Contractor Marketing Tips & Articles – Marketing for Contractors
Below you will find useful tips and articles about online marketing and contractor marketing principles.
Postcards can be an effective and affordable part of your contractor marketing program. So don’t let a lack of writing experience stop you from using them.
Start with your audience. Make a list of the things that might be important to them. Then narrow it down to what you think is the most important element. Use that item for your headline and all throughout your copy. Remember you want to target your potential client base on an emotional level. People are not looking for “bathroom remodeling”, they are looking for “spa-like experience” when it comes to reading direct mail pieces.
I have noticed that many of our contractor clients have begun writing their own blog posts. I strongly encourage this, as it helps educate your clients as well as a potential use for search engine optimization. When you are a home improvement contractor, blogging can create what marketers call a “buzz”. Lots of homeowners all around the world are going to be able to access your content. Take the time to avoid publishing anything that might embarrass your company. Proof read, spell check and then proof read again.
I’ve been asked quite a bit here lately about LinkedIn when talking to clients about social media management…so I thought I would address some issues a little.
For starters here, things can change on the internet. People’s habits change, so as you read this, keep in mind that a year from now, this will all be different…but that’s OK. Because we just need to focus on “right now.”
For most contractors door hanger marketing offers great value and potential when working within a job area, especially since it is an oft-ignored direct-marketing medium. It shouldn’t be! Door hangers are automatically set apart from other junk mail since they’re next to impossible to ignore, and they’re extremely cost effective to print and distribute, so it’s no wonder that door hangers often achieve a high response rate. When done correctly, door hanger marketing can quickly become a staple of any campaign strategy.
Listed below are the top marketing ideas you need to focus on when handing out doorhangers.
As Google continues to revamp the Places section and their launch of their new social media network, Google + there has been some noticeable changes that will affect the entire Google Places and Map section. The most severe changes to Google Places involve the removal of client reviews from third party websites within the Place page, and the prohibition of P.O. Boxes as acceptable addresses. One additional change is the removal of the additional information/SEO content that people would enter into their place page such as service areas, products, services etc.
Got this thought from Tom Johnson over at Johnson Home Construction up around Wilmington, NC, and look at his comment when I checked in at work on Google+
Notice I didn’t ask for a review here. There is a time and a place to ask for reviews or testimonials from previous customers, but no one likes to be asked, again and again, to leave a comment on work that you have done. But, as you may have gathered from Tom’s comment above, there are always more subtle ways to remind folks to support your company.
I really do not like the word “estimate”, or even worse bid. Estimate implies inexactness. It may be higher, it may be lower. A project consultation, energy audit or design analysis implies much more detail and precision. Bid implies that you are competing for the project.
Instead of offering a “free estimate” offer an in-home consultation. Explain that this is much more than a bid or free estimate. They receive a detailed evaluation of their project that includes:
- Detailed discussion of project goals and ideas. What are the three most important concerns or objectives for this project?
- Evaluation of home. Is site suitable for the proposed project? Evaluate feasibility, design considerations.
- Exact material lists and job proposal. (optional: plans or designs)
- Offer exact written quote for project, including scheduling, materials, products, etc.
If you are an HVAC contractor, or sell replacement windows, offer a “Energy Audit”, instead of a “Free Estimate”. You can show the homeowner all the energy wasting areas in their home, including the uninsulated window openings, door cracks, etc. Many of these areas are small, simple and inexpensive to fix.
So Google+ has been invitation only for over a month now, and there is no slowing down in people joining it. If you haven’t signed up yet, please click this link to get an invite from me. I encourage you to sign up and look around, I have a feeling it will be beneficial to learn the ends and outs.
One of the most important features of Google+ is Circles. Circles is a way to organize your contacts. For instance, I have a “Family” circle, and a “Coworkers” circle. The benefit of organizing everyone into circles, is then you can share certain things with certain circles.
Unfortunately, that’s not the norm in the home improvement industry. In fact, the norm is to make a lot of promises and then under-deliver. To do “just enough”. To cut corners. To be satisfied with “good enough”.
By doing the “little things”, you help to distinguish yourself from the rest of your competitors that can’t or won’t take those extra steps. What you are trying to do is exceed expectations.
Here are some ways you can do that:
After you’ve sold the job and included everything that’s going to be done on the signed contract, look for something extra you can do while you’re there (then tell the client that you did it). It doesn’t have to be big. Does their lamppost need painting? Something minor need to be repaired? You get the idea.
Don’t however, be so concerned about doing something extra that you don’t do the best possible job on what you’re contracted to do. It’s not enough to be good at what you do. To get tons of happy clients and tons of referrals
Though service and maintenance programs are big in the HVAC and Plumbing industry, every contractor should be offering and utilizing a maintenance program. It is a perfect way to create residual income, keep your current clients aware of your services and keep your workers busy during any slow period. A service agreement allows you to generate a recurring revenue stream that helps your business grow.
One good example to use are deck builders. After every project is completed, offer the client the choice of three service/maintenance plans they would like to participate in. Explain the importance of deck maintenance and retaining the natural beauty of the wood. The three programs you can offer would be:
Basic – UV and water treatment application: You come back every six months to thoroughly clean the deck, and apply water and sun repellent. The client would be auto billed twice a year
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