Ryan Snook

There’s a whole network of people you work with — plumbers, electricians, realtors, architects — who are looking for leads and are keeping up with clients via the Web. “It seems like we’re all struggling with the same thing: social media, websites, engaging pay-per-click advertising,” says remodeler and consultant Mike Bruno, who realized that if he and his local network combined forces, their efforts could be more effective.

Bruno’s Small Business Consulting Group (SBCG) developed the Web-based IndustryAlliance.org to help companies and associations maintain their Internet marketing and social media strategies. Through IA, Bruno combines his Matawan, N.J.–based, Stone Creek Builders leads and customer base as well as the leads and customer bases of a mortgage broker, an electrician, a plumber, and an architect. “We direct those leads and customers back to a site that’s branded for our group,” Bruno says. “Now instead of [each] business owner spending two hours a day trying to tweet 50 times and working on blogging and going on Facebook … we divvy up the responsibilities of the constant engagement in social media.”

Bruno’s group site is set up as a dedicated landing page for lead capturing. Each member can update their information, and their individual page links to the landing page. They can upload photos and video and tie into social media. There are also lead-capturing forms and the tools necessary to create a direct e-mail campaign.

Members also have access to website analytics for the site and their individual page. Through HubSpot, a contact management system ( click here for more about HubSpot), SBCG monitors everything for each individual group. “[We] see what their traffic is, how the SEO [search engine optimization] is, see if they’re using the right keywords to get the most traffic,” Bruno says. “We help them establish and manage new campaigns.”

“Doing all this on my own was way too much for me,” Bruno says. Now he has “a group ... pooling resources financially and time-wise, splitting up the pie as to who’s taking care of what on the to-do list, and [we’re] gaining more market share.” Bruno says he spent thousands of dollars on an individual website and got no leads. Now he gets three or four leads a week, and his Web traffic is up 50% to 60%.

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.