Want to promote your herd but not sure where to start? Here are the options available to all Society members, most of which are completely free with your BWCS subscription!
Hard-copy editions featuring a ‘Cattle For Sale & Wanted’ section are posted out to all members quarterly, making this a great way to let members and other potential customers know that you have animals available, or that you are looking to purchase. This list usually goes to print in the newsletter a couple of weeks before posting, ready to arrive with members at the beginning of March, June, September and December each year – but not to worry if you miss the deadline as your advert will still appear on the BWCS website and Sell My Livestock Breed Portal (or be emailed to the membership if sending out a request for cattle wanted).
BWCS Website: Selling Cattle
The most visited page on our site, BWCS Cattle For Sale is the go-to place for customers to find quality animals direct from members’ farms. All purchasing enquiries received by the Society are first pointed to this page, which is also reproduced quarterly in the BWCS Newsletter and onto the Sell My Livestock Breed Portal. Take a look at our three top tips for creating a successful advert (below) and also remember that certain types of animals are in greater demand at particular times during the year. For example, numbers of pedigree British White calves born are consistently highest between February and May, meaning that the majority of breeders are usually looking for their next stock sire in time for Spring/Summer bulling, so you should expect more responses to your advert for bulls for sale in March than in October. That is not to say that there aren’t bulls being traded at other times of the year, but vendors should manage their expectations and plan according to buying habits to achieve the best outcome. When it comes to females there seems to be less of a trend for sales patterns throughout the year, however planning to advertise well in advance if you need to manage stocking rates is always advisable.
Breed Portal: Sell My Livestock
With over 85,000 users and growing, Sell My Livestock is an online buying and selling platform for livestock & genetics, working dogs, feed, bedding and haulage. Most listings tend to be added for free, but you can also choose to pay for the SML annual membership package (£59.99 inc. VAT in 2021), which gives premium benefits such as being able to view new listings first, prime positioning of your own listings, a POA option when advertising cattle for sale and exclusive offers from farming suppliers. The BWCS now has its own dedicated Breed Portal on the site, where we approve all adverts for inclusion to let visitors know that they are buying from a member of our Society. You can choose to list an advert here yourself – in which case make sure to request inclusion on the portal when placing your ad – or the BWCS can list cattle for sale on your behalf. All adverts listed on the Society website will be added to the SML Breed Portal for a minimum of 8 weeks, and it is always a good idea to keep your ad up to date by refreshing the text and/or photos every couple of months too.
Society Website: Advertising Beef
Producing top-quality beef is one of the main attributes of the British White breed, and it’s no coincidence that many of our members choose to market their product either through individual retailers such as local farm shops and butcheries, or directly to the public via a farm gate box scheme. While it may seem daunting to find specialist avenues through which to sell your fat cattle, the benefits of seeking out customers who truly appreciate full-flavoured meat can be valuable, particularly for businesses with only a small number of finished stock to sell each year. In order to promote these outlets and to give customers seeking out British White beef a hub of information on where to find it, the Society has a dedicated page describing the attributes of British White beef, chef recommendations and where to buy, as well as guidance for breeders on sourcing and selling their product. To view the page, go to: www.britishwhitecattle.co.uk/bw-beef. The interactive ‘Where To Buy’ map features outlets selling British White beef, listing their contact details and a link to their website. This service is completely FREE and can be used by individual breeders selling their own beef, as well as any butchery, farm shop or other retailer who wishes to promote their British White produce to our site viewership. To be listed on the page, and for information on sourcing finished cattle, processing, packing and advertising your own beef, please contact the Society. When it comes to BWCS branded labels, posters and leaflets, we can also produce marketing materials specific to your business – just get in touch!
Mailing List: Animals Wanted
For those looking to purchase British White breeding cattle, stores or finished animals, the Society can spread the word to members for free via our mailing list to see whether breeders have cattle available to suit your specific requirements. This can be particularly useful when sourcing larger groups of breeding females or store cattle for grazing projects where numbers may need to be made up from multiple herds, or if a customer is looking for a breeder in particular, such as a regular local supplier for their butcher’s shop. Anyone interested in using this service should contact the Society with details of their request, as well as their contact details for members to get in touch with them directly.
If you are eager to get your herd name recognised and promote stock for sale as well as other relevant aspects of your business, an advert in our annual Breed Journal is a cost-effective way to reach other breeders. Offering full, half and quarter page size options for advertisers, this publication is also used as one of the main promotional handouts at shows and sales and is how many breed newcomers will find herds to visit when starting out. BWCS members receive a 20% discount on all adverts, which are not only featured in full-colour print in the Breed Journal but are also listed for 12 months on the ‘Herd Adverts’ page of the BWCS website: www.britishwhitecattle.co.uk/herd-adverts. Adverts may be submitted in final format, or advertisers may wish to send photographs and information to be compiled by the Society and returned for approval. This design service is completely free and is used by the vast majority of breeders, whose skills may rightly be better suited to cows than computers, so please do feel free to contact the Society to discuss your requirements and ideas.
3 TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL ADS:
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Displaying all the necessary information whilst keeping the text short will encourage people to read your advert all the way through. Using appropriate terminology and offering further information on request should generate the most responses; if you are new to selling cattle and would like help with this, just contact the Society.
QUALITY PHOTOS & VIDEOS
A good picture is essential to grab the attention of potential customers, so make sure to give your animals the best chance of success with high quality, well composed photographs and/or videos.
Giving buyers the choice to contact you initially via email or phone usually yields the most enquiries, and it is also important to respond promptly to messages to avoid customers losing interest. Always be clear about what the buyer can expect and what is to be included in the deal, such as health testing and transport if offered.