Have you ever spent a day with a farmer?
If not, I highly encourage it. Ask if you can follow them around (and help, of course!). Over lunch, ask them to share about how they run their farm and what matters the most in caring for a healthy and successful crop or herd.
You may discover that farmers get up early and work hard everyday to care for their farm and all that lives on it. They don’t simply just wait for crops to pop-up during harvest season – they CONTINUALLY INVEST in their farm and nurture their land so that when the harvest season arrives – they are prepared for a bountiful harvest.
The ground prepared the ground following last year’s harvest.
The seeds are planted in the spring.
The fields are watered and fertilized and protected from pests, drought and poor weather.
And finally, after many months of work, it is harvest time and a celebration ensues.
Your business works the same way, and if you take a page from the farmer’s playbook, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards, too.
Preparing the Ground
This is your brand, your voice, your very presence in your market. If you’re just starting out—like that farmer after his harvest—you’ll spend your time simply becoming known.
Hang out with other business owners in your niche. Join online groups where your ideal clients spend their time. Build a website and start your email list. This is the prep work that will form the foundation of a solid business in the future.
Planting the Seeds
Your seeds are your content and products. These are the pieces of your business that serve your clients. With each blog post you write, every product you create, you’re planting a seed you can harvest later. But unlike the farmer, your seeds will have potential to produce over and over again, endlessly.
In fact, you’ll likely find that blog posts you wrote years ago will continue to bring in new clients year after year, with little help from you. Products can be sold over and over again, or reworked into new offers. Podcasts, videos, ebooks and more all continue to work for you, month after month, year after year.
When you think about it that way, it’s easy to see that choosing and planting the right seeds is a critical part of every business.
Nurturing Your Crop
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just “set it and forget it”? Unfortunately, that style of business rarely works.
Instead, you must spend time nurturing.
- Stay in touch with your email list. Start by sending at least 2 emails a month, 1 a week is ideal.
- Update old blog posts with new ideas.
- Study your stats to improve your traffic and conversions. Take a look at your SEO and watch your analytics to see where your audience is coming from and how long they are spending their time on your website.
- Improve your products. Consider creating a bi-annual review cycle to make sure your products are all up-to-date and that your tech supporting these products is still functioning properly.
Be Committed to the Long Term
Of course, being a farmer is a long-term investment. The work you do today may not pay off for weeks or months to come. But with a strong history of consistent “farming” in your business, you’ll soon see that those long-term rewards begin to pay off consistently as well.