Build Your Business Online: Don’t Panic – Start Here!

You Know Your Website Isn’t Enough to Build Your Business Online, but…

You may build offline, but build your business online! (photo by Derik DeLong, Flickr)

You may build offline, but build your business online! (photo by Derik DeLong, Flickr)

Last week I gave a talk to the Residential Construction Industy Conference in Edmonton, Alberta. Their business is booming these days, so it’s not too surprising that many of them don’t see the point of putting effort into their online marketing. Why mess with success, right?

But the fact is that even here in oil country, the construction industry does go in cycles (remember 2008?), and if you aren’t positioned well online, you’ll have a much harder time getting there if you wait till there’s a slowdown.

Several people asked for copies of talk, so here it is. Enjoy!

Build Your Business With Online Marketing from Tema Frank

Key Takeaways for Building Your Business Online

  1. Be Professional. Who hasn’t had a home construction or reno that ran into problems? Like choosing a web designer, it is hard to hire a good contractor or builder if you don’t know the industry and the right things to look for. So we turn to the online world, and look for both a good website and recommendations on social media. Builders and their suppliers need to be there.
  2. Strategy First. What are your goals for being online? Who is your target market? What do they want? Why are you their best choice?  What info are they looking for?
  3. Go Where Your Customers Hang Out Online. No point being on Instagram if your customers aren’t there. Facebook is frustrating these days because companies have to pay to advertise if they want their fans to see their business postings, but I suspect that it is still an important place for home-builders. What social media do your prospects use? Focus there.
  4. Build Your E-mail List. Despite email overload, if you send peole good content, regularly enough that they remember having signed up for your list, they will read it and they will be more likely to think of you when they start their search for suppliers or builders.
  5. Schedule Social Media. You’re busy, so its easy to forget to update your online presence. Make it someone’s job to check and post regularly.
  6. Start Small(ish). It would be great if you could be active on all social media, plus blogging, plus keeping your website up-to-date and your e-mail newsleter flowing. But how realistic is that for your small business? Not very, I’m guessing! I think that for most businesses in the residential construction industry the priorities should be:
    1. Thier own website.
    2. E-mailing their list monthly.
    3. Facebook (because people do talk about things like their home renos on Facebook)
    4. LinkedIn, for hiring, learning from colleagues in groups, to find suppliers.
    5. Google+. It has many of the advantages of Facebook, without (for now) the drawbacks. And it helps you get listed higher in Google search results.
    6. If you can find the time for it, posting YouTube videos showing the progress of what you are building and discussing things your prospective customers need to understand, should probably be your next priority.
  7. Monitor and Improve. Make sure your web designer has put Google Analytics on your site. Every month, have a look at it to see how you are doing.

You can get more details in the slides. And if you have any questions about how to build your business online, give me a call (780-249-9262 or toll-free at 1-866-544-9262) or send me an e-mail. I’d be happy to chat.

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