My first farmer's market is tomorrow. Now this might not seem like a very big deal, but a lot of work has gone into getting to this point. So far, I have:
- got my safe food handling certification
- found a commercial kitchen
- made over 400 jars of preserves
- created a brief so I could get my logo and packaging designed
- decided which items I would sell/logo
- researched farmer's markets and applied
- printed off labels and applied them to approx 300 jars
- had a spreadsheet developed so I could determine exactly how much each product costs me to make
- made wholesale pricing lists
- made farmers market pricing list
- designed, printed and assembled price signs
- went out and bought what is needed for a hand washing station at the market
So now that the BIG DAY is this upcoming Wednesday, the next step was to get the word out. I had told a few people about the market, but I wanted to make sure all my family and friends were aware of it, so that if they could attend and provide me with some support - even if it was just to visit or spread the word to their friends who may live in the area.
I knew about a newsletter email program called MailChimp that was FREE and had been told it was relatively easy to use so yesterday I decided to look into a bit more. I uploaded my database from an excel spreadsheet and within an hour I had my first mailing written and set up to deploy. There are literally dozens of templates to choose from and editing them is as simple as a click of a button. You just choose the look and feel that you want and then add your own images and content. NO coding skills are required. Awesome!
You can even send up to 6 tests of the email to yourself or friends to make sure you get it right before it goes out to your entire list. You can link it up to your social networks such as twitter and facebook and they have a great little dashboard that shows you the results of your mailing whenever you want to access them. Who opened it, how many people clicked through to the different links within the mailing, how your mailing compares to similar mailings in the industry you are in and even WHO DIDN'T open it. Those that haven't opened my mailing will be having their houses egged later this evening. Let this be your warning :).
Now all that is left to do for Wednesday is to pack the car, go to the market, sample my preserves and hopefully sell a jar or two. Hope to see you there!