A Different Spin on Social Media Marketing for Manufacturers

Episode 206 | Challenges: Community Growth


Is social media marketing for manufacturers really worth the effort? How should you market your brand in general? It may be hard to figure out where you fit in the social media world and what content to put out. In this episode of Making Chips, Jim and Jason talk about why social media marketing can make a positive impact on your business. Their answers aren’t what you expect!

Connect with us:www.MakingChips.com/contact


Prioritize Self-Care above your business

Jim and Jason had a scary Halloween—but not for the reason you'd expect. They were preparing to record a couple of episodes for the podcast. Instead, Jim was rushed to the ER with a case of Gastritis. Among other factors, severe stress is one of the things that contributed to his illness. Running multiple businesses and caring for unhealthy parents took a toll on him. The moral of the story? Know what’s going on with your body, and take care of yourself.

As a business owner, you have an obligation to care for your company. However, it is impossible to do so if you aren’t healthy. Proper self-care should be the entrepreneur’s #1 priority. Jim is already active and watches his diet, but wasn’t limiting his stress. It was a wake-up call for him and he hopes that it’s a wake-up call for listeners as well. 



Social Media marketing to promote company culture

IG MCA listener pointed out that he doesn’t believe a machine shop must do any social media marketing. He doesn’t buy it. He believes that it’s a total waste of time for an industrial company. After all, what aerospace engineer goes on Facebook to look for a manufacturer? While Jim and Jason point out and understand that social media isn’t for everyone, there are some important reasons to utilize Social media. 


Firstly, you’re not creating posts on Facebook to attract buyers. You are doing it to promote your company culture. You can promote new talent or offer a behind the scenes take of what your company does. Social media allows a business to share their values with the world. It is THE most effective way to do so—and costs you nothing but time. 



Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn—where do you begin?

As much as you may not want to give credence to the importance of the social space, they point out that people build careers in social media. Instagram influencers make thousands of dollars promoting services or products in posts. Instagram is a great model for the manufacturing space because it allows you to share visuals in a meaningful way.


You can share photos of parts, people in your business, or of projects you’re working on. Or perhaps a short video of work in progress or a how-to piece. Whatever it is, it allows you to build an authentic connection with your audience. If you’re providing valuable information, social media marketing for your brand can certainly be worth the time and effort.


LinkedIn can also be a useful tool to attract new talent. A new hire came across some of the content Jim had shared on LinkedIn. He saw that Jim was hiring a C & C Machinist, and messaged him about the opportunity. He already knew—based on their social media presence—that the company would be a good fit. And he was!



Marketing isn’t a waste of time when done properly

Marketing doesn’t necessarily reap immediate rewards as far as attracting new clients. However, the immediate reward is how it impacts your company. As you build a website or define a marketing strategy, you are defining how you want your business presented to the world. What are your values? What are your specialties? What is the #1 thing you want the general public to know about your company? 


As you’re building a vision for your brand it helps lay out the vision for how you operate your business. You differentiate yourself in the industry by being different, and marketing helps you portray what makes you special. If you stand out and exploit what makes your business different, you attract the type of customers that are the right fit. They emphasize the importance of finding a good marketing agency to guide you through the process. It can make a world of difference. 


Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Manufacturing leaders need to prioritize self care
  • SIA latest news
  • Social media marketing for manufacturers
  • What can Instagram do for you?
  • Is marketing a waste of time?
  • Find a good marketing agency!
  • What Upcoming episodes will look like
  • A conversation with Peter Goguen of Xometry

Tools & Takeaways

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

Jason Zenger: So Jim we end MAKING CHIPS with our mantra. If you're not making chips, you're not making money.

Jim Carr: Yes we do.

Jason Zenger: And you know what, if you take too long to be making those chips, you know what happens? You lose money.

Jim Carr: You lose money. There's no accountability and there's no data.

Jason Zenger: So how do we solve that?

Jim Carr: Well, I'll tell you what we're doing now that we've converted and we're using pro shop ERP. It's a cloud based ERP system. So all of our employees ... There's kiosks throughout my shop. Everyone has access to the database of the flow of work through our shop, and everyone time tracks against work orders that they're on. Every Week, Ryan and I (our operations manager) get together, we look, we say Jason, he's not at 85% efficiency [crosstalk 00:00:52]

Jason Zenger: Must be another Jason because I know that's not me.

Jim Carr: Well no, I had to use you. I didn't want to throw anybody else under the bus. But at the end of the day, pro shop is great because it's hard data and numbers and information that we can look at every week, and try and get that efficiency to about 85%. Meaning everybody that's clocked into a work order or clocked in, has to have 85% of time tracking against a work order. So go to Pro Shop ERP, set up a demo and Paul will be happy to talk to you.

Jason Zenger: Welcome to MAKING CHIPS. We believe that manufacturing is challenging, but if you are connected to a community of leaders, you can elevate your skills, solve your problems, and grow your business. I'm your host, Jason Zenger and I'm joined by my cohost, Jim Carr. How are you doing Jim?

Jim Carr: I'm doing a lot better today as a matter of fact. Thank you. Thank you for asking.

Jason Zenger: Yeah it was a scary Halloween, wasn't it? Do you want to get into that already?

Jim Carr: Yes, quite frankly, it was a little scary for me. As you know, you were there, and I'm not going to say that you saved my life, but-

Jason Zenger: I think I saved your life.

Jim Carr: You pretty much saved my life and you could tell the metalworking nation a little bit about what happened, and leave out the gory, gory details.

Jason Zenger: So it was Halloween. There was a full moon, it was really dark outside and we just had this aura about us where we just knew something wasn't right.

Jim Carr: Did you really feel that?

Jason Zenger: No, I'm just making up a story.

Jim Carr: Okay.

Jason Zenger: Like I'm writing a book or something. The bottom line metalworking nation, is that on Halloween we were getting ready to record several episodes, but instead Jim had to be taken off to the emergency room for what did you call it?

Jim Carr: Believe it.

Jason Zenger: Gastritis?

Jim Carr: Yes.

Jason Zenger: Is that when you're gassy?

Jim Carr: No, that means I have inflammation of the stomach lining wall.

Jason Zenger: Okay. So it was a very much a MAKING CHIPS Halloween, we did not get to record anything. Because Jim went to the ER [crosstalk 00:02:54].

Jim Carr: It wasn't pretty my manufacturing friends. And just be cognizant about what's going with your body and react to it quickly before it turns violent.

Jason Zenger: And a lot of this is caused from what we're saying, three things, stress, alcohol-

Jim Carr: Spicy food.

Jason Zenger: Spicy food.

Jim Carr: Aspirin.

Jason Zenger: And aspirin. Okay four things.

Jim Carr: Anyone out there can Google it. It was a perfect storm for me as you know, leading to businesses and the metalworking nation may not know, but I have two very unhealthy parents that I'm caring for that's been [crosstalk 00:03:27] a lot of this year.

Jason Zenger: So you have work stress and you [crosstalk 00:03:31] stress.

Jim Carr: Yes and both my parents are single and they both have independent issues that I've been going through with them, and they're both really not very healthy and all of that cumulatively kind of contributed to the delinquency of Jim.

Jason Zenger: So the lesson out there is?

Jim Carr: The lesson is-

Jason Zenger: Most manufacturing leaders because it's a challenging business, are stressed out trying to limit your stress. And I think that we are planning on talking about this on a future episode too. And also if you're stressed, don't eat spicy foods, take aspirin or drink a lot of alcohol.

Jim Carr: Could not agree with you more. And it was a wake up call for me for sure. And again for everyone that was there that day. Jason, again I'm thankful for you, I've told you this more than a few times already. It was scary. I was really, really scared and I thank you for jumping in and helping me when I needed help man.

Jason Zenger: I mean to be quite honest, I thought I was going to have to find a new cohost at one point.

Jim Carr: Did you actually call 911?

Jason Zenger: Yes of course I called 911.

Jim Carr: Okay, I didn't know if you called or somebody else.

Jason Zenger: The first thing that you said to me was, "You gotta take me to the hospital." And I'm like, I'm not taking you the hospital because I'm not going to have you die in the seat next to me.

Jim Carr: I know.

Jason Zenger: And so I called 911 and they were able to care for you and-

Jim Carr: Thank God and they were there quick too.

Jason Zenger: Exactly. So all is good now.

Jim Carr: All is good, all is good. I feel great and lesson learned and just watch yourself and take your health seriously. And we're both healthy guys.

Jason Zenger: You're in very good shape and I feel like I'm in good shape too. And I think one of the paramedics or somebody said that if you were not in the good shape that you're in at almost 60 years old, it may have been worse.

Jim Carr: Right. They did say I recovered a heck of a lot quicker because of the fact that I was-

Jason Zenger: You exercise a lot.

Jim Carr: Yeah and I do watch what I consume.

Jason Zenger: And I think all these things are relevant topics for manufacturing leaders, because you need to take care of yourself first, before you could take care of your business.

Jim Carr: If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of your business.

Jason Zenger: Right.

Jim Carr: I mean it's the honest to God truth. So today's episode we're going to talk about marketing and we used to talk about that a lot in previous episodes and [crosstalk 00:05:33] by the away. This is a Jim and Jason solamente episode.

Jason Zenger: It's nice and there's no cameras around or anything like that.

Jim Carr: It feels good.

Jason Zenger: Because you know the MAKING CHIPS team is trying to produce everything into a YouTube video now, and it's nice to not have the cameras running. It's just you and I buddy.

Jim Carr: It is, it is. We're going back to the grass roots of what the foundation of this podcast was built on.

Jason Zenger: Foundations brand.

Jim Carr: We're going to talk about marketing day because we haven't talked about that in a while. I'm passionate about marketing.

Jason Zenger: You are actually about it.

Jim Carr: We own a marketing agency.

Jason Zenger: What's the marketing agency called?

Jim Carr: Marketing agency? It's called Making Chips Marketing.

Jason Zenger: Okay, my bad. Sorry.

Jim Carr: It is. Making Chips 2.0. We have 10 people that we employ in suburban Chicago now that run a marketing agency for manufacturers.

Jason Zenger: So this is near and dear to our hearts.

Jim Carr: It is and-

Jason Zenger: This is also an ask MAKING CHIPS episode, which I especially love. Even though this email from one of our listeners from somebody from the metalworking nation is a little bit older, we always encourage listeners out there to email Jim and I, jim@makingchips.com, jason@makingchips.com. And just let us know what's on your mind. If you have a question or if you have a topic that you want us to talk about, we would love to hear from you and we're going to address someone during this episode.

Jason Zenger: But before we go there, do you have manufacturing news?

Jim Carr: I do. And it's from SIA, the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions and it's dated today, which I think is great. And it says 'Recession Risk Lies in Manufacturing' our staffing quote of the week. And it says the October, 2019 payroll release of 128,000 jobs is less than the revised 180,000 last month. And those who were worrying about the next recession might take that as something more to worry about.

Jason Zenger: So what they're saying is that the signs of a recession are in the number of hours worked?

Jim Carr: They are. We talk about this all the time Jason and the stock market is at all time highs. I was just at a dinner last week actually, it was a week ago Monday. And there were some investment people there and they said, "This economy just keeps chugging along and everyone keeps talking about a recession."

Jason Zenger: We had a record month last month for both Zenger's and Black.

Jim Carr: That's awesome. That's great. But I mean-

Jason Zenger: I mean, we had some scary months during the summertime, but last month was awesome.

Jim Carr: You pick up your toolbox and you move on. Right?

Jason Zenger: Right.

Jim Carr: But I think that people make decisions based on what the media is telling us to do.

Jason Zenger: I don't watch the news.

Jim Carr: Well I do watch the news, but I think that you have to really just digest what you think is real and relevant, and you have to do your own thing. You can't be brainwashed into doing things based on the media's.

Jason Zenger: Or a victim of the economy.

Jim Carr: Exactly.

Jason Zenger: I've talked about this before on MAKING CHIPS but I remember a very pivotal conversation with my dad when we were driving to lunch, and it was during the last recession.

Jim Carr: You mean the 2008 recession?

Jason Zenger: Yeah.

Jim Carr: That was awful.

Jason Zenger: The bottom line of the conversation, he was like this is ... And my dad, thank goodness for him. He basically took his income down to zero and just tapped into his 401k. I mean I'm very grateful to him for that. And the conversation that we had was we got to make this happen and we can't think about the recession. We got to get out there and contact customers, ask them for orders and make something happen out of this instead of just sitting back and just saying, "Oh, poor me, we're in a recession."

Jim Carr: Exactly. And I was thinking about this the other day too. A lot of our peers that we engage with on a day to day basis, younger peers, maybe my son Ryan, Nick Gollner for one, John my sales manager. Most of these people that are younger, that weren't around in 2008. 2008 was a long time ago. They don't have any idea what that actually feels like. They don't really know what a recession is. We haven't had one in 10 years.

Jason Zenger: I only had one kid back then.

Jim Carr: I know. You've been busy my friend. But the recession was ugly. That was the ugliest of the ugly. And the people that have only been out of school for a few years and in the job market have no idea what that felt like. And when I hear that word, my stomach starts to hurt.

Jason Zenger: That's the Gastritis.

Jim Carr: It is the Gastritis. Anyway I think our manufacturing news, just to complete what we're talking about is the economy is still very strong. The job reports are still very strong. We're just tweaking up and down every month by a 10th of a point. Don't worry about it, just keep on working hard and don't listen too much to what the media tells us to do. Because what we're going to talk about next is about marketing, marketing for manufacturers.

Jim Carr: And what we can do to keep that inertia going and to keep all eyes on our companies because that's what marketing does. Marketing keeps eyes on our companies. Right?

Jason Zenger: Yeah. But I actually have a little bit of a different perspective on this as well, but we'll get to that [crosstalk 00:10:40]

Jim Carr: Okay so why don't you tee it up and tell the metal-working nation what we're going to talk about and who asked this question?

Jason Zenger: So I'm going to read an email from Galen Callahan.

Jim Carr: What's his name?

Jason Zenger: Galen Callahan.

Jim Carr: Okay.

Jason Zenger: He's a good Irish boy like you.

Jim Carr: I was going to say like me. Yeah.

Jason Zenger: So he wrote a rather long email and I'm not going to read the whole thing, but I'm just going to paraphrase [crosstalk 00:11:00] and take some lines out of this. But thank you Galen for emailing into jason@makingchips.com. Like I said we-

Jim Carr: Why did he send it to you and not me?

Jason Zenger: Most people like me better than you. That's why.

Jim Carr: Well that's okay. They know I'm busy. They know I'm a little pent up and a little bit of stressed out.

Jason Zenger: At the last IMTS we did a who do you like better, Jim or Jason? And it was hands down Jason.

Jim Carr: I'm glad for you my friend. As you get older you really don't care.

Jason Zenger: I really don't care either I'm just joking.

Jim Carr: What did Galen have to say?

Jason Zenger: Galen says ... And like I said I'm going to shorten this up a little bit. "I have a story to tell, but I want to keep this short. I'm 30 years old and started my own machining business. I've always been fascinated by CNC machines. So a few years ago bought a 1984 Maury vertical mill. It took me a few hours just to figure out how to power it up because at that point I had never even seen a CNC machine in person, nor had any idea how to operate one."

Jason Zenger: Well, first of all, I think that's pretty cool that he just bought used machine and didn't even really know how to fire it up [crosstalk 00:11:56]

Jim Carr: A 1984 is pretty old.

Jason Zenger: That is pretty old.

Jim Carr: That's 36 years old.

Jason Zenger: I know but you know what, you have to give him credit for just-

Jim Carr: I'll give you some cred man.

Jason Zenger: "So very soon I will be jumping into the deep end and committing hard to a new business. So he talks a little bit about transitioning from part-time in the business to full time. So I was extremely nervous and lacking any confidence running a company since that is of course much different, until I discovered MAKING CHIPS. This podcast has been a God send for me. It has given me so much valuable information. I really don't even know where to start."

Jason Zenger: Well I don't want to say it was a God send, but that was your words. "And I'm also confident that MAKING CHIPS will be a huge part of my success and have no doubt that if I had not found you, my success will have been tremendously more difficult. So a huge thank you. I hope this at least makes you happy to know how strongly you have impacted and benefited someone's life." Well we do appreciate that. This is like the kind of thing that really makes it worth it for Jim and I to do these podcasts.

Jason Zenger: It's not like we're doing this for the money, we're doing this because we really do want to see this industry successful. So when we do this-

Jim Carr: And Galen, I'm not going to cry because you didn't direct that email towards me, but I'll be happy to help you out my friend.

Jason Zenger: So Jim you are crying a little bit but that's okay. Let me continue on. "Every episode I really connect and feel strongly passionate about and agree with so much. It all makes so much sense except one reoccurring genre."

Jim Carr: What's that?

Jason Zenger: "Marketing. I have to say I don't buy it. Facebook for a machine shop." Why? So I'm going to keep going Jim. Slow down.

Jim Carr: I'm taking notes. I'm taking notes Galen.

Jason Zenger: You don't have to interject right now. Am I really supposed to believe ... Well, first of all, he starts insulting Zenger's Facebook page, which I have to agree with him. It kind of sucks and I haven't updated it probably in years.

Jim Carr: Did you just say sucks?

Jason Zenger: Yeah, yes I did.

Jim Carr: You did. I know.

Jason Zenger: "Am I really supposed to believe that an aerospace defense or medical procurement officer's going to go on Facebook, Instagram, or even Google to find my shop? I see a big fancy website archetypes, social media, marketing, SEO and marketing buzzwords and jargon as a total distraction in wastes of time for an industrial company." Like I said this is a longer email and you know what I have to say I appreciate even though Galen has very strong opinions, Jim and I really like strong opinions and I do appreciate his candor in what he wrote.

Jason Zenger: Even though I think what's going to come out of this episode is that Jim and I are going to somewhat disagree with him. So Jim I'll hand over to you [crosstalk 00:14:11]

Jim Carr: Oh I definitely disagree with him.

Jason Zenger: What's your initial reaction?

Jim Carr: I don't disagree with him. I appreciate him reaching out to us but hopefully I can answer his question and anybody else's that he thought about this [crosstalk 00:14:18]

Jason Zenger: So lets talk about the social media side because that's what he mentions first, and then we'll go to the other part.

Jim Carr: First and foremost, social media is not for everybody. If you don't feel like you belong in that environment, don't push yourself into it because you're going to fail horribly at it. Right?

Jason Zenger: Right. There's a lot of people out there whose entire sales channel is built on Instagram and that's great for them.

Jim Carr: It is great for them.

Jason Zenger: But we don't have to do that.

Jim Carr: We all run our businesses differently and it doesn't matter if you don't like doing admin, don't do it. If you don't like doing social media, don't do it. If you don't like doing marketing, don't do it. But I will tell you why I believe that having a Facebook page, an Instagram account, and an a LinkedIn profile is really, really, really important for the overall health and growth of your company.

Jason Zenger: Or just talk specifically about your company in that regard.

Jim Carr: Do you want to know why?

Jason Zenger: I do Jim.

Jim Carr: Okay, well Facebook first and foremost ... No, you're right Galen. I don't think that an aerospace procurement person is going to see a post on Facebook and say, "Oh, I want to deal with that company." However, you're not creating posts on Facebook for instance to attract that person. Facebook is to promote the culture of your company, to promote new talent, to be attracted to your company. People want to see inside the company. They want to see the people inside that company.

Jim Carr: They want to see that, I just trained John Doe last week on a brand new Mori Seiki machine or-

Jason Zenger: I was wondering what John's last name was.

Jim Carr: No.

Jason Zenger: You just said John Doe.

Jim Carr: No, it's not John Doe. My John is not John Doe, but what I'm saying is Facebook is for the corporate culture to really let people in to see what's going on in your company, and I think it's really important. I just found the new employee based on my LinkedIn posts, a machinist for my company I hired based on DM messages that were back and forth from him on LinkedIn, because he saw me advertising for a new CNC machinist.

Jim Carr: He went to our CARR Machine and Tool/careers space, saw our videos, really liked what he saw and he started messaging me and I said come on in. The guy was aligned with our culture and our core values and I didn't have to go through and interview a gazillion people. I hired him and he's working out fantastic. Social media isn't necessarily for attracting new customers. It's for attracting new talent and to really promote the culture and the values of what you believe in.

Jim Carr: And may be their procurement agent might see those things and like it too, I don't know. The only thing is you need to get the message out to people, and social media is the most effective way to get the message out to people and guess what? It doesn't cost anything. It only costs your time and maybe a few pictures that you're going to try and post.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, I would agree and I would say if you're going to do those things, you just have to do them in an authentic way. Like you said Jim, if you're not into it, don't do it.

Jim Carr: Don't do it.

Jason Zenger: Don't do it. Find other ways. You know what I mean? Because there are other ways.

Jim Carr: Hire an intern. You could get an intern from a local community college to come in and do that. These young kids are really swift and they know how to do it.

Jason Zenger: I'm kind of torn on that a little bit because we have-

Jim Carr: What are you torn on?

Jason Zenger: Hiring an intern to do it. Because like I think that our MAKING CHIPS Instagram as much as I think it's good, I think that there's a certain inauthenticity of people are part of the metalworking nation, and listen to this podcast because it's not like your voice or my voice on an Instagram, it's that intern that we have-

Jim Carr: Do you think that the celebrities that are on Instagram that are really making you try to splash [crosstalk 00:18:18]

Jason Zenger: Are you trying to compare yourself to a celebrity?

Jim Carr: No. But people have made, had careers on being influencers on Instagram, right?

Jason Zenger: Well I think that-

Jim Carr: Just answer the question yes or no. Have people created brands and have created a lot of money and a lot of wealth on just by posting on Instagram?

Jason Zenger: Yeah, of course.

Jim Carr: Okay. So why can't we as manufacturers use that model and take what we've learned from that, and shift it in a way towards our companies? You're shaking your head now.

Jason Zenger: Now I'm confused.

Jim Carr: Okay. So Instagram is another social media platform. It's different than Facebook. It's all about a picture. It's all about constantly putting out an image about the brand, right? So you're starting to build a brand by posting pictures of your manufacturing company, by the parts you make, by the people that work within it, by things that you're doing. I believe that if you're going to take your first step into that social media marketing platform, you need to be consistent about what you do, have authenticity in what you do and make it meaningful.

Jim Carr: Because people don't want to see a bunch of crap every day. There has to be some relevant information there, whether it's a short video of making cut into the metal or just sharing maybe some speeds and feeds on how you're cutting that particular metal. That's all a little granular, valuable information that that person is taking from that post.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, I would agree. And I think that authenticity is key. Like even as exuberant as he is, our friend Titan Gilroy. I think that there's an authenticity to his Instagram that I [crosstalk 00:20:13] is great and you and I don't necessarily put the time into the Instagram for MAKING CHIPS that we probably should do like he does.

Jim Carr: Right. So let's talk about the Zenger's Facebook page. How can I help you with that?

Jason Zenger: We've grown significantly over the years, and I haven't had the motivation to put my time and effort into that.

Jim Carr: Why do you have to do it?

Jason Zenger: I don't and I probably should just hire somebody to do it, but I just haven't done it yet. I need to just do it.

Jim Carr: It is a commitment.

Jason Zenger: To be quite honest, from a time and effort standpoint I've devoted myself to MAKING CHIPS and I just feel like I personally don't want to sacrifice that authenticity, and so I haven't put that same effort into Facebook or into Instagram or anything like that. But I think I need to change that.

Jim Carr: I think that once you make that decision that you're going to flip the switch on, that you have to be really consistent with doing it.

Jason Zenger: And that's what I'm afraid of. That's what I'm afraid of that I'm just not going to ... I'm going to do it for a couple of weeks and then I'm just going to stop.

Jim Carr: Then just pick one platform and then just be consistent with that.

Jason Zenger: I agree.

Jim Carr: Once a week, that's all you need. Once a day, whatever. You don't need to post like 15,000 times a day. But Galen also mentioned marketing in general-

Jason Zenger: So let me go there.

Jim Carr: I don't want to just talk about Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. I think-

Jason Zenger: Let me read the exact quote again.

Jim Carr: Go ahead.

Jason Zenger: He says, I see a big fancy website archetypes, social media, marketing, SEO and marketing buzzwords and jargon as a total distraction, a waste of time for an industrial company. And I think once again, you're not going to reap the rewards of that right away.

Jim Carr: No you're not.

Jason Zenger: And I think from my perspective when you make this focus on marketing, I don't think it's 100% about how your company is perceived by people out there, but it's also helps you to refine your company and to make your company better, because you're being more thoughtful about, well what is the jargon that I would put into my pitch in order to get new business? So like I've always been a big fan of Don Miller's StoryBrand marketing-

Jim Carr: Yeah, I know you have.

Jason Zenger: Which is a particular type of way to communicate who you are as a company, and a way of making sure that you're the right fit for whoever you're going after. And also for closing a sale. And I think that that StoryBrand approach is a very thoughtful way to coming up with your, as Galen calls it buzzwords and jargon. But I see that as a good thing because I've got almost 50 people that work for my company and all 50 of them should be saying the exact same thing about what we do.

Jim Carr: They should be.

Jason Zenger: And I can guarantee that they'd not.

Jim Carr: Right.

Jason Zenger: And that's my fault. But I think that if I were to really be deliberate about employing, say that StoryBrand framework, I probably could get them all speaking that same language. And I think that's one of the things that marketing does, is it really helps you to refine and prune who you are as a company or chip away the edges, so that you're going to be better in the long run.

Jim Carr: Here's my 30,000 feet on marketing, so what I've decided has been impactful to me in my success through the years is, I really wanted to be different. I didn't want to be the average Joe Machine Shop that looks like everybody else, that acts like everybody else, so I've deliberately tried to make myself look different than a typical machine shop. My sales manager John says we look and act like a West Coast company in the Midwest.

Jim Carr: And I kind of believe that too because we are a little slicker and I've invested a lot of dollars into my marketing, and to really put the focus, the headlights on our differences because I think that if you showcase your differences, people are attracted to you.

Jason Zenger: And then you're going to make more money because you're dealing with clients who are more aligned with who you are as a company, because you're not wasting your time or a potential client's time who's just simply not a good fit for you.

Jim Carr: Yeah. Let's face it Galen and anybody else out there that's listening. There's thousands of machine shops across this country. Anybody can go find somebody to make a part. You have to differentiate yourself from all of those competitors by doing something different that's going to be really resonate with that buyer, with that engineer, with that procurement person. And once that person feels who you are and is attracted to you and likes that feeling they get when they do business with you, the way you communicate, the way you email, the way you look, the way you ... I don't know what that is.

Jim Carr: You have to decide that for yourself.

Jason Zenger: Well and I would say ... Okay so to put it in terms of MAKING CHIPS the little intro that we have for MAKING CHIPS that we say at the beginning of every single episode.

Jim Carr: We believe that manufacturing is challenging. It is.

Jason Zenger: Yeah. That's a marketing message. I mean to be quite honest to the metalworking nation, I wrote that specifically within that StoryBrand framework because it's a marketing message, and I wanted to frame the podcast in a way that would resonate with the right person to listen to MAKING CHIPS. And I think that that same concept is also very relevant for the manufacturing leaders out there who are trying to communicate the message of their company.

Jason Zenger: Like Galen's company is going to be different than, I remember the one gentleman that we interviewed out on the West Coast who does a lot of like machine shop work, but it's very different. He doesn't have CNC machines. He does a lot of manual work. He does a lot of like big structural work. And his message that he's going to put out to the industry is going to be different from say your message.

Jim Carr: 100% right.

Jason Zenger: And your marketing helps you to refine that.

Jim Carr: Absolutely. Absolutely. So find a good marketing agency, become authentic with them. Share with them what your desires are, share with them your authenticities. Share with them what differentiates you from everybody else and just exploit that difference, because that's when people are going to start becoming attracted to you. If you look and act like everybody else, you're just going to be [crosstalk 00:26:39]

Jason Zenger: A commodity.

Jim Carr: You're going to be a commodity and I sure as heck don't want to be a commodity either. [crosstalk 00:26:45] I want to deal with people that respect me and want to work with me for all the reasons why I want to be in business.

Jason Zenger: Yeah. And if you're not a marketing person, you don't want to spend a lot of time with it. I would agree with Jim, like one of two things you could do is either one, hire a marketing company to help you, or B, just spend a little bit of time on it and say, "I'm going to spend one hour a week on marketing my company. And the first thing that I might do is just to refine who I am." And that'll just help you to become a better company.

Jim Carr: You bet. So to wrap this up, again I just want to say if social media is not your gig, don't force yourself to do it, hire somebody. But definitely do think about how you differentiate yourself. You want to tell the metalworking nation what they need to do to listen to us or if they have any other questions like this was a great, ask MAKING CHIPS question. [crosstalk 00:27:31]

Jason Zenger: Well I would say we thrive on feedback.

Jim Carr: We do.

Jason Zenger: So I would say that the best thing that the metalworking nation could do is either to email us, or to make a comment on iTunes about the podcast and of course give us five stars, And give us some ideas of what is challenging you so that we can address it on this show.

Jim Carr: And we're gonna get a lot more technical on our future episodes too. We're going to start talking about manufacturing and we're going to start doing some deep dives, and getting technical.

Jason Zenger: Oh, oh.

Jim Carr: Yeah. I want to start talking technical. I'm want to start talking about getting that end mill into the metal and because at the end of the day-

Jason Zenger: If you're not making chips.

Jim Carr: You're not making money. Bam.

Jason Zenger: Jim, I know that you're busy and you're offloading some jobs to Xometry, which Xometry is a manufacturing as a service platform.

Jim Carr: Yes, we are busy. Yes I am unloading work to Xometry and yes they are a mass. So we typically think of these platforms as just these nameless, faceless websites. But manufacturing is different, manufacturing is challenging and things don't always go as planned all of the time.

Jason Zenger: And if you couldn't interact with a person, I don't think one of these platforms would work that well. You're going to have issues or errors that need to be resolved or some kind of engineering support. Have you ever had to contact Xometry to get them to intervene in a job?

Jim Carr: All the time. We live in a faceless world right now, right? It's all emails and text messages and voicemails. No one's talking, no one's communicating. And yes Xometry is not like that at all. During one of the orders that I had placed with Xometry we ran in a dual problem and much like things happen at CARR Machine and Tool, things happened with the manufacturing process at Xometry and we had an issue.

Jason Zenger: So what'd you do?

Jim Carr: Well, as a matter of fact, let me call Peter the COO of Xometry, and maybe he and I can explain to the metalworking nation just how they satisfied me.

Jason Zenger: So call him up.

Jim Carr: Will do.

Peter Goguen: Hello.

Jim Carr: Hey Peter. It's Jim Carr from CARR Machine and Tool and MAKING CHIPS and I just want to tell you, you're live on the MAKING CHIPS podcast this morning with Jason Zenger and I. Welcome to the show. I hate to get you at the last minute, but Jason and I were talking about Xometry and I said, "I'm going to give my good friend Peter a quick call to kind of bring him into this conversation." Do you mind?

Peter Goguen: No problem. Hi Jim. Hi Jason.

Jim Carr: Peter, I just don't want to introduce you to the metalworking nation. Peter Goguen is the COO of Xometry. They are a manufacturing as a solution platform and I use Xometry at CARR Machine and Tool when we're over tasked with deliveries, or there might be that particular part in a quote package that I don't have a capacity to do like sheet metal fabrication, or in this case what we're going to talk about is a 5-axis.

Jim Carr: I recently had a new customer that had a 5-axis piece part in the machining package that I could not do. So I outsourced it to Xometry. Remember that job Peter?

Peter Goguen: I certainly do a Jim. We had our challenges but we pulled it together.

Jim Carr: And you know what Peter, you're absolutely right. Manufacturing is challenging. Jason and I say that on the show all the time, but you know what? At the end of the day, I just want to commend you and your team. You really did step up and you humanized the buying experience more than probably any other platformed manufacturing company that I know of. But I just want to break it down a little bit and tell the metalworking nation what happened.

Jim Carr: So I got this new job, high profile new customer. There was a 5-axis part. I could not manufacture it in my shop. I had a relationship with Xometry. I said, "Hey, you guys do it, but the delivery's gotta be here." One of your customer engineers sent me an email and said, "Guess what? We're not going to make the delivery. There's this." ... And that happens all the time in my world and especially at CARR Machine and Tool. Not all the time, but occasionally things happen because manufacturing is a hands on. What do you call it Peter?

Peter Goguen: It's a hands on business that requires, as you said that human touch because things do happen. It's an invention. Every custom part we make hasn't been made before most of the time. And so what we do is we pull ourselves together with our cross functional teams. We figure out what the problem is, we talk about it, we find solutions, we prioritize. And at the end of the day, like we did that time Jim, we found a way to get what the customer really, really needed. And then we can always come behind and clean up the loose ends if we need to.

Peter Goguen: But I think when we collaborate, which we can do with our group of engineers, we can find great things.

Jim Carr: And you did it brilliantly. And what do you know? I went back to my customer, they were able to give me a day or two more, which helped you. We jumped on a Google hangout with your entire team. I believe there was four of you and your team and myself and we all participated in a collaborative solution, to get this job to me on the time so I could get it to my customer on the West Coast, and make him happy too. And it was really good.

Jim Carr: And that's what it's really all about. It's all about the customer service experience. It's not just about price and delivery, it's about making things really happen.

Peter Goguen: Yeah. And Jim, if I can just say, our engineers, they love working with their customers and making their dreams come true because so many times these are inventions, or these are problems that need to be solved. And our engineers really get excited about understanding what the application is and how can we make it happen. And because of that passion, we get pretty creative. And when we collaborate between our manufacturing partners, you the customer and your end customer, we always tend to find a way.

Peter Goguen: And that gets our engineers really juiced up. They're excited about what they're doing. We talk about this digital platform and that's all great and we love the fact that we have this automated quoting process, and automatic sourcing process with our partners. But at the end of the day the people are the glue that make it all happen.

Jim Carr: 100%. And lastly Peter before we go, because I know you're a busy man and I want to be respectful of your time, share with the metalworking nation what you told me earlier about what you were doing at 12:30 AM last night.

Peter Goguen: Quite funny. We have a lot of customers that are doing crazy things and one of our customers was bringing a brand new car to the market, a brand new car company. And we're getting literally complete panels made, and we had some issues and at 12:30 at night we're still brainstorming on how to achieve the logistics strategy, that would make this delivery happen just on time, and that was after working our way through a number of complex features that quite frankly other manufacturing companies were saying we can't do.

Peter Goguen: But we were lucky in that we had people that do sheet metal, people that do CNC, people that do additive, and so we were able to bring that combination of technologies in a unique way to the customer, but most importantly, it was our people at midnight saying, "We're not going to let you down." Right.

Jim Carr: Great story. Great story. Because at the end of the day, we all have to satisfy the customer because they're the ones that are going to make us successful. But Peter, thank you so much for taking my call this morning and I really appreciate it, and continued success to you at Xometry and Xometry itself. I know there's a lot of good things in the future that are coming. I look forward to working with you and partnering with you in the manufacturing process with CARR Machine and Tool in the very near future.

Peter Goguen: Well Jim, we're always here for you. Call anytime.

Jim Carr: Will do. Thank you Peter.

Peter Goguen: You're welcome.

Jim Carr: Bye now.

Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to the MAKING CHIPS podcast. Jim and Jason knew that the metalworking nation, the community of world class makers, needed to commit to a new way of leading to stay ahead of the competition. So MAKING CHIPS was created to fill that void. To give you advice from other manufacturing leaders who can push you to take action. Your manufacturing challenges have a solution, and many of them are at makingchips.com.


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