How did you get the idea for your business?
Advertisements and media have always fascinated me. As a college student, I wanted to explore journalism (tv anchor or radio host). I did start in radio on the production and event side thinking this side of on-air is something I would like to do.
My first job as a promotion person in radio happened to also entail helping the sales staff go out on sale calls, events, and promotions we were facilitating. Quickly I saw opportunities on the sales side. I fell in love with the customer service aspect and explaining how promotional experiences can help grow one’s business.
How did you make your first sale?
My first exciting sale was a partnership that I created with the Nashville Humane Association and their sponsor Tito’s Vodka. One of Tito’s Vodka branding messages was “Vodka for dog Lovers” and I wanted to put a pet of the week on the digital billboard. When I worked for radio we would have dogs come into the office to try to get them adopted.
So on the digital billboard, I wanted to show cute pets and try to find them new homes. The package was we’d show the pet of the week and it would be paired with a Tito’s Vodka ad.
What’s unique about owning a business in Murfreesboro?
Murfreesboro still has a friendly small-town vibe when it comes to owning a business and working with business owners. I enjoy being assigned to this territory because I can walk in and talk to my clients any time of the day. They are always willing to let me come in and strategize when it comes to their marketing.
How does a billboard company advertise its business?
Oh on our billboards! We rarely use any other traditional forms of the advertisement but our website has to be exceptional. We have wonderful tools to explore our inventory. So we do a lot of self-promo on those billboards.
As a business leader, what keeps you up at night?
I am so incredibly focused on providing great customer service. I dream about it so when it comes to unanswered emails, issues, or concerns with clients I am on top of it. The customer service aspect and making sure I am serving my clients and being responsive is what’s important.
If you could wave a magic wand and remove a problem in your business what would it be?
What comes to mind first is having too many cooks in the kitchen can be an issue. You would think billboards are a simple advertising medium, but there are still a lot of people involved in the process (printers, shipping, and installers). So any delays with any area and even weather can affect the billboards. Staying on top of everyone is the main thing to ensure things go according to plan.
What do you say to those who never had a billboard and why should they do it? What is the cheapest option to get one?
Murfreesboro is a great place to have a billboard because we have so many options out there. We have some on the interstate, busiest and quieter streets in town. Also, we are the only billboard providers in Murfreesboro that have coverage on Broad street, Old Fort, Memorial, and around campus.
Multiple options make the price range wide and fit almost any budget beyond the sticker price. We offer discounts for long-term and annual contracts. You could be on a billboard in Murfreesboro for way less than you might think.
From a marketing perspective, what is something you’re doing to get customers?
Networking and referrals are really big for my business and I think fostering those and just sticking to a sales process that I know and love does the job. It is a great process because it closes a lot of sales and works for my clients.
What’s one business lesson you’ve learned that you would be willing to share?
I think educating yourself, planning, and being thoughtful with your marketing. Be strategic, consult experts, and be willing to talk to people. Connect with those in industries in the areas you’re interested in.
Are there any books or podcasts you listen to that have inspired you to grow your business or do better at sales?
I try to read as many local publications as I can. I pay attention to all Rutherford County chambers of commerce and the post out here in Murfreesboro.
What do you use for your To-do list?
I have a daily planner and it is really important. I am pretty tech savvy but I have used a paper planner since high school. I do have a google calendar but it is mainly used for important dates and events.
What social media tools do you use that are not necessarily social media tools?
I use Facebook for business purposes. It is interesting how much Facebook has changed for me over the years. Instagram is more of a personal social media thing for me.
Learn more about Erica at Lamar Advertising.