USA MFG Hour – A Manufacturing Community
USA MFG Hour – A Manufacturing Community
Building a manufacturing community is not an easy task unless you are determined. To get more insight on how to build a manufacturing community, we have our talk today.
In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Dan Bigger. Dan is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Chenango Valley Technologies. Apart from this, he is also the Founder of #USAMfgHour Twitter chat group community.
As always, Damon and Curt hosted the show. The conversation started with Curt introducing the guest. After this, Dan introduced himself and talked about his family a little bit. Moving on, Curt asked him about how he started his MFG hour and why on Twitter?
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To this Dan responded saying that when he started at CBT, they didn’t do a lot of marketing and he wanted to build this side of their company. This is when he started marketing with Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook.
He said that at first, it started when he joined a group of good people. There, he connected with a lot of people and some already existing connections. Further, Dan said that it all started with a few people interested in manufacturing and then later it turned into a manufacturing community.
After this, Dan explained how they actually started the hour, with setting a date and everything. He said that they always wanted to keep it informative instead of advertising. Moving on Dan talked about the community that he built over this networking.
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He said that now he has a manufacturing community that is massive. He said that his community is not only limited to the US but he has many friends in the UK as well who come and participate.
After this, Dan said that they recently celebrated a one-year anniversary of their community. He said that when starting a manufacturing community you are often confused and skeptical. However, after completing an entire year they realized how far they’ve come.
After this, Curt asked Dan for some advice about building a community like his. To this, Dan gave a few tips. First, he said, that you have to have a team of people to start a community you cannot do it all by yourself.
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Dan further said that they are a marketing community but they try not to do marketing all the time. He further mentioned that they have a system of choosing the hosts of the chat as well.
At the end of the conversation, Curt asked Dan about his contributions to the community. To this, he responded that they started the Twitter chat in 2018 and till now they have 9000 followers.
Dan then answered a few questions and the conversation ended with Damon and Curt thanking him for his time.
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Dan Bigger, Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson
Damon Pistulka 00:00
Dan up here. He’s on here. So Dan, if you turn your camera and your camera on, you should be able to come up. There we go. Awesome. Well, we’re gonna then go live here on LinkedIn as well and we’ll get started. Boom. Funny, I’m shaking my head, no one can hear the music that I.
Alright, Hey, everyone. Welcome once again to a fabulous Friday and another great episode of the manufacturing Success Series, hosted by myself, Damon Pistulka. And the real heart of this thing, Kurt Anderson. I’ll let you take it away from there, Kurt. And I just real, real quick housekeeping. I’m going to be watching the LinkedIn chat. So if you see me doing this, that’s what I’m doing. And Kurt is going to be taking care of us here on Remo and we’ve got a wonderful guest today. And take it away, Kurt.
Curt Anderson 01:00
Thank you, Damon. Thank you, brother. So Kurt Anderson here we’ve got my partner in crime Damon Pistulka from exit your way, Damon, thank you for everything brother, you’re the best host for the most. And, and I do I have to say like I wear this shirt just for my body today.
There it is.
Curt Anderson 01:18
Right when I went when I grew up, so I don’t know if this man needs an introduction or not. I’m gonna do my worst if for us old guys. What was the Sullivan guy, the solvent show? Remember that back in the day. So we have a really, really big show today. Right? So we’ve got Dan, bigger in the house. And Dan is just a manufacturing advocate. He is a b2b Rockstar Dan, thank you for joining us today. Welcome, brother.
Dan Bigger 01:43
It’s my pleasure to be here as both of you guys are guys have been great to me for the last couple years. So anything you guys need? I’ll do.
Curt Anderson 01:50
So let’s do let’s get some introductions, by the way. So I know most people on the group here are going to know Dan and I dropped Dan’s LinkedIn profile in the chat box. Please, please connect with Dan. Guys. Everybody that’s here on Remo. I see Joyce’s here. Thank you. Hey, Joyce. She’s in Colorado, our dear friend Jeffrey Graham. He’s he’s he’s your neighbor. He’s in Colorado.
Greg miss you. So we’ve got everybody here and drop your LinkedIn profile so you guys can can connect. But Dan, let’s talk let’s talk about Dan bigger. He’s so paint. He’s so humble and so shy. He’s, he’s so uncomfortable when I talk about him. But Dan, first and foremost, when I think of Dan bigger, great, Dad, how many people have two sets of twins if you didn’t know this? Dan, the man two sets of twins. What are the names? ages? What do you got? Dan?
Dan Bigger 02:36
I have a set of girls, Lily. And Kenzie, they’re three minutes apart. Nine. They’re 14 now and then I have a set of boys, Josh and no, they are a minute apart. So we got we got better in our manufacturing process.
Curt Anderson 02:49
Man, God bless your wife. And how old are the boys?
Dan Bigger 02:53
The boys will be 12 next month 12.
Curt Anderson 02:55
And you’re a hockey Dad, I
Dan Bigger 02:56
believe correct? Yeah, we travel every weekend all over New York. So it’s a it’s been a daunting task with COVID. But we’re managing.
Curt Anderson 03:03
That’s right. So I’m a rank dad myself. So I know. I feel your pain there. And so with your savers
Dan Bigger 03:07
last night, by the way, yeah.
Curt Anderson 03:11
So But anyway, so Dan, so we have so much in common. I know my wife went to same college that she went to mercyhurst. She did her grad school. Yeah, she did her grad school there. I think she was she came in right after you were there. But we have a ton in common. We’re both New Yorkers. And we both are passionate for manufacturing. So big thing that we want to talk about today is you’ve started this little Twitter group for manufacturers. Can you tell it like, why Twitter? Like how did like go? What take us through the steps of like, Hey, I’m going to start a Twitter group. How did that even come about?
Dan Bigger 03:43
Well, when I started here at CBT, we didn’t do a lot of marketing. So you know, I was looking to get out and get our name out there and build a brand. So I started with Twitter, and LinkedIn and Facebook. And, you know, I got lucky to be honest with you, I got into a good group of people. The chat started through just some connections I actually had in the UK. Wow. So we were talking. It’s actually Neil Hussey. He’s at true turn now. But he was doing a widget of the week.
So I inquired about that just to you know, get out there. And I love manufacturing for like seeing different things. So he told me about UK manufacturing hour, so I actually came in a couple of times, like two in the morning, or whatever it was to participate in that just to get an idea of what it was because it intrigued me. And you know, and I’m not the founder, just so you know, so I’m one of the founders, but really the the founders, so either Kiersten or I, you know, came to each other about the idea. We brought in jen wagman, who was huge and getting us going. She’s she was awesome, recruiting and writing our recaps at the time, and it just grew from there.
Curt Anderson 04:59
That’s phenomenal. And you’ve got a few folks in the group here. We’ve got Gail, we’ve got Christine’s in the house. We’ve got Nigel across the pond.
Dan Bigger 05:06
So every week, Christine, Christine writes our recaps. Now,
Curt Anderson 05:09
his recaps are absolutely phenomenal. And of course, our good buddy Paul, from New Jersey, Paul’s a dear friend, and I believe one of the founders as well as that correct.
Dan Bigger 05:19
Paul is not a founder, but he’s every week and he’s, he’s a great resource for marketing. So yeah, he’s a, he’s a big help to us.
Curt Anderson 05:26
And what’s great, so we’ve all come together, thanks to Damon through his exit your way, Thursday meetings, I resign here, Greg misu. And week, my dear friend, Aaron in Wisconsin is here today, here. And IRA, of course. So we’ve all come together. So it’s amazing how these networking groups have come about.
Again, I want to I want to take it one step further on a Twitter chat, because you could have done, you could have done a Facebook group, you could have done something on LinkedIn, you could have done some videos, what have you. So when you when you guys came together, and you decided to do Twitter, that first time what was like that? First, you know, that first tweet that first group like, Hey, we’re gonna do sign out Thursday, two o’clock, Eastern 11. Like, how did you how did that come about?
Dan Bigger 06:08
Well, it’s actually a very, it’s a good story on my end. But what we decided to do was, you know, we didn’t want to, we didn’t want to host it every week. So we decided to, you know, that we were going to manage it. And we wanted to bring in guest hosts to talk about different TAF topics every week. But we didn’t want it to be Look at me in a in an advertisement for somebody. So we wanted to be informative. And it really has been it really, you know, it brings up the topic in manufacturing that, you know, people can come in and host talks about whatever they’re talking about.
But while they’re bringing their expertise to the table, people that are in the chat might have expertise in it as well. And that’s where sort of side conversations get off. So it’s really informative. Every week, I learned something, and I’m sure everybody else does. But our first chat was kind of funny for me because I was I had to deliver a tool to a company that we just sold them we just finished and I was on my way back. I had to stop off at a rest stop and do it on my phone. If you fast if you’ve ever done our chat on a computer, that’s hard, but doing on a phone is even harder.
Curt Anderson 07:13
Man is hands down the fastest hour of the day if you guys have like, one time, right? Yeah. It’s like choo, choo, choo, choo.
Damon Pistulka 07:23
You gotta be on it, man.
Curt Anderson 07:27
so if you guys don’t know jen wagman. She’s a dear friend. She’s part of the exit your way Thursday group. And so that was another person who brought us together. I’m working with Jen and a couple projects right now. She is just salt of the earth when nicest human beings ever meet. And so again, she was critical in the early stages with your Twitter group.
And so when I was asked to host I’m like, I’m a Twitter deficient degenerate, man. I’m like, I don’t know what I’m doing. And Gen Z guy, Kurt, move over. I’ll help you. And so she helped me create all the banners and then when it came time to do it, we’re on the phone and I’m like, Jen, I’m not sure what to do. And so like she’s like, Alright, just get to just start tweeting and liking and just start rocking. Man. It was like, the hour went by like that. I was like, What just happened, man? It’s exhausting.
Dan Bigger 08:08
It’s not it’s just, you know, yeah. You got some Twitter presence on there. Like I said, some of the people that are like naturals every week. He’s a Twitter Pro. Paul’s every week, Ruby rauzein. Yeah, who hasn’t mentioned C’s on our she’s on our executive committee or whatever you want to call it. But she’s a Twitter expert. So
Curt Anderson 08:26
right. And so and what I want to do real quick is and so when we talk about this, you know, it’s kind of like okay, if you’re not on on Twitter, you know, you get a visual. We’ve got number manufacturers on the call. So Damon, we got a couple of your neighbors around. We got Bobby Jones. He’s from Seattle. We’ve got Laura. She’s from Seattle, couple, my friend Lila and Val, their New Yorkers here, but I’m just I’m going to share my screen real quick. If you guys can see this. I just want to kind of show you what goes on.
And can you guys see that? Yep, you can see my screen. Alright. So real quick. I just want to let me skip that. Okay, what is going on? Sorry about that. All right, let me just I’ll just run through like this just gives you guys an idea. So it’s USA Mfg. Our so if you guys use that hashtag on Twitter on Thursdays at two o’clock eastern. Loving. Yeah, two o’clock eastern right then and. Right. And it’s USA Mfg. hour. And this is the chat highlights.
And I’m telling you they Christine does an amazing job. As soon as it gets done. Like when I hosted she sent me this huge It was like it was like a New York Times article. She’s got links, she’s got quotes, who tweeted What? It’s absolutely phenomenal. But just give you an idea. Like yesterday, Gina was the host from dar tech. Right? Do I have that? right? Correct. And so what they do is they post questions and that questions come out, I think like it every 10 after the hour, it will be like here, you know, like do you use a distribution network?
Are you a distributor and then also You’re getting like 2030 answers all at once people are just firing third hysterical, they’re popping in different gifts. And then they you answer to that question and so it creates that dialogue. It also encourages you to go offline. Here’s an example. Here’s Nigel, here’s Gail. Here’s Ruby. Here’s Dan. Dan is like the best with gifts, man. Here’s our buddy Dan Aykroyd right there. But and again, from manufacturing standpoint, you’re like, Alright, is it a bunch of marketers or like who’s on board? Like, here’s a few of the companies that come on.
Dan Bigger 10:32
That’s Karstens company. She’s one of the founders.
Curt Anderson 10:34
So this is Kirsten and she kearson is phenomenal. What a sweetheart she is. She’s great. Here’s her attack. Das Hannon runs at Paige. Shannon. And then our dear friend Mike Womack, he just spoke for us here on our Friday gig a couple weeks ago. He is just an absolute. What a gem. He is just very passionate for manufacturing. Here’s dark tech. And then Sue, and I think her team comes down from obsidian journal and
Dan Bigger 11:01
bring they bring three people every week. It’s her and Tara, her son, Ben and Nick rivers.
Curt Anderson 11:07
And so here she is. She’s the president, CEO of the company. And here she is every Thursday. So I just wanted to give you guys an idea of like what it looks like. So if you’re a manufacturer, and you know, if you’re on Twitter, not on Twitter, and here’s a great thing. I just don’t know if john zine so yeah, john is on. So I just had a call with john an hour a couple hours ago. What a great guy he is. He came on exit your way yesterday. daymond. JOHN, for the first time. Yeah. And I’m janowitz name your company.
It’s assessor, right. Do I have that? Right? If he’s in the chat box? Oh, yeah. JOHN baglietto. And so I just, I just talked to john like an hour ago, this is a quote, he told me, he goes, You know what, Kurt, he goes, I’ve made more connections in the past two months than I have in the past year. Just thanks to Dan, Dan bigger as your way and just it’s just amazing how these, you know, everybody’s just so passionate about helping each other. And I thought that was just a great testament from john to come on. And say,
Damon Pistulka 12:04
hold on for a second there, though your name was probably in that group as well. It, it might have been right over that. So that’s,
Dan Bigger 12:11
that’s really how I mean, that’s how it worked. I mean, so Twitter, you know, it’s all of us talk to each other on Twitter, we talk to each other offline. And then you know, we talk to each other on LinkedIn. So it’s really a big community that shares information and helps each other out, you know, because when I was getting started in marketing, you know, a lot of the people that are on that chat helped me out a lot. And they still continue to do so. You know, so does he exit your way, but it all sort of cross functions into each other?
Curt Anderson 12:36
Absolutely. And so and so I’m kind of reading through the chat real quick. Paul said, Can I put in presentation mode? Sorry, dude, I messed that up. But so but I have it if anybody wants to, but again, I just wanted to give, I know, because Dan would tell me about the Twitter chat.
And then I became friends with. with Paul, I became friends with Jen, and I’m hearing about the Twitter chat, but I just didn’t quite get it because I’m not a big Twitter guy. But man, when you’re on it, it is just phenomenal. Like I said, like yesterday, I was I was eyeing up part time, then I’m in the car, and I’m trying to keep up with it, you know, while I’m parked in the car, and it’s just rapid fire. Again, talk about like, some of the relationships and the connections that you’ve built that you’ve made, or like friends that you know, through the group.
Dan Bigger 13:15
There’s so many Yeah, there’s so many of them. And it’s not only here, you know, I have a ton of friends in the UK that act they actually come and participate too. So you know, Gina hosted yesterday, I talked to Jean about hosting. And the first time I talked to her, it was like a it was amazing. It was I planned on a 1530 minute conversation. It turned into two hours. Yeah. Just Yeah. Just the person that you talk to. And you just understand that she gets it. Right. You know, I talked to Kiersten a lot.
I talked to Christine a lot, Ruby a lot. Jen, I still talk to quite a bit. Gail has been coming a lot Paul, I talked to all the time I’m in his marketing mastermind group. I mean, it’s just, it’s amazing how Like I said, I got fortunate enough to get in on Twitter, I got fortunate enough to find the chat, I got fortunate enough to find a group that wanted to do the chat. And I’m fortunate enough to have a group that thinks like I do, they want to build a community, they want to help each other out.
They want to collaborate work together. And that’s really what the chats all about. It’s about taking a concept or a topic and just putting it out there. And it’s quick, and it’s easy. And, you know, everybody can sort of put their insight in there. So now, you know, in your book, which I’ve read, and I got all your jokes, by the way, I’ve heard
Curt Anderson 14:30
that I feel
Dan Bigger 14:31
so we’re on the same age link there. But yeah,
Curt Anderson 14:33
I feel sorry that you get out my jokes.
Dan Bigger 14:36
That Yeah, right. And I use I use parts of your book, but you know, it’s a good way for people you know, you always talk about pulling back to the screen and showing, you know, showing you what you do. This is a way for companies to show right who they are what they do. And yeah, the people on there are very, very honest and they share information like crazy.
Curt Anderson 14:57
And I tell you one of my biggest takeaways Even like the first day I did it. It’s like you feel like everybody’s got each other’s back. It’s like just such a rock solid community of passion. Hey, Dan, how’s your week and again, I can’t emphasize it enough. The gifts are phenomenal. And I like and I’ll be honest with you, you’ve said, I feel like you’ve set the bar so high. And like, this is kind of like when Damon I started doing this Friday thing.
You were a big inspiration for us with the the Twitter group. And I’m like, you know what, it’s number one value, and maybe like a one point whatever, like, let’s have fun. You know, like, yeah, like, so when you come on, like, like yesterday with Gina. Like, she’s asking fantastic questions. And it was just so fascinating seeing where everybody’s at, like Cleveland de burring. Always the gentleman. What’s his name at Cleveland? Jd? Yeah. JD like, you know, Jdl.
And I think like, he has great answers. Everybody’s popping in with great answers. He how’s your week? How about this, the networking, connecting blah, blah, blah, one. So the big reason that we wanted to do this is like, It’s so inspiring that like, hey, if a bunch of manufacturers were, you know, running machines getting dirty every day, we can get on Twitter and create this this vibrant create a very creative group.
What do you My first question? When did you feel like a turning point of like, man, I really like there’s some momentum here. There’s like something really nice that we created, like you remember, like that turning point, like at three o’clock that Twitter group got done? And you’re like, Man, this is really cool.
Dan Bigger 16:28
I really think well, you know, I think it was this year, when we hit a year, because I did the, you know, I did that I hosted the chat for the one year anniversary. And I wanted to show basically how big we’ve gotten in here. And you know, when we started, we didn’t know how, you know, just like when you start anything, you don’t know where it’s gonna go, or how it’s gonna lead. So we started it. And honestly, we were very happy to hit a year, and then the stuff at the Capitol happened. So we had to scramble and figure out what we were going to do.
Here’s an I jumped on a call. And actually, she just wrote a blog about it. You know, we jumped on a call and figured out, you know, a, should we do this B, is it inconsiderate to do it, right? We decided to push through and people showed up, but we still had a good chat. And so I really think that a year and now we’re getting more, we’re getting people that are coming in outside of our box. And it’s not the same hosts all the time. So that’s really what what it’s all about is bringing in outsiders to talk about, like daymond and you to talk about what you’re an expert at, and getting the information out to the group.
Curt Anderson 17:29
Right? Absolutely. Matter of fact, Greg, thanks for posting my book, Greg, Misha would be a great host. He’s at one bound in Wisconsin, he’d be a great host. So what let’s take a manufacturer you know, like, you know, my friends, Lila Vale, they’re sitting there, cat, we got Kevin from Wisconsin. So if they’re sitting there like, Man, this is really interesting. You know, Dan’s got this thing going on. how, you know, how could I get something started? Like, how would you encourage if somebody came to you for advice? And they’re like, Hey, we want to get something cooking, like what you’ve done? What would be your advice for building a community like you, like you guys have done
Dan Bigger 18:04
it, you need a group to start it. It’s, it’s, it’s too overwhelming to do by yourself. So you need, you need to have a group around you already. You know, and that’s what I had. I had a group of people that I knew were committed to it. They wanted to know they wanted to market it. And they wanted to help with it. And that’s really where that’s that’s probably the only reason we’re still going is the people that signed on. Continue to go we lost Jen because she lost her job, unfortunately. Yeah. Yeah. But we we found other people to jump on. And really, the participants every week are amazing. I mean, it’s I say, that’s really what makes it is the group of people that are there.
Damon Pistulka 18:48
Yeah. Yeah. That’s for sure. That’s for sure.
Curt Anderson 18:52
So like so and that’s, like, as far as like, hosts go, like what our particular topics, you know, like, you had Professor p Professor pizza, dear friend of ours, eggs your way. He I just, he is the stress relief expert. And he’s just and he had fantastic questions. What do you guys look for in your hosts? Or like, how do you guys determine what would be a good program for your folks?
Dan Bigger 19:15
The way the process works is, as long as it relates to manufacturing, you know, we try it, you know, it’s a marketing group, per se. So we try not to do marketing all the time. So we’ve done ISO, we’ve done MEP, we’ve done marketing conversations, marketing for, you know, to acquire top talent. I think Paul did that one. He did a great job on that. Yeah. So it’s really as long as it relates to manufacturing in some way, shape, or form.
It could be HR, ISO, automation, e commerce, you know, so as long as it relates to manufacturing, and you’re bringing something new to the table. So basically, the way the person does it is you know, we go over what it means and you know, how you host you know, so So someone that’s never been to the chat, I highly recommend to check it out before you go Yeah. So that’s probably the first prerequisite is can you keep up? cuz I’ve talked to a couple people they looked at and said, I’m not doing that. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 20:08
Yeah. If I don’t know how you would do it without having some like TweetDeck scheduled up with your question, drop it out and do that because man, yeah, I that’s the only way I was able to do it.
Dan Bigger 20:20
Yeah, so that’s how you have to do it, you have to, you have to everything queued up and ready to go. And so again, the way you would host is you, you know, we get through the initial one is about and how it works. Usually the per perspective hosts, you know, chose frozen topics out which we circulate through the group, you know, usually we agree on one or two of them thrown back, then they submit their questions, and then they, you know, basically host the chat.
So they, they pick their date. They queue up all their chat, you know, in the Tweet Deck or something like Hootsuite. And that way, it allows you to have, you know, to be able to participate in the chat. So you’re answering questions and actually participating in what you’re asking.
Damon Pistulka 21:02
So that that that I understand now, why my my topic of why the Seahawks are better than the Steelers got thrown out.
Dan Bigger 21:11
Hey, I was at the Super Bowl, and they beat the Seahawks.
Damon Pistulka 21:15
Well, that’s good for the Steelers. That’s
Curt Anderson 21:18
right. Is DNS pittsburgher thrown through your transplant. And so and that’s just awesome. So Dan, with let’s talk about some of the folks in a group. So I know, you know, I’ve got I’ve become friends with a number of people and man, they are just outstanding. Paul put together a great, you finally took it offline off of Twitter. And he created a zoom meeting. And I had the privilege of popping in I’m like, God just pop in there was like 30 people in the room. Right? Are over 30
Dan Bigger 21:50
Yeah, something like that. And that. Yeah, that was that Jen actually was part of that, too. So you know, Jen and him put it together, I sort of supported them. Because I do a lot of these chats. Some of the people that that are on the on the chat don’t like video, so they don’t do video. But yeah, it actually extended our group a lot. Because you know, a lot of people and actually we ran over because we read a time. Yeah. But that’s it. You know, it’s a very, like I said, it’s a very commutative group, collaborative group, you know, and even even Paul’s event was really rousing success, and we hope to do more of those in the future.
Curt Anderson 22:24
Yeah, and that was awesome. And that was I couldn’t daymond I couldn’t find the link for the life of me. So I text Jen. I’m like, hey, do you have the link and so she sent me the link and I logged in jetlag Ron James was like, jet. So then Jen put the real Jen bagman. I put the fake jen wagman. And there you go. I was I was I was jen wagman with a bad hair day. So. And by the way, it’s why we’re talking about hair.
So this is what a dear friend, Dan bigger is, you know, like, when when you know, Greg misu talks about, you know, giving you a shirt off your back. Dan Biggar is going to get the hair off his face to a man with no hair. So earlier in the week, we were posting, and I said something about him that I need somebody needing hair or something like that. And he was gonna donate hair from his beard. So Dan, thank you, but God bless you.
And I try.
Curt Anderson 23:15
So he’s like, Hey, I’m going to FedEx it. And so yesterday on my gift, I was posting a night I was gonna go with a nice mullet. I was trying to find a mullet wig for today. And I couldn’t find one. So. But let’s talk about like, what’s it done for your business?
Like, how do you feel like this, you’re just a matt, you’re so inspiring. You’re just, you know, the big thing with you, Dan is like you just you come at everything with integrity, you’re so authentic. So you bring this to your Twitter chat, the group that you’ve built, you’re just relentless on LinkedIn, I know you’re great with LinkedIn, navigator. And like, so many manufacturers just aren’t there. They’re just not where you are. how, you know, how do you contribute? Or how do you attribute to like that success that you’ve had by just being spearheading that direction?
Dan Bigger 23:57
Um, you know, in the previous business I worked in, you know, I didn’t do any of this, you know, connecting and LinkedIn and all that stuff. And I’ve jumped on and for me, it’s really been a joy to meet people like you guys and people on the chat. Business wise, you know, I started to I started our Twitter page. I want to say november of 2018. And we just hit 9000 followers yesterday. Wow.
Curt Anderson 24:25
Good for you. Dude. That is awesome.
Dan Bigger 24:27
Man. What in the hell but I’m a huge connector. I love talking to people and you know, not necessary. And that’s actually going back to the manufacturing our you know, it’s great a collaborative effort, but you know, the take to take things offline and help each other out. But also, you know, I’m starting to hear rumors of certain people starting to do business with each other, which is really the ultimate goal. Yeah, but business here, we’ve really done well, since, you know, since COVID head I know it sounds crazy, but, you know, we’ve taken off. we’ve landed some jobs, and we just hired 11 people this week. So it’s been
Curt Anderson 24:59
two Did you really?
Dan Bigger 25:00
Yeah, we had 11 people, we added five presses and our owners talking about doing a an addition in the spring.
Curt Anderson 25:08
That’s fantastic. So yeah. So Dan, so one of the one of the questions that we’d like to ask every week, so you know, our dear friend Allison afford, right?
Yes, I do. Yep.
Curt Anderson 25:18
Oh, Allison is is dear to our heart. And she always talks about China, making that connect that emotional connection and being felt with your customer. Okay. And a big thing that she always talks about is how do you make the customer, the hero of your story? How you know, and again, I watch you firsthand on a daily basis on LinkedIn and with Twitter, but out, you know, like, what do you like, offline? How are you making your customer hero of your story?
Dan Bigger 25:46
Um, well, that’s a good question. Actually, um, you know, we work with a lot a lot on launch a lot of entrepreneurs. And that’s really, that’s a thrill for me, really, because a lot of a lot of injection molders won’t even talk to those people. So we give them the time, you know, we walk them through the process, you know, some of them come to us at all kinds of different degrees of readiness, whether it’s a drawing on a napkin, or you know, they actually have 3d files, I actually got one a couple weeks ago, where it was perfect.
I mean, it was the best one I’ve ever gotten. So the fact that we do that here, and give those people the time of day, that’s actually what you know, when I started here, that’s sort of how I started as I made my way through the MEP network in New York, and then work my way out. So you know, as much as we like land in the big fish, it’s nice to work with a small fish and see them, you know, rise up and get their products to market and actually have some success.
Curt Anderson 26:40
Yeah. Yeah. And that and, and that’s what’s so inspiring. I know, like you and I do a lot of work with MEPs at different places. We’re good friends with Steven Leto on the folks here in New York at their MEP. Guys, if you’re a manufacturer out there, and I know Laura, you and I connected Bobby, we’ve connected through the MEPs I think a few of us on the call today, if we’ve connected if you’re not engaged with your MEPs manufacturing, extension, partnerships, great, great resource, great network, they I’m blown away, every time I’m on a call with an MEP in the manufacturer, I’m learning more and more of the resources that they have available.
So definitely take full advantage of that. So I always like I get so fired up, we could probably talk for an hour and then I always deny everybody the chance to talk at the table. So what I’d like to do is um Damon any questions on your end? Anything that I didn’t cover?
Damon Pistulka 27:31
No, no, it’s good stuff. I mean, the the growth that you guys there have seen in the in the molding business is awesome. And your your media, I think to me, Well, I you know, I’m no manufacturing guy. So I like to see it, but the this stuff when you’re showing the machines and the people and the products and everything. I mean, it just really gives people outside of your business such a backdoor. Look, that’s, that’s awesome.
Dan Bigger 27:58
Well, yeah, and that’s, you know, and that you want it you know, you want to go back to the success question. That’s really where I’ve had a lot of successes, I am just me, you know, I put personality behind the brand behind the company. And I I put faces to faces to the company and I show exactly what we do. And, you know, I throw in New Orleans, like you guys do and just be myself. And yeah, I talk about myself all the time. And I’m pretty much an open book, you know, other than my social security number and bank account numbers. I’ll talk about pretty much anything I want to know.
Yeah, I already got those. So yeah.
Damon Pistulka 28:29
Yeah. You wouldn’t want to listen to the cyber security guy. I just entered it. Yes.
Everybody got it?
Curt Anderson 28:36
Yeah. But, you know, like Leila Laura, all you guys out there. You know, Val, you know, this, it’s, I strongly encourage you check out that Twitter group tag. It’s phenomenal every Thursday with Dan and his group. And again, I really encourage you know, get out there and start start a group.
You know, whether it’s a Facebook group, whether it’s on LinkedIn, whether it’s a webinar, whether it’s a podcast, you know, putting yourself out there, like Dan has done creating that content is just such a great way to you know, Greg Mitchell always preaches to us that know, like, trust, you know, it gets you out there, too, you know, and again, when you watch your group, and john just said it to me this morning, he even like I said, I haven’t gotten super deep into the Twitter group.
But I’ve talked to offline with probably half a dozen to a dozen people, just in my short period. You know, I think I just started connecting with you guys in November. So it’s just amazing. And even Paul mentioned that they’re going to start doing that on a quarterly basis. I’m having the zoom meetings. You know, putting that out there. So, so guys, I want to wish everybody a fantastic weekend, Dan, any parting thoughts, anything that you want to share as far as with other manufacturers, any other tips or advice?
Dan Bigger 29:45
Now, like I said, it’s really just about getting, you know, we’re a small family owned company, we had no presence and you just got to get started and figure it out and get hooked up with people. You know, come to me, I’ll help you. And now I’ll show you what I did and how I did it. And You know, really once you get in, once you get in a group like ours, that that is so helpful and in every way, shape and form, they can be helpful. That’s really, you know, that’s really why I attribute my growth is just meeting the right people and being yourself and putting yourself out there.
Just like dating. It’s just like, it is really, sales is like dating and marketing is like dating, you got to put yourself out there and talk about who you are what you do, and, and that really shows people you know, who you are, and, you know, it builds up that know like, and trust part of it. Yeah, you know, to the point where they’ll do business with you and they’ll talk to you offline and they’ll share information with you and, you know, but just Don’t be a jerk and you’ll be alright.
Curt Anderson 30:41
Don’t be Don’t be a jerk. That’s a gal this gal said who said dating laughing out loud. And that’s and again, not to see this is where I was due Damon I just keep guy gets so fired up. I keep going. But for shameless plug in my book we taught we call them soulmates man. And that’s like so many manufacturers, the challenges, you know, it’s an entrepreneurial curse with daymond. I talk about all the time, we try to be everything to everybody instead of something to somebody.
And when you can niche down, narrow down, stay in your strike zone, and you put yourself out there with that on authenticity, you showing your expertise, the value that you deliver, and you’re not trying to be the the annoying salesy, like you said, a jerk salesy guy, and you just put yourself out there like you genuinely want to help. That’s where you resonate. And what is unique strategy. I just, you know, again, I’m sort of hammer it. But I’m just so blown away that what, and I, you’re so humble, I know, you don’t want to take credit for it. But what you’ve done by putting this out on Twitter is so unique.
There’s not a lot of manufacturers that are doing what you guys have done collectively, as a group. We’re like, if it’s a break, big brand manufacturer, yeah, they could, you know, Procter gamble, whatever. Yeah, they’re probably blown up social media, with a proprietary product. But for me, I think a majority of your group are those custom manufacturers. And here they’re showing, yes, we can crush it, we can create great engagement. So now when somebody is doing doing due diligence on CBT, or Sue’s company, or any the other companies, and they can just go on Twitter, like hey, look what they’re doing. Well, and that’s,
Dan Bigger 32:11
that’s the that’s the fun part about it is if we get somebody new in there, we welcome Well, you know, open arms, so we’ll take them in, just like everybody else took us in and help them along the way. And, again, that’s what’s unique about the group is, they don’t care who you are, that y’all as long as you’re not going to be me, me, me, I look at me look at me. Yeah, as long as you’re not doing that, right, you know, and you’re willing to participate in the group and help everybody out and take advice.
And like I said, it’s, it’s a, it’s a treat, you know, it’s a treat to work with people like you and people like them. And you know, my LinkedIn, my LinkedIn communities the same way. And it’s really an extension of both, you know, so both, you know, people that I know on Twitter and LinkedIn are all interconnected, and we all help each other everywhere. Even Facebook to which I hate Facebook.
Damon Pistulka 32:57
Curt Anderson 32:58
Who needs Facebook? Christine says finding your manufacturing soulmate. Love it. And Gail just says we are the We Are the people who make things that make we let me say that again. Yes, we are the people who make things that make things. Well, mold maker and cutting tool peeps are doing that. So that is awesome.
So guys, what I want to do here on remote, you have an opportunity if you’re new, any of the Twitter, folks, if you’re new here, what we do is we leave here we go back to our tables, you have an opportunity, and especially the folks that don’t know, Dan, some of these other folks that show up quickly, you have an opportunity, maybe talk to Dan a little bit about how what he’s doing attract business, how he just hired 11 new people at his firm, and everything that he’s got going on. So guys, we’re gonna hop back to the tables. Damon want to take it away, brother.
Damon Pistulka 33:46
All right. Thanks, Kurt. Thanks, Dan, so much tonight. And if you are listening to us on on LinkedIn live there, I just want to say Bonnie said she’s got FOMO now and I think good because she should get into the get into the USA manufacturing our chat on Thursdays at 2pm Eastern Time, and see what that’s like, because there’s a lot of great people involved on that chat. And so now we are going back to the tables on Remo, I’m shutting this down live on LinkedIn. But thanks for listening. They’re live on LinkedIn.
And remember every week you can join us here on remail to talk to the great people before and after this event and network there as well. So you just check out the links. Kurt’s got the links in some of his posts in the week. I do as well. And we’ll be there. So we will see you later on LinkedIn live, but we’re going to be here on remote on the tables networking. Thanks, guys.
Thank you, brother. Sir.
Curt Anderson 34:39
You’re right here, man.
Damon Pistulka 34:40
Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Yep. Thanks a lot.
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