Episode 2 of Tent Talk is live!
On the second episode of Tent Talk, we are joined by dairy farmer and small business marketing guru Charlotte Smith of 3 Cow Marketing and Champoeg Creamery. We chat about how Charlotte was able to build a successful farm business by making deep relationships with her customers. In this episode you’ll learn about specific ways to build lasting customer relationships via email newsletters, social media, and face-to-face interaction.
Who is Charlotte Smith?
Charlotte Smith owns a raw milk micro-dairy outside of Portland, Oregon. In addition to being a successful farmer, Charlotte is a small business marketing guru, professional speaker and author of Farm Marketing From The Heart. Charlotte is also the president of the Northwest Farmers Union covering Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. And in 2016 was named one of the top 25 Most Influential Women in the World in Food and Agriculture by the non-profit, Food Tank.
Charlottes’ marketing philosophy
What is the key to Charlotte’s success? Charlotte says it’s all about relationships! She started her business with the support of her family, friends, and mom’s from her daughter’s playgroup. Those first customers told their friends and family, and her business branched out from there.
Each week Charlotte sets aside time to go out in the community and socialize, not solicit. She stops in at local businesses to say hello and checks in on her customers constantly. She lives by the motto “if you’re here to serve and connect with others, you’ll have customers.” It’s the relationship, not price, that’ll keep customers coming back again and again.
Building the relationship with your customer is about giving
It can be tough to build a relationship with customers if all you’re doing is trying to make a sale. Charlotte suggests reframing your marketing towards serving your customer. Give them knowledge, recipe ideas, funny stories. Engage with customers by asking questions and having conversations that may not be directly related to your product. Get to know them!
How to most effectively reach your customers
Here are some simple tips from Charlotte on how to connect with your customers. To hear all her helpful advice, listen to the full episode.
Greet your customers at the farmers’ market
Don’t expect a whole lot of returning customers at the farmers’ market if you don’t put energy into each interaction. Ask shoppers how their day is going, give them suggestions on how they can use your product, smile and be engaging. The chance to interact with food makers and growers is one of the leading reasons people go to farmers’ markets. Don’t miss the opportunity to develop a relationship and long-term customer!
Don’t just post, engage
Instagram and Facebook can be great ways to build relationships, but it takes a lot more than just posting a picture of your product. Give your customers something. Tell a story through your posts. Provide inspiration. Do something that’s going to catch their eye and reel them in.
Also, Charlotte suggests spending time commenting, not just posting. “The important thing to remember with Instagram’s algorithms, the thing that gets you shown to your audience is engagement.” Set a goal of making 5 comments a day on your target customers’ posts. If you comment on their post, they’ll comment on yours.
Get them on your email list
Charlotte is adamant that “your email list is the foundation of everything you do.” Regularly sending an email newsletter to your customer email list is a must. Although there are many different social media platforms out there, email is the most direct method. The goal should always be to funnel your audience back to your website, and that’s what email marketing is good at doing.
Where can I listen to Charlotte’s full episode of Tent Talk?
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