3 reasons you should offer (and charge for) farm tours
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So should you offer farm tours, and should you charge for them? Welcome to Small Farm Nation Academy where we’re gonna help you learn everything you need to know about how to market your farm or crap food business.
Yeah, you should offer farm tours, if you have a farm offer farm tours… Or if you have a distillery offer a distillery tour if you have any kind of business that relates to building a community, anything agricultural or food-related. Definitely offer tours.
I’ll share three reasons why you should offer these tours. And the third reason is gonna be Why you should charge them always.
Now, when I say always if you’re just starting out or you have trouble getting anybody to your farm, maybe you don’t for your first one or something, but get in the habit, quickly of charging for them.
The first reason you wanna offer farm tours is not to let people come out and see chickens or see flowers, or just walk around the land that’s a wasted opportunity. You wanna offer a farm tour, because you’re trying to indoctrinate people into your tribe.
Now, what I mean by this is, this is your opportunity to not get them out and show them the land, but get them out and get them to understand what your tribe is all about. Your tribe, starts with you as a tribe leader, and your vision, your mission, your passion, why are you doing this? Are you trying to save animals or are you trying to say breeds? Are you trying to restore the soil through regenerative agriculture? Are you trying to help foster a local food, culture, to create a foodshed like they have in Tuscany, or Provence someplace like that? What is your reason and your vision and your passion, let that come through, and then let’s get people around you as the champion of that vision.
So we want to build a tribe into this culture. So, those values or what you talk about. You talk about all of those reasons and you’re trying to inject that enthusiasm into these visitors so that when they leave not only do they have that and go… I really wanna support these people, but they go back and in fact other people, people that they work with people that are in their family people that are in their community so that they can go out and be a perpetual source of driving traffic into… So that’s reason number one, we’re trying to indoctrinate people into our way of thinking into our tribe.
Number two, by having farm tours, and by charging for them, which I’m gonna get to in a second. We are basically qualifying our ideal customers.
Now you’ve heard me talk a lot about this nonsense, this ideal customer avatar issue that everybody talks about understanding exactly who Sally is or who Hank is who’s my ideal customer? And I’ve told you before, that doesn’t make any sense as it relates to farming. Your ideal customer is somebody who pays you money and does so consistently because they’re supporting your cause they believe in you, and what you’re doing.
So I don’t have the time to figure out who… That’s gonna be specifically what I have the time to do is to promulgate my vision, my mission, my passion about what I’m trying to do on the farm and then get people to follow that. But by charging for a farm tour, we qualify people because you have a bunch of people who are gonna sign up for a farm tour and then not show up.
So what I always did was we would charge we charge $10 for a farm tour and if they showed up, then I could offer that back, if I wanted to, as a credit towards a farm store purchase or not. That’s up to you if you wanna do that, but there are things you can do there.
But if you don’t charge for a farm tour or you can have a lot of people sign up who don’t show up, and then it’s very hard to manage your time, you probably wanna put limits on how many people come out and if you don’t charge then you’re gonna have two many sign up that don’t show up and you may have kind of an empty farm tour. So we would have a limit. I think we had a limit of 70 people, that we would take paid registrations for firm tour and leave it at that.
But the third reason: The reason you wanna charge for your form tour is you wanna train your customers, I don’t like this word, train, but it’s true in this sense. We wanna train our customers to make purchases from us.
Look, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. We may not like selling, we may not like asking for money, but how are you gonna stay in business otherwise exactly get money from your customers and get them in the habit of purchasing from you? We’re offering a farm tour, we’d like to share our vision, our mission, our passion and what we’re doing. The charge is $10, or the fees, $10 or whatever it may be, and then you’ll enjoy before they got there, but you’re gonna pay for that, just like they do pay for going for any other outdoor event.
And then you can decide whether not you wanna offer any credit at your farm store, or credits. Were CSA sign-up or anything else like that? But your reasons for offering form tours and charging for them, is you want to “Indrani people into your tribe, you want to pre-qualify your ideal customers, those are the people that give you money, and you wanna train them to make purchases from you,
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