30 Days: My Secret Recipe

As I prepared for yesterday’s post “Non-ag Hashtags You Should Be Watching,” I came across many important people who I have My Secret for Reaching Beyond the Choir - 30 Days of Agvocacy & Social media - AgChat.org exchanged tweets, people who have been influential to me as a blogger and even a few who I’ve met in real life through conferences.  I even started a list of people you may want to follow. The list will be published later in the 30 days series. The list is heavy on moms and thats because its a non-ag group that is easy to relate to because I’m a mom. The word relate is a leading ingredient to the secret recipe.

If you do not fit into the mom mold, that’s alright. There are plenty of non-ag people who are waiting to connect with you based on your life outside of farming and ranching.  In fact, on my personal blog, the two most searched topics (Shelter Outdoor Furnaces and camouflage Christmas gifts) have nothing to do with our farm. These are however, topics which bring my target non-ag audience to my blog and in-turn they are exposed to agriculture. The relationships made through the search terms “Shelter Outdoor Furnace,” has been simple luck. We took a chance and purchased the Shelter furnace without locating any reviews of the product or first hand accounts of the performance. Little did we know, we were one of the first to own the outdoor furnace. Add the company’s lack of marketing into the equation and we became the go-to resource. As I blogged about our experience, search terms were created providing other potential owners with first-hand accounts. This has led to numerous emails requesting more information. The icing on the cake is knowing that while on my blog, there is a great chance they learned something about agriculture.

Several years ago, a company which offers various camouflage and hunting apparel, house wears, home decor and more, found me on Twitter. It was the beginning of the Christmas season and their goal was to connect with women who hunt and women who were married to hunters. I was approached to do some guest blogging and advertising for their Christmas specials. Accepting their offer was a very good choice as it continues to drive traffic to the blog, years later. Although hunters can often times be farmers and ranchers, they can also be disconnected from the agriculture industry. When they arrive at my blog, the opportunity to learn more about agriculture is presented.

The point is to identify 2-3 attributes about yourself or your family which have little to do with agriculture. Focus on a designated amount of time per week on connecting with people who relate to these attributes. Twitter is a great resource for locating like-minded individuals as it is the easiest way to search using hashtags. Another tried and true method has been searching on Pinterest. As I find individuals who have non-ag attributes in common, I pin their posts to a secret board. At a later time, I briefly browse their blogs and locate their Twitter handle or Facebook fan page. I have subscribed to the Katie Pinke theory which states that comments are candy. Leaving comments on blogs or fan pages, provides a link to you, your blog and your story.

My Secret Recipe

  • Determine what makes you relatable
  • Identify 2-3 non-agriculture attributes about yourself or family
  • Set aside a designated amount of time to search (or friendly stalk) for people who can also relate to your attributes
  • Browse their blogs/websites, like their Facebook pages and follow on Twitter or Instagram
  • As you read, turn on your brainstorming switch and identify topics which resonate with others
  • Comments are candy! Don’t be shy. Leave a high-quality comment on their blog.
  • Stir with sugar and spice, then bake at 350 for 30 minutes

If only it could be as easy as mixing sugar and spice! It will take some time in the beginning but like your farms and ranches, the more time you put in during the beginning, the more fruit you will harvest later.

I’m curious to know if you have your own secret recipe for connecting beyond the choir. Leave your ideas and experiences in the comments!

written by Jenny Schweigert

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Jen Schweigert - TheMagicFarmHouse.comJenny serves as the AgChat Foundation Executive Director while helping manage her family’s small hobby farm and in-laws dairy farm in central Illinois. In addition to AgChat.org, she can be found blogging about life on the farm, Jersey dairy cattle, hunting and her boys, all at TheMagicFarmHouse.com.