Do you really need a website for your artisan contractor business? Word-of-mouth referrals are typically a contractor's bread and butter. But technology has changed all aspects of business across every industry - and that includes construction.
A website can be one of the most effective tools to help you build or expand your business. Here's how.
Get Your Name Out
One upon a time, artisan contractors used business cards, networking events, and splashy vehicle wraps to try and get people to remember their name. That sort of marketing occasionally led to a new lead, although it wasn’t an entirely reliable income stream.
Today, contractors have a new way to get their name out into the community. And it's far more effective.
The marketing term for "getting your name out there" is brand awareness. And while you may not be a Starbucks, Apple, or Nike, make no mistake - your contractor business is a brand.
Your website is first and foremost a brand awareness tool.
When done right, a visitor to your website understands who you are, what your trade specialty is, and what you can do for them. It's like taking your business card or vehicle wrap and beefing it up on steroids. And, given the essentially unlimited amount of space you have available online, your website gives you every opportunity to educate potential customers, showcase completed work and current projects, answer questions, set expectations, and more.
Your website is also the destination point for all of your other online activities. If you're active on Twitter or Facebook, your profiles should point back to your site. If you're listing your contractor business on local directories, your listings should point back to your site. All online roads should always bring potential leads back to your website.
Whether you install drywall or HVAC systems, plumb, paint, or tile, you specialize in a specific trade and do business in a specific location.
In order to pay your bills and grow your business, you need more customers. Which means you're looking for more of the right kind of leads.
Your website, when correctly organized and optimized, can bring you the right customers, from the right location, at the right time.
If someone is searching online for an electrician in Napa, you want to appear in their search results. But if you're an electrician in Napa, what you don't need are people who are looking for landscapers in Portland or appliance repair in Boulder.
A contractor website that's been optimized for local SEO can help bring you the right kind of visitors - the people who are looking for the exact services that you provide in the location that you serve.
Close the Deal
Your website can do more than just bring in visitors. It can also take care of the sales process for you. Your website can convey trust signals to a prospect - proving that you're just the right professional to do the job.
Imagine that a former client has given a word-of-mouth referral to someone looking for a tile contractor. That prospect has already seen one example of your work - the completed work you did for the referring client. But they need a little more convincing before they call you up and book a job.
So they visit your website.
Now imagine they find you easily online and find everything they need on your website to know you're the right person for the job. Your website is professional and modern looking. It's full of stunning photos of your completed jobs. There's a testimonial page where many of your previous clients are professing their appreciation for the quality of your work. You have a FAQ page that answers many of the questions they have in mind. And it is beyond easy to book a consultative appointment with you online.
Before you even have your first meeting, your website has made a great first impression. You've earned a potential clients' trust, answered their questions, and set expectations.
It's the ultimate sales tool.
Can You Afford NOT to Have a Contractor Website?
Even in an industry that’s based on the handiwork of artisans and has a long history of word-of-mouth referrals, there's no reason not to have a website for your business.
Your clients are online. They're using Google every time they have a question or want to find a service provider. They're using social media to ask for recommendations, rave about their remodel, or to show off their latest home purchase. The best way to get more clients is to meet them where they are - online. The best way to do that is to make sure you've got a contractor website that works as hard as you do.