By Virginia Cooper
Are you looking to make money off your hobby farm but aren’t sure where to start? Below are six different ways to monetize your hobby farm and start making money without leaving the homestead, courtesy of Live Love and Eat.
Establishing a Brand
Creating a brand is a huge part of making money off your hobby farm. You can’t sell anything without a name attached, and if you have no brand, you can’t market or advertise effectively. Without establishing yourself as a brand, consumers won’t know how to find you and will be much less likely to purchase what you're selling.
Take some time to research your niche before getting started. What are you growing? How much is your product selling for on Amazon? Are there any books or blogs that can teach you best practices for your industry? Don’t just wing it — have some kind of game plan before starting out.
Managing Social Media
Part of monetizing your hobby farm includes a well-executed social media presence. Because you’re starting from scratch, use social media to build awareness around your product or service. Share photos of your products or projects, answer questions about what you do and include links back to your website for more information about each product. Post consistently and often, and make sure to respond quickly to any interactions on social media so people know they can interact with you.
When emailing lots of social media images, use a JPG-to-PDF converter to make PDFs and preserve the image quality. A converter even allows you to combine many JPGs into one PDF so you can send them in one single email.
Marketing Your Products
Traditional advertising (i.e. print and television ads) is quickly becoming obsolete. Instead, turn to digital marketing tactics like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), and search engine marketing (SEM) to help increase brand awareness and grow your customer base at a fraction of traditional marketing costs.
For instance, you can take your existing photos, easily remove the background from images using this online tool, then share your modified images via social media to help spread the word – all for free!
Benefits of Forming a Corporation
While operating a farm business under your own name is relatively straightforward, it also exposes you to personal liability If something goes wrong you could be held personally responsible for damages and legal fees — not to mention ruining your reputation. That’s why you might want to form an LLC, or limited liability corporation. Using a corporation formation service to form an LLC can streamline the process, and it costs less than going through a lawyer. There are different regulations in some areas so check the requirements in your province or territory before going ahead.
Grant Opportunities for Your Businesses
If you’re looking for additional funding, seek out small business grants. This type of money doesn’t need to be paid back and is often quite large (though it may require a long application process). Check out your local province or territory government websites for details on how to apply for funds. Depending on where you live, there may be regional opportunities as well. Start with a solid business plan, research grants for your industry, and prepare an excellent grant application.
There are many ways to make money off your hobby farm. Some require more planning than others, so you need to decide which approach works best for you.
Virginia Cooper is a retired community college instructor. She always encouraged her students to see the real-world value in their education, and now, she wants to spread that message as wide as possible. Her hope is that Learn a Living will be a go-to resource for adult learners embarking on starting, continuing, or finishing their education.