Honey is a great side-liner that can make even a dabbler in the apiary arts a decent amount of pocket money. Industrial honey can’t get close to the quality of hobbyist honey and there’s a whole bunch of customers who are keen to find a local beekeeper who’s lovingly nurtured their bees to buy honey from.
“With so much bad press over industrially sourced food, there’s no better time for hobbyists to promote their honey.”
But how do you go about turning that love, time and attention you’ve lavished onto your beehive into abig pile of cash? Well, hobbyist honey is very authentic product. People want to pay for that authenticity … and you should let them! The harder part is actually getting your product into your customers hands. Find a way to do that successfully and you’ll be raking in the honey money! We’ve shared our formula for hobby honey money in a three part series. Part one, is all about telling your story.
First Things First, Tell Your Story
You’re not selling just honey. You’re selling you story. Who doesn’t want an ultra-local, richly flavoured honey with amazing aromas? A honey that hasn’t been heat treated, pasteurized or melted from crystallised honey that came from an industrial harvest two years ago? A honey that also locks in a maximum nutritional punch and didn’t work the bees to death to get it. It’s honest honey straight from a hive to you! See? Your story is already amazing.
In this increasingly messy world of industrial food production, people are craving genuine products, so use all the details of your story to convince them of your authenticity. Tell them who’s producing it. Are you a father / son team? Are you doing it as a family? Are you teaching your young kids the business ropes? Story, story, STORY! I can’t undersell this bit, people buy for emotional reasons, so give them the reason to buy off you. Think about including :
- Who makes your honey?
- Why did you get started with beekeeping
- Why do you need the money? Are you saving for anything?
- What type of hive do you have and why did you choose that style?
- How do you process (or in honey’s case what do you not do to your honey) before its bottled?
- Why are you interested inbeekeeping in general
Then try and distil it down to the smallest number of words possible, so it’ll fit nicely on the back of a jar!
The power of telling your story can’t be understated. Check out the story of W.F. Lyon from Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. (The Lyon family started making honey in the late 1900s. They’d get it to customers in an honesty-box style concept, where customers poured their own out of a gazebo specifically made for it (you can see the shed at the back of the apiary in the label). That sort of experience spreads.
Flash forward, the company spawned Capilano, Australia’s larges honey producing company. Now you don’t necessarily have to aspire to world domination, but a good and authentic story and a lovely experience makes life a lot easier.
Nurture Your Point of Difference
So what’s different about your product? Why should I buy it over someone elses? And why should I pay more for it? Use your story to differentiate your product and make it more appealing. For example, The Neighbourhood Honey Project does that by letting you know, right on the label that it’s product is ultra-local. Determine a good and unique point of difference and you’ll get noticed.
With Products, People Do Judge A Book By Its Cover
It’s a shame people can’t just look into the jar and taste with their eyes! You’ll need to appeal to them visually and its more important now than ever. Extend your story through some good artwork. There are a lot of examples of how to make a brand and they don’t all have to be super premium. Sometimes rustic feels more authentic. It doesn’t have to be Picasso, it should reflect you as you are. Here are some resources to inspire and help you think about how you want your brand to look:
Logo Ideas Pinterest for Logos
Packaging Ideas Pinterest for Packaging and Embellishment
Places to Get Cheap Artwork Done freelancer.com 99designs.com
Enter the brand competition if you’ve got one, or just watch and learn from the best!
Got it? Flaunt it!
Great images talk for you these days. Use your social media clout to promote your brand wherever you are. Whilst we all love likes, you want to specifically target your local audience and build your local following. Honey costs a lot to ship, so you want to be spending your time (and maybe advertising money) influencing those who have the ability to buy. Oh and don’t worry if the examples are off putting. The photography skill will come to you with time so just get started and see what happens! Here are some examples of excellent Instagram accounts who look the part. Of course, If you haven’t joined the Hiveshare instagram account yet, follow us here! https://www.instagram.com/hive_share/
Hiveshare Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hive_share/
South West Honey https://www.instagram.com/south_west_honey/
Bee Local https://www.instagram.com/beelocal
Become Apiary of the Day on Instagram.
Add your honey brand to the Hiveshare honey map and we’ll publish your best three photos on our Instagram and Facebook pages to help promote your brand. Its a good idea to follow as well, to see how others are developing their brand story.
Honey Money Part 2 – Finding Your Market
Honey Money Part 3 – Pricing for Profit
Honey Money Part 4 – Food Safety and Labelling Requirements