In this day and age, it’s imperative that small business owners utilize online resources to be successful. While trusted methods such as word of mouth referrals and business fliers still work, you could be missing out on a great deal of business if you’re not using the Internet to generate leads.
For some, knowing where to start can be a challenge. There are many places you can look, but you want to make sure you’re where your customers are. A great starting point is determining how many hours you can dedicate to online lead generation and your strategy to finding them. To help, here are a few ways to generate more leads online.
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It’s no surprise that positive reviews help you get more business and stand out from the rest. There are many places customers can leave online reviews; Yelp, Google and Facebook to name a few. It’s important to monitor these regularly and respond. Thank customers who have left you positive reviews, as it adds a personal touch to your business. Don’t ignore negative reviews, in fact, respond publicly so others can see your concern and attempt to rectify the situation.
Because online reviews are so important in generating new leads, be sure to ask for them from happy customers. According to BrightLocal’s 2016 Local Customer Review survey, 70% of customers say they will leave a review when asked. You can do this via email or even in leave-behind materials at the end of the job. Whatever you choose, it’s an easy step to generate more leads online.
You’ve heard the buzz; social media is the place to be right now if you’re trying to market your business and generate more leads. However, there are so many platforms to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Stick to one or two, like Facebook or Instagram, where you can communicate with your customers and potential customers in real time. Create a page for your business and begin posting.
Customers may show interest in your services by commenting or messaging you for more information. Be sure to respond back in a timely matter. If you want to get creative with your social media marketing tactics, try running a promotion just for your social media followers. Or, share your advice about common problems in your trade. This can help build customer trust and encourage more leads. To learn more about how you utilize social media to fit your business, read Social Media Marketing Hacks To Make Your Life Easier.
Local Business Listings
Potential customers look for contractors in their area. So, having a local business listing online is extremely important for online lead generation. If you haven’t done so yet, start listing your business in directories and websites. Google My Business is by far the most popular way to get found. When customers search for your trade or business, your information will appear quickly so they can contact you. Consider it a snapshot of what you have on your website. Having local business listings online is a must for any pro.
Potential customers who you build relationships with are more likely to call you when they need your services. However, thanks to the Internet, this can go beyond meeting in person. Consider online forums and discussion boards to chime in with your expertise to a question or problem a homeowner may have. You may even recommend that they call a pro if the job calls for it, and it’s likely the person they contact is you. Search for forums and discussions that deal with your expertise, or DIY forums with homeowners looking for solutions, to find the best leads.
If you’re looking to directly connect with your customer online, you must utilize email marketing tactics. Growing your email list allows customers to stay in contact with your business before, during and after a job. It helps build a relationship with them by providing valuable information about your trade, business announcements, asking for referrals or thanking them for their loyalty. A key to generating more leads with email is ensuring they opt-in to receive emails. You can’t add emails to your list without permission. If you send an unwanted email to a prospective customer, they may not choose to call you when it comes time for a job.
By now, you know that having a website is a must for contractors. But consider the content on your website. Besides your contact information and photos or your work, what are you sharing that’s valuable and will encourage leads? Starting a blog can be a great way to show your expertise to a potential customer, as well as help SEO. Often, the issue with blogging comes in when sitting down and deciding what topics to write about. The first step is deciding how often you will post and creating a schedule around it to help keep you motivated to write. Here’s a few tips to get you started:
- Helpful Tips And Advice For Homeowners
- Information And Announcements About Your Business
- Special Promotions
- Customer Testimonials
- Current Events And Trends Within Your Trade
Generating leads online can be an easy, budget-friendly way to boost your business and create better relationships with your customers. Because it’s accessible from almost anywhere, you can easily get more leads from the comfort of your own home. Choose a few of these methods to see what will work best for your business.
Looking for more ideas on lead generation? Read How To Get Free Construction Leads.