Everything you need to succeed as a Home Services company in a digital world.
November 12, 2018 • 2018 is rapidly coming to a close. As you gear up for the coming new year, you might be interested in attending some trade shows where you can pick up the best tools, technology and supplies to make your HVAC business shine. No matter your schedule, there’s likely an event that will fit into it. With 34 trade shows to choose from, you have plenty of options in 2019. Download Field Guide: How to Hire & Grow HVAC Your HVAC Business Without the Headache 1. 2019 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Conference Where: Atlanta, GA When: Jan 12-16, 2019 What: The ASHRAE winter conference advertises eight tracks for attendees, including refrigeration, HVAC&R fundamentals and applications, systems and equipment, common system misapplications and achieving high-performance building operation after design. 2. AHR Expo 2019 Where: Atlanta, GA When: Jan 14-16, 2019 What: Billed as “the world’s largest HVACR event,” this is a show where you’re sure to meet some of the foremost industry professionals. Image via http://www.iaqa.org/annual-meeting/ 3. Indoor Air Quality Association Annual Meeting Where: Atlanta, GA When: Jan 14-16, 2019 What: A combination of essential education sessions, networking with professionals across the industry and from all corners of the world, obtaining continuing education credits and a free visit to the AHR expo, this annual meeting has something to offer all HVAC professionals. 4. MCAA Advanced Institute for Project Management Class 15 Where: Austin, TX When: Jan 20-25, 2019 What: Five days of intensive, advanced study to take HVAC professionals to the next career level. 5. MCAA Technical Conference Where: Tampa, FL When: Jan 28-Feb. 1, 2019 What: Focusing on tech information that’s truly useful to MCAA members in construction, plumbing and service, the MCAA technical conference promises a wealth of important education for attendees. 6. CTI Annual Conference Where: New Orleans, LA When: Feb 10 – 14, 2019 What: CTI’s Annual Conference allows HVAC professionals to participate in ongoing work on industry standards and codes, and provides the education and information to ensure those standards and codes truly benefit the industry. 7. 2019 National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show Where: Las Vegas, NV When: Feb 19-21, 2019 What: The 2019 Builders' Show will bring together more than 1,500 top manufacturers and suppliers from around the globe in 600,000 net square feet of exhibit space, showcasing the latest and most in-demand products and services. 8. CampusEnergy2019: 32nd Annual Campus Energy Conference & Thermal Distribution Workshop Where: New Orleans, LA When: Feb 26 - Mar. 1, 2019 What: IDEA members are invited, alongside professionals in energy, CHP and microgrid industries, to work together, find new solutions to industry problems, and educate each other. 9. National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference Where: Las Vegas, NV When: Mar 3-5, 2019 What: With a heavy focus on education, the National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference helps professionals learn physics and theories they need to become better instructors in the industry. They will network with their peers to swap tips and approaches, learn about how to incorporate the newest technologies in their classrooms, use the latest educational methodologies, keep up with regulatory changes and more, all to improve student outcomes. 10. International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo Where: Phoenix, AZ When: Mar 3-6, 2019 What: What are the ideas and trends most likely to impact the natural refrigeration industry’s future? Attendees will learn about them here, as well as encounter a wide range of points of view about how to address them and adapt to what the future holds. 11. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Annual Convention Where: Phoenix, AZ When: Mar 3-7, 2019 What: 2019’s Mechanical Contractors Association of America Annual Convention promises world-class speakers (and some great entertainment), alongside educational industry seminars and workshops led by premiere professions. 12. Air Conditioning Contractors of America IE3 Show: Indoor Environment and Energy Expo Where: San Antonio, TX When: Mar 4-6, 2019 What: Next year’s event theme is “optimize” — optimizing the HVAC industry by focusing on what matters to professionals in their careers. 13. Association of Energy Engineers Globalcon Where: Boston, MA When: Mar 20-21, 2018 What: With sessions led by leading industry experts and packed with useful, up-to-the-minute information, HVAC professionals will leave Globalcon inspired, renewed and ready to deliver excellent service. 14. Associated Builders and Contractors 2019 Convention Where: Long Beach, CA When: Mar 24-28, 2019 What: The ABC Convention relaunched in 2018, and is ready to come back in 2019 even bigger and better. This is an opportunity for HVAC professionals to attend a growing convention, where educational opportunities, workshops and more are smaller and more hands-on while still delivering an exceptional experience. 15. 2019 HPC National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show Where: Chicago, IL When: Apr 1-4, 2019 What: 2018’s HPC National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show attracted more than 1,400 attendees, 60 exhibitors, 200 presenters and more than a dozen tracks, providing learning opportunities for HVAC professionals from all over the world. 16. Associated General Contractors Annual Convention Where: Denver, CO When: Apr 1-4, 2019 What: For more than 100 years, the AGC Annual Convention has been educating HVAC professionals in business decisions, operations and more. This year’s conference will build on that history, offering one of the premier educational and networking experience for professionals in the contracting and home services industry. 17. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Institute for Project Management Class 73, Week 1 Where: Austin, TX When: Apr 7-11, 2019 What: If you’re a project manager (or an industry professional who works closely with project managers), this class will offer the intensive, in-depth training you need to master the fundamentals of your field. 18. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Institute for Project Management Class 74, Week 1 Where: Austin, TX When: Apr 8-12, 2019 What: If you’re a project manager (or an industry professional who works closely with project managers), this class will offer the intensive, in-depth training you need to master the fundamentals of your field. 19. International Facility Management Association Facility Fusion U.S. 2019 Conference and Expo Where: Atlanta, GA When: Apr 8-12, 2019 What: A premier leadership event featuring concentrated learning and networking for home services professionals. 20. 2019 Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Where: Cincinnati, OH When: Apr 10-12, 2019 What: Brings professionals together for three days of speakers, networking events and the latest industry trends about design-build in the water/wastewater sector. 21. Cx Energy Conference & Expo Where: Orlando, FL When: Apr 15-18, 2019 What: For professionals in building commissioning, energy management and test and balance, this conference is a must-see. It includes educational sessions on topics related to the industry, an exhibition hall featuring new technology and certification opportunities in ACG’s Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA) and EMA’s Energy Management Professional (EMP). Image via https://www.mcaa.org/events/calendar/ncpwb-spring-technical-committee-meeting-4/ 22. National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau Technical Conference Where: Longboat Key, FL When: Apr 28-30, 2019 What: Highlights the latest in welding education and technology, including changes to codes and other technical information. 23. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Fabrication Conference Where: Los Angeles, CA When: May 1-3, 2019 What: Program focusing on cutting-edge fabrication applications and tours of MCAA member fabrication facilities. 24. Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute Spring Meeting Where: Baltimore, MD When: May 6-8, 2019 What: For industry leaders seeking a meeting opportunity in the spring, ACHRI offers another opportunity to gather to work together on industry-wide issues. 25. Eastern Energy Expo Where: Hershey, PA When: May 19-22, 2019 What: A premiere show for business and technical education, including sessions for women in energy. 26. Lightfair International Where: Philadelphia, PA When: May 21-23, 2019 What: LIGHTFAIR offers attendees tracks in light, technology, knowledge and design connect in a convergence of global introductions, innovations and thought leadership at its annual conference, the world’s largest yearly meeting for architectural and commercial lighting professionals. 27. American Institute of Architects 2019 Conference on Architecture Where: Las Vegas, NV When: Jun 6-8, 2019 What: Three immersive days of what’s new and now in architecture and design. 28. 2019 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Annual Conference Where: Kansas City, MO When: Jun 22-26, 2019 What: ASHRAE is one of the leading trade show organizations for HVAC professionals, and the annual conference is not to be missed. From the fundamentals of the industry to changes driven by environmental sustainability, there’s always something new to learn, and it can be learned here. Image via https://www.districtenergy.org/idea2019/home 29. International District Energy Association National Conference and Trade Show Where: Pittsburgh, PA When: Jun 24-27, 2019 What: IDEA members and professionals in the district energy, CHP and microgrid industries come together to share experiences, explore new solutions, and learn from each other. 30. The 25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration Where: Montreal, Quebec When: Aug 24-30, 2019 What: 2019’s theme will be “Refrigeration for Human Health and Future Prosperity,” and attendees will focus on major issues relating to refrigeration and sustainability, like energy saving, efficiency, food supply, climate change reduction and more. 31. Building Simulation 2019 Where: Rome, Italy When: Sept 2-4, 2019 What: In the field of building performance simulation, this is the premiere event. The 2019 gathering provides an opportunity to trade information about simulation tools and apps, learn about the latest achievements in the field, explore new research, discuss case studies and share best practices, all while networking with professionals, students and practitioners. 32. ACEEE National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource Where: Minneapolis, MN When: Oct 15-17, 2019 What: Since 2001, the EER Conference has attracted major stakeholders in utilities, regulatory commissions, state governments, consulting, manufacturing, environmental and research fields, allowing experts and consumers to work together and network. 33. 2019 SMACNA Annual Convention Where: Austin, TX When: Oct 20-23, 2019 What: SMACNA’s premiere annual even blends educational opportunities with top-notch networking for an event no HVAC professional wants to miss. 34. American Society of Plumbing Engineers Technical Symposium Where: Pittsburgh, PA When: Oct 24-27, 2019 What: A unique chance for attendees to get one-on-one face time with the manufacturers who make the products they specify.
February 8, 2018 • In a world where the media never stops and people crave more and more information, there's an opportunity for businesses that want to put in a little extra work for a big payoff: use public relations as a way to differentiate your business, tell your story, and get far more exposure than those who ignore it (which is pretty much everyone). Isn't this a secret that's gotten out yet? Turns out it's not. Very few small business put any effort into PR; they think PR is only for huge companies . That's a mistake because media outlets need stories, so you have a receptive group who's willing to create content for you. And more importantly, consumers are more likely to make decisions based on decisions from press reports than paid ads; in fact, 80% of decision-makers about the vendors they use trust articles and press information over ads. From a cost basis, and for marketing purposes of instilling trust, it's hard to do better than effectively using PR to get your name out there. But why PR? Doesn't social media give you the same thing? Actually, PR provides two advantages over other sources of information that consumers frequently use: People trust what they read in a verified press source because the press uses fact-checking, their stories are coherent and readable, and they spend time finding things that are interesting, which means readers WANT to read their content. In other words, the press is authoritative, and in a world where dogs have their own Twitter accounts, people seek that validation; Media outlets use their own social media channels to promote their stories, so in many ways, a story in a press outlet will get additional coverage simply because that media organization needs the clicks and eyeballs too. You're getting a built-in, free social media campaign out of the press organizations you work with. Keep in mind though, the press isn't just sitting around waiting for you to answer interview questions. You have to be smart about how you position your business so you not only get attention, but so that the attention aligns with your own story and puts you in a positive light. Here are four ways you can effectively work with the press to promote your business: Size doesn't matter If CNN did a 30 minute special all about your business, you most definitely would see a huge uptick in business. But as much as I hate to break it to you, that's probably not going to happen any time soon. But then again, you don't need a major news outlet. The "press" is really just anyone with an outlet and an audience, and you'll find it in a variety of people and sources, and many of them are very niche in who they cover and often emphasize local stories. Seek out these kinds of PR opportunities: Grass-roots: I guarantee you that you'll find websites and bloggers on any and every topic. There's a great blogger named who focuses on saw sharpening; here's a on gutter installation and maintenance; there's even a list of the top about HVAC topics (which clearly tells me there has to be hundreds more of them). These people need to keep their blogs fresh, so reach out and offer to be interviewed or to even write a blog for them. Clubs and associations: Every type of business has an industry association meant to further the interests of members and to provide information for customers. A quick Google search will help you find find ones that relate to your business. There's more than likely a person responsible for sending out a regular newsletter or publishing information to their website. Here again, connect with those people and see how you and them can initiate some mutual back scratching. Community groups: Many regional areas have groups like HOAs, community advocates, or other types of organizations that highlight quality local businesses and people. These groups carry a lot of weight among their constituents because the people involved in them are usually also local and have to engender trust. Make effective use of blogs Bloggers need one key thing to stay in business - content. The more content, the more traffic, and the more traffic, the more they can sell advertising. Consider also that 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 blogs before engaging with a sales rep, and that small businesses that get their content on blogs get 67% more leads than those that don't. Now, there are good blogs and there are a ton of lousy blogs. They key is first to identify those bloggers who are influencers in your industry. You may already know who they are, but if not, search for blogs in your field and you'll probably see the same names continue to pop up. Look for ones that don't necessarily promote products (they might be a pay-to-play kind of deal which could lose you some credibility), but instead maintain a neutral stance about topics and vendors. These bloggers almost always provide a way to contact them on their website or through their social media channels. The best approach is to connect, ask if they have any content needs, and offer your time to chat for an interview or provide of your own original written work. You should also start your own blog for your website. It gives you a valuable platform and one you can use as currency to work with other bloggers. As I said, bloggers need traffic and engagement, and if you offer to highlight their content on your site in return for them doing the same for you, you'll become much more "findable" on the internet, and in the context of those topicsyour potential customers will be searching. In this kind of situation, you truly are offering them something of value, and it gives you the ability to launch your own personal PR platform. Create and work the network As we've established, the beauty of PR is usually that it's free, and the people who own the PR channels usually need good stories in order to keep cranking out new content. There's an element of reciprocity that can serve you well if you network yourself and your stories effectively. Now, don't think that website owners and online publications are waiting around for you to call. Others like yourself are going to be working to get coverage too, so you have to bring something to the table to make your story compelling. On the internet, the greatest currency is traffic, so find ways to offer to promote the websites of media outlets and they will be more inclined to promote you. This is certainly a nice thing to do, but from a tactical standpoint, it's a critical element for bloggers and website owners to stay relevant. The more links to their site, the better they will do in Google search results. Look for other types of businesses that are not competitors, but are complementary to yours. Offer to promote special offers or a link to their blog on your website in return for the same treatment from them. The more of this you can do, the more your name will be seen by potential customers, and your brand will be validated by virtue of being associated with reputable companies. Don't expect a few links to your site or a story about your business to create an avalanche of new customers. It takes time for the effort to have an effect, but it has to be a continuous effort on your part. The more press outlets and friendly businesses you reach, the greater your overall potential for getting exposure. When you reach out, it's okay to be direct and ask for attention, but be respectful and find a way to connect. You might want to try one of these formats: For email, go straight to the owner with an email that is to the point, but that makes you and your business appear compelling. Something along these lines: Hi Mike...I love your blog and think you're providing a great service for our industry. I operate a four-person ____ business in the ______ area, and I wanted to let you know about a new service we're operating that might be of interest to your readers. We call it, "Thank a Vet," and it's a way for us to serve those who have served our country. We're offering a 40% discount on all services for anyone who is serving, or has served, in the armed forces. We are also taking out ads in local publications where we thank these veterans with a picture of them and a thank you note. We'd love to consider including ads on your website as well, so wanted to see if you might be interested in talking with us about possibly highlighting our program and our business in a forthcoming blog. I'd be happy to chat with you any time. Thanks for your time. Or maybe try a text, in which you can be briefer and get straight to the point: Mike...it's ____ from _____. We have a really interesting program we've initiated that thanks veterans. Seems like it could be of interest to your readers. Would you be interested in learning more? You have to make the ask in order to get the attention, and while you may have to send quite a few requests before you get a response, the outcome will likely be more than worth it. Get local There's a big movement towards going local and it's an important thing for you to tap into. First off, there are apps and websites like Nextdoor, Hood, and JustMyNeighbors that verify people's locations and help them connect about things to do and vendor recommendations. These are more specific to neighborhoods and communities than Craigslist and other services because these hyper-local ones go to great lengths to keep communication and engagement just for people living in their communities. Find apps and services like these and identify opportunities to introduce yourself and your business within your community. While this may be more like social connecting, it's also an opportunity to let people get to know you and your brand without trying to specifically sell them something. Next, identify local groups that have publications and/or meet regularly. This would incline homeowners associations, Rotary clubs, chambers of commerce, and others that serve the interests of locals. Offer to write articles with tips and helpful hints about an area where you have expertise. You don't necessarily need to promote your services, but let's say your business is installing hardwood floors. Maybe you want to publish articles about DIY floor maintenance and the best products to use to keep hardwood looking new and vibrant. Here again, these publications are usually in need of content, and by offering your expert advice, you're providing them with a service. Don't neglect local arts and crafts fairs, and downtown merchant's nights; most towns and cities host a variety of activities during good weather to bring people out to learn about local vendors. Consider setting up a booth with flyers and other marketing collateral. Print up DIY information and distribute it with your name and brand prominently displayed on it. Remember, to serve IN your community, you have to be part OF your community. The key word in public relations is "public." You have a great business, and it can get bigger and better, but you need to make the public aware of it. Doing so with media and community outreach will humanize your brand and allow people to get to know you and your services. While it requires some work, it's also generally free or at least cost effective. Most importantly, though, it gets you front and center with potential customers through trusted sources.
Matt B., Marketing Coordinator
September 18, 2016 • Dream Hawaiian Sweepstakes Highlights: Win a dream vacation to Hawaii for referring your friends. +5 points for every referral, additional +1 point for every job they complete. One entry for each point. Referrals can be on a Paid OR Free HouseCall Pro plan. Contest runs now through Dec 31, 2016. Even if you don't win, you win For each person you refer who enrolls in a PAID plan of $99 or higher, you will be in the “Free Beer of the Month Club.” Beginning in January 2017, members of the “Free Beer of the Month Club” will receive a $15 gift card to 7-11 each and every month in 2017. To continue to be in the club, at least one of your referrals must be in good standing on their paid plan. Buy whatever you want at 7-11. We like a 7 bucks in gas, a cold 6-pack and Taquitos. Full details here: www.tryhousecall.com/hawaii
Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator