As a systems integrator, my guess is you generate most of your business through referrals from past clients or power partners such as builders, general contractors, or designers.
Referrals are an awesome source of new business and tend to have very high close rates, which is great. But in order to have a thriving business that consistently grows, it’s important to build multiple lead generation sources outside of referrals.
There are a ton of ways to generate leads. In this article, I’m going to focus on five tactics that are not commonly discussed. Many of these will require consistency on your part. Remember, marketing is not a sprint, but a marathon. It’s an investment in your business that needs to be made month after month.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew, choose a few of these that really resonate with you and commit to being consistent with your efforts.
1. Your Website Must Be Top Notch
OK, I’ll admit this one is a pretty common suggestion, but your website is most likely the first impression most potential clients will have of your business. You know what they say...you only have one chance to make a great first impression.
In order to nail that first impression your website messaging needs to be all about your potential clients and must:
- resonate with your ideal clients and get them to take action,
- build trust and credibility, and
- communicate very clearly how the client will benefit from working with you.
This is #1 for a reason. If your website is not spot on, you will never convert as many leads as you should and you are likely losing out on new business. This is the lowest hanging fruit for a lot of systems integrators, and should be the first place you start.
2. Get on Nextdoor
Nextdoor (https://nextdoor.com/) is where a lot of your customers may be hanging out. The popular social network for neighborhoods has over 185,000 neighborhoods across the country. Neighbors are always looking for solid recommendations for home service providers, and you want to be first on the list.
Here’s how to get started:
- Claim your business profile on Nextdoor.
- Start getting recommendations from clients.
- Respond to any messages and inquiries promptly.
If you’d like to dive deeper on this, check out this article about advertising on Nextdoor (https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/how-to-advertise-on-nextdoor).
Also by Tim Fitzpatrick: All About the Plan
3. Start Using Houzz
Houzz (https://www.houzz.com/) is a really cool website where homeowners can find home service professionals and get inspired by viewing photos of home improvement projects.
To get started you can create your free professional profile (https://www.houzz.com/pro). From there, you’ll want to start posting professional photos of completed projects and start getting reviews from past clients on Houzz (see #5 below).
Houzz does have paid advertising options as well, and is something you may want to consider, especially if your projects tend to be on the larger side. A friend of mine owns an exterior remodeling company, and advertises with Houzz. He gets quite a bit of business from the site, so it’s definitely worth looking into.
4. Direct Mail Still Works
Direct what? I know many of you may think direct mail is dead, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As advertising has moved more to the digital realm, there is less competition in the mailbox.
I had a conversation with a satellite installation company a few weeks ago. They send out 3000 pieces of mail a month and get at least 30 deals each and every month from their mailings.
I would recommend identifying key neighborhoods you want to work in and create a consistent direct mail marketing campaign to reach these neighborhoods throughout the year.
Also by Tim Fitzpatrick: How to Instantly Attract Your Ideal Clients
5. Focus on Building Your Online Reviews
I like to call online reviews “word of mouth 2.0.” When your business is referred by someone else, I can guarantee you the first place that person goes is online to check you out.
They are looking at your website (don’t forget #1 above) and they are looking at your online reviews (from Google, Facebook, etc.) to see what past clients have had to say. When it comes to reviews you want both quantity and quality.
Put a system in place to consistently request reviews from past clients and make it as easy as possible for them to leave reviews.
These ideas just skim the surface, but I hope they get your creative juices flowing. If you’d like even more ideas, check out this guide to lead generation (https://www.rialtomobile.com/guide-lead-generation/).
If you’ve got additional questions and need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.