Category Archives for "online marketing"

Do you have proof of your work?
Apr 21

Do You Have Proof of Your Work?

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

We live in a skeptical world.

People have been bombarded with advertisements for so long that they’ve become wary of claims.

When you make claims in your marketing you have to provide proof of your results.

Consumers are more sophisticated than ever before.

In roofing, the product/service has not changed a lot over the last few decades.

For the most part, people know what a roof is and how long it will take to repair or replace a roof.

In roofing, even though many customers know what a roof is they have no idea what the best roofing solution would be for them.

This is your opportunity to educate your customers.

The company that takes an educational first and sell second approach will win in the long run.

When you take an educational value first approach to your marketing, selling will become easier, and you can sell at a premium.

This puts more money in your pocket in which you can use to re-invest in your marketing.

Do you rely on the momentum of the marketplace?

There are too many contractors that are relying on the momentum of the marketplace.

When you rely on the momentum of the marketplace you become a “me too” business.

A “me too” business has no unique value proposition.

They conform to the marketplace and rely on factors like storms to generate new business.

There is nothing distinctive about their business. A customer can look at their phones and call 20 other contractors that provide similar services.

Do you have proof of your work?

There are two distinct forces that are trying to turn your business into a commodity: your competition and your customers.

Even though roofing is a commodity the whole goal is not to be perceived as a commodity.

If your customers see you as a commodity then the game is over.

You’ll be competing on price alone and be working with price shoppers.

The single best way to make your business unique is with marketing.

Good marketing allows you to educate your customers while telling your story in a unique way.

Referrals/Word of mouth

Referrals are always going to be the best source of leads for a service-based business.

Referrals pay the most and are the easiest to convert.

Do you know why referrals are the best type of leads?

Because they have proof of your expertise. They’ve talked to someone who has used your services and know that you are capable of doing a good job.

The only thing that might stop them from buying is timing.

When you provide proof of your expertise you are one step closer to getting the sale.

Empathy for your customers

Do you have empathy for your customers?

Do know the feelings and the thoughts they have when they need a new roof?

When you understand the feelings you customers have you’ll have a much better understanding of the reasons why a prospect buys from you.

Most contractors only get to the surface level on why a customer needs to buy.

Yes, they need a new roof but what are the feelings that your customer is experiencing when needing a new roof?

Proof

There are several ways to provide proof of your expertise. You can use testimonials, case studies, and online reviews.

Testimonials

There are more and more contractors that are doing video testimonials. A well-done video testimonial can be a boon for your business.

When you do a video testimonial make sure to follow the star, story, solution format.

  • Star- introduce the person. Clearly, state who they are and where they are from
  • Story- let them tell their story. Ask them the problem they had before they contracted and what they felt like before
  • Solution- state the problem you solved and the solution you provided them. Make sure to ask about the feelings they felt after getting this problem solved.

Case Studies

Case studies are like a beefed up testimonial. They are hard to fake and difficult to make.

Case studies can work extremely well in the commercial space. Case studies tell a story of your expertise and the problem.

The basic format of a case study is the following:

  • About
  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Results

It’s a similar format to the star, story, solution format.

If you want an example of a roofing company that is doing a good job with case studies check out the case study page on Arrow Renovation

Online Reviews

Over 88% of consumers trust online reviews. Online reviews are a great way to provide proof of your expertise.

One of the biggest challenges getting customers to write you more reviews. There is a new tool called Podium that uses text messages to solicit your customers for reviews.

It’s easy to use and makes it extremely for the customer to write a review for your business.

Images

Images are a great way to show your customers that you are a real business. I would hire a professional photographer to take a picture of you and your crew.

It’s a small investment that can serve you well in the long run.

Here’s a good example from Collin Bryan Construction

Conclusion

Consumers are more skeptical and sophisticated than ever before.

It’s your job to provide proof of your expertise.

The best way to provide proof is by educating your prospects and showing the results of your work.

3 Easy Tips To Get You Started With Online Marketing
Apr 12

3 Easy Tips To Get Started With Your Online Marketing

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

3 Easy Tips To Get Started With Your Online Marketing

If you are starting your contracting business and don’t have the capital to invest in online advertising then you should follow these steps to build your online presence.

These steps are free for the most part except they can take some time to set up.

It’s amazing to me that even after a contractor has been in business for years they still miss a lot of these steps.

These steps are the fundamental building blocks of building a robust online presence.

The fundamentals are what separates the pros from the amateurs.

SEO Optimized Website

The first step that you should take in building your online presence is to have a website. A website should be thought of as your online business card.

Your website will serve as the foundation for your online presence.

Having a great looking website is the first step to building a great brand online.

If you are just starting out I would not invest more than a few thousand dollars to get started.

I would use a WordPress as the CMS (Content Management System) and use a high converting theme like Thrive Themes to build out the site.

I would download an SEO WordPress Plugin like Yoast to make sure that my website is SEO optimized.

I created a video that shows you how to create a website from scratch without any coding knowledge.

You can watch it here:

What about a Landing Page?

There are times you can use a landing page as your website.

You can use Instapage, Clickfunnels, or Unbounce to create this page.

I would not recommend doing this long term.

Most of the landing page builders that you’ll use to do this don’t have the same capability of a WordPress website.

They are also more expensive compared to hosting the website on your hosting platform.

What about if you need leads and don’t care about your online presence?

If you are running a lead generation campaign, having a website is not necessary.

It helps if you have a website with online reviews but we work with a few clients that don’t have a website and we still get them results.

A lot of contractors think by just having a website you will get start getting online leads. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

You need traffic to your website to get leads. It’s like opening a store in the middle of nowhere you won’t get customers unless they know you exist.

It’s the same thing with a website.

You need to do a lot of work before you start getting leads from your website.

Google My Business

Google My Business is Google’s online directory. It’s the biggest and most important directory in the world.

If you have been in business for a while, chances are that Google has already created this listing for your business.

If you are starting out then you would need to create a listing yourself.

There are two basic steps involved:

  • Sign up and verify your business
  • Optimize your presence online

I am not going to go over all the exact steps that you need to follow but you can read this article and see what you need to do:

How To Set Up Google My Business

It should not take you more than 20 minutes to do this.

The best thing about creating and verifying your list is that it does not cost anything but your time.

There are still too many contractors that have not taken this step. In fact, I would recommend that you create a business listing before creating a website.

The reason why is that when you create a website it might take a few weeks before your website gets indexed by Google.

But, if you have a Google listing you will get listed immediately.

Facebook Page

The second most important directory in the world is Facebook Pages.

Here are some stats that show you the importance of Facebook Pages

  • There are over 65 million Facebook pages.
  • The average American spends 45 minutes a day on Facebook
  • 41% of small businesses use Facebook

Just like Google, setting up a Facebook page is free.

Here are the instructions for setting up a Facebook page:

How To Create A Facebook Business Page In 8 Easy Steps

The internet has consolidated between two companies, Google and Facebook. Google is where people use to search for information and Facebook is where people spend their time.

It’s crucial that you use the free tools they have for your business.

Online Reviews

Over 88% of consumers trust online reviews. Online reviews are like the modern referrals.

This is another strategy you can do to build your online presence without spending any money.

There are 3 primary directories that you should focus on, Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

Google and Facebook are the most important. In the beginning, I would only focus on Google as having a lot of Google reviews helps your website rankings.

How To Get Online Reviews

I made a video in which I discuss some strategies that will help you with your online reviews.

You can watch it here:

Conclusion

These strategies are the fundamental building blocks of creating a robust online presence.

Pros follow the fundamentals while amateurs ignore them.

Most of these strategies do not cost anything but your time.

Your time is the most valuable resource and by doing these strategies you’ll be spending them wisely.

Built To Sell: Creating A Company That Lasts Forever
Mar 23

Built To Sell: Creating A Company That Lasts Forever

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

Built To Sell: Creating A Company That Lasts Forever

Built to sell is a strategy of building a business in a way that has systems run the business instead of having to rely heavily on its founder.

The book, Built to Sell by John Warrillow, says that if you pursue three criteria- teachable, valuable, and repeatable, you will have built a business that you can sell.

Even if you have no intention of selling your business you should build your business in a systemized manner so you can have a valuable asset in your life.

Most private businesses rely heavily on its founder which makes the wealth difficult to liquidate.

In the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad highlights the importance of holding and building assets in your life.

Building assets like real estate, stock investments, and sellable businesses are how someone gets financially rich.

The vast majority of contractors don’t have an exit strategy and have not built their business in a way that doesn’t rely on them.

The Father & Son Legacy

You see many father & son or even father & daughter relationships in roofing. These companies have history and usually take their legacy more serious.

One of the main ideas of the Built To Sell is that you should build your business as it would last forever.

Many roofing companies have the luxury or detriment (however you want to see it) of being a family business.

One of the biggest fears that roofing contractors have is what will happen to their company once they decide to retire or leave the industry.

Most contractors do not have an exit strategy and most roofing companies are not valuable to outside investors.

The reason this happens is that outside investors look at what the future profitability of the company if/when the founder leaves.

If the company is too reliant on its founder the company won’t be worth much even though some of these companies are making millions.

Valuation

If you are trying to sell your roofing business the first step would be to get a valuation. A valuation includes your assets, the experience of your management team, customer database, branding, networking relationships, and lead generation systems.

Even if you have no intention of selling your company you should be thinking about the valuation of your business just in case something happens to you.

Over 70% of entrepreneurs wealth is trapped inside an illiquid business and fewer than 30% businesses will ever sell.

Most people fail to hire an estate planner to plan out the events if there is a death.

The three main criteria that investors look for when buying a business is cash flow, future profitability, and specialization.

The valuation of your roofing company should also include tangible assets like your trucks, roofing materials, any land you own, and your current inventory.

Building Wealth

In the book, Rich Dad, Poor, Kiyosaki argues that the fastest way to wealth is to own as many assets you can.

When you think of wealth in terms of assets and liabilities your mindset shifts.

Most entrepreneurs start a business because they don’t want to be mediocre. I know this is the reason why I started my own business.

Built To Sell: Creating A Company That Lasts Forever

Even though I was making over 100K in my mid-20s I know having a job is like being an addict. Having a high paying salary limits your potential.

Entrepreneurship is the fastest path to wealth.

But if there is no exit strategy your business won’t be worth much…

Roofing Lead generation

Most roofing companies rely on outside companies to generate leads for their business.

Companies like HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, Porch, and others have enabled roofing companies to put off building their own lead generation systems.

Too many contractors are relying on the old school strategies vs. embracing the online marketing strategies.

When you fail to implement your own lead generation systems your company will be missing a big piece of the puzzle.

An outside investor or competitor will value having your company generate its own leads.

The more channels your company generates leads from the more stable and predictable your will sales be.

Sales are king but marketing is queen.

Do You Have A Roofing Brand?

Most roofing companies ignore branding. This is a mistake because branding is an attractive asset that outside investors look for.

If a roofing company is the most well-known brand in their city this will make it easier for that company to generate more referrals and charge premium prices.

Building a brand allows you to charge premium pricing which allows more profitability. Profitability is one of the most important criteria to outside investors.

Do You Have A Customer Database?

Building a customer database is one of the most valuable assets in your business. Even though many roofing customers are 1-time customers, this doesn’t change the fact that you should continually be building your database with prospects, leads, and customers.

If a competitor is buying your company they will value your customer database.

Referrals are always to be the #1 way that service companies get more business. If you don’t have a customer base then it will be more difficult to generate referrals.

Production Systems

Building a production system is a key component in a valuable business. I don’t have any experience with the production side of roofing but just like building a system you have to create standard operating procedures.

By making the production a repeatable and teachable process you will create a system that runs itself.

Conclusion

Even if you have no intention of selling your company your business should be built as it would last forever.

One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is building a business that is too dependent on its founder.

When you build your business this way you’ve built a valuable asset. Building valuable assets are the most important metric in getting wealthy.

We take a chance to start a business in order to not live an ordinary life.

By building your business that is built to sell you will build a legacy that lasts forever.

Mar 15

Old Way vs. New Way: Why The Construction Space Needs To Change

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

There is a battle today in the construction world.

The internet has disrupted the construction industry and many companies are having a hard time adjusting to this new world.

The Pain vs. Pleasure Principle

People are more likely to avoid pain than seek pleasure

If you understand this psychological principle you’ll understand why roofing contractors are afraid of change.

Just like any other group of people, roofing contractors are looking to avoid pain.

When you change things in your business there might be some failures which can lead to pain.

This is why most roofing businesses have for so long relied on old-school lead generation strategies.

Strategies like canvassing, door knocking, direct mail, storm chasing, local television, trade shows, and Homeadvisor etc…

These strategies have been proven to work which makes it easy for roofing companies to justify not making changes.

These outbound marketing strategies have become less effective at spreading the word as people get better at blocking out these interruptions.

People don’t want to be interrupted by marketers or harassed by salespeople. People want to be helped.

The world has changed dramatically: People no longer live, work, shop, and buy as they did a decade or two ago. And yet, most businesses in this space still try to market like it’s the 1990s.

Think about it, most people now primarily shop and gather information through search engines, such as Google.

The average information seeker conducts dozens of searches per day-and, rather than listen to a sales rep, read a spam message, watch a TV ad, or fly to a trade show, most people find it easier to sit at their desks and find the information online through Google and social media.

So, this is why a lot of marketing campaigns fail and never have the impact they should have. No matter who you are targeting you’ll eventually have to have a conversation.

And, the best way to have a conversation is to give value first.

Now, why is this important?

It’s important because today your prospects have virtually unlimited options that are only a click away, so competing on price alone will not be enough to fuel growth.

In fact, the historically tried and true four P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place & Promotion) are all being challenged by a simple winning formula–add value first.

“How can I help?” is one of the most important questions in your business

When you think about how you can help you’ll understand the difference between outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing.

Outbound is internally oriented while inbound is outward oriented.

The most successful roofing businesses in this space have both inbound and outbound marketing systems that will get them results.

For the rest of the article, I am going to go over the most common inbound and outbound marketing strategies, old school vs. new school.

Outbound Marketing Strategies (Old Way)

Door Knocking aka Canvassing

Unless you are paying your reps commission only if you do the math the cost per lead for canvassing is a lot more expensive than you think.

There are a lot of roofing companies that feed their reps with leads while others do not but train their reps with their own sales training.

Both have their pros and cons.

Old Way vs. New Way Online Marketing roofing

If you are paying your reps a base salary it might take a few hours for them to generate a lead. If you have a system that feeds them leads they can be running their appointments instead of generating their own leads.

There is no right or wrong answer, but if you really want to take advantage of the opportunities online then you might have to change a few things on your end with how you pay your reps.

Telemarketing

When I first started working with contractors I was surprised that telemarketing was still a popular way to generate leads.

Telemarketing has been around a while now but its effectiveness has dwindled as people are wary of telemarketers.

This is a pure outbound marketing strategy that can provide you with results if you choose the right telemarketing company.

I have no experience with this strategy in the roofing industry (even though I worked for a telemarketing company for about 6 months)

HomeAdvisor

HomeAdvisor was originally called Magic Jack and was founded in 1998. They’ve become the largest lead generation company in the home improvement space.

Recently they acquired Angie’s List.

They have a terrible reputation within the industry, however, I have talked to multiple contractors that have good success with it.

In fact, I know a few contractors that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with HomeAdvisor which have led to millions in sales.

The big negative is you are relying on the name & reputation of HomeAdvisor to generate leads for you.

You are also competing against 4 other contractors for the same lead and a lot of the people that you talk to are price shopping.

New Way (Inbound Marketing Strategies)

Your business should always be the #1 lead source. When you outsource your lead generation you are relying on others to generate leads for you.

This makes you dependent.

When you implement these following strategies your business and your name will be the lead generation hub.

Old Way vs. New Way Online Marketing roofing

Google AdWords

According to my research there at least 500 roofing companies that are spending at least $1000/month on AdWords.

AdWords is a popular way that contractors generate leads.

Roofing is an expensive niche.

Some cities like Dallas or Denver the average CPC (Cost Per Click) can go as high $30

This means that you have to know what you are doing to get results.

You can quickly invest thousands of dollars in a couple of weeks and not see anything if you make mistakes.

The majority of small businesses that use AdWords do not set up call tracking or a landing page.

If you are in a smaller city, (less than 100,000 people) AdWords might not be a good solution. If you are just starting out I would not recommend this strategy, unless you have the cash flow.

Even though you can see leads right away, it will take a few months of advertising before you see the full benefits.

SEO

SEO is the process of getting your website ranked on the search engines so you can get free organic traffic which leads to roofing leads.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of contractors, I’d estimate about 10% don’t even have a website, and even larger percentage of contractors have a crappy website.

Having an SEO optimized website is the first step in getting your website ranked in the search engines.

When you implement a successful SEO campaign you will start seeing leads that will call you based on the information they found online.

Roofing is a competitive niche with SEO. This means that if you are trying to rank your website in larger markets it’s going to take more resources to help you get results.

SEO is a long-term strategy. It can take a minimum of 6 months to rank your website and up to 12 months in larger markets.

Overall, SEO can provide you with the best ROI of any channel because it encompasses your entire online presence.

Once you’ve ranked in the search engines you will see leads for years unless your rankings fall off.

Old Way vs. New Way Online Marketing roofing

Facebook Advertising

Even though Facebook Advertising has been around for years, not many roofing companies have had success with Facebook Ads.

The reason this happens is that a lot of roofing companies don’t really understand how Facebook Ads work.

Most people in this space, take an outbound direct marketing approach when doing Ads. They forget the fundamental question in marketing which is to add value first.

When you have this mindset of adding value first you’ll get much better results.

Facebook ads are about creating awareness and educating your prospects.

Boosting a post on your Facebook page does not constitute a marketing campaign on Facebook.

Most people that use Facebook are not looking to buy a roof especially online.

When you implement a Facebook Advertising strategy you have to be patient. It can take a few months of creating awareness and education before seeing significant results.

Conclusion

People want to avoid pain.

They are afraid of change and are afraid of failing again with their marketing.

Since they seek to avoid the pain they rely on old-school lead generation strategies that have been proven to work for a long time in their business.

Digital marketing which has been around for 15 years now but is still new in this industry.

Most roofing contractors know it works but have failed to see the results themselves. They are skeptical people and because of their negative past experiences, they remain on the sidelines.

Don’t get left on the sidelines because you are stuck in your old ways.

Embrace the changes in the industry and do whatever it takes to implement an online marketing system that gets you great results.

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy
Feb 01

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy

One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make in their marketing campaigns is not coming up with an irresistible offer.

An irresistible offer can make or break your campaign.

It’s the difference between success or failure.

Imagine this.

One of your relatives passed away and he decides to leave his $100 Million dollar fortune to you and your cousin.

You never had a good relationship with him and was amazed that he choose you to inherit his fortune.

Before you and your cousin get your hands on that money you both have to complete a single task.

You have to sell one of his cars.

The car you have to sell is his old beat up 1985 Chevy Tercel. He kept it for sentimental reasons.

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy

The car your cousin must sell is a Mercedes Benz 2018 S class.

However, he gave a single condition.

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy

Each car has to be sold for $3,000.

Which one do you think will have an easier to time to sell?

Of course, it would be your cousin.

This is because he has the better offer.

He is selling a luxury car at way below market value.

This metaphor works the same with your marketing campaigns.

If you have a great and irresistible offer your marketing campaigns will have a much better chance of converting.

If you don’t then it will be much more difficult to get conversions.

Your offer has to make people think that they would be crazy not to take advantage of this opportunity.

What makes a good offer?

Easy To Understand

Your offer must be clear and easy to understand. For example, 50% discount is much easier to understand than 13% discount

Scarcity

if you limit the amount someone can buy it will scarcity into the mix. This makes your offer more enticing.

One thing to keep in mind is that you should not lie about scarcity. You must provide a valid reason why you don’t have much supply.

Fake scarcity only hurts your reputation. When you provide a deadline make sure it is real.

Risk reversal

Having a guarantee will increase the conversion rates on your offers. For a lot of businesses, they can’t guarantee their work but you can offer a warranty. This is almost as good as a guarantee.

Prevents Mental Opt-out

One of the main objectives of crafting an irresistible offer is to prevent mental opt out.

What is Mental Opt-out?

It’s the feeling one gets when they see or hear an offer and say to themselves “Oh, I’ve heard that before” Or “I’ve seen that before”

When your offer makes them stop and pay attention to what you are saying you’ve already done the hardest part.

Here 5 Different Offers That Work Well in the Roofing Space

Here are several different types of offers that have worked well in the roofing space.

Veteran Discounts

This is an effective offer that can help you stand out in the marketplace. Not many roofing contractors offer veteran discounts.

This is a great way to give back to those that served the country while at the same time making it easier to make more sales.

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy

Internet Special Discounts

You can overcome objections easier by providing internet special offers that can help you increase conversion rates.

A $500 dollar discount can help.

One thing to keep in mind with these offers is that you should give a valid reason why you are providing a discount.

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy

Free Estimate/Inspection/Quote

This is the standard offer that you see most contractors do. It’s effective but not unique.

If you are in a competitive marketplace this might not be enough to see results. Fortunately, the competition is low in most cities so this offer can be effective.

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy

Gift Cards

Home Depot or Lowe’s Gift cards are a great way to grab the attention of new prospects. It’s a great way to start a conversation and set appointments for your sales team.

You don’t need to do an expensive gift card. A $25 Gift Card should be enough to help you set appointments.

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy

Roof Giveaways

Not really a standard offer, this type of viral marketing campaign can help your company with branding and awareness.

It works well with social media.

5 Unique Offers That Will Make Your Campaign Convert Like Crazy

Conclusion

Think about the metaphor I wrote about earlier with the two different cars. One is an irresistible offer while the other is the standard boring offer.

Selling a luxury car below its market value would be much easier than selling an old beat up car and above its market value.

It’s the same with your marketing campaigns.

An irresistible offer can turn a mediocre campaign into a smashing success.

In other verticals, you have to test your offer many times to see results. In roofing, you can use these offers to help you set more appointments and more sales.

Don't Get Duped: Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Online Marketing Company
Jan 13

Don’t Get Duped: Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Online Marketing Company

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

One of the biggest mistakes I see roofers make is the belief that they are not “technical” people.

This belief absolves many of them of taking responsibility for not learning about online marketing and websites.
Since a lot of roofing contractors are older and not a lot of young people are entering the trades this puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to the internet.

Contractors are far behind other niches when it comes to online marketing.

Past negative experiences and online lead generation companies like HomeAdvisor have held a lot of contractors back from understanding what it takes to succeed online.

This stuff is not rocket science.

Anybody can understand it.

You just have to take the time to learn and understand the strategies at a high level.

The two main reasons why marketing campaigns fail is because of incompetence and fraud.

Fraud

Although this is rare fraud still happens with many marketing agencies.

With fraud, you have to use your gut to determine if you are being lied to. Your gut is the best lie detector in the world.
Asking for referrals might prevent this from happening but does not guarantee it.

It’s much harder to get defrauded if you know what to look for.

Incompetence

This is the most common reason why marketing agencies fail to deliver.

How can you determine if the person you are dealing with is competent?

This is tough to determine if you don’t know what to look for.

The best way to do this is to ask the right questions.

What are the right questions?

Keep reading below to find out…

The most important metric

The most important metric is past success within your niche using a particular strategy.

For example, have they had success with previous roofing clients using PPC or Facebook?

Can they show you the results?

A lot of agencies have case studies but they don’t have case studies in your particular niche. This is an important distinction.

The reason is that marketing strategies change depending on the market. What works for an attorney might not work for a contractor.

When you are dealing with a generalist marketing agency you have to know if they have gotten results with other roofers.
If they haven’t and you decide to work with them then you’ll be going into uncharted territory.

 

I’m not saying they can’t be successful, in fact, if they are good then success won’t be that difficult. But you should keep in mind that there might be a few bumps in the road.

SEO is the exception here. If you are hiring an SEO agency and they are good then they would have productized their service.
Which means that they will consistently deliver the same SEO service/product to all their clients and the niche won’t matter.

You should look for case studies

Case studies are difficult to fake. This is the best type of proof that you can use.

Even if they have had success with past clients this is no guarantee that they will do the same for you.

Marketing has a high failure rate. An entrepreneur understands that marketing is an investment.

An investor knows that not all his investments will provide a return.

This doesn’t prevent him/her to stop trying.

Past negative experiences should not stop your business from growing.

You don’t know what you don’t know

To determine what you need to know you have to first determine what questions you need to ask. The answers to these questions will help you determine if you are making a good hire.

Questions to ask before hiring a PPC agency:

  • Do you use landing pages?
  • Do you have clients in my city?
  • What are the expectations?
  • What’s the conversion rate of the landing page?
  • Do you track the calls?
  • What is the average conversion rate of the leads?
  • Reports?

Questions to Ask when hiring a Facebook Ads agency:

  • Do you use a marketing funnel?
  • What is the offer that you are providing to prospects? Free Roof Inspections, Gift Cards etc..
  • What is the expected conversion rate?
  • Will you be sending reports?
  • What are KPI (Key Performance Indicators) will you be looking for?
    Reports?

Questions to ask before hiring an SEO agency:

  • How will you improve our website rankings?
  • What kind of backlinks will you be linking to?
  • Do you follow Google’s best practices?
  • Can you share some information on your past client’s results?
  • Will you be sending reports?
  • Can you guarantee that our site will rank #1 for a major search term? If they answer yes then this is a big red flag. No one can guarantee a #1 ranking
  • What are the timelines for ranking?

Reports & Tracking

Your marketing partner should track everything. I can’t tell how many marketing agencies don’t track their results.

Without proper tracking, you will never get an understanding of what is working or not. Tracking provides a compass on your journey to your marketing destination.

Here are a couple of examples of what your reports should include. They can be sent weekly or on a monthly basis.

  • PPC
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Avg. Position
  • Conversion Rate
  • Cost/Lead
  • Amount Spent
  • #of leads
  • Web Leads datasheet
  • Facebook
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Conversion Rate
  • Cost/Lead
  • Amount Spent
  • #of leads
  • Web Leads datasheet
  • Facebook Relevance Score

All SEO reports should include a few things:

  • summary of activities
  • search traffic
  • search rankings
  • conversions

Conclusion

Information is power.

The more information you have the better your decision making will be.

I don’t expect you to become an overnight digital marketing expert but these questions will help you determine if you are hiring the right marketing partner for your company.

Even if they answer these questions with flying colors and you are impressed by their expertise this does not guarantee success.

Marketing will always have a high failure rate.

But that should not stop you from doing whatever it takes to succeed. The company’s future depends on having an online marketing strategy that works.

Sell Security Not Roofs
Jan 04

Why You Should Sell Security And Not Roofs

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

Are you selling roofs or are you selling security?

People are not rational.

This is one of the best lessons you’ll ever learn.

No matter how intelligent one is a person will make a decision based on emotional reasons.

Now, I am not saying all decisions are emotional but the bigs ones are.

Small daily decisions are usually made with logic.

The same is true with roofing.

When a homeowner decides to replace the roof on their home they are making an emotional decision.

Investing tens of thousands of dollars is not easy for some people.

As a roofer you are not selling roofs, you are selling security and peace of mind.

If you focus on the emotional reasons why someone would choose to replace their roof your conversions will skyrocket.

Sell with emotion and close with logic.

If your sale is all emotion then you run the risk of getting buyer’s remorse.

What is buyer’s remorse?

It’s the sense of regret after having made a purchase.

You have to use logic in your presentations in order for them to justify their purchase in their minds.

Emotional Reasons To Buy

An exercise you should try is to write out all the emotional reasons why someone buys a roof.

Things like:

  • Security
  • Peace of mind
  • Fear of loss

Logical Reasons include

  • Pricing
  • Time to complete work

Marketing Message

If your marketing message focuses on providing content that addresses the buyer’s biggest objections then selling would become easier.

Marketing is supposed to make selling superfluous.

For the contractors that actually use marketing, their marketing tends to focus on the low hanging fruit.

These people are at the top of the buying cycle. They usually have a problem with their roof and they need someone to fix it.

This is the strategy that I would recommend that most contractors follow but this is only one piece of the entire market.

According to Chet Holmes, only 3% of the market is looking to buy your product/service.

This is a good video showcases Chet Holmes “Buying Pyramid” where each person is in the buying cycle:

The buying Pyramid breaks down the prospects into 5 stages of the buying cycle:

  1. Percent who are interested in buying “right now” (3%)
  2. Percent who are “open to considering such a purchase” (6-7%)
  3. The amount who are NOT thinking about it at this time (30%)
  4. Those who don’t “believe” they are interested (based on the info they have at hand) 30%
  5. Those who are definitely NOT interested (30%)

It would be a mistake if your marketing only focuses on the 3% of people that are ready to buy. You are ignoring the majority of the market

If you spend some of your time marketing to the 6-7% and to the 30% who are not thinking about it right now it gives you a first mover advantage.

What is a First Mover Advantage?

From Wikipedia:

“In marketing strategy, the first-mover advantage (FMA) is the advantage gained by the initial (“first-moving”) significant occupant of a market segment. … A market participant has the first-mover advantage if it is the first entrant and gains a competitive advantage through control of resources.

Let’s face it most people never think about their roofs unless there is a problem. However, if you promote your services then they might start thinking about replacing their roof.

By promoting your message across as many channels as you can you’ll be top of mind and when the time comes to repair or replace their roof they will call you first.”

Conclusion

People are not rational.

They buy because of emotional reasons. Your marketing & selling should focus on the emotional reasons why someone buys a roof.

If your message focuses on things like security and peace of mind you’ll see higher conversion rates.

Roofing Lead Magnet
Dec 30

Become The Roofing Expert With A Lead Magnet

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

A roofer is a marketer that sells roofs.

How many roofing contractors have this mindset?

If you think you are a marketer that sells roofs your mindset will change completely.

If you think with a marketing first perspective you’ll understand the value of differentiation.

What makes you different than all the other roofers in your city?

Most people do not think about their roofs.

They only think about their roofs when there is damage or when there is new construction. As a roofer, it’s your job to educate your customer in making the right decision.

One of the best ways to educate your customers is to provide highly consumable content that helps homeowners and commercial property owners make the right choice when choosing a contractor.

Here are some questions you can answer with your content:

  • What kind of content can you provide that can help the homeowner or commercial property owner?
  • What things can you teach a homeowner or a commercial property owner on selecting the right roof?
  • What things can you teach about insurance?
  • What’s the difference the material that you use?
  • What are the different types of materials you offer?
  • What things can you share that are considered common knowledge in the industry but are not common to most people?
  • What secrets can you share that not many know about?

One of the best ways to indoctrinate your prospects is to use a Lead Magnet

What is a Lead Magnet?

Lead Magnet — noun — an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.

For some reason, a lot of contractors are afraid of sharing this type of information. I am of the belief that the more you share the better results you get.

Roofing Lead Magnet

How To Create A Lead Magnet

There are 2 rules when creating a lead magnet.

Make it specific.

Make it easy to consume.

We live in an ADD world and most people will not read a large amount of information if they don’t know who you are.

Your lead magnet needs to be consumed for it to have an impact. A specific lead magnet that answers a question will have a real impact.

For example, a homeowner doesn’t know a lot of information on how to choose a roofer. An Ebook that answers this simple question will be great.

Some examples include:

“Insider’s Guide to Selecting Roofing Contractor”
“Selecting a Roofing Contractor – The Secret Manual”
“Roofing Contractor Cheat Sheet”
“The Homeowner’s Secret Guide to Choosing a Roofer”

The table of contents can be simple:

  • The difference between small, medium-sized, and large roofing contractors.
  • Does your roofer sub the work?
  • What materials are best to use?

Here is a great worksheet from Digital Marketer on How To Create A Lead Magnet

Content is all about detail

The more detailed the information you present the better results you will get. A question that can help you with the content would be what type of information is considered common knowledge with roofing contractors but is not considered common knowledge with the average homeowner?

Video or Articles?

A video is a more powerful medium for sharing information than the written word. However, some people prefer reading vs. watching a video.

Ideally, you would like to produce both types of content so it can make maximum impact.

If you are not a writer then you can create videos.

If you don’t have experience being in front of a camera you are going to suck the first few times you record videos.

The only way to get better is practice in front of a camera. I recently did a Facebook 30 Day Live challenge in which for 30 days straight I got in front of a live audience and shared some content.

Once you’ve created this piece of content you can use this as bait to get people’s information.

This is called an Ethical Bribe. You share free information in exchange for someone’s contact information.

This is another name for “Lead Magnet”

A lead magnet is a great way to introduce yourself to your prospects. Keep in mind, even though people download your lead magnet it doesn’t mean they will read your content.

People today are ADD. They request information all the time and forget even to look at it.

In order to facilitate them reading your content, you need to follow up. An easy way to do is to create an email drip campaign directing people to your piece of content.

Some examples of Lead Magnets that can work well include:

  • Ebooks
  • Video series
  • Checklists
  • Cheat Sheets
  • Infographics

Repurpose content

Not many people realize that you don’t need to keep creating a lot of content. You can create the content once and then repacked it in different formats.

Roofing Lead Magnet

For example, a Cheat Sheet can turn into an infographic pretty easily. You just need the data you get from the cheat sheet and have a graphic designer create an infographic for you.

Where can I use A Lead Magnet?

You can use on your website, your social media accounts, and any Facebook Advertising campaigns. You can use it anywhere that your prospects hang out.

Why Should I use A Lead Magnet?

The main objective of using a lead magnet is to position your business as an expert and authority. Another reason why you should use a lead magnet is that you can target people that further down the buying cycle.

These are people that not necessarily looking for a new roof but will start thinking about once they see your ad.

Not many roofers use a lead magnet.

In many markets, using a lead magnet is nothing special, but using a lead magnet in the roofing space puts you in the top 1% of all roofing contractors in terms of marketing.

Using a lead magnet is also a great way to educate your prospects.

An education first approach is one of the best ways to sell roofs.

Another benefit of using a lead magnet is that it allows you to build a database.

A database is one of the most valuable things your company can have.

A database can be a potential goldmine of new revenue.

Not many people will buy the first time they hear about you. But if and when the times that they need a new roof you will be the first ones they call.

Conclusion

The main objective of a good marketing campaign is to sell more roofs. If you remember that marketing is supposed to make selling easy than using a lead magnet is a great way to hit that objective.

Using a lead magnet is a great way to position your company as the expert and authority in your marketplace.

Online Marketing Roofing
Nov 19

Online Marketing Made Simple For Roofing Companies

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

There is so much information online that it can be overwhelming for a newbie. My goal with this article is to simplify things and give you a roadmap on the things that are important.

There are many channels in which you can promote your product and services.

Each of these channels has many different strategies that you can try.

Different industries require different strategies and tactics to make it work on these channels.

What might work for one industry in one channel might not work for another in the same channel.

Additionally, what might work well in one location might not work as well in another location with the same strategy.

There are many different variables one has to take into account and these variables are constantly changing.

And, once you have seen results you have to maintain it which is a whole different ballgame.

The point is that unless you educate yourself on the things that matter you won’t be ready for the changes when they come.

The failure to anticipate what is going to happen in your business marketplace is the #1 reason why businesses fail.

Understanding Online Marketing

Online marketing is constantly evolving but the fundamentals stay the same.

Think of an online marketing strategy as a way to organize your resources to get consistent results from your campaigns.

Good marketing comes down to three things: Developing a message that connects, promoting your services where your prospects hang out and making it easy for them to get in touch with your business.

Good marketing is supposed to make selling easy.

The vast majority of the time the first time a prospect will interact with your business will be online.

The vast majority of people spend their time on two platforms: Google and Facebook.

Google dominates search while Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, dominate social media.

Almost all your prospects are using these two platforms on a daily basis.

It’s your responsibility to develop a message that connects with them on these platforms.

If you fail to do so your competition will eventually dominate you.

Roofing is a competitive market and the competition will only increase in the coming years.

Do You Have A Website?

Having a website is not enough.

A website is just the first step in building an online presence. However, a website by itself won’t generate leads or customers.

Think of online marketing as a real estate developer.

A real estate developer invests his capital on a piece of land (a website). The investment in the land won’t provide a return unless he develops the land. (Marketing campaigns)

He needs a general contractor (marketing people) to actually build the properties. He needs buyers to buy and lease properties on his land (website visitors)

He finally gets a return on his investment when he develops the land.

Online Marketing Present and Future

The internet is the present and the future

The internet has become the #1 way most contractors generate new customers that do not include referrals.

According to Contractors CRM, the internet has become the #1-way contractors generate new customers.

The two most popular channels, that have many documented case studies in roofing, are Google and Facebook Ads.

All these channels require a serious investment and can take months or even a year to see results.

Even if you’ve had negative experiences before that should not stop you from creating strategies that will get you a positive return.

Google/Search Engines

The goal of AdWords and SEO are the same. To rank on the search engines and to generate clicks and leads.

How you get to these objectives are different.

Both are expensive compared to what most roofers spend online but much cheaper than traditional advertising.

Results come faster with AdWords.

AdWords

Here are some things that can help you succeed with AdWords.

  • Target High Commercial Intent Keywords
  • Bid on single keyword groups
  • Use a landing page to facilitate higher conversion rates
  • Track all your conversions and calls
  • Minimize the lead response time
  • Follow up and set appointments with all the leads

To read more about how to create a winning AdWords campaign check out the guide we wrote here.

SEO

SEO takes a lot longer to see results.

Both are effective with residential and commercial.

SEO is defined as a way to organize your online resources to rank in the search engines to generate rankings and clicks to your website.

Here’s a good metaphor that I found SEO and Pirates:

“As an SEO, I can help identify the opportunity and draw a loose perimeter on the map. But I can’t necessarily tell you exactly where in the perimeter the booty is; nor can I guarantee how deep it is.  But, as luck would have it, I can also help you dig.  The time is all dependent on how many shovels we have in the dirt, and how hard we dig.  The timing may be up to luck, but we will find the gold to offset all the effort.”

It’s important that when you create an SEO campaign that your website is designed to convert. I recommend a WordPress site that uses Thrive Themes as the theme.

These themes are all designed to convert. You can build a nice looking high converting website with these platforms.

When it comes to SEO there are two basic strategies: On Page SEO and off Page SEO. Off-page SEO is where you create content, link building campaigns, and a social media presence.

You need to continually create link building opportunities to achieve rankings on the search engines.

On Page SEO has everything to do with creating an optimized SEO website with title tags, keywords, and schema markups. It’s also important that you have the right NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) of your business.

Social Media

Facebook dominates social media. There are over 2 billion users on Facebook. The average American spends 45 minutes a day on Facebook.

There are several strategies that have done well with Facebook Ads

Run a Roof Giveaway Contest

These types of campaigns can go viral if your message connects. Roofing Annex based in Cincinnati recently ran this campaign with great success.

Online Marketing Roofing

Roofing Survey

You can make a survey on Facebook and let your prospects that they might qualify for a free roof in the event of a storm.

Storm Ad

After a storm, you can target the affected areas with a storm ad. Whether it’s a Hailstorm or a hurricane these ads are effective.

Make it simple.

Call out the storm and a picture or video and explain to them that they might qualify for a free roof if they have insurance.

Online Marketing Roofing

Ebook/Infographic

You can offer to provide insider information in the form of an Ebook/Infographic that most people would not know in exchange for their contact information.

Online Marketing Roofing

Instagram

Instagram is the second largest social media channel in the world. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook you can create your ads on Facebook.

Instagram has limitations. You can only create 60-second videos and the images have to be certain dimensions. Overall, I would follow a similar strategy that you use with Facebook Ads on Instagram but with some differences.

Conclusion

The company that is dominating online are dominating with real-world results. Roofing is a crowded marketplace but roofers lack marketing skills which make easier to stand out.

Now is the time to invest in online marketing. Keep it simple. Focus on three strategies: PPC, Facebook Ads, and SEO. This three have proven to give you results.