3 Reasons To Develop And Use Buyer Personas

buyer personaNo matter how much data you have on your target market, it’s hard to really get into your potential construction clients’ minds without a clear image of who they are. By using buyer personas, you’ll develop a more relatable vision of your clients so you can reach them more effectively.

Understand What Your Clients Want Most

Creating buyer personas shifts your perspective from seeing “prospective clients” as a vague collection of data to understanding them as individual people with specific goals, challenges, and interests. Your typical remodeling client might become not just anyone with an older house, but Dave, a 35-year-old professional and father of a growing family.

Once you’ve clearly defined the goals and challenges of each type of client you serve, you’ll be able to offer them exactly the solution they need and want. Buyer personas also make it easier to humanize your marketing with humor and other personal touches to build rapport and set your firm apart.

Know Where to Find Your Clients

To get the most out of your marketing budget, you need to go where your potential clients already are. Using buyer personas helps you zero in on where your clients spend their time, so you’ll know where to place what type of messages. You’ll know which type of client loves LinkedIn and which prefers Houzz; which connects well through email and which responds better to direct mail. Overall, you’ll see a better response rate for less effort.

Develop Future Services

An in-depth understanding of your clients’ goals allows you to better anticipate their future needs. You’ll spot business opportunities you might have overlooked if you hadn’t delved deeper into your clients’ personalities.

For example, if the persona of your commercial real estate client is strongly interested in environmental sustainability, you might develop a service to help them ensure their properties are as eco-friendly as possible. Through informed decisions like this, you can expand your range of services faster secure in the knowledge you’re offering what the market wants.

For more tips on using buyer personas, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Improving A Tarnished Online Reputation

online reputationTalk spreads fast online and even one disgruntled client or former employee can do a lot of damage to your reputation before you even realize what’s happening. As frustrating as it is, with a little patience, you can improve your online reputation and save your good name.

Assess the Damage

Start by searching for mentions of your name, your company’s name, your branded services, and related terms online. In addition to using the major search engines, search complaint sites such as Consumer Affairs, ComplaintsBoard, and Ripoff Report. Use tools like SocialMention and Hootsuite to find related social media posts. Doing this helps you gauge the severity of the problem and pinpoint the exact cause.

To stay on top of future complaints, create Google Alerts for terms related to your business. You’ll receive an email whenever someone mentions your chosen terms online.

Present Your Side

Taking the time to respond to negative social media posts, forum discussions, and blog comments about your business shows anyone else reading that you don’t ignore problems. Calm, thoughtful responses also win you respect. Explain your side of the story, fill in details, correct inaccuracies, and if you were at fault, explain the steps you’ve taken to make things right.

Next, make an extra effort to reach out to your potential client base. Participate in forums, Q&A sites like Quora, and related Facebook and Google+ communities. Provide helpful, authoritative answers to demonstrate your expertise and re-establish your reputation as a reliable, pleasant person to work with.

Have Inappropriate Content Removed

If your copyrighted material is being used without your permission, first alert the website owner to the copyright violation. If you get no results, file a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA) Takedown Notice. Website hosts, search engines, and online platforms often provide forms for this.

In addition, Google, Facebook, and many other sites will remove sensitive personal information, such as your social security number, and take action against bullying and hate speech on their platforms.

For more tips on how to improve your online reputation, contact us at Construction Monitor

3 Effective Email Lead Generation Methods

email lead generationEmail gives you an effective and convenient way to nurture your leads until they’re ready to do business. While there are dozens of ways to go about email lead generation, a few methods work particularly well in the construction industry.

Publish a Truly Valuable Newsletter

A weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly newsletter lets you stay in contact, demonstrate your expertise, and build trust and rapport. To really reel in leads with your newsletter, you need to provide information that benefits them in an immediate, tangible way. Plan your content around solving the problems your ideal clients face and keeping them up to date on issues critical to their success.

To attract more signups, give your newsletter an appealing title, such as “Commercial Real Estate Insider” or “Condo Investment Advisor.” Create a page to “sell” your visitors on the benefits of signing up and add eye-catching signup forms to the bottom of every blog post.

Gate Your High-Quality Content

Gated content is content, such as reports, videos or tools, which your visitor can access only after giving you the lead information you want. It might be a set of helpful templates they can download in exchange for their name and email or a white paper they can access after answering a few lead qualification questions. If the content solves an urgent problem or offers valuable, hard-to-find information, your visitors will be happy to pass along their contact information for access.

Don’t gate all your good content, though. Freely accessible high-quality content shows your visitors what you’re capable of, which gives them the confidence to sign up for more.

Encourage Sharing

Getting your prospects and clients to pass your content on to people they know is a more effective method of email lead generation than hunting for leads online yourself. To encourage this, at the end of your newsletters, free reports, and other emailed content, directly ask your reader to share the material. You can take this a step further by including social media buttons and “tweetable” quotes in your emails.

For more insights on effective email lead generation, contact Construction Monitor.

Referral Marketing In An Online World

online referral marketingEncouraging referrals is one of the most effective ways to create a steady stream of construction leads and this approach isn’t limited to in-person exchanges. Strategic referral marketing online can bring you more leads with less effort.

Take Your Rewards Program Online

When a satisfied client directs a lead to your website, that lead may still be collecting information and exploring their options. By the time they’re ready to do business, chances are high they’ll forget to mention who sent them and the referrer loses out, discouraging further referrals.

To prevent that situation, use software that lets you give anyone who might send you business a personal referral link to your website. This lets you track signups and downloads by referrer. Another option is to provide a personal code they can pass along that will let the lead access valuable downloads on your site.

Engage in Social Listening

Tuning in to what’s being said about your firm on social media makes it easy to spot fans who would be happy to send leads your way. With a tool such as Google Alerts, Social Mention or Hootsuite, you can quickly track down any social media mentions of your firm’s name or projects you’ve worked on. When you find someone talking positively about your work, reach out to let them know you appreciate referrals and invite them to take part in your incentive program.

Maintain Top-of-Mind Awareness

Part of successful referral marketing online is making sure your firm is the first one your former clients think of when someone they know needs construction work done. Maintaining that level of awareness takes regular contact beyond follow-up phone calls and post cards. Online content lets you keep in touch consistently yet unobtrusively.

Use your blog and newsletter to publish genuinely useful information that keeps your clients coming back. Periodically offer handy tips sheets, templates, and other resources. When you can, create detailed white papers you can pass along to former clients, and they can forward to their network.

For more tips on effective referral marketing online, contact us at Construction Monitor


Using Easy Online Marketing Techniques To Generate More Construction Leads

online marketingMarketing your firm online lets you pull in construction leads you might never have found otherwise. With the right techniques and a well designed website, you can have qualified leads coming in daily.

Get Your Visitors Actively Engaged

The more you can get your website visitors to interact with your site, the better your chances of grabbing their contact details. Quizzes and tests are the perfect opportunity for this kind of interaction. By appealing to curiosity, they can draw in even the most distracted visitors.

Consider the questions and challenges your ideal clients are facing and create a quiz that helps them refine their knowledge, make decisions or spot opportunities. Focus on specific issues, such as “How well do you know Austin’s industrial real estate market?” or “Could you charge more for space in your office buildings?”

Your quiz should provide practical, useful information, but also funnel your leads further into a follow-up system, such as a series of emails on a related topic. Ask for an email either before your visitor starts the quiz or after they complete it.

Providing an online tool, such as a feasibility calculator accessible after signup, is another way to get your visitors engaged and willing to share their contact information.

Target Leads on Social Media

Instead of waiting for construction leads to come to you, track them down yourself on social media. Use tools such as Mention, Social Mention, and Twitonomy to find conversations on topics related to your firm’s specialties, then join in the discussion and approach individuals directly.

That doesn’t mean coming on strong with sales talk, though. If you spot someone in your target market, it’s enough to offer to send them one of your lead magnets, such a free white paper or other genuinely useful information with no strings attached. This puts your firm on their radar, positions you as helpful and approachable, and can open the way to talking about any projects they have in mind.

10 Million Permits!

On July 3rd, 1989, David Mineer Sr. collected a building permit from the Utah County building permit office, and Construction Monitor was born.  28 years later Construction Monitor has a data collection network spanning 1,899 jurisdictions throughout the United States and provides the most real time building permit information in the country.  Construction Monitor now has thousands of clients relying on that accurate and up-to-date weekly information to grow their revenue and help make crucial business decisions.  On May 9th, 2017, Construction Monitor entered the 10 millionth permit into its database.

The 10 millionth permit was collected from Richmond, Virginia.  It is a commercial remodel permit with a valuation of $1,095,000 that was issued on April 21st, 2017.  Subscribers to Construction Monitor; such as companies in the drywall, flooring, security, and solar industries, will be able to use that permit as a potential opportunity to generate bids and create more revenue.  Since 1989, Construction Monitor has created over 10 million of those types of opportunities for its clients.

Building permits are valuable as both sales leads and statistical information because they are required on every construction project from a small residential remodel up to a commercial high-rise.  With multiple ways to contact most individuals related to millions of construction projects, Construction Monitor clients have been able to identify and capture opportunities that they had only because they watched permits through Construction Monitor.

To learn more about Construction Monitor and how it has helped thousands of companies throughout the United States, visit us at ww.constructionmonitor.com

Navigating The Ins and Outs of Online Lead Generation

navigate pathIf you’re used to bringing in most of your construction leads through networking or conventional marketing, it can be hard to know where to start with online lead generation. With a guide to follow, though, you’ll see just how simple the process can be.

Plan Your Visitor’s Path

You’ll get the most out of your online lead generation efforts by planning the path you want your potential clients to take from the time they discover your business online to the time they contact you. Start by deciding how you’ll attract your target prospects to your website, such as through paid advertising, social media interaction or search engine marketing.

Based on this, consider which pages your visitors will land on first and aim to guide them from there to the information they want, then to contacting you. That means providing clear navigation, links to related content, and calls to action encouraging them to take the step you want them to, whether that’s signing up for your newsletter or filling in a contact form.

Optimize Each Step of the Path

An effective lead-generating website is made up of several critical components.

Offers – An offer or incentive is something of value you give your visitor in exchange for their contact information. It could be your newsletter, a free whitepaper or a problem-solving strategy session.

Landing pages – These are the pages where visitors first enter your site from off-site ads, social media posts and other links. Most landing pages focus on a single offer, which helps guide your visitor toward taking the action you want.

Calls to action – These statements give your visitors clear, specific directions on what to do next, such as “Sign up for your free strategy session now!”

Forms – Website forms make it easy for your visitors to give you exactly the information you need. Often space for a name and email or phone number is enough, but other times you might include questions to pre-qualify your leads.

3 Quick And Easy Lead Generation Tips

lead generation tipsAttracting new construction clients doesn’t have to be all hard work. By following some time-saving lead generation tips, you’ll be able to pick up qualified leads without adding much to your workload.

Provide Gated Content

One of the simplest yet often-overlook online lead generation tips is to make your most valuable content available only in exchange for an email address. This is a particularly smart strategy if you already have a few juicy articles or videos that see heavy traffic. Any content that solves a specific problem or provides information on a topic your prospects need to understand in order to reach their goals is fair game.

For longer articles, create a PDF version that’s downloadable in return for an email address. For videos, use a service that lets you embed a form requiring an email to view the video.

Reward Referrals

Your clients are busy people and no matter how much they love your services, they might not take the time to recommend you unless you give them a little extra nudge. Offering a hefty cash reward for every referral who turns into a client can be just the motivation they need. When you calculate the amount you can justify offering, keep the lifetime value of the client in mind.

Make it easy for your satisfied clients to send business your way by providing them with simple referral forms. Do all this and you can have warm, qualified leads coming in regularly with no extra effort on your part.

Run a Fishbowl Giveaway

If you’re looking for local leads, the restaurants favored by your target market can help. Ask management to let you place a bowl by the register with a sign inviting guests to enter to win a free meal for two at that restaurant. Instead of capturing business cards, ask entrants to fill out a questionnaire that allows you to pre-qualify them. Choose your winners and take those qualified leads out to dinner to get a conversation started.

For more highly effective lead generation tips, contact Construction Monitor.

Lead Generation In The Construction Business: A Checklist

lead generation checklistWith so many ways to bring in potential clients, lead generation in the construction business can get confusing. Using a checklist will help you stay organized so you can get the most out of your lead generation efforts.

Define your cold-calling strategy – When you approach with a plan, cold calling can bring in leads fast. Refine your call scripts, set a call schedule, and decide how you’ll follow up.

Create a referral systemEncouraging word-of-mouth is one of the most effective ways to bring in warm, qualified leads. Design simple forms that make it easy for your current and former clients to pass along the contact details of anyone they know who’s in the market for construction services.

Expand your reach with direct mail – Reach more prospects faster by sending postcards to a targeted mailing list. Develop an offer with a clear benefit, such as a free strategy session to help your prospect work through a specific problem.

Set up social accountsSocial media is invaluable for lead generation in the construction business today. For the best results, focus on two or three social media platforms where you can get to know people in your target market personally.

Plan your online content – Useful online content acts as a magnet for potential clients. To stay organized, plan out your topics, formats, and publication schedule for your blog and social media accounts. This should include the lead generation incentives you offer in exchange for a phone number or email address.

Optimize your website – Your website should be designed to lead visitors from the first page they land on all the way through to handing over their contact information. Include compelling calls to action, statements that direct your visitor to contact you or take another specific action.

Nurture your leads – To turn a prospect into a client, you need time to build trust and rapport. Have a plan for following up with prospects through calls, emails, and mailings.

To learn more about effective lead generation in the construction business, contact Construction Monitor.

Using Geo-Targeted Marketing To Build Your Client Base

geo-targetingThe better you show you’re able to meet a prospective client’s needs, the more likely that prospect is to trust you with their construction project. With geo-targeted marketing, you’ll find more of your ideal clients while also demonstrating your awareness of their needs.

Focus Your Efforts with Paid Search Advertising

Geo-targeted marketing is the use of geographic data to fine-tune your marketing. In practice, it often means directing specific marketing messages towards individual cities, states or regions. Because managing a construction project requires knowledge of local geographic conditions as well as regulations and codes, those looking to hire a construction firm frequently search using location-related terms.

One of the fastest ways so get your firm’s name in front of those searchers is through pay-per-click (PPC) ad networks. These networks, which include Google Adwords and Yahoo! Bing ads, let you bid on specific search terms in order to appear in the search results.

If you’re in the South and specialize in residential construction, you might bid on phrases such as “Atlanta historic home renovation” or “Skidaway Island remodeler.” To pick up even more local leads, experiment with names of neighborhoods, famous streets, and landmarks, as well as ZIP codes.

Design Location-Specific Landing Pages

Creating a webpage specifically for each city or area you’re targeting has several advantages. First, it helps optimize your site to show up in online searches for location-specific terms.

Secondly, it lets you demonstrate local expertise and start building a more personal connection with your visitors. You’ll be able to address in detail the specific concerns and issues that might arise in that location.

It’s particularly important if you decide to use PPC ads in your geo-targeted marketing mix. Sending your visitor from a location-specific ad and to a location-specific webpage keeps your message consistent and professional, and reduces distractions.

For the highest conversion rates, focus your page on getting your visitor to take one definite action, such as filling in a contact form or signing up to download a free information.

To learn more about using geo-targeted marketing, contact us at Construction Monitor.