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Now that you have decided to go into the alpaca industry are you sure you know how to get noticed? Remember that people need to know you exist before they can come knocking on your door.
Marketing is a very important aspect of every business.
Here are 10 ways to help get your ranch known:
  • Join AOBA (Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association) and your local affiliate such as ABA (Alpaca Breeders of Arizona).
    Directories are sent out yearly to all members and your ranch name, address, type and number of alpacas are included.
    There are yearly membership dues for joining the associations.
  • Volunteer your time.
    Whether you are helping out a nearby ranch or giving your time at a show will get you networking with other alpaca ranchers or wannabe alpaca ranchers.
  • Send out direct mailings.
    The consumer needs to see your name on average seven times before making the move to contact you.
  • Take your fiber and fiber made products to farmers markets, crafts, and fairs.
    Make sure you have some kind of catalog or flyer to give away, so the consumers know how to contact you for a later buy.
  • Hold ranch tours and accept visitors.
    You want people to come to your ranch and see the alpacas first hand.
    It will be hard for some to walk away.
    Always be courteous and informative.
    Remember that word of mouth can go a long way.
  • Hand out your business cards to everyone.
    Stick them in your return mailings for bills.
    You never know when it might catch someone's interest enough to contact you.
  • Create a website.
    We live in a digital world.
    Less and less people pick up the actual yellow pages, but are searching away on the net.
    You can go global by creating a website for your ranch.
  • Advertise in magazines.
    Be sure to know who your target market is and advertise only in those magazines.
    Ads can be expensive and you will want to measure your results, so you can see which magazine is worth advertising again in the future.
  • Participate in shows.
    There are alpaca shows in almost all levels being held nationwide.
    If your alpaca is given a ribbon you are instantly recognized.
    Shows are great for networking and meeting new people.
    Most shows are free to the general public, so be prepared to answer lots of questions.
  • Educate your consumers.
    These days there are still plenty of people who do not know what an alpaca is or the benefit of their fiber.
    The more we educate the more demand we will create for the animals and their fiber.
    Education can be done by offering seminars, writing articles or ezines, or writing a monthly newsletter.
Some of the items listed above are simple to do while others will take time to think through and strategize.
Coming up with an overall marketing plan and budget will help you getting your ranch known.

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