One of the most often asked questions by business owners is how do we get more leads? Then someone comes along and says we can get more leads for you. They give the business a bunch of leads that don’t pan out. That’s because that lead generation service didn’t do their job the right way. What you should be looking for is high-quality lead generation.
The truth is there are LOTS of ways to generate leads. This list of 10 Epic Lead Generation Secrets for Blue-Collar Businesses includes tried and true methods to deliver qualified leads to your business. It’s then up to you to close the deal (or is it?).
We hope you find this Lead Generation Secrets list helpful in growing your business. Here’s the short version of 10 Lead Generation Secrets.
10 Epic Lead Generation Secrets for Blue-Collar Businesses
Know Your Audience
One of the most important things to know before you begin any marketing, before you even start your business, is knowing your audience.
Without knowing your audience, you cannot possibly understand how to reach them and create raving fans. If you don’t know who your audience is, you won’t know where and how to market to them.
Imagine spending months and thousands of dollars running LinkedIn Ads that net you nothing. Now you’re out thousands of dollars and have no new clients, not even a lead. Why?
Because you didn’t get to know your audience. For the most part, Home Repair clients are not going to be abundant on LinkedIn. You have to get to know who your clients are and where they spend their time online and in real life.
The 80-20 Rule (or is it 90-10?)
Don’t sell to your audience. Provide value. Your potential clients don’t want to be sold to. Who likes sleazy salespeople anyway?
You’ve probably heard of the 80-20 rule. There are many iterations of it but in this lead generation secrets article, we’re going to apply it to selling. As a rule, you should strive to provide value 80-90% of the time while soft selling 10-20% of the time.
The value can come in many ways. It can be videos, blog posts, answering questions, speaking engagements, podcasts and even contributing to a local not-for-profit (time or money).
A soft sell is what it sounds like. Provide information on a product or service and how to purchase it if your lead is interested.
There’s a saying that goes something like this. “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
There’s another saying that goes something like this. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.
If you don’t measure your goals you’re bound to continue to repeat the same mistakes. How do you know what is working if you’re not measuring?
For your website and other web properties, Google Analytics and Google Search Console are great starting points, and they’re free. You’ll get a lot of information from these tools that will help you hone your marketing message and placement.
Every social media platform has built-in analytics that you can use to see what is working.
You should use a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) to keep track of where your potential clients are in the sales process and measure the success rates of your campaigns. The CRM should be used to track all contact efforts (phone, email, visits).
Research, Research, Research
I cannot stress this enough. Everything you do should be researched.
Look at your competition to see what they’re doing. Find out what your audience likes to do. Create a client avatar.
What’s a client avatar? I’m glad you asked. It’s what you conclude your ideal client looks like through research. Many top marketers and business owners create client avatars. They even give the avatars names and descriptions.
This helps businesses identify who their target audience is, where to reach them and how to communicate with them. As you can imagine this helps tremendously in building a marketing funnel of qualified leads that you can nurture into clients, and, if done right, raving fans.
Provide Value In the Form of Content
This was mentioned earlier but one of the most ignored Lead Generation Secrets for Blue-Collared Businesses is to create content.
So many service businesses have websites and social media presence that are mostly static. There’s little to no activity and/or content.
Create informative blogs posts. Share some of your personality. Upload video tutorials.
There are so many ways to share content to your website and social media.
Content provides value, exceptional value if done well. Think about this blog post. I am providing Lead Generation Secrets for Service Businesses. You are free to use the same information that we use to help our clients as you see fit. We’re providing value to service business owners and operators.
By providing additional value we are also generating potential leads.
Answer the phone and emails
I once worked with a locksmith on his SEO and lead generation. After 5 weeks I decided it was not a good fit. He was calling or emailing almost daily because the keyword he wanted on the first page of Google was not on the first page yet.
While ranking you for relevant high-value keywords is certainly part of our marketing strategy it is not the only part. His locksmith business did see an increase in traffic to his website and Facebook, phone calls and email inquiries.
Here’s where it really went wrong. He was not answering the phone or returning calls. He was not replying to emails.
Further down in this blog post I talk about needing someone to fix a minor issue with a condensation pump. I called multiple service providers. A good percentage of them never returned my call.
Your lead generation is doomed for failure if you don’t answer your customer inquiries. Answer the phone, return calls and reply to website inquiries.
By the way, this goes for social media messages too. Facebook and LinkedIn have messaging built in now. Some people prefer this as their communication method. If you’re not responsive your competitor will be.
Face to Face Networking
We’re going old school here. But it still works and works well.
I get it. You’re an electrician, or a plumber, or a roofer, and you need to be on job sites early in the morning. Most professional networking groups meet early in the morning. That’s just a small conflict.
If you are truly unable to do it then get someone from your business to do it for you. Face to face networking works great for service businesses. The best part about it is not that many service businesses are doing it.
Ask any blue-collar business that is in a professional networking group if they benefit from it and I guarantee 99.9% of them will emphatically say yes.
If you just cannot make morning network groups work then there are also lunch time and evening networking events. Your local Chamber of Commerce would be a good place to start. They typically have networking events at many different times.
Much like providing value in the form of content it’s important to remember when you’re networking that you should be providing value. If all you do is tell everyone what you do and how great you are at it no one is going to want to talk to you.
Build relationships. A good relationship will have a much higher ROI in the long run. It’s not a short game but you plan to be in business for a while anyway, right?
Google My Business & Other Directory Sites
Google My Business is incredibly important to your business being found on Google. Fortunately, a lot of service businesses get that (although many do not).
What so many service businesses forget about when it comes to lead generation are the other business directory sites. Bing Places, Yahoo, Yelp, Mapquest, YP, Apple Maps, and so many other sites.
Something else many service businesses fail to capitalize on is the features of Google My Business. Google has added a lot of features to make it easier for potential clients to contact you. In other words, they make it easier to generate leads for your blue-collar business.
Some of the features not being utilized effectively by many home repair businesses include the ability to post promotions, allow potential clients to send messages directly to a phone that accepts SMS and scheduling/booking.
Ask for Reviews
Reviews show that your business has worked with others (hopefully to their satisfaction). Many business owners don’t ask for the review or believe you’re not supposed to.
It’s OK to ask for reviews. In fact, it’s encouraged. What’s not OK is bribing people to give you positive reviews. Businesses have lost all their reviews for doing this.
The best place to review a business is on Google because this impacts your rankings on Google My Business and on the Google Search Results Page. Google does check reviews on other platforms to confirm your reviews “match” the sentiment on Google. They compare your reviews to those on Yelp, Facebook and other sites.
You can also add reviews to your business’ website. Just be honest about it. Fake reviews are usually obvious.
A quick note about reviews. Businesses get discouraged by negative reviews. The truth is you cannot make everyone happy. You are bound to have a negative review or two during your business journey.
I have seen businesses get a slew of negative reviews and then suddenly within a few days, they have several positive reviews. These are obvious fake reviews and do more harm than good.
The proper way to handle a negative review is to reply to it in a professional manner. A negative review or two shows that your reviews are real. Don’t ignore them but don’t fret over them either. It is possible to turn a negative review into a raving client. I’ve done it!
Create a Referral Program
Your best marketing funnel is your current clients. Ask current clients if they know anyone that could use your services.
Even better, create a referral program that encourages your clients to refer people to you. It can be as simple as a few dollars off their next service call or an Amazon gift card. There are platforms dedicated to launching and creating a referral program for your business. Or you can just create your own.
Make raving fans out of your clients and you will undoubtedly get high-quality referrals.
Bonus Lead Generation Secrets for Blue-Collar Businesses.
You won’t want to ignore this lead generation secret.
One thing I have come to learn about some service businesses is that some of them don’t like to take small jobs.
I had a problem with the condensation pump on my HVAC unit a few months back and called multiple area service providers before finding one that would come out. They either did not return the call or flat out said they would not do it.
The total cost of the repair including the parts was less than $200. What I learned is that this is why so many service providers did not want the job.
Bonus Tip 1:
When I have a bigger problem who do you think I am going to call now? Like any other business, you must build relationships. I now have a service provider who I trust in my home and who will be my first call when I need help.
Bonus Tip 2:
If there are small jobs you don’t want to take then provide content that would assist the homeowner. The service provider that finally came out (a plumber at that) fixed it rather quickly and said it is an easy fix.
Create step by step instructions and post it as a blog post on your business website. Create a video of you fixing the problem and add it to the blog post. Your audience will love this and so will Google. This will generate more leads for your business.
Start Generating Leads for Your Business Today
As you can see there are a number of Lead Generation Secrets for Blue-Collar Businesses. This list is not an all-inclusive list. It is a way for your business to start generating high-quality leads.
It’s also time-consuming to put all of these lead generation secrets into action and follow up on them. It’s best to let a professional lead generation service do the work for you. After all, you probably wouldn’t recommend that I do my own electrical or plumbing work.Help Me Get Qualified Leads