"The riches are in the niches." Or so I've been told. The problem is often that there is a lot of consumer educating involved with introducing a niche product onto the market. What do you do when no one knows how to use what you have to offer, but you know it's going to be a good business? One of the answers that I have found is to try everything. And I mean everything to get the information in front of your customers. If you are in multiple forms of media you will be able to reach people in the way that best fits their learning style.
To date I've tried (and had success with):
- Traditional media (newspaper)
- Hanging fliers
- Farm website
- E-mail newsletter
I had/have plans to try other media as well, but quite frankly, it's July on a farm and I don't have time for it. Instead of spreading myself too thin my plan is to concentrate on those areas, measure my results as best I can, and see what happens.
Maybe in the future I will try Google Ads, Facebook Ads, taking an ad in the paper, getting on radio, getting on tv, etc... But right now I don't see it happening any time soon. (Quick aside, yes I have experience getting on Radio and TV, I'll cover that in another episode.)
What can you do now?
Pick one area that you are not already focusing enough attention on from the list above and put more effort into it.
As farmers we're used to hard work. There is so much to do on the farm that we often lose sight of the big picture stuff including marketing our products. I know I am guilty of it. There are times where I definitely like the "outside work" better than the "inside work".
However, I have noticed a drop in sales lately that I am working to fix. My marketing flagged and I am paying for it, literally. My freezers are filling with chickens and I need to get them sold. I will be revisiting my marketing and making sure I'm giving it the attention it deserves so that I can get all my products sold and I can sleep a little easier.
In this farm podcast you will learn:
- Tips for introducing a new product to market
- How to narrow down what you're growing to find what works best
- Dealing with inconsistency and how that can be a benefit
- The power of believing in what you do
- The benefit of keeping organized
- How to keep your cell phone safe on the farm
Interview with Jacob Cowgill of Prairie Heritage Farm, Montana
Prairie Heritage Farm is a certified organic, diversified farm near Great Falls, Montana, just outside Power, on the short grass prairie where the Rocky Mountains meet the plains.
They grow fresh vegetables, heritage turkeys, ancient and heritage grains (Prairie Farro being their favorite), lamb and kiddos. They sell most of what they grow through Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, farm shares in the Great Falls area.
The farm is owned and operated by Jacob and Courtney Cowgill, two central Montanans returning to their roots. Jacob grew up on Red Butte Lane, near Sand Coulee and Courtney spent her childhood on a farm between Dutton and Brady. They both left Central Montana as young adults, for school and careers but came back as soon as they possibly could.
They wanted to find a way to make a life in Central Montana but also wanted to give back to the communities that raised them-- to be part of sustaining and reinvigorating the culture and economy of rural Montana.
Items mentioned in this podcast include:
Visual farm update:
"We overcome this dilemma by first forming a temporary holistic goal and starting toward that, much as a military pilot might head generally toward the action before knowing the precise destination. To wait on the ground for perfect intelligence or to burn up fuel circling randomly would waste his chances, his resources, or both. Like the pilot, as you obtain more information and a clearer picture, you can refine your holistic goal so that by the time you know the target, you are well on your way without having wasted time or fuel." - Allan Savory in Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making
Have you been fighting an uphill battle to get a new farm product to market? What are you doing to educate your consumer?
Are you delivering your message in places where people are there and ready to hear it?
Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook , or leave a 5 star rating in iTunes if you liked the show.