While the bulls are working, cows are grazing and calves are growing, you may not have cattle to sell right now. That doesn’t mean selling shouldn’t be on your mind. The best time to grow your marketing efforts is not the month before your sale; instead spend these off-season months getting to know previous customers and potential buyers, honing your own skills and analyzing your efforts from last year.
1. Build your community.
Spend five minutes each day interacting as your business on Facebook. Like and respond to posts in groups, among your friends and on industry pages. This is such a simple and valuable way to build your network. Offer your knowledge in Facebook groups, ask questions, BE KIND and be supportive. With social media, you get out what you put in. The more you contribute and engage, the better results you will see. Gone are the days of having friends and family like your posts and expect your information to be seen (although, shout out to my Mom and Mother-in-law who always support my posts!😘). Facebook has systematically made it so you have to engage – you have to talk TO people, not AT people.
2. Connect with buyers from the last 1, 3, 10 years.
Ask how they are getting along, what has been important to them in the last year. Where are they going with their herd and what challenges are they facing? If you come across someone singing your praises, “Hey, that means a lot, do you mind if I use that quote on my website?” or “Can I tag you in that on a Facebook post?”. Most people are happy to promote a product they believe in. Don’t miss an opportunity to not only talk about your business, but help build them up, as well.
3. Go to a networking or educational event.
There are lots of herd tours, shows, extension events, etc. Make a point to support a group that is important to you or perhaps join an event that you’ve never been to or don’t have a connection to; maybe that’s where you will learn the most!
4. Assess last year’s performance.
Sit down with the ads you placed in publications, the posts you put on social media and a calendar. Can you see significant increases in the traffic to your page or website on days around those publish dates? If not, re-evaluate your marketing plan with those marketing avenues. Export a list of posts from your Facebook page and sort them by engagement. What type of posts performed best? Pictures? Videos? Were they organic posts of pictures you took in the field or were they your thoughtfully planned-out sale posts? Did they feature certain animals or people? There are a million ways to categorize your posts, but anything you find that was successful, do more of that. Everyone’s page and audience is different, so don’t rely on your neighbor or someone like me to tell you which posts work on YOUR page.
Just like making good cattle, making good marketing decisions takes time; you can’t skimp on your marketing and expect it to perform. Spend a few minutes each day on any of these items and you will see the rewards the next time you have cattle for sale.
Happy Marketing! Kristin
PS: Before your next sale, take advantage of my free marketing consultation. Send me your marketing materials or links to website and social media and I'll give you honest feedback to improve your bottom line.
PSS: If you're selling bulls this fall, check out my friend Glenda at getpenned.com. Her tool, BullPEN is going to be an awesome new resource for buyers and sellers. Get ahead of the game and follow her now on Facebook and Instagram!