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facebook-logoI often get approached by business owners in the gardening/horticulture industry and community garden members and asked about the ways I have promoted Soil to Supper over the years.

After my initial response of a LOL  (I’m NO a marketing expert!) I share my own experiences of marketing a horticulture-based business and the advice I’m able to provide.

Now let’s make this clear…I’m a horticulturist, not a marketing guru!

But in saying that, to successfully run a business, and keep it going for over 5 years, OR to promote your Gardening Program, Event or Community Garden/Organisation you HAVE to learn a few basic things about marketing and how to share what you do with others.

Think about this… chairs

You organise an event, book the venue, gather equipment, put out seats and wait…and wait…and wait. No one comes.

Why??

They don’t know anything about your event!

This is the same for a small business, program, organisation, sporting group or anything else where people need to show up. They won’t show up if they don’t know about you and what you do!

This is where a few simple marketing techniques will help.

The first thing that’s needed is to be very clear on what you are offering.

If it’s a gardening program then you’ll need to know the aims of the program, who it’s for, what you’ll do, when and where.

If it’s a garden maintenance business, again, be very clear on what it is, who it’s for, what you’ll offer, where and when.

If you’re not clear on this then how can others understand it?

“A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them” Steve Jobs.

workshopImagine for a moment the amazing Community Garden or Gardening Program you have started.

You know it’s fantastic, Yes? You’re offering great activities for community members and fun things to do while helping the environment??

People won’t come to these activities unless they know the benefits to themselves and the earth. They need YOU to remind them (among all the other information coming to them)

So, how do you share the wonderful services you offer to the world??

Simple Content Marketing techniques…and they ARE simple because I do this everyday!

Cath MacAdam, marketing and strategy genie, (cathmacadam.com) suggests you take note of the questions you get asked the most often. Because they tell you what people are struggling with, and how you can provide value to them.

Your content can provide the answers and showcase you as an expert. This can be in the form of presentations, videos, photos, podcasts or articles, whichever format you are comfortable with.

Customers then get to know, like and trust you, and these are the first steps in building a relationship.

Here’s my top 4 tips for easy marketing:

  1. Contact your local Newspaper

Journalists are always looking for great stories, especially from community organisation, aged care groups and new local businesses.

Write a short media release and include a few funky photos of your garden, gardeners or things you grow!

  1. Post and comment on Social Mediaplanting

This is a MUST for all businesses, community groups and organisations and it’s FREE.

Join Facebook Groups for gardening, eco-lifestyle, health and wellbeing, community groups, etc (including Soil to Supper Club) to share the great things your group is doing or for a small business you can comment and give advice to other gardeners.

If you’re part of a large company or organisation they would already have social media platforms that you could share your news on. My faves are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

  1. Create a Website

These days this is much easier to do.

I love WordPress and Soil to Supper site (where you’re reading this) is a simple WordPress theme called Divi.

List your services, events, programs and other information on your site. Keep it clear and concise, so anyone reading the information (especially the ones that quickly scan info) can fully understand what you provide.

Also post blogs (web logs/articles) with information and images on your specific field or niche. Provide informative content to help your readers.

For non-for-profit and organisation websites contact Cath Macadam or if you’re in the health/wellbeing/environment industries contact Krishna Everson at Healthy Marketing for ideas on setting up your website and extra marketing tips.

  1. Send a regular email Newsletter to your community

I do this through the Soil to Supper Club and use a great program called Mailchimp.

This email list is your tribe, your fans, the people that want to know more about what you do.

Sending regular updates lets everyone know what your business is offering (you may have specials), what events you have coming up (with links to booking) or news on your gardening activities.

This is THE most important thing for me to do as I really appreciate that people want to connect with me and trust me enough to share their email address, knowing I’m going to send information that they want. It’s the first place to share all your news with your close community!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has” Margaret Mead.

I’m a big believer in people coming together and supporting each other for the best outcome of our communities and our world.

If you have a fantastic gardening business or are running a wonderful gardening program, then please share it with the world!

There will be many, many people that will benefit from what you offer and also you’ll inspire others to ‘be the change’.

For simple ways to start a gardening program read here…

If you have any questions about promoting your business, community group or gardening program please contact me.

If you enjoyed this article or have extra information to add, please leave me a comment or share this helpful article with others…find the sharing buttons below!

Cath.

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