Home maintenance and improvement businesses provide a huge opportunity for marketing agencies.
Roofers, tilers, cleaners, fencers, and air conditioning specialists, are just a few examples of businesses who thrive on digital marketing leads and rely on the expertise of agencies to help them grow.
Here are a few reasons why:
- People tend to use search engines such as Google to find these kinds of services. So SEO and PPC services are a great match.
- Increased competition in these industries has led businesses who traditionally rely on word-of-mouth marketing to look for alternate lead generation channels.
- Typically, the owners of these businesses are not experienced when it comes to digital marketing activity, which means if they go it alone they tend to waste a lot of money. Not to mention, they simply don’t have the time to manage everything in the business.
Given the opportunity that this sector offers for marketing agencies, many agencies find themselves looking for ways to get more home improvement clients. In fact, home improvement rates in the top 5 industry sectors we run white label PPC campaigns for.
So, then, how do you find and win more home improvement clients?
We have found that the most successful approach to landing more home improvement clients is to understand and focus your marketing efforts on their key business problems. Below are 6 of the most prominent problems faced by home improvement businesses and how you can use them to your advantage when selling your services.
#1. Limited resource capacity
A major concern for home improvement businesses is their lack of resource capacity. This manifests itself in several ways, including;
- The difficulty they face in finding quality and reliable staff.
- The inefficiencies and downtime of the at-home business model which includes travel, reporting, invoicing, and quotations, resulting in less time on money-making activities and reduced output.
These two reasons alone can be why a home improvement business chooses not to work with a marketing agency. While they may say they want business growth, deep down they know that too many new jobs could create a significant headache for their resource capacity.
Now, even though you can’t actually run their business for them, you can provide reassurance and guidance during the sales process for your services. For example, if they are concerned that by switching on a new PPC campaign they will receive too many inquiries, you can ease their nerves by discussing the budgetary controls you have when managing a campaign. Basically, they can start slow and invest more money as time goes on and they have more capacity to fill.
In terms of the second part of this problem, as it relates to the inefficiencies of the business model, you can sell them the concept of targeting micro-geographies as a starting point. By targeting a very specific geography with your campaign, it not only limits the number of leads that will come in, but it also keeps their team focused on a smaller area. This reduces travel time and improves the overall output, creating greater profitability.
#2. Minimal digital marketing knowledge
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that most home improvement business owners have limited knowledge of digital marketing. After all, they have 101 other priorities to worry about and have probably come from a background of offline marketing techniques.
This gap in knowledge about what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to digital lead generation can work in your favor. After all, it’s why they are considering working with you in the first place.
One of the best ways to establish your agency as a figure of credibility and authority in the eyes of these business owners is to create and publish content that is narrowly targeted towards their problems. For example, you may choose to write blog posts, create videos, or publish white papers, specifically about the issues faced by landscaping businesses. The same concept can be applied to other home improvement niches in this sector.
See below how “SEO Expert Brad” published a blog post targeted specifically at air conditioning companies, titled 11 HVAC Marketing Strategies: Grow Your Business in 2019:
For another example of a blog post that is aimed at doing a similar thing, check out this article from Design Hill focused on landscaping businesses; Top 10 Marketing Ideas For Promoting Your Landscaping Business:
By providing value in the form of free content to these prospective clients and business owners, you build a base level of credibility. If they consume this content and consider it to be helpful, they are more likely to trust you with their marketing activity.
#3. Seasonal peaks and troughs
It’s common for home improvement businesses to experience seasonal peaks and troughs in workload. For example, a pool cleaning business will likely be busier during the warmer months of the year and could find it hard to get work in winter.
This seasonality in workload also results in lumpy periods of revenue and staff capacity headaches. An ongoing concern for business owners in this sector.
Now, there is always going to be some element of seasonality in certain businesses – the pool cleaning business is a great example. You can’t influence the weather. However, you can use your knowledge of this problem to build trust with potential clients. For example, if you can maximize their busy months by getting more lead volume or extending them out slightly, the return on investment can be significant over time.
Check out this Facebook ad from Roofing Marketing Pros that highlights a case study of one of their clients. It shows how their marketing expertise can generate substantial revenue for a roofing business that will sustain them all year round and minimize the peaks and troughs:
#4. Increased competition
The barrier to entry for new home improvement businesses is lower than ever. This is especially true for niches such as landscaping, handyman services, and cleaning which don’t require rigorous training qualifications. Basically, anyone can set up one of these businesses and start dropping fliers in letterboxes tomorrow.
A lower barrier to entry means that competition is growing and standing out is much harder than it has ever been. This increased competition is forcing many home improvement business owners to look for different marketing channels – digital often being at the top of the pile.
Understanding, firstly, that there is an evident increase in competition in most home improvement niches, and secondly, that this increased competition creates fear and anxiety for business owners, can put you in a position of strength during the sales conversation.
Consider how you can alleviate the concerns of greater competition in these sectors with targeted marketing campaigns and inform your potential clients about these strategies. For example, one approach to overcome fierce competition may be to target lower volume but more focused keywords with your Google Ads or SEO campaigns. Or, as we mentioned before, your clients could get super-targeted on a niche geographical area.
The strategies for overcoming competition aren’t necessarily the most important part. It’s about knowing that this is an ongoing concern for your ideal clients and being prepared with a solution to alleviate these concerns.
Landscaping marketing agency, Landscape Leadership, emphasize the point of staying ahead of the competition as a key factor on their homepage:
#5. High costs
Running a home improvement business can be costly. Not only do you have ongoing equipment and administrative costs, but staffing costs can be inhibitive to growth, especially when you consider the inefficiencies of travel time we discussed previously.
For a business owner, the costs add up quickly. The last thing they want to do is unwittingly spend more money than they need to on marketing without seeing a return on their investment. Being prepared to address potential cost objections will be critical to your chance of landing a new client in this space.
Below is an example of a marketing agency honing in on this challenge by providing a free guide on their website that alerts home improvement businesses to the mistakes they may be making which are costing them money:
Think about how you can compile case studies of successful clients in a similar niche who have achieved a positive return from their investment with your agency. Show off how you were able to keep the cost of a campaign lower than average, while still achieving favorable results.
#6. Lack of time
Just like any business owner, home improvement entrepreneurs are busy and short on time. They are juggling a number of priorities, from hiring new staff, keeping customers happy, liaising with suppliers, running the books, as well as looking for new business. The last thing they want to involve themselves with is yet another time-consuming activity.
Keep this in mind as you prepare your marketing collateral and sales pitch for this sector. Emphasize the “done-for-you” nature of working with your agency – you’ll handle all the grunt work. But also complement this approach with reassurance, in the form of case studies and adequate reporting of results, that they can trust you to deliver above and beyond their expectations. This way they will feel confident in handing over the reins to their digital marketing activity and excited by the prospect of achieving business outcomes without putting in more hours.
For example, RT Marketing highlight the desire of home remodelers to grow their business without spending more of their valuable time on marketing on their homepage:
If your marketing agency targets home maintenance and improvement businesses, then these 6 common challenges will help you look at the world through their eyes. By doing so, you can craft a compelling marketing message and value proposition, as well as strive to accrue relevant case studies that reinforce and overcome these key issues. Basically, you can start to talk in the same language as your ideal clients and connect with them on a more personal level.
Think about it, how can you sharpen your sales and marketing approach based on the suggestions in this article?