By AFM Contributing Writer: Cheryl Conklin
Maintaining a Profitable Hobby Farm
Hobby farms can be a fun, lucrative venture for those willing to put in the effort. Learn more about how you can earn an income from your hobby farm.
Attending Farmers' Markets
Farmer's markets have seen a rise in popularity in recent years, and Amherst is home to many of them. Having a dedicated place at a farmers' market means you'll be exposed to many potential customers and you can make face-to-face connections as you pitch your product. Do your best to have a consistent presence at these farmers' markets. Many customers may plan their meals around visits to your stall, and you'll earn their trust by showing up regularly with the products they want. And, ask for feedback on your products and solicit suggestions for future offerings.
Invite Guests to Your Farm
Your land itself can also be a valuable profit source. You can effectively create two distinct income streams: product and property. By creating a brand for your property, you can sell the experience of visiting in addition to the actual products.
Many people may be interested in learning how to grow their own produce or butcher their own meat, and hosting on-site workshops on these topics can entice them to visit your farm. If you have the space, also think about hosting events, such as weddings, or renting out your farm for others to host events. Make sure you consult a Massachusetts business law attorney who can help you understand the risks and liabilities involved with inviting the public to your working farm.
Using Social Media Marketing
Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with potential customers. Customers will be able to discover your business and you can develop a devoted following through regular and meaningful interaction with customers on social media. You can start by following other hobby farm accounts to see what types of content they're posting. This will give ideas for content for your own account and you'll be able to judge what content is most popular and engaging. However, be sure to practice proper social media etiquette, which includes asking for permission or giving credit when sharing someone else's content.
As video platforms such as TikTok continue to dominate social media, make sure you get comfortable being on camera. If it helps, you can create a script for your videos and set up a content creation schedule to make the process less overwhelming.
You can also hire a social media manager to help you market your business. You can find these professionals on freelance platforms, and you should account for turnaround time and client reviews. And if you just asked “How much do social media managers make?” then it’s important to budget for between $14 and $35 per hour.
Lead with Locally Sourced
In a crowded field of products, one of your main selling points will be your homegrown appeal. Consumers are increasingly interested in locally-sourced foods and there is a growing movement to embrace the farm-to-table concept. Advertising yourself as a locally owned organic business can also prove to be profitable around the holidays as many people intentionally look to check off their holiday shopping lists with products from local small businesses.
Profiting Off Your Hobby Farm
Not only can your hobby farm provide sustenance for your family, but it can also generate a sustainable income. Monetizing your hobby farm can be done in many ways and through many outlets; selling from a local farm stand or building your own. Selling to local merchants that are willing to add value with your product. Visiting and joining local farmers' markets in your area like many sellers do in Amherst at the Amherst Farmers' Market!
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