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Small Farm Nation
14 minutes | 2 months ago
How to Tackle Farm Price Objections: Farm Podcast
We all know that sustainably produced food is more expensive than supermarket food, so how do we explain that when challenged? This week I want to discuss a challenge that many small farmers face. It’s one that they seem to all dread and it puts them on the defensive. It’s the whole issue of defending why their products cost so much. Or, at least seems to cost so much. Now, this is a real issue for many of us, so it’s not one we should run from. We need to be prepared to face this head on, and the better you get at this, the more it will become a non-issue. Why is that? Because, as your skill improves at conveying value, that skill will permeate all aspects of your marketing. Your blog posts, your social media updates, what you say on your website and in your email marketing. You’ll become proficient at conveying value and focusing on benefits, rather than being defensive. Before we dive in, I want you to understand something. The Dollar Store shopper isn’t your farm's customer. Or at least not for most of you. You’re not running blue light specials. I want you to understand that price objection is a good sign because it’s usually a buying signal. The prospective customer wants to buy but needs to rationalize this objection. And it’s your job to help them do just that. And in this episode, I explain how to do that. Validate with empathy. Normalize the objection. Paint a farm picture. Sell value. So here’s how it works with my director’s commentary, so to speak: The customer says, why is the chicken so expensive? “You’re right. If you’re comparing the price of our chicken to a chicken in a supermarket it seems ours costs more.” (I validated with empathy. But notice I used the word “seems.” It seems ours costs more. That’s to implant a subliminal message that perhaps the cost isn’t more. Now I want to normalize the objection, so I continue.) “And you know, I had two customers on a recent farm tour who were concerned about the price at first, just as you are now.” (now to paint a farm picture) So I walked them to the brood house and let them see the baby chicks. While we were there, they watched me fill their feeders, by hand, and check their water. We then walked out to the pasture and saw the chickens scratching for bugs in their chicken tractors. I explained how my wife and I built those tractors ourselves, and showed how we pulled them forward every day. I let one of the customers try and pull the tractor forward but she wasn’t quite ready for the workout. But it gave her a real sense of two things. The physical effort we put into raising these birds by hand, and the utter enjoyment these birds feel by soaking up sun, scratching earth and chasing insects. (this is me painting a vivid picture. Now I need to sell value). Like you, I couldn’t understand why good food cost more when I first started out. But it all makes sense for me now. I mean, a handcrafted knife is more valued and more costly to produce than a mass-produced one, right? Therefore, it costs more. Likewise, our chickens are hand fed, hand watered and hand processed on farm by our family. It’s a handcrafted, ethical product from start to finish. So of course it costs more than a supermarket chicken, but it’s not remotely the same product. And I strongly feel that a chicken deserves a chance to be a chicken. Don’t you? And this is where you stay silent. Which, let’s face it…can be really hard. But do it. Stay silent and let the customer respond when you say, “don’t you?” So, here’s the whole conversation again, without any commentary on my part. The customer says, why is the chicken so expensive? “You’re right. If you’re comparing the price of our chicken to a chicken in a supermarket it seems ours cost more.” “And you know, I had two customers on a recent farm tour who were concerned about the price at first, just as you are now.” So I walked them to the brood house and let them see the baby chicks. While we were there,
14 minutes | 2 months ago
How to Create an Email List for your Farm
One of the challenges I hear most often expressed from small farmers (really any small business, actually), is how difficult it is to create an email list of potential customers. In this episode, we'll discuss three keys to putting your list-building efforts on autopilot so you can grow your email list.
20 minutes | a year ago
THE FARM ONE-PAGE BUSINESS PLAN TEMPLATE
Okay, so it’s strategy week here on the Small Farm Nation podcast. And nothing says “strategy” more than business planning, so that’s the focus this week. Now, the first thing you're told to do when starting a business is to write a business plan. But should you? Do traditional business plans help? Or is there a better way. Yes, there is a better way, and in this episode I'll walk you through how to create an actionable one-page business plan.
19 minutes | a year ago
8 Logo design mistakes
What do most people think of when they think of branding? They think of logos. In fact, many people think that their logo is their brand. And you can’t have a great brand without a super cool logo design, can you? Today, I’m gonna tell you the mistakes you’re making with your farm logo design and what you really should be doing, instead.
18 minutes | a year ago
Learn to become a farm entrepreneur
What can you do if you have a business but you’re not a natural entrepreneur? In this farm podcast, I’m gonna show you how to stop working ON your business rather than being a slave to it so you can avoid burnout and realize your entrepreneurial dreams. And I've got a special, awesome download to help you do just that.
17 minutes | a year ago
Why You Must Create a Great Farm Brand
Is branding important for your farm business? Let’s start with what I mean by the word “brand” because it’s a word that we hear often, but we may not understand the meaning. I mean, what does the word “brand” mean anyway?
13 minutes | a year ago
7 Habits of Successful Farm Marketers
So what’s the secret to marketing farm and local food products? Today, I’ll tell you, and set you on a solid foundation for marketing your farm and/or food products. Because, if we produce great food and farm products and there’s no one to buy it, what’s the point?
20 minutes | a year ago
How to Grow Your Farm’s Email List: Farm Podcast
An email list is your most important communication asset, and email marketing is a great way to sell your farm products. But how do you build a list in the first place? In this episode I walk you through the four not-so-simple steps of email list building for your farm business.
21 minutes | a year ago
Why Small Farms Fail: Farm Podcast
Small businesses routinely fail in every industry segment, but what causes small farms to fail? In this episode I share 7 reasons why small farms fail, so you learn what not to do so that your farm thrives. I'll walk you through seven reasons why small farms fail.
14 minutes | a year ago
Is your farm a money-sucking hobby or a profitable business?
The phrase hobby farm is cute and all, but what’s the difference between a hobby farm and a farming business? In this episode, I’m going to tell you why you might have a farm hobby that costs you money rather than a thriving farm business that earns you money.
35 minutes | a year ago
How to Start a Farm Business: Farming Podcast
Want to know How to Start a Farm Business? Here are 11 rules that will guide you so that your farm business is profitable, sustainable and enjoyable!
39 minutes | 2 years ago
Critical Questions to Answer Before Buying Your Farm or Homestead: Farming Podcast
When you search for rural land you’ll find all sorts of places that look promising. But how do you know if you’ve found your dream property? Today, I’ll share what we’ve learned and cover the 23 questions you should answer before buying that rural property. Listen to the Podcast Subscribe to Small Farm Nation on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or TuneIn So, Liz and I have bought rural property twice now. It’s both an exciting and exhausting time. Before you plunk down that deposit on the first rural property that screams your name, consider this: you are planning to make a move there for life. A new life, a better life and, perhaps, not only the rest of your life but a homestead that future generations will cherish. So, yeah, it’s appropriate to take time and weigh the decision against criteria that are important to you and your family. With that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of 23 important questions you should ask and answer when looking for rural property. But, really, these 23 questions are more like 23 categories. As you’ll hear, each question…or category…has many sub-questions, so it’s way more than 23 questions. So, having said that, let’s get going on our list of 23 questions to ask when looking for rural property. 1. How much land do you really need? This gets to the issue of land lust, as we all seem to want more land and more privacy. But the question you’ll need to answer is how much land do you actually need to achieve your goals or dream? I mean, if you simply want to have a garden and some chickens you can certainly homestead on less than an acre. Many people do. But what if you want livestock, such as cows and horses? How about orchards? Do you want to be able to hunt on your own land…do you want a lake or pond for recreation and fishing? The risk here is that you, like us, will say…yeah, I want all that, and more. But of course, all that comes at a cost, both financially and in terms of upkeep. So you have to be clear on your goals because keeping chickens and rabbits require very little land, sheep and goats require a little more and cows require, at a minimum, one or two acres of dedicated pasture each… and that is IF you are in good pasture/rainfall areas typical of the eastern United States. In much of the western parts of the U.S. more land is usually required, often much more. And if you are thinking about having horses, get far more rural property—10 acres per horse (in the east) in addition to your house, driveway, garden, etc. Okay, moving on. Question # 2. Can you COMFORTABLY afford the land? Only you know how much you can afford for the home and land. Can you purchase your rural property and be debt-free? You’ve heard me talk about this before so you know I think this is a really important milestone to achieve. But, if you’re not there yet, can you comfortably afford the down payment with plenty of financial reserves left over to deal with the unexpected? And I mean plenty because there’s always a need for money out here. For instance, how much will any improvements to the land or buildings cost? Then there’s the cost for livestock, trees and garden beds and so on. So make sure your purchase leaves you with financial reserves. # 3. How is the water? Does the land have excellent water? (I encourage you to make this a very high priority.) Does the water come from a natural spring or has a well been drilled? If it is a spring, is it located above the elevation of the house and garden so you can use gravity for water distribution? If the water is from a well, how many gallons per minute does it produce AND what is the static water depth? For example, on our last farm, we had two wells, each 300 feet deep that produced over 45 gallons per minute, but the static water depth is less than 40 feet. On my current homestead, we only have one well that produces about 5 gallons per minute, but that’s plenty. Besides, we have lots of springs and small streams on this property,
53 minutes | 2 years ago
How Farmers Use Coolbots to Keep Products Cool: Farm Podcast
Whether you're selling market vegetables, pastured meats or raw milk and farmstead cheese, one thing's for certain. You gotta keep your products cool to preserve shelf life. In this episode, we learn how farmers use Coolbots to do just that.
14 minutes | 2 years ago
Why your farm’s ideal customer doesn’t matter: Farming Podcast
You’ve probably heard how important it is to define and communicate with your ideal customer. So is it? In this episode, I’ll tell you why it’s a waste of time focusing on mythical ideal customers and walk you through what you should be doing, instead!
18 minutes | 2 years ago
Should you start a Facebook page or a Facebook group?
This week I’ll answer a listener’s question on whether it’s best to start a Facebook page or a Facebook group for her farm. I cover the pros and cons of each and describe what you can do with a Facebook page that you can't do in a group, and vice versa.
25 minutes | 2 years ago
Random Acts of Farm Marketing
Let's discuss a crisis in small business. A crisis in most businesses, actually, but particularly in farm businesses. It’s a problem that creates undue stress, panic and results in farmers not building their brands, getting enough customers and growing their farm business. I’m talking about Random Acts of Farm Marketing.
30 minutes | 2 years ago
Why You Must Start Marketing Before You Start Farming
If you’re planning to start a farm—or any small business—when should you start marketing it? In this episode I explain why you should start marketing your farm BEFORE you even open for business.
17 minutes | 2 years ago
How to Create a Great Farm Brand: Farm Podcast
Building a recognized brand for your farm business is one of your most important priorities. This episode discusses why and how to do it.
17 minutes | 2 years ago
Selling meat by weight online & taking payments for farm tours
This week I tackle three questions. One is about the tricky issue of selling meat by product weight online. A related question is about managing inventory of meat when selling both online and at a farm store. And the third question is about managing the reservation and payment process for farm tours.
63 minutes | 2 years ago
Robert Brady on Marketing Your Farm with Google Ads
This week I’m speaking with a farmer turned online marketing expert about how to use Google Ads to attract customers to your farm business. If you're interested in farm marketing, you'll get a lot out of Robert's expertise, as I did. Enjoy the episode!
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