I have some inspiring and fun news to share, including:
- a really fun and inspiring interview with a profitable flower farmer,
- my weekly farm marketing tip,
- commentary on the most interesting thing I read this week, and
- current farm and food safety news of interest.
First up, this week’s podcast with Niki Irving of Flourish Flower Farm near Asheville. I really enjoyed my conversation with Niki because, most of the time, I’m speaking with livestock farmers.Or dealing with my own livestock. Starting and running a flower farm is a bit alien to me, so I was fascinated to learn about Niki’s experience in both growing flowers and providing/arranging flowers for weddings. That’s a bit out of my comfort zone 😉
We covered everything about starting and running a profitable flower farm, from capital and land requirements to agritourism and events to pest control, harvest schedules and everything in between.
This is an inspiring entrepreneurial farm story, so LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE. Or, if you have an Alexa device, just say: “Alexa, play podcast Small Farm Nation.”
This Week’s Podcast Episode Sponsored by
Farmers Web: Software for Your Farm
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CoolBot, Home of The Most Revolutionary Walk-in Cooler on the Planet
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Farm Marketing Tip of the Week:
don’t make this common “list building” mistake
“List building” is the phrase used to describe the practice of building your email list. And this week I want to remind you about a huge mistake that over 90% of ALL businesses make with their email list.
Whether you’re a farm, restaurant or any other business selling directly to customers, building your email list HUGELY IMPORTANT. Like, way more important than getting followers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter and elsewhere. Because the primary purpose of those social platforms is to just funnel people into your email list anyway, so you can market to them directly.
To understand this big mistake you’re likely making let’s walk through the most common approaches to list building.
Now, the good news is that most people have an email capture form on their websites (please tell me that you have a HIGHLY VISIBLE email capture form on your site). But, in most cases the email capture form simply says, “sign up for our newsletter” or something like that. And that’s a big problem in itself, because signing up for a newsletter isn’t much of an incentive to the visitor.
But that’s not the big mistake I want to focus on today.
The mistake, and the opportunity, I want to concentrate on is what happens AFTER someone signs up for your list. 90% of the time they see a “success” message or similar, and they’re not redirected anywhere.
AND THAT IS THE HUGE MISTAKE.
The new subscriber should be redirected to a “Thank You” page. To see an example of exactly how this should work, go to smallfarmnation.com/habits and download my free guide, the 7 Marketing Traits of Highly Successful Farms. When you sign up you’ll immediately be taken to a thank you page. Click the image below to check it out for yourself.
Now, here’s why this thank you page is so important.
This “Thank You” page is the ONLY time that you are 100% guaranteed your new subscriber will see your message. This is your ONLY opportunity to be absolutely certain this new potential customer, who has shared an email address, will read what you have to say.
Because many people who sign-up never even see your confirmation emails, or your follow-up emails. Often it’s simply because Gmail or their email service provider puts your message in a promotional or SPAM folder and the person doesn’t check there.
By contrast, when you create a proper thank you page the new subscriber is directed to that page on YOUR website. So you still have them there. Then, on that thank you page, you can start a conversation with them.Again, this is the only message from you that you can be 100% certain the new subscriber sees. Because they’re directed there when they sign up.
If you want to read all about how to create your Thank You page and what should be on it, see this post and podcast episode I did on the subject. And create your own Thank You page ASAP!
The Most Interesting Thing I Read This Week
Lawmaker wants to make it illegal to drink fresh milk from your own cow
I wrote about this issue a few weeks ago, but now my blood is really boiling. Here’s the actual proposed bill, and here’s what this bill proposes:
“prohibits a person who owns a partial interest in a hoofed mammal from using the milk of the animal for the person’s personal consumption or other personal use.“
Okay, so this is so preposterous that it has forced me to come up with a ranking system for news like this. I call it my F-Bomb scale, and it works like this.
So, I don’t know where you come down on the raw milk issue, before or against. And I don’t really care. But if you care about freedom this has really got to get your blood boiling. I mean, how the heck have we elected lawmakers who want to propose that you can’t make butter, cheese or drink milk from YOUR OWN animal on YOUR OWN land? I mean, I gotta watch my language on these newsletters because, you know, mama might read it. But WTF?
So, yeah, this story scores all 5 F-Bombs (mom, the “f” means farm).
Farm & Food in the News
By comparison, this CBS news story gets only One F-Bomb from me. Because they’re basically saying what I and other farmers/homesteaders have been saying for quite some time. We’re too clean. This of course gets to the heart of the “hygiene hypothesis” which I’m definitely a believer of. There are countless articles that support this theory, including the article, “Kids Raised on Farms Are Healthier in Two Important Ways.”
I’m thrilled that we raise our daughter in this type of environment, but I know that most people can’t. Totally get it. But, what you can do is this…find a farmer, buy from them as frequently as you would a grocery store, and visit them. Let your kids get out there on farm tours, see the animals, harvest the produce and get involved.
You know how when you go into a grocery store they have those sanitation wipes so you can wipe those cooties off the shopping cart? THAT’S THE PROBLEM!
We don’t have sanitation wipes on farms. We have dirt and plenty of it. You probably do, too, right in your backyard. So let your kids scoop some up and play in it. If you’re looking for ideas, I wrote a whole book of games and survival skills called Playful Preparedness.
thanks for your kind words
- A recent iTunes review of Small Farm Nation: “I’ve listened to every episode and a handful of them multiple times. My goal is to leave the safety of a traditional job and income and spend all my time on the 40 acres we recently bought. Woven throughout ever podcast is the idea that 80% of your time is spent on some form of marketing. No one else elegantly weaves this into the culture like Tim does. So important! Thank you!” – Kevin, Bear Bottom Acres