How much do you know about digital advertising?
If you want to grow your construction business, you’ll probably hear that you should use social media to grow your business. That everyone’s doing it and if you just figured out how to get clients on Facebook you’ll be a millionaire.
The truth is that’s easier said than done. Most people already know which platforms they should be advertising their construction business on, but have no idea what to actually do.
So that’s why I created this quick guide to show you exactly what to do on these platforms.
Practically everyone in the world has or knows someone who has a Facebook account.
About 2.8 billion people use the platform every month. That’s billion. With a B.
So out of all those people, how many do you think are potential clients?
Yeah, a lot, but the real question is, how do you actually use that information for your business?
Well to know how to leverage the biggest social media platform in the world right now you must understand something…
Organic reach on Facebook is practically dead.
So, what does that mean? It basically means your posts don’t reach as many of your followers as you’d like. In fact, it’s estimated that only 1% of the people who follow your business page actually see your posts on their timeline.
And this has already been in the works for some time:
I don’t want to bore you with the reasons and theory of why this is, but just know that if you want to use Facebook as a marketing vehicle for your construction company, you’re going to open up your wallet.
Yes, I know. I hate to say it, but it’s true. The only effective way to reach people on Facebook is to use ads. You can thank Zuckerberg for that.
Don’t feel overwhelmed, operating Facebook advertising isn’t that complicated after you read up on it, here’s an article to get you started on that.
But if you really don’t have the time to handle your Facebook marketing, you can always hire marketing agencies, or marketing professionals to handle it for you, no problem.
Anyways, now let’s get to the good stuff, how do you make money on this platform?
You’re going to create a sales funnel. Here’s what that looks like.
A very simple funnel that allows contractors to get to know you, trust you, and eventually hand jobs over to you.
To do this it begins with really getting creative and making what we at I AM Builders call a head-turner.
This is an ad that literally makes people turn their heads and identify themselves as in the market for your services.
The goal in the beginning is not to sell, it is to give a free gift to see who is already interested in hiring a construction company.
Here’s an example of a head-turner ad.
Take a second and think about who would put their contact info for this.
People who are interested in renovating their kitchen! So now that business has a list of people who are in the market for exactly what they offer that they can target.
Once you have a list compiled of people interested in doing business with you, now all that’s left is to form a relationship with them. “But Daniel, how do you do this with someone you’ve never even seen?”
The next step after the head-turner ad is to provide value nonstop by giving the people tips and advice on whatever they showed that they were interested in. So if someone downloads the “Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Renovation” it would only make sense to show them helpful videos regarding kitchen renovation. Get it? You can do this through multiple Facebook ads and Email (more on that later).
I recommend showing 2-3 different ads to people who download your head-turner that give even more value to them for free. This can be more free gifts or even a short video of you explaining an important concept. The point is to let people grow familiar with your brand and who you are by giving so much value for free that people inevitably start to see you as an authority.
And lastly, for the people that actively see your stuff and show interest, you simply pick up the phone and give them a call.
So, in the end, the entire process should look like this.
If you take that approach to your Facebook marketing you will find success because people will see you as someone who knows what they are talking about, which leads to them trusting you.
And as I’m sure you know, trust is extremely important when it comes to winning construction jobs.
LinkedIn is an app strictly for business professionals, so it’s not as casual or laidback as Facebook.
Everyone on there is in suits and ties, promoting their business or themselves to further their careers.
And that’s exactly what you’re going to do as well.
LinkedIn, unlike Facebook, has fantastic organic reach. Meaning if you post helpful content and use good hashtags people will actually see it, so there’s less of a need here to spend money on advertising.
So, the strategy here is to network like your life depends on it.
You need to talk to as many people in your industry as possible, develop connections and let other contractors know you’re the real deal.
To do this use LinkedIn’s advanced search to look for people in your area and literally just go down the list adding and messaging people of interest.
Keep in mind that if you suddenly add 100 people on LinkedIn, you have a good chance of getting penalized as spam. So to avoid this, slowly add more and more people as you go, starting with about 25 people a day.
And since LinkedIn has great organic reach, a smart contractor would pump out a ton of content on LinkedIn, valuable content, to reach more people and help cement their reputation.
Of course, you can pay for advertising here as well, but it isn’t entirely necessary in my opinion.
The game here is to connect with people and put out content consistently. Do those 2 things well and you’ll have a great chance of finding success on this platform.
Google is the biggest search engine in the entire globe and being able to tap into this can be huge.
Getting your website ranked on Google so people see it is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and it can be very technical, so I’d personally recommend hiring a marketing agency or marketing professional in your company to handle it. There’s a lot of great ones out there that can help you, and having them handle it for you saves you the headache of figuring it out and the time it takes to do the extra work.
BUT, if you want to tackle it yourself, then there’s a couple of things to understand.
First of all, Local SEO.
Local SEO is what allows people in your area, and only in your area, to see you.
For example, let’s do a quick Google search on “general contractors near me”:
The first 3 results are all advertisements. In other words, people are paying money to be up there.
Right below the ads are where the local SEO results are. It’s completely tailored to the area you’re using Google in.
And then below the local SEO results are the normal Google results you see all the time.
Notice how all the normal results are only from big-name websites showing lists of people? There aren’t any actual websites for a specific general contractor.
So, if you’re someone looking for new general contractors to start working with, you’re most likely going to click on the people showing on the Local SEO results.
This is important. People in this box get more clicks than anyone else, and it’s due to the fact that they built up their website’s authority on Google.
How exactly did they do that? What does that even mean?
Google ranks people based on authority. The people ranking for Local SEO results listed themselves on Google My Business, on other legit business directories out there, and also prioritized getting reviews (good ones).
If you’re in a very competitive urban area then you also need to get other websites to link to your website. To explain it as simply as possible, Google loves when people link to your website because they view it as “votes” that show your website as an authority.
Again, you don’t have to worry about a majority of this because to be frank, most construction companies end up hiring freelancers and agencies to manage it for them. But regardless, it is important for you to understand what’s going on.
If you’ve been in the construction industry a while, then I’m sure you dread checking your emails every day.
People upset, clients complaining, there seems to always be something going on and many of us tend to view email only as a way to communicate with our clients, and not as a way to get more clients.
Allow me to prove that wrong.
If you’re a subcontractor, here’s a step-by-step game plan on the best way to get leads through only email.
1. Sign up for TheBlueBook, this is how you’re going to get a database of construction companies and contractors out there.
2. Get every email from every company you want to reach out to, put them in an excel file, and upload it to a mass emailing service like MailChimp or MailShake.Email them your pitch on why they should even begin to consider taking up on your services.
3. If they didn’t reply or open your email, follow-up with another email asking if they got your pitch.
4. If they don’t respond to the follow-up, then send one last email with your most persuasive pitch possible. Finally, if they just don’t respond to any of your outreach, leave it at that. Don’t try to force a “No” into a “Yes”.
Not too complicated, but there’s still one big plot hole, what should you put in your email?
Here’s a sample just to give you some inspiration:
Hi Estimating Department,
We’re interested in bidding for you as a subcontractor. We do [insert trade], and we’re one of the best in the area, check out our work at [insert your website]. Do you have any projects coming up? We’d love to be added to your bid list.
Thank you for your time,
The people that show interest in your pitch need to stay in touch with you and build a relationship that will eventually lead to you closing more jobs.
Running a construction company is one of the toughest businesses to be a part of.
But like any other business, money is the most important thing, as nothing happens without sales coming through the office doors.
So, it goes without saying that the marketing of your construction business is more important than anything else you deal with.
Using these 4 platforms the right way will explode your business, without a doubt.
But at the end of the day, it all depends on you.
Have an interesting take on this piece?
Feel free to leave your take in the comments below.