On barn time

C7BA45E6-87F0-40F0-9D40-A0B1F90D4AAB

Us equestrians are very familiar with the concept of ‘barn time‘: that unique phenomenon in which time seems to magically disappear when at the barn. We have all heard ourselves say: I’ll be home at 9 and find yourself still rolling up polo wraps at 10 o’clock, knowing very well that your start-up admin for the day is waiting for you or you are now running frightfully late for that important business appointment (breeches to the office anyone?).

Now, why do we always run into this magical web of ‘barn time‘? Is it procrastination (putting off the things we know need to be done… but don’t necessarily like to do) or is it simply because when we enjoy what we do we seem to lose track of time while doing so.

Still, we then all know that sinking feeling when arriving back at home or the office and realizing there’s not enough time left to get done what needs to be done that day.

Here are a few tips and tricks to manage that inevitable ‘barn time‘ effect a little bit better and still get things done:

BE REALISTIC

How long does it really take to prep a horse, ride and take care of all the other daily barn things, while still feeling like you’re not rushing around and you can focus on your training plan for the day? Time yourself for a week and lock down the average time you will need in your agenda as a fixed appointment with yourself (including travel time!). This way you can’t double book yourself, will have plenty of time to take care of your four-legged friend and still be back in time to join that important conference call.

PLAN BACKWARDS

How long does it really take to write that business plan, get the design in for a new collection or train for that upcoming competition? Once you know your deadline, start planning backward with all the steps that need to be taken to achieve the set goal: realize you need more time? Either postpone the deadline or prioritize the really important milestones that need to be done and delay other projects. Especially if you are an equestrian and are juggling work family and friends, you are at some point going to have to make some difficult choices on what you can really squeeze into your 24h day.

GET THE NASTY DONE FIRST

Set ‘barn time’ as reward time: get the things done that might otherwise get pushed to tomorrow and then enjoy your time at the barn (however long it might take…)

 

Need some help to prioritize what’s really important for your equestrian (start-up) business?

GET IN TOUCH

 

A little help from your friends

IMG_7550

One of the most challenging things about being an equestrian entrepreneur is that often you’re embarking on this exciting business journey alone. Which of course has many advantages when it comes to quick decision making, flexibility in working time and location and a sense of ownership among many others.

Sometimes though, you might need a little help from your friends. If you feel like you do, the don’t be afraid to ask! More likely than not, your friends will be very happy to give you some feedback, like to feel part of your entrepreneurial adventure and come up with some expertise and input that even you the google expert might not have been able to come up with.

What kind of help can you easily ask your friends? A few examples:

  • Growing your social media presence: don’t be ashamed to ask everyone in your network on both Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and wherever else you are showcasing your business to like, follow, comment and share. There is no obligation for them to do so, so if they don’t want to, they won’t, but there is no harm in asking… It’s a great way to get that slow-moving social media snowball rolling!
  • Financial / legal expertise: zero budget and want to do things right? There might be someone in your network that can help you with the basics or refer you to the right person fitting your needs and budget.
  • Testimonials and references: chances are, you will have worked with some of your friends in the past. Ask them for a referral relevant to your current business, or for them to test your products and provide feedback, which you can then showcase on your website or social media profile (#credibility)
  • Business opportunities: if you are starting any kind of equestrian business, it’s highly likely a lot of your friends are either interested in or already have a network in the business. Ask around: anyone looking to list new technical breeches? Anyone who would like to host an equestrian wellness clinic etc etc anything that will get you started will fuel your business and create momentum.
  • Monday motivation: ohhh it’s so hard to stick to your guns, keep going and plow through those inevitable entrepreneurial dips. Have a friend on speed dial whom you know will help you get your priorities straight, remind you that you’re doing the right thing and provide that much-needed #mondaymotivation.

 

Of course, for all other business and brand building topics, an extensive equestrian network and years of sales and marketing experience, you can always give The stylish equestrian consulting a call.

GET IN TOUCH

 

Influencer Marketing: The importance of finding the right story teller

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-12-34-42

Influencer marketing is THE most time and cost efficient way to get your brand seen and known fast with a large target audience. Combine this with the ever growing need for brands to tell a story and be able create a personal, emotional connection with the target audience… and you have a bit of a marketing paradox.

There is quite a big risk that your brand story might get lost in the viral storm created by the latest Instagram star, but it is the best way to get to the brand out there, right? So now what?

Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your brand story isn’t lost the viral storm:

1.         Choosing a person by follower/social reach alone is not always the best decision making criteria (the follower numbers are not always true…), rather look for a few smaller accounts, with very high engagement that really fit with your brand identity.

2.         The influencer of choice should be able to co-creatively design original content with the brand, not just use a product for a selfie. This will ensure more personal involvement, engagement and endorsement of the brand and it’s story.

3.         Do a quick intent check: Does the influencer of choice want to truly represent the brand or is it just an opportunity to boost their personal image/numbers/fame?

4.         When choosing your influencer strategy, always ask yourself  “What personal value does my target customer get from the created content other than a pretty image to look at?” i.e.  Is the content a one-off cute pic or can it be used for a future local campaigns or online activity?

6.         When choosing your favourite influencer, did you provide them with a briefing? Is your brand story clear enough for them to ensure they are telling the same story?

Need help getting your brand story across? Need help identifying the right partners for your brand?

GET IN TOUCH

 

 

Post content inspired by Linkedin articles from Cornelius McGrath: 2017 The year to tell your story and Valerie Ox: This is why most influencer marketing campaigns fail – and how a bad strategy destroys authentic storytelling

 

Boosting your brand visibility with targeted social media collaborations

4 seasons in one day

You want a very select group of consumers to get to know your brand, but you’re not sure how to go about it?

Why not work with a select group of social media influencers who can not only showcase your brand to an extremely targeted audience, but also endorse your products with genuine support and product reviews for increased credibility.

A good example is thestylishequestrian.com: a platform that showcases the latest trends and provides daily inspiration for the ultimate street to stable lifestyle. Working with the stylish equestrian has brought small businesses new distribution opportunities and large brands the targeted visibility they require for growing their brand with the right audience.

The stylish equestrian provides tailored visibility packages that include visibility in the signature sets on multiple social media platforms, but also brand ambassador programs that include product reviews, Instagram endorsement to over 31K followers and the option to run give-away competitions.

Want to work with The stylish equestrian or need some advice on how best to increase your brand visibility?

GET IN TOUCH

Digital detox

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 07.38.40.pngWhen vacationing in the Philippines, our phones decided to go for a surprise swim in the South China Sea. Imagine the shock and horror of someone who lives off of being a social media influencer and consultant: losing your phone is pretty much like having your right arm chopped off.

 

Well, actually, that’s how it felt the first 12 hours, but then, slowly, it gave me time to have a little think about how much posting is really needed and made me realise that checking the instagram likes and website stats every 20 minutes might not be necessary, especially not when vacationing on a magical Island like Palawan.

Of course I could have used all kinds of pre-scheduling apps like Hootesuite or solve Instagram posting problems with a solution from your pc to Instagram like Gramblr, but me being a bit of a spontaneous, spur of the moment, what’s good right now kind of poster, didn’t think I would need these during our holiday.

So, my forced small scale digital detox got me thinking: how much online activity is really needed and how much is too much? Ironically, I found myself discussing exactly this query earlier this week with a couple just starting their Stand Up Paddle Board business in Ibiza (check’m out here – a must do when on the island!). Well, it depends…. are you intending to become a social media influencer and want to get noticed by brands, then probably there really is no limit to how much you post, as long as you retain the quality over quantity rule. Are you a small business and want to attract customers, then relatively slow is probably the way to go, focusing more on generating website traffic and loyal followers, but even here, quality over quantity is the golden rule.

Island vacationing has given me ample examples of when the digital addiction might be taking the upper hand. A few 20 something girls for example, were with us on a magnificent tour of the Bacuit archipelago and spent most of their time checking their selfies and their likes in insta: seems like a bit of a pity to not enjoy the magical location and moment a bit more. Hey, I was also guilty of a selfie or two and posted a quick update to my Instagram stories (with a back-up phone), but that was it, for most of the time we just enjoyed the view.

Over dinner we encountered a few more 20 something ladies taking pictures of their food. Everyone does it, and if you’re writing a foodie or travel blog, then by all means go ahead. But, if like in this case, you’d like to gain some likes and followers on your social media profiles, maybe a pic of a plain pasta in the wonderful Pilipino Islands is not what’s going to boost it for you.

Quality over quantity, my golden rule. Maybe taking this forced mini digital detox has helped me realise this even more. Taking a few days off (you are on holiday after all) isn’t really a a bad thing. It gives you time to relax, reflect, regroup and come back more focussed and energised.

Would you like to know more about how to find your ideal quality over quantity ratio for your business or social media profile or how to schedule posts so you can enjoy a little digital detox yourself?

GET IN TOUCH