Richard Cruz and Plumber Marketing USA: The Power of Specialization, Transparency, and Service Excellence

Dennis Yu had the privilege to sit down with Richard Cruz, the founder of Plumber Marketing USA, a digital agency specializing in the plumbing and HVAC industry. Learn about the strategies, best practices, and lessons that have propelled his agency to nearly seven figures, making them a force to be reckoned with in the digital marketing landscape.

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Richard Cruz’s Journey to Specialization and Success

His journey in digital marketing started with a broad focus, but he slowly realized that specializing was the key to success. He recalls when he decided to serve the plumbing and HVAC market exclusively. By narrowing their focus, they connected with clients more effectively and delivered results that other agencies could not match. Richard emphasizes that specialization was the turning point that allowed his agency to excel and make a significant impact.

Richard explains that as they started getting more plumbing clients, they also started getting more referrals because they delivered good results consistently. He fell in love with plumbers because they reminded him of his dad. Richard says that the best plumbers are hardworking and honest. He was drawn to them and wanted to serve them. What amazes him is that around 90% of their clients were people who got burned before by other agencies that delivered poor service and broken promises.

Richard does not have Account Managers. Instead, he has a CRT Team that ensures they are updating the client, delivering results, and maintaining transparency. He tells them not to b*llsh*t clients. Their approach is nothing high-tech or miraculous. It is all about caring for their clients and being honest with them. Because of their good practices, clients stick with them. And now, they have already breached the seven-figure mark. They are on their way to even bigger things.

Building Trust Through Transparency

One of the cornerstones of their success is their commitment to transparency and integrity. Richard shares that his agency does not hold back when sharing its processes and methodologies. They provide clients with a detailed playbook showcasing the step-by-step strategies they implement to drive traffic, improve rankings, and generate leads. This transparency builds trust and empowers clients to see the tangible value they are receiving.

Richard says that most plumbers do not know the right questions to ask. And when people ask why they should choose his agency, he tells them, “Do not choose us because of our promises. Choose us because of our methodologies and processes.” He adds that people can see their past clients and how their small army of SEO experts can hit the right buttons and pull the right levers. SEO is not fairy dust. It is a process, a checklist. If you have a good playbook and you follow it, success will come.

Then, Dennis asks, “SEO, as you mentioned, is a lot of mystical or secret stuff, but for a plumber who does not know anything about it, how can they tell if SEO is really happening?” According to Richard, most clients do not know where to look. In the end, it all comes down to analytics. Look at the numbers. It is all there. They can see what drives traffic. Analytics is not just about reports. It is the lifeblood of your business.

Richard adds that they run audits to show clients what is happening inside their campaigns. They show them the actual traffic and focus on the keywords because it is not just about traffic. It is how people find them. They do audits to show clients what is happening under the hood, identifying steps and processes that will start moving the needle. That results in quality traffic that has good buying intent.

Mastering Local Service Ads (LSAs)

The conversation shifted to LSAs, a powerful tool Richard believes is a game-changer for the plumbing industry. He highlighted its effectiveness in generating leads at a fraction of the cost of traditional pay-per-click advertising. However, he also cautioned that LSAs require careful management to ensure continued success. Richard stressed the importance of focusing on the right metrics and being vigilant to maintain the quality of leads.

Is There Something That You Wish You Had Known Before Entering This Space?

Richard reveals that he should have learned to specialize sooner than he did. It took him two years before niching down. As the company continued to grow, it started getting more plumbers. It was becoming their specialty. It came to a point where he decided, “That is it. We are only going to take plumbers from now on. We are going to say no to everybody else.” However, each time he decided to niche down, someone from the “everybody else” category would call him. It was hard for him to say no to those clients.

He would tell his team, “Okay, guys, that is it! From now on, it is plumbers only.” Then, his people would see him taking in a new client that is not a plumber. As a leader, that did not reflect well on him. For two years, he struggled with that. Then one day, he realized that if they continued along this path, they would never reach the two goals they were aiming for, growth and world-class service.

Richard wanted the company to be known as the best at one thing, serving one market. He realized they would never get there if they continued to serve the generalist space, so he finally decided and never looked back. Again, calls started coming in from the “everybody else” category, but Richard turned them down. The first few months of saying no to them were difficult for him, but he eventually overcame it.

From that point on, they started leveling up their game. They fine-tuned their team and developed a process they call the Plumber Marketing USA Way. They are big on systems and processes. They are taking their playbooks to the highest level possible. That is what they want to deliver. He knows he could never have done it if he did not close his doors to the broad market and specialized in one. He wishes that he had done it sooner.

More Opportunities To Deliver Value and Impact

Richard says things are more interesting now because he can see a different perspective, too. Now, they offer everything Google, such as websites, SEO maps, PPCs, and LSAs. He is looking for more ways to help plumbers and add value. His dedication to serving his clients and making a positive impact shone throughout the interview. 

He reveals that his mission is to help 300 plumbers succeed by generating more leads to grow their business. That will enable him to take his agency to a $10 million company. That is their target, and everyone on his team is focused on that. Richard believes that the act of taking great care of clients has a direct effect on his employees and their families. Everybody will be blessed when we take care of our clients.

Richard on Personal Branding

Richard is also delving into the world of personal branding. He emphasizes the significance of showing up and sharing knowledge through various platforms like podcasts, videos, and social media. Richard acknowledges that putting yourself out there can be intimidating, but you must push past your self-doubt and do it. He also wants to help his clients establish their personal branding, and he is looking at the Dollar a Day strategy to help with that process.

Dennis adds that the person who holds the most authority, trust, and credibility is the one that people will go with. Take Tommy Mello of A1 Garage Door, for example. He has built his personal brand so well that when people think about garage door companies, he and his company comes to mind first. That is the power of branding.

Dennis shares that he is flying out to Scottsdale after the call to join a marathon. Then, he asks Richard, “Would you get on a plane if you knew that the pilot is not certified and that he learned how to fly an airplane just by watching YouTube videos?” Professionals such as plumbers, doctors, and real estate agents hold certifications certifying the training they went through. Digital marketers, however, do not have that kind of certification, so it is crucial for established digital marketers like Dennis and Richard to maintain these certifications, SOPs, and playbooks.

That is how you drain the swamp of people who think digital marketing is easy and can flimflam clients for thousands of dollars without delivering results. Dennis adds that it is easy for Richard to sell because he does not focus on selling but on delivering results. That is what drives word-of-mouth for Richard and his company.

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Your Digital Marketing Expert in the Plumbing Business

The conversation with Richard Cruz provided valuable insights into digital marketing, specialization, transparency, and personal branding. His journey from a generalist to a specialist showcases the power of focusing on a specific niche. His dedication to transparency and integrity has built a foundation of trust with clients. As Plumber Marketing USA continues to grow and evolve, his commitment to helping his clients thrive remains at the heart of their success story.

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.