Marketing is just as much a specialized field as contracting – experts on it are highly trained and knowledgeable. But unless you’re already raking in the dough, you probably don’t have room in your advertising budget for a marketing specialist. And to start raking in that dough, you need quality advertising and branding.
It’s a conundrum, for sure. Luckily for you, there are a few tried and true things you can do to make the most of your branding and stand out from the crowd of contractors in your area, starting with these tips.
1. Be Memorable.
Think about how many contractors use their family name for their business. There’s countless “So and So and Sons” in the construction biz. So much so that it can be hard for potential clients to remember you when they need to. Similarly, there are so many logos that make use of stock clip art elements like tools or houses. Make it easy and choose a name and logo that sets you apart from the rest. Similarly, avoid statements like being about great customer service, quality work or anything else that a client already expects — that doesn’t make you stand out whatsoever. Instead, figure out what makes your business totally unique from other contractors.
2. Be Everywhere
The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” has some merit. If those needing a contractor have to search really hard to find you, you’re probably not going to be their first choice. Go ahead and take some time to get your name, logo and contact information out there. Try to be everywhere. Add your listing to Google businesses. Set up a presence on Yelp and Angie’s List. Set up a basic website and spend some time (or hire a pro) to make sure you’re the first result for contractors in your area when a client performs a web search. Maintain social media presences. Do everything and anything to keep your business out there and easy to find.
3. Gain a (Good) Reputation
Word of mouth is the least expensive and most effective form of advertising. By doing your best work even on low dollar jobs and going above and beyond for your clients, you’ll gain a reputation in your area. This is especially valuable if your brand and logo are easy to remember and your reputation aligns with the image you’re trying to convey. Consider amping up your presence and reputation by sponsoring relevant youth and charity events if possible – or even performing charity work yourself to enhance your brand.
4. Know Your Clients Better Than They Do
Part of a successful branding and marketing campaign is knowing your target market inside and out – maybe even better than they know themselves. Know who’s using your services and who you want to use your business and try to bridge the gap between the two. For example, if you’re interested in being the contractor that upper middle class housewives use, learn a little about their spending habits and how they make choices for home improvement and tailor your marketing efforts to that — then strive to meet any additional needs before they’re even mentioned.
5. Set Goals for your Brand
You probably have business goals, sure, but it pays to have marketing and brand goals. If you’re diligent about tracking how clients found you, maybe one of your goals could be to get three new clients via social media advertising, for example. Not only will you have a better idea of what advertising methods pay off or need retooling, but you’ll be able to see real, measurable results to determine how effective your efforts are. And you’ll be able to use that as a selling point to set you aside from your competitors.
Standing Out from the Crowd
There’s no quick recipe for success – but putting time and effort into maximizing your brand and its visibility goes a long way. You’ll stand out from other contractors, you’ll gain new clients and you’ll grow your business. Your brand represents who you are and what your business stands for: act accordingly and point out what really makes the way you do business unique and you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of the game.