Having just come off a fantastic week with the Pope in town, I share my thoughts on His Holiness and how you can use him as an example to spread your own message.
With the economy being on track for the last couple years and housing starts in most of the country picking up steam, many a contractor who was “slumming it” by doing remodels have moved back to their bread and butter…custom home building. Well, if that’s you, or even if you just want to steal a bit from their playbook, here are 15 tips that you can use to build buzz while you are building someone’s dream!
Create a Brand
Though contractors are often dependent on referrals, they do not always excel at making their company name memorable. Your recognizable logo must be on your business cards, the side of your business vehicles, on your website, and on every piece of printed material that leaves your office. Establish your reputation with a solid brand that clients can remember.
Create connections with others in the home building, renovating, and real estate businesses and encourage them to send clients your way. Real estate agents, home inspectors, suppliers, and subcontractors are all people that you should be developing relationships with.
Make the most of the prospective clients that have shown interest in your work. You and your staff should be trained to handle the standard “cold feet” objections to signing a deal. If they are hesitating, dig to discover the real fear behind the excuse that they use.
Every Door Direct Mail is a tool that the US Post Office offers. If you visit their website, you can select a delivery route to receive your mailing. Since the material goes to every door, they offer a shockingly low rate.
Ask customers for permission to place a sign in their yard with your company’s name on it as soon as they sign a contract. If they are willing to leave it up, do not worry about taking it with you when the work is done. These inexpensive signs can also be placed at public intersections.
Custom designed polo shirts with your company name and logo are surprisingly affordable. Provide them to your employees and subcontractors. Not only will they look more professional on the job, but your company name will be in front of people all day, every day.
When you deliver a quote, include it in a custom folder emblazoned with your logo. Include testimonials, insurance information, photos, and professional certifications. This professional presentation will compete well against other contractors’ handwritten, one-page estimate.
Your online marketing efforts should revolve around your website and direct traffic toward it. Any email campaign or social media activity must link back to your website. It is not enough simply to have a home page. To stand above the competition online, your website must be professionally designed, include quality content, and encourage prospective clients to contact you.
Create quality videos of your work. Link to them on your website and social media platforms. You can post weekly progress reports both on YouTube and other social media outlets.
LinkedIn is a professional social network that allows you to connect with others in the home renovation and building business. It is also a platform for displaying your work to prospective new clients among those in professional organizations.
Facebook has become the favored social network for a billion and a half people, surely some of them live in your area! This is an ideal platform for sharing pictures, linking to new content on your website, and giving followers a chance to share your information with their friends.
Creating a twitter feed for your business gives you the opportunity to quickly make hundreds of connections. With short, rapid-fire entries, it helps to “tweet” several times a day with links to your website for more information.
This is a social network that is all about pictures, so it is ideal opportunity to post several of your best work. Have your company logo and website address digitally added to all of your photos, so that they are connected to you no matter where they are shared or forwarded.
Using customer data and email information that you collect through your website, create email campaigns that will build your business by providing clients with useful information. Send regular email newsletters that include tips that are helpful to homeowners along with special offers or sale notifications.
If you’ve seen these three little letters and weren’t sure what they are, now is the time to change that. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it relates to your rankings in search engine results. Few people go further than the first page of Google results when searching, so you need to make sure that is where your name shows up. By creating high-quality content on your website, linking back to it whenever you post on social media, and encouraging others to share your content, your SEO soars, leading more prospective clients your way.
One of the things you have to be careful of as you build more and more profiles about your business online is that the information is consistent. Having an 800 number is a great way to help move your prospect off the fence and pick up the phone, but if you use it the wrong way, it can hurt your overall organic rankings. Watch the video for details.
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How’s the traffic recently on your site? Down? If you used to rank in the 7-pack, that local map thingy Google uses to display some local businesses, you may want to check and see if you still do.
You see, Google has moved from 7 local search results to just 3…just 3…just 3!
That is a huge shift in local organic results for anyone who appeared in places 4 through 7. If you ranked in spots 4-7 and DIDN’T have some type of paid placement, then you just got Googled with your pants on.
Now, you know I’ve been screaming for years to expand your marketing and don’t rely so heavily on SEO and 1st page placement…but you’ve been busy…I get it.
To try and claw back you can do a couple things to help move the needle:
- Make sure you are inside Google My Business and doing all the things there you need to to have a complete profile. Make sure your info is correct, make sure you have a physical street address and localized phone number.
- Make sure your address and phone number are consistent throughout your site and ON THE REST OF THE WEB TOO! Google doesn’t like seeing one phone number here and a different address there…it has to be the same all over. Remember, Google is selling trust in their results, so mixed up numbers and different addresses (or P.O. Boxes) makes them crazy!
- Remarketing-We use remarketing on our site to show ads to anyone who visits our site. You may have seen the bright yellow construction sign-type ads as you search the web that say contractor marketing on them? Yeah, that’s us. We do it because it works and it isn’t dependant on a search result, which is something I’ve been preaching to you for like, ever!!!
The realities are that paid media is a great solution for the hiccups the search engines throw at you and it can definitely help you if you’ve lost your place on the 7-Pack placement, which oh by the way, is now called the Snack Pack. Get it?
If you want to figure out how remarketing on social media and Google can help get you in front of more eyeballs, click here for more info.
This was yesterday’s weekly newsletter but I thought it made sense to share with everyone. If you aren’t on the list of weekly goodness, then join our Sunday Morning Memo newsletter by clicking here.
As the summer days start to wind down, many of you will seek the shelter of office life to plot and plan the rest of this year and 2016. Part of that planning may, strike that, should involve changes to your website. If you like what we’ve done and you are thinking about calling us, here’s the inside scoop on how a certain portion of our call will go:
During every conversation I have with a prospective client, the topic of adding new visitors comes up, and when it does, I always launch into our diabolical secret plan to increase views. Want to know what it is?
I DON’T CARE ABOUT ADDING ONE MORE NEW VIEWER TO YOUR WEBSITE
There…it’s out there, now let me explain how the rest of the conversation goes.
I say exactly what I said above and then I shut up…I don’t say anything for a few seconds. The pause is meant to provide serious dramatic effect for what comes next:
Your website, for as good or as bad as it is, already gets more eyeballs on a yearly basis than any other marketing you do, even by accident. Your site is found by prospects using long-tail keywords you probably didn’t even know you ranked for.
Then I say something like this…
My goal, and your goal for your website shouldn’t be to add new viewers simply by redesigning it or adding features, it should be to convert more of the existing visitors you are ALREADY getting into prospects. By doing a better job talking to the people you are ALREADY interested in you. That goal gets accomplished through good writing, calls to actions and imagery that paints a picture and tells a story.
This is why we change our website so often, to keep you interested…and keep Bob mad at me.
What’s the rationale? Why don’t I care about new visitors? Simple!
Think about it this way, if you do kitchens and right now you can knock out 2 a month at an average cost of $25,000 per, but you have the capacity to add one more client a month by making your site better at CONVERSIONS, then you’ve just added $300,000 a year to your top line revenue and you didn’t have to do ANYTHING for it!
Makes sense right?