Market Your Business Like a Pro

Tips and Tricks from the Freight Farms Marketing Team

Here at Freight Farms, our success is measured directly by the success of our farmers. That is why the Marketing Team is always available to give professional advice to Freight Farmers as they launch their Leafy Green Machine™ and start their new business. We've written down some tips and tricks that can help you establish your brand and market your business successfully. 
 


Part 1: Building Your Brand

Building a cohesive brand will allow you to grow your business with strong roots while differentiating your produce from other growers.

First, consider the following questions:

  • What is your image? How do you want the people in your “world” (customers, employees, community) to feel about you and your business.
  • What are your values? Successful brands stand for something and attract fans and customers that align with what they believe in.
  • What are your goals? Align your personal and business identity with a purpose.

Choose your company name and logo carefully:

  • Your logo is a visual representation of your brand.
  • Your logo and name help develop your credibility in the industry.
  • They should remain consistent on all platforms and packaging.
  • They are key in helping customers remember and recognize your company.

TIPS: Choosing your company name and logo

  • Do your research before you choose a name and logo. Make sure there aren’t other companies with the same, or very similar, name. Also make sure there are domain names available for your website and social media accounts.
  • Say your company name out loud and write it multiple ways (all uppercase, all lowercase, alternate spelling) to make sure it still reads and writes correctly.
  • Check that your logo is legible in print, on a desktop computer, and on a mobile phone. Also check that the logo is still viable in black and white.
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Part 2: Online Presence

Having a presence online is crucial to building your business and keeping your audience informed. Your website and social media accounts are where your customers and fans can learn all about your brand and the day-to-day life at your Freight Farm!

Website

Your website should maintain your brand voice by letting your personality shine through! Make sure you articulate the image, goals, and values that you identified earlier.

What to have on your site:

  • Business name and location
  • Location where people can buy your produce
  • High quality images and/or videos
  • Contact information that is easy to find
  • An explanation of how you grow your produce
     

Tools for building a website: 

There are many platforms that make is very simple and easy to build and manage a webpage: SquareSpace, Wix, WordPress, Weebly, and more!

Social Media

Having a social media presence can help you build a relationship with your customers and generate conversation and interest around your high-tech produce!

General best practices:

  • Make sure all accounts are public.
  • Keep the same handle across all platforms to retain uniformity and make searching easier.
  • Create robust accounts with a relevant profile image, a bio, your goals, and directing URLs. Feel free to direct them to freightfarms.com as well!

Tools for managing social media:

Facebook allows you to create the posts in advance and schedule them for later. For other accounts, Buffer is a great app that allows you to manage and schedule posts on most platforms. 

 
 

 

More Information about Social Media Platforms

+ Facebook

Facebook is a free social networking website that allows registered users to upload photos and videos, send messages, promote their business, and keep in touch with a wide audience.

Best Practices:

  • Create a business page separate from your personal account.
  • Share team updates, relevant articles, videos, and press pieces.
  • Like and share Facebook posts from similar farmers and organizations, and tag them in your own posts.
  • Choose the best time to post.

+ Instagram

Instagram in an online photo and video sharing social networking service optimized for mobile. It enables users to share aesthetically pleasing images and videos to promote themselves and their products.

Best Practices:

  • Post high quality photos of the produce, the inside of the farm, employees, or customers.
  • Use relevant hashtags.
  • Use location tags.
  • Post multiple times per week.
  • Utilize Instagram Stories to showcase daily activities on the farm.
 

+ Twitter

Twitter in an online social networking service that enables users to post and read short 140 character messages (“tweets”). Keep your community updated as you ramp up your growing process, and beyond!

Best Practices:

  • Tweet at and follow other farmers, businesses, or organizations to promote yourself.
  • Tweet relevant articles about local food production, urban agriculture, sustainability, hydroponics etc.
  • Keep tweets short and sweet!
  • Use hashtags to make it easier for people to find you using keywords, but be careful not to overuse them
  • Post daily at peak hours: morning (9/10am), noon, and evening (6/7pm).

+ LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a large social media platform for companies and professionals. LinkedIn allows you to post to your network, grow your connections, and follow other companies.

Best Practices:

  • Post company news, industry articles, and thought leadership pieces: any content that is helpful, not “sales-y”
  • Build out a full profile including your logo, a relevant header photo, and as much information as possible.
  • Join and share content with LinkedIn Groups that align with your business.
  • Optimize for search by using buzz words and keywords whenever possible on your company page.

Part 3: Marketing by Business Model

Here are the three largest (and historically successful) markets for Freight Farmers:

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Photo: Friday's Fresh Market

Photo: Friday's Fresh Market

Grocery Partnership

Several regional chains and small business grocers across North America are focusing more and more on carrying locally sourced items and focusing their brand on fresh and natural food.

Recommendations

  • Pair your offering with other products! For example, a partnership between you and a salad dressing brand could be a great way to create in-store promotions that provide both companies exposure and minimize costs.
  • Create in-store promotions to be used by returning customers.
  • Create in-store displays which attract the shopper’s eye and are easily shoppable. For leafy green products, this means clearly labeling the produce with bright and bold packaging.

More Resources:
Supermarket Promotional Ideas
Brand Marketing Partnerships

 

Restaurant Partnership

Marketing to restaurants is all about the way you present yourself, your product, and your company. Chefs are looking for high quality produce, consistent and timely delivery, and professional packaging that is sanitary, easily stored, and (ideally) stackable.

Recommendations: 

  • Develop relationships with chefs – be friendly, accommodating, and knowledgeable.
  • Find the correct price for your produce: generally, chefs are willing to pay more for local produce (5-25% above wholesale prices). Since you are capable of growing year-round, you can negotiate a higher fixed price.
  • Distinguish yourself as reliable: make sure that you are able to scale your growing operations to meet demands. 

More Resources: 
Marketing Fresh Food to Restaurants
Selling Directly to Restaurants
The ABCs of Marketing to Restaurants

Photo: Local Sprout

Photo: Local Sprout

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Photo: Local Sprout

Photo: Local Sprout

Photo: Coeur Greens

Photo: Coeur Greens

Direct-to-Customer

Direct-to-customer marketing allows you to build a greater relationship with the people eating your greens! 

  • Farmer’s markets are a great place to interact with end consumers. Create an attractive display, have clear signs with your name and logo prominently featured, and prevent confusion by keeping similar looking produce separated and clearly labeled.
  • In addition to farmers markets, you can create an independent storefront/produce stall. You can set this up at your farm location, which would create the added benefit of allowing customers to see exactly where and how their produce is grown. 
  • Here is an excellent guide for everything you need to know about selling directly to customers!

More Resources: 
Consumer Purchase Decisions
Dos and Don'ts of Farmers Markets
Standing Out at Farmers Markets

 

Part 4: Community Engagement

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Leverage social media in a way that makes it worthwhile for people to follow you. Promote events and special deals exclusively on social media, while also keeping your followers up to date and involved.

Create branded merchandise such as aprons, reusable bags, fridge magnets, water bottles, etc. Have them for sale, but also use for them as giveaways. If you’re considering partnering with a restaurant or grocery store, you can hand them out gifts to build relationships.

Collaborate with other companies! This is a great way to grow your community and to align your values with another local brand. Create social posts, events, and promotions to raise awareness about the partnership.

Host fun farm events such as tours, harvest parties, and more (Earth Day, National Eat Your Vegetables Day, National Eating Healthy Day). Also, use the farm as an education platform with local schools, businesses, and people from the community. This allows you to raise awareness for your business, and meet potential new customers.


Part 5: Working with Freight Farms & the Press


Freight Farms

We are always eager to promote you and your business! There are multiple channels through which we can introduce you to our networks: blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, newsletters, and more. As you grow, leverage our network by sending in updates, pictures, and videos! To collaborate with us, email growfoodhere@freightfarms.com


The Press

The media is extremely interested in hearing from Freight Farmers and learning all about the Leafy Green Machine™: It’s a new, innovative, and disruptive technology poised to make a significant positive impact on the way food is produced. 

Talking to the media can be intimidating at first, but – with the right information – it can be easy. While you are the authority on your own business, we have resources available to help you discuss Freight Farms and hydroponics in general. 

For press, use our Media Kit. It has great content, as well as access to high resolution images and contact information!


Meet the Freight Farms Marketing Team

Contact us at growfoodhere@freightfarms.com for any marketing inquiries!

 

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