Given the time, money, and commitment required to tackle a major remodeling project, homeowners are justifiably selective when it comes to making a hiring decision. And while you can’t read their minds, understanding their concerns and knowing what they’re looking for is one of best ways to distance yourself from the competition. Here are five proven marketing tips that will help differentiate your business and win more jobs.
You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “perception is reality.” If you want to convince a potential customer that you’re a pro, you need to look and carry yourself like one. It might sound basic, but image is everything. That’s why you need to create a professional and consistent personal brand.
If you don’t have business cards, get some (you can save a bundle by getting them online). If you’re a HomeAdvisor member, be sure to include your profile address. Leave a few cards behind with every bid.
Have a business logo? Put it on your truck and have it embroidered or printed on polos or t-shirts you wear when making that initial call on potential clients. In fact, if you have a crew, make sure they’re wearing shirts, hats, or other branded attire that makes your business look polished and professional. If you’re a HomeAdvisor member, you can also display our “Screened & Approved” seal on your vehicle to show that you’re a valued and trusted pro.
Why just tell homeowners what you can do for them when you can show them? We recommend a blend of high- and low-tech approaches.
Leverage technology. If you have an iPad or tablet, load it with pics of your best work and bring it with you when meeting with homeowners. Scroll through your portfolio and stop to explain photos that are similar to the type of project they’re looking to hire you for (kitchen, bath, basement, etc.). For architects and designers, make sure you have apps like Sketchbook loaded on your phone or iPad to create blueprint drawings on the fly to show homeowners your ideas for their space. For designers, apps like Photomeasures let you measure room dimensions with a few clicks of your iPhone or iPad.
Keep it basic. It’s also a good idea to create a printed, detailed folder with all of your sales materials. This is where you can really stand out from the crowd. Include photos of your work, customer testimonials, and copies of your insurance, licenses, and certifications. A nice touch is printing out your ratings and reviews from your HomeAdvisor profile and adding them to the packet. Do this even if you are going to email the bid later –it could be the edge you need to win the job.
You know people in your field: designers, architects, and contractors. The question is: are you leveraging these relationships in a manner that can help your business? If not, reach out to those whose skills complement yours, and also those who are in the same line of work. For example, if you’re a contractor – reach out to designers and architects and make it a goal to be one of their preferred pros. And while it might sound counterintuitive to befriend your competition, doing so can result in more work. Chances are you won’t be able to accept every job that comes your way. Share the lead with a pro who can, and they’ll repay the favor down the road.
Word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the most effective and inexpensive marketing tactics. To ensure current clients lead to future business, after the job is completed ask your client to add their review to your HomeAdvisor profile. Also, send the client a letter explaining your referral program. Include a set of business cards with their name printed on the back. Explain that they just need to give these cards to friends or family who are thinking of a remodel project. If it generates a sale, they will get a little something. Don’t offer cash, but a gift card or a bottle of wine is a nice touch.
Did you know that 85% of homeowners use the Internet to find a remodeling pro? Given this fact, it’s clear that to be successful, you need an established online presence. Of course, knowing you need an online marketing strategy and implementing it is often easier said than done.
At HomeAdvisor, we know you’d rather be spending your time with clients, not behind a computer. As a HomeAdvisor member, your business will be listed in the nation’s largest free directory of home improvement pros, complete with a personalized, professional profile that tells homeowners everything you want them to know about your business, including verified ratings and reviews submitted by previous clients. As an added bonus, HomeAdvisor promotes your profile across our extensive distribution network that includes top sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yellow Pages, City Search, and Merchant Circle. So being a HomeAdvisor member is a fast, easy, and effective way to maximize your online presence and reputation.