Creating something someone else has already done but making it cooler!

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Find My Horse Job came to me as an idea one day. I’d browsed sites like Yard and Groom, HorseJobs.ca and others, but they were so big, and filled with positions I wasn’t qualified for. Things like “Bachelor’s Degrees” and “Years of experience” and “must not telecommute” filled my head, and things that were not attainable to me at the time. It was my first year of college, I lived at home and didn’t have the money to get up and move. Still, I wanted a job I could do at home, that involved horses.

I’d been told by many “Good Luck with that”

I’m not saying there are not jobs you can’t do at home involving horses. There are. But some aren’t fun. Most are scammy. Some are really hard. I didn’t create Find My Horse Job and Teal Horse Design  to become rich. I believe if you are creating or in a business to become rich, you are in ti for the wrong reason. But that’s just me.

If you can’t find a job, CREATE one. I’m not saying reinvent the wheel or make saddles for a living. Doesn’t have to be something huge! Maybe a blog displaying your riding skills (I’ll talk about virtual resume’s soon). Make jewelry out of horsehair. Offer grooming/tack cleaning/tack room reorganization. Bake horse treats. Make browbands. Get creative, and make it better than everyone else. 

1173669_10151675414433019_836306032_nHere’s my friend Elise’s browband she made by hand! If anyone would like to order one, I’ll get her contact info. 

Spruce up your Social Media Profiles + What NOT to do!

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Everyone is on social media. My Grandmother, My boss.. maybe your boss.. your parents! Social Media isn’t just for teenyboppers anymore, there are real business connections here! (Thank goodness Myspace went to the wayside!)

I’m making the point that everyone is on social media because you should be aware what you post sometimes. It is very easy to sway your audience in the wrong direction and out of your business. Sure, you can delete a status about how f***ing mad you were about being on hold with Such and Such company for three hours, but, even if you delete it right after you post, it’s still out there for everyone to see. Do you want to be known as the business owner who loses their cool over everything that goes wrong and vents on Facebook about it? Or the Debbie Downer, who posts depressing statuses about life not going right and how sad such and such is? Be the positive influence to your customers!

So, say I’m a young mom looking to get my daughter into riding lessons. I find “Casey’s Equestrian Farm” by using a Google Search. There isn’t a website, but a Facebook profile pops up saying “Casey” is the owner of the farm. I click on “Casey’s” profile and browse it for a while, since I can’t find any other info. on the farm. The first Facebook Status I see is how happy “Casey” is about the growth of her lesson program, and how much she loves her students and can’t wait until the next barn camp! Me, a concerned Mom of a young daughter, knowing nothing more about “Casey’s Equestrian Farm” feels a little more at ease reading just that one Facebook Status…

What if that status would’ve been negative? How, the lesson horses are all acting up again and one is lame and the price of hay is outrageous… See what a difference that could make to ONE customer?

Everyone checks social media for references (at least I do) ESPECIALLY before hiring! Obviously, every status, tweet, picture and quote won’t be rainbows and butterflies, but the next time you might let off some steam on Social Media, think of your next potential customer!

My next post later this week will be on the “Sprucing Up” part of this post optimizing social media profiles for SEO (that’s search engine optimization) so when customer’s use search engines (did you see Yahoo had more searches that Google this weekend!) they can find you, first, instead of your competition!

Until next time,

– Caitlin

How Social Marketing + The Internet is like horse show gossip

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I guess before I start talking about the heavy stuff, I should properly introduce myself. My name is Caitlin Heller and I’m a college student who is horse obsessed and spends too much time on the internet (which has proved to be kind of a good thing). Anyways, I started this business quite a few months ago, because I believe I can help others understand what was taboo to me not too long ago (and still sometimes is). My “hobby” is running a website called Find My Horse Job, a website that helps young equestrians find horse jobs. I’ve been into horses for nine years now, taking lessons, doing working student positions and keeping up with what’s going on in the horse world via my lovely computer. Anyhow, my mission is to help the horse industry understand the social marketing scene, how important it is to have a a website and have fun along the way.

So, let’s get to the main title! The reason why you are reading this! I’ll touch quickly on why you should have a social media presence, what that means, but talk more about what it means if you don’t!

What the heck is this term everyone keeps using “social media”? Why do I need a website?

  • Social Media, to me, is how people connect and relate to one another via. the internet. Everyone knows what the internet is, but how to we connect on it? We connect using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + etc. There are a ton out there, but you don’t need to use every one to be effective at marketing!
  • Social Media Marketing is how businesses connect to people via these networks. It’s usually an easy, and cost effective way to reach thousands of targeted clients, from a computer.
  • I believe every business needs a updated website. Simple, clean websites can be just as effective as complex, expensive ones. This is the same with almost anything, a cheap bottle of fly spray can work just as well as an expensive one. I’ll go more into why you should have a website later on in this post!

So for examples sake, I own XYZ Show Stable and it’s based in lovely Ocala, FL.  I don’t have a website, Facebook, Twitter nor am I on Google Maps. I simply think I don’t have the time or need for any of these fiddly things, nor do I know what they are. My horses show well at HITS Ocala, some are up for stud, and I have nice offspring each season. Someone (we’ll call him David) wants to inquire about a horse they saw win a class at HITS last weekend. They google “XYZ Show Stable”. Nothing comes up. I mean, nada.. no website, Facebook Page, pictures, reviews.. zero web presence.  David scratches his head, and wonders..

Why aren’t they on the internet? What are they hiding? Where’s their phone number? I hope the horse doesn’t sell.. how do I know it’s for sale? Do I remember the owners’ name? Don’t they have pride in their horses, and want to show them off? 

Now, David is just one prospective buyer. I know, he’s just ONE person. It’s only ONE sale you’ve lost as a business owner. But imagine, that ONE turns into TWO people. And David forgets to inquire about the horse.. and you’ve lose more sales, more missed lesson fees, you lose prospective saddle buyers or customers to your vet practice. Word of mouth is still super important in business, but wouldn’t you rather your customer’s say, “Yeah, I found XYZ Show Stable online, and called to inquire about that horse. Their website was very nice with pictures of the horse, and they had great reviews from previous buyers. I’m going to try the horse tomorrow, and already sent the directions to my phone..” 

Isn’t that SO much better than the alternative? 

Because word of mouth, or “gossip” can be spread so easily in the horse world.. wouldn’t you like gossip about you to be positive?

  1. How do you change this for your business?  Get a social media presence and a website! Change those potential negatives to positives!
  2. What if you are a local based business? Stay tuned for another blog post coming soon about how to create a great social media presence for any type of business..