More Leads Online Podcast Episode 005
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Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (00:00):
It’s funny. We tend to think like, okay, XYZ doesn’t work because we tried that once and it didn’t work for me. Okay. But you don’t say that, you know, Facebook marketing doesn’t work. Cause we tried that once the Facebook’s terrible. It’s the brand, the messaging wasn’t correct.
Nathan Young, MLO (00:17):
Growing your trade service business can be a pain in the ass, but we know you want to grow on the MLO podcast. We interview experts in the trade services to find out how they’re scaling their company. So you can too.
Nathan Young, MLO (00:31):
Hey, this is Nathan, uh, back with the MLO podcast. I’m here with Amanda Booman did I pronounce that right? Yeah. You got it. Okay. Awesome. Publisher of the home mag, a direct mail service for homeowners and home improvement contractors. Now tell me if these stats are right currently mailing more than 140 million cards and magazines a year. Does that sound right?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (00:55):
Yeah, that sounds spot on. It’s pretty, it’s a huge number. It sounds almost a little bit unbelievable,
Nathan Young, MLO (01:02):
Man. I’m a little intimidated by that. Wow. Tell us more about the home mag and how you got involved.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (01:07):
Sure. So the Home Mag itself, uh, was started in 2002, uh, by Shawn and Debbie Campbell. Um, in Southwest Florida, they actually came over from South Africa. They came over here, um, with the idea that they wanted to build a business that could be duplicated and replicated, you know, multiple times. Um, and the U S gave them that opportunity where they thought, you know, we could multiply something 20 times, 30, 40, 50. And so when they got here, they weren’t sure what they were going to do, but they, um, bought a house and started renovating it. And they realized that, um, they didn’t have a resource like they did back in South Africa, which was this home improvement guide magazine. Um, and at that time back in 2002, they were still, you know, using the yellow pages, kind of trying to thumb through that. And they decided, well, this is something that we need here.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (01:55):
We need this in the U S so they opened, you know, hats off to them with nothing, but, you know, an idea in their head. They went out and sold, um, these pages of a home improvement catalog to 24 businesses and put together this beautiful first magazine in 2002 and sent that out to a hundred thousand homeowners in the Southwest Florida area. And they got that first magazine out. And so fast forward, 18 years here we are 60 locations, like you said, mailing over 140 million magazines and inserts. Um, and we’re 60 locations around the U S so, um, that’s, uh, made up of franchises and corporate magazines. Um, and what, I think one of the coolest things that I like about the Home Mag to hear about all the growth is that it’s been all organic. So the Home Mag hasn’t had to go to like franchise fairs and stuff like that.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (02:46):
Like a lot of companies will do we’ve, it’s been people, uh, that have friends of other franchise owners, people that use the magazine. So that’s where we come into play and we have a bath remodeling business in salt Lake city. And we started advertising in the homemade. So we, you know, it was one of those things where they had pursued us for quite a while. And finally, we just decided to jump in and we just fell in love with this company. It was, people are wholesome, uh, you know, they do things the right way. And so we decided, you know, let’s check this out in the twin cities area. So we launched here in March of 2017. Um, and it’s, it’s been a fun ride so far, and it’s really been enjoyable to help grow all these businesses that we’ve been able to partner with over the years.
Nathan Young, MLO (03:31):
Whew. That’s a heck of a story. Like, I mean, I’m sure if based on your explanation, I think that you’ve told that story more than one time. At least that’s incredible. Like, I wish that I had that level of gumption, like Holy crap. Next question that I wanted to ask is, okay, so you started in 2017, which is awesome. And as far as I know, you’ve seen a pretty rapid rise. What were you doing? So like 2017 is fairly recent. What were you doing before you got to the Home Mag? Like, did you intentionally seek out something in like renovation and contracting or was it, I mean, like how’d you fall into this?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (04:09):
Sure. So, um, I was in the insurance industry before this actually I was working at an insurance agency, um, had a great team behind me. Um, and it was, I loved it. I love everything about insurance. I’m still kind of passionate about it. Um, loved talking to, you know, we all love to give advice to our friends and family. So I still enjoy giving that, uh, unsolicited insurance advice, but at the end of the day it was, you know, an admirable career, but it was just not the funnest. It was fun when I got to, you know, tell people that I can replace their home and things like that, but that’s not what every, you know, people don’t seek, you know, so I really, I realized that I really did enjoy, um, helping the small businesses that I insured. Um, and that was a passion of mine. So when this opportunity kind of all surrounded itself, um, with the Home Mag, you know, I realized that that’s really something that I wanted to jump on board with being able to help people grow a business is, you know, just so much fun every day to really see those outcomes. Um, and so that’s why I kind of jumped ship and came over. Um, and you know, it’s been a wild ride, but it’s, it’s been a good one.
Nathan Young, MLO (05:18):
Oh, I mean, especially lately, well, I won’t, I won’t dive down that rabbit hole, but as a person who needs both, I mean, cause I’m not just like we run a marketing agency where we’re dedicated to all the home services, but I’m also a customer. Right? Which I think the industry as a whole is experiencing, but home renovation and contracting have become like, not just consumer services, like what I’m talking about right now, but they’ve also become really relevant in pop culture. So like HGTV home renovation shows, we’re actually watching my wife and I love those shows ourselves. We’re watching this newest one called like My Dream Disaster Home or something like that. Uh, of course it’s European. Like we’ve used up most of the American Joe’s and we’re still like, okay, onto the next one. But these generally, even that show, which is literally called like My Dream Disaster Home or something like that, very similar, it kind of makes renovation and contracting like seem kind of easy and exciting. And it’s like this fun journey. And especially some of the, like the HGTV ones we’ve seen, they make it feel like, Oh, it’s really profitable. And you live kind of, you know, but it’s really challenging actually, right?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (06:35):
Right. Absolutely. Now there’s a, I was just talking with a client, um, yesterday at lunch and then, you know, they’ll get calls and say, uh, I want you to build me a deck and I need it done in two weeks. And that’s what those shows portray. Like sure, you can have a deck in a week, but you know, in reality we can’t even pull a permit that fast if we didn’t have a backlog of work to do already. And so yes, it sets, it’s a definitely sets a challenge for any of these home improvement clients, number one on expectations like that. And really I found, um, you know, we all value reviews and things like that in our businesses. And, you know, I enjoy reading these reviews from my clients and things like that. And personally, but people did not have the PR you know, their expectations versus reality are so different.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (07:25):
You know, anybody that’s doing siding windows, things like that, we are weather dependent. So if I say, I’m going to be there on a Thursday at two and you know, storms all week and you’re pushed out to next week, people have just become so intensified on, you know, this, the promise he gave me this and that. So I think it’s really set things up for disaster in some ways with just expectations as a whole with people. But, um, you know, overall I love those shows as well. I think all of my clients do, um, you know, we just need to make sure that we manage, you know, reality versus TV, even though they might be reality shows, uh, what are they actually showing us versus, you know, what is actually going on? So overall for the industry, I think that it is awesome to be able to show these overall trends and things like that. And customers as an overall, they have this expectation of like, they know what’s in style and things like that, which is good. Um, so they don’t, there’s not as much back and forth. They know what they want. Yeah. Obviously timing and things like that are not realistic
Nathan Young, MLO (08:27):
Clearly it’s setting up. I wanted to ask you what you think the top three challenges sort of facing home services, residential service industry trades right now are. And one of the things that you’re clearly laying out is no matter how popular this is getting in pop culture, it’s making a thing that’s already been hard, harder, which is expectation setting. And then if you could add like the other two, what do you think the next top two issues are that you guys are facing or that you’re your customers are facing?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (08:56):
Yeah, I think, you know, obviously the proper expectations, um, materials are a huge thing right now. Um, unfortunately, you know, that’s kind of a 2020 thing, but, um, that’s, that’s one of the bigger things and finding the right kind of jobs. We’re all busy. The home improvement sector has gone nuts and it’s really finding the right kind of busy is what we found is a lot of people, you know, there’s obviously a lot of sub contexts under that with hiring things like that. But that’s, you know, the main things are, you know, setting the proper expectations. You know, it’s all kind of a culmination of the same thing, but the materials, things like that, that’s really been a struggle for a lot of people,
Nathan Young, MLO (09:35):
I mean, that’s a big deal. I think it’s really interesting that you brought up materials. We talk about hiring all the time and I actually want to touch on that again, but the material shortage is something. Wow. I’ve I mean, like, I just haven’t heard of that before.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (09:47):
Yeah. I just was talking with the client in, you know, I don’t know a ton about, uh, lumber and things like that, but I guess a standard two by four was like $1.66 somewhere in there is now $6. And so, yeah, it’s
insane. So it’s of all, you know, kind of coming back to us now, what was happening in March? You know, everything shut down for that time and it’s not, I just bought a car in the inventory for cars. There’s like nothing. It’s every industry. So it’s not just ours, we’re all kind of in the same boat. Uh, but again, it’s just that expectation setting with clients. And you know, when this is going to get done and for how much, and you know, the one thing that I just keep telling all of my clients over and over is we’re all in the same boat. That’s the beautiful thing. Nobody can get a fence this year anymore. None of your competitors can put it in. You can’t put it in, but it’s not the time to take your foot off the gas as far as moving your business forward, advertising, things like that. Um, and it’s just all about setting those proper expectations.
Nathan Young, MLO (10:44):
That makes perfect sense. And you touched on something that I was thinking about while you were explaining. It was like, if I can’t do it, no one can, it’s not like, it’s not like it’s a me exclusive issue, but you also touched on the next thing, which like, Hey, when we, when we slam into those walls, what do we do to get around them? And you’re actually practicing what you preach because aside from helping residential service companies, trade service companies advertise through the home mag, you’re also a residential service company, owner, Minnesota Home Pros. Right?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (11:17):
Correct. Yeah. And that really provides us with, you know, it’s always fun. People say, putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, things like that. Well, we really get to do that every day. And that’s been a huge thing for us to be able to empathize with these people and really know what the industry is facing and things like that. And that really just, I feel helps me be a better, you know, person for my clients as well as my customers. And I kind of get to see that whole picture of what’s going on. So that’s been a huge uptick for us. We’ve been excited about it and it’s been going really well.
Nathan Young, MLO (11:53): [inaudible]
Nathan Young, MLO (11:59):
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Nathan Young, MLO (12:57):
So you have all of this experience. And then if I am allowed to bring it up here, also breaking some stereotypes out of the gate, right? Like you’re a woman CEO and not just a woman CEO, you’re like a woman, two times CEO and in the home services industry, like to boot. So I feel like, okay, whatever you have to say is pure gold. It doesn’t matter. Like you have a perspective that we all need to know. And so
anyway, whether you feel like that, I don’t know, but that’s how I feel right now. I want to go back and I want to touch on this. You’re advertising. You’re also, you’re utilizing your own stuff, right? So practicing what you preach and you just touched on like this material thing. Also, you touched on, you don’t want to slow down. So here’s what we know. If we want to take on specific jobs, we need the people to do those jobs. And as far as I can tell hiring prior to all of this hiring was already hard. And that’s, that’s something we keep seeing brought up hiring was hard before. How are you navigating hiring now?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (14:01):
Right. It’s you know, I think I I’ve been told since it started my careers, recruiting is always going to be that number one thing that you need to be doing. Um, and I’ve really, you know, practiced that I’ve, I’m always interviewing, I’ve always been interviewing. I don’t have it right now. I don’t have a spot, but I was connecting with those likeminded people has been a huge help. And, um, the other thing is I I’ve recently found within the last year or so is networking. It’s so huge. You know, we joined those BNI groups for hopefully more leads and things like that. But when it comes down to, I need XYZ and now, you know, Susie quit and I, what am I going to do? Those resources are huge. And that’s what I’ve really found is finding people through, you know, your BNI is, which is a nationwide thing.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (14:46):
You’re NARI, things like that. Just really connecting with, you know, similar, similar likeminded people, um, can really help in that sector because obviously we can all post an ad on LinkedIn or on LinkedIn or, you know, anything, but it’s really finding the people that are good and will, you know, they’re usually working and they’re not necessarily searching for a job and things like that. So, um, that’s what I’ve found to be huge. It’s really finding those quality people. And when you find them, you can’t be afraid to pay them. Obviously we’ve got to keep him happy. And, you know, there was a time where, you know, I try to get somebody for the best price and this and that, and it’s really, you know, we’ve got to pay these people and support them and really keep them happy because we know that, you know, they’re at a premium right now.
Nathan Young, MLO (15:31):
So just to sort of recap on that one, you’re saying, yeah, you can use all of the posting stuff, whatever that anyone else might use. But the success that you’ve really found in hiring is don’t just network for the sake of more business network for the sake of growing your business in general. And that means recruiting too – the networking groups can also get you quality hires.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (15:56):
Correct? Yeah. I mean, we all hear that word networking and we’re thinking like, Ugh, you know, sometimes I I’ll admit like that, that was me two years ago and it’s like, okay, now I’ve got to go forcefully, send these referrals to people in this and that. But I have really, you know, through growing this business, I’ve really turned, you know, I’m very pro networking groups, things like that because it’s just a breath of fresh air. It’s likeminded people, they’re all trying to grow their business or, you know, the business that they’re involved in and really have a desire to help each other because they know it’s coming back to them. So, um, you know, and they know, you know, Susie that was looking for a job and things like that, and really being able to connect them, you know, whether it’s your suppliers, things like that, any person that you can kind of network with to grow your business and grow your personnel. I think it’s been a huge benefit to us.
Learn the 6 things to do before hiring a marketing agency
Nathan Young, MLO (16:45):
Do you – I’m getting a little deeper into this than I normally would, but I’m so curious partially because of my own personality. So I love doing stuff like this, but I’m really an introvert at heart and there’s a stereotype in the trades and the home services. Right. Which is that we’re all kind of like gruff swing a hammer. Don’t talk to me. Right. And we know that stereotype is not true, but it does take a certain moxie to do this kind of labor. And so I imagine that there are a few more people who are more interested in doing the building and doing the labor than they are showing up to the networking group. And I fit into that category. Do you take that on personally? Is it something that you’ve gotten people to help you with? Do you think people in your company can help you with that? Or do you think you have to be the sole point person no matter what.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (17:39):
I think, you know, you do have to have, you know, I’m not actually that person either that likes to go and stand up in front of people and talk, but I have several people within my organization, you know, involved in different that the further you can spread, you know, everything, the better you’re going to be. And so, um, within the Home Mag itself here in the twin cities area, I think we were in four different BNI groups. And so, you know, we just, and that’s just widening our, you know, whatever we can do to help people, we’re sending referrals, they’re sending them to us. And, you know, I hear my employees talking like, Hey, do you know a subcontractor that could do painting this and that? And they’re sending it off to their BNI. So the more, you know, you just, you know, building that network within, you know, whatever city you’re in, whatever Metro, um, just will come back to you, just, you know, I always live by, you can help. You can get everything you want by helping enough people get what they want. And that’s really what BNI is about and things like that. And not just BNI, but anything you can network in, I think is a huge benefit.
Nathan Young, MLO (18:39):
Clearly focusing on networking. And like you said, which I love your answer. Does it have to just be me? And the answer is not only no, but also it shouldn’t, it shouldn’t just be you. Exactly. No, that’s awesome that that’s going to be one of our little LinkedIn posts right there. Like Amanda, should it just be, you – no – you’ve clearly steered us away from some of the more traditional one might say easy to grab ways to look at hiring. Right. And you’ve said, look, if you want to do the quality thing, do the quality thing, which is you have to actually be in communication and relationship with people. You have to be networking. We’ve got to get past the weirdness of that word to encapsulate what it actually means, which is build genuine relationships and be useful to each other. Do you feel like then marketing website SEO, the whole shebang, whatever, how do you feel like that plays in, in any way, even if it doesn’t to your hiring effort, how it helps you during your hiring conversations?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (19:40):
I think we certainly have to get creative in whatever way we can right now, you know, beyond what we had just spoken about. But I think that LinkedIn is always going to be huge. I think, you know, I do a lot of inboxing, things like that with prospects, and I think it’s so important to number one have that updated, obviously for everybody out there, but I’ve just talked to clients that have put up billboards to hire people. Um, they’re there I’ve seen commercials for home service companies, um, hiring people. We have people putting it in their ads in our magazine. Um, so I think we really just have to look above and beyond the traditional, like I’m going to put an ad on online and then I’m going to get a hundred applicants and I’m going to choose the best one. That’s like those times are gone, I think.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (20:24):
Um, and we’re coming up against a lot of different challenges. Why, you know, people wanting to work, things like that. But I think, you know, any way that you can get the word out helps and obviously SEO, digital, everything all has its place and works together. So I definitely think there is still a benefit. You’ve got to have yourself out there, but you know, again, referrals and things like that are my number one. And that’s how I’ve found really quality employees through different revenue streams. They haven’t been, you know, the traditional apply online and then hire from there.
Nathan Young, MLO (20:54):
Do you feel like people when, even when you are connecting with them, are they talking to you about how they went on to the website to take a look around, to learn a little more about the company before they pursue the next calmer? I know that again, that’s, my personality is to gain more information and I would do it that way, but I’m, you know, like I represent such a tiny portion of the population. Are you seeing that, that people are going and they’re learning more about use in online spaces?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (21:18):
Sure. No, absolutely. I would. I don’t think I’ve ever had somebody come in to chat about a position that hasn’t at least known a little bit about, you know, what, who we are, what we do and what we stand for. And obviously I would, I would expect a candidate to have a little bit of that back knowledge. Um, but yes, so that, you know, having that presence online is huge obviously
Nathan Young, MLO (21:37):
That’s such a funny thing you just said. You’re literally saying if I wanted to hire someone who I right away felt like they were kind of capable, I would have expected them to go online and look at my stuff, which obviously then puts the onus back on you to say, oops, I better make sure it’s there.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (21:56): Exactly.
Nathan Young, MLO (21:57):
That’s funny. I’ve never thought about it that way, but right. Yeah. I also would have that like, well, if you’re a smart, capable person, you would have done your research. Oh crap. I should have, I should make sure that’s there for you to research. So to throw back to something you had mentioned earlier, we have this hilarious mix of things right now, we’re seeing an increase in demand for trade and home services. We’re seeing this weird issue right now, which we hope is more of a short term, right. In, in supply of material. But then also you’re saying both we’re pivoting. If I can use that word, I think that’s become a dirty word, both for adjusting in the, in those industries, as owners and to take on jobs for our people. How are you tackling this increased specificity of the jobs you want to do versus the jobs that people are asking for right now?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (22:47):
I think it all really comes back to hyper-focusing where you’re – who you’re getting your message out in front of right. Um, so most companies right now, again, like I said, they’re all busy that everybody’s busy. If you, uh, own a home improvement company, you know, that 2020 has been a phenomenal year for pretty much every industry with, you know, that’s related to the home. So what we really need to do is
be busy in the right way. And typically what that looks like for most customers is those bigger jobs. They know they can get their crew there, it’s, you know, taking them all day or whatever it may be. But, um, we know that there’s more profit off of those bigger jobs. And that’s kind of what we focus on with the Home Mag. We’ve really hyper target, who we’re putting your message in front of.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (23:30):
So, um, that’s, that’s the number one thing I, what we’ve tried to do in our businesses is just, uh, make sure that, you know, we’re always going to do jobs that aren’t our ideal, but we, the only thing that we really can control is who we’re putting that message in front of, we can’t who calls, but we can, you know, who we’re getting in front of. So whether that’s SEO online or sorry, uh, TV, digital, things like that, it’s all just a matter of where we’re shooting that out. And so that’s the one thing, the one piece that we can control, obviously.
Nathan Young, MLO (24:00):
Right. Well, and, and the message itself. Right?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (24:03):
Right. Exactly. And whether you’re offering, you know, 0% financing for six years, you know, some of these crazy offers, no, we’ve seen it all the way up to three years, right. At 0%, no payments for three years, things like that. You know, what demographic is that targeting versus this, this the other thing. So that’s really where we try to, you know, fine tune that message. Yeah.
Nathan Young, MLO (24:24):
Who are your clients? What do they want? Now we can establish a message that actually relates to them. We already know how to target those people. Now that we know who they are. It’s becomes a question of what we say to them. I mean, it makes perfect sense to me. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the framework I recently became, StoryBrand certified and that’s like the framework they operate in, focus on the customer first, what do they want? What pains do they have? How are you going to help them with that? And that message is what starts everything. Right? I literally have it down here on my whiteboard. I like to write down things that I’m like, I need to memorize this. And in giant orange letters that says better marketing starts with better copy and better copy comes from knowing who your customer is and what they want. Exactly. So everything you’re saying, I’m just glad you’re agreeing with the stuff I was thinking.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (25:19):
Exactly. And you know, we always say it too. If you know, we all have these things that, Oh, that didn’t work, this didn’t work, our marketing, we all throw this money up into the air and hopefully it’s coming trickling down. And we always say, you know, if one ad doesn’t work the mess, it’s not the it’s funny. We tend to think like, okay, XYZ doesn’t work because we tried that once and it didn’t work for me. Okay. But you don’t say that, you know, Facebook marketing doesn’t work because we tried that once the Facebook’s terrible, it’s the brand, the messaging. Wasn’t correct. So that’s what we try to really coach our clients on is like, okay, let’s not look at like, this didn’t work. We know we’re mailing it. We know this is how it’s going. You know, it’s going to the right demographics, the messaging isn’t working, let’s change, you know what we’re conveying to the client. And that’s the biggest thing is we’ve really tried to trend people that way. And people are starting to understand that a little bit more as they get more in tune with things. But that is the challenge on the design side sometimes.
Nathan Young, MLO (26:16):
Yeah. I relate marketing constantly back to dating, uh, which I did successfully finally. So my wife and I celebrated our five year anniversary in July. So we’ve been together for almost eight years and Oh, I think, I think eight years, I think eight years, like a month ago. Oops. Uh, um, we celebrated our five year wedding anniversary. So clearly I did something good. I got it once. But like, I can tell you, I whiffed that a few times before. Right? Like, and changing my messaging, changing my approach. I wanted the woman that is my wife the whole time. My wife Samantha is fantastic. She’s amazing. And I was hoping for her always why I, it was me that wasn’t getting mad. Like, it’s not like I had my message dialed in. And then I just, Oh, you’re not the right one. You’re not the right one.
Nathan Young, MLO (27:18):
Like it was my fault. So anyway, and a little luck and a lot of prayer. And then I ended up in a happy marriage, but it got to adjust that messaging as you go and recognize it doesn’t just fall on the customer, not knowing what to ask you. It falls on really what you’re saying to them. We talk about insider language a lot and we tend to use insider language. Cause that’s what we know. Cause it’s our day to day life. But the customer doesn’t know any of that vernacular. So anyway, would you say we call ourselves operations in disguise as a marketing company and you’re touching on that. Like as a marketing company, you’re saying, Hey, you have to adjust your message. Hey, you have to adjust where you’re talking to people because that plays directly into the type of jobs that you’re going to get the conversations you’re going to have. And that plays directly into how much money you’re going to make, how good your customer service is. And so have you seen marketing specifically from what the home mag does be able to really drive those operational improvements?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (28:15):
Yeah. I think, you know, everything plays a piece and that’s, you know, what we try to do is be we just talk about being in our customer’s bomb shelter. So being one of those three people that are in really just playing that piece, that not these companies that, you know, we work with small to midsize companies. So home improvement, they don’t have a marketing person, they probably don’t even have an operations person, but being able to take that off of their plate. So saying, you know, bill, this is working really well. I know the homework’s going really well. Have you thought about this? You know, I don’t profit off that. I don’t benefit off that in any way besides helping my client, but really just being that wholesome advisor, because I know at the end of the day, if they’re calling me to get a recommendation for somebody to paint their house, things like that.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (29:00):
And I’m really a trusted advisor, it’s it works so well. And I’m able to, not only, you know, I can tell them your SEO needs to be there because I know when I send that magazine out, if somebody, you know, we know how they shop, they’re gonna Google home pros or whatever, um, and ask, you know, if their competitors now showing up their ads in front of them, but now they’re clicking on their competitor, it’s gone. So everything works together. So the better we can be as far as advisors and things like that, and really in their bomb shelter and that person we think they think of when it’s time to need advice on anything related to marketing. Um, that’s so huge and that’s what we really try to do. And, you know, we promote home shows, things like that, um, really have that holistic picture of their marketing and that’s gone so well. And we’ve been able to see such dramatic growth with so many companies. And it’s super exciting.
Nathan Young, MLO (29:50):
That’s a real, everything you’re saying is a real challenge to me, just to like, I’m writing that down to get better at what you’re saying, which is really to focus on being the guide. Like you have an expertise and that’s why you’re there. You can bring improvements in so many other things, it’s all connected, but if you don’t serve as that guide, if you don’t serve as the person, who’s going to be loyal, kind of like, what are you doing? That can be, that can be a real challenge to me. I tend to focus again on the technical and I want to just do my job. Part of the job is being the guide. And that’s not just true of us as marketers. It’s also true of us as like, when we’re doing a job for anyone creating that expectation, helping the person understand what is the plan what’s about to happen here, help me understand, like guide me through this. And it’s not, it doesn’t always have to be perfect, but you have to be there to help me understand again, like what, what just happened. No, I love that. I love that concept of saying like we’re in the bomb shelter with you. It paints a big broad picture for me. So I think that’s awesome. So I have a couple of, I have one question on marketing and then I want to jump into a section. We call quick fire questions. So you practice what you preach. I can only imagine that you utilize home mag. What marketing do you do? Where have you gotten the best results?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (31:11):
You know, um, we’ve done, uh, Facebook’s been great, uh, for that smaller company with a smaller budget, things like that. People I’ve really found that people are really in tune. I’m sure you’ve seen this too with the TimeLapse videos on things. So that’s really engaging for a lot of clients. Um, but we’ve really found that it’s that perfect mix. You’ve got to have a little bit of everything and no matter, you know, what size your budget is, um, we always call it either. You’re looking to dominate the market, you’re looking to be competitive or you’re looking to have a presence. And so, um, you know, even throughout these times when people are, have been really busy, having a presence across the board has been, you know, you’ve got to at least keep that presence or be competitive. Maybe you don’t have the resources to be dominant right now because you don’t have the time to get the jobs completed, things like that. But at least keeping that, um, presence in the market. Um, but you know, as far as our companies are smaller, so having that presence online, digital things like that has been important through some other resources, we’ve done some TV and things like that have worked well. Um, but what we really see is X does better when you have Y too and it’s all as kind of that culmination of really setting that budget and being able to adjust where we need, but it’s all working well together.
Nathan Young, MLO (32:25):
Okay. So like it’s a puzzle, you need many pieces. One might be working, we talk about this constantly. We’re like, well, your, you know, we run Google paid search and Google paid search feels like it’s supposed to be super obvious. Like, Oh, will you run the ad? They click on the ad and then they call you and that’s how much that’s how much it costs. And that’s how the, it works. And I’m like, right. But it doesn’t work like that. Like there’s 10 more pieces behind that. Like we need a landing page and that landing page has to be of a certain quality and that drives the cost of your ads and that drives conversion. And that, like, we set the expectation with messaging. Like, I love that. You’re saying, Hey, it’s a, it’s a bigger, you can’t just pick a single tactic.
Learn the 6 things to do before hiring a marketing agency
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (33:08):
Right, right. If you, you know, if you want to advertise in the Home Mag and you don’t have a good website and doing some SEO, it’s really hard for me to be confident that, you know, like I said, if you don’t have a website for them to get it, people want to see reviews. People want to see all of this. So it
all works together. Um, and it’s really important to not, you know, to crawl before you run. So make sure that you’re setting up those simple, you know, we all know that we start with the smaller budget and work our way up, but, um, it is important to set those first things in place for any company. And that’s what I’ve seen, time and time again, uh, somebody that comes in, that’s doing, you know, four or five different things, TV, print, everything they’re going to do better overall in the home mag as well. Um, and so it’s just that setting up that perfect mixture. If I had the, if I had the exact answer, I would be very,
Nathan Young, MLO (33:57):
It’s definitely just, what are you seeing? Not like, I assume you’re the authority. I just assume you’re an authority. I love what you said too. The three ways that you look at it, a presence and then competing. And then what was the top one dominating, dominating. We say, maintain, compete and win. Awesome. And those are the, so it sounds like we’ve, we’ve kind of arrived at similar, which is really helpful for me. Right,
Nathan Young, MLO (34:23):
Right. We’re on the same track. You’re on the right track. Hopefully I am probably on the right path.
Nathan Young, MLO (34:31):
Um, okay. I want to move into this section. I call quickfire questions. There’s a bunch of questions. I have 15 questions. We’re going to go through them super fast. Uh, the point of this is it’s not a long explanation. It’s mostly like this or that. So I’m gonna ask you a question. You’re going to give the top off your head response and that’s it. And so are you ready for quick fire questions? I’m ready. Awesome. Okay. So techs schedule themselves, or use dispatch,?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (34:58): Dispatch for sure.
Nathan Young, MLO (35:00):
Scheduling software you use or recommend.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (35:03): Fresh sales.
Nathan Young, MLO (35:04):
Interesting. I’ve never heard that one .Allow voicemails?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (35:08): Yes.
Nathan Young, MLO (35:09): Callback time from a voicemail.?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (35:11):
Nathan Young, MLO (35:13):
How often do you book a job from a voicemail callback?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (35:17):
20%. Okay. You know, ideally that your phone is not ever going to hit a voicemail. That’s the number one, but it’s, it’s hard to get back. If you let those calls go to voicemail, I’m telling you it’s, you know, few and far between that you’re actually booking
Nathan Young, MLO (35:31):
Makes sense to me. Okay. Response time for a contact form from your website or whatever,?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (35:37): Same day,
Nathan Young, MLO (35:39):
If you don’t respond within, I guess if you respond, if you get one at the beginning of the day and don’t
respond until the end of the day, what’s your, uh, book of job from, uh, a long contact form response?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (35:51):
Uh, pretty good. It’s better than voicemail. I would say.
Nathan Young, MLO (35:55):
Awesome. Texting customers. Yes or no?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (35:57): Yes.
Nathan Young, MLO (35:59):
Do you collect customer emails?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (36:01): Yes.
Nathan Young, MLO (36:02):
Do you use the emails you collect?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (36:05): Yes, we use MailChimp.
Nathan Young, MLO (36:06):
Awesome. And do you recommend your contractor clients? Not just you, but also, do you recommend that to other people?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (36:14): Yes. For sure.
Nathan Young, MLO (36:15):
Home Mag is obviously the number one answer, but Facebook or paid search,?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (36:20): Paid search.
Nathan Young, MLO (36:21):
Older or younger customers, more loyal over time?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (36:25): Older,
Nathan Young, MLO (36:25):
Ask every customer for an honest review. Yes or no.?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (36:29): Yes. Definitely.
Nathan Young, MLO (36:31):
Top three things you wish every homeowner knew.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (36:35):
I would say, uh, they knew they had the proper expectations up front of timing and things like that, permits everything. Um, you know, had that general understanding of, I guess it’s all kind of into one, all three had a general understanding of how things work and people and processes and things like that. Um, would be my number, one thing that I wish people understood and, you know, the weather thing obviously is a big hurt for us. So, um, just understanding that, you know, a job, if we have a week of rain in June or August jobs are pushed back to, and really understand that scheduling and timing.
Nathan Young, MLO (37:09):
If you could recommend three books for trade or home service leaders, what would they be?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (37:15):
I like Hug Your Customer. Uh, I don’t even know that author offhand. Um, but obviously could look that up, hug your customers. Um, I am a big John DeJulius fan, so I have the customer service rep revolution right here. Um, and that’s been huge. I really liked that. And I think that those are the two off the top of my head right now. Yeah. I just got another one. Chet Holmes. Do you know Chet Holmes? Uh, I just
started diving into that as well. I think it’s called, um, yeah, the ultimate sales machine. So I was just recommended that by another customer. So I think that should be a good one as well.
Nathan Young, MLO (37:49):
That was my very first sales book. Chet Holmes clearly shares my personality. I thought it was the
greatest thing ever. And I still use it to this day as a baseline.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (37:58):
That’s awesome. I’m just getting started on it. So I’m excited.
Nathan Young, MLO (38:02):
I love it. Some of the tactics are outdated FYI, but the principles are rock solid. Who should be our next
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (38:11): Uh, the Hook Agency, for sure.
Nathan Young, MLO (38:13):
Some, some client is going to call you up and be like, I can’t believe you didn’t recommend.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (38:17):
And I’ll send you a whole list. I’ve got a lot of good guys.
Nathan Young, MLO (38:21):
That’d be awesome. We would love to have them all on. We want to hear what they have to say if people, well, first of all, thank you so much. That’s the end of quickfire questions you did. Fantastic. Also, you’ve been an amazing guest. I’ve written down so many things that you’ve said, and also lucky cause I have the recording so much of what you said is just been absolute gold. We’re going to be able to take that away and make a bunch of improvements. I hope other people who are listening can as well, just in closing. So like, if people want to know more about you and what you do, where can they find you?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (38:51):
Absolutely. Um, I’d definitely love to connect with likeminded individuals. So anybody looking to grow their business, um, can find me on LinkedIn, Amanda Booman let’s connect and kind of chat and things like that. So I’d love to do that. Otherwise. Um, thehomemag,minnesota.com, um, as well as around the country, if the Home Mag sounds like something interesting, interesting, and you’re ready to grow your business. Um, just the home mag.com and you can check out, like I said, we’re 60 locations nationwide. So most major metropolitan areas, you will have a Home Mag, um, and hookup with them and really, you know, learn how you can help grow your business.
Nathan Young, MLO (39:26):
That’s awesome. And just final call. Anything else you want to throw out there before we shut it down?
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (39:30):
I think that’s it.
Nathan Young, MLO (39:32):
Okay. Awesome. Amanda, thank you so much. You’ve been a fantastic guest. I have enjoyed this
interview so much and I hope everyone listening. Um, also gets a ton of value out of it. Thanks.
Amanda Boomen, The Home Mag (39:42): Great. Great talking to you. Thank you, Nathan.
Nathan Young, MLO (39:45):
This has been another episode of the more leads online podcast. We hope that this inspires you to take the next step in growing your business. If you’re ready to have someone take an honest, look at your marketing and give you a no strings attached plan. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or just text (315) 203-2833. Thanks for listening. Go kick some ass.
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