Uncategorized

How To Leverage Online Reviews To Grow Your Local Service Business

As a local service business (e.g., contractor, electrician, plumber, painter, landscaper, etc) you have probably experienced the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

When a client is happy with your services, he’d tell his friends and neighbors about your business and those people will be more likely to hire you because of the recommendation.

What if you can scale this up so more potential clients can see what your raving clients say about your services?

With more consumers searching online for local service providers, online reviews should be an important component in your marketing and lead generation toolkit.

The Power of Online Reviews

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth the effort to gather customer reviews online, take a look at these statistics:

Displaying reviews have been found to increase conversion rates by as much as 270%.

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In addition, when your business is listed on third-party review sites, which often have higher domain authority than your own website, your profile can often rank high in relevant search engine results so you can get found by more prospects.

Boost Your Reputation With an Online Review Strategy

When it comes to online reviews, the more is indeed the merrier. On average, potential customers read 7 reviews before trusting a business while having five reviews can increase conversion rate by as much as 400%.

Here’s how to maximize the power of online reviews to improve your reputation and attract more clients:

Establish Your Presence On Review Sites

Most potential clients will research your business on third-party review sites before visiting your website or calling your business. Make sure people can find you no matter where they look.

BrightLocal found that Yelp and Facebook are local consumers’ most trusted review sites, followed by Google and BBB.org (Better Business Bureau.)

Register your business or claim your listing on these sites. Make sure you fill out all the profile information, add photos or videos, and include a link to your website.

Be Responsive

Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% of consumers considering this as key when judging local businesses.

Monitor comments on the review sites to make sure you respond to feedback in a timely manner.

Many of these sites highlight a business’s average response time and response rate. Most consumers use this information to gauge the quality of your customer service and decide whether to contact you for a quote.

Ask Your Clients To Leave a Review

Writing a review for your business is probably not top of mind for your clients. However, 68% of consumers would leave a local business review when asked.

Make it easy for your clients to share a review by including a call-to-action and links to review sites on your website and email newsletters.

In addition, create a system to ask for reviews at the right time (e.g., when you just finish a project and the client is happy with the outcome). You can make it easier for your clients to post reviews by providing them with suggestions (e.g., ask some open-ended questions) and before/after photos they can upload.

Do Not Offer Incentives For Reviews

Avoid offering rewards or incentives to customers for leaving reviews.

Doing so is at least a gray area and at worst a violation of review site policy.

You may get away with it for a while, but you risk losing all your reviews.

Instead, provide great service and ask for reviews.

 

Encourage Reviewers To Use Their Real Names

Research has found that purchase likelihood improves by 15% when potential customers read verified buyer reviews over anonymous ones.

When you ask your clients to leave a review, encourage them to use their real names and general locations (city) so the reviews are perceived to be more trustworthy.

Encourage Reviewers To Be Descriptive

Google sometimes shows reviews on local results that contain words that match words used in the search query.

This makes sense because users are most interested in reviews of work that is similar to their needs.

Increase your odds of being visible and capturing a lead by asking reviewers to mention the service you provided. The more descriptive, the better.

Instead of the usual: “Smith’s Plumbing provides great service. I highly recommend them.”

Ask for something like: “Smith Plumbing arrived within 2 hours of calling them and was able to quickly repair my water heater. The service was quick and professional!”

Share Positive Customer Reviews

Social proof is a powerful tactic for marketing a local service business. Make the most out of positive customer reviews by sharing the links or screenshots on your website and social media profiles.

For example, you can format a screenshot of a positive review and post on Instagram or re-share a positive Facebook review as a post on your business page. You can even tag the clients and thank them for their support.

How To Maximize the Impact of Your Online Reviews On Google, Facebook, and Yelp

Google, Facebook, and Yelp are the three most popular review sites for local service businesses. Here’s how to optimize your presence on these platforms:

How To Get More Google Reviews

Google reviews can help you attract more clients and improve your SEO ranking. In addition, searchers are more likely to click on links with good star ratings.

First, claim your Google My Business listing and optimize your profile by filling out as much information as you can.

Next, make it easy for your clients to submit a review by sending them a link that’ll take them directly to the review form:

  1. Google your business name.
  2. When your business shows up on the right-hand column, click on the “write a review” button.
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  3. A review box will pop up. Copy the URL in the address bar – that’s the URL to send to your clients when you ask for a review. (You can use a URL shortener, such as bitly.com, to make it more user-friendly.)
  4. Alternatively, click here and enter you business name and address in the box provided, get your Google Place ID, and use it to create a write-a-review link that works best on both mobile and desktop devices. This URL will look like this: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=<place_id>

How To Optimize Your Facebook Reviews

55% of customers use Facebook to learn about new products or services while 77.3% of people are influenced by reviews when making their purchasing decisions.

To get reviews displayed on your Facebook page, you need to add the “Review” tab by going to Settings > Edit Page > Add a Tab. The star ratings will be prominently displayed on your page and serve as a powerful social proof to help you attract more clients.

Make sure you’re getting a notification every time a review is posted so you can respond in a timely manner.

Although you can’t remove bad reviews from your page, you can report those that are inaccurate or violate Facebook Community Standards to protect your reputation.

How To Leverage Yelp Reviews

A study by Harvard Business School has found that a one-star increase in Yelp rating can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue.

The first step to getting Yelp reviews is to claim and optimize your business listing by completing your profile.

While Yelp discourages businesses from asking customers directly for reviews, there are a few things you can do to optimize your Yelp presence:

  • Follow Yelp’s terms of service and guidelines.
  • Place a Yelp badge on your website and link it to your Yelp profile so visitors can click through to check out the comments or leave a review.
  • Include a link to your Yelp listing in your email signature so your contacts can click through to read the comments or post a review.
  • Share your positive Yelp reviews on the social web.

It should be noted that Yelp uses an automated system to choose which reviews are considered credible and which are not.

Many have complained that Yelp is not fair as sometimes it will choose to not show your best reviews and instead show less favorable reviews.

If this happens, flag any suspect reviews and complain to Yelp. They probably will not remove any less desirable reviews, but they might start showing more of your good reviews, thereby increasing your overall rating.

Conclusion

While it’s important to cultivate your presence on third-party review sites, keep in mind that you don’t own the content on those platforms.

Profiles can get deleted and reviews can disappear for a variety of reasons. Keep a record of all your reviews by taking screenshots, printing them out, posting them onto your website, or copying the content into a Google doc.

There are many ways to leverage online reviews to boost your reputation and attract more clients. Optimizing your presence on Google, Facebook, local directories, and third-party review sites should be an integral part of your lead generation strategy.

That’s why 99 Calls does way more than build your business website and optimize the content for SEO. We’ll also create a Google My Business listing, a Facebook business page, and a Yelp listing if needed.

Each website also includes a “Write-A-Review Widget” to help your customers leave you great reviews for your website, Google, and Facebook.

See how 99 Calls can help you generate more local service leads – request a free demo of the 99 Calls Lead Generation System.

Uncategorized

Top 10 Lead Generation Services For Water Damage Restoration Businesses

Having your home flooded isn’t an everyday occurrence. Unlike plumber or handyman services, most people don’t have the contact information of a water damage restoration specialist taped to their fridges.

When there’s a flood, they’d most likely panic and bring in the first water damage restoration service they can find. They may read a few online reviews but won’t spend hours researching every service provider available.

Water damage restoration work is all about speed – your clients need to get their houses dried out as quickly as possible. In addition, most of the work is covered by insurance so prospects are less likely to spend hours looking for the “best deal.”

The challenge is – how can you be the first water damage restoration business they come across when they need help? What can you do to be the first to show up on the scene so you can get the job?

The secret often lies in getting your business found in online searches.

Did you know that 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase?

If you want to get more water damage restoration leads, you need to make sure your information shows up in relevant search engine results by using the appropriate online marketing and SEO techniques.

However, for most local service businesses, it’s quite challenging to get ahead in online marketing due to all the moving parts and constantly evolving new tactics.

Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a fortune on hiring a marketing team. There are many lead generation services to which you can “outsource” your prospecting efforts.

Some of these vendors drive traffic to their platforms where they match prospects with service providers. Others set up your marketing funnel and attract visitors to your website.

In this article, we’ll review 10 popular lead generation services for water damage restoration companies. You’ll learn how they generate leads and price their services to help you find one that works best for your business model, market, and budget.

Exclusive Leads

Lead Verification

Lead Source(s)

33Mile​Radius​.com

Yes

Yes

Prospects contact the vendor’s network and the calls are routed to contractors

Service​Direct​.com

Yes

Yes

Prospects visit contractor’s website

eForce​Web​.com

Yes

N/A

Prospects visit contractor’s website

Hope​Media​Group​.com

Yes

Yes

Vendor generates leads using SEO and PPC techniques then route phone calls or emails to contractors

Water-​Damage-​Marketing​.com

Yes

N/A

Prospects visit contractor’s website

United​Restorers​.com

Yes

N/A

Prospects visit contractor’s website

Lead​Amigo​.com

Yes

Yes

Vendor generates leads then route phone calls to contractors

Connexion​Solutions​.com

Yes

N/A

Prospects visit contractor’s website

Lead​Snap​.net

Yes

Yes

Prospects visit contractor’s website

99calls.com

Yes

Yes

Prospects visit contractor’s website

Figure 1: How each lead generation service handles lead generation, verification, and distribution

 

How To Select the Right Lead Generation Service For Your Water Damage Restoration Business

There are various kinds of lead generation services and they attract, verify, and distribute leads differently. Understanding how they work will help you identify the method that works best for your business.

The Difference Between Shared Leads and Exclusive Leads

Some services advertise “exclusive leads” while others may indicate that leads are shared among a few contractors.

When you purchase shared leads, you’ll likely be competing with other water damage companies. The chances of winning the business will be lower and you could get sucked into a bidding war that could lower your profit margin.

The advantage of buying shared leads is that they’re typically cheaper so you can reach more prospects with the same budget. This strategy works for companies that are rapidly expanding and/or have the resources to go after a lot of new businesses.

When you pay for exclusive leads, you’re the only contractor to get the prospects’ information. The competition is much lower and you’re more likely to get the client.

Exclusive leads work well for companies that are relatively new in business or don’t have the time or resources to pitch a lot of prospects. Even though the cost per lead may be higher, it’s often a more cost-effective way to get new clients.

Understanding Lead Source(s)

Lead generation vendors attract prospects from different sources, such as online ads, organic search results, online directories, third-party review sites, referral, or offline promotions.

Many of these services use online marketing techniques, such as SEO or PPC, to drive traffic to a dedicated landing page on which potential clients submit a request.

Pay-per-lead or pay-per-call services gather leads from different sources, depending on their lead generation methods. You may have to try a few vendors to see which one delivers the highest quality leads.

If you use a service that drives traffic directly to your website, you can review the metrics to see which sources are sending you prospects that are most likely to convert. Many reputable vendors provide monthly reports and some even help you analyze your metrics.

You may encounter some pay-per-lead sites that offer a large number of leads for a relatively low price. Be cautious because often times, these vendors are simply buying and reselling information from third-party sources without verifying the quality of the leads.

How Vendors Verify Leads

Most reputable lead generation services verify the leads to make sure they’re ready to hire a water damage professional before sending the prospects to you.

This is important because you don’t want to be paying for and spending time on bad leads.

When selecting a lead generation service, you should inquire how it verifies leads. Here are some examples:

  • The vendor drives organic search traffic to a landing page on which prospects fill out a web form with details about their requests.
  • After prospects submitted their requests, the vendor will contact them to ensure that the information is accurate.
  • The vendor will verify that the prospects meet your criteria, e.g., budget, service area, type of service, etc. before sending the leads to you or setting up a call on your behalf.

How Pricing Structure Affects Your ROI

While choosing a vendor, you’ll encounter a variety of pricing structures. For example, some vendors charge per lead or per call while others offer their services at a flat monthly fee.

Pay-per-lead or pay-per-call typically works well if you only purchase leads once in a while. However, you may have to manage your account carefully so you don’t get charged for leads that you won’t be able to handle.

On the other hand, if you want leads sent to you on an ongoing basis, services that charge a flat monthly fee can help you better control your budget.

At the end of the day, you want to make the most out of your marketing dollars. Understanding the pricing structure, cost-per-lead, and your conversion rate will help you determine which service can bring you the optimal number of leads in the most cost-efficient way.

Here are the pricing structures of some of the vendors on our list:

Cost Per Lead

Notes

33Mile​Radius​.com

Depends on service area

No setup or monthly fee

Service​Direct​.com

Depends on service area, size of business, years in business etc.

eForce​Web​.com

Offers both pay-per-call leads and flat fee programs

Get $100 free leads when you sign up

Hope​Media​Group​.com

Depends on service area

Pay-per-call, no monthly fee

Water-​Damage-​Marketing​.com

Depends on the service package

United​Restorers​.com

Flat monthly fee plus AdWords budget

Lead​Amigo​.com

$450 per lead

Pay for verified calls only

Connexion​Solutions​.com

Flat rate programs start at $499 per month

Lead​Snap​.net

Cost per call varies. Typically under $100 per call

Get $100 free leads when you sign up

99calls.com

$89 per exclusive lead

$299 set up fee

Figure 2: Pricing structure comparison

 

Top 10 Lead Generation Services For Water Damage Restoration Companies

To maximize ROI, you need to understand how each lead generation service works so you can select the one that works best for your market and business model.

Here’s an overview of our top 10 vendors:

 

1. 33 Mile Radius

Pricing structure: Depends on the service area.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: Vendor drives traffic to its website using digital marketing techniques such as online ads.

Lead verification system Prospects call into the vendor’s network and the calls are routed directly to you.

Pros:

  • You get exclusive leads for your service area.
  • You only pay for valid leads.
  • You’re assigned a dedicated account manager.
  • According to the vendor, top partners close up to 90% of the leads.

Cons:

  • Cost per lead can be higher than some pay-per-lead sites.

Reviews:

1

1

Source: Better Business Bureau

 

2. Service Direct

Pricing structure: Depends on service area, size of business, years in business etc.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: Vendor uses local SEO techniques to drive traffic to your website, which is included as part of the service package.

Lead verification system You only pay for valid calls.

Pros:

  • You can control your spending by pausing your campaign any time.
  • You can adjust the number of leads you get by adjusting your price per lead.
  • You only pay for valid calls so you won’t be spending money on bad leads.

Cons:

  • Full-service approach and pay-per-call pricing may be higher than most pay-per-lead services.

Reviews:

1Source: ServiceDirect.com

 

3. eForceWeb

Pricing structure: The vendor offers pay-per-lead and flat fee programs.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: The vendor uses targeted local ads on Google and Bing to drive traffic to your website.

Lead verification system: Lead verification method on your website.

Pros:

  • The vendor limits the number of contractors they work within each geographic location to ensure that its clients are getting enough exclusive leads.
  • Local SEO and online ads are targeted to prospects in your service area.
  • If you choose the pay-per-call program, you only pay for qualified sales calls.

Cons:

  • Flat fee program may be more expensive than other pay-per-lead websites.
  • You may not get the intended results if your website isn’t set up to capture leads effectively.

Reviews:

No review is available at the time of publication.

 

4. Hope Media Group

Pricing structure: You pay for each billable call. Pricing depends on the service area.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: The vendor drives traffic to its websites on which your business will be featured.

Lead verification system: You only pay for billable leads that meet certain criteria.

Pros:

  • The vendor manually reviews each call recording to ensure it’s a billable call.
  • There’s no monthly fee and you can cancel any time.

Cons:

  • Pay-per-call pricing can be more expensive than most pay-per-lead websites.

Reviews:

1

Source: HopeMediaGroup.com

 

5. Water Damage Marketing (by Stellar eMarketing)

Pricing structure: Depends on the service package.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: The vendor drives traffic to your website using SEO techniques.

Lead verification system: Lead verification method on your website.

Pros:

  • The vendor uses highly targeted SEO techniques to get leads that are likely to convert.
  • Optimizing your website for SEO helps create long-term results.
  • The vendor claims to have extensive knowledge of the water damage restoration business.

Cons:

  • Like most SEO tactics, there’s a period of trial-and-error and results may vary.
  • You may not get the intended results if your website isn’t designed to capture leads effectively.

Reviews:

1

1Source: Google

 

6. United Restorer

Pricing structure: Flat monthly fee plus AdWords budget.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: The vendor drives traffic to your website using online ads (Google Adwords.)

Lead verification system: Lead verification method on your website.

Pros:

  • You have complete control of your monthly budget.
  • AdWords tends to generate more immediate results that put your website on the top of Google search results than SEO.

Cons:

  • You may not get the intended results if your website isn’t set up to capture leads effectively.
  • The service doesn’t include optimizing your website for SEO so you may not get the long-term benefits of being ranked for organic searches.

Reviews:

1Source: United Restorers Website

 

7. LeadAmigo

Cost per water damage lead: $450 per lead.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: The vendor generates leads through online ads and sends calls directly to your phone.

Lead verification system: You only pay for verified calls.

Pros:

  • You can view all the leads on your smartphone and see the lead sources as soon as the calls come in.
  • Flat fee and no long-term contract make it easy to control spending.

Cons:

  • Some customers have trouble getting responsive support from the vendor.

Reviews:

1

1

Source: Google

 

8. Connexion Solutions

Pricing structure: Lead generation service starts at a fixed rate of $499 per month.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: The vendor drives traffic to your website using online marketing techniques.

Lead verification system: Prospects fill out a web form to request quotes.

Pros:

  • The vendor builds your website and takes care of the advertising, SEO, and social media marketing.
  • Packages include the development of a mobile-optimized website that can benefit your business in the long-run.
  • The vendor guarantees minimum lead calls and form fills each month.

Cons:

  • The service may cost more than other pay-per-lead websites.

Reviews:

1

Source: Facebook

 

9. LeadSnap

Pricing structure: Cost per call varies, typically under $100. You get $100 free leads upon sign up.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: The vendor drives online traffic using paid ads and SEO techniques to generate calls through mobile-optimized websites.

Lead Verification System: Ads target local prospects that are looking for a water damage restoration service and the vendor sends the call to you in real time.

Pros:

  • The vendor offers exclusive leads based on geographic territories so the competition is lower.
  • The vendor claims that clients typically start receiving calls within 24 – 48 hours.
  • The vendor offers tracking phone numbers for inbound calls so you can analyze metrics and improve results.

Cons:

  • Price per call is typically more expensive than shared leads from other pay-per-lead sites.

Reviews:

1

Source: LeadSnap Website

 

10. 99 Calls

Cost per water damage lead: $89 per lead plus $399 setup fee, which includes a highly optimized website.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive leads.

Lead source: The vendor uses SEO strategies to drive your website to the top of search engine results so it’ll get found by high-quality prospects that are looking for a water damage restoration specialist in your local area.

Pros:

  • You get exclusive leads that are looking for water damage restoration service in your area.

  • You get an optimized website that will rank high in organic searches, boosting SEO and generating long-term results.

  • Your company will be listed on prominent directories. These profiles, along with a Facebook business page, will be properly set up so you can promote special offers to attract potential clients.

  • The vendor guarantees a minimum number of leads per month or your bill is prorated.

  • Packages include monthly reporting to help you track results and maximize ROI.

Reviews:

1

1

Source: Better Business Bureau

Also see:
Google reviews for 99 Calls
Facebook reviews for 99 Calls

 

Conclusion

With the increasing occurrences of storms, fire, and flooding, the demand for water damage restoration service has been raising in the past few years.

Even though water damage restoration is a rather competitive business, there are a lot of opportunities for growth if you can get in front of those who have an immediate need for such a service in a timely manner.

For these prospects, time is of the essence. Using a lead generation service can help you respond quickly to their requests so you can win the jobs and increase your revenue.

 

Uncategorized

Why Online Reputation Matters and How To Manage Yours To Get More Clients

For decades, when people needed a local service professional such as contractor, plumber, electrician, painter, etc., they’d ask their friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations.

Using social proof to guide decision-making is human nature. The online world has made it even easier for consumers to research more vendors and obtain more information.

Besides friends and neighbors, your potential clients can now see the opinion of everyone who has interacted with your business, as long as it’s posted online. In fact:

  • 91% of people rely on search engine results while 65% of consumers trust these results over other sources.
  • 80% of consumers would change their mind about purchasing a product or using a service provider because of online reviews.
  • Two-thirds of people won’t buy from a business if it has 1-3 bad reviews.
  • 80% of consumers use social media to get advice on their purchases.

 

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Image source

 

A good online reputation gives you a competitive advantage by building brand awareness, increasing trust, and potentially boosting your search engine ranking.

Unlike verbal recommendations, online reviews are accessible by anyone at any time from anywhere. These opinions, which become part of your digital footprint (that never disappears!), can shape search engine results and define your reputation for a long time to come.

As a service provider, building trust with your prospects is critical for customer acquisition and retention. A stellar online reputation often makes the difference between whether a prospect calls you or your competitors.

It’s not enough to just do your job and hope your clients will post something nice about your business. For example, a client may write a bad review due to some misunderstanding (which you can easily clear up by reaching out) or worse, a competitor could intentionally tarnish your reputation by posting false reviews.

You need to actively monitor and manage everything that’s being said about your business online so you can build a positive brand image and attract more clients.

How To Build A Solid, Trustworthy, And Client-Attractive Online Reputation For Your Local Service Business

An important aspect of reputation management is to ensure that when potential clients search online, they’ll see accurate information about your company.

You need to create content that reflects your brand and monitor comments, feedbacks, or mentions so you can respond in a timely manner.

Here are 7 ways to manage and improve your online reputation:

1. Create Fresh Content

While you can’t “erase” negative comments published in the past, you can increase the chances of searchers seeing positive information about your business by regularly publishing fresh content, which tends to rank higher on search engine results pages.

In addition, sharing helpful, relevant, and valuable content will help build trust with your audience and establish your expert positioning.

You can also publish press releases on news about your business, such as updated offerings, new hires, participation in local community events, and special or seasonal promotions, etc.

2. Optimize Online Profiles

Social media sites and online directories typically have more “SEO juice” than your own website. When prospects enter your business name into search engines, your profiles on those sites may rank higher than your website in the search results.

Your information on these platforms should be up-to-date, on-brand, and showcase the best your business has to offer. Complete your profiles and use visual content such as photos or videos to accelerate the “like, know, and trust” factor.

3. Claim Your Listing

Some online directories, such as Google My Business and Yelp, require businesses to claim their listings.

Claiming your listings allows you to proactively manage your reputation on those sites by responding to reviews, tracking page views, and updating your business information.

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Image source

 

4. Respond to Reviews and Comments

Monitor all your online profiles and listings so you’re aware when someone posts a comment about your business. Use online tools to keep track of conversations on forums, blogs, and social media platforms.

Interact with your audience and respond to reviews and comments. A timely reply communicates an image of a responsive and customer-centric business. When prospects see that you’re proactively providing your clients with the best service, they’re more likely to hire you.

In addition, use this as an opportunity to identify minor issues so you can fix them before they become a major problem.

5. Implement an Online Review Strategy

Online reviews are everywhere, and for good reasons: 92% of consumers read online reviews to learn about a business while 84% trust these reviews as much as recommendations from their friends.

However, most people only write an online review when they aren’t happy with a product or service.

To leverage these reviews to get more clients, you need to optimize the impact of such user-generated content by having an online review strategy.

You can set up a process to ask clients for an online review right after you have finished a project. Make it as easy as possible for them to post a review, e.g., by providing some “before/after” photos that they can upload.

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Image source

 

6. Monitor Your Competitors’ Online Reputation and Strategy

You can find out what your ideal clients expect from your category of services and what they think can be improved in your industry by monitoring what they say about your competitors.

You can also learn from your competitors’ mistakes and see what they’re doing right to design offerings and customer service strategies that will help you acquire and retain more customers without going through the steep learning curve.

7. Don’t Forget the Most important Piece…

While all these strategies are effective for building your online reputation, there’s one foundation piece you can’t afford to ignore – consistently delivering great services to your clients.

You can’t put lipstick on a pig… if you don’t deliver outstanding services, you can’t expect your clients to say great things about your business on social media or post a 5-star comment on a review site.

Conclusion

Every client interaction is an opportunity to build trust and boost your credibility.

That’s why here at 99 Calls, we aren’t just building a website or running online ads for your business.

We also optimize your online directory listings, set up your Facebook business page, and monitor what people write about your business, so you can effectively leverage a variety of channels to reinforce your online reputation.

See how we can help you get listed, get found, and get great reviews here.

Uncategorized

Top 10 Lead Providers For Handyman Services

Most handymen (or women) are one-person operations that don’t have a lot of time and resources to spend on marketing or lead generation.

For those who have been in the business for a while, they can likely fill their pipelines with referrals and existing clients. However, it’s not always easy if you’re new to the business or looking to rapidly expand your client base.

Everybody needs a handyperson once in a while. The question is, how can you show up in the right place, at the right time, and in front of the right prospects so you get the job?

Most people go online to search for local service providers and it’s no exception when they need a handyman. If you want to get found by prospects, you need to make sure your information shows up in the relevant search engine results.

The challenge faced by most handyman business owners is that they don’t have the resources to invest in online marketing, which has a lot of moving parts. From SEO and paid ads to website optimization and lead capture, everything needs to be dialed in to maximize your ROI.

The good news is, there are many lead generation services you can use to get your business in front of high-quality prospects.

These vendors use a variety of techniques to generate leads and they structure their services differently.

Some drive traffic to their platforms on which prospects fill out a web form to request a quote. The vendors will then verify the leads and distribute them to contractors who have signed up for their services.

Other vendors create a marketing funnel for you (e.g., website, SEO) and use online marketing techniques to drive prospects to your website through which they can get in touch with you.

Some of these vendors offer their services for a flat monthly fee while others charge per-lead or per-call.

Different lead generation services work for different business models, budgets, and markets. To help you select the right vendor for your business, we have created a list of top 10 lead generation services for handyman businesses:

Exclusive Leads

Lead Verification

Lead Source(s)

Networx.com

No

Yes

Prospects submit requests on vendor’s website

CraftJack.com

No

Yes

Prospects submit requests on vendor’s website

Connexion​Solutions​.com

Yes

Yes

Prospects visit contractor’s website

Handyman​JobLeads​.com

Yes

Yes

Prospects visit contractor’s website

Ring-Leader.net

Yes

Yes

Prospects visit contractor’s website

FreeContractors​Leads​.com

Yes

Yes

Vendor sets up sales calls on your behalf

Advertising​​And​Lead​Generation​.com

Yes

Yes

Prospects submit requests on vendor’s website

Contractors​99.com

Yes (selected programs)

N/A

Prospects submit requests on vendor’s website

HomeYou.com

Yes

Yes

Prospects submit requests on vendor’s website

99calls.com

Yes

Yes

Prospects visit contractor’s website

Figure 1: How each lead generation service handles lead generation, verification, and distribution

What You Need To Know When Selecting a Lead Generation Service For Your Handyman Business

In order to find the right lead generation service for your business, you need to understand how these vendors work. Here are a few key terms you should know when making your selection:

Shared Leads vs. Exclusive Leads

In general, shared leads have a lower cost-per-lead than exclusive leads. However, they are distributed to more than one service provider. Therefore, the chances of winning a job are lower and you are more likely to get stuck in a pricing war that will impact your profits.

On the other hand, purchasing exclusive leads means you’re the only service provider to receive the prospect’s information from the vendor. The competition is lower and you’re more likely to get the job at your standard rate.

Shared leads can work well for businesses that have the resources to pitch many prospects while exclusive leads often deliver a higher ROI for handypeople who are relatively new to the business or don’t have much time to spend on client acquisition.

Verified Leads

Verifying a lead means either the vendor or your team has to review the information submitted via a web form or call the prospects to make sure their projects match your criteria.

If you have the time or resources to speak to each prospect, getting verified leads from a vendor may not be of high priority. Otherwise, you may want to work with vendors that deliver verified leads to save you time and efforts.

There is also a trade-off between getting verified shared leads vs. direct exclusive leads. While verified shared leads takes the verification process off your plate, you’d be competing with other handyman businesses.

On the other hand, the competition is lower with direct exclusive leads but their quality may vary depending on the traffic source and lead capture mechanism.

If a vendor sends calls to you directly, make sure there’s a system to track and record these leads. There should be a frictionless way for you to dispute a lead and get credited for bad ones.

In general, pre-verified leads will save you time while post-verified leads are more economical. Regardless of your choice, make sure to review how the leads are screened (e.g. whether the vendor requires prospects to fill out a detail web form or calls the prospects on your behalf to set up an appointment) before signing up for a service.

Lead Sources

A prospect can come across your information in many places, such as online ads, organic search results, online directories, third-party review sites, referral, or offline promotions.

Depending on your market, some of these sources may generate higher-converting traffic than others. Knowing which of them are most effective will help you determine where to invest your marketing dollars.

If you use a lead generation service that drives traffic to your website, you can review the analytics to see which lead source is most effective.

If you work with vendors that use online marketing techniques to attract prospects to their platforms, you should experiment with a few because these lead sources and lead quality vary.

Pricing Structure and Cost Per Lead

Some vendors charge per lead or per call, while others offer packages for a flat monthly fee.

Selecting services with a pricing structure that meets your needs can help you maximize your marketing budget.

For example, if you only want to get leads once in a while, a pay-per-lead or pay-per-call service is likely to be more cost-efficient. If you need leads consistently, packages with a flat monthly fee can help you better control your budget.

To make the right decision, you should understand the vendors’ pricing structures and your conversion rate so you can select the right service offering that gives you the optimal number of leads.

Here is the pricing information for some of the vendors we have listed:

Cost Per Lead

Networx​.com

$30-$70/shared lead

CraftJack​.com

Ranges from $9 – $25.50 per shared lead

ConnexionSolutions​.com

$499/month for unlimited exclusive leads

Handyman​Job​Leads​.com

Starting from $250 setup fee, plus $37 per month

Ring-Leader.net

$30/lead, no setup fee

FreeContractors​Leads​.com

Base on various qualifying criteria, such as years in business and location

Advertising​And​Lead​Generation​.com

Varies based on service package

Contractors99.com

$29 per shared lead and $69 per exclusive lead

HomeYou.com

Depends on the type of service and location

99calls.com

Intro offer: $199 setup and $99/month for first 10 months of unlimited leads. $24.90 per exclusive lead after the intro period

Figure 2: Pricing structure comparison

Top 10 Lead Generation Services For Handyman Businesses

To select a lead generation service that works best for your business model and budget, you should understand how the vendors get leads, their fee structures, and the pros and cons of their offerings.

In addition, don’t forget to look up customer reviews to see if the strengths of the vendor match your needs.

Here’s an overview of the vendors on our list:

1. Networx

Cost per handyman lead: $30 – $70 per shared lead.

Lead distribution system: Leads are shared by up to 4 contractors.

Lead source: The vendor drives traffic to its website using online advertising and SEO tactics. Prospects fill out a detailed web form and are shown profiles of matching contractors.

Pros:

  • You can set up a custom profile with photos and reviews to showcase your services.

  • The vendor has received positive reviews on its personalized services.

Cons:

  • You’ll be getting shared leads, which means you’ll likely be competing with other handymen.

Reviews:

1

1

Source: Better Business Bureau

2. CraftJack

Cost per handyman lead: $9 – $25.50 per shared lead.

Lead distribution system: Leads are distributed to as many as four contractors.

Lead source: The vendor drives traffic to its website using SEO tactics. Prospects then fill out a web form to request a quote.

Lead Verification System: When potential clients submit their requests on the vendor’s website, its automated system calls them to verify their information.

Pros:

  • The vendor offers a “speed-to-call” discount that encourages contractors to call a lead within 30 minutes of receiving it to increase the chances of winning the job.

  • You can get both residential and commercial leads through this platform.

  • The lead management tool allows you to ask past clients for reviews, which will be posted on your profile.

  • You can request a credit through the lead management tool if you receive a bad lead.

Cons:

  • Getting shared leads means you’ll be competing with other handyman businesses for the same jobs.

Reviews:

11

1

Source: Better Business Bureau

3. Connexion Solutions

Pricing structure: Lead generation packages start at a flat monthly fee of $499.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive.

Lead source: The vendor uses SEO strategies to drive traffic to your website, which will be created for you as part of the service package.

Lead Verification System: Prospects fill out a web form to request quotes.

Pros:

  • Packages include a lead generation website that can benefit your business in the long-run.
  • The vendor does the advertising, SEO, and social media marketing for you to drive website traffic.
  • The vendor guarantees minimum lead calls and form-fills each month.

Cons:

  • It’s more expensive than many other pay-per-lead services.

Reviews:

No client reviews found at time of publishing.

4. Handyman Job Leads

Pricing structure: Service packages include a one-time design fee (from $250) plus a monthly management fee (starting at $37.)

Lead distribution system: Exclusive.

Lead source: The vendor uses SEO strategies to drive traffic to your website, which will be built for you as part of the service.

Lead Verification System: Prospects contact you either by filling out a web form or calling a tracking number on your website.

Pros:

  • The “Professional” package includes the implementation of advanced SEO strategies such as content marketing, location citations, reputation marketing, and authority backlinks.
  • Packages include building a lead generation website that can benefit your business in the long-run.
  • A monthly flat fee helps you control your budget.

Cons:

  • It’s more expensive than many other pay-per-lead services.

Reviews:

1

Source: Handyman Job Leads Website

5. Ring-Leader

Pricing structure: $30 per lead.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive.

Lead source: The vendor builds an optimized website for you and drives traffic to it using SEO tactics.

Lead Verification System: Prospects contact you by calling a tracking number listed on the website and the calls are forwarded to your phone.

Pros:

  • Service package includes building a lead generation website that can benefit your business in the long-run.
  • There is no setup fee or design charge.

Cons:

  • Unproven – no reviews found.

Reviews:

No review available at the time of publication.

6. Free Contractors Leads

Pricing structure: Base on various qualifying criteria, such as years in business and location. The vendor also offers a pay-per-sale option.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive.

Lead source: The vendor generates leads using online ads and sends the calls directly to your phone.

Lead Verification System: You get inbound phone calls from prospects that are actively looking for a handyman.

Pros:

  • The vendor only works with a few handyman businesses in each geographic region to ensure there are enough leads for each.
  • The vendor will develop a website and landing page for your business as part of the service.

Cons:

  • The full-funnel service and pay-per-sale option could cost more than pay-per-lead services.

Reviews:

No review available at the time of publication.

7. Advertising & Lead Generation

Pricing structure: Varies based on service package.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive.

Lead source: The vendor uses direct response marketing methods to generate leads.

Lead Verification System: Prospects contact you by either filling out a web form or calling a tracking number on an ad, which sends the calls directly to your phone.

Pros:

  • You have the chance to scrub out bad leads so you don’t get charged for them.
  • Geofence marketing ensures that you’re only getting leads within your service area.
  • There’s no down payment or monthly fee.

Cons:

  • The vendor’s website doesn’t provide much information on pricing structure or how it generates leads.

Reviews:

No review available at the time of publication.

8. Contractors 99

Cost per handyman lead: $29 per shared lead and $69 per exclusive lead.

Lead distribution system: Both shared and exclusive leads.

Lead source: Prospects submit requests on vendor’s website.

Lead Verification System: Not specified, the vendor will issue a refund on invalid leads.

Pros:

  • Simple pay-per-lead pricing means you can get as many or as few leads as you need.
  • Real-time lead posting allows you to respond to prospects’ requests promptly and increase the chances of winning a job.
  • You can set up filters for project types, service area, and daily budget limit to get more targeted leads.

Cons:

  • The vendor doesn’t offer additional or personalized services.

Reviews:

No reviews available at the time of publication.

9. HomeYou

Cost per handyman lead: Depends on the type of service and market.

Lead distribution system: Both shared and exclusive leads, varies by package.

Lead source: The vendor uses online marketing techniques (e.g., SEO) to drive traffic to its website on which potential clients submit their requests for quotes.

Lead Verification System: The vendor verifies the requests before sending the leads to you.

Pros:

  • Many contractors are satisfied with the quality of the leads from this vendor.
  • You get a profile page on the vendor’s website to showcase your services.
  • The vendor offers refunds on bad leads.

Cons:

  • Price per lead may be higher than some other pay-per-lead websites.

Reviews:

1

1

Source: Better Business Bureau

10. 99 Calls

Pricing structure: $199 setup fee. $99 per month for the first 10 months to get unlimited leads. $24.90 per exclusive lead after the intro period.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive.

Lead source: The vendor builds a website for your business. It’s optimized to show up on top of search engine results so you get found by prospects looking for handyman service in your area. Prospects will call your business directly using a tracking number.

Pros:

  • You’ll receive exclusive leads that are searching for handyman service in your area.

  • You get an optimized website that will rank high in organic searches, boosting your SEO and generating long-term results.

  • Your company will be listed on prominent local directories. These profiles, along with a Facebook business page, will be properly set up so you can promote special offers to attract potential clients.

  • The vendor guarantees a minimum number of leads per month or your bill is prorated. Calls are recorded so it’s easy to dispute bad leads.

  • Monthly reporting helps you track results and maximize ROI.

  • Over 130 5-star testimonials

Reviews:

1

1

Source: Better Business Bureau

Also see:
Google reviews for 99 Calls
Facebook reviews for 99 Calls

Conclusion

For many prospects, time is of the essence when they need a handyman.

To increase the chances of winning a job, make sure to contact the prospect as soon as possible after you have received a lead and schedule an in-person quote – which has been found to increase conversion – if you can.

As a handyman, most of your revenue will come from repeat customers. When clients find a good handyman, they’d likely stick with him/her so a small job done well can lead to more and bigger projects.

Not to mention, the cost of retaining a customer is much lower than that of acquiring a new client. When you bid for jobs and deliver your services, consider customer retention and customer lifetime value as well as the immediate revenue so you can build a loyal client base for a profitable and sustainable business.