[MUSIC PLAYING] Becoming a national brand doesn't happen overnight. It may take years of consistency, brand building, and happy customers to get recognized nationally. My mindset shifted to become a national brand when I realized I had nearly sold my product to all 50 states. In this lesson, I'm going to teach you five ways to level up your marketing to become a national brand. Let's start with my favorite way-- word-of-mouth marketing. I mentioned this in the last lesson, though it's worth mentioning again.
And I have a great story to share with you about how to get your community to help you market to all 50 states. And so at one point my business, I pulled out a map and said, let's see where our sales are. Let me see what states we've been shipping to. And when I pulled that out, I saw that I had shipped to 20 states. And I said, wait a second. We don't really do any marketing yet, and we somehow ship to 20 states. So I started thinking a little bit bigger.
And so it was just really seeing that map that I was coloring in on my desk and saying, wait a second. We've got some coverage here. Maybe this is bigger than the region. So I decided to share this with my community. And they supported me. They started tagging friends in cities and states that I had never shipped to. And faster than I could have believed, we had shipped to all 50 states. We've also shipped globally to places like South Korea, England, and Canada, which is so exciting to me.
The second tip I recommend is paid ads. You can hire an agency, or take a couple of courses on Shopify Compass to figure out how to do it yourself. As a baseline, I recommend retargeting ads. With retargeting ads, you can retarget people who have come to the site but didn't purchase anything. So that when they're on social media, they see those ads about come back and get this sauce. So we have these going.
We also boost posts on social media that have gotten good engagement. Engagement creates more engagement. Boosting posts with high engagement will draw other people in. As I said earlier, as engagement grows, sales grow. The third tip I recommend is Google Shopping ads. We also do Google Shopping ads. One of the good things about that is with the Marketing tab within Shopify, you can set these ads up.
So that way, that's just another way of trying to pull people in. I'll add a link in the description to how you can get set up with Shopify. People are searching for product online. Google Shopping ads can help your products be found by new people. You want as many eyes as possible to be seeing your product. The fourth tip I'd recommend is creating email flows. Email is such a beautiful tool because depending on what email marketing software you use, you can build automated flows, so you're in regular communication with your customers.
I've spend a lot of time building our automated email flows. If somebody comes to my website, and they make a purchase, the next day, they're getting an email that comes from me that says, hey, thanks for your first purchase. Thanks for being part of the Mike D's BBQ family. If you have any questions, just feel free to reach out. If somebody makes a second order, they get an email saying, hey, thanks for ordering again. And it's sort of the same thing.
But then it also goes until a couple of days later, they'll get an email that says, follow us on social media. And provide links for that. A couple weeks after their products arrive, they're getting an automated email that says, hey, leave a review. How'd you like our product? Click here to leave your review. So just constant interaction with customers. That way, you don't have to send mass emails all the time because depending on where people are in your sales flow, they're getting thank-you emails.
They're getting reminder emails to leave reviews. And after a couple months, it's like, hey, do you need to restock? Here's what's popular right now. On the anniversary of your very first purchase, you get an email that says, thank you for being a customer. This is the day, a year ago, you made your first purchase with us. Here's a coupon code to come back and join us again. Email flows are really important.
It enables you to limit mass emails to twice a month. It can allow your business to be automated in terms of how you're reaching customers. Continue that engagement, and get repeat sales. I used Klaviyo and taught myself. You can also check out the email marketing course in Shopify Compass to learn how to set yours up. The fifth tip is to take a calculated big risk. Part of the fun of running a business is taking big bets on yourself.
As I started to grow, and I want to be a national brand, I knew that I had to build a bigger brand awareness on a larger scale. One way to do that, for me-- I know that my product matches up well with sports. Then it was trying to figure out what opportunities exist in the sporting world that can really explode my brand awareness. My big goal was NASCAR. I wanted to sponsor a driver. I was able to make some connections and found an opportunity to sponsor a driver.
It was a unique opportunity that existed with a small family-owned team, which made it a lot more affordable to get into that space. So I took the leap and took that risk. I knew that in the short term, it might not lead to sales right away. But if it was going to get my brand out there, and more and more people were going to see me, then that could increase sales down the road. That played out into a T this year. I've worked with this NASCAR team for three years now.
The early years of it, we did see some sales. But it didn't grow to the point where I was like, oh, man, this is the best thing I've ever done by working with this NASCAR team. But what it did over those three years was it helped us build a following because NASCAR fans really support the businesses that support their favorite drivers. Our Twitter grew mostly through working with the NASCAR team. So that growth right there, again, just gives you more people for more exposure.
Then this year, it really started to pay off. This year, people had to start shifting their buying strategies from in-person to more online. We were getting a lot of love on social media from these NASCAR fans, who have been following us for years because we supported their favorite driver, who were then like, hey, we need to support Mike D's BBQ. He supported Ryan during these years. Let's support him. Then we started to get all these orders coming in.
And it was a lot coming from NASCAR. And the notes people were saying-- hey, thanks for supporting our driver. Hey, thanks for being part of NASCAR. So that was an investment that paid off in a big way now. But three years ago, I didn't know how it was going to pay off. This is another reason I like brand building. There's that long-term part of it that may not build your sales right in that moment. But over time, as more and more people recognize your brand, it makes it easier for them to buy from you in the future.
What's your NASCAR? I encourage you to brainstorm and dream about what could help you take your brand into a different stratosphere. OK, so to recap this lesson, my top five tips to level up to become a national brand are turbo-charged word-of-mouth marketing, paid ads, Google Shopping ads, email flows, and the big risk. Now join me in the next lesson to create your marketing plan.