You may be able to knock down walls, repair roofs and install flooring. But you also need to know how to keep a steady stream of clients coming your way if you want to turn your skills as a general contractor into a profitable business.
The good news is contractor’s marketing doesn’t have to be difficult or take a ton of time. Here are 11 tips to help your business stand out and keep your phone ringing.
1. Create an online business listing
Many prospective clients will first Google your business’s name to get your contact information.
What they find during their search depends on you and your digital marketing efforts.
Online business listings are a simple way to improve your business's visibility and make it easy for prospects and customers to get the information they need to contact you.
There are lots of services to choose from, and many are free, including the Yellow Pages, Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp and more.
When creating an online listing, it's important to include all the details a potential client may need. In any digital marketing materials, general contractors should include their business address, phone number, email address and a link to your website — if you have one.
2. Create a website
Technically, it's possible to run your business without a website, but having one boosts your contractor marketing. It helps you build credibility and makes it easier for people to find you.
Don't panic. Creating a website doesn’t have to take tons of time or money.
DIY website builders like Wix and Squarespace make it easy and inexpensive to get a professional-looking site up and running in a matter of hours — not weeks or months.
All you need are a few basic pages to let customers know why you're qualified, who you serve, what services you offer (e.g., plumbing, roofing, carpentry, etc.) and your contact information. Add a few testimonials from a handful of happy clients, and you're ready to go.
3. Print business cards
While most people may not have a Rolodex sitting on their desk anymore, business cards are still an effective general contractor marketing tool. People can file them away to access later when they need to contact you or add your phone number and email address to their digital contact list.
Either way, they won't lose your contact information. And if you give business cards to happy customers, they have something they can pass along to their family and friends the next time someone asks for a general contractor recommendation.
4. Ask customers if you can put a sign in their yard
This one is easy and cost-effective for contractor marketing. Every time you start working on a new project, ask the client if you can put a sign with your company's name in their yard or outside their business.
Every time someone walks by and sees that your client is living or working in a construction zone, they’ll also see the sign with your business's name on it. When they need to hire someone for their next project, they can reach out to you directly.
5. Social media
You don't have to be a Tik Tok influencer to use social media. This is an inexpensive contractor marketing tool and an opportunity for potential clients to find you.
Setting up social media accounts is a quick and easy way to post photos and videos showcasing before, during and after photos of your latest projects or giving a quick DIY tip to your audience.
6. Ask for referrals
If you're just getting started, tell everyone you know about your business and ask them to send potential clients your way. As your business grows, continue to ask for referrals from happy clients.
Think you don’t need to ask? After all, if someone's happy with your work, they'll tell everyone they know, right?
People are busy, and spreading the word about your stellar workmanship probably isn’t at the top of their priority list. If you don't explicitly ask for referrals, they may not remember to pass your name along when they have the chance.
7. Industry events
Home product shows and other industry events are a great way for contractors to market themselves and find potential clients. Set up a booth, participate in a demonstration or walk around, handing out your business cards to individuals and businesses looking for help with their next project.
8. Radio ads
If you’ve got the cash, radio ads can be an effective way to drum up business. Because ads are limited to the station’s listening area, targeting who they will reach is easy.
Costs vary significantly based on where you live. Prices are typically higher in larger metropolitan markets and lower in rural areas.
9. Join a networking group
Networking groups aren't just for the suit and tie crowd. They can be a profitable source of work for contractors too.
The key is to find groups where your prospective clients hang out, which will vary based on the type of projects you're looking for and clients you want to work with.
Once you find the right group, prepare your elevator pitch, attend the meetings, introduce yourself and let people know how you can help them. A big part of general contractor marketing is building relationships and getting those word-of-mouth referrals.
10. Create strategic partnerships
Establishing relationships with businesses that can refer clients your way can help you grow your business in a hurry.
For example, if you specialize in home improvement projects, consider teaming up with local real estate agents or home inspectors. They can give their clients your name when they need to make repairs before buying or selling a home.
Do you consistently use the same supplier to get materials for your jobs? Ask if you can host a demonstration or mini-training session in their store or showroom.
11. Brand your business vehicles
You use your truck to get your supplies to and from job sites every day, right? Get your business name and logo painted on the side of your vehicle to create an advertisement for your business.
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