EMILIE: Welcome to Plow and Pencil, the art of American agriculture where like Ike, we recognize that farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil over 1000 miles from the cornfield. The Plow and Pencil podcast will paint a picture of American agriculture. Today, we will tell the stories of the producers the products, the policies, and the platforms that provide feed and fuel to our nation and our world. Join the movement of farmers, ranchers, and agriculture advocates plowing new ground and pencil us into your weekly podcast schedule. This podcast is brought to you by HitchPin.com. The tool thousands of farmers and ranchers are using to buy, sell, hire, and work in agriculture. Hello, HitchPin community. Welcome back to Plow and Pencil, the art of American agriculture. I’m your host Emilie Fink and I’m back in your feed this week to share some extremely exciting news from HitchPin. We have just released one of the biggest enhancements to our marketplace. Here to tell you all about it is our head of product, Bryce MacPhail. He and his team have been working for months to bring HitchPin Storefronts to life. And so without further ado, Bryce, welcome back to the podcast.
BRYCE: Thanks for having me. I’m happy to be here.
EMILIE: Okay, let’s dive right in. Because I want our listeners to hear the who, what, when, where, why, and how everything of Storefronts. And there’s actually a book I love that’s called Start With Why and I’m not sure if you’ve heard this quote before or not by the author. But he says people don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe. I love that so much. And I think it’s a perfect segue to start a conversation about why you in the HitchPin team have built and believe in Storefronts.
BRYCE: Yeah, so the funny story that books actually on this bookshelf, you may be able to see the corner of it. So I agree with you. It’s a good author and good book. But yeah, I think it’s really important to talk about logistically, why did we build this? And really, what is it, and what does success look like for our users with it, but it’s a really simple concept. It’s taking online or taking storefronts that exist today, whether that is just having like you’ve talked about seeing in Kansas where you drive by on a highway and see a cardboard or a wood sign outside that somebody spray painted, and it says, hay for sale, that’s a form of a storefront, or it could be someone who has a full-on drive up stand or somebody that has a farmers market that they go to on a monthly basis or a weekly basis or what have you. There are all of these different kinds of storefronts out there that people may not even think of as their own storefront yet. And what we realized is if we can aggregate that and bring it online, that can give all of these people massive advantages that they’ve never had before. One of these concepts that I’ve really leaned into since I’ve been here at HitchPin that really attracted me to HitchPin in the first place was this idea that there is a massive, massive sort of underbelly of agriculture in America today that is overlooked by everyone from outside the industry, to and including inside the industry. You know, there’s a lot of these really, really big players that dominate the industry and dominate the rules. And everyone else has to play by that. And I love the idea that HitchPin can come in and say, Well, we’re small, we’re nimble, too, but we understand what you’re going through. Because we have people on this team who are in the ag industry, like you have been in it for generations, then we have people on sort of my side that haven’t been in the ag industry, but obviously have benefited from it, but know about building products to help people. And so we see that, let’s give these people the tools that they’ve never had before. And let them in a good way to be dangerous to everyone else who’s overlooked them. And so what that looks like with HitchPin Storefronts is, and in three simple steps, you can have your own website, your own place to run your business online, with our HitchPin wallet that’s already been released a few months back, now, you have the ability to do accounting, you have the ability to keep track of all of your transactions in one place as well. So now HitchPin has really become this suite of products within one product. And we’re taking that leap from being just a single, one listing to one buyer to now you have a place for your entire business, all of your listings, all of the things you sell all of the services you may have, and all of your previous transactions so that you can show off that you are a reputable seller, all can live on one place. And then you can manage your contacts as well. So I know that’s a mouthful, but there’s a lot there and it’s exciting to dive into but at its highest. We’ve built this because we realize that there are people that haven’t been able to achieve or attain the tools that they need that the bigger people have had. And it’s our job to sort of democratize those tools and give them to the people who have never had it before.
EMILIE: Yeah, I love that so much. So talk us through like you’ve already addressed the why and the who a little bit already. But tell our listeners a little bit about the where, where can they go to go and get their Storefront on HitchPin?
BRYCE: Sure. So if you’re me, you probably are if you’re listening to this podcast, but if you’re a HitchPin user, you just go to our site, and we have a new menu option up top that talks about Storefronts, and you just simply click on that, you’ll see our new landing page there that tells you a few quick blurbs about what is a storefront. If you forget from what I’m saying, you can also watch some videos that we’ve put together on that page. From there, you’ll be able to one-click set up your Storefront you’ll be able to add your name. With your name, we’re going to make you a custom URL off of that. So I’ll use my name if I had Bryce’s Storefront. For example. I would type in the name Bryce’s Storefront, then that would be HitchPin.com/BrycesStorefront if I wanted to change that up to say, Bryce’s Storefront, TX because I live in Texas, I could add that too. So you have that flexibility. After you name it and add your URL, you’re able to go to the second step, which is to add your brand to the site. So what that looks like is if you’re on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, or you have a profile on HitchPin already, this is your sort of profile picture for your business, it’s how you brand yourself, obviously, you want to take a good quality photo, you want the ability to show off what you do. It could be a literal brand, if you have one could also just be a photo from your farm. Or it could be your logo that you maybe you have on your business cards or something. After that, you’re able to add an About Me section where you can add info to what do you do, really harnessing the why. Why do you do what you do? That’s what we’ve seen as the most important thing, not just saying that, you sell cattle, but you sell cattle because of something your grandmother said to you when you were three years old, and it’s kept you in the business for 50 years, people really resonate with those stories. And after you add that why section in there, the about me section, you hit next, and bam, it’s done, you now have a full functioning place where you can run your online ag business, whether that’s like I mentioned, the person who has hundreds of head of cattle all the way to somebody who’s they do welding for fences, on the weekends, and everything in between the farmer markets and anything you can think of within the Ag supply chain, we are the place for you to do that. And we’re building out those tools for you to do that.
EMILIE: And all the benefits of HitchPin Wallet are also fully integrated into Storefront.
BRYCE: Yeah, it’s great everything that you can do on HitchPin where you can do now with Storefronts, but do it even better. So you’ll have the ability to have your first name and last initial on there because we believe in privacy, but you will be able to see oh, this is Emilie’s Storefront, I’ve done business with Emilie before or this is the name of Emilie’s Storefront, I know that name, because I’ve seen that around town, but how do you have the ability to move my money safely securely, and know that I am going to get paid if I’m selling something or know that whatever I am buying is going to be backed by a HitchPin and know that the product I’m getting will be what I’m expecting to get as it’s obviously a huge thing when you’re buying what I kind of call a real-life product, not something that’s just sitting in an Amazon warehouse, but couldn’t literally be a living breathing animal, you know that it’s gonna get to you in a really good condition that you need. Because of all the security HitchPin has and all the backing HitchPin has. So all of that’s built into Storefront. It’s just taking every benefit that HitchPin has to a whole new level.
EMILIE: And so recently launched last week, pretty exciting, I’d imagined for you and the team after spending months just putting in all the work to get to this point.
BRYCE: Yeah, I like to think the team kind of jokes I don’t, I’m not super emotional, I’m pretty stoic. So like I don’t like to get too high or too low. But the thing that’s exciting for me is just to see all the hard work that the developers and the engineers and the designers have put into this. They’re the ones who actually make it go seeing all of their work come to life and seeing the users that we’ve talked to that have said hey, we really need something like Storefronts, getting to see that marriage coming together and see people use it in the wild is a little bit nerve-wracking at first just because you want everything to work well but now that it’s working well and going smooth, like, knock on wood, all of our other releases have so far. It’s really exciting. And like I said, it’s just exciting to see all of the hard work from this development team that doesn’t get a whole lot of limelight but they’re the ones who deserve it. Getting to see that all come together. Really fun.
EMILIE: Don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back after this short break. Enter code podcast when you sign up, that’s P O D, C A S T. And when you complete your first transaction, we’ll waive your platform fee. Remember, it’s free to sign up, it’s free to list and it’s free to browse, join the community of HitchPin users today at HitchPin.com.
EMILIE: So if you’re listening now, and you have already used HitchPin, but you haven’t claimed your custom URL, this is Bryce’s and my personal invitation to you to head over to HitchPin and make sure that you go and claim your custom URL for your Storefront and get that set up. And I love the fact that the way that this was built as it’s already going to pull your current listings over from, like, if you’ve already listed some hay for sale, first cattle for sale, that sort of thing. And then obviously, anytime you update that, it’s going to automatically update on your Storefront. So super easy. I know from a personal standpoint, I love anything that’s kind of easy and doesn’t make my life harder. And that’s what a lot of the folks that we’ve been talking to about Storefronts have said, they really benefit from this because they’ve got to get back out into the field or to their ag business or you name it. They’ve got busy families and things going on. And so really, this is a way for them to just kind of set it and forget it until they start getting the chat notifications that someone’s interested in.
BRYCE: Yeah, no, it’s a really good point too, on how simple this is. One of the things that the development team and I, we talk a lot about is, how do we build simple and easy products for people to use. And simple is one of those words that I think kind of gets misconstrued. It’s one of those things like you say the word cheap and somebody thinks it’s not worth what you pay for it. This is by no means a cheap product. But it is a simple-to-use product. Meaning that you could have never heard of HitchPin, could have ever heard this podcast, and you just stumble upon it one day, whether you see something on Facebook about it, or you see something on Google about it, and you click on it, and you set it up very simple. But it’s also something that’s very robust as well. And what I mean by that is, like you said, all of your listings, let’s say that you have a whole ton of hay for sale on HitchPin already. And then you have a litter of puppies for sale as well. Your puppies are kind of, this was an accident of dogs, we weren’t expecting this. But now we have puppies and we’re trying to get rid of them to get homes. But our real bread and butter of our businesses is the hay, well with your Storefront, once you set that up, you’ll have the ability to say, Hey, this is under my brand name. Let’s make up something called Texas Hey Kings, well, I don’t want puppies under the Texas Hay King brand. Because we don’t sell puppies, I don’t really want people continuing to come back and say what’s the next litter even though they’re adorable. And you can remove those from your Storefront and still have that up on our current site as it operates today. So there are a lot of hidden tricks. I mentioned the profile picture branding option, we have the ability to add a cover photo, which is just again, more branding for you to add and make sure your website works and looks how you want it to the ability to have your categories of what do you sell the ability to share your storefront over texts over emails over copied links to Facebook wherever you want to. To get the word out, we’re trying to build this one-stop shop for agriculture businesses. That includes not just the setting up of the website doesn’t just include the money movement of buying and selling doesn’t just include the trust that comes with the HitchPin community doesn’t just include the marketing that goes in that we’re doing for everybody for free getting the word out there about your listing, it comes with all of that bundle for one. And oh, by the way, you can go set your storefront up for free today by securing your URL. All of that is there because, frankly, we exist for one reason. That’s what I’ve mentioned the top of why join HitchPin to serve those people who have been overlooked for far too long within the agriculture industry.
EMILIE: I love that you are listing off some of the different ways that you can share your storefront with others. One of my favorite features is the ability to print off a flyer for lack of a better word. So if you’re gonna go into your local Co-Op or want to take it to the farmers market and put it on the side of a pole or something like that, one click and you’re able to print off a piece of paper that has your storefront name and a QR code, right and I think especially in the last couple of years, everyone’s gotten really used to how QR codes work. That’s pretty simple. If you’ve got a digital like iPhone or any sort of camera scans it and it’ll take you directly to your custom URL through that QR code.
BRYCE: Yeah, no, that’s, that’s an awesome feature that our designer Jamie came up with. Essentially, it’s exactly what you’re saying. You can go, whether it’s on your mobile device within the iOS app or on your desktop computer, you go to your website. And when you click to share, there’s an option here to download your storefront flyer on that flyer, it has a QR code, it has your branding, it has all of the categories that you sell in the example I just used, it would say, hay, for example, that you can have dozens of categories on there, and has the actual link, if people don’t want to use the QR code or want to take a picture for later, they can do that as well. I like to say it’s more of bridging the gap between the digital world and the real world. And it’s a very small thing. But I think it’s a very powerful thing, because in the ag industry. Like I said, I don’t have roots in the ag industry. But I have through this position with HitchPin and got to meet with and talk to so many and learn from so many people in the ag industry. And you learn about the people who are 30 years old, and inheriting their family’s business from the last 100 years. And they’re now incorporating drones in upto 90% of what their ag business is doing. And it’s just incredible hardware innovation. That’s sort of the beginning of our demographic. And then you have our demographic who are those people who have had that business and founded that business in 1950. And they’re still kicking on, they’re still in the field, because farmers and ranchers and anybody in the ag industry don’t know how to quit and they just keep going on are tough people. While they may prefer that fire, and like you said, they may know that every weekend, they’re going down to the Co-Op or they’re going to the coffee shop or wherever they’re going. So we’re really bridging the gap between the people who just want the QR code on everything digital and the people who still like to touch and feel their marketing materials. So that’s really cool.
EMILIE: You’ve bragged a little bit about your team. And I’m going to take a moment to brag on the folks that I get to work with on a daily basis at HitchPin too, if at any point in time a member of the HitchPin team can help you with, we think it’s a pretty easy, straightforward way to set up, but if you are having any difficulties or need assistance, feel free to reach out to any member of the HitchPin community team and they’ll be happy to assist you through the process. Bryce, I have a couple other questions for you. And this one I think you’ve touched on briefly, but really, from your perspective, and from the HitchPin perspective. How will Storefronts help farmers, ranchers, and ag business people sell their products?
BRYCE: Yeah, so I think the main thing is now you used to say go find buy, pay for sale on HitchPin. Go find like cattle for sale, go find my skid steer for sale on HitchPin. And, you know, the, I don’t want to bash HitchPin, but our product still works great. That way, when you’re looking for a specific thing, you know that I need a skid steer, it’s December, and I would rather buy a skid steer and give more money to the government at tax season. So I’m gonna go find this skid steer that way, you can still absolutely do that. But if you are somebody with a bigger business of not just hay, not just equipment, but also cattle, having all of your listings in one place, or that you can then send everybody you know, to one place is really massive. And that’s one of the things we keep hearing from these people that we’re talking to about Storefronts, because one thing I’ve learned is that the livelihood of people in agriculture is really who they know, it is 100%, a relationship-based business along with all the other hard work that goes into it, meaning that you can’t sell to anybody without knowing them first. And what this does is it gives you your entire black book of contacts, the 100 people that buy hay from you, you can send them to this singular link, you know that when they buy it through there that their money is good. And you know, that hedge fund like you said, your team is always there to help whether it’s logistics, setting up adding payment methods, facilitating a transaction will be there. That’s the main part of it. All of the ancillary things that I’ve also mentioned are powerful the marketing that goes into it or sending out these weekly emails and more and not just emails but all the other areas that we do our digital marketing outreach through you wouldn’t get that for free anywhere else. But we’re doing that because again, we exist to serve people in agriculture. There are a lot of other features that go into it. But to me, the most powerful is a singular place to sell everything that you have that you know is reliable and you know that we’re continuing to work on. You mentioned that this has just been released and we’re really proud of what we’ve released. But if I can tell you something we’re not done yet. We’ve got lots more coming down the pipeline, including updates to Storefronts, and the ability for you to look at a feed, just like you would on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, where you can see the latest updates so that you know exactly what someone is doing what someone is adding to what somebody’s adding to their Storefront, all in one place. So we’re trying to build essentially, what hasn’t been built before, that we know people need because frankly, people are doing this already. Today, they’re doing it in Facebook groups, looking on Craigslist, or at the Co-Op. And it’s, they’re just finding ways like people in agriculture are known to do they’re finding ways to succeed and finding ways to win. One of, Emilie has heard that have heard me say this before, but one of my favorite quotes is winners find a way. And that’s what ag people do is they find a way and HitchPin is now giving them a way that is built specifically for them. We’re not like Facebook, where you can’t sell cattle on them, because they don’t believe in the ability to do that. We’re not like these other payment processing platforms where if you don’t say or believe the right things, they’re not gonna let you transact anymore. We are built for the Ag professional and we’re here to serve those people who are buying and selling Storefronts case specifically around their ag business.
EMILIE: It’s so exciting. And I’m so grateful that you’re able to take some time away from doing your daily tasks and grind to come and talk to our listeners about this new feature. Super excited. If you haven’t checked it out, be sure to go to HitchPin today and get your Storefront set up. As our founder, Trevor likes to say it’s kind of like the land grab right? So you go out and you kind of stake your claim for your URL on HitchPin for your Storefront. So thanks so much, Bryce. Appreciate you joining me today.
BRYCE: Yeah, of course. Thanks for having me. Before I go, I just want to again, give a shout-out to the team. Jamie is our designer, when you see what she’s built with this, it’s gonna blow your mind. And then we have a team of five engineers, Seth, Stephanie, Walter, Jennifer, and John, who’s also a comedian, part-time. These guys are really working and grinding. It’s a very small team, which means that we have to put in hours to make this happen. But we know that our mission is a righteous one that is deseved for the users. And so the good thing about being small is you can reach out to me, you can give us a call, you can drop us a comment. We read every Facebook comment, every app review everything that gets left for us, we read it, and take it back to the team. If it’s encouraging, we use that and use it as fuel to work harder. If it’s something that we need to work on, we use that to fix it and make it better for you. So thank you to our users and thank you to the team and thank you, Emilie, for having me.