Contractor Marketing Ideas Q&A

The Question – What is the #1 issue in your business?

Q: I need help marketing.
Anthony St.Martin, www.sageland-design.com

A: Please give me some more information to work with:

  • Who is your target customer?
  • Do you have pictures of yourself?
  • Do you have any testimonials and pictures of your clients?
  • Are you on any social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn?
  • If you were a consumer looking for something that you have to offer and you’re sitting at your computer, what would you type into the Google Search box?

Q: How to close a job because of price?  They are getting more bids and price seems to be paramount.
Howard Robbins, www.howardrobbinsconstruction.com

A: This is why it’s important to really fine tune your skills and what you sell. Focus on being the hero that can help them save money through the design process. Start listing all of the benefits I discussed and apply them to your customer. Focus on helping solve their problem and reduce their pain. The hard part is winning their trust from the beginning. Everyone is telling them not to trust contractors. You have to educate them as to the process and why it works in their favor.

Q: Getting more leads.
George Kelley

A: George and I talked and I recommended he do a WordPress blog/website. It’s great for SEO, (Google Loves WordPress) and it can be worked on by anyone from anywhere.  He can get started with a nice site for less than $1,500. The initial site is up and ready to go and he can add to it and change it at anytime.

Q: I find that I’m developing plans (usually many versions) to a design-development type detail for concept-plan type prices.  I need a way to quickly sketch concept type plans for ballpark pricing, then get paid what it’s worth to develop one plan in detail.
Lee Mackenzie, www.mackenziedesignbuild.com

A: Sell the planning process in stages. Look at the different areas of the design process and sell your service that way. Sort of a customer “Pay As You Go” approach.

If the client is serious about the project, I would recommend that the As-Built be one thing that is sold as a finished package. Once you have a good As-Built, you can do anything you want to the plan without worry. If you just do a quick layout for concepts, then make sure it’s just that – Quick. Because you’re going to have to go back and measure the project anyway.

Q: WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE IS AN EXCESS OF 7500 NEW, NEVER LIVED IN UNSOLD HOMES AND NO NEW ONES BEING BUILT TILL THAT INVENTORY OF NEW HOMES IS DEPLETED.
Thomas McAuliffe

A:  I’d move to Hawaii! (Just kidding) – I’d start by doing some research in my area through the local Commerce department. You need to know just how bad it really is. Then I’d hit the city offices and see who’s pulling permits and for what. This will give you a sense of what people are doing and where you can start to focus some of your efforts.

Once you’ve determined if any commerce at all is occurring, I’d then take a hard look at what I’m doing to market my services. Define what I want to do, what I can do, and what I should do. I call this “Revenue versus Wanna-Do” Sometimes hard choices have to be made to survive.

Q: ALSO BEAR IN MIND THAT JOBS HERE ARE ALMOST NON EXISTENT, IE – 1 NURSES AID JOB AVAILABLE,  1500 APPLICANTS FOR THAT 1 JOB.
Thomas McAuliffe

A: Again this comes back to what sort of commerce is “Really” happening in your area. There must be something that’s working or at least maintaining. Find out who is making the money – Census Reports – when the new reports come out there will be a lot of great information.

If you have a local library that specializes in business, they will have a ton of current research data. Go to your local college and see if there are any business classes that could use your company as a project. If you can do this, lets talk. I’ll offer some guidance on what you could have these college kids do for you.

Q: Just took the Lead paint class that makes me a Certified Renovation Contractor qualified to work on home built in 1978 and earlier.
Chet Neace, www.neacebuilders.com

A: You should spread the word about this. I know everyone has to do it, but not everyone will make a big deal out of it in their marketing.

Suggestions – Your website has a table at the top of the home page with titles, no links. Did you mean for these to be meta-tags? If so, they should be somewhere else, I can help you with that.

Also, rewrite your text to be customer focused. For example, 10 Reasons You’ll Sleep Easier At Night When You Hire Neace Builder, Inc.

Give them 10 pain killing benefits – Not 10 reasons why you are so great. Even though you are great, nobody really cares. What’s in it for them?

Q: Hey Dan, did you see we won the National CotY?
Lee Mackenzie, www.mackenziedesignbuild.com

A: Congrats on the CotY. I know it’s a lot of work putting the info together for them. As such you have the right to brag to the world about it. You should start writing a 750 word article that explains what a CotY is, but more importantly, if a homeowner hires someone that has one of these awards, why that is important. How does a homeowner benefit from this award? Not how great you are for getting it. This can also be done in a search engine friendly way and we can have you post the info on news sites and other places that Google likes.

By the way, we should get you switched over to a WordPress blog. A creative guy like you could have a lot of fun with a blog.

Q: Explain the X2 Viewer.
Chet Neace, www.neacebuilders.com

A: Good point Chet.  It’s another reason for someone to hire you and not the other guy. You’ll help your client set up the free Chief Architect Client Viewer and then they can look at the project themselves. How cool is that?

Thanks for the comments today. Keep them coming.

Dan Baumann

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