PR From The Saddle: Started a new equestrian business? Here are 4 ways to get noticed!
Started up a new business but struggling to find your feet? Tara Punter – of Tara Punter PR – is back with her expert advice!
If you’ve taken the very bold step in starting your very own business then first of all, congratulations! It will be an exhausting, scary and exhilarating ride, but it will also be one of the best things you ever do. So, if you’ve figured out your range of products and/or services, decided on a business name, sorted a logo and (hopefully!) have created a website, what do you need to do next to make sure you are noticed by the right people?
It’s a busy old world out there and you want to succeed, so don’t take the risk that people might never know that you exist. Here are my top four ways to help get your name out there and bring the sales rolling in.
It may well be one of the first things people consider when they set up a business in the 21stcentury, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get right first time. Remember to schedule a mixture of content, not just pushing your products out there in every post. Blend in some behind the scenes posts, discussions on wider industry news and events, lovely images and perhaps a little bit about the people behind the business?
If you keep finding that you get too busy to post on social media and suddenly it has been a week since your last post, why not investigate some of the social media scheduling tools out there? From Hootsuite and Zoho through to Buffer there are some free and paid for scheduling programmes that mean you can sit down and plan several weeks’ worth of messages in one go.
You can start as small as you like, but I would recommend exploring a media relations campaign to give your new enterprise a kick-start. Positive press coverage will boost sales, build your brand and get you known in your sector or geographical area. What would it mean to your business in its infancy if you got a mention in a leading industry magazine, or a write up in your local newspaper? Decide which publications you would like to target, research the journalists you need to approach and read up on how to write a press release. There’s certainly no harm in having a go at some PR and you might reap some fantastic rewards – plus, if you get a taste for press coverage and want to take it further, there are plenty of PR agencies and consultants out there who can help.
Your website is a great place to direct potential customers to so that they can find out more about you and what you sell, but it should be working harder than that. If you focus some time on SEO (that’s search engine optimisation) then it means that your website will be more likely to appear near the top of the Google search engine results page for people searching for businesses just like yours. There are a few ways to go about this, but I’d start with blogging, bearing in mind the key words you want people to be typing into Google to find a business like yours, and then tagging pages and images on your website. If you aren’t particularly tech or website savvy, then why not look for a local digital marketer to help you get started?
It may seem terrifying at first but for some types of business it is vital to get your face and name out there and that means you need to network. So, what exactly does that involve? Whatever the format, you want to prepare a few short, clear sentences that tell people exactly what you do and why you do it better than the rest. Take a deep breath, smile and remember that nearly everyone in the room feels nervous underneath, but you are there to find out how you can help each other. Don’t forget your business cards (don’t have any of those? Order some!) as you want to make sure people can get in touch with you afterwards.
Hopefully these four areas will help you start to make a name for yourself and keep the work rolling in, but there are plenty of other things you can try as well – local charity work, industry influencers, sponsoring up and coming talent in your industry, sponsoring events in your sector. Whatever you do, just remember that any time spent working on and growing your business is time well spent!
Tara Punter PR is an equestrian and rural PR, journalism and social media company based in the Cotswolds. Tara has been helping businesses with their social media for five years – a business transformed into an internationally-loved brand that’s become synonymous with the success of small, medium and large businesses in the rural sectors. Tara is a horse lover herself, having been riding and largely involved with the equine industry for nearly 30 years. She helps business owners grow businesses through PR, social media, blogging and journalism and offers affordable and high value packages to her client base across the UK and beyond.