We have looked at what marketing is and can do for us. We have looked at some simple, inexpensive ways to market our farm and our llamas. For this installment of “Marketing” we are going to look specifically at the product we are marketing and how to get the best and most out it.
Llamas… Just what is it about these gentle fuzzy creatures that make us and others want to spend money on them? Llamas are gentle, intelligent creatures. They are lovely to look at. They are unique and have some wonderful assets. Fiber. Manure. Showing. Breeding. There are many different things you can do with llamas. Let’s take a brief look at some.
Pet therapy is one avenue you can pursue with llamas. Llamas can be easily taken to nursing homes, group homes, camps, hospitals, and other places people are confined. Their gentle nature makes them ideal for sharing hugs, kisses, and time with those who are ill, infirmed, or with problems. There are places all over Ohio and the US that would jump at the chance to have llamas come visit. Many people confined to homes and hospitals are very lonely and stressed. Llamas can help alleviate boredom, stress, and give the people something to look forward to. We all know how relaxing brushing and spending time with our llamas can be (when we are stressed over showing or going somewhere), why not share that with others in need?
Llama packing or trekking is a great way to share your llamas with other people and perhaps make some money to put back in to the farm. This can be a small hiking trip or a big overnight camping trip. There are many variations on this theme, maybe one would work for you. Lunch with a llama-gourmet or simple lunches packed out to a lovely, serene site by the llama. Llama hiking-curious folk hiking with a llama enjoying nature. Llama trekking-basking in nature with an overnight camp trip complete with meals on the trail. Fall foliage tours-hiking with a llama enjoying the splendor of fall and maybe even lunch. Scouting troops could come to your farm to work on forestry or animal care badges. School groups could come spend some time with llamas, learn about llamas/South America, and enjoy lunch.
Always be sure your llama and your guests are safe and well cared for. Good experiences make for repeat customers and recommendations. Be sure to check our local laws and regulations if using public lands or parks.
Public appearances is another interesting venue to showcase your llamas. You could do birthday parties, openings, fairs, festival, special events, and other celebrations. You could do educational appearances for schools, churches, or museums. Sometimes museums will have special displays or fundraisers, and they might be looking for something nice to add. Some farms charge for appearances so much per hour, per class, or per visit. Some farms make appearances just to share the beauty and versatility of the llama.
What could be more lovely than a llama or two pulling a cart? Llama driving could be a very interesting addition to parades, festivals, church events, school outings, weddings, or parties. Your lovely llama, you and decorated cart or wagon will create a stir anywhere. Be sure to have your farm name some where on your llama and/or cart. Again you could feasibly charge for an appearance or a per ride fee. If you are going to do this you may want to check in to liability insurance coverage, just in case.
Llama stuff could be a great way for you put a little money back into your farm. Everyone loves souvenirs! And what a great way for people to remember their visit to your farm. You could have some llama postcards, pictures, pencils, bookmarks, or small llama items for purchase at your farm. Do you do fiber? Why not have some fiber, yarn, or finished garments on display? Who knows you could turn someone else on to llamas or fiber.
Whatever you decide to do to promote your lovely llamas, please make sure everyone is safe and secure. A good time with llamas could turn into some good revenue for your farm. Enjoy your llamas!
Mitzi Ross, Good News Llamas