Yes social media is relevant for you. Sure, maybe social media was originally designed for college students stymied by real face to face conversations and relationships, but it took the corporate world about 12 seconds to realize that they could also use it to boost their bottom lines, so now it’s standard for businesses to have some kind of social media presence and that means you at least need to know about this stuff, too. Here’s a bit of a primer on what people are using and how it might help your grow your business as a farrier.
Keep in Touch With Your Clients
Making friends with your clients on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter will let you connect with them directly, which is like gold to people in the business world. The farrier business, obviously, is a little different than most and direct contact isn’t always such a treasure. It’s possible you might not really want to talk to your clients all the time, but access can be a big positive. If a client has a problem with a job you just finished, they’re more likely to message you first if they think they can find you quickly. That means you can customer service situations before any negative word of mouth starts spreading around.
Social networking sites also let you spread good word of mouth far and wide by sharing client success stories and testimonials. As a note, you don’t have to post things on a social media site every day. You don’t even have to share things about yourself – you can post things about your local community, local events, horse-related news and the like. The point is building relationships, which can help you create and keep the long-term clients that are the basis of a successful farrier career.
Show People Your Work
Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Flipboard (for iTunes) and YouTube all let you share pics, videos and visual information with your clients. This is a great opportunity for you to show off your work, like that perfect shoe you just made. Or to visually document how your services helped, say, a horse with a terribly gross hoof injury. People love before and after pics of gross injuries. That alone should boost the number of calls you get. And on the whole, letting clients or potential clients actually see your skills in action is always going to be more effective than you trying to explain that you really helped this injured horse this one time.
Network With Other Professionals
You can reach out to anybody on social networking sites, so you could theoretically extend your professional circle to farriers at the very top of the trade. Or to your old farrier school. Or to high profile vets, riders, trainers and anyone in the horse industry whose work you admire. You can follow farriers from across the world on Facebook, Twitter or the more professional LinkedIn. Checking in on their news and opinions is one way to stay on top of what’s happening in the industry. Networking is also a way for you to actively engage in that industry, create visibility for your business and potentially grow as a farrier. Sending out a question about a problem horse via Twitter, for example, could put you in touch with a) a million ways to problem solve that you might not have thought of on your own and b) a number of other farriers you might not otherwise have an opportunity to collaborate with.
Share Your Expertise
If you have a new technique, an insight, a theory, an approach to a problem or an idea, you can write a short article about it on a platform like WordPress or Tumblr. If people like your articles, that’s a way to get your name and your shoeing philosophies out to a wider range of possible clients. It gives potential clients some sense of who you are and what your shoeing approach is so they can decide if they’re going to give you a try. If people both like your articles and see them as well-researched and/or clever, that goes a long way towards showing those potential clients that you know what you’re doing.
More often than not, even small businesses will have full-fledged social media strategies, but as someone in a very, very small business (that consists of just you), your strategy might simply be you thinking about what you want social media to do for you and how much time you want to spend on it. Social media is a lot about visibility, but it’s also about building relationships with new people and making the most out of the client relationships you’re already in. Which is basically just an extension of what you’re doing anyway.
by: Cindy McMann