Stacy Pratt has been a stockist with Scoot Boots for over 3 years in the USA. With over 6,000 followers on her Heartland Scoot Boots facebook page, Stacy offers great personal service to her customers through her social media platform. You will often see Stacy’s helpful advice to new stockists on our Stockist Community Page.
What posts generate the most success for you?
I have found that any tips for boot use and maintenance generate the most interest. Short videos regarding hoof care, boot fit and troubleshooting get a lot of interest and start lots of good conversation among the group members. I cannot stress enough being interactive with the group. Most people are visual and a video is far superior to any explanation you could provide without them or with still photos alone. I have also found that unedited, non professional type videos seem to be the best. Clients like to feel that you are on their level and right there with them. They want to see you using the boots. They want to see you investing time using the product in scenarios just like they will be using them. Also, make sure to share BOTH your success and any issues you may have along the way.
I find it imperative that you set reasonable expectations for your clients and help them to understand that boots will not always perform 100% perfectly. That even with good fitting boots, you will have a twist on occasion or a boot may come off. This can be done gently and in a way that does not scare off potential buyers. Reminding them of how many times nailed on shoes are lost really puts things into perspective. Once you have a good following, your clients will be your best cheerleaders and their posts will eventually mean you can invest less effort into keeping your group active.
How do you convert social media leads into sales?
When I first became a stockist and was trying to develop my client base and build my own facebook group, I made sure to monitor all the used boot, hoof care, used tack and horse related facebook groups. Any time someone asked questions about hoof boots, I was there to scoop them up. KNOW YOUR PRODUCT inside and out. Be able to quickly rattle off the biggest advantages Scoot Boots have over other boot brands. The first year, this is where I spent the majority of my time. I hunted hard for potential clients and then I managed the best clients very well by checking in with them and encouraging them to invite their horse friends to the group and post about their experiences with the boots. Make people feel like friends instead of clients. This involves more time than just selling them a pair of boots and forgetting about them. Many people are nervous about taking that first step and making a purchase. Many of my potential clients have been lurking in my group for quite some time before they decide to move forward with a purchase. This is why you must be active on social media, making your own posts, answering questions, making sure folks know who you are, and promptly answering questions. I literally hold their hand through the process. I assure them that I will be available to them both before and after the sale.....and then I am.
The bulk of my business is done remotely. As such, I find my fitting program is IMPERATIVE to my clients success with their scoot boots and makes them feel confident enough to make that first purchase. Be familiar with the hoof. Know what horse will fit well into boots and which horses may be a challenge. If you feel a horse won't have a perfect fit, tell the client. Also remember, even if the fit isn't perfect, the boots can still perform very well but you must be familiar with what is acceptable and unacceptable for performance. ASK QUESTIONS!!! When you ask your client questions they feel you are invested in their success. Ask how often they have their horse trimmed. Do they have a professional trimmer or do they trim their own? If they have a professional trimming, do any rasp at all between regular visits? What type of riding will they need their boots for? How often and how long do they ride? You must be familiar with what a proper trim looks like. When you are, you can explain to them what could be done with their trim to improve their boot fit. These are the things that make you a professional. These are the things that make the client comfortable with purchasing because you are knowledgeable about hoof care, what works and what doesn't.
If you are going to make your business successful, the first step is building a good client base. That should be your priority. If you do that, your profits will come later. It does take a lot of time but I was working a full time job when I started my business. I worked 12 hour shifts with an hour commute each way and had lots of other activities that kept me busy and I still managed to build a very successful business selling Scoot Boots. My business is completely run on social media. I have no website and all my leads came from Facebook.
How much of your work week do you commit to social media?
In the first year, I committed every available moment to managing my profile and information on social media. This was very time consuming and honestly, I spent more time than I like to admit on the internet hunting for potential clients. At the same time I was starting my business, a few other Stockists also came onto the scene which meant I really had to be on top of things otherwise I would miss out on a potential sale. I had my phone set up to send me alerts to new posts and then when they would come in I would instantly reach out. The first year was a real challenge as I was not real savvy with social media but I learned quickly. I would guess I spent 5 or more hours a day that first year. It was not really committed time because I had a full time job as well so I just managed it as I could throughout the day.
After my group was well established and my client base had grown, my focus shifted from hunting down leads and potential clients on different facebook groups to mostly managing my own group. I no longer have the time to search facebook groups and posts for new clients. I start my mornings off answering messages, texts and emails which takes up most of my time now. My group is large enough and active enough that it pretty much runs itself. I will post something a few times a week and answer questions as they arise but I have some very good clients now who often take care of that for me which is nice.
I have been very fortunate to have stumbled into this business. This year I was able to retire early from a career of nearly 30 years to work on my Scoot Boot business full time. The bonus is there is more than enough business to go around with the explosion of the boot industry. You can keep your business small or make it as large as you want if you simply invest some time, effort and develop your own unique style on social media.