So, you’ve invested in TheraPlate, you know how amazing it is and you’re ready to help lots of people and animals with it. But right now, your phone messages and email inbox are both a little too quiet. That means it’s time to think about marketing yourself to ensure that horse owners and professional riders in your area know about you. If you’ve already created a brand to sell your offering – well done you! It will help you become more recognisable and ensure potential customers know what you do. (If you haven’t, check out our recent blog on branding for some tips). So what’s next? Here are 5 ways you can find and connect with new clients, and the good news is that most of them won’t cost you a penny. So, let’s dive in.
- Network at yard days, talks and open evenings
Make sure you follow all your local training and competition centres and equine vets on social media and keep an eye on their upcoming events both there and on their websites. Most of them will hold clinics where experts come to educate horse owners, and these can be fantastic networking events to meet and chat with local horse owners. Don’t go for a ‘hard sell’, especially if another therapist is leading the session, but be friendly, approachable and helpful. You can also apply to hold your own event where you can share the benefits of TheraPlate, unveil case studies and demonstrate how it’s used on horses in front of them.
- Make social media work for you
Social media is an excellent free marketing tool which can help you grow your business… but it can also be frustrating and threaten to steal your precious time. To make social media work for you, always think about what your customers need and want to know about your services. How can TheraPlate help their horse, how does it work, and do they come to you, or do you travel? Share case studies and answer FAQS with posts and stories. Don’t forget it’s ‘social’ media, so answer any questions people send and interact with other equestrian accounts and customers. If you’re worried about the time you spend, limit posting to 3 or 4 times a week and set aside two 15 minute blocks each day to be online and social.
- Create a flyer about your services
Not every horse owner out there spends their life on social media, and you don’t want to miss out on their custom. There are some fantastic tools available to help you design you own flyer online, such as Canva, which are either free or very affordable. You can search for online tutorials to help you make a great design or use a template, and drop your own images and information in. Printing either at home or via an online print service is cheap and easy, and you then have a physical flyer you can leave with potential customers, share at networking events and leave on notice boards at local venues, country stores and feed merchants.
- Approach equine therapists, vets and other professionals
Take some time to research local equine therapists and other service providers in your area, then call or email them explaining what you do. It could be that a local farrier will recommend your services for owners struggling with quarter cracks or a hydrotherapy centre is interested in booking you for a day or two a month (if you’re mobile, of course). You can even approach local vets to see if they will place your flyer in their reception or even mention you to their clients whose horses could benefit from TheraPlate.
- Love the customers you have!
Something you might not know unless you hold a marketing qualification is that it’s been proven time and time again that investing in keeping your existing customers is more cost-effective than marketing to find new ones. That might mean emailing clients with your latest news (it might remind them to book!) creating offers for them and even regarding them for prolonged loyalty can help drive business with a pleasing ROI. Plus, it can help drive new business too. Just imagine – you send a yard owner a bunch of flowers to thank them for being a client for a year and they pop it on Instagram and tag you, other professional riders and yard owners see it and hey presto, it could also drive some enquiries.