Last Saturday, I stopped by the Farmer’s Market in downtown Great Falls and happened upon a booth operated by Brent and his family, where they were selling their Manly Man Candles. I loved the scents, bought a few, and asked Brent if I could promote his business on my site. Despite his modesty and shyness (ha!), he said sure. I posted an entry the next day praising the manly goodness of his scented candles. And then a bolt of lightning struck…
…The crew at KRTV noticed my blog entry and figured it would be a neat story – local man with unusual business. They did a brief feature on Brent and his biz. It was scheduled to air on Wednesday, but got bumped to Thursday.
Friday morning, the folks at CNN Headlines News picked up on the story. Then it spread to CNN and onto Fox Business News.
The result, as reported by Brent on his Manly Man blog:
I can’t even begin to tell you what the past 24 hours have been like. It’s been amazing. Last night I went to bed smiling, having just watched a two minute segment on my little candle company. I woke up to nine emails and a few orders, and I was quite pleased. My wife and I went off to work thrilled.
The news kept coming in as the day went on. Emails started pouring in. I learned that the segment aired on Headline News. Then went to CNN. Then went to Fox Business News. People from all over the country started emailing saying that they had seen us on their local news programs. People from other countries started emailing, saying they had seen it and wanted to sell them.
Excellent — couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!
And continuing with the blog angle to this lightning strike: earlier today, I noticed that my site visits were pretty high; I checked the referrals, and a large number of them were results of Google searches for “manly man candles,” presumably from people who had just seen the news clip on TV. Here’s a screen shot of what Google looked like around noon today:
Notice that my blog entry actually ranked higher than the actual Manly Man Candles site.
The other part of this is that I signed up to be an affiliate of Brent’s company, and look at the last 24 hours:
More than 360 people have clicked through to Manly Man Candles from GreaterFalls.com. Some of those clicks (double-digits) resulted in immediate sales; others may have bookmarked the site for later purchases.
So, what’s the lesson here? A few come to mind: first, free publicity is awesome – Brent didn’t have to spend a dime on this week’s free advertising. Second, you never know when lightning will strike; in this case, a chain of events cascaded into a modest avalanche. Third, every business needs a web presence. Brent is smart – he’s covered all his bases, with a business site, a blog, and profiles on social media sites.
(By the way, if you want some help creating or updating your website – for business, a social group, an event, or personal use – I’m available for very reasonable rates. Drop me a line.)
The bottom line: everyone wins! I got some awesome candles and great traffic to my site, the KRTV team got a great story that was picked up by the networks, the Manly Man folks got worldwide publicity, and folks who buy Manly Man Candles for the first time are in for a treat!