Tips & Tricks for Solar Consultants: How to Get Solar Leads Online
Mix traditional marketing methods with newer, more modern online approaches to maximize your potential client pool. Immediately implement the following tips to generate more leads for your solar business online, saving you time and money.
The solar industry is IN these days.
It seems just about everyone is curious about solar and open to more information about how to have panels installed on their roof. For many, the investment is worth it since solar panels offset energy costs and pay for themselves in the long-run.
However, it can be hard to track who’s potentially interested in solar panels and reach these people. And don’t even get me started about collecting enough information from them to follow up and turn them into a customer! Potential customers want to ensure they’re working with the very best solar company, but where do they start searching for them?
Online marketing is a MUST for solar consultants.
They start their search online. Did you know that 97 percent of people search online to find a local business? Additionally, 88 percent of consumer local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
In order to attract more leads, you need to be where the people are. And the people are online, googling away to find out more information about the best solar company to work with in their area.
This is where you want to be. You want to be on Google, investing in paid ads, generating valuable content for SEO and making sure you are listed locally with lots of reviews to further your credibility (and search result rankings!).
Of course, don’t abandon traditional methods of marketing. Instead, integrate the old with the new to maximize your reach and pool of potential clients. By putting your business in as many places as possible, you stay at the top of potential customers’ minds. When they are ready and in need of solar panels, they’ll reach out to you first.
Read below to learn how to implement some easy online marketing strategies to boost your solar business! This article is also great for solar consultants just getting into the game or those who want to brush up on marketing strategies. The more you know, the better your chances of reaching potential clients and sealing the deal.
Post consistently on social media channels.
Consistency is key when it comes to marketing yourself as a solar consultant online. Creating professional business pages for both Facebook and Instagram is a must when getting started online. The more platforms you’re visible, the wider your reach and a bigger client pool. Of course, don’t overextend yourself trying to post valuable content on every single social media platform that exists. Instead, pick the platforms that will suit your needs best, and focus on creating valuable content on these platforms for your audience.
Aim to post to social media channels at least once every day and up to three times per day. You really don’t need to post more than three times a day to stay at the top of people’s minds.
Create valuable, engagement-friendly content.
There are so many techniques you can employ to create engaging, valuable content for your audience. From asking questions to encouragement engagement in captions to creating public Facebook groups centered around the solar industry or sharing information on climate change, the list goes on and on when it comes to ways to create content and engage your audience.
In addition to posting to your main Facebook and Instagram feeds, utilize the Stories feature on each. More and more users are using and interacting with business’ through this feature. It’s actually growing at a rate of 15%, while users are interacting with feed posts less and less. Take some time to learn how this feature works on both platforms, then implement it and watch how many more people you’ll engage!
Strive to post videos whenever possible. More people engage with videos over any other type of post content. In fact, video posts on Facebook have a 135 percent greater organic reach than photo posts. The top three most effective types of video content are customer testimonials, tutorial videos and demonstration (how-to) videos. Hone in on what your target customer wants and create content centered around that.
The best way to do this? Ask yourself what you typically look for when searching for a business to enlist. Then, start creating content that addresses these points to build your audience. Once you have a strong following, experiment with different types of content to see what engages the most people or ask your followers through Facebook and Instagram polls what they want to see!
Examples of popular, engaging content for social media posts include:
- Photos/videos of recent projects from start to finish.
- Information about the entire solar installation process. From how to find a reputable solar rep to how solar panels are installed to how to maintain solar panels once they’re installed.
- Create question and answer posts to address frequently asked questions. Share these with your followers. Many potential customers have questions they want answered, but might be too shy to reach out for the answer.
- Create how-to and educational videos, especially through Facebook and Instagram Lives, IGTV, Youtube and Snapchat.
- Post real savings comparisons! There’s nothing more compelling than showing your hard work in action and saving your customers’ actual savings. When you can prove, concretely, that what you do pays for itself in the long-run, you’ll win the trust of many followers and leads.
- Encourage followers to interact and share your posts by running giveaways or setting up sales every so often. That might just be the little nudge a lead needs to turn them into a paying customer.
- Post current and up-to-date content, such as trending news about the solar industry, climate change, renewable energy, etc.
- And lastly, make sure you are sharing customer reviews! You can easily tell a story through a customer review. By featuring real customers, you’re creating a community around your brand, building credibility and attracting more potential customers who want to have that same experience with you.
Maximize your content.
Post information about the solar industry and renewable energy in various digestible formats. For example, you can share a newly left Facebook review to your Facebook feed. You can then use that review and make a graphic for your Instagram feed, Instagram story and Facebook feed. Everyone absorbs and interacts with different types of content in different ways. So in order to reach and engage the most people possible, post content in various ways that are easy to digest.
Cross-post content across your various social media channels to widen your potential client pool. Let’s look at some stats. There are 1.52 billion daily active users on Facebook, 500 million daily on Instagram and 500 million daily on Instagram Stories, 126 million daily users on Twitter and 186 million daily active users on SnapChat. That’s an insane amount of potential reach on just one of these platforms alone. But imagine how many people you can reach by posting your content on more than just one of these platforms!
Build a local following first.
Of course, not everyone is interested in buying solar panels right now. So, what does this mean? A lot of people in your local area are using at least one social media platform. Start by reaching out locally first, build your business repertoire and expand. Your business will naturally expand if people are happy with your services. Plus, if Jane sees an ad for solar panels in January and suddenly wants some in February, she’ll look you up first. That’s the goal, after all.
If this sounds like a lot of time invested in social media, consider outsourcing work to a marketing agency like Mobile Mind Agency or invest in a scheduling software like Sendible. This way, you can take photos and videos of projects while working during the day, then edit and schedule out social media posts for the week at night.
Hand out business cards.
Realistically, this should be your first step. For every 2,000 business cards handed out, a company’s sales increase 2.5 percent. On the flip side, for every 10 billion business cards handed out each week, 8 billion of them will be trashed in a week, mainly because people don’t need the service right now.
So, how do you combat the automatic urge to trash a business card that doesn’t have immediate use? Try printing a discount on the back of your business card. Seriously, it works! Even something as simple as the offer of a free estimate will entice someone to hold on to a card, just in case they want the information for later. Also, they are more likely to share the card with someone else so they can take advantage of the offer.
Plus, business cards are great for handing out at events, pinning to public bulletin boards and for networking. So do yourself a favor and make sure your first step is to print a bunch of business cards. If your business cards haven’t been effective as you hoped, consider redesigning them or adjusting your offer – a little tweak could make all the difference!
Create flyers and brochures to leave behind.
Flyers and brochures are eye-catching tools you should absolutely use to generate solar leads. Seriously, print some out and hit the streets. Set up a tent or booth at events and make sure your flyers are readily available. Create various brochures filled with useful and visually appealing information. For example, your brochure might feature FAQs and the solar panel installation process, which is very valuable information for potential customers. Plus, they’ll enjoy getting an “inside view” into your business.
These eye-catching methods are effective at communicating important information to potential customers. People are more likely to stop and glance over your colorful flyer than a small business card, for example. Plus, flyers and brochures allow you to communicate a lot of information in a small space.
Consider pinning flyers to bulletin boards in public spaces as mentioned above, hanging them in store windows and on light poles around town. If you go around knocking on doors, leave a flyer behind with your information on it for those who don’t answer.
This brings me to a super important point: make sure you always include your business and contact information on your flyers and brochures in an easily seen area.
Incentivize customers to share your services or leave a review.
There is no better way to sell your solar services than word-of-mouth referrals. This is obviously the cheapest type of marketing because it doesn’t really cost you a thing. People naturally want to share good experiences with others, especially after they’ve had a pleasant experience with you and your business. Referral leads convert 30% better than leads generated by other marketing channels, after all. People are actually four times more likely to purchase a service when referred by a friend.
You can also take this natural urge to share a step further by incentivizing your existing customers to share your services with others. After all, 83 percent of customers are willing to refer a business after a positive experience, yet only 29 percent do. Use incentives your existing customer will find value in and that entice them the most. Perhaps that’s giving your existing customer a $100 Visa gift card for every new customer they refer to you. Or maybe it’s waiving a customer’s monthly rental fee for every referral. The incentive doesn’t need to be costly to you, it just needs to be valuable to your existing customers.
Watch what others do.
As the old adage goes, success leaves clues. Check out what your competitors are doing. What strategies are they employing to attract new customers? How are they using Facebook and Instagram Stories? How are they engaging their audience? Where do most of their clients come from – online advertising, traditional print and media advertising or word-of-mouth referrals? Take some tips from your competitors, put your twist on things and implement similar strategies. If they work for your competitors, these same strategies will certainly work for you.
Invest in online advertising.
If you’re not familiar with Facebook or Google Ads, you might want to enlist the help of someone more knowledgeable until you are able to dive in and learn more about these avenues. However, if done well, these are extremely effective and powerful ways of generating quality leads for your business.
You don’t need to invest a lot of money in online advertising, either. The beautiful thing about Facebook and Instagram especially, even if you only run an ad for $5, you will boost your organic (aka non-paid) traffic and engagement on your pages. You do not need to spend a ton on paid online advertising, just be smart about where you’re putting your money to drum up some more buzz on your pages.
Run a giveaway to generate leads quickly.
If time is of the essence and/or you really want to drum up engagement, run a giveaway. Giveaways expose many new potential clients to your business and are really useful for grabbing leads’ email addresses, so you can follow up with them later on. They tend to go viral because who doesn’t love the chance at something free, especially if its perceived as being very valuable by your target audience. Encourage your followers to share for additional chances to enter to reach even more people.
At the end of your giveaway, give everyone who entered a special “prize” as a thank you for entering. This can be a free quote or perhaps, a percentage off the installation price. Or maybe, the renting fee will be waived for the first 3 months for new customers. When following up with these leads and offering a prize, include testimonials and savings comparisons to really sweeten the deal.
Invest in a CRM system to track and follow-up with potential clients.
Unless you’re a really organized person, make your life a little easier by enlisting the help of a CRM system to easily store, track and manage leads. Following up with leads in a timely manner is KEY in sealing the deal, so you want a way to automate this process as much as possible until you are able to get on the phone with that lead and talk to them one-on-one.
There aren’t many solar CRM systems with done-for-you pages and a built-in contact manager and email platform, which is why RunwithSolar.info is so special. This software is designed with you in mind! Plus, reach out to us via email at anytime and we can create plug-and-play pages to fit your needs. We want to help you succeed – click here for more information on our solar marketing software.