Integrating Offline and Online Branding

Are there offline opportunities to explore when promoting your hunting business?

Jack Daniels Nascar

Image courtesy of pocketwiley

These days there is a lot of focus going towards branding and growing a business via online methods: PPC, Affiliates, SEO, Blogger Outreach, Social Channels (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and many others. These methods all make great sense. The Internet has allowed people and business to connect and communicate in ways that have added value to relationships. Information is spread with little barrier. People are more connected and better educated. The Internet has been good for both business and consumer.

But are offline branding strategies being overlooked when it comes to marketing?

Offline Branding

Creating offline branding strategies can be a great way to enhance your online strategies or the offline branding you work towards can do fine on its own.

The world is moving toward a more connected, more online way of business. Smart business folks will want to stay on the cutting edge of information when it comes to new, online ways of connecting with customers and building trust.

However, there are still ways to connect and acquire customers offline that provide more return on investment than the current online methods.

An example of offline branding that reaches to a specific audience is the Native Hunt Racecar Sponsorship effort.

The Native Hunt Team is focusing on building awareness for their brand of outfitting while building business relationships that can lead to acquiring new customers while building trust to maintain their current customers. Native Hunt realizes that there is a significant portion of their target audience that is responding more to offline branding than to online. Native Hunt does a good job of integrating the two (their website URL on the car), but more on that below.

Some other examples of offline branding that may work for your business include:

  • Catalogs
  • Package Inserts
  • Postcards
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Fliers or other Printed Handouts

Industry Shows (These are still huge and great for connecting with customers and businesses)

Online Branding

The Web has allowed companies to do great things in their branding efforts with consumers.

Larger companies and companies focused on growth have ventured into many of the paid opportunities available on the Web. Services like Google AdWords offers targeted paid advertising that offers high return on investment. Companies looking for a variety of results (sales, branding, awareness, etc.) can find success with the paid branding opportunities available online.

Sponsorships, contest participation, and product reviews are just a few of the other ways companies have successfully taken advantage of the online branding opportunities. With the increase in available communication channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., there are an ever increasing number of resources available for increasing branding online.

Integrating Offline and Online Branding

When it comes to branding, companies often separate online and offline activities. This is usually a mistake since there is more benefit and return to be had by those that plan and integrate all branding initiatives.

Back to the Native Hunt example mentioned above. Native Hunt used their resources to sponsor a racecar. This was a great way to share the branding message of Native Hunt: Guided Hunts & Wildlife Tours. However, Native Hunt didn’t stop at simply including their logo and brand message. Native Hunt included their Website URL. This is an often used method for businesses that have more information and chances for engagement on their Website to increase the awareness of the Website.

Being seen more frequently today are TV ads for Twitter and Facebook pages. Large and small companies are going to where their customers are and building networks of followers. With these followers, companies are increasing the value of the connection and increasing sales. Companies are understanding that to penetrate an existing audience like the one on Facebook, they need to increase their clout on their Facebook page by gaining followers and then work to move those followers off the site to purchase (perhaps in the future customers will be able to purchase right on Facebook).

Integrating isn’t just for large companies.

Companies of all sizes can integrate their branding activities to increase awareness of communication channels. You can even integrate offline efforts with other offline efforts (postcard and catalog) and online with online (Facebook with Email).

If you have fans on Facebook, try to capture their attention for an email newsletter. Perhaps the email newsletter is a better driver for sales at your business. Most folks are apt to use email and once you have a fan captured on Facebook you want to continue adding value to their lives via your Facebook page while working to convert that fan to a customer via your channels that convert well.


Integrating is an important part of a successful company.

Find where you customers are spending their time, work to capture their attention on those channels by adding value, and then capture their attention via high converting channels. By increasing your clout across all communication channels – offline and online – you can increase the brand awareness for your company while increasing sales.

What are your thoughts on branding and integration?

Have you done anything of this sort with your company already? Please share in the comments.

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The Redesigned Outdoor Channel Website

Taking video to a new level of engagement

The New Outdoor Channel Website

Recently, I was watching videos on the Bulls and Beavers You Tube channel and I came across one with Todd Birkholz of The Outdoor Channel. Chris Burget of Bulls and Beavers is doing a quick interview with Todd as he presents The Outdoor Channel with a Best of the Best Award from Bulls and Beavers.

Toward the end of the video, Todd mentions the newly redesigned Website and how the wonderful content makes the online world one of the best of the best for hunters using the Web. The video as Todd describes is now available extensively on the new site (over 130 show pages with 50 state pages) so visitors can increase the value they receive from The Outdoor Channel. It’s a great strategy for The Outdoor Channel to improve their customers’ experience while increasing traffic and advertising revenue.

Let’s take a closer look at the newly redesigned site…

Online Video

The Outdoor Channel has always had some of the best video content available on their television channel so it makes sense that they highlight video content on their Website.

The presentation of the video player on the site is unique to The Outdoor Channel. The players sits on the right side of the page while there is a promotional area to the left that displays a rotating presentation of other channels. It’s a good setup to present the video content the visitors have chosen to view while cross promoting the other content on the site.

The full screen option has a clever design as well showcasing the other video content at the bottom of the screen for a brief second before it collapses so the viewer can view a true full screen of the video they’ve chosen.

An important aspect of the site to note is that there is some text content on each page to attract search engines. While search engines are getting better at crawling video and imagery on sites, they still need text to be able to determine what a site and page are about so they can return relevant results to their users.

Having detailed descriptions is a crucial element to have on your site if you’re going to utilize video.

Personalities and Branding

Outdoor Channel Personalities

The Outdoor Channel Personalities page is an example of a great way to organize content on a site.

Fans connect with and seek content from their favorite personalities and providing them with a way to access their favorites within a few clicks enhances user experience while increasing loyalty.

Once a visitor clicks on their favorite personality (or perhaps one they are curious about) they are taken to a page dedicated to personality. The pages are full of great bios, descriptions and of course great video clips.

Greg Miller In Pursuit

On each personality page, fans can connect with their favorite outdoor folks on Facebook or write comments on the Outdoor Channel page.

Each show on the channel has its own page on the site. This gives fans of individual shows access to exclusive content they can’t find anywhere else. There are video clips, photos, and other content to keep fans occupied while spending time on the site.

Greg Miller In Pursuit Show Page


With My Outdoor Channel, The Outdoor Channel has allowed their audience to build user generated content around the passions users share for the outdoors as well as for the content on The Outdoor Channel TV channel and the Website.

My Outdoor TV

I’m a big fan of hunting pictures, so the my outdoor channel photo gallery is wonderful to see.

My Outdoor Channel is a lot like MySpace and other social networking sites in that it allows users to keep profiles, find friends, post videos and photos, write blogs, and interact in other ways that connect people around their passion for the outdoors and The Outdoor Channel.

Monetizing Online Content

As with their TV strategy, it appears The Outdoor Channel is utilizing sponsorships and advertising to generate income from their site.

As the site continues adding video clips and more features that increase viewings and page views, they’ll see an increase in revenue as brands look to connect with their target audience that is viewing content on The Outdoor Channel.

Also available on the site are DVDs of popular shows on The Outdoor Channel. This is a strategy that seems to make sense as fans of the personalities and shows look to have hard, physical copies of their favorites at home for their viewing anytime they want.

Outdoor Channel DVDs

The Outdoor Channel DVDs

Possible Future Strategies

Entire Show Videos

Since The Outdoor Channel is focusing on ad revenue for their site, it’s important to increase the metrics that advertisers look for when determining where to spend their money. Advertisers are looking for branding opportunities and direct sales conversions for the companies.

From what I can see right now, it appears there are only clips of shows and videos on the site. This leaves viewers to subscribe to satellite or cable to view the entire shows on the television channel when the shows are scheduled (or on DVR at their viewing pleasures…which allows people to skip commercials).

It seems like it would be beneficial for The Outdoor Channel to test showing entire show videos on their site. They could break the videos up into segments to allow for advertising videos in between segments. There are other creative ways to implement successful and relevant advertising into clips and entire show videos as well.

Since viewers may not be able to see their favorites shows on TV each week they may be missing out and advertisers on the TV channel may be missing out on impressions. By allowing viewers to see shows on the site, The Outdoor Channel could increase traffic to the site while providing value to their customers giving visitors reason to repeatedly visit the site while increasing time on the site and traffic.


As a way to increase the text content on the site, The Outdoor Channel has the resources to put together an awesome blog for their followers.

Staff members could highlight videos on the site and write about what’s happening with the content on the site and the video on the TV channel. People like Todd could write about updates to the site’s features.

I like what the staff is doing with the CMT Blog. This could be a potential model to follow.

CMT Blog

There is potentially room to have the TV stars write posts and provide updates on their shows and what they’re seeing in the hunting world. Even if it was once a month or so, the content would add up and visitors would love it and keep coming to the site for updates.

Search engines love text content that is updated frequently and a blog seems like a perfect addition to the site.

The more content and page son the site would only increase page views, which means stronger metrics to entice relevant advertisers.


The Outdoor Channel’s new site is wonderful. There is a ton of great video content on the site for visitors to view and interact with. The way the content is displayed makes it easy for visitors to take in the video content and to share the content with their hunting buddies.

What are your thoughts on the newly redesigned Outdoor Channel Website?

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How Influence Shapes Your Marketing Strategy

The people that influence you affect the way you perform marketing

Think of the folks in your life that most influence your decisions.

Who comes to mind?


Older siblings?

A star athlete?

Your boss or mentor?

There are lots of people that influence the way we are, the way we lives our lives, and the decisions we make – professionally and personally. The people we look up to as role models are typically the same people who inspire us to succeed and do good in the world.

Let’s take a closer look at the impact of influencers in our marketing lives…

The Origin of Influence

While I was growing up the people that influenced my life the most were typically older brothers of friends, professional athletes, and men in my family (not my Dad in my younger years since immature kids typically don’t look to their Dad for influence).

As I grew up, the people I looked to for guidance changed to more meaningful influencers. These were people such as my Dad, business leaders I both knew and didn’t know, and a few actors and musical artists.

Looking to my Dad for personal advice and insight seems to make sense since he was very successful at being a father.

Looking to business leaders for insight into business success makes sense for me since my long-term goal is to become successful in all aspects of entrepreneurship.

The Sociology of Influence

It’s logical for people to take inspiration from those that are successful in the fields we want to be successful in ourselves.

Those that are driven to succeed in their professional lives in various fields will seek out the insight of successful people in the same industry. It’s common for influence to come from the leaders we work with at our daily jobs. These folks are successful and are usually willing to comment on their own path of success. Seek out the most articulate leaders you work with directly and ask for their continuing stories of what it takes to become successful in your chosen field. It’s likely these folks will still be driven to a higher level of success and they may even discredit the amount of success they have had up to the current point in their professional lives.

In today’s world of information, there is a easier access to the success stories and blueprints with the Web.

Business leaders often have their stories published online. Some leaders maintain their own blog where they share their insight on a regular basis.

It’s easy to find interviews with influential business leaders with a simple search. Favorites quotes from interviews and articles can often provide the inspiration to take our own success to the next level.

There are sites dedicated to finding the best of Inspirational and Motivational Quotes and using images to share their meaning: Slice Quotes.

In a connected world, influence is infinitely available.

The trick is filtering out the noise while paying attention to the people and insight that can have the most impact.

How Influence Shapes Marketing Strategy

Something I struggle with almost daily is the balance of Influence and Marketing Strategy.

I read hundreds of blogs and articles each week. I like reading about marketing strategy as it relates to direct marketing.

I work both in the direct to consumer marketing industry as well as in the business to business industry. It’s even difficult to understand the various needs and wants of each type of customers (consumers and businesses).

The insights I read from business leaders that blog do shape my marketing strategies and decisions. I look for case studies and examples of success in various industries and try to relate the stories to strategies I can utilize for my own growth as a business professional.

I think the most important thing to note about influence is that all actions should revolve around focused strategies.

I’ve done things in the past where I’ve read something insightful in a blog post from a marketing industry leader and have jumped right into implementing the strategy. Sometimes it’s worked and other times it hasn’t.

There is nothing wrong with experimenting and I think it can actually be positive. But to save time and effort, I’ve found much better and more effective (and efficient) success by always asking the question: How does this influential insight relate to the overall marketing strategy?

Having the focus on the defined marketing strategy has allowed for more growth and impact on the businesses I’m involved with.

Influence has been great for me and I continue to seek out the advice and insight of the leaders in the world. Having a focused strategy and vision has allowed me to better utilize the influences in my life.

Suggestions for Influence

Here are a few suggestions for seeking influence and using it to further your strategies and visions:

  • Seek influence from family and friends
  • Seek influence from industry leaders
  • Recognize influence from unexpected sources
  • Form strategies
  • Apply relevant insight to your business strategy

Influential People in My Life

  • Parents
  • Uncles
  • Business associates
  • Co-workers
  • Marketing leaders (typically those that blog)
  • Successful CEOs and business owners
  • Experiment

Who are the influential people in your life?

Have the people with the most influence on your life changed over time?

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Your Business Needs to be More Like Coffee

Coffee kick starts the morning for most people in the world

“Each year some 7 million tons of green beans are produced worldwide. Most of which is handpicked.” Coffee Statistics

People love coffee. There wouldn’t be a demand for people to handpick millions of tons of coffee each year if there wasn’t a strong demand for the little beans that turn morning zombies into day workers, artists, bloggers, and innovators.

Without coffee in the morning there would be a lot of people struggling to wake up and commit to working on the things they love.

Somehow, over many centuries, coffee has become a ritual. The ritual knows few boundaries including ethnic, geographic, or demographic. The power of coffee as a product is its ability to become part of people’s routines.

When mornings begin, coffee is often the first thing people think about.

So the question is…

What makes your product as necessary to the daily lives of your audience as coffee?

Asking yourself what makes your product or service like coffee is simply a way of restating the ‘So what?’ question each entrepreneur needs to ask themselves at some point.

What about your product is going to make people think about reading your insights and observations all the time?

What is going to make people think about you and your business when they come across a problem in their life?

When people are frustrated with aspects of their lives they look to sources of insight and innovation for answers. Companies often fill the void left by frustration by having a proven track record of creating products and services that add value to the lives of consumers.

How can your company be a company that answers the frustrations of consumers?

Finding Frustrations

When a passionate hunter wakes up in the early morning of the archery deer season and heads to the woods only to miss on a shot at a trophy buck, he’ll often look for answers as to why he missed?

Did the arrow come off the rest?

Was the draw length not set properly?

Was the trophy further away than originally thought? Was it closer?

Did the sight come loose sometime in the ATV ride to the truck?

Could there have been better preparation?

Frustrations lead to questions about all aspects of our daily lives. When companies are able to answer the frustrations of target customers they have formed a profitable connection.

Answering Frustrations

When people needed an arrow rest to hold their arrows in place no matter what the condition or situation, the innovators at Trophy Ridge came along with the Whisker Biscuit as the answer to the frustration.

With effective marketing and positive reaction to the Whisker Biscuit, hunters began waking up each morning feeling like they needed to have a Whisker Biscuit on their bow in order to successfully harvest trophy game.

Just as people need coffee before they can be successful each morning, hunters felt the need to have a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest in order to be best prepared for any situation required to harvest their trophy of a lifetime.

Convincing Consumers

Once you have successfully found a frustration and found a way to product a product that answers your customers’ frustration, the next step is convincing your customer that you are here to add value to their lives.

In its original form, coffee is bitter, black, and unappealing.

What would make a person believe that consuming a hot, black liquid each morning would somehow give them energy to perform?

Over time, people were convinced by marketers, friends, and family to consume coffee. And as each person tried the wondrous brew they became convinced of its power to transform them into super humans.

You need to show your target audience that your product has the ability to make them super human.

Reach out to the influential people in your target audience and get in their heads. Ask them questions about their frustrations. Innovate and test products that attempt to solve their frustrations. Ask for feedback and once you’ve convinced them that you have helped to make them superhuman, use the relationship to build a long-term marketing strategy that will build the buzz around your new Super Coffee-like Product.


Coffee ingestion is about a third of that of tap water in the US and Europe.

People wake up each morning feeling the need to brew at least one cup of the bitter elixir as a way to fuel them through their day. The power that coffee has over a large audience is amazing.

Every business has to pass the ‘So what?’ question before seriously considering the chance of making any profit. It is possible to copy processing and products, but in the long-term, customers are still looking for the one thing that puts you ahead of your competition.

The companies and products that are successful over the long-term are successful at:

Finding frustration

Answering frustration

Convincing consumers

What makes your product like coffee?

What makes you stand out ahead of the competition?

You don’t have to be entirely different than your competitors.

You do need to find the aspect of your business and product that makes people need you first thing in the morning…

Your business needs to be more like coffee

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The Secret Marketing Tactic of Successful Companies

“Think about the wheel and how you would reinvent it.” Mathews Bow Technology

Golden Forest

A secret marketing tactic that successful companies use is to continuously update existing products while really marketing the benefits of the updated products.

The most successful companies in any industry usually have figured out the cyclical nature of their business. These companies are experts are working to develop new innovations on their existing, successful products to make them just a little better with each new selling season.

After coming up with a slight, but remarkable innovation to their existing best-seller, the truly successful companies are experts at communicating the benefits of the updated product to their customers so each customer feels like they must have the updated version. Their current model has become obsolete.

Let’s take a closer look at the secret tactic of successful companies…

Update Your Existing Products

The trick to using this tactic successfully is to figure out what your best-selling products are and then working to continuously improve the product while adding a slight (but the most valuable) addition each season.

Customers have a continuous thirst for the best products that answer their frustrations. If you have a product today that solves a customer’s frustration you have something that is valuable.

However, what is valuable to your customer today may not be tomorrow. There are always competitors working hard in their garage to create something that’s better.

The most successful companies across all industries have figured this out and work hard to create updates to their successful products and introduce them just before their peak selling season.

Companies across all industries update their current best-selling products to continually create a need with the customer. Companies in the shoe industry like New Balance are updating their athletic shoes each season to create demand for their products from their existing customers. A customer who purchased the New Balance 987 last season will have to buy the updated New Balance 988 this spring season so they have the latest update of their favorite shoe that includes additional cushioning in the insole to soften the landing.

That’s not an exact example from New Balance, but let’s takes a closer look at some actual examples of this tactic in the hunting industry…

Mathews Bows and Archery Accessories

An example of a very successful company that does this in the hunting industry is Mathews, Inc.

For nearly two decades, Matt McPherson of Mathews, Inc. has been an innovator in the archery industry. Matt’s true genius for design in archery is his ability to continually create the bows that give hunters the best chance for success in the field. Matt’s most successful business strategy, one that has worked since the inception of Mathews, Inc., is the continuous update of his existing bows.

Just as the rut comes to whitetail country every year in the fall, Mathews, Inc. released a slightly updated bow that features some breakthrough technology that revolutionizes the archery industry. And the new bows usually sport new names.

Each season, the new Mathews bow may not seem like a huge innovation, but the company does an exceptional job of marketing the slight innovations that make a big impact for the customers. Single Cam technology was one of the first innovations for Mathews. Parallel limb design came later along with perimeter-weighting and harmonic dampening. Each of these innovations has their clear benefit for the bow hunters.

While each new bow may not change much from season to season, the bow design has changed quite a bit since the 1998 version…

Mathews Bows History

New Archery Products

My first set of broadheads was a set of Thunderheads from New Archery Products.

I thought they were the best broadheads available. I had seen my favorite bow hunters on ESPN outdoors using them to harvest some of the biggest whitetails I had ever seen.

Over the years, I used Thunderheads with success. I remember when the innovation of ribbed technology came. It was a simple update to the Thunderhead (ribbed shaft), but to me it meant that I would be a much better hunter in the woods.

I had to have it.

This year showcases the updated Thunderhead from New Archery at the 2010 ATA Show.

The new feature?

Dual serrated blade.

The Thunderhead Edge.


A wise person once said, “You only have strike gold once.”

This saying is true in the sense that companies can work to come up with a truly remarkable product that hits a homerun with customers and continue adding slight upgrades to that product with each new selling season to maximize profits from the innovation.

Figure out the cyclical nature of your product industry and work to create a product that is truly remarkable and that hits home with your customers.

Once you hit that homerun, work to slightly improve that product and release it with marketing power just before each peak selling season so your customers need to have it.

Find the frustrations, solve the problems, and continue building and serving a need.

It’s a formula that successful companies use.

And it’s one you can copy.

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Trophy Score | Business Review

Trophy Score for the iPhone by Anchorpoint

Two Whitetail Does

Chip of Anchorpoint contacted me about an iPhone app that he and his business have created for trophy hunters. He introduced me to Trophy Score – an application that takes you through a step-by-step process for scoring your hunting trophies.

I thought it would be valuable to go through the app while taking a look at Anchorpoint as a business and look for ways Chip and his team could possibly market their business.

Chip sent me a coupon (Trophy Score App is $4.99) and I was on my way.

I didn’t ask Chip for any direction up front as I wanted to go through the Trophy Score process as the simpleton that I am.

Let’s get into it…

Trophy Score

Anchorpoint Outdoors

After getting the info from Chip for Trophy Score, I went to my significant other for some assistance. Using her iPhone, she quickly loaded up Trophy Score and handed over the phone for me to play with.

I went to the living room by my trophy whitetail buck (it’s a trophy in my eyes) and began working with Trophy Score to score my buck.

Dayne Shuda Buck

It took me about 45 to 60 minutes to get through scoring my buck.

Trophy Score was extremely simple to use. There are easy help directions for each section of the scoring procedure. It was easy to enter in my measurements. The 1/8 button made it even simpler and faster.

And at the end Trophy Score calculated my score and it came out to 117 4/8. I was extremely proud.

Trophy Score

I would give Trophy Score 9/10 for simplicity and ease of use.

It’s truly a great product for hunting enthusiasts.

Anchorpoint Marketing Suggestions

Trophy Score and Trophy Score Fishing

Now let’s get into the business and marketing areas of Anchorpoint and their original product, Trophy Score.

I think Anchorpoint has a great product in Trophy Score. It’s simple, which is one of the things I value highly. It’s easy to use and straightforward in its purpose.

The next step for success for Anchorpoint is effective marketing.

By reaching out to bloggers, Anchorpoint is taking a very important step in marketing their product. Anchorpoint reached out to me and offered me something of value – their app, which was valuable to me because I’m a diehard hunter who has never been able to score his trophy plus they gave me access to the app free of charge.

In return, Anchorpoint is getting a mention on a blog with similar audience – hunters and hunting business owners.

Continue on this path of reaching out to bloggers while offering not only free app access, but also by offering advice on scoring trophy game and other areas of expertise.

The team at Anchorpoint could write guest posts on hunting blogs that focus on scoring trophy game – the process, the records, the history of the record organizations (Boone & Crockett, Pope & Young, etc.), the story of record animals and the hunters who have harvested them.

I would also get in contact with influencers in the hunting industry that have online influence and technology influence and offer them something of value.

Focus on the things that allow those who you contact to share their experience with you on a blog or in a forum or in an email newsletter. You don’t have to expect that everybody does a blog post review on Trophy Score – some will because they want to return the value, but all may not.

Even focus on getting in touch with outdoor bloggers who are rising in the online hunting industry as they are hungry to get good content and eager to connect with influential leaders in hunting business.

Focus on reaching out and offering value first and the rest should fall into place including links, write-ups, recommendations, etc.


Anchorpoint has a great product in Trophy Score. I was impressed with how easy it was to use and how simple yet eye-pleasing the app was. It’s a great product with great potential as tech-savvy hunters catch on with the advantages of mobile and online applications especially when it comes to scoring a trophy and sharing the score with peers.

Anchorpoint as a business is also doing things well to market Trophy Score. They reached out to me and offered something of value (access to Trophy Score). In return I wrote about the business and the product as I experienced it. I was very satisfied to figure out the score of my personal trophy and passionate people like to share news online.

The more Anchorpoint focuses on reaching out to influencers and up-and-coming bloggers and hunters on the Web the more success they will find over the long-term with marketing Trophy Score.

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How Will Your Customers Discover You?

The underserved rarely speak up – they usually just leave


Today I was driving in my pickup when a Taylor Swift song came on. I hit my preset button to change to another local country station and another Taylor Swift song came on. I hit one more preset, this time for local pop station, and yet another Taylor Swift song came on. I finally had to turn on the CD I had in the player (Diamond Rio – 16 Biggest Hits).

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Now, I happen to respect Taylor Swift as a singer and songwriter. As a marketer, I can appreciate the work she puts into not only creating songs that her audience loves, but also the work she puts into marketing her brand so that she can grow a large audience.

However, as a young male, I can’t particularly relate to the topics Taylor Swift sings about. Nor do I relate to the melodies she writes.

Who is serving me today in country music?

Uninterested Customers Change the Channel

Your customers are out in the world right now not even realizing that you exist.

When people are listening to the radio and they consistently hear music they simply don’t like they will just change the channel.  People won’t complain or make a fuss. They simply change the channel in an effort to find something that satisfies their desires to feel emotions – to connect with singers, lyrics, and melodies.

Just as people change the channel on the radio, your potential customers are searching for the right way to connect with a business such as yours so they can answer their questions and have their problems solved. They may not even know that they’re looking. We don’t give much thought to what we’re doing when we change the channel. Often we look for certain stations that have played some quality music in the past, but we rely on the disc jockeys to bring us new music that will satisfy us.

Who are the disc jockeys that can take your story to your customers?

Marketing is the art of connecting your business with the customers who don’t even realize that you exist. All great markets have a knack for finding target customers, but there is also an area of marketing that requires the art of discovery.


Some of the biggest jockeys in charge of spreading the word about quality businesses on the Web are bloggers.

Bloggers are a business’s most valuable resource for spreading the word on the Web. Bloggers have audiences that rely on them to bring quality information and perspective consistently. Over time, bloggers build their loyal audience and look for sources of consistent information and content to provide that audience.

Businesses that come forward with fresh perspective that adds value to a blogger’s audience is an extremely valuable resource.

It’s important for businesses to seek out the influential bloggers in their niches as well as in niches where they may not expect to find their target customer.

Many businesses today are discovered in blog posts as bloggers review products and services and give trusted information to their audiences. People read blogs to learn and to be entertained, but most importantly, people read blogs as a way to discover something that satisfies their needs – needs they may have not even known they needed satisfied.

Bloggers are like disc jockeys in a way because they are trusted by their audience to bring new and exciting content that satisfies needs. Bloggers are important for businesses and customers alike.

Find the bloggers that are influential both in your niche and in related niches and allow them to tell your story. Give them all the resources they need to effectively allow their audience to discover and connect with your business.


The other day I heard a song on the radio that caught my ear.

I was on my way to work, riding in my pickup when a smooth country song with a sweet, rolling melody came across the radio waves. I’m a Little More Country Than That was the name of the song and it instantly made me wonder who the singer was.

I found out that the song was by Easton Corbin. He’s a newcomer in the country music world. He has smoothness in his delivery that I haven’t heard since George Strait (one of my all time favorite singers).

Without the discovery nature of radio today I may have never heard I’m a Little More Country Than That.

Easton Corbin
Easton Corbin

Marketing is about making connections with others in the world. The goal of any business is to take its products and services to those who need or want them. It can be difficult to find your customers and while targeting continues to improve, discovery will always play a huge role in the nature of connecting business with customer.

I don’t fit Taylor Swift’s target audience, but because the radio station played a variety of good country music along with hers I was able to discover Easton Corbin.

It can be difficult to find people that want and need your products and services. Take your story to the voices in the industry and allow them to take your story to those who can discover you and become your customers.

Easton Corbin – I’m a Little More Country Than That

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Starting a Hunting Business – Foxfire Outdoors

Does your business pass the ‘So what?’ test?

Water Drop

Rick Kratzke of Whitetail Woods introduced me to a group of hunters from West Pennsylvania that are recording and producing their own brand of fair chase deer hunting.

Jeff, Josh, and Anthony make up the team that is Foxfire Outdoors.

The Foxfire Team has great ambitions to turn their passion into a successful hunting business. When individuals show the drive to take their passion to the next level it gets others excited and even though the road is difficult, people will join the passionate team in pursuit of success.

Foxfire Outdoors

Foxfire Outdoors

Website: Foxfire Outdoors

DVD: Keystone Madness

According to the Foxfire Team and Rick via his blog post, Go Hunting With Foxfire Outdoors, the team has been filming their hunting adventures for a few years, but have recently made the decision to produce professional videos to sell with the eventual goal of turning Foxfire Outdoors into a major hunting industry brand.

Suggestions for Success

After taking a look at other similar businesses and thinking about ways Foxfire can find success I put down a few suggestions for the team…

Unique Marketing Angle

New businesses need to determine why hunters and potential customers should care about their product. They need to pass the ‘So what?’ question that customers will ask when they see your product on the shelf or on your Website.

Foxfire will need to determine what it is about their unique brand of hunting and hunting videos that will make hunters want to watch. There are millions of videos and lots of written content on the Web and all of the content creators are vying for the limited attention of Foxfire’s targeted customer.

My suggestion, after watching a few of the videos, would be for Foxfire to take their existing videos and try adding a few extra segments that add value as a way to test with their audience the ones that attract the most attention.

One of the possible things to test with the videos would be a short terrain analysis of the hunting situation.

Foxfire could have a sit down style segment where they take topo and aerial maps and dissect their strategy for each of their hunts. I would also suggest going through the video of the hunts while pointing out terrain funnels, feeding patterns, time of day, scrape activity, etc.

The fall deer season is also the season for football. One of the popular segments on NFL shows is to analyze the video tape and even draw X’s and O’s of specific plays so the viewers at home can gain and understanding for how the play developed. This allows the viewers to learn about how the game is played and they’ll be better prepared the next game and have more fun as they are able to see the plays taking shape.

Now, only the most passionate NFL fans find this type of analyze enjoyable.

It’s also true that this type of strategy will only attract the most passionate of hunters, but that OK. In the online world it’s the passionate people you want as loyal fans of your business.

Strategic Partnerships

One of the things Foxfire is already doing is creating strategic partnerships.

Foxfire is reaching out for sponsors who manufacture products and offers services that fit with the business at Foxfire Outdoors.

It’s crucial to the success of any business to create partnerships that allow businesses to share the interest in the success. When a business like Foxfire enters into a partnership with a sponsor such as Deer Ridge Innovations, Inc., they are creating a relationship where the success of one company is important for the growth of the other. Because the businesses are associated with one another there is interest by both parties to push the other onto success. This can be through the form of operational strategies to simple tips on ways to market products and services.

Foxfire is on the right track with their strategy to gain strategic partnerships. Staying on this track will lead to sustained success.

Email Newsletter

Successful businesses understand that consistent communication with customers is important for building loyalty and trust.

Loyalty and trust are the keys to lifetime value when it comes to customers who are willing to purchase your products and services for a long period of time.

Today, email newsletters are great ways to consistently communicate with your customers and even potential customers are you discuss the important and valuable aspects of your business.

For Foxfire, starting an email newsletter would be a great way to build buzz about new video clips, upcoming DVDs, upcoming contests, and other ways for the subscribers to interact with the company and the team.

Communication is crucial for building loyalty and trust. Loyalty and trust will lead to long-term customers, which leads to a successful business.

Blogger Outreach

Foxfire is taking a great step by forming relationships with hunters and bloggers. They are using communication tools such as CamoSpace. This is how the Foxfire Team met Rick of Whitetail Woods. As a result of this relationship, the two parties were able to help each other. Rick was able to get a good story for his blog by writing about the things Foxfire is doing to leave their unique mark in the hunting world.

Since bloggers are a business’s best resource on the Web, it’s important for Foxfire to continue reaching out to bloggers such as the outdoor hunting bloggers at the Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

The key is to approach bloggers in a way that shows you have something of value to offer them. Be prepared to offer something of value first. This could be in the form of offering a DVD for a blogger so they can run a contest on their site. Or to potentially write a guest post about hunting video production.

There are lots of ways businesses can reach out to bloggers to form mutually beneficial partnerships. Get creative with the things your business can offer bloggers and then reach out with a friendly hand.


Foxfire has some exciting hunting footage. The team is definitely on the right track for hunting business success.

It’s exciting to see passionate hunters working hard with their passion for video production and hunting and turning it into something hunters find entertaining and educational.

Communication is crucial for Foxfire as they’ll have to reach out to influencers in the online hunting world in an effort to reach a larger, but passionate audience of hunters.

By working toward building relationships with bloggers and honing their craft for video production, Foxfire will find success in the hunting industry.

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Image courtesy of mescon

50 Viral Videos (and how they spread)

This post was inspired by Adam Singer of The Future Buzz and TopRank Online Marketing. Adam’s original post 50 Viral Images (and how they spread) was a big hit and so was his follow up 50 Viral Images Part Two. Adam is one of the best sources for marketing knowledge. He’s had multiple success with successful companies in developing long-term marketing strategies.

Get your popcorn ready…

Old Film

Along with the inspiration from Adam, I was inspired to write this post also by questions from leaders in the hunting industry concerning the importance of online video for hunting business marketing strategy. It seems most people always inquire about viral videos because of the appeal of having a target audience share a piece of video content across many channels with friends, family, and peers.

As I wrote in The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting Industry:

Creating video that is shared amongst your target audience is an obvious goal for any online video strategy.

Often when we think of viral video the first things that come to mind are guys performing crazy stunts on You Tube or babies being caught saying funny things. It’s mostly America’s Funniest Home Video-type stuff.

But to create focused viral video there is a formula you should take so the results of your video going viral have the highest potential for actual return on your invested time and money.

The formula is from 3 Viral Video Ideas:

(Clever Entertainment) + (Sharability) + (Target Audience) + (Product/Service/Personal Brand Tie-in) – (Push-Marketing) = (Successful Viral Video)

As you’ll see, some of these videos have all the successful elements of the viral video formula while others are missing some of the pieces.

Let’s take a look at 50 viral videos…

Multitek North America 2040 XP2 Firewood Processor

Visit the site – Multitek North America Firewood Processors

Lion Attacking Hunters on Safari

World Elk Calling Competition

Visit the site – Hunting Life

Roe Deer Butchering Part 3 – The Hunting Life

Visit the site – The Hunting Life

P&Y Illinois Buck Hunt

Visit the site –

Carbon Express F15 Dual Blade Broadhead

Visit the site – Carbon Express

Bowhunting Ducks

Visit the site – Landslide Productions

New Mexico Bull Elk Bow Hunt

Horse & Buggy Elk Hunt

Visit the site – Two Wheel’n After Elk – Base Camp Legends

Horse & Buggy Elk Hunt from Sue Sorenson on Vimeo.

Awesome Whitetail Deer Fight

Visit the site – Stone Ledge Texas

Broadhead Test

Monster Whitetails with Double Bull Archery

Visit the site – – Brock Lesnar Hunting Whitetail Buck

Visit the site – North American Hunting Club

New World Record Whitetail

Bow Hunting Whitetails: The Triple Beam Buck

Visit the site – Mannion Outdoors

Trophy Mule Deer Hunting

Visit the site – Carlmann Outfitting

Mulies Gone Wild Vol. 3

Visit the site – MossBack Productions Guides & Outfitters

Texas Hog Hunting

Visit the site – Texas Hunt Fish

Gun Cleaning – Properly cleaning barrels on a shotgun

Visit the site – Midway USA

BowTech Destroyer and David Blanton

Visit the sites – Realtree Outdoors and BowTech Archery

Hoyt Web Clips – Draw Length Myths

Visit the site – Hoyt Archery

Buckmasters Jackie Bushman Video Mixup

Visit the site – Buckmasters

“The one that I was on was bigger.”

Moose Hunting – Female Moose Tastes Broadhead

Alaska Moose Hunting with Clearwater Alaska Outfitters

Visit the site – Clearwater Alaska Outfitters

Wolves vs. Grizzly Bears

Visit the site – National Geographic

Ten Point Bowkill

Visit the site – Parson’s Outdoors

Deer Hunting VS-1 Whitetail Deer Scents

Visit the site – Whitetail Shopping

Drop Tine Whitetail Hunt – Saskatchewan Outdoors

Visit the site – Saskatchewan Outdoors

A 13-Foot-Long Shotgun – Clay Target Clip

Visit the site – Field & Stream

A 13-Foot-Long Shotgun – Loading Clip

Visit the site – Field & Stream

Deer Calling Tips: Tending Grunt Sequence

Visit the site – Field & Stream and Deer Doctor

Bow Hunting Boone & Crockett Whitetail Bucks

Visit the site – Hawg-N-Sons

Legendary Whitetails Monster Buck Mel Johnson

Visit the site – Deer Gear

Dan Miller Buck

Whitetail Big Bucks Only

Visit the site – Wild Whitetail

Deer Gets Revenge on Hunter

The Sasquatch Buck

Heart Attack Bucks

Visit the site – Saskatchewan Outdoors

Monster Buck in City – Des Moines, IA

Visit the site – Zach Wildlife Art

Hal and Len Go Huntin’ Giant Whitetails Part 3

Legendary Whitetails Monster Buck Mossy Horns

Visit the site – Deer Gear

Whitetail Freaks – One of the Biggest Deer in the World

Visit the site – Deer Gear

Locked Bucks – Whitetail Deer

Elk Kill Bow Hunting 35 Yards

Bow Hunting Wild Boar

Bow Hunting for Squirrels

Visit the site – Garzilla Guide Service

Deer Hunting – Bow Hunt 9 Point Buck

Visit the site – Hunting Footage

Bowhunting Pheasants

Visit the site – Parson’s Outdoors

Blacktail Bucks HawkeyeBilt Archery Bowhunting Oregon Deer

Visit the site – HawkeyeBilt

Bowhunting in Kentucky

Visit the site – Lost River Game Calls

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Image courtesy of lanuiop

Sponsorship Case Study – Team Huntress

People look to others they trust to help them make decisions – including purchasing decisions

Team Huntress Empowering Women in the Outdoors

Increasing your business’s Web presence begins with forming trusting relationships with your customers. There is a lot of transparency on the Web and the companies that are able to build trusting relationships with customers are the ones who will succeed in the future.

One of the ways to build trust with customers is through sponsorships and becoming involved in creative ways with the people, businesses and organizations your potential customers already trust.

Due to the recent conversation in the HBM Forum on Race Car Sponsorship, I’ve wanted to write the opportunities for hunting businesses to gain exposure with new audiences through sponsorships, but I wasn’t sure how to approach the topic. Then, a short while ago, Dave Olsen of Pheasant Phun and Team Huntress contacted me and introduced the concept of Team Huntress.

After hearing what the program was about I thought it would be beneficial to look at Team Huntress and the companies who sponsor the program in case study format so you can get a better feel for the opportunity to market your business with sponsorships like the ones offered by Team Huntress.

Let’s take a look at the Team Huntress story and the opportunity for you and your business to grow through sponsorships such as the ones other hunting businesses have done with Team Huntress.

Team Huntress

Team Huntress

First, a little background (please read the entire description at the Team Huntress Website):

Team Huntress was formed as an avenue to direct and empower women on their path toward outdoor success. By providing exploration and discovery in a safe and secure environment, ladies will be aligned to boost their confidence and self esteem.

Team Huntress also offers:

* Certified Hunter Safety Program

* Instruction for proper firearm (handgun, rifle, and shotgun) and archery use

* Small class size – 18 or fewer per outing

Read the following reviews for more on Team Huntress:

The Team Huntress secret formula: Guns + Archery + Massages = Happy Women

For $995, you get the best of both worlds that outdoorswomen inhabit – archery and firearms instruction with tons of spa treatments and tons of cool gifts that you find someone has left on your bed each night (seriously, I came home last time with some great swag from Prois, RealTree, Doeville and Tanka Bar).

Revolutionary Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic

That formula – instruction, female staff and pampering – proved highly effective at the inaugural Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic at Pheasant Phun in June. Women who’d never fired a gun felt secure taking those first steps and found they really enjoyed what they were learning. By the end of the weekend, participants were abuzz about the shooting sports and the new friendships they’d formed.

Interview: Jane Keller, Team Huntress

The end of the weekend, participants were abuzz about the shooting sports and the new friendships they’d formed. Participants and instructors evolved into a close network of outdoor friends. It is the goal of Team Huntress to leave you with an “I can do anything” attitude. I have bonded with friends in the vast outdoors who will guide and support me every step of the way!!!  Team Huntress is here to help empower you for outdoor success, support and encourage you on your journey through life, and always be Your Personal Outdoor Adventure Network of Friends.

Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic

What do the ladies of Team Huntress have in store for you:

* Firearm and archery clinics

* General outdoor safety and first aid clinics

* Outdoor photography

* Wild game cooking

* ATV, GPS and nature walking

* Yoga, massages, wine tasting, star gazing and much more

Team Huntress Sponsors

Beyond the price for attending each outing, Team Huntress uses sponsorships for monetary and product needs. There are a variety of ways businesses can get involved with Team Huntress. Here are a few of the businesses that are sponsoring Team Huntress.

Doeville – Product Sponsor


As part of the Team Huntress Outings, participants receive gifts each day. Doeville became involved as a product sponsor with Team Huntress by providing a leather hunting diary ($40 value) for each participant in the Team Huntress events.

Doeville Hunting Diary

Hunting businesses that are just starting out are often strapped for cash initially, but the need to gain exposure still remains. One of the ways to gain exposure without giving direct monetary compensation is provide product sponsorships that resonate with potential customers.

By providing a hunting diary for each participant in the Team Huntress event, Doeville was able to get their product and name in front of potential customers. Not only will the participants of the event remember Doeville for hunting apparel, jewelry, and art products for themselves, but the products at Doeville also make for excellent gifts for others.

There is opportunity for your business to provide product or service sponsorships with events and organizations that cater to your target audience. By putting your products in front of your target audience and letting them use the products in a setting where they can understand the full benefits of the product, you’re connecting with potential customers while building trusting relationships that can mean long-term business.

When considering a product sponsorship opportunity, think about the audience and who they connect with. In the example of Team Huntress, it might make sense for a hunting apparel business to outfit the event with the necessary shooting apparel while also offering an introductory offer on related hunting and shooting apparel that includes men’s, women’s, and children product lines.

Faini Designs – Sponsor a Scholarship

Faini Designs Jewelry Studio

Faini Designs became involved with Team Huntress by sponsoring a scholarship for a woman to attend the Team Huntress Event. Faini paid the cost of the outing and the participant was able to partake in the event that she may have never been able to attend without the sponsorship.

Today, as a result of Faini providing the scholarship, the participant is shooting archery nearly every day while being active in the outdoors.

Having your business attached to success stories is most importantly a wonderful way to give opportunities to those who may not otherwise be able to participate in such events as Team Huntress. Also, having your business as the sponsor in a situation like Faini is a way to build trust with your potential customers. Not only did all of the participants at the event become exposed to Faini, they now have a story to tell when they talk to their friends and family about their Team Huntress experience and the name attached to the story is Faini Designs.

Team Huntress also takes time during each event to highlight each of their sponsors and the benefit they provide for their customers. They also offer space on their Websites for sponsorships, which are year round marketing opportunities to expand your audience and build trust with your potential customers.

By attaching your business with stories that your potential customers connect with, you can begin building the trust necessary to acquire long-term, quality customers that can carry your business for a long time.

Look for opportunities to sponsor individuals who can participate in events like Team Huntress. Look for a story that can be shared by your potential audience and look for genuine businesses that can help you build trust with your potential customers.

Other Ways to Sponsor

As an outfitter, Dave Olsen knows that it’s difficult for outfitters to offer free outings for businesses who promise video time or reviews for the hunting experience. There can be lots of disappointment as expectations are not always met with such arrangements.

It’s for this reason that outfitters need to look for these opportunities to provide access to facilities and hunting property with quality and trusted organizations and businesses.

By establishing clear expectations for return on investment with trusted organization, there is a lot of opportunity to expand your audience by being a host outfitter.

Be a Host Outfitter

Hosting an event like Team Huntress provides great exposure for an outfitter who is looking to expand their audience. By hosting such an event, an outfitter can become part of the story that will be shared by all who take part in the event.

In the example of Team Huntress, Dave hosted an event at his property with Pheasant Phun Outfitters. Pheasant Phun has actually been named the most women-hunter-friendly outfitter in the United States and such recognition can mean business. Such recognitions can increase the level of trust between outfitters such as Pheasant Phun as he looks for hunters who are looking for comfort with a quality hunting experience.

Look for hunters who can provide experiences that include:

* Video

* Podcasting

* Positive, but reputable reviews

* Potential repeat customers

In a situation like Team Huntress, there may be potential for participants to return (possibly with their entire family) if their experience through Team Huntress is positive. This would be an example of building a trusting relationship that provides return for the hosting business.

Hosting an event like Team Huntress provides opportunity for outfitters to market their businesses without providing cash for advertisements and the like. However, there are risks involved with hosting events since the investment of hosting hunters without cash payments is always risky.

Be sure to perform due diligence with organizations and businesses before offering to host an event. Once you’re sure you’re working with reputable and trusting individuals, work to make their experience a story that can be shared throughout the hunting industry and watch your audience grow as you potentially gain a larger audience and more trusting customers.

Full Sponsor

A final way for a business to fully embrace the sponsorship opportunity is to become a full sponsor with an organization like Team Huntress.  Hunting businesses, especially those in the consumable arena (ammunition, targets, scent, etc.) can become involved with sponsorships and see great return on their investment.

In a situation like Team Huntress, participants are generally new to hunting or are looking to expand their knowledge of the sport and the outdoors. Through the event, participants get a lot of exposure to products like ammunition, for example. This exposure would be away for an ammunition company to build a trusting relationship with potential customers are they become familiar with the products. When the participants leave the event they will look for products from companies they can trust and are familiar with as they continue the participation with outdoor activities such as shooting.

The opportunity to become involved with organizations and events like Team Huntress can mean great reward for businesses. Look for organizations and individuals that look to build trusting relationships with their own audiences. Look for individuals that are passionate and serious about their craft. Passion is contagious and its passion that breeds the stories that customers share.

Opportunity to Reach Women in the Outdoors

When Dave contacted me he brought up an interesting point about the opportunity for businesses to reach a potentially underserved audience – women who are passionate about the outdoors, shooting sports, and hunting.

Team Huntress is filling a need for women who are looking to empower themselves and become more involved in the outdoors and activities such as shooting sports and hunting.

Is your business exploring the potential in reaching out and connecting with the eager women in the outdoor audience? Perhaps your business could be the one to fill a need like Team Huntress.

Another example of a company reaching out to build trust with the female audience is Harley-Davidson with Women Riders.

Acquiring new customers is difficult and as business owners we look to align our products with audiences and potential customers who have the highest likelihood of connection with our business. Acquiring new customers requires businesses to look at all options and there may potentially be a mutually beneficial option for your business and women in the outdoors.

Conclusion – Building Trust

There is opportunity for your business to connect with new audiences while building trusting relationships with potential customers through sponsorships.

The form of sponsorship can vary:

* Product

* Scholarship Sponsor

* Host Outfitter

* Big Sponsor

The goal of any sponsorship you consider is that the relationship with the organization and their audience should be about building trust.

Have you had experience with sponsoring events, outings, or other hunting businesses?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

To contact Team Huntress about sponsorship opportunities:

Jane Keller Founder/Outdoor Concierge
Team Huntress
18526 398th Ave
Hitchcock, SD, 57348

Phone: 605.266.2848
Cell: 605.450.0931
Fax: 605.266.2887

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Please note that no monetary, product, or service has been provided to Hunting Business Marketing or me (Dayne Shuda) for the writing of this article.