Being a contractor is tough sometimes. There is often a lot of competition in your community for the same business and there’s usually some new guy or business that is trying to undercut everyone’s rates to gain a market share. People today are cost conscious, looking for the best deal possible first and work quality second. You’ve got to stand out to get the business you need, but how can you do this without compromising on your rates?
These marketing ideas are a good place to start. In the contracting business, honesty is always the best policy. Use your strengths, talk to your community about the value you can provide, and then follow through with that value every single time. Those undercutters will eventually burn themselves out and that’s when people will come to you.
Great Contractor Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business
1. What Do People Need?
The focus of any marketing effort needs to be being able to meet what people need in your community. This is how value is determined. If your marketing efforts don’t communicate this value, then you won’t get people using your contracting services at all.
2. Be Consistent
Consistency in marketing isn’t defined as formulating one plan and then sticking to it no matter what. Marketing is about being fluid and adaptable. It requires daily discussions about what works and the willingness to shift a strategy that isn’t working well.
3. Join a Networking Group
There are a number of local networking groups in every community that always welcome new members for a very small fee. These groups, like the Lions Club, will help you form relationships and those relationships will lead to referrals over time.
4. Provide Expertise
Join a local board that offers business advice to others because this will prove that you’ve got the skills to succeed as a contractor. Many non-profit organizations are looking for board members in some capacity. If you can’t join a board, ask about joining or starting a business advisory committee for a local organization.
5. Talk to Everyone
Many marketing efforts are focused on developing new customers and this ignores all of the benefits that past customers can provide. Email them occasionally to stay in touch and let them know of all the other services that you offer. If you’re someone they like, then you’ll be someone that they recommend later on down the road.
6. Make Your Website Valuable
As a contractor, you’ve got a lot of hidden knowledge that is a vast source of wealth for others. Provide just a taste of this on your website or through a blog and you’ll be able to show prospects how effective you are at solving their problems for them.
7. Build a Referral Network
If you are unable to provide a customers with services because their needs fall outside of your specialty, then put yourself into a good position by being able to refer them to someone who can meet their needs. A referral network benefits you because if you refer customers to others, they’ll refer them back to you, returning the favor.
8. Get People Excited
Have potential customers submit photographs of how desperate their situation happens to be and run a contest where one of these submissions is able to win a full job from you. You’ll get a lot of contact information and when you publish your before and after photos, you’ll also have a powerful marketing tool that will pay dividends throughout the year.
9. Ask About Media Options
You need to prove your expertise as a contractor and nothing says you’re a local expert like being a regular contributor to local media resources. See if you can get a segment on a local radio or television show. If you don’t mind writing, maybe the local paper will give you some column space every now and then.
10. Talk To People About What They Shouldn’t Do
There are a lot of DIY contractors out there and that’s not a bad thing if you’re willing to talk to them about your advanced skills and value that you can bring. Show people the benefits of hiring a qualified contractor like yourself and you’ll be able teach people how to do the job right.
11. Start a YouTube Channel
If you’ve got a video camera, then you’ve got the opportunity to market your skills for free. Take your camera, show off your skills, and then upload your videos to YouTube with links to your primary website. This will help boost your search rankings AND it will prove to potential customers that you’ve really got the goods to make great things happen.
12. Get Updated
Your brand is your identity in the contracting world so update your image to make it cohesive with the times. That might mean creating a logo, improving your branding image, or eliminating something that feels stale to you. People should be excited when they see you! If they’re not, then update your image in some way so that they are.
13. Ask For Feedback
Even if you don’t have bids accepted as a contractor, ask people for feedback about what happened. Why wasn’t your bid accepted? What did they want to see? How good was the job that you actually did provide for someone? The answers to these questions might be difficult to hear sometimes, but it is critical information to help you succeed later on down the road.
14. Think About a Sponsorship
When you sponsor someone’s efforts in your community, then you’re creating a lot of goodwill that will attract attention to your business. It doesn’t cost a lot for most community sponsorships and it will often pay for itself rather quickly.
When people know who you are, then they will be more likely to hire you for something that they need. Volunteer some of your extra time in a way that helps others and you’ll be able to give people an immediate and positive first impression.