Lead generation is one of the biggest problems that most solar installation companies face. It’s a rapidly expanding industry, and customers that want solar are definitely out there – but how do you find those solar leads?
Getting qualified commercial and residential solar leads requires much more work than paying for a billboard. Solar lead generation requires creating interest in your services, presenting your value proposition, and convincing solar energy leads to choose your business.
How should you generate solar leads online, then? Keep reading, because this article shares how to find success with solar lead gen using inbound marketing, plus explains why you should never buy solar leads.
If you’re looking for help with solar lead generation, WebFX can help.
In the past five years, we’ve helped our clients’ businesses attract more than 6.3 million qualified leads and earn more than $2 billion in revenue. Let us help you do the same. Contact us online or call us at 888-601-5359 to find out more about our lead generation services!
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How you can generate free solar leads (without lead gen sites)
Luckily, there’s a high-performing alternative to the “buy leads, cold call” mindset: Inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is all about getting your company directly in front of customers who are already searching for installation services, which makes your solar lead generation efforts easier and much more successful.
Instead of bothering people who may or may not be interested in solar panels, you just need to make it easy for those who are actively interested in solar to find your company and become a solar lead.
When you let potential customers find you at their own pace instead of harassing them with phone calls during dinner, you’re already one step closer to making a sale.
And that’s really what inbound marketing is about — it’s “permission marketing,” in that everything is on the customer’s terms.
So, how do you go about finding solar energy leads with inbound marketing?
3 tips for attracting qualified solar leads online
These three tips can help your business use inbound marketing to attract qualified solar leads online:
1. Develop buyer personas
This is the first step in any legitimate inbound marketing and solar lead generation campaign. You have to know who you’re marketing to, after all.
All you’re doing here is profiling your typical or ideal customer, so that you can put yourself in their shoes and understand what you need to do to get them signed on as a customer.
Take some time to write up a few buyer personas, using demographic information like age, gender, income, asset ownership, geographic location, and so on.
When you’re done with that, you should have a pretty good idea of who you should be targeting as potential leads, whether you're looking to attract commercial solar leads or residential solar leads.
2. Create content tailored to those personas
This is where the magic of inbound marketing happens — it only works if you provide a reason for customers to engage with your company in the first place.
Ask yourself: What kind of content are potential solar buyers looking for? Some good starting points are:
- Informational blog posts: These can cover anything from general information about solar energy, to a comparison of solar and traditional energy sources, to an inside look at how photovoltaic panels actually work. Figure out what your target audience wants to know, and provide all the information they could want to answer that question.
- Ebooks and other downloads: Choose a specific aspect of solar and cover it exhaustively in a downloadable resource, like “The homeowner’s guide to making the switch from electric to solar."
- Videos: These can be a great choice for installation companies because you provide a hands-on service that many homeowners don’t know much about. Showing a video of the process from beginning to end educates them and also builds trust with your company, because they’ve literally seen you perform a successful installation.
3. Encourage potential solar leads to make the first move
Now that you’ve engaged and built trust with potential customers thanks to your awesome, free information and resources, you want them to convert into leads and customers!
The trick to inbound marketing is making sure you’re collecting information. For example, you could “gate” that awesome ebook you made so that web visitors can only download it if they give you their name and email address.
Or maybe you want to set up a “Free Quote!” form on your website, where customers who are at the very bottom of the sales funnel will give you detailed information beyond just name and email.
No matter how you accomplish it, the point is to get “permission” to contact these potential solar energy leads. This is the point where you can hand them off to your sales person for future communication. They won’t be annoyed by a call or an email, because the willingly provided you with their information.
That’s the true beauty of inbound lead generation – you know for a fact that all of the solar leads you get are qualified leads. With the exception of a hobbyist or two, who’s going to subscribe to your “solar panel weekly” newsletter other than someone actively looking to buy?
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Why not buy solar leads?
Buying leads is extremely prevalent in the solar industry.
At a surface level, it sounds great: you pay someone for a list of “high quality,” “vetted” leads that are just dreaming of the day they get a cold call from a solar installation company.
Unfortunately, this isn’t how it actually works. 99% of the leads found on bought lists are customers that were knowingly placed on a solar installation cold-call list, and most of them don’t even care about solar in the first place. So much for high-quality solar leads.
The fact is that buying leads doesn’t work because cold calling itself is a disruptive, outdated, and ineffective marketing strategy.
According to research directly from Google and CEB, modern day customers self-navigate 60% of the sales process before ever getting in contact with a company or sales rep.
This means that you’re not going to convince anyone with a cold call, and all it will do is make that “lead” increasingly angry.
Leave cold calling in the past and use a much more effective and successful strategy for generating solar sales leads: Inbound marketing.
With inbound marketing tactics like social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and paid advertising, you can bring qualified solar leads to your business/
Turn digital into a powerhouse channel for driving leads and revenue.
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Get more qualified solar leads online today
At WebFX, our expert team of Internet marketers knows exactly what it takes to execute successful inbound marketing strategies within the solar industry.
We’ve helped hundreds of companies reach new levels of success, and we’d love to partner with you and your company to help your business find, nurture, and convert high-quality solar leads into customers.
Want to speak with an expert? Call us at 888-601-5359