Auto Repair Shop Marketing – How Should I Budget?

Before we get started I’d like to get one point across if you’re a business owner or manager. You don’t need a website, SEO services, or anything to do with marketing. You need more MONEY (and also time, but for the sake of this article we’ll stick to money). To get more money.. you need you want better customers. You want better employees so you can offer better work with better equipment, to retain those better customers. Stop me where I’m wrong, please.

Now, in the case of costs associated with equipment, or higher skilled technicians, do you ask if you can afford them based on the money in your bank account, or do you operate like a smart business owner and look at them as an investment (as you should) and ask a “better” question. “How much of a return can I expect for investing in that better piece of equipment, or that employee with more experience than the kid who just graduated but is $15/hr cheaper?” The real question becomes can you afford NOT to invest in the better decision, as opposed to can I afford to spend this money. Make sense?

Likewise, you should think of your marketing dollars as an investment as well, not an expense. As a business owner, you can essentially do 3 things with your money;

  1. Spend it on yourself/your family
  2. Save it for yourself/your family
  3. Invest it back in your business

Hopefully by now you are an intelligent business owner and can do all of the above, or at least number 3. This way, you’re not concerned with the actual cost of your auto repair website or marketing campaign, but more-so with what it’s going to do for you. If you remember from up above, that means putting more money into your pocket. 

So let me give you an example of how a typical freelance web designer or marketer operates. If you’re wondering, I spent the better part of a decade operating this way (face palm) so I feel I’m somewhat qualified to speak on it. OK, their phone rings, and on the other line is someone like yourself, a business owner looking for all of those ‘better’ things we mentioned in the beginning of this article. 

Typical Freelancer– “Hi how can I help you?”

Business Owner– “I need a website for my repair shop”

Typical Freelancer– (thinking to him/herself, ‘great, here we go again, another penny pinching business owner who probably only cares about how much it’s going to cost, but damn, rent is due next week, I need the money) “OK, sir, I can build you a website for $1,200

Now, you cut them a check and the typical freelancer purchases a $10 theme, barely makes any edits (I’ve seen a lot of your websites who still have the “John Doe” testimonials that are built in to those templates..ouch!) Now because the project budget is so low, the freelancer has to do it all by themselves, which is frustrating because they have a million other things to do.

A few weeks go by and you get your site up on your domain, but it’s not bringing in any leads aka no more money into your pocket. You ask the freelancer to put a form above the fold (which is a great idea to get more free estimate requests btw) and the freelancer is even MORE frustrated. “Oh, great! Now he wants me to do more work, eating into my profit. This sucks! I’m not making any money, and I’m not bringing in any results. Aghhhh!” 

Therefore, you leave the freelancer, more frustrated than before and ultimately call an agency like ShopHawk. Here’s what’s going to happen;

If you find us online, chances are you will go through one of our sales funnels (which we can setup for your business as well) and be pre-qualified before we even get you on the phone. This not only saves us time, but you as well. Let’s be honest, this is business, and we both need to be a good fit for each other in order for both of us to grow. Would you agree?

Our phone call will be a bit different than what you are used to. You may call us and say the same:

Wise Business Owner- “I need a website for my auto repair shop.” and we may turn around and say

ShopHawk Professionals- “OK, great. Why do you need a website?” To which you reply

Wise Business Owner– “Well, I would like to get more leads for insurance body work or, I’d love to bring in more bumper repairs, since they are such high profit margins.”

ShopHawk Professionals– What’s your typical body work customer worth, and are you doing any kind of marketing now?”

Wise Business Owner– Well our average is about $4,000, but we just had a front end collision job on a dump truck that was around $17,000! We mostly do direct mailers, and a billboard every now and then.”

ShopHawk Professionals– Excellent. So, you need an overhaul of your website to attract, engage and delight new and returning site visitors. I’d suggest a trackable form above the fold to capture more free estimate leads, professionally written content to ensure we’re converting as many visitors as possible, and definitely adding analytics and a Facebook Pixel so we can track potential leads, and retarget those visits coming from your billboards or direct mailers that don’t end up converting into paying customers. We can also integrate some pretty neat automation to follow up with your customers and potential customers. So that’s to market to existing traffic, but it won’t necessarily bring you more online leads, for that we would recommend a combination of PPC ads and SEO to get direct search traffic, and some Facebook AD funnels as well. Does that make sense?”

Wise Business Owner– That makes perfect sense, actually. No one’s ever taken the time to explain that to me like that. Ok, so how much for the website and how much for the monthly marketing?”

ShopHawk Professionals– “You’re looking at $8,000 for the website, and around $2,000/month for marketing” **

At this point, the wise business owner sees he only needs a few customers a month to start seeing a return on his investment, and starts calculating the Lifetime Value of each customer.

Wise Business Owner– OK, great! Let’s do the website and one month of marketing as a test. (cuts check)

successful auto repair marketing

Subsequently, I can now afford to use my top level designers and copywriters to turn your website into a lead generating machine. A 24/7 virtual sales person and brand ambassador, which saves you countless hours by doing the majority of the selling and qualifying FOR YOU. I can also afford to bring on kick-ass auto repair marketing specialists, and even a dedicated project manager to ensure your project moves along smoothly. You’ll have access to clear contracts so you know what deliverables you are paying for, and a customer portal where you can access all of the above in one convenient spot. 

In closing, I hope this article has helped you better understand the power of perception and mindset. It’s the same in your business. We all need better employees, equipment, and customers.. so we can provide quality, CONSISTENT service to our market. Schedule a call with us today and let’s grow together. 

**Please note the prices above are used for the purpose of this article, and do not reflect actual pricing of service packages. Your actual investment will be calculated based on the needs and budget of your individual business. We look forward to speaking with you!

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