Tips for Selling Your Beef Direct to Consumer with Rancher and Entrepreneur, Lettie McKinney

Tips for Selling Your Beef Direct to Consumer with Rancher and Entrepreneur, Lettie McKinney

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Associate Farm Editor, Reagan Calk, had the chance to visit with fourth-generation rancher, farmer and entrepreneur, Lettie McKinney, talking about selling and marketing her beef directly to consumers.

McKinney graduated with an animal science degree at Oklahoma State University and attended Texas Christian University after. During her time in school, McKinney said she was able to see the disconnect between consumers and knowing where the beef they purchase comes from.

“I always wanted to offer some sort of direct-to-consumer beef product so I could help educate people about where their food is coming from and how they can access their food from their local rancher or local farmer,” McKinney said.

On her family’s ranch, McKinney took the initiative to take the first steps in marketing and selling their own beef directly to the consumer. McKinney said when marketing your own beef, everyone’s market is different, so it is important to know your target audience.

“I always tell people to look at who you are because, really, that is your ideal client is exactly who you are,” McKinney said.

The ideal target audience or market for an individual, McKinney said, is based on their values and sphere of influence.

“Just look at who you are and then everything else kind of evolves from that starting point,” McKinney said.

In the agriculture industry, it is critical that we take the initiative to educate people. McKinney gave some insight on how a producer can start educating the public if they don’t have any previous experience doing so. McKinney used the same resources she uses to market her beef to consumers to educate them as well.

“It can be very overwhelming at first because there are so many things that you can use,” McKinney said. “You can use YouTube, or Tik Tok or Snapchat or Facebook or Instagram- the possibilities are really endless. I want to encourage everybody to just start where it feels good.”

McKinney suggests starting an advertisement platform that feels comfortable and easy for you to use or learn in the beginning, then everything else can fall into place.

“Just start something that feels good to you, and it will evolve from there,” McKinney said.

As for marketing the products, McKinney said it is important to stay true to who you are because your customers will value that authenticity and support you for it.

“We drive rusty old pickups, and that rust is part of my marketing scheme,” McKinney said. “It is authentic to who I am, and it just shows you I started with who I am. I didn’t go out and buy a bunch of new equipment, trailers, or a walk-in cooler right off. I just started where I was at and within that, my marketing scheme has kind of evolved over the years in just being branded down to the rust.”

Being authentic, McKinney said, plays a large role in being able to share your story in a unique way.

“Your story is going to resonate with people from all over the world, wherever it might be, just based on who you are,” McKinney said.

McKinney talked about her strategy for advertising on social media and said she uses a tactic she calls “content buckets”.

“I use content buckets to rotate through sharing on social media, so big parts of our operation- we both farm and ranch, so part of my content buckets are farming,” McKinney said. “Another one would be ranching, and then another one is entrepreneurship.”

Aside from selling direct-to-consumer beef, McKinney also owns an Airbnb and a wedding venue. She uses her social media to advertise for all of her sources of income and has seen success through using the bucket method and being authentic.

“Motivation and encouragement would be some of my content buckets,” McKinney said. “Really just finding things that you are comfortable talking about and you are confident doing. Finding the content buckets that you can rotate through that feel comfortable and feel easy to use is super important when sharing online.”

To visit the MC Bar Meat Co. website, click here.

To learn more about the MC Bar Ranch, click here.

To visit Lettie McKinney’s Instagram page, click here.

To listen to The Lettie Show podcast, click here.

Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Reagan Calk and Lettie McKinney talking about Lettie’s strategy for selling direct-to-consumer beef.



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