Date of Project
2021 – 2022
This Trek Included
Marketing Consulting & Training
Trailhead: Where We Started
Clarion University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) aims to help local small businesses reach their full potential. By offering business development, marketing aid, and training events, Clarion University SBDC has dedicated itself to growing small businesses. With the COVID-19 Pandemic, their clients required expert support to ensure not only the survival of businesses in their region, but also their ability to thrive after the pandemic. The SBDC selected TrailBlaze to support this important capacity gap.
Trek: Steps We’ve Taken
As a result of the COVID-19 Relief grant given to Clarion, TrailBlaze needed to maximize this income in order to give them the biggest impact within their community. TrailBlaze analyzed the situation of each business by conducting a survey as to what education they most needed in terms of marketing. After studying the results of the survey, TrailBlaze realized that these businesses had a large need for social media education. Therefore, we suggested a social media cohort model where each cohort focused on a different aspect of social media whether that be FaceBook, Instagram, SEO, etc. This cohort model allowed TrailBlaze to educate the small business leaders in the social media platform they were most concerned with while also allowing us time to use our expertise to guide them through additional individual marketing needs, therefore maximizing the Clarion COVID-19 Relief grant.
On top of the social media cohorts, TrailBlaze recognized that each Clarion Small Business required unique needs from TBC. With TBC’s background in marketing, communications, and brand development, and the majority of TBC’s clients being small business and nonprofits, it was a perfect partnership. TrailBlaze looked at each business with an open mind and took into consideration the company, their values, and their needs before providing the proper recommendations for developing the business. This 1:1 marketing assistance allowed TrailBlaze to help each business develop branding, collateral, and high level strategy to successfully reach their full potential. From pizza shops to breweries and from auto shops to photographers, TrailBlaze embraced each business’s values in order to reach their specific goals.
Some of the specific goals for organizations include:
- Increase visibility on the internet for member companies by setting up and optimizing their presence on the major social media platforms
- Improve engagement and client conversions by learning how to effectively develop and post content to these channels
- Build a peer network for future marketing conversations
- Provide targeted, small group support to small businesses based on their needs
Summit: Vision Realized
As marketing plans came into place, social media accounts were set up, and rebranded identities were launched, TrailBlaze supported each small business with the same rigor as any other client. We’ve helped over 20 small businesses realize a new potential and helped them discover the best way to market themselves to their target audience.
This ongoing project is one of our favorites as we are able to help small businesses flourish in their communities. With the help of our team, these businesses regain a sense of pride and accomplishment for all of the things they’ve achieved and we have the pleasure of helping them reach their goals and pursue their dreams.
Over the last year or so, we have partnered with TrailBlaze Creative to provide enhanced digital marketing consulting services to our clients rebounding and rebuilding from the pandemic. This partnership has been smooth and seamless and has impacted so many small businesses with the hands-on assistance that has positioned them well to recover and grow their businesses successfully. The team at TrailBlaze was professional and extremely productive with our clients teaching and strategizing with them to lay out plans that were easily implemented. – Cindy Nellis, Director, Small Business Development Center