If you are in any kind of business, you absolutely need to have new leads coming in every day in order to thrive. This is perhaps even truer in the case of local businesses where there is a limited pool of customers to earn money from. Are you an emergency plumber? Then you already know what we are talking about when we say getting more leads is critical to your business.

Getting more leads or potential customers start with you building a website for your business. But this is just a first step, and as first steps go, there are many more steps you need to take in order to set yourself apart from the competition and be the top emergency plumber in your local area.

If you don’t know how to build a website, there are plenty of how-to beginner’s resources out there that can help you. Just search for “how to build a website”. We’re not going to talk about building websites here because that would stray away from the more important aspect of building your presence online: That of getting the word out on your service.

Your website is basically your business address on the Internet. In order for it to be found, you have to reach out to your target customers. To reach out to customers who are knee-deep in their problems, make sure to have your website optimized on Google for your most important keywords, such as “plumber (your local area)”. There are many professionals out there that can help you with this and they are called Search Engine Optimization or SEO professionals. You can find plenty of them online and you might just find one or two services in your area specializing in SEO.

Once your website is ranking on Google, you will only need to wait for the calls to come in. It might surprise you, but most people who have emergency problems actually turn to Google, rather instinctively, to solve them quickly.

Side by side with SEO, you have to create a Unique Selling Proposition or USP for your business. What is USP? It is basically the message that will set you apart from your competitors and will help customers remember you. How do you create a Unique Selling Proposition? First, you have to be clear about the benefits you offer. Next, you have to tell your customers how you are going to solve their problem, and then you have to tell them what sets you apart from the competition.

A good example would be this: This emergency plumber solves drainage problems in half the time it takes for others to complete. Problem solved in 30 minutes or less. Guaranteed or $50 off!

Of course, the example above is just that, an example, and you are encouraged to create your own especially if you feel 30 minutes is too short a time for solving a plumbing problem. But once you have created your USP, make sure to incorporate it into your website and in your marketing messages as well.

Aside from SEO, you should use other marketing channels for branding your business. This goes right into the heart of your USP. What are these other marketing channels? They include Facebook advertising and setting up a page on Yelp. List your business on Yelp and advertise if you are totally new.

Once you have leads coming and you have people hiring you for jobs, make sure to keep your business in front of their eyes by connecting with them on Facebook and/or other social media websites.