Be Open to Unique Opportunities for Building Brand Awareness

Michael Willhite has used his passion for motocross to find new ways to promote his excavation company’s brand

Be Open to Unique Opportunities for Building Brand Awareness

Michael Willhite, owner of Willhite Grading & Excavation in Santa Barbara, California. 

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Michael Willhite understands the importance of brand awareness when it comes to running his business, Willhite Grading & Excavation in Santa Barbara, California. That’s why he extends it into other aspects of his life as well.

In addition to the popularity on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn that Willhite has achieved for his company, he is heavily tied to the freestyle motocross world and actively networks that circle of influence. And networking doesn’t always stay within the confines of handing out business cards, shaking hands and asking for referrals. 

A good example of this was an opportunity to work with X Games gold medalist Jarryd McNeil on the production of a video for a competitive entry for Real Moto 2019, an all-video motocross contest put out by the X Games this past fall. Hearing about the video contest, Willhite extended an invitation to McNeil to shoot the video at a location Willhite had access to and also provided some of his excavation equipment for use:

“Sometimes you just got to put yourself out there and be willing to do things for the love of it, regardless of money, extend yourself beyond the normal boundaries,” Willhite says. “The rewards are limitless, whatever it costs, it always comes back somehow.”

As a result of his participation in the project, Willhite says the connections made and the new heightened visibility of his brand have been outstanding. He believes it has yielded stronger results than some traditional advertising methods he previously used for building brand awareness.

“Be open to take the risk of investing some of your time and resources into being connected in unique places. People do notice, and they will remember your name,” Willhite says. 

Read more about Willhite Grading & Excavation in the April 2020 issue of Dig Different magazine.


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