Facebook for your PDR Business
In this episode we take a closer look at using facebook for your local service business and we ask a listener of the show, Colton L’Amy (Transcendent PDR) to share his tips about what has and hasn’t worked for him!
Keith Cosentino: I’m Keith Cosentino. He’s Shane Jacks. And this is the PDR College Podcast, the most comprehensive source for paintless dent removal tips, tactics, training and information that you can find in the universe. We’re gonna teach you all of the things you need to know to go out in this business and absolutely crush it. We’re gonna show you how to take metal sticks and hot glue and make women love you. So, we’ve got an exciting show today. I’m glad you’re with us. We’re gonna learn some things.
First of all, I gotta tell you we do not have Shane on the line today. He’s gotta take a break, but we’ve got a loyal listener on the show today who reached out to me and said, “Keith, I think some of the information you’re spreading may not be correct. You’re down on Facebook.” And I said, “That’s correct. I don’t really like Facebook for my business. I haven’t seen a big benefit.” He said, “Well, I have. It’s been a big deal for me, and I wanna share some things with you.” I said, “Hold the phone. Come on the show and share it with everybody. Let’s see if we can get on the straight and narrow as far as Facebook for business goes.”
So, before we hop right into that, I wanna thank everybody for continuing to buy all the Smooth Tabs from me. I’m receiving messages, calls and emails from all over the world telling me how awesome those tabs are. So, it makes me feel really good, and I’m excited to help guys make money and be faster with these new tabs and new glues and all that kind of stuff. So, thank you guys for the business and thank you for all the compliments. Keep them coming, and I’ve got the factory cranking up full-time, so I can make sure I’ve got enough tabs for everybody who wants them. So, thank you for that. So, let’s hop into the show here. Our special guest today is Colton L’Amy. Colton, welcome to the PDR College Podcast.
Colton L’Amy: Hey, Keith. It’s a privilege. I appreciate the call.
Keith Cosentino: I’m excited to have you. So, when we were spouting all our nonsense about Facebook, you were trying to punch your computer screen and tell me that stuff is wrong, right?
Colton L’Amy: Well, at the time, I was just starting out with PDR College, and I was just starting out really with the retail side of my business. I had my Facebook recently set up, and I was already kind of seeing some results with it. Then, you said that, so I thought, “Well, maybe it’s not really that necessary.” So, I just left it. But I have actually seen where it does work.
Keith Cosentino: So, what would you say are the main things that somebody is doing wrong or they need to do to make sure their business is properly listed on Facebook?
Colton L’Amy: Well, I know a lot of times you like to start at the very beginning for someone that might just be starting out. So, the very first thing is, you’ll have to set up a personal profile, if you don’t already have one.
Keith Cosentino: So, that’s before your business page?
Colton L’Amy: Right. Well, you can set up a business page without a personal profile, but it limits you on what you can actually do within the Facebook platform. So, it’s better to be able to have a personal profile first. Then, through that, set up a separate business page.
Keith Cosentino: Okay. So, you get your personal profile, if you don’t already have one. Then, hop over and set yourself up a business page.
Colton L’Amy: Right. Exactly. So, once you get that set up, then that’s up to you as far as what you wanna name it. Some guys do the name of their business. Other guys do their Web site. That kind of thing is up to you.
Keith Cosentino: Well, let me interject there. After you brought this up to me, and I started talking to some other people and doing a little research, I noticed that the name of your Facebook page has a lot to do with where you land in the search engine results.
Colton L’Amy: That’s correct.
Keith Cosentino: For example, if you just call your Facebook page “Chicken Lips Dent Removal,” that’s great. Or, rather, if you just call it “Precision Dent Removal,” okay, great. If people are looking for that, they’ll find it. But if you do “Precision Dent Removal of Chicken Lips, Arkansas,” now, when people are looking for “dent removal, Arkansas” or “dent removal, Chicken Lips,” your Facebook page is gonna come up, whereas, previously, as “Precision Dent Removal,” it would not have.
So, with just that tip, I think Facebook all of a sudden becomes a fantastic marketing tool because people are going to be finding you. Sorry, I have a little bit of a weird connection thing going on here. I’ll just power through that. Facebook search engine results are pretty powerful. They’re gonna come up in the first page, if the stuff is relevant.
Colton L’Amy: Definitely.
Keith Cosentino: It seems like the search engines really like Facebook. So, if you can get the proper terms in your name for your Facebook page, that seems like a win right there, even if all you have is a contact number and a couple photos on your Facebook page.
Colton L’Amy: It does. Here’s the really interesting thing. You gotta understand that as the years go by or even as the months go by, Google and Facebook and all these huge companies have algorithms that are constantly changing. When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing. All I did was plug in my business name, my address, my phone number and all relevant information. That was one of the things I wanted to tell everybody. Completely fill out everything you can from your business hours, phone number, everything. Put everything in there. It was amazing how literally within a week; I was on the first page of Google. This is even before I had a Web site.
Keith Cosentino: That’s before you had a Web site. That’s awesome.
Colton L’Amy: Right. So, this is something that is definitely powerful in Google rankings, in your SEO. And coupled with a good Web site, you can rank extremely high in Google with really not putting any money in. Facebook is free to use, but it’s just knowing how to properly use it to maximize your results.
Keith Cosentino: Let’s go through the steps then. No. 1, you’ve made a personal profile. Secondly, you’ve made a business page. In your business page, you’re saying to make sure you fill out all the fields as completely as possible. That makes sense. Common sense. Now, from there, you have a little bit of artistic license as far as what you put on your home page or your Facebook page. You could put nothing or you could put 1,000 images. Have you monkeyed with all that?
Colton L’Amy: Right. That’s what I was gonna say. Best case scenario, use quality pictures. Treat it as if it was an extension of your Web site. If you don’t have a Web site currently, then treat it as your Web site. Don’t use grainy, ugly, bad lighting pictures. Try to use pictures that are as professional as possible. You have two different pictures that you can use.
When someone clicks on your business page, up comes your profile picture and then your banner picture or your cover picture. I think that’s what they call it. I personally use my cover picture, which is the bigger one, to have all of my relevant info, which is my Web site and my phone number with my business name. That way, they know exactly how to get ahold of me as soon as they open that page.
Keith Cosentino: That’s brilliant. For people in the know, that term is called an infographic, a picture with information on it, text or what have you.
Colton L’Amy: Right. So, that’s a huge recommendation. It’s small. It’s not really that big a deal to make one. Honestly, I did my own, but as long as the people can find your phone number, find your Web site. If they happen to fall on your Facebook before they find your Web site, you want them to be able to find you on your Web site. That helps a lot. They can get ahold of you right away. They’re not having to search around and click on anything to try to find your contact info.
Keith Cosentino: I have not played in this world, but I noticed recently that Facebook also has a review system. I don’t know when it came up.
Colton L’Amy: Yes. That is another thing that can be used as a huge tool. This is something I ran into. The problem is, if you’re a mobile service and you don’t technically have a shop, like Shane, with an address, you still have to put in some sort of address. That’s the only drawback. I personally had to use my home address. When people call, they’re trying to find me, and I have to tell them I’m a mobile service. So, that is a small drawback, but it’s the only way you can use the review system at this time on Facebook. You have to use an address.
Keith Cosentino: Have you tried to use a PO box?
Colton L’Amy: Facebook hates PO boxes, from what I understand. It does not register. They are constantly changing, but the last time I looked into it, PO boxes were not even allowed to be used for your review system. You may have to use your home address or maybe a buddy that has some sort of business that they’ll allow you to use the address. That is one major drawback to the review system right now.
Keith Cosentino: And I know when some of the mobile-friendly mapping systems first started, there were some restrictions on PO boxes or restrictions on mobile companies and they made you skirt it, like we’re talking about here. Eventually, they came around and realized there’s millions of dent repair guys and pool guys and garage door repair guys that need to use the system and don’t have a physical address. So, they came around and let you do an area that you service. Google Maps will let you pick a sphere within a zip code. So, I’m sure Facebook will eventually come around on that deal as well.
Colton L’Amy: I’m sure they would.
Keith Cosentino: For now, you gotta get jiggy and make up an address or figure a workaround for that.
Colton L’Amy: Here’s the important thing to remember, and this is also ties in with your Web site SEO. It all goes hand-in-hand. You wanna have what is known in the SEO world as consistent NAP. N-A-P. Name, address and phone. So, you wanna have that completely matching on your Facebook and on your Web site. You don’t wanna have one random address on your Facebook and then another address on your Web site. You want everything consistent. That will also help you to rank super high within Google.
Keith Cosentino: My man, Colton, here has done some research because that is very important. We’ve talked about it once or twice on the show, but if that stuff is not consistent, you’re dropped. It’s almost like a credit check. If everything doesn’t jive, you’re out.
Colton L’Amy: You can forget it.
Keith Cosentino: It’s gotta jive. The NAP is important. So, pay very close attention to that and make sure it’s right on the money across everything and you’re going to be boosted to the top because you’re seen as much more legitimate than a guy with five different numbers and addresses.
Colton L’Amy: Exactly.
Keith Cosentino: Now, in my town, we’ve got multiple listings for multiple areas. They’re not on the Web site, although they have Web sites that have NAPs for them. I have not paid a lot of attention to them and babied them like I should have. Their Web sites are not different enough. They’re clones, so they don’t rank. They’re almost invisible unless you have the direct address.
So, if you’re gonna do that, you’ve gotta be on the money with it and really spend the time and make new Web sites that look similar, but are completely different and have consistent NAPs for those, if you want that stuff to come up. Some of it will still pop up in a random weird search from somewhere else and that stuff is useful, but right now, it’s just our basic main line and our basic main address that gets 75 or 80 percent of our traffic. If you want to have multiple locations, you’ve gotta put a lot of extra work in and have multiple sites that back them up and multiple listings with different phone numbers, but they all have to be consistent within each other. Go ahead.
Colton L’Amy: I was just gonna say one thing. I’ve looked into that. There’s a tendency for some people to think, “I will set up a business page and a Web site for every single small city that I work within.” That’s actually counterproductive, especially if, as you mentioned, you’re clinging one site and just plugging in a different city name. Google’s smart. They know the difference. Your whole system will start being pulled down within the rankings, and you won’t even rank on the first page. So, it’s almost better to have one good page than to have five smaller pages trying to niche it down so much. Then, Google says, “This is probably spam and we’re not gonna rank it.”
Keith Cosentino: You’re exactly right about that. If you’re going to do that, like I said, you’ve gotta jump in with both feet and even tweak the name of your company and make it like a McDonalds and have different franchise locations that have different addresses and phone umbers, but they’re consistent within each other.
Colton L’Amy: You may even want to have different phone numbers because that all plays into the whole NAP system. If Google starts seeing the same location phone number and business name in multiple areas, it’s gonna question. The algorithm is gonna know something’s fishy with that. So, even if you have to use Google numbers that are local numbers that will all tie into one phone; they’re separate numbers for each individual business page. That way, Google doesn’t look at it and flag it.
Keith Cosentino: Absolutely. So, if you’re not prepared to put all that effort forward, Colton’s advice is really solid. Just pour all your coals into the one site, make it as strong as you can, and promote it like crazy, and make sure that your service areas are listed on your home page. That will help you rank, and also with your Facebook. If you wanna go the other route, you gotta go all the way. It’s all or nothing. Either do it or don’t do it, but if you do it halfway, it’s bringing the whole system down, just like Colton says. It’s really good advice and it’s real.
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Colton L’Amy: So, there are a couple other things I wanted to mention, Keith. I even did it early on. Once you make a personal profile, you get a bunch of family and friends on there. Most people probably already have one. They go, “Okay. Now, I’m gonna make a business page.” You make your business page, and you start inviting every family member and friend that you have in your list. Even if they’re out in New York and you’re in California, you try to invite them to like your page because you think, “The more likes that I have, the better.”
Keith Cosentino: That seems like common sense, right?
Colton L’Amy: People think that, but it’s a very counterproductive way of using your page. They’ve changed it over the past few years. Unless you pay Facebook, you only get a certain amount of reach with a post. Even if you have 500 likes or fans to your page, and you post something, you may only have 100 people or 50 people that will see that in their newsfeed. So, you wanna try and build your like and fan base organically and make it your actual customers, not just random family members and friends. Those may be the people that see your posts, but your real local customers may not be getting that info. So, resist that temptation to try to invite anybody and everybody. It’s better to have quality likes than quantity.
Keith Cosentino: That makes sense. That way, when you post out something you want your customers to see, you don’t get a like from Aunt Norma and your Aunt Betty in Ontario, Canada.
Colton L’Amy: Exactly. That’s a huge thing now in Facebook. Just be careful with that. Don’t go crazy inviting everybody. We could do three episodes just on Facebook, but some basic things that are important to know a post regularly and it’s preferable to use photos or videos. They rank better with SEO. Then, customers like it. We already mentioned using quality pictures as if it was a Web site.
If you’re taking pictures of your befores and afters, don’t use a 1995 Nokia. Try to use something that’s gonna give you quality pictures to be able to post. This is something I just learned recently. If you keep your posts to about 80 characters or less, you get 66 percent more engagement from your audience. So, if you post a picture and put a huge paragraph on there, you’re probably just gonna have them glaze over. They’re just gonna keep scrolling.
Keith Cosentino: “What else is on there?”
Colton L’Amy: Keep it short and sweet and to the point. Then, you’re liable to get a like or a share. That’s a little tip I recently picked up on.
Keith Cosentino: That’s a great tip. You know what else I think would be really beneficial? I think video is the way of the future for marketing our dent removal businesses. What I don’t see enough people doing, myself included, is highlighting the technician in the video. We all show the work, but nobody shows the person. The person is who they’re gonna deal with and who they’re worried about being sketchy.
Colton L’Amy: Very true.
Keith Cosentino: So, if you’re gonna post some video, train the camera on your face, introduce yourself, say who you are, where you are. Then, show what you’re doing with a big smile on your face.
Colton L’Amy: That’s true.
Keith Cosentino: So, when somebody picks up the phone and they hear Colton on the line, they can see his smiling mug five seconds ago that they just witnessed and they know who they’re talking to.
Colton L’Amy: That’s actually something I learned from John Hiley. That was one of the tips that I picked up from him, to create a brand around yourself. People are much more comfortable when they see your face. They get an idea of who you are before they even call you.
Keith Cosentino: That’s exactly right.
Colton L’Amy: That’s a good tip.
Keith Cosentino: It’s something we’re gonna be rolling out in my company. Of course, there’s more than just one technician at my biz, but we’re gonna highlight everybody a little bit. We’re gonna implement some video strategies for SEO that I’m excited about. I’ve talked about them a little bit on the show. I’m gonna get a little more in-depth with them and see what my results are and I’m gonna share them in a whole episode.
Colton L’Amy: I’m doing the same thing. I’m currently working on a video too for my business.
Keith Cosentino: I think video is really where it’s at because everybody’s connection is so good everywhere that it’s easy to watch a 15-, 20- or 30-second video whereas before that was a big deal and you’d have to sit at your computer at home to do it.
Colton L’Amy: Right. On a little side note, you were speaking of the length. I know this isn’t technically Facebook related, but it does have to do with the posts. Thirty seconds to a minute and a half is the sweet spot for video, it seems like. Anything over that, people can easily get bored, but anything shorter than that, it may not have enough punch. If you keep it short and sweet, but with quality content, then you’re gonna get a lot more results from that.
Keith Cosentino: You know, it’s funny you mention that. I have a really short attention span for video in the dent removal space. What I have not been able to figure out is, is it because I’ve been looking at dent videos for 15 years or is it because that’s the span of attention for everybody? When somebody shows me a before picture that lasts for 40 seconds, I can’t take it anymore. I’m out.
Colton L’Amy: We all glaze over.
Keith Cosentino: I don’t know if it’s everybody, so I gotta actually ask that by some of my family members and say, “Tell me when you’re tired of looking at this.” I think it’s by ten or 15 seconds maximum.
Colton L’Amy: Yes, you don’t wanna go too long.
Keith Cosentino: No. I think a lot of other details would be better served in those videos than just extra shots of the dent before and extra time after. I think we can talk a lot more about the details. A lot of people are gun shy to speak up or show their face on the camera, but if you’re in this business, you’re in the people business. So, you better get comfortable talking to people on the phone and on a video and showing your face and explaining why you’re so great. That’s gonna go a lot farther than a smashed-in fender and a light on it afterwards.
Colton L’Amy: Exactly.
Keith Cosentino: Not everybody even knows what they’re looking at half the time.
Colton L’Amy: That was the other thing. A lot of people don’t even know what they’re looking at. That’s something that you mentioned at one point on one of the PDR College Podcasts.
Keith Cosentino: Yes, I mentioned it on a lot of them. Putting your light on it.
Colton L’Amy: Doing the pictures with natural light. Make your befores and afters with natural light. Don’t throw your dent light up there, even though for us with a trained eye, we know what we’re looking at. I’ve had it happen. People are, “What am I looking at?” Natural reflections, like trees, clouds, buildings, they know what that is, and they can see, “It’s straight now.” That’s another little tip for posting on your Web site or on your Facebook. Use natural lighting. It’s better for your customers.
Keith Cosentino: It’s absolutely better. That’s something I’ve talked about quite a bit. So, tell me, how often are you posting to your Facebook business page?
Colton L’Amy: Well, I’m not the best at it, honestly. Some days or weeks I get so busy, I don’t even pay attention to it, like I should. Ideally, you wanna post at least once a week. Like I said, I’m not the best at that, but ideally, in a perfect world, once or twice a week. Don’t go overboard every single day, every single car, every repair. Just blowing up your feed with different pictures and all that. What’s gonna happen is, people will quickly be tired of seeing all that and they may even unlike your page. Then, that would also be counterproductive.
Keith Cosentino: Wait a second.
Colton L’Amy: Once or twice a week. That’s enough. Just so people can see that you’re active. That’s important too. You don’t wanna completely abandon it. You don’t set it up and just leave it. It requires more work than a typical Web site. You have to post, but there’s a fine line between going overboard and not enough.
Keith Cosentino: Let me ask you a question about that. We know from our earlier conversation and my own research that Facebook doesn’t show all of your stuff to all of your fans in their newsfeed, just a very small percentage. Unless they all start clicking on it and Facebook recognizes it and serves it to more people, if it looks popular.
Colton L’Amy: Right.
Keith Cosentino: So, what is the harm in posting one or two repairs every single day? Wouldn’t you think when someone got on that Facebook page and they were interested in your service and they were, “This guy is working all day. He posts something every day. He’s doing a ton of dent repair,” they would think, “This might be my guy?” versus “He did a repair three weeks ago and he did one two months before that.”
Colton L’Amy: That’s the thing. If you look at my page, you’re gonna see that there are huge gaps in time. That’s me being lazy, and I’ll admit it. Let’s say you’ve got 500 fans and your content’s getting served to maybe 50 or 60 of them. Unfortunately, Facebook is not good about being able to figure out who they’ve already sent something to or not. So, you may start having certain customers whose newsfeed has one or two posts constantly, and they’re liable to block it out of their newsfeed or actually unlike your page. That’s what I’m saying.
There’s a fine line with overdoing it and not doing enough. I would say minimum, try to do one a week, two a week, three a week. Every single day, multiple, I would be careful with that. I don’t think one a day would be a problem, but you do too much and you run the risk of annoying people also. Then, it comes across as you selling, selling, selling. That gets annoying.
Keith Cosentino: I don’t know. You’re farther along in this Facebook journey than I am, but I might have to challenge that idea. I don’t think you can do too many repairs on there. I’m thinking as a customer who just found you, I would rather see 1,000 repairs than one every two months. I think I might be willing to take that risk of a current customer blocking your feed because they’re tired of seeing it, but I don’t think it would dissuade them from using you as a customer because they didn’t wanna see your commercial every day. In fact, if they had to pick “block,” they probably remember you when they have a dent because they had to select your name specifically.
Colton L’Amy: That’s true. I’m going off the research that I’ve read. Like I said, I’m not necessarily the example to put on the pedestal to say, “This is how you should or shouldn’t do it.” From the research I’ve done, that was one of the things that I came across several times. Just don’t overdo it. At the same time, I see your side of it too. It can almost be an experiment. See what happens. We’re all learning this together, and we also know that Facebook is constantly evolving and changing, so what works right now may not work later. Just fool with it. Just play with it. It definitely does get results.
Keith Cosentino: I think it really depends what you’re selling on Facebook and that determines what is too much content. What we’re doing is a real visual thing. It’s like a video log or photo log of our repairs. To me, it lives on for a long time and it shows people that you’re active and you’re churning through a lot of cars. It shows them that you know what you’re doing. If you were selling a lifestyle brand or a club or something like that, and you’re posting every day about how great your club is or that they should go to your Web site and interact with you, that would get annoying for anybody.
Colton L’Amy: That is true.
Keith Cosentino: If you’re just posting static photos in a place where people can come and see them, I don’t think people would get tired of that. They might block you, if for some reason; you were showing up in their feed day after day after day. I don’t think Facebook would do that though. I think they do know who they’re showing all their stuff to, and they know who’s interacting with it. They even know what I’m Internet searching for when I’m not even on Facebook. Their knowledge is stupid. I think they know more stuff about me than I do. I think if I’m gonna err on that one, I’m gonna go more photos. I brought you on because you’re having more success with Facebook than I am because I’m not engaging with it at all. So, I think it will be a good experiment.
Colton L’Amy: Like I said, I’m in it to learn too. If you get feedback on here after this and people say, “This is what I do and it works even better,” great. Share it. We’re all trying to learn together on this.
Keith Cosentino: No doubt. Fellows, if you’ve got an opinion that’s either with us or contrary to what we’re talking about, share it with us. Put it on the comments section on this episode and we’ll talk about it and we’ll all rise to the top together. We wouldn’t be having this episode right now, if Colton didn’t reach out to me and say, “You’ve helped me in a lot of ways, but let me tell you about something that’s working for me that you don’t seem to know about, and that’s Facebook.” Guys, share it. Let’s all see if we can level up. So, tell me more about the Facebook reviews. We didn’t talk about that too much.
Colton L’Amy: Well, honestly, I don’t know. I don’t have that much experience with it yet. I’m still working on that front. I’m still trying to figure out what the best review system is in my market. I’ve talked to you about that before on the phone. I’m like Shane in the sense that in my area no one is using Yelp, other than for restaurant likes. Even then, it’s not popular around here.
Keith Cosentino: Okay.
Colton L’Amy: I’m trying to figure out if Google is the way to go or Facebook or a little of both. I’m still working on that front. We talked about how you have to have an address to get it set up. Then, from there, you just have to tell people they can use that, if they want to be able to review you.
Keith Cosentino: I think Facebook might be the way of the future for that. They’re such a powerhouse. Almost everybody is on it.
Colton L’Amy: You wanna hear some interesting numbers?
Keith Cosentino: Let’s hear it.
Colton L’Amy: I pulled this up and I wanted to share it with everybody. For a long time Facebook was looked at as the teeny bopper kids on there just hanging out. Facebook has matured as a company and has matured as an audience that actually uses it. The teens on Facebook, the 13- to 17-year-old demographic, has actually declined 25 percent in the last three years, but in that same time period, the 25- to 34-year-olds have increased by 32 percent. The 35- to 54-year-olds have increased by 41 percent and the 55+ demographic has gone up 80 percent.
Keith Cosentino: Those top two tiers are our people right there.
Colton L’Amy: Exactly. That represents a huge amount of users. That’s in the United States. Those numbers are reflecting the United States.
Keith Cosentino: That’s good because that’s where I like to do 90 percent of my dent removal.
Colton L’Amy: Exactly. Like you said, it’s the way of the future. That is where the growth is headed for the audience. It’s not a bunch of teenagers anymore. They’re moving on to other social media platforms and Facebook, as a platform, is maturing and getting into the demographic that we’re looking for as dent repair guys. That’s a very good thing.
Keith Cosentino: Man, I think if we just implement half of these strategies here with my local company, we’re gonna more powerfully solidify our place at the top of the heap for a local PDR company. I think I gotta get on this Facebook stuff.
Colton L’Amy: Can I mention a couple things about posting?
Keith Cosentino: Yes, I want to hear it all.
Colton L’Amy: I know we talked about what to post, but here are some real important things. This is stuff that I as a Facebook user noticed. It’s very important to use proper English in your posts. You wanna treat it as if you were talking with a customer. So, don’t use weird abbreviations like you’re 15 years old.
Keith Cosentino: LOLs.
Colton L’Amy: Yes, exactly. LOLs, LMBO, all that goofy stuff that we might use among friends or on your personal profile. When it comes to your professional business page, try to use proper English as best as you can to portray a professional air. You don’t want it to look like just some other random Facebook user on there posting dent pictures. So, try to elevate yourself. Be positive with your posts. You don’t ever wanna use it to downgrade our competitors within our own market. That’s just not professional. People don’t like to see that.
Keith Cosentino: No, you don’t need to do that.
Colton L’Amy: I have seen it.
Keith Cosentino: It’s okay to post a bad repair without calling somebody out and saying, “Oh my goodness. This is what can go wrong, if you have the wrong company.” That’s as far as you need to go.
Colton L’Amy: Don’t name anybody. I have seen people actually call out a name of a company or a specific person. That’s not professional. Because you have to have a personal profile to be able to have a good business profile, sometimes we have the tendency, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing at first, to have a completely open personal profile where anybody and everybody can click on your personal name and see your personal life.
My recommendation is keep your personal profile private that only your personal friends and family can see. People will look you up. They’re gonna wanna see what kind of person you are. Once they figure out who you are as the business owner, they may try to land on your personal profile. Keep it private. It could indirectly affect your business if you do things in your personal life that aren’t very professional that you don’t necessarily want everybody knowing. Keep that private. Don’t allow the open public to see that.
Keith Cosentino: That’s a great point. Is that privacy setting buried pretty deep or is it easy to get to?
Colton L’Amy: No, it’s easy to get to, but there again, with Facebook constantly changing; you have to stay on top of it. I’ve been using Facebook since 2008, I believe, and in the last few years, it’s always changing. They won’t tell you. They will change things and your settings that you previously had and not even let you know. So, stay on top of it. You want to go under your general and privacy settings and go through and click the checkboxes. Read carefully and see what you want and what you don’t want. It’s not hard to do, but you just wanna stay on top of it. You wanna make sure with a random update of Facebook, they don’t change that and all of a sudden you’re exposing yourself without even knowing it.
Keith Cosentino: That’s a great tip. I would not have thought about that. I have a question for you about people contacting you through Facebook. It’s a two-part question. No. 1, do you have a call to action on your Facebook page in your infographic? No. 2, how are you receiving contacts? Are people Facebook messaging you or do they generally call you?
Colton L’Amy: Mostly calling. As far as the infographic, I have my Web site and “call to schedule an estimate” with my phone number. That’s my call to action there. I want people to call me. That’s what I want. I don’t want text messages. That’s why I purposely put “call to schedule an estimate.” I don’t want people texting me, “How much is it gonna cost to do this?” I don’t like that. I try to shy away from that as much as possible. That’s what I personally do. Everybody’s different. Some people actually do like using text messages for estimating and answering customers. Your other question was?
Keith Cosentino: Do they message you through Facebook?
Colton L’Amy: Yes. They do. In fact, it doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen. I have landed some sales through direct messaging. I would say, 90 percent of my customers don’t even like my page. They don’t follow my page or comment on it, but I get a phone call.
Keith Cosentino: It’s just a listing.
Colton L’Amy: Exactly. Then, I get them in front of me, and in conversation I ask them, “How did you come across my business?” A lot of them say, “Facebook.” That’s why you never know exactly how well something’s working unless you ask your customers how they found you. That’s the thing.
Keith Cosentino: That is really important.
Colton L’Amy: It is. We’re all trying to figure out what’s actually giving the best return for the money or for your time invested in it. For me, Facebook has been huge, but, like I said, if you go to my page and you look, I don’t have very many followers or likes, but I have made a ton of money off of Facebook because of how people use it. People are just using it as an information page. They find my phone number and they call me and it goes from there. They never even come back to that page. That’s the thing. You can’t judge whether a Facebook page is working or not just simply off of people liking it or commenting on your content.
Keith Cosentino: That’s a really good point you bring up, Colton. It’s true no matter what advertising sources you have. You either gotta make it part of your opening or closing statements with your customer to find out where they heard about you. You gotta keep track of it. In our log book in our company, we’ve got a space for how they heard about the company. Then, we try to click the right box, whether it’s Web, referral or Yelp or whatever. But you’ve gotta ask that question.
If you get lazy and you stop, you don’t know what’s working. You may think you know perfectly, but you don’t, if you’re not really asking that question. My lead tech is actually the best guy in our company for doing that. He’s even better than me, but he asks every single customer. He knows where his people are coming from. Very important. I’m glad you reminded me about that because it’s one of the things I’ve been trying to push myself to be more diligent about.
Colton L’Amy: And by doing that, it opens up the door. This is something I wanna get better at on my end. The whole review system opens the door to be able to say, “If you were happy with the repair and you’re happy with the customer service, maybe you could go back on there and give me a review.” It opens the door for you to be able to use that as your review system, if that’s how they found you.
Keith Cosentino: Exactly right. The way I word that is, I say, “I’d love for you to turn into one of those Yelp reviews for me.” They say, “I’d do that.” I usually bring that up when they say how happy they are at the end.
Colton L’Amy: Right.
Keith Cosentino: All right, man. Go ahead.
Colton L’Amy: I just have one question for you because this is also something very important. We’re talking about happy customers. It can and will come up at some point in your career online with this. How would you interact or deal with an unhappy customer?
Keith Cosentino: Well, it depends in which stage I’ve encountered them. Are we talking about something just happened or this is after they’ve already posted a bad review?
Colton L’Amy: I’m talking about if they’ve posted something, whether it was before you actually dealt with them. I guess the reason I’m asking the question is because it’s something very important to keep in mind. You gotta have a plan of action for when it happens. It may not happen for a while. I haven’t had anything happen yet, but you never know. Someone may get on there and say something that they are not quite happy with or you may even have a competitor get on there and bash you. You have to be able to figure out how to handle it.
You wanna plan how to handle it because you never wanna use social media to say something that you wouldn’t say in person. Sometimes we forget we’re behind a computer screen, and we’ll type something and hit enter. That can go viral. All it takes is one screenshot of a rude comment that you make to a customer and it can totally derail your reputation online.
Keith Cosentino: That’s true.
Colton L’Amy: You wanna have a plan to be able to quickly respond to any negative feedback. You can set your permissions on your page to not allow any cursing. That way, at least they can’t do that, but if you get a negative comment, you wanna be able to handle it as soon as possible. That will also affect future customers that come on there. If they see how you deal with that kind of situation, that can sell them on using you or that can also run them off. That’s a huge point you wanna keep in mind. Once you open that door, you’re opening it to happy, but also unhappy, customers.
Keith Cosentino: You’re exactly right about that. I have not had to deal with any of those that are posted on any of my review systems. We had a couple people who were unhappy for whatever reason. Usually, it’s something that doesn’t even involve the dent repair. It’s a scheduling issue or a dropped phone call. The way I handle those is the way I would want someone to handle it, if I was on the other end. No matter what I personally think, I’ll always accept the fault for whatever they’re upset about and apologize and ask them what I can do to fix the situation and go about doing that. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes, those type of people who are upset are also generally unreasonable, so they’ll ask you to do something that’s silly.
If it’s within my capabilities, I’ll usually do it because I always try to look into the future, like a crystal ball, and I say, “It’s nine months from now. This one-star review is posted and it’s up there for everybody to see. It’s probably near the top. How much would I pay, if someone said, ‘Keith, we could make this bad review go away forever. How much is that worth to you?’ Well, it’s gotta be worth $400.00 or $500.00, so I think, “Would I be willing to spend $400.00 or $500.00 right now in effort or actual dollars and have this thing never show up?” Yes, I would. I remind myself that this is a valuable situation and something I need to pay attention to and make sure I can turn this customer around, and I do everything I can to do it. So far, we’ve had 100 percent success with that.
Colton L’Amy: Me too. You don’t wanna rest on your laurels and think, “I’m always gonna have 100 percent across the board happy customers.” If you’re not ready for it, and all of a sudden it happens, and you handle it wrong, then you can have 100 good reviews, but you have one really nasty review and you come back with a bad tasteless comment, being rude or sarcastic, and that could totally make someone, “Well, I’m not gonna do business with this person.” It’s something to keep in mind.
Keith Cosentino: You absolutely have to respond, but you respond in a professional manner and accept the fault, even if it’s something outlandish. Don’t be snarky.
Colton L’Amy: You gotta be humble. Unfortunately, sometimes you gotta bite your tongue and handle it. It’s with the view that this is something that could affect other customers. This is not just that particular person. How you handle each customer can ultimately affect how well your business does. It’s not something to take lightly, for sure.
Keith Cosentino: I’ll tell you what. When you’re reading reviews for a product or a service and there’s 50 of them, you read the first one or two. Then, you scroll down, four, four, five, five, one. What’s this guy mad about? And you read it. That is what everybody does.
Colton L’Amy: I’ll be honest with you. Any product that I buy online, I always check reviews. I never just buy something. I’m not that kind of person. So, if I’m going to look at reviews for something, I actually will click on the one- and two-star reviews first.
Keith Cosentino: Everybody does.
Colton L’Amy: Sometimes you can filter them. I wanna read those first. I’m, “What’s really going on here?” If there’s a substantial amount of one stars or two stars and no responses from the customer response team or the company’s not giving them any sort of attention for being upset and there’s a long list of that, then it does definitely make you think, “Is this something I wanna buy or not?” It’s important, even if you don’t agree with what the person said. Just try to roll with it as much as possible and cover it over. Put a Band-Aid on it, and be able to keep rolling forward.
Keith Cosentino: Colton, thanks for coming on and sharing all this Facebook stuff. There is a ton of actionable tips here, guys. Don’t rest and say to yourself, “These are some things I should do.” Make a plan this week and pull this stuff off. Tell yourself you’re gonna get it done by next Monday. Post your comments and results in our comments section.
Let’s hear what’s working for you guys. Let’s hear what you wanna do or if you have another question about what exactly what you should do or how you should do it, post it on there. Colton will see those as well, and I’m sure he can chime in and straighten you out if you’ve got a question. If Shane or I know the answer, we’ll chime in too. Let’s see if we can get some Facebook profiles all filled out and get some more money rolling into your pockets through this stuff.
Colton L’Amy: That would be awesome.
Keith Cosentino: Are you trying to stay on the cutting edge of paintless dent removal when it comes to your tools? If so, you need to make sure you have two things in your arsenal. One is Shane Jacks Jackhammer Blending Hammer. Find it at BlendingHammerPDR.com. If you wanna learn blending, we’ve got an awesome tutorial to go along with the hammer right there on the site. You’re gonna love it. You’re gonna learn something and you’re gonna get better and make money.
In addition to the hammer, if you are doing any glue pulling, you need to have the Black Plague Crease Tabs. It’s a six-piece, crease pulling set. The two largest are absolute monsters. They are gonna pull out collision damage like nothing else you’ve got available, and the smaller sizes are gonna be for the normal, everyday kind of door edges and minor collision dents and a dog leg in the bottom of a door. I’m telling you guys it’s gonna change the way you do your repairs when you have the cutting edge tools. These are two of them: Black Plague PDR.com, BlendingHammerPDR.com. Check out the sites, guys. Bring yourselves into the 21st century.
Do not forget about ReconPro, the software that we use to run our PDR companies. The stuff is phenomenal. You’re entering in all the information on your device, which is an iPhone. You’re scanning the VIN with the camera of it. Everything’s populated in there for you. You buzz that little rascal off via magic off to a server somewhere. It’s all living on a server. You can dunk the phone in a bucket of water as soon as you’re done. You don’t lose any data. Everything’s paperless. The invoice is delivered electronically. You can send duplicates at a moment’s notice. Guys, get off paper. Quit screwing around. AutoMobileTechnologies.com, ReconPro. Look into it. Get your business into the 21st century. Let’s talk a little bit about some stuff we got coming up. We’ve got the Advanced Skills Seminar coming up. You’re a Florida guy. Are you coming to that seminar?
Colton L’Amy: For sure. It’s already on my calendar.
Keith Cosentino: We are excited to have you there plus a lot of other guys. Let me ask you. What technique, if you have one in your mind, are you most excited to learn from Shane?
Colton L’Amy: Well, besides the very obvious that everybody’s thinking, Shane Jacks equals blending. I’m gonna be excited to learn some of that, but I just wanna be able to pick his brain. I know on an earlier episode he talked about figuring out a faster way of doing creases. I just had to do three of them yesterday, and I was sitting there, “Man, I wish I knew how Shane does it because I know he’s gonna make me faster.” I’m just looking forward to everything. There’s not really any one specific thing. I just know that I’m gonna come out of that seminar with a lot more knowledge than I have right now.
Keith Cosentino: I’m excited also to see the blending that he’s gonna show us firsthand. He’s taught me personally, but not over the span of two days, just a half and hour here and there. I bet even I will pick up some more information from Shane during that. Creases is a big one. A lot of guys have talked about that. Shane actually made a video that’s gonna go out on our sign-up page for the seminar where he fixes a crease in the corner of the video while he’s telling us about it. I think he’s done in seven or eight minutes with this 15-inch long crease. So, he does the crease in real time while he’s talking about the seminar. Pretty awesome.
I’m excited about sharing a lot of glue pulling tips because selling the tabs and glue, I’ve gotten messages from guys all over the world, and it’s amazing the different results people get with the same products. I know there are some technique issues that we can straighten out. Everybody who’s pulling with glue already probably thinks they have a pretty good handle on it, but sometimes with just a few little tweaks, and they’re tiny little tweaks, your glue pulling can go through the roof. So, I’m excited about going over that and making sure everybody’s right on the cutting edge for that stuff.
Colton L’Amy: Definitely. You’ve already helped me tremendously just with the one tip of cleaning something really well with alcohol. Those small tweaks here and there are what we’re gonna learn over a two-day period, and I’m sure you’re gonna come away a much better tech. I’m excited. I really am.
Keith Cosentino: I am too. So, this week this show is airing on Monday, and if you are on the list already, you’ll; be getting an email in the next day or two with the sign-up information where you can actually pay and solidify your spot. If you’re interested, you better hop on that line sooner than later because I think we already have too many people in our email list for the seminar than we have space for. If you are first or early on the line, you’re gonna get an email maybe a day or two before. When you get that email, do not ignore it.
If you’re interested, click it and pay your money and get into the spot because we’re gonna give you a day to respond. Then, it’s gonna go on to the next group of people, so they can have their shot. There’s too many people on that list for spaces we have. When you see that email, get on it, fellows. That’s your chance. So, we’re pumped about that. We’re gonna talk a little bit about the tool review now, but before I hit that, it kind of goes along with it, I’ve got some new glues that just came in, and I have not even had a chance to test these things yet.
I had a rainy day doing a smash dent, and I didn’t need any glue, so I didn’t even get to run any of this stuff through the gun. The two colors are what they call “orange fire” and “gold rush.” The orange fire is like a neon orange, like a safety orange color. The gold rush is like a sparkly gold. They both say they’re all-weathers, but when I’m feeling them just as the sticks, the orange one feels a lot more dense, so I have a feeling that’s gonna be a better slide hammer glue or a hot weather glue and the gold one might be a little softer. Sometimes when you don’t want that really strong pull, you actually want a glue that doesn’t bite as hard.
I know that sounds silly, but when you really get into the precision glue pulling, you know how hard of a pull you want for a certain kind of metal or dent. It’s nice to be able to doctor that up. That stuff’s available on the Black Plague PDR site, BlackPlaguePDR.com or DeadRatTabs.com, if you wanna try it out. I don’t have any information for you about how it works. If you wanna get in on the ground floor and test it yourself, hop on there. I only have a case of each, so you can get some coming and you might know how it works before I do. My guys and I are gonna start running it next week, so that’s on there now.
The tool review that I said goes along with it that we’re gonna talk about right now is the cordless glue gun from Carl Stuckey at Dent Specialists International. Have you seen that thing online, Colton?
Colton L’Amy: I did. I’ve been debating whether I should get one or not. I’m anxious to hear what you say about it.
Keith Cosentino: I’ve got a 2013 Tacoma. It has a factory-installed inverter. In the back of the truck, I’ve plugged a big long power strip into the inverter that goes the whole length of the truck. So, I keep a glue gun plugged into it, and I’ve got the switch on the dash. When I’m driving up to a job, and I know it’s a glue pulling or I think it’s a glue pulling job, I can turn on the inverter and leave the truck in the on position or running, and I can go inside and get the job all set up. By the time I get the tools out, the gun is hot as can be.
I already have a pretty quick mobile setup, right? But I cannot always get the back of my truck right next to the dent. I might have a ten or 15 or 20 step walk from that part of the truck over to the dent. That doesn’t seem like a lot of space, but if you gotta dent or a series of dents you’re gonna pull 25 times, that’s 25 walks of ten steps. It doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but it really eats it up, especially if you’re doing wholesale work and you’re glue pulling on your wholesale stuff. First of all, I will tell you, I was skeptical because it’s a battery in a glue gun, and a glue gun seems like a real energy hog with the heat and everything.
Colton L’Amy: Right, exactly.
Keith Cosentino: I wasn’t expecting it to run that long, but with a full charge, I got two days of route and retail work out of this thing. Of course, it’s not running all day.
Colton L’Amy: Wow.
Keith Cosentino: It’s running as often as I need it to run. I got two days out of that single charge. I was amazed.
Colton L’Amy: You were not using another glue gun?
Keith Cosentino: No. That’s all I used because I was testing it. I wanted to see when it goes bad. That’s all I used.
Colton L’Amy: That’s insane.
Keith Cosentino: I know. And it’s not very big and heavy. So, I now just take that with my glue kit right to the dent, and I’m no longer getting up and moving around. I’m more like a hail guy now who’s set up right on top of the rail with their cart and gun. Those guys do that because they’re the experts at efficiency. Route guys are not generally. We are a little more lacking with our set-up routine because we have to be a little more variable for the different scenarios whereas a hail guy always has the same situation where they’re gonna be with their tools next to a car in a bay. We have to be a little more variable, so I think we burn a little time in those set-ups.
With this, we’re more like a hail guy. All of our things are right on top of the damage. It’s much faster. So, I’m not going backwards. This is what I’m using all the time now. The hardest part for me has been to remember that I have to charge it up overnight. You gotta charge that darn thing. Even forgetting, I got two and a half or three days, if I didn’t do a lot of glue pulling. It holds a charge for a long time. For me, it’s the wave of the future. I know the Snap-on cordless gun is out there, and James Lee at Elim A Dent has a new set-up to run different batteries on that to eliminate a bottleneck it had with the batteries and the run time, but I haven’t tested it. I don’t know anything about it.
I do know Carl’s gun though, and it’s $225.00 on his site. We’ll have a link on the homepage, PDRCollege.com, within this episode. It’ll have a resources link. You can pre-order it. He says they’re gonna start delivering in November. I asked him about it when I got it because it’s got a battery box on the bottom, and it’s got a 12-volt glue gun attached to the top of it. They’re fixed together. You could disassemble it, if you wanted to, but it’s fixed together, so you just pick it up and drop it down with a big battery base.
I was saying, “What’s going on in here? In my mind, I always picture the most simple thing, Carl. I think this is a battery that you found that’s the proper battery that fits the specs and you put it in a box and you put a glue gun on it.” He laughed at me, “That seems easy, doesn’t it?” He’s been in development for this thing for two years. Inside that box is not just a battery off the shelf. This is a custom battery that Carl put together to run with the proper specs to make this gun run for two days. It’s not just that he found a battery and glued and glue gun to it, and now it’s a cordless glue gun. That’s what you think it is, but that is not what it is.
Colton L’Amy: There’s a lot of science that went into this thing.
Keith Cosentino: There really is. He’s really modest about it, so he doesn’t go shouting that to everybody, so I’ve gotta do it for him and tell you that this is not just two pieces off of eBay that went together and he’s making a product out of it. This is actually his electronics on the inside, his design to make it run the way it does. Remember, Carl’s been doing cordless stuff for years. He’s not just jumping into this thing on accident. It’s gonna be a quality product.
The other thing that’s neat about it is, the charger that fits into the battery and the cord that goes from the battery to the gun all have the same connections. So, on the off chance that’s your glue gun and you ran out of batteries, you can just take the charger and run it straight into the gun and run it like that, just a straight 12 volt gun off of a 120 volt connection or you can make your own cigarette lighter connector to the gun.
Colton L’Amy: That was really smart to put in that little tweak there.
Keith Cosentino: Yes. So, you’re still gonna have power, if you need it, right on the money, when you need it. I can’t recommend that gun enough. I think that’s gonna be what most guys are carrying, if they don’t have the Snap-on set-up or access to power within a shop. So, that link will be on our Web site. It’s Dents Specialists International. My Internet connection is actually down right now. Colton and I are doing this over the phone, but I can’t pull it up, so I don’t know if it’s “Specialist” or “Specialists International,” but we’ll have a link on PDRCollege.com.
All right, Colton. Thanks again for coming on with the show. I appreciate you telling everybody about the Facebook stuff that you’ve learned. Not everybody is so willing to share their business tips because they think if they win, then everyone else loses and vice versa. If everyone else wins, then they lose, but you and I both know that we can all win together and just bring everybody up on a higher level. So, thanks for being the guy to share that. We’re gonna make a lot of people a lot of money with these tips.
Colton L’Amy: No problem. I really enjoyed it. It was a privilege to be on here.
Keith Cosentino: And we will see all of you fellows down in Colton’s neck of the woods in Florida in January. We hope to see you at the Advanced Skills Seminar and get on another level there. Do not forget about the Inner Circle. That is our high-level, networking, mastermind group that we are forming. I know I’ve been teasing it for a while, but we are continuing to build that product out in the back room, build out the backbone of it, and we’re still logging your emails and information.
Once that thing is all put together, you’re gonna get an email with your complete application and make sure you can be a part of that group where we are going to be networking with all of the high-level guys in the world that are doing PDR that wanna learn more from other high-level guys. That’s gonna be a paid group where not everybody is in, but the guys who are in are going to be sharing everything. A lot of the guys you’ve heard here on the show are high-level guys, including Shane and myself. I think Colton will probably be in that group too. We are really excited about that.
We are gonna meet in person at least once a year and get to know everyone on a personal level, so when you share your information you know who you’re sharing it with and it’s a two-way street. That’s gonna be great. Keep looking out for that too. We’ve got really exciting things going on in 2015. Next year is gonna be awesome. Thanks for joining us for an hour. We’ll see you next Monday. Until then, Colton –
Colton L’Amy: Get better.
Keith Cosentino: Right.
Shane Jacks: So, a major hailstorm has affected your area. What do you do now? Your phone is ringing off the hook. Dealerships are inquiring about your services and retail customers and body shops are eager to get in touch with you as well. You want to capture as much as possible, while still maintaining your sanity. Now, how do you do this? How do you close deals, interact with customers and answer an unrelenting phone all while not losing your mind?
Enter a PDR management company, like The Hail Company. The Hail Company will come into town and manage sites of all sizes and kinds to maximize your profit potential. From placing the correct techs in the correct positions that they fit best to total management of wholesale operations, The Hail Company will do whatever is necessary to make your storm experience a good and, more importantly, profitable one. So, give Ryan a call today at 636-734-5470 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s email@example.com.[End of Audio]
Duration: 66 minutes