2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
To Boost Prices, Sell Yourself!
Knowing what to charge and doing so made it possible for Smith to expand to 75 acres and achieve yearly sales of 40 hogs, 30 beef cattle, and 1,000 chickens, plus turkeys at Thanksgiving.
“Farmers would come to me and asked why they were selling at half the price I did, and I had a waiting list. I realized no one with a farming background was teaching farmers how to sell direct to consumers.”
Smith spent 2014 putting together 3 Cow Marketing, an online marketing program that she updates yearly. She also goes to conferences to speak and puts on workshops. In 2017 she published a book, “Farm Marketing from the Heart.”
A key component of the course and her work includes social media and how to use it to sell products. She also uses it to stay in touch with her students, sending emails, posting to Facebook, and to Instagram.
“The signature course is 5 weeks, where we meet in a private Facebook group with training on video,” says Smith.
It doesn’t end there. Smith’s Facebook page is filled with exchanges between her and students, as well the other 4,700 group members. She also offers 4 introductory courses at no cost with sign up on the website. They are full of valuable information on true costs, profitable pricing and promotion. Profitable pricing is key. It’s why she charges her customers $30 per gallon for her raw milk.
“My price is based on costs, a fair wage and taxes,” says Smith. “I’ve been in business for 10 years, while others who don’t charge close to what I do close their doors in a year. Our customers can find milk for half what we charge, but they come back because mine is cleaner and tastes better...and I’m still in business.”
Smith knows the personal cost of not making it farming. While in high school she watched her family farm go bankrupt. Years later she brought that experience to her own farming operation, building a business based on customer relationships.
“What I teach is that there is no competition when you market based on relationships,” says Smith.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Charlotte Smith, Champoeg Creamery, 7798 Champoeg Rd. NE, St. Paul, Ore. 97137 (ph 503 860-6286; www.champoegcreamery.com; www.3cowmarketing.com).
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