As a contractor, you have employees to supervise and clients to make happy, the last thing you want to spend time on is marketing.
But to generate a consistent amount of quality leads that you need to grow your business – marketing is a must.
But with the right plan marketing does not have to be a time consuming chore. And you can see results even just spending a few hours a week.
I call this having a contractor lead generation strategy and in the following I outline some tips to get you started.
1) Understand our ideal customer
The truth is we can’t be everything to everybody. As a contractor we need to bring value and benefits to our customers lives. And we can’t bring value to everyone.
We need focus on a type on individual that we:
- enjoy working with
- who we do our best work with
- who deliver the most value too.
What is an ideal customer
An ideal customer is group of people that share similar interests, characteristics, and tastes. For example, is our ideal customer luxurious or thrifty, want things done quickly or perfect.
Consequently, by understanding our ideal customer, we can implement strategies, and processes that really deliver value to our ideal customer.
And as a result we can:
- Be good at what we do
- Become the go to person in our niche
- Charge premium prices.
- Advertise to the right people at the right time
- Create content that is relevant to our ideal customer
- Create marketing materials that attract our ideal customer
Depending on our your size of business you might have multiple ideal customers or just one, up to you.
2) Have an Unique Value Proposition(UVP)
Our ideal customer needs to see the value we bring, and they need to see it quickly. Studies have shown that when a visitor clicks on your website if they don’t see what is in it for them in 5 seconds they will bounce.
As a result, it is important that we make the value we offer, clear, concise and appealing to our customer. We call this having an Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
What is a UVP?
A UVP usually consists of a tag line, major benefits, a hero image and can often be found on our home page above the fold and on, social medial profiles, ppc ads…
For example, in the construction industry our UVP will often include:
- Ratings score
- Review badges
- Warranty specifications
- Tag line
- Major benefits
- Years of service
- Service locations
- Hero image – a picture that best defines our value.
3) Know your features and benefits
“Sell the hole not the drill”
Customers don’t buy features, they buy benefits. To really attract and keep the attention of our ideal customer – they need see the benefits we offer – what is in it for them.
For example, in the construction industry we could say the benefits of a kitchen renovation are:
- to save space
- reduce clutter
- rent out suites
- increase monetary value of their home
- reduce energy costs
- impress friends…
Ultimately, understanding and communicating benefits will get our ideal customer excited about their project, rationalize their purchasing decision and feel that they have made the right decision. Often the contractor who communicates the most benefits, and conveys the most trust – will get the project.
It is a good idea to make a list of the features and benefits of our services and products. We can use this list to highlight benefits whenever possible in print or in person; in the form of bullets, blog articles, and project descriptions.
4) Always include Testimonials/Reviews
97 percent of consumers rely on reviews to make any informed purchasing decisions. And in the construction industry everybody has a heard a horror story, consequently having good reviews is vital.
Fortunately, there are numerous sites where customers can leave reviews such as Yelp, Google, Houzz and Homestars.
And really not only our reviews good marketing but they also can help improve business processes. If we get a negative review we might be able to understand why a client is not happy, or where the project failed in their eyes and try to turn that negative review into a positive one.
5) Have a Descriptive Portfolio
Every good contractor lead generation strategy needs an up to date portfolio. For our ideal customer to believe we can build their project easily and efficiently – they need to see past examples of our work.
However, often contractors will just have a simple picture gallery with not much text.
But there is a reason why remodeling shows are popular. Because people are generally interested in the construction process – specifically, the problem the homeowner was having? Why they decided to do a home renovation? And were they excited with the outcome.
Consequently, it’s a good idea to detail projects and make as interesting as possible and include:
- Videos – Make sure to get in the habit of taking pictures, taking before and after pics, Even taking videos of with camera or even you phone. The video does have to be nominated for an Oscar. With using overlays and keep looping small video files You can videos as backgrounds on project pages, giving the potential a visual of your work and the reassurance you are actually out there getting work.
- Pictures – are a must for contractors. Before and after pictures are good, and have a gallery for each project.
- Project Descriptions – When creating a project description: Describe the problem the customer is facing, the action we took to solve the problem and the benefits they received from our work. Focus on your UVP as much as possible. If quality is part of your UVP then focus on the quality delivered, If price is part of our UVP focus deal you received on the cabinets.
- Testimonials – from the customer describing the benefits they received project are also a good addition.
6) Your website design should be on brand
Doesn’t matter where you generate leads from word of mouth or Google, eventually that potential client will look at your website.
If your website is not up to snuff our lead is not going to take the next step.
So what does it mean for our design to be on brand? If our ideal customer is luxury type of person, we can use fancy fonts, or if our ideal customer into natural products we use green on our website. If We are problem solver use a calm blue…. Our UVP will dictate our colour scheme, logo, and font selection.
Click here for more tips on building your website.
7) Have a blog and answer customer questions
Nowadays, potential clients are doing a large amount of research online before they pick up the phone. In fact 70% of the decision who to hire is made before they even talk to you.
As a result, as a basis for our contractor lead generation strategy we should provide useful content – or blog. By blogging we will be seen as an expert in our niche, a helpful person, and someone that is an effective communicator.
More reasons to blog are:
- Help us get found on Google
- Allows us to refer articles in emails, on the phone, and in person
- Provides content for newsletters and social media
- Allows us to be seen as a knowledgeable expert
- Keep our bounce ratio low, help seo
But what to blog about?
two things people care about in early stages of customer buying is price and benefits. What makes projects more expensive than others? What benefits do offer? How to increase home value? current trends? Are all good blog topics. You should use tools such as Google Keyword Planner to get an idea about what customers are searching for.
Don’t need to blog weekly but really think about and look what people are searching online. Post these articles social media and refer to them online or in person to. Furthermore, blogging will help us generate backlinks and increase visibility. Who knows even one article that get high Google rankings can drive enough traffic to your site to get regular leads.
8) Have service pages
Our ideal customer is not going to search through our website to find out what we do – they just move on to the next website.
Consequently, it is a good idea for our contractor lead generation strategy to have our services listed on our home page and have a distinct page for each of our major services.
Why have a distinct page for each major service:
- it increases the chance of getting ranked for that service in Google
- Share benefits of that particular service
- Get contact form enquiries for that service
- Show testimonials, blog posts, related to that service.
- Use that service page as a landing page for ads, and projects related to service.
- Have a FAQ to answer customer questions related to that service
By having our services detailed customers will know what we do. As a result, we are not getting phone calls asking about our services, and we show up on Google when people search for the service, leading to more conversions.
9) Have an about page
People love stories. Have an about page, tell them how you got into the business, show some personality. People want their renovation to be enjoyable experience and if it is, they will tell others.
10) Have a newsletter/email list
Not everybody who comes to your website is going to call you. Often there are not ready for estimates, or just on the fence about either doing the renovation or taking that dream vacation.
a good tip for a for having a successful contractor lead generation strategy is to have a newsletter. A newsletter allows you to keep in touch with potential clients and:
- Offer promotion
- Offer discounts
- Create and or share valuable content and build trust
when they are ready for estimates you will be seen as trustworthy, resourceful and helpful – you will get that call.
11) Have lead magnets for newsletters
A successful lead generation strategy is to have a lead magnet for our email list. A good most often used method for an email lead magnet is to exchange a piece of content in exchange for their email address. We could offer a guide, a checklist, app, contact form, something of value that we can share use as an optin to our newsletter.
What to offer for our lead magnet?
Make your something to offer relevant to ideal customer. If your home renovator based out of Vancouver. Get them a checklist/blog posts things to consider before starting your Vancouver renovation…
Make your lead magnet a no brainer, a must click for your customer. Once we get them on your newsletter, we offer links, promotions and begin to segment customers based on what links they click.
12) Create urgency with deals.
A lot of potential customers are sitting on the fence about starting their project. The right deal on flooring, cabinets or paint might tip them over and get excited to start their project.
Think about it, if you have an email list of 100 ideal customers there is bound to be someone who is going to jump on that flooring deal.
13) Stir anxiety and get clicks
Often people just glance at articles or deals and take no action. That is why negative news works because it creates anxiety and gets clicks.
A small business can do the same. An article or a landing page that creates anxiety such as 7 signs your roof needs to be repaired will get clicks. Also, these type of blog articles give you a chance to demonstrate your UVP. If your UVP is quality work. Demonstrate negative aspects of going a cheap solution to their problem in the article.
14) Integrate Web Apps on our website
From scheduling apps, to cost calculators, there are numerous app that can be a good lead generator. Besides a web app can make you look professional and can be a good marketing strategy: generate a decent amount of traffic, get backlinks, and help get traffic to your site.
15) Sign up for Social Media
Social media is a good, free way to spread the word about your business, and should be big part of your contractor lead generation strategy.
Social media also:
- Allows us to show your value proposition,
- Get signups for your newsletter
- Generate buzz and backlinks for blog articles.
- Use ads to retarget based on their online history
- Just be helpful, answer questions and be seen as an expert.
Besides if your are going blog, display projects, you might as well share them on social media. But just don’t sign up and that’s it engage with your target audience on social media/forums and or people in the industry. You should offer insight, solutions to problems and refer your content. This is networking in 2021.
16) Sign up to Google My Business.
You should sign up and provide info to Google My Business so that we can show up on Google maps and business info come up when potential customers search our business.
17) Give out free estimates
Most contractors give out free estimates this isn’t out of the norm. But a way of building trust with your client is to take that big renovation and split up estimates.
Also, we should sell the free estimate.
Often when getting started were not going have a ton of reviews or awesome portfolio. Consequently, we need to sell the estimate, give out a free reports, have 3d drawings and really go over and above with the estimate. Sell the small renovation first if potential customer has some doubts.
18) Start with a Small renovation
It’s not a bad idea to provide trust and lower the anxiety of a potential customer is to start with a small renovation.
A client is more likely to pull the trigger and sign a contract on a small renovation. And when the project is finished you can start on the next project. This also protects the contractor, if he or she is not an ideal customer might be good customer you can split ways before getting in too deep.
19) Include guarantees
People want to know if you guarantee your work. Post guarantees on your website, what products you work with with and what are their warranties. Give evidence display any testimonials that relate to your guarantees. Also, look into third party insurance that reduce their anxiety about choosing you.
20) Give out free/inexpensive reports
Everybody is concerned about their home and what costs are upcoming: how much more life does my roof have, is my furnace working efficiently. A report would be of value to a homeowner and offering a free report is a good way us to start our business, get to know others, and spread the word about your business.
Don’t try to sell anybody it will make you look greasy. Just answer questions, smile, they will call you when they need you. Post this offer on your website, direct mail, local newspapers. People like free, calls will come.
21) Offer a discounted Service
Instead of free/inexpensive reports a good contractor lead generation strategy is to have a small discounted service. Especially, when you are new business people are going to choose over a more experienced competitor is because of lower price. Having a discounted service and advertise this particular service. Can you help build trust, and relationships with clients, and grow your business quickly.
22) Use project management software
In today’s day and age there is no reason not to use project management software. An estimate written on a piece of paper is not probably going to make you look professional. There are a number of project management software and cloud based accounting apps that can be tried. Keep your projects and accounting organized and that will most definitely build trust.
23) Provide free online consultation
A way to build trust and show your expertise is to give online consultations. Allowing the potential client upload pictures share their thoughts. People might be weary of having a lot contractors giving estimates but they would think twice about getting an online consultation.
24) Listen and go the extra mile
Before giving your solution, listen to their problem. Whether they are in a cramped kitchen, or an outdated bathroom. Their is a reason why they picked up the phone and called you.
By understanding their problem, you can give the right offer, highlight the key benefits and give the right solution. offline or online always listen to their problem and suggest solutions to their individual problems. Go the extra mile and make the potential client happy with your level of customer service.
25) Work with the same sub contractors
High turnover is a red flag. You can’t get along with others, how as the client am I supposed to get along with you.
Mention on your website, who you work with, show brand logos. Get reviews from sub contractors that worked with you.
26) Have signage
A successful contractor lead generation strategy should include placing signage where ever you can: in front of houses, on your truck… Grocery stores, hardware stores, your kids ball game all are places where potential clients could see your logo and it’s free.
Besides might be a red flag if your pulling up to a potential customers house with no logo on your truck. If you don’t want to represent your business, how can I trust you.
Also, have your logo and your website on your truck is standard. But you could advertise your optin, a guide, your app. Don’t need this to be permament a magnet will do.
27) Always get back to people
Be professional and always respond to people. We live in a world where good customer service isn’t in abundance and just responding politely to potential clients will help you stand out.
Getting too may calls, bad leads and just can’t find the right time. Have a good detailed contact form on your website, a booking calendar on your website. Make a little difficult to contact you and in the end only the real interest potential clients will fill out your form, and book an appointment.
28) Get referrals build relationships
Word of mouth is of big of course in construction and essential part of any contractor lead generation strategy. Past clients will talk friends, and family and if you do good good work, word will spread.
But it is a good idea to also to build relationships with others in your industry, Interior designers, accountants, realtors, insurance salesman are all good people to know, you help them out they will help you out. We can build relationships on Linkedin, Facebook other Social media platforms. But how do we introduce ourselves?
An idea might be to ask them to partake in a roundabout post.
A roundabout post is a type of blog post where different people answer the same question. Often individuals love to partake in roundabout posts because gives them a link to your site and increased visibility on third party sites.
You can people you liked their content and linked to it on your webpage. You never know, they might link to you and return the favour. Or use the skyscraper technique, if an industry professional has a broken link or your content is better than who they are currently linked to, suggest your content.
29) Use anayltics
Use Google search console, Seo tools, and just see how people are finding your website and double down on what is working. –