October 17

Growth Beyond Word Of Mouth


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In this video, Corey shares secret marketing gems in growing your trades business beyond word-of-mouth through:

[2:30] – Utilizing the top free platforms
[7:29] – Tactics that will make your website conversion-optimized
[20:02] – How to make your website conversion-optimized on mobile, too
[9:05] – Two primary ways to get people to your website
[10:05] – Why SEO doesn’t matter and what you should do instead
[13:27] – and an example of a performing contractor Facebook Ad with no agency involved


Growth Beyond Word-Of-Mouth: For contractors and trades business owners.

We’re gonna cover, what you need to do to take your company from just existing on word-of-mouth business to generating leads and having a solid inbound marketing funnel.

In other words, not knocking on doors, not reaching out to people cold, and not just waiting for the word-of-mouth to happen getting this people to contact you.

We’re gonna talk about primarily how you can do that online.


Now, specifically, some of the things we’re gonna cover–

The free platforms that matter.

Which free platforms do you need to get your business on and advertise on them.

And of course, they’re free so, take advantage of them and start here before you start spending money elsewhere.

From there, we’re gonna go into conversion optimization tactics for your website because if you don’t have a website, you need one.

But if you have a website, it needs to be conversion-optimized because as you’re gonna see with everything, all roads lead to Rome and Rome is your website.

So, you need to get people to your website and then, get them to actually contact you.

That’s how marketing works in 2018 online.

From there, the two primary ways you can get targeted customers to your website and, please excuse my typo that I’ve got in there, we’re gonna talk about SEO and why SEO doesn’t matter and what you should do instead, particularly because a lot of people just kind of fantasize, I guess, about this mysterious SEO thing and chase it like it’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and that what’s it’s like.

So, we’re gonna talk more about the SEO thing.

We’re also gonna talk a little bit about Facebook Ads and what they look like for contractors.

And I’m also gonna show you a live look at a conversion-optimized website based on the framework that I personally use.

So, on that note–who am I?

Well, here’s you cliche tacky internet marketing “Who Am I”.

I’m Corey Philip.

I write the blog Homeprosuccess.com

And I’m also the owner of this company that you see on my shirt–Gulf Coast Aluminum.

We do patios and screen enclosures in South Florida.

I started the company six years to seven years ago depending on when you’re seeing this.

It was in 2012–I was in college at the time.

Started with literally no money and since then, I’ve grown it like a weed primarily with online marketing and you’re gonna get a good insight into that what exactly I’m doing and how you can do this stuff yourself.

So, as I just said, I’ve used this stuff to grown my own company so, let’s dive right into it here.

We’re gonna talk about taking advantage of what is free.

There’s a lot of good directory sites out there that are growing in user base.

So, it’s important to establish your presence on these websites early on even if you’re not running paid ads on them.

And I’m not saying that you have to but it is something that should be on your horizon.

In the future, some of these might really take off.

Nextdoor is growing rapidly.

Google is not a paid platform at all or shouldn’t say is should I say this—

Let me clarify –all of these are free to start out with but Yelp and Angie’s List particularly offer paid exposure on there but still with just a free profile on there, you’re still gonna get business from these.

And it’s important to build the presence on there early on because these are important lead generation methods at the free level.

So, Google+–we all know what that is.

They use the maps.

They show up in the searches–very important.

Claim your presence on there.

Nextdoor.com– that is a really interesting one that really came onto the scene about a year ago in 2017 and has grown like a weed.

Had been around a couple of years before that but 2017, it really started to take off.

I caught on to it and I’m actively engaging on there as my business.

It’s like a Facebook for the neighborhood.

So, users on there can only see who’s in their local neighborhood and that extends a couple of miles around their house and they talk about things that are based on their community needs, what they need locally and there’s a lot of recommendation going on there.

They’ve got a recommendation platform for businesses so you can sign your business up and already get your customers recommending you on there.

And you can engage in the conversation on there and also share your content.

Remember, marketing should be all about content.

I shouldn’t say remember, because we haven’t got at that point but I will talk about content marketing.

I will just say though on that note, when you’re on these platforms engaging you don’t want to just say, “Call me! Call me! Call me!”, because nobody’s gonna call you.

So, we’ll get back to that as we get into the content marketing.

Angie’s List– we all know what that is.

It’s a directory resource for service providers.

Yelp is another big one that’s out there not strictly for service providers but all businesses in general can be on Yelp and they are growing in user base.

So, some of the other ones out there like Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor– might have some type of directory.

I’m not affiliated with them but these are the big four that you really need to to establish your presence on.

And from there, with claiming your free profile, start building reviews.

I can’t tell you how valuable this is.

You almost don’t need to do anything else if you just build a lot of reviews.

It’ll take a lot of time but if you’ve got awesome reviews on all of these platforms, particularly, Google because that does drive search engine traffic, you will get tons of business from your reviews.

So, every customer you see– if you’re a small operation– every customer you see make sure that you’re getting a review.

You’re personally doing that.

Now, if you’ve got employees out there handling the service work for you, encourage them to get reviews.

One of the things that we do in my company is– we offer a slight compensation or spiff type of thing ten bucks if the customer names him in a review.

So, now the cut the employee– that’s out there seeing ten guys a week or ten customers a week he gets ten reviews with his name in it, mind you they do have to be positive reviews or not giving $10 spiff on one-star reviews but if we get ten positive reviews or he gets a ten positive reviews, it’s extra hundred dollars.

So, he wants to do that.

He wants to get the reviews.

They help our company.

From there, there are automated solutions.

There’s grade.us.

There’s Review Buzz.

There’s Top-rated Local.

There’s several automated solutions out there an essentially you just upload your past customer’s list or once you get in using the program you upload it weekly.

That’s what we do.

That’s one of my assistant’s tasks.

So, you upload it weekly and then these things email or solicit email, text message basically to get the customers to leave a review.

So, they follow you, they kind of follow the customer around and then comes back to you for a review so gets the customers to leave a review.

It’s incredibly powerful and you can basically link it up to send them to anyone of these sights.

I know that I use Grade.Us but I know Review Buzz has similar features.

You can send them to the sites that you’re trying to build reviews on.

If we got a lot on Google and we really wanna boost our presence on Yelp, we can send them there as opposed to here.

And another cool thing about these review-building program that I’m talking about is that it can also filter off the negative ones by channeling off the unhappy people into a scenario where they can leave a private feedback.

Now, here’s the big ingredient.

If you really wanna grow beyond word-of-mouth, you need a website!

All roads lead to Rome and Rome is your website in the trades business.


So, no matter how people hear about you, they need to able to look you up and find a good website online.

Doesn’t have to be great.

It doesn’t have to be award-winning.

It just needs to be good.


And by that, I mean it needs to be conversion-optimized.

And at the end of this, I’m gonna go through and show you an actual website based on my framework that is conversion-optimized.

So, you got to get them to your website.

That’s largely how all marketing works with online marketing.

Get them to the website and then convert.

Big factor: conversion optimization.

And while nearly every trades business– yours included might have a website, what you need to do is make sure that it’s converting and letting anyone slip away.

I’ll show you some tricks when we actually go to my website.

And just going back here to taking advantage of what’s free, ultimately what you need to be doing on all of these platforms is sending people to your website.

So, a lot of people are like, “Well, what do I say on my Angie’s List profile?”

Well, say, “Go to our website for more information.”

Direct them to your website.

“Learn more at blah blah blah.com”

Most businesses don’t do that.

So, you want to take these customers off of these platforms.

Well, it’s good for exposure and some people will see your number– your name on there and calling from there.

You want to use your exposure on here to drive them back to your conversion-optimized website.

That’s what you need to be doing with these.

You need a website–it needs to be conversion-optimized so you make the most of it.

Once you have a conversion optimized website up, then you can run traffic to it.

And you can run advertisements to it.

You can send people to it without the fear of wasting your time because no good advertisement is going to overcome the fact that your website sucks.

So, from there– once you have a good website up, it’s a matter of getting the right people to your website.

You need to get the right people to your website.

And there’s two primary ways of doing that.

Pay-per-click traffic which is gonna be like your Google Ads and content marketing.

Publishing content out there on the web.

One simple way of doing this is publishing content, answering your customers’ questions.

If you get questions like ‘What’s the difference between a shingle roof and a tile roof?’ or ‘why should I go with a tile over shingle?’.

Publish it.

‘Seven Reasons Why Tile Roofs Are Better Than Shingle Roofs in Miami, Florida’, or wherever you are located.

Publish that content.

You can do it as a video or you can do it on your own website as blog post.

You can also publish a video on your website but for a lot of people, they’re publishing that stuff on YouTube and then embedding it on the website.

So, you need the content, right?

Put the content out there.

Let Google absorb it.

People will find the content and then go back to your website.

And oh, something else that I want to touch on but we’re gonna go on to the next part real quick.

Just a quick word on SEO.

Everybody likes to chase this SEO pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

It doesn’t quite exist like that.

And I’ve published a lot on this.

I’ll link to, maybe below this or somewhere wherever this video gets used but I’ve published a lot on how SEO is declining.

In 2012, number one organic spot on Google was like priceless.

You just got business and phone calls.

It was great but now?
Now what’s happened is that number has gotten shifted down.

So, it used to be the one you landed and somebody search and they got a search results page from Google.

The organic results were up at the top.

That doesn’t quite happen anymore ‘cause up at the top, you’re stuffed pay-per-click ads which over the years no longer look like ads but rather have been morphed into looking like the natural organic results.

As you get more people to click on them but you’ve got more ads up there in some markets like your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.

You’ve also got your Google Lead Ads.

So, you got those up there and then underneath that you have the map.

And underneath that you have the organic results.

So, they’re getting shifted further down the page.

They’re no longer above the fold in most cases.

So, because of that, they’re less valuable.

And also, I think this is ultimately– nobody knows what works in SEO.

I shouldn’t say that.

We have an idea what works but there’s no magic tricks to it.


There’s no magic sauce.

There’s a few things that you can do on your website to make sure it’s optimized so that Google can absorb the content but from there…from there, the bulk– the bread and butter of it is just publishing the content.

If you consistently publish good content, you will get traffic so that ties back in with the content marketing.

And now, I was saying about the videos that some people will just publish them on YouTube and then you can just embed them on your website as opposed to hosting them on your own website.


Well, the YouTube videos are more likely to rank up higher in Google and get the traffic than your website because Google or YouTube is a stronger domain.

So, let the YouTube videos do the ranking and absorb the traffic and then boom!

We are going to get them back to your conversion-optimized website.

So, publish the videos off of your website.

Use them to drive the traffic back to your website.

All right.

So the quick word on SEO– don’t get too excited on it.

I’ve also got a piece out there on how you can check results of an SEO person.

And I would caution you that you should not just be hiring an SEO person.

They should be doing content marketing– creating content.

But– the best content that you can create that’s going to drive business and engage your target audience is stuff that you create in-house.

So, you really can’t outsource.

You need to be creating content in-house.

You can kind of outsource it but the best you’re really gonna get a much better return on your content if you’re doing this in-house with your own trade knowledge.

All right.

Now, you probably know that I love Facebook advertising to use it for my own company.

But one thing I just didn’t come out and say here is Facebook Ads to send people to your website.


You need to use Facebook to promote content and then send them to your website.

Let me show you a good Facebook ad here.

This is one of my best-performing Facebook ads and look a this.

It’s just a blog post–

‘Four Types Of Screen Every Homeowner Should Know About And What To Avoid.’

And we’ve just got an image.

This is not a stock image.

It’s not an award-winning image.

It’s not a professionally done image.

This was done with–it’s a couple-year-old image.

This might have been done with an iPhone 3 or something.

So, you just need a decent image to match your content and then you share the content on Facebook.

Obviously promoted.

There’s a lot to it than that but promote it to the right audience.

So, your Facebook Ads need to be content-based.

Use the content that you create in your Facebook ads.

Now, your content can be published on your website or if it can be published on Facebook.

From there, after these people are exposed to your content, you want to funnel them down and send them back to the website.

So, you don’t’ want to just send people from Facebook to your website if they don’t know who you are.

They don’t know who your company is about.

You want to use their reaction to content-based Facebook ads and then send them to a website.

Now, let’s go ahead and take an actual look at what a live website looks like that is conversion-optimized.

Check this out here.

Now, this is a sample that I put together based on my own website framework built on Click Funnels for a hypothetical plumbing company.

It doesn’t matter what your trade is.

This framework works across all trades.

And first thing when you’re looking at it, well it does look good and professional.

It’s not award-winning.

There’s not exceptionally beautiful about it but it is wildly effective as you’re going to see here.

First up, we’ll start at the top.

We’ve got a trust-building headshot image up here making that personal connection early on.

Right in the top left of the website.

People read websites in like an “F” pattern.

So, they start at this corner they go right across and they kind of skim down here and then they kind of go back to the middle.

Just keep that in mind in whatever you’re working on a website or having a website developed but right up there, right where your eyes land on this page, trust-building image with some call-to-action text and then a phone number– a local phone number resonates A) a local company which is important because nobody wants to hire big box global service provider. They want the local guys not some corporate companies.

So, local phone number company up here is very key for conversions.

And then now as we scroll down the page, notice it stays.

So, for the phone number with the bright yellow background and the phone number always visible. It stays right in front of you.

So, does this person.

So, it always there and that’s subconsciously saying, ‘Call me. Call me. Call me.’

Now, underneath that we have a hero image again using an internal image of the company.

No stock photography.

Well, admittedly this is stock photography for the sake of display on your own website.

You want to be using your own internal company imagery that shows off the resources of your own company.

Maybe use a picture of you, of the team, of all your assets pulled together and for an office, and by that, I mean all your trucks pulled together in front of the office.

Maybe all the trucks in front of a house.

Something like that.

And then, some trust-building copy that explains what you guys do.

From there, come down and just do a visual services section.

So, show people what you do with visuals.

And do mind you, this is just for display purposes.

You would not actually use a photo of a book here but we would use something that reflects plumbing repairs or water heaters, sewer and drain.

Whatever it is, put a visual for it and have a blurb.

A few sentences long below that.

Now, I know a lot of service business websites, a lot of them have a page for each one and I find that so unnecessary because you’ll find plumbing company websites and then they’ll have a page for water heaters, and it just says water heaters blah blah blah water heaters, blah blah blah water heaters…

It adds no value.

A lot of trades businesses have these pages on their websites and they waste too much time and I get a lot of questions saying “Hey Corey, what do we put on this page? What should I say ‘cause I don’t know what the heck to say about this water heater page?”

Well, don’t have that page if there’s nothing to say.

And the reality is there’s only so many ways you can spice that up.

So, if you want to talk about water heaters talk about a project that you did on water heater.

Just talk about the different kinds but do that in a blog format or a different piece of content.

For a page that you’re using for conversion optimization, one tile with a blurb below it is effective.

Simple is effective.

A lot of people overlook that when they’re going to their websites, simple iseffective.

From there, coming down to a “Why Us” section.

“Why Us”– this is your time to shine.

Talk about why people should go with your business over other businesses.

So, what differentiates you guys.

You know in this case, maybe, you are not a fly-by-night company.

“Licensed and insured.”

“Dedicate project manager.”

Put these stuff out there.

Put it in front of them.

And then, this is key–visual service area map.

What service areas do you cover.

Put a visual map so people know where you’re located and reassure them you’re local business.

And then, use another headshot of a key person or manager/owner or manager– key person in the company is what you need to use here.

You want to make these website personable.

That’s really what sells.

Nobody wants to do business with a company that’s hiding behind the computer screen.

Put some faces behind them.

Let them know that you’re real people.

Show them that you’re real people because a lot of people are—or a lot of potential customers might be intimidated by the fact that they do not know who is behind this company or who’s behind this website.

Show them: “Hey. We’re just regular people.”

“People, this is what we look like and this is what we do.”

That actually might be an interesting advertisement.

And then, a lineal call-to-action here.

So, one, two, three–Tell us your problem, Confirm Appointment, Problem Solved.

All right.

That sounds simple to us.

We own trades businesses.

Of course, this is how it goes.

But, to your customers, they don’t really think like that.

So, putting it into a lineal fashion– one, two, three–lineal call-to-action, and schedule your appointment–boom.

Puts it out there.

Makes it nice and simple and visually shows them what they should do what they can expect.

From there, build trust.

Display your reviews.

Or “What Our Customers Say” section.

Get your reviews.

Put them on here from Google, Yelp, NextDoor, or wherever you’re building your reviews.

Put them on your website so everybody can see it.

It’s huge.

People want to know that there are other people out there that use your services and that you’re well received.

And from there, “Request Your Estimate” form.

So, what we got here is you know, of course, the optional to call us with a phone number and then a form.

Maybe they don’t want to call.

Maybe it’s after hours– a form right here.

Below that, “Find Us On” so you can send them to your other profiles and they can see more reviews and then your typical stuff and then, of course, license and insurance.

Good to have down here if you don’t include that up in they “Why Us” section.

All right.

Key thing though for conversions on this: No.1 Some simple one-page and you know your copy that you’re gonna have right here in the hero section, personalization, trust-building elements using your face or other people’s faces in your company, visually showing the services and most importantly having the phone number right in front of them at all times.

Now, most of the traffic that your website gets will be mobile.

That’s the way it is.

Everyone’s using their phone so it’s important that it’s conversion-optimized on mobile as well.

So, let me show you what that should look like.

Check it out.

You guys already got a preview.

All right.

So, here we go yeah.

That doesn’t look too good.

Shrink it down.

So, mobile is gonna look something like this.

All right.

Again, here’s the key thing the phone number is always in front of them no matter where they scroll on the page, that phone number is clickable.

They can click to call and here’s what we found works best is the blue text.

Why is the blue text think or why does the blue text work so good.

Think about this.

Think about it.

Microsoft office and other word-processing programs display links, display things that are clickable in a blue that’s this color.

So, our whole life we’ve been using these word-processing programs and what do we do, we click these blue links.

We’re programmed to click on blue links.

So, best color I found for getting click to calls is this blue and displaying this phone number.

Local phone number here.

Show the phone number else they know that they’re gonna call it.

They know it’s gonna connect and make it blue to say “click me, click me, click me” which is gonna lead to the phone call.

Mobile users don’t usually use the request an estimate section.

Mobile users just don’t find these things intuitive because you had to type it out.

It’s not user-friendly to start typing out last names, email addresses, and phone numbers when you’re poking around your phone.

When on your phone you want something to happen quick and the best thing that you can do since you got the phone in your hand is click and call.

So, on mobile always have that phone number right in front of you and make it this blue color here.

So, that’s what we got on the website.

Let’s go back to the slide.

Now that you know what a good website should look like and we’ve already talked about how all your marketing guides, people back to the website, let’s do a quick recap on what you need to do next.

First, fill out your online profiles.

As we went through the Angie’s List, Yelp, NextDoor, Google+…

Capture those.

Claim your space on there.

Actively engage on there.

Upload some pictures.

Direct people back to your websites.

Then, start getting reviews from your customers.

Reviews are so huge.

If you don’t know where to start I suggest starting with Google because the reviews are a factor in the map ranking.

So, you will get traffic from Google if you keep getting those good reviews on there.

Then, set up a conversion-optimized website.

This is key.

Any growth beyond word-of-mouth is going to revolve around your website.

All the marketing needs to send people to a website which is going to capture leads so set up a conversion-optimized website and I just showed you a great example of one.

Real simple.

It’s a real simple website.

Show it to your developer.

Say, “Hey, let’s do something like this.”
And here’s why.

It doesn’t need to be complicated.

Doesn’t need to be award-winning.

Just needs to be conversion-optimized and simple.

Get people to the website.

Use content.

Pay-per-click and Facebook ads.

But if you’re gonna do the Facebook ads, you have to have content in place.

First, you don’t want to just send people from Facebook right to your website like you’re just seeing.

That won’t do well.

Facebook– you need to be more strategic and provide value-added content.

And oh, let’s take this back a notch to the “Fill out your online profile”.

As I said, NextDoor has a place where you can or is I’m a place has the feature where you can engage in conversations.

So, rather than just saying: “Hey, I’m a screen company”, or “Hey, I’m a roofer”, “Hey, I’m an electrician”, “Hey, I do AC.” — “Call me. Call me.”

Don’t do that.

Send them or not send them but drop your content into the conversation.

Say, “Yeah, I actually do AC. Check out this write up. It’ll help you gain more insight and the types of systems that you should know about before you actually get this replaced.”
That’s it.

You didn’t ask them to call but you want to provide them that content which will then lead them back to calling you and it’s gonna work a lot better, a lot more effectively.

So, get these people to your website and then one thing that I forgot to tell you to touch on remarket.

Stay in front of them.

All right.

So, after somebody comes to your website, whether they get there from pay-per-click content or Facebook ads, then you want to remarket them.

So, if somebody came to your website, they have interest in your services, but they didn’t convert, you want to remarket and what is remarketing, that’s simply showing those ads that stalk you around the website.

So, it’s like you went to a website and now you see ads from them all the time, that’s what remarketing is.

It’s not difficult to set up, you can set it  up with Google Display ads so, that your ads will appear on websites all over or you can do Facebook.

Facebook is of course my favorite and in either case you might want to make it content-based.

Now, I’m sure you guys will have some questions so if you have any questions feel free to reach out.

I’ve got the Facebook group Home Service Business Owners and Managers there.

It’s an awesome growing community now over 500 members.

Join it.

Post your questions up in there.

I regularly engage in there.

If you do see this video on Facebook or YouTube, drop your questions in the comments.

You know, just look around.

You can always head on over to Homeprosuccess.com and from there, you certainly figure out a way to contact me.

I’m not the wizard of Oz or anything.

I’m pretty easy to get in touch with so, let me know if you have any questions.

Let me know if you have any feedback or if anything needs clarifications.

I hope you guys got a lot out of this because the ability to grow your business beyond word-of-mouth is unprecedented.

If you’re surviving already on word-of-mouth, you have light-years of growth out there once you start tapping into digital marketing.



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