Well, it’s 2023. The era of artificial intelligence, fancy websites, and social media. Way too much social media. Being a successful freight broker isn’t just about being a good salesman, it’s also about being a good marketer. In this blog, I’m going to discuss three ways that you can market your freight brokerage in today’s world.
Let's take a trip down Marketing Lane and Sales Street. You might think marketing and sales are siblings, but let's refine that - they're actually like those classic duos in your favorite buddy cop movies. Marketing is the smooth, analytical detective - the one who gathers all the essential information, understands the environment, and draws up a strategic plan. Meanwhile, Sales is the action hero - the charismatic charmer who swoops in, engages directly with the customers, and closes the deal.
But here's the thing, our dynamic duo needs both their unique skills to solve the case. Without marketing, sales is like a ship without a compass - not knowing where to head or what dangers lurk beneath the waves. And without sales, marketing is like a beautifully drawn map that no one ever uses to embark on a voyage. So, let's dive deeper and figure out why it's not just important, but super-duper critical for you to focus on both marketing and sales in your freight brokerage business. Buckle up, because it's going to be an exciting ride!
In this blog, we’re looking specifically at marketing, but if you want a deep dive on sales make sure to check out all of our other videos on freight broker sales.
As a freight broker, having a website is as important as a trucking company having a truck to transport goods. It's like your business's billboard on the internet highway. And guess what? It's way cheaper and easier to make that billboard shine today than it was 10 years ago.
We’re not talking thousands of dollars, we’re talking just hundreds of dollars. There’s tons of tools and folks who can help you do it without breaking the bank. Now, imagine your potential customer wants to check you out. They'll probably Google you first, right? If they find nothing or a website that looks like it was made when dinosaurs roamed the earth, they might hit the brakes right there. They might think, "Nope, I’m good." So, let's avoid that! A good website can tell a prospect who you are, what your company does, and house some relevant content about our industry, but more on that in just a bit.
Next, let's talk about social media. It's more than just viral videos and cute pet photos, it's a powerful marketing tool for your business. It's important to have professional pages for your company on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. But it doesn't stop there, you also need a professional profile for yourself. Now, when we say "professional," we're talking about everything from your bio to your profile picture.
So, no college keg stand photos please! Go for a clean, clear headshot that screams "I'm reliable and ready for business", not “Hey Bro”. Remember how I mentioned that a prospect will probably Google you after you’ve emailed or messaged them? The same will apply on websites like LinkedIn, especially if that’s where you contacted them.
You can use these platforms to interact with potential shipping customers, show off your expertise, and engage in conversations about freight. You can even join industry-specific networking groups to be part of the conversation. Don’t just scroll through your feed, be a part of it! Remember, your social media profiles are like a digital handshake that introduces you and your business to the world. If you’ve got a solid professional presence online, you’re way ahead of Kyle over at ABC Logistics that just cold calls shippers with a script about having trucks in the area. Sorry, Kyle. I just can’t stand that line.
Creating and sharing your own content is a powerful way for you to really market yourself and your company. This is an opportunity for you to shine as an industry expert. A recent study revealed that upwards of 90% of social media users are passive. These “lurkers” just scroll through their feed, but don’t actually post anything themselves. Share stories and pictures about some of the freight that you’re moving. If you’re big into heavy haul, post some stuff showing recent loads that you moved for your customers.
Tell the story of what it was like for you, your customer, and the carriers. Stories are a great way for people to remember you. If you move a lot of produce, you can write blogs about the seasonality of avocados, potatoes, or whatever commodities you move. This kind of content showcases your expertise as a freight broker. You’re the real deal and you care enough about this industry to take the time to write about it and share it with others.
So how much time should you spend creating content and where should you post it? The more the better, but don’t forget you still have a job to do moving freight. I personally like to spend a few hours a month pumping out good original content to share later on when I'm in a good focused creative mindset.
I’ll still hop on social media throughout my week and engage in other people’s posts as well, but that dedicated time helps me crank a lot out all at once. Before you know it, you’ll have a library full of content for your LinkedIn and website.
Remember, marketing your brokerage is super important, and not nearly enough brokers do it effectively to their advantage. You never know when that prospect of yours that you’re connected with on LinkedIn will read something of yours and message you, instead of you having to initiate all of the conversations. Let me know what you guys think in the comments, and we’ll see you in the next video.