From Facebook to Google ads to traditional media, there are several ways to advertise and market in today’s society. However, many small business owners forget that it’s the personal experience that makes the biggest impression on their customers (you can also read Kelsie’s blog on making Facebook more personal here). The best source of your business marketing is YOU!
My husband went to college in San Luis Obispo, California. It’s one of those absolutely amazing places where the weather is always perfect and there’s so much to do. It’s about three and a half hours up the coast from Los Angeles, so you get the feel of a comfortable college town without the stresses of the big city. On one side of “the grade” (the small mountain range and highway that runs north and south), you’ve got the coast and a temperate, moderately humid beachy climate. On the other side, it’s kind of like West Texas: dry and hot. However, considering the temperatures don’t often get into triple digits, there is one significant difference…they grow some amazing wine grapes there. Just on the east side of the grade is a little town called Paso Robles and Paso is basically one gigantic vineyard. And the Man Friend and I LOVE Central Coast California wine.
Wait, Why Are We Talking About Wine & California?
Because SDB Knows Marketing Is More Than Just Wining & Dining.
That was a big back story for the main event. A new restaurant opened up here recently. In a city full of chain restaurants, it’s really nice to have a new locally-owned Italian place open up! The Man Friend and I decided to have a date night out and, after a little research, we realized that it was BYOB…and because it’s Italian food, we definitely decided to bring our own bottle of wine. We’re members of several wine clubs from Paso Robles, so (of course) we brought a bottle we already had at the house.
As we were waiting to be seated for dinner, a man walked in behind us and commented on our bottle, remarking that he was familiar with the winery.
“That’s good stuff.”
We were both surprised because, outside of his college buddies, none of our wine drinking friends have heard of the winery. After some friendly conversation, we discovered that though the man is an oilfield consultant in Texas, he also owns a winery in Paso Robles! We couldn’t believe it! He sat at a table directly behind us, so we chatted throughout dinner and we offered to share our wine. As he was leaving, the man passed along his business card and asked us to stop by his winery’s tasting room on our next trip to California. After he left, we read that he had written on the card, “Good for one bottle of wine – add to my account. xx”
As business owners, it’s really easy to get caught up in the minutiae of daily life…problems need solving, bills need paying, employees need questions answered. However, all of the marketing in the world doesn’t make a bit of difference if you don’t market yourself, too. Being able to chat with the owner of a company makes customers feel important…and knowing they’ve had a friendly conversation with you, seeing that you’re involved in your business, and having a face to match the name makes a huge impact.
Run Google ads. Employ an amazing team. Shamelessly use the advantageous opportunities provided by social media. But don’t forget: your business is an extension of you. Market yourself. And share some wine…you never know what can happen! “That’s good stuff.”