Running a homestead business means you need to become good at so many things. Homestead marketing is just one of them. Our good friend Lindsay Hodge from Haven Homestead wrote this great item on marketing……
When it comes to starting a new business from your homestead, there is one word that most folks hate to hear. That word is Marketing. No one likes a pushy sales man, and no one wants to be disliked, so marketing tends to get a bad rap. The trouble is, you can’t really have a successful business without it. Obviously there is a right and a wrong way to do it. I’d like to tell you about two things that you should keep in mind as you design your marketing strategy. First of all, marketing is really about communicating the benefits and features of your products and services to the audience who will be spending their money on you. Second, marketing needs to be about serving and helping others, and not at all about you!
Marketing is Communication
The biggest complaint I hear when it comes to marketing is that folks don’t want to be pushy. The trouble is that the fear of being pushy just shuts their mouths. They tell no one. Or at least they only tell a few friends, sort of. Then they wonder why no one is buying their revolutionary product that will change the world for the better. Let me ask you a question: How is anybody supposed to know about you or your business or products unless you tell them?
The best way to market your products and services to others without being pushy is to ask permission. If you ask for permission to send folks information about your products and services, and they give it to you, you should not feel bad about selling them your products.
Help Others, Not Yourself!
The second, and I think most important thing to remember about successful marketing strategy is to keep the focus on others. It’s a psychological truth that consumers are incredibly self-centered. You might get a handful of people who are willing to buy something just to help you out, but you might not. Give away something free (not everything mind you!). Participate and be helpful in forums or other venues that pertain to your business. Make yourself useful. Be generous with your offerings and folks will flock to you and your business like flies to honey.
A Great Example: The Email List
One of my favorite marketing tools is the email list. It’s personal, it’s direct, and it’s effective. It also happens to be one of the easiest ways to start marketing, plus there are all sorts of products out there (like MailChimp or Constant Contact) that make it even easier.
You start by having a sign up form on your website where you ask folks for their email address so you can send them [fill in the blank with things like newsletters, product updates, etc.] and they get [fill in the blank with things like coupons, free product, etc.].
Once they punch in their email address, they have given you permission to do what ever you promised to do in exchange for it. All you have to do next is follow through on your promise. As you follow through, remember to keep it about the people you are talking to, and not yourself. As soon as you put yourself in the way of your customers and their life goals, you’ll lose them.
Now go out and start your email list, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter where I share helpful tips about homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, preparedness and so much more. Sign up at www.havenhomestead.com. See you there!
Lindsay is a writer, photographer, mother, and wife. She lives in Southwestern Washington and she is a fan of the kinder way to market your business. For more information on her and her family’s business, visit www.havenhomestead.com.
Want to learn more about marketing for homesteads and farming? Have a look at our ebook