Today’s podcast guest is John James, the founder of SignBird. Today John talks about selling billboards for Lamar, his proudest out of home sale and what your website needs to effectively market your signs.
On getting into out of home
My first job out of college – I was working on political campaigns and I was doing different things…in some of our marketing for that particular campaign we looked at doing billboards and that was mainly because the competitor was using out of home. And that’s where I first took a deep dive into what out of home is all about and ended up working at Lamar shortly after…
The out of home sale that I’m proudest of.
It was during my time at Lamar. I was just new on the scene and I had inherited some accounts from a sales rep before me…I didn’t want to be a phone rep. I wanted to be boots on the ground. I would travel all these different outer markets…One of the accounts I inherited…was a small marina…It was renewal time and so I put it on my calendar and had the appointment set…This account had been waiting on somebody from the billboard company to walk through their doors – it was a bad situation…his ad copy had come off the board two months too early and he never had the opportunity to renew the ad space…he basically fell through the cracks…I got called every name in the book. It was just a terrible experience. But here’s the thing. This is why I’m proud of the sale…Because after I took it on the chin and got called every name in the book I listened…I walked out of the office…I got to truck and I told myself, I’m not going to take no for an answer. I’m going to do everything I can to solve this client’s problem. And so I walked back in there and you could have heard a pin drop…I said hey man I know you fell through the cracks. I know we dropped the ball, but give me the opportunity to make it right….It turned out he renewed for another 12 months. We kind of became best friends over that situation.
What are the keys to taking good sign pictures?
The main key – traffic. Put yourself in the shoes of the advertiser. If they’re going to invest their advertising dollars in out of home they want to make sure that investment is working and a great way to imply that out of home is working is that any marketing material, photography, video…we have to make sure that there’s traffic. I see a lot of photos out there…it looks like someone stood right underneath the billboard and pointed the camera up. That’s great from a proof of performance perspective but when it comes to putting this in front of advertisers we have to make sure that traffic is in the frame of the shot.
Three musts for an out of home website
- Content. Good quality content.
- Call to action. Are you asking for the phone call. Are you asking for the email?
- A lead generation chatbox. It allows advertisers to speak to you in real time. We can put a notification on your phone just like a text message. If somebody is on your website they can go into that chatbot and they can enter their information and immediately have a conversation with the owner of the billboard company…I did that this morning while I was having coffee. Someone was looking at our website and I had a text message conversation with a potential client.
To learn more visit signbird.io or call John James at 256-509-9730, firstname.lastname@example.org.