Work on Branding Your Inspection Business
by Nick Gromicko, Ben Gromicko and Jessica Langer
So, youíve started a
great home inspection business. But no one knows about it. Who are you? What
does your company do? Why would I hire you instead of any other inspector?
questions is part of working on your branding. Branding is all about who you
are and what you do. Itís about how you want to be known. Itís about how you
want your clients to remember you.
This article is excerpted from the "Home Inspection Business Course
," a free online course for home inspectors provided by InterNACHI. It's online, free, and open to everyone.
customers and reaching out to them with your message to attract them to your
business is called marketing. Many inspectors are very good at the technical
aspects of performing inspections but are lousy at the marketing process. They
do not enjoy it. They do not think itís important to their business. Many
inspectors fail within the first year because they do not invest enough time
and energy into marketing their business.
The good news is
that marketing your inspection business does not have to be time-consuming and
can, in fact, be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your business. Marketing
does not have to be expensive. Itís fairly simple and straightforward. For
example, word-of-mouth marketing is the best, most powerful type of marketing
technique. Itís simple to do, and itís not expensive.
Branding Is NOT Marketing
Letís make one thing
clear: Branding is not marketing, and marketing is not advertising. Branding is
identifying your business, marketing is the larger concept, and advertising can
be a small part of marketing. Paying for an advertisement in a local newspaper can
be part of your marketing strategy.
Paid advertisements are an expensive way to
promote your business. There are several ways to
promote your business that are efficient and inexpensive, including:
- creating a website;
- designing custom brochures, flyers and literature;
- networking with other business owners;
- networking with real estate agents;
- using InterNACHI lead-generation tools;
- giving clients incentives to spread the word;
- writing announcements or stories for local media;
- doing live presentations, and participating in trade shows and seminars; and
- listing your business in directories.
There are simple ways to advertise your business that are affordable and
effective. As a consumer, you are bombarded with marketing every day. You
probably know more about marketing and advertising than you think you do.
Branding, Marketing and Advertising
Got all that
straight? Thereís branding, marketing and advertising. They are all important.
And they are not the same. Each is different and plays different roles in
building your business. So, letís continue with learning a little more about
What is Branding?
Branding is all
about who you are and what you do. Itís about how you want to be known. Itís
about how you want your clients to remember you.
exercise will help you decide what your brand is, what your company stands for,
and what your tagline will be.
List three areas in
which your company is the best, and why:
List three things
about your company that everyone should know about:
List the top five benefits for consumers who decide to hire your business:
Now, ask five real
estate agents what they think are the most important aspects of working with a
Lining Up with the Needs of Your Clients
A key to building a
successful business is offering a service that your clients need. Effectively
communicating to your clients that you can deliver exactly what they need is
critical. If your inspection business is the best at providing home inspections,
then you want to communicate that. If your business is not known for what you
do best, then thereís a problem in your marketing.
For example, if you
think your business is the best at writing reports, but your clients are more
interested in great customer service, then your business is not in alignment
with your clients' expectations. If you think that your experience is your
greatest strength, but your clients believe that same-day reporting is most
important, then your business is out of alignment with your clients' needs.
The most successful
business is the one that understands what is most important to its potential
Your brand should:
- communicate to your potential clients what your business stands
- match the top five things that are most important to your clients.
You could write down your brand message as a big paragraph, or it could be boiled down to just
one short sentence or tagline.
Now that youíve put time into understanding what your clients need and what you should do to match your services to those needs, it's time to have some fun. Think about
a tagline. A tagline is one sentence that represents what you want your company to be known
for. This is not critical, but it sure is nice when youíve created one. It
helps you communicate your brand in one short sentence.
For example, ďHave
it your wayĒ is a tagline from Burger King. ďMím! Mím! Good!Ē is a tagline from
Campbell Soup. FedEx has ďWhen it absolutely, positively has to be there
Write down five
ideas for your tagline:
Not easy, huh? You
could ask your family and friends for help. You might be amazed by what they
come up with for your tagline. Once you have a list of potential taglines,
choose one that fits best. Go for it. You can change it later.
Logos convey the
look of your business name. They are important to your brand.
We all recognize McDonaldís
logo, the Disney logo, and the Apple logo. But those are national brands. And
youíre probably not creating a national brand. So, no pressure. Itís a great
idea to hire a professional designer to create a business logo for you.
Donít simply steal
someone elseís work from the Internet. Donít download an image from Google either. Those images are likely copyrighted.
Itís best to start
from scratch and create a new business logo.
InterNACHI's Member Marketing Team can help you create a logo that communicates who you are to help make your
business look professional. InterNACHI's Marketing Team will design a new logo
for your inspection business or re-design your existing logo, and design and
customize your business cards, flyers and brochures. It's all free.
Youíll get to work
closely with InterNACHI's Design Team to create a custom logo and a design for
your company that fits just right. Contact the Inspector Marketing Department
today by visiting nachi.org/marketing.
To see the design
work InterNACHI has done for its membership for free, please visit marketing.nachi.org/portfolio.
Same Look, Feel and Message
is when everything has the same look, feel and message.
The key is to have
everything that originates from your office, including your website, business cards,
flyers, etc., to have the same look, the same feel, and the same information
and message. Your business logo, tagline, and marketing pieces should be
the same, and never differ from each other.
You want your
potential clients to receive the same message no matter what theyíre looking
at. If they are visiting your business website, your Facebook page, your blog,
your email, your business card, your newsletter, your inspection report, your
home maintenance book, your flyers, brochures, or rack cards, your envelopes
and letterhead, your inspection vehicle, your shirt and hat, your invoices,
and so on--all of them should look and feel the same and have the same message.
Commit to this image of yours--your brand and your look--and stick to it.
Here are a couple examples of how everything should look and feel the
same. InterNACHI did the design work for free for the following members' inspection companies (a free benefit for all members):
K-Town Home Inspections logo:
K-Town Home Inspections flyer:
K-Town Home Inspections business card:
K-Town Home Inspections business card sticker:
K-Town Home Inspections vehicle magnet:
Here's another example of the design work that makes everything look
and feel the same. All the design work was done for this member by InterNACHI's
Marketing Team for free.
Magpie Property Inspections logo:
Magpie Property Inspections business card:
Magpie Property Inspections brochure:
Magpie Property Inspections website:
Now you should have
a good idea about what your brand is, what your company is, and what you do.
You should have at least three sentences that summarize your company. These are
developed by matching what youíre the best at with what is most important to your clients. You should have a tagline, which is a single sentence or phrase
that summarizes who you are. Your logo should be professionally designed and work well with your tagline. And remember to keep your branding the
InterNACHI's Free Online "Home Inspection Business Course"
This article is excerpted from the "Home Inspection Business Course
," a free online course for home inspectors provided by InterNACHI. It's open to everyone.
This course is free, online, and open to everyone.