Every single professional rider I know wants horse owners and sponsors.
But when I ask them, ‘how much time do you spend every day on marketing yourself to prospective owners and sponsors?’ They usually stare at me blankly and say: “I’m way too busy riding and teaching!”
OK. Let’s start from the beginning. How did you get the owners you have now?
“I met this owner at a clinic, one owner is the breeder, and this other person came from this other friend, and that’s it.”
So you basically got them by accident, luck and a miracle.
I mean, you did not take any specific action, any single day, week or month, like you do to improve your riding, and to improve the odds of getting horse owners and sponsors.
You know how with each horse, you have a detailed plan? Looking toward this big competition as the goal, you start planning all the shows and steps you need to make it and do well there?
Who is in charge of your marketing?
“Well, there’s this guy who does my website and then one of the girls here does Facebook and Instagram.”
You know how to plan every aspect of the horse’s care: nutrition, fitness, therapies. Even when a groom is carrying out those tasks, you’re still the one in charge. You don’t step into the barn one morning and discover one of your horses randomly getting an acupuncture treatment or find a horse tacked up in a new brand of saddle you’ve never heard of. Everything that happens in your barn stems from you. And there’s a reason behind each action and an overall plan that guides every decision.
You need to apply that same thinking to your business. You can delegate all the execution and have experts guiding you – you don’t need to be posting yourself. Just like you don’t muck every stall, but you need to be in charge of your marketing. It’s your brand.
“OK. And that’s going to help me get owners and sponsors?”
Well, you’re not going to reach your goals in three weeks. You don’t wake up one day and start riding at the Grand Prix level. You build a program that gets you there.
“Right, that makes sense. So I need to post more pictures on Instagram?”
It’s not just about more social media. It’s about having a good marketing plan and executing it effectively. I can help you but you need to commit and dedicate time to this every day.
“But I’m way too busy riding and teaching lessons!”
It’s only 15-30 minutes every day that you invest in your brand. You’re asking prospective owners and sponsors to invest in it, shouldn’t you lead the way?