Any business needs customers and clients to survive and thrive. How a company improves its customer base takes time and planning to organize a proper growth strategy to achieve continuous growth and not operate on the boom/bust cycle. So many are so familiar with how many businesses operate.
The same holds for the roofing business as it does for a brick-and-mortar retailer. How you generate your leads is an essential factor in your business’s growth and overall health.
An ideal strategy that allows you to find new customers while maintaining old relationships is crucial for your business’s long-term viability and makes long-term budgeting and business planning easier.
This guide will discuss how to find new business and maintain relationships with past customers regardless of whether you work primarily in commercial or residential roofing.
The first thing to understand is what do we mean when we discuss lead generation.
Lead Generation Defined
Lead generation is defined as the process you take to create potential clients for your business. By crafting a thoughtful strategy, you’ll build brand awareness and interest in your products and services by future customers.
There are three main phases of lead generation. The first step is creating awareness of your business, what you offer, and how to contact you. Think about it. Customers won’t hire or buy from you if they don’t know you exist!
Next, you’ll want to increase your product’s interest by prospective customers through advertising, the timing of your messaging, and what problems your service offers to fix.
Timing of your promotion and advertising on this is crucial. If you are a roofer, advertising to a household that just updated their roof isn’t an excellent strategy, and unless there’s some critical flaw in the new roof, it won’t lead to any sale for your business.
Finally, suppose you’ve implemented the basic strategy of awareness and promotion to intensify the customer’s intent to purchase from you. In that case, the last step is to move them toward closing a sale.
Let’s say there’s a significant storm heading to your area. If you’ve positioned yourself in front of potential customers and offer some incentive to contact you before the storm, you may see some uptick in business.
However, if you direct your messaging and promotion to potential customers after the storm, you’ll have a much better time generating leads.
Using Lead Generation Strategies For Business Growth
Now that lead generation basics are understood, let’s discuss ways to create new leads for your business. There are two ways to generate leads in today’s marketplace: offline strategies and generating online leads.
Ideally, a strategy would include some form of both, but ultimately it’s best to focus your time and energy on the strategy that you find works best for your specific roofing business. Attempting both an offline and online system and analyzing the data about what is driving the most leads most cost-effectively is what you need to dedicate your business toward.
Offline Lead Generation Vs. Online Lead Generation
Offline lead generation is the traditional way of generating awareness and offers for your potential clients. Some offline generation strategies work better for residential roofing leads, while others may fit the commercial space better and are discussed further in this article. Typical problems with offline lead generation strategies are that they tend to be more time-consuming and sometimes costly.
Online lead generation is prevalent right now. The main reason is that you can set up a campaign through social media, email, or a website with online leads. If it’s implemented correctly, it can act passively for your lead generation. Another factor why this form of advertising is so popular right now is that you can get a broader reach than traditional outreach at a fraction of the time and cost.
How To Find Commercial Roofing Leads
For commercial leads, a combination of offline and online strategies is a good idea. One of the biggest concerns relates to your overall budget and how much hands-on time you have to dedicate to your lead generation strategy.
Once your budget is determined, you can assign the labor to oversee the strategy. We’ll discuss some of the better offline ways to generate leads and then explore the online process.
The goal here is to offer something, advice to a problem occurs, a partnership between you and another vendor or builder, and to ask for contact information in return. By capturing contact information, you now have accessibility to a decision maker. If you market your services smartly, you will be a person you’ve educated and who can hire your services.
7 Great Ways To Generate Offline Leads
With any lead generation strategy, you need to understand that some tactics will generate faster results than others. In general, a lead generation strategy will take some time to implement, nurture, and then close the deal. Especially with offline strategy, it may take some time to get a return on your investment, so you need to plan for that in your budget as well.
It’s easy to spend a bunch of time and money without getting any return right away, and by understanding that these are long-term growth strategies, your business will be better off.
- Network: Join up with a service organization such as Rotary International, or join a business-oriented organization such as the local Chamber of Commerce. By joining organizations, you get your business out in front of people who may have a decision-making position within their organizations.
- Trade Shows and Publications: By setting up a booth and attending trade shows, you’re front and center of businesses looking for future businesses to work with and hire.
- Partnerships: To generate leads in commercial roofing, strategize what groups or organizations may want to partner with your business. Commercial acquisition companies that may buy and then sell commercial real estate would be a good start. You can be the “go-to” roofing specialist for them. Perhaps you give a discounted rate or help them find some properties to acquire in return for loyalty.
- Local Seminars: Offer to host a regional seminar for complementary businesses, such as interior specialists, plumbers, or others, and invite commercial real estate and other companies to attend. You can direct the seminar to the costs and problems that only you and your complimentary businesses can solve.
- Direct Mailer: You can set up a direct mail campaign to reach out to new construction and commercial construction companies detailing who you are, what you offer, and to get in touch with you. This method can become costly both in the mailer’s production in-and-of-itself and the price needed to mail them out in bulk.
- Traditional Advertising: You can pay for advertising through traditional means such as print, television ads, radio spots, and billboards. Another cheaper idea is through sponsorship of local organizations and sports teams. You can have your business name included in the organizations and activities for a small fee, which gives your business some residual, passive advertising.
- Referral Programs: Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get in front of potential clients. Creating incentives for employees, past clients, and others in your sphere of influence can be a great way to get in front of businesses that need your roofing services but don’t know about you or your offers.
Guaranteed Roofing Leads
The only guarantee with lead generation for your roofing business is that it will take time and effort to tweak and improve your results. Lead generation in-and-of-itself is excellent, but what you ultimately want are high-quality leads.
These are businesses and individuals that are already inclined to make a purchase. You are working to make them want to purchase from you rather than a competitor.
Our guide to lead generation should guarantee some high-quality leads that will bring you a business in the short-term, as well as stabilize your long-term growth.
The Ultimate Lead Generation Strategy
To guarantee roofing leads, a mixed strategy of offline and online lead generation is the most ideal. However, as we discussed earlier, online leads are less costly than some traditional strategy, and once you start an online plan, you may find it’s the best source for your leads and budget.
6 Online Lead Generation Strategies
- Website Optimization: Having a website is an essential first step, but you also need to determine what you want your website to be. Is the website acting as a mere placeholder, similar to an online “business card” where customers can find the necessary information and ways to contact you, or do you want it to function as a more direct part of your lead generation plan?
If you plan on using your website to help with lead generation, then having a detailed plan of the types of ways you intend to get traffic, that is, website visitors is crucial. And optimizing your website to become relevant to search engines is a lengthy strategy best handled by a marketer specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Examples of SEO for your website would be having it set up for keywords that a customer may be searching for when looking up a service such as yours.
- Content Marketing: Content marketing is a marketing type through information, video, and other visual forms that help promote general interest in a brand’s services and not explicitly promote it. It’s a subtle form of advertising, usually by operating a blog, sending emails, or other communication forms to a potential client without being pushy on the sales side.
- With content marketing, you’re showing your services, the types of problems they may solve, and are focused on helping advise your audience on common issues. Think about Coca-Cola advertising as a form of content marketing. Their ads show people sharing a soda, having fun, and a good time while being refreshed. It never actually says, “Buy Coke.”
- Lead Magnets: Lead magnets are something you can offer a person in exchange for their email and personal information. Capturing their personal contact information is essential because once you have it, you can market to them in any form you choose until they opt-out of participation. Examples of lead magnets are a PDF or case-study that diagrams common issues and solutions. Webinars are useful lead magnets to collect information and are similar to a seminar but without the overhead of renting a space to host it.
- Social Media Posts: Social media is any digital tool that allows users to create and share content with others. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are all great examples of social media. According to Pew Research, social media is the primary way to get eyeballs to your posts. Facebook is the king for where content is consumed, with over 70% of all users consuming video.
With social media, you can target the audience you want to see your post and create a landing page to capture their information.
- Online Ads: Creating Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, ads can be a great resource and can be an expensive mistake if done incorrectly. Generating ads that specialize in targeting where your customers are looking can be a great way to be “present” to them.
Creating a detailed plan of who to target, where they might search, and the types of keywords they may be using are essential data points to consider when crafting your ad.
This method gets your ad in front of people searching online for a similar product or service and can be an excellent way to generate leads. If you’re unsure how to set-up a PPC ad program, contact a marketing company with a track record of success setting up PPC ads.
The best lead generating strategy will incorporate multiple angles of exposure for your business. By analyzing the results of what is gaining the most traction and what isn’t very useful, you can tweak your campaigns and become more sleek and efficient with your lead generation plan.
Suppose you implement a lead generation plan with an eye toward future growth. In that case, you’ll establish your business as an authority that can solve many of the issues that plague your potential clients. By having better brand recognition and traditional selling tactics, you’ll be able to book out business on a consistent long-term basis and not have to rely on your competitors’ boom/bust cycle.