Corey Hinde:  Daniel, great to be able to talk to you.  You are one of our most unusual ever clients in that you manage a huge number of social media accounts for various purposes. and seem to have a great natural ability to create marketing content.  How did this all come about?

Daniel Frost:  Good question. With the growth of social media, people are able to show off their hobbies and interests with greater ease, I ended up managing  a few different pages for people who aren’t as tech savvy and it just went from there. Pages I manage range from motorsport, sports clubs and a few sporting events.  I did some study on marketing at university and have always found that indirect selling is one of the best approaches, myself I hate being sold to, I’d rather be informed/educated than have a pushy salesman in my face.

CH:  on a personal front… I know from our personal connections that you’ve gone through a physical transformation.  Can you tell us a bit about that?

DF:  10+ years ago I was knocked back for life insurance as I was 140 + kg. I started to change my habits around exercise and eating. 

Here in Hamilton we have a long standing walking/running event ‘Round the Bridges’ it’s 12km long. I set the target of completing this, as I began exercising and eating better/less my weight dropped but then it stopped. I needed to do something else, I had always had a fascination with triathlon, so I entered a beginner tri (300m swim, 9km bike, 3km run) I trained/coached myself to the start line. I finished the race in 1 hour, 0 minutes and 57 seconds, with how my training had been going I was looking to finish around the 1 hour 7-10 minute area. 

I was asked after the race ‘So is that ticked off your bucket list?” “No I want to do it again! Now!” I was hooked, I did four of these beginner racers the following summer. I then skipped the next step of the olympic distance triathlon and went straight to the half ironman distance. I actually entered the hardest half in NZ, the race is called “Suffer” it’s pretty brutal. I actually finished 5 half Ironman’s before I did my first Olympic distance. 

I then set myself the goal of the pinnacle of our sport “Ironman” for those that don’t know, it is a 3.8km swim, 180km bike and a 42.2km run (yes that is a full marathon) all within a 17 hour time cut-off. My first Ironman I DNF’ed, 67 kilometres into the bike portion, I snapped a 3 month old bike, my day was done but not my desire to complete the event. 

At this point in my triathlon career I am heavily involved in the local triathlon club, in fact still to this day, I have been the club president for 3 seasons, simply because the sport gave me so much I like giving back. I was nominated for the Tony Jackson Scholarship at Ironman New Zealand for 2018 and subsequently was successful. 2018 I was on the start line again. 

This time I got it done! I got to hear Mike “Ironman Voice” Reilly say those immortal words “Daniel Frost. You. Are. An. Ironman!” Now I have 8 half ironman finishes (with two more lined up for this season) and two Ironman finishes.

CH:  Work wise – you are an electrician.  How long have you been in the game, and has that been your whole working life?

DF:  Coming up to 11 years in the industry. I went to university as my older brother and sister did, unlike them I had no idea what I wanted to do, I eventually graduated with a Science degree majoring in computer science, marketing and screen and media. 

After a few months in an office (which I wasn’t fond of) I ended up selling curtains for a while then got a job at Dick Smith Electronics, moving up quickly from sales to store management. I saw the writing on the wall about that company and looked at the trades and with a love of technology I picked my current career.

CH:  Marketing a local trades business is easy for some, very hard for others.  What lessons have you learned from marketing a local trades business?

DF:  That’s a tough one. Try things, it’s not always about an immediate response but getting your name in people’s minds. Also, it’s not all about the digital world. There are so many people out business forgetting about the simple approaches, recently I sent out fridge pads with a bar of handcrafted soap, I wrote on the pad “You say you don’t know me from a bar of soap! Well here’s the soap!” 

I had a couple of immediate responses acknowledging I had sent them this little gift, and I have subsequently got work from it.

CH:  What about old fashioned stuff like networking mornings, local newspapers etc… do you still do anything like that?

DF:  I tried a network group a few years ago, it was ok, work generated covered the cost of it but nothing I could retire on. I have recently joined a network group and fostered a relationship with a builder and plumbing which has been great and continuing to grow. Nothing in the papers or that sort of format. I actually just took up the opportunity to be the sole electrician on a wall planner for next year, its for one of the schools, I took the opportunity as it was relatively cheap option that has potential.

CH:  I love a good tradie joke… what’s your best electrician joke?

DF:  Umm hard hitting journalism …. How many electricians does it to take screw in a light bulb? NONE, that’s what the bloody apprentice is for! 

CH:  I know you are an ambitious guy with big business goals.  Looking at your competition in Hamilton, is there any reason you can’t achieve what you want given time and some smart plays?

DF:  NONE! One of my favourite quotes is from Walt Disney “If you can dream it, you can do it!” if I can train myself from being morbidly obese to having finished 8 half Ironman’s and two full Ironman’s, I can do this too.

CH:  back to marketing… anything you really regret that you’d like to share OR anything you’ve learned recently that you’d share with readers:

DF:  Not something that I regretted but make sure you have some people you can talk to about ideas and opportunities, a few months ago I was cold called and asked if I wanted to be the exclusive company on a bars beer coasters and bar towels, it was a relatively cheap cost and it seemed like a good option. 

Now this is where those people above come in, two actually said very similar things “do you want to be associated with a bar? Is that the image you want? Does it fit with you and you ideals? They where right, some times we cant see the forest for the trees.

CH:  Thanks Daniel.  It’s been great getting to know you… we’ll get out for a run / ride / and beer soon!

DF:  Thanks Corey, we certainly should do that.

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