I went nuts and took this entire blog and converted it into a Kindle ebook and slapped it up on Amazon. The thing is over 200 pages and has over 15 megs of photos. It certainly makes it easier to read everything off-line. I wanted to charge 99 cents, but Amazon wouldn’t allow me to because of all the data you end up downloading. It’s only 2 bucks at this point (the cheapest I could make it). You can take a look at it here:
I wanted to take a whack at Kindle/ebook marketing. As a Kindle publisher, you get to give your book out free for 5 days. The objective is to get as many (good) reviews as possible to help push it up the rankings on Amazon. Let me tell you, it’s very hard to get ANYBODY to give you a review. I paid for a Facebook BOOST to the 700 subscribers on my LIKED list. You typically get (1) review for every 100 people you approach. Some of the top Amazon reviewers leave their email address on their profile, inviting companies to give them stuff. At this point (March 10, 2015) I managed to get 17 reviews at 4.5 stars. I’m happy with that. After looking through lists of Amazon reviewers, it was obvious that my book wasn’t something that the mainstream wanted to see – ROMANCE NOVELS are the big sellers. I figured out after the fact that I should’ve been using the cover on the right.
I’ve been checking my stats on Amazon. I’ve only gotten a few downloads at this point, but with my 18 (mostly) postive reviews, I’m on page 4 of Entrepreneurshhip & Small Business : Entrpreneurship : Startups
Other stats: Entrepreneurship & Small Business : Entrpreneurship – Page 20, Entrepreneurship & Small Business : Home Based Business – Page 6. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next year.
We got a review on Kat’s Food Adventures blog! Woo hoo! I was talking with Kat about online marketing and crap at our tent at the Newton Farmers Market and learned that she’s basically a foodie blogger. I dunno – what’s more interesting, making kettle corn or doing online marketing? It’s kind of nice having someone make a video about me, since I’ve been making videos about my customers for years.
SPRINGFIELD—Walking into the Farmers’ Market at Forest Park on any given Tuesday this summer it’s hard not to notice a bright yellow tent protecting the delightful popping sounds and hard-to-miss smells of freshly made salty-sweet popcorn.
Velma’s Wicked Delicious Kettle Corn of Springfield, owned by Steve Cary, has been a fixture at the farmers’ market (including its previous location at the X in Springfield) for the past eight years. Steve along with his three children have been serving up hot, fresh kettle corn—and having a blast along the way. His wife, Kelly, a mental health nurse, pitches in when needed.
Steve’s banter with customers is as much a part of the experience as popping the corn. He will often have fun with children who come to the booth to order by first asking, “Did you eat your vegetables, clean your room, listen to your mother and during the school year do your homework?” He also likes to tell customers unfamiliar with kettle corn that it’s “free-range, organic, low-fat, boneless, dolphin-safe, fair-trade, gourmet, microbrew- and chardonnay-compatible kettle corn.” Photos by Jennifer Garutti.
We’ve recently had some press focused on us at the Newton Indoor Farmers Market. The big news is we got into The Boston Globe. You can read the whole article here.
Next we got a mention in the Newton Patch. Melanie said that she liked taking that silly photo of us beating each otehr with the product. You can read that one here.
Then Michelle, from the Economical Eater website had come by (upon my request) and checked out the market. She did a write up on us at her website. I had found her link at the Boston Food Bloggers website. There’s a crazy list of everybody here. Who knew there was was a whole “foodie” network of blog in and around Boston.
I wanted to post my video that I created of the Fairhaven Farmers Market which happens every Sunday in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. I shot this video to basically help the market attract more customers along with touting ourselves. I recently moved to the Buzzards Bay area and I’m going through the process of finding new markets to pop at. I’m also hoping to find markets which are near by and will cut down my commute. There’s a lot of you guys who have bought my online course “Start Your Own Kettle Corn Business” and I wanted to go over some of the things that I’ve been discovering as this move has forced me out of my comfort zone and I have to almost “start over again” in locating places to sell kettle corn.
We’ve come up with a formula in choosing new locations (like farmers markets) to sell kettle corn. It’s basically this:
1. How long has the event been in existence?
2. How is its visibility?
3. What is the nearby population density?
4. Does it cater to kids/families?
If you can find an event which scores high in all of these, you’ll more likely have a winner. Lemme go over each of them.
1. How long has the event been in existence? – Obviously something that’s been around for a while will more likely be known by everyone who lives anywhere near it. Word of mouth is huge in any marketing, and this just takes time. I can remember my Framingham Farmers market only having me and 5 other tents back in the day. Now the market has grown substantially (along with my customers) and it’s very lucrative. It’s very hard to have people appear with just a newspaper ad and a couple of flyers around town.
2. How is its visibility? – If their marketing sucks, how will people find the event? If it’s located right next to a busy street, this will work. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd, right? Most of the events that have failed were the ones WAY back from the road, behind some buildings. If people can’t see it, it’s hard getting everyone to remember and even find it. Our Springfield Farmers market was going crazy for us before it was forced to move off of a busy street and just a quarter mile away, set back into a park. We lost a third of our business the next year and still hasn’t recovered to where it was 3 years ago.
3. What is the nearby population density? – If the event is huge enough, then it’ll need to be away from everything, but if we’re talking about something like a weekly farmers market, you’re going to rely on locals to keep you in business. Most people aren’t going to drive very far just to get vegetables and kettle corn, it isn’t convenient. Recently we switched from popping at the Carver Farmers Market to the Fairhaven Farmers Market. We doubled our business the moment we started. Let me show you the Google maps for each spot.
Kind of obvious where we would do better, right?
4. Does it cater to kids/families? – Certainly ANYONE will eat kettle corn, but we’ve noticed that if you get the kids into the picture, everyone will be happier. We see this every day when school let out at all of our farmers markets. We recently had two blues festivals which were a major bust for us. Nobody was thinking of taking their kids to something like that. We did a 4th of July fireworks festival in Assonet, MA which was absolutely nuts. Families galore there. A craft festival is certainly a family event, not so sure of a car show. Again, you’ll always sell something (even at a car show), but the bigger money happens when you have all sorts of mouths to feed.