We’ve worked with several home improvement companies, with specialties ranging from outdoor pool installation to bathroom remodeling. But across the board, we’ve seen one piece of marketing consistently perform well on all fronts, and that’s a Buyer’s Guide.
So what’s so great about a buyer’s guide?
First of all, it’s one of the only evergreen pieces of marketing that a contractor can have in their back pocket. So many promotions and messages are based on the season that it’s hard to have a message that works year-round. But no matter what time of year it is, interested buyers will always want to be educated about the process.
And an educated customer is the best kind of customer. Really! They aren’t “just browsing” or “kicking tires.” They aren’t showing you pictures of Chip & Johanna’s house on Pinterest. They are the real deal. They have a problem or a need, and a desire to fix the issue. They know exactly what they’re looking for, and because they’ve done their research they will make better decisions.
Also, if you’re the one who helps educate them, they’ll remember you as the helpful company. The company that didn’t just try to give them the hard sell, but helped them figure out how to navigate the terrain. (They might even talk you up to their friends and neighbors, and leave you a great online review…)
So how do you go about creating a buyer’s guide?
The first step it getting into the minds of your prospects, so you can talk on their level. Start by making a list of the most common problems your customers face. More specifically, the problems your ideal customers face. Then, start to make a list of the most common questions you hear from these customers.
- How long will the project take? (Describe the process from start to finish. If you can, include a typical timeline.)
- What kinds of decisions will the buyer need to make? (Give details about the choices they’ll have, and specific features that can be included.)
- How much will it cost? (If you can list pricing, do. But if you can’t, explain how price is determined.)
- What kind of permits (if any) will this kind of project need? (Make sure they understand the scope of the work.)
- How can they make sure a contractor is legit? (Provide a comparison chart to show that your company is the right one to choose.)
- What are some reasons why they should absolutely decide to do a project? (What are the benefits of the end product. If they’re on the fence, give them some reason to say “yes!”)
- What are common misconceptions about the type of project that you work on? (Dispel any myths that might make them think twice about committing to a project.)
- What happens when the project is finished? How can they preserve and maintain the work you did for them? Do you provide any regular service?
These are questions you probably answer everyday, so coming up with the answers will be easier then you think. (Especially if you work with a professional writer who can help translate your words to paper.) Keep the tone friendly, professional, and informative. Don’t fill it with “sales-y” language. The reader is ready to buy at this point, you’re just helping them feel more educated.
The last thing to do is to fill out the document with great pictures that will get a prospect excited about a project.
Some people offer Buyer’s Guides as sections on their website, but we recommend having it designed as a booklet that can be mailed or printable PDF that can be emailed. That way, you can ask for contact information before sending it out.
This sounds like a lot of work…
Well, that’s kind of true. This is going to be a pretty big undertaking. A Buyers Guide is not just one paragraph and a few images. It’s is a serious, in-depth piece of marketing that should make the reader feel like they have an upper-hand in the process, because they know what to expect and what steps to take next.
BUT, the good news is that once you get it written and designed, you have a really great marketing piece that you can use for years to come. Because unless you drastically change your service, your Buyers Guide should only need very minimal yearly updates to be viable for a long time.
Get in touch with us to see some examples of successful Buyers Guides, and find out how we can help you create one!