Level Up Your Marketing With Bianca Harmon of Barrels Ahead


by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Feb 3, 2022

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast
Bianca Harmon

Bianca Harmon is the DTC Strategist for Barrels Ahead, a results-driven digital marketing agency specializing in web design, SEO, and PPC for the wine and craft beverage industry. At Barrels Ahead, Bianca works with wineries to increase their direct-to-consumer sales.

Bianca grew up in Napa Valley and has been involved in all aspects of the industry from a young age. She’s been a sales representative and brand ambassador for different companies including Chatterbox Wine Marketing Services, CADE Estate Winery, Basemakers, and My Wine Society.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How Bianca Harmon cut her teeth in the wine industry 
  • The key to selling wine over the phone 
  • Marketing mistakes wineries are making right now 
  • The customer story is just as important as the winery’s 
  • Getting to know your customers better 
  • How some wineries are missing the mark with their website — versus the ones doing it right
  • Bringing your winery in line with your ideal customers’ stories

In this episode with Bianca Harmon

From vineyard to glass, every step of the winemaking process is a marketing activity that is either selling your brand story or doing you a disservice. Whether selling over the phone or on a website, many wineries are missing the mark and not getting the most from their marketing channels. 

There are many more marketing mistakes wineries are making, including failing to nail down their ideal customer nor getting to know their story and aligning their company strategy. If you’re making any of these mistakes — or noticing that your marketing is missing the mark, this episode is packed with insight just for you. 

Join Drew Hendricks on this episode of Legends Behind the Craft as he talks with Bianca Harmon, DTC Strategist for Barrels Ahead. They discuss marketing mistakes wineries are making, how to sell better on the phone, why the customer story is as important as yours, how to level up your marketing strategies, and more.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead.

Barrels Ahead is a wine and craft marketing agency that propels organic growth by using a powerful combination of content development, Search Engine Optimization, and paid search.

At Barrels Ahead, we know that your business is unique. That’s why we work with you to create a one-of-a-kind marketing strategy that highlights your authenticity, tells your story, and makes your business stand out from your competitors.

Our team at Barrels Ahead helps you leverage your knowledge so you can enjoy the results and revenue your business deserves.

So, what are you waiting for? Unlock your results today!

To learn more, visit barrelsahead.com or email us at hello@barrelsahead.com to schedule a strategy call.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry with your host Drew Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show.

Drew Hendricks  0:20  

Drew Thomas Hendricks here. I’m the host of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where I talk with leaders in the wine craft beverage industry, from tech companies that enable wineries to run at optimum efficiency. Today’s guest Bianca Harmon, who works with wineries to increase their direct to consumer sales. No past guests of Legends Behind the Craft include Daniel Daou of Daoul Vineyards, Joe Wagner of Copper Cane wine and provisions, and Michael Houlihan, founder of Barefoot Wines. If you haven’t listened to these yet, be sure to check them out and subscribe. Today’s episode is sponsored by Barrels Ahead, the Barrels Ahead, we work with you to implement a one of a kind marketing strategy when the highlights your authenticity, tells your story and connects you with your ideal customers. In short, we help wineries and craft beverage producers unlock their story to unleash their revenue. Go to BarrelsAhead.com today to learn more. I’m super excited to talk today with Bianca Harmon Bianca is a DTC Strategist for Barrels Ahead. And Bianca grew up in Napa Valley, and has been involved in all aspects of the industry since an early age. Welcome to the show, Bianca.

Bianca Harmon  1:24  

Hey Drew thanks for having me. Excited to be here.

Drew Hendricks  1:27  

I’m excited to have you on this is this is the first for us. Usually, I’m interviewing guests that are in other companies. It’s, it’s kind of a treat to interview someone that I work with every day. 

Bianca Harmon  1:37  

Yeah, I’m excited. 

Drew Hendricks  1:40  

So tell us you’ve been at Barrels Ahead for a few months now doing helping us with our DTC strategies and working with wineries to increase revenue. Tell us a little bit about like, how you got to this position from growing up in Napa.

Bianca Harmon  1:54  

Um, I’ve worked in all aspects of the wineries starting with something as simple as even just a deli or the marketplace to the tasting room wine club. And then I led to working phone sales over the phone selling wine, which I think all aspects of what I’m currently doing now, kind of tie into this one position. And I’m super stoked for what I’m doing. Now. I love it. I’ve been able to still work with customers, but also try to transition customers into the future, the 2022 and show off their product.

Drew Hendricks  2:35  

Sure. So doing doing phone sales, that’s not for the faint of heart. You’re working with another marketing for helping um, wineries with their outreach for their club members and selling wines directly to the phone. Tell me what was the How did you stay motivated doing that?

Bianca Harmon  2:55  

And when you would get the good customers that wanted to have a conversation and really excited about the product and buying wine. That was how you would to stay motivated, because you would have days where it was fairly low. But those high points were high enough to where it kind of carried you through the rest of the week or the month.

Drew Hendricks  3:22  

Yeah, and you had a you had a lot of success in doing I know you want to feel words on for sales goals. 

Bianca Harmon  3:29  

Yeah, yeah. No, I did really well, I some really great, I had some really great repeat customers, they would even had people calling me for wine regularly. So just building up that relationship with them, and never meeting them over the phone just being very personable. And like we were standing right in front of each other in the tasting room.

Drew Hendricks  3:54  

That’s the key point. You’re talking about being personable and standing in front of each other. What tips would you have someone that’s maybe working at a tasting room and being told get on the phone call the club members this month?

Bianca Harmon  4:07  

Um, you know, see I did that too. Actually. It’s obvious to me when you know it was slow time of year. We were kind of thrown wherever in the winery. And at first it’s very like oh my gosh, this is this is gonna be really boring. This is gonna be terrible. I’m so used to talking to dealing with people and once you get in the swing of it, you know, I will say it’s really not as bad luckily you’re calling up people that have you know, they’ve bought from the winery before you’re not cold calling somebody that’s never been there doesn’t know anything about your product. These are all pretty much for the most part wine drinkers and just do it and treat it like you would if they were standing in front of you and go through your list and make the best of it. Honestly.

Drew Hendricks  4:58  

What’s um, what’s one of the Good. Would you have any good stories about phone sales? And some of the conversations you’ve had?

Bianca Harmon  5:06  

I mean, I’ve had some I’ve had some pretty I’ve had some great conversations have a, I don’t know, I had a lot of people tell me that they really liked my voice. So that was, that was always a seller, they would just I like your voice and I feel I can talk to you about anything. Great. That’s sort of here for

Drew Hendricks  5:29  

me ever tried to talk to you about anything?

Bianca Harmon  5:31  

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, I’ve been, I think I had me one time, I had a lady on the phone with me for like an hour. And I knew her life story. I knew, you know, all of her children, I knew everything. And then she would just call me randomly to check in see how my life and my family was doing. So you actually can build a pretty good mutation with an with some of these people and never meet them face

Drew Hendricks  5:56  

to face. That’s amazing. She ended up buying wine or, oh, yeah, she

Bianca Harmon  6:00  

would buy wine from me regularly. And, you know, she would even like, oh, I can remember one time just like, oh, the carpet guys here, Bianca, I gotta go. I’ll call you right back. As soon as carpet people leave. And sure enough, she called me back.

Drew Hendricks  6:14  

That’s awesome. I think that I think you hit the nail on the head there is establish rapport, don’t just treat it as a sales call. It’s not just a transaction. Because as you’re reaching out to the wineries, you’re reaching out is there is the custodian of that whole brand, and that whole messaging, and you need to sound like you would just like you said, in the tasting room, and create that report it because in addition, I think the one thing that a lot of people miss the mistake a lot of people make when they’re told that you got to go, I hate the word dial for dollars, sell the wine puts the wine, selling the wine is almost secondary, I think sometimes to the fact that this is a golden chance for outreach, to just basically reach out on behalf of the winery and see if they want to buy wine and make it more of an outreach call and a more of a communicative call, rather than

Bianca Harmon  7:06  

Oh, I agree. And I mean, because a lot of the times too, I mean, believe it or not, you’re calling people, especially on some of the wineries that I was calling for, these are big, company owned wineries, and they can get lost in translation. And like, they could be upset, they’ve been trying to call the wine club department and they can’t get through and you kind of end up being that person where they’ve now lost all their, all their faith in this winery. And I’ve salvaged plenty of relationships by following through with this customer, helping them get what they need, and then they’re coming back to me and now buying wine because as long as you if you can really be that person for them, sometimes people just want somebody to listen to them. And if you’re willing to just sit there and listen to them, and then try to help them as much as you can. It’s pretty rewarding. In the end,

Drew Hendricks  7:59  

I firmly believe that I sold in my earlier career, I sold mine over the phone and wine in person at a wine store in San Francisco. And it really the the one thing was that it’s that personal outreach that allows you to get that litmus test of how happy is that customer? How engaged are they? Because you can’t always tell too often now. And you and I were both at the directing. We weren’t at the direct consumer wine symposium, we were at the way Expo. We were at the Wine Expo and the biggest, I guess the the newest old word that’s emerged in wine marketing is omni channel, we got to reach the customers where they are where they want to be reached. But much of the focus that I see is on email, it’s on text messaging, it’s on targeting on the internet, and there’s the phone, but the phone seems to oftentimes be downplayed, whereas the phone is the one chance that you have to actually hear the tone of the person’s voice, gives their enthusiasm and actually be able to respond instantly human to human.

Bianca Harmon  9:03  

Yeah, I agree 100%. Because, I mean, you have a phone, you know how many calls you’re getting randomly from telemarketers or this or that. And so people have just turned away thinking that they’re gonna immediately think they’re a telemarketer, or they’re this but in the end, if you can actually get that real life person on the phone, it goes a lot farther than you believe sometimes. And there’s so many people that are just want to resort to text messaging now or just emails and I am a true believer in the person to person interaction is always going to get you the farthest. Oh, for

Drew Hendricks  9:39  

sure. I mean, text messaging, don’t get me wrong. It’s it serves a valuable purpose because people can choose their preferred method of communication. But if you allow everyone to always just choose text messaging or email versus voice, you just basically reduce yourself to whatever transactional customization you can do. And it’s very hard you’re you’re fighting an uphill battle to get that human touch. Yeah, it’s too easy. I think one of the biggest one of the biggest call avoidance rationalizations is that people get too many voicemails people get too many phone calls. And it’s all the running joke is that you don’t want to your wiener to sound like that extended car insurance, voicemail that we always seem to get. But it’s really easy to not sound like that by leaving an actual human voicemail. You don’t need to actually hear that.

Bianca Harmon  10:37  

I agree. I agree. And then that’s why, you know, there are protocols in place to, you know, you’re not calling these people. I mean, for example, like my list, if I had just called this lady last month, unless I knew that there was something she wanted to buy, I wasn’t going to call her and just blow her up for no reason I know what this customer likes. Now, if it’s somebody I haven’t called, then they kind of stay on that monthly call log, but you’re only calling him, you know, three times max. So for a specific sale. And it works. I mean, obviously it works, or they wouldn’t be doing it anymore, if it did it. So absolutely.

Drew Hendricks  11:22  

Absolutely. Now I see like, you want to pick the three, or the three call sequence. I see a lot of talking about some of the mistakes that I see wineries making all the time, and you see it, you’re in the trenches every day talking with wineries, one of the tricks, one of the one of the biggest mistakes I see them making is automation incorrectly, automatic, because it’s too easy when you start to automate and start to customize through automation to have a very transactional type of automation, such as your abandon the cart message, such as your that birthday message, those are all great, but it tends to look a little robotic. Yeah, the mistakes do you see wineries making right now?

Bianca Harmon  12:10  

Um, I don’t know there’s there’s a lot, I don’t think there is as much person to person interaction as there used to be. I think that there’s also, you know, a lot of wineries that are they think that because they’ve been around for so many years, and they have this great product that they’re forever going to have this great product. And times are changing, and you have to change your winery with the times, we’re coming into a whole new generation. And unfortunately, this new generation is all about the technology. But I still think when they come out here they want you know, a real person, they want to build a pull up a nice website, they want to they want you know, the in between aspects of it. And so I think a lot of what I’m seeing is some winery’s just being too stuck in their ways of not willing to change. And it doesn’t need to go as far as that robotic message, you know, or, Hey, forgot items in your car, you know, it doesn’t need to go that far. But even just something simple is, you know, you could pull up a website, and it’s like, oh, wow, this place looks fun. This place looks intriguing. I want to come here. You know, I’ve seen a lot of wineries these days, as much as we hate it, you know, they’re all doing these, this froze a, you know, and they’re having like a froze a party, and it’s, but you know, what, it gets people in the door, it gets these younger people. And so at some point, you have to kind of change a little bit, I feel you don’t have to go one spectrum or the other. But times are changing and wineries have to learn to adapt with it, or they’re going to get brushed under a rug, I guess is the easiest way to put it.

Drew Hendricks  14:05  

I like what you said there about the frizzy because, you know, you’ve got to at the end of the day, you need to give the consumer what the consumer wants. And a lot of times when you’re visiting a winery, especially in the summer, it’s gonna be about 98 degrees, right with a group. And I get a lot of wineries. When are the group you may go with six people, not not a whole, like party crew, but six people might go on a vacation together, or even four, and of the four, maybe two or wine drinkers, another two really aren’t. And you’ve got to have something for them to have fun in something that they might like to drink.

Bianca Harmon  14:43  

Yeah, you do. And that’s where it’s like, I mean, and if you can, if you can be that winery that offers that to somebody I mean, word of mouth alone that you’re going to get from that is going to be fantastic.

Drew Hendricks  14:58  

For it for XSRF For every whiner every situation but there, it was just an example. Yeah, it’s one of those that adaptability ease. And that ties into one of the things that we talk about. And we do all the time, is that helping wineries with their story in conveying their story online and through all their digital expressions. But the one thing that we do that goes beyond what a lot of agencies do is the story, it has to also include the customer story, because in order for the buyer, when someone visits the winery, they’re they’re visiting a winery, or they’re buying a wine to experience, not just the story on the back of the label, or the story on the website, that they’re visiting it to fulfill their own story. So as far as wineries, they’ve got to start to look at who are there, who are their customers? And what kind of stories are those customers looking to enact?

Bianca Harmon  15:49  

Yeah, I 100% agree. Because, you know, even as somebody that worked in the tasting room side, it’s so nice and fulfilling when people come in, and they’re, they’re there because yeah, they heard about obesity, they heard about tank, but you’re now making that memorable for them you are, to where I to this day, have customers reach out and they’re opening a bottle of wine that I sold them, you know, five years ago, and they’re like thinking of you. And and that’s, that’s what you want. And that’s what you get into you have get into it for as an employee side of things to be that person that they remember, because yes, you want the story of the winery to be told, but you want the staff you want your customers to remember more than just the winery story, and be able to tell these stories to their friends. And that’s how you build even more clients. Oh,

Drew Hendricks  16:44  

absolutely. One of the things I used to one of the things I always did was I had a very good memory for who I sold wine to. And when I saw him again, I’d asked him how the wine was. What did what do they serve with it? What event was it? And I’d really I’d love to get the the full circle. Sit not the full circle story of you see so much wine go out the door, and you never really hear about how how it was served. How they liked it. They may rebuy it, they say no, they liked it. But it’s that part of the story that I feel that a lot of wineries are missing out on. They see this one sided push push the wine out, and they don’t really come back and see how that winds impacting their, their customers.

Bianca Harmon  17:29  

I agree. And that’s where even something as simple as social media has come into play with thinks his customers are now uploading their bottle while they’re drinking it. And they’re tagging wineries. Like thanks for this, we just enjoyed this meal with some great friends and your wine made it even better. You know, and which is kind of a cool aspect. And wineries can then share Hey, look at this. This is what they paired it with tonight or drink it with and it’s great. And for that side of things.

Drew Hendricks  18:03  

Yeah. And I saw I belong to about a half dozen have to AMA about six usually blogged about six or seven wine clubs. In the one thing and I’m always amazed and none of none of the none of these wine clubs are customers. Otherwise I tell them they should be fixing their phone script. But not one time. Did anybody ever asked me how I liked my last shipment? Wow, seriously asked me what wines I want to if I want to add something to it. Or if I want to change the shipping address, but they never really asked what I think of the last shipment.

Bianca Harmon  18:34  

Oh my gosh, that’s so that’s so ironic. I mean, I that kind of blows my mind. Because I mean, when I worked at the tui, we did monthly shipments. So that one is a little bit harder to each and there’s like six different clubs. But like, take even for example, it was like oh my gosh, would you think I love that wine? What did you guys think of it? You know? And because that’s the most important part. It’s the customer’s thought, you know? And to just ask, yeah, that’s where the, you know, the person ability and just really getting to know your people comes into play?

Drew Hendricks  19:08  

What are some of the other questions that you like to ask? We’re like test.

Bianca Harmon  19:13  

Um, let’s see, I I don’t know, it all depends on the customer. Each customer is different. I kind of read them. Some customers, we’ve bonded over sports, and it’s led to other things. When it comes to the wine side, you know, I really like to know what kind of foods they’re like they like to eat, you know, if they’re big steak, you know, eaters, or if they’re just like, hey, you know, we really just are kind of casual wine drinkers. So I like to know that. And also I like I really like to know what one of my favorites is when people tell me that they’re not when I start off and I’m like, Okay, well what’s Why do you want to start with it. Oh, I don’t drink whites. And that’s one of my favorites. Because it’s like, no, you’re just not drinking the right whites then because

Drew Hendricks  20:08  

I swear you’re gonna love it.

Bianca Harmon  20:09  

I swear you’re gonna love it the challenge. And so that’s always been kind of one of my favorites is getting these people in here that are like, all I drink is reds and it’s like, no, just you’re not drinking the right ones. Let’s try sub. And heck, I won’t even count it against your tasty and I just want you to try it because I promise you’re just not drinking the right one right ones. So it’s probably one of my favorites to ask because that happens very regularly Napa. And then even the people that talk about, they don’t like sweet wines, which you know, I’m not a sweet wine drinker either. But when they think of sweet wines, they’re instantly thinking of Moscato or Muscat. And there’s amazing ports. And that’s what I’m like, Do you smoke cigars? You look like a smart cigar. I do. I love cigars, cigar, then you need to be drinking support. Just try this. And they take a sip and they’re like, Oh my God, you’re right, this salacious. So to go great with my cigar or this or go great with my chocolate brownie at night, you know. So those are some of my favorites.

Drew Hendricks  21:17  

As we’re kind of moving out of the direct consumer tasting room and into the kind of the technological side of things. That’s where you kind of shifted your focus. And I know we have a lot of we talked quite a bit about, we’re constantly amazed at some of the mistakes wineries are making with our websites. Now you I know, I looked at a couple 100 websites over the last two months, or three months. How what’s the there’s just a running mistake that all these whiners are making with their just search engine optimization.

Bianca Harmon  21:52  

Yeah, I mean, they’ve got they’ve invested in these websites. Who knows how much you know, anywhere from 2000 to $20,000. And they’ve got this beautiful

Drew Hendricks  22:03  

100 Couple 100,000. Yeah, or joiners.

Bianca Harmon  22:05  

Exactly. And then you go and you look at their search optimization, and they’re, they’re generating nothing off of it, they’re not showing up anywhere. And, and in the at the end of the day, if you’re going to invest in a great site at the, it’s not going to do you any good if your name is not out there. And that’s where you know, somebody like us can come into play and just, and it can be minor tweaks just in your story, just changing little wordings throughout, that’ll start hitting more. But it’s a little mind blowing, actually, how many sites I’ve looked at that. I’m like, wow, this is a great site. And then I look at their search engine optimization, and they’re generating $2, you know,

Drew Hendricks  22:51  

yeah, and in that to unpack that a bit. They’re, they’re generating $2, which is the traffic that would have been the equivalent of if they had done a paid ad. Now, a lot of wineries that the objection there, the biggest objection we usually see is that they don’t really need any new business, they don’t really need people to find because people will just go directly to their site. But they’re missing out on a valuable aspect of their story. And that when their site does come up on like a Google search or a Bing search, there’s a description field there that describes what the winery is, or describes what that page is, in the one thing that you and I both see all the time is that they’ve invested in this great platform, this great online e-commerce, that they fail to fill out the stuff that’s right behind this, this field of thought the stuff that the search engines actually see, such as the meta description, which is what shows up right below the the page title. And if you don’t fill it out, what happens is the search engines just do their best to pull something from the page. So you can imagine if someone’s typing in wine tours, past verb lists, and your winery comes up. But you don’t have the proper description up, you’re missing out on that, that one chance to tell your story in the way that you want it to be told, in a sense, then you’re surrendering this valuable piece of real estate to someone else to decide what should be there. And it’s such a it’s such a low friction. It’s such an easy solution that anyone did it. They don’t need any technical ability, because they already have the ability to update the products on their site. They just need to go that one extra step and add a proper meta description, which is only about 100 150 characters long.

Bianca Harmon  24:42  

Right, right. And because I think everybody thinks that when you talk about search engine optimization that has to be money that you’re investing in Google ads or paid ads in general, when a lot of it can be done through your site, by your description, your headings

Drew Hendricks  25:02  

or it seems like yours seems super technical and something that a professional and we do it, we were professional. And as I say, it’s easy to get 80% of the way there, it takes a lot of work to get that final 20%. But the problem is most wineries about 50% of the way there. So they’re leaving just a very easy 30% on the table. Yep. Yep. I would say that’s the biggest mistake I see.

Bianca Harmon  25:28  

It’s, it’s definitely 100%, then the biggest mistake I’ve seen, especially because a lot of these e-commerce platforms are offering, you know, websites with it. So they’re getting that product, they’re getting their websites. So they’re, you know, they’re nice websites, they look good. And then they’re just, they’re not utilizing them to the full capacity and capability. And it’s honestly a shame, because, you know, you don’t want to invest in this really expensive car that can drive itself, it can pump gas, it could do whatever. And then you’re only getting like 80% of it. Oh, I don’t know how this works. So I just I’m not using it. So

Drew Hendricks  26:14  

you’re just driving in the slower just try it. Yep.

Bianca Harmon  26:19  

Yeah, now that

Drew Hendricks  26:21  

we see that it’s actually become a little bit of a, become more passionate about that, because it’s it’s like, it’s, you got a flashy site, but it’s just not, it doesn’t have the right stuff in the engine. Yep. Going for with sites, what do you what is some of the sites that you see what are the sites that really pop out for you right now that are really resonating, and you really see that the the winery is aligned with the websites align with its brand.

Bianca Harmon  26:51  

I really think this story has a lot to do with it. I’ve been going to a lot of sites lately that don’t even have an about us page. Which to me kind of is like, what do you what do you mean, these people, they they want to know, you know, it goes back to where we were talking about, it’s not just the winery story, there’s obviously more to the story. But we want to know their story. And we don’t know anything about it. So that’s kind of been one for me is is really just there’s no story like. And, and then what was the question? Again?

Drew Hendricks  27:33  

The question is like, what, what are those sites that are not sites and specific but the aspect of the site? Yeah, not on the not having a proper about us on about

Bianca Harmon  27:41  

And then also just, which is silly, but it could be done so easily is when you have these, just these bottle shots, and there’s, you know, these this now great platform you can use for your bottle shots. And it’s like, the wineries have gone in themselves and take these pictures and they’re blurry and you can’t read a and

Drew Hendricks  28:03  

Oh, yeah. And it’s like, oh, no, the day used to be taking pictures, the actual bottle, we work a lot without Outshinery. Guests, if you’re if you’re looking for some great bottle shots good out shining it in, they can overlay the bottle shots into every scene that you want, so that you’ll be surprised at how cost effective it is. You don’t need to have a full camera crew up there. And that can just increase the whole website experience for sure.

Bianca Harmon  28:29  

Yeah, very visual, you know, when you go to the shop page, and the wine bottle photos are blurred, or they’re obviously hand taken, and they’re sitting on top of a tasting room bar. It’s like, that’s not what I want to see. So very the visual side of things, you know, is really important. And I’m really into just honestly the more classic simple sights. You don’t have to have crazy videos, you don’t have to have all of that. But if you can just have your story and your wine bottles and everything in lined with the winery. It’s way more appealing than some crazy drone photo shoot photo when you’re coming onto their homepage.

Drew Hendricks  29:18  

Drones are cool, they make great background images, but a lot a little too dependent on video. And as long as we’re explaining or talking about our biggest pet peeves, which sounds like we’re kind of doing one of the biggest ones I have and it’s been throughout my career as an agency owner. Don’t put anything coming soon on your site. It’s the under the you know back in the day that under construction where the guys like digging a hole on a computer screen. Yes. Who often coming soon is coming never in the coming soon as up there for years. And the very worst is if you’re trying to do ADA compliance. Don’t put we’re working on it. It’s coming soon. It takes about two minutes to set that up. Yes, you’re probably better off being an ADA compliant than having something on the whole top of your screen thing. We’re working on it. If you’re having trouble with our site, please give us a call. So try to hold if you’re a winery and you’re doing it yourself, you’ve rolled up your sleeves, you’re don’t just leave the page on published don’t put a page up there saying coming soon. And the other thing is set a timer for your events. No one wants to see tickets for an event that was two months ago.

Bianca Harmon  30:32  

Right? Because they get excited. They think, oh, man, look at this event coming up. And then they go, oh, shoot, that event was two months ago.

Drew Hendricks  30:40  

Hmm. So many sites we go to you look at their event page. And it’s, it doesn’t even say that it’s past because they aren’t using an event plugin. It’s just a normal page, but they forget to take it down. And there’s systems in place that you can unpublish an event or market is past. So that those are those are two things that I see all the time on wineries and it starts to look, then it’s it. But what you get there, when you have an under construction, or you have a coming soon, or you have a an event page that just shows past events, as it starts to paint an impression in the customer’s mind that maybe the winery is just as discombobulated is great. I mean, is are they going to just get around to bottling their wine, which is actually kind of good, maybe coming soon works for wineries, because longer and age is going to be better. That doesn’t work for websites.

Bianca Harmon  31:35  

Right? No, I agree. I agree. And it’s better to have a some of my favorite sites I’ve come across while doing this have been the more simple sites, but they’re all in line. It’s in tune. It’s the text is readable. And like you said, I mean, I love those videos. I love those drones. And I’m all about adding them in. But make sure that everything else is in line with that product with your homepage.

Drew Hendricks  32:10  

So as we’re kind of wrapping down here, and we’re we’re talking about wineries and what’s not working, and we talked about some sites that are working, and we’ve talked about some phone sales. What’s one winery? And I know we both have the idea of what’s one winery that you really see is on the mark right now that’s resonating with our target audience.

Bianca Harmon  32:37  

Well, I think we’ve talked about this one before, is probably that taint garage winery. They’re really, I used to work there. I used to work there. And

Drew Hendricks  32:50  

what can we learn from tank garage, they’re really

Bianca Harmon  32:53  

changing and going with the times, and they have something for everybody. And they make it fun. They make it hip, but they don’t get it just towards the young. What are they now Gen Z Gen X?

Drew Hendricks  33:10  

Gen X will be me.

Bianca Harmon  33:11  

No, no Gen Z. Gen Z. Anyways, yeah, they’ve really like made it fun. And their labels are cool. You can always look forward to new wines coming out, which is really fun. And intriguing people, you know, that’s another conversation starter on it. So Oh, man. So what, what’s new in this shipment, because it’s always new. It’s always changing. And they’ve just done a really good job of sticking to that too. But this was their, this is how we started. And they’ve continued down that they haven’t suckered into just keeping all the same wines every time. And they’re just really keeping people on their toes and they’ve got their artwork on their labels is great. They’ve just done a really great job.

Drew Hendricks  34:04  

Do you feel that they’ve they’ve picked authentic past in an authentic kind of position? And then the customers have just identified with it? Or have they kind of created a persona that is targeted to different customers?

Bianca Harmon  34:22  

I think they’ve recreated a persona that’s targeted to different customers personally, because they do they have each label has a story to and some of these stories go back to you know, prohibition times, right. So there’s something gauging towards every age group towards every person. And it really gets it really gets you in.

Drew Hendricks  34:50  

And that kind of ties full circle to what we were talking about the story where too many wineries talk about the small family owned vineyard and there you see the the husband wife and their two kids walk into the vineyard living out their dream. And by virtue they kind of hope that people attach to that dream. Whereas I see Tank Garage has taken it one step further, or tank has taken it one step further, and actually helped its consumers realize their dream and realize their story.

Bianca Harmon  35:19  

It’s, it’s, it’s exactly right. When you go to their site, it’s not look at my wife, look at my kids, look at my vineyard, you go, and it’s Look at this cool product that we have, and we want to share with you and they like to cuss a lot, which you know, that always gets some people in. And then they do they have their about us, they have their story, you know, which then people are more intrigued to see because they’re like, who are who are these people that are creating this such a cool product, I want to know more about them. But they’re not selling their wine based on themselves. They’re selling their wine on their product, and what the family has come up with.

Drew Hendricks  36:01  

And that’s some of the things that we, you know, that’s what we do. And we help wineries with their story. And it may in the tank, the tank method may not fit everyone, but there’s a portion of it that I think all wineries need to be looking at, is looking at your customer. And it mean, it goes beyond just the fancy labels. There’s other ways that you can help bring, bring your winery in line with your ideal customers stories and their wants and needs could be through philanthropy, picking picking a charitable cause where a portion of the revenue goes to that charity, suddenly you’re aligned with those customers, and you’re they know, but by working and drinking your wine, that they’re kind of helping a mutual cause. Yep. What are some other ways these see wineries that they can align themselves with the customers with the customer story?

Bianca Harmon  36:52  

Um, I don’t know, I think more maybe more even something as simple as more customer engagement with their customers actually listening and hearing what customers want. You know, at the end of the day, you don’t have to do with it anything, it goes back to what I said about people just want to be heard. But you know, there was a winery, I can’t remember which one, but they did a cool thing where they did like customer shout outs, even it was just like on Instagram or Facebook. But hey, like, this is our customer of the week or the month, then they talked about this wine and why they liked it. And then it just makes people feel like kind of giddy and excited inside, like, wow, they do really care about me. And it doesn’t even have to go as far as that. But just really listening to what your consumers want. And sometimes as much as we hate it, you do it. You know, Visa two is always I worked there as well. So that’s why I can speak about it. But visa two has always been great about they have something for everybody. And that’s why people go there. No matter what you drink, no matter what you like. There’s something for everybody there.

Drew Hendricks  38:06  

And that’s important for a large winery to have something for everybody. But it’s also important to kind of figure out who your audience is. Right? I talk a lot and I think the brew the beer industry has done a much better job at this. Then Wine. Wine is kind of we built our we built our vineyard. We built it about the land, it’s about the place. And you come here whereas if you look at the microbreweries there’s kind of a I live down in Southern California and the hop highway ran on the 78 stones just up the hill from us. There’s probably about 48 microbreweries around me and there’s one for everybody. There’s a there’s the you’ve got you got the surfer winery Helia where all the surfers go, you’ve got epic that is really into their Japanese lagers. You’ve got dogleg brewery, that balance point right point that bought by that dogleg, which appeals to golfers. There’s a there’s another one that just deals with the dungeon and Dragon gaming community. And you can sit on, you can sit on a Game of Thrones type throne as you’re drinking your beer. But what it does is it draws in that audience and a draw and then when people go there, there, you’re helping them with their story and they feel like they belong.

Bianca Harmon  39:23  

Yeah, I agree. 100% It’s, I mean, it it even gets back to like something we’ve talked about is you know, even these breweries are now getting into seltzer worlds. You know, they’re, they’re gearing their audience towards what’s popular

Drew Hendricks  39:39  

author and also picking their ideal customer profile. So when you’re not when you’re not selling wine and helping wineries sell wine, what type of wine are you drinking these days?

Bianca Harmon  39:49  

Um, I to be honest, I drink a lot of I used to be a big heavy red drinker and I drink a lot of just 70 Blanc and Rose because, uh I don’t like waking up in the morning anymore with red all over my lips and

Drew Hendricks  40:12  

such a fever Sauvignon blanc right now.

Bianca Harmon  40:15  

Um, my favorite Sauvignon blanc right now would be a from this winery it’s called I don’t feel like I ever pronounced it right but it’s a nun nuns in Santa Rosa area Healdsburg it’s not expensive, but it’s really good, easy to drink. So I really really like their Sauvignon Blanc. And, you know, can never really go wrong with the Hoenig. 70 block.

Drew Hendricks  40:51  

Well, Bianca, thank you so much for joining us today. Where can people find out more about you?

Bianca Harmon  40:55  

If they call me Barrels Ahead Yeah, through Barrels Ahead, honestly or want to know more, get in touch with me at Barrels Ahead. I’ll help you with your direct to consumer strategy.

Drew Hendricks  41:14  

Sounds good. Thank you so much. 

Bianca Harmon  41:17  

All right. Thank you Drew

Outro  41:25  

Thanks for listening to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.