Getting exposure is an important part of having a successful business as a home remodeling contractor. Marketing plays a central role for contractors looking to grab a piece of what was a projected 338.6 billion U.S. dollar industry last year alone.
Rob Krohn, vice president of marketing for Epcon Franchising, supplied Small Business Trends with 10 solid contractor marketing tips you can use to drum up business.
He started our discussion by suggesting contractors dig deep into their pockets so they can spread the marketing net wide.
Develop Lots of Resources
“Develop an arsenal of marketing resources, even though there may be a hefty upfront cost to create them,” he writes via email. “A variety of good blog posts, brochures, photographs, etc. can be reused as part of an ongoing marketing strategy.”
Develop a Budget
This should be based on yearly sales numbers. You need to make sure that you set aside this money in good times and downturns both according to Krohn. He says that many contractors make the mistake of cutting back on marketing in downturns and even good markets because they don’t think it’s necessary when things are going well.
“Marketing is like investing — consistent long-term commitment to the practice produces the best results.”
Get a Website
There’s no way around these modern-day digital business cards.
“A robust consumer-facing website, for example, is critical for any kind of business,” Krohn, writes. “It should be mobile friendly, full of high quality, professional photos and easy to navigate. A blog, search tool or interactive map of your coverage area can help improve the user experience and ensure potential customers find the information they need.”
Combine Old and New Methods
It’s not an either/or proposition when it comes to digital versus more old school advertising methods. Contractors should have an online and social media presence working side by side with other techniques like print ads. Krohn also says that if you can afford it, working with public relations professionals is a good idea.
Get Professional Pictures
You need to make a good first impression to stay ahead of the competition, however, you can’t skimp on this important visual aspect.
“Small businesses and builders both might be tempted to go with a more budget-friendly options of semi-professional photography to get images for their marketing materials, but that is a mistake in both cases,” Krohn writes. “Find a photographer that specializes in your industry, and they can help provide art direction, staging and ensure the images have the right angles with the right lighting.”
This will help you to look unique. What’s more they can be reused over and over again.
Don’t Cut Corners
Krohn also suggests that marketing isn’t a place to focus on cost-saving.
“Hire trained professionals who can create and execute a strategic long-term plan,” he writes. “This can be a single person or a team, depending on the size of your business, and it’s also possible to hire an outside firm to handle marketing as long as you communicate with them clearly.”
Appoint a Point Person
If you need to outsource all of your marketing needs, you should appoint someone in your office to be the point person for all the information and queries from outside. This person will need to know all about your campaigns and what you expect from them. They’ll also need to be able to monitor the outsourced efforts.
Use the Latest Technology
Krohn uses the homebuilder industry he works with to illustrate a point on lead time which works well for home renovation contractors too.
“A consumer doesn’t typically need as much time on impulse buys to decide which type of soft drink to buy as they do to decide on a home. That means homebuilders have to create more middle and bottom of the funnel content — things like 3D virtual tours, digital renderings of floor plans and an online portal for printed marketing materials — to help buyers work their way through the buying process and make a final decision.”
Whether you’re planning on marketing online or through printed media, you need to brand yourself as a contractor. People will remember a professional logo whether it’s in social media or being used on business cards.
Having a professional logo designed by a graphic artist is a good investment.
Get Involved with SEO
Whether you plan on using a website or social media business templates, knowing something about search engine optimization is important. It’s best to hire a professional who understands how to get the most from keywords and links to position your website properly on places like Google.
Make sure they have good credentials so your website is easily found by clients looking for your services online.
A budget is important for it will also help you determine your earnings right from the onset.
I find that contractors generally know they need a website, but don’t know how valuable it is to their business. They see the cost as a luxury rather than a necessity, and look for a lower cost provider to get a cheaper website online. What they need to consider, really for all business owners but I feel like contractors particularly, is how many new clients would they need to get from the website to make it a worthwhile investment? For contractors, those doing remodels, etc. it generally isn’t that many new clients and the majority of home owners are researching vendors online before calling.
In my opinion, a contractor can’t afford not to get a great website.
Great Advice Rob. Don’t forget to letter your work trucks and equipment for added branding!
Good tips for contractor marketing. I also suggest contractors proactively build their online reputation since most homeowners will search “[company name] reviews” after deciding on the contractors that they are going to call for an estimate. By building and marketing a 5-star reputation, a contractor can render their competition virtually irrelevant.
My experience with contractors is that they are hands on professionals that love their craft. They are energetic and always in motion. They rarely have the patience and time to apply to digital marketing, especially web sites and search engine optimization. SEO is a zero sum game. Only one company can be at the top. It is important that a contractor assess their level of commitment, their ability and willingness to be focused on it, or their willingness to pay someone that does have the focus, skills, and time. Trying to do it half way is a great way to throw money down a hole. I think that is one reason inside edge (www.ourinsideedge.com) has been as successful as it has.
In today’s world when everybody using the internet and search for everything on internet so every small business should have its own website. One of my friend providing affordable web design for small businesses and also growing their business by providing cost-effective marketing services. So, in my opinion, every small business can afford a good website.
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Very useful set of tips especially for people like me who are just starting with my own contracting business and still learning the ropes on how to get more clients. I guess there’s really no going around the fact that you need to go online and digital if you wish to keep up with the competition in today’s time since most of the tips that I saw from this site were also pointing towards digital and online marketing strategies. Blogs like this are really useful, thanks a lot!
nice info thanks