I've not done much advertising for my barn. My clients have been mostly word of mouth which has worked quite well, but there's room for growth and expansion. I have designed a website which still needs some tweaking and have the opportunity to have a few ads placed in show programs. As a prospective client, what would you like to see in an ad for a retirement/layup barn? Thanks.
This really saves you and retirement farm shoppers a whole lot of time.
It also tells me a lot about the farm. If they want too much money, I know I must look elsewhere. If they want too little, I know the lovely prose about individualized care won't pan out.
Look around at your competitors' websites for an idea. I found Paradigm Farm's page to supply the info I wanted. There, and via their blog page, you can learn a great deal about their operation. Those pages include everything from photos during all four seasons and resident horses whose appearance shows you what the farm owner considers "retired but healthy," to the farm owners' philosophy about older horses' care and questions about quality of life versus euthanasia, and their policies about visiting and owner involvement.
Farm owners who e-mail pictures or videos of clients' horses are great. But I also want to know that I can show up-- just about whenever-- and see my horse in person. If you are into that, let people know. I think it helps establish your operation as "on the up and up" precisely because you expect owners to stay concerned and involved to the extent they wish.
Definitely agree with the rate sheet idea, even if it's just a basic rate and it's indicated that a horse's more individualized care will add costs. I'd like to know the ballpark figure at the very least.
Visitation policy too - can I drop in any time (during open hours, not at night obviously) or do I have to make an appointment? The turnout policy - large group, small groups? Single-sex or mixed?
For a half page ad I would want a photo or two, the web site address, a summary of servies offered, contact information and maybe a testimonial or two if they are short and from well known people in your area.