The Best Way to Market Yourself: Good Work
Red Renchin finds that the farrier industry, as with many other industries, has a pecking order. The retired horseshoer sasy where you fit in it partly depends on your own actions. And how effective you are at promoting yourself helps you move up in that order.
"The most important is the quality of the work that you produce," he says. "It must stand on its own when there is no one to defend it.
"First. the horses have to remain sound and your shoes have to stay on. The feet have to be smooth with tight, neat clinches and the shoes must be correctly fitted and highly finished."
Other observations he has regarding some "must-have" for your practice:
- You won't succeed unless your demeanor with the client, the horse, the vet and staff is courteous and respectful. Your knowledge of your work must be complete and current.
- Your personal presentation and your turnout are tremendously important. You can't expect to charge more and get away with it if you leave home looking like Jeb Clampett and you want to charge like Bruce Springsteen.
- Your rig must be presentable, clean and organized.
The final item is how much you charge. "If you do not think that your time is very valuable, your clients will probably agree," he says. By charging more than your competitors, you are promoting the idea that you are more competent and consequently deserve to be compensated better. If you charge more than your competitors though, you must produce. These things are all noticed by the clients and discussed by them. They are the ones that will place you in the pecking order."
Renchin delivers this advice in the upcoming career guide for new farriers.
' Your clients are the ones who will place you in the pecking order pretty much sums it up here. If you are good you will be known as good. If you are sloppy it will show and you will constantly be looking for new clients.
Thanks for the reminders
I often think I am too busy,but a lot of that is disorganization and driving long distances between clients...
Red, is correct on these points. However there is more to marketing equation then meets the eye. You need to keep your name before the public. Because horse ownership turns over, people come and go in the industry. Not with just business cards and a web site. Over the years I found a small print ad in the local horse publication was one part of the equation, another that worked well for me was a listing under horses in the "free shopper" papers that are delivered to the rural/suburben horses owner. Another part is Vet referrals. Using those methods I had all the business I ever wanted for some 45 years as a full time farrier. Cost is one factor and a very big part. Several years ago I wrote an article "The True Cost of Shoeing A Horse" Those same factors still apply today. Know your cost and price your self so you get a return on investment and a return of your investment. This will set your fee's well above many other farriers.