Running a Private Investigator business is just as difficult as any small business if not more difficult, but it becomes increasingly hard to grow while splitting your focus between multiple investigations, running your operations and managing finances. Keeping your business pipeline full isn’t as easy as it used to be, with business cards and handshakes at a bar. Your time is probably more limited than ever, and you can’t spare much to go chasing fish upstream. Bet you miss the Yellow Pages now right?
Here at El Dorado Insurance, we thought we’d help give a few helpful tips straight from our own marketing team on simple but effective ways for you to get new business from the internet.
Follow these pro tips and you’ll start catching those fish already swimming downstream.
Get a Real (but simple) Website
You’re probably seeing a bunch of ads for drag and drop websites featuring a smiling person designing their own website while in an awkward position with a laptop drinking coffee. Try to stay away from those companies if you can. While it may seem easy, you’re extremely limited as to how the website can look, but even more limited on what it can do. We recommend WordPress as it’s very easy to use and it can grow with your business without limitations.
The goal of the website is pretty simple: Build trust, give information on your services and get them to call you or send their basic info. This is just a homepage, a page for your “cash cow” service and one for your other services. Don’t forget a blog and a contact page.
Knowing this goal, search Google and find other industry websites that you like. Go to Upwork or Freelancer, name your budget and choose a designer with a good reputation. We recommend US based designers as they’ll be easier to work with and usually have a better feel for designs that appeal to your audience.base. Make sure they give you a Photoshop (PSD) file once you have your design finalized.
Head back to the same freelance websites and find a web developer. You can use one out of the country, but be prepared for more back and forth. Head to Textbroker and place an order for content, keeping in mind what your main value and competitive advantages are.
Get Listed on Google
85% of people searching for a business are using the internet. MOST of them are using Google. To get ranked in the top 3 on Google in your local area isn’t as difficult as it seems. Make sure you have the most obvious keyword in the title tag (what shows up in the browser tab) and in the heading of your content (think: Private Investigator Houston)
Head to Google My Business and sign up for free to verify your company. If you don’t have a brick and mortar business address, find a virtual office near the center of the city to use their street address. Make sure to avoid PO boxes.
Once your listing shows up, make sure it’s always accurate, and that you’re asking customers to review you on Google. Find as many other local or industry directories as possible and create listings there too.
Give Away Great Content
Now that you have a website that’s showing up on Google, it’s time to show your potential customers (and Google) that you’re THE expert in the area. Create a series of tips, and then create a YouTube channel and post small 1 minute videos with those same tips. Put both of them in your blog and keep creating them regularly. Share that content on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. This will help establish your authority in the industry as well as build your audience.
Nurture Your Prospects
Most people won’t contact you until after they’ve visited your website 7 times. Even then, they’ll probably take longer to finally do business with them. This is why it’s important to get their email address early on by offering a guide to download, or give away something else of value.
Once you get that email address, start a free Mailchimp account and use the content you’ve created to send it to them as weekly tips or monthly newsletters. It’ll help them remember you and help build trust.
Manage Your Reputation
Go to Google Alerts and create an alert for your name and another for your business name. Google yourself often, and be sure to build up positive reviews on Yelp and Google+. Get your name out there by offering to write for associations or other industry websites in exchange for linking back to you.
It’ll be inevitable that you’ll eventually receive some negative reviews, but if you’ve beefed up your reputation online those reviews won’t hurt you as much. Regardless, if someone does put up a negative review do what you can to get them to remove it, or in the case of a negative Yelp review, respond to their review but be sure to do it as tactfully as possible to avoid turning off the reader.
And that’s it!
If you stay consistent and follow those 5 Pro Tips you’ll begin to see your website traffic grow and the phone will start ringing. Has anything else worked for you that’s not on this list? We’d love to hear it! Find us on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter and share your own tips for getting business from the internet.