The Entrepreneurs at Top Rated Local®: Blake

Top Rated Local® employees are full of entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, so much so that many of them have their own businesses outside of their day job! Last month, we talked to Brandon; now, it’s time to move on to Blake!

Blake has been at Top Rated Local for around two and a half years. Before Blake worked at Top Rated Local, he was particularly interested in graphic design and video implementation, but the more heavily marketing-focused roles called to him. Blake is a senior marketing consultant, which means he works with our clients on initial strategy development. He works to effectively diagnose the hurdles businesses are overcoming and pair it with a solution moving forward. He focuses on fostering long-term relationships with our clients and strives to “put heart in it.”

Blake started in photography while working for his dad, who owned a promotional products company when Blake was a child. He asked Blake if he was interested in graphic design work, and Blake helped him out with whatever he could. By the time he was nine or 10 on, he was already working with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Battlecreek Photography has been in business for about 12 years or so. It started as a favor Blake was doing for his friend, and then, once his passion for photography was ignited, the business grew. At the time, Blake was working a lower-paying job. So, once he had a really good sales month, he pounced on the opportunity to buy all the photography equipment he would need to really dive in. It started as a hobby, but in his words, “The more people actually started asking me to take their pictures, the more I realized it was for me. Ten years ago, this wasn’t really a thing like it is now.”

Although Battlecreek Photography started out with simple portraits, it has become centered around what Blake really wants to do, like weddings, senior photography, and family photography.

When it comes to reputation management, Blake focuses on asking for feedback and recommendations. He told us, “I always try to do something above and beyond. Like, if I shoot a wedding, even if I get out of there at 12:00 or 1:00 in the morning, I still try to send them 10 or so edited images by that night.” He added that, after weddings, in particular, his social media pages seem to get a sizeable number of new views.

When asked about his reputation management strategy, Blake said, “The way I approach it is very transparent… One thing that business owners could really benefit from is a higher degree of transparency.”

Thank you so much for your time, Blake, and thank you for being such an integral part of the Top Rated Local family!

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