Launch Marketing Strategy

I’ve been lurking on the forum for some time and thought I’d post to hopefully get some feedback regarding marketing for my new business. I saw a post a short while ago about best ways to generate new leads. From my recollection suggestions ranged from hiring a canvaser to google adwords to door hangers. All of which I think are great ideas.

In April, I will be starting my own roofing, siding and gutter company. We will operate within a 40 mile radius of a smaller size city. We have a home show which a local news channel hosts every year. I have already booked a booth there and working on the display advertising, flyers, etc. for that. This show is in mid February. I’m also looking at using a local seo agency to help me manage my digital advertising and starting the seo process. Another idea I am thinking about is running about 3 months of television commercials to help get my name out. I’m going to start the online and TV commercials around the same time as the home show. My hope is this will give me enough time to generate HOPEFULLY 3-4 weeks worth of initial work for my crew.

So at a high level that is my launch marketing strategy. Would any of you mind providing feedback whether or not you think I’m on the right track here or if there is something else I should be considering? Also if you have tried TV or home shows (online was pretty well covered in the other post but go ahead and chime in if you’d like) what was your experience? Any best practices I can implement?

I really appreciate any assistance you may offer.

Jon

Your most difficult jobs to sign are always the first few. You have to find some people that will trust you with their home even though you have no experience. You as the Owner of the Company are likely the best guy to sign up those initial jobs. I’d recommend you do that the old fashioned way, burning some shoe leather and knocking doors. Assuming you’re successful, you’ll hopefully do a great job in every facet with those initial jobs and be able to get some references and testimonials from your Customers.

TV and Radio are very expensive. I don’t know about TV but radio generally is a longer term effort and is more of a branding thing than a lead generation tool. I think you’ll get more bang for your buck through a good Facebook marketing effort for branding and website SEO and Google Ad Words investment. We have worked with a smaller marketing company for over 3 years now that could handle that entire effort. They aren’t cheap but they are very, very good. You being in a smaller market will make that more feasible. Trying to break into a market like Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, etc. from scratch would take quite some time and be very expensive.

If you’d like the name for the company we use, PM me. Whatever you do, don’t go with some outfit that makes a lot of promises for a relatively small amount of money ($500 to $1500 per month). They’ll tell you it is going to take 6 months to a year and won’t do anything but take your money for that time. Our guy will tell you it is going to take some time but will actually deliver.

Home shows are relatively inexpensive and may help you. I’ve found that not many people come to the home shows with an immediate need for your product/service. Lots of people just looking for something to do or have “an idea” of something they may want. The shows are typically so cheap though that they don’t take many decent leads to provide ROI.

Again, get off your butt in Feb and March, knock doors and find your first 5 to 10 jobs. Once you have those under your belt with some references and testimonials, you’re going to find it should go easier from there. For us, 90% of our work comes from Customer referrals and Facebook/Google leads. I’ve tried nearly everything over our 11 years in business and these are what work.

Authentic_Dad,

You’re one of the folks I was really hoping to get some feedback from so I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond. I will send you a PM regarding your online guy.

Regarding door knocking the first few I think you are spot on. I will work on a few neighborhoods to target and work this into my overall plan starting in mid-February which should give me sufficient time to hit enough houses. I’m planning on doing like a 10% off promotion to hopefully entice people to take a chance on me.

You’re also exactly right in saying the home show is pretty cheap. I’m looking at it like this, if nothing else, I will be able to polish my sales pitch a little on the tire kickers that do come by. Nonetheless, I am hoping to generate 3-5 decent leads from the weekend which if I’m lucky may convert to 1-2 sales.

I’ll take tour advice into consideration about TV / radio. I have the some of the same concerns you pointed out which is I see it as a longer term play versus online advertising and I have the quotes to prove it’s expensive lol. I’m just wondering if my budget allows if I should do both (online and TV) or go all in on one or the other. The consensus from business owners I’ve talked locally (none of which are roofing / construction) is that both work very well when done right.

Thank you again for your response and I hope to learn more from others.

Jon

You should get more than 3 to 5 leads from the show. Way more. How many turn into a short term sale will depend on you and the attendees. You never know.

I’d recommend against doing a 10% off. Use that if you have to in the negotiation to close the sale but sparingly. Operating a marginally profitable business is the perfect way to enter the death spiral to bankruptcy. The odds statistically are stacked against you, don’t do things that will make you part of the negative statistics. Always sell value, not discounts. If you have to, provide free shingle upgrades, free ridge vent, free upgrade to synthetic felt, etc… If you only listen to one recommendation I give you, it would be to not give discounts, don’t pay deductibles for insurance work. There’s a market that does that and you don’t want to cater to it. Cater to the higher end value buyers.

We’ve never done TV and wasted about $30K with radio. Most of the TV ads I’ve seen are cheesy and run on channels and times when you’re not likely to address the market you’re after. It’s your money, do what you wish but I think there are much better ways to advertise. Google searches, Google ad words, Facebook ads and canvassing are what I’ve found that works well and provides value. Yard signs are an incredible bargain in terms of ROI. Customer referrals are essentially free (we offer people $200 for every referral that turns into a job but only after we’ve completed the work and it is a satisfied Customer).

Good luck to you.

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Authentic,
You are a sharp and knowledgeable businessman. On top of what you’ve mentioned, discount specials are usually bullshit and insulting to customers intelligence. As you said, offer an extra service instead. Much more credible.

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I understand what you all are saying about offering an extra service versus a discounted price. After pondering it some, I’d say you’re both right.

Thanks for your feedback.

Jon