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How one CEO is leading a movement

When America starts filling its skills gap by having moreyoung people work in the skilled trades, it will be because of Andrew Brown andpeople like him.

Andrew is CEO and founder of Toolfetch, a company that sellstools to the men and women who make civilized life possible. His marketing strategy includes telling his stories and celebrating his customers with short, energetic, engaging YouTube videos, which he also posts on LinkedIn.

When your customers are blue-collar tradespeople, being soactive on LinkedIn might seem like an odd choice. But I don’t think Andrew is trying to sell tools on LinkedIn. Or on YouTube, for that matter.

He’s taking a leadership role in a growing movement to makethe skilled trades a desirable career path.

Why this strategy works

Andrew is clearly passionate about closing the skills gap inthe United States. He understands that blue-collar work not only provides great career opportunities, but they are also crucial for making our country, cities, homes and lives run easier.

He also understands that his audience is far bigger than thecurrent tradespeople who will buy his tools. He’s trying to remove the stigma that has been associated with blue-collar careers – a stigma that resides in all of us.

So he’s taking his impassioned message to the college-educated,white collar set on LinkedIn with videos like this:

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The people who need to hear his message are the people whoneed tradespeople, or who have kids who might consider careers in the trades. In other words, all of us.

By telling his stories to a wide audience, he’s showing hiscustomers that he’s working hard to solve a big problem that affects them. Instead of saying “Someone needs to do something…” he’s doing something.

Andrew is also playing the long game. If his efforts aresuccessful, more people will enter the skilled trades in the coming years. More tradespeople equals more customers.

Finally, he’s building his brand. And his company’s. Thevideos, stories and content he’s creating likely costs a fraction of what many traditional marketing tactics cost. But he’s growing a dedicated following of people who believe in his message.

How you can use this strategy

Is there a topic or a cause that you feel strongly about?Are your customers part of a community that you can help in some way? Do you have some knowledge or expertise that could help others?

If you answer any of those questions with a yes, then I urge you to follow Andrew’s example.

Now, some might say that Andrew is clearly good on camera,charismatic, and has velvety pipes. But you don’t need those same qualities. You don’t even need to use video. There are many ways you can tell your stories and get your message across.

Tell your stories. Celebrate your customers. Share your passion. Your audience is bigger than you think, so spread the word as wide as you can.