Last year we were delighted to welcome Lee Wilcox to speak at Hyve’s Advofest, where he talked about his experiences as CEO of On the Tools and Electric House. Despite originally founding On The Tools as an app to connect construction businesses, it instead became a social media publishing business and online store.

Lee found that the intimate social media community which had formed in preparation for the app’s launch could be the basis for its own business. Fast forward six years and Electric House produces social media content for its community of 2.5 million people while On The Tools sells equipment to this community.

By adopting a collective mindset, Lee has been able to empower the construction community to make their passion his product. Here are the take-home points from Lee’s journey.

We sold products back to the people that had made them for us

Lee WilcoxCEO of On The Tools and Electric House

Passion is power

It did not take long for Lee to discover the dedication of the construction industry, as On The Tools’ social media accounts amassed 250,000 followers before the app had even been launched.

Despite this following being a niche audience, they clearly resonated with what On The Tools was trying to do. This meant that engagement rates on posts were far higher than on larger pages with a less specific following, due to content holding greater relevance.

Lee soon realised that having a niche, impassioned community could lead to rapid growth.

Likes don’t pay bills

Lee WilcoxCEO of On The Tools and Electric House

Cultivate a culture

However Lee knew that these statistics were not enough in their own right, as to retain popularity On The Tools needed to produce quality content on a consistent basis. For example, On The Tools’ ‘On-site Grand National’ video shows that content was aimed at growing the community by benefitting from cultural events.

Lee also recognised that content must remain faithful to the construction community so as to continually resonate with its audience. The Grand National video is a prime example of this as, by creating content which is popular, the community shapes the company culture and vice-versa.

In the same way that the community supported the company at the outset, Electric House supports its employees. It creates an environment in which employees can be comfortable in their work, giving them the trust and autonomy to channel their energy into interacting with the community.

Lee’s journey did not take the form he expected, as it saw him build a community rather than an app, but he has made it a success through brand advocacy. At On The Tools and Electric House, the construction community shapes every aspect of the business, from the type of content to designing the products it sells.

At Hyve we are committed to helping businesses redefine their relationships with customers, and Lee’s work is the embodiment of what can be achieved through brand advocacy. We would like to thank Lee for joining us at Advofest last year to share his experiences.

To learn more about brand advocacy, visit the Advofest website, along with our official Instagram and Twitter platforms, and you can watch Lee’s talk below.

John Sewell

Author John Sewell

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