Equestrian & Rural Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can sound scary and ‘big’, but I promise you two things. One, it is as big as you want it to be. And two, you need to get a handle on it and make it work for your equestrian or rural business.

This kind of marketing can take many forms. I think of it as anything that is digital – as in – online. There are lots and lots of ways you can promote your equestrian or rural business online and so this area contains quite a lot of information.

But please, please, don’t be afraid of it. This form of marketing is a real gift as the entry level in zero – you can start with no financial outlay and the effort you put in can really deliver amazing results if you just give it a go.

Content – what is content? What’s content marketing? – Small & Supercharged Podcast

Today we’re talking all about content – content marketing, what content is, what it means to you… and how to make this work. We use the word ‘content’ a lot – I do – but I don’t use it as a buzzword. I use it because it covers so, so much. So, without further ado, should we have a little chat about content? It’s a solo one with me… so thank you so much for joining me.

Let’s talk about content, shall we?

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 12 – content. What content is, how to make it work for you, the different types, and how to make sure everything you create has the best chance of delivering a good return on investment.

In this episode we talk about…

  • Different types of content and how it’s important to make it it work for you.
  • Blogging and how written content works – not just in terms of what you’re trying to do and the message you’re trying to convey, but also from an SEO point of view.
  • What to do if you’re not good at writing (or you don’t think you are) . We talk through different hacks to help you here.
  • Transcription and dictation software and how this can help.
  • How podcasts can make really good content as they get to people in a different way. We also talk about how the podcasts can be made into blog posts. And what the show notes can add too.
  • The value of video. We chat about Facebook lives, Youtube, and more. We also talk about what video does and how it allows people to connect with you on a different level, and how it allows people to find out more about products too.
  • How there are lots of side benefits to videos that you might not realise.
  • Why being authentic is really important, and how it’s scary to put yourself out there… but the benefits it has too.
  • Podcasts and videos – can you do them at the same time? I talk about why I don’t at the moment.
  • Videos and where you can post this content.
  • Photography – and why I count photography as content. And how it can actually be pillar content depending on which platform you spend the most time on/where your customers are.
  • Professional photography, but also the benefit of getting better at your own photography and how this can really help you.
  • The value of quotes, testimonials and so much more. And how this can work as part of your content plan. We also talk about how these allow you to create your own content from nothing.
  • How we need to play to our strengths but how we can work with people who can help fill in the gaps. You only need to be good at one way to produce content… and then you build from there.
  • Human connection in content and why it’s important to put it out there.
  • Perfect and how you won’t be perfect when it comes to content, but how you can just do your best. And also how you can edit.
  • The value of just having a go. Because the value that content brings over any of the negatives outweighs it by a HUGE amount.
  • If you need any egging on – I’m @rheafreemanpr on Instagram and Facebook, and I’m @rheafreeman on Twitter.

 

Rhea Freeman Newsletter Link

Equestrian social media – 5 ways to promote your equestrian business on social media this Christmas

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!

Equestrian Social Media – 5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories

5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram StoriesDid you know that you can use hashtags on Instagram Stories too? Actually, you can hide hashtags on Instagram Stories too!

If you use Instagram at all, you’ll know that hashtags are really important. These nifty little words and phrases prefixed by  a # allow your content to be categorised and searched by these terms making it a lot more discoverable.

But what about Instagram Stories?  You might not realise, might think that not that many people use them, or might thing they would look ugly. Thing is, you can hide a hashtag on an Instagram Story, which means that more people might be using them than you think… and that they won’t mess up any aesthetic either. So, without further ado, here are five ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories.

5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories…

1 – Colour match. This is particularly good for still images or text based posts on a coloured background. You can type your hashtags in and then just use the colour match option to make the hashtags the same colour as the background. This hides your hashtags. Simples.

2. Make them REALLY small. You can make your list of hashtags really, really small by just pinching them and making them tiny. This doesn’t mean they’re completely hidden from view but depending on the image or video, it’ll make them hard to spot.

3. Put them behind a sticker. For this one, just put your list of hashtags onto your Story and then use a Sticker (like Location, Mention or Hashtag) over the top. Shrink the list down and it’s a lot easier to hide!

4. Put them behind a gif or Emoji. The same as the above applies really – get the hashtags added, decrease their size and pop them under a gif or an Emoji as relevant – and then you’ve hidden them on Instagram Stories.

5. Put them behind a shared story. When people tag you in Stories you usually have the option to share on yours (depending on their settings). When this is the case, you can share at full size, but you can also shrink and rotate the shared image and, if you like, you can pop your hashtags behind it. Good eh?!

These are five easy ways to hide your hashtags on your Instagram Stories. Of course, if you want to use them and not hide them, all power to you! You can even use the hashtag sticker if you like (although this will only allow you to post one). But do give it a spin and have a look and your insights to see if it helps the reach of your Stories, you might be surprised.

 

Pssst – Episode 8 of the Small & Supercharged Podcast was all about Instagram Stories… you can listen here

5 easy ways to use Instagram Stories

Running an online only business with Ruth Chappell- Small & Supercharged Podcast

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

Subscribe to the Small & Supercharged podcast on iTunes

Small & Supercharged Podcast – Let’s talk about Instagram Stories

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!

Equestrian business – 5 reasons to use social media

Do you use social media in your equestrian business? If you’ve answered this question with anything but ‘yes’ (and ‘meh’ and ‘kind of’ counts as no!), you’re missing out. Social media can be game changing for your equestrian business in lots of ways. I don’t want to overwhelm you and leave you tutting/shaking your head or throwing your computer across the room… so here are just five reasons to use social media in your equestrian business…

5 reasons to use social media for your equestrian business

Reason 1- Equestrians are on social media!
It’s so, so important to be where your customers are. And the good news is for you, you equestrian business owner you, THEY’RE ON SOCIAL MEDIA! With over 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 1 billion on Instagram, there’s a LOT of people to go at… and a number of these are equestrian!

Reason 2 – Your equestrian business can reach new people if you use social media

social media for equestrian businessYour social media won’t just reach your current customer pool – depending on how well you use the platforms, you have the opportunity to reach new people interested in your brand/products and services all over the world… or just a few miles away.

Reason 3 – You can use your social media to show behind the scenes of your equestrian business

Customers and people who might be future customers love this. This might be you receiving a new delivery, opening corporate clothing, visiting a sponsored rider at home… you name it. This allows your customers to see what really makes your equestrian business tick. And you can utilise this ‘behind the scenes’ story telling in so many different ways with video, Lives, filters and effects… the social media world is your oyster.

Reason 4 – It’s free to get started

How many ways to market your equestrian business start at zero cost? Completely free? You can get yourself set up on all the places your customers are NOW and start promoting your equestrian business through social media. Within the next hour you could have fans and followers on all these platforms for nothing. How good is that?!

Reason 5 – People buy from people

Don’t just use your social media as a way to tell people to ‘buy stuff’. No. It’s social media for a reason. And a good reason. It’s the perfect place to be sociable. The internet is the most amazing tool but the screen and a lack of face to face contact can make customers feel distant. And they feel the same distance too. So how can you address that? But using your platforms to communicate directly to them. Become the face of your equestrian business, like you would if someone walked in your shop. This is a great way to bridge this gap in the digital world we live in.

I’m hoping this ‘take five’ blog series will inspire you, make you smile… maybe it’ll just get your head nodding as you enjoy a well earned cuppa and a biscuit. Either way, I’d love you to carry on the chat over on Instagram or Facebook. Hope to see you there.

Small & Supercharged Podcast – Collaboration

In this episode, we’re talking about collaboration. Oh – I LOVE collaborations! My most recent TEDx talk at TEDxTelford was all about it (it was called ‘Killing it with creativity and collaboration), so don’t just think I’m wittering on about it… I love it! This is a solo show, so I’d like to start now by thanking you for hanging out with me for the next few minutes. I hope you love it…

Have a listen here…

Let’s talk about collaboration and why you need to get on board with it for your equestrian or country business

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 6 – collaboration… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • We talk about the power of collaboration and how my latest TEDx talk was all about it.
  • We chat through an example of a recent collaboration between Karen & Clan, Hiho Silver, Morris Richardson Watches and Fairfax & Favor.
  • We talk about how to find the perfect business to collaborate with and talk through some examples connected to equestrian businesses, to help inspire you.
  • That whatever business you have – whether you have a service, product or experience- you can find one that matches
  • We talk about why it’s important to make sure the companies you pick to collaborate with share you ethos and values… and why that matters.
  • Why aligning your audiences is important when you’re planning a collaboration.
  • Why it’s important that there’s something in it for everyone, and other ways you can add value to bigger brands if you’re a smaller one.
  • The importance of not being limited when you’re thinking about collaborations. Giveaways are great, but there’s a lot more you can do if you want it.
  • Why it’s important to make sure that it’s easy for your customers to get involved. And why simplicity is good.
  • We talk about how you can collaborate with more than one brand at a time… but also talk about the limitations to this.
  • We speak about the cost of collaborations (spoiler alert… this is exciting!)
  • And we talk about how to find these people by getting to know them before you ask about working together.

Subscribe to the Small & Supercharged podcast on iTunes

Small & Supercharged Podcast – Fairfax & Favor’s Breast Cancer Care Campaign

I know I’m HUGELY biased but this episode is an absolute corker. I got to chat to the lovely Lucy Robinson (aka Footluce Eventing) in her capacity as Marketing Assistant for Fairfax & Favor. We talked about the current Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care campaign the company is running, to raise funds for the charity. This is the third year that Fairfax & Favor has got behind the cause. And in this podcast you’ll find out why. Have a listen here…

Let’s talk about Fairfax & Favor’s Pink Tassel Campaign with Lucy Robinson

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 5 – Fairfax & Favor’s latest campaign, raising funds for Breast Cancer Care, big shoes to fill and why it all started. What you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • How the campaign began three years ago and why this particular charity is close to Marcus and Felix’s (the founders of Fairfax & Favor) hearts.
  • The last three years of the #fairfaxandfavorbcc campaign and the different products that have been used over the years.
  • How much has been raised each year so far to support this amazing charity.
  • How this year’s Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care campaign has been promoted including a sneak peak at one of the jewels in the British Eventing calendar.
  • Why and how the design for this year’s tassels is completely different to standard tassels.
  • The value of customers and influencers of all sizes (and coming from a brand like this, if you’re ever feeling ‘meh’ about the size of your following, you need to hear this!)
  • Goals for this year’s Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care campaign, and more…

How can you get involved in #fairfaxandfavorbcc?

You’ll also find out how you can get involved… but I want to reiterate it here too. The most obvious way is to buy a pair of Limited Edition tassels. The proceeds from each sale go straight to the charity to fund its amazing work. When you have these pink bits of magic in your hands, you can do even more to help if you like…

  • Post an image/series of images on your social media platforms. Don’t forget to tag Fairfax & Favor and use #fairfaxandfavorbcc (they’re doing a lot of reposting and sharing of these images so get in there!)
  • Tell people – whether you buy a pair of tassels of not, tell people about them. I think that we forget how powerful word of mouth is and the power we all have to do good.
  • Keep mentioning them and enjoy them in your daily life. If you can wear them in posts on your feeds and Stories then all the better… but don’t forget to enjoy them too. They’re to be worn and enjoyed… whenever I look at mine I smile. They’re SO pink!

Now, if you don’t have the budget for the Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care tassels, that is fine too. You can still support the campaign and help it achieve its goals by keeping an eye on the hashtag and showing a little love and support when you feel the need.

Do have a look at the #fairfaxandfavorbcc hashtag on Insta – there are SO many stunning pics!

To find out more about the tassels, see the website here and bag your Limited Edition Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care tassels. To find out more about the brand, just visit the main Fairfax & Favor site. Enjoy!

Small & Supercharged Podcast Ep 3 – Sophie Callahan on commercial photography

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.

The Small & Supercharged Podcast is 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.