Hey! I'm new to the poultry-selling arena, but here's my story and how things are working for me.
I've raised and sold my whole batch of 74 meat birds, and will be processing them next weekend. They sold super fast and I think I'll be starting a waiting list for those who didn't get birds. They'll get my next batch in the fall!
I have an internship with my farmers market, so I've been working all summer at a produce farm and get to interact with the customers at the market each week. Although people come to our stand to buy veggies, I put out a flyer (note on the flyer - I got my graphic designer friend to make me a logo, and it looks professional. I think that is key to looking legit!!) that explains my product and what makes it so high quality (pastured, GMO-free feed, etc) and explaining what people can do to buy my birds. I'd say that maybe 6 people picked up those flyers, and two or three ended up buying from me. Most of my customers bought because of word-of-mouth advertising, be it from me or from others. I talked to my friends about what I was doing, and they talked to their friends, and people I don't know are buying my birds all of a sudden. I also have a blog that I've advertised. I update it frequently about my farming and the chickens. I think that people want to see where their food comes from, and while I don't have a huge following on my blog yet I think it'll get more valuable as my farm grows.
If you've never read Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin I'd highly recommend it. It has great info on raising pastured poultry, but perhaps more valuable is the info on marketing. Basically, he says: If people are crazy about your product, they will advertise for you. At his farm they basically don't do any advertising. But if they find out that one of their customers brought in a new customer Joel will give his original customer a thank-you gift, like some free meat or something. He rewards his customers for advertising, and it works. I have not been selling for long enough to see if this works for me personally, but I want to try it.
So, basically... I'd say the most important things I've done to get customers are: - Talk it up, and get excited about what you're doing!!! Be that crazy farmer who is actually passionate about good food and raising it. - Look professional. Be clear and clean and up-front about how you raise your meat and what people can expect. Have a logo, a website, and/or a Facebook page. Contact people when you say you will. Respond to emails with lightning speed. Package your meat well. - Build relationships with your customers! If they love you and they love your product they are going to advertise for you. I even had one customer ask to help with processing next time!
I have an egg business. My customers are loyal and want farm-fresh products so we branched out.
In addition to eggs, I sell pastured pork and pastured CX broilers.
I am very excited about what's happening on our homestead and in turn, so are my customers.
I just love this life and would not have it any other way.