My brother owns his own business. He is a roofer and is very good at it — but he is not especially tech savvy. He’s a little old-fashioned. Quality work for a fair price … the kind of thing you hope for in a business owner. His best advertising is satisfied customers and word of mouth.
He and I recently had a conversation about marketing. He said he doesn’t see much of a need for “marketers.” (Like I said, he’s a little old-fashioned.) He said he is constantly approached by someone wanting to do his marketing. They promise him x-number of hits a month on his web page or that his company will show up on the top of the search engine. That’s great, if they can deliver, but there’s one catch. He doesn’t really care how many hits he gets on his web page every month. He cares about how many bids he writes and jobs that he gets. After all, you can’t make payroll with web page hits.
And he’s right, to a point. In his case, anyone looking at his web page outside of a hundred mile radius really isn’t a potential customer. He’s based in southeast Idaho, so hits from Oklahoma don’t help him. But there’s so much more he could be doing with his marketing … things that will actually work for him.
For example, he finally got a Facebook page (which was a big step) and he’s running a contest on it. The rules are someone is going to get a free roof on July 4, 2013. In order to enter the drawing you have to have a current bid from him and the total cost of the job must be less than $10,000. This way he is actually meeting people who need a new roof. He’s giving them a bid and they’re seeing his work ethic and his pricing table.
Really, he’s still doing roofs one shingle at a time, but he’s gotten smarter about spreading the word. Facebook will generate good leads for him. When you choose a roofer, you want someone like my brother. When you choose a marketing company you want the same things. You want someone that will listen to your needs and help you build your client base. Good marketing is much more than being on the top of the search engine, it’s about quality work for a fair price. It’s about “new-fashioned” service.