Being a freight broker involves more than just acquiring customers and coordinating their loads with available carrier capacity. It also involves running or representing your company or brand. Marketing can be an often overlooked area in the freight brokering world. When done right, it can help your brokerage leaps and bounds. If you ignore marketing, or even do it poorly (which can be worse than doing nothing), it can hurt you. Let’s look at some simple things you can do to market your brokerage.
Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platforms, you can establish and improve your social presence by professionally interacting with others and sharing exciting posts and updates. This can be as simple as connecting with others in the industry and liking their posts. You can comment on someone else’s posts, and you can post your own content. Many good marketers in brokerage will post pictures of recent loads that they’ve moved. If you have a niche market, highlight that, and share cool pictures of the niche that you work in. For example, if you haul oversized loads, ask your driver to take a picture for you so you can share them on social media.
Ask for reviews and respond to ALL of them, even the negative reviews. There may come a time when a carrier or ex-employee leaves a negative review about your company. These shouldn’t be overlooked. If you have a negative review, it shows integrity if you can address the issue that was complained about publicly and even attempt to right the wrong with whoever left the review. For example, if a driver is unhappy about a rate reduction or delivery experience, investigate what happened in detail and see if you can resolve the issue. Replies to reviews are typically public and this will show others that you take your reviews seriously. If you have a positive review, thank the person that posted it!
If you have a website for your company, you can highlight your services and share cool pictures of the work that you do. Your website should look professional, be maintained, and stay up to date. If someone Googles your company and sees an outdated website or a dead link, this can be a red flag that you aren’t staying on top of your company. If you don’t have a website just yet, you can use your Google page, LinkedIn page, or even your company Facebook page to house the same information that a website would have.
Marketing can be word of mouth in addition to the previous items we looked at. Asking for reviews is a strong source of lead generation and it can make your customers feel proud that you asked them for their advice and referrals. This can be as simple as asking “who else do you know that you feel I could be of service to for their shipping needs?” Make sure you thank every customer and carrier that gives you a referral lead, even if the referral doesn’t pan out or isn’t a good fit for you.
Make sure you stay professional in all your public posts, email, and phone calls. Your professionalism and attitude impact how your company is perceived. People talk, and you don’t want to be one of the brokers that folks talk negatively about. Be the broker that shippers and carriers can brag about!