Author Archive Marc C

ByMarc C

5 ways a website can help local contractors build relationships

Strong customer relationships are at the core of every business. As a local contractor, your customer relationships are a big driver of your business. When you do a good job, your customers tell their friends and neighbors. More work comes in, and the references continue. Those same existing customers also call back when they need more work done. As a contractor, sometimes the projects need to happen quickly. Other times, they’re improvements that can be scheduled at your leisure.

In both cases, you’re getting more work. While you can’t legitimately increase the ’emergency’ work that needs to happen quickly, you can help your customers see the value and entice them to jump on improvements around their home. One of the best ways to do this, is by engaging with your customers using your website.

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Build your relationships and increase your sales

  1. Make sure your website can convert – Your website is the hub of your online presence. Because of that, it needs to be set up to convert. That means you need to have your contact info at the top of every page. Your hours of operation should be easy to find. And you should have a contact form with a clear message like ‘Schedule a Consultation’ or ‘Get a Quote’. Link to your social media accounts and make it easy to share your content. Giving your visitors several ways to easily get in touch with you allows them to choose the communication method that best suites their needs.
  2. Start a newsletter – You already have an audience that you can tap into. As you work on jobs, make gathering email addresses a part of your normal sign up process. Simply add this as an option on the regular paperwork that customers are already filling out when you’re creating estimates. One great way to begin this regular correspondence is to email your estimates and contract details at the beginning of each job. From there, you can continue to update customers with new project ideas, great opportunities to upgrade things around their house, as well as any promotions that you may be running at the time.
  3. Create a private Facebook group – The concept is very similar to a newsletter. The biggest difference is that many people spend a lot of their spare time on their social media accounts. By setting up a private Facebook group, you not only give them a reason to follow your page, but you also make them into a member of an exclusive club. You’ll want to make the private group something that is appealing and brings some additional value. You could do monthly contests, exclusive promotions, or simply encourage your customers to interact with one another about new projects and ideas.
  4. Run a contest with a promo – An email list is a great way to reach customers with new offers. One great way to grow that list is to run a contest and give away something that your customers value. This could be a coupon on their next job, a small appliance, or a free consultation to discuss future work. KingSumo is a great platform that lets you set up contests for free, confirm entrants, and select a winner quickly and easily. The biggest thing you’ll need to do – is determine what they’ll win!
  5. Encourage people to share their feedback – This can take a lot of different forms. It might be asking them to follow you on Facebook, share a post of your work on Instagram, or leave a positive review on HomeAdvisor or another review site. This can be a hard thing for many local contractors to get in the habit of doing. But really all you have to do is ask. We like to recommend framing it as a post-job feedback session. Find out what the customer liked about your service, find out what they would like done differently in the future. If you sense that they are very satisfied with your service, simply ask them to provide feedback in whatever way benefits you the most.

Your existing customers are your best advocates. These 5 strategies can help you increase your engagement, and turn them into raving fans. The more fanatical support you have, the more your company will grow. So don’t wait, start capitalizing on the goodwill that you’ve already built. The steps can be easy, and you can leverage on or several of the options above. Find the ones that are right for you, and then double down on what works.

As your business grows, check back to our site for tips on how to manage that growth. Or contact us to set up some time to chat.

ByMarc C

3 Great Content Strategies for Local Contractors

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. While there is no additional cost to you, our website will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Increase your site’s exposure with a content strategy

Your website is a tool. As a local contractor, you know that any tool is only as good as the hand that wields it. So what good is a website if you don’t know how to use it? If you’re not posting content regularly, your website is nothing more than an online business card. And these days, you need your site to be more than that. Having a content strategy can help take some of the guess work out of creating content and help keep you focused.

What is a content strategy?

It’s a plan of attack. It helps you define who you’ll be speaking to, as well as how you’ll be communicating with them. When you think about a content strategy for local contractors, you want to consider who your target audience is. Think about if you’re a residential or commercial contractor, how old your average customer is, and what their common problems are. Create an outline of the type of person they are. You’ll need to keep this in mind in order to know what networks they like to use. Then you need to decide what platform is best to reach them on.

Looking to set up a new website? Check out our local contracting package!

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Hassle-free professional website and maintenance.

3 easy content strategies that WORK

Focus on your jobs

People love to watch experts do their jobs. And it can be easy to integrate this approach into your day to day work. All you need is a smartphone or similar device. While you’re working on a job, take a few minutes to document what you’re doing. Explain the work you’re doing and some of the challenges that you faced. As you’re finishing up, don’t forget to showcase the end product as well as your fine craftsmanship.

To really make this work, you should consider setting up a social media account at YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. Then, as you’re taking pictures and videos, you can simply start a livestream. You won’t need to edit and it is instant content. Then if you’re really feeling ambitious, you can easily spin this into a supporting blog post or showcase the new content on your homepage. You can also use any images or videos to spruce up your existing content pages.

Help identify potential issues

How many jobs do you get called on that could have been avoided with some simple preventative maintenance? While you don’t want to put yourself out of a job, you will build trust and credibility with your customers if you help them identify problems before they become critical issues. For example, a rattling pipe or flickering light could be taken care of more easily than a broken pipe or shorted circuit. By creating content that helps them see these problems, you also open up an opportunity to promote regular maintenance checkups as a service that you provide.

This type of content makes great fodder for a blog, or for before/after pictures that showcase what can happen when you don’t take care of problems early on. Make sure you have a blog section on your website. You should also create a profile on an image-based platform such as Instagram. You can post a picture slideshow of before, after, and even a short video explanation of what happened and what type of maintenance could have prevented it.

Tell customer stories

Nothing helps you connect with customers better than a good customer story. Think about some of the clients you’ve done work for over the years. Think about the problems they had and the worry that was in their voice when they first called you. Then think about their relief after a job well done. This can be a great source of stories for your content strategy.  By telling customer stories you can demonstrate your value, skill, and the connection that you make with the people you help.

The best way to relay this is either through a traditional written blog, or a video blog where you speak directly to the camera. You can also include quotes or clips of your customers themselves. This option may require some light video editing in order to bring it all together, and you’ll need to find some customers that are willing to speak to the camera. Most customers are happy to help if you position this to them honestly. Explain to them that their testimony will help other people get a better understanding of how you can help them so they know exactly what to expect.

Don’t forget the right tools for the job

The easiest way to make sure you’re producing high-quality content is to use a modern smartphone. The iPhone X is  great option for content creators. With a 12 megapixel, wide-angle and telephoto camera, you’ll have an easy to use device with professional-grade results. The iPhone X also includes ‘portrait mode’ which lets you focus in on an object that is close to the camera, while blurring the background, creating an even higher level of professionalism in your content.

For users that are looking for a larger display and may want something more traditional that can serve the all around working device, we really love our Microsoft Surface Pro. It is light-weight and super portable. While it may be small, it still packs all the punches of a computer with the familiar Microsoft operating system that is great for running your whole business.

But you don’t need to be on the cutting edge of technology to create great content. Even the most basic smart phones or an old-school point-and-shoot camera can save you money while still enabling you to create great content.

Whatever you do, just make sure to pick a strategy, set a posting schedule, and then stick to it. Then, re-purpose your content into other mediums such as ebooks or newsletters. Your continued engagement with customers through various channels will ultimately be the primary driver of your success.

ByMarc C

Why your Marketing Team should be Guest Blogging Experts

As a small business owner, you need to make sure that your marketing team is making the best of their time. Being able to communicate effectively with potential customers is crucial in order to keep your sales pipeline full of prospective buyers. Almost every marketing team these days is pretty savvy in paid search – Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. And almost every team knows the importance of keeping a steady flow of fresh content up on your blog. But what if we told you there was a way to harness the best of both worlds, without the high overhead cost?

Guest Blogging is the Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy

Your team is already writing blog articles. Now you just need to figure out a way to get them in front of a large group of prospects that match your customer profile. Guest blogging is the way to do that. Your team must first find a few websites that have great traffic and target the same audience that you do. Then they just need to reach out and see if they can write an article for the websites in question. If they get approved and begin posting, your guest blog article will essentially act as an advertisement for your business’ expertise in the subject that your team is writing within.

The website that they’ve written for already has a ton of traffic. You can confirm this by checking them out on Ahrefs or Alexa. The final step for your team is to include a strategic link back to a key page on your website. Some of the readers that check out your article will find this link and move over to your website to continue learning.

Register for the Crash Course to Guest Blogging

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The FREE ‘paid ad’

The only thing this costs you is a little of your marketing team’s time. They’ll need to learn the ropes first, but once they have them mastered, the process can be repeated and scaled to grow as your team does. There are lots of articles out on the web that talk about guest blogging in one way or another. Some talk about how to find the best topics. Others talk about how to find the best websites. But very few places have put together a comprehensive process that helps marketing teams learn about all aspects of guest blogging quickly.

The Crash Course to Guest Blogging

That’s why we’ve created an exclusive online course: The Crash Course to Guest Blogging. In this course, your team will learn the basics of guest blogging, how to determine topics that customers want to hear about, as well as researching and targeting high-quality guest blogging sites. Your team will also learn about the holy grail of guest blogging: maximizing the click through back to your website, and capitalizing the the increased traffic.

Sign up for the Crash Course to Guest Blogging today. We offer bulk discounts for marketing teams with 2 or more people from the same organization. Just add a message into the notes field that you’re interested.

Signup today for the next Crash Course to Guest Blogging

ByMarc C

10 Key Things to put on your Construction Website

If you’re out there swingin’ hammers every day, you probably don’t think too much about your website. The phone rings, and you schedule your next job. Your reputation is the lifeblood of your business, and word of mouth has carried you far. But what if we told you that some people actually will trust your business LESS if you don’t have a website?

Construction businesses with websites get more jobs

These days, the first thing people do when they hear about a new business is turn to their favorite search engine to find out more information. If you’re not ready to accomodate them, you’ve already put yourself at a disadvantage. If your website is already set up, then you want to create the best possible experience for your readers so that they will consider doing business with you over your competitors. Here are 10 things you can include on your construction website in order to make your customers feel comfortable and excited to work with you.

1 – Feedback from satisfied customers

People feel more comfortable if they know they’re not the only ones working with you. They’ll especially love it if they see some of their neighbors raving about your services. Call some folks that you’ve worked with that you know are satisfied and see if they would be willing to let you put a quote on your website.

2 – Ways to contact you

Your phone number is a no-brainer. Make sure it is prominently on the top and bottom of each page. You can also set up a contact form that people can fill out to request a call from you or a quote for services. There are even some companies out there that allow you to integrate a scheduling system right on your website, so even more work is done before you even pick up the phone!

3 – Hours of operation

Many types of construction jobs are very dependent on the weather. But visitors will want to know generally what days you are willing to do work so they can plan their schedules to make sure they’re around when you are. For example, if you only do work Monday through Friday, then you should list that somewhere, as well as your typical working hours during those days.

4 – Certifications, accreditation, and license info

You will want customers to know that they’re working with a legitimate professional. A good place to reference these professional assets is on the homepage, as well as your about us page. If you’re required to display a license number, you can do this as well.

5 – Insurance validation

This is often overlooked, but is a great way to let customers know that you are a serious professional and that you’ll be able to make them whole again in the event of some terrible unforeseen circumstance. You may not need to list your specific coverage amount, but if you are fully insured, that is worth noting. If you’re unsure how to phrase this, you should talk to your insurance agent or a lawyer before listing any information your’e not confident about.

6 – Photos of your work

There is no better way for visitors to see the type of work you do. Photos provide a unique glimpse into your workmanship and abilities. Make sure you are regularly documenting the great jobs that you do and share them with visitors to your website, as well as social media.

7 – Videos of your work

OK, we lied. Videos are even better than photos. Try doing a walk-through of your next job. The recording doesn’t have to be fancy, and any modern smartphone’s camera will more than do the trick in these cases.

8 – List of services

Some construction companies do it all. But many local construction companies will specialize in just one or a handful of areas. Make sure you list these out, and talk about the different aspects of each one. This is also a great way to help your website rank for terms that are relevant to your business.

9 – Payment methods

Customers will want to know if they will need to have a large sum of cash on hand in order to pay you. If you take credit cards, you should make sure they know that. Even more so if you will work on payment plans.

10 – A personal touch

This is great for the About Us page and Homepage. This is your chance to make a personal connection with visitors to your website. Include some history on how you got started and what lead you into the construction business. People will be more likely to trust your construction company if they feel like they know them and what makes their business tick.

Start building more than just construction sites

Your website is a unique construction project of its own. If built right, it can add credibility and drive more leads to your business. If done wrong, or if it is non existent, then you can be certain that some customers will be driven away. These tips will help you maximize your online potential.

If you’re still not sure how to get setup, or are just looking for somebody do do the dirty work for you. Contact us to find out more.

 

ByMarc C

The ONE Thing that sets Guest Blogging Apart from other Marketing Strategies

If you’re marketing your business, or working as a marketer at a company, then you always want to stay on the top of your game. You know you don’t know it all, but you’re willing to learn. What if we told you that there was an easy skill that you can learn that helps you get free blog traffic? Sounds great, right?

So what is guest posting? Why is it different and worth your time?

Guest posting blog articles is when you write high quality content for another, typically more popular website. That website gets a piece of free content which increases their website’s value. You, in turn, receive free blog traffic by promoting yourself and your website simply by writing good content and having it exposed to a large audience.

Since the guidelines in order to be approved can be pretty stringent, you need to really engage with the moderators and administrators at the guest blogging sites that you’re targeting. This typically manual review and approval process sets guest blogging apart from other marketing strategies because by default you are building relationships within your industry. By growing your professional network, not only do you get free blog traffic, you also create the possibility for additional opportunities to come your way.

Marketing and Networking go Hand in Hand

By leveraging guest posting  as a part of your marketing strategy, you’re expanding your reach. And expanding your reach is at the essence of the question ‘What is Guest Posting’. But how can you know which sites are the best ones to target? You also have to remember that the prospect of free blog traffic makes this a highly competitive space to operate in. You will need a way to cut through the noise and make your article raise to the top. After all, you can’t start building a relationship if your article is at the bottom of a long stack of articles.

Getting your article noticed, read, and approved is no easy feat, but it can be done. We know this because we’ve done the research and built a course around  it where we use a promotion strategy example that helps you:

  • Understand the history of guest posting
  • Identify and target relevant niche websites that may post your article
  • Leverage best practices to help get you approved to write an article
  • Create an article that focuses on quality
  • And, last but not least, convert the traffic you receive into an audience of your own.

Examples Help you Learn

The promotion strategy example that we follow in the series is that of a generic ‘online gadget store’. We break down each step of the process, thoroughly describe the actions that you will take, and help you follow along by acting as though we’re doing this for our own online gadget business. We’ve also included a set of handy worksheets to help you document your progress as well as test your knowledge as you move through the modules.

The secret answer to the question: “What is Guest Posting?”

The answer for us lies in the system that we’ve created. We believe in this system and its ability to generate free blog traffic, which is why we’ve developed FREE content of our own to help you learn, as well as premium packages for savvy marketers that really want to hone their skills. Our FREE 5 part Guest Blogging series starts here and includes many of the same steps that the paid course does.

Our paid course, the Crash Course to Guest Blogging, includes access to our 5 part video series, where we break down the process and dive into the promotion strategy example in greater depth. As well as the worksheet set, access to a private Facebook group just for your class, and live Q&A sessions with the YourSiteWORKS team.

So if you’re interested in getting free blog traffic, then check out our content and sign up for our course. We’ll help you become an expert at building relationships with other side administrators, and generate a new audience of readers in the process. Our course is easy to follow along because we include a real world promotion strategy example. And we take the time to engage directly with you in order to reaffirm our OWN promise: to engage with and create relationships with aspiring marketers everywhere. Sign up today to start making Your Site WORK!