1: The Zemar Podcast: Business Superfans Fueling Growth with Fandom


In this episode of the Zmar podcast, host Butch Zimar welcomes special guest Frederick Dudick, a business expert with a background in computer-aided engineering and now a proponent for business growth and customer engagement strategies. Originating from France and having a noteworthy career that spans from designing for the automotive industry to influencing the computer sector in Detroit, Frederick delightfully recounts the journey that eventually landed him in sunny Arizona.

Throughout the episode, the conversation pivots to the launch of Frederick’s book “Business Superfans,” which delves into various strategies businesses can implement to escalate to the next level, emphasizing the importance of gratitude towards customers. The duo discuss the undervalued marketing potentials of holidays like Halloween and advocate for innovative and out-of-the-box tactics to stay ahead in the business game.

Frederick also sheds light on the effectiveness of periodic emails, video messages, and co-marketing as tools for maintaining customer relationships and broadening market reach. Butch Zimar intersperses the dialogue with insights on how significant savings in health insurance costs can benefit both small and large businesses alike.

The conversation eventually turns to personal life and travel aspirations, as Frederick shares his love for global travel and scuba diving, before reaffirming his commitment to providing valuable tools for businesses to thrive. The episode closes with anticipation of revisiting these insights post the launch of Frederick’s new endeavors.


L. Frederick Dudek (Freddy D)

Frederick Dudek, author of the renowned book “Creating Business Superfans,” is an accomplished sales and marketing executive with over 30 years of experience in achieving remarkable sales performance results in global business markets. With a successful track record in the SaaS industry and now in the interpretation and translation industry, Frederick brings expertise and insight to help businesses thrive. As the host of the up-and-coming Business Superfans Podcast and a sought-after speaker, he shares invaluable knowledge and strategies to propel organizations toward success.

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Cultivating Your Superfans, Accelerating Your Brand, Attaining Your Sustained Success

Episode Transcript

1: The Zemar Podcast: Business Superfans Fueling Growth with Fandom

Butch Zemar: This is the Zmar podcast elite benefits of America help small and mid sized companies with their health insurance program. And now your host, Butch Zemar:.

Butch Zemar: All right, thank you for joining us on the Zmar podcast. Today I have a special guest of Frederick Dudick. He’s a great business guy. He’s been in the business world for a very long time. We ran across paths locally in Chicago a long time ago, and I know he’s moved on to warmer pastures out west. Frederick, would you mind giving an introduction? Welcome to the show.

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): Thanks, Butch. Good to see you again. And yeah, it’s been a long time. It is kind of warm here in Arizona these days, but other than that, I don’t miss the freezing cold in Chicago.

Butch Zemar: So tell us a little bit about where you came from, your background. I know a little bit about you, but share with our audience some of the things you worked on and what you’re doing now.


Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): Well, I’m originally from France, and that’s where I was born, in Bordeaux and didn’t want to come. I was screaming my head off, but I was under totalitarianism environment with my parents. They stuffed this pacifier in my mouth and said, shut up, you’re going. And three months old, I didn’t have too much to say about the thing. So I grew up in the Detroit area, was a draftsman doing drafting. And my claim to fame, as I like to say, is that the 1982 Ford Escort, I’m the guy that designed the spot wall guns. That spot walled the body panels on that car. And that led me into the computer industry, to where I did training, installing computer rated engineering software onto systems, and then taking draftsmen at General Motors, Eaton Corporation, Westinghouse, and teaching them from going from a drafting board to actually designing using a computer aided design cad software. And then I got volunteered to be trained to be a salesperson. After several years, and from there, I just never looked back. I won numerous sales awards and became a district manager, regional manager, and western regional manager, and then joined the company, moved to Arizona from Chicago, and there I joined the company as a director of worldwide sales and marketing for a software product and set up 80 resellers around the world. That gave me an opportunity to travel a lot and see a lot of different things. So I’ve been to about 30 countries through working as well as on vacation. We met up around 2009, something like that. 2008, 2009, I moved back to Chicago for a little while. Now I’m back in Arizona again.

Butch Zemar: And I know when we met, you were always trying to help entrepreneurs and business owners, how to strategize a lot of the things to always stay engaged with either prospects or customers. And how’s that evolved today, what you actually do with working with executives and other business owners?
Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): What it’s evolved to is right now I work with companies, small to mid sized businesses and even solopreneurs, really to grow their presence and engage with their customers as well as their employees, and also importantly, with their business alliance partnerships. Because at the end of the day, all three intertwine. Your clients and customers, your employees and your business partnerships all need to work in sync together. And that’s what I help businesses do.

Butch Zemar: And let’s talk about a little bit of that, because you had mentioned before we jumped on and recorded this, that you did a lot of research, a lot of background, and you were talking about these three components and really driving a business to another level, and not a whole lot of material out there that puts it all together.

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): No, that was one of the things that I spent a year putting this book together called Business Superfans. And as I did a lot of research on that, one of the things I discovered was that a lot of people talk about things to do for clients and customers, to retain those, to engage with them, everything else, there’s another set of people to talk about things for employees, and then there’s really not much talk about business partnerships and how to maintain that connectivity. And one of the things that I realized is that when I was managing global sales and working with channel partners, they’re independent businesses. So I had to develop relationships with them to make sure that they were promoting my products and their employees, and then our employees within the company make sure that they were engaging with our business partners that were in turn promoting and of course, the customers that they were getting. And so I came up with the idea of business superfans as really tying all three together because they’re really interconnected. If you really look at how a business operates, and that’s really the premises of the business superfans book and the other things I’m putting together and associated.

Butch Zemar: With that book, inside that book, you had made a comment about a client retention methodology, and you walked through a little bit. Can you expand a little bit? Because I think the methodology is important because it costs more money to go out and generate new business than try to retain existing business. But can you expand a little bit about what’s in the book and then what’s your thoughts on that?

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): The book is designed as basically what we call a playbook. So it’s not just stories and information, it actually tells you things to do and how to do those things. So it’s really, we call it, the subtitle of the book is the winner’s playbook. And the intent of that is it’s a roadmap. This is like think of a sports team. This is the plays you need to do. So one of the biggest things is that most people fail to say the simplest thing is thank you for the business. It’s mind boggling. But there’s a multitude of industries that you can have, let’s say someone providing some type of a service to you and they’re done. They did an excellent job and they’re gone. You never hear from them again. They don’t reach back out. And it’s a transaction mindset. What I talk about is, okay, like you were mentioning to onboard a brand new customer and find one to prospects, to get a customer and to convert them into a customer is money. But the gold is really is your existing customers bought from you. They liked you, they want you to be successful. You just need to ask them. And nobody does a good job of asking their customers to help them grow. And that’s what the book does is we talk about different strategies that can be implemented. Which is, number one is a simple thank you. Second one is to basically see how they’re doing without selling anything. You don’t have to sell to say, hey butch, just wanted to reach out, see what’s know. Hey, by the know, we’ve got this new thing happening in our business. We’ve expanded because of people like you and that’s it. They know who you are. Birthdays, people don’t realize how important birthdays are because just the other day I was talking to a woman, she’s in her seventy s and she said that she got one birthday card and it was from her chiropractor. I mean, that’s profound. One birthday card and it was her chiropractor. Other than that, she said nobody acknowledged her, nobody called or nothing. And there’s a lot of other things that can be done to retain customers, to make them feel appreciated. You can reach out on an anniversary saying, wow, man, I can’t believe a year screamed by hope. All is well. Here’s an update on what’s happening in our business, what’s going on in your.
Butch Zemar: World and all the good reasons, right? And in your book you elaborate on some of this stuff. I love this one because I hate when somebody sends an email or hey, I just wanted to touch base with you. And I feel like it’s just an old school sales addict or checking in. There’s so many different ways that you could be creative to get back in front of these people. And I know inside the book you had mentioned, one of the most under marketed opportunities to get in front of them is Halloween. And I guess, how did you come up with Halloween? And what’s your experience with Halloween?

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): Well, Halloween is a fun time. It brings us back to our childhood and we can be goofy. I had a mortgage guy that I worked with and he was looked at me peculiar. Why would I send out a Halloween card? I says, well, try it. It’s something fun and don’t sell. So he actually put himself on the front of the greeting card in a costume and sent it out there and it was a fun thing and he mailed it out to his customer base and he got a bunch of people that called him up and said, wow, I love the card. It’s funny, it’s cool. And they called him, and that’s really it. It’s differentiating. It’s being clever and it’s a fun time and it positions you for the holiday season. So it’s like the opening dance for the holiday, upcoming holiday season.

Butch Zemar: Sure. Yeah. No, I think it’s a great idea. One of my more successful, and of course, consistency is a big key, and you mentioned that in your book, too. But one of the hot buttons for me for a follow up card was Groundhog day. I tell you, the phone blew up. Most of them were, like, calling me just to say, hey, Bush, this is great. How’d you come up with this card for Groundhog Day? And it was just a fun thing to do. It was so random, but it actually generated a phone call to say, hey, I’m glad you sent this card because I’ve been meaning to call you. And so they called and they obviously wanted quotes, and then we end up doing business. And so I think it’s just thinking outside the box and not traditional, like Christmas cards. Right. I’m not a big fan of Christmas cards. We get a ton and I feel like people just send them because they’re receiving them from other people. It’s not always genuine, even though it’s a nice time of the year to receive Christmas cards, but from a marketing perspective, pick something that is a little bit more out of the box creative and ways to keep touching base, so to speak, with other people. And I think you point that out quite a bit in your book and that when it gets released, a lot of business owners and executives should definitely pick it up and take a look at it. What are some of the methods that you recommend to your executive clients that you work with on staying in touch? I know you and I had met over a note card conversation, but what are other ways that you recommend to your clients of getting back in touch and whether they’re prospects or they’re clients of theirs?

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): Well, it’s a good question which multitude of things. You can still do email periodically. You can do text message, but your thing too is you can send videos. There’s several apps that I recommend in the book that you can use to send a simple video and blast it out to a bunch of your existing customers and business partnerships. Just reaching out and saying hi, it’s different, it’s unique, it’s cool. People go, wow, that’s pretty clever. And you can do all that stuff on your phone. Actually, nowadays people don’t realize that they’re all busy text messaging, but at the same time you can actually hit the button and record a message and send a voice sound message via text message. You can get on there and record a video and hit send and send it to somebody. And just a simple, hey, I was out thinking about you and just want to say hi. Hope all is well. Give me a shout when you get a chance. Boom. Done. That’s all it needs to be.

Butch Zemar:: Hey gang, ever wonder what it’s like to be a small business owner? It’s confusing. Weird expenses coming out of nowhere. And when you throw in health insurance, forget it. Nobody understands how that works. If you own a business, big or small, it’s one of the biggest expenses you have all year long. And yet we all wait until open enrollment at the end of the year, and then we think to ourselves, next year, next year, I’ll get a jump on it. And then it’s another year of paying way too much. If you’re a business owner, big or small HR representative that wants to impress the boss, give Butch Zemar: of elite benefits of America a call. Save yourself or your boss thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a year. Reach out to Butch right now. 708535 3006. Or shoot him an email, butch@elitebenefits.net. And be sure to check out the Zmar podcast. Don’t wait till the last minute. Put Butch Zemar: to work for you now.

Butch Zemar: Now moving on. I know you tried to give ideas as well. One of the things I liked in the book was about co marketing, because there’s client bases across spectrums that are not competition, but they share the same clientele. And I think this is key. And you mentioned this because it’s all about generating business for everybody. In the end, we’re not trying to sell anything. People have needs, people have problems to solve, but how do we do this and collaborate together? And then I’m curious on some of your input. Maybe you have a couple of stories in the cold marketing and how that has benefited some of your clients.

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): So comarketing is a really clever way to basically get into each other’s database. Okay, so you can create a comarketing piece. And I worked with a customer in the past. It was in a home improvement industry. And so what we did is they partnered up with a painter, and they marketed into each other’s database one flyer that was really promoting the other person. So if I’m marketing into, let’s say, I’m the painter and I’m sending it to my customer base, then I’m promoting my partnership with, let’s say, the remodeler. The remodeler is sending his information to his customer base. He’s promoting the painter and the fact that they’re edifying each other within their own sphere of influence. And so now what you’ve done is you’ve created credibility because you’ve endorsed that other person or edified them, and you’ve significantly cut your marketing cost because you’re basically sharing the marketing cost with the other partner that you’ve done it with.
Butch Zemar: Yeah, totally. I think it’s a great idea. I’ve leveraged that multiple times throughout my career, and it’s allowed us to cross sell, especially in non competing markets. But we’re still going after the same customer. Now you have all these ideas, and you’ve executed them with a lot of your clients. Is there a target that ends up working out really well with some of these methods? Is it a type of business, a vertical, certain size

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): No, it doesn’t. I got a customer in Michigan. They do pot pies, and I’ve worked with them for six years. And she started out in her kitchen, and last year, during the pandemic, she opened up a store, which was completely the opposite of what everybody else was doing.

Butch Zemar: Right.

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): She opened up a store and she was going to the farmers market. But one of the things that she was doing that I had suggested was she was always putting out videos. So every Saturday when she was at the farmers market, she got on there and she did a quick video standing there in front of her little booth, saying, hey, I’m out here today at the blah, blah blah. And she posted it on Instagram. She posted on Facebook and et cetera. And then what they did is they came up with something fun, and that was that anybody that purchased over $100, they got one of the employees that did the chicken dance. Okay? And so she was out there quacking her arms and all that stuff as a chicken dance, and then they videotaped it and they posted that and that. We got another $100 thing, and people thought it was crazy fun and cool and it was kooky, but it got people to be attracted. And they went from 100 followers on Facebook to now they’re close to 1500, all organic. They’ve been on the tv in the Detroit market for free. So the news stations have come and written stories about them. They’ve gotten to the point where they outgrew their space and had to take over the space next door, and now they’ve basically doubled their store. That they have, and they’re just blowing it up. They put out a newsletter once a month. They’re not selling. They’re just talking about different stuff, different recipes and things like that, and they’re just exploding in business and having fun.
Butch Zemar: Doing it and all for the chicken. That’s it. Yeah. Just a little bit catchy to stay in front. There’s one thing I know at the beginning of the call or our conversation, and I want to point it out because I think it’s fantastic. It’s another story about Frederick, where you had mentioned that you speak French, and then you’re a global traveler and you’ve been to, like, 30 countries, I think you said, what are some of the countries you’ve been to? What are your more favorite ones?
Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): Well, I love Australia. I’m a big fan of Australia. It’s a hybrid of United States, it’s a hybrid of Europe. It’s a hybrid of some of the asian culture. I took my mom down there in 2002, and they had plasma tvs in the grocery stores. We had no clue what a plasma tv was in 2002. And that’s because they get the technology from Japan way before we do. I enjoy France. England is pretty cool. Germany is fantastic. So there’s a lot of places. My next thing is the Caribbean and South America are my next destinations.

Butch Zemar: I think that’s great. My world travels are stopped with four young kids. But one of these days I want to get up there. And as I was sharing with you, retirement goal is to scuba dive the world in six months, and it’ll be just a fantastic time. And speaking of fantastic times, Frederick, this has definitely been great. There’s a lot of content on here. If anybody wanted to further the conversation with you or look at maybe some of the things that you’ve been working on and how it could benefit them, how do they get in touch with you?

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): They can go to the businessuperfans.com website. Again, that’s businessuperfans.com website there. They can go on there right now, reserve themselves a copy of the book. If they reserve now, they’ll get 50% off of the price of the book. They’ll get a discount code once the book is published. And actually putting together a business superfans accelerator community, which will be where people will be able to ask me questions as well as accountability stuff to actually help them implement a lot of the different plays that I talk about in the book, and be also launching a podcast as well, which will be called the Business Superfans podcast. So there’s a multitude of different things to help. It’s not just, here’s a book, good luck. Have fun. I’m putting together tools to make sure that, okay, we’ve all read books in the past and put them on the shelf and says, okay, that was a great book and we never do anything in it. So my intent is to provide tools and ways to help people be successful and blow their business up by basically elevating their existing clients and customers into superfans by elevating their employees into being superfans of the business and promoting the business, and as well as elevating business partnerships into Superfans, where the business partnerships are promoting one another. So it’s basically taking all three groups, clients and customers, employees and business partnerships, and combining them together to be an awesome force.

Butch Zemar: This has definitely been great. I encourage everybody to check out the business Superfans website. I’ll have that in the show notes as well. And maybe after the launch and things get moving, we’ll get you back on here and talk about some of the updates for small and mid sized companies and the direction they’re headed. So this has definitely been great. I appreciate your time, Frederick.

Frederick Dudek (Freddy D): Thanks a lot, Butch. It was a lot of fun, and thank you again.

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