by: Holly Czuba
We live in a mobile world. Contractors spend 90%+ of their day on job sites. When they need something, they pull out their phone or tablet to get it done.
We work with a number of contractors and have compiled a list of marketing tips, keeping in mind that mobile devices are more readily available and used while on a job site!
Not all of these tips will work for every contractor, but these are hand-crafted (pun intended) for on-the-go contractors.
1. You need a strong, consistent brand
This seems like a no-brainer, but many small businesses, while focusing heavily on getting things off the ground, overlook their brand. A strong brand is paramount to growing your business. Your logo should be used in all marketing materials (business cards, invoices, etc) and be consistent across your web presence, too (website, social media). A strong, visible, consistent brand has the ability to do half the work for you, in a sense. If your brand is strong, prospective clients already know what they’re going to get when they work with you.
Lois Geller, of Forbes, writes,
In one sense, perhaps the most important sense, a brand is a promise. Think of some top brands and you immediately know what they promise: McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Budweiser, Ford, Apple, MetLife.
You know what you’re going to get with a well-branded product or service.
It’s also a bundle of attributes. Think of Volvo, for instance, and your first thoughts are probably going to be something like “well built, comfortable, Swedish” and, most of all, “safety.”
2. Make asking for reviews part of your process
Business earned through referrals are highly relevant for contractors. And common! Most contractors we talk to say that a majority of their business comes from client referrals.
Online reviews are a great way to leverage client referrals online. Here are some hand-picked tips for contractors to earn more reviews.
- Make it part of your ‘check-out’ process. Every client you wrap up with, provides you with a chance to ask how your service has been and ask for a review.
- If you use a tablet during your check out process, direct users to your online profile during check out.
- Include links to your profiles on your invoice or in your email signature.
The crux here is to be consistent. And make sure your employees are consistent too! You can set-it-and-forget it by putting links in your email signature, but you’ll get a higher response rate if you include a verbal request.
3. Make sure someone is responding to the calls-to-action you have on your website
Since you’re on the go all the time, it might not make sense for people who come to your website to contact you via an email form. If you don’t check your email much, you may be letting leads slip through your fingers.
On the other hand, you might prefer emails over phone calls.
Make sure your prospects have the right information they need (via your website) to get in touch with you, the way you need. Don’t leave money on the table! I run into contractors periodically who miss some of the notifications that come through their website. Additionally, I’ve heard prospective home remodelers speak about working with the contractor who got back to them. A friend of mine contacted 5 contractors before one returned his request for information. That contractor got the gig.
4. Before and after pics
People love before and after pictures. Use your phone, or better yet, invest in a decent digital camera and take a picture before you get started and when you finish with your project.
If you use your mobile phone you can get an app that will allow you to show the two pictures side by side – and share immediately. Make sure your client is ok with you posting before and after pictures.
This is a great way to showcase your work.
In an ideal world you’d also be able to get the before and after pictures onto your website, but sticking with the theme of ‘quick & easy’ – sharing them on your social accounts via your mobile device will serve the purpose.
5. How-to videos are hot right now
Video is huge right now, especially HOW TO videos. In the same vein as the previous suggestion – use your mobile device to shoot a 30 second How To video that you can share easily to your social networks. Everyone wants to do-it-themselves. Tap into the DIY-ers by sharing how-to video. Eventually, those DIY folks will need an expert.
If you like the idea of doing video, come up with a schedule where you can post videos consistently. Whether your schedule is 1 per month or 1 per week, set something up that will be easy for you to stick to.
6. Take care of your web presence
This is where I venture into some tips that aren’t necessarily designed for quick implementation or results. Ideally, you’re working with a partner who handles this stuff for you. If not – the takeaway is to find someone you trust that can provide these services.
– Get social: I mentioned sharing your before and after pics or videos to your social networks. Before you can do that you’ll want to make sure your social profiles have been created (be consistent with your brand)! You can sync those profiles to apps on your mobile device easily. There’s an app for Facebook pages that allows you to post straight to your business page (as opposed to your personal Facebook account). There’s also an app for Twitter. Use iTunes app store or Google play to get an app that works for your device.
– Get SEO: SEO makes sure your website is visible in search results. It’s a technical process that considers factors both on and off your website to increase your visibility, with the ultimate goal to rank higher than your competitors!
Make sure your partner employs best practices for gaining visibility. There are plenty of companies who make an effort to game the system – which can be detrimental to your long term goals.
– Maintain your website: I can’t say it enough – consistent updates to your website are crucial to get website traffic to convert. Do you have someone who can post those before and after shots with a brief description of the job? This is a super easy way to update your site, provide relevant information to your ideal audience, showcase your work, etc. But again, it hinges on having someone you can forward those pictures to.
– Make sure your website is mobile: – This probably doesn’t need a whole lot of explanation. You’re on your phone while at job sites. How annoying is it when you’re looking for something on the web and the website doesn’t function properly?
If you haven’t yet found a partner that can take care of maintaining your website, we’d love to talk!