Josh Latimer with Street Bidder, a unique system to market your contracting business.
It is simple to use, just take a picture of their home, input an estimated price for your service and a week later they get a postcard in the mail. You are giving them a “preemptive bid”.
Josh has upgraded everything and built the whole Street Bidder software from scratch. It was really only ever intended to be a software that he would use inside of his company to grow his own business using what he calls “Deal Flow”.
There are so many things that you “can do” to market your business, but Josh wanted a predictable, systematic way to market to a target demographic. Before the software he (and his team) had been doing this manually on their own.
Street Bidder requires a long term approach to work. It is not a quicky thing, you want to build a premier database of the high end subdivisions that you are targeting as potential customers. You want to harvest and capture photos over time. One of the key things that makes this software work is that they are receiving a picture of their own home. It is impossible to ignore a picture of your house!
With direct mail marketing, you are doing well if you get a 1% response rate. Like most everyone, Josh stands over his garbage can and sorts his mail, more eyeballs per hundred will notice their house on the front of this postcard.
As Dave says, you are niching your marketing way down to that one home. Whether they have a dirty house, dirty windows or a dirty roof, you can call out exactly what services they will need and give them a bid before anyone else is even competition. Then put them on a targeted mailing over time to fill your funnel.
1. When you are sending a direct mail piece or advertisement, you need to target the correct people in the marketplace. For example, if you are a contractor who remodels basements, you will not want to be sending direct mail pieces to homes that are on a slab. Using this type of system allows the contractor to hand select their customer.
2. Picture of the house gets them to notice your marketing piece.
3. Is an increased interest because it has an estimated price.
The cool thing is that you can just send out a handful of cards and get business. There is a lot of waste with EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail from the USPS), but a lot of people do want to do continued marketing for “farming”. The problem with EDDM you have the problem that you are hitting every house, even those that do not match your service offerings. There is a lot of waste that hurts your response rate.
ROI On Marketing
What you really need to look at is your return on investment. If you are a roofer, you need a really low response rate to get a favorable return on your marketing investment. You need to make sure you are making more money in revenue than you are spending on marketing. Josh uses a 10X return on street vendor mailings.
Josh sent 2,000 postcards that cost about $800 and got $9,000 in work during late summer which is his worst time.
You really need to know overall what you are willing to spend to get a customer. Too many contractors are running their business on emotions rather than a plan and systems. You must implement some kind of methodical way to make sure that you have consistent business. You have to be very boring with your marketing. Just like in Rich Dad Poor Dad, it is the boring things that make you money.
When people get tired of the boring things, they start looking for exciting things and fail. Street bidder doesn’t cost additional money. You need to reallocate money from something that isn’t working so well right now.
It is not just one thing, it is many things you have to do to keep your phones ringing. The constant balance of the few things that you track to see what is working to bring in business.
Planning For Business
Now, your target customer might not need what you are selling right now (say roof cleaning), but what if they need gutter cleaning? You tag their photo with gutter cleaning and when that time of year rolls around market to them.
The neat things is now you have money coming in for each season!
Street bidder offers a multitude of options:
Thank You Notes
5 Arounds (the 5 homes around your job)
Landing pages for communities
They offer 2 programs: a free program (sort of a let's get acquainted) and a premium for $39.00 per month for Platinum service. If you are going to be a serious user of Street Bidder, you will defiantly use the Platinum Plan (postcards are $1.00 on the free plan and only $.49 on the Platinum Plan). You can actually up load your own post card designs, do a quick send post card and even do a quick send thank you card.
Go to Street Bidder get your account and go take some pictures and send out some cards you could have business within a week.