Today we’re mixing it up a little. As you know, every Friday I bring you an FYI Friday post, which contains lots of juicy tips and information to help you run your own equine business. However, I can only teach you the things that I have learnt along the way. So I have enlisted the help of some other experts in the industry, to bring you their greatest advice and tidbits, too.
My first guest blog is from the very lovely, very talented Rhea Freeman, of Rhea Freeman PR, who, in her own words, is a business coach with PR and marketing expertise, a brainstorming buddy, a video fanatic and someone who’s ‘got your back’ and going to help you spread your message. I love that!
I work closely with Rhea, to build my personal brand and focus on achieving my goals and I can’t think of anybody better qualified to chat to you about the importance of promoting your business…
“It sounds like a completely stupid topic, doesn’t it? Of course you need to promote your business. But I’m constantly amazed by what people think promotion really is…
I run my own PR, marketing and social media consultancy, and also offer coaching to small and medium sized business, to help them become more visible, more effective and expand in whatever direction they want to. For every aspect of my business, promotion is at the centre.
I speak to a lot of people about their businesses, some are just starting out, some are established and some are taking themselves in a new direction. I love the work I do and I really enjoy getting under the skin of people’s businesses and seeing what makes them tick. There are so many really, really good businesses out there, run by lovely people who are bursting with passion, what some aren’t so great at is telling people about what they do.
‘Oh, you’re talking about advertising, aren’t you? I don’t have the money for that’. No, although advertising is certainly part of the marketing mix and can support the promotion of your brand and business, whether you advertise in printed media, online or through social media channels. But when I say promotion in this blog, I’m talking about simply telling people what you do!
There are LOTS of ways you can do this, to stop that ‘icky’ feeling that some people have when they think sales – blogging is one – there are loads, but the key is to do something. You could have the very best product in the world, but if you don’t tell anyone, it will always never reach it’s full potential. It might not even get off the ground.
Some people think that a product or service is rubbish because it hasn’t sold or taken off. Before I carry on, it should be noted that some products aren’t good. Your product might not be fit for purpose – I don’t know as I don’t know the exact product, but you shouldn’t write it off unless you’ve given it a fair chance and promoted it to your target market – should you? And this doesn’t mean one Facebook post and then saying ‘oh well, I tried’. It’s a consistent effort, creating content across a range of channels to appeal to your target market. It’s doing it more than once. It’s storytelling around what you do to add value to your end user and also to allow people to understand the product fully, to see how it could really fit in with and enhance their lives. It’s getting people to test it, it’s working with bloggers, it’s collaborations, it’s social media, it’s working with magazines. It’s getting your product out there for people to learn about, know about, purchase and use.
There are no guarantees a product or service will succeed. If it’s rubbish, ahead of its time, behind its time or just not right at the moment, it might not do well (of course, there are many other reasons too!), but if you don’t promote it properly at the start of its journey, it’s more than likely doomed. More than that, even if your product or service doesn’t get the interest and sales you would have liked, if you’ve promote it well, you’ll get feedback that will allow you to improve and adjust (if you like) to help version two be better.
It’s not just about sales, it’s about relationship building, product development and a raft of other bits and bobs too.
But the key to this all – the start of it all – is promoting what you do or what you have created.
Businesses and products fail for a number of reasons, and I’m not saying that a lack of promotion is the only reason – far from it – but what businesses that succeed tend to have in common is that people know about their products or services. And this is something to keep in mind.”