Marketing Your Farm

If you are farming to earn money, you'll need to find ways to effectively market your products. This can be done, online, or offline. Either way, there are some keys to making it effective.

Online

Make sure your website has good details, lists what makes your product desirable, and good pictures. Pictures sell things faster than words, where farm products are concerned (words are still needed - good descriptive words are what bring search engine traffic). Also make the writing customer centric, and not all about you. Don't use "we have", use "you get", instead. Think about what the customer wants, and what they want to know, and then what they need to know but won't know to ask. Make sure those elements are included.

Give an easy way to contact you. Many farmers don't like answering emails, they'd rather encourage people to call. Be careful about making that kind of choicet. About 75% of your prospective customers will email before they will pick up the phone and call, and website owners that check their email at least daily have better results than those who do not. Either way, you need a Contact Us page with contact details. Be sure to list clearly whether you sell only local, or whether you ship.

A blog, where you can tell stories about your farm is one of the more effective methods of marketing a farm online. People buy better from someone they know. A blog helps them feel like they know you. Other social media pages also help you be a real person to your prospects. Even without these, stories about your farm - how it got it's name, why you chose the breeds or crops that you raise, or how you came to be in the business, will help people identify with you and understand what makes your farm tick.

Offline

Farmer's Markets are the obvious method, but there are many more. Fairs, and other places where you can set up a booth are also great places to market. If you live on a busy road, a stand at the road can be worth the effort - in fact, some people set these up on the honor system with good results, leaving items at the stand, along with a place to leave the payment. Surprisingly, it works in many communities! Selling from the farm is also lucrative for many places, though it does require time to build a reputation.

For offline sales and marketing, one of the cardinal rules is, "Give them something to take away that has your name on it." It can be a business card, a brochure, a printed promo item, a sample with a business card style label. Anything they can take away that reminds them later of who you are, and what you do, and how to reach you.

If you choose to use promos, then make sure it is an effective one that somehow relates to your business or the purpose. It is best if you can choose a promo that can be positively associated with your business - for example, we often do flashlights, because our business name is all about Light. Flashlight promo items, even the keychain ones, are more costly than simple pens, which is why pens are one of the most popular promos.

Promo pens are especially effective when you are teaching a class or giving a presentation - an excellent way to get your name out. For example. you would print a handout which reminds people of the key points you are covering, and which also serves as a pass along for them to use to share with friends. Leave the back blank for them to take notes. Provide them with a business card, and a pen with your Name, and URL (if you cannot afford to do both, the just put the URL, but use strategic capitalization if possible - MicroFarmLife.com - to make it easier to read). In this instance, the pen has a use at the time, and is then saved by the recipient.

There are times when you must be careful about what KIND of promos you use. We always used the lower cost promos to give out whenever we were at a large untargeted event. In other words, an event where there was not a high concentration of prospective clients or customers, but just a large amount of people in general. We used the more costly promos for people whom we engaged in conversation, whom we felt were good prospects. We would also bring the more costly ones to selectively distribute when we were in a targeted situation, where we knew the entire audience or attendance consisted of people who were within our target market. Choose what you can afford, and then determine whether you can afford to pass them out indiscriminately, or whether you want to save the item for something special. We used very inexpensive pens as our "pass out to everybody" items. We chose a color that coordinated with our business branding, had them stamped with our URL, and we hand them out to anyone who passes by, both at events and in personal contacts. A pen, or other promo can also be tucked in with an order that is being delivered, or a package of food just purchased at a market.

 

Be creative in your online and offline marketing. Approach it with a sense of fun, and humor when appropriate.

Remember that 90% of marketing is just doing it. Find a way to get out and talk to people, meet people who might be interested, be where they are looking for what you have to sell. Whether it is online, or offline, if you can do that, then your visibility will grow over time, and your reputation will grow with it.

Don't expect to build a business by "word of mouth". That isn't a marketing method. It is the RESULT of marketing. Nobody will recommend you if they have not bought from you, so you have to get a lot of customers buying before word of mouth is effective.

There is a demand right now for local, fresh, wholesome, naturally raised farm products. If you find ways to let people know what you have, chances are you can profit from that demand.

If you need a free marketing consultation, be sure to contact us. This is our way of giving back during tough economic times, and we always help people discover things they can do, without having to pay us to do it for them. We'd love to help you out.

 

Please register and login to post a comment (login box in the sidebar).

Get Our Gardening Book

Life from the Garden: Grow Your Own Food Anywhere, by Laura Wheeler No matter where you live, you CAN grow a garden!

Tips on growing successfully in any climate (including year-round), in any soil conditions or challenges, cost cutting techniques, and methods for growing no matter how little space you have.

Wherever you live, there is something edible you can grow to help your family. A simple little gardening guide that is quick and easy to read.

Check it out on our Books website.