Hey gang! We are back chatting with another one of our favorites this Friday. If you missed what we got going on here, at the beginning of this year we wanted to start sharing with you all of our favorite people. We get so much of our inspiration and creativity from people within our industry that we thought…well, why are we hiding these amazing people from ya’all?!
This past month we chatted with iHome Registry, Lark & Linen and LuvBec. If you missed the chats, make sure to swing on back after you read this post and read up on these lovely people. They are a true source of inspiration and we couldn’t be more thankful that our paths crossed.
I seriously can’t believe that we’re already moving into February. Where is time going?! Doesn’t it feel like it was Christmas yesterday and we were getting our goals and to-do’s in order for the New Year? Ufda! Hope you guys are getting those lists checked off.
Today we have the honor of chatting with and introducing to you Martin Holsinger. Martin is the expert behind marketing for contractors. We met Martin through our favorite platform Instagram. Martin had recently wrote a book, Contractor Marketing Simplified, and had asked if he could send us a copy to read. We immediately said yes and read the book within a few short days. Since then we’ve stayed in touch and he has recently just released a podcast in which we were honored to be apart of.
Our network is the best source for new and fresh perspectives when it comes to ideas for not only our home remodels but what drives our business, our relationships and marketing. Martin has been a huge resource for information on challenges, experiences and goals. He has given us the resources to gain new insights that we may not have otherwise thought of. So if you are in the field and want to stay ahead of the marketing trends, make sure to keep reading and give him a follow as he updates his readers regularly with new contractor marketing tactics.
So if you’re looking for some more marketing tips, make sure to tune into his podcast –> HERE on iTunes <– and check out our chat this Wednesday called “How to grow your online presence through your blog.”
Everyone meet and say hello to Martin!
What led you to pursue your own brand?
I’ve been blogging about marketing since 2010. I started this website because I needed a central hub around which I could run my businesses. On this blog I help contractor’s learn online marketing, as well as tell what is going on in my life and business.
You recently wrote a book, Contractor Marketing Simplified, which we read and loved! What pushed you to write the book?
In December of 2015 the local Home Builder’s Association asked me to come in and talk with them about doing some marketing workshops for their local members. As we sat there and talked, it dawned on me how much I loved the residential contracting industry. You see, I was raised by a general contractor, and grew up in a community of contractors. In fact, I even had my own successful remodeling company which I closed down in 2009 when we moved to Thailand as missionaries. But anyway, I love carpentry and I love online marketing. So, I realized that there is a deep need in this industry for some crystal clear training on how to build a rock-solid online presence. I decided that writing a book would be one of the quickest and best ways to meet that need. In 2016 that became my goal. I launched Contractor Marketing Simplified in September of 2016. It has been such an exciting journey to hear the reports of contractors all over the world giving me confirmation that this book is helping them exactly as I had hoped.
What’s your favorite social media platform and why?
There’s nothing that I’ve found on social media that even comes close to the engagement I experience on Instagram. I think that in the past, Facebook had a similar feel. But Facebook has totally changed since then. Now, Instagram is my go-to platform for both reach and engagement.
How important is having an optimized website?
If you are in business in the 21st century without an optimized website, it’s a wonder that you are even still in business. The generation coming on, do not part with their smartphones for even an hour. They are on their phones all the time. They research everything before purchasing. If you want to grow your business, you absolutely must have an optimized website for both mobile, and conversion. By mobile optimization, I mean it works perfectly and seamlessly for every mobile viewer and helps them get the help they are looking for. And by conversion optimization, I mean it leads a vistitor down a very clear pathway to get exactly where they want to go. This will lead to more dollars on your bottom line, and much more happy website visitors. So it’s a win-win for everyone.
I got this question yesterday from someone and it left me thinking for awhile so I want to ask you the expert…is it worth it to pay someone for SEO?
Honestly, before I just jump up and say, “Yes, of course.” I want to clarify it first. I think it depends on what you are offering, and who your ideal customer is. Tim Roman from Imperial Builder says that if his website would go down, he would spend his last hour and last dollar to get it back up. His website brings him 100% of his $1mil+ kitchen and bath remodeling business. And those website visitors are coming because of SEO. He told me that he would pay more for SEO if he needed to because it is so important for the growth of his business. But I don’t think it will work this way for everyone. Do you have enough people in your population searching for your specific service? You see it depends on what you are offering and who your target is. It may be better for you to run Facebook ads to your local zipcode and target your ideal customers that way.
What is something that a contractor can do right now pretty easily to increase their online presence?
It all starts with your website. You must have a website that is optimized to help your ideal customer. Get some reviews online, and grow your online reputation. At the same time, you can get on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook and start publishing consistent high quality photos of your work. Then after that begin investing in a little paid advertising to expand your reach. And finally, grow an email list and start a regular newsletter so that you stay top-of-mind to your list. Then when they are ready to do some work, you will be the one that they call.
We’ve recently been on a push to build our newsletter subscription base. Someone recently told us, what if social media died. Would you still have a platform? And it really got me thinking about how we need to capture our readers emails. We started weekly emails and so far are off to a good start and having fun with it. Do you have any advice, tips on email marketing? Is it a must for contractors?
Yes, I think it is a very important aspect of your marketing plan to grow an email list. Essentially, you are building a relationship with your readers over time by giving them consistent value through your emails. Then, when they are ready for your help, it’s very easy for them to reach out to you, because they’ve been getting your emails regularly. Something we like to say in the online marketing space is, “The money is in the list.” Basically this means that if you don’t have a list of people that you are able to reach with your products or services, then you don’t have business. Blogging and email marketing go hand-in-hand. You write the blog posts, and then send an email with blurbs from each post asking them to visit your blog to read the full article. This works extremely well when done right.
How important is it to connect with other colleagues, ideally your competitors?
Networking is always good. I think it’s my pride that keeps me from networking with people, and especially my competitors. When I break down that barrier and focus on developing relationships, it’s amazing how much more can get done. I recommend it.
How do you respond to critiques?
I’m not very good at this. I usually just ignore the destructive ones. If someone is sincerely trying to help me, then I will take what they have to say and see how I can use their advise. But if they are flat out destructive, then I usually just ignore them and hope they go away.
Do you have 5 takeaways for contractors and their marketing?
1. Start with your website. It’s your home base that you own and control
2. Build a good solid online reputation.
3. Use social media and high quality photography to capture people’s attention and draw them to you.
4. Use paid advertising to get in front of your ideal customers
5. Get their name and email address and deliver lots of valuable content to them on a consistent basis.
Can you share 3 links to your resources that our readers would find valuable?
This was so great! Thank you Martin! We are so grateful that our worlds collided and all that we have learned through what you have shared and who you have connected us with. If you guys are in the business, make sure to follow Martin for some awesome marketing ideas to get your business rocking.
Have a great weekend friends!