One thing all the business gurus say is to have a web site, get on Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus, Twitter etc. etc. etc. Honestly, there just seems to be too many of these things and it just seems they all get watered down by each other. Each new ‘networking’ site that comes along can be frustrating to learn, clog your in box and if you don’t give it constant attention, your exposure can be next to nil. With that, the small pest control operator or Mom & Pop slink back in the shadows with an all but dormant website (if they even have one) and simply vow to work harder at what they’re already doing- (like 12 hour days are not enough) and maybe that site that costs them $400 bucks a year to maintain may one day pay for itself. There’s got to be a better answer.
I must admit, I’m not a guru but one of the most simple, direct and cost efficient ways of stepping forth on positive ground is quite simply, a blog. That’s right, a blog. Now a blog is a web site but not all web sites are blogs. Simply put, a company site or page is usually a static page that stays the same day in and day out. A good company web site is an awesome thing- BUT- a blog on the other hand, is like a diary, a snap shot in time which most people find so much easier to connect with and therefore, perhaps easier to say YES to your service. No one say’s it has to be perfect or that it needs to cost thousands of dollars but a blog really can be an effective and simple way to communicate with current and potential customers.
I’ve taken the liberty of picking 3 pest control operators to show you their blogs and what they do so perhaps you can glean a few ideas for yourself. All 3 of these gentlemen have both blog and websites, (smart people) plus you can find them on the facebooks and Twitters of the world but each uses some very powerful tools in which to showcase just who they are and why a client would benefit by choosing them. We as pest control operators might do just as well to see what we could learn from their approaches.
I’m Human Hear Me Roar
My first example is special because he is literally ‘brand new’ to the blogging world. Barry Simpson of Harwich England operates Tendering Pest Control Services and except for his own blog admission that he’s only been around for a short while, you would assume his company started the same year King George VI was corinated. There are no ‘bell and whistles’ on Barry’s blog but within minutes of reading it you find yourself hitting the favorite button. To me, the reason is that Barry presents himself as a human being with a wife, family (do dogs count?), a sense of humor and oh yeah, years of experience and he also owns a pest control company. Barry’s style is direct but very easy to entreat which is something so many bloggers tend to miss. It seems that if the information isn’t put out in some exact and scientific manner, it loses validity. Well, I’m here to say I’m not much of a mole control guy but just reading his quick story on a mole service he did- I (and any prospective client) am convinced he’s an expert on the things and I’d hire him for the work as well as a laugh. Lesson learned = You’re a human and humans like humans, blog like a human.
An Expert Who Cares
Our next example is a guy who is very good at stealth marketing. Without flashing banners or BUY IT NOW buttons Keith Birkemeyer’s blog has a way of shouting from the roof tops- “Professional Here“. Like so many pros in our industry we all get certificates etc. and that’s great. Keith however has a few that aren’t so easy to attain– but at the same time not so easy to find on his blog (humble or shy, I’m not sure). But find them you do as you peruse around and at the very least, subliminally, you know you’re dealing with a legitimate pro. There’s his Associate Certified Entomologist banner he shrunk down and put to the side, a Quality Pro badge here and there, his picture with the word “verified” and a check mark, a quick reference to his speaking engagements he’s done around the world as well as a few local news reports where they’ve cited him as the expert in their story. Now as I said, none of these jump out at you in any braggadocios way but you can’t help but notice. Plus his articles are mostly either humorous or helpful and that really stands out for a customer whose considering a professional service. Lesson learned =People remember those who care- put a little care in your blog
Use What You’ve paid For
The last example is more on the web page end rather than just the blog. Scott McGrath has done an excellent job of ‘re-promoting’ what he’s already paid to have put out there for advertising. Scott has some of the most hilarious radio commercials I’ve ever heard but without his site, I might never have known they, or even he, was around. Over time, many a pest control company small or large plays around with the idea of a TV commercial or radio spot. We have the thing done and run it for awhile only to finally let it gather dust as a CD in the closet. A pest control blog/website keeps these advertising gems alive and well and available 24 hours a day. True, you might only get 10 hits a month and even less views but it costs you nothing once you have them there and who knows just who, will be looking and decide on your company because of your online advertisement. Lesson Learned = A paid for shot at advertising is a terrible thing to waste.