Marketing Your Contracting Business Is Not Easy.
If you’re in a contracting business that is seasonal, you know there is going to be a point in the year when your phone stops ringing. When business is good, it’s good. But when that lull period is about to come, you begin to get a pit in your stomach dreading this years lead-famine. It’s similar to the ancient days when the dry season would come and all the food they harvested during the rainy season was what they had to survive on. Now imagine you’re that same farmer in 800 BC and the rainy season wasn’t as fruitful as you had hoped and you’re stuck with no food. That’s even scarier.
Like the example of the dry/rainy seasons, you’re in the same boat as a contractor with marketing. So many times we hear contracting companies say “I don’t really use the internet to market myself, I get a lot of referrals from the local retail store up the road.” Stop! Think about that for a second. What if that company goes out of business? Even worse, what if that company decides to refer their work out to your competitor? Now you’re in poor-rainy-season-farmer mode and you’re stuck with nothing to provide for your business, yourself, nor your family.
So how do you fix this issue to give yourself the best opportunity to keep your crew busy during the worst times of the year? Market right now. And when we say right now, we mean right now.
Here are 3 Marketing Things to do now, regardless of whether business is booming or it’s slow. In all reality, you need to be marketing all year round. Every business owner knows the importance of getting great reviews online, educating their customers about products/services, and telling a great story about an awesome project that went great but the issue is that not many business owners actually know how to do it! We’ve laid out how to do these top 3 Marketing Things to do now in a tangible manner.
So without further adieu, here is the first tip:
1. Perform An Online Image Audit
Perform a scan on the content you are providing to your top-3 audiences; past customers, current customers and potential ones. Let’s talk about this topic a bit more so you understand what we mean.
First off, that buzzword ‘content’ that we just mentioned is what everyone in marketing world is using these days. What Content Marketing is is providing relevant, useful content (such as blogs, videos, images, etc.) to your audience so they can absorb whatever you’re giving them. The great thing about content is that it is the most honest thing you can provide to a potential client and there is no substitute to good content.
The easiest way to describe content marketing is this is the backbone of your marketing plan. Using the analogy of personal health, content is your diet. You can try all these tips and tricks to lose that gut for the summer time, but without a good diet, nothing is as effective as it could be. This is the same with content. A lot of contractors try get-rich-quick tactics with marketing that might work a little but is no substitute for good ol’ fashioned content.
So with all that, take a deep dive into how are you presenting your company on social media, your website, business cards, email signature and voicemail. Check all the ways you are communicating to people. These are all content opportunities you should be providing to build rapport with potential and current clients.
2. Try the CSA 3-2-1 Challenge
If you haven’t heard of the 3-2-1 challenge here is a quick recap below:
a) THREE phone calls to current or potential customers. This can be as easy as calling a current client just to check in on how the project you did for them is holding up. Ask them if there’s anything else you need to do for them at that time. Current customers are the low-hanging fruit in the marketing world since they already know you, they trust you, and they’ve already opened their wallets to you before.
b) TWO social media posts. Social Media is everywhere and it’s here to stay, so you might as well use it to your advantage. This is a great way to portray yourself and the culture of your company. Just because you’re the #1 company in your industry does not mean you’re going to get most business because customers want a great experience with a company they like and trust. The more transparent you are with yourself and your company on Social Media, the more customers will call you. You can use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. and they all work in some capacity!
c) ONE connect call. Here in the CSA, we encourage our members to call other members of the CSA. This is for accountability purposes since as a business owner, you know there are things (such as marketing!) you should be doing that you don’t always do. Calling someone to talk about what you’ve done well and what you can improve upon on a weekly basis helps a lot. If you’re not in the CSA, call a fellow business owner or contractor! If you’re having an issue with something, more likely than not someone else is having that same problem! “The only way to have a friend is to be one,” is very true when it comes to these calls.
3. Send a postcard to your customers and potential ones.
You will want to send a postcard to your customers as well as potential ones, perhaps neighbors in the same neighborhood. Should this be the #1 method of reaching out? No. It’s definitely a good thing to do though!
To make this easy, the US Postal Service offers a product called Every Door Direct Mail that allows you target certain routes the mail carrier goes and still maintaining a budget. The benefits of this are you don’t have to purchase expensive mailing lists and you most likely know what areas and neighborhoods your clients are in. For example, if you’re a landscaping company and you service a lot of homes on Brown Street, sending postcards to everyone that lives on that street will put a company name to the work they’ve seen you continuously do for their neighbors. It’s an easy way to get in front of new clients! All the information is there in that link above on this program.
Summary Of The Top 3 Marketing Things To Do Now:
It’s never too late to begin marketing your business. You want to focus on quick wins and the best time to do marketing is now. Here again is a recap of the top 3 marketing to-do’s:
1) Perform An Image Audit – Act like a customer would and look at all the ways a client would connect with you: Voicemail, Social Media, Email
2) Try The CSA 3-2-1 Challenge – Practice always makes perfect. It’s the baby steps that matter.
3) Send A Postcard – People still like going to the mailbox and being able to connect with the mail. Use a creative postcard and tools such as USPS Every Door Direct Mail to market your business.