Sure, most people know they can hire someone for snow and ice removal… but do they know they can hire YOU specifically?
Effectively marketing your business is imperative to your success. Whether you’ve been in business for a month, a year, or a decade… if you want to grow, you need MORE CUSTOMERS. So, what are you doing to get in front of the right people, at the right time, in the right way? If you’re unsure of what you could do to improve your advertising efforts for the coming season, read on!
Below you’ll find 8 tried and true marketing tactics that will make your phone ring:
Asking someone to refer you to their friends, family, neighbors, and strangers on the internet is what we call referral marketing. Proactively using your existing database to drive new leads is one of the cheapest, most effective ways to grow your business.
Happy customers breed MORE happy customers… so here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Incentives: Offer your customers discounts or gifts for every person they refer who books your services. Take it a step further, and offer that same reward to the new customer as a way to say, “Thank you for your business!”
- Ask for Reviews: These digital “word of mouth” recommendations are more important than you think. Online reviews are a huge part of most people’s decision-making process when vetting service providers, so you should be asking every happy customer to share their experience with the world. If you’re not on Yelp, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, Thumbtack and Facebook… you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity to get in front of a large audience.
- Referral Partners: Have you joined your BNI or Chamber of Commerce? Find fellow business owners who are plugged into the community and develop a referral partnership. Realtors, maid services, pressure washing companies, you name it. If you share a similar type of customer with another business in town, it’s a win-win to refer one another to new clients.
Referral leads are always high quality because they trust the person who told them to call you. They’re already “sold” on you before you even answer the phone – so don’t be guilty of underutilizing referral marketing this year.
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Don’t underestimate the power of yard signs. Anyone who drives or walks by will notice the results of your work first-hand, AND it’s a passive endorsement that tells your client’s neighbors that your company is trustworthy. Yard signs are commonplace these days, and most customers are more than happy to let you display your signage in their yard after a job well done. When designing these, less is more. Your logo / company name, and phone number is really all you need.
You never know who you might meet on a daily basis, so don’t be caught without business cards! Business cards are a great, efficient way to communicate exactly what the business does, and how to contact you. Hang them on the bulletin boards at church and the coffee shop, and hand them out to people you meet around town.
Digital ads are extremely cost effective because you can control how much you spend, and who sees your ads. Google and Facebook ads are among the most popular and user-friendly. Depending on your area, you can get clicks for terms like “snow removal business” for as low as $2.50
A Great Website
This seems obvious, but there are differences between good and great websites. There are a lot of things to consider when designing your website to ensure a good user experience. Sure, if you run a successful google ad you will increase traffic to your website… but once the prospective customer gets to your site, are they receiving the information they need up front? Are they being easily prompted to call or request a quote? Or are they having to click around and scroll to find your list of services and contact info? If you’re unsure of how well your website performs, there are a lot of free website performance audits you can find online to help gain feedback on how to improve your website.
Business Development / Networking
In addition to working with members of your local BNI and Chamber, connecting to HOAs and other community organizations should be a huge priority. Develop a relationship with rental property management companies, and create a discount program based on volume. The more homes and apartment complexes they book with you, the less you’ll charge per job! It’s an easy win-win, and a great way to ensure repeat business with big-ticket clients year after year.
Direct mail is often overlooked and seen as a dying method of advertising. Don’t sleep on it though, because older demographics still rely heavily on direct mail and coupons. There is a huge opportunity to reach a group of people who handled their own ice and snow removal at home for years, but may be nearing an age where they can no longer do it themselves. Direct mail is the best way to reach this audience, so don’t count it out! Direct mail providers such as ValPak, Money Mailer, EDDM can work with you to reach your desired audience for a very fair price.
Google My Business
Claim your Google My Business listing today! It’s free, and is a great way to ensure your business is being accurately displayed in search results. Everything from business hours to contact info, a link to your website and reviews are included in your business listing.
We hope you found our list helpful, and will incorporate a few new tactics into your marketing plan this year. A very important point we’d like to make is… ALWAYS track your lead source. If you don’t keep a record of how each customer found you, you’ll never truly know how well each of your advertising efforts worked. It’s as simple as asking each customer, “how did you hear about us?” What’s so valuable about this practice, is that If you find at the end of the season that only 5 or 6 of our 8 tactics gave you a good return… then you can remove it from your marketing plan the following year. Honing in on what works, and spending MORE money on that effort will make advertising more efficient.