You’re listening to Episode 26, of The Confident Rider Podcast with Jane Pike.
Hello, fabulous human. Welcome
back to The Confident rider podcast, I get
a lot of emails and messages arriving in my inbox, and more than a good handful of those are
from people with other equestrian businesses, or riders who are wanting to know how it is they
can grow in a professional capacity. Now I’m all for collaboration and lifting each other up, and if
there’s one thing I know, it’s that we need more amazing people out there (like you if you’re one of
these people doing their thing in the whole world). And your thing, you know, it’s not a lot of good
to anyone, if you don’t put yourself out there. Trust me, I know what a tough gig that can be. I
think having your own business and having horses is is pretty much the best personal
development programmes out there. But I don’t want those of you who do have something to
share in a professional capacity hiding behind the mounting book any longer, so I decided to
bring someone in to help out. Today I’m talking with the very lovely Rhea Freeman to do exactly
that- how to supercharge your business and get yourself out there. So here is our conversation all
I am here right now with the fabulous Rhea Freeman who is my friend and also a country and
equestrian business coach. Rhea is an amazing coach and super resource for writers looking to
build their social media following and also for equestrian and country businesses really want to
rock it out there in the world. Thank you so much for joining me today, Rhea!
Well, thank you very much for having me. Not a bad introduction.
Pretty good, hey, pretty good. So do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and and fill in
any gaps that I might have missed in that legendary intro?
I feel that was a really strong intro…
Well, I mean, Jane kind of said all the good bits! So I help small businesses predominantlu in the
equestrian country sector, and I also help a lot of riders with their social media and kind of
promote themselves on a shoestring is kind of my thing. And I also work with two universities, and
a college, where I guest lecture- I do a lot of different things! And I run the Small and
Supercharged Facebook group, a free one, and also a membership group called Small and
Supercharged Mastermind, which is really cool. So I get to work with lots of small businesses, and
also lots of riders in my course and Facebook group called Social Supercharged Riders. I got here
because I- well not literally now, I just walked to the office- but I got here but actually started
working with horses, like properly when I went out of education and was an event groom. And I’m
actually, well, sure my, my qualification lapsed now, but I was actually a qualified riding instructor.
I used to work in riding schools, used to school and ride other people’s horses for them and teach
lessons. But I was always really good at English school- a bit arrogant- but my grades were go od.
Mine too- I mean, frankly, just to add that to the mix. Yeah.
Yeah, that’s great.
I really enjoyed it. I loved writing. So I got the opportunity to write for a magazine about that. And
I think it’s probably like training or stable management or something. And from that, I kind of got
into PR, because businesses saw what I was doing, and I was able to copywrite well, and it just sort
of got out of hand from there really, and that was like 15 years ago, now, the out of hand thing got
out of hand. And in that time, I’ve worked for myself for a long time, I also worked as marketing
manager for one of the biggest equestrian companies, definitely in England, possibly globally, like
big company for 18 months as their marketing manager. But now I have the real privilege of
working with some of my like, dream clients, dream brands in the equestrian country space. I also
work with some incredible riders, including some of the very top of their game. And I’ll say I love
lecturing, which we’ll get to do as a guest, a couple of universities too, so it’s all good. That was
really long sorry, really long!
No, that’s fabulous. I love detail! I’m the girl for the detail. So there’s two things within the
magnificence of everything you’re able to offer that I wanted to talk about, because one of the
messages that ping into my inbox regularly are from other people who are starting their own
equestrian business, or who have started their own equestrian business or country business and
are struggling a little bit, and are wondering how to get it all going on, basically. So how to
negotiate social media, like what it is that they need. And I think when you start out, it can be
overwhelming considering social media as a whole. So if we were to take it from the top and
consider these types of messages, what do you in your opinion seems to be like the important
things to consider when it when you’re getting started and putting yourself out there?
I think the first thing is you’ve just got to start, like we are so much about, it is the right place, is it
this, is it that. And obviously they’re kind of talking about in the large sense of what is, and you
can probably do it in the completely wrong way. But if you kind of get I don’t want to do
Facebook, Instagram, this, the other, just pick one – and if you’ve made the wrong choice, at least
you are doing something.Yeah, and a lot of it actually transferable between the two, well, two,
three, four, whatever. In terms of if you’re looking at what social media platforms to start on, you
want to think about your demographic. So who is interested in what you’re going to talk about,
cos each of the social media platforms have got key demographics, in terms of who uses them,
their age range, male / female split, loads of different things. You can look at those and have your
kind of best guess.
Also, which platform you understand the most, because if- I think a lot of people, a lot of people’s
target market has a crossover with them. And if they are really, really proficient on Facebook, and
they really get Facebook on, and they love Facebook, but they decided they have to be on
Instagram. But really make sure that the right choice, don’t feel you have to do because it’s the
current trend, you know, is Instagram. Now, Instagram and Facebook are the two that I would
recommend for people just because the sheer size of the following and the sheer size of the
monthly active users on each is really considerable. Yeah. But you know, it may be your stressing,
you should also be on Tiktok and Snapchat and Twitter and you could list the social media
platforms. Don’t get bogged down in it. Each one has got a specific skill set. So pick one and just
start and accept that when you start, you’re probably going to be a bit rubbish at it. That’s just
part of it, you’re not going to start here, you can do all the courses, you can watch all the YouTube
videos, you can do all the reading. But I think as we all know, with everything, the theory of
something is brilliant. But when you start to apply it, it’s different. The theories really strong, it’s
important to have that grounding, but the way you get that kind of real life experience is by doing
it and you just accept that when you start, it’s not going to be perfect, but at least you’ve started
and you’re lapping everybody else. So I think pick one thing and have a go and take it seriously
be consistent show up, look to improve, like really take it on as a project and be prepared, it’s
gonna take a while these things don’t just happen overnight. You don’t go, oh right, I want to be
an Instagram sensation, so snap your fingers on there, you have to keep showing up even when
you don’t think anyone’s watching, you have to keep going.
That consistency I think is key. Like really, what is kind of a fascination to me is, and I don’t know if
this comes from the culture of social media generally, but it is a slow burning game to really
create a business that’s sustainable, and you need to be able to show up on a regular basis for a
considerable amount of time, almost before you can expect anything back I think. Like it’s like
what…the focus is the other way around to perhaps where we start where we think about how
we’re going to get people in how can we do this? And actually, it’s more about what can I give
people first, like tjat was definitely what helped me think about things in a more objective way.
You may have heard of Gary Vaynerchuk if you’re a bit of a self development geek like myself, he
has a book which I have got behind me called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, and it’s not about
boxing, but the jabbing is your, you know, the small things that you’re doing, and the right hook is
when you would like, land the sale, or you make the big ask. As the title says it’s a lot more jabs
there than right hooks and it we need to give a lot more than we take on social. It’s not about buy
this, buy this, buy this, do this do this do this is what what can I give? How can I help? Yeah, and
actually it’s best form of advertising because you’re sharing your expertise. You’re helping people
but you’re doing it in a way that is- it supports your knowledge and shows your kind of zone of
genius or whatever you call it, but it’s in a way that’s really helpful to your community.
And that’s only go to serve you well.
yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that, you know, when it comes to the mindset of it, as
well, because this is such an important element that catches people out-
…what I see is all of these amazing people and products and ideas, and they’re afraid to put
themselves out there or to really show what it is that they’ve got. So in terms of visibility, and I
know that we’ve touched on this in what it is that you just said like what- what do you consider to
be really important aspects of that side of things? Like is video really important? Or is it okay to
stick with just the written medium? Or what do you recommend people get get into?
Well, video, any kind of, if you if you’re boring, like my good self, and look at all the kind of stats
and reports and predictions, video is on like a massive climb, and it’s due to be I’m not going to
quote the stats cos I’m gonna get it wrong. But it’s, you know, I think you knoe, in two years time,
it’s like, Okay, let’s try with the stats, some 80% or something over online- how did they word itso
the media you consume online could well be video, I feel like I’m really botched that figure. But
it’s a phenomenal amount, when you look at…. you think… but actually, if you think if you think
about a little bit deeper, you know, the hours and the watch time on things like YouTube are just
insane. The amount of hours of footage that people uploading, that they watch is insane.
Facebook videos, because you can have them natively and they beautifully autoplay and you can
have subtitles on, I’ll get sucked into a Facebook video much more than I will a Facebook video is
likely to stop me scrolling much more than like a text post, they don’t even really figure on my
scrolling brain. A nice image will make me stop. But I think showing up and getting your face out
there, especially if you are say a personal brands and it’s just such an overlap now, but if you’re a
brand selling something and it’s your voice behind it, you’re not massive part of a massive
company and the company’s got its own voice. If you’re a small business, you need to get your
actual self out there, like your actual face, your actual voice, your actual image on pictures. And
video is really important.
Getting your face out there is really, really important. I know that for some it’s a massive thing to
do that. And I have to say that I hate having my picture taken. And I’m not massively confident on
video, I just do it because I know, it’s, I know it’s important. Now I can happily pull my appearance
apart for days, but it’s not going to help anybody. And whilst I think I should have done x, y, and z
and I really need to sleep more, and I really need some eye cream, and I need to work out how to
use makeup, I don’t think anyone else thinks that, and more than that, the people who are my
people, it doesn’t even figure on their agenda. Yeah, yeah. And that’s all I’m after.
It’s interesting, because when I started, I had this idea of what it meant and look like to be
professional. And I didn’t have myself anywhere on my stuff. Like for me, it was like this facade of
what I thought people wanted to see – this is years and years ago. And now I don’t even know how
I came up with content or connected with people through that medium, because it’s all about
documenting and sharing my journey and where it is I’m at, and how that relates to my business
also. And that connection is is key, I think because people need to know who you are and what it
is who it is they’re buying from. And, you know, and be attached to that as much as perhaps what
it is that you’re offering.
I think it also allows people the chance to connect with you on a different level. Yeah, so I did a
podcast a few weeks ago about how to kind of juggle it all. And I didn’t want to do it. Because I’m
really not an authority on this. I’m just winging it, like the rest of us. I have got some- days go well,
and I don’t quite know what’s happened, and other days is just a disaster. I shared some of my
tips on this podcast, stuff that I feel has helped me. And I’ve had people like asking me about slow
cooker recipes, because one of my things was, you know, just like meal planning, because it’s just
to ease the pressure of you, and I love the slow cooker. It’s like my best friend. And I have people
connecting with me about me about slow cooker recipes, which I love, because it really is a game
changer. But if I was worried about showing me and my slightly dysfunctional life, I wouldn’t have
shared that. And actually not only something quite fun. So people go ‘oh, I’m going to try it! What
should I do? I have people tagginfg pictures of their slow cooker- not even joking, I’m flipping love.
But it’s actually made a real difference to them. Yeah, made them feel like, actually, if they make
a few little changes, it’s not going to be putting food in a slow cooker isn’t gonna like changing
the world. But it might actually help with their life.
I disagree. I think putting things in a slow cooker can change your world, if at the end of the day
you have dinner. It is phenomenal. It’s interesting, though, because we have this deluded idea or
create this deluded idea about ourselves, when we see other people in inverted commas doing
what it is that we’d like to be doing or are doing, that somehow everything’s going great for them,
and it’s super easy, and they’ve got it all together, and we haven’t and I know, I’ll link to the
podcast that you mentioned as well in the show notes, but I did a podcast a couple of weeks ago
about returning to riding after having a baby. And I talked with two friends of mine who’ve had
babies and have been kind of negotiating that territory, and just how hard it is like, it’s really hard.
Like it’s hard even when they’re young, let alone when they’re a baby. And as mothers and
women, we can get this delusional idea that we’re the only ones that feel this way. And I think with
what you described with business, like just recognising that, no, right? Like we are all in the same
boat like this is tough for all of us. And and this is how I’m kind of moving my way through this.
That’s a real liberation in and of itself.
It is, and I think as well, when you to talk about putting yourself out there and feeling that kind of
feeling, you think, what if people don’t think l know what I’m doing? Well, to be honesy, if peopled
don’t think I don’t know what I’m doing about life, I’m alright with that. I know what my skills are.
And I think anyone you speak to who’s a parent, who’s got all the plates spinning, they’re in the
same boat. And by just sharing that and going Yes, really hard, isn’t it? Everyone kind of goes, it
really is! No let’s crack on, rather than, is there a magical trick that I am missing? Because you
know, everyone else finds it so easy. No. Yeah.
And I think that as a business, I feel quite passionate about this or just as a as a human being, we
have a responsibility as well to share the reality of the situation, because when we’re- all of us are
constantly perpetuating this false idea about what’s going on, then we do sort of turn in on
ourselves, you know, with women that perhaps you have these beautiful Instagram feeds and the
children are all looking perfect and dinners’s Instagram worthy, and then they say that they don’t
have help behind the scenes. It’s like really like, is that actually what’s going on? You know, and I
know that’s a sort of a slightly paralleled example. But…
Yes, I know what you mean. I’ve seen pictures before and I’ve thought, you know, immaculately
dressed little boys in like, white. And, well
I know you’ve got little boys as well, but honestly, my kids can between the car and house, they
can just attract a world of mud. And I’m just, I don’t even know how it’s happened sometimes. I get
them to nursery and I’m like, how are you that dirty?
I actually messaged my littlest boys, his kindy teacher or nursery teacher and said, you know, I do
try to put him in a different pair of pants each morning, but he insists on wearing these unicorn
trousers that we bought. We don’t have any problem with toxic masculinity in our household. He
insists on wearing these unicorn pants every day, and literally unless I managed to like snaffle
them off him at night and put them in the wash, they are rolling out on a fairly consistent basis.
And I just wanted her to know he does have other clothes. I have tried to get other clothes on him.
But it hasn’t worked so far.
Although if I had unicorn trousers, I probably would just wear them all the time.
Feeling it as well, feeling it as well. Yeah. Yeah, they do have like a glittery horn as as well, which
seals the deal for me. Yeah.
Right. We need pictures of those please?
There will be pictures abounding, I will get pictures. I will see if he will model them.
Brilliant. Thank you. I look forward to that.
How did I get on to unicorn pants anyway?
How could you now? It’d be a disservice to everybody if you hadn’t.
So true. So true. So switching around then because, you have a new course or relatively new
course out called social, so Social Supercharge for Riders. And I have a lot of Riders that I work
with both professional and aspiring competitive rider who are wanting to make riding their thing,
you know, or more of their thing. And I think we really can’t deny the power of the internet and
social media, all that side of things in not only establishing credibility, but maybe when it comes
to looking for brand sponsorships or owners or you know, creating partnerships that really allow
you to do what you love and make money at the same time. Is that what this course is about? Or
can you tell us a little bit about that and and speak speak to that?
Yeah, I think you summed up quite well, really. So the whole point of the course is to help riders
kind of attract what they want from social media. But in doing I think this is the tricky thing,
people that what does it do? Does it just tell you how to use social media? Well, kind of not. And
kind of as in, it’s broken into three sections. The first one is all about content ideas. So we look
really closely at some ideas. And I mean, some there’s a lot to a significant section of different
ways that you can create content when you’re on the go. Things you can do, ways you can
document what you’re doing, and just getting people into a different kind of frame of mind as to
how they can contribute the social media conversation, because so many Riders I work with a
really busy, like, I’ve never known a rider that isn’t busy. And I’m going to I don’t have time to do it.
Well, everyone has got time to do stuff that they need to do. And I really see in my business, social
media is a non negotiable, like it is the best marketing activity I do. And if you are wanting to
attract anything from social media, do you want to build your own personal brand, sponsorships,
brand ambassadorship, even owners, if you’re at that level, you need to put the time into
marketing yourself and getting yourself out there.
And riders are generally- there are some amazing examples who are actually nailing it- but
generally, this is not a strong area for riders. But what I’m really keen to show through the course
is that not only can it be a strong area, not only will it really help you attract whatever you want
to from social media, but it’s so so achievable, and so, so doable. And I feel like this is a kind of
blueprint for how to do it. So there’s lots of content ideas, there’s lots of ways that you can then
use that content, you know, really specific, and then also ways that you can kind of boost it even
more and really, really make what you do work really hard for you. And it’s really good. It’s I’m
really proud of it, I would be obviously, but I’ve had people who have gone on the course and
have you know, within days of doing it said, actually I tried something different, and I’m now
working with brands that I love. And that that genuinely happened. It was someone who’s been
using products, loves the products that they’re using, and just started doing a few of the things
that we’ve discussed in the course, and now they’re working with them in the more formal way.
Because the foundation blocks were in place. Yeah, they love the products. And that’s like that I
talked about in the course as well. They do kind of all the stepping stones were there, but the
course was the thing that actually linked them all together, and made it work for them. Because I
think I mean, I know with my brands, I work with small businesses as well as riders, my brands I
work with get so many messages like DM’s, particularly, will you sponsor me? Will you sponsor
me? Will you sponsor me?
And it drives me mad. Because if you actually click on their account, there is nothing sponsor
worthy there, there is nothing brand ambassador worthy there, they have got, I’m not- the size of
following is obviously something that one looks at, because you just do. But when you look at the
engagement, the quality, the imagery, the captions, the consistency, there’s nothing there that’s
investable. And it makes me sad, really, because you think that some of these people could have
amazing potential, but their just shafting themselves, whenever they possibly can. And I’m
actually just adding another section now about how to approach brands to work with them. And
what brands look for- I’m speaking to some of the brands that I work with, and getting that inside
scoop, because when you put all these things in place, it’s also that confidence to go, actually, I’ve
got I’ve got something really good here. This is how we can work together. This is what I’m
proposing to do. And coming up with actually a plan because brands and brands don’t work with
owners. Sorry, brands don’t work with Riders just for kicks. Yeah, they think that going back from
it? Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. If you’ve got a horse that you think is going to go places, you’re not just
going to give it to it any random rider, you’re going to give it to somebody who is showing what
you want. And hopefully the course helps to link all thattogether. I mean, it has done it has proven
itself. But that’s what that’s what the whole course is about. Really, it’s I think that such an
untapped resource. I think it’s one that as riders, we need to really upon game.
Yeah. And it’s interesting, you know, just thinking of things from the other side of the coin, like you
say, with businesses. I have been approached for sponsorships many, many times. But also, I
know, friends of mine with more product based businesses get approached as well. And I think
there can be this idea of unlimited resources coming from the business side. But often, if you’re
not part of a big company, and you are a small business, the bottom line can be fairly narrow
between you know, profit and what it is that you’re putting in. And there is actually a significant
investment on the side of the business to be able to support a rider and give them live free
products or discounted products and and coming from the position of what is it that I can offer
this person as opposed to what is it that they’re going to give me is, is really important, I think
and respectful of the amount of time and energy that goes on from the other side to. It’s such a
valuable conversation. So if there is, say there’s a rider out there listening right now, what do you
consider, what do you consider to be the non negotiable elements of getting started in this area?
Do they need a website? Do they need just social media? Like what’s your opinion?
I’d love them to have a website, and I’d love them to have social media. I say this because we
don’t own social media. I’m not Mark Zuckerberg, sadly.
Or happily. Happily Yeah, whichever way you want to look at it. And if you’re listening, Mark, well
done you. Although I doubt he’s listening.
But absolute respect. No doubt he does listen to this podcast, Rhea, no doubt.
Call in next time Mark, screenshot us!
Yeah, yeah, we’ll happily chat.
But if they change it, if if Facebook changes their algorithm, if Instagram, puts some random thing
in place, that means that our content gets like no reach or less reach, and we don’t have our own
online hub. I feel that’s quite a vulnerable position, especially as a business. If your business, yes,
please God, have a website, please get a website doesn’t have anything fancy. It can be a free
WordPress website on a free template that you customise. But get your own online home, your
online hub. If you’re a rider, I’d also like you to have your own website. But it can be like a really
basic, one page free WordPress website with just who you are what you do horses, sponsors,
social links. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive at all.
And I’m really not an advocate for that, especially as it needed to be, you know, if you’ve got a
big e commerce platform and things like that, it really matters that your website works and it has
to have an amazing user experience, etc, etc. Obviously, put the money towards it. But for most
people, especially people starting out, you can do a lot for free. Yeah, I mean, it used to be that
websites were like, thousands of dollars, and now they’re fully function. Exactly, ya know, it used
to be that crazy money. I mean, what my websites built on a WordPress template. Admittedly, I
did pay for someone to customise their. But actually now with what I know, now, I could do not as
good a job but a decent job. I think the template was like $65, or something, it was not silly
money, it’s very doable, it’s really doable. So I would definitely recommend getting a website,
even just like a basic one.
But then social media, you’ve got to, you’ve just got to be in that, you’ve got to be in the arena.
And I basically recommend to everybody, Facebook, and Instagram because they are the
biggest. If you’re really into obviously, like blogging and videos, YouTube as well is a serious
consideration. And there are lots of other social media platforms. And if, as we said at the start,
your demographic perfectly matches if you’ve got a younger audience and maybe Snapchats,
one that you really need to focus on really concentrate in on. But generally a lot of people in a lot
of the demographics, a lot of the groups are on both Facebook and Instagram. In a perfect world,
I’d go for those three, but then just, you know, deflect your energy between the between the three,
I mean, you can spend a few hours and getting yourself a basic website and to be honest, if you’re
not into it, and that’s all you want to put a lot of energy into, at least you’ve got it there. And then
you can work on the stuff that you you are happy to work on at least if you’ve got the links from
your website to your social media platforms, you’ll help you to kind of fuel that as well.
Yeah, absolutely. I think you get I know from experience that when I started out I can be super
overwhelming to think of how to create content for all of those platforms, but
get into your groove after a while and the more ideas you think of, the more ideas you think of
when it becomes quite the practice and a habit to put it out there. But as well like you say you can
cross pollinate between a lot of platforms so you don’t have to make three videos, you can use
one video that will go on each of those places. And so it’s sort of getting smart about how you’re
producing content as well as opposed to thinking you need to be sort of chained to the machine
Definitely, and repurposing as well, as to say what you can put one video in three different places-
I might just stagger the release times- or you could chop your video into small bits as well and
have like little micro videos that could go on things like Instagram storeys but have the longest
thing in IGTV and also post that on Facebook and it’s the same content you presented in the
native way on each of the platforms at a slightly different time.
So true, that’s so interesting. So if people are like oh my goodness I need to get more Rhea
Freeman action for my business or I want to do the Social Supercharged Course, where can they
Well my website is www.rheafreemanpr.co.uk and on there there’s a work with me one and in
there’s the Social Supercharged Riders, but probably the easiest thing to do is DM me. I’m on
Instagram @rheafreemanpr, and that’s probably the best place because DM’s seem to work so
much better than Facebook message on pages. I don’t know if you feel the same?
Yeah, it’s a little clunky! Yeah, but oh well, that’s interesting. But so I’d probably DM me there or
email me firstname.lastname@example.org,uk. There’s also the free Small and Supercharged group, which
riders as well as businesses can join us if you just search Small and Supercharged, I’m usually
hanging out there, so that’s a good place to join too.
Perfect. And I can link to all of these places in the show notes as well and repeat them for you
thank you so much, Rhea, That was fabulous.
Thank you so much for having me on the podcast.
Such a fun time, unicorn pants and all. Those links again for you- if you want to catch her yet you
can find her at rheafreemanpr.co.uk. or in her Small and Supercharged Facebook group. If it’s me
you’re after my website is confidentrider.online and all of the details about JoyRide, my online
programme are there also. Thank you again for hanging out, I’m looking forward to chatting
again with you next week, so I’ll catch you on the flip side