Now that we’ve arrived in 2019…
Dear Roofing Contractor and Builder of Your Own Future:
Christian is my 11-year-old grandson. He’s a good kid, very intensely interested in the tools and technologies that saturate his world. He’s still a bit young to be thinking about his “career” just yet, but his (and his 12-year-old brother’s) gifting seem to be centered around building things.
In a few years, he may very well be your competition. Kids like these have a strong interest in how things work online and zero fear of failure. If you have to compete with them you’ll need to bring your “A-game”.
For about 6 years I’ve been working nearly exclusively with roofing contractors who know that they want to get customers from the neighborhoods near their home and offices. These are men and women who own their own destiny because they chose to build a business they now control.
Many contractors claim that the internet is “hard” or “confusing”. They tell me they don’t understand it. But online marketing has been changing how your business gets its customers for almost 20 years now.
If you’re still confused, it is likely because like my now successful clients were, you haven’t learned or are not consistently applying the fundamentals. And, how could you if you were not keeping up with the ever-changing current landscape of internet marketing?
Why Am I Telling You This? Why Now?
Over the years, you may or may not have been reading my articles. You may or may not have learned from my experience and used it to improve things for yourself. Clients who decided to test me have found their business better than when we started.
One firm who had never sold more than $2.5M in services hit $8.6M in revenue after working with Top Ranked Roofer.
Another went from being invisible in search results and maybe even had been defrauded by the marketing firm they worked with, to getting invited to quote on virtually every commercial roofing job in their area.
Still another, once invisible in his market, now dominates search results to the point that the number of calls and leads almost crushed him.
Some contractors still couldn’t be bothered. Many are satisfied to remain the same while holding onto the excuse that “it’s too hard” or “I’m just too busy”.
To those interested, I’ve offered free, printed and mailed copies of my book for roofers for almost 2 years now – maybe you requested one and even read what I sent you. Maybe you didn’t.
None of that matters now. Not to me anyway. It’s 2019 and it’s a new day. You see, if you want to grow your business this year, and you are in any way dependent on Google for those prospective customers, you got a gift from the search giant recently but it may be one you’d prefer to send back.
If you’ve struggled to get your business ranked in Google before now, it’s possible that they’ve fatally wounded your efforts with this “gift” of theirs.
The First 800 Pound Gorilla In The Room
Maybe you’ve tried over the years to hire someone, a “digital marketing expert”, if you will, who can get the visibility and traffic you need. But there are a LOT of FAUX experts in business these days – and most of them do not know how to help you. One contractor I spoke with recently has tried 12 different firms and he’s still not getting any returns on all the money he spent.
Most contractors don’t realize it (yet, anyway) but in the fall of 2018, Google replaced their search engine with a completely new one. You may recall talk that G was preparing for mobile search by filtering out all the sites that are not mobile ready from view.
If, over the last two years, you’ve had countless calls and emails about making sure your website is “mobile friendly”, this is why. If your site doesn’t look or function well to people using their phone to visit you, Google may have deleted you from the search engine altogether.
And that’s only one of the numerous changes to the search results lately. A bigger change is the shift from rankings based on backlinks to your site to rankings based on the overall “QUALITY SCORE” of your business.
Google has now turned over the daily operation to something far more difficult to comprehend and work with than before. Now everything is running using artificial intelligence. Are you ready?
Is Your Marketing Team Ready?
If your website content hasn’t been analyzed and revised yet, I’d say you’re not ready. If your sales teams are not trained in getting more and better quality reviews, including reviews on Google, I know that you’re not ready.
A quality score currently exists for your site and it’s reflected in where Google has you ranked today. If you’re not in the top of the first page, chances are you’re not getting a lot of calls or leads.
Google’s artificial intelligence is also having a big effect on the Google Ads you run. That is if you still advertise on Google. Report after report from contractors is that they cannot make Google Ads work profitably. Some have lost a lot of money trying.
Perhaps your focus has been on making improvements to your “SEO” or search engine optimization. That’s one way to approach this but the changes to search result pages, combined with mobile search means that organic or “free” search listings are way, way down the page now. Many people who search for a roofer with their phone will never get that far down the page before choosing someone. We’re seeing the click-through-rate for SEO listings plummet.
Maybe you’ve realized that online marketing of your roofing business hasn’t gone well lately, and so you chose to sign up with a lead generation service like Home Advisor or others like them.
However, I’ve only spoken with a few contractors who have been able to get customers on the phone or to meet with them. How can you sell that homeowner if they won’t talk to you or meet with you? You can’t. But the lead generation business got their fee so your results don’t matter to them.
Last summer, G started a slow rollout of a new service called “local business leads” that appear at the very top of search results pages now. They’re accepting new contractors on a first-come-first-placement basis. Many of your competitors may already be listed there, getting calls from customers that you could serve.
Here’s Another 800 Pound Gorilla For You To Wrestle With
A few roofing contractors are doing well with their marketing. Many others are not even trying to get their marketing issues resolved because they don’t have a solid team to install the work they get now.
Are you finding that the current economic boom has led to a labor crisis? If you said YES, you’re not alone.
I’ve had conversations with representatives of the big roofing materials manufacturers as well as major associations they’re involved with. I’ve met with people who are already working to solve the labor issues with advanced recruiting and training initiatives.
Some contractors have decided that solutions are available and don’t see it as a barrier to their planned growth. While others are ok with letting someone else get ahead – because they see the issue as too big or difficult to solve.
There’s More Going On Than I Have Time To Tell You
Earlier I mentioned my grandson, Christian. I told you that he appears to have a gifting in the “building things” space. In the world he grows up in, he’ll have many opportunities to pursue his gifting with just as much pressure to “take the shortcut” to success. Such a decision might end up being a set back not a shortcut after all.
My plan and intent are to protect the young man by helping him understand the words marketers and sellers are using to get his interest – and to be able to do due diligence on the offers they make.
If you know me well, you’d know that I’d do the same for you. There’s little that angers me more than people selling stuff that doesn’t work to people who have no filters to know that it can’t or won’t work.
Why mention it to you? Because you deal with many of the same issues he’ll face later in his life. If you’ve ever responded to an email from someone half a world away who promised you magical results from Google, you know what I’m talking about.
If you take incoming calls from marketers, some who claim to be from Google, and did business with them, chances are you were lied to and taken advantage of.
Why Is This Relevant?
Because if you are serious about growing your roofing business AND you have not set yourself up as a subcontractor, doing roofing work for other firms, then you are probably looking for ways to get customers.
Since 2015 every roofing association I’ve looked in on said that Internet marketing touched about 80% of roof sales.
Some contractors either learned how to move their business forward on the web. Most, however, haven’t. Google has the difficult job of organizing all the info on the web – and now that 90% of online search happens at Google, they can implement the rules they want.
One of them is to raise the bar significantly on those who show up in search results. If you don’t want to follow their rules, they simply omit you from their search engine. Or they bury your site so deeply that homeowners won’t find it when searching for roofers in your area.
The result is the same. Your phone doesn’t ring enough – there are not enough new customers calling for your business to grow.
My Real Reason For Writing This Manifesto
There is a shift going on in the search results that roofers are getting from Google. The company has made changes that affect your business today and most contractors have not even noticed.
It seems in many cases that a lot of roofers are resigned to struggle with Google – some have even given up trying.
There is a REAL opportunity but only a small percentage will take advantage of it. Maybe 5-10%.
The rest will either:
1) Decide to win on Google
2) Shift to getting work from other contractors (work as a subcontractor)
3) Quit altogether and go find another way to make a living
To my business associates, clients and friends I serve as a father figure to them. They call me knowing that even if they don’t pay me for my advice, I’ll never mislead them.
Yet, through most of 2018, I was editing myself and the message I put out. If your actions are leading you to drive off of a cliff, wouldn’t you want “Dad” to tell you?
The honest answer for most is “NO”. This explains most of the reason why only 5-10% of the contractors will do what’s needed to capitalize on the situation they find themselves in.
A good friend suggested that it was time for me to shout from the rooftops about the things that NOBODY ELSE IS TELLING THEM. To say the things that NOBODY ELSE WILL. In fact, nobody else CAN. I’m doing this because I have something to say that only I can make.
I’ve come to believe that if pressure is needed or even some manipulation to get you to listen – that’s just fine. I’m no longer willing to be guilty of not grabbing people by the shirt collar and shaking some sense into them.
I’m pleading guilty today to allowing the chips to fall where they have. Of not speaking up with conviction… allowing contractors to do whatever THEY want to do when I know in my heart they’re making a bad choice.
It’s Time For That To Change
In November, I sent an email that began the process. After allowing a few days for readers to open and read the email and warning that I would delete those who were not serious contractors, I eliminated about half of my email list.
There were some though that opened and read that email. Then opened and read it again. And some again and again.
Those who took time to reply told me that they wanted to really understand what was going on with Google. Collectively the response was to give me permission to “GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED”. Instead of sugar-sweet promises, I’d tell them the whole truth. Even if it hurts.
Crossing The Chasm As A Top Ranked Roofer
2019 will be a real demarcation point between the past and the future. I feel confident that by the time this year ends, the difference in success levels among roofing contractors will be very distinct.
Those who have written goals for their business and life will accomplish more this year than those who do not. That’s a promise you can take to the bank.
If you’ve ever thought about building your roofing business to the point where you can sell it and retire, let this year be the one where just thinking about it ends and taking steps to make it possible begin.
To be clear, NO ONE will offer to buy your roofing website, your trucks or your “good name”.
Selling your roofing firm means you’ll sell your list of customers and prove the predictable revenue that will flow even after you retire. Don’t have them now? Get started putting that together. The days will pass either way.
If you’ve worked to build your business and cannot sell it, I’d call that a lifestyle business. In fact, if that is the kind of business you have, then it is critical for you to know that and fine-tune things for that and not hope to be something you’re not.
Your business and the path you take through life are unique to you. When you fully engage the advantages you have, you can have the freedom that 99% of people don’t enjoy.
Unlike most of the other “marketers” who claim to be roofing contractor “experts”, I have a basis to say it.
If you want to separate me from the rest of my “peers” quickly, ask those other marketers to:
- Send you copies of the books they’ve written on the topics they claim to be experts on.
- Then go a level deeper and eliminate those who haven’t had articles published by major magazines in the industry.
- Any who remain can be sorted easily by you simply by asking for ranking reports or other results from clients who’ve they’ve served.
- Bonus points go to any company who has had clients stay with them for long periods of time. As a reference point, I have 3 clients who I’ve worked with for between 2-4 YEARS.
How many of the marketing firms you’ve hired have you worked with for so long? Wouldn’t that be proof on its own of results?
What Do I Want You To Do With This Information?
Nothing. Nada. ZERO. You’re not required to do a thing. Not now – not ever. I cannot choose for you whether you discount my message completely or to buy into 100% of what I’m saying.
- I’ve written (and sold) two books that help business owners accomplish critical marketing tasks better.
- I’ve had Florida Roofer and Roofing Contractor Magazine pick up and publish articles I’ve written for the industry.
- Clients who gave me time to implement the play we set out in advance of beginning achieved a solid return on the investments they made in my services.
Since those are facts, you can be sure that I’m not working to PERSUADE you. I won’t get all slick in trying to sell you. I’m not going to call your office seeking to “get a minute of your time”.
The last time I checked there were about 15,000 roofing contractor firms in North America and I can work with, at most, maybe 20 of you. Whatever you decide to do will not affect me at all, because there are so many who want help.
Should you decide that you want to take action on any of this, then understand that the small number of roofers I serve personally will have to qualify for my done-for-you private client program. Those who do qualify will have my entire process built and implemented into your company’s marketing by me and my team in only 11 months.
While my services are affordable, they are not “cheap”.
There will be another small group of your peers that decide to get the information they need for success via my “Roofer’s Marketing Academy” path.
This will be an 11-month immersion training program where I’ll show you how to really succeed online on Google.
The information you get here will be identical to what we do for private clients. The difference will be that you and your team will implement that info into your business.
Do you want to peek through the knothole to get a look at the future? Those contractors who work with me are going to be part of a “secret society” of roofers who work together and play together to get ahead in life. I’ll share with them and help them do something truly GREAT.
- Imagine a world where your marketing runs so strong that your competitors start falling away and cease to be a factor in YOUR results.
- Think about the day when the roofers you’ve been competing with give up and ask to join your team because you have customers and they haven’t been able to get it done.
- Begin talking about how your labor issues are resolved forever through your involvement with peers and development of a system that attracts quality workers to join you.
With all of that clear in your mind – then decide where you fit in. Are you part of the 90-95% of contractors content to serve anyone who calls regardless of opportunity cost or profit – or are you part of the 5-10% of roofing contractors who have what it takes to dominate their markets?
Once you decide on that, you’ll want to register for my next webinar where I’ll explain these concepts fully.
Finally, after the webinar, you can choose:
- To be one of the small group we do the marketing work for
- One of the larger group that implements what we’re teaching them to do, or
- One of the huge group who still thinks that there’s nothing they can do to change things so why bother to try at all.
So now it’s 2019. By fall of this year, some of you will be a force of a roofing contractor to contend with in your local area. Because today, as you read this email you realized that you’re more ready than you’ve ever been.
If you’re willing to stand up and be counted…
If you’re bold enough to stand out…
If you’re tough enough to be challenged to improve without getting your feelings bruised…
If you’re hungry for the “iron that sharpens iron” to be present in your world… then register for the webinar or reach out to me today.
Your other option is to hide your head in the sand and hope that I’m simply wrong!
Do what’s necessary – seize your opportunity!