Marketing Basics For Your Home Improvement Company In An Online World
If you have a home improvement business, you can be the best deck builder in five states, but have no business unless you market yourself. Today, that means a combination of networking, print advertising, direct mail, and online marketing. You hope that your good work results in so many word-of-mouth referrals that you won't need to do much else, but you always want to keep business in the pipeline.
How Can I Create A Brand?
First off, you need to create a brand to build on. Once you have decided on a business name, develop a catchy or informative tag line to use consistently in your advertising. If you do bath remodeling, your cards and invoices might read "John Smith's Bath Remodeling, Tub Resurfacing on a Budget." You can include the branding phrase in your telephone greeting and your email signature. Even your invoices should have your name, tagline, and logo, if you have one - easy to add with simple office software.
Having business cards printed is fairly cheap, yet gives the message that you are a real company. The cards don't have to be fancy, but should be carefully spellchecked. Since you are promoting services in your local area, add your physical address so people start connecting "tile installers in Greenville, SC" with you. Always carry some cards with you to pass out to customers and people you meet in different situations.
How Can I Get Found On Google Places?
To advertise your business locally, a great place to start is Google Places. Since many customers start their search online for a nearby landscaper, carpet cleaner, or carpenter, you want to be among the first names they see. As a business owner, you just open a free Google Places account, add your location, and enter some information about what you do. After Google verifies your location, you will see your business pop up in the 'Places' section of Google's search results when someone searches for your specialty in the area you serve. If you fill out the information properly with plenty of details, Google Places becomes a type of satellite website for you; you can add images, videos and customers can even leave reviews. The more information a customer can find about you, the more likely they are to contact you.
When you are developing your brand, it is important to pay attention to small details. Even slight variations in how you list your name, address, or phone number can make Google disregard information about your business when it is determining your rank. Before you start printing cards and submitting your information to Google and other online sites, decide whether you want your address to show as 29 E. Adams St. or 29 East Adams Street. Do you want to show your location as Cleveland, OH to appeal to more people or South Euclid, OH to reach a more specific audience? Is your phone number (555) 234-1212 or 555-234-1212? These small details are surprisingly important to the search engines.
What Are Other Places To List Your Business?
There are other basic (and often free) ways to establish your brand, You can start by listing your business with the Chamber of Commerce and any other local resources. By searching the internet, you may find free or low cost directories where you can submit your company information. Since local churches and other groups in your service area have printed or internet-based bulletins, you can occasionally place a small ad. To track the effectiveness of your efforts, make sure to ask potential customers where they got your name.
Effectively marketing your business is a crucial business expense, and in today's digital age it's more important than ever to have some sort of online presences. Just as importantly, it's good to remember that nothing replaces honest face-to-face communication when it comes to a potential sale. That's why it's smart to have a good mix of offline and online marketing techniques. Best of all, many discussed today are no- or low-cost, making building your brand more affordable than you might have thought!
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