My family was one of the crazies during the pandemic who started a larger garden in 2021. In my defense, I had done a small front porch garden for a few years prior. With all our new found time, we decided it was a good time to expand. One thing we really love about growing our own veggies was how great they taste. We weren’t worried about cleaning off chemicals, just dirt and the occasional caterpillar (and boy, are they sneaky).
I will admit, it’s been a lot of work, but also really rewarding. We’ve given away so much because we couldn’t keep up with all the produce we had, and we ate the best salads daily during the summer! My smoothies also tasted even better with fresh kale.
Although I could have just as easily kept buying veggies from the store, we felt the investment in good soil and materials plus watering and weeding was a fair trade-off. We also liked how it became a family thing, getting us outside together and enjoying the fruits of our labor (pun intended).
Marketing is really no different.
There are plenty of places you could push your product or service, ads you could pay for, heck, you can even buy mailing lists. But in the end, was it really as good?
Since Google (aka “the Big G”) and others are cracking down on third-party tracking, it can be harder to get in front of the right people with ads or even emails. So what’s the best way stay in front of your audience?
Soil vs Dirt
My sister-in-law had studied Soil Science in college. She is very adamant about the difference between the words “soil” and “dirt”. Soil is full of nutrients and the best place for veggies to grow. Dirt on the other hand is, well, probably the stuff in your backyard. Not as many nutrients, rocky, and filled with who knows what (at least, that’s how I best understand it).
Just like a high-yielding garden needs good soil to grow, your audience needs a good place, too.
Dirt in your marketing looks like:
These, like dirt, add items that will mess with your outcome (aka marketing analytics). For instance, the people who only sign up for your email list to get something for free will most likely open the email with the freebie. Any other email you send won’t be opened. What’s worse - they could possibly end up unsubscribing or report you as spam which in turn hurts any gains you may have earned. It’s like buying a bag of salad at the store. A quick fix for what you need, but when it’s gone, all you have is an empty bag. Give them something more after the freebie, like good information in a newsletter and or exclusive offers in a weekly email.
One thing we’ve looked into for our garden is heirloom seeds. These are the best of the best, able to be used year after year from the items you grow, which in turn saves you from having to buy more seeds or plants.
When you use good marketing, you’ll reap the benefits for years to come. A referral is one of the biggest compliments you can get plus it’s one of the best ways to build trust. When you take care of a customer from the very beginning, they’ll tell others.
That care could be as simple as:
Sharing Your Harvest
When you take the time to care properly for your garden, you usually end up with more than you’ll be able to eat before it rots. One of our goals is to be able to give part of our vegetables away from our garden, especially to the Food Bank of Iowa. We love having fresh veggies and know others love it, too, but maybe struggle with gardening or don’t have the time or resources.
In marketing, one of the greatest ways to build your credibility to help another small business out. If they are your supplier, printer, or maybe a business you’ve had a good experience with personally or for your business, give them a shoutout in an email, social post, or link on your website (don’t forget a link or to tag them!). We all know as SBOs how hard it is to get in front of the right audience. Why not use your success to help out others? You also provide a resource for your audience they may not be aware of and appreciate the referral.
Does organic marketing take time? Yes. But, like an heirloom seed, you’ll always have a good harvest to pick from for years to come. Find the best place to market your business (social media, blogs, email, etc) and wait patiently for the best audience to grow from it.
(If you need help deciding where fertile ground is, let’s chat!)
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Thoughts from Me
Tips, advice, and more from my experience as a copywriter, marketer, and small business owner.