Posted by Rich Harshaw on March 20, 2017.
I’ve been talking about using TV (and radio) advertising to grow your business to $10MM and beyond.
In this blog post I’m going to give you a quick overview of how and why it works. I’ll cover all this in more detail in my upcoming (April 26& 27) 2-day seminar in Dallas, “Make The Jump To $10MM.”
But for now, the thumbnail sketch:
To grow at a rapid pace, you’ve got to get more customers. A LOT more customers. And to get more customers, more people have to find out about you somehow.
The key is getting in front of a lot of people—without spending a ton of money.
It’s kind of funny that I would use the phrase “without spending a ton of money” about something I routinely have my clients spending over a million dollars a year on.
But you can’t focus on the raw dollars spent. Instead, you have to consider how much it costs to reach each person. Or more specifically, how much it costs to reach a thousand people.
In advertising, we’re concerned with COST PER THOUSAND (aka CPM; M being the Roman numeral for 1,000).
Take direct mail as an example. Let’s say it costs $0.50 per piece of mail you send out. That means it will cost you $500 for every 1,000 people you reach… or a CPM of $500. Even if your mail is cheaper–$0.35 per piece—that’s still a $350 CPM.
By contrast, TV and radio can be bought for between $2 and $10 per thousand.
That doesn’t mean you should never use direct mail. Direct mail has the benefit of being highly targeted. There are lots of situations where it makes perfect sense.
But when reaching out to the masses, TV can be up to 250 times less expensive.
That’s what you call SIMPLE MATH.
Which leads us to the next advantage TV has—its inexpensive enough that you can afford to hit people with the message again and again and again and again. And again.
Let’s say you’re paying $8 CPM on TV. For the same $350 to $500 it would take you to reach 1,000 people via direct mail, you can reach a person on the TV about 40 to 60 times.
FORTY TO SIXTY TIMES.
FORTY TO SIXTY TIMES!!!!!!!!
This is how you gain traction in a market—and fast.
In my upcoming seminar, “Make The Jump To $10MM,” I’ll show you scientific proof that massive repetition is the key to marketing success.
But you don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you that more is better when it comes to advertising. That’s also SIMPLE MATH.
Think about it—if you are on 2 or 3 TV stations and a couple of radio stations… and your competitors ARE NOT, you’re going to win.
Your lead flow will go up—and not just with any old leads. TV leads are the best kind—these people already KNOW you and TRUST you.
And it’s not just direct leads. Your web traffic will jump. Your referrals will jump. Your PPC and SEO will work better. When you are on TV, EVERYTHING gets better. Everything.
And the good news: you can start small.
You don’t have to spend a million dollars and be on 2 or 3 TV stations to start.
We can start with one radio station. Or one TV station. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each media in my course. But for now, who cares—just know that you can start small.
I just put a $4MM in Milwaukee on one TV station for $2,600 a week. They’ll be on that station about 35 weeks out of the year—that’s all the budget they have available right now.
You have to start somewhere!
The key is to dominate that station. Own it. And if you can’t afford to own the entire station, own one day of the week on that station. And if you can’t afford to own one day, own part of one day.
Whatever budget you have is enough to start.
But your ultimate goal should be a million dollars. ONE MILLION DOLLARS spent on radio and TV. Because that’s going to be the catalyst to getting your company to $10MM, and what is going to give you all the financial freedom you hope for and dream of.
Now, a few FAQs:
Q: I don’t even watch TV anymore. Does anyone watch TV?
A: More than enough to get you to $10MM.
Q: What about DVRs? Don’t people just zip past the commercials?
A: Some do, but we have strategies to minimize it… and as long as it’s working, who cares?
Q: We tried TV and it didn’t work. Why would it work now?
A: You almost certainly were doing something wrong. Call me and let’s talk about it. I can probably identify the problem in about 60 seconds.
Q: Isn’t it expensive to make TV commercials?
A: It doesn’t have to be. And if it is, who cares? As long as it’s making you money, that’s all that counts.
Q: How long does it take to achieve success on TV?
A: You need to commit to the long term. 12 months at least.
If you have other questions, or want to discuss your situation, just email me here.
The course will only be open to the first 10 companies who register—I want to be able to handle individual dialogue during the course. If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so by following this link.
Let’s get you to $10MM.
P.S. The ads you run make a huge difference. In my next post I’ll give you some ideas on how to write killer ads that really work.
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 March 9, 2017.
Raising your prices is the easiest and most crucial factor in building your remodeling company to $10MM.
It’s also the scariest part.
If you think your prices are already high, you’ll still probably need to raise them again.
As a rule of thumb, you need to be shooting for a 3.5-to-1 ratio of price to cost.
In other words, if the hard costs (materials, labor) are $5,000, you should be selling it for $17,500.
I fully realize that most of your other competitors are selling that “same job” for $5,000 to $10,000.
I put “same job” in quotation marks because we both know that most of those jokers are only putting $3,500 of cost into it. They shortcut everything… from material quality, to quality control, to installer ability. They couldn’t care less.
And they’re probably only marking the job up by double, or less. They’re selling $3,500 job cost for $5,000 to $7,500.
As long as they can afford to take their wife and kids to Applebee’s on Friday night, they’re good.
Even your higher quality competitors who DO spend $5,000 on the cost only have the stones to charge double, or maybe a little more—$10,000 to $12,000.
Question: Are any of them doing $10MM in sales?
No, they are not.
If you remember my first email the other day, I gave this simple (and mandatory) 3-step formula to get to $10MM:
- Sell awesome stuff that people genuinely love.
- Charge high prices.
- Use TV advertising.
We’ll talk a bit more about #1, selling awesome stuff that people love, in an upcoming email. It’s crucial.
But I promise you this:
If you’re not a high price, high-quality provider in the market, you’ll never get to $10MM.
You won’t even have a chance.
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt: I’ll assume that you offer exceptional quality and service to your customers. And if you don’t now, you’re at least committed to doing so in the near future.
After all, step 1 is to “Sell awesome stuff that people genuinely love.”
But even if you do, chances are high that you’re not selling at the coveted 3.5-to-1 ratio. Here’s why:
Your sales people are scared to death that they will lose the sale!
-They have that terrified look in their eyes.
-They already struggle to close at the prices you already have that they already think are too high.
-They are SURE that if you make them ask for even MORE money, the customers won’t just say NO… they’ll actually laugh in their faces! Or get mad. Or kick them out of the house!
Meanwhile, Disney World charges $325 for a 4-day pass, even though I can buy a full one-year Six Flags pass (good at 13 different parks) for about $80.
Do you think the gal at the ticket counter at Disney World gets all nervous, starts sweating and stammering, and apologizes when asking for $325 per person for a 4-day pass?
Are you kidding me?
That’s because Disney World is committed to selling awesome stuff that people genuinely love… and because they have massive brand authority, thanks to decades of (wait for it)… being on TV.
I’ll convince you to get on TV in some later emails. It’s non-negotiable if you want to join the $10MM club. I can also give you some pointers on providing a Disney-like experience.
But most importantly, I can help you raise your prices. Here’s how:
- Be better than everyone else. It’s not that hard. The majority of your competitors suck. I mean that, and you know it’s true.
- Clearly articulate how you’re different and why you’re better in all of your marketing. This is harder, but I can help you do it. You’ll learn how in my class.
- Spend a ton of money on TV to get people to believe it. I can help you do this, too.
- FIRE EVERY SALES PERSON WHO IS AFRAID TO ASK FOR THE SALE AT YOUR NEW, HIGHER PRICES.
That’s right, FIRE THEM.
In my experience, you cannot remediate cowards. There’s a good chance you’ll have to fire your sales manager, too.
I know you like some of these people; you’ve become friends with them.
But I promise you they are in the way of your success. Not all of them. But a lot of them are.
You might have to handle some of the sales calls yourself for a while. Hopefully YOU believe in your pricing (and your awesome products and service).
You might have to take 2 steps back to move 10 steps forward.
You might have to gut your entire sales team if you really want to get to $10MM. They don’t just hand out $10MM in sales to anybody.
Don’t worry. Selling for ultra-high prices is not hard when you have the right product and you do the marketing the right way.
That’s the heart and soul of my new seminar.
I really hope you can join me for it. If you’re serious, that is.
Meanwhile, in my next email, I’m going to give you PROOF that people are just begging to pay higher prices for your products and services. You’re actually insulting them by asking an average price.
If you want a sneak peak, check out this book on Amazon.
And/or you can check out more about my “Make the Jump to $10MM” 2-day seminar I’m holding in Dallas in April.
I’ll be in touch.
P.S. If you’ve ever been to Disney World and thought it was worth $325, email me. I’d love to hear your experience.