Farming - Go Old School to Stand Out

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, real estate agents and business owners sent letters and postcards to prospective clients. This was a more simple time, before the pervasiveness of social media, websites, and PPC. Life was slower. Relationships were stronger. Handshakes meant something.

Fast forward to today. Everything we do moves at the speed of light. "Friends" and "Connections" are made instantly on Facebook and LinkedIn, ads are images scrolled by in news feeds, and you can never get anyone to call you back (voicemail? what's voicemail?). 

In today's fast paced ad environment, you have to be creative to stand out. Everyone and their brother is promoting his website and, frankly, they all look the same. The same content is shared over and over. The same images are posted. The same videos are passed around. It takes A LOT to make a statement and can be nearly impossible to gain any sort of market share in this competitive environment.

That is why, in today's climate, it is critical that you diversify. This is not news to you. Even your daddy taught you to never put all your eggs in one basket. However, have you considered going a little more old-school?

Most business owners don't take advantage of farming, which is to your advantage. Think back to life 10 years ago. You would go to your mailbox, see a ton of junk mail, some bills, and some letters, and toss most of it without even a glance. Go to your computer, however, and the "You've Got Mail" was super exciting! I think we can all agree its just the opposite now. Your email box is full of spam and junk that you literally don't even open and your mailbox is a place where you at least give a few seconds pause to each piece.

You can easily stand out by CONSISTENTLY mailing to your farm area. This is Key - It has to be consistent. Don't expect to get business just by sending one postcard. However, if you consistently send postcards, letters, mailers, etc. (whatever works best for you) you will become the face that those residents become accustomed to seeing in relation to your type of business. 

Want to amp it up? Pair your mailings with other tactics, like a neighborhood block party, fundraiser, charity, donation, etc. Target ads on Facebook to just that neighborhood (hint: drop a pin). Hold a contest that will allow you to get email addresses and start a newsletter. Get involved in the area HOA or community groups. Start a Facebook group for that area and load it up with tons of info on the area, coupons, deals, crime watch, etc. Even get on NextDoor and get someone to refer you as the "xxxx" of choice in your profession.

There are dozens of ways to start farming an area and most are pretty low cost. If you aren't taking advantage of this highly effective, yet highly under-utilized marketing strategy yet, you should!