Most farmers think they don’t need a “brand,” or if they do, branding consists of a logo, website, tagline, mission statement – or maybe all your followers on social media.
And I’m here to tell you that is your website, logo and fonts are NOT branding!
Those things are only one piece to the key lime pie.
So if you want to know it takes to build a brand, this blog is for you.
To help you get started, I’ve created a Branding Bundle for you to download with worksheets + videos! Just click here to get started.
Watch the Video Below to Learn More
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When I first started milking cows 10 yrs ago, I didn’t have a website and I didn’t think branding mattered for a small farm like me.
I didn’t really think I needed one. Why? Because I only had three cows and I was “small.”
I thought I was too small to worry about branding my farm. And boy was I wrong!
Guess what? No matter how small you are today, you DO need to think about building your brand.
It’s what sets you apart from your competition!
As a matter of fact, your branding makes the competition irrelevant. When you have a clear brand, there is no competition.
“I just wanted to milk my cows and sell milk.”
I thought it was about having the best milk out there! This was 10 years ago and my marketing, my blog posts and Facebook posts were all about how clean my milk was and that it was from grass-fed cows.
That was okay but it didn’t make me stand out. People didn’t notice me and they really didn’t care how “great I was.”
Then I learned what farm branding is and that’s it – now I was hooked.
I realized people were coming to me for my story and also because the experience we had together on our farm made them feel great!
“A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one service or another.” — Seth Godin
When you have the relationship and the story, that’s how your customers decide who to buy from.
What branding is NOT:
- Having the cleanest milk
- The cheapest beef
- The pastured chickens on grass the most amount of days per year
- Chemical free/organic vegetables or flowers
This might be important to YOU as the farmer, but it’s not to your customer.
I see this all the time on Facebook and Instagram — farmers competing for “features” not “benefits.”
You might think you have an awesome product, and I’m sure you do…
BUT if you don’t know who you’re talking to (your ideal customer) and what they need, then you’ll have a hard time getting someone to pay for your products.
It’s that simple.
How to Connect & Communicate With Your Ideal Customers
If you’re not talking to people you’ve identified as your dream customers, conveying how you can help them solve a problem (or reach a goal) — then you’re not going to connect with enough people to make your farm sustainable and profitable.
How to Connect With Local Customers:
- Connect one-on-one
- Grow your email list
- Visit other farms
- Connect with like-minded farmers
- Give away free samples
- Teach and educate your customers
- Build referrals with local businesses
- Encourage sharing your info/story
- Give gratitude to those who do buy
- Create an outstanding customer experience when working with you
- Start small with baby steps
To read more about the ways I grew my farm in the first two years, click here!
You’ve got to communicate your value to your customer.
And your value is not that your beef cows are 100% grass fed and grass finished, or that your hogs are a special breed that chefs love.
Instead, when you know your customers inside and out you’ll find they use your products for very different reasons than you think.
For instance, maybe you found out your ideal customer had her 40th birthday and decided to run her first ½ marathon.
In preparing to train, she learned that if she changed her diet she’d have more energy.
How can you be the solution to that?
List 5 ways your products can increase HER energy. Once you have that list, you’re ready to start the branding process.
You know who you’re talking to and how you can solve her problem.
“People buy from people who resonate with them on a personal level.”
You are your brand. Your message, your values, the solutions you offer — THAT is your brand.
Not your logo, your website, your followers, or having the best product.
When you show up and share your story, that resonates with your ideal customer. Your values will resonate with them and they will flock to buy from you.
Money and competition are irrelevant.
Farm branding is what sets you apart, builds confidence and allows you the freedom to become a sustainable and profitable farm.