1. Craft a Direct Message to Your Ideal Client
To start, it’s important to understand who your target audience is and how to craft an overall message that will reach them.
Let’s chop it up into 3 steps:
- Define your target audience
- Craft a message for them
- Make sure they see the message
Define Your Target Audience
What trades do you specialize in? Are you a one-man GC? Are you a drywall company with 10 people in your office? Do you usually work in residential or commercial?
Answer those questions and figure your own organization out first. Next, paint a picture on who your dream client is. How old are they? How big is their company?
Get as specific as possible. Once you have your dream client in mind, you have your target audience. A target audience is a collection of your dream clients.
Craft a Message for Your Target Audience
So now you have your target audience, and the next step is to tap into their desires and speak to them.
What does your dream client want? What do they want to hear? What do they struggle with almost every single day? Once you know the answers to all those questions and ones similar, you have all the fuel you need to craft a message.
“Crafting a message for an audience” is more than just what to write in a promo flyer. It’s your entire brand. It’s what you’re all about.
Let’s illustrate an example so you can better understand.
You’re a GC trying to do big commercial jobs in the city. After speaking with developers in your area you start to realize that the biggest problem they deal with is GCs not having budgetary pricing without final drawings. Armed with this info, you set up some Facebook ads targeting developers and people working in real estate development companies and you give a sales pitch on how much better you could estimate projects.
That’s a message for a specific audience.
Make Sure They Get the Message
Once you create the message you need to make sure your target audience receives it. To make sure of this you first need to see where their attention is. Most contractors briefly check their phone on the job site occasionally, and they’re mostly on email or Facebook. Because of this, if you want to target contractors it makes sense to target them on Facebook and Email.
See what has their attention and make a presence there.
2. Build a Content Creation Team
The business world is evolving very rapidly into a dynamic where the people who succeed are the ones putting the most content out into the world and occupying people’s attention.
As a construction business, it’s essential you create and distribute content to attract attention. In other words, you must create and post a lot of content on the internet so you can get a reputation that encourages people to view you as the go-to contractor.
Unless you’re an experienced content creator, it’d be wise to hire a team or to outsource the task entirely. If you’re going to keep it in-house you’re going to need these 4 roles:
- Written word person (Editorial Management)
- Math person (Data Analyst/Strategist)
- Video person (Video Content)
- Art person (Designer)
Keep in mind these don’t have to be 4 different people, it can be 1 person satisfying all 4 roles, 2 people with 2 roles each. As long as all 4 roles are satisfied.
If you don’t really understand anything above, then it’s a good sign you should probably hire a marketing agency to help you out. Check out #12 on this article about social media for home builders for help on how to hire one.
3. Post Content on Facebook
Once you have your team, agency, or yourself situated and ready to start producing content, it’s time to go hard on the platforms your potential clients are on.
According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of U.S. adults use Facebook, and many of those are contractors and homeowners who can potentially be people that give you work, so it only makes sense to attack your marketing on this platform.
Make a list of the different types of content you want to post, this will be your guide to having a solid, predictable brand that people can expect, and also not having to think so hard on what to post. This is called a content type planner.
An example content type planner for a construction company could be:
- Video’s giving advice to other contractors/homeowners
- Quotes from videos
- Examples of finished work
- Videos of projects being worked on
This is entirely personal and up to you, but the above content type planner should give you a head start on thinking of what to post.
4. Post Content on Instagram
Just like with the content type planner above, you’re going to want to make something similar for Instagram, if not the same thing.
Once you have a planner detailing all the different types of content that you’re going to publish, it’s time to execute and put stuff out to the world.
Remember that if you’re having trouble with social media, don’t be afraid to hire a team or to outsource social media management to an agency. It may be pricy, but the brand it will build will be worth it.
5. Post Content on LinkedIn
If you’re a commercial contractor, LinkedIn should be the platform you’re going the hardest at. There’s great organic reach on the platform which means that if you post things consistently there’s a great chance a lot of people are going to see it.
Most people who have never used social media for their business tense up when it’s mentioned, they don’t know how to make their way into the community or how to get started. Our advice is to just start.
Make a list of ideas for posts and just start posting, as you get more experience it will flow more easily to you. If you don’t have the time to attack your content creating, hire people to do it for you. Invest in your brand and reap the benefits for years to come.
6. Hire an Estimating Firm
Most contractors work 60+ hours a week. They just don’t have the time to focus on marketing and branding.
Truthfully, if you want to grow your construction business, you’ll need to be the head of sales at your company and delegate everything else.
One of the biggest thing’s contractors have in the way of freeing up their time is the estimating and bidding process in order to win jobs. They don’t have the time to be in the office and measure takeoffs and price everything. We know this, that’s why we offer an estimating service that completely takes it off your hands so you can focus on what really matters for your business,
7. Attract Leads with a Lead Magnet
This can almost instantly blow up a construction business, especially if you work mostly in the residential sector.
A lead magnet is a free offer for something that collects contact information to eventually sell your services.
For example, a painting contractor who mainly works on residential remodeling jobs may offer a special video training “How to Remodel Your Home on a Budget”, that people can see only after they’ve given away their email address.
That’s a very simple and effective way to collect emails.
8. Promote Content through Weekly Email
Once you have a list of emails from your lead magnet, or you have a list from a paid lead generation service, it’s time to elevate your brand.
Get the content you’ve been posting on social media and promote it on your email to get more attention and build more legitimacy for your company.
This can be as simple as attaching the link to your LinkedIn along with a compelling reason why people should check out your page.
The main reason for this is to consistently get in front of your potential client and give real value and establish authority so that when the time comes and they have a project for you, they’ll give you a call.
9. Send Sales Pitches through Email
Whether you just collected a prospect’s email or have a list of emails in your database already, it helps to occasionally offer your help.
Just a simple “Hey John, have any projects you need some help on?” can generate a lot of interest in your company.
Plus, the genuine approach to trying to get projects gives you a solid reputation as a dependable, reliable contractor.
That reputation gives a massive boost to all your marketing and sales efforts.
10. Set Up Email Sequence for Potential Clients
When someone opts-in for your lead magnet, the next step is for them to get a strategic set of emails that all serve the purpose of furthering your relationship with the client so they can know, like, and trust you.
Here’s what that can look like for a home builder appealing to newly married couples:
Email #1 – Give video detailing what to expect in the home buying process.
Email #2 – Detail how to save money when buying a home
Email #3 – Invite to check out your social media page
Email #4 – Sales pitch
That’s just an example, but it’s to introduce a concept that might be foreign to you.
Just in case you need it, here’s some more info on how to make more money as a home builder.
11. Visit Your S12C Once a Month
A Select 12 Cluster (S12C) is a strategy where you create a list of your 12 dream clients and you focus most of your effort into developing relationships with them and working with them on projects.
It’s a strategy that brings a predictable and steady stream of projects to you and your organization.
To market your construction business better, it would definitely pay to invest some time to visit everyone in your S12C list at least once or twice a month.
12. Ask for Referrals
This one is very simple, after you complete a project that you know you did a good job on, don’t shy away from asking if they know a developer or GC who has some projects they’re fixing to work on.
Sometimes the action of simply asking for extra work could lead to amazing opportunities you would’ve missed out on if you’d have never inquired about it.
13. Go All-in on Local SEO
Local SEO is what happens when you look up something location-specific on Google.
As you can imagine, being on that list would get you a lot of exposure and bring a lot of legitimacy to your company.
Without getting too technical, the main thing you need to be ranked up there is for Google to approve of your page and consider you a better website than the competition.
The way to make that happen is by getting people to vouch for your website and add links to it on their website. So in other words, the website with more links to it gets ranked higher on Google.
Of course, there are a million other things to it, but that’s all you really need to know because the easiest way you can rank higher for Local SEO is by hiring experts on freelance sites like Fiverr or Upwork. Just a quick search of “local SEO services” will give you a huge list of people itchy to help you for more than affordable prices.
14. Invest in Lead Generation Services
One of the best, if not the best, ways to predictably get leads to your construction business is by investing in services that specialize in exactly that.
Sites like Bluebook and iSqft are known to be able to get any construction company off the ground and introducing them to potential clients in their area.
Here’s more info on the top 5 lead generation sites, in case you’re interested.
15. Call Past Clients on a Specific Schedule
Keep a database of all your past clients you’ve ever worked with and give them a follow up email a couple weeks or months after the project is over, asking how they’re doing and if they have any other projects they’d be interested in collaborating on.
You’d be surprised how many contractors can secure more work just from following up with past clients and showing how much they genuinely care about their company.
Plus, this establishes a relationship in the industry where you can position yourself as the go-to for a contractor in your area, which is a win-win for both parties.
That’s the real prize here.
16. Build an Advertising Team
The goal of marketing a construction business is having a lot of attention on your brand, and then having a powerful brand that inspires people to come to you for work.
Having content on the Internet helps that goal come to life, but it isn’t enough.
Everyone that would be interested in engaging with your content should receive ads that invite them to see your content and eventually hire you for your services.
Similar to content creation, you can either build a team, do it yourself, or hire an advertising agency to handle it for you.
If you wish to build an advertising team, here’s who you’ll need:
- Online Campaign Manager
- Creative Director
An online campaign manager is in charge of the paid advertising management, they oversee the social media advertising backend and they also handle the copywriting and video scripts for ads.
The creative director oversees the designing of the advertisements or the videos and decides the overall direction of the company brand.
If you want to go full-scale attack mode and scale your marketing efforts fast, then hire an advertising and content creation team. However, it’s recommended you hire an agency to help you so it’s not as heavy on your schedule and you don’t have as much overhead.
There are pros and cons with either route, but in the end, it’s your call.
17. Run Advertising on Facebook (Residential)
For contracting businesses focused primarily on residential projects, get your advertising team or your hired marketing agency on the phone and plan out an advertising campaign on Facebook. Eventually, they’ll probably conclude that you need a sales funnel.
A funnel is a sequence of ads to encourage a specific outcome.
There are many other businesses out there running complex, long funnels but for residential contractors, it’s best to use a simple 2-step sequence of ads:
- The first ad to offer a lead magnet in exchange for contact info
- And then the 2nd ad is a follow-up with a sales pitch to everyone interested in your services.
These ads are followed up with quality emails once every week so you’re always in front of potential clients.
18. Run Advertising on LinkedIn (Commercial)
In the commercial sector, you’re going to be marketing to other contractors, developers, and architects. And if there’s any social media platform that can give you a huge chunk of business, it’s LinkedIn.
This is the platform to constantly be networking with other construction professionals and posting valuable content to give yourself more authority and make your company stand out. That’s what we addressed in #5 on this list.
But if you want to get even more exposure, I recommend taking your best content and making it an ad targeting everyone in the construction industry in your area. The goal is to have content on the platform and then take specific posts to promote as an invitation to see the rest of your content.
The “value-in-advance” approach can take multiple forms, but when it comes to LinkedIn it’s all about giving the best advice and having a great reputation around that.
The truth that many smaller contractors don’t really understand is that simply having content on social media can lead to winning many more bids because it makes your company appear to be more professional and legitimate.
19. Create an Authoritative Website
Having a well-designed website is such an underrated aspect of having a business. A website is one of the core pieces of your marketing.
Don’t be afraid to invest in web designers to give you a great website so you can appear more legitimate and professional. A great website and some local SEO (see tip #13) can result in a lot of business.
20. Build an Audience on Social Media
This is very simple but definitely not to be overlooked.
If you follow the methods in this article, you’ll likely be posting some content soon, but without an audience, you’re probably not going to get anywhere.
If you’re on LinkedIn (which you should be), I recommend doing some heavy networking.
Go on LinkedIn and click on the search bar near the top of the screen.
Click on people, then on “All Filters”. You should get this screen if you’re on a computer.
And this one if you’re on your phone.
Then, just adjust it to show people in your area, people in the construction industry, and whatever else you prefer.
Next, just go through the long list of profiles and connect with people you’re interested in working with in the future.
IMPORTANT: Be careful you don’t invite too many people so soon; LinkedIn penalizes you if you connect with too many people without warming up your account. 25-30 people a day is a good start.
You can do similar strategies on Instagram and Facebook as well. The goal is to build a positive network of people who will genuinely engage with your content.
This is a modern approach to marketing a construction business, there are many other methods and strategies out there, but these are the most standout, battle-tested methods that can bring any construction business from a 1-man company to needing an entire office floor to accommodate all employees.
I hope you got some great value in this piece! Feel free to comment below your biggest takeaway.
Remember that I AM Builders is here to help you estimate your projects lightning speed so you can spend more time selling the job and less time in the office measuring takeoffs. Check out our services page to see all we can do for you and your business.