- Highlight your business values and unique selling points to align with your target audience
- Build trust by sharing your solar expertise via educational content on your website
- Partner with other home improvement companies to expand your reach and share referrals
The solar industry may be relatively new, but it’s growing fast with installations predicted to increase by 40% over the next five years. With so many potential customers going solar, the key is to create a steady stream of solar leads so you’re not scrambling to close your next sale.
While big companies typically have sales teams and call centers working on lead generation, small business owners often need to be more agile and creative with their lead gen strategies and sales process. Below are several methods for gaining high-quality leads to boost your company’s bottom line.
6 solar lead generation strategies for your solar business
As a solar professional, generating leads may feel cumbersome, but it’s essential to growing your business. Qualified solar leads generate sales and build your base of satisfied customers.
To gain solar leads, you might consider traditional methods like cold calling or knocking on doors. You could also try working with a lead generation company, though receiving up-to-date and exclusive solar leads (those not shared with other solar businesses) might not be guaranteed. However, there are other ways to generate your own leads and improve your profitability.
1. Align your solar business brand with your target market
The solar industry is extremely competitive, so it’s crucial to stand out from other solar companies. On top of responding quickly to new leads and providing exceptional customer service, you can also stand out by understanding your target market and aligning your brand with your customers’ values. Building trust with potential customers is essential, considering 70% of customers tend to buy from brands that reflect their values.
For example, perhaps your prices are the lowest in your service area or your solar panel installation is guaranteed for a certain amount of time. This would appeal to customers who prioritize saving money. Perhaps you use more eco-friendly materials and practices compared to other solar panel providers, which would align with potential customers who prioritize the environment above all else.
The goal is to highlight your unique selling points—which should be aligned with the values of your target market—in all your marketing efforts.
2. Meet potential customers at in-person events
There are many ways to network both with customers and related businesses, so experiment to find out what works for you.
If you’re looking for residential solar leads and know your ideal customers visit home improvement events, you could run a stall at relevant local events. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with potential customers as well as other vendors. If you’re comfortable with public speaking, you could even offer to do a keynote speech or run a workshop at an event.
Another option is to take part in smaller local community functions. For example, you could host a fundraiser for an environmental charity in your service area, create a mini-event to celebrate Earth Day, or volunteer with your local homeowners’ association.
3. Create partnerships with complementary businesses
Professional networking can be a huge boon for business, so consider paying a visit to other home improvement companies in your area and introducing yourself and your services. When you establish a good relationship with related businesses, they may provide referrals to some of their clients. For example, construction companies, electricians, and water heater installation businesses all have reason to recommend electricity-saving ideas to their customers.
You could even partner with other businesses to offer a joint package. For example, if you partner with a roofing company, you could offer a combined deal where the homeowner gets a new roof and a solar panel installation for a discounted price when they buy the two together.
4. Spruce up (or set up) your website
If you don’t have a website yet, now’s the time to get one—46% of shoppers do online research when planning a major purchase. That means if potential customers can’t find you online, they’ll likely move on to your competitors.
You can set up your website yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. Either way, first impressions count, so make sure it looks professional, functions well, and describes your services in a way that appeals to your target market. For example, if you’re targeting environmentally conscious homeowners who also like to save money, highlight those aspects on your home page and throughout your site.
Also, make sure your contact details are displayed, and include high-quality images and testimonials from happy customers (if you don’t have any yet, it’s a good time to start asking for them).
Consider enticing visitors to opt-in to your database—and by default, your lead management system—with incentives, such as a discount voucher on their first purchase once they provide their email address and phone number.
Keep track of these solar leads either in a spreadsheet or a customer relationship management (CRM) system. There are many platforms that work well for small businesses, like Zoho, Zendesk, or Freshsales.
5. Create helpful content about solar energy
Renewable energy, including solar power, is a hot topic. Take advantage of the interest with educational content marketing designed to generate solar leads.
Make a list of relevant topics that will appeal to potential customers—for example, the many benefits of solar energy, how solar panels can help homeowners save money and energy, or what’s involved in installing a solar panel. Think about the questions you’re most frequently asked and provide answers to those. Educate your customers about what to look for when considering solar installation to demonstrate your expertise.
You can do this by writing blogs or posting on social media. If you don’t have the time or know-how, consider enlisting an agency or freelancer to build out your marketing strategy, budget permitting, on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
For the best results, content should be optimized for search engines so people can easily find you. You can use search engine optimization (SEO) tactics or hire an expert to assist.
Once you have contact details for your potential customers, you can start to build an email list and send out a regular newsletter or brief update. Research shows that most consumers (61%) prefer email communication from brands over other methods, and about 50% find relevant brand offers useful. Include useful tips in your email, promote your services and any special offers, and provide links to blogs or social media you’ve posted.
6. Use business listing sites to improve your brand’s visibility
Most people read online reviews when browsing for local businesses, and finding a solar panel provider is no exception. To make sure you show up as an option for potential customers, register on industry sites like the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) National Solar Database or Solar Business Hub.
To reach the largest audience possible, make sure your business is listed and accurate on online directories like Yelp. For instance, when you add or claim your Yelp Business Page, you have a place to post your company’s services and contact details for free. You can also share photos of your solar panel installations so potential customers can see your quality of work and respond to customer reviews to show your level of customer service. 97% of people buy from businesses after visiting Yelp, so customizing your business page can help you reach customers with a high intent to buy.
Make solar sales easier with high-quality solar leads
Generating solar leads is a critical part of running your solar business. As you set up your marketing strategy, align your brand with the values of your target audience. Then start networking and consider setting up partnerships with complementary businesses.
When it comes to online marketing, include SEO-optimized content on your website and expand your reach with email marketing. Also, make use of online directories like Yelp, which make it easy for people to find your company and leave reviews that can inspire other potential customers to contact you. Each of these methods can help you generate solar leads to drive your sales to the next level.
Once your lead generation strategy is working for you, learn how to move those solar leads through your sales funnel to close the deal.