Posted by Rich Harshaw on November 2, 2017.
We’ve talked about an awesome new website we launched for Zen Windows Pennsylvania.
Here’s another website we launched for a client. This one is for Signature Exteriors, a roofing and siding contractor that has served Connecticut for 66 years.
Before I give you the link to their new website, let me tell you about some of its standout features:
- Content and eye-catching design elements have a great synergy on the homepage. From the big blue header to the main copy section to the service-area map, everything has a flow and progresses in a logical way that makes visitors to the site naturally scroll down the page.
- Also on the homepage is a Project Counter. This client has performed over 20,000 projects, so we determined that it would be a great idea to showcase that number on the website.
- The Jobsite Map page shows prospects exact addresses of past projects. This is a great credibility enhancer.
- A clean Project Gallery showcases the client’s great work, as well as Before & After shots.
- And as always, a powerful Identity permeates every page of the site (naturally).
This client is changing its name from Vinylume Home Improvement to Signature Exteriors. They’ve had the Vinylume name for decades, but it’s no longer reflects their company or services.
When rebranding, things can get messy online—prospects can get confused, business listings could get mixed up, and search results can suffer.
Here are some steps we’ve taken to ensure a smooth online transition…
- We added a redirect plan into their htaccess file. In layman’s terms, we alerted Google that all of the pages on their previous website (the one with their old company name) have now moved to the current website. This passes page ranking and authority over to the new website.
- We updated the client’s information on business listing website on which they are currently found (Houzz, Angie’s List, and BBB to name a few), and created accounts on listing sites they were not (Facebook, for instance).
- On the new website, we made it apparently clear that Signature Exteriors is the same trusted Vinylume that’s served the community for over 60 years… just with a cooler name.
Enough talk. Here’s the link: https://www.signatureexteriors.com/
Let us know if we can help with any of your internet marketing needs by calling (817) 416-4333.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 30, 2017.
You know those parents who won’t shut up about how great their kids are because they think you’re as interested as they are?
“Little Johnny rolled over for the first time.”
“Suzy got a ‘B’ on her English midterm.”
“Billy sneezed seven times yesterday.”
They’re proud of their kids, and they should be.
But outside of their family and maybe some friends, most people don’t care that little Johnny rolled onto his stomach.
That might sound harsh, but you know what they say about the truth.
(Answer: It hurts.)
This apathy applies to your prospects and industry awards you’ve received.
Outside your small circle—employees, immediate family, etc.—no one cares about the awards you’ve won.
Sure, it’s great you won.
But your prospects tune that stuff out.
It may seem interesting to YOU… but no one else gives a crap.
Case in point…
I once had a client who won the Better Business Bureau’s “Torch Award” for the second straight year.
This is actually a pretty great accomplishment—the BBB doesn’t dole out this award to just any company. You have to demonstrate some serious leadership and ethical standards just to be nominated.
Naturally, the client wanted to advertise such a big achievement in hopes of winning more business. So he wrote an advertorial (an ad that looks like an article) about his company’s Torch Award.
Here’s a look:
Looks fine, right?
When the client asked for my feedback on the advertorial, I said, “I’m glad you won the Torch Award for the second time. But I hate to tell you—nobody cares.”
The reason? It’s BORING.
As in, “random stranger in line at Target telling you her kid got his first tooth last night” boring.
Think about it. This is an advertisement that’s supposed to look like an article. Articles are supposed to provide the audience with interesting content that hooks them on every word.
This advertorial does not do that. It sounds like it was written by and for the employees of the client’s company.
So I threw down a gauntlet for the client: Reposition the ad.
Instead of telling people he won the Torch Award, provide an interesting story that helps them understand why he won it.
I asked the client for a specific example of demonstrating the ethics the award requires. He thought for a minute and then told me a story of when a supplier screwed up a door order two times in a row.
The first time, the supplier cut the door too short. The second time, they sent the wrong material (steel instead of fiberglass).
The customer was upset but agreed to sign off on the second door as long as my client gave him a hefty discount.
My client didn’t do that. Instead, he ordered and installed the RIGHT door… and then refunded ALL of the customer’s money.
All told, the client took an $8,200 loss on the project.
Now THERE is a story.
I told the client all he had to do was tell that story in the ad. I helped him write it, and voila…
I’d say that’s light-years more interesting than “Company Wins BBB Torch Award,” wouldn’t you?
Yeah… and here’s the proof:
- The client ran the revised ad at a cost of $4,000.
- The ad returned over $50,000 in sales. That’s an ROI of 12 to 1.
- They spent the same amount of money on “traditional” ad placements in the same newspaper and barely received a phone call.
- Prospects who called after reading the advertorial said they felt they could trust the client more than other contractors.
- The lead quality was significantly better, too—they were able to close the leads at a rate of 50% to 60%, double their usual closing ratio of about 30%.
Getting people to pay attention and engaged in your message is 90% of the battle. When you accomplish that, great things happen.
So the next time you sit down to write an ad, think about what your prospect would find interesting. Don’t just tell them you won an award; give them a concrete example of why you won it—one that’s fascinating and relevant to THEM.
P.S. In addition to our online marketing services, we provide turnkey offline marketing solutions. This includes ad writing, radio, television, and direct mail. We can even plan your media buying and negotiate the best deals on your behalf. So if you’re struggling to create an offline marketing campaign that resonates with your audience and produces sales, get in touch with us. We’ll take care of everything.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 22, 2017.
To tell people how great their service is, a lot of contractors say, “We treat you like family.”
You probably even say this (or something similar) somewhere in your own marketing.
Well, yesterday I realized that treating your customers like your flesh and blood could be the WORST thing for your business.
Yesterday I came home for lunch. I made a sandwich and plopped down on the couch.
I turned on the television, and Judge Faith (one of TV’s 857 court shows) was on.
The case is something I see all the time on these “court-room dramas”: A case involving a homeowner and a contractor.
And when I say “all the time,” I mean it.
It seems like every episode of Judge Faith / Judy / Alex / Whoever has a case involving a client-contractor dispute.
This particular client-contractor case, however, kept things “in the family.”
A woman was Hugesuing her brother, who was a handyman. She hired him to complete some roof repairs and paid him the full $4,700 UP FRONT.
Turns out, the brother was a lazy sleazebag.
He started her roof project, and then took on another job for someone else. He began neglecting his sister’s project and told her he would “complete it in time.”
Five months later…
The woman’s roof still wasn’t done. The brother was nowhere in sight. The shingles he never installed were still on the roof… and started to MELT from the sun!
Meanwhile, the brother put up a fence and redid the kitchen… at HIS house.
The sister finally had enough and hired someone else to do the job.
Then she sued her brother for the $4,700 she paid him.
Needless to say, the sister won the case. The judge awarded her $3,500 (she subtracted $1,000 for materials and $200 for labor).
But that’s not the most interesting part…
During the episode, the judge sarcastically asked the brother why he thinks he’s being sued.
His response: “Because my sister is a nut.”
If this is how contractors treat their family, I certainly don’t want the flesh-and-blood treatment from whom I hire.
What’s the point of telling you about this courtroom family drama?
If you say you “treat customers like family”—or anything else to indicate you provide great service—you better back it up.
Tell people EXACTLY how you treat your customers. Then follow through on those claims on every single job.
Here are a few examples of true “family” treatment:
- Moving your customers’ potential “breakables” for them before starting work.
- Having a strict “no radio, no swearing” jobsite policy to make customers feel more comfortable.
- Providing your personal cell phone number to customers and tell them to call any time—day or night—if they have questions.
- Require no money up front (a GIANT show of trust).
- Giving your customer’s dog a treat when you show up to the jobsite every morning.
- And, oh yeah… providing kickass installation.
There are a dozen and one other things you can do, both big and small. But you get the picture.
Don’t just say you “treat people like family.” Show people how you walk the talk.
Homeowners put up with jerk contractors like the brother in this court case constantly. It’s why contractors get the (dis)honor of being on the BBB’s “Most Complained About” list every year without fail.
Simply telling people you treat them like “family” means nothing to your prospects. Bad contractors say it all the time, so your prospects have zero reason to believe you… unless you provide ample evidence to back up your claim.
So GET SPECIFIC.
Precision is one of the “3 P’s” of a powerful, profit-producing Identity.
That means not only saying you do something well… but informing prospects exactly how you do it. (And then—the most important part—following through during the actual job.)
Otherwise, what you’re saying is white noise… and your prospects will see through you faster than Judge Judy.
P.S. This page contains a ton of info about our Identity services. Read through it, and think about how YOUR marketing would benefit from a powerful, prospect-pulling Identity. Then reach out to us—we would LOVE to help you with your marketing needs.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on December 1, 2016.
Do you ever wonder how the heck some people can be so non-self-aware?
For example, I have a friend who says he hates complainers.
Two minutes later, he’s complaining about work… how he’s always tired, how his boss is terrible, how he’s not appreciated, yadda yadda.
He’s totally unaware of what he’s doing. It’s incredible.
Incredible, but common.
We humans sometimes have a hard time seeing ourselves—our weaknesses as well as our strengths.
This is why if you’re creating your own company Identity—the marketing message that demonstrates what makes you different, special, and better than the rest—you do so at your own peril.
Here’s what I mean…
I once had an Identity Kickoff call with a new roofing contractor client. He was particularly oblivious to his company’s strengths.
When I asked him what he thought made his company special, he responded, “Uh… well… gee… um… I don’t know… great customer service? Quality workmanship?”
He spewed these types of contractor clichés for the first 40 minutes of the call.
(I have a newfound respect for dentists because now I know what pulling teeth feels like.)
Finally, the client said in passing that he doesn’t charge his customers a dime until the job is done and the customer is satisfied.
I nearly fell out of my chair.
ME: “Whoa, back up. What did you just say?”
CLIENT: “Uh, we have great customer service?”
ME: “No, after that.”
CLIENT: “We have quality workmanship?”
ME: “No, after that.”
CLIENT: “We don’t accept money until after we complete the job and the customer is satisfied?”
Ding! Ding! Ding!
How many quality roofers—or contractors, period—require zero upfront deposit, let alone refuse to accept any payment until the entire project is completed AND done to the customer’s satisfaction?
One out of every hundred… if that?
And here this client is, not even remotely thinking it’s a big deal.
Talk about being blind to the obvious.
If you’re a homeowner in need of a roof, the promise of not paying a dime until YOU say the project is done is just too good to pass up.
(And if you’re thinking this is an easy way for the client to get stiffed on payments, think again. This guy has run a successful business with “payment upon completion” since he started in 1990!)
Basing the client’s Identity around “You Don’t Pay Until You’re Satisfied” also dovetails beautifully into the other great things about this client. It shows the client is confident in his work, that you can trust him, and that he’ll ensure the job is done right from start to finish.
And there you go. This client’s Identity was right under his nose, and he never even whiffed it.
The Bottom Line: Unless you are a marketing expert, there’s a 90% chance you’ll fail to capture your true Identity in your marketing.
But don’t worry—MYM has your back.
Contractor marketing is ALL we do. Get in touch with us, and we’ll evaluate your company’s current Identity (or lack thereof) and provide you with ideas to make it more powerful and persuasive.
We’ll sniff out what REALLY sets your company apart from the competition, and what will truly make homeowners want to line up around the block to hire you.
It’s all part of our free Lead Generation Audit package. We dig deep into company identity, website, SEO, PPC, and much more.
If you want $3,500-worth of valuable insight into every aspect of your online marketing—for $0.00—hurry up and get your Lead Generation Audit here.
P.S. If you want a crash course on creating a powerful Identity, watch this webinar I held two years ago. Fast forward to 54:20 for a concise, three-step method to producing a marketing message that generates loads of leads.