The Importance of Frequency for Blogs

BloggingRecently I’ve been experimenting with a new Website: Country Music Life.

You can see more about the transition from HBM to CML with HBM Introduces Country Music Life.

Over the first three and half months of working on CML I’ve noticed some interesting things. I thought I’d share some of the findings so you can take them and perhaps use them in your own blogging.

Some of the things I’ve learned that I didn’t really know or understand prior to working on CML include:

  • The importance of post frequency
  • The importance of linking out
  • The balance of traffic sources

I’ll also throw in a few other tips from CML. Let’s take a look…

Frequency Blog Posting

On HBM and previously on DayneShuda.com I would try to get about 5 posts on the blog each week. This took a lot of time since it took me a good two hours or sometimes more to research, write, and link each blog post. For HBM I like to have posts at or above about 1,000 words.

This frequency served HBM well. Traffic continued to grow and there was a good amount of search traffic coming to the site each day.

With CML I’ve been trying to post about 10 times per week. Sometimes I’m able to get more posts up and sometimes a bit less, but overall I think it averages out to about 10 per week. The posts I write for CML are a bit different however. I like to write Featured posts or ‘snack’ posts along with more in depth Heading posts.

Featured Posts

Featured posts are about 300 to 500 words long. I usually look for country music news like a new song, album or some interesting tidbits on today’s hottest country artists. I’ll link to the news stories and provide my own thoughts.

This format allows me to post more frequently and the result has been big search traffic on a few terms like ‘come back song darius rucker‘.

Heading Posts

Heading posts are where I’m able to get a bit more in depth than just interpreting country music news. For these posts I like to write list posts that cover some high trafficked search terms like ‘sad country songs’ or ‘country wedding songs’. I’ll compile a list of about 50 songs to fit each category and write a bit about each.

Higher Frequency

This posting strategy has been great for increasing traffic. The traffic at CML is already five times higher than traffic ever has been for HBM. I credit this to demand in the niche (marketing vs. country music) as well as post frequency.

If you’re able to I recommend a blog posting strategy that allows for higher frequency posting. The more posts you can write that are still quality will increase your traffic. You’ll have more content for the search engines to rank and you’ll also give people a reason to come back to your site more.

Linking Out To Other Blogs

Just as I do with HBM I link to other blogs with CML. For each of the Featured posts on CML I like to link to about 2-5 blog posts about the same subject. This has led to some good traffic from pingbacks on other blogs. Linking out also allows you to get introduced in a way to other bloggers. Editors of sites and blogs love getting links. It means traffic and anchor text for them along with some respect from newcomers in the industry.

I recommend linking out as much as you can. It’s beneficial for you on multiple levels.

Balance of Traffic Sources

One thing I’m currently monitoring for CML is the source of the traffic. Currently I have a high percentage of traffic coming from natural search via Google. While this is good I don’t want to have all my eggs in one basket. Google has bee known to cut traffic instantly for even popular blogs.

I’m working to get traffic from other sources:

  • Referring blogs
  • Pingbacks
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email newsletter

It’s important to diversify your site’s traffic. Don’t let it be the end of the world if one traffic source disappears completely. Right now I’m treading on thin ice with the way my traffic sources are spread out.

Summary

It’s been great working on a new site. I’ll try to keep up with HBM as it’s still one of my babies. I’m on the one post per month frequency right now and it’ll probably stay that way. There is still a bunch of stuff in the archives if you’re new to the site so be sure to check things out.

I’ll try to write mostly about what I see in the blogging world and interpret how it affects the hunting industry.

So stay tuned.

And if you’re interesting in country music please sign up for the CML Newsletter.

Bonus – Lists Are Still Big

I’ve continued to see the impact lists can have on a blog. My goal for CML is to interpret country music news with the Featured posts while providing more in depth articles with the Heading posts. These Heading posts frequently including lists of country songs country fans search for and find enjoyable.

Here are a couple examples:

So if you haven’t already made lists a part of your blog be sure to experiment with a few. They can lead to an increase in traffic and page views.

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Archery Report | Business Review

With a solid, consistent focus, Archery Report is seeing strong growth

I came across a blog post from New Archery Products today in my RSS feed and stopped by the NAP Blog to read about their Quiktune Sizzor arrow rest. Check out the post The Sleeper for a great product review of the arrow rest. NAP does a great job of using high quality photos in their posts. The photos make for a better experience for visitors and although they don’t post often, I find myself always checking for the latest from NAP.

Quiktune Sizzor

At the bottom of the post, NAP left a link to another review for the Sizzor, Review: NAP Quicktune Sizzor Rest. The URL in the link was interesting so I followed it.

Archery Report

Archery Report

Archery Report is a blog and Website operated by Michael Larsen.

The report covers news views and reviews of all things affecting the world of archery. From reading a few of the posts, it is obvious that Michael has a healthy (probably depends who you ask) 🙂 obsession with archery. See 300 days to 300 for some insight. I love the passion.

I became more intrigued with Archery Report after checking out the stats on Compete (a habit of mine). It looks like the site was launched in July of 2009 and the pace of growth has been strong every since.

Michael discusses new archery products, news affecting the archery industry, and technique for shooting effectively. It’s quite the extensive archive of information if you’re an archery enthusiast.

Michael provides his own thoughts on news articles, which is something readers often seek from bloggers. News publications simply report the news, but one of the most sought after elements of the news is interpretation so bloggers can grow their audience by providing insight into the daily happenings in niches.

Also found on the site are extensive product reviews. Michael lays out tons of content including insight and photographs to create some of the best reviews I’ve read. For example, Hoyt Maxxis 31 and 35 Review and Spotlight.

The strategy for posting on Archery Report is effective and the growth in traffic proves that archers are connecting with the site and with Michael.

Consistency

Consistently adding new posts and staying consistent with focus are two extremely important elements of successful blogs.

Too often (including myself) bloggers will struggle to keep adding new content to their blogs. As you develop a following, it’s important to continually feed new and interesting content to visitors. When they become hooked on your writing they’ll continue coming back repeatedly (even many times a day) if you provide them with content.

Search engines realize the important of consistency with post frequency as well. They realize how important frequent posting is to readers and reward sites that post quality content often with high authority in the search rankings.

For new blogs, it’s best to default at a high frequency (5-7 times a week or even more than once daily), but don’t forget to test different variations. Find out what your audience wants and provide the appropriate amount of content.

Quality and quantity are both important.

Effective Writing Style

After reading a few of Michael’s posts it’s safe to say that he has a unique voice in the outdoor industry and in the blogosphere. He has a technical side to his descriptions, but he has a way of describing situations like tuning with simplicity that makes it easy to understand.

Personally, I like the way he organizes his posts, especially his reviews. He uses headings, images, video, bulleted lists, summaries/conclusions, and other tools well. It makes for great reading when authors take the time to organize things so their readers can scan articles and dive deeper into the content when they choose.

SEO

Highlighted on the Archery Report Advertise page are a few statistics including some impressive search rankings. The site is ranking for relevant terms. Terms like 2010 bows, archery reviews, and 2010 bow reviews are competitive and have a good amount of traffic. It’s impressive that the site is ranking ahead of well-known archery sites for these terms.

It’s proof that Michael’s writing style, the site’s popularity, and the site’s technical layout make for a winning SEO combination.

Monetizing Archery Report

From my review, it appears that Archery Report is going about monetizing in the traditional ways: affiliate program and ads.

These are two viable options. I explained another option for bloggers in Profit from Your Blog.

For his book reviews, Michael is using an affiliate program to link to the books on Barnes & Nobles – a strong strategy that can be very effective if the reviews are valuable and plentiful.

Also on the site is the opportunity for advertising. It’s a strong possibility that with continued traffic growth that Archery Report will gain some advertising clients that will provide fixed revenue each month.

A final interesting aspect of Archery Report is the opportunity for hunting product manufacturers to send Michael their products for review. Michael provides the benefits to having Archery Report Review Your Product.

If this program gains enough traction, Michael could begin charging for the reviews as a way to provide further revenue.

Summary

Archery Report is an excellent example of a start-up blog that can see successful growth right from the beginning with the right formula of focus, consistency, writing style, and monetizing.

As the site sees more quality content regarding archery, I suspect it will continue to build its audience and become a strong player in the online archery world.

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The Best Hunting Picture Galleries

Hunters view thousands of hunting pictures on the Web…every day

The competition for the attention of hunters is heating up online and some folks are using quality hunting picture galleries to attract attention away from the competition.

My personal favorites tend to be the galleries that are easy on the eyes, easy to navigate and the ones that have the best photos of trophy game. My favorite type of hunting is bowhunting for whitetails so I always love seeing great photos related to this hunting niche.

Here are the best hunting picture galleries…

Field & Stream

Site: Field & Stream

Gallery: Field & Stream Photos

Overview

The Field & Stream Photo Gallery is one of the most popular galleries on the Web. F&S has the best selection of lists and collections of hunting pictures on the Web. People love lists and that includes hunters. The F&S ‘Best of’ collections make for great photo viewing. To increase involvement with their target audience, the team at F&S also encourage users to submit their best photos. F&S then takes the time to highlight the user photos in ways that make the users the stars. This is a great way to highlight the success of others and give them a vested interest in the gallery. I also like the mix of professional photos as well.

For more see Critique of the Field and Stream Photo Gallery

Petersen’s Hunting

Site: Petersen’s Hunting

Gallery: Petersen’s Hunting Trophy Room

Overview

The Petersen’s Hunting gallery is entirely user-submitted. On the photo gallery home page visitors have the option to view the highlighted photos, the most recent photos, the most popular photos, and users can view photos by collection and category. Giving visitors options when it comes to viewing segments of your photo gallery is important. Some visitors will want to search for specific types of photos. To satisfy these visitors you’ll want to offer a way to search the photos. Other visitors will want to discover new photos that meet their interests. This is where the categories are helpful (ex: I like whitetails. I can click on the whitetail section).

Duck’s Unlimited

Site: Duck’s Unlimited

Gallery: Duck’s Unlimited Photo Gallery

Widget: Duck’s Unlimited Member Photo of the Day Widget

Overview

Ducks Unlimited is a gallery I’ve only recently discovered and I’m glad I did. The user photos in this gallery are spectacular. DU members are allowed to submit photos and it’s apparent that some of the members are professional photographers. And that makes for some inspirational and breath-taking photographs of wildlife (ducks and waterfowl).

Something that sets the DU gallery apart from some of the others is their embeddable widget. Check it out and if you want to see the daily photos on your Website or blog you can. Widgets are great for increasing your audience and search engines love the links they create back to the site.

Bowhunting.com

Site: Bowhunting.com

Gallery: Bowhunting.com Photos

Overview

It’s no secret that Bowhunting.com is one of my favorite hunting sites. I’ve written about them and included them in collections before (5 Hidden Treasures on the Web, The Top 50 Blog Posts of 2009, 25 Tips from 25 Hunting Industry Leaders). The team at Bowhunting.com are experts at hunting and sharing their insight and knowledge through their videos, photos, and blog posts. There is a great mix of trail cam photos, harvest trophies, and general photography for hunting product reviews and more. The photo gallery is easy to navigate and the photos are of high quality.

Bowhunting.com is one of the galleries that offers visitors the opportunity to comment on individual photos. Something Field & Stream doesn’t have yet (you can comment on the entire collection or gallery only). Some also offer visitors the chance to rate photos like Ducks Unlimited and others.

Buckmasters

Site: Buckmasters

Gallery: Buckmasters Trophy Gallery

Overview

The Buckmasters Trophy Gallery is not the best of the bunch, but they have a ton of great user photographs due to the company’s popularity. I’m not sure if it was just me, but this gallery took awhile to load and the auto-play music was a bit annoying (not the music, but the fact that it was playing automatically. See more Video on Your Website). It’s a cumbersome gallery, but it has good photos and it’s a well known brand.

Lone Wolf

Site: Lone Wolf Portable Treestands

Gallery: Lone Wolf Trophy Gallery

Overview

Lone Wolf is a bit of a sleeper in this collection. I’m a huge fan of the design of the Lone Wolf site so it’s no surprise that I’d like their photo gallery. I also think it’s important to show that hunting product manufacturers can have successful photo galleries (as well as any hunting industry company). Users submit photos and while some aren’t the best the scrolling is easy and the thumbnail setup is simple.

CamoSpace

Site: CamoSpace

Gallery: CamoSpace Gallery

Overview

CamoSpace seems to be one of the few social networking hunting sites that has actually had some success. They have partnered with some big companies and some big folks that are famous for more than just hunting (Luke Bryan – great music). It’s a formula that has worked for growing the membership on the site. The photo gallery is 100% user-submitted. That format can lead to some noise (see the trucks), but there are still a ton of photos in the gallery and many of them are great…even if they are a little difficult to find.

ESPN Outdoors Hunting

Site: ESPN Outdoors Hunting

Gallery: Hunting Photo Galleries

Overview

It isn’t the prettiest and it isn’t the easiest to use, but ESPN makes the list because the brand is huge and the hunting shows on the channel are popular. Plus I loved the shows on ESPN Outdoors on Saturday morning when I was growing up.

Big Grass Outfitters

Site: Big Grass Outfitters

Gallery: Big Grass Outfitters Trophy Gallery

Overview

It’s important for outfitters to have galleries as part of their informational sites. Potential customers want visual proof of success. And past customers can be the best referral service when they push their friends to go on the site and view their photos.

Heartland Lodge

Site: Heartland Lodge

Gallery: Heartland Lodge Photo Gallery

Overview

One of the best looking sites in the hunting industry, Heartland Lodge makes great use of a photo gallery to show their potential customers the wonders they have to offer. I love that they use existing technology in Picasa to power their photo gallery. Remember that you don’t always have to work hard to develop your own style of gallery. Use galleries that already exist.

The categories in the gallery are great, but the titles of each photo are another story…

Gander Mountain

Site: Gander Mountain

Gallery: Gander Mountain Braggin’ Board

Overview

I grew up near a Gander Mountain (no Cabela’s nearby and I didn’t use the Web at the time) and I loved checking out the physical cork braggin’ board in store. Customers were always putting their trophies on the board and I loved looking at them all. Those Polaroids were great. With this gallery, Gander Mountain has brought that experience to the Web.

Greenwood Springs Plantation

Site: Greenwood Springs Plantation

Gallery: Greenwood Springs Plantation Photos

Overview

I came across this site toward the end of this post but I just had to include it. It’s a beautiful design and I love that they use Flickr for their photo gallery. The photos could be titled, tagged and included in Creative Commons on Flickr, but it’s a great use of a great photo gallery tool.

Elements of a Quality Gallery

As I browsed the Web in search of the best hunting galleries, I noted a few elements that should be standard on all folks considering a photo gallery for their site:

1) Multi-size Options

With image size, there is a battle between load time of the page and the quality and size of the image you want to load for your viewer’s viewing pleasure. Most sites offer an initial smaller version of images for scrolling and initial viewing, but offer visitors the option to zoom in or enlarge the photo, usually in some kind of pop-up. I think it’s a good compromise. Allow visitors the pleasure of a fast loading page with smaller images and if they have the capacity, they can zoom in or enlarge the photo.

2) Thumbnail Options

Something I’m in favor of when it comes to galleries are thumbnail viewing options. Popular photo gallery sites like Flickr (Flickr Hunting) offer thumbnail viewing so users can see multiple photos at once while being able to choose the ones they want to view in more detail.

3) Easy Scrolling

An important feature of galleries is the ability to scroll from photo to photo. Once a user has chosen a particular gallery to view they want to be able to scroll from photo to photo quickly and easily.

4) Proper Tagging and Titling

Giving the proper title and the appropriate tag to each photo in your gallery is important for your visitors so they understand what they’re viewing. Tagging and titling photos and galleries properly is also important for optimizing your gallery for search engines.

5) Sharing Abilities

Giving visitors the ability to share and bookmark the photos in a gallery is extremely important for the growth of your site’s traffic and audience. Build in the word of mouth aspects of a gallery and make sure the photos are worth talking about people will spread the word.

Bonus Element

Calls to action are important for any site that is aimed at selling something to visitors. With a bit of programming and planning, sites could take advantage of internal linking to sell relevant products to customers that are viewing the photos in galleries. For example, a company could ask users to submit the equipment used to harvest a trophy. List and link the equipment on the photo to the product pages and you have potential sales. A site like Gander Mountain could do this.

Your Favorite Hunting Picture Galleries

Did I miss your favorite gallery? Please share in the comments.

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You Can Succeed At Everything (Vince Gill proves it)

How can you fault a guy with mainstream marketability who’s also a talented session guitar player, songwriter, and the owner of one of Nashville’s best voices? Johnny Loftus – All Music

If you’ve listened to country music in the past 20+ years it’s likely you’ve heard the unmistakable buttery soft voice of Vince Gill.

Vince Gill has been one of favorite artists for as long as I can remember. When one of his songs comes on the radio I will usually reach for the knob to turn up the volume.

His collection of hit singles and excellent album cuts cross the entire spectrum of human emotion:

Hopeless RomanticismWhen Love Finds You, Let’s Make Sure We Kiss Goodnight, Feels Like Love

Relationship IssuesDon’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away, A Little More Love, I Still Believe in You

Family and DeathGo Rest High on that Mountain

Love and LossTryin’ To Get Over You

Fun and ForgivenessOne More Last Chance

The amazing thing about Vince’s success is his ability to perform multiple tasks at an extremely high level.

Vince Gill is one of the best at:

1| Singing

2| Playing Guitar

3| Writing Songs

The combinations of his talents lead to some of the best songs in country music history.

It takes successful multitasking to become a successful artist. And if you’re a business owner, marketer, or manager you are an artist. The decisions you make, the people you work with, the skills you use to drive your business to success are what make you and artist.

Let’s take a closer look at Vince Gill, his ability to multitask and how it can make you a great business leader…

Multitasking and Artistry

Vince Gill had a vision for his life. He knew he loved music and he knew what it would take to have success in the country music industry. He honed his skills as a singer, guitar player, and eventually a songwriter. It was a combination of these skills that lead to his emergence as a country music superstar in the ‘90s.

He started out early as a session guitarist and background vocalist for album work and backing band work for touring artists including Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Crowell.

Gill eventually joined the Pure Prairie League in the late ‘70s for an album and sang on the group’s biggest hit Let Me Love You Tonight.

His success and talent eventually led him to solo success. He released three albums from 1984 to 1988 that featured a few successful singles, but it wasn’t until the dawn of the ‘90s and the 1989 album When I Call Your Name that Gill found star success.

And ‘91’s I Still Believe In You catapulted Gill into superstar status when the album went multiplatinum with five hit singles.

Gill had found his niche in the music industry.

His blend of smooth, easy listening vocals together with crafty melodies and meaningful lyrics were a successful formula that lead to multiple classic hits that will last generations.

Without his ability to multitask, Gill likely wouldn’t have been able to reach the longevity he has had as an artist.

Many artists are successful at singing, songwriting, and playing and some even have a brief shot at superstardom. However, the star seems to fade on those who are great at one thing.

The truly successful artists, the ones that have the uncanny ability to work at multiple tasks to broaden their expertise are the ones that find ways to succeed and inspire awe among people for a lifetime.

Vince Gill is one of those special artists that has the self want to succeed and continually improve in his craft. Music is his art and he seems to do whatever it takes to expand his understanding of the things that make great music.

And to top it all off, Vince Gill was a great host of the CMAs for many years. His charm and wit made him a great host for the millions of country music fans that watched the awards each year.

Even with all of his talent and ability, Vince Gill seems to be one of the most genuine people in the world. He remains humble even with all of his accomplishment. He often sings background vocals for up and coming artists. He credits the great artists that came before him and sang on his first records as his reason for continuing to sing background vocals.

Vince Gill is an artist. His ability to multitask and continually improve at his art make him great. And I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of great songs from Vince Gill.

Business Artist

In today’s world of uncertainty and insecurity, it’s important for everyone to have multiple skills in the workplace.

If you work for a boss, make sure you have an understanding of what her expectations are of the job you’re performing…then go beyond those expectations. Figure out the social nature of your boss and learn the things that make her excited about the work you’re doing.

Look for tasks that are lacking at your company and fill the need without being asked by anybody. Make sure to get your expected tasks finished, but once those are done as best as they can be move on to multitasking. Want to learn. Want to continuously improve.

If you’re expanding your own company you’re going to have to push past your expectations.

As a business leader, you already understand the importance of multitasking. Now, the key is going to have to be understanding the art of cutting back on the tasks that have no chance of paying off. Ever. Cut back on tasks (even if you have a lot invested in them) if there are signs of no hope. Move on to tasks that show more promise and become an expert.

Just as Vince Gill worked for many years without real success, it may take you some time to find the formula that takes you to superstardom of the business world.

Multitasking pays off and Vince Gill is living proof.

Summary

Vince Gill is a great success story.

It’s a testament to the art of multitasking and continuous improvement that he and other artists were able to achieve long-term success.

Multitasking is a necessity for success. It’s important to continually focus on the skills that will allow you to achieve your visions for success. You’ll need to leave a few things beyond even if you’ve invested a lot of time in them, but it’ll be worth it as it’ll free up time for you to focus on the things that are paying off as well as leaving time for the things you can learn that will add to your success.

Vince Gill is a talented singer, guitar player, and songwriter.

It’s almost unheard of in music. Other artists may not have that exact combination, but if they’re successful they likely have their own combination of multitasking skills that make them great.

What is something you could learn today that will add to your success tomorrow?

Bonus

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As I was writing this I was reminded of George Strait and how he is typically known for being a great country singer. He doesn’t write many of the songs he records (he released a single he co-wrote in 2009 – his first in nearly 30 years), but he is a talented singer, actor, and he has an uncanny ability to pick hit singles.

The George Strait Guide to Lifelong Success

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Hunting Product Manufacturer Website Design Trends and Examples

With over $10 million spent on hunting equipment each year you can bet that hunting product manufacturers are constantly working to make their Websites stand out as signal amongst the noise on the Web.

Buck Knives Home Page Image

Every business is fighting for the valuable attention of hunters on the Web. Website design is important for capturing that valuable attention. And Web designers and developers are constantly working with the managers and owners of hunting product manufacturers to come up with Website elements that capture the attention of hunters, capture subscribers and potential customers to blogs and updates, and most of all – show off the products these companies manufacture the best way possible.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the trends and examples of hunting product manufacturer Websites

Communicating the Benefits of Hunting Products

The number one goal of any product manufacturer Website is to communicate the benefits of their products to their customers – wholesalers, retailers, and the end user (hunters).

Some of the things companies are doing with their Website to showcase these product benefits include: images, videos, and effective copywriting.

Images

The first way to showcase the benefits of your business’s hunting products is to have remarkable photographer and images of the products.

Site: Lone Wolf Tree Stands

Lone Wolf Stands The Solution

Another great way to use images and photos to effectively communicate the benefits of your products is to showcase your end users using your products successfully.

Site: Bear Archery

Bear Archery Photos

Videos

Video has been gaining popularity on the Web in recent years as many Web users have upgraded to connection speeds that allow for fast video viewing.

And while amateur videos have and will continue to be popular on the Web, professional videos will stand out above the rest as professional videographers make effective videos that connect products and customers.

Businesses have a variety of video formulas available for making videos that will communicate the benefits of their products.

You can do interviews, show the products in action, or showcase the manufacturing of the products.

Site: Mathews Inc.

Mathews Inc Video Gallery

Effective Copywriting

Product descriptions can get a little on the long side.

There is definitely a place for long copywriting when it comes to effectively communicating the benefits of products.

But the truly effective copywriting comes in few words.

Site: Trophy Ridge

Trophy Ridge Product Description

Testimonial Showcase

Most hunting manufacturers will showcase client testimonials to give social acceptance credibility to the products they are selling.

It’s important for companies to showcase testimonials in a way that really highlights what the customer is saying. Companies don’t want to come off as being showy about their products or by showcasing unrealistic testimonials.

Believable, yet remarkable testimonials with effective design and showcasing are what’s best for companies.

Simple is important for design. Put the emphasis on the customer and what they have to say about the products.

Site: Cuddeback

Cuddeback Testimonials

Site: River’s Edge

River's Edge Testimonials

Corporate Blogging

Blogging is beginning to emerge as a must for hunting product manufacturers.

Maintaining a blog is the best way for hunting businesses to communicate with their audience while providing quality content for search engines. A crucial part of successful search engine optimization is to maintain a constant stream of new content for the search engines to crawl.

Web users, including hunters using the Web, also are looking for a constant stream of quality content they can digest for their entertainment and education when it relates to hunting.

Blogging will continue to be an emerging trend in hunting manufacturers as companies put together plans that allow them to utilize the opportunities that come with blogging.

Here are some examples of hunting manufacturer sites with blogs:

New Archery Products

Blog: New Archery Products Blog

New Archery Products Blog

Wildlife Callers

Blog: Wildlife Callers Blog

Wildlife Callers Blog

What to Blog About

Something companies tend to find difficult when starting a corporate blog is what to write about?

The obvious answer for most companies is to highlight the success of the end users of your products. Seek out the users of your products and share their stories of success on your blog. Blog readers love to see people like them having success doing the thing they love most – hunting. And hunters love to discover the tools that make other hunter successful.

Here is an example of New Archery Products highlighting the success of an end user getting:

Blog Post: The Blood Runner Brings Another Big Buck Down

Bloodrunner Blog Post

Potential Issues with Blogging

The biggest issue for corporate blogs is not creating an outline for the blog.

Each blog needs a focus, a goal, and an execution plan to make the blog successful in the eyes of the business and the eyes of the customers.

When plans are laid out for corporate blogs, posts are updated on regularly rather than the blog being left dormant. Also, remember to have a focus on the formula when it comes to the topics of your blogs posts. You don’t have to always highlight the success of your end user customers, but remember to keep the focus on things your blog readers and customers will find valuable.

Test different posts and find a formula that works for you.

Trends in Hunting Product Manufacturer Website Design

There are some great hunting Websites out there.

And more are being launched and re-launched every day.

Today, there are some good trends in design when it comes to hunting product manufacturing company Websites.

Big Product Images

Companies are doing a great job of highlighting their products with big, vivid images that show off the features and benefits of their products.

With people having better Web connections at home and being able to load sites faster, companies are taking advantage by putting the best images they can on their sites. This allows customers to get a good look from all angles at the products they need to make their hunting trips successful.

Site: Mathews Inc.

Mathews Big Product Image

Good Use of White Space

Successful companies and their representative Website designers and developers know the importance of using white space effectively.

Site: Danner

Danner Site Details

Appealing and Subtle Color Scheme

Color scheme is important.

It’s important to have the right colors to draw the right kind of attention to the products and the goals of the site. Too much crazy color and visitors will lose focus. Not enough effective color and the visitors will not be drawn in.

And if your products have effective color feel free to let them take the focus.

Site: Buck Knives

Buck Knives Color Scheme

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Dry Creek Goose Camp | Business Strategy

“It’s basically just me putting hunters on the birds. And people are satisfied with that.” Rick of Dry Creek Goose Camp

Dry Creek Goose Camp Hunting

Dry Creek Goose Camp

Rick Ruzzamenti (@RickyBuck) of Dry Creek Goose Camp approached me in the Summer of 2009 about doing some research for his business.

I put together a Personalized Marketing Report that included research on competition, outdoor networks, directory listings, advertising, and some thoughts on how Rick could utilize video to grow connections on his Website while building bookings for hunts.

Rick said the research in the report served as a guide for his business and Web strategies in 2009. He says that he still references the report for guidance today.

I spoke with Rick recently and he was very pleased with the 2009 season at Dry Creek Goose Camp. He has posted videos from the 2009 hunt on his site – Dry Creek Duck and Geese Hunting Videos 2009. These videos are great for showing potential clients the success they could be having at Dry Creek.

Rick said that his business model allows him to price lower than surrounding competition in Canada as he operates the camp on his own. He does a majority of the work by scouting fields and putting his client hunters in the right areas with the highest potential for seeing waterfowl and getting shot opportunities.

The hunters that come to Dry Creek are often seasoned hunters and like the freedom Rick provides them to hunt. They find more satisfaction with their hunt this way.

Rick also takes new hunters up to the camp. He said that first time hunters seem to love the wide open spaces up in Canada and always go away with a smile on their face and a head full of memories.

For more information on booking hunts with Dry Creek Goose camp – Hunt Dry Creek Duck and Goose Camp.

Rick didn’t get any business via hunting directories in 2009, but he’s hopeful that his growing online stature and great referral and repeat business will grow his client base in 2010. He’s also confident in sticking with his directory and advertising partners for the foreseeable future as they work to get conversions for Dry Creek.

Rick’s Business Buddies

Rick wanted to thank a number of people who helped make Dry Creek Goose Camp a success in 2009:

Simon’s Taxidermy

They have done taxidermy services with Rick for years and the work is done with quality and on time.

WindWhacker Decoys

These decoys allowed Rick and his client hunters to bring in some top waterfowl for harvest this season.

Kevin Gross – Hunting with the Pros

Kevin brought his great reputation and popular show to Dry Creek and had a successful hunt.

Tim Grounds – Championship Calls

Tim came up with Kevin Gross and together the two were able to harvest some great honkers. Tim is one of the best goose callers in the world.

A Great Buck for RickyBuck

Rick also wanted to thank Robert Hoague of Bowhunting.net for taking him on a great hunt in Ohio in the fall.

Read the story of the hunt – Twitter’s Rickybuck Brings In An Ohio Buck

A Successful Partnership

By many measures, it was a successful year for Rick and for Dry Creek Goose Camp.

I wish Rick the best of luck in 2010 and look forward to a continuing business relationship.

For more information on Rick and Dry Creek Goose Camp –Duck and Goose Hunting in Alberta, Canada

For more information on Marketing Reports and other HBM Services – Hunting Business Marketing Services

Social Media Strategy – Levenger

Levenger mastered the social media game before social media became a buzzword

Levenger Pen and Paper

Today I received my email notification about the new blog post by Levenger CEO Steve Leveen. The post was a great list post of gift ideas for the holiday season – all available from Levenger.

I clicked on a few of the items I thought were interesting and eventually made my way to the customer reviews and comments… Shirt Pocket Briefcase®

Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase

After reading a few comments and watching a few of the video reviews customers have submitted to the Levenger site I realized something – Levenger understood the most important rule – connecting – of social media a long time ago.

Since their inception, Levenger has worked to form long-term connections with each of their passionate customers. The passion and connection he company and its customers share is what leads to amazing results in what is today referred to as online social media.

Levenger’s customers love giving feedback on the products they purchase. Customers even take the time to add photos to their customer reviews. Some of the most dedicated customers even take the time to create video reviews.

It isn’t only on their site that Levenger is having an impact. On the popular connecting site, Twitter, Levenger’s customers rave about their new Levenger products. They rave about the way they are treated by the company and how happy they are with their purchases.

This is a situation most companies dream about and strive for.

So how was Levenger able to accomplish such social media success?

Let’s take a closer look…

Connections

On November 2, 1995, Mrs. Kathryn Bricker of Sarasota, Florida, called to order a Slim Shirt Pocket Briefcase. She was our one-millionth order.

Stories such as this are plentiful in the history of Levenger. The people in the company believe that they are forming respectful relationships with customers rather than simply selling products for serious readers.

For Levenger, the business grew out of the connection and understanding they share with their customers – serious readers and writers.

Since the inception of Levenger in the mid-eighties, through the nineties, and through today, Levenger has used the available tools and channels to connect with their customer. They’ve accepted the Web even when others may see their products as being ancient in relation to digital.

As the digital age came, so did the age of connection and accessibility.

Rather than reject the new technology, Levenger understood the need to enhance their connection with their most passionate customers by continuing to provide the best tools for serious readers while using emerging communication tools to enhance the customers-business relationship.

Social media strategy begins with a connection. A business that focuses on building long-term, valuable connections with individuals will naturally understand social media – no matter what the latest technology is.

As long as there is acceptance and yearning for enhancements in connection, companies will find success.

Telling a Story

Levenger, like many companies, tells a story.

They form a connection with their customers by telling compelling stories. The major difference, however, with Levenger is that they focus on the stories of their customers.

It seems like a simple concept, but most business are quick to tell their own story. Telling your own story is important, but highlighting the stories ahead of your own is more powerful than putting yourself and your business as the main focus.

Levenger benefits from being genuinely interested and enthused to share the stories of how customers use Levenger products to do remarkable things.

What are the stories your customers can tell?

How can you highlight those stories in a way that connects with others who share the same passions?

Target Audience

Something Levenger has always focused on is their core target customer.

Levenger found a group of passionate readers and writers that enjoy their tools for writing and read more than anything else in life (when it comes to disposable income). Levenger uses their customers’ passion to guide the decision to create innovative products that satisfy the dedicated reader/writer’s needs and wants.

Levenger Tweet

As I mentioned in 2010 | The New Normal Hunting Economy, consumers revert to what they are most passionate about when their disposable income decreases. It isn’t that consumers don’t want more things, their ability to supply their demand is limited.

In today’s economy, successful businesses use their connections with their passionate customers to learn and grow while continuing to satisfy existing customers while continuing to attract other passionate individuals. It likely won’t lead to extreme short-term growth,  but it can lead to sustained growth.

Levenger seems to be succeeding at this growth strategy.

Long-Term Strategy

Connecting is a long-term strategy – not a short-term tactic.

From their inception, Levenger has been working to make connections with passionate readers and writers. As a result of this company mission they have always been able to find success with the changing social communication tools.

I often see posts today on Twitter or Facebook. These posts often have tips and tricks for finding success. My favorite posts on technology tools like Twitter and Facebook, however, are the posts that discuss the communication and connecting benefits that the tools provide while looking at connecting and communication in a larger perspective.

Companies that succeed with social media today do so because of their long-term outlook and strategy. Successful companies approach social media tools by looking for the long-term advantages of the tool as a way to add value to their business-customer connection.

Levenger gains long-term customers one at a time.

As a result, they are successful with social media today.

Summary

If I haven’t said it enough, social media is a long-term strategy.

A business can try short-term tactics for connecting, but a long-term strategy of working to build connections with a passionate target audience is the best route for sustainable success.

Levenger has set out to provide the best products for passionate readers and writers since its very beginning. There have been periods of growth in demand from others who may not be the most passionate about their products, but sustained growth over a long period is possible at Levenger because they look to acquire passionate customers one at a time.

Focus on your customer’s story and giving is the key to success for sustainable success in social media.

Short-term focused strategies can be successful…in the short-term.

But to stay up-to-date with the latest communication tools, it’s best to start a long-term connection strategy today to prepare for tomorrow.

How is your company working to build connections with passionate individuals?

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Ecommerce Search – Pay Attention to Your Audience

Your audience will tell you what they want

Binoculars

Last month Google came out with a new service for businesses with current or future plans for expanding ecommerce presence.

Google Commerce Search

Google has a great way to approach new products. They test new products by allowing limited membership to their new programs and products while they work out the kinks and learn from the group of users who test the new products and services.

Google Commerce was rolled out with Birkenstock and it seems to be a big step for companies with a focus on ecommerce. The step may not be directly related to Google Commerce Search, but the trend that Google Commerce Search addresses is certainly important for businesses with an ecommerce presence as well as for companies with any Web presence.

Let me explain…

Search and Ecommerce

In Google’s Commerce Search video they mention an amazing statistic:

Web site visitors spend an average of 8 seconds on a site before deciding whether to stay. And 70% of online shoppers use search to make this decision.

It seems that the Web and ecommerce has honed in the consumer’s focus of searching for products. Or perhaps consumers have always used search in some form to discover the things they are looking for.

Whether it’s a catalog or a Website, the designer can make suggestions with headings in navigation or in a table of contents, but consumers will still page through a catalog or page through a Website to discovery products on their own.

I’ve been noticing an increased emphasis on search and specifically on the importance of the search bar design on many popular ecommerce sites.

LL Bean

Visit the site – LL Bean

LL Bean now features their search bar directly right in the middle of their home page. The search bar is also highlighted with a color (a shade of LL Bean green) and the text ‘Enter item # or keyword’ is prominently displayed.

LL Bean Search Bar

LL Bean has obviously been doing some testing of their own and has discovered that their customers are using the search bar to discover, find and purchase the products available on the site.

It’s a great example of a company paying attention to their audience and using Website design and functionality to add value to their customers.

Here are a couple other examples…

Zappos

Visit the site – Zappos and Zappos Zeta

Zappos Search Bar

Zeta Zappos Search Bar

The search bar on Zappos’s test site, Zeta, has the search bar with a color background to highlight the search functionality even more.

Bowhunting.com

Visit the site – Bowhunting.com

Bowhunting Search Bar

The search here is not in the typical upper right hand side of the page. It’s toward the upper middle area and the company is using Google to provide their search functionality.

These companies realized what their visitors wanted – search functionality – and fostered their Website design around those expressed needs.

Your customer may be expressing different needs for your Website and business. You just have to figure out what they are asking.

Listen to Your Audience

A key to success on the Web for any company is to pay attention and listen to your audience.

Successful marketing driven companies in any contact channel have always been exceptional with testing various initiatives while listening to the feedback their customers provide to the testing. Google has made their mark on the Web by following the principle of testing and rolling out products that their audience responds to with the most long-term excitement. There will always be misses along the way, but the testing and listening strategy is a strong strategy for any company.

Testing at times can seem difficult and time consuming and to setup formal tests it can take time, but is often worth the effort to see the results.

Often times though you’ll find that you can listen and pay attention to your audience without setting up a formal test.

For example, I’ve noticed on the Hunting Business Marketing blog that the types of posts that get shared the most are posts that highlight the success of others. These are usually list posts such as 50 Best Hunting Website Designs. However, posts with more in depth commentary such as Successful Business Highlight – Smashing Magazine are also successful.

I didn’t setup a test for types of posts, but I like to try writing posts of varying style while paying attention to what readers are responding to the most. It seems to be a great way to learn and grow as a writer and as a business owner.

Paying attention and listening to your audience is the key to testing and finding the needs of your customer. Successful companies are able to recognize these needs and address them with improvements to their value chain.

Summary

Companies involved in ecommerce have been alerted to a growing trend in Web consumer need – search.

Google has offered their own search for companies with an ecommerce focus with Google Commerce Search.

Successful companies always test and pay attention and listen to what their audience is telling them. Companies with long-term success are able to not only listen to their audience, but are also able to try new things that successfully address the expressed needs of their audience.

Setting up formal tests and even doing a little in depth analysis of your Website are great ways to listen to what your audience is saying. If you notice an area of expressed need that you can address then roll it out and see how your audience reacts. If it’s positive then great. If the response is so-so then try something new.

The key is to pay attention and continue adding value to your connection with your audience.

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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 – Bowhunting.com

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 – LiveHunt.com

HuntingClub.com – 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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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

Doeville

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
Email: jane@teamhuntress.com

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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.