For the Love of Goats
If you are raising goats for meat or other products, marketing is a big part of a successful business.
In today’s episode, we are talking to Leslie Svacina, owner of Cylon Rolling Acres, about what they do to market their goat meat.
Luckily Leslie had a background in marketing before they started their goat farm. She gives you a timeline of how they got started selling live animals and delivering them to the locker and then moving on to selling individual cuts, as well as how they sold through a food hub.
Now they have online sales, including a “farm club” subscription, which is similar to a CSA. Leslie talks about packaging and labeling for their retail products.
You’ll also hear how they use social media and SEO to drive traffic to their website. And if you don’t know what to share on social media or in your farm newsletter, Leslie talks about that too!
Learn more about Leslie online at…
- Cylon Rolling Acres Website
- Grazing with Leslie Website
- Cylon Rolling Acres Facebook
- Cylon Rolling Acres Instagram
If you want to receive our monthly marketing newsletter, targeted specifically to homesteaders and small farmers, click here.
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To learn more about email marketing for your goat business, listen to this episode Email: The GOAT for Marketing Your Goat Business
Transcript – Marketing Goat Meat
For the love of goats! We are talking about everything goat. Whether you’re a goat owner, a breeder, or just a fan of these wonderful creatures, we’ve got you covered. And now, here is Deborah Niemann.
Deborah Niemann 0:19
Today’s episode is brought to you by Goats 365, my membership program for people who are living with, learning about, and loving goats, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Basic members get access to six courses covering housing, fencing, parasites, nutrition, and health, as well as things like composting goat manure and the basics of starting a goat-based business. Premium members also have the opportunity to attend live online meetings via Zoom to talk about goats every month. Visit Goats365.com to learn more.
Deborah Niemann 0:52
Hello, everyone, and welcome to today’s episode! This is gonna be a really good episode for those of you who are selling goat meat, and also any other goat products, because we are joined today by Leslie Svacina, owner of Cylon Rolling Acres. Welcome to the show today!
Leslie Svacina 1:10
Hey, Debra! Thanks for having me.
Deborah Niemann 1:12
Yeah! I was so excited when you contacted me and said you’d like to talk about how you market your goat meat, because there are so many people who are doing such a fabulous job with their farm, and raising their goats, producing their products, whatever it is. But then, when it comes to marketing, they have trouble, because they’re not a marketer, and they don’t have a background in that. They don’t really want to do it. I know, I was so surprised when I first got started with our homestead and farm that more farmers didn’t sell directly to consumers. It just amazed me how many people were happy to just take their animals to the locker and get bottom dollar for them rather than selling them. And then, I finally realized, like, well, most people who do this do it because they love animals, and they really don’t know anything about marketing. So, I’m really happy to have you here talking about that today.
Deborah Niemann 2:03
So, what is your background? Did you have a background in marketing, or are you just a really amazing learner?
Leslie Svacina 2:10
Well, I like to think maybe a little bit of both. So, I do have a marketing background. So, when I was in college, I studied agriculture marketing and worked in that field after I graduated—more in an agribusiness, more corporate environment. But, I’ve always had a strong interest and draw to marketing communications. I think this may be true for any profession, but if you have a real passion for it, you kind of get wired for it. And, even if you change careers, or kind of work in different capacities, you still find ways to be tied back to that work.
Leslie Svacina 2:41
And so, for us, with our farm Cylon Rolling Acres, I didn’t grow up on a farm. But, I knew when I wanted to start a business of my own, I wanted it to be a farm, because I worked in agriculture; it kind of became part of who I was. But, I knew I wanted to direct market our products, because again, my interest in marketing, but also, I looked at market opportunity. There was a lot of options and need for goat meat. And, that’s what led me kind of to that direction of where I’m at today, but also pulling in that marketing background. Because, as you noted before, it’s really important to learn how to raise the animals and run your farm on the production side. But, if you don’t have a market or build a market, you’re kind of in a position where you need to figure out what to do, or it just becomes a really fun hobby.
Deborah Niemann 3:30
Yeah, exactly. So, when you first got started, did you immediately put up the website and all that kind of stuff? Or, did you have bumps in the road first?
Leslie Svacina 3:35
Yeah, so the first few years, while I was getting the feel of raising goats—which, I think most of us kind of have an idea, if you’re listening to this podcast, on how that goes if you were new to goats at one point in life. But, because I knew direct marketing was where I wanted to go, I started with a website. Just with general information about our farm. Not as extensive as what it is today. And then, I started to do a little bit of social media presence, just for awareness of what I was doing. And, I was really amazed at how many people started to reach out to me, even in those first few years, when I would have loved to support people with goat meat. At the time, grazing and brush control work was just, like, in its infancy, and people were looking for herds to do vegetation management and brushwork, and they were finding me because of my website and social media presence. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the position to really serve folks in either capacity, just because I was continuing to grow my herd. But, I started incrementally, and over time I’ve built on what I’d been doing to get to where I’m at today.
Deborah Niemann 4:46
So, how did you get started? What was the first way that you sold your goat meat?
Leslie Svacina 4:49
So, the first year, we sold to the livestock market in our area that has a pretty reputable goat market. And, that was just as we were getting feelers out for where the market would take us. But, we started promoting to a customer base. We kind of started slowly with email marketing, too. But, selling wholes and halves to families, kind of in partnership with a butcher shop. So, like, we would sell the goat to the family, if you’re familiar with, like, freezer meat or kind of that type of model. And then, they would—the customer would—work with the butcher shop to get their cuts. We also sold a few live animals for the purpose of eating, as well, too. So, it was little pieces here and there that we were doing while we were getting started.
Leslie Svacina 5:36
The nice piece about those two options were that we could sell our goats without having a lot of other infrastructure to support retail sales, where now we have freezers, and we have storage and shipping supplies and others sales materials and things like that. But, by working at the butcher, or even selling live animals, you can do a lot with what you just have, aside from working on that marketing piece as well.
Deborah Niemann 6:05
Yeah, exactly. That’s what we found, too. My favorite way to sell meat is as a live animal that you deliver to the locker, and then it’s the buyer’s animal, so they tell the locker how they want to process. They pay them. It’s just so much easier, because you only have to find one person to buy a whole goat rather than finding, you know, thirty people to each buy a pound of stew meat and a pound of ground meat and all that kind of stuff. So, when people are just getting started, I feel like that’s really a great way to start. Because, like you said, you don’t have to have that infrastructure or a retail meat license.
Leslie Svacina 6:41
And, it’s funny, I learned pretty quick that I just stuck to selling whole goats, not halves, because what you’re gonna yield is pretty small. So, it wasn’t really worth my time to kind of coordinate how one goat could be split amongst two families.
Deborah Niemann 6:57
Yeah, exactly. And, I think a lot of people, at first, when you tell them, like, how much a goat weighs, they’re kind of freaked out. But then, if you can put it into perspective for them… Like, I tell them, like, “You can fit all of that into a picnic cooler.” And then they’re like, “Oh, really okay.” Then it doesn’t sound so overwhelming.
Leslie Svacina 7:16
Deborah Niemann 7:17
Yeah. So, what was your next step, then? Because, you probably didn’t go, like, from there to, like, all the things.
Leslie Svacina 7:25
Yes. So, my next step was, we started working with a farmer cooperative food hub in our area. So, we’re outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, about an hour. And, this food hub helped aggregate farmers’ produce and meat together and sold kind of as a whole sale distributor into the Twin Cities. And, that worked pretty well. A lot of our goats, through there, we sold actually as primal. So, the whole frozen goat. They might be halved. And then, they would sell them to mostly restaurants that had some type of connection to local foods or other retail services. And, that worked pretty well, because we could move a lot of animals as we continued to grow.
Leslie Svacina 8:09
But, the challenge was timing it out when our goats would be packaged from the processor to get to the food hub. Because, the whole goat didn’t really fit in a cooler. I mean, it was a big; it’s a whole big animal, not cut, because the buyer—end buyer—would do the cuts themselves. So, we had to make a few things logistically work that way, that we could still maintain the cold chain and get the animals there. The nice thing about doing that wholesale-wise was that our costs for processing were quite a bit lower, because they weren’t taking the time to do the cuts.
Leslie Svacina 8:44
Unfortunately, that food hub was, like, a great concept, but it wasn’t able to continue. So, we were in a place where we really had to do some shifting. “Okay, what what are we going to do next?” We were able to maintain a few wholesale accounts that we wanted to serve. But, at that point, I decided, “Let’s take a chance and do package cuts, or at least dabble in that area.” So, I decided to have four goats processed, cut and packaged, and get a freezer on our farm inspected so we could sell, and that kind of opened the doors for us selling cuts of meat individually. And, like, I was pretty hesitant about wanting to do it, but it was kind of like, “We have to go somewhere.” And, I think sometimes when you’re in a situation where you have to make a decision is when you start to make more progress in what you’re doing.
Leslie Svacina 9:31
So, every state does their, you know, inspected freezer process, and your regulations are different, but we were able to have a freezer in our shop. It was, like, a double-door refrigerator freezer that I could designate that freezer. So, it’s just a little freezer to be our inspected freezer. So, I always tell people that, because it’s like, it was still inspected. But, it was just something tiny, you know, again, to start. I figured if I couldn’t sell the four goats, our family could eat them. It’s good, and I’ve learned—as we talk, we might talk a little bit more about marketing—the more we ate and kind of experimented with cooking goat, it was easier for me to help teach and educate our customers about goat. So, that kind of opened the door for selling by the cut. And, I found that there’s a segment of people who want to buy in bulk, but a lot of people don’t want to buy huge amounts of meat, nor do they have the space or put up the money up front. So, I found that, as we started selling by the cut, and we’d bundle it into options. So, it wasn’t maybe one piece here and there, but we actually started to sell a lot more cuts of meat—more than I thought we would. And, that kind of started the doors to progressing to where we’re at.
Leslie Svacina 10:39
But, we had started with just with, like, a little form on our website, so people could, you know, request what cuts they were interested in, and when they might come and pick up meat from our farm. It worked; it kind of streamline things. But, eventually, I knew that in order to make this work and not make myself go crazy with emailing people back and forth, we eventually moved to ecommerce to streamline that process. And, once we started to offer sales online—and that included for farm pickup. So, we do serve our customers here locally, but also, we’ll ship product. But, once we gave people the option to make it easy to buy from us, and accessible—because goat isn’t very accessible—our sales really have increased, and I still had to do a lot of marketing, but it was humbling to kind of see some of this start to progress in a market that is still pretty new. When you think about the U.S. food industry, and as an animal protein, even though goat is popular, it’s still a pretty young industrym just because there’s not a lot of effort like there is on with other animal proteins like beef or lamb or pork and things like that.
Deborah Niemann 11:44
Yeah, exactly. And, most Americans have never had goat. Most people when I, you know, talk about goat meat, most people say they’ve never had it, and “What does it taste like?” And, I mean, how can you say what it tastes like? You know, I think it tastes a lot like our grass-fed lamb. But then, most people who’ve had lamb haven’t had grass-fed lamb. So, they don’t know what that tastes like, either. So yeah, it’s really nice if you can offer cuts, because making a one-pound commitment versus, you know, a 30-, 50-, 60-pound commitment, it’s a lot easier for people to say “yes” to.
Deborah Niemann 12:21
So, then you started selling cuts on your farm. And then, what was the next step?
Leslie Svacina 12:26
Yeah, so we sold cuts on our farm for a few years. And then, we decided to do some tweaking of our online website and make it a little bit more streamlined. I look at things from a customer standpoint, like how can we make things easier for them? What questions do they have? How can we help them make their journey or their decision if they want to buy goat meat easier. And so, some of that was looking at doing that with a website, in terms of the type of platform we were using, and so forth.
Leslie Svacina 12:59
Last year, one of our bigger projects that we started was our Farm Club, which is our subscription box club. So, it’s a quarterly meat box that customers can pick a variety of options they can buy. It’s the only way we sell a whole goat—which, the whole goat is literally me picking the parts from my walk-in freezer to assemble what would be the equivalent of a goat. And then, some different variety box options. And, it’s been a way for us to serve customers on a more regular basis, but give them a little bit of a variety of perks—you could say “benefits”—for committing to us that they’re going to make purchases on a semi-regular basis. So, they’ve get some benefits on shipping rates and price breaks compared to what we might sell, you know, just a la carte if somebody were to come shopping.
Leslie Svacina 13:49
This is, like, Year Two with our Farm Club. And, I’m working on some fun digital components—pieces—to it now for this next year. Because, as direct marketers, and farmers who sell direct to our customers, part of what people are buying is not just the meat; it’s also buying that experience and that relationship and that value with their farmers. So, those are some other components that were coming into play. But, the Farm Club has been really great on my end, being able to plan and know, like, what I can account for as I back out and look at what we have for crop of kids, you know, when they’re born, and kind of plan ahead for the next year, conservatively, of what that on the hoof might look like in the freezer. And, it’s been a really great addition to kind of helping me manage our sales. And then, we kind of fill in from there, behind that, with our other, you know, one-time or repeat sales, but maybe not as frequently.
Deborah Niemann 14:45
I love the fact that you call it Farm Club. That just sounds so friendly and everything. Really, it sounds like a meat CSA though, right?
Leslie Svacina 14:53
It’s like a meat CSA with really no commitment. So, people sign up for their option of when they want and frequency, and they can pause or cancel at any time. But, I think people have a freedom to adjust when they need to. So, like, I always have to account for that. We could lose some members. But, for the most part, people have stayed on. And so, it’s been good that way. But yeah, CSA. It’s definitely similar to a CSA model.
Deborah Niemann 15:18
Yeah, I love that. So, have we talked about all your products now and the way that you sell them?
Leslie Svacina 15:24
Yes. Because, most of what I’m selling is… A few years ago, we were more heavy into wholesale markets and starting to grow our direct to consumer. And, that’s been kind of a gradual increase. But now, we’ve really flipped, where we are probably about 90-95% direct to consumer, about 5% wholesale market. And, our wholesale sales have been partners who have been, like, a pretty good match in terms of values. Because, we’re a small farm. We also rotationally graze and have a lot of other practices in mind in terms of the context of the environment, how we farm.
Leslie Svacina 16:02
And, where we’ve had good partnerships for wholesale partners have been, like, farm-to-table style restaurants, food co-ops. But, even that, we’ve kept that pretty hyper-local, just because it also gives us a little bit of a boost with marketing, because people can try us out without necessarily having to buy from us directly, as well. But, those are our main outlets now; we just focus on those. Where before, when we started, you know, we sold some live animals, and we did some other things, too. But, as we increased our sales, I found that it was easier to start to narrow in what we were doing, just for sake of managing things and communications and my own personal life outside of the farm, even though I love the farm.
Deborah Niemann 16:45
Yeah. And so, with selling directly to consumers with cuts rather than a whole animal that they’re going to pick up at the locker themselves, you’ve got to think about packaging. So, can you tell us a little bit about your packaging and how you handle that?
Leslie Svacina 17:00
Sure. So, our packaging, it’s all vacuum-sealed in clear plastic. We’ve been fortunate to be able to have access to a USDA processor who will do that for us. And, we have our name on the label. It’s not a fully branded label; we do have our name on on the label. And, I like having that clear packaging, because if you think about your experience—or customers’ experience—in the grocery store, they can see what they’re getting in the package. It’s kind of a familiarity. It helps them visualize it more than in the paper. So, that presentation has been really helpful for us. But, that’s kind of the piece that’s been useful for us.
Leslie Svacina 17:35
I do like when we bring in meat from the butcher, then I will go through, and typically when I inventory, I will pull out packages that might have had seals popped and things like that, just because, with bone-in cuts, sometimes you can’t get away from, you know, having some packaging issues. So, we do have a little bit of loss on that, that I usually will set those products aside and use them for recipe development. And, I’m kind of working on some other value-added projects that we might use with them in the future. It’s all good meat, but it’s just, when I look at, like, presentation, first impressions, it’s not something I want to sell to my customers. If I have some people who might come out and visit me and I’ve worked with before, I might sell it to them half-price, but it’s not something that’s on my… You know, I don’t have, like, a deal page of selling, you know, the packaging if it has a popped sometimes gets crystallized. And so, that’s, like, one sometimes little bit of the downfall of the clear packaging, but from a marketing and presentation standpoint, it still is definitely the way to go.
Deborah Niemann 18:32
Yeah, exactly. We sell eggs at a food co-op. And so, we have an egg license. And, it’s even a rule, like, you can’t sell eggs that, you know, have stains or even cracks that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Because, I mean, that’s part of candling, is that you see cracks that are not otherwise super obvious. So, we actually never eat any “good” eggs. Like, there’s there’s always more than enough eggs that are stained or cracked or something that we wind up eating ourselves. So, I know exactly what you’re talking about, eating this stuff that’s like, “Well, I can’t sell this. Okay, I guess we’ll eat it.”
Deborah Niemann 19:15
So, once you get your packaging done, then you have to also think about the marketing specifically. So many people that I meet think that, “Build it and they will come.” So, they think, “Oh, all I have to do is hang out a sign on the road, or put up a website, or put up a Facebook page.” And, they expect, like, everything’s just gonna fly off the shelves. And then, that doesn’t happen, then they get really disappointed and discouraged. So, can you talk a little bit about what you have done to find customers?
Leslie Svacina 19:50
Sure. So, because all of our sales go through our website—and this would be true even if we had more of an in-person transaction sales experience. Like, if we were at a farmers market or things like that. But, I’ve put a lot of emphasis on digital presence, because nothing can really take away the power of meeting people in-person and having those interactions, but we’re not around our customers or prospective customers every day. So, that’s where digital comes into play, where you can have more touch points. And, I really focused our communications and marketing with our website and our email marketing at the core of what we do. And then, from there, I kind of feed out what we do to utilizing with social media and some other strategies we’ve dabbled in.
Leslie Svacina 20:36
But, our website, aside from, like, products, we’ve done more recently more emphasis on search engine optimization. And, that sounds like a big word. But basically, it’s how Google helps people find you. Kind of helps you get met with the people who are trying to find people or your thing. And, it takes a little bit of work. But, when you start to put some of those search terms and categories and those things into your website, it can really help Google and Google Search do the work for you, and alongside some of your marketing. So, that’s been an area where we’ve been putting more emphasis, and because I’ve been finding that, as I look on the back end of our website, and even, like, our Google Search Analytics, that more and more people are finding us through Google Search, which is kind of refreshing, because it’s told me that as much as social media is important for relationship building, it’s probably not as important as what sometimes we put our emphasis and our time on it. And, not saying that we are shouldn’t be using it. But, our website is really been the most important thing.
Leslie Svacina 21:42
So, whenever somebody’s asking for more information about our farm or what we sell, I urge them or point them to our website, you know, instead of, like, going to a Facebook page. I also encourage them to sign up for our email list, and we send a communication to our email list twice a month. We time it a few days before our order deadline. So, we ship our products every other week. So, it’s kind of timely, but yet, still I can manage my life as the retail operations and as a farmer. And, by having some sense of urgency with our emails, that has helped, where we could start to associate sales with the emails. And then, in our emails, I’m always focusing on adding value to our customers. And, we do sell in our emails, but our emails really are focused on education around, and recipes, and inspiring them to learn more about the meat, or other things that relate to goat meat from, like, a food and cultural and life experience. And so, that’s always built into what we’re doing within our emails.
Leslie Svacina 22:44
On social, when we as we use it, I really try to focus on is relationship building and, like, behind the scenes and, like, building that trust factor versus, like, being transactional and salesy. Because, I find that, like, people, if they want to work with you, they’re going to figure out how to buy from you. And, I think it’s easy, as a somebody who sells something—doesn’t even have to be a farmer—but it’s easy to think, “I need to kind of pitch my stuff all the time.” And, there’s a time and place for it, even on social, but you usually have to give a lot more than you need to ask for. I was listening to a marketing podcast, and people associated direct marketing and sales with the dating process. Like, you’re not gonna go out on a date with somebody and ask them to marry you, you know, the next day. And, I think direct marketing, that’s kind of the approach we’ve taken is, like, looking at how we market, and social has been a good place to try to get people on our email list. And then, we do more of the sales and drive home more value on the emails.
Leslie Svacina 23:41
I’ve been doing some experimenting working with… We’re just getting started with text marketing. I’m still trying to figure out what’s the right place with that. I do remind myself that people opt in to that. So, I don’t want to be spammy. But, even if people, you know, say, “Yes, I want to do that,” then I’m like, “Okay, I have to remember that if somebody didn’t want to be texted, then they wouldn’t have signed up for it.” So, there’s some new things we’ve been trying.
Leslie Svacina 24:04
We’ve done a lot in our marketing with building out a recipe library and teaching people how to cook goat. And, I found that, at first in this space, I was kind of like, “What do I know?” Because, I didn’t grow up with goat, on how to teach people how to cook goat. Well, I found that… I had this “Aha!” moment. Even customers who grew up with goat, they weren’t the ones, you know, cooking it. It was Mom or Grandma. And, it’s probably more of, like, a generational thing, that a lot younger generations of folks are not as comfortable in the kitchen—and especially when it comes to meat, maybe not as comfortable. There’s that piece of, like, uncertainty with, like, raw meats and, like, how you handle it and why. And then, goat, it’s a little bit more expensive, so you don’t want to ruin it. And so, I’ve started to teach myself and do other homework on, like, how to, like, cook goat, creating recipes and really working to get a feel of that so I can help inspire and teach my customers how to eat goat, you know, whether they grew up with it or not or want to eat it. And, we’re also starting to work with some local and some other regional chefs and food creators to help us in that process, too. So, some of it is, like I talked about, like, strategies, but then some of it is also this common theme of value and getting people to kind of think about how they can enjoy goat, as well.
Deborah Niemann 25:18
I love what you said about Facebook and how you use Facebook, because I see so many people who just think that it is, like, their free billboard, and every single post is selling. Like, they say, “We’re gonna be at the farmers market on Saturday. We’re gonna have, you know, XYZ. And, this is gonna be the prices. And, hope to see you there!” And, like, every other post, or all the posts, are selling something. You know, it’s just like, “We sell this for this price”, and “We sell this for this price.” And, that’s all they post. And, people need to understand that social media is for building relationships. You’re not using it to sell. You know, sometimes people think, “Oh, I don’t even have a website, because I can have a Facebook page.” Well, people aren’t gonna find you on Facebook. If they’re looking for something like goat meat, they’re gonna go to Google, you know, and they’re gonna say, “Where’s goat meat near me?”
Leslie Svacina 26:11
And, not to mention… I don’t know. I can think of just several people I know personally that have started to run into issues with social media that is out of their control, or they lose access to their business Facebook account, or somebody gets overzealous and starts flagging their content, you know? So, like, you know, you’re kind of working on rented ground. Not to mention the algorithm, which doesn’t always show, you know, to a lot of your followers. And, it’s not necessarily the most animal-agriculture friendly environment, when you go to look at some of their posting policies and things like that. So yeah, it’s a great tool. You kind of have to figure out how to use it and make it work for you.
Deborah Niemann 26:48
Yeah, exactly. People are not usually on Facebook looking for things to buy. So, your posts need to be stuff that’s engaging and fun. And, what it really needs to do is increase your know, love, and trust factor, you know? Like, ask yourself, “Is this post going to help people get to know me better? Are they going to love me better? Are they going to trust me better as a result of this?” And, just saying “Buy my stuff” is not going to fill any of those three needs.
Deborah Niemann 27:13
One of the things, too, I know people run into sometimes when they’re selling anything related to animals—because Facebook is pretty much run by dumb bots. And, you’re not supposed to sell live animals on Facebook. And so, when you’re selling an animal product, sometimes, depending on how you word it, it can sound like you’re selling animals. And, I was working on a sheep group a few years ago, and we went through a time period where people were having trouble posting wool for sale. And, the algorithm was just like kicking them off. And, somebody pointed out, “Well, you know, Jacob is a breed of sheep. But, if you say ‘Jacob for sale,’ a dumb bot could think you’re in human trafficking.” Like, yeah, this is a group that selling wool. But, the algorithm doesn’t know that. So, there’s stuff you’ve got to do. Like you said, it’s rented ground. And, that’s the biggest thing. You know, people who do business online, that’s why everybody needs a website, because, like, that’s your home base. That’s where your social media is sending people, and then you want to get them on your email list.
Leslie Svacina 28:24
Deborah Niemann 28:25
This has been such a terrific conversation. Do you have any other great marketing tips?
Leslie Svacina 28:30
Oh, let’s see here… Sometimes I think we also get close to what we do every day. A lot of what we talk about—or value—is teaching people about the food and cooking and so forth, but people still are curious, like customers, about behind the scenes of the farm and how things work. And so, you kind of have to have a balance, because not everybody wants to maybe associate, you know, pictures from kidding with, you know, some goat chops, you know, in an email back to back. So, there’s, like, some delicacy you have to kind of play in that regard.
Leslie Svacina 29:03
But, people still, like, have an interest in learning and seeing what happens on a farm. And, thinking about how you can just share your life and your work as a farmer… You don’t have to get too into detail or overthink it, but it’s where you can start sharing more day-in-the-life, or “what we’ve been working on” type pieces, whether that’s in your email, newsletter, even a short entry blog on your website, or even on social. It’s creating that trust. What makes you separate also separates you from… I don’t want to get into, like, saying, “Oh, us against, like, big corporate businesses,” but it’s, like, what separates me from some, you know, no-faced business. You know, we make it. We create those relationships. And, we’re also part of the reason why people buy from us. And so, I think there’s ways to build that in. It doesn’t have to be as challenging or hard as marketing can sometimes come across as being.
Leslie Svacina 29:55
And, also, the other piece, too, I found to be really helpful for me is planning my content for my email newsletter. I actually sit down annually and think about topics for each newsletter. I don’t actually write it out. But then, I will also plan monthly on what that might look like, and what I might share on social. And, by planning it, it makes my job a lot easier to actually execute, because I also find I talk with friends who are, like, trying to find time to market their products and help with increasing sales, a lot of it is time. And so, if you can take some time to plan, when you actually have to sit down and write that newsletter, or work on posts, or do some of those things, you already have, like, the idea and the concept down. And, it can make it a lot easier to actually do the stuff in between everything else you’re doing as a farmer. So.
Deborah Niemann 30:47
Yeah, exactly. And, I love what you said a few seconds ago about the difference between us and big business. And, I always tell people, like, “Don’t even think about advertising.” Like, we can’t even come close to matching, you know, an advertising budget for some big corporation. But, where we can blow them out of the water is with relationship marketing. You know, they don’t have the kind of personal story we do. And, people a lot of times don’t realize they have a goldmine of stuff that they can post on social media, you know, in terms of the photos and just the interesting stories and the videos and stuff like that. And, you do a great job with that. So, I really hope people go to your Facebook page and see what you’re doing there—and your Instagram—because like you said, we see it every day. We take it for granted. And, most people who are living in the city love to see that stuff.
Deborah Niemann 31:44
I really learned this very quickly years ago when I was at an agritourism workshop. And, somebody there talked about how she did a thing on Facebook, “Watch me grow.” And, it was mums. Like, she sold mums in pots in, you know, the spring. And, she started posting photos of them from the day she planted the seeds in the pots. And, like, people love those posts on Facebook. And then, when they come to the farmers market to buy them and stuff, they’re like, “Oh, I just loved your photos of these as they were growing!” And, I thought, “Oh my gosh, people got so excited about mums, and they’d never seen baby goats! They’re way cuter.” Like, my little farm page on Facebook has had posts go viral and get tens of thousands of views, and it’s always the baby goat things. And, you don’t even have to dress them up in pajamas. You don’t have to do anything crazy. Like, baby goat photos, especially baby goat videos, can really wind up going viral.
Deborah Niemann 32:48
So, where can people learn more about you? And, you’ve got a couple of great websites, as well as your Instagram and Facebook that I mentioned earlier.
Leslie Svacina 32:56
Yeah. So, people can find me on my website, as we talked about. Websites for our farm. Our customer facing farm is CylonRollingAcres.com. So, if you want to take a look at how we’re selling our meat and the Farm Club I talked about, or education and cooking resources, that’s all on there. And then, I have another, like, sister website to that that’s called GrazingWithLeslie.com. And, on there, I have basics with raising goats, but a lot of content related to marketing meat goats and direct marketing resources. Also, we rotationally graze goats. So, there’s a lot of grazing and regenerative agricultural resources on there. And, in fact, if people are interested in learning more about those two pieces from, like, a business strategy or management strategy, I do have an email list on the Grazing With Leslie website that they can take a look at and some other free resources, as well.
Deborah Niemann 33:47
Awesome. And then, your Instagram and Facebook page are both under “Cylon Rolling Acres.”
Leslie Svacina 33:54
Yes, they’re both under “Cylon Rolling Acres.”
Deborah Niemann 33:57
Okay. I will have links to all of those in the show notes, so people can also access it there. Well, thank you so much for joining us today! This has been a lot of fun. I always love it when I see somebody who has a successful goat business, and is really rockin’ social media and the website and everything, so people can learn so much from you. Thank you for joining us today.
Leslie Svacina 34:16
Thanks for having me, Deborah.
Deborah Niemann 34:19
And that’s it for today’s show. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to hit the “subscribe” button so that you don’t miss any episodes. To see show notes, you can always visit ForTheLoveOfGoats.com, and you can follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/LoveGoatsPodcast. See you again next time. Bye for now!