bit of down time where I was working, I
started to think about the equestrian clothing world and what was missing.

How is Caracal Equestrian different?

Caracal EquestrianIt is full of colour! The equestrian world is a very traditional world to
be a part of. I love it, but I saw a gap where high fashion
could fit into it. The shirts up to date are still very
traditional, all made in 100% cotton, and have a tailored fitted look, but
they are colourful and fun while still in the keeping with the dress codes!

What makes your products special?

Each product is either handmade by myself or very carefully sourced
machinists, so the quality on each garment is second to none. Everything is
made here in England, and the fabric I choose is mainly natural fibres, ie
cottons. A lot of clothing nowadays is polyester, which doesn’’t breathe
and does not have the same quality to it as cotton does. All you have to
do is feel the shirts and you can tell- the fabric screams quality.
I also offer a bespoke service, so people can make their shirts really

unique to them.


If you had to sum up Caracal Equestrian in five words, what would they be?

Stylish, bespoke, colourful, innovative and sophisticated.

Do you have a motto or ethos?

To produce a brand that people can really trust.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what

would it be?

Caracal EquestrianTo make sure your product is different, to set yourself apart from any other competitor, and be prepared to work your butt off and not see a huge result straight away. Get advice from anyone and anywhere, and have fun! I
always remember reading a quote from Richard Branson saying, “if you start a business to get rich then you will not be successful but if you start a business that you really love and believe in then you will make it a success” which I think is extremely true!

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively

Apart from my sewing machines?! Canva is great for all the social media
content. And my Camera! I take all of the product shots and photos myself,
so I suppose without that I would be a lot worse off!

Best thing about running a business?

Being able to be creative everyday and work for myself! I also get to be
around a world that I know and love, so merging horses and fashion is a
dream come true.

Worst thing about running a business?

Trying to keep morale high when you are having a bad week/month/show. You
have to be extremely strong and determined to make a success of a

Top business blog you follow

To be honest I don’’t tend to follow business blogs partly as my days are
manic so I never have enough time! It’s super great to be a part of the S&S
VIP group and following your blog is fab! I get a lot of stuff from
looking over social media and Instagram and looking at how people market
their brands etc.

Top business book you¹ve read

One thing we might not know about you

I am a huge choc-aholic, it’s actually a problem!

Top business achievement

To be featured in several top equestrian magazines! To see my clothing in
these magazines is massive for me!

Where can people follow Caracal Equestrian online?

What is a press release?What is a press release? I get asked this quite a lot… and I think that in some ways the term is to blame. It can sound a bit daunting, but actually there’s no need to feel anything but excited about the good old press release. It can be a gateway into a world where your business, whether you’re product or service based, equestrian or country or something completely different, gets valuable column inches. And this can help to win you fans, followers and customers.

What is a press release?

When I talk about press releases, I mean a well written and concise document that informs its readers of new and newsworthy things happening inside your business. See. It doesn’t sound as scary now. And that’s good, because although the way we consume our news and content has changed (and we know that some magazines aren’t having the best time, let’s be honest here), the press release still works. Whereas historically a press release would only be sent to magazine editors, that’s no longer the case. Website editors should also make up part of your press list, and so should bloggers who might be interested in your kind of business. And what about influencers? Those people with large, highly engaged social media followings that can help you reach your target markets? The best way to inform these people (who you should already have reached out to and be communicating with!) about your new product or service is through a press release.

What should a press release be?

A press release is a way to convey your message to who you need to see it. It should be well written, free of typos and grammatical errors (we’re all human, but do your best, people appreciate it), not too long but not too short, with relevant contact details and a high res image.It should get to the point quickly, tell the reader what to expect further down in the intro, and not drone on about every aspect, carpet colour choice and sacking in the company’s history. This has no place in the main body of the press release. Unless it directly relates to the news story. So if you’re talking about a company’s 40th birthday, it might be useful to summarise the history. But when I say summarise, I mean in a short paragraph with the key facts and dates. If you’re talking about a new horse rug, the fact that there are three generations employed at the factory and they all enjoy afternoon tea once a week will be of little significance. OK. The latter would be a stretch on any day. Although you could create some nice social content around that. But that’s a different story. Press releases shouldn’t ramble. They should be concise. Don’t feel you need to write hundreds and hundreds of words. No one is reading them. Sorry, but it’s true. Editors don’t have the time. They want key facts presented well. They can then build a story about this if they need to add more information or they can use what you’ve sent. Or you might even be asked for more information.

So that’s what a press release is. It’s a concise way to convey new and newsworthy content to people who have the potential to spread your message to your target market. And it can do your business a lot of good. If you do it right.


Want to network with likeminded equestrian, country and canine small business owners? Come on over and join the Small & Supercharged group.

what do you think of collaborationsWhat do you think of collaborations? I personally think they can be incredible. Collaborations were the subject of my first column in NFU Countryside Magazine, I’ve blogged about them a lot AND I’ve even made videos about them. Actually, I’ll be talking about another collaboration soon, but I digress.

In my Facebook group, I asked ‘what do you think of collaborations?’. Here’s what a few of the group members had to say…

What do you think of collaborations?

Sophie Callahan from Sophie Callahan Photography: ‘We can never have too many friends, especially as a business owner. We all have to work in this industry together and it helps if we can get along well with others. The more ‘friends’ you make, whether they are actual friends or just other brands that you align your business with, the better. And collaborations are a great way of forging new ‘friendships’.’ (Sophie’s written a great blog post about collaborations too – see it here).

Emma Warren from Hiho Silver: ‘Collaborations are brilliant – when you have common aims, are clear about what’s expected and try and make a point of giving more than you take.’

Emily Mumford from Inkpot & Press Media Services: ‘Collaborations can be the single most powerful marketing tool a business has at their disposal IF they are used correctly. Find someone with the same values and work ethic and you’re already winning.’

Karen McConnell from KA Equestrian: ‘Working with other brands, businesses and professionals has not only been hugely instrumental in building and growing my business but also inspiring, enlightening and great fun!’

Harriet Edwards – aka A Girl About Country: “Collaborations are really powerful, but only when they are mutually beneficial. Both (or all) parties must derive some benefit in order for it to be a success.”

Lindsay Robertson from Lindsay Robertson Photography and Country Meets Creative: “Like speed dating, awesome and can’t get enough with the right match!”

Ruth Chappell from Dressage Anywhere: “I love collaborations – I’ve only done a few and scratched the surface of what’s possible but they’ve been brilliant, whether it’s as simple as a blog post about another business or business owner, or something more detailed around products. It’s important to make sure you’re the right fit and have everything agreed (and written down if possible) in advance.”

Izzy White from Izzy White Photography: ‘If you find the right people, then it can work really well. I have had some great success from collaborating with fellow business owners. If you both benefit then I see it as a win-win situation. Provided you do your research and are honest with what you both want out of the collab, I see it as a great tool!’

Beth Hicks from Beth Hicks Photography: ‘They’re great when they’re with the right people with the same audience and similar aims, aren’t so great (and can be a bit of a pain) when this isn’t the case, especially when you’re putting in all the effort, hence why it’s so important to collaborate with the right people!’

Jennifer Dunig from The Equine Pass: ‘Collaborations were never something I’d ever considered when I first started out. I think it felt like I was asking someone for help or worse still, having to be a little less possessive with my “control” over my business but now I’ve actually ventured toward collaborations, I’ve realised that actually, they’re bloody fantastic for not only reaching a wider audience but making some great contacts within the industry that I otherwise wouldn’t have done.’

Danielle Crawford from Black Nova Designs: ‘Collaborations are a fantastic idea and when we first started out we did it a lot, just need to ensure you are getting the right contacts and pushing towards your target market.
Although saying that, we have achieved getting cheaper childcare by sorting the nursery Wifi equipment! People working together and helping each other out is the best way to do business.’

Hayley Files from Equissentials: ‘Collaborations are a great idea, especially as we do – with sponsored riders. However, it has to be mutually beneficial and it really helps if the riders you are working with actually buy/use your products to start with and have a relationship with you before the collaboration. It’s quite a challenging one to navigate, but when it works, it’s brilliant!’

Megan Allen from Rural Roots PR: ‘I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without collaborating with other wonderful small businesses; from joint pitches to just batting ideas around, as a solopreneur it’s vital to my business and my sanity!’

Wiola Grabowska from Aspire Equestrian: ‘I strongly believe collaborations are what makes running a small business with bigger projects not only possible but hugely enjoyable and rewarding. I find it a great challenge and a pleasure to figure out ways to help other businesses/individuals who work with me and when everything comes together well in the end, it’s wonderful to share the success with someone who cares about the project as much as I do 🙂 Last night I wrote final part of my reflections on one of the biggest projects I undertook so far and it would not be possible without sponsorship, wonderful support and collaborations with a few fantastic people. Collabs all the way for me.’

Anna Rainbow from Anna Rainbow Photography: ‘A few days ago, I couldn’t think how I might collaborate, now I’be been asked to take some images with the big C all around. Slightly fazed by bringing Christmas to a Hampshire garden in September, but so looking forward to doing something totally different and collaborating with a local 2* event rider who also makes crackers! The benefit for me – she’s taking my little man to his first event at Tweseldown in exactly one month’s time.’

Naomi Leach from NL Equestrian: ‘I think it’s a fantastic idea, a great business tool, and a really nice way to make new friends! The world can be tough for small businesses to get their name out there, so this is a great way to reach further afield and help a fellow business owner too. I’ve only done a couple so far but it’s definitely something I want to explore further!’

What do you think of collaborations? I’d love to hear…