Marketing Your Alpaca From A Distance | Part 2

On-line Marketing

  • What is unique about your website? Most prospects now do at least some research on-line before making calls, attending shows, and meeting breeders. Is your website easy to navigate and graphically inviting? Does it include photos of you living the lifestyle? Does it draw visitors in with multiple ways for them to learn more without leaving the site? Does it give prospects ample opportunities to contact you with questions or requests? Do you respond quickly when they do?
  • Does your e-blast have an attention-grabbing subject line that makes prospects want to open it at all? Does the headline atop the body of the email make them want to scroll down to read more? Does it offer links to your website or your inbox to make it easy to investigate further and contact you? If not, you are choosing to keep your prospects remote rather than encouraging them to reach out and respond.
  • What about your social media? Are you regularly posting on Facebook and Twitter to be an additional resource for those seeking information on the alpaca lifestyle as well as information on purchasing and raising alpaca? If you are not on social media – you need to be!

Show and Event Booth

It can be overwhelming for prospects to walk into an alpaca show and know where to begin. So, many of them initially keep their distance, slowly deciding what to see, and with whom to converse.

  • Walk the aisles slowly and see what makes you spot your own booth. Then think in your prospects’ perspective. Would you approach your booth? Is it clean, uncluttered, and inviting? Does it offer take-way information about your farm and your animals? Is it manned continually throughout the show?
  •  Do you speak up when passers-by show any interest? Do you request that booth visitors sign your guest book and answer a few brief questions to help you determine how to help them? Are you diligent about following up with them after the show, when you are no longer face-to-face?

When you market well at shows and events, you take advantage of the prime opportunity they offer to draw prospects closer to buying from you.

Farm Appearance

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Most farm visitors will form an initial impression of your farm within the first few minutes from the time they turn into your driveway. For those unfamiliar with rural living, they really do not know what to expect. Little things they notice will have lasting impressions. And all this will happen before you even get a chance to shake their hand or say, “Hello, and welcome to our ranch.”

  • Was your farm easy to find, given the directions in your brochure or online?
  • Is your farm sign visible from the road and easy to read?
  • What can visitors see as they drive up your lane and come near your house and barns? Are fences in good repair? Has trash been removed from the roadside? Are buildings painted and paddocks clean? Is the exterior of your home inviting?
  • Are you there to greet your scheduled visitors or must they venture out on their own and knock on your door?
  • Once in the barn, is it alpaca-friendly and organized to make it easy to manage alpaca feeding and maintenance? Are birthing stalls clean? Is the vet room well-stocked and warm? Are there obvious protective measures against potential predators?

If your prospects form a good perception of your farm appearance, it will support you in making them feel comfortable and confident about you as a breeder. They will be likely to listen more intently to what you tell them, and to leave feeling good about their visit.

Customer Service

Once your prospect has become a buyer, they may leave your presence, but they have a strong need to feel connected to you from a distance. How you communicate with them after the sale is important to future business as they become potential repeat buyers and strong referral sources.

  • After the sale is finalized and alpacas are either agisted or delivered, what do you do to initiate regular contact with your customers? Do you send them photos of their animals, offer to take them to shows, share herd management techniques? Are you available for questions and assistance? Do you make visits to their property to offer pasture evaluation, fencing recommendations, advice on farm layout? Do you provide assistance with marketing or refer them to helpful resources?
  • Do you offer mentoring opportunities with procedures such as shearing, tooth and toe trimming, birthing seminars, booth set-up, farm operations, or other facets of the business?
  • If you have sold breedings, do you invite your customers to the farm to learn best breeding practices? Do you initiate communication about the pending or confirmed pregnancies of their females you have on-site? Do you offer customer-only specials on future breedings?

The relationship you build when your customers are away from you can either create distance between you or bring you closer to future sales and referrals.

In a marketplace where actual distance between breeders and potential buyers is commonplace, the techniques you practice to close that gap will increase your chances of bringing those prospects face-to-face with you. Practice these “distance marketing” techniques and watch how qualified prospects are magnetically drawn to you with the intent to learn more and the desire to buy from you now and in the future.

Julie Wassom
“The Speaker Whose Message Means Business”
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author
Call me: 303-693-2306
Fax me: 303-617-6422
See me:


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