Posted by Rich Harshaw on March 16, 2017.
, Contractor Marketing
, Contractor Seminars
, Internet Marketing
, Make The Jump
, Online Reputation Management
, Pay Per Click
, Price Conditioning
, Rich Harshaw Seminars
, Web Marketing
If you’re serious about getting to $10MM, you’re going to have to Master internet marketing.
That’s Master, with a capital M.
Like Steph Curry is the Master of the 3-point shot.
But honestly, most remodelers are more like a fat kid hoisting 3’s in his driveway. They’re just not very good at internet marketing
But Mastery is non-negotiable—if you want to get to $10MM. Here’s why:
1. Every lead you ever get from any source is going to check out your website. All of them. And if you’re not careful, your website will scare them off—without you even knowing it.
2. There are a TON of prospects wandering around the internet just waiting to be captured by you… or somebody else who is better at doing so.
To learn more about the Make The Jump Event click here.
In terms of websites: yours MUST be fresh, clean, and current. It has to turn LOOKERS into BUYERS. You have to build a case for why you’re different and better than your competitors. You have to show them plenty of evidence. You have to be convincing.
Especially considering your prices are going to be 50% to 150% higher than your competitors.
Fat kid in the driveway isn’t going to cut it.
Want to see what your website SHOULD look like? Click here, here, here, or here.
If you want to learn more about what goes into a great website, watch this webinar.
Now let’s shift gears and talk about SEO & PPC.
These are two of the least understood weapons in the remodeler’s toolkits—because sellers of SEO & PPC have been ripping remodelers off for well over a decade now.
Everyone has stories of failure and doom. And most of them are true. You do have to be careful when wading into these waters.
But flushing SEO & PPC down the toilet because some company ripped you off makes no more sense than homeowners flushing remodeling down the toilet because contractors have a bad reputation.
Get over it—there are hundreds and hundreds of leads just WAITING to be captured.
Obviously, you have to have a killer website or else the prospects that land on your site are going to draw the natural conclusion that you suck. Airball.
But beyond that, what are the rules? How does it work? What should you do?
For SEO, it’s simple. You have to add TONS and TONS and TONS of relevant, interesting, and well-written content and add it to your site.
Every. Single. Month.
Content can mean articles, blog posts, videos, geographic-specific pages, product-specific pages, case studies, project photos, online reviews—just to name a few.
Google sees all that stuff and rates you higher than your competitors who don’t put in the time and effort to do so. It’s just that simple.
But still, most SEO companies try to shortcut the process. The key words above were “relevant, interesting, and well-written.” Most companies settle for poorly written, irrelevant, and uninteresting.
Fat kid hoisting 3’s in the driveway.
And they wonder why Google keeps crucifying them.
SEO to the level you need to get to $10MM is going to cost you about $1,200 to $3,000 a month—and it strictly depends on how aggressive and good your competitors are (at SEO).
Most of our clients are on a $1,200 a month plan and are riding first page (and many #1) rankings… and rising. A few of our clients pay double that because they are in super competitive markets, or they have a few really bad reviews that we have to bury. (note: bad reviews does NOT necessarily mean they are a bad company. It often means that some idiot jack-wagon has a vendetta against them. You also need to actively manage your online reputation and reviews).
Not doing SEO is not an option. It’s 100% mandatory.
But what about PPC?
To be a $10MM company, you’re going to want to Master this one as well.
To learn more about the Make The Jump Event click here.
Google recently changed the way its search results look. The top FOUR spots are now ads, then a map, and then the “organic” (SEO) results.
Take a look:
Let me give you the short course on PPC, then give you some links to read more if you want.
PPC providers are worse than the SEO guys. There are a TON of them that have ZERO clue what they are doing. Most of them are simply taking your money and putting it on an online automated bidding platform that takes a huge chunk of the money you paid to use. You never know this except when you get crappy results. I want to emphasize—they literally have no idea what they are doing. None.
Fat kid in the driveway trying to shoot a medicine ball.
The few that don’t use an automated system have SOME clue, but almost always are generating fewer leads than you should be getting.
To get to $10MM, you have to find a great PPC company, then once you’re satisfied they’re good, SPEND AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE WITH THEM!
Why? Because every dollar they spend is going to bring you leads.
But not just leads. Leads from the people who are actively trying to find somebody to buy from!!!!
Once you have a great website and you’ve Mastered SEO & PPC, you’re ready to talk about MEDIA advertising. Radio and TV.
And radio and TV is what is going to make you a millionaire.
Next post, I’ll explain how.
Happy Marketing! For info about the upcoming 2-day seminar, click here.
P.S. Here’s a great webinar I did on SEO & PPC called “The No BS Webinar On SEO & PPC”
Posted by Rich Harshaw on March 15, 2017.
, Contractor Marketing
, Contractor Seminars
, Make The Jump
, Media Buying
, Pay Per Click
, Rich Harshaw Seminars
, Web Marketing
Early in my career, I thought I would perform a noble service for my clients by helping them minimize their advertising expenses.
Specifically, I was consulting with an $8MM sunroom and window company in Savannah, GA, and helping them manage a $100,000 a month advertising budget.
About 2 or 3 months into the relationship, I nipped and tucked different parts of the budget, and got it down to about $85,000. I was excited to have “saved” my client a significant amount of money.
At the end of the month, as I reviewed the results with my client, he saw the reduced budget number and went berserk.
And not in a good way.
“I have to spend the money to buy my leads!” he chastened me. “Every dollar you don’t spend means fewer leads and less sales. From now on, spend EVERY. SINGLE. DOLLAR.”
So with that as a backdrop, consider these 2 important points as you ponder growing your business to $10MM in sales (or more):
- You need to budget a bare minimum of 10% of sales to marketing. 12% would be better.
- You’re probably going to have to find new ways to spend that money.
The 10% rule is iron-clad. You can’t fudge on it. As you grow, you can’t say “we’re getting big enough now that we can scale back and pocket the savings.”
If you want to do $5MM next year, you need to plan AND SPEND $500,000.
If you want to do $10MM next year, you need to plan AND SPEND $1,000,000.
The problem is—lots of smaller companies are only spending 5% or less right now. They’re doing $2.3MM in sales on $9,240 in advertising a month. Or something like that.
I’ve seen it a thousand times. Invariably, those companies are relying heavily on repeat and referral business. There’s nothing wrong with repeat and referral; it’s just not scalable to $10MM a year. There’s a reason they’ve been in business for 33 years and haven’t ever cracked $3MM.
You have to spend money to make money. There’s no way around it.
I covered in an earlier post the urgent need to raise your prices. Your prices need to be high so you can afford to do things the right way (materials, people, business practices), and so you can afford to spend the necessary money on marketing.
Commit to it. If you can’t/won’t/don’t, we have no need for further discussion—you’re dismissed.
Assuming you’re still reading, now you have to figure out where to spend all that money.
Here is the answer, in order of importance:
- Your Bread And Butter: Whatever you are currently doing that is reliably generating leads at a reasonable cost… keep doing that. In fact, investigate if it’s possible to spend even more money on it. I don’t care what “it” is—if it’s working, keep doing it.
- SEO: You should be spending $1,000 to $3,000 a month on SEO & online reputation management. It’s mandatory. If you’re not, you are willingly passing up juicy leads. Cheap, juicy leads. Lots of them. Plus, you’ll bury negative reviews and remove buyer skepticism.
- PPC: Spend every single cent you can on PPC—Every. Single. Cent. One of my big clients was spending PPC on a budget; in other words, $15,000 a month or something… then they’d run out of budget on the 15th or 20th of the month. That’s insane. Don’t spend a specific amount—spend as much as you possibly can every month! This is low-hanging fruit—people who want to buy RIGHT NOW! Get a good PPC company and buy every single lead they can give you.
- TV And Radio: With very few exceptions, you’re not going to get to $10MM without TV and radio. I’ll cover this in more detail in a future email, but for now, trust me—it’s mandatory. And it’s a huge part of my upcoming 2-day seminar in Dallas (April 26 & 27).
- Other Stuff: Try other stuff like direct mail, home shows, Val-Pak, and so forth. Set a budget to try things that, if they work, can become part of your bread and butter category.
That’s it—80% to 90% of your budget should go to the above categories—it will make 80% to 90% of the difference.
And if you want to nitpick with me about “well we did this or that and we grew to $10MM,” keep it to yourself. I’m not interested.
There are lots of factors in marketing. I’ve seen one company grow to $40MM with practically no TV and radio. And another grew to $30MM on the strength of direct mail. But guess what—they both came to me for TV and radio expertise to get them to $100MM. And guess what else? They were both in top 10 (size) markets. The scaling is a little different. But the principles remain true.
Here’s how you do it, practically speaking:
- Determine your budget using the 10% method. If your goal next year is $6MM, that’s $600,000 a year. If your business is seasonal, adjust the monthly spend accordingly. Don’t worry—if your prices are set correctly, you can afford this.
- Spend as much money as you can (profitably) on your bread and butter advertising.
- If you have money left over, spend it on SEO & online reputation management.
- If you have money left over, spend it on PPC.
- If you have money left over, start buying TV and/or radio with at least 50% of the extra money (80% would be better).
- If you have money left, spend it on other stuff. But you may just want to spend it on TV and radio.
This formula can get you from $3MM to $10MM in less than 5 years.
And yes, you can get to $10MM using “Bread and Butter” and “Other Stuff”—in fact, that’s exactly what the typical remodeler does—and it’s why most of them max out at less than $5MM. But even those who do get to $10MM take 10 to 15 years to get there. Maybe longer. And maybe never.
But to get there FAST (2 to 4 years), you’ve got to start harnessing the magic power of TV and radio as soon as possible.
It’s the grand key to quick and sustainable growth.
It’s a combination of things: TV is the most credible medium, with radio a close second. It’s inexpensive in terms of reaching a TON of people at a reasonable cost. And it’s a great medium for communicating with power, precision, and passion.
Nothing beats TV. Nothing.
I’ll prove it to you in an upcoming post.
For info about the upcoming 2-day seminar called “Make the Jump to $10MM” click here.
Until then, happy marketing!
P.S. Before I get to TV, I’m going to circle back around and cover PPC and SEO in my next post. It’s a sure thing that you’re not getting the bang for your buck that you should—I’ll help you fix that.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on November 22, 2016.
How do you measure a website’s success?
Traffic? Search engine rankings? Compliments from friends and family on how great it looks?
Wrong. Wrong. And really wrong.
The one true measure of a website’s success is QUALITY LEADS.
Period. End of story. Finito.
It’s like the one time a remodeler I call “Randy” called me sounding down in the dumps.
Here was the basic conversation:
Randy: My new website is first on Google and my traffic is higher than ever.
Me: So why are you calling me?
Randy: My old website never came up in search results, but it pulled in 5 to 10 leads a month. My new website is getting practically ZERO.
Me (looking at his website): That’s not surprising. How much did you spend on this new site?
Randy: $17,000 for the site and one year of SEO services.
Me: Can you get your money back?
Randy: (silence; possibly tears)
Here’s the deal…
SEO, PPC, and all of that other stuff are required to survive and thrive in the Wild West that is the World Wide Web.
But those things just bring the horses to water. It’s your website’s job to make ’em drink (i.e., get them to contact you).
Unfortunately, 99% of internet marketing companies focus solely on slick design and SEO. They don’t actually do what’s needed to make their clients’ websites CONVERT.
Here are some of the more common blunders I see when it comes to the average contractor’s website…
Blunder: Prioritizing Google Over People
Sure, optimizing your website for search engines is crucial. Necessary, in fact.
But most internet marketing companies concentrate on creating content that is so SEO friendly that they forget living, breathing human beings are the ones actually reading it.
So when a prospect reads the keyword-stuffed word salad on your website, they can’t click away fast enough.
For example, here was the main headline of Randy’s new website: “Home Windows Installed By Experts In Needham, Cape Cod, Newtonville, Cambridge, Plymouth, and Throughout South Shore, North Shore, and Eastern Massachusetts.”
Randy, if you’re reading this, this photo sums up my reaction to your headline:
Sorry, my friend.
Seriously, though, would you ever say the claptrap in the headline to a prospect in person? They’d think you’re an idiot and run as far away from you as possible.
It’s the same when the prospect sees it on your website. They read this garbage and instantly click away to find a contractor whose website CAN answer the question, “Why should I pick THIS company instead of all the others?”
And when that prospect finds someone answers the question, guess who they’re gonna call?
Hint: NOT the guy who says, “Home Windows Installed By Experts In Needham, Cape Cod, Newtonville, Cambridge, Plymouth, and Throughout South Shore, North Shore, and Eastern Massachusetts.”
Blunder: The Bait And Pounce
Stuffing your website with buttons, forms, and offers (“Get A Price,” “Visit Our Showroom,” “View Our Special Offers,” etc.) is what I call the “bait and pounce.” You give the prospect something to fill out, and then you pounce and sell.
Randy’s website had six—SIX!—of these bait-and-pouncers on his homepage. No wonder his shiny new website wasn’t generating leads.
Trust me: The bait and pounce is not a good way to sell in 2016.
I mean, let’s be honest… why would Joe Blow give you his precious contact info before he knows who you are, how you can help him, and what he can expect?
But if your website takes the time to explain who you are, why you’re better, and how you can help (in powerful, persuasive language), you build trust. Mr. Joseph Steven Blow will then naturally come to his own conclusion that he should call you.
And, yes, having a “Get A Quote” form on your site is okay. Just make sure it’s not the MAIN/ONLY thing prospects see when they first click on your website.
Website traffic, search engine rankings, PPC impressions… all of those things are important to your website.
But if you truly want to measure your site’s success?
Look at how many high-quality leads it’s generating.
Because leading a horse to water is pointless if you can’t make him drink.
P.S. Tomorrow I’ll spill the nine secrets to effective billboard advertising. You might already know a couple, but I guarantee a few surprises… especially number 5. Stay tuned.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on September 1, 2016.
If you regularly read these emails, you probably noticed I end many of them by telling you to take advantage of MYM’s free Lead Generation Audit.
I do this for a few reasons.
First, it’s a way of saying “thanks” for being an email subscriber. Second, I like to show potential clients we mean serious business.
I’ll explain. Our Lead Generation Audit provides a comprehensive analysis of your entire internet marketing plan. Website, SEO, PPC, copy, online reputation… the works.
If there’s a stone to unturn in your internet marketing, we unturn it. Then we put it under the MYM microscope and provide you with incredibly detailed analyses of our findings.
Here’s an example: Included in the audit is an SEO report that’s a whopping 19 pages. It covers the complete gamut of your SEO plan and provides data on things you likely have no idea are affecting your rankings. (For example, did you know Google penalizes websites that load too slowly?)
Let me show you a small sample of what’s in this tome of an SEO report:
Overall Website SEO Score
Technical SEO Issues Summary
Mobile Page Speed Report
As you can see, there’s enough detail on these four pages to make your head spin faster than a merry-go-round pushed by The Flash on steroids.
And here’s the thing. I didn’t even show you the sections that cover Meta Title/Description Issues, Image Issues, and Desktop Page Speed. The images above are only about 15% of what’s in the report.
This is why one of our SEO experts hops on the phone with you to review every page and break down all the technical mumbo jumbo. You’ll have a crystal-clear picture of what’s going right with your SEO, what’s going wrong, and exactly what you need to do to fix your issues.
The amount of work and research required for us to generate such a detailed SEO report costs us $1,000. But we provide it to you for a sum total of $0.00—with ZERO poking, prodding, and pressure to do business with us afterward.
Why do we provide a freebie that costs us a thousand bucks a pop?
It’s simple—I despise sales pressure.
MYM is the type of marketing company that looks for enthusiastic long-term growth partners. Twisting someone’s arm until they submit to signing on the dotted line is a horrible way to start a partnership. We want your business only if YOU want our business.
So if you’re interested in having MYM helm your SEO after we provide your report, that’s great. If not, that’s okay too. Feel free to go on your merry way. The choice is yours.
The only BAD choice is not getting the audit at all. SEO is all but mandatory for effectively marketing yourself online. It’s vital for you to know how you stack up to your Google competition.
Click on our Lead Generation Audit page for more details about the audit and instructions on how to get started.
P.S. In addition to an exhaustive SEO report, our Lead Generation Audit also provides you with an Identity Discovery Session and Website Conversion Audit. You’ll walk away with a COMPLETE “State Of The Union” regarding your online marketing.
If you want the $3,500 worth of invaluable marketing insight our Lead Generation Audit provides, click here.