Most of you are probably familiar with my wife's favorite uncle, Clarence Clemens, from previous exposure I reluctantly provided him here on AlpacaStreet. If not, it may do well for you to check out his past contribution to this site in order to more fully appreciate this current one.
It's hard to believe a charming guy like Uncle Clarence never married. How life would be different for everyone if he would have settled down with a family of his own. There wouldn't be those spontaneous visits he is so fond of making. Our 14 year old probably wouldn't be on a first-name basis with the Highway Patrol thanks to his job at Clarence's Used Car Emprorium (don't ask). And, our family wouldn't be the recipients of dinner on the first Tuesday of every month at the local diner. You see, Tuesdays are pizza night, where for under $30, Uncle Clarence is able to extend his "favorite uncle" status to a new generation of unsuspecting pizza enthusiasts with whom he shares an obscure genetic connection.
The pizza's not bad, but the conversation can tend to be somewhat one-sided. Because Uncle Clarence owns 3 businesses in town, he considers himself a marketing expert and is always anxious to provide me, his "paca farmer" nephew, with pearls of advice. I suggested he write his advice down, but he says writing cramps his thinking. So, pizza night at the diner last Tuesday became a lesson on Uncle Clarence's second favorite topic: Local Marketing.
"Ya know, Danny, the Emporium does a lot of business on the internet." Let me just insert right here that none of my friends call me "Danny", and he knows it. "People are looking for special cars that I am good at finding. The internet does attract local business, too. But I know that if I want to be the dealership people think of when they think of used cars, I need to do more than just have a website." So, on he went telling me about his prime placement on the placemats there at the diner; how every graduating senior at the high school gets a discount coupon for a car; and how he sends coupons out 4 times each year to members of his Spin Cycle club at his Suds Your Duds laundromat.
I asked him how he would apply those marketing ideas to the alpaca market (which is what he was hoping I would do), and he came up with the following suggestions:
- Create your own "insiders" group made up of past customers; farm visitors; and every person you meet at shows and outside events. Give them information they can use for their own alpaca business and let them be the first to know of specials you are offering.
- Send a "Welcome to the Community" post card to every new resident who purchases 5 or more acres in the county. Invite them to visit your farm to discover the world of alpacas. You can arrange to have real estate brokers give your information to new home owners in exchange for a finders fee if a sale comes from their effort.
- A lot of people who want to get into the business are afraid to do so because of uncertainty in the economy. Make it easy to buy from you by offering lease arrangements with attractive monthly payments and the ability to cancel the lease after 12 months for any reason. This provides a safety net for people wanting to become alpaca breeders but are concerned about committing to a large ticket purchase.
As usual, when you sift through the bloviating, Uncle Clarence usually has some good ideas.
(You might want to check out the ORGLE lease.)
marketing concept you will come up with next - bravo! GH NH
I really do enjoy the articles on Alpaca Street and have learned lots of valuable information. SC MN
Thanks for all your hard work and dedication! Is your head swollen up yet? : ) I tell everyone how unique and innovative your marketing ideas are and how much I benefit from being on AS and I only tell people about alpacas and products that I truly believe in. : ) .....and I believe in you & AS. YK NJ
I thoroughly enjoyed our consultation today. You provided some valuable insight into marketing to buyer's needs and some brilliant techniques that I can easily adopt. Many, many thanks! Caroline Gregg Rocaro Alpacas
The response on our end has been huge! Every time you send out an email we receive another 15-20 new members! It has been wonderful! You are the best! It is clear that “our industry” the fiber industry is alive and well and we have the recipe for success! Thanks so much Dan!! You have no idea how happy you have made me! ...
To me, this is marketing brilliance! I am your fan Dan! Val Newell Cottage Industry Alpaca Breeders Association
FYI - I am not renewing my <membership on anouther website> - I am keeping my limited budget with you though. The reasons for that are you give me a good value for what I get, you are creative and innovative, and are compassionate to others in hardship. PM VA
Your site is so fun and informative, and such a breeze to maintain. TJ PA
I am very impressed with AlpacaStreet and the support you give to your customers. LR ME
We have been admiring AlpacaStreet for some time now and noting friends who have joined your site…..with rave reviews! SA GA
THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH MY HUSBAND AND I AGREE <Our New Breeder Program Site> SHOWS UP BETTER THAN THE OTHER SITE WE HAVE JM GA
I intended to drop you a line to say how much I appreciate your creativity. I didn't realize until, I received your response a few days ago, how many ideas you just throw out to the public to see if they'll fly. You're great for our industry (... as well as me personally). JP MI
Who needs the <publication> now that we have Alpaca Street. EB GA
Thanks so much for making us shine....We have sold 3 alpacas recently due to Alpaca Street. RR IL
Thanks for creating such a great site with so many wonderful tools for alpaca breeders. CS FL
Once again - you are working the program for us. I think it's great! I just don't see anyone else out there working as hard as you do for us!!! It's appreciated!! JR TN
PS. I've been telling people that you are the awesomest! TU VA
Thank you for all your hard work, new ideas, and reasonable prices! HL MI
Easy to use and saves alot of time. I have it for my home page and use it daily. BA OH
P.S. it's so awesome to have your quick answers & support....LN MI.
We have received our third sales lead on our alpacas from your web site...I still think you need to do a THE Alpaca Website That GET RESULTS!!! ad. KC TX
AS is becoming a website for breeders who are serious about moving their farms forward in this economic environment and for those who can think outside of the box. HK NC
I've been watching your site. Its great! As a matter of fact that is where I found the listing for the two girls I bought. BH IL
You are doing great things and all of us breeders do appreciate it. MM TN
YOU ARE THE BOMB!!!!!!!!! MB WA
Thanks so much. I really like your ad designs. RD WA
I just need to relay that I am proud to be a member listing on this site. JB MI
I just wanted to let you know that I spent at least 3 hours on my AS site last night updating and adding pictures and more text, and I'm not done yet. I feel the site is very user friendly, easy to navigate and I was actually enjoying using it (which I usually don't) I only stopped because it was way past my bed time. hahahah
Seriously, I have had more hits to my farm pages in one day than I had in a month on the other site. So I just wanted to say thank you. I don't know what took me so long. I like the articles and other information you put on the site as well.
Keep up the great work! JG PA
AlpacaStreet.com is definately the 'Apple' of alpaca websites!
Great job on this web site. I originally wanted to list my farm on <another site> but after seeing the great effort you put into this site I felt this would be the way to go! And I was right!. SH MA
The sample contract sections is awesome! What a help! SH OH
I think you guys have done a fantastic job getting this new site set up for alpacas. This site is a great help to us "newbies" without a lot of money to pass around. DJ MI
Thanks SO MUCH for your help, Dan, GREAT site! The alpaca industry needs this. SO CA
I am always on the prowl for great advertising opportunities and you guys really deliver. Thanks so much for \"the street\".
You have been lightening fast to answer questions and I really appreciate what you do for the alpaca industry. LG Utah
I am excited for your success as I note that we get hits to our site from Alpaca Street. CG CT
Another great idea. The street is just what we needed in this industry. It is a great resource for everything!
THANK YOU! I like the finished product. It has been a pleasure and you are very prompt with your responses to my requests! I appreciate that very much!
You are a gem!!!
Thanks for going the extra mile for this!!
The profile looks great and we have had nothing but great service from you guys!
I will say that the hits on <my alpaca> have definitely skyrocketed since using your website. … I still am getting more hits and I thank you for all the help.
Thanks for setting all this up! This is really great!
Glad you were there for all of us Florida Breeders.
Did I mention you ROCK ?!
Thank you for delivering what you promised!! Boy--the farms that didn't sign up are gonna be so jealous!!! [-:
The hits on my website has doubled so far and I am very impressed with Alpaca Street and will be advertising with you a lot more... GV Florida
Dan--thanks!! It's great. You've made "as my momma says--"a silk purse out of a sows ear!"
I did have more hits on my website because of your website referral.
Thanks for providing such a service and offering this medium both for education and advertising!
This is an excellent opportunity for farm members. I love what you are doing. Just checked out the <Farm and Ranch Locator>, it works very well! Great tool for our use!
the Farm locator is a great addition to your great site!!!