Equestrian & Country Business

Running your own business can be hard, can’t it? It can be lonely, you feel overwhelmed, confused… and a lot more besides. Here, in this area, I hope to share stories, tips and information from equestrian and rural businesses just like you to inspire and motivate.

There are lots of different kinds of equestrian and rural business, and there are lots of ideas that can help all of these thrive. Here you’ll find business podcasts, interviews from business owners of equestrian and country brands you know and love, and more besides. You might find tips and tricks connected to how to run your social media platforms better, or even an explanation as to the new developments in these areas. You might stumble upon information connected to PR and marketing that will really help you promote your business more effectively.

I’m sure you’ll find something that you can try now that will help your equestrian or country business. You’ll definitely find some inspiring stories from some great people in our industry.

Fairfax and Favor Chatham PurseWelcome to day 1 of my 2018 Christmas Giveaway! I know it’s still November, but this year’s is a bit different. And this year’s starts with a bang with Fairfax & Favor who have kindly given a Chatham Purse.

What’s a Chatham Purse?

Maybe the cutest coin purse you’ve ever seen, that’s what! The Chatham is a small but perfectly formed leather coin purse that’s oozing with Fairfax & Favor DNA. It comes in a gorgeous box and has its own dust cover, so the scene is already set! The purse itself is made from sumptuous fine grain leather, has a tactile suede lining, and has the gold coloured hardware associated with Fairfax & Favor. From the shield shaped cut out on the zip pull to the golden shield on the actual purse, you can see this beauty’s pedigree!

For the competition, I have one Chatham Purse in tan, which is a best selling colour, to give away, but you can see all the colours of the Chatham Purse by visiting the website.

How do you win?

Well, that’s the fun bit! This year, instead of giving away one product a day, I’m grouping five products together for week one to make one amazing prize, doing the same for week two, and then for week three I’m doing something completely different. But more about that later.

For this competition, I’ve added a video to my Rhea Freeman PR Facebook page that gives you a guided tour of the prize, and for this week, you’ll find the competition post pinned to the top of my Facebook page. This shows the five stunning products up for grabs this week. To be in with a chance to win, it’s really simple…

  • Go to my Rhea Freeman PR Facebook page
  • Find the pinned post
  • Like and comment on the pinned post, and make sure you like my page too
  • Do this all before midnight on Sunday 2nd December 2018!

And if you would like to share the competition or the videos (I’m making five for each week!) then please do – I’d be really grateful.

To enter the competition, you can find my Rhea Freeman PR Facebook page here.

Thank you Fairfax & Favor

Before I leave you for today, I wanted to say a quick thank you to Fairfax & Favor. If you follow me on any social media platform, you know I love the brand. And I love all the products – boots and bags are very much my thing it seems!

But more than just creating products that are ‘needed’, not just wanted, the team are one of the loveliest around. If you get chance to see them at a show, do -you’ll be assured of a warm welcome, probably a drink, and the chance to inhale the leather perfume that comes from the boots and bags. And if you can’t make it to the show, the website is fab and the returns policy is amazing.

I wanted to say a big thank you to Fairfax & Favor – I’m very grateful to have their support with this – and I know that the winner will be delighted with their very own Chatham!

5 Tips for your Black Friday Promotion

Black Friday – great, isn’t it? Or is it? I think that for many businesses, Black Friday can be bittersweet. It’s a day when you hope to make some serious sales, but it’s also a day that can become rather chaotic, and if you offer serious discounts, you might be making MUCH less money per sale.

But I don’t want to be negative about Black Friday and Cyber Weekend. It can be great for

black friday promotion

businesses who are set up for it, can handle the level of orders, that are comfortable with what they’ll make per item/service. It’s a good way to get rid of slow moving lines and get money in the bank. And it can really help to set you up pre Christmas.

This doesn’t mean that everyone should take part. Here are my five top things to think about for your Black Friday Promotion…

  1. Do you want to do it? If it doesn’t make financial sense, then I’d really urge you to consider whether it’s a good idea. It isn’t for everyone. You want to be pleased when you make a sale not think ‘well, I’m making 3p on that before I pay for the envelope’. So just make sure you’re happy with it.
  2. Make it clear. If you’re running a Black Friday offer, make sure it’s really clear. Not just the discount, but also how to claim, when it expires, etc etc. If you’re not sure if it’s as easy as you’d like, ask a friend to check it and see if they get it!
  3. Promote it. If you decide you’re going for it, then really go for it! Make sure you promote it on your website, your social media, your newsletter… and then promote it again. Not everyone sees everything you would like them to on first posting and you don’t want them to miss it.
  4. Work together. There are a number of blog posts, Facebook groups and online features out there listing some of the best offers. Find these and email the people. If you get featured in some of these places it could really give you Black Friday a boost!
  5. Get your ambassadors and sponsored riders on side. Tell them about your offer and ask them if they’d consider telling their followings about it. Simple but could be really effective.

If you’re feeling a little more motivated about Black Friday, pop over on to my Facebook page and see my video mini series all about how to promote your Black Friday promotion.

Oh… apps. My iPhone is full of them! Some are fun, some are useful, some are a huge waste of everyone’s time…and some I can’t remember when I last opened them. Yeah, I should probably delete those. Anyway, this episode of the Small & Supercharged Podcast isn’t about apps I don’t use, it’s about apps I do use. Apps that make running business easier. For me at least!

Have a listen here…

Let’s talk about 7 apps that make running a business easier

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 10 – apps that make running a business easier… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • The apps aren’t the ‘obvious’ ones, like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc… they’re essentials in my world!
  • First up is Audible. If you’ve followed me for any time at all, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of audiobooks. I know you can listen to them in a variety of ways, but the way I’ve been enjoying most is Audible. I do have a subscription which is about £8 a month. This might sound a lot, but for that you get a book each month. If you pay per audiobook, it’s a lot more. And you can’t get many new books for that price either. Here’s more about my obsession with Audible.
  • Quickbooks is the second one. I’m still not sold on the whole concept of invoicing software BUT I can completely see how it can be hugely useful. There are lots of different ones available that allow you to invoice on the move. The concept of invoicing via app is definitely a time saving one.
  • Lightroom – I know – I was surprised at this one too. I don’t use filters on my Instagram images but there’s no doubt that my images could do with a little tweaking. I decided I loved it when Sophie Callahan set up the presets for me and now I use them on the vast majority of my images. I take most of my images on my phone and, not being a photographer, I don’t know what I’m doing editing wise, so using something like this is great. It take seconds to get from Camera Roll to Lightroom and back again too.
  • WordSwag. This is a paid for app – it’s a few pounds – but it allows you to create nice graphics on your phone with ease. Perfect for motivational quotes and lots more. Have a look on my Instagram grid for an example. The pale green posts with the interesting fonts are done through WordSwag.
  • Canva. This is one app that I do like BUT I LOVE the desktop version. I do a lot more on the desktop version, but it’s very useful to have it on the phone for minor things I need to do on the move. I do also think they have upgraded the app version. I wouldn’t personally create graphics through the mobile app on my phone (but that’s my personal preference), but the desktop version is superb. And together they work really well. If you’re not sure about Canva or haven’t used it before – here’s my quick guide to how to use Canva.
  • Repost. I do admin a few Instagram accounts for businesses, so Repost is good for me. User Generated Content is a really big deal, and Repost is a good way to repost images properly, with credit (but you still need to ask permission!)
  • DropBox – I use the desktop version a lot, but I do use the app for sharing quite a lot too. It’s a great way to share big files, and I also use it a lot for videos, podcasts and lots more. I also use it if I’m out and about and might need to access files when I’m out – I did this with a seminar I was giving as I knew the slides would be accessible if the tech failed.

All links above lead to the websites, but if you nip over to the App Store, you can view and learn more about the app versions.

There are lots of apps out there that can make running a business easier – these are just seven that really help me.

 

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Five ways to promote your equestrian business on social media this ChristmasAre you getting in the festive spirit? Have you got your Christmas stock in and raring to go? Have you planned your social media for the next few weeks on the lead up to Christmas? The thing is, now is most definitely the time to be harnessing social media for your equestrian business… and it’s definitely worth a bit of thought. From the really obvious posts that drive a sale to something a little more thoughtful, here are five ways to promote your equestrian business on social media at Christmas. And, spoiler alert, none of them are advertising…

Five ways to promote your equestrian business on social media at Christmas

  1. Collaborate – I love a collaboration, and there’s no better time than Christmas. Collaborating with businesses that complement yours can be a great way to get in front of potential customers who might not know about you. One of the key points to remember when you’re plotting your collaboration is that a collaboration should benefit all parties. Your equestrian business, the other equestrian business… and your customers too. It shouldn’t be all ‘me, me, me’, quite the opposite actually!
  2. Shoppable links – have you seen that Instagram has now added shoppable links to Stories? I let out a little squeal when this happened a few months ago. If you have a Facebook shop connected and working, this means you can now add shoppable links to Facebook, Instagram and Instagram Stories. It might be simple, but we need to do all we can to make it easy for people to shop. If they need to remember a complicated website address and type that in to their computer/phone before they get anywhere near your business. Well, it’s just not good, is it?
  3. Behind the scenes – and if you’re so inclined you could have some fun with this too. There’s no better time to show what goes in behind the scenes of your business. How are you making sure that people get their orders on time? How are you harnessing the Christmas spirit in what you do? Has the office dog also donned his antlers to get involved? SHOW US!
  4. Competition – competitions can be a great way to raise the profile of your equestrian business. You can either do this on your own or as part of a collaboration with a sponsored rider or maybe another business. Please, PLEASE make sure you competition is easy to enter, complies with all relevant Ts and Cs depending on the platform you are promoting/hosting it on though. Please. For me. And sharing or tagging on Facebook don’t comply. See the Pages Promotion Guidelines.
  5. New products – tell the world about the new equestrian products you have in store ready to delight and excite them. Maybe you can help to show how these new products work together (and even how they work)? What about who they would be good for? Help people. We all need some help at Christmas time and your equestrian business, if promoted well, could be that beacon of fairy lights for all those tired horsey shoppers.

These are five easy ways to promote your equestrian business through social media at Christmas, but there are plenty more too. What’s more, these ideas aren’t JUST for Christmas, oh no, they’ll work all the time. So yes, they might help you promote your equestrian business this Christmas, but take them into the New Year too!

You’re in for a treat today! On this episode of the Small & Supercharged podcast we catch up with Ruth Chappell, the lady behind Dressage Anywhere. In addition to being a huge part of Dressage Anywhere, Ruth has a lot of strings to her bow. She’s an absolute superstar and is also a ‘tech wizard’. In this episode, we chat about how Ruth got to this point, the difficulties with running a digital, online equestrian business and more.

Let’s talk about online equestrian businesses and how to create a digital business, with Ruth Chappell – Dressage Anywhere

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 8 – online only equestrian businesses, how to deal with competition, cyber security and making a connection with customers…

  • Ruth talks about how she came to Dressage Anywhere, the online dressage platform
  • We talk about competition and how to deal with being the only online dressage company to how it is now.
  • We spoke about where the idea for Dressage Anywhere came from.
  • The benefits of an online business, the international appeal and global reach the business has.
  • How Dressage Anywhere actually works.
  • The limitations of being an online/digital business and how this can be quite challenging.
  • The opportunities that social media has presented for digital businesses.
  • Particular highlights including the Riding for the Disabled Association.
  • Some of the tools that Ruth uses to help run Dressage Anywhere effectively.
  • Social media content for digital businesses and how this can be used to help promote connection and business.
  • Finding friends and amazing connections through social media.
  • We talk about cyber security and data protection, and how that even a small business needs to be aware of this and understand the responsibilities connected to it.
  • And we talk about user experience, customer journey, automation, and balancing tech with usability… because they have to work together.

It was an absolute joy chatting to Ruth – not only do I love Dressage Anywhere, but I am a huge Ruth fan. She is a fountain of knowledge on ‘techy’ things and has helped me out on more than one occasion when I’ve had a tech based ‘why does everything hate me’ meltdown. OK. That happens quite a lot!

To find Ruth and Dressage Anywhere online, follow the links below…

Dressage Anywhere website

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Beautiful image provided by Karen Bennett Photography

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Well hello there- and welcome to this Small & Supercharged podcast… well, the show notes. To listen to the Small & Supercharged Podcast, you can listen below or you can follow the iTunes link here. Today it is all about Instagram Stories. I adore these. I add to mine every single day and I love the engagement, the comments, the responses and more I get from it. In this Podcast, all about Instagram Stories, I share why I love them, five ways to use them… and there’s a freebie you can download too. I know, I spoil you. Enjoy…

Let’s talk about Instagram Stories…

 

Let’s talk about Instagram Stories and how you can use them for your small business

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 8 – Instagram Stories. What you’ll hear in this episode..

  • The difference between Stories and the grid… and the difference in the kind of content you’d post on the two
  • How Instagram Stories can be used to show the behind the scenes of images you post on the grid
  • How to access Instagram Stories (sorry if you feel I’m teaching you how to suck eggs. I just think it’s good to make sure everyone can get involved).
  • We talk through the different kinds of Stories.
  • Why I usually do Stories when walking the dog (and why you might like to do something similar).
  • We talk through ‘behind the scenes’ ideas.
  • How you can use them to share a thought, talk about something you’ve seen and loved… or just #firstworldproblems. Such as when you have a hole in your sock… yeah… I’ve added that to notes too. I’ve not got over that…
  • We talk about how you can use Instagram Stories to show a process – taking ‘behind the scenes’ to an extra level.
  • How you can use stickers and how these can encourage engagement and can also create additional content.
  • Using Stories to show what’s new. You should never use social media as a hard sell, but you should use it to tell your customers, fans and followers about you and what’s new.
  • I touch on shoppable links and how these can be integrated.
  • How to hide hashtags in your Stories, and why hashtags are good on Instagram Stories.
  • And for the freebie – download the pdf here about Five Ways To Use Instagram Stories.
  • Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

If I’ve whet your appetite, I have a few blog posts about them too. To get some tips, tricks and hacks to take your Instagram Stories to the next level, they’re all on this website!

I am so, SO excited to be able to share this episode with you. Actually, I’m really excited to be able to share this lady with you. This is Emma Warren. Emma is the Queen Bee (MD) of Hiho Silver and runs her own luxury glamping business too. But this isn’t all there is to Emma – far from it. She’s an accountant by trade (keep reading, please!), but has had the most amazing career. The path she’s taken to get where she is not is a really interesting one, but more than that, Emma’s ability to be multi-passionate, to juggle so many things, to lead this multi-hyphenate life, is fascinating. The thing is, being multi-hyphenate (as in, having more than one passion and one job title) is branded as new… but it isn’t… as Emma explains. Have a listen here…

 

Let’s talk about being multipassionate and juggling life and work, with Emma Warren

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 7 – being multipassionate, leading a multi-hyphenate life, juggling and the career path she’s taken…

  • Emma talks about the journey she’s taken to get where she is now
  • Being multipassionate and how having a multihyphenate career isn’t a new thing (but maybe the branding is)
  • We talk about how Emma found Hiho Silver and how she become involved at first
  • How she believes accountants should earn their money because of their unique position within the business, and how they can be the ‘wheel hub’ for all the elements
  • The value of doing things you really enjoy – even though you may still have to do your filing(!)
  • What being the MD of Hiho actually involves – and how being hands on in a small business is really important
  • The value of a great team
  • The speed of change and how it’s important to try, test and break things
  • Where the idea for Dimpsey, Emma’s glamping business, came from as well as how she made Dimpsey different to other glamping experiences at that time.
  • Getting the family involved in the businesses to help make the experience more inclusive
  • Work/life balance and how Emma views it all – are blurred lines such a bad thing?
  • Emma’s top tips on how to juggle work, motherhood, running a ‘mini’ farm and lots more.

To find out more about Emma and her businesses, here are all the links…

Emma Warren:

Instagram

Website

Hiho Silver:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Dimpsey Glamping:

Instagram

Facebook

Website

Subscribe to the Small & Supercharged podcast on iTunes

In this episode, we’re talking about Kylie Jenner, augmented reality… and how all this matters to your business! This is a solo show, so we’ll be hanging out for the next few minutes. I hope you enjoy it. So, without further ado… shall we have a chat about Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter, augmented reality… and why I’m very excited about both!

Have a listen here…

 

Let’s talk about Kylie Jenner, augmented reality and why Face Filters could rock your business

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 4 – augmented reality, Face Filters and Kylie Jenner… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • What augmented reality is and how you’ve (probably) already used it.
  • How Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter didn’t just make me look a whole lot more polished, it also signalled the start of new applications for this function inside an app.
  • How powerful Instagram really is and how many users it has.
  • How the Face Filter and its application connects to real life sales.
  • How filters could help to bridge the gap between the online and in store shopping experience.
  • How augmented reality could make shopping from home even more realistic and useful than going to a shop.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Small & Supercharged Podcast so you don’t miss an episode! You can find it on iTunes, Spotify and Podcast Player – just search ‘Small & Supercharged Podcast’ or my name. Another perk of having a weird name!!

In this episode I chat to special guest, equestrian photographer, vlogger, blogger and all round legend, Sophie Callahan. You’ll know I love Sophie from, well, most of my content(!), but on this episode we’re talking about commercial photography. Commercial photography sounds a bit scary, but it isn’t – and more than that, it’s really important for your business. So, over to Sophie… and a huge thanks to her for her help with this episode.

Have a listen here…

Sophie Callahan on commercial photography

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 3 – Sophie Callahan on commercial photography… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • The scope of commercial photography, the kind of shots that can be taken and why. Sophie has done a lot of work for country and equestrian brands and she shares some quite eye-watering examples!
  • How to organise a shoot, whether you’re a brand or service provider
  • How to work out which photographer is the best one to suit your needs, what kind of questions to ask and more.
  • Even though it’s a good idea to find a photographer whose style aligns with your business, a photographer will usually adjust their style, if requested, to align with your brand better… but it’s also important to remember why you chose them.
  • You can be as involved (or not!) as you like. Some photographers will source models, locations and everything else – you just send the product. But there are opportunities to be more involved with your commercial shoot too.
  • What to send your prospective photographers to ensure they understand your vision and can do what you need.
  • Why it’s important to be clear about what you want to do with the images after the shoot. Images for social media, like Instagram, will be taken in portrait rather than landscape, for example.
  • Copyright and what you can do with the images you have taken.
  • The importance of communicating with your photographer to establish what you can and can’t do with the images you have taken.
  • How you can cost shoots and possible different options available.
  • How often you should have a shoot for your brand, whether it’s a service or product based business.
  • Why phones are great, but the camera isn’t what you’re paying for!
  • The importance of good photography on social media.
  • The difference good photography can make, even to eBay sales.
  • Combined shoots and how these can keep the cost of photography and commercial photoshoots down.
  • The difference between lifestyle and packshot photography, if there’s a place for both and how to know which to pick.
  • The value of using photographers who are skilled in your niche for lifestyle images – so using an equestrian photographer for your equestrian business, for example.

A HUGE thank you to Sophie Callahan for being an amazing podcast guest and for helping to demystify commercial photography. Sophie is EVERYWHERE on social media – here is where you can find her:

Thanks so much for dropping in. Don’t forget you can subscribe on Spotify, iTunes or Podcast Player, just search ‘Small & Supercharged Podcast’ or my name.

If you’re an Apple fan, you can subscribe here.

I’m a teeny tiny bit excited about this – welcome to the Small & Supercharged Podcast – episode 1…

Yep, the Small & Supercharged Podcast has officially launched! Named after the Small & Supercharged Facebook group (the group I set up to help support small businesses, particularly in the equestrian and rural sector), this podcast is going to be embody the group. It’s going to talk about PR, marketing, websites and social media (of course!), but also interview a range of business owners about their skills and knowledge too. The aim of the podcast is to be a real hub for small business. To help business owners feel a whole lot less alone, more informed and ready for whatever challenges their business life brings.

And, of course, for people who want to join the Small & Supercharged Facebook page and feel more of that community love and support, please accept this as an invitation to join the group… just please fill in the questions!

So, without further ado – here’s episode 1, enjoy!

 

If you liked the Small & Supercharged Podcast (and I’m kind of hoping you did!), the please consider popping over to iTunes and subscribing. And if you’d like to leave a review and rating I would be SO grateful. Thank you.