Farmer marketing: Telling your story

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produce at farmers market

Marketing is more than selling. It is developing beneficial relationships with customers and fellow farmers to support your farm business.

Telling your story is the first step to a successful farmer marketing campaign. Farmers can share their stories online, in print and in person.

Related: How to talk about farming with non-farmers

Marketing tools

Websites offer information, e-commerce, or a combination of both. Building a website for your farm doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how. Free online website building programs like WordPress and Weebly are easy to use. Paid web hosting services like GoDaddy offer templates you can modify to fit your farm.

Social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr… the list goes on and on. Don’t feel pressure to establish an online presence for your farm on every social media outlet. Pick the outlet(s) that appeal to your target customers.

The majority of posts shouldn’t sell products — that gets old quick. Customers will scroll past an overflow of sales pitches, or unfollow your farm completely. Instead, use social media to tell your story with status updates, pictures and videos.

Blog. Blogs offer a behind the scene look at farm life. They are a great way to provide additional information with your farm products. Raise pastured beef? Blog about the sustainable practice of pasture rotation. Sell tomatoes? Blog about your grandmother’s pasta sauce and share the recipe.

Blogger is a free and easy site to start a blog.

Directories. Customers use directories like Pick-your-Own, Local Harvest and Local Dirt to find farmers. Farmers can create an online profile to tell their story, and list farm products for sale.

Email communicates with customers wherever they are. Mail Chimp and Constant Contact are email marketing services with templates to help you create visually pleasing and effect content.

In print. Add a printed newsletter to your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) delivery, or pass out farm news during direct sales.

Flyers, brochures, cards and coupons encourage customers to remember your farm and make future purchases.

Networking brings customers and farmers together. Local, regional and national events are a good place to discover agricultural opportunities. Networking with local restaurants, libraries, schools and stores creates a community of support for your farm.

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