It's always tragic to hear how a small family business lost a lot of money on Marketing and Customer Generation, only to waste their time on empty leads and be spammed by other businesses. My local contractor group often has horror stories and posts about both Home Advisor, Angie's List and others.
Each time, the feedback on these companies range from, "Don't do it!" to, "Pretend they are the coronavirus and treat them a little worse that that, because that’s how they’ll treat you."
The results for this particular thread was unanimous. Not one positive vote for Home Advisor. But why and what about the others?
$800. dollars! 😧 That's a lot for a small home service business. 😞 Just to have your phone number harvested by spammers and sold repeatedly to robodialers and spammers... constantly answering calls that go nowhere.
You are BUSY. You wanted clients, not spam!
If you need leads aka customers, who do you sign up with? The answer is neither. So what is the best lead generator for your home service business?
Here are the 8 most beneficial steps that will help you gain leads without losing money or becoming a spam target:
Have a well-built website. Make sure it's functioning and structured properly, loading well and that search engines like it.
Tighten up your Search Engine Optimization. Make sure your SEO is excellent so search engines can find you and show you to customers looking for your services. This type of service really needs to be done by a professional but be careful hiring a big company who changes agents so often, they can't remember what you even do for a living. Go local if possible, boost your local economy and support your neighbors.
Keep on top of your reviews! Answer (politely even if it slightly kills you) to negative reviews and be sure to thank positive reviews. Encourage your happy clients to review you. Make it easy for them by providing the link in an email. Sometimes a Social Media Manager will help regulate and monitor your reviews.
Engage on social media. Speaking of Social Media Manager, if you're too busy or hate social media, you can hire a local person. Lots of stay-at-home Moms are great choices for a social media job! Social Media raises your SEO and is crucial to have so don't ignore it. Want someone with professional experience?Hire a Digital Social Media Marketing business like The Social Mermaid. Don't go with a big corporation or you'll just become a notch in their belt that they can't find or forget about.
Network locally! Join your free local facebook groups, NextDoor.Com and other active social networks in your area.
Consider becoming a Chamber of Commerce member or look for a local chapter of BNI (Business Network International). Make sure you have the bandwidth to spread yourself out for the meetings and physical in-person networking that this will entail. The price may seem steep at first but it's far less expensive than HomeAdvisor or Angie's List and the networking and benefits you receive from working with other local businesses like yourself will pay for itself quickly!
I've been programming, designing, writing and publishing professionally online since 1995. I've worn many hats throughout my life, but the common core of my career has always been media. Besides theportfolio you see on TNW Creations, my internet presence has been substantial for over 2 decades. In 1995, while still in college, I founded TNW Creations and became part of the grassroots development for teaching the Lakhota language online. By 2004, my bilingual work was listed on many sites, including National Geographic , Encarta and Touchstone Pictures Hidalgo. When I'm not developing and writing, you'll find me managing MagicStoryLand.Com, creating kid-friendly game & video content, investigating and initating hostile website takedowns, posting salty articles about cyber threats, moderating UnifyLife.Org and enjoying my community, church & family.