River Pool And Spas Case Study

Pool Maintenance  |  Swimming Pool Accessories

How Long Should I Run My Pool Pump?

By: Holly Jender March 09, 2018

Time for a shout-out to the unsung heroes: pump and filter systems! Your pool pump circulates the water to distribute the chemicals and filter out particulate matter from the water to keep the water clean, pretty, and safe.  It’s doing you a solid, but it can also be a giant energy hog thanks to all that work. (Plus, extended hard work could wear the pump out sooner than expected. We don't want that. After all, extended hard work is the worst.) So how can you get all the benefits without spending extra money on electrical costs you don’t need?

Swimming Pool FAQs

Researching Inground Pools: Where Do I Start?

By: Holly Jender February 12, 2018

You know that feeling when you have so much to do that you end up just binge-watching Netflix instead of doing anything at all? Pool research can feel that way. What should I search first? What should I search for? If it’s your first time looking into all this stuff, it can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of information, and somehow you’re supposed to figure out how to navigate it all. How are you supposed to know what you don’t know? Well, fear not. I’m going to give you a super quick rundown of the most common questions—and links to learn the answers. Boom. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Pool Closing/Winterization  |  Pool Maintenance

Does My Pool Need Winter Maintenance?

By: Holly Jender February 02, 2018

The joys of summer: pools and convertibles. My best friend has a red Mustang convertible named Sally (i.e., Mustang Sally). In the summer we love to drive with the top down to get Slurpees. However, with a heavy heart, she has to cover Sally up for the winter. Likewise, you should bundle up your pool during the chilly months. We know it’s a sad day. We won’t judge if you cry a little.

Options and Accessories  |  Swimming Pool Accessories  |  Swimming Pool Design

Coolest Pool Tile Options for 2018

By: Holly Jender January 16, 2018

My mom is big on interior design, and her most recent project is redoing the tile on her kitchen wall. It wasn’t old-fashioned or broken, but she likes everything to be up-to-date and looking its best. In the same way, for fiberglass pools, tile is a matter of taste, not necessity. Here at River Pools, it’s important to us that you get the pool you want. Some customers love tile, and we’re happy to put it on. Others choose to save the money toward other features and accessories. There’s no wrong option!

Concrete Pool Information  |  Cost and Pricing  |  Pool Maintenance

How Much Does Resurfacing a Concrete Pool Cost?

By: Holly Jender January 05, 2018

When I’m not taking the pool industry by storm, I like to write novels. I plan ahead obsessively: think 10-page character sheets, hand-drawn world maps, and color-coded plot diagrams. “Congratulations on overthinking everything,” you say, “but I’m not writing a book. I’m buying a pool.” Don’t give me that look! For pool purchases and maintenance, you, too, need to plan ahead. Maps and diagrams included, probably.

Concrete Pool Information  |  Installation & Construction  |  Options and Accessories

Gunite vs. Shotcrete: What’s the Difference?

By: Holly Jender December 28, 2017

Concrete pools are often referred to as “gunite” pools, but then what’s shotcrete? Are gunite, shotcrete, and concrete all the same thing? Not to worry… all will be revealed. (Doesn’t that sound ominous? I love it.) Quick refresher: concrete is a mix of water, cement, sand, and a coarse aggregate, which is usually stone or gravel. The cement, sand, and aggregate are the initial mixture. How the builder mixes in the water determines how we refer to it.

Pool Maintenance  |  Swimming Pool FAQs

How Does Hydrostatic Pressure in an Inground Pool Work?

By: Holly Jender December 22, 2017

Odds are, you’ve heard pool people tell you, frantically and with tears in their eyes, “Don’t drain your inground pool!” They mention hydrostatic pressure as the reasoning before running off to warn the next pool owner they can find. It’s nice of them to alert you…but what are they talking about? Why shouldn’t you drain your pool, really? What does “hydrostatic” even mean? Not to worry, friend. I have your back. Let’s talk pool physics.

Comparing Fiberglass, Concrete, and Vinyl Liner Pools in the Modern Age

Don't blindly wonder if a fiberglass, concrete, or vinyl liner pool is right for you. Our educational ebook does a deep-dive comparison of the 3 types, all while noting the advantages and disadvantages of each.

As part of our BlogAbout Interview Series, we're speaking with authors, speakers, and TED Presenters on all things content. Get your content ideas with the BlogAbout tool.

Don't let Marcus Sheridan hear that you don't think you can write. 

If you're looking for understanding, you won't find it here. 

Sheridan credits blogging for saving his business during the economic collapse of 2008, spending many late nights at his kitchen table writing blog posts that answered common customer questions he had heard over the years. 

His company, River Pools and Spas, was in trouble. As you could imagine, an economic downturn like the one faced in '08 caused many would-be buyers to put a cap on recreational spending. 

Things didn't look good. He had no work, and even worse, no money to spend on advertising in order to build awareness. 

So he blogged. A lot. 

And more importantly, people starting reading them. As a result, work found him

Fast forward to just a few years later, and River Pools and Spas is the number one pool company in the United States specializing in fiberglass pools. It's the stuff of legend. 

So much so that the New York Times has chronicled Sheridan's story. He's also a frequent keynote speaker at conferences around the country and has even presented a TED Talk on his experience.

And the craziest part? 

"I actually was not much of a writer at all," says Sheridan.

Funny. That didn't seem to stop him.

I recently caught up with Marcus to talk content, and more specifically, how others can achieve his kind of success.  

The story of River Pools and Spas story is one of the most powerful endorsements of blogging and inbound marketing in general. Did you have a lot of experience writing prior to blogging to save your business? 

I actually was not much of a writer at all, and would certainly say that I wasn't a natural by any stretch of the imagination.

If you look at the first articles I wrote on River Pools, there are many imperfections. Everything from voice to tone to appearance – it's all cringe worthy to be honest.

But at the same time, those initial articles bring me a tremendous sense of satisfaction. I knew I was imperfect, but I pushed through anyway, not allowing the fears of imperfection or mistakes to cloud my ultimate goal – teach the world (in this case about fiberglass swimming pools) and save my business in the process. 

In your foreword in Jay Baer's "Youtility", you talked about sitting at your kitchen table late at night to write blog posts. Could you describe that scene?

In many ways, it was a desperate time. It's tough to work 65+ hours a week and then get home around 11 PM many nights and have to write a blog post.

Keep in mind too that I was also learning inbound marketing in general – from HubSpot tools to things like meta descriptions, it was all new to me. 

Eventually though, after a few months I could see just a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. The stress turned to excitement as I realized that not only were we on to something big, but we were also having fun doing it. It was like digital farming – I had to plant the seed, water it, and then watch the magic of growth. 

What advice would you give to other business owners who don't view themselves as writers?

I think it's important to realize that we're all communicators, even if we're not necessarily writers. This basically means it's critical that we look for ways to get our message across.

For some, this means writing.

For others, this means video.

And for others, it means finding someone who can interview you, draw out the information, and then put it in text or video form.

Frankly, "I'm not a good writer" no longer holds any weight when it comes to success online, as there are plenty of folks out there who can't write yet are crushing it because they're thinking outside the box and getting the work done regardless of their perceived imperfections.

You've talked a lot about transparency and its importance in approaching content marketing. Why are so many businesses afraid of this? 

Many companies think they are like the Big Mac and have a secret sauce. Well, they don't. Everyone knows it's 1000 Island Dressing, so you may as well share it with the rest of the world. Furthermore, businesses are afraid their competition will steal their secrets.

This is such a foolish mentality. 

Ultimately, this is what you have to decide as a business: Do I care more about earning the trust of potential customers or hiding things (that don't exist) from my competition? 

Once you can answer that question, everything will change. 

In 2014, is it still possible for small and medium sized businesses to see a similar transformation from blogging? 

Great teaching and communication have been essential for success since the beginning of time and it's going to be essential until the end of time.

When we ask the question, "will blogging still work in the future?", we should actually be asking the question, "will being helpful and being a great teacher be relevant for businesses in the future?"

The answer to that question is obvious, which is exactly why the conversation, at least in its current state, needs to change.

When people visit your website, they expect to be fed. And if you don't feed them, they leave. That's the way it works, and that's the choice businesses will always have to work. 

Many bloggers struggle with continuously finding angles to blog consistently. In your experience, what works in ensuring you'll always have enough material to never let the well run dry?

If someone follows the golden rule of blogging and content marketing, "They Ask, You Answer" – answer every question you've ever been asked by a prospect or customer – you should never run out of content.

And if you do run out, it means that you've stopped listening.

At River Pools, we've answered hundreds and hundreds of questions, and there are still many left unanswered.

People talk about thought leadership, but that's not really the point of blogging, is it? Sounds kind of self-serving. Could you describe, in your opinion, what makes an a blog successful, and furthermore, a blogger?

Thought leadership is a relative term. I have no problem with it, and in fact appreciate any company that wants to lead in their industry.

Heck, there are way too many followers out there as it is, not nearly enough businesses willing to take a stand and question the status quo on occasion.

But here is the thing about thought leadership – it doesn't happen by trying to sound smart. That will just make you look stupid.

It happens as you attempt to become a prolific teacher in your space and be more helpful than anyone else. Do that, and you'll become a thought leader without ever even trying. 

Innovations in how we buy and behave have changed how we do business, as evidenced with inbound marketing. What changes do you foresee that businesses can stay ahead of? 

This I am sure of: Consumers will only grow in impatience as they research and buy. They want to find what they're looking for and they want to find it NOW.

Understanding this affects everything from web design to content to social media strategy. 

We live in a world of "I want it now."

This will not change, so you may as well embrace it and use it to your advantage. 

Any favorite blogs and/or bloggers you read that you'd like to expose the audience to?

Here's one many haven't heard of that I think is very good: Ian Altman at www.growmyrevenue.com (sales and business development.)

For more information and content from Marcus and his agency, The Sales Lion, visit their website to learn more. 

This article is part of the "Content Marketing & Blogging" Hub in The IMPACT Anthology. Other articles include:

  • What is Content Marketing?
  • Blogging for Business? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
  • Content Marketing Mission Statements: How to Find Your Editorial Focus
  • The Best Content Marketing Strategies Your Company is Still Ignoring
  • 30 Days of New Content Ideas for Your Business Blog [Infographic]
  • 27 Blog Topic Ideas That Take 30 Minutes to Finish

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