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Joshua Claflin

Josh Claflin, as the President of Garrison Everest, specializes in assisting businesses related to outdoor activities, hunting, adventure, and shooting sports. He focuses on developing effective messaging, branding, and digital marketing strategies that can help these businesses expand their brand presence, increase website traffic, build a larger contact list, and grow their customer base.

Outdoor Lifestyle Marketing

How Outdoor Lifestyle Marketing Can Bolster Your Content Strategy

By Outdoor Industry Marketing

If you’ve been doing outdoor industry marketing a while, you may have noticed that the traction you once had is beginning to wane.

You’ve been able to build a sizeable email marketing list, your social media following has grown exponentially and you’ve been able to boost online sales through organic website traffic.

However, with the explosion of content in our industry, especially in the hunting, shooting sports, camping, and CCW segments—how can you continue to breath new life into your brand and content marketing to keep growing?

In this post, we look at lifestyle marketing—and how by integrating your customer’s narrative into your brand’s story—you can put your product into a context that goes beyond its features and benefits.


What is outdoor lifestyle marketing?

When thinking about a lifestyle, first think about what a lifestyle is. A lifestyle is a set of habits, attitudes, beliefs, interests, opinions, ideas and thoughts based on an individual’s unique God-given personality.

For example, you may define the outdoor lifestyle as:

  • Adventure
  • Free
  • Family
  • Discovery
  • Conservation
  • Escape

Or you may define the 16 million CCW holders lifestyle (Source: Axios) as:

  • Freedom-loving
  • Defensive
  • Aware
  • Protective
  • Heroic
  • Concerned

“Lifestyle brands define who people are and who they want or hope to be.”

Many industry brands solely focus on their product’s features, and minimize their customer’s lifestyle or don’t incorporate them at all into their marketing strategies. When attention to lifestyle is left out—brands miss out on a pathway to connect deeper with their customers. Lifestyle brands give your buyers a goal and vision to become something better. This aspirational aspect is what makes lifestyle marketing so effective. 

Exercise: How would you describe your outdoor lifestyle? What products represent how you live?


How do you build a outdoor lifestyle brand?

Turning a brand into a lifestyle brand takes some time. Consistent, intentional effort that is driven by your company’s leadership is key to permeating your company’s culture to drive authentic experiences. Below are six tactics to help you get started:

Know your Tribe
Tribe,” coined by Seth Godin, states: “Tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have joined tribes, be they religious, ethnic, political, or even musical. It’s our nature. Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time.” You must get to know your tribe as thoughtfully as possible to harness their pain points, interests and motivations—then you must lead them in the lifestyle your brand represents. 

Create awesome branding 
Brands that invoke the best visuals and messaging are more likely to garner emotional attachment. Almost all lifestyle brands have an active design component. A visually appealing logo/symbol of your brand that your tribe adopts will make them want to stick it on the back of their truck, or perhaps get a tattoo (just Google “Glock tattoo“).  

Invest in your culture
As your brand becomes more trusted, it’s important to show your people. Most companies in the hunting, shooting, and outdoor industry don’t show the people behind the scenes. The best cultures become the best lifestyle brands. Make sure they are living the lifestyle your brand embodies.

Leverage influencers
The lifestyle affinity is a natural fit for influencer marketing because your influencers are already living the lifestyle you want to integrate into your messaging. Your influencers can boost your content and storyline to their audiences through social media, garnering trust and expanding reach.

Create content
Content will continue to be an essential part of any digital or influencer marketing strategy for the foreseeable future, because of its effectiveness and long-term benefits. When creating content, don’t blow smoke about how great, amazing, game-changing, evolved, re-imagined, etc. your product is. Show how it improves your tribe’s lives without pushing your product.

Be present
Like any relationship, sometimes all it takes is showing up. Brand awareness is a key part of building a lifestyle brand, and this is where gorgeous cinematic hunting, camping or hiking video/photography and other tactics help you stay top of mind and part of people’s lives.


Four examples of outdoor lifestyle marketing brands




Photo Credit: Beretta

Beretta’s lifestyle marketing consists of aligning their brand with an upper-class type of shooter and their experiences. The brand’s creative platform contains fonts that are clean and a color palette that suggests luxury. Their photography represents the customers they wish to align with that could be described as sophisticated, traditional and affluent—most likely influenced by the brand’s European origin. Part of what makes Beretta a lifestyle brand is its clothing line. Not only can you own and shoot the Berretta brand—but you can also wear it.

Beretta also integrates a robust content marketing program that adds value to its customers by helping them get better at their shooting and outdoor pursuits.


Outdoor Marketing Llifestyle

Photo Credit: Sitka

Sitka Gear based in Bozeman, Montana is also a prime example of what it means to live the outdoor lifestyle. Sitka’s helpful articles, short films, and transparency in their design and manufacturing processes make it an excellent lifestyle brand. Much more than a camo company—their focus on their “Tribe” is based on their mission statement to “inspire, delight and enlighten hunters.” Their mission towards conservationism also gives the brand a much higher purpose, which makes it more attractive, exciting and admirable.



Photo Source: Yeti

No other company in the outdoor world does a better job than Yeti in integrating their products into the outdoor lifestyle. Yeti seeks to touch every aspect of someone participating in the outdoor world through story-based content. From Spearfishers to Big Horn Sheep Hunters—Yeti is a brand built for the wild as stated in their tagline. I found it especially interesting that they also have a Spotify list with songs from a broad genre that puts music to the Yeti Lifestyle. This is just another way lifestyle brands are looking outside the traditional channels to build their names into their customer’s lives.



Magpul Outdoor Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Magpul

There was some confusion a few years ago when Magpul decided to evolve their firearm accessories brand into a lifestyle brand with the addition of apparel like gloves, shirts, and pants. Magpul has now become more than just a company known for its magazines, stocks, and handguards.


Make the connection


When thinking through on how to align your brand with your customer’s lifestyle—you must begin with their characteristics, problems, challenges, hopes, fears, and dreams; and start to build your marketing strategy around them, not your product.

Seek to dramatize your material around their outdoor, hunting or shooting activities—but also look for other aspects that define them. For example, your imagery can speak to the pride they have as a first responder, their desires to spend more time with friends and family, a lost loved one (see Beyond the Roar by Leupold below), ambitions of climbing Mount Everest, adventure (see Weatherby Timeless Video) or hunting with their Son or Daughter. Anything your brand can do to take them out or into a place they want to be is a critical component of lifestyle marketing. Your brand must become a storyteller that allows your customer to see themselves as their best self. 

The below video by Leupold is a great example of engaging lifestyle storytelling.


“Lifestyle marketing must be somewhat mythical and paint a visual that seems almost dream-like while remaining brutally authentic.” 

Modern consumers who are empowered by digital technology are highly discerning. When you succeed in integrating your product seamlessly into their lives, becoming a natural part of their personal story, you won’t need to actively ask for their engagement. They’ll perceive your product as if they stumbled upon it, a perfect match for their self-image and place in the world.

If your content strategy needs a boost, perhaps lifestyle marketing is the tactic you need for continued success.

Article image source: Fluid Peak Productions a lifestyle marketing company.

outdoor hunting shooting sports marketing buyer personas

Outdoor, Hunting And Firearms Customers (Do You Really Know Who They Are?)

By Firearms and Hunting, Outdoor Industry Marketing

Do you really know who your outdoor, hunting and shooting sports customers are? This is one of the hardest questions for industry business owners to answer. Below are some sample questions to ask yourself:

  • Who specifically is our customer?
  • What are their pain points?
  • Who are they aspiring to become?
  • How does our product help them achieve their goals?
  • How do we guide them in their customer journey?

I think most of us will admit we don’t know our customers as well as we should. And in the era of digital marketing, it’s more important and easier than ever to know how consumer interests and motivations. This is especially true when you consider the millions of new gun owners, hunters and anglers who’ve entered the market in the past few years since COVID.

By neglecting to have an accurate and well-defined ideal customer or—buyer persona—you hinder the potential and effectiveness of your outdoor industry marketing efforts.

Marketing is about knowing your customer better than anyone else. The understanding that comes with this insight allows you to speak their language at their level, at the right place and at the right time about your product or services in an authentic and human way. Clarify your message and create some great branding—and you got a good foundation to build your outdoor industry marketing program.

So What Are Outdoor, Hunting and Shooting Sports Customer Buyer Personas and Why Should I Care?

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are the granular view of the character in your brand’s story. They are based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.

How Are Outdoor, Hunting and Shooting Sports Customer Buyer Buyer Personas Created?

Buyer personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of customers — both “good” and “bad”— prospects, and those outside of your contact database who might align with your target audience. You’ll collect data that is both qualitative and quantitative to paint a picture of who your customer is, what they value, and how your solution helps them achieve their goals.

In this post, I’ll give you the steps you need to accurately identify your buyer persona. This will allow you to focus your content and messaging like a laser for better results.


First Start With Some Background

hunting and firearms customers

Hunting and Firearms Segments (Southwick Associates)

It’s good to first start with some broad strokes and then fill in the blank areas as you go. To begin, start by answering the questions below.

  • Basic details about persona’s role
    What do they do for a living?
    What is their level of education?
    What is their annual household income?
  • Key information about the persona’s interests
    List facts like big game hunting, CCW, archery, hiking etc.
    How often do they engage in these activities?
    What magazines do they subscribe to?
  • Relevant background info, like education or hobbies
    What do they typically do in their spare time.
    Are they rushed for time, busy parents? Weekend warriors? Workaholics?

“When you have somebody purchasing to build their skills versus someone who’s purchasing to go hunting or because they have crime in their area — your marketing is going to be completely different for each one of them.” — Nancy Bacon, Southwick Associates 




Demographics are the statistical characteristics of a population, such as age, gender, and income. Demographics can be used to identify markets, such as a younger demographic. Demographic data can also tell you more about a community than its size and whether it is growing or declining.

Demographics round out the edges and fill in the blanks. Important as demographics are, they still are only one dimension of your customer. Use the questions below:

  • What is their gender? Male or female?
  • Age range
  • Household income (Consider a spouse’s income, if relevant)
  • Location (Is your persona urban, suburban, or rural?)



outdoor, hunting and shooting sports customers

Photo Credit: Chris Dorsey

What are their Identifiers?

Identifiers help you sound like your buyer persona. If your outdoor, hunting and shooting sports customers are western hunters, you’ll want to utilize your knowledge of big sky hunting and make sure your writing sets the right tone. If your buyer persona are mid-west hunters, you’re going to want to talk as such.

  • Buzz words
    List some industry buzz words and words that are commonly used by your buyer personas
  • Mannerisms
    What does your buyer persona sound or act like?
  • Language
    What kind of language do they use? Is it intelligent and articulate? or more southern?



What are their Aspirations?

Begin listing your buyer persona’s primary and secondary goals. This will begin to give you ideas on what kind of messaging, content and materials you should create. Interview them to get more detail.

  • Persona’s primary want – What are they trying to get better at?
  • Persona’s secondary goal – Is it to spend more time outdoors?
  • Persona transformation – Who do they want to become?

TIP: When potential outdoor, hunting and shooting sports customers call, ask them why they contacted you. When you’re on the phone with your customer, make it a point to get to know them and record it in your CRM’s contact record.



What Challenges Does Your Customers Have?

Now we’re getting into the nuts and bolts. List the challenges your buyers face. Finding property to hunt or gun ranges? Learning basic tactical skills? Creating relevant communication?

  • Primary challenge to persona’s success – Is it finding the right equipment?
  • Secondary challenge to persona’s success – Getting more range time?



How Do You Help Your Customers?

Begin brainstorming on how you can help your personas. Think beyond what your product or service directly offers. Move in the direction of other dimensions, verticals or channels of your offering. What might you be able to provide that leads them to your solution?

  • How you solve your persona’s challenges – We offer free online hunting/firearm training.
  • How you help your persona achieve goals – We give you a community to learn.



Use Real Quotes

To humanize, list some real quotations taken from your interviews and surveys. This will ground the persona even more in your mind and in the minds of your marketing and sales team.

  • Real Quotes
    Include a few real quotes taken during your interviews that represent your persona well.
  • Common objections
    Identify the most common objections your persona will raise during evaluating your product

EXAMPLE: “I’ve been a hunter all my life, but lately, I can’t find anywheres to hunt with my son. Public land is too pressured and paying for a guide may be out of my price range. What do you suggest?” – Hunter Hal



Create Messaging That Engages Your Persona

Now that you have a good understanding of your persona, how can you distill this information into a short succinct clear message. This message should be used in your positioning statement, tagline or one liner. It should be the main storyline of your your brand. It can also be the trunk of which all your content hangs off of.

  • How should you describe your product to your persona?
  • Include a few real quotes – This will make it easier for employees to relate to and understand your persona.
  • One liner – Make describing your solution simple and consistent across everyone in your company. Start with your problem, then tell them your solution. Remember, keep talking about your customer’s problems to keep them engaged.



Add A Picture of Your Personas and Name Them

Last but not least, add a picture of them. If you have multiple buyer personas—pick a picture for each. It can be a current customer from your Facebook page or a stock photo.

Hunting And Firearms Customers

Photo Credit: TRACT Optics



Communicate Your Buyer Personas To Your Company

How do you communicate this new understanding of your target customer with your entire organization? After all, if your sales and marketing teams don’t understand who they’re speaking to, it’s hard to craft a message that really resonates. Add these personas into your HubSpot CRM and track effectiveness.

To get started, download the free buyer persona’s template below to create your buyer persona and how to present your buyer persona to your company for greater understanding and marketing ROI.

outdoor hunting shooting sports customer buyer personas

FREE DOWNLOAD: A Guide to Creating the Outdoor, Hunting and Shooting Sports Customer Buyer Persona

In this powerful template — we help you and your team think through and identify who your ideal customer is. This will enable you to focus your messaging and maximize your marketing and sales. It will also help you present your buyer persona to your team for clarity.

outdoor hunting firearms content marketing

Outdoor Industry SEO: 8 Ways To Rank Higher on Google

By Outdoor Industry Marketing, SEO

You most likely know that blogging for your hunting, outdoor or firearms company is a must do when trying to rank on search engines like Google, but I see so many companies still getting it wrong.

For those who take the time and energy to create content in the form of blogs, videos and podcasts—there exists many benefits and clearly defined advantages for your outdoor industry marketing program. The most important being outdoor industry SEO.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, SEO means the process of improving your website to increase its visibility in Google, Microsoft Bing, and other search engines whenever people search for:

    • Products you sell.
    • Services you provide.
    • Information on topics in which you have deep expertise and/or experience.

The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to be found and clicked on. Ultimately, the goal of search engine optimization is to help attract website visitors who will become customers, clients or an audience that keeps coming back. (Source: SEL)

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Instead of pitching products or services, content marketing provides relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve issues in their work (B2B content) or personal lives (B2C content). (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

Call it content marketing or blogging—blogs have been shown to increase SEO website traffic by 55% (Source: Hubspot). Done consistently, blogging will compound over time into more traffic, more leads and more sales through your website. Blogging is one of the key components in an internet or content marketing strategy. Blogs power your search engine optimization and social media efforts to greater heights. In a time of digital transformation, embracing content and SEO will have an immense impact on your online sales.

If you’re the type of business owner or marketer who sees the advantages of content creation in the form of blogging and are committed to thought leadership, driving website traffic and to building your brand, this post will help you become a more effective blog writer in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry.

1. Outdoor industry SEO starts with your audience

A lot of times, you may be blogging just for the sake of blogging. But this is where a lot of people go wrong. There is a methodology to blogging. For starters, you must understand your audience at the granular level to make your writing efforts pay off. A great way to get inside the heads of your prospects is to interview your current customers. Ask them why they value your brand, what keeps them up at night and what their biggest challenges are. For example:

  • How to call in a hung up turkey.
  • What is the best AR15 for home defense?
  • How to become a better sports clay shooter.
  • How to field dress your game quicker.
  • What are cheaper thermal vision alternatives?
  • Best places in Montana to look for sheds.
  • What level of fitness do I need to hunt bighorn sheep?

By asking the right questions, you will be able to write the right blogs that capture your audience’s attention.

SEO PRO TIP: Write for your customers, not search engines. And do not use copy/paste blog articles from ChatGPT.


2. Pick Outdoor Industry SEO topics based on your keywords

If you’re blogging on topics that don’t include your keywords you’re camouflaging your blogs. Keywords drive traffic to your website and show up in search engines where your prospective customers are. Pick topics that your customers are searching for. To find out what keywords you should be blogging on, you’ll need to take a closer look at your analytics. You may even consider using a paid keyword tool service like Moz, Wordstream, or HubSpot’s Topic Cluster Tool or utilize your Google Adwords tool.

SEO PRO TIP: Don’t stuff keywords into your copy.


3. Use the Topic Pillar Strategy to optimize your Outdoor Industry SEO efforts

A topic pillar is a strategic content framework used in search engine optimization (SEO) to enhance a website’s visibility and authority in a specific subject area. It consists of a comprehensive, in-depth piece of content known as the “pillar” content, which serves as the central resource for a particular topic.

Surrounding this pillar content are related subtopics, known as “cluster” content, which delve into specific aspects of the main topic in greater detail. This hierarchical structure not only organizes and categorizes information effectively but also signals to search engines that your website offers comprehensive coverage on a subject. As a result, search engines are more likely to recognize your website as an authority in the field, leading to improved rankings and greater organic traffic, making topic pillars an invaluable strategy for SEO.

SEO PRO TIP: Don’t randomly blog for the sake of blogging without a topic cluster strategy.


outdoor industry seo topic pillar

4. Outdoor Industry SEO should teach them something

Just like this blog is attempting to teach you something—your blog should attempt the same. Like the examples shown above, the first and best way to approach a blog is to answer the questions you hear most from your customers. Compose a list, perhaps starting with your FAQS and turn them into 700-1000-word blog posts.

SEO PRO TIP: Blog posts less than 300 words will have a difficult time ranking. Aim to write articles 700 words or more.


outdoor industry seo blog format5. Format your content to rank

Formatting is another factor you must consider. Your readers will typically scan topics and headlines before committing to reading your post. It’s kind of like channel surfing. To make the most of the one shot you have to grab your reader’s attention, your blog posts should take on a format like this to allow for easy scanning:

  1. Attention-grabbing headline
  2. Engaging image
  3. Share buttons
  4. Introduction and hook
  5. Introduce the problem you are solving and who the post is for
  6. Tell the reader what to expect
  7. Cite your sources for credibility
  8. Number your sub-heads
  9. End with a recap and conclusion
  10. Use a call to action to generate a lead or sale

By formatting your blog properly, you’ll increase the likelihood of getting it read.

SEO PRO TIP: Don’t forget to add your keyword in your H1, H2’s and alt images in your blog post.

6. Ignite your Outdoor Industry SEO

Sharing is considered the “holy grail” in social media. It’s one thing to “like” or “favorite” a post, but a share has the potential to drive traffic and build brand awareness exponentially. When a person shares your content, it says something about them to their friends and followers.

According to Mark Schaefer’s new book, the Content Code, people share content on the basis of making themselves look smarter or to communicate something about their interests and personalities. Sharing “ignites” your content that allows your brand to penetrate into new audience groups.

Make sure to add share buttons at the top of your posts and make sure the blog data automatically populates is the first step in getting your post shared.

SEO PRO TIP: Don’t forget to ignite your content by mentioning others on social media who you cited in your articles.

7. Consistency is the key in Outdoor Industry SEO

If you start a blog, you must commit to blogging on a regular and consistent basis. By starting out strong and then getting sidetracked in 3-4 months, will hinder your efforts and leave your followers hanging. They’ll forget about you and eventually unsubscribe or tune out. If you’re going to commit to blogging, commit to it and stick with it. You can start out by committing to once a month and build up from there. The more you blog—statistics show—the more traffic you get.

SEO TIP:  Aim to blog every day and release 3-5 new blogs per month and be consistent.

outdoor industry seo and content marketing

8. End with a call to action

At the end of every blog post, you should end with a call to action. Whether it’s a downloadable offer, a video or even a call to purchase one of your products—make sure to capitalize on the momentum and interest you just created with your reader once they get to the bottom of your post.

In ending, when writing a blog post, start by knowing your audience, teach them something, write articles based on your keywords, format, use the topic cluster model, make it easy to share, be consistent and end with a call to action.

By including these points in your next hunting, outdoor or firearms blog post, you’ll start seeing lower bounce rates, increased traffic, and more subscribers, shares, likes and favorites.

outdoor content marketing

Where To Source Content For Your Outdoor Content Marketing Program

By Outdoor Industry Marketing

Photo credit: Back Down South

Because content is the lifeblood of all your outdoor industry marketing it will be important to figure out how and where you will source it. 

Do people read blogs anymore?
In addition, when surveyed (29%) read blogs 1-4 times a month, 18% read every day, and only 17% never read blogs.

Studies shows business blogging and content creation leads to 55% more website visitors (Source: Hubspot). This one standalone fact is what makes creating content and writing blog posts so crucial when conducting content or inbound marketing. It’s nearly impossible to generate a steady flow of organic traffic and leads without content. By expanding your digital footprint with keyword rich blog posts, videos and downloadable offers, you create more ways for your prospective customers to find you.

In this post, if you’re a marketer or business owner starting an content marketing program in the outdoor, hunting or firearms industry—I’ll give you five places to find ideas for your content (blogs, videos and offers).


1. FAQs

The first step after you’ve identified your buyer persona(s) is to create a list of all the questions your customers ask about your product. This should give you a good list of about 10-20 topics to start. Answer every question you can think of that’s been asked by your customers—then write those answers into 500-2000 word blog posts on your website.

2. Insource

Your company or network is full of experts who know a thing or two about your products and how it works in context. Interview them on topics your customers are most interested about. For some firearm or hunting companies, your sponsored shooting team or pro staff can provide valuable insight and information on current trends; what’s happening at the range or in the field where hunters and shooters tend to talk about the latest and hottest products.

3. Crowdsource

Crowdsourcing allows you to obtain (information or input into a particular task or project) by enlisting the services of a number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via your social media channels, forums, or on your website directly. Start by asking your audience questions and allow them to answer it themselves. Then take their input and compose them into posts.

4. Outsource

When all else fails, you can outsource your content creation to an inbound marketing agency or hire writers from websites like Writer’s Access, BlogMutt and Content Writers. All have gun and hunting friendly writers available. Another great industry resource you may not have heard about is the Professional Outdoor Media Association. You can post project needs on their website that will enable you to get in contact with some of the industry’s best writers and photographers. 

5. Repurpose

If you already have content, you can reuse it. Have your outsourced writers transcript your videos into blogs. Create videos from your blog posts. Take a collection of blog posts and create an ebook out of them. Use some of your content as product promotions. The great thing about content creation is you can always recycle it. Don’t let any of your past content go to waste.

firearms-hunting-sales-marketing-funnelBring it all together

Now that you have a good collection of content, begin thinking through how your content will pull your visitor through your sales funnel. The goal in inbound marketing is to provide relevant content that educates your prospect through the buying process and gives them the information they need to make an informed decision. Top of the funnel topics consist of how-to’s, and tips and tricks. Middle of the funnel content consists of in-depth whitepapers and product demos. Bottom of the funnel offers consist of pricing and case studies. Create these offers and send them to your leads via email using a program like MailChimp. 

Schedule your content into monthly chunks and campaigns to stay on track. Post to your social media accounts daily and send to your email subscribers on a consistent basis. Track effectiveness with Google analytics or with your marketing automation tool.

In conclusion, sourcing and writing content doesn’t have to be difficult. Taking the time to plan and schedule can help you create consistent and viable content for your inbound marketing program.



Outdoor and Hunting Logo

5 Outdoor and Hunting Logo Design Failures To Avoid At All Costs

By Outdoor Industry Marketing

It is inevitable that at some point in your company’s history you will be faced with a outdoor and hunting logo redesign or a rebranding of your hunting, outdoor or shooting sports company.

Remember the good ole’ start-up days? It was a lot easier just to design a few concepts that made sense, approve it and get on with building your business. But now things are a little more complicated: you have thousands of customers, a few sub-brands, hundreds of employees counting on you and a few more competitors. Suddenly, that little insignificant symbol that no one thought twice about is a big deal.

For business owners or outdoor industry marketing managers, managing a logo redesign is a major change—and change is hard! To help you stay clear of any potential pitfalls, here are five things to keep in mind during the course of your next hunting, outdoor or firearms logo redesign project.


1. Get an outside perspective

When designing a new logo, it’s critical to start with an understanding of what your customers think about your current identity and brand. Their input will form the foundation of your creative brief and give substance to your efforts. Their answers may provide key insights that you otherwise would have missed.

For more information on interviewing your customers please see: 8 Ways to Build Your Hunting Brand

2. Identify your value propositions

If you’re designing a new outdoor and hunting logo without a solid understanding of what your brand stands for, it’s likely you’ll struggle to define accurately what your key differentiators are and what value you bring to the marketplace, your employees, customers, and channel partners. If you’re struggling to identify what your “why” is, it may indicate a deeper problem, and you may need to take a deeper look at your brand. Below is a TED talk from Simon Sinek that explains how to create a brand that dominates your category—worth the watch.

Remember, a logo is a representation of what you want to communicate and should be connected to your visual system or “kit of parts” i.e package design, trade show booth design, outdoor website design, product catalogs, advertising etc. A logo rarely functions on its own.


3. Write a concise outdoor and hunting creative brief

If points 1 and 2 (above) are not defined, then your creative brief will be filled with guesses and estimations. It’s possible to still create a logo, but you may be missing out on key insights that would be helpful to your design agency when they begin the project. A good creative brief contains the following points:

  • Project summary
  • Audience profile or buyer persona
  • Perception/tone/guidelines
  • What needs to be communicated
  • Competitors
  • Examples of logos you like/dislike

A detailed creative brief saves time, endless revisions and equips your branding agency with the right information to maximize the design process.

Outdoor and Hunting Logo4. Don’t design your outdoor and hunting logo by committee

When you receive your first round of concepts back from your outdoor industry marketing agency don’t email it out to everyone in your company for feedback. Chances are you’ll get a hundred different suggestions and “advice” on what needs to be changed. Don’t include those who haven’t been involved in the process from the beginning.

The famous maxim: a camel was a horse designed by committee—is true in this situation. Form a select team of 2-4 people to help you choose the best logo for your company. Make sure all options have been vetted and are properly understood before presenting to your company’s stakeholders—then send out your top 2 choices to the company (if you want their involvement).

And as hard as it may seem, make sure to design your logo based on what your customers want and expect, and not so much on what you like.


5. Present your outdoor and hunting logo

Another reason not to send your concepts out to the company until you have a strong consensus of what the strongest 2 or 3 final concepts are—is to make sure each concept is explained properly.
Create a video or website  about what the new logo means and how it will look with the other parts of your visual system.

Redesigning a new logo is a challenging exercise. To get it right, you must take the time to talk to your customers, identify your value propositions, write an accurate and concise creative brief, collaborate internally and present the concepts thoroughly. By doing so, you will avoid these common logo redesign pitfalls.



Influencer Marketing Firearms Hunting Industry

What I Discovered About Influencer Marketing in the Outdoor, Hunting and Firearms Industry

By Influencer Marketing, Outdoor Industry Marketing


Buffalo Bill Influencer Marketing

Buffalo Bill for Savage Arms

Influencer marketing in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry has been a tried and true method of connecting with hard to reach demographics since the days of Buffalo Bill.

Often referred to as Pro Staff or Ambassadors—top hunters like Jim Shockey, Steve Rinella, or shooting professionals like Colion Noir and Julie Golob and hundreds of others—have been commissioned by the industry’s top brands to exert their influence over their vast number of social media followers.

Consumers trust recommendations from a third party more often than a brand itself. And it makes sense if you think about it in a more personal context. You don’t usually trust a person at a party who comes up to you and brags about him/herself and spouts fun facts about his/her personality to convince you to be a friend. But you often believe your mutual friend who vouches for that person. An influencer is a mutual friend connecting your brand with your target consumers. (Source: NP Digital)

In this post, I answer five questions about influencer marketing that will help you understand how to integrate this powerful tactic into your outdoor industry marketing strategy.

1. What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that uses category leaders or celebrities to communicate your brand’s message and content to their vast number of followers. Instead of buying print ads or filming commercials, you use the influencer to get the word out for you instead.

Influencer marketing typically involves content marketing and social media as the mechanisms to propel those messages. Whether they are producing the content themselves like Mia Anstine for Beretta or you are writing it for them and putting their name on it—influencer marketing almost always involves the tactics of content marketing with social media as its primary distribution channel. 


“People feel the need to be informed by accurate information, and when they lack confidence in their own knowledge, they turn to others in the hope that they will provide them with the correct information. By accepting this information, regardless of whether it is accurate, the person is subjected to social influence.”

—Psychologist World (Source: SEMRUSH)


2. How do you find the right influencer?

2.50% of users have between 100,000 and 500,000 Instagram followers. 0.32% of users have between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Instagram followers. Lastly, users with over 1 million Instagram followers represent only 0.31% of total users. Considering this statistic, it should come as no surprise that leveraging the power of this select group of influencers serves as a highly valuable strategy for brands looking to expand their awareness and reach. (Source: Mention)

In the hunting, outdoor and firearms world, the industry is full of shooting, firearm hunting experts, and proponents that blog and create videos. A few are popular celebrities like Luke Bryan or nationally syndicated radio host Dana Loesch. Below, I used Followerwonk and Buzzsumo to identify top Instagram accounts of industry advocates that have large audiences to get an idea of the numbers we’re talking about.

  1. Cameron Hanes / 1.5M
  2. John Lovell / 1.4M
  3. Tim Kennedy / 1.3M
  4. Alex Zedra / 1.2M
  5. Steve Rinella / 1.2M
  6. Hannah Barron / 1.2M
  7. Kirsty Titus / 74K

But how do you go about finding and choosing the right influencer? Do you go for a big name like Mark Kenyon in the hunting category who has over 130K followers on Instagram—or someone less known but who has a very niche group of fans—otherwise known as “power-middle” influencers? Both have pros and cons and will ultimately depend on your product’s contextual fit and marketing budget. There is growing evidence that “power-middle” influencers (2.5K – 25K followers) are shown to have a 16x higher engagement.

To find your perfect influencer, you can start with good ole’ fashion research. Or you can pay for the latest and greatest influencer marketing software to help you find that perfect influencer as well as track ROI. Here are a few to check out:

You can also use sites like Buzzsumo or Followerwonk to start your search. While someone with hundreds of thousands of social media followers certainly could expose your brand to their followers, if they are not a snug contextual fit, their post or tweet would be moot as far as driving leads and customers. (Source: NP Digital)

true-influence-drive-action3. How to start with influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing starts with your ideal influencer image—and if your product fits within the context of what your influencer typically talks about and how they align with your buyer persona(s). You wouldn’t hire Justin Beiber who has over 293M followers to tweet out a picture of your Deer Scent Product next to a fallen Buck (although that may be kinda funny).

Create your ideal influencer based on age, gender, location, vertical, personality and average audience size. Next figure out, where can your brand’s content can be amplified. Do you need the visual component of Instagram or Pinterest or something more substantive and instant like Facebook or Twitter? Are you looking for social media followers, website traffic or both? Define your goals and begin your search.

According to Social Chorus, the best way to reach out to influencers is to start by getting their attention on social media through likes, retweets, mentions and shares. Then you’ll want to reach out via email. Keep your email simple, introduce your brand, why you’re interested and describe what you both can expect to gain through the relationship. You can negotiate your engagement by direct sponsorship, sponsoring their giveaways, content collaboration, shout outs or commission.


4. How to measure influencer marketing?
Below are three ways influencer marketing can be tracked during a campaign.

  1. Trackable links: Most software programs have their own conversion tracking technology that enables you to track how many online sales each influencer drove for you. However, trackable links can only be posted on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. 
  2. Promo codes: Not only do promo codes help you track the impact of your campaign, but they also build urgency and an extra incentive for viewers to buy your product.
  3. Correlation: This entails correlating the time of posting with increases in sales or installs.
    (Source: ExpertVoice)


5. Brands doing it right.

As I looked across the industry, here are some examples of brands that base a large majority of their strategy on influencer marketing:



Yeti’s influencer marketing program is known as probably the best in the outdoor industry. “We do a lot of endorsements, from celebrity hunters to fishermen, and always try to engage them as ambassadors of the brand and then tell their stories in as many places as we can.”
—Corey Maynard VP of Marketing (Source: Adweek)  




Cabela’s has about 20 “authenticity experts” who are asked to chime in on their areas of expertise (hunting, fishing, camping, etc.) to make sure their messaging truly matches the outdoor and hunting space. These are people who volunteer to participate because they are passionate about their own experiences, social media, and Cabela’s brand. (Source: Convince and Convert)


Mountain Ops

Mountain Ops uses several hunters/huntresses or “wilderness athletes” to inspire and help you get in “outdoor shape.” I love the vibe of MTN Ops, its a super cool brand that attracts super cool influencers. 

Hunting Influencer Marketing

Photo by Mountain Ops via Instagram



Glock was  the first in the industry to start using Facebook Live in 2016. In 2023, they continue to rely on influencers and their pro teams to build awareness and authority. This is a great example of mixing influencer marketing, content and live video.



Consumers have always valued opinions expressed directly to them. Marketers may spend millions of dollars on elaborately conceived advertising campaigns, yet often what makes up a consumer’s mind is not only simple but also free: a word-of-mouth recommendation from a trusted source. (Source: McKinsey)

So, is influencer marketing a right strategy for your brand? Here are a few statistics:

  1. In 2022, the influencer market in the U.S. was valued at a record 16.4 billion.
  2. 1 in 4 marketers currently leverage influencer marketing.
  3. 72% of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers on social media.
  4. 89% of marketers who currently engage with influencer marketing will increase or maintain their investment in 2023.
  5. 17% of marketers plan to invest in influencer marketing for the first time in 2023.
  6. 38% of marketers say generating sales was their top goal for influencer marketing in 2022.
  7. 50% of Millennials trust product recommendations from influencers. This drops to 38% for product recommendations from celebrities.
  8. 92% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing.
  9. 33% of Gen Z-ers have bought a product based on an influencer’s recommendation in the past three months.
  10. Micro-influencers generate up to 60% more engagement than macro influencers.
  11. 44% of marketers say that the biggest benefit of working with micro-influencers is that it is less expensive.
  12. 56% of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro-influencers.” 

(Source: Hubspot)

In the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry, I’d say there is overwhelming evidence that influencer marketing is a good way to move the needle. Combined with inbound or content marketing, influencer marketing could be the strategy you’re looking for.

What about you, what are your thoughts on influencer marketing? 


SEO for Firearms

Firearms SEO and Content Marketing – Why You Can’t Do One Without The Other

By Firearms Marketing

With the firearms industry coming off of four record years of growth—traffic on your website may be dropping, sales may be slowing, and panic may be beginning to set in.

You may have clicked on this post because you’re looking to get into digital marketing and you’ve heard that working on your firearms SEO may be the place to start.

Whatever best describes you, in this short and abbreviated post, I’ll explain the difference between SEO and content marketing and why you can’t do one without the other.

Firearms SEO

SEO is a firearms marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. (Source: Moz) By gaining visibility on search engines through organic (non-paid) results, your business can generate traffic, which in turn can equal sales. And with over 81% of all product searches beginning on the web, if you’re not showing up in search, your business may as well not exist.

Organic traffic in the firearms industry has a much higher rate of return because people searching are actively buying. This means their wallets are open and they are looking for a solution to their problem.

There are many factors involved in optimizing your website for search engines. Listed below are top ten must-dos to start. 

  1. Your website must be mobile responsive.
  2. Keywords that your prospects are searching for should be placed in the title tags of your website.
  3. Make sure your images are optimized to their lowest file size to decrease page load times and that they are also named using your keywords.
  4. An informative META description on your web page(s) that also include your keywords.
  5. Writing content on every page of your website that contains those same keywords at least five times (or 0.8%) within a 700-1000 word text block.
  6. Having a well-designed page structure and code base where load hogging scripts are compressed and placed beneath the web page’s fold (the visible area of your website when it pulls up).
  7. A fast server and content delivery network.
  8. A good user interface that also contains your keywords in the main headings <h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc.
  9. Keywords in your URLs when possible.
  10. A good sitemap that can be read by Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others.

And that’s just ten. There are almost 200 other ranking factors that go into a well-optimized website.


firearms seo and content marketing makes a difference


Firearms SEO vs. Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. (Source: CMI)

SEO and content marketing is like a double-sided coin. Just like weight loss, you can’t just work out and expect to lose weight, you have to make smart eating decisions too— day after day, week after week, month after month to achieve your goals.

SEO and content marketing are somewhat similar.

You can’t gain and sustain ranked keywords without doing both SEO and content marketing—day after day, week after week, month after month to achieve your goals.

Here’s why. Google who controls over 60% of the entire planet’s traffic indicates you must create fresh and relevant content (Source: Google) for your site to attain and sustain keyword rankings.

Once again, ranked keywords = visibility = traffic = $$$.

When you optimize your website or are building a new one from the ground up—SEO is needed to start the fire where content is the fuel that keeps it going. Depending on how competitive the segment you play in (ARs, Outfitting, Concealed Carry, Optics, Safes, Lasers etc.) you may need more or less content to compete. Online dealers get this. Companies like Optics Planet, Brownells, and Lucky Gunner have large digital footprints and have been building content for years and in the process turned themselves into a brand which Google also seems to favor. 

Content marketing also helps to build backlinks, gives empowering information to social media followers and your email marketing subscribers, and attracts Influencers. Backlinks are important because they tell search engines that your site is more popular than your competitors hence, giving you higher rankings.

SEO and content are a double-sided coin. You can’t be successful with one without doing the other. They go together like gunpowder and brass, bows and arrows, turkey hunting and 12 gauges. If you hope to start building your own digital footprint through SEO and content for the future, the time to start is now.


AI firearms marketing 2023

What Does AI mean for Firearm Marketing?

By Firearms Marketing

Imagine knowing what email subject line always gets the highest open rate, what media buy offers the best value, and what combination of graphics, products, text, and CTAs produce the greatest results.

If you’re still skeptical on what you hear about artificial intelligence or AI for short, consider this post an introduction to help you understand what most are calling the “next industrial revolution.”

As more demands are put on marketers in the ultra-competitive firearms industry—an added advantage can mean the difference between who gets to market first and who doesn’t. We all know a great product goes a long way, but a great product with great marketing dominates.

We all know a great product goes a long way, but a great product with great marketing dominates.

For most of us, data can be a good thing—but it can also be a digital firearm marketer’s worse nightmare. With more and more data streaming in from social media, search engines, email marketing, automation, trade shows, banner ads, influencer platforms and others—data is or has become something of a curse. The term: “Paralysis by analysis” comes to mind.

That’s the irony with data-driven marketing. We have spreadsheets upon spreadsheets and dashboards upon dashboards—but do we really know what to do with it all? On any given day, you make a lot of small decisions that can have a significant impact on results:

  • What time should I send my email newsletter?
  • What topic should I write my next blog post on?
  • Should it be a blog post, or should it actually be a video?
  • What is a good social media post to grab attention?
  • And for that CTA in the conclusion, what color will actually make people click?

Thankfully, all of these questions can now be answered by artificial intelligence. (Source: HubSpot)

What is AI?


“I’ll be back.”

Artificial intelligence first and foremost isn’t what you’ve been led to believe in the movies. It doesn’t mean we’ll be under the rule of evil sentient beings i.e. the Terminator—or an army of robots seeking to take over the world—not yet anyways. Titans like Elon Musk and others say its time to pump the brakes.

What it does mean is that man and machine will work together as a team.

Artificial intelligence is the “science of making machines smart,” says Demis Hassabis founder and CEO of AI company DeepMind (which was acquired by Google). At a basic level, “smart” means achieving a goal by mimicking human cognitive functions. That goal could be winning a board game, correctly identifying a cat in a photo, adeptly using data from sensors to drive a car or anything else a human can do.

There are many forms of AI already in existent. You might recognize a few already:

  • Siri by Apple
  • Maps by Apple
  • Watson by IBM
  • Einstein by Salesforce
  • Alexa by Amazon
  • Spotify Music Suggestions
  • Facebook face/tag recognition

How AI will help you

How AI correctly can be applied to the firearms industry is the same for other industries. Companies with large eCommerce stores like or may be the ones to benefit most from AI to help them analyze user data and trends. Apps like Optimizely, CrazyEgg and others are being used to track customer behavior, create segmentation and content that optimize website sales.

Other cutting edge manufacturers like Beretta who was one of the first to adopt marketing automation can adopt AI to analyze trends through their programs to send cross-sell and upsell email offers to their contacts at the right place and at the right time.

Tools like Databox can aggregate data from your entire Martech stack and give you a way to improve KPIs across the board based on accurate and definitive data that can be understood—and provide predicable analysis. Perhaps even a print ad in Guns and Ammo may be possible to be optimized by generative image AIs like Adobe Firefly. However, the word “guns” or “firearm” violates their terms and conditions. A harbinger of bans and restrictions to come.  


AI Firearm Marketing Data

Business analytics by Databox combines data from multiple sources.


“AI is about automating known tasks without distraction. As humans, we get easily distracted. AI can operate without distractions and without wasting time, making AI teams more efficient,” says Digital Visionary, Kevin Kelly.

How AI can help you market more effectively

AI marketing assistants
If you’re looking to get started with AI firearms marketing, I recommend checking out ChatGPT,, or turn on the Generative AI function in your Chrome Browser.

Here’s a recent inquiry I typed into Google’s search bar: What are the top articles on The results were interesting. This kind of research can help marketers and brands create more impactful content and strategies.  

AI firearms marketing

“Your marketing assistant in the future might well be an app that provides advanced analytics information to guide advertising or content-creation efforts to drive traffic to your company’s website,” says Dave Burnett of AOK Marketing.

These apps—most in their beginning stages—will continue to get smarter over time. They will help you save time, make smarter investment/media buying decisions and increase and accelerate revenue.

AI-Powered Websites

Imagine a website you speak to, rather than typing in a search or clicking on the nav bar. A future prospect may visit Springfield Armory’s website, tell the site what they are looking for and then the site serves them three pistols for self-defense along with some videos and training articles—specifically designed and tailored to that known user’s interests.

This type of work is already taking place with companies like Unbounce and CodeWP where all you do is provide direction and the site designs itself.

AI-Powered Marketing Programs

Want to write and design an entire email marketing campaign? No problem, HubSpot’s Campaign Assistant can write you a landing page, email series and ad copy.

HubSpot campaign assistantCampaign Assistant is HubSpot’s AI-powered tool that allows you to create landing page copy, marketing email copy, and ad copy for your next marketing campaign.

You provide information about your campaign, choose a tone of voice that resonates with your brand, and select which type of asset you want to generate, and the tool will produce either a landing page, email, or ad. 

Creating campaigns that used to take days can now be accomplished within hours. In the near future, I anticipate that marketing managers will have the ability to input an entire marketing plan, and AI will be capable of designing the copy, images, and assets (logo, website, emails and social media) all in a single automated process.

Better content through AI

Artificial intelligence platform Acrolinx uses a unique linguistic analytics engine to “read” all your content and provide immediate guidance to improve it. “Our technology is transforming how the world’s biggest brands create high-performing content,” says Dr. Andrew Bredenkamp, founder, and CEO. Other companies you should start becoming familiar with is MotivaAlbert, and BoomTrain.

Will AI take away our jobs?

  • 300 million jobs worldwide could be disrupted by AI, according to Goldman Sachs.
  • $17 trillion to $26 trillion will be added to the global economy by AI, according to McKinsey
  • 83 million jobs worldwide will be lost over the next 5 years because of AI—and 69 million will be created—according to the World Economic Forum. (Resulting in a loss of 14 million jobs during this time.)

Whether or not these distrustful globalist organizations are correct — what you should be doing right now is learning all you can about AI. (Check out Paul Roetzer’s AI Marketing Institute.) How to use it, how it works and how you as a marketer or business owners will fit into the disruptive changes coming soon to our world, industry and marketing as a whole.

As you start to drink out of the fire hose that is AI, it’s important as industry marketers and business owners to think ahead about how we can continue to push the industry forward in terms of technology, attract customers, delight current customers, and how all this wraps into protecting our 2nd amendment rights. 

AI is on the brink of making significant impacts across various domains. Historically, regulated industries have shown a delay of 5-8 years in adopting new technologies, but this time, the lag might be shortened to just 1 year. Businesses and marketing teams that proactively take the lead will gain an advantage in what promises to be an intriguing future.

What do you think about AI and how will it effect our industry? Please comment below. 


This article was originally published in April of 2017.



10 Ways to Deepen Your Outdoor Brand’s Digital Marketing Footprint 2023

By Firearms and Hunting


Some of the best forward-thinking companies in the outdoor, hunting and shooting sports industry are diligently building their digital footprint online that in the long run, will return immense dividends. 

According to the latest Google algorithm, brands that:

  • Create consistent, helpful content;
  • Generate strong social signals;
  • Have fast loading and mobile-friendly websites;
  • and acquire good inbound links from authoritative websites;

…will outrank, outperform and outsell their competitors in the digital era. 

Digital Footprint 2023

Digital Footprint for 2023

What is a digital footprint?

Specifically listed with the outdoor, hunting and firearms in mind—a digital footprint is the combination of seven digital assets that build website traffic, website authority, and a viable audience that: 

  • Builds your brand
  • Increases revenue
  • Creates an indomitable digital barrier to your competitors

Ever notice how some brands just seem to be everywhere? They’re number one on Google. You see their banner advertisement on Guns & Ammo. You find a link to their product review. You may also see a piece of content in your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter feed. And after a while you begin to notice your friends and family are talking about them as well.

If you’re serious about building your brand for the future, you must begin to consider how digital will play a role.

In this post, I’ve identified ten elements (up from seven in 2016) that are widely used from the top outdoor, hunting and firearm companies in the industry and how you can begin to build each into expanding your brand’s digital footprint.  

1. 10x content
10x content can be a video that demonstrates your product, a blog, infographic or downloadable offer that informs or answers your buyer persona’s (target audience) questions in context with one small catch… It’s got to be ten times better than your competition. It’s not enough to create mediocre content anymore. If you’re looking to get into content marketing by banging out a blog post here and there, it isn’t going to work. A high level of quality must be established based around the buyers journey to cut through the millions (or billions) of other pieces of content to be effective.

According to Moz, the criteria for 10 times better content consists of the following:

  • It has to have great UI and UX on any device.
  • That content is generally a combination of high quality, trustworthy, it’s useful, interesting, and remarkable. It doesn’t have to be all of those but some combination of them.
  • It’s got to be considerably different in scope and in detail from other works that are serving the same visitor or user intent.
  • It’s got to create an emotional response. I want to feel awe. I want to feel surprise. I want to feel joy, anticipation, or admiration for that piece of content in order for it to be considered 10x.
  • It has to solve a problem or answer a question by providing comprehensive, accurate, exceptional information or resources.
  • It’s got to deliver content in a unique, remarkable, typically unexpectedly pleasurable style or medium.

The more your content aligns with the above criteria the more opportunities will be created to rank higher on search engines, garner more inbound links, social media shares, views and customer trust.

2. Video
Video has become the leading form of content in recent years. All social media platforms now have a video option and for good reason. 91% of consumers want to see more online video content from brands. 86% of marketing professionals use video as a marketing tool. 66% of consumers find short-form videos to be the most engaging type of content on social media. 92% of video marketers say they’ve gotten a good ROI from video marketing. Should video be included in your marketing? It’s now a necessity to creating a robust digital footprint. 

3. Display (or banner) advertising
I’m not a big proponent of display advertising in the form of web banners, but I don’t see them going away anytime soon. The average click-through rate is less than 0.06% (Source: Hubspot). You’re more likely to complete Navy SEAL training than click on a web banner. SHOT Show sponsors this year only received between 0.1% and 0.08% CTR. I only suggest using banner advertising in conjunction with retargeting, sponsored content, events and middle of funnel offers. With the rise of ad blockers and repeated market research data that shows user’s intolerance to ad banners, banners can be a risky marketing investment as a standalone strategy. The upside to banners is that they are a viable way to keep your brand image top of mind. This however is difficult to track and like its print advertising equivalent—should be directed to landing pages that are designed to convert visitors into customers.



4. Email
One of the highest returns on investment in marketing comes from email. You’ve probably already heard that email marketing will return $48 for every dollar spent. We’ve had campaigns that cost $3K provide a 1000x for specific products for a certain price. When set up correctly, automation generates revenue for your online store while you sleep. We love email as it’s the number one way to generate income as a digital marketing agency in the regulated hunting and firearms space.

5. Search engines
Search engine optimization ties in directly with point number one. With good SEO ingrained in your 10x content—your efforts will help you obtain top rankings. The hunting category and self-defense segments thus far are the most saturated—so if you’re in this class, you have your work cut out. However, opportunities still abound for brands who do it right among other categories (safes, hunting/tactical knives, night vision and ammunition to name a few) where there is still digital gold to be mined. Also work on creating back links from popular websites. 

firearms influencer marketing

Alex Zedra is a top firearm influencer.

6. Influencers
Many hunting and firearms brands are unable to advertise on social media platforms due to restrictions. However, there is an alternative approach that can be effective. By collaborating with influencers in the industry, you can showcase your products to a targeted audience. According to a study by Hubspot, 50% of Millennials trust product recommendations from influencers, compared to only 38% for recommendations from celebrities. This highlights the potential impact of influencer marketing. Utilizing influencers allows you to generate authentic content and build trust with your client’s customers. This strategy has been successful for the past six years, providing a proven return on investment. Overall, working with influencers can be a great way to reach your target audience and achieve positive results.

7. Social media
Facebook, Instagram. YouTube and other social channels continue to give the firearm and hunting industry grief. As long as you’re not blatantly trying to sell firearms directly or posting your latest trophy, you’re supposedly safe—but how long is this going to last? Can you imagine reporting to your CEO that you just lost your Facebook account of sixty thousand followers because of an inadvertent post? This has already happened several times. Regardless, these roadblocks can be overcome with 10x content that can still produce desirable results when adding in alluring photography and videos. We’ve all figured out that engaging photography with creative lighting and filters of MSRs and 1911s as well as beautiful hunting scenery amass likes and shares. The average Instagram post lasts 48 hours, while the average half-life of a Twitter post lasts 24 minutes. Invest in these aspects of your branding to continue expanding your digital footprint on a consistent basis by posting on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter three times a day and to Twitter at least ten times a day. For YouTube, invest in short form and long form video.

8. Product reviews
Manufacturers have a love/hate relationship with product reviews. Some are good and can help move the sales needle, and others paint the brand and product in a less than ideal light. However, having your product reviewed can create a good amount of web traffic and sales. 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, and they are now essential for firearm and hunting e-commerce sites (Source: eConsultantcy). Manufacturers will always be under the eye of vocal hobbyists, so make sure to always enlist the right reviewers and thank them whether they get it right or wrong while directing that traffic to your website. 

9. Community
One way to think of community is by building your own private deer reserve. By creating a flourishing and self-sustaining habitat, you’ll have deer to hunt and eat for a very long time. The same analogy applies here.

Ever had to pay to hunt on private land? Right now, there exists opportunities to build your community before your competitors do. Access to the audiences you seek will become harder to find, and will become price prohibitive—especially for start-ups. Where I live, access to good hunting grounds are vanishing as more and more hunters are forced to pay to access private land where the opportunities to bag a big one still exist. 

Marcus Sheridan describes these brands as being part of the “Digital Land Rush.” He calls them “Digital Sooners” and they’re depicted as Innovators and Early Adopters below. Warrior Poet Society has built their community through their app.  Another group, Greyhive is working to also create a group of firearm tactical trainers.

CompNChoke Outdoor Web Design10. Website
Last but not least is your website. It should be prioritized and considered the first step in your strategy. The messaging on your website needs to be clear and concise, conveying what your business does, the problem it solves, and the steps taken to solve that problem. The navigation should be streamlined, with no more than 5 links. Additionally, your website should include at least five clear calls to action, social proof in the form of testimonials, reviews, and images of satisfied customers. Think of your website as a safety net – it needs to be solid and free of any issues before moving on to other marketing efforts. 

Add a CRM and a tracking and you’ve got all the pieces in place.

In conclusion, many outdoor, hunting and firearm brands lag behind their competitors and other industries concerning digital marketing. Many marketers and business owners in niche segments of the industry are missing out on lucrative revenue streams and community-building opportunities. By building a solid digital marketing footprint now, your business will be ready for what inevitably lies ahead when everything is plugged into AI

Article originally published April 30, 2016.


Boost Your Outdoor Brand's Mid-Year Marketing Strategy with These Tips

Boost Your Outdoor Brand’s Mid-Year Marketing Strategy with These Tips

By Marketing

As we approach the mid-year mark with another SHOT Show and sales season on the horizon, it’s essential for outdoor, hunting, and shooting sports brands to revisit their marketing strategies and make necessary adjustments to stay ahead in the competitive market and finish the year strong.

During this time of year when sales are generally sluggish for most brands, this article presents seven valuable tips or reminders to enhance your marketing efforts. The aim is to optimize your strategies while your customers are enjoying their time on their boats, thereby achieving greater success and better preparedness to tackle the slow months in the future.

From leveraging influencers to embracing AI and refining messaging, these tips will give you some ideas on how to connect with your target audience, create engaging content, and build strong customer relationships.

Micro Influencers1. Target Micro and Macro Influencers Strategically

Influencer marketing continues to be a powerful tool for outdoor, hunting, and shooting sports brands to reach and build awareness of their brand. However, rather than focusing on high follower counts, engaging with micro-influencers with a smaller but highly engaged following is more effective. Aim to collaborate with influencers who genuinely align with your brand values and possess an authentic connection to the outdoor lifestyle. By targeting 25 or fewer influential individuals, you can ensure that your brand’s message and products resonate more strongly with the right audience.

  • Micro-influencers generate up to 60% more engagement than macro influencers.
  • 44% of marketers say that the biggest benefit of working with micro-influencers is that it is less expensive.
  • 56% of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro-influencers.  (Source: HubSpot)

2. Embrace AI and Start Planning Now

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a game-changer in the marketing landscape, and outdoor brands should begin incorporating it into their strategies—like yesterday. Start by building a knowledge base to understand AI’s potential, such as predictive analytics, personalized recommendations, and automated customer interactions. Utilize AI-powered tools to analyze customer data, segment your audience, and enhance the overall customer experience. Use ChatGPT to rewrite some of those badly written product descriptions. By embracing AI early, you can gain a competitive edge and future-proof your marketing efforts. It won’t be long before AI can do all your marketing, and you’ll need a solid knowledge base to work and learn from.

  • According to Salesforce, 23% of customer service companies are currently using AI
  • IBM reports that using chatbots can reduce customer service costs by as much as 30%
  • 68% of users enjoy the speed at which chatbots answer, according to UserLike

Take the AI Poll and we’ll share the results in our next blog.



3. CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)

With the introduction of Google Analytics 4, it has become simpler than ever to comprehend the points where your customers are leaving the sales process. This presents a great opportunity to focus on improving your conversion rates. When considering Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), aim for small incremental improvements. Even a modest increase of 0.75% to 1% can result in substantial gains over the course of a year. Here are ten aspects to increasing CRO:

  1. Messaging
  2. Desktop speed optimization
  3. Mobile speed optimization
  4. Home page bounce rate optimization
  5. Menu A/B testing
  6. Funnel Understanding and Analytics
  7. Optimize Top 10 selling products: Write better descriptions and add better imagery
  8. Cart/Checkout optimization
  9. CTA A/B testing
  10. Upsell/Cross optimization emails

Do 2-3 changes per month, track, rinse and repeat over 3-6 months to improve.

4. Double Down on Email

While social media platforms and emerging technologies may dominate the marketing scene, email marketing STILL remains the top marketing channel in outdoor. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted email campaign to nurture relationships with your existing customer base. Personalize your emails, offer exclusive promotions, and provide valuable content to keep your audience engaged and loyal. Create automation, especially a Welcome Series and Retargeting Emails. Remember to optimize your emails for mobile devices to cater to the growing number of users accessing their emails on smartphones and tablets.

Ticketing and Help Desk software for outdoor, hunting and firearms companies5. Prioritize Customer-Centric Approach with HubSpot CRM

To succeed in today’s competitive market, outdoor brands must prioritize their customers. Top-of-funnel marketing is important, but don’t forget your current and past customers. So many brands overlook that they are sitting on top of interested customers who would still buy from you. Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system, such as the HubSpot Service Hub, can help put your customers at the center of your marketing efforts. HubSpot CRM enables you to track customer interactions, manage leads effectively, and deliver personalized experiences. Leverage the power of CRM to understand your customers through surveys better, tailor your messaging, and build long-term relationships based on trust and loyalty.

  • CRM can boost conversion rates by 300%
  • The ROI of a CRM software system, when properly implemented, can exceed 245%. (IBM)
  • 91% of companies with more than 11 employees use a CRM system
  • 22% of sales professionals are still unsure about what CRM is.
  • 74% of companies say CRM technology gives better access to customer data
  • 94% of customers look to make a purchase from the same source they have previously.

Source: Techco

6. Keep Creating Content That Helps Your Customers

Content marketing remains a cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. To achieve organic traffic, you have to keep creating content. To have a strong email marketing program, you have to create helpful content that helps your customers achieve their goals. To have a robust social media campaign, you have to create, yes… content. Whether it’s blog posts, how-to guides, engaging videos or shorts, focus on providing relevant information, inspiring stories, and actionable tips. By positioning your brand as a reliable source of expertise, you can establish credibility, foster engagement, and drive more conversions.

  • According to the Content Marketing Institute, 73% of B2B marketers and 70% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.
  • 91% of marketing pros surveyed by Semrush achieved success with their content marketing in 2021.
  • Half of all marketers say they outsource some content marketing.
  • The pandemic increased content usage by 207%.

7. Clarify Your Messaging

Effective communication is crucial for outdoor brands to resonate with their target audience. Take the time to clarify your brand messaging, ensuring that it aligns with the problem you solve and speaks directly to your customer’s aspirations or goals. Craft a compelling brand story that captures the essence of your outdoor brand and conveys the unique benefits you offer. Use consistent language across all your marketing channels to save marketing dollars and create a cohesive brand identity that evokes emotions, trust, and engagement that builds trust among your audience.

As outdoor brands navigate the mid-year point and head into sales season, refining their marketing strategies to maintain a competitive edge is essential. By following these seven tips, outdoor brands can leverage the power of influencers, embrace AI, optimize email marketing, prioritize customers with CRM, create helpful content, and clarify messaging.

outdoor storybrand brandscript marketing

Unleash the StoryBrand BrandScript in Your Outdoor, Hunting or Shooting Sports Brand

By StoryBrand, Outdoor Industry Marketing

In the realm of outdoor industry marketing and branding, captivating your audience’s attention and compelling them to take action is the ultimate goal. However, achieving this outcome can be challenging without a clear and persuasive message that resonates with your target audience. This is where StoryBrand’s BrandScript comes into play.

In this blog post, we will help you understand what a StoryBrand™ BrandScript is and how it can revolutionize your approach to messaging and breaking through the clutter of today’s distracted environment.

Defining the StoryBrand BrandScript

The StoryBrand BrandScript is a framework developed by Donald Miller and his team at StoryBrand. At its core, the BrandScript is a tool that helps businesses craft a compelling and cohesive narrative that engages their customers on a deep emotional level through our brains natural tendency to latch on to a story. It provides a structured approach to clarifying your brand’s message and ensuring consistency across all marketing channels. This is important when making the most of your marketing dollars.

StoryBrand for the Outdoor Industry

Components of a BrandScript

  1. The Character: Every great story needs a protagonist, and in the BrandScript, that protagonist is your customer. By understanding your customer’s desires, challenges, and aspirations, you can position your brand as the guide who will help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.
  2. The Problem: Every customer is faced with a problem or a challenge that needs to be solved. Clearly identifying and articulating this problem in your BrandScript allows your audience to connect with your brand on a personal level. It demonstrates that you understand their pain points and are uniquely positioned to provide a solution.
  3. The Guide: As the brand, you play the role of the guide who will help your customer overcome their challenges. Positioning your brand as the trusted advisor who has the expertise and knowledge to lead your customers toward success is essential in establishing credibility and building trust.
  4. The Plan: Once the problem is defined, your BrandScript should outline a clear and actionable plan for your customers to follow. This plan should outline the steps they need to take to overcome their challenges and achieve their desired outcomes. Providing a roadmap instills confidence in your customers and empowers them to take action.
  5. The Call to Action: Every successful brand knows the importance of a compelling call to action. Your BrandScript should clearly define the next steps you want your customers to take. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or scheduling a consultation, a strong call to action prompts your audience to engage with your brand and move closer to becoming loyal customers.
  6. Ends in Success: Every hero wants a happy ending. Your BrandScript should define what success looks like if your customer buys your product. What are you helping them achieve?
  7. Ends in Failure: You must also show what the hero is trying to avoid. What happens if they don’t buy your product? What are the negative outcomes?

Benefits of Using a BrandScript

  1. Clarity: The BrandScript framework brings clarity to your messaging by focusing on the core elements that resonate with your audience. By clearly defining your customer’s problem and positioning your brand as the solution, you can communicate your value proposition more effectively.
  2. Consistency: With a BrandScript, you can ensure consistency in your brand’s messaging across various marketing channels. This consistency strengthens your brand identity and fosters trust and recognition among your audience.
  3. Engagement: The StoryBrand BrandScript is designed to captivate and engage your audience by leveraging the power of storytelling. By structuring your message in a narrative format, you can create an emotional connection that resonates deeply with your customers.
  4. Conversion: Ultimately, the goal of any marketing effort is to convert leads into customers. The BrandScript helps optimize your messaging to drive conversions by compelling your audience to take action and make a purchase.


IOTR Outdoor Web Design

IOTR StoryBranded Website


Crafting a compelling brand message is a critical component of successful outdoor, hunting or firearms marketing. The StoryBrand BrandScript provides a powerful framework that allows businesses to create engaging narratives, connect with their target audience, and drive meaningful results. By defining your customer’s problem, positioning your brand as the guide, and outlining a clear plan of action, the BrandScript empowers your business to tell a story that captivates, converts, and inspires loyalty. Embrace the power of storytelling and leverage the StoryBrand BrandScript to take your brand messaging to new heights.

storybrand hubspot for the hunting outdoor shooting sports

Grow Your Outdoor Company with StoryBrand and HubSpot

By HubSpot, StoryBrand

Creating your BrandScript and getting your sales and marketing teams aligned is a great feeling.

However, a clear message can only take you so far in the digital world. You have to communicate your message to your target audience and have the right tools in place to help you track, optimize and improve over time. 

In this post, I want to highlight how StoryBrand and HubSpot—that when combined, will help your business achieve the growth result you’re looking for. HubSpot is a CRM platform that connects everything scaling companies need to deliver a best-in-class customer experience in one place. HubSpot’s crafted, not cobbled solution helps teams grow with powerful tools but better together.

StoryBrand Sales FunnelWith HubSpot, customers come first, customization is simple, and teams are unified through a connected CRM.

The StoryBrand sales funnel requires four elements to make your website work:

These four elements work to engage your prospects, build trust, brand your message while simultaneously warming your prospect up to the idea of buying from you which turns your website into a 24/7/365 growth engine.  

By combining the StoryBrand sales funnel with HubSpot, you’ll have a powerful marketing program that will grow your business faster and better. It’s amazing to me how so many companies don’t implement this. The ROI over 6-9 months grows to over 5x! 

1. Sales Funnel: Lead Generator, Email Automation Series and Segmentation

HubSpot comes with built-in landing page tools, forms and email automation that make it easy for you to set up and track results. The intuitive interface is simple to understand and segmentation is also easily accomplished by setting up your buyer personas. By utilizing the email automation steps in the StoryBrand sales funnel framework, you can create a 24/7/365 marketing program that delivers qualified leads to your in-house sales team or if you’re more D2c – more contacts for your profitable email marketing program.

2. CRM

HubSpot’s free CRM allows you to organize your prospects, direct leads to members on your sales team, set up meetings, record conversations, set goals, and keep your sales goals on track in realtime. The CRM also includes video integration and integrates with countless ERP systems that most manufacturers rely on. You can also create playbooks that coach your team to maximize their sales process and calls. Another powerful component of the CRM is conversations. Having the ability to chat with your prospects when they are actively searching for solutions is a powerful way to increase sales. In our own studies, we’ve increased direct sales by over 15%. 

Ticketing and Help Desk software for outdoor, hunting and firearms companies3. Data: Understand what’s Working and What’s Not

You can’t track what you can’t measure. One of the biggest mistakes we see companies make when they implement their BrandScripts is that they don’t monitor their website to see if it made any difference. They fail to track an increase in dwell time, leads, and if the bounce rate went down or up. HubSpot brings numerous reporting tools that you can use to steer your growth efforts in the right direction. It helps you create pillar pages that aid in your SEO efforts as well. 


4. Delight Customers at Scale

With more and more customers demanding better service, you will need to focus on how you deliver your brand’s customer experience. Here are a few vital statistics: 

  1. 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company. (American Express)
  2. Investing in new customers is between 5 and 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones. (Invesp)
  3. 49% of American consumers switched companies last year due to poor customer service. (New Voice Media)
  4. 81% of Americans believe that business are either meeting or exceeding their customer service expectations. (American Express)

HubSpot’s Service Hub measures customer experience, helps delight them at scale, and helps customers help themselves. 50% of customers have left a brand for a competitor who was able to stay more relevant and better satisfy their needs. (InMoment)  

StoryBrand is a powerful way to create a message that breaks through the distraction and clutter of the marketplace. Combined with the powerful tools of HubSpot you’ll have a powerful one-two punch to grow your business at scale and achieve the next level of growth. (See these case studies)

If you’re interested in learning how StoryBrand and HubSpot can help grow your business faster and better, please give us a call. We’ll answer any questions you have and give you a few helpful tips to improve your marketing.

Photo credit: Chris Dorsey

Clear Messaging Tasklist for Outdoor, Hunting and Shooting Sports Business Leaders

How much is unclear messaging costing you? 
The following tasklist will help you (the business leader, director or executive) determine if your message is clear. It will help you and your team think about how to make your customer “the hero,” and position your brand as the “the guide” that will revolutionize your marketing.

What you will learn: 

  • Introduction to a 7-part framework to clarify your message
  • Know what to say and what order to say it in
  • Give your team a messaging process that can be implemented across all your marketing materials
HubSpot sales lion bootcamp

Adapting Sales Strategies for the Changing Consumer Market: Insights from HubSpot Sales Bootcamp

By HubSpot, Sales

Throughout my 20+ year journey in sales and marketing, with a strong focus on the HubSpot Sales Methodology, I’ve witnessed significant shifts in the industry. However, like many professionals caught up in client work, I realized that my sales skills needed a boost, especially considering the evolving landscape over the past 7 years as a HubSpot Solutions Partner.

With changing customer behaviors and search patterns, it’s essential for us to adjust our sales methods accordingly. That’s why I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the HubSpot Sales Bootcamp, where I gained valuable insights to sharpen my sales efforts.

In this brief blog post, I’ll share four key takeaways from the bootcamp that have helped me adapt to the dynamic consumer market. These tactics are seamlessly integrated into our coaching methodology and sales hub solutions, ensuring that when you work with us, you’ll experience the same level of effectiveness and alignment with the changing sales landscape.

hubspot video prospecting

1. Utilize Video Prospecting

One highly effective strategy in sales prospecting calls is incorporating video. By creating a brief video that highlights 2-3 ways you can help prospects increase leads, traffic, or sales, you can grab their attention and prompt them to schedule a call. Prospects appreciate the effort put into researching their needs and offering valuable advice to help them achieve their goals.

2. Embrace the Inbound Sales Process

The inbound sales process is structured around a 3-stage buyer’s journey, which includes Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.

  • Identify: Find businesses that align with your offering, niche, and industry.
  • Connect: Engage with leads to determine if they’re worth pursuing and gain insights into their goals and challenges.
  • Explore: Delve deeper into their goals, challenges, and related implications to gain a comprehensive understanding.
  • Advise: Present different options and position your solution as the best choice.

3. Optimal Times for Lead Engagement

When it comes to prospecting for leads, it’s important to reach out at the most opportune moments. According to a study by sales professional Marc Wayshak, the phone remains a highly effective sales tool, with 41.2% of respondents recognizing its value. The best times to contact leads are typically Thursday and Friday afternoons. The Lead Management Study revealed that the optimal time to qualify leads is between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM in their local time zone, with the second-best time being around 8:00 AM. Conversely, it’s advisable to avoid contacting leads between 11:00 AM and 2:30 PM in their local time zone.

4. Harness the Power of the Pause

The pause is an incredibly powerful tool when engaging with prospects. By strategically using pauses during conversations, you convey confidence and encourage the prospect to participate more actively in the discussion. This tactic can significantly enhance your ability to connect with leads and make meaningful progress.

In summary, by implementing video prospecting, following the inbound sales process, timing lead engagements effectively, and utilizing the pause technique, you can elevate your sales performance and forge stronger connections with potential customers. The bootcamp was challenging with daily sales role play and prospecting that pushes you out of comfort zone. The instructors were top notch and overall it was fun. As Garrison Everest moves into the fall and what is sure to be a busy sales season, we’re out hunting for new leads and ready to help businesses who want to grow better.

helpful selling outdoor

How To Win More Business By Helpful Selling

By Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, Sales

When it comes to winning more business—it can sometimes be difficult not to blow your own horn when communicating with your customers and prospects.

By understanding how to talk to their level and helping them think differently about their business by solving their problems first, you will have greater success in moving them further down your sales funnel and converting them into a customer.

As professionals, we eat, sleep and breathe our vocations. What has become second nature to us—can be jibber-jab to our prospects.  We ultimately believe our products or services are the best and everyone needs them. However, what is apparently obvious to you, may not be to your customer.

If you find yourself losing sale opportunities for no apparent reasons, it may be time to take a look at how you may (or may not) be talking to your customers.

To start, you need to understand how consumer behavior has shifted in the past 2-3 years.

Research has shown that your customers will go to the internet (search engines, social media, local directories, review sites) to consult on average 10.4 pieces of content—before they even contact you. The internet is the first place where over 90% of all B2C and B2B prospects will go when beginning research for a potential purchase.

To win more business, business owners, marketers and business developers need to know how they can maximize their sales processes within this new paradigm.

Below are 8 points to keep in mind when talking to your customers so you can win more business.

1. Create buyer personas

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.

We sometime lose sight and think we know our customers fairly well, but it quickly becomes apparent—once we begin to peel back the layers—how much we think we know is based only on assumptions—not facts.

In order to talk to your customers level and win more business you must put yourself in their shoes and get to their level of understanding and motivations of what their challenges are and identify the solutions that can best help them. This can only be done by researching and identifying your buyer persona.

2. Research your prospect on social media

If you don’t have a buyer persona strategy in place, the next best thing is LinkedIn. If you have time in between your first contact and sales meeting—it’s good to check who the prospect is on LinkedIn and on other social media networks. Top sellers use LinkedIn 6 hours per week. (SOURCE: Jill Konrath, Author of Snap Selling)

Knowledge and familiarity of your prospect will allow you to break down any mental barriers in your mind before speaking to your prospect, which can build confidence. Knowing something personal about them is good so you can determine if you have something in common (sports, hobbies, contacts, locations etc.). It’s always better to talk about a common interest than the weather to break the ice. People ultimately choose to do business with people they like, and everyone likes someone who appreciates them. (Source: Forbes)

3. Assume nothing

You should always assume your prospect knows nothing about you or what you offer and vice versa for the first call. Assumptions can taint the waters in sales meetings/calls and can make you look uninformed.

4. Help them think differently about their business

A few years back, CEB came out with a new sales model called the Challenger Sale that has been adopted by top companies. This model is based upon sales people helping customers with their problems first—which builds trust, leads to higher customer satisfaction and faster closings.

“The way to effectively sell your product is to make sure your customer believes you are there to help them win in the market.” — Tyrone Edwards, SVP of Sales and Marketing, Merck Pharmaceuticals

This is a radical departure from the past were sales was more about promotion. By helping your customer understand their problem and identifying those drivers, you can help your customer succeed, which is ultimately why they are contacting you.

5. Scrap the jargon

No one cares, especially your prospect that you know your industry’s terminology—better to save it for the trade show. By knowing your buyer persona, you will know their industry lingo. However, it’s still better to speak professionally with articulation and intelligence and keep the jargon to a minimum.

6. Utilize marketing automation to better qualify your prospect

One of the greatest benefits of sales and marketing automation is that you have the ability to potentially warm your prospects up to your products and services prior to having a conversation with them. This allows you to see—through web analytics (email, clicks, downloads, likes, tweets etc.)—if your prospect has interest in your offerings. This allows you to gain insight into how to better help them. Most tools will also allow you to capture information about your prospect so you can know exactly who they are and if they are a viable lead.

7. Create a process

All good sales people have a process to help them win more business. By utilizing a questioning process, you get your prospect talking about their business, problems and challenges and how you can help them—versus rambling on about how great your solutions are. A good process follows Challenges, Goals, Plans, Timing, Implications, Consequences, Budget and Authority through the buyer stages of Awarrness, Consideration and Decision  Ask questions that cover their company and their organization (internal). For example:

  1. What are your biggest challenges?
  2. What is your secret sauce?
  3. Who are your competitors?
  4. What is your average sales price?
  5. What are your company’s revenue targets?
  6. How do you fit within your company?
  7. What is the decision making process?
  8. What are your goals?

… are just a few good questions to ask.

8. Help. Don’t sell.

Lastly, ditch the pitch. Assuming your brand and website has done its job—your prospect will already be convinced that you can help them. Be prepared to show a little transparency and authenticity. This will go a long way in earning trust and credibility.

Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion states: “Consumers of all types expect to find answers on the internet, and companies that can best provide that information garner trust and sales loyalty. Success flows to organizations that inform, not organizations that promote.”

In conclusion, to win more business you must be helpful, you must create and understand your buyer persona, research your prospect on social media, assume nothing about your prospect, help them to think differently about their business, scrap the jargon, take time to better qualify them and above all—help, don’t sell.



firearms defense marketing plan strategy

INFOGRAPHIC – A Simple Firearms Industry Marketing Strategy That Works

By Firearms Marketing

If you had $5,000 or $30,000 dollars to spend on firearms marketing, where would you spend it?

Would you buy some banner ads? Redo your branding? Run an SEO campaign? Do a press release? Put it all on a print ad and let it ride? This is a tough question I get all the time. Most business owners in the outdoor, firearms, hunting and defense industries struggle with making a determination on what to do when they want to market that they usually just throw up their hands and land on attending a trade show—which doesn’t get them the reach and awareness they are really looking for (at scale) to grow their business.

The below infographic gives you a simple firearms and defense marketing strategy that has been implemented over a thousand times by some of the world’s top brands—and in most cases has quadrupled revenue and has provided a 3x to 6x return on investment within 6-9 months. By implementing this simple plan correctly, investing in the long term and committing to improvement, you’ll have a solid marketing program you can build off of for years to come.


firearms marketing strategy


By taking the time to clarify your message and figure out these aspects of your brand’s story, you will be able to transform your marketing, attract new customers and stand out in the crowded marketplace.

  • Schedule a call with me, get a clear plan on how stand out in the crowded outdoor, hunting, defense and firearms marketplace



5 Firearm Marketing Tips for 2024

5 “Must Do” Firearm Marketing Tips for 2024

Are you ready for 2024?
2024 will be a year marked by global conflicts, increasing crime rates, and a presidential election. Defense-minded, law-abiding citizens will seek ways to enhance their sense of security for the protection of their families, properties, and rights. Prepare for this heightened interest by proactively organizing your website and marketing strategies to capitalize on the upcoming surge.





  1. Harvard Business Review: The Curse of Knowledge
  2. Time: You Now Have A Shorter Lifespan than a Goldfish
  3. Campaign Monitor: The New Rules of Email Marketing
  4. INC: 84 Percent of People Trust Online Reviews As Much As Friends
  5. StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message