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The Independent Body Shop's Guide to Marketing

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The Independent Body Shop's Guide to Marketing
Guidelines for becoming the most trusted shop in your community.

Know Your Brand.

Danny Sanchez will talk your ear off about how to build a professional website, how to rank No. 1 on a Google search, how to populate your website with keywords—but before any of that can happen, he’s got a few questions for you.

“Most [shop owners] don’t have branding guidelines,” he says. “So, we have a questionnaire to have something to go off of.”

Sanchez’s company, Autoshop Solutions, has become a go-to figure in the mechanical community, as he’s helped automotive repair shops develop a digital marketing presence on the web. Upon examination, he realized the similarities body shops and auto service shops shared, and decided to aid the collision community, as well.

“Body shops’ attentiveness to the importance of websites is at an all-time high,” he says. “With the amount of collision shops we've added over last year, competition has heated heavily.”

And while there is a standardized approach for improving websites and search rankings, the digital marketing overhaul process is anything but uniform—a truly effective website that appeals to local traffic needs to connect with the community. You must evaluate your consumer database, your work mix and your financial goals, and find not only who you’re selling to, but also what you’re selling to them.

“If your customers are mostly female, a red-and-black website is too masculine. You’d need a balance of color and appearance of branding,” Sanchez says. “You draw on that information and the customer doesn’t consciously realize it.”

So, to have a better idea of your audience and the brand you should be selling, take Sanchez’s advice: question yourself.


Questions to Define Your Brand

Before Danny Sanchez can improve any collision repair shop’s digital marketing, his company, Autoshop Solutions, must understand the business’s brand.

Here are the questions he asks:

  • Who is your typical customer?
  • What areas in your community do you serve?
  • What type of vehicles do you have in the shop right now?
  • With the next six months, who is your target audience?
  • With the next six months, what is your ideal work mix?
  • What is your competition?
  • What sets your apart from the competition?
  • What brands do you admire?

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