Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
As a disaster restoration professional, you help people put their lives back in order following unfortunate or even tragic events. However, the time to begin marketing to prospects is not when disaster strikes. Your marketing efforts should begin well before a natural disaster, so prospects will think of you first when they need restoration services. With careful thought and preparation, you can implement unique marketing ideas that keep you top-of-mind with prospects, generate a steady flow of customers and build loyalty to your brand.
Position yourself as an expert by holding regular safety seminars at your place of business or through your city’s community events department. Speak monthly on topics that pertain to your area of expertise, such as “How to Prevent a Home Fire” or “What to Do in an Earthquake.” If you live in an area prone to certain natural disasters, such as tornadoes or hurricanes, tailor your talks around those topics during the pertinent seasons. Create a handout that lists your tips in brief and includes your contact information and website address.
Create online content that complements your offline seminars, including blog posts, videos, social media posts and webinars. Keep the content informational and useful rather than self-promotional; this is not the place to push your products and services. Rather, focus on delivering value to your audience with safety tips, disaster restoration advice and how-to information. The effort you put into creating and sharing content and engaging directly with your users will allow you to build trust with them. In addition, you will open yourself to new contacts as your audience likes, shares and recommends your services to their network of friends and followers.
Referrals are one of the best ways to obtain new business because it’s a free form of advertising that often results in loyal customers. Create an ongoing source of referrals by partnering with local businesses and individuals whose customers might need your services someday, such as insurance agents, plumbers and contractors. With a referral in hand, prospects are more likely to trust and seek out your services rather than try to find a reputable restoration business on their own. You also can sign up as a provider on Angie’s List, an online review site for service providers, and encourage customers to write positive reviews upon completion of service.
Seek out opportunities to donate your time to charitable causes that need your services. For instance, find a local shelter, church or school in need of restoration services to refurbish a building. In exchange for your time, you will cast your brand in a positive light and gain marketing exposure as well as the feeling of satisfaction from giving back to your community.
Karen Spaeder began her editorial career at Entrepreneur magazine. True to the entrepreneurial spirit, she works at a startup digital marketing firm, blogs at karenspaeder.com, teaches yoga and runs her own organic beauty business. Spaeder holds degrees in English and certifications in yoga, karate and early childhood education.