Depending on how many projects you are doing a year, you will be exposed to a limited amount of referral sources. Advertising then bridges the gap between those you are reaching from referrals and the ones that haven’t heard about you.
The challenge with advertising is that often your ad is next to your competitor’s and it is difficult to show how you are unique. So the question is how to expand your reach from your existing client referral base with creative ideas.
If you read the paper daily, it is quite depressing at times. So how do you create positive buzz? Create or find opportunities that make you unique, and show you thriving in this market. You might be the expert about something and nobody knows.
Last year at a Remodelers Advantage meeting, we were challenged with the questions of: What are you experts at? What gets your blood moving? What are you passionate about? It gave us a chance to step back, look at what we were doing, why we were doing it, how the local news was affecting us, and reflect on how we were “showing up” or impacting the company as owners.
About the same time, an article was printed about Sun Design in the front section of our local paper, The Washington Post. There was a lot of buzz that came from that. Many of our clients, vendors, friends and family commented on it. We realized that in the middle of what was pretty depressing news, we could keep creating positive buzz and we would benefit by both the exposure and improving the morale of the company.
We started reviewing our Core Values, our Vision statement and our Targets. The next challenge was what we were experts at: The USP (Unique Selling Proposition): Why do people buy from us?
Why review the Vision and Core Values of your business before creating the plan? In the movie or TV industry you hear the term “typecast.” The same thing can happen in the remodeling world.
Your “buzz” should be around what makes you unique. If your business specializes in kitchen and bath remodeling, focus the buzz around that. Sometimes it is easy to send mixed messages with your PR efforts. You might want to pass on a PR opportunity if it doesn’t speak to your vision or USP.
Next steps for creating buzz
Here are some things to think about as you move forward
• What is your vision?
• What gets your blood going? What are you passionate about?
• Identify what sets you apart: Technology, a new process, staffing, new standards, a new product, a new service, client experience, employee experience, partnering with trades, or a new training program.
• Don’t forget about your internal communication. At your next company meeting, review the successes you have had. Review your culture, vision and targets with your team members. Share your USP. Create a culture in your company of celebrating your successes.
Here some other ways you can create buzz in your business:
- Open houses
- Client/employee appreciation events
- Hold educational seminars for prospective clients learning about remodeling
- Remodeled home tours — let neighbors and clients see how you transformed a home in their neighborhood
- Partnering with other shows exposes you to new clients and reduces the marketing costs. For example, last year we partnered with a local artist home tour. By sponsoring the show we had two remodeled homes on the tour.
- NAHB, NARI or other Parade of Homes
- Host business-to-business networking events at your office, exposing you to more of a referral network
- At home shows, think how your USP sets you apart from all the other booths and send a clear message
- Social media
- Make award entries a priority, then market the awards you have won
- Leverage PR: Can you write an article for a local paper or magazine?