5 HVAC Lead Generation Strategies To Grow Your Business As an Independent Contractor

Having a steady stream of customers is important for any business to survive. Read on to learn 5 HVAC lead generation strategies for independent contractors!

After finishing up one HVAC job, you may already be wondering where you’ll find the next one. Having a steady stream of customers is one of the first things to consider when learning how to start an HVAC business. But finding that next customer can sometimes feel like a second job.

Wouldn’t it be convenient if your next client found you instead? With the best HVAC lead generation strategies, you can vet your clients with targeted marketing and attract a loyal customer base. Then, all that’s left to do is provide quality HVAC services. 

Ready to get started? If you’re interested in how to generate HVAC leads, then keep reading this guide to learn five useful lead generation strategies.

What is Lead Generation?

A lead is anyone that might be interested in your HVAC service and reach out to you for more information. To that end, lead generation is the process of finding and attracting the potential customer to your services through certain marketing channels, such as:

  • Digital advertisements
  • Social media 
  • Emails
  • Print promotions
  • TV or radio broadcasts

To create an efficient HVAC lead generation strategy, you must identify and relay your services to your target market, whether it’s homeowners or commercial-builder owners and property management firms. 

Once you’ve identified your key demographic, you can start to develop a marketing campaign. In addition to drawing customers to your services, lead generation can also:

  • Attract more customers to ensure you receive consistent work and generate profit
  • Generate more brand awareness among your target audience 
  • Help you expand and grow your business within your community

Lead Generation Strategies: Inbound and Outbound Marketing

Inbound and outbound marketing are the two main ways HVAC companies can convert potential customers. Each strategy addresses different goals and utilizes unique marketing tools:

  • Inbound marketing – This approach prioritizes drawing customers to your product or service by using social media and content marketing to establish and raise awareness of your business’ brand and values. 
  • Outbound marketing – This approach is considered more “traditional” because it involves reaching out to customers to promote your business. Some examples include placing ads in print magazines or newspapers, airing commercials on television, and telemarketing. 

The one downside to outbound marketing is that many customers today easily ignore traditional ads on TV and in print. Inbound marketing is considered the more effective approach to reach and convert customers in the digital age. 

When identifying a marketing strategy to use, five potential lower-level marketing strategies may help streamline your HVAC lead generation approach. 

#1 Improve Your Website

A good starting strategy for attracting more customers is to update your website. Nowadays, customers expect businesses to have an online presence where they can peruse services and offerings. 

You can also include essential details such as your HVAC’s business hours and contact information, as well as background information or value propositions you’d like to share with your community. 

Without a website, customers are less likely to interact with your services or see your business as credible. So, what are the elements of a top-quality, draw-you-in website?

  • Mobile-friendly design
  • Simple, easy to navigate format
  • Photos that depict your team
  • Reviews and testimonials from customers
  • Contact information and ways to connect online (i.e., social media)
  • Live chat 

After you’ve updated your website to better reflect your business, you’ll want to make it easier for customers to find your business when they search for HVAC services online.

#2 Utilize SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing organic traffic to your web page or website from search engines. This strategy helps improve your online presence and brings in quality customers to your HVAC website. 

The goal of SEO is for your website to rank high on the search results list. A high ranking means more people are likely to come in contact with your content. To do so, you’ll need to research common keywords people use in your HVAC field. Then, incorporate those keywords into your website’s content. 

When improving your ranking, you’ll also want to provide valuable information that increases the amount of time users spend on your website.

The Advantages of SEO

Besides raising brand awareness and improving your ranking, SEO strategies can provide the following benefits to your HVAC business:

  • Cost-effective – Other marketing strategies like advertisements can be costly, but search engine optimization is completely free to try, especially if you’re building your content.
  • Competitive advantage – As an HVAC business, you may be looking for any way to set yourself apart from your competitors. A high ranking on search results lists tells customers that your business is trusted, reliable, and well-received.
  • Better local search ranking – If you’re interested in keeping your market local, local keywords can be used to your advantage. So, when customers type in “HVAC business near me,” your business is more likely to appear near the top of the search results.
  • Customer insights – When your website attracts more customers, you’ll gain deeper insights into your target market using data analytics tools. With these tools, you can see what content your customers linger on and are interested in the most, which can help to improve your website and your services. 

The only disadvantage may be that it takes time. You might not see immediate results initially, but SEO is useful for long-term growth and success. 

#3 Invest in PPC Advertising

The biggest advantage of PPC advertising is that it works almost immediately. But, what is PPC advertising, and how can it work for your business as an independent contractor? 

PPP or pay-per-click advertising works similarly to SEO because you use specific keywords relevant to your business and field. It works something like this:

  • Your PPC ads target those who use the keyword “HVAC plumbing repair.”
  • When a customer types that into the search engine, your ad will appear. 
  • With these types of ads, you pay whenever anyone clicks on your PPC ad.
  • Since PPC is an auction system, you can bid the highest to have your ad show up above the organic search results.

Because these ads are pay-per-click, they can be a cost-effective option if you’re looking for budget-friendly HVAC lead generation ideas.

#4 Connect with Customers on Social Media

In this day and age, a strong online presence goes a long way. Social media is an effective tool for building and nurturing relationships with your customers. It may not seem like a good go-to as an HVAC business, but potential HVAC service leads may still use those spaces. 

Looking for ways to best connect with your customers? Consider which app your HVAC service leads are most likely to use to help determine which one to invest in. Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter are perhaps the most effective ways to showcase your HVAC platform with informative how-tos and service overviews.

Once you’ve identified your social media platform, try out these strategies.

  • Increase your audience – Post share-worthy content that encourages your customers to share it with their family, friends, and community members.
  • Build relationships – Respond to comments, Tweets, and posts where customers share feedback. It’s an effective way to make customers feel acknowledged and taken seriously. 
  • Share special deals – Promote any blog posts, content, or special offers to your followers to attract new and existing customers to your services. 
  • Get socially savvy – Utilize hashtags, tagging, and app-specific tools to boost engagement and encourage your customers to interact with your content.

#5 Encourage Word of Mouth

This tried, and true form of marketing is still effective when attracting and retaining customers. While using the vast online network is great when expanding your target market, make sure to also use your personal network and work within the community you’re in. 

Word-of-mouth advertising requires no upfront costs on your end and is easy to start. 

Enlist family and friends to help spread the word about your business, especially if you’re just starting out. This can be a good way of getting your first few clients. Potential clients trust services and businesses that friends, families, and neighbors recommend. 

You can also encourage your customers to refer your business to their friends. Developing a referral program is a mutually beneficial idea for you and your customers. You get some good word of mouth after providing a quality service, and your customer gets a special deal such as a percentage off their next repair. 

Then, once you’ve acquired a steady stream of loyal customers, encourage them to write positive reviews on your website or other popular crowd-sourcing websites, such as Yelp.

Understanding Leads: Qualified Leads vs Unqualified Leads

Leads come in two varieties: qualified and unqualified. What you’re aiming for is the qualified lead because those are the ones who have the money, the ability, and the problem that your HVAC business can solve. Unqualified leads either don't have the money, the ability, or a problem that can be easily fixed with your services. 

But, how do you find qualified leads? Try these tips and tricks:

  • Use your community – Word of mouth tends to be effective because your customers would only recommend your services to leads who need them and can afford them. 
  • Hire a virtual receptionist – Hiring a virtual receptionist or contractor answering service can help you vet potential customers. Employees working for these services can answer your phone calls and field client needs and questions to help you identify which leads are viable and which are not. 
  • Align your marketing strategy – Make sure your marketing aligns with your target audience. For example, if you’re targeting property management firms, Instagram is most likely not the most effective tool to reach that demographic. Instead, use business-orientated platforms like Linkedin or reach out directly to certain companies in your area. 

Streamline Your HVAC Business With Nexa

As an independent contractor, the workload can be overwhelming at times—in addition to making house calls and buying the right equipment, you must also manage customer communications to attract leads and improve HVAC customer retention

If you’re looking to streamline your business operations, Nexa can help.

Our virtual receptionist services provide 24/7/365 call answering services to help you field potential leads and get the word out about your services. We also provide live chat services that can help you gauge customer needs and identify possible improvements to help your HVAC business stand out as one that’s experienced and trusted.

For more information, explore our wide list of answering services, or try our services for free. 


Sources:

Google. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/beginner/seo-starter-guide?hl=en%2F&visit_id=637707691616887761-1463359883&rd=1#analyze 

Forbes. 10 Key Benefits of SEO For Your Business. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2021/06/14/10-key-benefits-of-seo-for-your-business/?sh=2717d9513fd0 

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