In America’s boom market for solar power today, there’s more opportunity for solar installers and developers than ever. But there’s also more competition than ever.
And judging by the past — from the tulip bubble of the 1600’s to the dot-com boom of the 1990s — many solar companies that are entering today’s hot market may not be there tomorrow when things settle down a bit.
What’s the best thing you can do today to make sure your solar company is built to last?
Of course you need to do high quality work and get a reputation for trustworthiness. But you also need to build an audience of your own of potential solar buyers and not just count on telemarketers and other outside vendors to sell you sales leads.
The big solar companies already know this. Sure, they still buy some leads. But they also generate many of their own by building their own audience over time. And the best way to do that these days is online, through your website and social media.
That’s why the big solar companies build great websites that they feed with regular helpings of content that current and potential solar customers, whether residential or commercial, want to see. Blog posts. Videos. E-books.
It’s not about buying ads anymore or just putting up product specs. It’s about creating content that your Web visitors actually want to see.
Falling Behind the Competition
While the big solar companies have been generating their own leads online this way, the rest of the industry has been slow to follow.
And that’s why most solar companies still use marketing and sales tactics straight out of the 1950s:
- Cold calling
- Cold walking (or door knocking)
- Direct mail
- Buying ads
- Free lunch events
- Trade shows
These tactics worked great to sell Fuller Brushes during the Eisenhower Administration and the same tactics might have worked OK to sell solar in the 1970s. But by now, old-timey “outbound” marketing tactics deliver a lower and lower return.
While the price of solar panels continues to drop, the soft costs of a solar installation remain high, and perhaps the biggest piece of that cost is customer acquisition (aka, marketing and sales), according to GTM Research.
It’s just too expensive to get a new customer for most solar companies. And that high cost is making many solar installers and developers uncompetitive in their markets.
Fortunately, some solar companies have started to see that today’s way of selling solar is broken.
Today’s solar marketing is not only expensive and ineffective. But customers hate it too. They hate the cold calls. And they hate how results don’t live up the hype.
The smartest solar installers and developers have now started to embrace a better way — inbound marketing. That’s where, instead of going out to customers with cold calls and ads, you attract solar buyers to come to you by publishing content they want to see on your website.
At the Curren Group, we hate to see solar companies waste money on marketing and sales that don’t deliver new customers.
And we love it when companies are ready to try doing business the inbound way.
That’s why we’ve written the book on using the Internet to generate your own solar sales leads — “Stop Buying Solar Sales Leads and Start Making Your Own Better Ones.”
That’s also why we’ve published dozens of articles on all aspects of solar marketing, for example:
- Understanding your solar customer inside and out
- What it takes to make a solar website that will help you beat your competitors
- How to avoid the top mistakes in using lead-generation forms