Grassroots marketing 101

I heard a presentation from a successful business owner, Gerald Wicklund of CarStar in Liberty, MO. I enjoy hearing presentations from the people who have implemented marketing with results. You know you’re not going to hear theories or pie-in-the-sky campaigns that are way out of reach for small business owners but down-to-earth advice from someone who’s in the trenches with you.

Gerald shared practical grassroots marketing advice that has helped his business grow from a body shop to a major collision repair house in the Northland.

#1 Broadcast your brand in the community. Gerald has a tent with the CarStar logo emblazoned on it. He sets up the tent for tailgating parties at local events. The tent is a gathering place for current customers and draws potential customers.

#2 Create raving fans. Gerald goes the extra mile to save his customers money. I was in his office when he told a surprised client that her bill was going to be a mere $18 and some change. She had been ripped off by another shop out of the area and Gerald’s team figured out how to save her some money. She became a raving fan. By the way, Gerald highly recommends the book.

#3 Reach out. Gerald sends gifts during administrative professionals week to his clients. “When Wednesday comes, their boss feels like a jerk because he or she hasn’t done anything so they take them out to lunch,” says Gerald. Gerald is also a strong believer of reaching out to the community as a member of the Liberty Chamber of Commerce, Sertoma and Northland Chamber of Commerce.

These marketing tactics are offline and encourage one-to-one relationship building with your customers and prospects. Take the time this week to do one thing to broadcast your brand, create raving fans or reach out to your community. Let me know how it goes!

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