In online marketing, one of the most important messages to convey is what makes you different from everyone else in your industry.
Many contractors think this is “quality craftsmanship,” but this doesn’t mean much to consumers. Consumers assume that you know your craft.
The other phrase contractors like to tout is “exceptional customer service.” This doesn’t cut it either. Everyone claims they have this.
Remember, there is a reason why the construction industry has a bad reputation. Everyone (including me) has had a bad experience with a contractor. This is why it is so important that you find a way to stand out from all the rest. One of the best ways to do this is with your online marketing because the majority of the time, your website is your first impression. Your website can make your phone ring or can make people pass you over. It’s that simple.
When people are researching contractors online, they need something to compel them to contact you. While the content on your website should clearly state your services, it should be much more than an online brochure.The copy needs to showcase your expertise (why a blog is so valuable) and should tell your customer stories. It is these elements that speak to our hearts and tugs at our emotions. It is these elements that make us see you differently from everyone else.
So how do you do this online?
The big challenge in online marketing is conveying what makes you different in such a fashion that people feel a personal connection with you. Here are two ways to show (not tell) what makes you different.
One of the biggest complaints from consumers is when phone calls or emails are not returned by contractors in a timely fashion. One of my clients, Gettum Associates, knows this is a hot button so they make every effort to return calls and answer emails within the same business day.
This isn’t just lip-service. Gettum puts it all out there for everyone to see. They post their GuildQuality reviews on their website. They’ve received a 97% favorable rating for communication and an astounding 100% rating for trust. Showing this information to customers who are checking you out online does make a difference!
Testimonials are another excellent way to share your story and show what makes you so different, but they have to be meaningful testimonials, not fluff. Fluff testimonials such as “good job” or “nice work” are glossed over.
A meaningful testimonial is where the customer actually shares details of the experience they had with you. To get more “meaty” testimonials, in your exit survey ask questions, such as: “What did you like best about working with us?” and “What would you tell a friend about ABC Remodeling?”
If these questions don’t yield the details you are looking for, don’t give up. One approach is to offer to write a more detailed testimonial for your customer’s review. Many people are apprehensive about writing a testimonial because they don’t see themselves as a writer. They freeze up at the thought of writing, but when you offer to write a testimonial for their review, they become much more agreeable with this approach – and you get a solid testimonial you can use.
Another approach is it hire a freelance copywriter, like me, to interview your happy customers. Your copywriter will know what questions to ask, and because it is by phone, she can ask follow-up questions to draw out the details that make a great testimonial.
In my experience, your customers are more apt to talk to me because I am not directly associated with the project. After a few minutes of apprehensive conversation, they loosen up and are eager to tell me all about their experience with you and why they love their new [kitchen, bath, home].
Remember, when people are searching for a contractor online, they are formulating a idea of you – before they ever talk to you. While taking the steps needed to show (not tell) what makes you different takes more effort, it always pays off with more leads.