Written by: Will Watrous
Get More from Your Contractor Marketing
Every contractor company faces an ongoing challenge: How will you gain new leads and grow your business? Staying profitable vitally depends on finding the right answers. Yet contractors often struggle to make their marketing a consistent, effective arm of their business model.
You don’t have to keep struggling, though, because there are proven marketing methods for your company. Creating a strong business strategy begins with understanding these 6 common marketing tools and choosing a long-term approach to foster ongoing company growth.
1. Depend on Referrals
Asking for referrals is the most common approach to business marketing. It’s simple and logical to request that your current customers recommend you to others who need your help.
But to do it right, you must create a clear and well-designed approach to gaining leads that match your ideal, target customers.
A well-planned referral system helps you build a strong reputation, gives customers confidence, and creates leads. You can command higher prices because your services are coveted.
Referrals alone aren’t enough for sustained company growth, and you may still face dreaded feast-or-famine cycles.
How to get great referrals:
- Do great work — There’s no substitute for a well-deserved reputation. Skilled craftsmanship, reliability, honesty, and commitment to topnotch work are essential.
- Ask for direct referrals — The best leads come when you ask a customer to directly introduce you to someone.
- Develop strategic referral partners — Network with people who can logically refer your services to their clients and contacts, such as real estate agents, plumbers, lumber suppliers, and high-end landscapers.
2. The Shotgun Approach (aka The Shiny Object Syndrome)
This method aims to reach as many people as possible to (hopefully) get more leads. Often, it involves doing the latest cool thing to build name recognition. Companies often choose this approach when business is slow, and abandon it when they get busy.
The Shotgun Method is low cost and low risk, because you buy ads only when business is slow.
Because this approach isn’t super strategic, it leads to a lot of trial and error, much of which just won’t work. The time and money invested can be a frustrating waste.
What is involved:
- Scattershot plan — This approach tends to be a reaction to what’s happening at the moment, leading to sporadic marketing attempts.
- Buying lists — To reach more people, you’ll probably have to buy lists of potential clients. Many of them won’t be your ideal customer, and won’t generate viable leads.
3. Orchestrate Multiple Marketing Vendors
By outsourcing to third-party vendors, business owners can choose what marketing elements to hand off and which to hold onto—all while coordinating the efforts themselves.
You’ll work with people who know the latest techniques in their respective arenas.
Hiring multiple vendors can get pricey. To avoid a disjointed set of efforts, you have to provide time-consuming oversight.
What you’ll do:
- Hire experts — Choose specialists for each marketing task, such as a website developer, Google ad manager, social media content company, email marketing firm, etc.
- Be the project manager — Oversee all efforts and provide ample guidance to ensure you have a coordinated marketing approach.
4. Hire an In-house Marketer
Some contractors like the idea of hiring a full-time marketing manager. It’s an appealing option because contractors know their business, ideal clients, and locale better than anyone.
Having full-time, in-house marketing streamlines communications and planning, and ensures you have a high level of control over efforts to gain leads.
You’ll pay more in employee taxes and benefits. You run the risk of hiring someone who isn’t a good fit. Micromanagement and undermanagement, trial and error efforts, and mediocre results can all be problems.
How to hire a great full-time marketer:
- Do your research — Talk to other businesses to see what qualities define a good in-house marketer.
- Make a hire — Create a job description, conduct interviews, and choose someone to bring on staff.
5. Hire a local marketing agency
Working with a marketing agency can be appealing. Rather than choosing multiple vendors, you’re outsourcing to one company that does it all.
Marketing agencies can handle most or all of the help you need. You’ll have a single point of contact to coordinate efforts, making communication easier.
Most marketing agencies don’t have a lot of experience growing contractor companies. You’ll spend a lot to test different approaches, and you still may get mediocre results.
What to do:
- Find an agency — Look for a company that specializes in small business marketing.
- Sign a contract — Make sure you understand the ins and outs of what you’re signing.
6. Partner with a Contractor Growth Agency: StructureM
One of the best decisions you can make is to choose an expert marketing group with strong experience helping contractors gain leads and grow their companies. At StructureM, our team can provide all the marketing help you need in one place, coordinated by a personalized account manager who is your one-stop point of contact.
We specialize in home improvement contractors, and we have proven methods that generate contractor company growth. Our comprehensive approach to marketing yields a 10:1 return on your investment. We make it easy for you to focus your time on other areas of your business.
You’ll have no excuses for a lack of growth, because you’ll consistently gain leads. But you will have to make sure your other areas of business, such as operations and sales, are performing at their peak to match the outstanding lead generation of our marketing efforts.
How to connect:
We make the process of growing your contractor business easy. Simply contact us to get create a comprehensive contractor marketing strategy that works.
Schedule a Call
In the meantime, listen to CEO and Founder of StructureM, Will Watrous, as he explains the six marketing paths for contractors to choose from.