Today we’re going to talk about where to find more qualified prospects for your home services business.
But before we do that I’ve got a question for you:
What do these companies have in common?
- Blockbuster Video
- Borders bookstores
- Toy R Us
- Sears Roebuck & Co.
Answer = They all went bankrupt or out of business because they didn’t see that their customer’s behavior had changed.
They didn’t adjust to the digital world, where their customers went, or what their customers wanted.
There’s a great little book titled, “Who moved my cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson.
It’s a simple story about two mice and two little people who lived in a Maze. One day their cheese was not in the same spot it had always been.
The story goes on to show the difference in the attitudes and actions of the characters as they deal with the fact that their cheese can no longer be found where it used to be.
In summary, it teaches that change happens and so we all should anticipate and monitor for changes and learn to be ready and adapt quickly.
It’s a quick and fun read and teaches some very basic but important lessons, especially for business owners.
So now let’s look at where your cheese, in this case, your prospects, has moved to.
Because if you want to grow your business then you need more qualified prospects.
So where have your prospects moved to and how do you get seen by them?
In the past, you would look for advertising channels that had audiences that aligned with your business.
Channels like direct mail, radio, TV, newspaper, magazines, and other local media.
Then you’d look within that list for the ones that had the largest number of subscribers, listeners, or viewers.
Then you’d screen that list for those that were primarily homeowners and in your local market.
But most of those media avenues don’t work like they used to.
That’s because the world has changed drastically since the smartphone and high-speed Internet were developed.
It’s now a digital world.
People spend nearly 4 hours per day on their digital devices now according to Neilsen company.
I’m sure you’ve all read stories about people walking into fountains, and off of cliffs because they’re glued to their smartphones.
People are consumed and mesmerized by these tiny computers that fit in our hands and can provide endless streams of information and entertainment.
Your cheese has moved.
Radio has become podcasts
TV became YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and others
Newspapers and magazines turned into online blogs
Brick and Mortar Stores are giving way to online retail.
Just about everything is being replaced with an online alternative. And that includes your best-qualified prospects.
And this all increased exponentially when the Covid pandemic hit and increased remote working.
Where does a homeowner go today when they’re looking for information on your type of services?
Most people go directly to Google and search – Google gets nearly 90% of all US searches.
That’s WHERE your prospects are looking for companies like yours. That’s where your cheese is.
Rule #1 is, if you’re not showing up on Google, you’re a ghost to most of your prospects.
And how do you show up on Google?
If you do a search for any home service in your local area, Google’s search results page will show the following:
And by the way, you should be studying these search results pages for each of your services because that’s what most of your prospects are looking at.
That’s also where your top competitors are.
At the top of the search result page will be any Google Guaranteed local search ads that may be running – these companies have been pre-screened by Google and they may provide up to $2,000 of insurance to the homeowner if the job is done poorly and the homeowner isn’t happy.
Google runs licensing and insurance checks on the company and background checks on all employees before it will let you be a Google Guarantee advertiser.
About 14 percent of all searchers will click on these google guarantee ads, according to studies by Bright Local.
If you’re not a google guarantee advertiser, you’ve just missed 14% of your potential prospects.
For more information and to get started with Google Guaranteed do an online search for “Google Guarantee local service ads”.
Next up on that search results page are Google pay-per-click ads. Between 10 and 14 percent of all searchers will click on those ads.
Are you running google ads?
If not, there goes another 10-14% of your prospects. Now if you say you don’t advertise your business I call BS on that.
What are doing, keeping your business a secret?
Some of you like to say, you let your work stand for itself and word-of-mouth to grow your business.
So are you telling me that the few people who come into your client’s homes are the only ones who get to see your work?
To that again I call bullshit.
Why in the world would you let other people, in this case, your past customers, be in charge of how much business you’ll do?
What I’ve found when I talk to business owners with this frame of mind, I see the real truth is either they really hate sales and marketing, they’re not good at it, they’re scared of it, or they think it’s sleazy.
You shouldn’t own a business if you have any of those points of view.
Do you see any successful local, regional, or national brands relying on word-of-mouth to grow their business?
Did Coke or Pepsi stop advertising because everyone knows who they are and what their products taste like?
No of course not, marketing and sales are what drive and grow a business.
You don’t have to be pushy or sleazy, in fact, please don’t be, that’s a very good way to kill your business.
But you should be marketing and doing some advertising to grow or you’ll be struggling forever.
Do you want to grow by word of mouth?
How about sharing photos of completed work on your blog, social media, yelp, google my business, Bing, and elsewhere and let the world see it?
How about letting clients share their comments and photos of the work you did for them on their social media and through their email using your automated referral software to exponentially grow word of mouth?
Use tools and technology and yes, marketing, to grow your word of mouth business.
Don’t rely on your customers to market your business.
Now I will grant that some businesses, especially B to B businesses are built more on relationships more than marketing, but even there you need marketing to attract new potential clients to add to or replace those that will eventually fade away.
Let’s go back to Google’s search results page where your prospects are looking for your kind of services.
Next up on the search results page is Google Maps, with all the Google My Business listings inside.
Three listings are usually showing on this map, and they get 28 to 33% of all clicks. And the best part is that those Google My Business listings are free.
You simply need to establish and optimize your Google My Business listing, add photos regularly, grow reviews, and make weekly posts and you’ll have a chance to get into those top 3 spots and start generating a bunch of free leads.
Under Google’s Map on the search results page are the top 10 website listings. Again, these website listings are free. You don’t pay Google for those spots.
You do have to provide great, in-depth information on what the search topic is in order to have a shot at ranking well here, but you don’t have to pay google for the spot.
Those top 10 organic websites get 43 to 50% of all clicks on this page.
So even if you don’t advertise on Google Guaranteed or Google Ads, you still have a shot at attracting roughly 70 to 80% of the people searching for your type of business.
Our advice then is to:
Get to work on your Google My Business listing to get found on the map, and start working on your website by creating separate service pages for each of your services to try and rank well for each.
Don’t just put up a few bullet points and call it a day.
Search every one of your services in Google, and examine the top-ranking map listings and websites to see what they’ve created.
Then go create better a Google My Business listing with more images, reviews, and posts.
To create better website service pages with more informative and more useful content than your competitors.
Add a bunch of information pages about the same service subject and link them together by topic.
This will help strengthen your website’s ability to rank well for those topics.
Google is where your prospects start looking for companies like yours, go be better than your competitors there, and make the leads start flowing in.
To learn more about this go hit our blog at battleplan-marketing.com/blog and read our article titled, what is local SEO (search engine optimization).
We also provide a free Google My Business optimization guide on our website to help you power up your map listing to generate more qualified leads.
I hope that helped some of you.
Good luck out there and create a great day!