Alternative Ideas if you can't open your Farm for
National Alpaca Farm Days
Agritourism, like most businesses, is taking a hit nationwide due to Covid-19. AOA wants to help you continue to reach your audience even if you cannot open your farm doors or participate in physical outreach as you have in the past.
AOA Vice President Jennifer Hack and AOA Public Relations Consultant Cindy Morrow have compiled the following list of things you might consider to continue promoting your alpaca business during this unusual time. All are media worthy to further promote your business. Remember that AOA Public Relations and the staff in the AOA Office are always here to help in any way we can. Outlets and details are just suggestions as there are endless possibilities!
Virtual Farm Tours
Whether pre-recorded or live streamed, you can take the public on a tour of your farm online. Post pre-recorded tours on your web page and social media. Live tours can be streamed through:
- YouTube Live
- Facebook Live
- Google Meet
Now is the perfect time to reach out to local schools. Most are looking at ways to keep their students interested while learning in a whole new way. With field trips and in many cases, face to face learning put on hold, public, private and home school teachers may be interested in a virtual lesson about your alpaca business in one session or several. These live lessons can be offered for a fee and run on Zoom, offering time for Q&A. Some suggestions for topics are:
- Alpacas 101 — Description of an alpaca; The difference between Suri and Huacaya; What a baby alpaca is called; What alpacas eat; How alpacas communicate, etc.
- History of alpacas.
- Life as an alpaca farmer, fiber mill owner, shop owner, designer.
- Alpaca fleece and how you harvest it.
- How to work with fleece and end products.
24 Hour Live Stream
Remember April the Giraffe? Pick an area (or more) of your farm and place cameras that will stream online 24/7 for people to watch your alpacas or other animals whenever they’d like! Live streaming 24/7 requires more technical experience and equipment.
Design a youth-focused educational package which can be sent once or as part of a monthly or quarterly subscription including things such as:
- Plush or toy alpaca (not necessarily made from actual alpaca fleece)
- Alpaca coloring book
- Activity sheets
- Fact sheets
- A bit of fleece
- An alpaca trinket (toy, pencil, sticker, etc.)
- Craft ideas
- Link to online tour
- Photo of an alpaca that they can visit in the future
- A letter “from” the alpaca in the photo
Sell craft kits for multiple ages and skill levels. This kit would include everything needed for felting, crochet, or knitting with a corresponding live virtual lesson on Zoom.
You can still take your alpacas or spinning wheels to do demonstrations at the windows or courtyards of nursing homes, schools, etc.
Gyms and fitness teachers are still sharing their knowledge and generating income through live or recorded paid-for classes on websites such as Zoom. Alpaca Yoga would be a unique option for those looking to stay active and entertained.
If your state allows, host visitors by appointment. Admission fees can be charged for these one on one experiences.
Advertise items from your farm store online. Include information about the importance of shearing. When possible, include photos of your alpacas so shoppers can feel a personal connection to what they are purchasing. Outlets to list items include:
- Personal farm website
Adopt an Alpaca
Individuals or classrooms receive a certificate and photo of the alpaca they’ve “adopted” and will, for one year, receive a monthly email and/or video for a fee. You can also send a personal invitation to visit the alpaca when possible.
Invite an Alpaca to your Meeting
For a fee, join online business meetings with your alpaca. You may also decide to offer a Q&A session after the meeting.
Grant a Birthday Wish
So many people love alpacas. Offer birthday packages such as:
- Alpaca card with a birthday message.
- Pre-recorded birthday message video to be emailed to recipient.
- Live zoom call with an alpaca.
- Live zoom call (record and email a copy after the call), card, and plush alpaca.
We hope this helps you get started in promoting your farm and business. Association members may contact Cindy Morrow at 216-952-7510 to help make media introductions easy with minimum work! Educational tools and resources are available on the website for members.