How to Create a Winning Marketing Plan for Your Home Staging Business
So we are about almost two weeks in the new year (I know, I can't believe either!) By now, you probably have downloaded our free Goal Setting Planner and started mapping out your goals. But, have you thought about your marketing plan?
It is important to look back and assess your 2018, see what worked and what didn't work for you in prospecting for leads and marketing to your ideal customers. You can learn a lot from what didn't work for you last year and changed your strategies for this year. You can also rinse and repeat what worked well last year. You can tweak your strategies and make them more efficient and better while you map out your marketing plan.
Why You Need a Marketing Plan
Simply, a marketing plan will make your life so much easier.
One of the hard lessons I've learned in business is that you need to keep up with marketing especially when you are busy. Why? Because how hard you market now will determine how much work you have 2-3 months from now. Whenever we were slammed with staging, if I didn't keep up with marketing then, I would really feel the quietness couple months later. Then I would have to get on the phone and call old clients and try to drum up some business.
The thing is that everyone is busy and you are forgettable. The industry is simply too competitive. You are not only competing against other stagers, you are also competing with other professionals who want real estate agents' business.
I hear a lot of stagers complain about how real estate agents don't call them back or their office presentations are not working. Most of the time, it's simply because you didn't make enough of an impression in the beginning, you didn't follow up to deepen that impression and you didn't keep in touch to keep the impression going.
So of course you are not going to get a call back. Furthermore, you are not the only person who is contacting real estate agents for business. Do you know how much junk mail and emails realtors get? They get pitches from everyone: title reps, landscapers, junk removers, promotional companies, web designers, inspectors, pest control, architects, lawyers, estate sale companies and the list goes on. You are not the only one who is marketing to real estate agents.
So it is important to have a marketing plan that keeps you consistent with your marketing efforts and continuously warm up your leads. So they will remember your company when they need a home stager.
Making Your Brand Stick
What does it mean to make your brand sticky? It basically means that your brand is always on your consumer's mind. Sticky like bubblegum.
There is a reason why advertisers play the same ads over and over again, usually with a catchy jingle. It is to help the consumers to remember the brand easily and making that brand the go-to when the consumers need that particular product.
To make sure your brand sticks, you need laser-focus marketing strategies targeting your ideal clients consistently. So, in order to create an effective marketing plan, you need to know:
Who is your ideal client?
What is his/her pain points/problems that you can solve?
Where can you meet your ideal client?
How do they like to be communicated with?
How can you market consistently even when you are busy with jobs?
There are quite a few ways for home stagers to market themselves, let's break them down into two areas: online and offline.
Online marketing has become essential for companies big and small largely because everyone has a smartphone in their pocket nowadays. Technology has given everyone the power to create content, broadcast themselves and watch everyone else on the social media. It increases the opportunities for your brand to be found online, anywhere and anytime.
Here are 21 free things you can do today to market your business online:
If you haven't done it, create profiles on Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, social media platforms you would like to focus on and set up a Facebook business page.
Shoot a quick behind-the-scenes video while you are on the job site and post them on your Instagram story. Share that video on your Facebook personal profile, your business page and share that in your story.
Write keyword-rich and relevant captions for your Instagram posts
Use hashtags that are going to increase the chance for your company to be found on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
Every time you write a blog post, pull a few quotes out to make graphics and post on social media like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Post your blog posts, photos, videos on social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook page and Instagram.
Write a blog post about your recent staging jobs.
Post your before and after photos on social media.
Ask clients to leave you reviews on platforms like Yelp, LinkedIn and Houzz.
Post your customer reviews on social media.
Have an email newsletter
Create a freebie like a checklist, an e-book (like a home seller's guide) and use that as an opt-in for visitors to sign up for your email list.
Make sure your website is search engine friendly and people can navigate your site easily.
List your company on online directories like Google, Yelp, Houzz, etc.
Join or create Facebook groups that are specific to your local areas and post frequently about neighborhood news.
Or, partner up with a real estate agent that is within your niche and go after this target demographic together.
Whenever you write blog posts, make sure you use keywords that are relevant to your business.
Google has announced that it will no longer index sites that are not mobile-friendly. So make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
Add social share buttons on your blog posts and your website so people can share your website and blog on social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
There are a lot of real estate agents who blogs about the neighborhoods they sell in. Write guest blog posts for real estate agents whose client base is also your target.
The best marketing, in my opinions, marries both online marketing efforts with face-to-face interaction. At the end of the day, real estate is a people business, and people do business with people that they know and like. So now that people have seen your company and brand floating around on the internet or by reputation, it would be even better now that they can put a face, a voice and a personality to that name.
Here are 11 ideas you can do to deepen your impression and make your home staging company sticker:
Host a block party. Better yet, partner up with an agent who specializes in your neighborhood and co-host the party.
Give presentations to offices that you want to work with. Specifically, create seminars that you can offer and pitch to the brokers to teach to their listing agents. (DON'T pitch doing this at the office meetings where buyers agents attend. You only want to present to listing agents.)
Volunteer at charities that you feel passionate about.
Can't find networking events you like? Create your own and host them yourself. You can join Meetup.com for that.
Brand your car(s) with your company branding.
Always be networking. Go to as many events as possible, especially those hosted by your local real estate associations.
Go to your client's open houses and offer to sponsor the food for the first broker's open house. In exchange, you get to stand there and meet and greet all the realtors that come through the doors and hand them your promo goodies.
Do face-to-face meetings, like meeting for coffee, with existing and potential clients.
Send postcards and hand-written cards to your clients periodically.
Always ask for referrals at the end of each job.
Call clients periodically.
Here is a handy graphic for your Pinterest board.
Follow Us on Social Media
What's the Magic Bullet?
Unfortunately, there is no such thing. But the good news is, having a marketing plan will help A LOT. Good marketing takes practices and consistent actions. By having consistency, you can test and see what works and what doesn't work. Then tweak your marketing plan from there.
Having a marketing calendar is also helpful when you can lay everything out on a calendar and visually see if you are missing anything. In general, a marketing plan doesn't have to be fancy.