With Love Your Local Market just a month away, how can we shout about our industry and get more people #downthemarket?
I want more people getting to know their local markets and what they have to offer but as an industry, how can we make ourselves heard in a world dominated by fast fashion, fast food and ever faster lives?
Working in this game since I was sixteen in one way or another, it strikes me as odd that people outside my bubble don’t understand just how important markets are to local economies, the health of town centres and the communities that use them, not to mention the variety of produce on offer…….but then again, am I? Because do you know what, I think we’re all so used to it, we forget that we need to remind people. To be honest, we’re also not that good at blowing our own trumpets, nine times out of ten because we’re just too busy.
It’s hard work being your own buyer, driver, accountant, marketer, boss, grower…..oh you get the picture. Now in its seventh year, Love Your Local Market is ours, it’s about us and it’s our opportunity to capitalise on the hard work and good intentions carried out by operators across the country and we have got to get behind it.
I’m writing this a week after International Women’s Day where I worked with some inspirational traders on the Marketti platform to showcase how brilliant their businesses are. Yet all too often these days I’m seeing traders writing descriptions of their businesses in the most basic terms online, oh guess what, so and so bakery sells bread. Really?
But when you dig deep and ask questions, it turns out that baker is using traditional methods or this fruit and veg business is a third-generation market trader and it is this kind of detail the public care about. It is the small businesses, the family stories, the start-up adventures, the quality of products and the sheer grit and determination required to go out and sell to people each day in all weathers that will tempt them away from their warm, convenient supermarkets ….but only if they know about it first and we have to make it easier for them.
So, for Love Your Local Market this May, I want you guys to get your stories straight. I was so inspired by the strength of the stories we received for International Women’s Day, we are now running a series called Meet the Trader each Monday. If you head to my blog and take a look at the questions asked, this is the kind of detail your stories need to tell because when you’re selling yourself online, you need to paint a picture.
Before someone comes to your stall, they need to get to the market first, hell they need to come to the town. Your story needs to also sell the place, the people, the other things to do and then when they get to the market, you need to sell the buzz, the sense of community, the knowledge they can gain from visiting the specialists that work there. You may not think of yourself as a specialist but just have a little think about the level of customer service you got the last time you visited some big box retail……has the penny dropped yet? You’re a specialist!
Your stories need to illustrate the folks you work with or if you work on your own, how much effort that takes sometimes…..and when you’ve got your stories straight and replicated that over your social streams and online content, come up with an offer, promotion, masterclass or some other marketing related activity like a competition to capitalise on the energy created by Love Your Local Market. Send your story and your offer to your local newspaper, the local radio station and your market manager.
If enough of these stories come in, then you might not get a page to yourself. The editors, producers and organisers will have sat up and taken notice that markets are a force to be reckoned with and we will have features and double page spreads appearing across the country telling people how fantastic markets are and how we need to use them or lose them.
Go on…..you owe it to yourself to give it a go!
If you would like to be part of Marketti’s Meet the Trader Monday series, head to mrsmarket.co.uk and get your application in.