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As the owner of a home service business or company, it is important to establish yourself as an expert in the home service field. Credibility and authority matter when closing the deal or recruiting new customers.
The goal: develop your reputation as an industry expert. How do you get there? By earning media coverage, which has far more credibility than paid advertisements. When journalists and trade media view you as the subject matter expert, they’ll turn to you for industry information, educated views on current topics and quotes. Increasing your company’s visibility through interviews and mentions in industry publications, trade magazines, local newspapers and broadcast news sets the stage for success.
What the media says about you or your company does have an impact on public perception. It can generate interest from potential investors and customers, or it can drive them away. Earning positive media coverage is in your best interest. Given that your company is the best at what it does, that should be simple, right?
There is a “but …”
Earning media attention and coverage doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to find the perfect publications to get your message out, and then to develop the necessary relationships with editors and journalists.
Regularly sending out news releases that position you and your business as a resource for industry insight and expertise is a start, but it’s only the beginning. A comprehensive home service and B2B public relations strategy will help you gain the necessary visibility to be taken seriously as an expert.
Other successful PR tactics for building your reputation as an expert include:
• Writing feature articles for industry publications
• Speaking at trade shows
• Seeking industry awards
• Hosting webinars
• Publishing white papers
Seeing your name in print is not about vanity. It begins the process of establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field. Writing articles that can provide helpful advice to potential customers or that can inform the decision-makers who might buy your products, is a great way to illustrate your expertise. It pays to research the appropriate trade publications that will reach your targeted audiences.
Acting like an expert is a key part of being treated like an expert. Speaking on hot industry topics in a public setting is a great way to get your name (and face) out in front of appropriate audiences. It’s effective, too, according to Statista.com. About 80 percent of people who attend trade shows will go on to purchase products or services that they learned about at the event.
Speaking at key trade events will establish your reputation as an expert while targeting the niche audience you need. Maximize your speaking opportunities by creating proposals for trade show speaking slots and coordinating with event organizers.
Maximizing the PR potential of a trade show speaking slot involves promoting it through press releases and building interest with social media posts. Visibility builds more visibility.
Example: Rodney Koop, founder of The New Flat Rate, a home service menu-selling system, secured coverage of an upcoming appearance at the AHR Expo in HVAC Insider.
When building your reputation, there is such a thing as being too humble. Don’t be afraid to celebrate your success by competing for (and publicizing) industry awards. The recognition is instant fodder for press releases and news coverage.
You can cut out the media middleman by hosting online webinars — informational seminars that offer information on solving industry problems. Not only can they burnish your expertise, they also are a means to increase sales and generate leads. By recording the webinars, you can increase their ROI by promoting them through social media and using them as a way to capture information about potential customers.
Example: ServiceTitan, a provider of cloud-based business management software for residential HVAC, plumbing, and electrical businesses, records and publishes webinars on YouTube.
Ready for more writing? In addition to articles, developing white papers will help you build your credibility with executives and decision makers. This is vital if you wish to provide commercial services rather than just servicing a residential market.
Producing a white paper does take work. Technical subject matter must be portrayed in a way that can be understood by non-experts while also appealing to experts. If done right, though, white papers give your business the perfect platform to showcase its services or products while illustrating the pain points they solve.
Each of these tactics is not as effective in isolation. Why waste the time and effort to gain media coverage or write an article or produce a webinar if you’re just going to ignore them afterward? Any content can be reused, increasing its ROI. Promote interviews on social media. Use articles and white papers as subjects for blogs or include them in an online newsroom on your website. It can all feed into better search engine rankings for your company, meaning increased visibility to both potential customers and the media.
In a perfect world, you’ll have the time and expertise to develop and execute the necessary PR strategy to build your reputation as a home service industry expert; however, in the real world, you’re already working hard to satisfy customers and grow your company.
Seeking a partnership with an experienced home service or B2B public relations agency can give you access to the needed expertise to develop and execute such a strategy. You hire experts to do the day-to-day work at your business. It makes sense to turn to subject experts for PR as well.
Find a team with the writing and public relations skills to develop appropriate content, such as articles or white papers, and the organizational skills to make the most of a well-thought-out PR strategy. Instead of having to build relationships with editors and reporters from the ground-up, partnering with an agency can take advantage of their existing pool of contacts in trade publications and the general media.
Establishing yourself as an expert in your market is hard work, but it’s well within your reach. Start today. Why wait?