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 Episode 19

COVID-19 advice for Equestrian Businesses

by | Apr 3, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

As you’re reading this, our biggest hope is that you’re healthy, safe, and taking some time to care for yourself mentally and physically. Times are crazy! We never thought we would be taking our gratitude and well wishes back to such a basic life-sustaining level, but here we are.

Hosts & Guests

April Hardeman

Laura Langfitt

 

 

 

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Advice during COVID-19

As you’re reading this, our biggest hope is that you’re healthy, safe, and taking some time to care for yourself mentally and physically. Times are crazy! We never thought we would be taking our gratitude and well wishes back to such a basic life-sustaining level, but here we are.

 

 

A Quick Update on Us

 

 

April’s life has turned upside down. She is stationed in Germany with her husband, and before the pandemic, they were scheduled to come home next week. Now the military is on a 60-day ban travel ban. They were SO ready to move to Texas, buy a house, and finally get King (April’s horse) in the same town as them.

 

Now they’re in limbo. They don’t know if they’re even moving back to the States at all. They are finding peace in the fact that they don’t have any loss of income, and they are all healthy and safe.

 

Laura’s life has become pretty hectic as well, although it’s not all to do with coronavirus. She and Quinn are also incredibly thankful to still have their income. Quinn (Laura’s husband) is working from home until at least April 30th.

 

At first, Laura was worried they would kill each other, but two weeks in and things are going well. Quinn’s been using his commute time to making bread and brownies, so Laura is gonna be 9 million pounds by the time he goes back to work, but she is pretty happy for the time being.

 

 

Laura has been helping out at a horse rescue that was experiencing a crisis. Sadly, their co-owner passed away two nights ago, but she left an incredible legacy of lives saved behind her. Laura had been going out to feed the horses most morning, but she’s now able to cut back to once a week.

 

 

MJ (Laura’s horse) is boarded at a private residence. There are only 3 other people there, so she is still able to get her horse snuggles in for which she is EXTREMELY thankful.

 

 

What You Can Do Despite COVID-19

 

 

It’s pretty unusual for us to record a one-off episode. This episode goes live in less than a week, and Laura’s fingers are typing furiously to write out this blog only minutes after we stopped recording. Please excuse any typos! We felt like it was essential to give you some guidance around how you can move your businesses forward despite COVID-19, so here we go.

 

 

We don’t want anyone getting stuck or feeling like their business is going backward while they can’t serve clients. There are productive things you can do during this time to help your business weather this storm.

 

 

You can still show up for your community even if you can’t serve clients (as long as that feels good to you right now). Laura was watching a Hollis Co. video yesterday, and they mentioned a nail salon that posted a video teaching viewers how to remove their acrylic nails.

 

 

Anyone who got their nails done a few weeks ago was planning to go back, and now they can’t. The nail salon’s audience went nuts over the DIY video. Posting that video didn’t make any money for that salon, but it gave their community something they desperately needed.

 

 

When the quarantine is over, people are going to flood through the doors of that nail salon. They’ll remember that video and want to support the business that showed up for them when they needed it most.

 

 

Think for a minute. How can you show up for your community and help them even if you can’t serve clients right now?

 

 

Let’s say you offer Magnawave Equine Therapy. What exercises could your clients do with their horses until you can serve them again? Some trainers are giving lessons on improving your riding skills from your home even if you can’t see your horse. You can create a tutorial on how to massage your horse or give away your favorite horse treat recipe.

 

 

April is watching a lot of instructional videos that will help her business and make her a better equestrian. Rosalinde (her toddler) LOVES the horse videos.

 

 

Horses and Coronavirus. What’s Going On?

 

 

Laura felt guilty during this horsey update. April is so far away from King, and it’s been so long since they’ve been together. In the first-ever episode of this podcast, we talked about how April and King were so excited to be reunited. They are still patiently waiting. It’s going to be worth it guys!!

 

 

Horse rescue is a HUGE part of Laura’s why. She helps horse business owners make more money so that fewer horses need rescuing in the future, while also making more money for herself so she can rescue horses that need her.

 

 

Laura knows that if she wants to make this vision a reality, she needs to up her horsemanship skills. She’s seen horses end up needing rescuing from their rescuers after a well-intended bleeding heart took in a case that was way too much for them, and then got hurt or scared and couldn’t care for the animal anymore. Laura never wants to end up as that bleeding heart.

 

 

Three weeks ago, a position as a working student opened up at Laura’s barn, and she jumped on it. Now she gets to spend four hours every Tuesday and Thursday working under the best trail horse trainer in the Sacramento area. She gets to pull MJ out and work with her as well when time allows.

 

 

Going back to the basics has been incredible. Laura has to learn how to respond differently to each horse and set them up for success. There’s so much to learn, and she has so much to improve on. Laura has been getting a little frustrated with herself for not picking things up sooner, but she is working on it every day.

 

 

Brené Brown’s first podcast episode is all about effing first times. Every time you go through your first time of doing something and all this frustration rises up, it’s because it’s the first effin time! Check out that episode if you haven’t. Laura is struggling through horse training the RIGHT way for the first effin time.

 

 

April can’t be around horses right now, but she is having fun fostering a love of horses withing her daughter, Rosalinde. There’s joy pouring out of this kid when she plays with her horse toys, most of which are gifts from people that know how horse crazy April is and knows she hops to have her little girl love horses too.

 

 

April is careful not to push horses on Rosalinde, but she definitely would love for her to enjoy horses too. Rosalinde has a little mat with toy horses that she loves. She marches them across the coffee table and runs them up the wall.

 

 

At night she sleeps with the eight-legged horse from Norse Mythology. Lately, they’ve been watching Elisa Wallace’s headcam videos. If you don’t know Elisa, she’s an eventor from Georgia. April puts Rosaline on her lap and bounces her up and down as Elisa rides through the course. Rosalinde claps and cheers the entire time.

 

 

They recently watched Spirit the movie for the first time, and every time that horse galloped, Rosalinde cheered and clapped. That kid is going to want to gallop a lot. They got one that wants to go fast!

 

 

Buckle Down and Create Some Content!

 

 

If you can’t serve clients right now, it’s time to do some groundwork in your marketing. There’s gotta be something that you’ve always wanted to do, and you just haven’t had the time. Now’s the time to focus on your business, and batch out all that content that’s living inside you.

 

 

Take a couple of days and just write content. Brain dump all the things you would like to work on and then start going down the list and checking things off. If it’s hard to work with your kids at home, that’s okay! Commit to using naptime or an hour after bedtime to work ON your business.

 

 

When this quarantine is over, people are going to be ready to go. They’re going to want to be with their horses, taking lessons, and working towards their goals with their horse. Hopefully, you’re going to be too busy to think. If you can have all your content for your busy season pre-scheduled, you’re going to be in a fantastic position to take on your goals.

 

 

Create an Online Offer

 

 

The last but possibly most impactful thing you can do for your business during this crisis is serving people online. Maybe your clients have their horses at home, and they can send you videos of them riding or even just doing groundwork.

 

 

If you’re a farrier or a bodyworker or a photographer, think of a course you can create to help people DIY a little bit of what you do. If you’re a photographer, and people had to cancel photoshoots with you, they are probably bummed out just like you are. Create a mini-course on how to take beautiful photos of your horse with your iPhone and sell it for $97.

 

 

Anything that you have knowledge about that your ideal client needs to be more successful, you can make into a course, worksheet, video, or masterclass and sell for anywhere from $5 to $5,000. The possibilities are endless. You just have to do some brainstorming and go for it.

 

 

If you don’t have the energy to create an entire course, you can grow your email list. Continuing with our photographer example, maybe you have a checklist of things someone should have ready for a session, or a style guide, or posing ideas. A simple checklist like this can be super valuable to your ideal client. If you spend time growing your email list now, you’ll have a much larger audience to launch your services to once that time comes.

 

 

Affiliate Marketing

 

 

Many people make money through affiliate marketing. They write a product review and link back to the product, receiving a small amount of the profits that come from the purchases they generated. Tons of horse companies offer affiliate programs.

 

 

As your following grows (because you’re creating all this excellent content we are telling you batch), the traffic to those links will grow too. Over time those small payouts will get bigger. Right now is a great time to start playing with what works and what doesn’t with affiliate marketing.

 

 

Laura used a few affiliate links in her Pinterest course. She told her students about the affiliate links and said by using them they are buying her a cup of coffee. She only makes about $3 every time someone uses one of those links, but she is thinking long term. Someday when 100,000 people take that course, the affiliate income is going to add up.

 

 

Sometimes you can make affiliate income without even directly promoting a product or service. You post a beautiful picture of yourself in your favorite pair of riding breeches, and all your followers ask where to buy them. You direct them to the link in your bio an BAM. You make $$ from that affiliate link without even creating sales copy.

 

 

The best place to find great products or services to be an affiliate for is by looking at what you are using today. What tack do you have that you cannot live without? What supplements are you feeding your horse? What things do you LOVE in your horse trailer? If you’re using something today, chances are there might be an affiliate program for that item, and all you have to do is look it up and sign up.

 

 

April has an affiliate relationship with Equivont. They list tons of small businesses and promote connections between riders and products. April believes in what they are doing, so she became a brand ambassador. She gives her audience a discount code and gets perks when they use it.

 

 

Are You Ready?!

 

 

If you’re choosing to keep working at this time, we hope you’re super inspired to create some content and show up for your audience. You might be inspired, but also a little overwhelmed with where to start. That’s okay! We do this online stuff all day, so it comes easily to us. If it’s new to you (Brené Brown’s effing first time coming around to bite us in the butt again), we are here to hold your hand.

 

 

Our membership bundle gets you access to Laura’s Content Coaching Group and April’s Technology Coaching Group. The bundle can help you get your email marketing in place, create super incredible content with Laura’s content templates, and get a TON of eyes on it with April’s technical guidance.

 

 

To support you in getting everything up and running during uncertain times, we are giving you 50% off the first 90 days of the membership. That’s a $150 discount, and you get access to BOTH memberships for just $49 a month.

 

 

You can sign up right here. Just use code KEEPGOING to get the discount.

 

 

We hope that you’re staying healthy out there! That’s the most important thing. Stay healthy!

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