By Karen Hamilton
Blame it on rampant reality TV, social media gone wild or simply too much time on our hands, but there’s no denying that homeowners are doing a lot of sharing about their home renovation and décor projects these days. One of the latest virtual hangouts for people who want to do things to their homes is Hometalk.com.
Despite being billed as a site for homeowners, renters and professionals to share ideas, tips and advice on all things home and garden related, at first blush, some pros might think Hometalk.com is beneath them. Yes, the article on how to make Christmas ornaments out of paint chips is pretty hokey. And I’m willing to bet a hundred bucks that Hometalk member and DIY-er Anne D will look at her $40 DIY shutters a year from now, smack herself on the forehead, and ask, “What was I thinking?” But look past the extreme crafters and DIY-ers, and construction professionals will find a free, no-brainer marketing tool.
At a very basic level, Hometalk is great for market research. A once-a-day or even once-a-week scan can keep you up-to-date on trends and what homeowners are asking for.
The best way to use Hometalk, however, is to use it as a method to bring in new business. As a minimum, pros are encouraged to fill out a profile and post pictures of their jobs so that they can be found when homeowners search Hometalk for professionals in their area.
Even better is to answer questions posted on the site. Your response will be viewed not only by the person who asked the question but by anyone else searching for the same thing. Consistently giving helpful answers to homeowners’ questions makes it more likely that you’ll be noticed and approached by clients in your area. As Hometalk says in their Frequently Asked Questions, “Every question you answer is a potential lead every single time it is read.”
Check out Hometalk.com and join the conversation.
Karen Hamilton is part of the team at Hammerati. Hammerati is a professional network exclusively for the construction industry.