Strategy First Marketing
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Skates To Marketing

How did I go from selling skates to providing  Marketing services?

After being in retail sporting goods for over 20 years it was time for a change. I enjoyed my time as the owner and operator of Timmins Source for Sports. Running a small business was challenging, you have to wear a lot of different hats: salesman, trainer, HR, IT, buyer, bookkeeper and so on. It’s a challenge, but being your own boss is rewarding too! The thing I’ll miss the most is dealing with all of my loyal customers. I’ll miss the busy Saturdays when most of our customers came from the small towns outside of Timmins like Cochrane, Kirkland Lake, New Liskeard, Kapuskasing, Hearst and all points in between.

So why become a marketing consultant?

Of all the hats I wore at Timmins Source for Sports, the marketing hat was my favourite. I enjoyed building and executing a plan to attract customers to my store. The most successful marketing tool we had was putting flyers on car windshields during tournaments hosted by Timmins Minor Hockey, extremely simple and effective. We were able to attract our ideal customer when they were ready to buy.

This leads me to the best marketing book I’ve ever read, Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch. This book should be every small business owners marketing bible. In Duct Tape Marketing, John describes a marketing system for small business. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Identify your ideal customer. Ours was the hockey crazy family with 2 or 3 players.
  • Discover your competitive advantage. We were the fit experts, focusing on skates.
  • Market that competitive advantage to your ideal customer.
  • Have an astonishing guarantee. We offered a 60 day fit guarantee on all skates.
  • Tell a story that makes the customer the hero. We didn’t sell skates and sticks, we helped our customers skate faster and score more goals!

As you can tell, we definitely put the Duct Tape Marketing system to practice.

I also spent several years on the Source for Sports National Marketing Committee. While on this committee, I helped identify several different ideal customer personas. This foundation is still evident in Source for Sports marketing today. I was also the part a team that developed and tested the Source for Sports Super Sport Program. The program was designed to engage young hockeys (5-7 years old) and their families, so they would become longtime, loyal customers. Super Sport was and still is one of Source for Sports’ most successful marketing tactics.

I also spent six years on the board to directors at Kamiskotia Snow Resort. While I was there, we grew their membership from less the 300 to over 1000 members. Marketing must be in my blood!

How’d I end up as a Duct Tape Marketing Consultant?

After taking some time to recharge my batteries and thinking about what I wanted to do next, I stumbled about John Jantsch’s Twitter feed. I remembered how much I loved his book and how well the Duct Tape Marketing system worked in my business. I explored the Duct Tape
Marketing website and discovered the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Program. What a natural fit!

So, to make a long story short, after 100’s of hours of interviews, research and training, including a week of final certification training in Kansas City, I became a Duct Tape Marketing consultant and opened Strategy First Marketing.

Would you like to learn more about how I can use the Duct Tape Marketing System to grow your business?

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