Subscribe to our newsletters & stay updated
When you Google “plumber” or “HVAC repair” and your city’s name, chances are you’ll come up with a long list of companies matching that description in your community.
In fact, most residential service companies are using similar methods — such as eye-catching truck wraps or hiring a search engine optimization expert — to market themselves in the field and online. And because these methods are so popular and used by your competitors, they leave little room for you to distinguish your company from the crowd.
However, pointing out what makes your company different from your competitor will get you noticed — if you can find it.
Many of us overlook what makes us unique because it’s so simple or comes naturally to us. We don’t notice that it’s our niche and probably the very thing we need to highlight in our promotions.
What Sets You Apart?
To truly understand what makes your company different from the others, you need to have a deep understanding of your market and your competition. Then you can determine what it is you have that they don’t.
This isn’t always easy to do. It takes a lot of brainstorming, reexamining your mission and goals and, because we’re often too close to our business to see what truly makes us stand out, asking others for their input.
Some questions you could ask yourself are:
Do we help customers find easier ways of doing things?
Do we package our services in ways that help our customers?
Do we serve a niche market others can’t or won’t do?
Do we have a unique story?
Why are our long-term customers still with us?
What do our customers say about us?
Once you’ve narrowed down why your company differs from your competitors, you can begin a public relations strategy focusing on those identifiers.
Public relations is all about telling your story and building your positive reputation around that story. The main goal is to make potential customers aware of your company and to view you as trustworthy or the expert in your product or service line.
Many home service companies mistakenly believe that PR is only used by very large companies or companies that have had something bad happen and need a credibility boost. However, all home service companies are served by building up a positive brand that can be trusted.
And while PR often works in concert with your company’s marketing efforts, it is its own standalone promotional service. A PR agency can help you build a campaign around your company’s niche product or unique story or by focusing on your expertise.
If your company has been in your family since the turn of the last century, PR helps you focus on your longevity and why you’ve remained in business for so long. If your customer service is the best in the business, a PR excerpt can help you craft a message using examples of how your team goes above and beyond to provide this service.
Public relations can promote your expertise in home service by helping you build content that provides tips for homeowners or makes you the expert that news stations seek when they have a story in your line of work.
A PR strategy helps you create, manage and deliver the messages you want to communicate.
Building Your Brand
Once you’ve identified your differentiators and PR strategy, you need to merge these subjects to build your brand.
Building your brand not only helps you win customers and increase your sales, but it also helps you stand out above the competition by the following:
Creating positive publicity. Does your company volunteer time or give donations to a local charity? Do you offer free DIY workshops? A PR agency can help you craft a message to get the good news out in ways that aren’t self-serving.
Building a good reputation. A good reputation isn’t only the opposite of having a bad one. Since you’re the subject matter expert in your home service company, a PR strategy to use that expertise in blogs, guest columns and local news shows helps you build a positive reputation by showcasing your strengths.
Engaging with the media. Unless you are friends with someone who works in local media, you may never have interacted with the press. However, professional PR experts have. They can get you in front of the media to offer your expertise on keeping pipes from freezing during a cold snap or things to do to make your air conditioning work better when it’s hot.
Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable source, you will become a routine call when events warrant it.
Creating a proactive playing field. By staying ahead of trends in the home service industry, regularly addressing consumer questions or simply building a regular rhythm to your blog, social media posts, guest columns or other content, you build the credibility that you’re the service expert in your community.
Achieving these goals helps you boost what makes your company special so you can plan for a crisis, leverage opportunities or even calculate your next steps.
Public relations isn’t generally a one-and-done line item. By regularly participating in PR strategies, you boost your company’s relevancy in the market. This produces even more PR opportunities as you grow, achieve lasting success stories and build credibility in your target market.
The confidence the community has in your skills and unique style will become the very thing that makes you play an essential role in your market for the long term.
© 2023 All Rights Reserved