From the Ground Up: Becoming Tech Savvy

Gillian Warner is bringing us along for the ride as she strikes out on her own to launch her business as a professional. You can catch up on the preceding columns from this series here.

At 23 years old, I’m pretty young, on the tail end of being a millennial, and on the cusp of being Gen Z. With my age, countless people have made the assumption that I’m “tech savvy”.

Spoiler alert: I am not.

Sure, I know the general structure of Facebook and Instagram. I have a Snapchat account (that I frequently forget to check). However, I don’t pay any attention to snap streaks, I hardly check my Facebook notifications, and I could go months without posting on Instagram.

That all was working for me, until I started my business.

Suddenly, I needed avenues to market not only my business, but myself. Using my social media accounts, I can “introduce” myself in my interests, my values, and my strengths. I can log the progress that horses in training have made, I can celebrate a student’s progress, and I can advertise for new or future business. My social media accounts can help a potential client get to know me.

Just like Emily from the Rising Equestrian Pro states, social media can be an incredible tool for your business:

I understand the strengths of committing to a regular posting schedule and social media presence. But it doesn’t come naturally! I’m often times covered in mud, frozen in the winter, or dripping with sweat in the summer… not usually “camera ready”. Additionally, time to sit down is rare, let alone enough time to post on social media. Beyond all of that, marketing yourself to the world feels vulnerable. Nothing about it is comfortable.

Finding time, or motivation, to post can be challenging, especially when your fingers are frozen, you’re covered in mud, or you have 500 other things to do.

With my general lack of knowledge of trends, commitment to an ideal posting schedule, and time, I’ve always drug my feet when it comes to connecting online. However, thanks to my working student, Lizzie, and my mom (who is surprisingly way better at social media than I am), I now (mostly) stick to a regular posting schedule. I’m also making reels, kicking off a TikTok account for my business, and brainstorming opportunities to increase my creativity to better show who I am as a rider, trainer, and person.

Utilizing social media as a tool hasn’t always felt easy, but my posts have helped increase follower engagement, connect me to a wider base, and track progress I’ve made with horses and students in my program. Dare I say it’s also almost been fun to refuel my artistic, creative side to compile posts together?

Whether you’re a young pro launching your business, an established rider looking to clarify your brand, or just looking for a fun new way to engage with new people, share your horsemanship, and build a network, try to push yourself out of your comfort zone on social media.