Farmers Market Marketing

About 15 hours ago, my workday began at the farmers market and as much as I would like to turn on the TV and be a vegetable, I dedicate a few hours nightly to marketing. Many people who don’t market at all and wonder why people are not throwing money at them. Your product might not be the problem.It might just be the marketing. Aside from newspaper ads that can be expensive, there are some less expensive ways. So let me tell you what works for me.

Create a Business Page

First, start a Facebook Business Page for your business. This takes about 5 minutes including uploading pictures. Link your website to this page and vice versa. Input your contact information. Invite all your friends to Like your Business Page. If you are lost on Facebook, ask for help from someone who has created a Business Page. Offer to buy them lunch at Panera if they show you how to do it. You could have a working lunch!

Boost Your Post

Pick your best picture, post it on your page and Boost your post. That means you will pay for Facebook to advertise that picture to the demographic you choose. Choose Women because women buy more. Set your budget for this ad. I think every one can afford $50 budget for 7 days. Choose the city and how many miles out you want your ad to reach. You can also pick certain customer interests like handmade jewelry if you sell jewelry. Your goal is to get as many people to like your page as possible, because theoretically every time you post a picture, they will see it and you get free advertising.pixie logo

Post Weekly

Once a week, you should post a picture of a new product. Be informative and helpful. Respond to comments. If you post too much, people may turn off notifications which makes you ineffective. Take lots of  pictures. Even professional photographers take about 300 photos to get 10 good ones. Post weekly on the Farmers Market Page with a cool picture of your product or ask the market manager to share your post.

Increase Likes

The smartest marketers run some kind of contest where they give something away to one person a week who shares the picture to a friend. Done consistently, they get a few thousand Likes.

Join Groups

Join Groups that might like your product. If you sell Kid’s Clothes, try to join Mommy Groups in your area. If you sell food, join Foodie Groups. Share your post/picture with these groups once a week. Don’t post too much. Ask the group members to Like your page.

Update Your Calendar

If you do Events or have a Mobile Business, like a Farmers Market, post your Calendar. Print your Calendar on the back of your business cards and give out with every purchase or to anyone who asks where you will be. Post your calendar on your Facebook Page and Website but be cautious that your competitors may be following your posts and show up next to you at an event. Check In on Facebook when you get to one of your locations. The number of Check Ins can increase the ranking of the location when searched, thus increasing popularity of the event. Go to Trip Advisor and Yelp and rate the location. This will attract more people to that location, be it a store, a farmers market or a restaurant.

Give a Demo

Publicize on Facebook and CraigsList that you are giving a Free Demo of what you do. Be it making jelly or painting a picture, many people are interested in how you get your finished product. While you think you may be giving your secrets away, many people won’t actually have the talent or ambition to follow through with the practice. They may give up and just buy your product instead, especially if you have a coupon ready for them at the end of the demo. I have watched dozens of cooking shows, but never actually made the dish. Have someone take a video of the Demo and post on YouTube.com and link this to your website. Post the YouTube video link on your Facebook page.

Disperse a Coupon

Create a coupon for a dollar off on a customer’s return visit. I don’t personally do this but I have seen it work for people.

Create a Deal

Over 30 years ago I worked for a New Yorker who advertised jeans as Buy 1, Get 3 Free. He had customers drive 60 miles to the store to get the deal. The gimmick was the first pair cost $40 and back then that was a lot. But if they needed jeans, dollar cost averaging won their pocketbook.

Network with Successful People

Make friends with successful people. Ask them questions about what works for them. Keep trying different ideas til you find what works for you. Sometimes this works best when they don’t sell the exact category that you sell. For instance, I got some of my best sales ideas from a clothing person, when my category was jewelry. She didn’t see me as competition. Also, buy from your neighbors. They will likely return the favor. There have been several days where the only sales we had were from other vendors.

Smile and Have Fun

If your sales are bad and you lost your smile, you will likely not get any more customers the rest of the day.  It was stressful when we first started, and if we couldn’t shake off the stress, I saw that our day was tainted and sales were bad. You have to shake off the negative thoughts and smile, otherwise it’s a black cloud on your day. The best way to shake off bad vibes is to be grateful: grateful you are not sick, grateful it’s not raining, grateful you didn’t forget anything at home, grateful your tent didn’t break, grateful you like your neighbor, etc. Thank every customer for coming to your event, for shopping with you or even browsing your wares. Invite them back. Sincerity goes a long way.

These ideas cost very little money and with an hour a day, you should be able to see results. The whole idea is being consistent in action and dedicated in thought. Once you are in a regular routine of marketing, it becomes very easy and second nature.

 

 

 

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Flea Markets Don’t Sell Fleas and Farmers Markets Don’t Sell Farmers, So What Are They?

Go to any old, small American town and you will still find the original town square, the seed from which the city’s plans sprouted. For centuries around the world, mankind has assembled in Market Squares and Plazas to practice Free Trade. Free Trade practices supply and demand principles, where price is primarily determined by demand, not by government other than taxes and licensure fees. If supply is high, prices are suppressed. If demand is higher than supply, prices go up to insure that product will be available for those that can afford it. The consumer not only gets the most competitive price but also the best assortment. Sellers are forced to constantly supply better products at better prices, a win/win for the consumer and many times cheaper than a restaurant or chain store.

Markets vary regionally. For example, in California, where produce is a year round product, Green Markets offer primarily food, produce and produce related products. Chicago offers French Markets mirroring Parisian Markets, including not only fine French cuisine, but produce and artisan crafts. Florida offers Green Markets. Although Florida grows a lot of produce, agriculture is fourth in industry after International Trade, Tourism and Space Industry. Florida Green Markets are largely dedicated green by shopping center landlords or government, influenced by the brick and mortar retailers and Flea Market owners, hurting for business, not because of consumer need or desire. Florida Flea Markets, hugely popular since the 80’s, created an alternative to shopping malls and made for an inexpensive, family event. They still offer a wide variety of produce, products, daily entertainment and fast food. Most popular in Florida are the Farmers Markets which also offer produce and live plants. The biggest draw to Florida Farmers Markets are the chef-prepared foods, arts and crafts. The unknown differences between a Flea Market and Farmers Market are days of operation, site location and most importantly products.

First, Flea Markets and Farmers Markets differ in their hours of operation. Flea Markets are open on weekends like Friday, Saturday and Sunday and they are open year round. Farmers Markets can be found in SWFL everyday of the week in a different location, but only during Seasonal months (October-April) due to the summer heat and rainy season. A few Farmers Markets run year round. To find times and addresses, simply input Farmers Markets in your Facebook Search box.

Secondly, Flea Markets have site differences from Farmers Markets. Most Flea Markets were bought on cheap land a couple of dozen years ago on the outskirts of town making it slightly inconvenient for most shoppers. Flea Markets’ parking lots are mostly unpaved from which dirt tends to scatter freely on customers and products. Conversely, Farmers Market Managers complete massive research using traffic patterns in finding a convenient and upscale environment like a Park or Shopping Center, drawing customers from nearby neighborhoods. Those parking lots are paved and landscaped areas keep dirt from leaving the ground. Additionally customers enjoy a fresh setup each day of a Farmers Market so it is a cleaner environment.

The most important difference between Flea and Farmers Markets are their products and their appeal. While both have farm-fresh produce and live plants, Flea Markets are typically comprised of mass produced  or outlet items , factory and retail closeouts (shoes, socks, t-shirts, sunglasses, reader glasses, ball caps, golf balls, electronics, kitchen gadgets, bargain jewelry, and tools) and distributor closeouts for toiletries. One will also find garage sale items with household items (pots, pans, used clothing, hardware and garden tools, etc.). Additionally, Asian vendors set up permanent shops for imported items like porcelain pots, plant stands, plate stands, carved statues. On a good day, one-of-a-kind antiques are a prize buy. Products may be displayed on ancient, plywood tables, or sheets on the ground or the trunk of someone’s car. In certain areas fast food is available and musical entertainment is provided at scheduled times. If a bargain is the main goal, then go here because bargaining is expected. Farmers Markets, on the other hand, display the smorgasbord of local culture. While prices are a step higher than Flea Markets, so is the quality and you will still find something for every budget. Music, whether by DJ or live artist, is frequently inconsistent and primarily, people go for the fresh seafood, organic, farm-fresh produce, local honeys (good for regional allergies), live orchids and cut flowers. Herbal remedies and essential oils are available to try and buy. Customized, embroidered colorful aprons are available. Soaps are handcrafted with quality shea butters and essential oils as primary ingredients, not chemicals one cannot pronounce. Many visitors come for breakfast and stay for lunch. Global cuisine is endless. Choose from handmade French and German pastries, Organic Juice Combinations, Fresh Bagels, Flagels, Muffins, Cookies, Gluten-Free Breads and Pastries, Latin Empanadas, Guacamole, Tostados and Tamales, Spanish Paella, Mediterranean Baklava and Taboule, French Crepes, Italian, Award Winning BBQ and Smoked Mullet to go. Many chefs are preparing food and able to speak about catering events. But the real local prize and surprise are the artisan crafts often represented by the craftsperson himself. Fabulously popular are colorful hand painted stemware, hand embellished glassware, seashell mirrors, hand painted furniture, wall decor and greeting cards, up-cycled home décor, local photography and of course, jewelry hand-crafted from real gemstones and pearls. Artists put their best prices on their items so dickering is not needed nor expected.  All of these items are great for the weekly splurge or the unique gift you need for that special friend. Florida is smart to encourage the art trend of Farmers Markets. Tourists and residents alike say they are a yearly anticipation which is a clear sign this is helping tourism.

Today, with the economic downturn, the Green Markets, Flea Markets and Farmers Markets appeal to different tastes and levels of living. Many customers enjoy the variety of shopping for items not available at normal retail stores. Many unemployed have reinvented themselves here, choosing to hedge against job loss by starting their own business or nurturing their art. Liking the low financial risk of Markets as opposed to Storefronts, many spend long hours ordering supplies, displays and tents, produce a sellable product, apply for and hopefully accepted to a market, pay the fees and licensures, fight the heat, rain and cold, set up and break down their entire livelihood on a daily basis just to get you to look in their tent, just one time.  Their income provides a living, puts the kids through dance class or pay for the pet’s medical bills, and buys more Market supplies, thus putting money back into the local economy. Many do not succeed. But if it is successful, it is a great face-to-face relationship between seller and consumer. Remember, Buy Local.

Linda Miller is the owner of WaterGemz.com 

Selling gemstone jewelry at the Market!

Selling gemstone jewelry at the Market!

, featuring 4000 pieces of handmade pearl and gemstone jewelry. She and her husband, David Self, both have 80 combined years of retail experience working as consultants and managers for big box and Fortune 500 companies. They participate in 5-6 Farmers Markets a week. Find them on Facebook.

Fluorite, the Powerhouse Healer

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Fluorite is known for its ribbons of green, blue, purple and sometimes clear. Out of all gemstones, its healing covers mental, physical and spiritual domains.

Mentally, the blues in fluorite clear brain fog  and chaos allowing focused concentration on goals or meditation. This translates into abundance and wealth. It helps with analytic concentration, logic and intellect which makes it a good stone for accountants, students and scientists. It grounds one’s energy, clears mental chatter and draws the truth from the chaos.

Physically, the greens in fluorite benefit many suffering from headaches, viral infections and tumors. It’s commonly uses in combination with detoxification and cancer therapies to help visualize the healing swirls of green and purple.

Spiritually, fluorite joins one with the Divine Infinite pulling on its perfectly symmetrical and sacred cubist and octa-hedron shaped crystals for harmonious balance. This connection makes it ideal for past life work. It stabilizes the aura and life force balance.

Fluorite benefits  anxiety, insomnia, teeth, lungs, detoxification, staph infections, canker sores, herpes, cancer, colds, headaches and flu.

 

Amethyst: Nature’s Anti-Depressant

Amethyst is one of my favorite stones. Sure, it’s pretty with all those quartz inflections and a color that is so rich that royalty and the pope identify with it, but the powers of amethyst are truly amazing. By those, I mean the powers of repelling negative thoughts and negative people. We all need that, right?

Valentine Amethyst

Valentine Amethyst

Many years ago I had a friend show me that amethyst can strengthen the body. Holding an amethyst stone can increase your strength during a physical activity. And I read about it repelling negative thoughts and negative people, but never gave it a whirl and then the opportunity presented itself when out of the clear blue somebody was making my life miserable.

It happens to all of us at one point or another where we run into someone who is unhappy with their life or lack of success and they want you to be as miserable as they are. You just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and Bam! They let you have it. And they usually make sure that others are watching to up their power play.

So this happened to me and I was pretty sure I was going to have to endure this person for a while because of our social schedule and was NOT looking forward to it. Additionally, I kept replaying in my mind the whole scene which was keeping me up at night. That little phrase.” Don’t let  her rent space in your head. She is not worth it.” was not helping.

Time to give amethyst a try.

I put this amethyst bracelet on for four days and even slept with it. After a few hours, this person left my mind. After four days I had this inexplicable joy. I got to thinking about it. If you had no negative thoughts or negative people in your life, all that negativity is replaced by joy.  It worked so well that this person left our social group for 6 months and returned a nicer person.  Now admittedly, she may have left out of embarrassment of her behavior but to this day, I really believe that amethyst made this situation turn around and gave me peace of mind.

Guaranteed No Side Affects

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Totally fascinating are the pharmaceutical commercials that run endlessly on television, announcing the newest snake oil on the market but the tail end of the commercial has a disclaimer that the “new miracle drug may cause side affects such as loss of vision, stroke, vomiting, nausea, paralysis, weight gain, impotence, or even DEATH. See your doctor for more details”,….that is of course if you are still mobile or EVEN alive….

Pharmaceuticals in this country are far more expensive than the rest of the world. It’s big business here. Americans want so badly for their ailment or addiction to end with the simple ingestion of a small pill.  Let’s face it starting a diet or exercise program would probably heal everything except old age,  but it’s hard to change our mindset, hard to stay disciplined with a good routine. So we buy into “pill” mentality.

It’s not to say that you should give up all medicines that your doctor has prescribed.

What if, however, we look back to 1350 B.C. to the first recording of healing gemstones on papyrus and look at many cultures across the world have used gemstones to heal. Gemstones were also used in the Breastplate of Aaron and other warriors and priests for protection. Seem backward?

Let’s flash forward to Piezoelectricity. Ever hear of it? I am sure you have!  Heard of quartz movement watches whose energy is harnessed from a crystal to make the watch function? Currently synthetic crystals are used for consistency in timekeeping, but originally natural crystals fired enough electrons to give watchmakers the idea of harnessing energy from a rock. Remember the periodic table? The basic elements are sorted by their atomic weights, protons and electrons. The electrons are always moving, creating vibrations in even something as still as a rock. Our bodies react to these vibrational fields. Ever hear that you shouldn’t live in a house under a power line?

A power stone to look at is agate. Agate has been used for centuries for protection in battle and protection of health. Onyx (shown above), a type of agate, is often used as a good luck stone, especially for children, artists and students. It is said to balance the Yin and Yang energies, provide energy when one is drained and aid in healing the physical body….with no side affects.

In future blogs we will discuss meaning and healing properties of other gemstones. Find more soon at http://www.watergemz.com.