Great contractors are all about getting the job done right but aren’t always as good at talking up their own work. After all, your specialty isn't marketing.
However, each project is a big deal to your customers and the stakes for customers looking to hire a contractor are high. They’re not likely to just take the first contractor they find in the phonebook.
That’s why it’s so important to invest in a first-class marketing plan to help you get the word out about you and the outstanding work you do. To help you do that, we've put together our top five tips for broadening your client base with great contractor marketing ideas.
Build a Business Plan
Of course, your marketing efforts have to fit into a larger business strategy which starts with a comprehensive business plan. Make sure to include the following:
- What services you plan to offer
- Expenses for overhead, staff, and equipment
- Guidelines for pricing different types of projects
- Your goals, including financial ones
- A marketing plan
As part of your marketing plan, you’ll have to think about you will specialize in and what sets you apart from your competitors. Having this information in writing as part of your business plan will help you stay focused on your long-term strategy.
Get Your Name Out
Once you’ve decided on an overall general contractor marketing strategy, you can start to plan details and a budget.
Keep in mind that advertising for contractors is not the same as for other business: your work must be done locally and the possibility of repeat customers is limited.
On the other hand, word-of-mouth can be a particularly strong tool since renovations and home improvements are a popular topic of conversation.
Try to remember all of this as you choose which contractor marketing ideas are best for your business.
Use Tried & True Methods
A lot of your marketing can be done through personal networking. Make sure to have professional-looking contractor business cards and to carry them with you at all times.
Giving out business cards is a great way to give someone your contact information without interrupting the flow of conversation.
It also means that they can easily hand over the details to other people when the occasion arises. Getting involved in your community through local business groups or volunteer projects can provide great opportunities for this kind of networking.
You may also want to consider paid contractor advertising through local outlets. Small local newspapers or even sponsorships of kids’ programs can be a great way to get your name out to a carefully targeted audience.
If you’re tech-savvy, social media provides some unique opportunities for contractors. These days, many people use Facebook to get recommendations for service providers.
Your profile is more likely to be effective in getting you jobs if it includes a link to photos, contact information, and a reassuring professional online presence. That’s why a website and/or a Facebook page are valuable.
These can both help to build trust by showing a clear picture of your face, before and after photos of jobs you’ve done, and customer testimonials. Apps like Hootsuite and Facebook Pages Manager can help you stay on top of your social media presence even when you’re working on-site most of the day.
If you want to kick it up a notch by investing in paid advertising, both Facebook and Google Ads can be highly targeted to advertise to local customers.
Be a Business People Love
You may have noticed that a lot of the tips above are ways to maximize word-of-mouth marketing. However, they all demand that you build a business that your customers want to recommend. That means that the real marketing work starts once you get the job. That’s when you have to prove that you’re professional, efficient, honest, and provide state-of-the-art service.
Start by making sure you have all the legalities in order, including contractor license, prepared contracts for your clients to sign, and insurance. You’ll also have to ensure that your subcontractors are insured, which may involve specialty insurance for electricians, plumbers, flooring installers, and a variety of other special types of insurance for contractors.
Make it easy for both customers and subcontractors to do business with you by automating things like price quotes, scheduling, and billing. There is a wide range of contractor software and contractor apps that can help you with these tasks, as well as with inventory, design, and financial management.
With a good plan, good contractor marketing ideas and a good product, marketing your contracting business can be more like changing a lightbulb than rewiring a building.