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“One-Stop-Shop Marketing Companies” & the Correct ROI from each Marketing Form (SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing)

Are you getting the ROI you should be from EACH individual marketing program (PPC, SEO) that you’re running?

There exists what I’ve always called one-stop-shops. They’ve been around ever since I’ve been in this business, a long time.

A one-stop-shop will deliver SEO, PPC & Websites as well as other services. Now, this is appealing to a business owner, obviously, because you only have one bill, one sales person, and one customer service person, and sometimes only one report of results. It’s pretty convenient.

How does it work practically when it comes to your ROI? Well, it depends. Small time companies that don’t have a lot of staff, eh. Big companies? It can be good because they have the resources. But it’s hit or miss and you’ll have to play the game to find out.

Let’s see the pitfalls of working with a small time one-stop-shop:

1. They have a small staff with usually one person doing several technologies. This is a problem, why? Well, you already know. Specialists are specialists and generalists are generalists. When you have an eye problem, you don’t go to a general doc, you go to an eye doc. SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing are all SO specialized now that a generalist just cannot keep up with the changes and complexities. Entire firms specializing in just one of those technologies have been cropping up for years and years and for good reason. Not to mention that SEO in particular has become more complicated than it ever has before and unless someone is a total specialist in it, they are using techniques that are years’ old.  Believe me, I see it all the time. A big one-stop-shop however may have entire departments with entire teams that are essentially specialists, which is what you want.

2. They outsource their work to India, the Philippines, etc., or other foreign companies using websites where they find and pay laborers literally $1 per hour, to work on your project. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with it. However, I’m not a fan and I‘ll tell you why. One, their mistakes are aplenty. The communication barriers are many and mistakes get made. And my biggest issue is that they are potentially sharing your  logins and passwords with strange people in foreign countries. And hopefully it is secure. But who knows? Like I said, I’m not a fan.

3. They can cover up or hide the non-results of a non-performing program with the reports from their other programs that are performing. This is not hard. They can give reports showing results that were driven by PPC and cover up the fact that they got bad or absolutely no SEO results, and the same can be done conversely. This can even be done with call tracking. You could do “SEO” on a web page, and then drive PPC calls to that same page, and then then you cannot delineate what is what, but you just got “results.” Each form of marketing generates it’s own ROI, they are NOT all mixed together. So neither should your reports, or your results. If they are, you’ve got unrealized revenues for sure.

 

And by the way, if you ever see a company that is “Google Certified” for SEO, thats a lie, Google does not have a certification for SEO, only PPC, AKA Adwords.

 

So what is my point here for you? It’s this: 

1. Each marketing form of SEO, PPC and Social Marketing has its own ROI and should be very, very separated in your mind, on reports, and in your revenue reports. Anywhere you have them mixed up, you’ll have unrealized revenues.

2. Make sure you vet your company. Ask them the tough questions – How are my reports separated? Who is working on my SEO, PPC? Is it the same person? How long have they been doing SEO, PPC? Where did they learn it? Are they a specialist in PPC or SEO? Is the work on my project outsourced to a guy in another country? Does he have my user names and passwords? How do my reports separate out where my calls and revenues are coming from? On and on…

3. Don’t be lazy about your marketing resources because of thoughts like,  “this guy does everything.” No huge, successful company thinks like that. They use who works and who can realize a profit on their marketing spend, and they manage multiple companies typically. Ask the guys at Leo Burnett.

 

Convenience always takes a backseat to revenues, any day of the week.

 

Dan York

Founder and CEO of Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

Live Interview: Cleanfax’s Jeff Cross and Dan York – Multiple Marketing Strategies

Wondering what marketing strategies you should be doing as a Water Damage Company?

Here’s a live interview with Cleanfax Magazine’s Editorial Director Jeff Cross and Dan York, Founder and CEO of Stellar-eMarketing, Inc. talking about whether or not there’s a marketing “magic bullet” and how multiple marketing forms can create greater return on marketing efforts.:

https://youtu.be/PXPPb_eUSkc

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Are “one-stop-shop” companies covering up your lack of water damage SEO calls with AdWords/PPC calls?

Water damage restoration business owners have a difficult job these days. Getting business used to be as simple as just getting yourself in the phonebook, maybe pay a little extra for some ad space and you got the calls.  Then you networked with the insurance companies, plumbers, etc.

Today, on top of all of the old school stuff that you have going, you have to have SEO, pay-per-click, social media marketing, and many other different forms of lead generation, etc.  It can be overwhelming and confusing.

As a result, some companies have tried to become “one stop shop” companies. In theory, this is a great idea. In practice however, it is difficult.  Each of these marketing formats has become such a speciality, that not only do you need to have one specialist on it to handle many clients, you need to have a team of guys.

Which brings me to the first issue that I have seen with these one-stop-shops is that they don’t have the manpower to deliver what they are selling. And one of the solutions they have is to outsource some of their labor to India or perhaps the Philippines. I’ve always been against this and always will be against it for various reasons that I won’t put in this article, but the biggest reason of course is Quality Control.

Another issue that I’ve seen, which I hope is not an epidemic thing, is the fact that some of these companies will cover up the lack of progress of their SEO program with great progress from a pay-per-click program.  For example they may be able to tell you, “Yeah I got you 10 calls this month” but what they will not necessarily say, is that most of those calls came from their pay-per-click program, which was working well, therefore covering up the lack of results from an SEO program, which was not working well.

There is a selling term called a “blackbox “, which is simply packaging up all of the separate marketing services into one service- i.e. -websites, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, etc. In theory, this is a great thing. It’s easy, you call one company and they handle everything. In practice however, it does not work as great as it sounds. You are not dealing with a level of specialty that will get you the amount of ROI that you should be getting from each individual program. I still am going to go see an eye doctor for an eye problem, not a general practitioner. Get the idea?

Now, understanding all that I’ve said above, the real issue here comes down to simple return on investment for you. Each of those services listed above can generate significant amount of income for you. And each one deserves it’s own amount of scrutiny. Make sure that you really put the attention on each service that it deserves, also make sure if you are using one of these one stop shops, that they are not covering up bad results on one service by delivering good results on another service.

Good luck out there!

Dan York

CEO and Founder, Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

How many different sources of marketing do you need to become a multi-million dollar restoration company?

Well, of course this would first depend on the level of success that you want. If you’re just looking for a sub $1 million company, well, the answer is, not many. But for most of you reading this article, I imagine that you’re looking to create multi-million dollar companies and for a few of you, companies that are doing tens of millions.

As written in my prior articles, there is no such thing as a “magic bullet” to explode your company. I know that a lot of companies in the digital age, including all of the marketing gurus that we see all over Facebook, etc. want you to believe otherwise, but it’s just not reality.

So how many different forms of marketing do you need to create a company as successful as you want it to be? 

As many as it takes.

The formula is simple though. Now, it might sound obvious,  but I assure you it escapes more business owners than I would like to admit. And the formula simply stated as this: Do you make more money than you spend on the marketing program? 

Would you spend $1000 to make $2000? I would. Would you spend $5000 to make $20,000? I would. Anything that gives me multiple times what I spend on them, I continue doing them. Then, you keep adding more and more. On top of this, the longer you keep them in play, the more they seem to snowball over time returning more and more times what you’ve spent.

The biggest issue I see a lot of business owners do is that they’re constantly changing marketing programs. They’re jumping from one type to the next, from one company to the next – with no persistence or stable progression on any one of them. And then sometimes to make things worse, they don’t learn to balance multiple marketing programs.  They just turn off one and try another, killing the progress and growth of the first one. No company of any significant size ever does that. They have multiple things going at any given time, usually six or more, stabilized and consistent.

So there in lies the trick. Can you persist at one marketing source and make it work through all of the barriers that you will inevitably encounter?  And then can you progress through 2, then 3, then 4, and as many as 6 or more at any given time, and take all of them through to success? 

Stopping one because it’s not as big as you want, even though it’s getting you a return on your spend, is more disruptive to your company’s growth than you realize, and frankly, bad management of your marketing department.

Now, all marketing programs will inherit a snowball effect at some point. They gain more and more traction. And this is the crucial part of the progression that most novice business owners don’t know or realize.

Dan York , Founder & CEO of Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

www.water-damage-marketing.com

Will Your Restoration Company Make It to the next Decade? Or be a Statistic?

After working solely on marketing programs for restoration companies for the last decade with literally hundreds of restoration companies worldwide, I’ve learned vital differences between the restoration companies that really thrive long-term and the ones that get their 15 minutes of fame and go the way of Velcro shoes.

My company delivers SEO specifically for restoration companies and we’ve been doing it longer than anyone in the biz. Now, maybe that sounds like a brag, but is actually stated to explain what an amazing window of observation of this whole industry I’ve had. You see, I get an amazingly objective and analytical view of restoration companies, their owners, their habits, and most importantly – I’ve seen who the stars are and who buries themselves.

So what I’ve done is I’ve categorized by name, some of my top observations of the guys who did not make it and why. Now, by observing this, we can understand failure and do the exact opposite. By doing so, we become the guys that will still be here next decade.

So here we go:

1. The Criminal   I’ve had clients that commit insurance fraud, embezzle money from their partners, deal drugs and even corporate espionage. Two I know are in jail, one bankrupt, another being sued out of house and home, one has ruined his reputation in this entire industry and one has even lost his life and family to drugs and alcohol. I’m willing to bet you even know one of these guys. Karma is a bitch. Skip the criminality bit.

2. The Blamer  – This is the guy who knows everything is everyone else’s fault – His advertisers, his employees, his office manager, his customers, the insurance companies, everyone but…well, him. The winners are responsible for where they’re at, good or bad.

3. The Magic Bullet guy –  He thinks there is one “magic bullet” to creating a successful company. And he really tries every magic bullet and none of them work. There is no single magic bullet to creating a successful company, ask anyone who has been around forever in this biz (Like Jeff C!)

4. The Veruca Salt guy – Remember her? From Willy Wonka? She was the spoiled brat girl who said, “I WANT IT NOW!” Well, don’t we all. But it isn’t like that. The fact is that only perseverance, intelligence, knowledge, hard work and hard-won experience will get you a winning company. Pay your dues.

5. The part-timer – He simply won’t put in the hours, effort or time. Even when the work is plentiful, he’s home by 5pm! When times are tough all he does is complain about it on forums and social media sites. We all know where that effort should be going, right?

6. The Industry hopper – This is the restorer who is a restorer when it’s convenient. Like in 2008-2009 when home building and remodeling was dead. All of the sudden they were all restorers! But…they weren’t. They didn’t learn the ropes and thought this business was just going to be easy money. Well, anyone in this biz, we know what it’s like. It is its own beast. You have to really specializes in this industry to really thrive at it.

7. The Short Term Thinker – He can’t plan or think past Friday. You can tell him until you’re blue in the face that rainy season ends or that there are lulls in this business, but does he plan for it? So he ends up having to lay-off staff and barely makes it out of the slow season, if he does at all. I wish I could tell you how many people I’ve seen this mindset bankrupt in the decade. Probably more on this point than any other.

Now, I could probably come up with another ten of these and make this article way too long, but these are the ones that roll right off the tongue as the most common that I’ve seen, the common company killers.

Remember, economies go up and down, the US dollar value changes, Presidents change, insurance companies get regulated, there is no such thing as all staying the same. But there are companies I know, lots of them, that thrive through all of that. How? By doing the exact opposite of those things above.

This may seem to be common business sense. But, apparently not.

To your success!

Dan York, CEO

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

www.water-damage-marketing.com

Who’s the hottest new Water Damage Marketing company for 2019?

Well, who is it? 

Look, every year some new marketing companies come in to the water damage industry, seeing the “quick buck” they can make off of water damage guys. So they act like “specialists” and start selling. They stick around for a year or so, and then they disappear like a fad when push comes to shove and they can’t get the job done. We’ve seen it every single year.

We’ve been the leaders in this space for over 10 years. We’ve generated well over $200m in revenues for hundreds of Water Damage Companies all over North America. No one knows this space better than we do.

But don’t listen to us, here’s actual testimonials from recent and real water damage clients:

“I have used Stellar for just under a year now, I refer to them as a “War Machine!” I let them have full reign of my website and SEO and the PHONE CALLS POUR IN AND DON’T STOP, Dan and His team are always responsive to my questions and I completely trust them to handle my SEO! Thanks Dan and Team for helping my business so much!! You guys are worth your weight in GOLD!!!”

“I’ve worked with Stellar-eMarketing for nearly five years. Their team is an awesome bunch of professionals, and their results are superb. There are tens of thousands of SEO companies out there, but there’s only one company I trust: Stellar-eMarketing. They are the real deal!”

“I’ve been using Stellar for about 7 months now and consistently get 3-5 calls weekly just from Google. Very simply put if you’re using anyone else for your SEO services you’re doing yourself a disservice. The customer service is unmatched and their strategists really know how to make your business visible online! Would highly recommend over and over again.”

“I’ve used their team for over a year, seeing fantastic results. I don’t know how you guys do it, but keep up the great work.”

“Stellar-eMarketing has been a tremendous help in getting & keeping our website up to the top of the searches for our locations. This top-notch, tight-knit group are fantastic to work with and are very responsive to our questions. We have had other SEO’s but none have given us the service and results that Stellar has. They have our highest recommendation!”

“Great company. Specialists in Restoration Marketing. Everything they ever promised has happened. It is a process. They are a part of our team and we trust their input. Always have time for us. We are getting calls while ads are not running. Could not say enough great things about them.”

“We couldn’t be happier that we chose Stellar-eMarketing. They are easy to get in touch with and always keep us updated on a regular basis. Love these guys!”

 

So go use those other guys first, then call us after you’re done with them. 😉

 

Shana Randell
Water Damage Marketing
by Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

 

 

Why you need to fire some of your clients…

Well, that’s certainly an alarming thing to say. However, anyone who has been in business a long time already knows what this means.

Some clients you just don’t want. They’re not good for you and your business, you and your employees. And you have to let them go.

We all want to grow our businesses, we all want more success, but there are certain clients that hinder your success. And you have to become expert at isolating who those guys are and firing them as clients.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, there are just people that are wrong for you as a company. They might be right for someone else’s company, but they are wrong for you and you know it.

Think about this: 80% of all of your complaints come from less than 20% of your clients. And the majority of the worst complaints you’ll usually find come from less than 5% of your entire client base. And what does “this less than 5%” do? They make your staff hate their jobs, make everyone think your service is faulty where it actually isn’t, they eat up your precious time, they threaten lawsuits, they go on Google, Yelp, BBB and Angie’s List and write bad reviews, you know who they are. It’s that client you wish you would have never taken on. We’ve all had them.

But now here is the REAL kicker: You saw the red flags very early on with this person.

It’s sort of like dating. You might meet a guy or a girl and you want to see all of the good things and ignore the bad things, but in the end when things go south it was the bad things that you saw early on, and ignored, that really did you in. It’s no different with customers. You saw the red flags in the sales cycle, when you were in their home, talking to the customer on the phone, etc. But, you wanted to choose to see the good, or maybe you just had dollar signs in your eyes, either way you ignored the red flags.

In any well-run business, you need to spend 80% of your time on the 80% of your clients that actually deserve your work. These guys pay you on time, they’re good customers, you want to help them and they need your help. We won’t get into why this very small percentage of people seem to not want your help or make things worse for the both of you when you’re simply trying to help them, as that’s probably a subject for someone else to take up. As business owners the only thing we need to take up is getting rid of them.

I know it sounds harsh, but it’s just a fact of being in business. You owe good service to your good clients, those 80% of people to pay their bills on time. And if you and your staff are spending all of your time on that very small percentage of people who are “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, you were actually doing a disservice to the majority of your clientele. That’s the real issue you have to face in choosing to fire a client. It takes guts to fire a clients, but to the degree that you do that, your business will be smoother and faster it will grow faster, it will be quieter on customer service lines and you’ll just be plain happier.

You can also include in this those customers that do not pay their bills on time, that never make their appointments and anything else that stops you from running a  smooth business. You don’t need the money that badly. And if you do need the money that badly and you take on a client like this, I promise you you will stop other money that should be coming in from arriving.

I just talked to one of my clients about this about two weeks ago and he was talking about how much time he was spending on this one client, in her house dealing and with all of her customer service problems and the whole time he was there just dealing with headaches, he wasn’t paying attention to his other clients and no sales were coming in either he wasn’t getting any new business. And as soon as he said, “This is just not right for me”, he fired the client. Over the next three days he pulled in six more jobs, all of which were good paying, well mannered clients.

I hate to tell people how long it takes to learn this lesson, but usually for people that didn’t learn business from their father or anything like that, we learned this after years and years of working on these types of people and finally discovering that the best thing you can do for your company, your finances, your growth, your employees and clients is  to fire that very small percentage of clients. Get rid of the squeaky wheel’s that get the grease. Grease the four wheels that are actually rolling and keeping the car on the road.

Sincerely,

Dan York

Founder and CEO

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

Can SEO get us in front of the major storms like Florence?

Every time a storm comes in, a major hurricane or the like, we get a lot of people calling in to ask us, “Can you get us in front of the storm so that we can get the work?” As we all know, there are a lot of water damage restoration companies that will “storm chase” and travel to get work.

Unfortunately, to jump in front of a storm, requires some very fast work. Any marketing company that you will use, regardless of what their marketing technology is, will be hard-pressed to get you in front of a storm in enough time. This is especially true with the number of requests that any marketing company gets every time one of these large storms roll through.
So, when you’re dealing with specific marketing technology in the digital age, you need to consider which one will actually achieve the goals that you want, which in this case would be getting you in front of the storm fast. And there are only really two technologies that will get you there that quickly.
1. Google pay per click ads. This is easy as it can be turned on and off in an instant, they are quick to design, and they will launch instantly. But they do not have any long-term effects, so when the storm is over, you can turn them off and be done with inquiries from the area. However, in a situation like this, you have to realize that they can get expensive very, very quickly.   You are not the only ones that will be doing this.
2. Social media marketing. Now, usually you won’t hear me beat the drum for social media marketing when it comes to getting work for water damage restoration companies. However, this is under normal circumstances. In the event of a hurricane, many people will go to Facebook and other social media outlets to let their loved ones know that they are OK. You can put ads on Facebook very quickly, in fact, just as fast as you could with Google pay-per-click ads. You would need a company that you’re working with already, one that can turn them on and off quickly.  You will also need a rough design, which can be done usually in minutes on Facebook.
Of those two digital formats, I would be preferential to Google pay-per-click ads.
Now, SEO, this is what we do. This is not a good strategy to get in front of hurricanes. This is more of a long-term business development strategy for your company overall. The return on investment is really easy and very excellent, however it is not the right type of marketing to go jumping in front of the hurricane. It’s takes longer to achieve results, sometimes for most customers it can take 3 to 6 months. So you see the issue here.  SEO should be considered your bread and butter marketing, your new phone book. It is not a great type of marketing for hurricane chasing.
In the end, you should be doing all of these things – chasing hurricanes with Google pay-per-click marketing, getting your daily bread & butter with SEO, social media marketing for branding and public relations, and this should all be done in the smart company with a good digital strategy.
Best of luck,
Dan York
Founder
Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.
Www.water-damage-marketing.com

Why is generating new business online for your company so different than other trades?

Why is generating new business online in this industry so different than the other trade industries?

 

Theres a million online marketers out there, from big agencies to your teenage nephew who now does it. But what’s it actually going to take to generate new business online in this industry compared to other ones? Why? Well, its actually only one answer. Emergencies. It’s the emergency nature of the business that makes it different from the other trades while generating business online. Even Mold Remediation is completely different even though it is we all consider it to be closely related.

 

You’ve got Roofers, HVAC guys, Electricians, etc. Every single one of these niches requires different sets of knowledge to know how to get that online business. Each website is slightly different, each message, slightly different.

 

Let’s look at it from the point of view of the customer. You’ve had a storm blow some things off of your roof. That’s an emergency, sort of. Do they freak out like when there is 4 feet of sewage left in their basement? Not really. Let’s even take HVAC –  the A/C goes out. Again, sort of an emergency and they don’t tend to wait on calling them either, depending on the weather. But do they treat it with the same freak-out level of attention as their entire kitchen hardwood floor being soaked and potentially buckling due to moisture forcing a huge replacement? Maybe.

 

Emergencies obviously change the way people react. They aren’t getting bids from three contractors. They want you there now. First one to the job typically gets it. This mentality extends all the way to the front-end of how your business gets noticed. If they want the first company that can get there to get there, they will probably choose one of the top companies they find in Google or if they’re still using it, their phone book (unlikely).  And if they are going to be quick to pick a company that shows up first, they’ll probably not want to read a ton of your website to know who to pick to come over to their home, right? And they don’t want to have to mess around doing a ton of research on whether you’re reputable or not either. Get the idea?

 

So what’s the lesson to be learned here? If you own a Restoration company, make everything fast to comprehend – visually & content-wise, everything. Show up first. Make everything read fast, talk fast. Get there fast. You all know this already, I know. 😉

 

Sincerely,

 

Dan York, Founder

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

 

 

Clearing up Confusions of Modern Day Marketing

Why is your marketing and advertising program not generating the results you want? Is it working for your friend’s company but not yours? Why is that?

This seminar undercuts all of the modern online marketing technologies, and teaches you the fundamentals that none of us were ever taught. Fundamentals that can make or break the success of your marketing program.

https://youtu.be/X_aDXQ3vFIU

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