Danielle Moore from Garnish & Gather and Amy Bean from The Little Farm shared valuable marketing, branding, and public relations tips for farmers at their session called “Grow Your Profits By Growing Your Brand” at our 18th Annual Georgia Organics Conference, Recipe for Change: Better Farms, Better Flavors, which was held in Athens earlier this year. Both presenters stressed the importance of building a strong farm brand and interacting with customers to increase sales. Here are some of the lessons taught at the session:
Branding Yourself And Your Business
- Know yourself and your business to better communicate to your audience. Make your food have a story and pitch those stories.
- Have a mission statement by knowing your values, what you do best, your specialty, why you do what you do, an what needs and wants your are satisfying your customer.
- Have a business card, a logo, and engage 24/7.
Targeting Your Audience
- Understand that your audience might not just be the people you have previously targeted. Research and know who your target market is.
Communicating With Customers
- Focus on the wants and needs of your customers when communicating. When you are crafting your email, think of what your customer want to know from your farm and business. Do they want to know what’s on your CSA? Do they like to see pictures of what is going on at your farms? Do they want to receive recipes with what is in season? What is relevant to your audience? Think as if you were a customer, what do you want to know from your farmer? Keep who is reading your email in mind when you’re deciding on what to put on your email because your audience will stop clicking on your email if they don’t receive information that is relevant to them.
- People want to know your new partnerships, recipes, new items, farm updates, featured events, availability, market/CSA reminders.
Email Marketing and Social Media
- Emails are the #1 sources of revenue to farmers. That is because most people have email accounts, prefer to establish communication such as newsletter through it, and enjoy the fact that an email is convenient because it is easy to keep and refer to when needed. Customers may not click at your email right away, but it may leave it in their inboxes for future reference- that will increase the chances of your email be read. Emails are still the most effective way to communicate with your customers.
- Have a social media presence and a website.
- Keep consistent communication with your public. Like, comment, respond, share, and post often.
- Use relevant content on social media and emails (80% fun content 20% sales content).
- Tell your story through pictures. Social media posts with pictures are very popular.
- Always include logo, contact info, social media links, and website links on your products and emails.
- Use free tools from the internet to better communicate to your publics such as Facebook Insights for analytics, MailChimp for mass e-mailing, and free blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress to build your business’ website. You can turn to Etsy for affordable logo designs.