Congratulations, you've reached your goal! You have healthy lambs on the ground and you're ready to sell. They could be full-bloods, F1s, 2s, etc. or you're ready to sell your foundation ewes. Whatever you have to offer it's now a brand new adventure trying to sell them. It's almost like a second job.
First of all a shout-out to those who have created a social media presence. Those who've taken the time to design a logo, interact with others, keep their Facebook page updated, or created a website. I love that breeders are using different colors in their logos, which really makes them stand out. These are all time-consuming activities that really make a difference in promoting your sheep. There are so many Valais Blacknose sheep breeder logos I recognize as soon as they pop up. Just like that Nike swoosh that automatically lets others know who you are.
I've created a list of dos and don'ts that I've used to promote our Valais Blacknose of Lovers Lane business. I do want to mention that all my photos are taken with my phone and the app I use to create posts is CANVA.
Take clear and appealing photos or videos of the sheep you have for sale. You want to show the front, back, and side angles as well as a video showing them walking at each angle. Since buyers purchase mainly from online views you want to show your animal exactly as it is. This allows the buyer to know exactly what they are purchasing.
Write detailed and accurate descriptions for each sheep you're selling. Include information such as any unique characteristics. Highlight the benefits of owning the sheep, such as its genetics or wool quality and of course its wonderful disposition.
Research social media platforms that are popular among farmers, livestock enthusiasts, and potential buyers of sheep. Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter, and agricultural forums can be suitable options.
Participate in online communities and groups that focus on sheep farming, livestock trading, or agricultural topics. Engage with members, share valuable insights, and build relationships with potential buyers.
Write descriptive captions on your chosen social media platforms. Use engaging and relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts.
Share stories or anecdotes about the sheep, their lineage, or their upbringing. Connect with potential buyers emotionally by showcasing the care and attention given to the sheep.
Provide valuable content related to sheep farming, such as tips for raising healthy sheep, nutritional advice, or general insights. This positions you as an authority in the field and builds trust with potential buyers.
Respond promptly to comments, direct messages, and inquiries from interested buyers. Address any concerns, provide additional information, and maintain a professional and friendly tone.
In addition to photos, create short videos that showcase the sheep's movement, temperament, and health. Videos can help potential buyers get a better sense of the sheep's qualities.
Ensure your contact information, such as phone number, email address, or website, is easily accessible in your social media profiles or posts. Make it convenient for interested buyers to reach out to you directly.
Explore local fairs, livestock shows, or events sheep related. Attend these events to network with potential buyers, showcase your sheep, and distribute promotional materials or business cards. We have two big shows coming in September 2023. Get shirts made with your logo and plan on attending at least one!
Remember to comply with any regulations or guidelines related to the sale of livestock in your area. Also, be transparent about the health and history of the sheep you're selling, as it builds trust and
credibility with buyers.
I would never edit the animal in the photo. I personally considered that to be unethical and fraudulent. I see no problem in adjusting the photo lighting or contrasting it to get a clearer picture, but to alter the picture in any way to change your sheep is wrong.
Don't create long descriptions or posts. Attention span is growing shorter and shorter. If you're writing anything, be brief and get to the point. Nobody wants to keep scrolling and scrolling.
All platforms aren't equal. Don't try and post on every media platform. Pick what's best for you and focus on those platforms.
Don't pretend you know the answer to everything. It's ok to say I don't know. People appreciate honesty.
Don't create a website if you're not able to keep it updated. It's better to focus on your social media and keep it consistent and up to date.
Using other people's pictures is not wise and I wouldn't do it. I have a lot of pride in the fact that our website contains pictures of only our sheep except for the breed standard in which I use the most current photos for Switzerland to educate our viewers. If you do use another's photo, you should have permission and also credit the photo.
Don't post pictures of your sheep that aren't good. A few tips to take good photos are: get down to their level to take a picture, be patient and try and take natural shots, natural lighting is typically the best, take a quick look around before you take the picture to see what the background looks like.
I understand that copying someone else is considered a compliment. But, you really do want to stand out so just be yourself. For example, I recently made a lookbook and recommend others do, and another breeder did just that. I appreciate that hers looked completely different than mine and it was awesome. So using someone's idea and making it fit your brand is the way to go.
Well, I hope this list of dos and don'ts is helpful to you. I'm sure other breeders have lots of suggestions also. I know it seems like a lot but if you focus on one thing it's not difficult. Facebook has been our number one social media platform and taking good photos has been a crucial element. Our website is updated often to reflect any changes that occur. I created a tiktok account earlier but just started to add to it the last few months and have connected with other breeders I don't think we would have connected with on Facebook. You should explore and learn. See what fits best for you and be consistent. Before you know it, you'll connect with others and be making sales!