What separates you from the competition?
There are over 24,000 roofing businesses in the USA and over 100,000 roofing contractors in the USA alone. When you compare this number to other verticals it’s a significant number.
The competition is fierce in some areas of the country, in others not so much.
How do you stand out in a sea of competition?
One of the biggest questions that you need think about is how you stand out and separate yourself from the competition.
Young people are not entering the trades anymore. Our societies have looked down upon trade and vocational schools while glorifying traditional colleges.
This has made traditional college more popular than ever for young people vs. trade schools. A lot of skilled workers left after the 2007 financial crisis and they never returned.
Even with the lack of interest with young people entering the trades the construction industry has steadily grown after the financial crisis.
We are finally seeing the 2006 construction level activity. Even with the increase in activity, there are many construction jobs that have not been filled.
Finding skilled workers remains the #1 challenge that most construction companies face.
This has inflated the demand of the marketplace. A common occurrence for many roofing companies is to turn down work because they can’t handle the demand.
This is not common for most industries in which companies are starving for new customers.
Since a lot of contractors have been in business for a long time they have relied on their old customer base to bring them, new customers.
But what happens if young roofing entrepreneurs armed with online marketing knowledge come in your city?
Even though this is rare, roofing entrepreneurs that understand the current marketplace have a huge advantage over their technically illiterate competition.
These two companies in a short time have come in their marketplace and started dominating even though they didn’t have the experience or the large customer base.
Why You Shouldn’t Rely On Referrals
Referrals are always going to be the #1 way that service-based businesses generate new customers. Referrals pay the most and are the easiest to convert.
This article is not about referrals but about separating your business from the competition. In order to stand out from the competition, you can’t do what everybody else is doing.
You have to anticipate the demands of your marketplace and really understand where you are most likely to find your customers.
Today, that is online.
Rely on Old School Methods to get by
Are you relying on old-school methods to generate business for you?
The most common way that roofing companies generate leads is through door knocking. This is still an effective strategy but is becoming more and more difficult as no solicitation neighborhoods become more common.
Besides if every roofing company is door knocking how would it separate you from the competition?
People learn through stories. If you tell your story in an engaging way people are more likely to remember your marketing message.
Branding is about standing out.
The best way to build your brand is to create real connections with your community. Some things that can help with your branding include:
- Branded Vehicle Wraps. Here is a good video that shows you the importance of vehicle wraps:
- Commercial Videos here’s a good example:
- Video testimonials
- A Well designed website
- Positive online reviews
Images of you and your staff in a uniform with their trucks. This is a good example of this here:
- Viral videos
The Importance of Online Reviews
Online reviews are the modern referrals.
Over 88% of consumers trust online reviews. 9 in 10 consumers read reviews for a local business.
If you have a lot of negative reviews this will definitely affect your business.
This is because they are difficult to fake.
They provide 3rd party verification of your expertise and credibility. People are more likely to trust their peers over the word of a salesman.
There are many platforms that allow your roofing company to solicit reviews. The two main ones that I focus most of my attention would Google Reviews and Facebook Reviews.
These are the two platforms in which your prospects are more likely to find you.
Most roofing contractors I talk to have not even claimed or verified their Google My Business listing. That would be the first step.
How Testimonials Can Help You Differentiate Your Business
Nothing overcomes objections as much as offering proof of your expertise. Today people are more skeptical than ever.
Testimonials are a great way to overcome that skepticism. But, they can’t just be any testimonials they have to be done in a certain way to make a difference. In fact, testimonials that are not done correctly can negatively impact your conversions.
The best way to write a great testimonial is to use the star, story, solution format.
This is an old school copywriting strategy that will help you write an awesome testimonial.
- Star- introduce your customer and tell who they are
- Story- tell the story of how they found you and their previous experiences. It helps if they had negative experiences
- Solution- tell the solution you provide and the problem that you solved
The Importance of Videos
Videos are viewed today more than ever.
Video is becoming the #1 way that people consume content.
Even though it’s easier than ever to create videos, the vast majority of roofing companies don’t even have a single video.
Videos are a great way to engage your customers and stand out from the competition.
You can use videos to teach something, to show your work, or to tell your story.
Video testimonials are better than written testimonials. People are more likely to believe a video testimonial vs. a written testimonial.
How active are you on social media?
Take a look around your marketplace. How many roofing companies have really figured out how to use social media?
How many have taken the time to really understand what it takes to succeed on social media?
Most roofing companies, know the importance of social media but have failed to implement a plan that gets them results.
Social media is here to stay and the roofing company that implements a plan that gets them results will be a leader in their marketplace.
Facebook & Instagram dominate social media. The best way to implement a plan that gets you results on these platforms is to add value first.
Educate your audience, entertain them, and finally make them an offer they can’t refuse.
This is the best social media strategy in a nutshell.
For an example of a roofing company that is doing social media well take a look at Roofing Annex in Cincinnati
Local Community Events
One of the best ways to establish your business and stand out is to host local community events and meet the people in your community.
Nothing will replace a face to face meeting.
Even with the rise of the internet people are social creatures and crave human connections. Things that can help you in your community are hosting events like:
- Charity events
- Local seminars
Doing all these belly to belly networking events are a great way to stand out and be known in your community.
In business, if you are not constantly evolving you are risk getting left behind.
It’s a competitive business world. Competition is fierce in some cities. For a long time, roofing contractors have relied on the fact they have been in a business for a long time and have a large customer base.
The times are changing. A young hungry entrepreneur can come to your city and take your business away. Don’t let that happen to you.
Evolve and take the next step in your business.