Digital marketing offers a cost-effective way for builders to find and nurture future clients. Here SABRI SUBY explains how builders can grow their client base online.
How much time do you spend trying to find your next client? How many times have you had clients before they even needed your services? If you target the 97 percent of the market that is not actively buying, you will build a pipeline of future customers. Create a profile of your ideal client – what do they think, feel and want?
Many building companies fall into the trap of believing they know their customers. They acquire rudimentary data such as their gender, age and location and leave it there. This is a big mistake, because knowing them intimately can determine the difference between winning and losing.
When you’re looking at advertising, the majority of people who you’ll advertise to are known as ‘cold traffic’. These are people who don’t know, like or trust you – yet. They’ve jumped on to Google and done a quick search such as ‘home builders Melbourne’.
This is where the vast majority of businesses get it wrong. They approach their prospects like an army would attack a walled city – with a full frontal assault. No wining, no dining! It’s the equivalent of walking into a bar and asking a stranger to marry them!
You’re taking someone that has been on your building website for two to three minutes and you’re trying to sell them what could be one of the biggest purchases of their life.
Builders wonder why they’re only converting one to five percent of their leads. It’s because you need to build trust first, as they will be trusting you with their home.
Offer value and then service
You need to do the equivalent of offering your prospects a free drink. Get in their headspace and consider what it’s like for a rookie. For a builder, this looks something like answering the following questions:
- ‘What’s involved in a house build?’
- ‘How much should I spend?’
- ‘What’s the difference between certain materials?’
Consider all the possible burning questions coming from your target market and then offer your value.
The easiest and quickest method is to use eBooks and free reports to create a valuable package of content and then give it to your potential customers to further educate them along their journey. Many customers will not know what is involved with a building project and they will be looking for a company that can help.
For example, one of our building clients at King Kong offers a downloadable report on their website called ‘20 critical things everyone must know before building a new home’. This is the value they provide to prospects before ever trying to move on to the sales conversation.
This free value changes the dynamic between the potential client and your company, as they get to know you and begin to build trust. Don’t forget that emails, reports and offers need to be 80 percent value and 20 percent pitch, so make sure you include a call to action. Anyone who exchanges their details for the report becomes a warm lead that you can then nurture.
Use your website
Don’t make the mistake of linking your digital marketing to your home page. It is not targeted enough, and you will likely see the leads drop off, as these potential customers do not find what they are looking for.
Ensure each report or marketing tool goes to a page that specifically addresses the potential customer’s needs. Another one of our building clients set a target of eight new paying customers at the start of their campaign and, within 11 months, they acquired 23 new clients. The success of this campaign is also attributed to the high-converting landing page that we created for them.
It’s also helpful to talk about the founder of the business. Explain why they got into building, why they’re passionate about it and why it’s their mission to deliver great houses to Australians. Tell them a story based on the everyday practicality and the value and quality on offer. Building a narrative is key to building trust and rapport with prospective clients.
Nurture the relationship
By making regular, informative contact, you are building a relationship. You are further educating that person on little tips that they can take along the way. Engaging a builder is not always a quick process, so be there throughout the potential customer’s decision journey.
The next step may be a free consultation to talk about their specific project, which will gradually take that person from being a completely cold lead and consolidating on the rapport you have created.
You have already stood out by providing value, being personable and being an advocate for people who want to build a home. When prospects are ready to engage a builder, they’ve already bought into your company and your vision. They will be confident and secure in their choice to purchase through you, giving you the best chance of securing a satisfied, paying customer.
One of our building clients had been established for 14 months when they engaged this same strategic digital marketing campaign, and their revenue grew from approximately $3 million to around $50 million after 18 months of our campaign.
By building a pipeline of future customers that you can nurture, you will move from building a limited amount of homes, to building a fast-growing business.
Bio: Sabri Suby is the founder of digital marketing agency, King Kong, and author of Sell Like Crazy. The book covers all facets of digital marketing and illustrates the path to success with real-life case studies.
Image credit: Carlos Muza