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 them?
Getting clients requires much more work than simply launching an ad campaign, and contrary to what many business owners seem to believe, paying for a spot on a billboard or local TV station won’t cause phone calls to come pouring in. Lead generation is the process of piquing interest in your services, presenting your value proposition and convincing prospective clients why they should choose your business over another.
Fortunately, WebFX can help make sure those potential clients are being directed your way. With a team of 150+ experts and 3m leads driven for customers, we can help guide you toward success! You can call 888-601-5359 or click the button below to get your free evaluation today!
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On this page, we’ll look at why lead generation is difficult for solar installation companies and what you can do to boost your leads and your revenue.
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 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The fact is that buying leads doesn’t work because cold calling itself is a disruptive, outdated, and ineffective marketing strategy.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.
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.
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.
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 leads with inbound marketing?
This is the first step in any legitimate inbound marketing 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.
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.
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 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 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 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?
While lead generation through inbound marketing is a powerful strategy, it’s important to remember that it’s only one cog of digital marketing machine.
It may work well individually, but the true power of inbound marketing is when you utilize it in conjunction with other areas of digital marketing like SEO, social media, and more.
SEO, for example, is how you make sure that people can actually find the high quality content you’ve created.
Social media is a fantastic way of building trust, humanizing your company, and establishing brand loyalty and longevity.
Inbound marketing is a great starting point to grow your company, but don’t forget about the other aspects of online marketing as well!
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 too.
Contact us today for more information or a free quote!
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to see how WebFX can improve your online performance.