In this article, I’m going to cover the most effective marketing strategies for general contractors; which methods work best, why these methods work, and what an effective marketing system looks like when it is set up correctly for your contracting business.
- How to Market as a General Contractor
- How Your General Contracting Business Gets Found
- How General Contractors Can Build Trust & Authority
- How General Contractors Can Capture More Leads
- Easy Onboarding For General Contractors
- Referral Marketing for General Contractors
As a general contractor, filling your pipeline with leads is an important part of running your business. The problem is, there are so many options of how to get leads for your business, it can be overwhelming.
I’m going to share some simple strategies for you to implement in your contracting business we’ve used for our clients that have dramatically increased the amount of estimates booked and clients acquired.
How to Market as a General Contractor
In order to get your phone ringing, your business will need a few things. We’ve created an acronym to make it easy to remember.
Visibility: your business needs to get in front of the people searching for your services. We’ll talk about two forms of visibility you’ll need.
Authority: this comes down to trust; you have to build enough authority for potential clients to trust you can do the job they want.
Nurturing: Not every person that lands on your website or finds you online is ready to book an estimate. By getting their name/email, you can continue the conversation after they leave your site.
Onboarding: Once clients are ready to take the first step, you need to make it very easy for them to do so.
Let’s take a look at each step in the V.A.N.O. system to see what this would look like in your business.
How Your General Contracting Business Gets Found
When it comes to building visibility for your general contracting business, there are two types we recommend you focus on:
This is visibility you get naturally and doesn’t cost you anything. This includes getting your business listed on business directories like:
- Google My Business
- Home Advisor
When we work with general contractors, our main focus is on getting your Google Business Profile (GBP) set-up and optimized to help your business show up in the Google Map Pack.
This provides your business with tremendous visibility throughout your service area. There are several components that need to be present on your GBP to start showing up in the map pack. We take a deep dive in this article on organic visibility.
Along with having a strong organic presence on Google, we recommend also incorporating paid visibility in the form of paid ads.
Depending on your location, there are several options to consider:
- Google Local Service Ads (LSAs)
- Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads
- Google Local Search Ads
If Google LSAs are available in your area, we recommend this form of paid visibility because Google only charges your contracting business for qualified leads, not for clicks. Plus, Google LSAs are displayed at the very top of the search engine results page which provides your business with excellent visibility.
How General Contractors Can Build Trust & Authority
Authority comes down to one thing – can a potential client trust that you can back up your claims and do the job they need done.
The way you build authority is with online reviews.
The combination of Visibility + Authority is required to get your phone ringing and clients booking estimates. Think of it this way:
Visibility – Authority = Spam
Authority – Visibility = Being Invisible Online
Visibility + Authority = More Traffic, More Estimates, More Business
How General Contractors Can Capture More Leads
Now that you’ve built visibility and authority for your contracting business, you’re getting much more traffic coming to your Google Business Profile (GBP) and your website.
But, let’s be honest, not every visitor is ready to book and estimate or hire you today. Many times, these folks are in “research mode” – they are seeing which contractors are in their area and what each one does.
You’ve worked hard to drive potential clients to your GBP and website; many times, if they don’t book an estimate at that time, you will never see them again, which is a waste.
That’s why we recommend having a way to continue the conversation with them AFTER they leave your site. You would do this with email marketing.
Build An Email List
The easiest way to capture their name and email address so you can continue the conversation and nurture those leads is by offering something that:
- Solves a specific problem their having
- Answers a specific question they’re wondering about
You give them that information for FREE in exchange for their name and email. This free information could come in different forms. Some of our clients offer a free PDF guide, others provide visitors with an interactive quiz.
No matter what form this free information comes in, the information needs to be something that helps those clients in some way.
Once they opt-in for your lead magnet, they will receive a series of emails to nurture them towards booking an estimate. You want to get them to know, like, and trust you and your business. Get them to understand exactly what you do, who you do it for, how that benefits them, and how they can get it.
Easy Onboarding For General Contractors
Let’s take a quick look at where your business is after implementing everything above.
- You now have leads coming into your contracting business through your Google Business Profile and your paid ads.
- You have leads coming from your website as well as your email marketing.
This is the crucial part of booking more jobs – you need to make it super easy for them to take the first step, which is to book an estimate.
That’s where onboarding comes in.
We recommend incorporating a booking automation into your business to make that first step simple and easy for your prospective clients.
There are quite a few tools you could use for this – here are some of our favorites:
- Housecall Pro
Each tool above is very easy for prospective contracting clients to book an estimate – usually in less than one minute.
Referral Marketing for General Contractors
Another great way to get your phone ringing is to focus on building up a referral network of other professionals that can feed your business hot leads.
When most businesses think about referrals, they are envisioning their past clients referring someone to their business.
Although client referrals are great, they are few and far between. What about creating a Partner Referral Network of business professionals that will either need your services on a regular basis, or that are in contact with your ideal clients and can refer them your way?
When we work with general contractors, we set-up the V.A.N.O. system then we get started building up a referral network.
The referral network consists of:
- Real estate agents
- Interior Designers
- Property Managers
- Home Inspectors
- Insurance Agents
- Mortgage Brokers
- Estate Planning Attorneys
- Home Staging Professionals
- Home Appraisers
- Relocation Services
These professionals are a great source of steady leads for your general contracting business. The nice thing with having a referral partner network – you won’t just get one referral, but many for years to come.
When you are thinking about which type(s) of marketing to use for your general contracting business, there seems to be an endless supply of tools and strategies to choose from.
When we work with general contractors, we try to keep it simple. Focus on building visibility and authority – this will drive traffic to your website.
Put a system in place to continue the conversation when visitors leave your site without booking an estimate. And have some sort of booking automation to make it easy for clients that are ready to take the first step.
Then consider reaching out to other business professionals to establish a relationship with them and bring them into your referral partner network.
If you do all these things, you will have a steady stream of clients coming into your business pipeline. And if you need help with any of this, we’d be happy to jump on a call and talk.