Tired of searching for general contracting advice, only to find basic tips that don’t really apply to you?
We hear you. That’s why we hunted down the best marketing tips for general contractors like you. It’s pretty obvious I’m not a general contractor, BUT I do know marketing — so I searched through contracting forums, Reddit, Quora, and other sites to make sure I’m finding the best advice for you guys.
Whether you’re just starting your general contracting business or need some new customers, take a look at the marketing tips I found that are designed for general contractors only.
Don’t have a website yet? Make one!
If you don’t have a website for your general contracting business, I have one question for you: What are you waiting for?
I could show you lots of info on how having a website increases your business’s visibility, brings more customers to your door, and decreases the time you’ll spend looking for work. But I think you probably already know all of this, but you just haven’t found the time or the right person to help you build your site.
I’m here to help. Here are a few quick tips that can help you get an online presence ASAP:
Check out our article on the best website builders (some of these make it possible to build a site in less than an hour).
Set up a Facebook account for your business, if you don’t already have one.
Find a local website designer or check on Guru.com or Upwork.com to find someone to build your website; this tip is ideal if you have no time but are willing to spend a little money on creating your site.
Already got a website? Make sure you include this.
If you haven’t been paying attention to your website lately, you’re probably missing out on a few techniques that can help you grab more local attention, like:
Including the names of the locations you serve. Make sure you include on your website the areas you serve and try to sprinkle these locations around your site. Doing this will help your website become more competitive when customers are doing online searches like “general contractor in X city.”
Making your website mobile-friendly. Most of your customers are searching for you with their phones. Making your website mobile-friendly helps ensure you’re providing a good experience for these folks. You can use Google’s free tool to see if your website is already mobile-friendly or if you need to make some improvements.
Adding your social profiles. Do you link to your social pages on your business website? If you don’t, you’re missing out on a technique that increases the likelihood that local customers can find you. Add links to your Facebook page, Twitter, and any other social channels that feature your business.
Claim your Google Business Page.
Ever notice when you search for a business or restaurant online, Google usually serves up a map with a list of a few places for you to scroll through?
That happens because those businesses have a Google Business page. This free page allows you to show up in Google searches and even helps you land on the map if people are searching for general contractors in a specific area.
In other words, you definitely want it — so here’s how to claim it:
Claim your Google Business page.
Add your business hours, location, and phone number.
Add the link to your website.
Provide photos of your previous work (more on this in a bit).
Once you’ve set up your Google Business page, get comfortable asking happy customers for online reviews. Businesses with a lot of four- and five-star reviews typically appear higher on Google search results, and the higher you are, the more customers you’ll garner.
Focus on new developments.
Is there a new area in your neighborhood that’s building up? Have you noticed that more people are moving to your local area? If that’s the case, start targeting those areas, because those are the people who are probably in need of a general contractor.
Here are a few ways to do that:
Leave your business card in the mailboxes of new developments.
Offer incentives to brand-new customers, like 10% off your contracting services.
Network with local real estate agents; see if those agents would be willing to recommend your services to people who may be looking to renovate their homes.
New real estate developments offer fantastic opportunities to find new customers, but you may need to get creative with how you reach out to them.
Set up your social media.
If your business isn’t on Facebook, take a few minutes today to set up your page using Facebook’s Business page tool. Once you’ve added your name, location, and other business info, check out our other articles on how to turn your social media into a customer-generating machine.
Here’s how to use Facebook advertising to get in front of more customers.
Here’s how to create better content for your Facebook business page.
Here’s how to create Facebook audiences to get your business in front of the right customers.
Market to customers via video.
Maybe you’re really good at remodeling bathrooms. Or maybe you just have a knack for giving advice to other general contractors. Either way, if you have a specific skill or niche, consider putting it on YouTube so everyone — including your customers — can see it.
Here’s how videos can help you get customers: When you post videos to YouTube under your business name, they’re likely to show up on Google when people search for you. Demonstrating that you have authority in your field can be appealing for customers who prefer video content over websites or social media. It’s just one more technique that can really push you over the edge of your competitors’ sites.
Show off the goods.
If you haven’t been showing off your work, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Post a portfolio of your best projects everywhere, like on your website, social media accounts, etc. Pictures of past work can be the deciding factor for customers who like how you sound but might need to see your work before they decide to call you.
Here’s a helpful hint: Whenever you complete a project, ask the customer if you can take pictures of your work so you can post it online. It’s also a great opportunity to ask for a review on Facebook, so you can kill two birds with one stone.
Get on HomeAdvisor ASAP.
If you haven’t already set up a HomeAdvisor account, do so ASAP. Sites like HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, and NextDoor give you the opportunity for more online exposure, so it’s easier to find customers in your area. Each service is different, but in general, they all require you to post a business profile (complete with portfolio and pricing info) and respond to local customers who may be interested in hiring you.
NextDoor is a little different because it’s more of a social media site than a job board; however, a lot of people post here when they’re looking for general contractors, home remodelers, handyman services, etc. It’s definitely worth checking out and answering community posts when you have a few minutes to spare.
Make the most of your referrals.
If you already have a strong base of happy customers, don’t hesitate to ask them for referrals. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective ways to acquire more customers, to the point where you won’t have to worry about where your next project is coming from.
Check out our guide on word-of-mouth marketing, which has tons of tips and advice on how to get more customers without lifting a finger.
Got any additional marketing advice to share with other general contractors? Let me know in the comments below!
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I love writing about the small business experience because I happen to be a small business owner - I've had a freelance copywriting business for over 10 years. In addition to that, I also head up the content strategy here at Simply Business. Reach out if you have a great idea for an article or just want to say hi!
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