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Will Your Company Make It to the next Decade? Or be a Statistic?

After working solely on marketing programs for companies for the last decade with literally hundreds of companies worldwide, I’ve learned vital differences between the companies that really thrive long-term and the ones that get their 15 minutes of fame and go the way of Velcro shoes.

My company delivers SEO specifically for companies like yours, and we’ve been doing it longer than anyone in the biz. Now, maybe that sounds like a brag, but is actually stated to explain what an amazing window of observation of this whole industry I’ve had. You see, I get an amazingly objective and analytical view of these companies, their owners, their habits, and most importantly – I’ve seen who the stars are and who buries themselves.

So what I’ve done is I’ve categorized by name, some of my top observations of the guys who did not make it and why. Now, by observing this, we can understand failure and do the exact opposite. By doing so, we become the guys that will still be here next decade.

So here we go:

1. The Criminal   I’ve had clients that commit insurance fraud, embezzle money from their partners, deal drugs and even corporate espionage. Two I know are in jail, one bankrupt, another being sued out of house and home, one has ruined his reputation in this entire industry and one has even lost his life and family to drugs and alcohol. I’m willing to bet you even know one of these guys. Karma is a bitch. Skip the criminality bit.

2. The Blamer  – This is the guy who knows everything is everyone else’s fault – His advertisers, his employees, his office manager, his customers, the insurance companies, everyone but…well, him. The winners are responsible for where they’re at, good or bad.

3. The Magic Bullet guy –  He thinks there is one “magic bullet” to creating a successful company. And he really tries every magic bullet and none of them work. There is no single magic bullet to creating a successful company, ask anyone who has been around forever in this biz (Like Jeff Cross!)

4. The Veruca Salt guy – Remember her? From Willy Wonka? She was the spoiled brat girl who said, “I WANT IT NOW!” Well, don’t we all. But it isn’t like that. The fact is that only perseverance, intelligence, knowledge, hard work and hard-won experience will get you a winning company. Pay your dues.

5. The part-timer – He simply won’t put in the hours, effort or time. Even when the work is plentiful, he’s home by 5pm! When times are tough all he does is complain about it on forums and social media sites. We all know where that effort should be going, right?

6. The Industry hopper – This is the guy who takes on a new industry when it’s convenient. Like in 2008-2009 when home building and remodeling was dead. All of the sudden they were all restorers! But…they weren’t. They didn’t learn the ropes and thought that business was just going to be easy money. Well, anyone in a biz like this one, we know what it’s like. It is its own beast. You have to really specializes in this industry to really thrive at it.

7. The Short Term Thinker – He can’t plan or think past Friday. You can tell him until you’re blue in the face that rainy season ends or that there are lulls in this business, but does he plan for it? So he ends up having to lay-off staff and barely makes it out of the slow season, if he does at all. I wish I could tell you how many people I’ve seen this mindset bankrupt in the decade. Probably more on this point than any other.

Now, I could probably come up with another ten of these and make this article way too long, but these are the ones that roll right off the tongue as the most common that I’ve seen, the common company killers.

Remember, economies go up and down, the US dollar value changes, Presidents change, insurance companies get regulated, there is no such thing as all staying the same. But there are companies I know, lots of them, that thrive through all of that. How? By doing the exact opposite of those things above.

This may seem to be common business sense. But, apparently not.

To your success!

Dan York, CEO

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

www.moldremovalmarketing.com

How many different sources of marketing do you need to become a multi-million dollar company?

Well, of course this would first depend on the level of success that you want. If you’re just looking for a sub $1 million company, well, the answer is, not many. But for most of you reading this article, I imagine that you’re looking to create multi-million dollar companies and for a few of you, companies that are doing tens of millions.

As written in my prior articles, there is no such thing as a “magic bullet” to explode your company. I know that a lot of companies in the digital age, including all of the marketing gurus that we see all over Facebook, etc. want you to believe otherwise, but it’s just not reality.

So how many different forms of marketing do you need to create a company as successful as you want it to be? 

As many as it takes.

The formula is simple though. Now, it might sound obvious,  but I assure you it escapes more business owners than I would like to admit. And the formula simply stated as this: Do you make more money than you spend on the marketing program? 

Would you spend $1000 to make $2000? I would. Would you spend $5000 to make $20,000? I would. Anything that gives me multiple times what I spend on them, I continue doing them. Then, you keep adding more and more. On top of this, the longer you keep them in play, the more they seem to snowball over time returning more and more times what you’ve spent.

The biggest issue I see a lot of business owners do is that they’re constantly changing marketing programs. They’re jumping from one type to the next, from one company to the next – with no persistence or stable progression on any one of them. And then sometimes to make things worse, they don’t learn to balance multiple marketing programs.  They just turn off one and try another, killing the progress and growth of the first one. No company of any significant size ever does that. They have multiple things going at any given time, usually six or more, stabilized and consistent.

So there in lies the trick. Can you persist at one marketing source and make it work through all of the barriers that you will inevitably encounter?  And then can you progress through 2, then 3, then 4, and as many as 6 or more at any given time, and take all of them through to success? 

Stopping one because it’s not as big as you want, even though it’s getting you a return on your spend, is more disruptive to your company’s growth than you realize, and frankly, bad management of your marketing department.

Now, all marketing programs will inherit a snowball effect at some point. They gain more and more traction. And this is the crucial part of the progression that most novice business owners don’t know or realize.

Dan York , Founder & CEO of Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

www.moldremovalmarketing.com

The Magic Bullet for Phone Calls?

Does it exist? The Magic Bullet to get more phone calls?

 

Every year, new mold removal companies and young new mold removal company owners emerge and try to discover that magic bullet to get more phone calls. The “one” thing they could do to get the leg-up on the competition. I see them asking this question weekly in the online forums and when you talk to them at the trade shows.

 

The issue is: There is NO magic bullet. There never was and there never will be. Not in this business or any other for that matter.

 

New mold removal company owners will soon learn what the older, more experienced owners know: You have to build a business the old-fashioned way. You have to develop relationships, find and stabilize various different types of marketing lines and advertising lines, change with the times and  technology to not get pigeon-holed into old unworkable advertising sources (phone books, etc.) and of course, do good by your customers. I always tell the newer business owners to get that get-rich-quick garbage out of their heads as fast as possible as it is clouding what they really need to do.

 

Young guys, ask the older guys out there, what do you do that really gets you the new business? First, if they tell you (why would they train their future competition?), you’ll find out that they do many different sources of generating new business. They do SEO, Pay-Per-Click, some still do phone books, networking and building relationships with insurance companies and Insurance adjusters, networking with plumbing houses, paying lead generation companies and other business development activities. Some even buy into Franchises just to get that business that comes from being part of a big Franchise group.

 

So mentally, get set up for the long-hauls, the relationship build, the one by one customer building that needs to inevitably happen. Don’t shortcut it. We’re one of the oldest internet marketing companies out here in this industry, and believe me, we’ve seen what happens to the guys that shortcut this process. They don’t last long.

Sincerely,

 

Dan York

www.moldremovalmarketing.com

 

How to Dominate Your Service Area, not be a Competitor

Tired of competing? Want to dominate? Then listen up.

I get calls every week from guys that all they talk about is their competitors and what they are doing. The funny thing is that they are usually paying attention to some mid-level company and competing with them. They’re not even someone really worth paying attention to.

As I’ve said before, I’ve talked with hundreds of companies in this industry from across the US and Canada and Europe. I know who the market dominators are (my clients!).

Here’s some tips on how to dominate your market:

 

  • Stop comparing your self to mediocre companies. Change your mindset and raise your goals and look at the biggest companies in your area – the ones who are really winning and making money. The ones you see everywhere.
  • Quit getting all worked up looking at “that other guy’s website.” Who cares, unless of course he is the market leader, then you can look away!
  • Stop doing things “your friend” says work in another state or country. In this business, you have to market this differently in every region of the country, especially on the internet.
  • Go logically where the demographics are for the business: The elderly, put a nice ad in the phonebook (they’re cheap now!), 20’s through the 60 year olds – Google/the internet – use us, referrals – network the insurance companies, plumbers and property mgmt groups, etc.
  • If you’re not a big franchise, don’t try to be. Carve out your niche of  “the local  company”, people still love that and some market leaders do better than the franchises doing just that.  Stick a nice big picture of your wife and kids on your website while you’re at it.
  • Above all, don’t be a burn and churn operation. Too many people, especially the newcomers, are too short sighted in this business. Do a great job, treat your customers with respect, help them do the insurance filing, etc. That’s the real stuff that will grow you stably. Plus those are the people who write a testimonial for you on your website or Google Maps and remember that 97% of internet users will check you out online prior to ever calling you. If you have 0 history of testimonials or ratings online, or worse, bad reviews, that will kill your call volume.

One other point to remember to dominate a market. We frequently see people doing things recommended by what we call “A Maven”. A Maven is a so-called “expert.” He’s the guy who gives his “expert” advice to you about what you should do. I learned this word in the car business growing up.  He is the guy who goes along with his girlfriend’s friend to go car shopping and is the “expert” and “helps” her get a good deal on the car (or blows the deal altogether). Forget these Mavens or “experts”. Stop listening and only look, talk is cheap. Getting advice on what “works”? Does it? I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen the Maven give their “expert” advice only to make their “friend” less money as a result. Work with real professionals, ones that do  it for a living. The ones that are big and winning. Get advice from mediocrity, get mediocrity. Get advice from a small-timer, become small time. You won’t see me doing my own taxes, I hire great accountants for that. I don’t get Maven advice on my taxes.

Here’s to your success and market domination!

Sincerely,

Dan York

CEO and Founder

www.moldremovalmarketing.com

 

What is your internet marketing company actually doing for your business?

What is your internet marketing company actually doing for your business?

There’s great sales people out there. There’s a lot of well-meaning people out there too. But in marketing, business is business.

Sure it helps to like who you’re working with, building great relationships and scratching each others back, but in the end if it doesn’t result in more revenues for your company, what’s actually happening?

And with the type of marketing with this industry, we’re talking a seriously specialized market where “just anyone” is not able to get the job done.

Fact: Building a successful marketing program takes time and patience, it can be frustrating and even downright maddening, but in the end it works if you persist through all that. But what should the product of all of that work result in for you, as the company owner?

One thing: Phone Calls. The rest is up to you guys.

Those are the results you want from your internet marketing company. Just getting high up in Google alone doesn’t result in more phone calls, there’s other things that need to happen. Just updating your website doesn’t mean more phone calls. Just getting on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t mean more phone calls.

So, when you are listening to sales pitch after sales pitch, listen up for the key point: “we’re generating real phone calls for our clients.” Not “we’re increasing web traffic” or “we’ll get you more likes on Facebook” or “we’ll get you 1,000 Twitter followers.”  All of those things sound interesting and on the cutting edge of business development, but in the end, is it actually resulting in new business?

So, after the sales person has pitched you, make sure you ask them, “are you actually getting phone calls from that for clients?” If and when they say “yes”, then ask, “for mold companies like ours?” If that answer is no, beware. This biz is a different kind of beast. Getting business developed for auto parts stores or Electricians is very, very different.

So, in the end, what is your internet marketing company really doing for you? If the answer is not getting you more phone calls, why do they still have your business?

Maybe you should call Shana at my company and ask her why  😉

 

Sincerely,

 

Dan York

Founder, Stellar-eMarketing

 

What do the Successful Companies Do that the Unsuccessful Ones Don’t?

I’m in the fortunate position where I’ve personally worked with literally hundreds of companies, small and large. I’m also always getting calls for advice as to what to do to increase the size of my client’s companies.

Out of all of the possible answers to this,  I’ve narrowed it down to some of the top characteristics I’ve seen from the most successful companies I’ve worked with as compared to the most unsuccessful:

They are hustlers. Sales and marketing make up a large percentage of their thoughts and conversations. They know to expand a business you have to sell and market like crazy. They come to work thinking about how to sell more. They know there is no such thing as luck in business.  They create their own luck.

They are survivors. They persist through anything. There is no such thing as a “bad economy” or a “slow season” to them, they see that as a market opportunity to get more business while everyone else is complaining about it and dying out. When things get slow, they kick up their advertising and their networking to compensate for it, not complain. They do something about it.  Then when the season picks up, they own even more of the market share.

They are everywhere. Billboards, painted vans, internet marketing, lead generation, Mr. Coupon, Valupack, networking plumbers, property mangers and insurance companies. They don’t think with just getting that one call (small think), they think with a whole community, they want everyone to know who they are (big think).  They think way beyond getting “one call”.

They are not stupid with their ad budgets. I know a guy who spent $10k on a postcard campaign that got him one phone call – no jobs. He went bankrupt 2 months later. I know another guy who spends $300k+ per year for radio, he is one of the most well-known in his city. I have clients that make over 50% of their gross income from our service. They spend a lot of money on advertising and marketing, but it’s not stupid.  It all gets them an ROI. They know how much a marketing campaign is making them.  They don’t spend money on things that don’t get a return.  They spend lots of money on many different marketing campaigns…that make them money and drive phone calls.

They are great business men. It’s pretty simple actually: They’re organized, they track profits and losses, track calls and where they come from, they watch for high profit jobs & high phone call volume areas, then market more to those areas, they invest in the future of their company, they hire good/pleasant employees that work hard and don’t turn-off their customers and vendors with bad attitudes.  They are not fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants types.

They are positive people. They think things will work 1st, then they get it to work. They don’t think that things won’t work first and then try it (just to prove they right that it didn’t work). I can tell right away one of these types when they call my company. They start off saying something like, “I saw your ad, I know it doesn’t work, but I wanted to hear what you have to say anyway.” They’ve already decided it won’t work, so of course it won’t.  You don’t meet big business owners with mindsets like that.  My most successful clients say things like, “I’m a believer, but it’s so hard to find a good company to work with”  or  “It’s not working yet, but we’ll figure it out eventually.” See, very different mindset. These guys have already decided that it will work…and then do the work to make it happen.  They decide and persist.

Think like a big company, become one of them. Think small, stay small.

Sincerely,

Dan York, Founder and CEO

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

Are you right for our company? Are we right for you?

How do you know if we are right for your company? We claim to be one of the first, most experienced and effective online mold removal marketing companies in the world right? Does that mean we are right for you? Maybe not. Sometimes we straight-up turn down clients to work with us, so let’s see if we’re a match or not:

Our sole focus is how to increase your revenues. That’s it. But anyone who is anyone in business knows that there are no guarantees in marketing and it takes the client, together with us, to make a successful team to make a high-revenue generating program.

Does everyone generate revenue with us? Nope. On average our clients can make a 5-10x average ROI, some stars way, way higher. A lot of our clients would never consider leaving us.

So, who are the guys that are a perfect match to work with us? What do they have in common? Here is what we’ve found:

  1. Persistence. The most successful guys know nothing comes easy, they are persistent and don’t give up along the way when the going gets tough. They don’t “company bounce” from service to service. They’re in it to win it.
  2. They buy value, not low prices. You won’t hear them say things like, “this other guy’s prices are cheaper” or “you’re too expensive.” They ask questions like, “why are your prices more expensive?” or “Can you guys actually help me grow my marketing results?” They understand that you get what you pay for.
  3. They want a valued partner. They aren’t looking for “just anyone” to work with, which could be anyone from India or any other country that does internet marketing, they want someone who actually knows what they are doing and they don’t waste time. Cheap and exported wastes time, time is money, they know that. 
  4. They want to stay on the cutting edge of marketing. Anyone who is stuck in the phone book days and just is in it to “try it to see if it works” generally gives up too soon to reap the benefits of it working. But take the 30 year old who grew up in the internet generation and knows that’s how everyone is looking these days? He kills it, great ROI. Simple viewpoint differences.
  5. They know there is no 1-trick-pony in marketing. The best guys use us to accentuate the other 4-5 great marketing campaigns they have going, they don’t ONLY depend on that. No experienced business owner depends on 1 marketing program and expects to really make a big business.

That’s the bottom line to know if we’re a good fit for each other. Some guys, well, it is feast or famine.  When asked what their plans are for the slow season: they don’t have one.  Their true plan is to just stress out until busy season comes around, maybe blame other people or things for their company’s slowness.  This is a losing attitude, no marketing company can help that company.  No one ever wins a race by dragging their feet, and let’s face it, when it comes to any business, it is a race to be the one called first.

Dan York

Founder, Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

Why you need to fire some of your clients…

Well, that’s certainly an alarming thing to say. However, anyone who has been in business a long time already knows what this means.

Some clients you just don’t want. They’re not good for you and your business, you and your employees. And you have to let them go.

We all want to grow our businesses, we all want more success, but there are certain clients that hinder your success. And you have to become expert at isolating who those guys are and firing them as clients.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, there are just people that are wrong for you as a company. They might be right for someone else’s company, but they are wrong for you and you know it.

Think about this: 80% of all of your complaints come from less than 20% of your clients. And the majority of the worst complaints you’ll usually find come from less than 5% of your entire client base. And what does “this less than 5%” do? They make your staff hate their jobs, make everyone think your service is faulty where it actually isn’t, they eat up your precious time, they threaten lawsuits, they go on Google, Yelp, BBB and Angie’s List and write bad reviews, you know who they are. It’s that client you wish you would have never taken on. We’ve all had them.

But now here is the REAL kicker: You saw the red flags very early on with this person.

It’s sort of like dating. You might meet a guy or a girl and you want to see all of the good things and ignore the bad things, but in the end when things go south it was the bad things that you saw early on, and ignored, that really did you in. It’s no different with customers. You saw the red flags in the sales cycle, when you were in their home, talking to the customer on the phone, etc. But, you wanted to choose to see the good, or maybe you just had dollar signs in your eyes, either way you ignored the red flags.

In any well-run business, you need to spend 80% of your time on the 80% of your clients that actually deserve your work. These guys pay you on time, they’re good customers, you want to help them and they need your help. We won’t get into why this very small percentage of people seem to not want your help or make things worse for the both of you when you’re simply trying to help them, as that’s probably a subject for someone else to take up. As business owners the only thing we need to take up is getting rid of them.

I know it sounds harsh, but it’s just a fact of being in business. You owe good service to your good clients, those 80% of people to pay their bills on time. And if you and your staff are spending all of your time on that very small percentage of people who are “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, you were actually doing a disservice to the majority of your clientele. That’s the real issue you have to face in choosing to fire a client. It takes guts to fire a clients, but to the degree that you do that, your business will be smoother and faster it will grow faster, it will be quieter on customer service lines and you’ll just be plain happier.

You can also include in this those customers that do not pay their bills on time, that never make their appointments and anything else that stops you from running a  smooth business. You don’t need the money that badly. And if you do need the money that badly and you take on a client like this, I promise you you will stop other money that should be coming in from arriving.

I just talked to one of my clients about this about two weeks ago and he was talking about how much time he was spending on this one client, in her house dealing and with all of her customer service problems and the whole time he was there just dealing with headaches, he wasn’t paying attention to his other clients and no sales were coming in either he wasn’t getting any new business. And as soon as he said, “This is just not right for me”, he fired the client. Over the next three days he pulled in six more jobs, all of which were good paying, well mannered clients.

I hate to tell people how long it takes to learn this lesson, but usually for people that didn’t learn business from their father or anything like that, we learned this after years and years of working on these types of people and finally discovering that the best thing you can do for your company, your finances, your growth, your employees and clients is  to fire that very small percentage of clients. Get rid of the squeaky wheel’s that get the grease. Grease the four wheels that are actually rolling and keeping the car on the road.

Sincerely,

Dan York

Founder and CEO

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

How do I get more of the online business for my Mold Remediation Company?

How do I get more of the online business for my Mold Remediation Company?

This question is fairly simple in theory, but can become very complex when you get into the nitty-gritty of it. There are a lot of areas to move into, and each these areas have become a specialty in their own right. And they got that way for a reason. And to further complicate this, each person, in each area, may or may not be a specialist in the technology they are using and they may or may not be a specialist in the Mold Remediation business itself. BUT…everyone will have an opinion, whether it’s a good one or not will be the biggest barrier you will run into. But let’s just leave that to the side for now, shall we?

First, let’s start by looking at some of top major online technologies and areas you’ll need to work:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Google results and Google Local results
  2. Google Pay-Per-Click Ads (PPC)
  3. Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.

 

Which one should you use? Ideally? All of them. But we do have to be realistic too. We all have budgets to work with and we want the best ROI for our marketing budgets, obviously.

 

Each one of the above can generate different sorts of prospects for you, of which, we will break down below:

1 SEO

SEO will get you into the natural Google results and Google Local (maps) results. This is imperative for your company. It’s the modern phone book, you just have to be there. But who does it pick up? It picks up those people that are already on the hunt for you. It does not cultivate new interest from a person necessarily. So you see why this is imperative, these are your hottest prospects – they are already looking for you.

 
2. Google PPC

PPC will do the same above with SEO. It will get you in front of the people that are already looking for you, your hottest prospects & leads.  But it differs from SEO in that you are paying for Google Ads. Your hot prospect will click on the ad and you pay for each click of that ad. In exchange for you paying for that click, you get your ad placed at the top of the screen. But you see, it is essentially the same market as SEO, people already looking for you.

 

3. Social Media

This is different. Whether we’re  talking about Facebook or Instagram or any other Social Media site, the market of people here is very different. They aren’t looking for you here. When people are looking for you they use Google and go find you. So why use Social Media? 2 reasons: 1. Branding and 2. market cultivation. For 1., you can keep showing up in their Social Media feeds, they see you over and over and you become recognizable. You can become a brand with them. So when they do need you, they will potentially recognize you and that may channel them into calling you. And the 2.? You can cultivate a prospect and turn them hot. If you’re doing the right things on Facebook and Instagram, you can potentially interest someone into contacting you. So you’ve turned someone into a prospect instead of waiting for them to just BE one. See that?

 

Now, this may be overly simplified here, but that is the point. None of this is actually is complicated. If it is complicated, it is the person you are working with that is making it complicated. And my advice is that if they are, find someone else to work with. The best and the brightest all have a knack for making the complicated seem…less so.

Sincerely,

 

Dan York, Founder

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

www.moldremovalmarketing.com

How To Market My New Mold Remediation Company

How To Market My New Mold Remediation Company

Ok, so you’ve got it all- you’ve bought your gear, you’ve got your truck, you may have even bought into a nice franchise and have a lot of of support. And now you just need….clients.

 

So what do you do? Well, let’s not get anxious. First of all, I tell people to start getting very logical instead of anxious. Anxiety makes you spend  your money in stupid ways and kind of do everything while achieving nothing.  We want to hit the target with every shot we take, not put holes in the wall around the dart board right?

 

Ok, so, someone has a mold problem? Where do they go to find you? Who found out about the mold problem? Who is the most likely person to call you about the mold problem? Why would they pick you, once they find you, over your competitors?  These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself.

Don’t think too much about it, a lot of good ideas by bright people actually don’t work because they didn’t just simply look at what works.  You have to look.

 

We don’t know everything that works, but we know enough having specialized in Mold Marketing for the last 5+ years.  One things that should absolutely be in your arsenal is our mold remediation marketing program.  Why?  Because it works.

We once had a client of ours who did water damage and mold remediation call us to turn off our mold program because he “really didn’t want that many calls for mold” in the 1st place. It works.

 

Will you get bad calls? Sure, but who cares, you’ll get good calls too and they don’t cost you per call.

 

Phone books, eh. Put yourself in there and kind of forget about it. Lead Generation companies, they work. Angie’s List, that works, Yelp, eh., BBB is good for credibility, not leads really. Networking with Water Damage Restoration companies for the Mold Leads they don’t do as good, but certainly worth your time. Those should get you started and you’ll learn more regionally along the way.

 

Here’s to your success!

 

Dan York

Founder of Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

www.moldremovalmarketing.com

 

 

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