Photo by Kerri Harting
If COVID is once again slowing down your farm visits then it’s time to get creative. Offer virtual farm tours and have fun with it and keep it simple! Zoom is free and can be downloaded as an app on your phone. Don't forget to tell everyone you are offering virtual tours. Think social media, your email list, local schools and scouting groups. Delight them and word will spread. Make a list of all the things you can share about alpacas and/or ask the group to submit questions ahead to get you started.
Struggling to get people to your farm due to COVID restrictions or hesitation to have a large group at your farm? Or is it just getting too cold where you live to have live guests? Or do you want to market your experiences to a larger geographic area? Consider virtual farm tours.
People are used to doing so many things virtually so why not an alpaca farm tour? Zoom is perhaps the most common and easiest platform that also happens to be free. You can simply download the app to your phone and do the tour right from your phone. You do not need fancy equipment. Do a practice run if you haven’t used Zoom before just to make sure you are comfortable with how to use the app and hold your camera before you have a live audience.
Do your farm tour as you normally would. You can even let people jump in with questions just like if they were there live. Consider describing things in more detail like the feel of the alpacas or the smell of the farm to help make it as real for them as possible. Get up close to the alpacas and you will hear people laugh and enjoy their silly ways.
Consider what you will charge per person and how you will send them the link. You can always adjust after the first one if you want to make changes to improve the experience.
Do NOT forget to share it on social media so everyone knows virtual tours are an option. Promote your virtual tours to schools or even nursing homes and assisted living communities or as a corporate stress relief event. The ideas are really endless. Promote through social media, email or even phone calls and flyers. There is NO wrong way to spread the word.
Give virtual tours a try and let AOA know how it goes. How can we help support you? Need to be connected to a farm that has done virtual tours already? Let us know. We want you to succeed.