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billyroth32

Getting Customers from the Internet

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Hi Everyone!

I recently just finished working for a fairly large home inspection training company, and have plans to soon publish an internet marketing resource for home inspectors. I've been in the internet marketing space for quite some time, and after chatting with a few inspectors, I now realize that home inspectors could use more information on how to market themselves online to get them more business.

I want to ask everyone:

As a home inspector, are you looking to bring yourself more business from the internet? And how important is marketing your business through the internet to you?

It seems like most inspectors want to get more business through the internet, but don’t know how to. Which is why I want to help everyone out.

Please let me know your thoughts and if this would be interesting to you.

Thank you!

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The internet is nothing more than a fad and it's already had it's 15 minutes of fame. I predict it will be deader than disco in 6 months.

Honest to God true story.

Back in the late 80's I ran a BBS called Lighthouse BBS (GT Power Software) out of my home with a 2400 baud modem (upgraded from a 1200 - life in the fast lane). Anyway, through the BBS I met a chap by the name of Zbig - a programmer that use to live in Russia. He and I use to think about charging for the use of the local BBS (or maybe certain parts like the email program we use to run).

We lost touch but about a year later he gave me a call out of the blue. He spoke of this thing called the internet and that the local college, Case Western, provided the portal. He was looking for seed money to invest in a T1 line, and to purchase modems that he was going to setup in his basement - it was going to be called APK Net. After some thought I told him that I didn't see this "internet thing" taking off.

Well, he outgrew his basement in short time, rented space in one of the downtown office hi-rise buildings that was setup for communications, grew some more and sold the business off and is doing quite well.

... [:-paperba

I don't see Google going anywhere either.

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Yep.....concur on internet and google.

Another one: approached about an investment opportunity by a couple upstarts (Bill Gates Paul Allen) back in late 80's. I think it was $5k for a thousand shares. yea right.... like I would jump on that

I'd have missed the fun reading these posts

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The company that I have internet advertising with has done such a good job that when some local person types 'home inspection' into a search engine, my company name shows up more than half the time. In fact, as a test, I discovered that my company name often shows up on the home page of my competition's website. Sometimes in more than one location on the same page.

You wanna publish an internet marketing resource? Sorry, I already know everything I need to. My cup runneth over.

Marc

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I get a call at least once a week promising that for a small fee they can get my website to the frontpage of all the major search engines.

I ask them what my is website address. They never know. I then ask them how they know I am not already on the first page of all the search engines if they don't know my website address. Stymes them.

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I ask them how they found my number. Number one answer, the internet.

Ya already got quite a bit of competition out there Bill. Have you checked the competition?

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Hi Guys,

Thank you for the great thoughts/feedback so far.

Marc - it sounds like you have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategist working for you, which is one of the best ways to grow with marketing a small business online. Usually, it gives you the highest (and longest term) return on investment as well.

resqman - This is funny, it sounds like you have a company actually trying to provide you with SEO services, but I would definitely be wary of any company that doesn't even know you have a website trying to sell you on services. Good catch!!! ;) Definitely a good idea to stay far away from those jokers. Plus, for a small fee, anyone could get you on the first page of google. Heck, I could do it in about 20 minutes if I bid for sponsored ads and I bid $100 a click to get you on the first page. It'll happen every time - something those "get on the first page of google" companies don't want everyone to know - their "get on the first page" gimmick is a given considering how it can be done - it only costs you $100 a click...

Erby - thanks for the thoughts regarding competition. I have thought it through, but trust me - I've been in the online marketing space for years working with small to medium sized business all the way up to managing 6-figure budgets for brands like AT&T, Sony, Kohls, and more. I know all aspects of the business - not just one aspect such as getting ranked on google, setting up websites, advertising, email marketing, etc.

My main goal of putting this idea together is to provide information to inspectors on an overall strategy for how to cost-effectively acquire more customers from the internet without the costs of having to hire a consultant and/or pay someone on a monthly basis to do it for you when it could easily be done yourself. For instance, calculating a marketing cost-per-customer acquisition metric for a business is essential, and knowing all the factors that go into it that calculation, and the cheapest ways to acquire a customer with that cost per customer metric in mind could be the difference between 4 customers a week or 6-8. Also, I plan on touching on how to maximizing the potential of your website through multiple channels and little-known but easy to use technologies, as well as an overview of the various types of online marketing strategies that could be used for an inspection business.

Basically, I find that a lot of inspectors "know" they should have a website, but aren't sure how to maximize it's potential. That's where I want to provide invaluable information that could take business to the next level - with no b.s. involved. Just pure, real and valuable information from someone who's worked with inspectors and small businesses in the past to acquire more customers by taking their internet presence to the next level - if they need it. :)

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Hi Guys,

A quick tip - if you do want your website to show up higher in the natureal Google search results, you want to put your website in your forum signature and/or embed it within your posts/replies. With all of the posting you do here at Inspectors Journal, Google will see that your website is "linked" to this forum (which is a relevant topic - "Home Inspectors Journal"), thus increasing the natural ranking of your website. It's one of the vital strategies for website promotion and making the search engines happy. :)

Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be glad to help. You guys have been kind enough to give me feedback and I'm happy to return the favor.

-Bill

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Interesting points... a lot is changing and there is bound to be a lot of controversy regarding this matter.. but if you plan to keep up with your competitors, there is no choice but to go online.. the yellowpages is being replaced by Yelp and other online directories, newspapers are being replaced by news blogs, TV shows by Youtube clips..

granted online marketing is more important for some businesses like hotels, car rentals, etc but i think it wouldnt hurt to test the waters and see if these online strategies give a good return for our investment..

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