If you follow FMG on any social media site, you probably saw us promoting our #FallSaleChat on Monday. The event went off very well, and we wanted to share the questions and answers from the event on the blog too.
Thanks for our industry professionals for providing great information –
- Dan and Carol Willoughby of Willoughby Sales & CW Cattle Sales – @cwcattlesales
- Kasey Petzold of KW Design Group – @KaseyPetzold
- Roland Schumaker of The Show Circuit – @theshowcircuit
- Brian Reed of The Showtimes – @TheShowtimes
- Rachel Cutrer of Ranch House Designs, Inc. – @ranchhouseinc @rachelcutrer
- B.J. Eick of Livestock Promotions, Inc. – @LPpix
- Christy Collins of Christy Collins, Inc. – @ccollinsinc
- Holli Hatmaker of DP Sales Management – @DPSales
- Kyla Copeland for answering on behalf of Focus Marketing Group – @kylajcopeland
1. What’s the first step in planning a fall sale?
@DPSales – Choose a date. You want to choose a date that works for you, & showcases your cattle at their best.
@ccollinsinc – Set a sale date and hire an auctioneer, decide on an auction format.
@KaseyPetzold – Budgeting is an important step. Budgets help put #advertising goals into perspective.
@LPpix – That happened about a year ago when you bred your cows. Successful sales start w/ successful breeding.
2. When should I take the pictures for my sale?
@cwcattlesales – Recommend photos are taken 2 – 3 wks prior to sale. Gives photographer time to edit & present best photos.
@TheShowtimes – Recommend important #advertising deadlines. #graphicdesigners need enough time to meet the pub deadline.
@LPpix – For live events w/ a catalog, take videos 3 weeks prior to the auction & photos 45-60 days in advance.
3. Why should I advertise my sale?
@kylajcopeland – Whether you have a large or a small budget, there are many ways to advertise. Advertising is KEY to your sale
@KaseyPetzold – Word of mouth is valuable too. But does it have the reach that advertising does?
@theshowcircuit – Lots competition for buyers & you want them to come to you 1st! ?Out of sight, out of mind? rings true.
@DPSales – Advertising is the image your building to showcase your operation. Follow through w/ your image in all advertising
4. What are the best forms of advertisement?
@TheShowtimes – We recommend a full page ad in The Showtimes. A single mag can be read by 5 people laying on your showbox.
@ranchhouseinc @RachelCutrer – Website, selective print advertising, email blast
@ccollinsinc – A combination of reputation & good image marketing. Building a good presence & location on the web is crucial
@LPpix – The best form of advertising is the one you can PROVE works for your operation. It will be a combination attack.
5. Do I need to take videos as well?
@cwcattlesales – Pictures are worth 1000 words, & videos are where the $ is. Quality is essential, pro services are better
@kylajcopeland – If you have a good video, people are not afraid to buy.
@LPpix – If you expect/desire to sell livestock to customers who may not see the animals in person, video is 100% necessary
@theshowcircuit – Make sure vids are #highquality ? bad pics/vids are worse than none at all
6. Can I take my own pictures?
@LPpix – A pro image can increase an animal’s value more than any promo tool. The cost of pro photography is an great value.
@cwcattlesales – Often easier said than done. Be your best judge but if you have any question ? go with the #professional.
@DPSales – This is tricky. Yes, you can take your own photos. But, think about the image you’ll portray of your operation.
@RachelCutrer – choose a pro photographer who really is “a pro”. Not everyone with a high $ camera is a pro.
7. Should I create a FB or Twitter account for my farm or ranch?
@cwcattlesales – Yes, but only if your committed to keeping up with it. Stagnant/old info is worse than no presence at all.
@DPSales – Facebook is not just for young people anymore. It is a great way to get pics of your animals to potential buyers.
@KaseyPetzold – Using #socialmedia to interact w/ potential customers can build a lifetime of loyalty if it’s done properly.
@kylajcopeland – Absolutely!! Again, #socialmedia is a huge part of today and it’s FREE! — USE IT — USE IT — USE IT!
8. Do I need an internet presence for my farm/ranch?
@theshowcircuit – Unless you only sell your cattle to a very localized clientele, the answer is definitely yes.
@ccollinsinc – Yes, absolutely! There may come a time that we rely totally on #digitalmedia.
@KaseyPetzold – It’s important to have a professionally designed website & be sure it blends w/ your other marketing #branding
@kylajcopeland – Yes. If someone wants to find an operation, they google it ? your website better pop up
9. Do buyers prefer live, private treaty or online formats?
@DPSales – Seriously involved buyers and are looking to purchase quality. They’re are going to buy no matter which avenue.
@TheShowtimes – From working w/ different advertisers, they use all 3 formats. Most people probably prefer online
@LPpix – The key is determining & using the format that makes sense for your operation. Decision should be made on $$.
@cwcattlesales – Consumers are comfy w/ online sales. Shop on their time, at their pace, from their home. No travel required
10. Which is easier to put on?
@cwcattlesales – As a consignor, online is a dynamic mktg tool. Saves 1/2 the expense of hosting a live sale/private treaty
@DPSales – All formats take planning, advertising, mkting & organization. None are easier if you are offering great #cattle
@theshowcircuit – Easier is probably not the right ?. Which is more profitable? Only you can answer that for your operation
@kylajcopeland – We have an online sale every yr & used to do a live auction. Now it is so much easier, less work & less $.
11. What one piece of advice would you give to any livestock producer about putting on a sale?
@theshowcircuit – Plan ahead, get organized & stay in touch w/ your buyers & potential customers throughout the year.
@ccollinsinc – If the product is good, presented well & you back it up, the advertising is easy. Can’t have 1 w/o the other
@LPpix – You can not over-prepare, over-plan, or over-organize. You can not pay close enough attention to your budget.
@kylajcopeland – Get professional advice, 2 opinions or even more are better than 1 Remember at FOCUS #ourFOCUSisyou
We also had one question submitted to us via Direct Message from @DunRiteSS “What do experts consider the most effective way for Canadian breeders to market to buyers in the US?”
@kylajcopeland – Utilize #socialmedia to target. Get ur name out there so they recognize u, ur logo & what u have to offer. Advertise in US cattle pubs & use their eblast services w/ those advertisements (linked to ur website).
|Bull calf at Follon Cattle Company in Iowa.|
Remember that Twitter limits you to 140 characters, so DP Sales Management & Livestock Promotions, Inc. also shared their full answers on blogs of their own. Make sure you read those too.
If you would still like to follow the conversation on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com and search #FallSaleChat to read everyone’s answers.
Just because the event is over, doesn’t mean we still can’t answer you questions. Feel free to contact any of us that participated in #FallSaleChat.
At FMG, we’ve also already started taking baby calf pictures. Read more from last week’s blog here.