After enduring the winter doldrums where roofing projects are few and far between, and margins shrink to compete for a scarcity of jobs, spring has arrived and with it comes opportunity.
But you need to be prepared in advance to capitalize on the arrival of your busy season. After all, your company isn’t the only one out there looking to capture more of the roofing market once the weather heats up.
Getting your inventory lined up and re-energizing your team after a long winter’s nap are important, as is developing your budget and sales projections for the roofing high season. However, relying too much on word-of-mouth business for too long can pose risks to some roofing companies, particularly those looking to grow and expand.
As the saying goes, “If you ain’t growing, you’re dying.”
Having a strategic marketing approach to winning new roofing business and beating out your competition for new customers is a key to growth. Word-of-mouth and a strong reputation can keep your business afloat, but having a well thought out, executable marketing approach can make all the difference between being a roofer that’s surviving and a roofing business that’s thriving.
While winter seems to be hanging around a bit longer than expected here in Frederick, Maryland, Spring has arrived despite the piles of snow still visible on street corners and in parking lots. It’s time to get marketing. Here are some marketing ideas for roofers and 4 simple ways to win more roofing business:
Create a Referral Program
Well, we can hear you now: You just said word-of-mouth won’t work forever. And yes, that’s true. But a strategic, well-planned and carefully executed and tracked referral program is very different from a random referral from Mr. Wilson at the local coffee shop.
Everyone knows word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to get new customers, but not so many people can prove just how effective it is for their business.
Incentivize current and former customers to spread the good word by offering them discounted services, gift cards or other rewards they might value. You can create simple referral cards to give out after completed jobs and offer avenues for folks to make referrals via an online form.
Remember the following when developing your referral program:
- You need to clearly define the referral rules and procedures and follow them fairly for all participants
- You need to ensure that whatever rewards or referral discounts you offer are delivered in a timely manner and make sense for your bottom line
- You need to promote the referral program on your website, via email, your blog and paid advertising, budget allowing
Refresh Your Website
A good website is a dynamic roofing lead generator and converter. If you have a website and haven’t paid attention to it in a while, winter is the time to get moving so you’re ready for spring.
Your roofs look spectacular and work flawlessly but if your website looks like the internet equivalent of dirty, mossy cedar shingles, you're probably missing out on potential new customers
You want to make sure that when a potential customer finds you online, your website, or digital storefront, is respectable and engenders trust that you are a legitimate, reputable company. If your website is just a static, online brochure, you’re missing major marketing and sales opportunities every day. Here are a few things to look at to improve your website’s lead capture and conversion performance:
- Look at your Search Engine Optimization, keywords, URLs and page descriptions. If these are outdated, non-existent or don’t focus on the services you provide, you have some work to do because you're missing major opportunities to generate organic search traffic that could lead to new business.
- Make sure you have lead conversion capture points on your site.
Does your site have forms for requesting a roofing estimate or contacting your company? If not, they need to be added to strategic areas of your website so that you don’t lose customers that would rather do a form fill than pick up a phone.
- Add pictures of your roofing projects.
You need to develop a portfolio of projects and a page to showcase them on your website. Potential customers want to see your work before they take the step to reach out and schedule a meeting.
- Gather and showcase client testimonials.
You can say all day long you're the greatest roofing company ever, but if no third party backs you up, it doesn’t mean much. Reach out to your customer base and see if they’d be willing to give you a testimonial, then post them on your website.
Many of the changes mentioned above require technical assistance. Investing in a refreshed or completely new website is an investment that pays for itself in short order. Consider reaching out for a website audit to determine what changes will provide the best bang for your buck.
Create and Post Roofing Content That’s Helpful
Just like your roofs, your website needs maintenance too. Luckily, no ladder is required.
Potential customers will start researching online before engaging with any roofing company. You need to position your organization to be a local thought leader on all things roofing. One way to do this is to create and share content that helps potential customers with the research and decision-making process. Here’s how you can achieve this:
- Write a roofing blog.
Start blogging about tips, tricks and advice regarding roofing in your local area. This doesn’t mean you have to blog 6 days a week; what it does mean is you have to consistently produce what you can and get it out there. Over time, these blogs will drive organic traffic to your website and build trust with the local community.
- Post on social media.
Having a Facebook page doesn’t matter much if you never update it. Same goes for Twitter, Instagram, Houzz and other platforms. In fact, having these pages but letting them die on the vine will actually hurt your business. Roofers having social media posts is now the rule rather than the exception, especially with younger homeowners.
- Create short-form roofing videos.
Use your phone to take videos of ongoing projects; launch a series of 30 second do-it-yourself roofing repair videos; create video client testimonials. All of these videos will be useful to your target audience and will help generate interest and traffic to your website.
Create Marketing Partnerships
You don’t have to do this all by yourself. Find local general contractors, suppliers and big box home goods stores that will partner with you to market your services. Building a relationship with reputable, local contractors that do a lot of business in your area can be a great way to get new business and create a strong referral network. Find a way to make this partnership mutually beneficial and it will do wonders for your sales.
Add a Little Something to Your Free Estimate Offer
Every roofing company in your area likely offers free estimates. Think about what you can tag on to your free estimate that might separate you from the competition. Perhaps position it as a roofing audit rather than an estimate. Or maybe you can partner with a local energy efficiency company for a whole house energy audit, of which roofing is one component. There are a lot of possibilities here: You and your team just need to break out of the box a bit and think differently.
Don’t Forget Traditional Marketing
If you're particularly proud of a certain project, and the homeowner or business approves, a sign showing people what you and your crew are capable of can perform wonders.
You’d be amazed at how many local contractors win business from posting company signs at active job sites. You need to ask permission from the homeowner, of course, but a well placed sign in a high traffic area can really give you great value and generate a lot of interest.
Flyers and mailed postcards also can be impactful, though we recommend doing this on a very limited, targeted scale in conjunction with lower cost marketing tactics to ensure you stay on budget.
That’s it. Spring is here though the cold weather says otherwise. If you’ve already been planning your marketing approach for the busy season, great; if not, it’s time to get started.
Should you need advice or assistance developing your marketing program or refreshing your website, reach out to us. We have significant experience helping Frederick, Maryland area contractors win new business and grow.