Saul Colt has made a living out of word-of-mouth marketing, but he doesn’t only rely on this method to improve his personal brand. Rather, he provides his services to a number of different companies, and his Spreadshop has helped him in his marketing quest.
A frequent speaker at conventions, Colt quickly realized that SWAG (Stuff We All Get) was a great way to build brand awareness. That idea evolved into him handing out t-shirts, and that idea led to him joining Spreadshirt. The marketing guru recently sat down with the MerchCast Podcast team to discuss personal branding, his Spreadshirt, Spreadshop, and Premium Design Service experience, and what tips he’d give to those looking to establish their own brand. If you’re looking for some help with your Shop marketing, this is one interview you won’t want to miss…
Today we’ll be talking about marketing madness. We have with us an expert, maybe the best word-of-mouth marketer in the world, Saul Colt.
I don’t know if “best” is really descriptive enough. It needs to be something bigger, but I’ll take “best” for now.
Tell us a little bit about what you do and what you’re currently up to.
I’ve got my own little word of mouth marketing agency called ‘The Idea Integration Company.’ For the past 10 years or so, I’ve worked with companies big and small trying to get them “attention” (as I call it). Really, it’s about getting them sales, getting them customers, getting them revenue through marketing stunts… I’m essentially building brands.
You’ve been with Spreadshirt for quite some time. What’s your experience been like?
I probably discovered Spreadshirt without even realizing that I was using Spreadshirt. I bought a couple things, and I quickly realized that I could be producing my own shirts. A few years ago, Spreadshirt got a crazy amount of PR attention, and a lightbulb went off for me.
The idea of being able to create on-demand shirts for an event or a stunt, it just always stuck in my head. I see real value in it. People like t-shirts. You think of the whole promotional world, there’s a million different items you can hand out to people… literally anything you can imagine. But there’s something very substantial about a t-shirt as opposed to, say, a keychain.
I’m just a huge fan of t-shirts. I know when I open my closet, I kind of go through the pile and decide everyday what I’m going to wear. I’ll see the brands that have given me shirts, and I remember them. So, I truly believe that t-shirts have staying power and lasting brand impact, because you see them over and over again.
There are a lot of choices out there, so what inspired you to open a Spreadshop?
I’ve never been disappointed with you guys…you’ve always delivered. The quality of the products is really amazing. I pay for it out of my own pocket, so this isn’t like a paid endorsement.
I’ve been disappointed by a ton of providers, so to be able to say honestly that I’ve never been disappointed by Spreadshirt is a huge thing for me. It’s hard to keep customers happy, no matter what your company is. The fact that I’ve always had good experiences keeps me super loyal.
Then, on top of that, I know if I need something soon, you guys can make that happen. I know exactly what the quality is going to be, and I know the website is easy to use. I’ve stuck around because I know your company works, and that’s all I ask for.
You’ve taken advantage of our Premium Design Service. What was your experience like using that tool?
Again, this is not a paid endorsement.
Anything I’ve done over the past few years, I’ve had three illustrators and designers who I sort of go to over and over. Any time you’re working with a designer, you want to build a sense of trust. You want to have someone who kind of knows what you’re looking for.
I’ve got so much stuff going on, I’ve got so many balls in the air, and I’m not every good at time management. In the grand scheme of everything, my silly t-shirts are probably the lowest thing on the priority list. But knowing that I can go to a designer and have them kind of get it right in the first try… that’s huge.
That was the experience I had working with the Premium Design Service. You guys are good at what you do, and you know your t-shirts. You guys know how to create something that’s really great. I had a really good experience and I’d definitely use it again.
Do you have any tips for someone who may have just opened a Spreadshop or is starting a brand?
I put my face on everything. I’ve got t-shirts, I’ve got shoes, I’ve got pins, I’ve got so many different versions of my face. When you’re building a personal brand, the number one thing you want to accomplish is just being memorable. I’m really good at what I do, but there’s also like 20 other people who do the same thing. I want to be the only one who people remember, and that takes persistence and frequency.
If you look at my social media, I don’t share many personal things. I do share the shiny stuff that everyone’s going to remember. People remember stuff in “Polaroid pictures,” so I give them the “Polaroid pictures” that they’re going to remember. That way, when someone is like “we need somebody to do a crazy marketing stunt,” I want to be the guy who they think of.
There’s that old expression: “your brand isn’t what you think it is, it’s what Google says it is.” That’s kind of true. It’s all about constantly sharing your stuff…no one else is going to do it for you.
Before we end, we need to ask: do the glasses make the man, or does the man make the glasses?
I think I make the glasses. I’m most known for wearing cool sneakers and wearing big, giant red glasses. I came up with this style choice because my weight can fluctuate by like 40 pounds. I try to stay in good shape, but stuff happens. I kept insisting that I was the glasses/sneakers guy so no one would look at my belly. That’s the thought behind it.
We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. This time, let’s say you’re the supreme, unequaled, unparalleled, paramount, foremost, a-one, premo marketing madness guru. Is that good enough, Saul?
Yea, that will do. This was awesome guys, thanks for having me.