Every contractor I know is looking for new and fresh marketing ideas to grown their business. We all know that the name of the game is leads…solid, qualified leads. Lots of them.
Each week I discuss marketing strategy and implementation with numerous contractors and seem to run into the same few questions or issues. Today, I will discuss these concerns and help provide you with some ideas to help your marketing.
Marketing Issue #1: Unclear ‘Who’
Too often contractors want to throw money at what others are doing or what worked in the past without first understanding who they really want as clients for their business. They build a website, create a mailer, sign up for a lead generating service or some other marketing program without a clear objective and then wonder why leads aren’t flowing in.
Your ‘who’ is the foundation of your marketing. It also helps guide the decisions you need to make. If a marketing tactic doesn’t speak to your ‘who’, you need to rethink it. Think of your ideal client. What do they value? What ‘pains’ do they have? How is your industry missing the mark when it comes to curing that pain? Your marketing should jump out to your ‘who’ and say “I’m here to cure your pain!”
Being clear on ‘who’ you want as a client will save you time, money & headaches! Take the time to know your ‘who’ and speak to them and you will enjoy more leads and more sales.
Marketing Issue #2: Inconsistent Effort from the CEO
I have a couple clients that wanted to put their marketing on autopilot and move on. This request is understandable due to the number of responsibilities a small business owner has. But, marketing success requires constant discussion, shifts in strategy and focused execution.
As the CEO of your contracting business you need to be involved in marketing your business. You may not need to get into the daily grind of marketing, but we need your support and ‘buy-in’ on a regular basis. Too many owners only get involved in the conversation when lead flow slows.
Marketing is more of a marathon than a sprint. One of my best clients enjoys consistent lead flow all year because the owner is part of the marketing meeting each week. By thinking about his ‘who’ each week and keeping up with the actual implementation of the marketing plan, he is able to support the marketing efforts of his team and offer assistance when needed. He inspires the team to stay the course and work the plan. He ensures the money is there to implement the plan. He doesn’t let all that great brainstorming an planning go to waste by failing to implement.
Marketing Issue #3: No Money to Market With
Things can be tight financially for contractors for various reasons. Most contractors know they need to market consistently, but struggle with how to make it happen without the funds. Here’s what I suggest to get some momentum:
- Join a group. For $300-$600 per year you can join a networking group and build relationships. These relationships will lead to referrals and jobs. Make the time to get there each week. It’s part of your job!
- Write content for your website. You have a ton of knowledge in your head that will help your ‘who’. Content can be shared in the form of blogs, articles or videos. You don’t need money to share what you know. Your ‘who’ is already searching for it online…let them have it! No website yet? That’s ok. There are many other free tools and blogs you can take advantage as well. Just create content…a lot of it!
- Email or Call you past clients. They hired you once and will again if you stay in touch. Ask for referrals or let them know about other services you offer. Be likable and do great work. They will refer to friends and family which will create momentum for your business. Pretty soon you’ll have some money to invest in your marketing plan.
- Make a list of your Influencers and strengthen those relationships. Influencers are other businesses that are in front of your ideal client ever day. Are you a flooring contractor? Who else has contact with your client? Maybe a painter, plumber or home inspector? Make a list of your Influencers and refer them out and they’ll return the favor.
Lack of money may be the best thing that is happening to you right now. It will cause you to be more creative and more of a student of the marketing game. Don’t let ‘no money’ be an excuse!
Marketing your contracting business is about having a clear target, staying involved as the leader of your company and putting in the consistent work needed to create momentum. The contractors I know that have had success are the one’s that are clear on these things. They are also clear on one other thing:
The Successful Contractors Market All The Time
In order to enjoy solid lead flow year round, you must work it even when the times are good. It’s easy to blow off marketing when there are plenty of leads and sales. Many contractors say things like “I get all my work through word-of-mouth,” or “I don’t have time to market,” but these are just excuses for not wanting to put the work in and develop a lead generating plan. If you get the majority of your leads through word-of-mouth that’s great, but it’s not a plan! Word-of-mouth is not predictable. A good plan will provide you a predictable number of leads each month with minor variations. That is achieved through consistently working a plan…all year. Marketing should not be a reaction to low lead flow. It needs to be a way of life in your business.
Take some time to develop a solid plan. Work the plan. Track the results and then make adjustments as needed.
The result will be more leads and bigger checks to cash!