The case study below illustrates what a big difference having an online presence can make for a small business. Keep reading to find out how we helped a general contractor go from having zero online presence to dominating local search results, or watch the video below to see an interview between the business owner and Kevin Jordan from RMC.
Odds & Ends Home Improvement is a handyman/general contractor business that has been serving the Farmville, VA community since 2005. The owner, Jimmy Dedmond, is the third generation of his family to go into the construction business. He offers a wide variety of services, including plumbing, painting, roofing, and deck construction. His customers appreciate his attention to detail and great communication skills, especially in an industry not known for outstanding customer service.
Despite being in business for a decade, like many local businesses Odds & Ends Home Improvement still did not have a website. In fact, the only way the business was represented online was by a Facebook page. The only way Jimmy was marketing his business was through word of mouth and newspaper advertising. However, due to the fact that he had no way to track the results of the advertising, he wasn’t really sure how well it was working. In addition, Jimmy didn’t have any marketing materials for his business other than a business card, which made it difficult to educate prospective customers about the range of services he offered.
After completing a Signature Brand Audit with Kevin Jordan, Jimmy realized how much potential business he was missing out on by not having an online presence. He also realized that he had an opportunity to be the first contractor in his area to create a website and claim valuable online real estate, which would make it difficult for competitors to catch up to him. He decided to work with Kevin to create a total online presence for his business, and also create printed marketing collateral to better market his business off-line.
Step 1: Creating a Unique Selling Proposition
Before diving head-first into marketing tactics, Kevin helped Jimmy develop a marketing strategy for his business that would really make him stand out from the competition. After analyzing the business’s strengths and discussing Jimmy’s goals with him, Kevin recommended a three-pronged to marketing Odds & Ends Home Improvement:
- First, Kevin recommended collecting reviews and testimonials from the business’s existing customers so that Jimmy could legitimately claim to be the #1-rated contractor in Farmville.
- Second, he suggested that Jimmy create subscription-based service plans in order to offer a unique way of delivering home improvement services, encourage repeat business, and create a recurring revenue stream that would continue year-round.
- Finally, Kevin recommended that in all marketing materials, Jimmy’s excellent communication should be emphasized, since many contractors have a very poor track record in this area.
Jimmy immediately understood what a big advantage this approach would give him over his competitors, so he readily agreed to the marketing strategy.
Step 2: Reputation Marketing
Once the strategy was set, the first thing Kevin did was get Jimmy’s business listed on dozens of local online directories. These listings are all free and often show up in search results, so it is an easy way for a local business to promote themselves online. Also, many of the directories allow consumers to leave ratings and reviews for a business. These ratings and reviews play an important part in people’s buying decisions, so making sure that a business has a positive online reputation is critical. Thanks to RMC’s reputation marketing service, in short order Odds & Ends Home Improvement gathered enough 5-star reviews to legitimately brand themselves as the top-rated contractor in the area.
Below is a screen shot of a Google search engine results page for “Odds and Ends Home Improvement” taken before Jimmy began working with RMC. Note that the Facebook page displayed as the number one result is for a different business with the same name, located in another state. In essence, as far as Google was concerned, Jimmy’s business did not exist.
Here is a screen shot of the exact same search done after Jimmy’s business listings and reputation marketing service had been set up. Note that now every single result displayed on the page is for Jimmy’s business (with the exception of the paid ads at the bottom).
Needless to say, it is now much easier for people searching for Jimmy’s business online to find his contact information, as well as to see his 5-star rating on his Google maps listing.
Step 3: Content development
A big part of any successful marketing campaign is content that educates prospective customers about a business. In order to save time and money, it is a best practice to re-purpose content in as many different ways as possible. For Odds & Ends Home Improvement, RMC created a 10-page marketing kit for the business that included testimonials, descriptions of services offered, and biographical information about Jimmy. That content was then used to create a tri-fold brochure, and also used on the new website.
In addition to written content, it’s also important for a business to have multimedia content like pictures and videos to support it’s message. To that end, RMC produced a whiteboard animation video that explained Jimmy’s unique subscription plans for home improvement services.
A YouTube channel was set up for the business to host the video, which was also embedded in the new website.
Step 4: Website Development
Once all the content was created, the next step in the project was to develop a website for Odds & Ends Home Improvement. In order to be effective, the website had to incorporate strong calls to action, be optimized for lead conversion, and make it easy for both people and search engines to quickly find the information they were looking for. As you can see from the screen shot below, the new website design accomplished all of those things quite well (click here to see the live site).
Step 5: Tracking Results
The most important part of any marketing effort is tracking the results so that you know whether or not it’s working. In order to help Jimmy better track the results from money he was already spending on advertising, RMC set up a trackable phone number for Odds & Ends Home Improvement to use with their newspaper ads. That way, Jimmy would know exactly how many calls were generated by the ads, and–due to the fact that the calls were automatically recorded–he would also know how many callers turned into customers.
In addition to recording calls generated by newspaper ads, RMC also added code to Jimmy’s new website that displays a unique trackable number to every visitor. This allows Jimmy to know exactly how many calls are generated by the website, and even how each caller arrived at the site (for example, via Google search, a referral from another website, etc.).
Thanks to everything described above–a solid marketing strategy, a good online reputation, a robust online presence, and good educational content–Jimmy’s business expanded so rapidly that he needed to hire several more employees to handle the extra work. Within a few weeks of the launch of his new website, he was booked solid for the next two months. He now has the option to raise his prices and be more selective about which customers he chooses to work with thanks to the large demand for his services.