By Patricia Olivier-Wilson. A well-executed Web site is a powerful tool. It inexpensively presents a project portfolio and establishes credibility by presenting your profile, testimonials, and awards.
But a remodeling business rarely draws clients solely because of its Internet presence. Few clients log onto the Internet and search for "remodeler."
Traditional marketing materials need to drive prospects to your site -- yard and truck signs, stationery, business cards, direct mail, newsletters, and ads. Every element of a strong marketing package should include your Web address. Most homeowners will use it to learn about the firm before their first call. Wayne Booze of DesignLine Remodelers, Richmond, Va., says his leads use his Web site (designlineinc.com) as a clearinghouse, to critique the company. "Homeowners like the anonymity of the Internet," he says, "and when they are 'sold' on the company, they then make contact."
Here are some tips on how to avoid sending mixed signals with your Web site and materials:
Make sure everything carries the same visual and text message. It's disconcerting for a Web visitor to be impressed with a well-designed and well-written site, only to be disappointed by follow-up materials. Inconsistency threatens credibility.
Be faithful to your corporate identity. Don't use one logo or color scheme on your Web site, another on your stationery, yard signs, or direct mail. You'll confuse branding efforts.
Incorporate your newsletters into your Web site. A past client whose home is featured may not want to give her only copy to a friend but may send a link to an online article. Directing a prospect to your online portfolio keeps the lead warm until a face-to-face meeting. A dynamic, useful, informational site can help usher a client into your closing room.
--Patrice Olivier-Wilson is a partner with marketing/communications firm Biz-comm Inc., Reston, Va., www.biz-comm.com.