Roger Wakefield On Creating A Life Of His Dreams And Inspiring Generations

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Roger Wakefield On Creating A Life Of His Dreams And Inspiring Generations

 

 

Our audience is keen about reading stories of entrepreneurs creating a difference in the world. Your profile speaks volumes of the outstanding work you have done. Tell us about yourself and your work.

My mother always told me I could do anything I wanted to do. I believed her. Plumbing has always been at the core of my career journey, but I have had the opportunities to explore other jobs along the way. I have been a bartender, hairstylist, massage therapist, bodyguard, security, and restaurant manager. Somehow, every road led back to plumbing. I love to solve problems and create or improve systems and plumbing gave me that opportunity. At the very heart of my plumbing company is the desire to help people. Our core values are faith, family, excellence, and sustainability. We always do the right thing for people. We treat every customer as if they are a family member and that drives how we serve them. We ask ourselves, what would we do if this was my grandmother’s house? It’s not about making the highest sale or the most money, it’s about building trust and creating life-long customers.

 

In detail, Roger tell us about your journey behind creating this valuable brand.

I started plumbing in 1980. When I was 16 years old and managing a fast-food restaurant, I thought I had made it to the big time. I had quit high school to pursue this path of management and close friend asked me what would happen if I got fired and couldn’t find another job because I didn’t have a high school diploma. His father and older brothers were all plumbers and they made a good living. I went back to high school (graduated on time with my class thanks to night school and advanced credits), and started working with my friend’s brothers. I loved it!

Throughout the years, I worked as a service plumber, joined the United Association (union for plumbers and pipefitters), worked from a journeyman plumber on construction sites, superintendent on projects, sales and Director of Operations for some of the largest mechanical contractors in DFW and Austin. My breaking point was when I was at my last job (Director of Operations) and the company, I worked for wanted to expand into residential service. The president told us we were going to let everyone know our focus was on customer service. I asked her, “How are we going to train our team on customer service?” Her reply was simply we didn’t need to train because everyone already knows customer service. I had a different thought. I knew I could do it better. I left that job on a Friday and started Texas Green Plumbing on a full-time basis the following Monday. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I can now serve clients with my values, hire plumbers with those same values, and build a brand based on those values. It’s been an amazing journey.

 

Your story is something many readers would love to relate to. Now go in detail and tell us how your company works and how you provide advice to others when it comes to creating engaging content, marketing, and branding.

We started talking about using video to build credibility, offer practical educational and DIY advice to homeowners, and make our company’s phone ring back in 2016. We had worked with several digital marketing companies who each specialized in different areas of advertising and branding, but none of the companies were able to deliver what we needed or what they promised. We spent so much money (too much money) on new and improved websites, SEO, Google Ad Words, professional videos, and social media marketing. Our big lesson: take responsibility for our own marketing. Do not let anyone else totally do it for us. When my son graduated from college in 2017, we brought him in to help us with marketing. The big Ah-Ha moment for me was when I attended a Social Media Marketing event in March of 2017. I was the only plumber at the largest marketing conference in the world. This was the opportunity I had been looking for. There was so much information coming at me during these 3 days, that I felt like I was drinking water from a fire hose. I began to research the presenters, study their material, purchased some of their programs, and later, hired a YouTube coach. My son took on the video editing and creation and we changed the entire marketing strategy for our plumbing company. It was a huge risk but has paid off in so many ways. We are getting noticed and now we also work with other companies on their social media strategies.

 

What challenges did you face while creating your brand? What are the challenges you go through on an everyday basis?

The number one challenge for us, which is the same challenge most residential service companies have too, was simply getting started. We, like so many other people, gave too much thought to the process. When getting started in video marketing, you use what you have. Everyone starts at the same place. We had iPhones and iPads and those were our cameras. We slowly started buying microphones and gadgets needed to improve the quality. Our daily challenge now is to improve 1% on each video and learn how to create content people want to see. We now have tools and knowledge to help us, but it is a continuous learning process.

 

What is your future vision and how do you wish to take your success to the next level?

My passion is to help people. Plumbing has been the vehicle for me to do that through solving problems for my customers. With the success of The Expert Plumber, I now have another avenue to help other people get started in the trade, improve their plumbing skills, start their own company, and market their company to their customers. I now speak at marketing conferences and coach other residential service companies. It’s a new venture for me and I am loving it too.

How do you deal with stress, work pressure on a day to day basis?

I love to work, and social media marketing is so new to me that I must force myself to stop and rest. My wife and I have “date nights” where we put our phones down and either go out with friends, to dinner or just watch a movie at home. The point is to put work aside and focus on us. It’s been said, “when you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life.” I have found that to be true.

I also love to ride motorcycles and play golf. Although I don’t get to do either very often, it is such a stress reliever for me. Motorcycle riding is “Wind Therapy” and, I like to play golf in charity golf tournaments. Focusing on hitting that little white ball takes my mind away from work for just a little while.

Lastly, I love to go visit my family when I can. My sister has a beautiful place on the Red River, and we have family gatherings there. It’s a great place to recharge.

 

What advice would you like to give to someone who has a dream of creating something of his own and make a living through it?

I would encourage anyone who feels something in their heart to pursue it. I spent years in different career paths and working for different companies. I always had thoughts of how to improve things. I always wanted to do things my way. I was never happy. Now, I am excited to get to work every day. I love talking to people about what I do. I am excited about our future. Life is too short to work for someone who doesn’t share the same values or value my worth. I would tell anyone to follow your heart. Figure it out. It isn’t easy. But the rewards are worth it!

 

Connect with Roger Wakefield on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rogerwakefield/

 

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