Are you struggling with marketing your artisan contractor business online? For many contractors and construction pros, referrals are the lifeblood of your business. But in today’s digital world, having an online presence is essential -- even if most of your business comes from referrals.
Because a referral backed by a professional online presence is more powerful than a referral alone.
A former client of yours referred you to their next-door neighbor. The neighbor then looks you up online, searching for your website and social media profiles for more examples of your work and to see how to get in touch with you.
Your online presence has the potential to reinforce the referral... or to negate it.
If you're going to market your business online, you’ll want to start with a solid blueprint so you know where to go. Your marketing blueprint is known as a strategy. Here are 5 tips to help you get started.
How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Artisan Contractor Business
Just like a building blueprint or a map, your strategy is going to show you where you’re going and how to get there.
What to include in your digital marketing strategy
Your strategy should clearly identify:
- Who you are and what you do (services you offer)
- How you differentiate from the competition (your UVP)
- Who your ideal client is
- What pain points do you solve for this client?
- Where can you find your ideal client?
- Your business goals for the year
Who are you and what do you do?
You may be a jack-or-jill-of-all-trades who can tackle any project that comes your way. But that doesn't help other people understand when to refer you.
If you offer dryer lint cleaning services, then potential clients know exactly who to call when they need their dryer lint cleaned. And previous clients know when to refer you: anytime a friend of theirs complains about their dryer not working properly.
Make a list of every service you provide. Then start ruthlessly cutting that list down. Stop offering to do services you hate. Stop doing services that you have done once or twice but aren’t overly experienced at. Focus on the services you perform the most, that you enjoy the most, and that pay the most.
See if there is a way to articulate exactly what you do in one sentence (or less).
- Drywall repair.
- Residential solar installation.
- Commercial asphalt.
- Mold remediation.
- Eco-friendly home upgrades.
It may feel like picking a niche limits your opportunities, but really, niching allows you to charge more because you're the expert in that one thing. And it makes it easier for people to remember the one thing you do best.
Who else does what you do?
Who is your competition locally? How are you different from the contractor in the next town who offers the same service?
Finding a way to differentiate yourself from the competition may be as simple as niching down who your client is. There's another flooring contractor 5 miles away? No problem. Because you are a flooring contractor who restores existing hardwood floors in historic residential homes.
And no one in your zip code is competing with that.
How is your competition marketing themselves online?
Do they have a professional-looking website, active social media accounts, or an email list?
A little sleuthing can show you exactly what the other guys are doing to find business online. That’s not to say you'll become a marketing copycat. But it is good to know what your competitors are doing, so you can do it better.
Who is your ideal customer?
The most important part of your marketing strategy is your analysis of your ideal customer. Ultimately, every one of your marketing tactics should center around your clients.
Describe your ideal customer.
What service do they want to be done? How are they to work with?
Do they share certain demographic qualities (jobs, income, education level, neighborhoods they live in, type of homes they live in (multi-family vs single-family, for example)? Do they live in the home or is it an investment property?
Your ideal clients may share psychographic qualities, like their belief systems and values. They may care about the environment and will pay a premium for eco-friendly, non-toxic building materials and eco-friendly home upgrades, for example.
Create a very detailed description of your ideal client.
Now that you've painted a picture of your perfect customer, consider the problems that you are solving for them or the opportunities you are creating for them.
Are you removing mold from basements so your clients can stop feeling the ill effects of mold exposure?
Are you updating their homes to be more energy efficient so they can save money on utility bills and make a positive impact on the environment?
Do you make backyards functional and beautiful so your clients can spend more time entertaining outdoors?
Understanding your ideal client will help you to create marketing tactics that will address their problems or help them achieve their goals.
Speaking of goals...
What are your business goals?
Every good marketing strategy has clearly stated goals for your business.
Your goals and objectives will determine your marketing tactics.
Before you pull out your camera and start recording YouTube videos or creating an email newsletter to send out to prospects, you need to define your business objectives.
Do you want to increase the number of jobs you complete this year? Do you want a full pipeline full of leads? Do you want to complete fewer projects while charging more for each one? Or do you just want to be found at the top of the Google map pack whenever someone searches for "residential roof repairs" in your area?
Creating a marketing strategy for your business is the first step to building a strong online presence and implementing tactics that help the right people find you when they need you most. If you want to learn more about marketing your construction business online, stay tuned for our next post: How to Tie Your Business Goals to Marketing Tactics that Get Results.