How to Plant and Grow Your Very Own Customers
Imagine having a list of thousands of people who know you, trust you and will one day need your services (or will know someone that does). This should be the goal of every successful remodeler.
We can talk about your website’s Testimonials page, Portfolio page or even your About Us page until you’re blue in the face. The fact of the matter is they are all a last ditch effort at establishing trust. And trust, my friend is what it’s all about.
The single most important factor in getting a prospect to sign a contract is trust. Price, quality and all the rest of it doesn’t make a lick of difference if they don’t trust you. This is the reason why a referral is so incredibly powerful: they are coming to you on the word of a trusted advisor – be it a relative, friend or colleague.
But beyond referrals–the proverbial holy grail of leads—building trust takes time. You have to build a relationship, and that can take weeks, months or even years.
Fortunately, (thanks to the internet) you now have a way to build these relationships en masse: via your blog. Sadly, 97% of remodelers in the US and Canada either don’t have a blog, don’t publish it regularly and/or are churning out garbage. This does however bode well for you. If, that is, you follow these steps:
Step 1: Plant the seeds
Planting a field of future customers comes down to five simple yet powerful words: You must regularly publish stories.
Let’s breakdown the two key points of this statement:
Key Point #1: Regularly. I’ve had remodelers tell me they post whenever they get time. If this is your plan, stop reading now. Seriously. Click here and go Google something.
You must create a schedule and stick to it. Imagine if your local paper was delivered on Tuesday and Wednesday, then you didn’t see it for 3 weeks, then it came on a Friday night. Then the Sunday after next. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it?
My blog is the premier publication on this topic in my area. My readers cannot get this stuff anywhere else on the planet.
You must believe this statement and treat your blog as such. If you don’t then how can you expect your readers to?
Key Point #2: Stories. Notice I didn’t say posts, articles or blogs . . . I said stories. So, I’m not talking about “keyword rich posts that will propel you to the top of search engine results,” as your SEO guru might say.
I’m talking about dynamic, compelling and entertaining stories.
(Don’t stress this! I’ve got a free tool to help you generate ideas at the end.)
Don’t get me wrong; of course SEO is important. And a top position on Google is a fantastic place to be. But consider this a great byproduct of producing entertaining content—not the sole purpose of blogging.
*Side note: This is where most remodelers slip-up. They get caught up in the SEO hype and churn-out garbage that humans would never voluntarily read.
Step 2: Water the fields
Amazing stories are just letters organized on a page if no one reads them. Your BHAG should be that every single person in your target market subscribes to and reads your blog.
Here’s some keys to making that happen:
- Name your blog something other than “blog.” (Notice ours is PowerTips?)
- Have a “Subscribe to [blog name]” form on every page of your website.
- Share every story you post on social media.
- Ask readers to share the stories. Speaking of which, if you like what you’ve read here, please share :-)
Also, make sure that every single piece of external communication asks people to subscribe to your blog: email signatures, invoices, estimates, proposals, brochures, catalogs… everything.
Step 3: Talk to them
You’ve heard it before. Talking to plants helps them grow better. This could not be truer for growing your readers into customers.
Ask them questions. Ask for feedback on your stories. Start discussions in the comments section. This is the most important step in building the relationship. With each and every comment and response you build trust.
Two important things to consider:
1. Respond reasonably fast to comments. There are many tools that can make this easier. As you can see below, we use Disqus instead of the native WordPress commenting system. The advantage (besides virtually ending all comment-spam) is I get instant notifications via email when someone comments. Also, I can easily approve the comment by replying “approve” to the notification email. The notification also provides a link to the discussion so I can reply instantly.
2. The emails your subscribers receive should come from your email address. Again, it’s about building a relationship. Open yourself to your readers. Encourage them to reply to your email. Never, EVER use a noreply@……..com email address. It’s like saying, “unless you want to buy something, leave me alone.”
So there you have it. Plant. Water. Talk. Easy, right?
Well, I did promise to give you a tool to help generate story ideas. This Blog Idea Generator should help ease your anxiety a little bit.Visit the Blog Idea Generator Page
**But before you go, I want to know what you think!
Are you in the 3 percent or the 97 percent? What is your biggest challenge in content creation? In building your list? I look forward to your comments below.