In this section you will find resources on how to promote your market, grow a volunteer base, start a kids club and plan events.
Marketing, Promotion & Advertising
Each year, it’s important to map out how you will reach your customers. Here are resources on how to do that.
- Article: Know Yourself, Know Your Market, Have a Plan: In this blog post, Brett Wolf from the Center for Crop Diversification outlines how to create a successful marketing plan (Maggie will update link)
- Webinar: Know Yourself, Know Your Market, Have a Plan: For a more in-depth look, check out this CFA webinar With Brett Wolf from the Center for Crop Diversification that includes a review of some basic marketing principles including considering your product, understanding your market and customers, and some of the promotional options available to get your message out.
Working with the Media: Getting media coverage on your market is the best way to get the word out, and it doesn’t have to cost money. Check out this webinar by Sarah Fritschner, a consultant with Grow Kentucky, to learn fundamentals that can earn free media coverage all season long. Also check out this Press Release Template.
When farmers’ markets have their brand figured out, it helps sets the standard for vendors, new customers will find it easily, and community partners will understand your “why”.
- Article: Discovering Your Brand: Branding, in our specific world of farmers markets, means understanding our values and standards while ensuring that we are communicating those effectively to the world. Read this article by James Cochran from CFA’s Farmers Market Support Program to figure out the who, what, when, how, and, why of your market.
- Webinar: Finding Your Brand: Too frequently, farmers markets have to fight to be remembered by the average consumer. Watch this free CFA webinar by Natalie Biesel, a small business coach, and learn how to set yourself apart.
- Brand Clarity: This worksheet will help you discover your markets unique story and place in the community.
- Social Media: Article: Next Level Facebook Marketing – Leveraging Post Boosts, Ads, and Going Live. In this article by Kati Bowman from KCARD, you will learn how to bring awareness to your market by promoting content, leveraging Facebook’s post boosts, developing ads, and increasing your skills to “go live”.
This publication from the Kansas Rural Center shares what it takes to launch a demonstration program, offering tips on how to keep things running smoothly on the big day and garner ideas for promoting your market’s new venture. Also see Kentucky’s rules on p. 56 of the 2018-19 KY Department of Ag Farmers Market Manual.
Multi-farmer sampling station at your Farmers Market:
According to Sharon Spencer from the KDA, the market is allowed to have a central sampling station/booth with an individual(s) offering samples of multiple vendors products. The individual(s) offering the samples must have their sampling certificate that corresponds to what they are sampling and it must be posted. The same rules and guidelines apply as if the individual was offering samples of their own product. The sampling station would need to have a hand washing station available too. Your local extension office may be able to come to your market do a group sampling. Helpful Links:
Music at the farmers market:
- Copyright License: If musicians play copyrighted music as part of a farmers market, that market, or the hosting organization, is legally obligated to pay a licensing fee.
- Example of an Entertainer Application: Scroll down to “Entertainer Application” on this link to Marin Co. CA Agriculture Institute’s Prospective Vendor page.
- Entertainer Rules Template: A concise one page sample set of rules for performing artists at a farmers market from the Farmers Mkt. Coalition website.
Did you know that May is “National Salad Month” or October was “National Hunger Awareness” month? Find out more specially designated dates to base your special event around.
- Also see “Market Events and Promotion” on p. 53 of the 2018-19 KY Department of Ag Farmers Market Manual and p. 83 of the Farmers Market Management Handbook.
Recruiting and retaining volunteers can be tough. The model in this article can help your market create a volunteer plan.
Although written for farmers, many of the same concerns apply to farmers markets.
Starting a Kids Club
- This is a publication from Washington State about starting a kids program.
- Power of Produce (POP) The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) provides a set of over 50 tools, guides and templates to help communities engage younger customers in the farmers market experience through POP Club. To have access to the tools, one must the a FMC member market.
- Example of “veggie bucks” where kids can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market:
- Morgan County, KY: To address the high rate of obesity and chronic disease in Morgan County, Extension personnel, homemaker volunteers, The Morgan County Diabetes Coalition and Morgan County Farmers Market members collaborated on the “Kids Veggie Bucks” program.
- KERNEL (Kids Eating Right and Nutrition and Exercise for Life): A youth oriented nutrition and physical activity program in Washington State designed to engage children in learning about lifelong healthy eating habits, gardening and exercise.
- Overview of Kentucky Farmer’s Market Incentives and Engagement from Partnership for a Fit KY includes information about a kid’s veggie bucks program.