The $30,000 Horse

Morgan horse - business - BP 10 5 11 lrge

                         Information → Power → Money → Time → Freedom → Joy

                                                   (Click pic to enlarge.)


Our Judy Oldmeadow is going great guns with her dream to breed the world’s finest Morgan horses.

Last time I visited her farm, I asked what her financial goal was.

It took a while to extract, but we got there.

She wants $30K for every horse she sells.

That’s $22K more than she’s getting now.

Is she dreaming?



Show, Don’t Tell

The good news is, Judy’s horses are actually worth $30K.

The problem is, many of their youbeaut attributes are long term, intangible or not part of the normal purchasing decision process.

Things like health, longevity, temperament, social adjustment and blood magnesium level.

We must therefore articulate and prove these points of difference to prospective buyers.


Word of Mouth

Judy’s past customers, having experienced her Morgans’ superiority, have no problem evangelising to others.

One by one, we’re capturing their powerful (and often moving) testimonials in Judy’s blog.

But this is a slow, incremental process.

To fast-track Judy’s message to uninitiated prospects, I’ve proposed a breakdown of precisely what makes her critters so damn good.


Picture Perfect

The pic you see is my first rough sketch of a ‘proof page’.

It lists everything I can think of that goes into (or comes out of) a Samaria Creek Morgan horse.

Judy’s task is to perfect this list and put a dollar figure beside every element.

I know this is hard for her.

She’d rather play in the sun with the herd than crunch numbers any day.

Also, she feels odd thinking of her beloved babies in such rigorous, clinical terms.

That’s why she has a gimlet-eyed townie copywriter to smack her into shape.

It’s one thing to want $30K.

Quite another to convince people to give it to you.

Once finished and posted on her website, I believe this proof page will do much of Judy’s talking – freeing her to focus on her main game.


Your Story

Many of our readers own or aspire to the top end of their field.

  • Big sales are fun.
  • Rich clients are smart. (Sometimes.)
  • Short hours are heaven.
  • Supplying world’s best quality is intensely satisfying.

If you share Judy’s desire to be lonely at the top, how about producing a proof page for your good or service?

I’d love to know why your stuff is worth so much.

I might even buy it.

So saddle up!

You could be in for the ride of your life.



Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire


  • Cracking story, Paul. And good luck to Judy. There’s no hiding from that proof page. Great idea. Cuts through the marketing hyperbole and gets straight to the horse’s mouth. Could you keep us updated on the final version? Many thanks!

  • Thank you, Adam. I’m really proud of this one. A day at Judy’s farm is like a fat dose of creative adrenaline. If she doesn’t nail this goal, I’ll eat my straw hat! I’ll certainly keep you posted. Best regards, P. :)

  • G’Day Paul,
    I’m about to sound very curmudgeonly… but here goes.

    Judy will be able to get $50,000 for the Morgan. All she needs to do is to find an ethical way to represent the value of the horse to the prospective buyer. Salespeople are interested in price. Customers are interested in value.
    And I reckon you ought to do some careful work on target market too.As Al Ries and Jack Trout said way back in 1981; never spend a cent on marketing outside your target market.

    Thursday’s always good for stirring.



  • Hiya, Leon. Your advice sounds pretty sound to me. I imagine the other marketing specialists in our forum will back you up. Thanks for being a constant source of beaut ideas. :)

  • G’Day Paul,
    Just looked at Judu’s Morgan website and the fabulous testimonial by Simone. First, get some strong crossheads into the piece so that it’s not such a daunting chunk of prose.

    Second trawl it for “value statements” that would make the Morgan attractive to prospects. It’s full of them. And if you have more testimonials from satisfied clients, do the same with them. You have a goldmine: work it.

    Incidentally, the reason I looked at the website was that back in the early 1960s, I led a weekend bushwalk up Mount Samaria. I suppose there’s a sealed road and lookout today.



  • Wow, Leon; you’ve really gone beyond the call. Judy will be rapt with your feedback, as am I.

    The road is dusty for the last bit. But that’s a great way to know when visitors arrive. Thanks! :)

  • Love, love, love the sketch, Paul. I hope you keep the final iteration “rough” and childlike (in the best sense of the word).

    When raising horses, time is a huge expense that most people don’t take into consideration. E.g., I bet Judy “turns out” her Morgans on grass, then moves them around from pasture to pasture to make sure they get the most nutritious grass. Horses that are allowed to graze most of the time–rather than being stuck in stalls all day–are healthier and happier. But it’s time and labor intensive.

    I didn’t see farrier costs–that’s a huge expense whether the horses wear shoes or go barefoot and need trims.

    Another expense: Judy’s expertise. It’s hard to put a price on that, but it should be considered.

  • SO glad you checked in, Lorraine. I was really hoping you would as I know you’re a Morgan fan.

    Rough is all I can do in sketching, so I’m very pleased you feel we’re already ‘there’. :)

    You’re dead right about the time Judy lavishes on her herd. With any luck she’ll expand in a comment. From memory, all her horses are barefoot, for reasons outlined here.

    Thanks very much for your time and words. :)

  • It is so much better to sell quality products at the top of the market than wallow with the bottom feeders. The product is better, the customers are better and you have the time to work together to get the best possible solution for their needs.

    Nice horse, can you draw a spider?

  • Too right, Vegemite!

    Jumping, biting or both? :)

  • … Actually, I’ll NEVER be able to beat this spider:


  • Yep, great spider! Love the story too…

  • Howdy Paul – You’ve sucked me in with another marketing related topic!

    While I could write an essay on this I’ll save time and focus on one factor which may help; If you can explain and make potential customers understand why it’s worth $30k that’s great – however, if you can also explain why that $30k is going to end up a better investment than a cheaper alternative then you might find more people knocking on the door.

    For example; Say I’m in JB Hi Fi looking at Two Plasma TV’s, one is a good Japanese brand worth $1200, the other is a lesser known brand from China worth $600. If the JB salesman wants to sell me the more expensive one, he needs to justify it – so he could tell me things like this:
    – The Japanese model uses 50% less power, which will equate to saving around $50 per year
    – The average life of the Japanese TV is 10 years, the Chinese model 5 years

    Bang! He’d have my right there because anyone with half a brain can quickly figure out you’re going to save money on the Japanese model. And that’s without going into all the fancy functionality it has, which is icing on the cake.

    If you can attach value benefits like this to the Morgan e.g. better health = less money on vets, better social adjustment = better productivity – the conversion rate might go up on the blog.

    Other ideas quickly:
    – Get that sketch of yours (which is great by the way) turned into a cool slideshare presentation or youtube video (or both)and it could easily go viral in the horsing community – and provides an entertaining, informative and easy to digest intro to put on the blog homepage
    – Setup a facebook page to go with the blog, will make it easier to spread the great content she has at her disposal like testimonials, videos/images of the horses. How much would someone who’s ordered a horse love it if they logged into facebook one day and found themselves tagged in a video of their soon to be horse being trained by Judy? Not to mention their horse lover friends who would also see the video pop up in their news feed..

    And the proof page for my Social Media Marketing Service – Two words: Guaranteed ROI


  • Struth, Dan; sure is great to have YOU in our corner! Not only do you know your stuff, you’re kind enough to lay it out for us. ROI indeed. And I didn’t even ‘I’!

    Judy’s head will be spinning with ideas tonight. Thank you. :)

  • The ‘I’ usually comes easier if you can show the ‘R’ first 😉

  • Good point! :)

  • Egad! I nearly forgot. Carol @IroningDiva did the kindest shout out to Judy (and this blog) in her post yesterday:

    Check it out! :)

  • Obviously Judy has given plenty of thought to the value of her horses. And that is a great sketch. From little things…

  • Cheers, Stephen. I appreciate that very much. :)

  • PAUL,

    Greetings from rural Australia.

    It must be serendipity for Judy.

    Triggers for ideas are everywhere.

    Mine were the reader comment to the Daily Telegraph article about Black Caviar. And your numerous references to Judy Oldmeadow and her Morgan horses.

    I could connect those dots and write my post.

    As you know, I’m not a great believer in Facebook.

    But I could eat my words now that I’ve discovered the Notes facility. Which allows me to essentially write a blog post, complete with photographs in the right places. And words wrapping the photos.

    Pretty sophisticated compared to previous offerings for Facebook.

    It also allows me the indulgence of writing meaty stories that might be of interest to my fans. Rather than the stultified ‘status feeds’ that never appeal to me.

    Below is the wash up so far of Judy’s story on Facebook Notes.

    I haven’t checked the stats since 6am this morning as I’ve had a busy day. But I made sure I shortened all the links in the post using so I could track them. And shortened the link to the actual post so I could track visits to the post.

    I have 7 fans for Ironing Diva on Facebook. No further comment.

    I first removed the Welcome landing page before I did the post because I think it stops people from venturing in. It stops me on some pages. Commitment phobia!

    And I wanted to see if more than my 7 loyal followers would pay me a visit.

    I posted the story at 8am on the 18th of May. To Facebook Ironing Diva only. And only to you on Twitter.

    In 22 hours, the stats are:

    25 visits to the post itself.
    16 visits to Judy’s main web page.
    8 visits to her Accommodation page on her site.
    7 visits to her page on Facebook.
    8 visits to her blog Good Morgan.

    At the bottom of the post I asked readers to share the story with their friends. Which they did!

    To be honest, I’m sure that’s it. Facebook is ‘of the moment’ and it’s not like posts on my real blog, Ironing Diva, that still attracts traffic in the search engines from my very first post about Stephanie Alexander and Jamie Oliver.

    I’m actually quite pleased with this first effort using Facebook Notes.

    Obviously the subject matter makes a big impact. Content. Content. Content.

    But the delivery is impressive too.

    I posted another article to Notes on my Fitz Like A Glove Ironing Board Cover fan page today with a different topic. And have a similar result.

    So I might be eating my words about Facebook. Preferably with a good wedge of local brie on crusty bread!

    I still have only 7 fans. But obviously more casual visitors than I imagined.

    And I’d like to thank you and Judy for being such interesting people. You both make writing about you a pleasure.

    And you, Paul, make anything to do with you a memorable experience!

    Best wishes and take care,


    Carol Jones
    Interface Pty Ltd
    Designers of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover

    Ironing Diva’s stories are at

  • Dear Carol, every time you write a comment, I want to pinch it for a post! How cool to score your kind shout out AND a valuable case study and analysis.

    Nice work surfing the bleeding edge. I tried to do it, but cut myself. Your analysis is a great adjunct to our Facebook discussion.

    From what I’ve read, content content content is giving way to context context context. Of course you need the first to have the second. Sounds like you’ve achieved both! I greatly look forward to your continued reports from the field.

    Best regards, P. 😛

  • Wow Paul,I don’t think I’ve been this excited about where horses can take me since I was three and sitting on my Grandfather’s cart horse for the first time.
    I’m away from the farm for Grandparents day at my first grandsons school so can’t reply in full until I get back to my pc.
    Carol your stats …fantastic coupling; ironing and horses both give opportunity to connect to your true self.Leon…Samaria Park is still a hidden wonderland waiting for your next hike.Dan thank you for marketing strategies for how I can present facts to prove my horses raised for optimum health and longevity are worth more than $30k.
    Paul, you said you’d amaze me in your first email,thank you for delivering in bucket loads.
    Last night I was speaking to a friend from the 70’s who was complaining about work and looking forward to retiring.I said ‘I love my job and greet each day with excitement,wholeheartedly believing it will be fun.’Retirement …no way! I’ve found the fountain of youth in a herd of Morgan horses.Judy O

  • Bloody ripper, Judy. So glad you’re feeling the love. There’s a barnload of it in here for you.

    Many thanks for checking in to witness the extraordinary wisdom and generosity of our readers. The future looks bright indeed! :)

  • My 50c worth would be to attend a show or a meeting where the sales process actually takes place and listen, listen, listen.

    Focus on the questions they are asking and the order they are in. What they want to look at and how long. Who they are and where they come from.

    Basic market research that should hopefully steer your web page but also key sales person to a script of sorts that helps them improve those high value sales.

    The Advocates path is a great one but it can take such a long time and you need them doing work for you. We also rely on this for Carbonite and whilst it is the right strategy it can’t be our only strategy.

    I decided to take a step forward and talk and talk as much as I can online in order to get the brand and our message out there. Once in your lap, I have faith that the product will make most people and advocate (particularly once your PC fails, which it will, no doubt).

    From what you have been saying, Judy’s horses will surely also deliver in much the same way.

  • Great response, Arthur. You seem particularly sharp on Sunday mornings. :)

    I like your ideas. You’ve also go me thinking about doing referral cards for Judy, as another way to harness (nyuk nyuk) the power of her fans.

    With a handful of cards in each evangelist’s hands, they can spread the word at BBQs without having to scribble her name on salad-spotted napkins.

    I’ve seen you around the traps, talking to people. It sure got me on board, so I hope you continue to meet with success. Stay tuned for next week’s post. You’re going to love it!

    Best regards, P. :)

  • Just spotted Judy’s latest horsie. The cutest critter EVAR! :)

  • Here’s a news update from Jude:

    ‘I sold a horse yesterday (more than enough $’s to pay our present batch of bills).

    Over the next two months there’s more clients with intent to purchase our horses coming to stay in cottage.

    One man (father of daughters who wants two horses) is travelling from another state.I told him about two Morgan studs closer to him and he said ‘I’ve read other web sites and I want to come to you because … at the risk of sounding corny your site oozes sincerity and I know it’s not a money making business to you because you love your horses and care about the people you sell them to.’

    I intend to get that in writing from him!

    Thank you for helping me create conduit copy.’

    Great stuff, Jude; keep ‘em coming! :)