Ep 19 – How to Market the Easiest Local Business

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Podcast Transcript

Shelly Miller 

Welcome to the Mindwhirl Marketing podcast with your host, Mike, Shelly Miller, your source for b2b business building information where we talk sales and marketing and give you the insider secrets you need to know to grow your business. We want to help you attract leads and sales and show you how to align sales and marketing. So you get more sales faster with less cost.

Mike Miller 

Absolutely. And, you know, we want to help you grow your business. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. Let us know what you want to learn about. You have a problem. Hit us up.

Shelly Miller 

We’ll solve it.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. Okay, ice. Stop, collaborate and listen. Okay. Well, um, so I had an idea. Right.

Shelly Miller 

Okay.

Mike Miller 

And you know, just like, Okay, what if what would you do today?

Shelly Miller 

Okay,

Mike Miller 

and I know you love playing these games.

Shelly Miller 

Do? I

Mike Miller 

don’t know, either. We’ll find out. I think you do. But anyway, we’ll see. Um, so and the thing, though, that amazes me is that you look really good. And it’s 1139. How much more work do you have to do tonight?

Shelly Miller 

Oh, like? Well, it depends. I mean, let’s see. I have a whole other rest of the month. That’s the what? 10th?

Mike Miller 

Yeah. Oh, you’re talking about the batching for the

Shelly Miller 

20 more days of social batching. Yeah. And a website update for college.

Mike Miller 

I know. But that’s the thing is that you just were handed the website update for the college like 30 minutes ago. Right. And it just has to be done by midnight.

Shelly Miller 

Sure. So Exactly. Oops, we forgot. Right? We forgot to tell you. I know it. Well. We love them anyway, doesn’t matter. That happens exactly. Exactly times that

Mike Miller 

happens. It’s a good thing. We stay up all night.

Shelly Miller  

Boring. You will stay up all night for you. Exactly.

Mike Miller 

Exactly. For you our clients. So we never sleep, you know, and we just all marketing all the time.

Shelly Miller 

Yes.

Mike Miller 

And I had an idea. So here we are doing a little podcast. Okay, call this like, since we’re not doing the video on it. We’ll call it like, Mindwhirl Marketing podcast, Noir, or dark.

Shelly Miller 

Gone dark gone dark.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. Well, like that. Yeah, mine one morning pockets gone dark. Yeah, that sounds cool.

Shelly Miller 

Is there a rhythm in it that you like or I don’t know, something else? Maybe?

Mike Miller 

Yeah, we’ll have to. We’ll have to figure it out. Anyway. Anyway, so I was wondering, you know, your take on this, here’s an idea. If you had to start over, you had nothing but but your knowledge, right? And you were going to do something else. And I’m not saying I’m going to limit it. So we do b2b. But just to make it easy for you know, everyone to understand? Because it’s easy to apply it to a simple example. Okay. Like, what if we started a landscape business over again? Or not over again? I mean, what if we started a landscape business? If we had, if we had to start all over again, the easiest thing to like jump into would be something easy, you know? And some people would be like, home inspector, yeah. Home inspector

Shelly Miller 

all neat and cool, like a detective or something. Right?

Mike Miller 

Yeah. Well, you think that they would have to have some kind of certification or something to be to be able to do that. Right. It’s like almost a bill you

Shelly Miller 

would think that?

Mike Miller 

Exactly. You would think that they would,

Shelly Miller 

and and we must say maybe they do now, they didn’t when we bought our first house. Right. So we didn’t know that.

Mike Miller 

Well. And they’re notorious for not seeing things.

Shelly Miller 

Yes. When you hire the majority of them who give you a contract that doesn’t say that they guarantee what they say.

Mike Miller 

Right? Exactly. I love that, too. It’s here it is. Here’s what we saw. But there could be other things. Yeah. And

Shelly Miller 

we’re not responsible. We’re not responsible, because you just signed this that says we’re not responsible for things we might not have seen.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. I love that.

Shelly Miller 

Hey, my marketing clients listen. Can you imagine in any other industry doing that? wouldn’t even want to, I mean, why then have a service? I’m going to do this for you. I’m going to take your 1500 dollars. But but there’s a good chance I didn’t see all kinds of stuff and you’re going to be okay with that. You know, even if you move in and your water heater explodes, I don’t know five days within that, you know, you move in, which happened to Mike and I.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, exactly. But also, we went to a service station and got our radiator flushed. And then, four days later, it exploded. And we towed it back to them. And they said, We put something in it.

Shelly Miller 

Yeah, we did.

Yeah, we did.

Shelly Miller 

The two people are who work on their cars all the time. Right? know everything about a car, right?

Mike Miller 

I like changing my own oil under the shade tree.

Shelly Miller 

Yeah, we got it. We got a garage out back with all the tools, right?

Mike Miller 

Yeah, exactly. No, so and that’s a good point. So like, if we were gonna start over under the shade.

Shelly Miller 

Tree shade tree mechanic, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mike Miller 

Oh, you’re fun. Yeah, I try. Um, so basically, if we were going to start over, we would have something that we would do that wouldn’t be like that. You know where we’re going? Yeah, you know, we did the best we could, but good luck.

Shelly Miller 

Okay,

Mike Miller 

right. Okay. Cuz that’s what it’s like, if, if we were gonna do home inspection.

Shelly Miller 

Oh, good luck. Everybody else. Yeah. Okay.

Mike Miller 

Yeah,

Shelly Miller 

I got lost for a minute.

Mike Miller 

Sorry. That’s okay. I’m confusing. So basically, what would we do if we were going to say start over? And the easiest thing would be like landscaping. Right? How would you market that business?

Shelly Miller 

Okay.

Mike Miller 

So, you know,

Shelly Miller 

like, it’s local marketing. Right. And that’s the first thing it’s local market.

Mike Miller 

Exactly. Exactly. Which is interesting when you, you know, compare it to b2b marketing. Right. And the client magnet system, it’s still it’s still works. But it’s a little different. And for that reason, it’s kind of a different beast. Right. Right. Because, you know, you use content in local marketing. But you, but it’s not. It’s not the centerpiece of, of your marketing.

Shelly Miller 

Yes. Okay. Right. Yeah.

Mike Miller 

So the the way to, to me, I mean, give me your ideas. But to me, I’m thinking that, you know, the first thing I would do is, well, you know, obviously, get together some guy, some guys and some trucks. You know, yes. What

Shelly Miller 

you’ll need for the equipment, right. And the employees. Okay,

Mike Miller 

exactly. So, so assuming I have that I have that down and I got guys like waiting. Steve and Ricky, they’re waiting to go okay. You know, they’re like, okay, yeah, they’re like, just, you know, you know, my cage. Just tell us whenever, we’ll be there, man.

Shelly Miller 

Okay.

Mike Miller 

Right. Uh huh. So, um, what I would do is go Okay, so who uses who uses landscaping? Yeah. Well, homeowners, but then, like, subdivisions,

Shelly Miller 

right. So you can be even be commercial or homeowners. Right.

Mike Miller 

But so then the money seems like it’s in the commercial. And the commercial properties because like, you could do a lot of homeowners but if you did apartment complexes,

Shelly Miller 

right. And townhouses and churches?

Mike Miller 

Yeah. And townhouses and condos and churches and city? You know, maybe there’s because you know, asplundh? Yes. Isn’t trained by the state. Right. Yeah, they sell to the government. So that’s who I would like, make a list of those people.

Shelly Miller 

Okay,

Mike Miller 

you see what I mean? I do so like, because the other way is to create a website. And I know this is this sounds weird, but and that’s kind of why I wanted to talk about it. So usually, you know, if you’re going to compete with other if you’re a plumber and you want to compete with other plumbers, or a landscaper and you want to compete with other landscapers, you would you would think, Okay, I got to make a website. And I’ve got to do SEO on that website for all of my cities that I cover. I want to be on the first page of Google. I got to have my map, right? And have my map information all filled out. I’ve got to be active on Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter. So that, you know, people can get me socially and ask questions. Maybe even also schedule with me through Facebook. And the website.

Shelly Miller 

Yes. Got to make it easy for anyone to Oh, I see the scheduling and all that more so of the residential than the commercial.

Mike Miller 

Right.

Shelly Miller 

So you got to you got to be easy like, well, for example, garage doors, the spring always breaks in a garage door. overnight. It’s always in the morning when you’re getting ready to go to work. Yeah, well, half of the garage door. People don’t answer their phone at 6am. Sorry, garage door people, but it’s the truth. I used to be one. So they don’t answer their phone.

Mike Miller 

Right.

Shelly Miller 

So if you’re the one who has a appointment scheduler on their website, or a service who answers the phone, you’ll get that? You’ll get that service call,

Mike Miller 

right?

Shelly Miller 

Yeah, you’ll be the one they choose because you will have answered the phone.

Mike Miller 

Exactly. Yeah, the one who serves them the best, especially in their hour of need. That’s the one they’ll go with and and the price really doesn’t matter.

Shelly Miller 

No, it doesn’t. You need to get out to go to work. Right. But that’s again, that’s just like the residential lawn service that’s residential, would be more so with appointments than the city or the homeowners association or the condo or the townhouse Association, the commercial,

Mike Miller 

right? Yes. And, and see, like with garage door installers, or garage door companies, they do residential and commercial, right? Some plumbers do some electricians do as well. So landscaping could as well. Right. But if you were going to start because the other thing you have to do is if you want to get really big. Well, here’s the here’s what I know. So what was the guy, the painter who just popped as a painting Jose’s painting, so they popped up in Atlanta, and they had, they had the, the website, they had the Google ads, they had the Google placement. They were on advertising on Facebook. They were doing everything. They had billboards, and radio ads, and sponsored the news. and all kinds of other little things. Yes. They were everywhere.

Shelly Miller 

Yeah. Yeah. Every every time you turn your head, they were there. Exactly.

Mike Miller 

And the guy

Shelly Miller 

had Volkswagen bugs with their logos on it.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. And that was and they had Volkswagens, and they were all over town driving around jose’s painting. And so everywhere you turn, there was Jose’s painting, which was like the Coca Cola play. But for a local, small local painting company. Well, within a year, he, Jose, whoever Jose, if there was a Jose, he made, like several million dollars in the first year, like the company went from nothing, I think within two years, to like $5 million. And then it got so popular, he sold it. So that means someone wanted to buy it. So they bought it, and he probably made $10 million off of it and retired. So in like two, two and a half years, a painter, you know, has like $10 million in the bank, let’s say five, let’s say $2 million in the bank. That’s an amazing explosion of wealth, you know, wealth creation, just like turning it on. Boom. And what and what how did he do it? He was everywhere. But he did it on residential.

Shelly Miller 

Right. He did.

Mike Miller 

And so and that’s the thing is that residential is hard, because think of what you have to do, like, you know, Morgan and Morgan for the people. The lawyers,

Shelly Miller 

right. But what do you mean you have to do?

Mike Miller 

They’re everywhere as well. You know, they’re in they’re still advertising. They’re on the TV. They’re on the radio they’re on? Yeah, they have to stay in front of you in as many ways as possible. And they’re the ones who get the majority of the business, right, because they’re in front of you all the time.

Shelly Miller 

Mm hmm.

Mike Miller 

So but if you had to start over, would you start that route? right if you were going to build a business right off the bat Just start that way.

Shelly Miller 

I wouldn’t know. Because I know, I know. I look at it from a marketing standpoint. So I want to have other businesses because I don’t I’ve never just wanted to have one. So we start other businesses.

Mike Miller 

Yeah.

Shelly Miller 

Well, for me, I know how involved marketing is. I know that you got to be in front of everybody. And I also know about customer reviews with local residential businesses. Yeah. So if you go commercial, the commercial route, it’s a lot easier. So I would go the commercial route, either an electrician or landscape. Yeah, although I’ve heard that the landscape, the commercial landscape are hard to. The contracts are harder to get because everybody wants those, because they’re easy work. And so it’s about price. Okay, so and good enough work. So if the price is they look at the price first. Okay. And then they go, well, are they you know, many people, they’re not very happy with their townhouse associations, crew? lawn crew, right? Yeah. But they’re cheap. And then their association fees don’t go up. So they keep them? Because they’re good enough. Right. So, you know, maybe an electrician who does commercial would be better?

Mike Miller 

Maybe, maybe, okay. But is there enough margin? And in what, you know, is there enough margin there? And if Can you can you make it up with volume of work?

Shelly Miller 

I believe that you can commercial because commercial, you could also include government, it just have to take a couple extra steps to do government. And I’m including I’m clumping it together. Because if you’re doing commercial, yeah, then you’re prepared to do the work that government offers. You just have to do additional paperwork. And that is just administrative. And not just as in doesn’t mean you don’t have to think through it. But it could mean the difference between $250,000 a year and 500. Because you get contracts from the government for the commercial. Work.

Mike Miller 

Yes. Yeah.

Shelly Miller 

Like the stone people that we knew, right? So he did, he did residential stone. Right. Then he started doing commercial stone. Then he started getting commercial government contracts for stone. Right. Well, then he bought a plane. Yeah, he wouldn’t have bought the plane. I mean, let’s face it, he wouldn’t have bought been able to buy the plane with the residential stone.

Mike Miller 

Right. Exactly. So no, no, and that’s a good point. Because basically, when you go from residential work to commercial work, you’re you, you’re really having to cut the price on it in order to get the commercial work, right. So and as but as you go to government work, you kind of are able to charge more

Shelly Miller 

well, and not necessarily. So commercial work. For example, this is this is what I found. So if you were trying to do like a homeowner’s association, for example, right. Well, those are cutthroat. That’s what everybody wants to do. But they don’t necessarily go and try to get the city job where the city doesn’t have enough workers to do the downtown. Like, you know, in our in our old town, the pots in the in the edging of all of the the planters, yes, they don’t have enough people. So they they contracted out the job to a commercial landscape. Landscape crew.

Mike Miller 

Right.

Shelly Miller 

I don’t think that that is so cutthroat. I think that there was a couple of bids, and you did have to be the least probably, but you probably didn’t have to cut way down like you did if you were trying to be a commercial landscape. Crew Who does? townhouses?

Mike Miller 

Yeah, that’s a good point.

Shelly Miller 

Government has more money than residential do and residential houses even though it’s commercial because they’re doing Hoa? Yeah, each person who lives in those houses pays an HOA and none of them ever wants their HOA fees to go up.

Mike Miller 

Right. Exactly. So Exactly. And the government probably has to use union or something. Maybe it’s union?

Shelly Miller 

I don’t I don’t think so. We’ve done government working. We didn’t have to be union. Well, um,

Mike Miller 

I mean, for I don’t know why the sound went out like that. That was way. For landscaping. I’m wondering if you have to be union. I’m thinking about asplundh.

Shelly Miller 

Okay, I don’t think so because you don’t have to be certified to be Oh, asplundh I guess I think it’s like a you have to be a certified to do AC you know air conditioner or you have to be certified and go to school so you might have to be Union for that garage door. person doesn’t go to school for it right? A lot a landscape. landscaper doesn’t go to school for it right? A tree, man who you know is up by powerlines? Yeah, yeah, he might have to go to school for that. So he might be union?

Mike Miller 

Yes, that’s my guess. Yeah. I think you’re right. That is they are tree tree guys, actually. So, um, but you know what I was thinking what? Well, so commercial seems to be like the way to do it, because I’m thinking that you can get a list of these people to go after. And then you can like call them?

Shelly Miller 

Yes.

Mike Miller 

It’s pretty cheap, pretty effective. Pretty instant. It’s like an instant on. So when, who is it? Darrell, I remember Ricky, who was it, Darrell and Ricky, Steve. Steve and Ricky. So, you know, because you got to get them working. So the fastest way would be to, you know, start calling those commercial, you know, churches? He always

Shelly Miller 

Yes, yeah.

Mike Miller 

So that would be with

Shelly Miller 

the list of those would be, you wouldn’t have to think about that a lot to figure out who those are rolling in. And you still could use the phone book, which would be easier than having to buy lists, right. I mean, you could buy lists, and then you get more contact information. But you could literally use the yellow pages on some of those still,

Mike Miller 

right. Exact or website for the city. Definitely fun church. Yes. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So so that would be like the obvious first step. Then the next step, though, is you could do a similar thing. Like for instance, in North Atlanta. What’s the number one? subdivision?

Shelly Miller 

Country Club of the South

Mike Miller 

There you go.

Mike Miller 

Perfect. So mail them?

Shelly Miller 

Yes. Yeah. You can just pick that neighborhood and mail the postcards, letters or whatever you want.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So come up with a reason why they should hire you for the landscaping, and mail them. Yeah, but not just, you know, obviously not. Not once, many, many times,

Shelly Miller 

I can’t just mail them one postcard, and then they’ll know know all about me and call me and I’ll make a million dollars. Exactly. That’s my favorite thing to say. Because people really, I mean, all of us just think that we can do something once and I know we’ve made it well.

Mike Miller 

Exactly.

Mike Miller 

It reminds me of Dan Kennedy, when he said that if Val pack. Like if the conversion rate of a Val pack was 10% Yeah. 10 15% they would have to deliver it on a, you know, a pallet, right? Every to every house because everybody has so many advertisers. Yeah, exactly. So it doesn’t do you know, one time? Doesn’t work doesn’t work. Exactly. So, um, but the thing is, is that, like, that’s the that’s the I believe that it’s that simple. Like when I was thinking about it,

Shelly Miller 

well, wait a minute, you believe what is that simple,

Mike Miller 

that if you were going to start a landscape business,

Shelly Miller 

Uh huh.

Mike Miller 

That we just laid out the strategy for making it profitable.

Shelly Miller 

Gotcha.

Mike Miller 

Like, it’s so simple. But it doesn’t involve the thing that like, we sell, like digital, digital marketing. You can like okay, you get a website, no problem. But do you’d have to do Google ads. You don’t have to do Google Ads if you can get business from the commercial side. Right? See what I mean I do. You there’s there’s ways around the internet. There is that may well that are a faster, which is interesting. Because the internet supposed to be instant. But it’s not instant to a sale for a landscaper I would think Colin these you know, HOA fees and banks and you know, shopping centers and all these other places that need, you know, landscaping, I think that that would be faster to get a sale. And if you wanted to do residential as well as commercial, you could just focus on the richest neighbor neighborhoods. It’s true, because why focus on every neighborhood?

Shelly Miller 

Right? Just focus on the ones that are rich or hear about their lawn care about their lawns or closest to you, your, you know, your, your, your shops location, closest to where most of your employees live, you know, all that. Yeah, you can look at all of that. All of those would help you grow, grow that business quickly and save money.

Mike Miller 

Exactly. So, um, you know, Paul’s Paul painting. He does a painting. Sorry. Well, I Paul Yeah, Jose’s painting. I used to know, Paul’s painter. When Jose painting they did the digital marketing, but actually the omni channel, you know, strategy in the local market. Right?

Shelly Miller 

They did.

Mike Miller 

And they were everywhere. And they probably spent a lot of money doing it. But they made a lot of money doing it. They built a huge business, like almost overnight. So you can go that route, and it works. But there doesn’t seem to be a half measure on that one.

Shelly Miller 

Okay, what do you mean by half measure?

Mike Miller 

I mean, like, hmm, you can’t have one billboard, and a website that you can’t really chat through. And then not do any SEO, not care about being on the first page.

Shelly Miller 

You can’t do your marketing half assed is what you’re saying. Yeah, okay.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, exactly. You can’t just like, How much is it for a month for SEO? 750. What do I What can I get for 300? kind of thing, which a lot of lot of people want to do, right? The answer is nothing. You can’t get anything for $300. You know, I don’t do I don’t do local though. So I’m not 100% on that. But it just seems like that is the wrong way to build that business from scratch. I see. I agree. And I feel like that’s interesting. Because we’re digital marketers. So there’s a there’s a known I’m trying to say it’s a it’s a weird feeling. Oh,

Shelly Miller 

I do understand. It’s not a weird feeling when you’re 50. And you know how much work everything takes and you know that you can open this business, and it will take less if you do it this way. To me the weird feeling is wisdom. You realize you’re getting wise.

Mike Miller 

Oh, okay. That’s what it means to me. So I’m going to take that as a compliment. You should.

Shelly Miller 

Okay, now I do say so myself. Nice.

Mike Miller 

Pat yourself. I’m

Shelly Miller 

doing it. Yeah.

Mike Miller 

I love it. Okay. Yeah, just just own it. That’s how it goes. Well, anyway, that’s that’s what I was thinking. Gotcha. So

Shelly Miller 

fun conversation.

Mike Miller 

Yeah,

Shelly Miller 

I think so. So now we’ll consider the commercial landscaper or commercial electrician.

Mike Miller 

Right? Exactly. The only thing is, I’d need a partner as an electrician, someone who’s a master electrician. Actually, that’s a good idea. If you’re a master electrician and you want a partner who knows marketing, who will do it.

Shelly Miller 

The marketing and sales just tells you that it’s a lot about calling and a lot of people don’t like to do that either. Right? Where are your people?

Mike Miller 

Where are you people call us. We’ll work something out. We’ll both get rich.

Shelly Miller 

And there you go.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. So anyway. Hey, thanks. Thanks for listening. We really appreciate you listening to the mind roll marketing podcast gone dark.

Shelly Miller 

Yes, we do. We appreciate you. Yeah.

Mike Miller 

And we’ll see you real soon.

Shelly Miller 

Thanks again, for listening to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google podcast Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are sold. Plus, check us out on YouTube. Grab some marketing tips and insight and subscribe to our channel while you’re there.

About Shelly Miller

Entrepreneur, marketer and social psychologist - I help you make the most of your business with marketing, online and offline.

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