Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of The Profitable Mindset podcast.
Welcome to The Profitable Mindset, a show dedicated to teaching you the skills you need to build a profitable product based business that makes you feel free and fully and control. Here is your host, Charlotte Smith.
Hey there, welcome back to episode number 13 of the Profitable Mindset podcast, all about how I market my farm in one hour a day. You guys, I’m so excited for this episode for a number of reasons. I want to be here to inspire you and be an example for you that you can choose to take one hour a day to market your farm in the way that I teach and build a profitable business. You can do this. Even if you think you’re too busy to do this, I know you can do it.
I’m going to show you how you can create an hour of the day for something that’s this important. Your life’s work, truly. I’m going to share all the marketing tasks and the schedule I keep during my week of marketing, but I’m also going to share with you the strategy I use to make sure I sit down and do those tasks when it’s time, even though there’s a whole bunch of things that could be pulling me away instead.
Okay, so I have all my marketing tasks listed out on a sheet of paper for you. It’s a free download, and it has my schedule I keep too. So that you can copy my schedule or you can just customize it to work for you. Either way, you’re going to get great ideas from it. So be sure to download that, it’s a https://www.3cowmarketing.com/marketingplan. It’s going to help you create your own plan and strategy.
Now it’s time in the podcast where I share a listener review with you, and this week’s review comes from Pete on iTunes and Pete says … And I remember meeting Pete, he says, “I met Charlotte at a holistic management international conference in California where she gave a phenomenally practical talk on farm marketing and how to sell your products at their true value to people who are ecstatic to have found your farm. Thank you, Charlotte and team, for the deeply transformational work you’re offering to the farming community.”
Oh gosh. Thank you so much, Pete. Like I said, I remember meeting you and we sat down … We sat at the same table together listening to Joel’s keynote speech at that conference, and I was so honored to be able to speak there too, but thanks for taking the time to write this review, I appreciate it. If you’re listening and you haven’t left a review yet, I would love it if you’d take just a couple minutes even, and go over and review the podcast. It’s what helps us keep in front of people we can help so we can keep the podcast going.
All right, thanks you guys. Now I’m going to dive into how I market my farm in one hour a day, and like I alluded to earlier, I’ve divided this episode into two parts. I’m going to share with you the most common obstacle that I hear from you that stands in your way of marketing your farm. I’m going to share with you some tips on how to overcome that obstacle so you can make sure you take the time to market your farm, and then I’m going to share what I actually do during my hour that I spend on marketing each day.
Now, the reason I am covering the mindset piece first, which is how to overcome that obstacle. Well, I’ve been teaching marketing to farmers for many years, and I can teach the how-to all day long. I have so many instructional videos, I have a book, I have cheat sheets, I’ve got everything that will teach you the how all day long, like I said.
There are always a certain percentage of my farm marketing students who take the how-to that I teach. They go away from my marketing course with their marketing plan in place, and they execute it masterfully, and they build profitable farms. They’re often selling two or three, or even 10 times the sales they had before they joined our course. And that is wonderful. It’s absolutely fabulous, I want that for everyone.
But then I’ve noticed over the years that there is a certain percentage of our students who learn the exact same material, they’re in the exact same class, they get the same coaching from me, they learn how to do it, they practice, I give them feedback, it looks amazing, and yet they don’t execute it. They give me several reasons why they didn’t choose to do the work.
You guys, I think we can all agree that marketing our products is necessary. It has to be done. But often what I hear from you is so many of you let the farm work and your life’s activities get in the way of that. You let the day to day tasks overwhelm you sometimes. And what you come to me with is you say you’re too busy, so you’re procrastinating on your marketing, week after week after week. I totally get it. We are busy, we’re busy with everything on the farm and in our families. Most of us have kids, spouses, there’s cooking, there’s cleaning. Some of you are homeschooling, not to mention customers wanting things.
I get it. You’re busy. We’re all busy. What’s interesting, though, is you already know, of course, that we all have the same number of hours in the day. I see my students who are successful in executing their marketing they learn, they also usually have kids and sometimes they have two kids, sometimes they have five kids, sometimes they have nine kids. They have spouses, and they have church, and a house, and a farm. So they have the same hours in a day that we do and yet they’ve been able to commit to marketing and building profitable, successful farms.
So what I want to say is busy is not an excuse that should stop you from creating success, because busy is a state of mind. If we all have the same amount of things going on on the outside, how come some people can tend to the thing that will actually make them profitable, and some people don’t? The difference is the successful ones, the ones that are successful at practicing their marketing, it’s what they’ve done to manage their thoughts.
So that’s why I’m going to start with the first half of this episode just about how to get over that thing and get past that thing that you think is stopping you from doing your marketing. I have a really simple exercise that I’m going to teach you in how it will help you not indulge in saying you’re too busy anymore, because it really is truly a state of mind.
What I want to encourage you to do instead of saying, “I’m too busy.” Is … And I learned this the hard way too. I learned it because I heard myself saying, “I’m too busy.” Over and over again. I want you to tell the truth. Instead of saying, “Oh, I haven’t written my blog post this month because I’m too busy.” I want you to learn to tell yourself the truth.
Something like, “I haven’t written my blog posts this month because I didn’t want to do it enough.” Now you’re being honest with yourself and you’re not pretending some outside force is stopping you from doing your marketing. You all of a sudden realize, “Oh, wow, I just didn’t want to do it enough.” I’m telling you this realization and this mindset shift is great, because now you realize that doing your marketing is totally within your control. It’s not at the mercy of outside forces preventing you from taking action. Only your thoughts are going to decide or determine whether you take action and do your marketing, or whether you indulge in thinking you’re too busy.
I know we are always going to have amazing, wonderful reasons as to why we should be able to say we’re too busy to do the marketing. I mean, kids get sick, it’s somebody’s birthday, somebody had a calf, there are pests attacking the flowers, the power went out, the truck broke down. Your reasons make you think that you’re justified in not taking action, and this is where it’s super important you engage in managing that voice in your head that’s telling you to skip this task because something else is more important. This is all something that happens in your head, okay?
So when I discovered this, it was probably about, I don’t know, maybe 10 years ago, when I had three kids at home doing all kinds of activities and sports and school and et cetera, and I had the farm and milk cows and customers that needed stuff and house and cooking and all that. So I had everything that most of you have as well. People would ask me a question like, “How are you doing?” And I started hearing myself saying, “Oh, I’m so busy.” So they would say, “How are you, Charlotte?” And I’d say, “Oh, I’m so busy.”
One day I just, I heard myself saying that and I watched myself and I thought, “How silly does that sound? That’s not a quality answer. It’s such a dumb answer.” I sound really pathetic. And in that moment, as soon as I made that realization, I vowed to never tell someone I’m busy again. Instead, start telling yourself, like with your marketing, I’m not choosing to do that, I didn’t want it badly enough. So I’m going to show you why I encourage you to commit to never using the excuse anymore of being too busy.
Really, there’s no upside to telling people you’re busy, and there’s especially no upside to telling yourself you’re too busy to do your farm marketing. Instead, like I said, make yourself tell the truth. Pretend you’re only allowed to say, “I didn’t do my marketing this week because I just didn’t want to do it badly enough.”
Saying it this way, it’s crucial for your mindset because it’s what’s going to start helping you realize it is totally within your control. It’s not within the control of something outside of you, it’s not the broken-down pickup, or the customer wanting something that stopped you from doing your marketing this week, okay? It’s that you didn’t want to do it enough and saying it this way to yourself will really help you. Because all those outside things can and will happen in our lives every single day. The farmers who choose to do their marketing anyway will build profitable farms.
I see this every single day with all the clients I work with, and all the farmers I work with across the country and around the world. Those that have made this decision to commit to doing their marketing no matter what are building profitable farms.
Also, one more thing I want to share on that is that being a person who chooses to sit down and do their marketing instead of thinking and saying, “I’m too busy.” Is not a personality trait. This is a function of your brain, your prefrontal cortex. You decide ahead of time that you will complete the task so that your primitive brain doesn’t have a chance to tell you in the moment that you should do something else. So it’s not a personality trait, it’s a learned skill that we can all practice.
Another tip for how to combat this, something I found that works for me, is I make an appointment on my calendar with myself, and I’ve learned to treat it like any other appointment. I also learned this years ago. I noticed that I never miss my appointments with other people, whether that’s doctor’s appointments, or whatever it might be, so why should I cancel on myself?
When I have an appointment with, maybe it’s my daughter’s principal, or, for instance, I have an appointment to get my hair cut every eight weeks or so. I can tell you something, I never miss that appointment. My hairstylist is really hard to get into. So if I miss that appointment because somebody’s sick, or a customer needs something, or I’m too busy, it takes me a long time to get another appointment with her. And then, ladies, you know the feeling, I hate my hair until I can get in to get it cut.
So it’s not something I want to do. I want to keep that appointment with her. So I move worlds to make sure I make my hairstylist appointment. And that is how I want you to start treating your marketing. Set an appointment to do your marketing one hour a day, like I teach, and don’t miss that appointment for any reason. Just like I never miss my hair appointment, and I’m sure you have appointments like that in your life you’d never miss, I want you to treat your marketing the same way.
Now, when I do my marketing work in my office today, I rarely have to overcome procrastination or busy-ness because I’ve trained myself to keep that appointment with myself, just like I keep that precious hair appointment. It’s written on my calendar, and I show up at that time, and I take action, and I have a profitable farm because of it. When my marketing students finally decide they’re no longer going to procrastinate or say they’re too busy, they start marketing their farm. Pretty soon they’re making, sometimes even 10 times the sales that they made a few months before then. Guess what? They’re addicted to not indulging and being too busy for that. They see that holy cow, my profitable farm depends on me not procrastinating or not being too busy.
So that’s part one of the podcast. Tips on how to overcome the obstacle of being too busy that you’re going to want to tell yourself when it’s time to market. Now I want to shift over to how I actually do the marketing each day. The reason I do this is one of the most important things in marketing is consistency. Some farmers will tell me that their marketing consists of an email once a quarter. Well, unfortunately, that’s not consistent enough to build a loyal customer base. You’ll find yourself scrambling to customers once a quarter if you just communicate with them at that time.
So you’ve got to be more consistent. That means it’s better to do one hour a day than to sit down once a month and do it. So if you notice throughout the year that your customers aren’t loyal, or maybe you’re not retaining them from season to season, one of the big reasons why is your marketing is not consistent enough. Also, make sure you’re practicing marketing like I teach. If you haven’t invested in learning modern farm marketing methods, you’ll want to do this pronto, because, yeah, consistency is important, but the quality of your marketing has to be up to speed too.
All right. Here’s what I do. The first thing I do is I write down all my marketing tasks that I must complete each week. I made a list of them, and I’ve written all my tasks down. Remember the download 3cowmarketing.com/marketingplan. The complete list is right there, and here’s what it is.
So I send a twice a month email to my list. I also create a new monthly blog post, I have to have pictures in today’s world, it’s a big part of marketing. I engage with potential customers and customers. I post on social media three to five times a week and I talked to one customer in person each week. I spend some time researching what it is my customers want to hear from me about each week because remember, you’re not writing about your farming practices, you’re writing about what they want to hear from you about. So then I know what my customers want to hear from me about, so I spend time making lists of those topics. Another task I do is I spend time, at least five days a week answering emails that I get, and responding to comments, probably on social media in that case.
So that is my list of tasks. Then in the download also, the next page you’ll see that I divided up my day by day schedule over the week with the exact amount of time I spend on each of these tasks. So do get the download, it’ll help give you an idea of how you can build your profitable business. Like I said, you can copy my schedule or customize it to fit your needs.
All right, now I just want to describe a little bit about each of the tasks and go in a little more depth. I write twice a month emails to my customer list, and I teach farmers how to know what to write about so you can attract the customers you need inside my marketing course. I’m not just sitting down writing a random email, I know that my email is going to be very strategic in attracting customers who want the solution I offer and can pay my prices. I also teach my students to start out with once a month emails. I have a lot of people who jump in and think, “I’m going to email my customers once a week.” And since they’re so new at it, it’s hard to keep that up. It’s a lot of work.
So for best results in marketing, you’ve got to email them at least once a month year-round. Every study shows that to be true. So start out with that as your goal. Just start out with planning on emailing them once a month. That’s where you start. And then after the first year, you might work your way up to communicating twice a month by email. I know on our farm it was by year three I was finally able to get to the every other week schedule. You do not want to let up during the offseason, or during the winter, you will lose people. That’s what happened. That’s why you don’t retain customers, is you take some time off from your marketing.
So once a month minimum, year-round. Then I always work with my students in Farm Marketing From The Heart, customizing their communications to their farm. Because there are some of you who are farming who have a business model where you do need to write an email once a week, and then there are other farms who need to keep in touch with their list maybe once a month. And then there are those of you who need to email once a week during certain times of the year, and once a week during other times a year. So I can totally help you determine which it is for you depending on the farm model that you have.
All right. Then another task I do is I make sure I have pictures for my marketing. I will go out on the farm and I’ll take pictures on my iPhone so I have a representation of what’s going on right now, like what’s ripe out in the garden, or is there a cow that’s going to butcher, or chickens or whatever.
I take some photos that my customers … I know my customers are really going to be interested in each week. Then once or twice a year I also hire a professional photographer so that I have a Google Drive full of professional photos. So when I need something for my website, or for an ad, or for a flyer I’m doing, I have access to those too. So I want to make sure I’ve got lots of photos.
The quality of your photos has to be really good. In today’s world, people’s expectations are very high and I see a lot of farmers that are putting up blurry and dark photos. So make sure your photos are bright and light and uncluttered. You can study photography online, you can Google how to take better photos and find that out for free, and then practice and make sure they’re cohesive to your brand. So that’s what I do with photos, I will go out once a week and make sure I fit all those parameters there.
Next, I want to talk about engagement. I spend a significant amount of time engaging with my customers and potential customers. Engagement is when you interact with a customer anywhere online or in person. So it might be the comments on Instagram, or Facebook, or direct messages, or maybe it’s on your blog, or it’s somebody sent you an email individually. It’s really important. Engagement is more important than almost anything except consistency.
So I set aside some time each week, and you will see it in my calendar, in the schedule you can download, where I make sure I’m responding to all comments, all emails, and during that time, or maybe it’s an in-person meeting, I’m also listening and making mental notes as to what it is they want from me. It’s really important to know what do they want to hear from you about because the things they want to hear from you about are the things that interest them, not your farming practices. A lot of farmers make that mistake, and I want to make sure you don’t.
During that time that I’m engaging with my one customer a week in person, I’m listening and I’m making notes to what they’re telling me. Are they telling me they have a big garden and they love to cook, or are they telling me they don’t have any time to cook? Because that’s going to make my content go a different direction depending on what it is they’re telling me. So I’m always listening. I’ve had people in the past walk in our farm store and say, “Why is raw milk so difficult to find?” So that question right there would be a great blog post and it would appeal to so many customers and potential customers.
So that’s an example of listening to them as to what they want to hear from me. Just know that all your marketing topics will come from this engagement with your customers on a regular basis. That’s right, I put it right there on my schedule. All right. The other thing is I make sure I’m in my email inbox at least five days a week answering customer emails. I reply to them within 24 hours.
It’s amazing how many people come to me to find our farm and buy from us and they say, “I’m so glad I found you. I emailed five farmers over the last month, and nobody ever got back to me.” I hear that all the time. So this will give you a leg up in your marketing. Just the fact that you are a person who responds to all emails, and the sooner you respond to them or reply to their email, the sooner they will become a buying customer. So I make sure I’m not doing those one day a week, I’m answering them within 24 hours.
All right. Now in that download is my daily schedule, so you’re going to see how much time I commit to each task. For instance, social media. You’ll notice that I spend 10 minutes a day engaging with customers and potential customers on Instagram and Facebook. It’s not very much time. I really constrain myself to 10 minutes of focused time. Otherwise social media can be a really big time suck, and I’ll find myself redecorating my bathroom instead of doing my marketing work.
So learn to constrain yourself. That’s why that written down schedule that I’ve shared with you and the exact time is going to be really helpful to you. It’ll show you how you can build a profitable business with only 10 minutes a day on social media, for instance. But the consistency is what is key.
Then you’ll notice that I spend a part of a couple of different days researching blog posts and writing my monthly emails, or twice a month emails. So I have that all mapped out for you in that marketing plan. Be sure to get it. It’s at https://www.3cowmarketing.com/marketingplan. You can use my exact schedule or customize it to you.
The reason I’m diving into talking about marketing and how I market my farm in one hour per day is that Farm Marketing From The Heart is opening up for registration this September. I’ve had so many of you writing over the summer wondering when it’s coming up again. I teach it twice a year, fall and spring. In that class, you’re going to transform your life and your business. So you’re going to start hearing more about that as time goes on in your email inbox.
I just wanted to give you a little heads up that we’re headed that direction. That is totally my passion in life, and I just love doing it, and I’m so glad we’re almost there again for this year. I really hope to see you in that class, but thank you so much for being here today. It’s been really fun sharing with you something that is totally possible, and that’s marketing your farm in one hour per day to build a profitable farm. Okay, you guys take care, and I will see you next time.
Thank you so much for tuning into today’s episode. For more great resources, check out https://www.3cowmarketing.com/podcast/. See you next time.