If you do a search for your type of home services company on Google, it’s highly likely that you aren’t the only company in your local area providing a similar service. Naturally, you want to stand out from the other companies and make it clear why people should hire you over them.
One of the best ways to do that is to build your brand into something clear, recognizable, unique, and highly attractive to your target audience.
But, if you’re not a marketer by trade, how exactly do you do that, and why should you?
Read on for our brand development tips for home services companies and some advice on why your branding really matters.
What is branding?
Your branding, surprisingly, isn’t immediately about colors, fonts, and logos. Instead, it’s about your company values and how other people see you. It’s about the impression you give, both online and offline, and literally, everything you do can either build your brand or detract from it. So, no pressure!
In order to define your brand, you first need to choose your brand message and that starts with deciding what makes you stand out as a company and what your values are. What makes you unique and what are the standards and values that you’ll never let slip?
Your brand message is important because it’s at the heart of your branding. You can guide people with your brand message and the look and feel of your brand to feel a certain way about your company and to trust in what you offer.
Your brand identity – your logo, colors, tag lines, and all the other elements you probably associate with branding – should flow naturally from establishing your brand message.
Once you know your brand message, it will become far easier to write your tag lines, develop your logo, and your color palette, and create the visual side of your branding. It will also be easier to develop your brand voice and write your marketing copy, social media posts, and other marketing materials.
Why developing a brand matters:
- Developing your brand can give you a clear sense of your company’s identity and make it easier to communicate that to your employees, your marketing team, if you have one, or any outside hires you might have, such as a social media manager or a printing company. Once you can quickly show your branding and the personality of your company, it’s far easier to get your employees and anyone else who works with you to communicate that to customers or to include it in their work.
- Once the whole company knows what your branding is and why you’re using it, you’ll be putting out a far more consistent message online and offline that will reach clients, and potential clients, and give them something real and authentic to understand and believe in. Simply said, great branding builds trust and relationships.
- If you don’t decide what you stand for and how you want to come across, every single person who reads your marketing copy and sees your website will form their own opinion and they could all be very different from each other. That’s no way to create a consistent marketing message.
- You’re declaring loud and proud who you are, what you stand for, and who you want to work with. That’s clear as day and highly attractive to the right audience. You’re literally telling your ideal people that you are for them. Conversely, you’re also telling people who aren’t your target market that you are definitely not for them, which can save you a lot of marketing dollars you don’t want to spend on the wrong people.
Brand development tips for home services companies
Now you’ve started to think about your branding, here are our top ten brand development tips for home services companies:
1. Define what makes your business unique
You can’t stand out from your competitors or build your brand if you can’t clearly say what makes your business unique and why you are different from everyone else. You have to be able to clearly state why people should choose you over the competition.
Think about what makes you stand out. Why do your customers come to you? Why do they come back? What do your reviews say? What are your values as a business?
2. Evaluate your competitors
Here, you’re doing much the same exercise only for your competitors. What makes them stand out? Why do customers choose them? What do their reviews say? What services do they offer that you don’t?
Think about what makes you better than them. What can no one else beat you on?
Also, examine what your competitors do well and what they do better than you. You can learn so much – without copying them – about how to present yourself to potential clients and about how to improve.
3. Identify your ideal client
Look at whatever existing research you already have on your ideal clients and your target market. You may already have the answers right there. If not, it’s quite straightforward to post on social media or in your newsletter. You could ask questions there, set up a poll with options, or even send your people a link to a short survey. However you do it, get to know your audience. It’s far easier to tailor your marketing to them and tell them what you know they want to hear if you have detailed information on them.
You can also look at your website stats and your social media stats where you can find information on what people are looking at on your site and socials, what they’re interested in, what they’re not, and even some demographic information.
4. Use compelling messaging
Now you have all the information from the first three steps, you’re in a far better place to write really consistent, clear marketing messages in your brand voice. You know who buys from you and why, what they want, any sticking points, and so much more that can now be used to help build your brand and craft your marketing messages.
5. Create a professional logo
You will have to spend some of your marketing budget here as you really need a professional logo from a good designer. However, this again is far easier to get done. Instead of guessing what you want, you’ll be able to clearly tell your designer who you are, what you do, why people choose you, and who you want to work with. This information is really helpful as background for a designer as they can then tailor your designs to reflect your company and your values, and to appeal to your target audience.
You may already have some ideas for colors, fonts, and your logo simply from the work you’ve already done, but let your designer do some of their own design ideas too. They may well surprise you and come up with something you love.
6. Be consistent
We’ve talked about consistency a lot in this article already, but we’re also making it a whole section all on its own because that’s how important it is. We can’t overstate how much you need to be consistent with your brand voice, your brand identity, and how you interact with people both online and offline.
Everything should back up and build your brand, from your visual elements to your copy.
Why? Because people will notice if you’re inconsistent, if you say one thing and then do another, or if your branding is off even a little. They’ll not only notice but they’ll very likely be put off because they can’t trust what your saying and putting across if it’s always a little different. That’s a great way to send them off to any competitor with a good reputation and more consistent branding.
7. Be authentic
Following on from consistency, you also need authenticity. You need to believe in your own business values and what you’re saying. If you don’t, it will be obvious to potential clients, and that might overcome the good even the shiniest of five-star reviews can do.
Just be you. Seriously. It’s far easier to do that than to pretend and people love genuinely honest and authentic companies.
The good news is that no one else can be you. You already are unique and that alone can help you stand out from the pack.
8. Engage your community
If you’re being your authentic self, it’s going to be a lot easier to engage your community and get them to respond to you. You’ll already know from the work you’ve done above what sort of posts your audience likes and what they respond to, but keep testing this and trying out new things.
Keep everything in your brand voice and make sure you’re reflecting your business values when you post.
Then it’s a case of responding to people, liking their posts, commenting back, saying “thank you” for compliments and great reviews… Basically, what you’re doing is having a conversation, not a one-way monologue from you, and that’s a powerful way to build an engaged and interested audience that’s more likely to choose your business.
9. Create valuable content
We all know content really is king and that it’s a huge part of your marketing, so make a plan on your calendar or your marketing software and plan out your main pieces of content every month for your blog and your social media. It’s so much easier to already know what you’re going to be writing about than to stare at a blank page and have to think of something.
And it’s easier to keep on track and make sure you’re providing the valuable and interesting content your audience wants to see.
10. Build a reputation
We’ve given you all the steps above to build not just your brand but your online reputation too. Everything you’ve done so far will have had that double impact. Now it’s a case of keeping it up. Rinse and repeat.
Keep your audience in mind at all times and your company branding. Be consistent and authentic and provide the kind of valuable content your audience wants, and you will continue to build both your online reputation and your brand.
Build your brand with Surefire Local
We’re not saying that building your brand is easy. It can be a lot of work. But it really is worth the effort. And there’s good news too in that we have so many ways to help you build your brand, without wasting any time, effort, or budget.
Read on to see how Surefire Local can make it so much easier to build your brand:
1. Send review requests via text message and email and post responses
One of the biggest ways to build your online reputation is to consistently get great reviews on review sites, your Google Business Profile, and your social media, and to respond to them.
We say “consistently,” because people tend to only take notice of the most recent reviews posted in the last few weeks, so it’s not something you can rest on your laurels with.
However, it can be a lot easier than it sounds to get reviews and manage them if you use our professional marketing software to request reviews, send reminders, and respond to them.
And you don’t have to log into each individual site to do this. You can do this right from your dashboard.
2. Create and publish content to your blog, social media, and Google Business Profile
You know we’re going to use the word “consistently” again here, right? You don’t have to stick to a completely rigid schedule with this, unless you want to, but it is important that you post regularly to all of the platforms mentioned above. What you can’t afford is to have long gaps of weeks in between posts. You can expect that people will stick around or that they’ll appreciate a sudden post about promoting your services if that’s all they’re getting.
Instead, as we said above, make a content plan in our software, so you know what you’re going to say, and you can plan and write ahead if you want to. You can jot down ideas in our software, write your blogs, schedule posts, and get detailed statistics on how your content is going over.
3. Share photos and videos across your online presence
It’s really important to use visual elements in your marketing. Not only does it break up your feed and make it look more interesting, but people want to see high-quality images of your work. Video is extremely popular now too, so why not take some videos of your work in progress, don’t forget to show before and after shots as these can have a great impact.
If you have a showroom, an office, or any type of premises open to visitors, it can be a good idea to take some photos of the interior and exterior too. People like to see what your place of business is like and see what they can expect when they visit. It’s also helpful to show the outside of the building and any signage so that people can use it for navigation and make sure they’re in the right place.
Surefire’s software can, again, help you schedule and post your images and videos.
4. Maintain consistency when it comes to the information found about your business online
One thing that can make or break your online visibility and your reputation is your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number). Wherever you have an entry online, such as directory listings, your Google Business Profile, your own website, and anywhere else, you need to be sure to write your NAP in the same, consistent way each time. You can’t miss the area code off sometimes and include it other times. You can’t use contractions or abbreviations, such as St or Ave sometimes but not always. Your NAP really does have to be the same each time.
The reason for this is that anyone unfamiliar with your company could quite easily get confused and wonder if it’s the same company if those details aren’t always written in the same way. They can easily look like two different entries for different companies. In addition, you can confuse Google, which you definitely don’t want to do. If Google isn’t sure that all these entries are definitely you, they can reduce your rankings in the search engines.
However, this doesn’t have to be as hard as it might sound. You don’t have to log individually into hundreds of sites to correct any errors. With our software, you can post on over 80 business directories and your Google Business Profile with just a few clicks and keep everything consistent.
5. Increase local search rankings with an optimized website
Your website may need an update if it isn’t modern-looking, fast-loading, accessible on multiple browsers and devices, and easy to follow.
You really must fix your site if people can’t search and buy on their mobile phones. Not only will Google penalize you for that, but you’re likely losing a lot of customers as so many people now use their phones to buy.
Next, take a look at your site design and refresh it if it’s looking a little tired. Make sure your navigation is easy to use and that people can easily contact you and find what they need. Make sure it’s clear what services you offer and what people should do next if they are interested.
Finally, take a look at your SEO and make sure your site is well-keyworded and optimized. Add your keywords to your image descriptions and alt text, put your keywords in your meta title and description, and include your main keyword in your main headings, as close to the front as possible. Remember to put your keywords in your subheadings, in the first paragraph of any copy, and to use your keywords, local keywords, and related keywords naturally throughout your copy.
6. Measure engagement to determine what your audience is most interested in
You will be able to look at your statistics, analytics, and engagement on your social media platforms and your website, but Surefire’s professional marketing software can give you a deeper dive view of the whole of your marketing.
You can look at an overview of everything or go deep with a detailed view of a specific tactic or strategy.
Look at your stats and reports at least once a month to help you steer your marketing efforts and provide more of what’s working to your audience.
7. Send targeted email campaigns to foster customer relationships
With our platform, you can plan your email campaigns, create your individual mailings, segment your audience, and schedule emails in advance.
It’s easy to pick out segments of your audience and send them just the right emails at the right time. If you’re a boiler repair company, for example, coming into autumn is the perfect time to remind people to get their boiler serviced.
Again, you can look at detailed statistics to see open rates, click-throughs, and more to show how well your campaigns are performing.
8. Determine brand sentiment
One very handy feature we have is our word cloud graph that reveals frequently used words in your reviews. You can pick out what people are saying and whether it’s positive or needs improvement. You can temperature check your brand and see whether people are getting what you want to put across and how you want to be seen, and you can see the kind of language people are using to describe you and look at anything that might be useful for your marketing campaigns.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
Surefire’s business intelligence marketing software comes at a fraction of the cost of other tools or hiring an agency and it can save you hours of time and effort when building your brand and your online reputation.
You can also manage your most important online marketing activities all within our easy-to-use platform, including your social media, reviews, content management, email marketing, paid ads, and more.
Why not book a demo with our team and see how much time, effort, and money we can save you when building your brand and marketing your home services company?