20 Things Contractors Don't Seem to Know about Marketing...But Should

As a contractor, your skills are in design and construction...as they very well should be if you're going to get hired for your work. Not many contractors who work with their hands have a degree in marketing or business. In fact, most contractors usually got started by producing quality work, and then fell into having to figure out how to market their company. It's not easy trying to figure out the best strategies for getting more clients, but it is a necessity.

To help you better gauge how your marketing endeavors are going, take a look at this list of things you ought to know and ought to be doing. How well do your skills stack up? Where could you make some improvements? Share your thoughts or ideas with thad@concretenetwork.com.

  1. Marketing and doing quality work are not separate parts of the business. The time and attention you give to produce great concrete work sends a message to potential clients.
  2. Your website precedes your reputation. Potential clients make a lot of assumptions about your credibility, and the quality of your work just by perusing your website.
  3. It's not an option to not have your own quality website. If you don't have one, get one. (Here's how.)
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  5. Answering your phone is mandatory. 90% of potential clients won't leave you a message. They'll move on to call the next contractor on their list. If they can't reach you
    now to give you their business, they often wonder if they'll be able to reach you once you're on the job.
  6. If you know you're too busy to answer your phone, hire an answering service or secretary. This is an investment in landing more jobs.
  7. Your potential clients don't know that you only check email once per week. They just know you're non-responsive.
  8. You must measure your marketing efforts. Running an ad in the local magazine because that's what you did last year won't cut it. You've got to know what's working for you.
  9. Ask people how they heard about you...twice. If they say "the Internet," ask a follow-up question to find out exactly where and how they found you.
  10. Your list of past clients is valuable to you. Ask them for referrals. Have a plan to keep them updated on new, creative work you're doing. You never know when they're ready to do another project or they know someone who is.
  11. Provide a written quote within 24 hours. You'll stand out heads and shoulders above your competition. This, too, is part of marketing your company's reliability and professionalism.
  12. Being busy doesn't mean you don't need to advertise. Instead of increasing the number of projects you take on, you can start to take on more of the jobs you can make your best profit on and charge the best prices on.
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  14. Invest wisely in social networking sites. Don't overlap your own personal Facebook profile and your company profile. Create a fan page for your company and keep your personal updates private.
  15. Don't put all your faith or all your time into social networking. Updating Twitter occasionally probably won't hurt your business, but investing too much time and energy into it or similar sites can take you down the wrong path.
  16. Pictures of your work are a representation of you. Be careful you're not sending the message that your work is outdated and dingy from the appearance of the photos in your portfolio. Get clean, professional-looking, quality photos of your work.
  17. Your voicemail message shouldn't be recorded by your kids. Avoid using a voicemail that serves double-duty for your household. It should say your company name, and that you'll return phone calls within a certain time frame, such as "all calls will be returned by the next business day". (Better yet, refer to tip #5 and avoid voicemail altogether!)
  18. Become a member of associations and be in good standing, such as with the Better Business Bureau, or your local chamber of commerce.
  19. Market your business in multiple places; try different things. Put your marketing dollars where your best potential clients are...then measure what results you get so you'll know whether to keep spending there or move on to something different.
  20. Network with suppliers, general contractors, designers and architects. Get your name out in front of these people. The repeat work you can land once you get a job with them is priceless.
  21. Don't avoid your difficult customers. They're the ones that will talk the most about you (usually in a negative light) and they can derail your efforts to build a solid reputation. Take time to deal with issues and concerns they have.
  22. Service your local area. It's no surprise that customers are more likely to hire a contractor that is in their local area so service it and service it well. Make your company known as the premier company in that area. Don't spread your advertising so thin that you are getting calls from 200 miles away. Be the leader and dominate in your area.

These tips should at least give you some pause to verify that you in fact DID know them, and that they are properly reflected in your business. Any areas that you think are weak in your business ought to be addressed now. How can you improve? What steps can you take to start bettering your company? You don't need a degree in marketing or business to do this.

Provided by ConcreteNetwork.com. To learn more about advertising to get job leads in your local area, call 866-380-7754.