When carrying out my keyword research for my equine business and marketing blog, I noticed a fair few of you are searching for equine marketing jobs. Equine marketing is a growing profession, with many equestrian brands and businesses now seeking to hire marketing staff, freelancers or agencies. This blog article provides a few tips on how to get into the equine marketing business from the freelancer’s perspective.
Why Did I Choose Equine Marketing?
Believe it or not, I didn’t always want to be an equine marketing consultant. Why? Because I didn’t know the job existed!
Back when I was considering career options, office-based roles in the equine industry were not so evident. When searching for career opportunities in the equestrian sector, virtually all the options presented were yard-based. As much as I love being around horses, I knew pretty early on that working with them full-time was not for me.
On completing my Politics degree in April 2020, I was confronted with a pretty desolate graduate jobs market. Lockdown meant a lot of the graduate schemes had been put on hold or cancelled altogether..
In the run-up to handing in my dissertation, I had been toying with the idea of setting up on my own and deep down I knew I’d rather work for myself than for someone else. My partner already had his own marketing business and I had really enjoyed managing the social media and website for my university’s equestrian club. Furthermore, the apparent lack of marketing skills or awareness of its importance among many small equine businesses really struck me. Could I do something about this?
So that’s how it all started. Purple Horse Marketing was founded (albeit under a different name) in April 2020. My very first client was a horse racing club and today we provide SEO and PPC marketing services to a range of equine businesses.
Ultimately, being an equine marketing consultant allows me to combine my passion for the equine sector with my understanding of search engine optimisation and marketing. It also offers me limitless opportunities to grow, as I have my own business.
How You Can Get Into Equine Marketing
I know there are a fair number of people who are considering a career in equine marketing. Whilst I cannot speak for brands looking to hire in-house, I can offer a few tips to anyone who may be interested in setting up as a freelancer.
Know Your Niche
Firstly, if you want to work in the equine sector, you do need to know your stuff. When I say this, I do not mean you need to own three horses and compete at BE Novice every weekend. What I really mean is that you must gain an understanding of how the equine sector operates. Absorb yourself in the industry, rather than just the sport. A good first step would be to subscribe to Equestrian Trade News and consider attending BETA International. Listen to equestrian business podcasts, such as The Equestrian Index’s This Business of Horses. Spend time getting to know the people behind the horses, brands and businesses that make the sector tick.
Accept That You Will Never Know it All
This is a big one. Nobody knows everything about horses, and nobody ever will. Accepting that you do not know everything and making that clear to your clients from the start will really help you out in the long run. Not only does it demonstrate your credibility and transparency, it also puts you in the mindset to learn. We have a policy of getting clients to check and approve content before it’s published, because they are the specialists in their area and we understand that equestrians tend to have different (strong) opinions on how to do things.
Curiosity is Key
Encourage your clients to talk to you about their products, services and audience. They should feel like you are interested - obsessed even - when it comes to their business. This links back to my previous points, but it is important to really immerse yourself in the product or service you are trying to market for your clients. If it’s something that is supposed to help a horse’s legs, go away and learn about the anatomy of the horse’s leg. Put yourself into the boots of the people who might buy the product or service.
Being curious can help you gain a much better grasp of the thing you are trying to advertise and it allows you to come up with more creative solutions and strategies. This is applicable for pretty much any area of marketing, including SEO, print, social media, content marketing, copywriting and more.
Being self-employed or running a business requires you to be adaptable. Whilst you don’t want to chop and change everything all the time, you will need to be able to detect when something is not working and make the necessary changes. This could be to do with your services, pricing or target market. However, things such as the way you market and brand the business are also really important.
Don’t be afraid to try things and make mistakes - we all have to learn somehow! By trying things out, you are giving yourself the opportunity to find out what works for you. Being able to manage your time and tasks effectively is also really important. Try to avoid wasting valuable time on things that you know are not working, and consider outsourcing some tasks when you are able to.
You Will Need to Start Somewhere
Anyone who starts their own business needs to start somewhere. You will probably need to start out by offering cheaper services to a broader range of customers. However, as soon as you get a foothold, you need to use that to take your business to the next level. I started out by working with a lot of freelance equestrian professionals (think instructors, saddle fitters, etc) before stepping into e-commerce brands, vet practices and slightly larger companies. I also stopped offering social media marketing once I had a foothold in SEO and PPC and the experience to take on those bigger clients and charge a higher rate.
If you’re just starting out and would be interested in business tools, planners or journals aimed especially at equine businesses, head over to my online shop, Purple Horse Planners, and take a look at my product range.