This week I had two eight figure business owners schedule a meeting with me. Super successful local businesses are very different than average businesses.
I prefer working with these large enterprises—they’re run by people who understand tried-and-true business growth requirements. That means they usually have lots of branded marketing experience. So I don’t have to manage expectations like I do with clients who expect word of mouth and referrals to grow their business sufficiently.
Below are several components of a large, market-leading business that you probably haven’t even considered.
What are these successful businesses doing that you aren’t?
I specialize in online marketing and growth, so I’m going to stay in my lane and discuss that, mostly.
I’ll break it down using the following sections:
- Brand Identity and Website
- Marketing Activity
Brand Identity and Website
Top local businesses are keenly aware that online marketing has vastly outperformed offline marketing in the last decade.
They all have a high performing, high traffic website, including these features:
- Catchy, thoughtful and unique business name and brand identity
- Professionally designed logo that brings life to the name and brand
- Solid, self hosted, fast loading and content rich business website. Most business owners slap up a site using a website builder service (Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, etc), then treat it like an online sales brochure.
- Content rich, long form “About Us” page on your website, including founder and staff pics + bios, company story, list of industry affiliations and groups, local community involvement, etc. This is the second most visited page on most local service sites even though it’s treated as the least important by most.
- Email capture form offering a freebie of some kind (free report, video, coupon offer, etc)
- Email marketing campaign to nurture and convert email form leads and quote request leads
- Explainer/sales video on service/city pages throughout the website
- Project showcase videos added to site, social media properties and distributed through other outreach channels
- Video reviews/testimonials
- Website chat bot or live chat feature administered by a staff member
- Use of many other “trust signals” throughout the company site and marketing and promotional materials
Further Thoughts About Your Website
Ideally, your website should function as a communication, outreach, traffic and lead building tool—always a work in progress—never a finished product. It must be updated with new content and optimized for conversions on a consistent basis!
For example, you can see from the byline area of my blog posts that I have a published date and an “updated” date ↓.
This is because I update/improve most posts months or even years after originally publishing them. Search engines prioritize sites that are well attended to, and updating old content is one of the main signals they use.
Budget $3K – $5K for the build out of your business website, preferably built on a leading CMS platform like WordPress, which I use exclusively. Any smaller investment will require you to start over and re-build your site when you get serious about your business. That’s why business owners that started with website builders like Wix or Squarespace are my main source of new website clients.
I’m sure most of you are aware that word of mouth and referrals never built a very big local service business. You have to perform marketing and advertising to get in front of your ideal prospects.
Advertising should be treated as an experiment or “test” for every new advertising source or platform. Get into the habit of testing and refining your ad campaigns on as many ad platforms/sources as possible.
Start with one platform/campaign and optimize it until profitable, then start a second advertising campaign, then a third, etc.
Every advertising source will vary in profitability. Many will be unprofitable or require lots of testing and refining of your ads/campaigns to become profitable, so you need to test and refine as many ad campaigns as possible with the goal of finding 3 – 5 profitable and reliable lead sources.
This way, if one source dies out or becomes unprofitable you have backup lead sources until you can replace the dead lead source.
Here are some advertising and traffic sources that the biggest local service companies focus on:
- Local SEO (Google organic and Maps/GMB). This traffic source is so important, EVERY local business should take advantage of it.
- Pay per click ad campaigns (Google and Bing ads)
- Facebook advertising if your service has a wider customer base (mass appeal) and isn’t that targeted. Targeting is handled through demographic preferences and interests, not keywords like Google or Bing ads
- Daily social media posting to top SM platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
- Local online advertising on platforms like Craigslist & Nextdoor
- Active prospecting methods, such as door knocking for Roofers or siding companies
- Targeted offline advertising such as relevant magazine ads and direct mail (oversized post cards preferably)
Start incorporating these things that you aren’t doing into your business one by one as your budget allows.
A great first step is having a professional logo designed if you haven’t done it yet.
I’ve even advised many of my new clients with weak and uninspiring business names to re-name/brand their businesses. Having a catchy, inspiring and unique brand identity with a great logo is a HUGE advantage. This is the entire reason franchises are so expensive—and thus—so valuable.
After that, move to the next logical item from the list above. You’ll be amazed at the compounding effect these things make in your business as a growing trickle of leads turns into a huge avalanche of leads over time.
My team and I can help you effectively implement all of these recommendations into your business.
Get in touch with me and take your business to the next level and beyond.