If you’re looking to market your homestead business then look no further because this post outlines 10 ways to promote your homestead on the Internet.
How much of your homesteading life you put on social media is entirely up to you. In this age where social media is no longer “new media”, but the standardised ways in which we communicate, learn, inform and pass information, social media is one of the most important tools in your homesteading kit, and I’ll tell you why.
As homesteaders, we should have an equal toolkit of new and traditional skills. Traditional skills are the ones we covet, write about, and learn about – the animal husbandry, the how to save seeds, the building of chicken coops and other farm needs, the DIY hacks, the cooking and baking or bushcraft skills – these are the old school skills we love and want to learn about and teach others about.
But as much as we want to do that, we need to find people to connect and engage with who not only want to learn from us, and teach us, but who share some of our same world view.
Perhaps we decided to sell some of the things we grow, raise or make off the homestead and need an audience, potential clients or people to collaborate with.
We can choose our level of involvement and commitment with social media, but whatever our choice, ultimately we will still need to have some kind of connection with social media to flourish as homestead brands and businesses.
And once you learn a few tips and tricks on how to best utilise your social media to work for you and your homestead, then social media can become just another amazing tool and skill we as homesteaders have access to.
As homesteaders many of us have come to this life in a number of ways, but mostly I think we’ve come to this life to get out of the rat race and live a simpler life.
Some of us still hold full-time or part-time jobs offsite, and some of us are now relying solely on our homestead to help us produce an income. Regardless of which camp you fall in, you still need to do some promotion of your homestead or your homesteading business in order to get your name out there and make people aware of what it is you can provide them.
For these reasons, it is important to learn how to best promote your homestead and capitalise on the best marketing practices for the small farm.
- 1. Promote your homestead through word of mouth
- 2. Using local media to promote your homestead
- 3. Promoting your homestead at farmers markets
- 4. Creating a website for your homestead
- 5. Write a homesteading blog
- 6. Promoting your homestead on Facebook
- 7. Utilising Pinterest
- 8. Promote your homestead on Instagram
- 9. Collaborate with other homesteaders
- 10. Continually refine and perfect your product line
- To read the other articles in this series:
1. Promote your homestead through word of mouth
Word of mouth advertising is the absolute best first step for homesteaders in small communities. There are several ways to accomplish this. First, put your logo, name and contact information on a business card and hand these out to every customer. Keep some business cards in your wallet so you can hand them out when you get an unexpected inquiry.
Second, create attractive, professional-looking flyers and post them on community bulletin boards in local shops and schools. Make sure your farm logo, name, contact information, and product line are easy to read, and that any dates for special events are highlighted.
Third, don’t forget about snail mail! Email is great, but people are so inundated they are easy to miss. Do a leaflet drop in your local community and promote yourself that way.
2. Using local media to promote your homestead
Make good use of your local media and social media groups. Create a press release to send to your local and surrounding papers or post an advert in an FB group. If you want to advertise a specific event, give plenty of time to do some photography and get things ready.
Advertising on your local radio stations is inexpensive and reaches a large demographic. Local papers and radio stations are always looking for local news and they are excited to help promote their community. Make sure you reach out to local businesses and see if you can leave some flyers or collaborate with them to promote your homestead.
3. Promoting your homestead at farmers markets
Participating in one or more farmers’ or makers markets is how most small farmers and homesteaders make their money. Make sure you bring samples of your product, and utilise things like QR codes, surveys, or emails on business cards so people can get in touch with you to provide feedback.
4. Creating a website for your homestead
Even if you are mainly depending on word of mouth to promote your homestead business, you should have a website. You can set one up for free or you can pay a small annual fee for hosting and use a unique domain name.
A website takes a bit of initial work but once it is up and running, it is a static site. People who land on your site should be able to see information about you, your farm, your products, and it should be easy for them to find your contact information.
5. Write a homesteading blog
If you live in a larger area or you have exhausted your word of mouth promotions, a blog is your next step. It is simple to add a blog to an existing website. The difference between a website and a blog is that a website is static and a blog is consistently updated with new content.
If you decide to start a blog, the most important thing to know in the beginning is to add new content consistently. Decide whether you are going to post an article once, twice, or three times a week, and then do it. Create an editorial calendar, listing the topics you are going to write about. Add pictures to each post—either photos you have taken or copyright-free photos you can find online. Always respond to comments and questions as quickly as possible.
When it comes to blogging, it will take some time before you get an active and repeat audience. Make sure you follow others in your niche and learn to understand trends so you can always be writing about information that is relevant and important to people.
If people are searching on how to raise meat chickens, and you have this experience, then it’s a great idea to write about that so you can share your knowledge and experience. Doing this, and using the correct SEO terms will ensure your blog post comes up in google searches when people are looking for this information.
The more times it comes up, the more people get referred to your blog and the bigger your audience starts to grow.
A lot of articles on self-promotion will advise you to “use social media”. That’s a vague tip, especially if you have never used social media before so we are going to break it down a little.
A note: you don’t need to use every single type of social media. Pick the one that resonates with you most, that you enjoy using and that you will use repeatedly. Pick the platform you know the best, and can optimise content creation for quickest.
Once you decide on the platform you are going to use, there is a lot of free help online. Just Google your specific question and you will have all the information you need.
6. Promoting your homestead on Facebook
Facebook is a monster platform, with a wide demographic; women, men, young and old people make use of this social media site, and your homestead will benefit from using it as well.
Your profile picture should be 180×180 pixels. This picture appears when you post to other walls, comment on posts, and when someone searches for you, so make sure it’s a good one. You can also have a cover photo which is a lot larger (820×312 pixels) than your profile picture, freeing you up a bit on your photo choices. Your shared images need to be 1200×630 pixels.
Your Facebook page should be interactive. You want people to comment, ask questions and “like” your posts. The best way to accomplish this is to post often, a minimum of once a day, and to reply to your customers’ comments.
7. Utilising Pinterest
Pinterest is a huge platform that you should definitely make use of if you have a website and blog. 90% of the pins posted are external links, meaning you can use Pinterest to drive new people to your personal site.
Photos are important on Pinterest, as they are what captures the attention of a user, causing them to click your link. Long, skinny pictures with text are the types of photos that receive the most engagements.
Because there are multiple types of pictures—profile, banner, pins, and board displays—I like to use Canva to create my photos. Canva is a free app that has hundreds of templates for all types of projects. Download the app, type in “Pinterest” in their search bar, and pick a design you like.
If you have a Pinterest account, start with a minimum of eight boards and pin at least three times a day. Your pins can be automatically scheduled so you can work on your content once a week and let it take care of itself.
Photos like this of life around your homestead are great fodder for social media. I’ve also included below, some of the blog post images I’ve created on Canva so you can see the type of imagery you can create for yourself.
8. Promote your homestead on Instagram
Instagram is a highly visual platform that gives you an excellent opportunity to share pictures of your farm and your products with your customers. The photos should be the very best you can take, and sized to 1080×1080 pixels.
The other important thing to remember when you are using Instagram is that it doesn’t matter how terrific your photos are or how clever your captions are; if no one sees them, you might as well have not posted them.
The way to get your posts in front of people is to learn how to use hashtags. To choose the correct hashtags for your audience, go to Instagram’s Explore page and find the hashtags that work best for your message and business.
Once you have the correct hashtags and are attracting views, make sure you are leading them to your personal website or blog. You do this by writing a compelling call-to-action in your post captions.
9. Collaborate with other homesteaders
It may seem counter-intuitive, but you can drum up a lot of personal business by collaborating with other farmers and homesteaders. If you sell wool from your small flock of sheep, ask a local fiber artist if they would be interested in hosting an event with you at your farm. If your sheep are sold as meat, collaborate with a local chef.
Because it is nearly impossible for you to do all things with one product, having someone who can demonstrate one or more of the benefits of your products is helpful. Make sure it isn’t only helping you, though. The person you are working with should profit, both in dollars and business contacts, as much as you do.
Network with other homesteaders and participate in community gardening events to extend your homesteading “neighbourhood”.
10. Continually refine and perfect your product line
Your product, whatever it is, isn’t perfect. It is undoubtedly better than the first time you made it but it can still be improved upon. If you feel you have reached the pinnacle for one item, congratulations, and it is time to expand your product line.
Customers want to be continually surprised, and you are in a perfect position to do that. If you have faithful customers that buy your apple butter each season, reach out to them and let them know you have some new apple-based products coming out. Ask if they will accept a sample in exchange for a testimonial/review you can put on your website.
Not only will a new product-line keep your customers happy and interested, but it will also keep you interested. A farmer who is interested and excited about what they do is a much better seller than one who is bored.
So, there you have them: ten ways to promote your homestead. If you are searching for a way to increase your bottom line, pick one or two of these ideas. Small-farm and homestead marketing takes a little work at first but becomes easier once you settle on a strategy, and the rewards are worth the effort.
To read the other articles in this series:
- Promoting your homestead on Instagram – 5 useful tips to gain followers and engagement
- Why blogging for homesteaders is still relevant
- How to use Google Trends and SEO to write the best social content
- How to use social media for your homestead business