Contractors must leverage social media, their website, referrals, and other advertising methods in order to grow their businesses, keep customers returning for repeat business, and maximize exposure in their communities.
Landscapers, roofers, kitchen and bath remodelers, and general contractors have skills in their trade, but few are experts in marketing their businesses effectively.
Any marketing tool that brings more prospective customers to an SMB needs to be seriously considered. There are some tools that can be used for free at a base level, and those methods are certainly an effective way to boost page ranking and increase Search Engine Optimization [SEO] across multiple platforms.
You Need My Guy has thousands of contractors taking advantage of free profiles across the country. People search the site every day to find the best people to hire in their community, and they return to recommend the businesses and people that they love doing business with. Those with profiles on YouNeedMyGuy.com see themselves show up highly on Google, and report increased traffic from local prospective clients.
You Need My Guy, a social networking site committed to bringing word of mouth to the web, is being seen by many as a free alternative to paid alternative Angie's List in the growing number of markets with a significant number of users.
Paid vs. Free
"We find that most of our users are really interested in finding someone new to do business with when they visit our site, but they're opposed to paying something to find that perfect new business to hire" said Joe Cassara, founder & CEO of You Need My Guy. Because of this, the You Need My Guy search service is completely free to use. Businesses have the option of upgrading to a premium account for just $10/month, which gets them top search placement, photos/videos, and an SEO boost.
What separates You Need My Guy from other review sites is the ability of those searching to see who their social media connections do business with. Since most users connect a Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter profile when they register, someone looking for someone to hire will see those that their friends have recommended at the very top of the results list. "Since we all have different standards and expectations when it comes to someone we're doing business with, most people aren't satisfied with a recommendation from a stranger, compared with one from someone in their social circle", says Cassara.
White Collar vs. Blue Collar
A site like Angie's List focuses on home services and medical professionals. The problem with this is that most of us keep our plumber in the same phone as our insurance company, because they're equally important when an issue or need comes up. You Need My Guy has thousands of users in all categories, from realtors to graphic designers to handymen.
For people looking to advertise their business and recommend others they love doing business with, You Need My Guy is a promising new method of doing so.
As a tech support staff member while still in college, I learned that I could find a solution to almost any problem I encountered with a simple search on the web if I looked hard enough. Only very occasionally did I actually need to ask my co-workers or supervisors for help regarding an issue. However, just because I didn’t need to ask others doesn’t mean that I didn’t do it, for the first few months at the job anyway. (Sorry Ryan!) So why did I, someone who was completely capable of understanding tech jargon, constantly consult others when there was something I didn’t get at first?
One Size Does Not Fit All
If you’ve had to search up your problem to see if anyone’s found a solution to it, you’ve probably encountered one instance where someone has had the exact same problem you have and got excited about finally getting the issue solved. Well, that is until you realized that there were a few details that differed from what you were seeing. They were using a different kind of wood, they were using Windows 7 instead of Windows 8, or they had a different color but for some reason the blue one has that piece there unlike the green one. Seeing these not only makes one quite frustrated, but also lowers the likelihood that one would use a search engine again for help.
While it’s true that there are a lot of helpful content on the web, there’s just some problems that are unique enough that a simple search won’t provide satisfactory results, or the solution just isn’t presented in a way one could understand. We’re also mostly still used to calling customer service or someone else and relaying our problems to them, hoping for a response that we could understand. We tend to be more comfortable with the answer from that point as the person helping us is fully aware of our own situation.
The Importance of Trust
At the job, I’ve had a number of people come up to me and ask my opinion regarding purchasing some tech product, such as an external hard drive. Now, most of them, while not the most tech-savvy out there, have a fairly good grasp of technology, and oftentimes much more than people would think. When they came up to me, however, they didn’t ask me which one had this specification or that, they instead asked which one I thought was right for them. Even after checking all the reviews, they still wanted my opinion because I’ve helped them in the past with their problems. They valued my opinion more than those who actually had the product because they trusted me, as well as the entire department.
This shouldn’t really be quite the surprise as there have been numerous studies which show how powerful personal recommendations are when people make decisions. From a study by Nielsen in 2012, “Recommendations from people I know” ranked as the most trustworthy form of advertising with a whopping 92% of people stating that they trusted them, as opposed to “Ads on TV” which only had 47% saying the same. Even opinions of other consumers online didn’t fare as well with only 70% trusting them. So while these opinions from strangers are effective, opinions from people you know are still more effective. For those familiar with “trolls”, it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.
As I helped more and more people and gained their trust, I started getting a following of sorts at my job with people looking specifically for me. While it was by no means unusual, it helped me gain the confidence I needed to do the job well. As it turns out, that really was all I needed as I was already knowledgeable enough to do the job. And of course, as I met more and more people, the recommendations just kept coming in, to the point that one student wouldn’t accept help from any other staff member!
However, it’s not as easy to be recommended in a similar capacity outside a small environment like a college within a university. You Need My Guy or Gal solves this problem quite well as it allows people to easily recommend their favorite contractor or business to their friends and see who their friends recommend for their own needs through social media. It also makes the introduction process quite smooth as a familiar name to both parties is brought up at the start of the conversation, immediately creating a more comfortable and friendly conversation, the most ideal type of conversation to close a sale and to establish a more personal relationship.
It’s therefore important to keep in mind that while there’s a lot of information out there today, nothing beats a personal recommendation. So go on and tell people that they need your guy or gal if they’re faced with a problem they can fix, it’s also the greatest form of gratitude they could ask for!
This article was written by Travin Keith, a member of You Need My Guy or Gal. Aside from his full-time job, he performs business and marketing consulting services on the side. With a specialty in web marketing, he can help your business get better results online. Check out his blog at www.travinkeith.com to read more!
Our data is very pure, because it's all based on 2 pieces of information that makes You Need My Guy a completely unique way of finding/listing a business.
- People using this guy - This is the number of people who have raised their digital hand to say that they actually do business with this person
- People you know using this guy - Based on the social networks that you and others have linked to You Need My Guy, we're sure that you know these people, which makes for a pretty good referral!
So, as you can see in the screenshot to the left, when a user is searching without being logged in, she/he sees that there are 8 people using this Guy, but not sure how many people they know of those 8.
Now, once logging in, the user sees that they know 6 of the people using this Guy. Signing in also changes how the search works....it returns the Guys that you know the most people using first.
As a Guy [or gal, of course], the best way to receive new business from You Need My Guy is to invite and ask your customers to create a You Need My Guy profile, list you as their __________, and write a quick review. Of course, linking at least one social media account is an important part of the process too.
Consider Cheesy Eddies, a bakery in Rochester, NY. They recently posted this on their Facebook page:
In just 15 hours since that post, they were 4 people's bakery, with 3 incredible reviews.
If you're a business and need help coming up with ideas to engage with your clients, email email@example.com. We're always happy to help!
We're happy to announce a brand new feature to your profile page! See what you can do to make your profile easier to find and engage with. Coming soon, a contest for only those with a 100% complete profile!
View the official press release here
NEW YORK: KAYWEB Angels CEO Haig Kayserian has announced they will invest up to $900,000 of development services and mentoring in three new startups, taking the company’s total stable of investments to six after six months of operation.
Cafrino, Minute Lister and You Need My Guy have beaten off a field of over 200 applicants to win KAYWEB Angels as their technical co-founders. Kayserian welcomed these startups aboard their ship which already includes whoisgreen.com, Burringo and Do It In Person.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Cafrino, Minute Lister and You Need My Guy, and we look forward to building their products and growing their businesses,” said Kayserian.
“The selection process was exhaustive and involved our entire board. We read through some tremendous online submissions, followed by pitches in person at our Manhattan office for the top tier of applicants.”
“In the end, the three successful applicants shone in more areas than the others, some of whom we have invited to keep working at their ideas ahead of our next round of investment due later this year.”
Cafrino, presented by Jonathan Aiwazian and Sean Stavropoulos from California, is an innovation in gaming. Minute Lister, presented by Chicago duo Amanda Cavazos and Thomas Olson, is a mobile application servicing the ecommerce community. You Need My Guy, presented by New York entrepreneur Joe Cassara, is in the business networking space.
General Manager John Buckman explained that the widespread coverage and acceptance KAYWEB Angels received for their unique investment model meant they were inundated with submissions from people all over the United States and abroad.
“The response to our launch were real submissions from real ‘ideas people’ lacking the development talent or resources to get their ideas off the ground,” said Buckman.
“The volume of submissions validated our investment model of development and mentoring instead of cash, and we intend to make many more investments over the coming months and years.”