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do this for trainer or mind my own business?

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  • do this for trainer or mind my own business?

    My kids have started riding a few months ago with a trainer who is relatively new to our area. Trainer is fantastic and we love her. She has ridden under and worked for some of the top BNT's in the country. She is very insightful as a trainer, is a hell of a rider and can make a valuable contribution to the industry in our area. I am not sure if it is because she doesn't want to or doesn't know how to market herself but she does not have her name "out there". There is a need for a trainer of her caliber here and she has few clients while the backyard trainers in the area have more than they can handle.

    I was thinking I would design a website for her (actually started it a few weeks ago) and pay for hosting for a year as a Christmas gift to help get her name out there. DH says maybe there is a reason she does not actively try and solicit clients and I should butt out and get her something else for Christmas. I want her to succeed but don't want to overstep the boundaries as a client. Thoughts?

  • #2
    it's great you are working with such a wonderful trainer! i think helping her promote herself via a website is a fantastic idea, BUT i would run it by her first! while your heart is in the right place, it's easy to do something like this in a way that oversteps boundaries.

    "Hey Ms. Trainer, we love you a lot and think you could be a great asset to the horse community in our area. I would love to help you out by building a website and paying to host it for the first year. Is that something you'd be interested in?"

    i'd use something like this to start the dialogue between the two of you about the site, and hopefully end up with something she's happy with.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    PONY'TUDE

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    • #3
      If you can ask her that would be the best way to know.
      The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
      H. Cate

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      • #4
        Coupon?

        If you want to do it as a gift maybe give her a coupon or a voucher for the service? Then see her reaction and if she ever actually "cashes" it in before you just put the website out there.....

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        • #5
          I would love it if someone did that for me!
          "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
          carolprudm

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by EventingChase View Post
            If you want to do it as a gift maybe give her a coupon or a voucher for the service? Then see her reaction and if she ever actually "cashes" it in before you just put the website out there.....
            I was thinking I would go ahead and finish designing the site (leaving most of the content as "under construction" so she can word things however she would like) and forward it to her before it goes live. Takes the surprise out of it but would give her the ability to approve the whole idea. If she doesn't like it, I still have time get her something else for Christmas!
            Last edited by altereggo; Dec. 9, 2010, 01:34 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by caradino View Post

              "Hey Ms. Trainer, we love you a lot and think you could be a great asset to the horse community in our area. I would love to help you out by building a website and paying to host it for the first year. Is that something you'd be interested in?"
              If it were me, I would remove the part about "helping" her out. That, to me, is a little presumptuous and may make her feel like you don't think she's good enough to promote herself. I think it's a great gift idea, but keep the it a gift and not a help.

              I agree with talking to her first, but I would take a different approach. Something like,

              "Hey Ms. Trainer, I've taken a recent interest in building websites/I'm very savvy with a computer and enjoy making sites/I work in a computer related field (whatever the case may be) and I noticed you don't have a site! I think you're a fantastic trainer and an asset to our community that ought to have a place to promote that. I'd love to build you a site and pay to host it for the year as a Christmas gift to show our appreciation. Is that something you'd be interested in?"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                If it were me, I would remove the part about "helping" her out. That, to me, is a little presumptuous and may make her feel like you don't think she's good enough to promote herself. I think it's a great gift idea, but keep the it a gift and not a help.

                I agree with talking to her first, but I would take a different approach. Something like,

                "Hey Ms. Trainer, I've taken a recent interest in building websites/I'm very savvy with a computer and enjoy making sites/I work in a computer related field (whatever the case may be) and I noticed you don't have a site! I think you're a fantastic trainer and an asset to our community that ought to have a place to promote that. I'd love to build you a site and pay to host it for the year as a Christmas gift to show our appreciation. Is that something you'd be interested in?"
                This sounds great!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd discuss it with her first...hold off on any more website designing etc... and one day after a lesson strike up a conversation w/ her about her as a trainer, her business, and bring up the topic of a website - point blank ask her - do you have a website? For all you know, she could be having a friend, family member or professional be in the process of developing a website for her now...So see what her reaction is, then if she's interested and no one else is in the process of - I personally like the idea of a website gift certificate.. that way she's part of the creative process

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was just given the assignment from school to make a website and decided that making one for my trainer would be a great idea. He had seen a flier for school I made that was related to his farm and was very impressed so had asked me to make him a site. Maybe try something similar with fliers or sale horse ads?
                    Here's the start of the website:
                    www.maddrixstables.weebly.com
                    It only has 2 days of work on it and I still need to switch the domain but it's a start. He loves it so far!

                    ETA: Before actually paying money to start the site maybe try and create it/lay it out on one of the free website makers (like weebly.com) and run it by her first then publish it.

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                    • #11
                      Hey fxhillfarm,

                      Nice website!! know you are only starting the process but I would beef up the trainer's bio some, leave out the high school stuff - maybe say something like grew up in X area and see if you can include more of his career.

                      At any rate - the photos and layout are lovely - Great job... I might see if you can beef mine up sometime!

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                      • #12
                        Thanks gottagrey!

                        I was mainly just focusing on the layout and putting some "filler info" in the text boxes: definitely going to be redoing all of the info after I "interview" the trainer!

                        I would be happy to work on yours, just PM me!

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                        • #13
                          That sounds just fine but I sure would not want to go ahead and buy the site and put her name and business up on the web without running it by her first-especially since she is new to your area.

                          She may have reasons for wanting to stay small-not everbody wants a big teaching/training business and she may wish to remain more private for personal reasons. Or she may not be planning to stay in your area long term.

                          Ask first. You never know. I like the gift certificate idea, let her make the decision to go online.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think it's a really lovely idea and a generous offer. Most trainers have their hands full without thinking about advertising-- even simple stuff like print media.

                            I don't know how you plan to keep the webpage updated. Maybe you need to consider that since this might become a gift with strings attached.

                            If this gets in your way, maybe you can think of a less "high maintenance" advertising project you'd like to do for here?

                            I did this with a one-time "thank you" type ad for a trainer after my last year showing with her in that area. If I were still around, I'd do something like fund a business-card size add in a local publication for 12 months.

                            We can't do everything well, or all by ourselves, so it's nice to have someone offer to help us out! I'm sure your trainer will be pleased.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Have you thought about custom designing business cards for her? I did that for a trainer last year, and it was a big hit. Just a thought...
                              "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Business cards are a great idea and more appropriate for somebody you only have known for a few months.

                                You can add the note you do web design and are willing to offer it at a discount or free....but somebody does need to keep it up at least monthly plus be willing to keep up with the e mail generated off the website at least several times a week if not daily.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                                  I agree with talking to her first, but I would take a different approach. Something like,

                                  "Hey Ms. Trainer, I've taken a recent interest in building websites/I'm very savvy with a computer and enjoy making sites/I work in a computer related field (whatever the case may be) and I noticed you don't have a site! I think you're a fantastic trainer and an asset to our community that ought to have a place to promote that. I'd love to build you a site and pay to host it for the year as a Christmas gift to show our appreciation. Is that something you'd be interested in?"
                                  THIS. I think it's a great idea. OR, perhaps you could design her a business card and give her those, and give her the gift certificate for the website and hosting. You can tell her you already started to put something together, but wanted to be sure she would want that before going any further. Then it would be something you physically give her (cards, and certificate), plus are asking for her input on it. Then it can wait til Christmas.

                                  I think it's a REALLY nice and thoughtful idea, but agree with being sure it's something she wants to do.
                                  Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

                                  http://www.halcyon-hill.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would LOVE if someone did this for me! I keep trying to use a free site to build one, but always end up hitting some kind of road block! lol

                                    Make a temporary site and then run it by her before going totally public. Odds are she'll be loving the offer!
                                    ...for there are wings on these hooves, the speed and power of foam-capped waves...
                                    *~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*
                                    Proud member of the artists clique

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      You can "ask" her without asking her, so as not to spoil the gift.

                                      Try something like, "We are so lucky to have found you. If the community knew about you you'd have more work than you could handle! Are you looking for more clients? You're so skilled." Or something like that, whatever works for the situation.

                                      If she says she has had trouble getting her name out there/finding clients/building a reputation, bingo. If she says she is trying to keep it low profile because she has other obligations like school or something, then it's a no go. I have trained off and on and I always kept just a few clients because I loved it as a hobby, and didn't want to get burned out or let it overtake my college plans. I also preferred direct references rather than advertising because, well, random horse people are sometimes crazy and stressful. :P

                                      This doesn't always work but try to coax it out of her. I do this for regular gifts all the time, to make sure they will be well-received.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The training business can be a bit odd to get started. The most economically robust businesses grow organically, over time. If this trainer is as good as you believe her to be, her business will grow on its own. The strongest base comes not from successful advertising, but from exposure, either first-hand (going to shows), or from popular expression, i.e. word of mouth. So while ramping up a website might help, it might not make any difference at all. Moreover, your trainer may be content with her current level of work. It's a level that she can maintain and live with. Running a professional barn is a lot of work, particularly if you don't have or can't afford help. It's very easy to get overwhelmed when you are just starting out, so a slow start might be just right.

                                        The best present will be to promote her to everyone you see, and speak loudly in public places, like tack shops! If she is doing the barn herself, another priceless gift is to go do the barn work for her once a week for a month! Guarantee these will be muchly appreciated.

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