5 ways to get your name out when you are a General Contractor?
As a contractor by trade, marketing is probably not your top skill – but anyone can successfully market their business with the right tools and a bit of expert guidance. As the leader of your company, one of the many hats you’ll be wearing, at least initially, is that of a marketer.
We’ve put together this guide to provide comprehensive information and resources on marketing for new contractors, including information on how to establish your business presence online, free and paid online marketing tactics for attracting business leads, traditional marketing and advertising methods like local advertising and more.
1. Online Classifieds
Kijiji.ca ranks in the top Canadian websites as #12. Higher than ebay.ca (15). If you are a small, independent service provider with an audience that would turn first to Kijiji before looking elsewhere for your services, then advertising there could be a good option. You can create a basic Ad, Bold Ad, or Top Ad to be more visible. IF free ads bring you customers then you can invest in making your ad even more visible starting from $3 to $70+. However, if Kijiji is not the go-to resource for locating service providers in your segment of the industry, then advertising there could be sacrificing some of the brand identity you are working hard to build. There are other platforms that may better suit your needs.
Same idea with Craigslist. If you have a low cost service that you want to promote to people looking for the lowest price, this is the place to do it. Make sure you delete and repost your listing every day, or even every few hours if you have a chance, to stay high up in the list of search result.
Of course, marketing your contracting business online means you should set up a business website. Websites today are relatively easy to set up, depending on the tools that you use, and can be quite cost-effective even if you hire an outside agency to build a professional website. There are a few great free website builders that make it a simple, straightforward and inexpensive process for anyone – no matter their technical skill – to build a website in as little as a few hours. Here are the top 3 that we like:
wix.com – A strong, browser-based website builder, Wix.com reigns supreme if you want a simple, drag-and-drop interface for building basic sites (i.e., for portfolios, small sites, etc.). Wix leads the way when it comes to easy setup and robust features. Their support isn’t great, but it almost doesn’t matter. We find Wix.com’s offering to be ideal for beginner site owners.
weebly.com – The well-known website builder also offers a variety of hosting plans that integrate with their brilliant platform. Weebly’s templates are among the most polished and modern you can find.
000webhost.com – Having hosted websites for nearly 14 million users worldwide, 000webhost has provided free, ad-free hosting since 2007. The feature-rich free hosting plan will support small and medium projects, they offer fully functioning FTP accounts and MySQL and PHP support. In addition to the unlimited free domain hosting and five email accounts, 000webhost also includes website traffic stats, SEO analysis tools, and guides to help you promote your project.
3. Social Media
Use page promoted posts targeting people in the news feed. Target Ads to Your Ideal Consumers by age, Location, income level and their Interests. Actively monitor your Facebook page, don’t leave messages unanswered, post high quality pictures of your projects, special offers, at least once a week or so. Create useful content, so your audience will be engaged and will trust your expertise and order your service.
Instagram is not just a fad for teenagers. Now businesses have adopted Instagram as one of their main revenue generating tools. Today Instagram has over 1 million advertisers and 8 million business profiles! With 600 million users and growing every day, it is likely that a meaningful percentage of your target market is using the app. For more in depth articles on how to effectively use the Instagram Advertising please sign up for our newsletter or visit our blog.
4. Business Directories
TrustedPros receives thousands of visitors each day. Most of these visitors use this contractor directory to find local service professionals just like you to complete their home improvement
projects. There are 2 types of membership, Free and Paid. You can create a Free Company Profile Page. You are able to choose 3 primary service categories that your company specializes in. Together, these features will help you gain more coverage in this popular contractor directory.
HomeStars is a digital database of home renovators, designers and contractors that runs on a review ranking system. If you have a business that cares about customer service, and you are in this for the long haul, you should have a listing on HomeStars.com. Start with a free listing. Free listings come with a lot of features and allow you to post contact information, request and respond to reviews and put their logo on your site. By getting a profile and completing it and having some of your good previous clients write some reviews on your business you are assured that when someone sees your business name somewhere and checks you out online they are going to see reviews from your best clients. On a third party site that is fairly trusted for accuracy so this is MUCH more powerful than having those clients write testimonials on your own website.
BBB – Better Business Bureau
Being accredited puts you in an elite group of businesses that have proven to be the best in their industry. It shows other businesses that you are trustworthy and live up to a higher standard of business practice, and gives you opportunities to learn and interact with other great businesses. Businesses who choose to run great, trustworthy operations, meet the requirements of BBB Accreditation. That’s one reason BBB Accreditation carries so much weight with consumers. It gives your business the advantage you need to win a contract or job, or attract consumers to your products.
5. Local Advertising
Your company car(s) should have your name on them, when you’re not on the road, park in high traffic areas, where they will be exposed to high traffic volume. Your vehicles are working full time doing your advertising. Phone number and a website address have got to be on the rear of the trucks for people who pull up behind you at stop signs. Everyone has a cellphone these days, and they will call. Car magnets are another less expensive option if you are working under different contracts, you can simply remove your company information when you need to.
Lawn signs is one of the most affordable yet effective ways to advertise your business. You can raise your brand awareness and presence in your local area. When a sign on your customer’s
lawn is seen by their neighbours, it works almost as good as a word of mouth advertising. You get the best ROI from yard signs without spending a fortune. Bag signs are the cheapest option. Average order of Bag signs is 100 units. This is the best price vs quantity combination.
Coroplast signs are more reusable and durable option. Full color signs are also available in small quantities of 5 and up in case you don’t need a 100 signs, but just want to try them out.
You can find these and other products on our website.
We hope you found this information useful. We can not guarantee that everything in this guide is going to work for your particular business, but keep experimenting and reach your own conclusions on what works for you. Good luck.