How do I get more customers? Where can people find my business? Should I use social media?
If you're running a solar sales/installation business, you need to be online. You simply can't go without an online presence in any business anymore. Thankfully, having an active web presence comes with a lot of upside! It is easier for potential clients to find your business, you can stand out from competitors, and you can save yourself time by responding to customer's questions online for others to see.
There are tons of sites available for listing your business.
Some are more useful than others. Here are our tips for making the most of the online world for your business:
Of course, the best place to start is with your own website. This will increase your search engine rankings, and it will be the first place people look for information. Try to get the simplest URL you can, for example: solargraf.com or mysolarinstaller.com
Your website should have your business name, email, phone number, and location. It is best if you have an about page, showing who you are and why you are in the business. Any additional information about past clients, use cases, reviews, or your employees creates transparency and leads to trust from your clients. An active blog is a great way to engage your customers and find new ones, just make sure the content is genuinely useful to your potential clients. If it feels like sales, they will be able to tell, and they won't be interested.
Everyone is on Facebook. You should be too. Create a business page, with all of the essential information about your business that you listed on your website. Invite your friends to like it to get you started, then start sharing any blog content, industry news, and local stories that you think your potential clients would find interesting!
Facebook also has some great advertising tools, and the cost-per-click for advertising is often lower than Google Adwords. If you have a good promotional video, try running some ads!
Useful Tip: If you don't want to go on every day, use the Publishing Tools to schedule the week's posts in advance!
Non-Essential, but Will Give You a Boost
Many of your clients will be on Twitter, and it is arguably the best platform for engaging your community. Since anyone can tweet at anyone, you can create dialogues with your clients when they tweet at you, and those answers will be shared for all of your other followers! It shows transparency and really creates a community around your business. Use trending hashtags to gain exposure and followers.
LinkedIn is a great network for sharing news about your company. You can create a page showcasing your business, then use that to share relevant news and updates with specific groups. LinkedIn has great groups focused on just about anything. Do some digging, and you'll find groups with tons of potential clients that you can engage with directly!
YouTube is a great platform for sharing how-to's, general information, and stories about your company. Creating videos can seem daunting, but all you really need is your smartphone and some free editing software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to start posting videos to your channel. Many businesses have grown entirely as a result of video content, but many more have used it as a tool to share useful and interesting stories with their customers, as well as to find new leads organically.
Instagram is unique because it is rarely used for direct sales. It can accent your other networks by providing an inside look at your operations through stories, or sharing behind the scenes pictures. Don't use it as an advertising tool, just a way to uniquely share your experience with your business! If people like what you're doing, they will message you. Make sure to use hashtags and location tags to show up organically in searches!
Which should you use?
The best way to decide which of these sites is right for you is to try them all and see what sticks with your clients. Everyone uses different sites, but it is important to try as many as possible in order to maximize your chances of being seen by potential clients!
The most important thing to consider with online information is that your customers are constantly bombarded with ads, so they have gotten really good at filtering through them. The best way to engage with them to create leads is through genuinely useful and interesting content! Create engagement, and sales will follow.