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  • Writer's pictureJacob Curtis

How Farming Creates Profitable Quilt Shops

If humans had not learned to farm, we would probably have gone extinct long ago. Imagine you are a hunter. You gather your weapons every morning and head out the door, looking for dinner. Some days, you are successful and can feed yourself and your family; others, you are unsuccessful, and you and your family starve. The pressure is always on–it is a constant battle.

Now, imagine that you are a farmer. You plant your seeds, nourish them, water them, care for them, and harvest them when they are ready. Most businesses are more like hunters, not farmers.

Hunting vs. Farming

You know your quilt shop is more like a hunter if you are focused on getting the next sale. The majority of your marketing content reeks of desperation as you try to discount and compete on price to bring in the next sale. When you pay for advertising, it is only to get the word out about your clearance sale or some sales event.

Most quilt shops are wrong about the purpose of their advertising. Most would say that advertising is to sell their products or “get their name out there.” This is bad, inefficient marketing. It’s like flushing money down the toilet.

When your quilt shop is more like a farmer, you are focused on sowing seeds or finding people who are interested in what you do rather than trying to force a sale. When interested people respond to your advertising, you add them to your follow-up database to provide them with value and build a relationship of trust with them–you nourish them.

After sowing and nourishing, the harvest or sales come naturally. It may take a month, six months, or even a year, but with consistency comes the harvest. This is a mindset shift, and it is a vital concept to understand.

So, you may be thinking, “Why not try to sell with every post or ad?” The answer is simple: the vast majority of people who see your post or ad are not ready to purchase today, but they might be in a month, six months, or a year. But if you cannot stay in touch with them, you have missed your shot and wasted your opportunity. The chances of them remembering you without reminders in six months are very slim.

So we are on the same page: prospects are potential customers for whom you do not have any contact information, and leads are potential customers for whom you do have contact information. When either purchases something from you, they become a customer.

The Ethical Bribe

Even when you are targeting a narrow market, you should not treat them equally.

All other things being equal, the more money you can spend marketing to high-probability prospects, the better your chances of converting them into customers.

A few weeks ago, I talked about an archer shooting arrows in the fog and even equated your marketing budget to firepower; well, those arrows and firepower are limited resources–you only have so much money–so it’s essential that you use it wisely.

For example, let's say that you have $1,000 to spend on a marketing campaign that reaches 1,000 prospects. That is $1 per prospect.

Now, assume that out of the 1,000 prospects, only 100 of them have real potential to become customers. By treating them equally, which you are doing with this type of mass marketing, you’re wasting $900 on uninterested prospects just to reach 100 who are interested.

What if you could sift, sort, and screen so you were only dealing with high-probability prospects and not wasting valuable time and money on uninterested prospects? You could spend the entire $1,000 on just those 100 interested, high-probability prospects. That is $10 you could spend wooing them.

With ten times the firepower aimed at the right targets, would you have a better conversion rate? Of course!

But how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? How do you gather these prospects and convert them to leads? By offering them an ethical bribe.

An ethical bribe is simply giving them something valuable in exchange for their contact information. These “free” offerings are called lead generators because they gather prospects and convert them to leads. Ethical bribes or lead generators take on many shapes and sizes, from digital patterns to classes, but are always free.

Remember, the goal of a lead generator is simply to generate leads. It is not to sell anything. You only want to gather seeds or leads. In a future video, we’ll talk about how to nourish and nurture your captured leads.

Increase Marketing Effectiveness by 1,233%

Research has shown that only 3 percent of any target market is ready to buy today, 7 percent are very open to buying soon, 30 percent are interested in buying at some point in the future, the next 30 percent are interested, and the last 30 percent would not take your product even if it were free.

If you try to sell in every piece of marketing, you are only targeting 3 percent of the market. But if act like a farmer and capture leads, you target the 3 percent who are ready to buy today, the 7 percent who are very open to buying soon, and the 30 percent who are interested in buying, you are now addressing 40 percent of the market. You just increased your marketing effectiveness by 1,233 percent!

By marketing like a farmer, you no longer reek of desperation. Your prospects and leads see that you are interested in building a relationship first rather than just going for the jugular to make a sale. This type of marketing is an investment in your future, as your database of interested leads grows, so will your business and results.

When you educate and teach your prospects, you are seen as the expert and authority. You’re no longer questioned; instead, you are obeyed and seen to have a personal, genuine, helpful interest in other people. As your trustworthiness skyrockets, you are positioned as the expert and set apart from the competition.

Managing Your Goldmine

Why do some businesses get a constant flow of new leads and sales while others struggle to get any? Systems.

Some businesses have built a marketing system that constantly brings in new leads, nurtures them, and converts them to raving fan customers. Most businesses don’t have or do this. They do marketing randomly and haphazardly. They do not invest in creating a marketing system where a lead enters one door and comes out the other a raving fan and customer.

To build a marketing system takes time and energy. At each stage of business, you will add a little more to your marketing strategy and system. But from day one, your marketing system's core is your leads and customer database. This database is your field. Without it, you can’t be a farmer, and you will be forced to go out to hunt for your dinner each day. Better to be a farmer and sow your seeds, grow your database, and reap the harvest of predictable sales month after month, year after year.

What is one of your lead generators? Tell me in the comments below or email me at

If you need help with this and piecing together financial freedom, please schedule a call with me by clicking the link below.


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