The Twelve Days of Contractor Marketing

The Twelve Days of Contractor Marketing
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan December 13, 2017

It's the Holidays, and many businesses are reflecting on their previous year's victories and planning for their next year's success. While everyone is preparing their year-end checklists (and perhaps checking them twice!), let's go over our suggested Twelve Days of Contractor Marketing.

The Twelve Days of Contractor Marketing is a simple guide to 1) provide you with a simple, actionable task to build your business and 2) show you that you really do have time to focus on your business and your marketing – even during the holidays.

Sleigh Ride – Test Drive Your Website

Take your website for a test drive, but forget your years of industry experience. Pretend like you know nothing about your trade. Now, if you are a potential client for your business:

  • Why would you be visiting this website?
  • What questions do you have?
  • Are those questions answered?
  • Can you find the information you need?
  • Can you find your phone number? Is there a call-to-action button well-placed?

If you can't find those answers or that information, then your customers can't either. Talk to your online marketing team to let them know what you find. Test drive your website from the perspective of a potential customer – and fix what is missing.

Do You Hear What I Hear? – Developing Your Phone Skills

How do you answer your phone? The way you greet a current or potential client on the phone sets the mood for all future interactions. For many, it is the first customer service touchpoint. So are you answering your phone with a simple "Hello"? If so – STOP IMMEDIATELY. If people are calling your business phone number, they expect a business person to answer the phone. At a bare minimum, you should answer your phone with a greeting and identification. "Hello – Dave's Plumbing". Or "Dave's Plumbing, this is Dave – How can I help you?" – if you are doing any less than that, your business immediately feels less legitimate.

Stop and think about how you answer your business phone line.

Be Like Rudolph – Understand and Play Up Your Strengths

Not every company has the same skillset or resources. The biggest players and franchises can coast a bit on their reputation or rest on the back of established collateral marketing material. Local providers have it a little tougher.

You started a business because you have some specific strengths when compared to your competition – be it your pricing, your response time, customer service, or local roots. Identify those strengths and sell those features and benefits on your website and in your marketing materials.

Take a few minutes today to think about your personal strengths and how you utilize them.

We Wish You the Merriest – Thank a Customer Today

There doesn't have to be a sales pitch or a monetary win for you – just say thank you to someone who has used your services and mean it. Without your customers, you wouldn't have a business.

Call a client today and thank them for being a customer.

All I Want for Christmas is You – Consider Paid Advertising as a Channel to Effectively Gain Customers

I know that most businesses cringe at the idea of having to pay to get customers – but there shouldn't be any shame in utilizing Facebook ads or Google ads to earn your business a few more leads. Can you identify your lead cost? Or, if you don't have the numbers in front of you at the moment, what would you consider a fair cost per lead? The average costs vary greatly between industries and areas – but if you can identify a cost per lead that works for you, you've taken the first step in developing your paid advertising plan. Whether it is Social Media advertising or Google Ads management, Footbridge Media can help!

What's your cost per lead? Figure it out and consider paid ads for your business.

Jingle Bells – Don't Worry About Dashing Through the Snow

Waiting for a technician is a common pain point for homeowners. Whether they are waiting for the cable guy or a plumber, if your customer has had to take time off work for the pleasure of you coming into their house and giving them a bill – it is understandable that additional scheduling problems further open that wound.

Scheduling can be a very tricky situation. You don't always know what you're walking into on a service call. There isn't much you can control in that situation. What you CAN control is how you handle the situation. Giving as much notice and warning to other scheduled clients once plans need to change will give homeowners the opportunity to restructure their day or perhaps reschedule service if a delay can't be tolerated. But calling a client an hour after their appointment window was supposed to start doesn't help.

Take some time to develop a standard practice for what you do and how you communicate with your clients when schedules change unexpectedly.

Holly Jolly – Are You Happy to See Your Customers?

How would you rate your customer interactions? Basic customer service skills can be taught, but personality takes a lifetime to develop. Service techs can have an amazing practical skillset and deliver superior work, but if they have the personality of a wet mop... your clients' needs will be technically satisfied, but they are otherwise starving for customer service.

It can all start with a smile – Remind your employees (and yourself!) to look your customer in the eye, smile, and give a firm handshake along with their introduction.

Carol of the Bells – Picking Up the Phone Fast

This is especially true for service providers; picking up the phone quickly is important. The longer your phone rings, the more likely a client will simply hang up and try the next contractor down the list. If you use call forwarding, in particular the type that rings over to a new line if the first line doesn't answer, you run the risk of losing out on prospective clients before they have the chance to even get to your voicemail.

Answer the phone quickly today.

Not So Silent Night – Improving Your Timely Communication

If your client has to go to voicemail or if a client submits a lead form to you from your website, the clock is ticking. Your leads have an expiration date. Calls and messages from the night before should be your first priority for contact back. Without timely communication, prospective clients will move on to the next company – even if they've been referred to you or previously had good experiences with your company.

Take the time to follow up on fresh leads as soon as possible.

Be Like Frosty – Telling Your Company's Story in an Engaging Manner

The reason why those old holiday cartoons and stop-motion movies stick in our brains is the combination of relatable characters and quality storytelling. Looking back at those movies now, they don't look like any of the super polished HD and 4K content that we expect as a baseline for any entertainment product today – but those stories are so iconic that we overlook all of that.

Tell your company's story – People love a good backstory. Humanizing a business by pulling back the super professional business curtain and revealing the individuals that make up the heartbeat of a company is vitally important to that storytelling.

Use social media to share some of the behind-the-scenes action of your business operations. (And check out our social media marketing service if you need a helping hand!)

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Branding – Cohesive Branding for Your Business

Let's be clear. Unless you've got a million dollars in your pocket, your business cannot survive on branding alone. That involves dominating TV, radio, billboards, social media, and the like. But just because you don't have the pocketbook of the big players doesn't mean you can't take a page out of their playbook.

Take a look at every way that you present yourself to your prospective clients – your website, your Facebook page, your work shirt, your work vehicle. Does it all have the same overall look and feel?

Make Sure Your Customers Don't Have a Blue Christmas – Communicate With Them Regularly

If you're like the majority of businesses, once you're done interacting with a client after the job – you're done with that customer. Maybe you send a thank you card, but there is no additional follow-up or continuing communication after that...and that is a major problem. The cost of getting a new client is high – it takes the investment of time, money, customer service, and technical proficiency. So why do you throw that expensive investment away after the sale? A happy customer can be a referral generator or give you a review to help sway future prospective clients. Whether you use social media, print pieces, or email marketing – find a way to stay in front of your past clients. Leverage their past positive experiences with you to grow your business or continue to earn their business for additional services.

Review how you interact with past customers – and consider options like email newsletter marketing to communicate with them on a regular basis.

Ready to Take the Next Step? Let's Get Started

Start Getting Leads Now