My name is Matt Bechtel, I am an elected official and am obsessed with marketing strategies. Shortly after high school at the age of 19, I entered my first political race, running for city council in the fourth ward of my city in Fremont, Nebraska. After entering the race, I knew I had my work cut out for me. None of my family had ever been an elected official, nor were we necessarily “well known”, I was also self funding my campaign while working full time and attending classes at a Metro college. My only chance at winning was to not only work hard, but teach myself everything I would need to know to be my own campaign manager. I started my first Facebook page, created my first printed materials, and began the tiring work of going door-to-door. On the night of the primary election, much to everyone’s surprise, the youngest candidate moved on to the general election.
The campaign trail was very exciting, I met with people face to face, set up meetings with constituents in the ward to understand their needs and concerns, spoke at public meetings, and attended a live radio forum. At the night of the election I was nervous but confident, when the first vote counts came back, I was only down my five. By the end of the night though, the results came back that I had lost by only 48 votes.
Losing was hard, but I will tell anyone that losing was the best thing to happen to me. I spent the next two years hard at work educating myself. I read hundreds of books, and became very plugged in to the marketing community. Marketing and brand strategies was a skill I had to teach myself initially for campaigning, but it soon began something I was driven towards. Consulting with friends about the best way to market their own products and personal brands was something I fell in love with, the more I learned, the more exciting it became. All of this self education made me a totally different, and more polished candidate, for the 2016 election.
Going into the 2016 election I knew a lot more about how to create a handout that would be more interesting for someone to read, I was more prepared for my media interviews, I created my own website, knew what to post on Facebook, and understood the analytics between Google and Facebook. My ward was the most crowded, but I came out the leader in the primary election. There would be more media interviews, radio time, public speaking, and debates, and finally in November of 2016, I was elected to the city council.
Being elected was great, and more opportunities kept coming. I created a website dedicated to books called bookbrilliant.com, and left my previous job to work for one of the country’s leading Anheuser-Busch distributors. Shortly after joining the company I became a salesman, a current position I still hold on the companies largest route.
Everyday I do something to educate myself, my favorite methods are through podcasts, audio books, online lectures, and of course reading. Marketing, advertising, PR, and sales are still my favorite subjects, and I am always looking for opportunities to expand my knowledge and further my skill. Lately, when I’m not working, I still spend a lot of time consulting friends and family on their business strategies, frequently putting together marketing plans and strategies for digital media as well as print.
If you would like to know more about me, you can reach my personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org