Blue Collar grows despite the Covid
By Vicki Brown
It’s hard to believe anything good can come out of the pandemic, but for one couple, something good has come out of it – a thriving business.
Florida natives April and Aaron Williamson moved to Summerville, South Carolina after marrying 16 years ago. Seeing that the town was “changing drastically”, they moved to Cottageville near the Edisto River. The family visited it the same day they saw the ad and bought it a few weeks later.
Aaron is an SC dual-licensed optician, but has a background in financial services. He also worked in sales, was a regional sales trainer, recruiter and eventually served as vice president of branch development. Today, he writes children’s books.
April is vice president of marketing for Cornerstone Advisory Group in Summerville, but she has a background in web design, copywriting, and business consulting.
In their professional life, they have worked for Fortune 100 companies with big problems to solve, as well as small start-up family businesses. These experiences taught them the value of effective communication, strong branding and creativity.
“After years of sharing experience with our employers, we decided it was time to go straight to our customers with our talent, to make ourselves more accessible, more efficient and to allow us to work together as a team. husband and wife to grow our business,” Aaron said.
Aaron and April decided to go into business and meet the needs of businesses in Colleton County, as well as online businesses that need help growing and having a better online presence.
For new businesses, timing is everything.
Ironically, the Williamsons found themselves opening the doors to Blue Collar Marketing, only to find the pandemic was spreading uncontrollably across the country before they could even cut the ribbon. Fearing it would affect their business goals, the Williamsons pushed harder and focused on building close relationships with customers and helping them develop new ways to generate revenue and become more competitive.
Because so many employers and employees were working from home during the pandemic, the computer became a vital tool for everyone. Employers were eager to find other ways to do business rather than owning a storefront.
This desire to find alternative business plans has led many clients to Aaron and April who have easily helped them find new avenues to market themselves.
Surprisingly, the Williamsons have found themselves inundated with work, even during Covid.
During the pandemic, Blue Collar Marketing has now added three remote designers and two copywriters who are helping with larger projects.
“Frankly, we’re not interested in developing Blue Collar to the point where we can’t put our eyes on anything that comes out,” Aaron said. “What we enjoy the most is meeting new business owners, learning about their industry and figuring out how to position them to be competitive. Helping owners grow their business or bring it to life is the fun part,” he added.
The Williamsons were finally able to meet their next-door neighbors in Cottageville and discovered to their amazement that the owners needed help marketing their new project… an alpaca farm.
Aaron and April worked with Herd it Here Farm on Sullivans Ferry Rd. in Cottageville to prepare for their grand opening. This project included the creation of a website, marketing materials and consultations. Then they showed the owners how to take ownership of the project and pursue the marketing strategy themselves.
“Once we know your business and what makes you different, we connect you to our protocols and execute what we have designed. We also teach our customers as much as possible about what we do, so they can be more confident in marketing for themselves instead of being locked into an endless contract,” Aaron said.
The Williamsons say they have a simple goal for Blue Collar Marketing. “We want to make the path to a solution as easy and affordable as possible and ensure businesses scale with the tools and confidence to continue and grow.
“We want to leave them more profitable and upbeat than when we first met,” Aaron said.
“I think a lot of people don’t know there’s a specialized marketing company right here in their backyard. We want to help businesses grow while remaining a small, local family business right here in Colleton County.