When I consult with contractors on their social media efforts, one item that I always suggest they include is a call-to-action.
At first, most contractors are turned-off by this idea because they see calls-to-action in a traditional marketing sense. They immediately think of those “info-mercials” from TV: “But wait! There’s more! If you call within the next 10 minutes, we’ll double your order …”
Let me be clear: This is not what I mean by including a call-to-action in your blog.
There is a way to develop a tasteful call-to-action for your blog –without sounding pushy – and to help build stronger connections with your readers.
Let’s first look at the three most common goals contractors have for blogging:
- Create awareness for your products and services
- Engage your audience (to build stronger connections)
- Grow your audience
All three of these goals move consumers further along the sales funnel – and making more sales is the ultimate goal.
Creating a good call-to-action may seem a bit tricky, but it is actually a whole lot of fun! Let me share some examples.
Goal #1: Create awareness for your products and services.
If you’ve just written a wonderful post on the benefits of cleaning and maintaining your deck (and you offer this service), you may want to mention this service at the end of that particular post – something like “If your deck needs washed and treated and you simply don’t have the time, call us at … We’d be happy to get that taken care of for you.”
By keeping the call-to-action casual, there is no reason to worry about being perceived as too sales-y.
Another approach I like I found from Rich Brooks, of Flyte Media. He signs all of his blog posts – which he changes depending on what he was writing about. In this first example, the blog post was on redesigning the Northern New England Poison Center so he signed it Rich Brooks, Maine Web Design – with links back to that page on his website.
In this example, he signs his blog differently:
Brooks keeps it fun yet still gently reminds visitors to his blog of the variety of services his company provides.
Goal #2: Engage your audience.
Ask questions at the end of post to get your readers talking – with you and with each other. This conversation will help them get to know you better and see you as a real person (and we all know that when all else is equal, we choose to do business with those we know, like and trust).
This question at the end of this post by Marcus Sheridan was meant to ignite conversation among readers (and it did … 44 comments as of this writing):
Goal #3: Grow your audience.
Although blogging shouldn’t always be about the numbers, the truth is that the more people who are reading your blog, the greater the potential of new business coming your way – either directly or through a referral.
Growing your audience can come in many forms such as increasing the subscribers to your RSS feed or your email list. A simple call to action: “If you found this information helpful, I invite you to subscribe to my e-newsletter by filling out your first name and email address in the box on the right.”
It can also be as simple as having those handy buttons to “share” at the bottom of the blog post and actually asking your readers to hit one of the buttons to share.
Finally, you never want to assume that your audience knows how to interact with you. Ask them (nicely) what you’d like from them, and in exchange, as they get to know you better, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Your Turn: What do you think about the methods I shared? Can you do this? What ways are you using calls-to-action in your blog? Please share with your comments below.