Today, I’m gonna talk about one of the most common questions that we get here at The Contractor Fight. DUDE! How do I market my brand new contracting business?
Because this is a frequently asked question, I’m gonna highlight some answers to that question based on my experience and the experience that we’ve had helping thousands of other contractors through our coaching programs.
Here’s the deal. Let’s dig into the mindset of this.
If you are not fanatical about marketing your business, you’re fucking up. It’s that simple. The only thing that qualifies you as a business is money coming INTO the business. Otherwise, you have a hobby. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I wanna do is wake up early, go to bed late, deal with issues with customers and employees, try to get leads and get the phone to ring – as a hobby. It makes no sense to me.
So, if you are not 100% fanatical about marketing your business from Day 1, you are going to struggle.
This is usually what happens: Most of us start our contracting business because someone taps us on the shoulder, then there’s an influx of work coming in. We think we hit the lotto, that this is how it’s always gonna be. Then, that initial wave of work dries up.
If you are not working on a project physically, you should be engaged in some sort of marketing and sales activity. Period.
If you don’t have any jobs on the calendar for tomorrow, your ass needs to be out marketing your business. Don’t waste time on Facebook; you should be driving around, knocking on doors, and handing out flyers.
100% of your time should be spent marketing and selling in the first 3-5 years of your business. We greatly underestimate what it takes to get this machine moving.
This is not complicated, but you gotta be consistent. Lack of consistency kills the momentum of your business.
After you sell a job, you should work on that job, then carve out an hour or two a day to do marketing stuff. Every single day, week, and month – all year long. Your #1 goal is to sell work – it’s okay to love money.
Without the beautiful dollar bill consistently coming into your business, you’re fucked.
Here are four things to help market your business if you’re brand-new (or you’ve been stuck the last five years and not taking this stuff seriously).
1. Local Networking
You do not need a business card for this. You don’t need a website, you don’t need a yard sign, you don’t need a t-shirt. You need to get off your ass and go meet people and shake their hands. Ask to have a conversation and be bold. Network with people. You see a house that needs work and you’re an exterior contractor, go knock on the damn door.
This is the stuff you have to do day in and day out. Who are the influencers in your industry? Who’s standing in front of your ideal customer? Whoever that is, meet those people in your local area.
Most of you fail at this because you refuse to be consistent with it. Sack up and get your ass out there and meet people.
2. Social Media 3x A Day
What?! How do you have time for that? Well, you’re not working on a job all day. You can find time.
I don’t care if you have 30 jobs a week or no jobs a week, you need to find 3 things a day to post on social media.
You’re the producer, director, editor, and content creator of your social media. This is where the eyeballs are. Like it or not. The bottom line is that if you don’t embrace social media, you’re screwing your business over.
There’s nothing stopping you from getting on Facebook live while you’re doing a job (or not doing a job) and marketing your skills. Ask your viewers if they know anyone in that area who needs a tile guy, a paint guy, a landscaping guy. People will share the video.
3. Neighborhood Domination Plan
If you’re working on a house, there’s a bunch of other houses surrounding the house that you’re working on. You put a beautiful sign in the yard of the house that you’re working on, then you walk around and knock on the other houses’ doors and say this:
“Hi, I’m Tom. I’m painting the house next door, the Smith residence. I wanted to give you my card. Here’s my cell number; I’m gonna be here for a few days. If we inconvenience you in any way, please call me. I want to make sure that I address the issue in the hour that you let me know.”
You aren’t knocking on their door to say “Let me bid your house!” What you’re doing is making it a great experience for everybody in the neighborhood.
Maybe not that day, maybe not that week, or that year, but eventually one of these people will remember you. They’ll see you in the neighborhood and remember that you were cool and respectful. And then, they’re gonna call you.
If you do one job a week for 50 weeks, and you knock on the doors of five houses minimum during every job, that means you’ve introduced yourself to at least 250 people in the year. As your business scales, you can still keep this neighborhood domination plan going for every crew you have. That’s thousands of introductions.
The bottom line is this: be consistent. Be somebody that builds relationships and adds value to the neighborhood.
Do something to get eyes on you other than knocking on doors and saying ‘Hire me because I’m a broke contractor.’ Nobody wants to hear that shit.
4. Invest In a Professional Website
Pretty much everything I said before this is free if you need it to be, but for this one you need to write a check.
You spend tons of money on your truck and the tools that you use twice a year, but tons of you are cheap asses when it comes to a website.
If your average job is $10,000 and you haven’t spent at least $10,000-$20,000 on a damn website/online presence per year, you’re fucking yourself.
Your website should be the hub of all things. Your social media should drive people back there. The networking you do should drive people back there. Your website should pop up with anything that has to do with your industry.
The other thing that you can do is create content. Once or twice a week, sit your ass down and write some content – even if you suck at writing, write some content and upload it to your damn website with some pictures. If you totally blow at writing, find somebody to edit it.
Every week, you’re building the thumbprint of your website. The longer you’re in business, the more often you’re putting out relevant content that’s helpful to people in your industry, the more relevant you are gonna be as a business. People are gonna find you.
There is no fast, easy button for lead generation. If you are not willing to shake hands, do social media, dominate your neighborhood, or hire a real pro for websites, then you’re probably better off hanging up your business and going to work for someone else.
Unless you’ve got a big ass bag full of money that you’ve started your business with, you’re gonna have to do some of this grassroots stuff. The cool thing is that this is all about taking control. It’s about owning your marketing, not depending on someone else to do it.
Don’t look to outsource your social media right now, do it yourself. Stop looking to outsource your local networking because people want to know, trust, and hire you. Quit thinking somebody else is gonna knock on doors and get people to call you. It’s all YOU.
Very few things in the marketing world of the contracting business are gonna happen when you want them to happen. The things that I’ve talked about here are about planting seeds, building relationships, and playing the long game.
At the end of the day, people hire you when they’re ready to buy. Not when you’re ready for them to buy. They’re gonna hire someone who keeps showing up in their feed when the time comes.
Quit making excuses. It’s all out there for you.