When contractor jobs aren't rolling in like they used to, you've got to find a solution.
Marketing may be one of the first things that comes to mind, but maybe you have a few hangups — one of them being the idea that Joe Blow sitting behind a computer screen at a trendy marketing agency thinks he can tell you something about your business that you don't already know.
Honestly, he probably can't... yet. But he does know something about marketing, and between the two of you, you're bringing a lot to the table.
Every marketing agency will likely take a different approach to helping your contracting company reach its growth goals, but there are a few foundational principles that should guide any construction contractor's marketing strategy. We'll fill you in on five of them.
Know your audience
This is the number one rule of marketing. You've probably heard it before and feel pretty confident about your audience knowledge. It's still worth mentioning though because we constantly see business owners so eager to find customers that they start going after anybody and everybody. Remember, if you target everyone, you target no one.
For example, if you're trying to close deals for commercial construction, why are you putting time and energy posting to Pinterest where homeowners are looking at DIY projects? Or, if you work primarily with residential homeowners, why would you waste an entire weekend at a trade show that's primarily for B2B companies?
It's important to know who your customers are, be where they're at, and speak their language. If you're still foggy on who your audience is, your next step is to identify them by building a buyer persona.
Identify your differentiators and get the word out
Every company has something to offer that makes them unique. What is that thing for your contracting company? Do you do custom remodeling work? Do you accommodate shorter lead times for window installations? Do you have more experience than most home improvement companies?
Whatever it is that makes you better than your competitors needs to be front and center in your marketing strategy. Incorporate it into your slogan, put it on your home page, and talk about it on social media. If your customers don't have a reason to choose you over your competitor, then they won't — so tell them why you're different.
But tell them more than once.
People are busy. They skim information and forget key facts. If you're not talking about your differentiators in every piece of content you publish, chances are, your customers are going to miss it. Embrace repetition.
Get a better website
Despite how many times we've been told to never judge a book by its cover, most of us can't help it. Consequently, prospective clients will judge your construction skills based on your contractor website design. Is your website doing its job?
A good, clean website will improve your credibility and demonstrate expertise. A bad website, or one that's difficult to use, will cause potential customers to doubt the capabilities of your contractor business. People assume... if using your website is difficult to navigate, how much harder will it be to actually do business with you?
If a prospective customer does end up getting in touch with you, chances are, you have a lot of trust-building to do without even realizing it. You can alleviate many of a customer's doubts upfront by simply having an updated, appealing site that's built for SEO and designed to make it easy for customers to contact you. (See the website redesign checklist.)
Focus on the RIGHT customers
Have you had those days where you spend every minute on the phone with prospects who don't really fit into your niche? It's frustrating because those leads who don't promise any return are a time suck. We call these "unqualified leads."
"Qualified leads" are the opposite. They're the customers that you close deals on and profit from. Qualified leads are much more rare, but they're worth every bit of time you invest in attracting them.
Getting qualified leads is much like hunting. When you're deer hunting, you're not going to shoot at rabbits. A rabbit will give you a little meat in return for your efforts, but it's not what you're really after. Besides, if you shoot at a rabbit, you're unlikely to ever see the buck you were waiting for.
The same is true of marketing. Don't waste your time chasing customers that don't fit into your buyer personas because you risk losing real customers in the process. You don't have time for that anyway.
At its heart, digital marketing is primarily about focus, persistence and patience. Like hunters, successful marketers put in deliberate, calculated work early on so that they're ready when the right thing comes along.
Put the time in
All of these marketing principles lead us to two important questions:
- How much time should you be spending on marketing?
- Do you have that time?
There is no magic number for time spent on marketing, but in most cases, it could be a full-time job, especially in the beginning. And especially if you're figuring it out as you go.
If business is slow, and you have that time, then now is your chance to dive into marketing. If however, your installation business or remodeling company is pulling you in a million different directions 100% of the time, then now might be the time to bring a marketing team on board to help you not just manage the chaos, but channel it profitably.
Interested in having a conversation with an agency who can do just that? Contact Waypost Marketing today, and let's talk.