Transcript – Selling on Social Media No Longer Works
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 in control. Here’s your host, Charlotte Smith.
Hey there, welcome to episode number 14 of The Profitable Mindset Podcast: Why selling on social media no longer works, and what does. Today’s episode is really exciting to me because it’s all about the foundation of what is going to help you build your profitable farm. There are so many farmers who come to me super frustrated, because their Facebook page and their Instagram account is a lot of work, and a lot of distraction, and they aren’t making a lot of money from it.
What’s really important for you to know is that those platforms are not standalone marketing platforms. A lot of people will think that in lieu of a website, it’s much easier to just put up a Facebook page for their farm, so they’ll do that instead. Or, their Instagram account. Because it may look like they’re getting lots of engagement on it, they’re getting lots of people liking, and maybe commenting, and maybe sharing. So, they think they have marketed their farm, and then they think it’s just a problem of people aren’t valuing their products, or not willing to make the drive, or some other problem external to them. When it’s actually that you’re not using the platform in the right way.
Years ago, way back in 2009 even, many very big businesses were built using Facebook alone, because that was even before Instagram. What happened is a few years in of course, Facebook recognized, “Wait a minute. These people are making a ton of money, we want a cut of that.” Now, Facebook and Instagram … well, Instagram is owned by Facebook. But, today those are multi-billion dollar companies. If you want to make money on their platform, they want a cut of that. They want you to pay money to post an ad for instance, or somehow they want to have a piece of that.
What that means is, when you post a post on either of those platforms, where you’re trying to sell something, it is hardly going to be shown to anybody, okay? You’ve probably noticed that already, they really limit your reach. Then, there are algorithms that know that if you’re trying to sell a lot on there if you’re consistently putting up posts trying to sell your products, or tell people to come see you at the farmers market or go to my website and place an order. The algorithms set up on these platforms recognize the words you have in there, and they limit your reach when you’re trying to sell. And, it’s important to know it’s getting tighter, and tighter each year. So, your reach is … you’re reaching fewer and fewer people each year, with the same amount of work even. And, even with the same amount of money on ads, if you are putting money on ads.
It’s because those platforms are meant to be social platforms, where you build relationships, all right? They’re supposed to be places where you go, and you talk with people, you have conversations with them, they learn to trust you, you’re engaging with each other, you show them how you can help them, and eventually they end up on your email list as a potential customer, okay? I just wanted to give you the big picture of why social media platforms are not working today as they did in 2009, and they will not ever go back to that, just know that. So, therefore you’ve got to make a new strategy, or just make a strategy at all. That’s where I come in, I’m going to help you do that, all right? That’s what the rest of this episode is all about, that’s what does work today.
But, first things first, I want to take just a moment and read a review, and give a listener on iTunes a shout out. This review is from Glenna D. She says, “Charlotte and the principles she teaches are exactly what I need to take my business from a hobby to a lifestyle. My life goal is to save my family farm and pass that lifestyle onto my children. I have a degree in Ag. Business and I would trade it for just this practical information.” Oh my goodness, thank you Glenna D. I just appreciate you guys taking the time to write these very thoughtful things you’re writing. I’m just so honored to be here in this space, so thank you very much. If any of you want a shout out on the podcast, do go over to iTunes and leave a comment. I would love to talk to you right here on the podcast too.
All right, thanks. Now, getting back to what works in today’s world, I want to introduce to you an idea that is old, but it is what is working still today. It’s what old is new again, and it prevails over social media for making money on your farm, and that is your blog on your website, all right? Now, some people I know are thinking, “Oh my gosh, blog. Blogging is dead, it’s not working.” Well, I can tell you this. Whoever told you blogging is dead, take a look at their business, and I’ll bet their business is dead. Because, blogging is the number one way you’re going to make money in this online world with your farm today, all right? Let me continue to explain.
But first, I do have a free download that’s going to help you with this. It’s going to give you probably almost a year’s worth of ideas on what to blog about, so do download that. It is at 3CowMarketing.com/Blogging, B-L-O-G-G-I-N-G, and it’s also linked up in the notes, in the show notes on iTunes, and on my website. You can find that anywhere. But, do get that. It will help you get started in knowing what to blog about too.
Many people come to me and they say, “Do I really need a blog? Because, I have my Facebook page, and I have my Instagram account. They aren’t really working anyway, they aren’t making the money, so why should I invest in a blog, or even in a website?” Well, your website and the blog capability of it, those two things together, and your email marketing are the foundation of your marketing strategy.
Instagram, and Facebook, and other social media channels like that are just that, they are channels. They are things that feed into your foundation, or your home base. So, your website, along with your blog is your home base. Nothing else will make you money until you’ve got your blog and your website making you lots of money, where you send out an email, you link up to your blog, it’s all about the things your customers want to hear about. They trust you, they know that you’ve got the solution to their problem, and you will make lots of money on that.
When I send out a blog post on my farm, about twice a month, we make thousands and thousands of dollars. You will get to that point when you learn how to build your marketing strategy that works in today’s online world, you will get to that point too. And, you will never be able to put up just a single Instagram post, or Facebook post, and bring in the same amount of money you will with your blog. That’s why it’s really, really important.
It’s easy to get set up today. All website platforms should include blog capabilities. And, if you don’t have a website, we have a free website tutorial. Teaches you how to get a website up in half a day, if you are a teeny bit techy. If you are not techy at all, it will just take you one Saturday to get your website up, okay? That’s a tutorial my daughter created. It’s free, so make sure you get that. I’ll link it up in the show notes too, and it’s on our website.
I built my first website years ago, and I tell you, I’m not techy at all. If I can do it, and it … that is what built our profitable farm, that is responsible for the marketing of our farm, that junky website that I was able to build all those years ago. If I can do that, you can do it. And, today’s websites are so much prettier than they were 10 years ago when I was trying to build mine, so you’re going to do great with that.
All right, now getting back to the function of the blog. A blog is, it’s the copy, it’s words on your website, and it’s kind of like a journal of course. It’s the written word. You may want to do videos or audio as I do, and my podcast on my blog. But, it’s important for you to know that you still have to have the written word on there. SEO, which is Search Engine Optimization, doesn’t recognize video content, or audio content. It can’t see the words in there, so that’s not going to help you show up in Google searches for instance. If you are doing videos, you’ve still got to write one to 2,000 words to get noticed by Google, so you’ll show up in searches. You’ve got to blog, make sure you’ve got some words in there, even if you have a video, or audio like a podcast too, okay?
Now, moving on from that, probably your website platform already has blogging capabilities. If you haven’t activated it, just go make sure you activate it. And, just call it a blog. Some people try to name it fancy names, but people aren’t going to recognize that. They know what a blog is, so just call it your blog so that people, someone who lands on your website will know just what you’re looking at.
All right, now, the other … the important thing about a blog is, it’s really good and crucial to have so that people get to know who you are, and that you can help them. Your blog is not all about your farming practices. Your customers don’t know enough to ask about those things, and they’re too busy to really pay much attention to those things. What’s going to get them interested in your blog is when you write about things that they are interested in, all right? I’m in the midst of teaching my Farm Marketing From The Heart this week, and this week we focus on the thousands … they’re finding out thousands of things that their customers want to hear from them about. It’s just a goldmine when you learn how to tap into your customers.
What you can help them with is going to be what all your blog posts are about. They are going to trust you, you’re going to be seeing … they’ll see you as their mentor, and the expert, and the person that they want to buy from, all right? They wouldn’t dream of buying from any other farm once they get to know you through your blog, because you’re writing about things that interest them. That’s a really important reason to have one.
Another important reason is it’s really easy to share a blog post. When you email them the link twice a month, it’s really easy for you to give a call to action to forward this link, or share it on Instagram, share it on Facebook. It is a very easily shareable, so you will get put in front of many more potential customers with a blog than you ever will with a Facebook or an Instagram account, okay? That’s the other, second really important reason.
Then, your blog is also really powerful because of these next two things I’m going to talk about, and that is … the next two purposes are number one, your blog helps you retain your current customers. And number two, the other purpose of your blog is it attracts new customers, all right? If you think of your blog as performing those two things, you will build a really solid, loyal customer base. And, it might depend on the time of year. Some times of the year you’re going to be releasing blog posts that are retaining current customers. Other times of the year, you will be using blog posts to attract new customers. We work with our students because every farm is individual on that. But, it depends on your farm model.
For instance, if you’re a veggie CSA, and your season goes through the summer. Well, through the summer season you’re likely going to spend that time blogging about things that will retain your current customers and will make sure that you retain them over to the next season, and they resubscribe too, right? Then, there will be key times of the year where you are getting ready to take on new customers, and you will be writing blog posts that attract new customers. You will learn to be really strategic about which type of blog post you write, those that attract new customers, or those that retain current customers.
You’ll probably end up with about, maybe a 50/50 split. So, you’re attracting new customers with half your blog posts, and retaining current customers with the other half of your blog post. That is kind of a wild guess. What you’re going to do is you’re going to start blogging. It’s one of those things where you start, you pay attention to what works, what doesn’t. You tweak it, you try it again, kind of a rinse and repeat model. That’s what marketing is, there’s not a black and white science. Because of, your farm model is going to be unique, and where you live is unique, and your ideal customer is unique, you will find out what works best for you, and when.
Let’s talk about retaining current customers. The thing about current customers is what you know, they’ve already bought from you. They’ve already gotten over the really big hurdle of deciding to buy farm-fresh food, which actually is a big hurdle for a lot of people. It’s inconvenient, it’s often more money, they don’t know where to find it, it’s a little scary, can they trust it? The people who are currently buying from you have already gotten over that big hurdle. What they need now is content from you that helps them to keep buying your product, or maybe use more of your product.
You don’t need to write them blog posts that convince them to buy your product, whether it’s farm fresh chicken, or flowers, or milk, or other types of meat. You don’t have to convince them, you need them to stay with you, and resubscribe next season, or order again next season, or come back every week for their milk. You need to retain those customers. What’s really good content for blog posts to retain customers is recipes. As an example, if you sell one chicken to one person, you will have to sell a lot of single chickens to a person in order to build your profitable farm. But, if you can get one person to buy multiple chickens, then it will be much easier. You’ll be more efficient in your marketing, right?
The way to get more people to buy multiple chickens is to make sure that you have taught them many more uses for chicken, than just the roast chicken recipe that they always go to, right? Think of recipes, think of bone broth, how-to’s, how-to cut up a whole chicken, all kinds of content. Again, I’ve got a lot of these ideas in that download, 3CowMarketing.com/Blogging. Make sure you get that, you could also write some of these ideas on there too. So, as an example, that is how to get your customer to buy more chicken. Give her more ways to use it.
Same thing with raw milk. I can get customers buying milk, but as soon as I do a blog post on how to make butter, or cheese, or ice cream, I sell the same amount of people a lot more milk. Which again, makes my job marketing much more efficient. Then, when it’s time to come back next season, to order a quarter beef. If you’ve been teaching them how to use that quarter beef this season, they’re going to come back and order next year. That’s a complaint I get from a lot of farmers, is people don’t come back and order again. A big part of that could be because you’re not staying connected with them, you’re not teaching them how to use up what they bought from you, and building trust so they come back. These types of blog posts will help you do that.
Now, the other type of blog post is the one to attract new customers. This is different in that, the person has not decided to buy farm fresh products yet. They’re still shopping at the grocery store, or they’re ordering their meals in one of those boxes that’s delivered to their porch. They think it comes from a farm, but you and I know different, right? They don’t know any different, so they don’t know that yet. Say a woman never bought farm fresh flowers, because her flowers die all the time anyway, and she doesn’t know how to make them look good, so why would she drive to your farm to buy a bouquet?
Well, if you have a blog post on there that would attract her to your farm because you can set her fears at bay, you can calm her fears of killing the flowers. Maybe it’s a blog post on, “Five Steps to Keep Your Farm Fresh Flowers Fresh Longer.” Okay, that was kind of a cumbersome title, but you know what I mean. You are teaching her that, “Oh, you actually can make flowers from the farm last longer, I’m going to give this a try.” Or, “Three Steps to Designing a Simple Bouquet From Farm Fresh Flowers.” She’ll be like, “Oh, I want to learn how to do this. I want to visit that farm, get some flowers.” So, you have attracted her and helped her overcome the hurdle of deciding to buy your flowers.
All right, another one is, think back to a time when you did not know that you could buy products fresh from the farm. Unless you grew up eating the way you eat now, there was probably a time where you didn’t know you could go to a farm and buy flowers, right? For me, that was 15 years ago. I was looking for a solution for my kids’ eczema, and someone suggested raw milk. I had never heard of it before, I didn’t even know what it was. When I started looking it up on the web, and 15 years ago there wasn’t as much information, I wanted educational articles. I wanted articles that helped me make the decision to buy milk fresh from the farm, and that’s exactly what I found.
So, you want to make sure you have a lot of educational articles on there, to help calm people’s nerves of what could possibly be good about buying a chicken fresh from the farm. A lot of people are so intimidated by that. When you have a blog article up there that addresses those fears and those concerns, and shows them how amazing of a decision it is to come meet you, and get to know you, and you can’t wait to help them. Then, you’re helping them overcome the decision to buy, and you will find you are going to attract a lot more new customers.
There you go, there are those two purposes, a bunch of blog posts that help retain your current customers, and a bunch of blog posts that help you attract new customers, and get them over the hurdle to decide to buy something fresh from a farm. One more example of a blog post that helps people make the decision to buy farm fresh products so it will work to attract new customers and those are customer success stories. When you start asking your current customers questions like, “What is it that makes you want to come out to the farm, and go out of your way, and buy our product? What’s important about that?” They are going to tell you all kinds of really good, touching stories.
When you learn to … well, of course, get permission first, but share their story in one of your blog posts, what’s going to happen is potential customers, and it’s mostly women reading your blogs. Women will see themselves in these other women and they’ll say, “Well, if that mom could get her kid to eat more vegetables because she worked with this farmer, and had all these helpful recipes. I could do the same, and I could stop feeding my kids boxed mac and cheese every night. I’m going to go meet this farmer, she sounds so interesting.” All because you shared a success story of one of your customers. That’s another really good way to attract new customers.
All right you guys, so that was it. Blogging on your website is your number one way, and it’s also cheap. It’s free, other than hosting the website, that you are going to attract new customers, retain your current customers, and build your profitable farm. Social media channels, like Instagram and Facebook, don’t stand up anywhere near the capabilities of blogging to attract new customers and to help you build that profitable farm. Make sure you get set up to do that.
Also, make sure you download the free download with lots of ideas there, 3CowMarketing.com/Blogging. Let me know if you have any questions, all right? I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Send me some links, I’d love to see what you’ve done with it. And also, just let me know that you finally decided to get started because I know a lot of you think blogging is outdated. It is still the number one way to build your online business, okay? Thank you so much for being here, you guys. I can’t wait to see you next time on The Profitable Mindset too. All right, bye, bye.
Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s episode. For more great resources, check out TheProfitableMindset.com. See you next time.