As a professional contractor, you know that one of the best avenues for marketing your business is word of mouth referrals, but that alone isn’t always enough to keep the phone ringing. It takes a combination of various marketing ideas and techniques to ensure that you reach a broad pool of potential customers, so that your contractor, plumbing, landscaping, roofing, painting, handyman, or HVAC business will continue to thrive. Here are some inexpensive suggestions to help you expand your client base.
Door Hangers and Postcards
Most print shops have ready-cut door hangers that you can use to advertise your business. Have them printed up with your name, logo, and contact information, along with a listing of the kind of jobs in which you specialize. Put a supply in each of your vehicles, and make sure that you and your employees take some time to hang them on doors of surrounding homes whenever you arrive at a job site.
Postcards can be printed up in a similar manner, for very low cost, and can be mailed to select neighborhoods where you have done work and know contains your target customers. Always mail follow-up postcards to your satisfied clients and ask them to pass them along to friends and neighbors.
Network, Network, Network
Civic organizations, local government town hall meetings, and church groups are great places to generate leads. People who belong to groups like these are generally movers and shakers of the community, and references from them can be invaluable. Join your local chamber of commerce, as they often get asked for recommendations by people seeking remodeling help. Do your research and choose wisely when parceling out your valuable time, and the contacts you make may be priceless.
Advertise on Construction Vehicles
Many professionals take advantage of the high profile of their business vehicles to advertise their services, but fail to consider how valuable it can be as an advertising device when not in service. Instead of parking in a garage, construction yard, or personal driveway, consider parking in a high-traffic area, where many passersby will see your mini-billboard even when you’re taking the day off.
Hold a High Profile Contest
Offer a free remodeling job to whoever sends in a picture of the ugliest bathroom, and contact the local media for some free advertising. Landscapers, plumbers, roofers, painters, and handymen can devise a similar sort of contest, requiring contestants to submit either essays about or photographs of their personal eyesores. Just make sure to allow sufficient time to get a large number of entrants, and use social media, blogs, email marketing, and local media contacts to promote the contest. Consider hiring a marketing service to assist with the advertising. The benefits are twofold; not only will you get lots of publicity throughout the contest, but afterwards you’ll be able to publish before and after pictures that are sure to impress prospective clients. Done properly, the cost of providing the free remodel will be more than outweighed by the long running, high-profile media campaign.
Offer Professional Advice
Whether in a blog, local newspaper column, or even public radio or television show, consider offering consumer tips for DIY home repairs, choosing a reliable contractor, estimating remodeling costs, and other types of home improvement subjects. Not only will you garner publicity for your business but you will show yourself to be an expert in your particular field and gain the trust and respect of many prospective clients.
When it comes to marketing your contractor or related business, there are many resources at your disposal that will not significantly reduce your profit margin. No matter how good you are, you cannot always count on customer referrals to keep you in business, so be sure to make the most of all of the free and low cost advertising that is available.