If you’re like most contractors we know, you’re often stressed about trying to get more work in the door. So, where do you find your customers? And once you do find them, how do you stand out from your competitors to win their business? In this article, we’re sharing 5 quick marketing wins that you can do right now to attract new business.
Quick caveat: sales aren’t everything. If your margins aren’t where they need to be and you’re losing money on all of these new jobs, increasing sales is the wrong place to focus your energy. But if you’ve nailed your margins, you’re ready to use marketing to get more jobs.
Creating a Foundation for Marketing
“Marketing” sounds complicated, but when you're just starting out, it doesn't have to be. Before we dive into the 5 quick marketing wins, here are the foundational things you need to have in place:
If you don’t have a website, customers are going to automatically question your credibility. Your website doesn't have to be fancy and it doesn't have to cost you $10,000, but it needs to have a few basic things. Start with a homepage, a gallery of your work (with high-quality images, not cellphone pictures), and a contact page. You can continue to add to it over time, but these three pages are enough to launch your site.
If you don’t have a website, customers are going to automatically question your credibility.
2. Social Media Accounts
Your customers are on social media, so you should be too. Facebook and Instagram are the best places to start because most of your customers will be there, especially if your customer is a homeowner. Houzz and Pinterest are other great sites to connect with homeowners as well.
3. Email Address
This one is simple. It’s the 21st century, so get an email address because that’s how many customers prefer to communicate.
4. A Phone Where You’re Accessible
Customers should be able to reach you during regular business hours. You don’t necessarily need to be the one to answer the phone, especially if you spend most of your days on job sites. Hire support staff to answer the phone, respond to emails, and return messages on social media.
We’ve asked many homeowners why they chose one contractor over another. Most of the times, they tell us that “they’re the only ones who called me back.”
Be available for calls and online messages, and you’ll be amazed at how much business you capture just from that!
“They’re the only ones who called me back.”
Quick Marketing Wins
Once you create your foundation, you’re ready to try the following quick marketing wins:
1. Update your Google My Business Listing
When you need to find a restaurant, where do you go? You (and everyone else) get on Google. When you type "pizza place" into the search bar, the results are Google My Business (GMB) listings. Listings that have poor reviews, no images, no website, or no phone number are a red flag to you as a consumer. If your GMB looks like that, it's a big red flag to potential customers.
Claiming and updating your GMB listing is pretty easy. Click here for a short video we’ve created to show you how the basics of GMB.
Get on, claim your listing, and add your website URL. Make sure your telephone number is correct, update your business hours, and add photos of your past work. This is part of your digital storefront, so clean it up and make it appealing!
2. Get At Least 50 Google Reviews
We can’t overstate the power of Google reviews. From a customer’s perspective, doing business with a contractor who has no reviews is risky. Sure, you’ve been doing countertops for ten years, but there’s no proof of that online.
On the other hand, a contractor with 50 good reviews looks experienced, trustworthy, and knowledgeable. The homeowner can read about the work that the contractor has done from satisfied customers. Social proof is powerful!
If you can get reviews from past customers, that’s wonderful. Ask them to specifically reference someone at your company that helped them or share some details of the project you worked on. However, your reviews don’t need to be from satisfied clients. They can be from anyone who supports your business, like your friends, family, or employees.
Simply send people a direct link to your GMB listing and ask them to leave a review saying that you’re trustworthy or easy to work with. We’ve seen contractors get 100 new Google reviews in a weekend using this strategy.
If you’ve already got 50 reviews, get 50 more! Yes, it’s important to develop a standardized process for requesting reviews from every customer after you finish a project, but getting 50 new reviews from people who are happy to support your business is a quick marketing win that can pay off in just a few days.
From a customer’s perspective, doing business with a contractor who has no reviews is risky.
3. Create a Call to Action (CTA) on Your Website
A call to action (CTA) is a button that someone clicks that leads to a form that asks for their name, email, phone number, or any other information that you want to know.
CTAs can be anything from “schedule a consultation” to “get a free quote” or “speak with a technician.” They can even simply say, “buy now!” If you don’t clearly tell your customer how to get started working with you, they’re going to leave your website.
Added bonus: CTAs that lead to landing page forms help you qualify leads before they get too far down the road with you. If your form asks what their budget is for a pool renovation and your form choices start at $10,000, someone who only has a budget of $5,000 realizes right away that they’re not a good fit for your services.
If you don’t clearly tell your customer how to get started working with you, they’re going to leave your website.
4. Add a CTA to Your Social Accounts and GMB Listing
Your call to action isn’t just for your website. You should add it anyplace where your customers can find you. Get it on Facebook, Instagram, and your GMB listing so people can click it and get started with you.
5. Get Traffic
If you’re just starting out with a new website or brand-new social media accounts, you may not have very many people visiting them and interacting with your company. So, what do you do about it?
We know you don't have time to spend hours each day on the "perfect" social media post. Instead, start with a simple ad. All you need is a high-quality photo of work that you’ve done, a few words about the project, and your call to action. Post it as a regular Facebook and Instagram post. Boost the Facebook version and promote the Instagram one. It takes just a few clicks to boost posts, so you don’t need any in-depth understanding of how to create an ad. With just a few clicks, you can start getting your post in front of new customer’s eyes.
Bonus: Set Up a Referral Program
99% of contractors get leads through word of mouth, so even if you’re against using a website, at least set up a referral program. Instead of giving a discount, offer something extra of value to protect your margins. It can be something like a $100 Amazon gift card to spend on décor for their new space, a quartz cutting board, a bottle of cabinet polish, or a hammock to hang from their new pergola.
Also, make sure that you’re asking for referrals. When you complete a project, ask the homeowner if they know anyone else who could use new countertops. If you’re an electrician, ask if they know any new parents who could use some help baby-proofing their electrical outlets. The worst thing that can happen is that they’ll say no. But what if they say yes? In just three seconds, you got a new lead!
99% of contractors get leads through word of mouth, so even if you’re against using a website, at least set up a referral program.
Take It To The Next Level
If you’re interested in exploring advanced marketing tactics like using Home Advisor or pay-per-lead services, go for it! We’d be happy to have a conversation with you about how to get the most out of those, so get in touch for a Free Growth Assessment.
Give these quick marketing wins a try and leave us a comment below about how it goes.