Contractor marketing doesn’t have to be rocket-science.
If you want to effectively market yourself as a contractor, I can boil it down into three easy steps:
- Create a strong brand identity.
- Define a specific target audience.
- Craft an attractive message.
In this article, I’m going to talk about the fundamentals of marketing your contracting or construction business. If you’re looking for more action-specific information on how to effectively market yourself, check out the following posts:
- How to Get Clients as a Contractor
- Digital Marketing For Contractors: The 5-Pronged Attack That Generates Leads
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Effective Social Media Marketing for Contractors
- The Ultimate Guide to Local SEO for Contractors
- 3 Effective Email Marketing Strategies for Contractors
What is Contractor Marketing?
I get it. You want more leads.
But contractor marketing isn’t always about lead-generation.
Not all leads are created equally. Part of effective marketing for contractors is about positioning your brand to get the most valuable leads for what you’re offering.
For example, if you offer remodeling services, you wouldn’t want leads looking for basic handyman services. Sure, you could do the job, but it’s not the level of job you want.
So how do you start attracting the right leads for your contracting business?
3 Core Marketing Tenants for Contractors
Let’s get down to basics.
In order to effectively market any business, you need the following:
- An identity. Who are you and what do you do?
- An audience. Who can benefit from your services?
- A message. What do you want to say to your audience?
Seems simple, right? Well, the good stuff usually is.
Below, I’m going to show you how to effectively craft an identity, audience, and message for your business. These three core tenants can be applied to any marketing medium you desire.
Once you have these concepts down, they can be applied to anything you do to market your contracting business, from your business cards and logo to your website or social media strategy.
1. How to build a strong brand identity.
A strong brand tells the world who you are; a weak one lets the world decide for you.
This isn’t some highfalutin concept that only works in the corporate world, either. Effective branding can distinguish you from the other contractors in your area and help you get the jobs you want most.
When creating your brand identity, consider the following:
- Your origin. Why do you do what you do? Have you been a contractor all your life? Does it run in the family? This is your story, and it’s time to tell it.
- Your services. What do you offer and how can your services help your clientele? Will you do any job you run across, from painting a fence to laying drywall, or do you have a specialty?
- Your values. What’s important to you – money, religion, hard work, a job done well? This is perhaps the most important aspect of your brand. Tell people what you stand for – or against.
- Your conduct. What’s important to you as a service provider? Do you provide a better quality service, or is there some other reason people should choose you over others?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions.
Later on, I’m going to talk about how to combine these answers into an effective message. But for now, think about your answers to these questions and how they might set you apart from the competition.
Here are some common value propositions to keep in mind when formulating your answers:
- Cost – do you aim to be the lowest bid?
- Workmanship – do you aim to have the highest attention to detail?
- Cleanliness – do you aim to have the best-looking job site?
- Communication – do you aim to have the highest level of communication with your customers?
- Creativity – will customers choose you to help with design?
- Post-project support – do you go the extra mile after the project is completed?
- On time – do you guarantee to show up within a certain window?
- Friendliness – do you build relationships with your clientele?
- Authority – do you have the highest level of knowledge in your field?
Likely, not all of these will apply to you. Also likely, you’re not going to be the best at all of them. Part of building a successful brand is heavily leaning into your strengths with forgoing all the rest.
2. How to define a specific target audience.
I know what you’re thinking…
“Buddy, I’m a roofer. My target audience is anyone whose house has a hat on its head.”
You might be right. A little.
The problem is that the larger your target audience is, the harder it is to craft a message that resonates with them. People will use your services for different reasons. You need to make sure your message resonates with all of those different people – or have multiple messages.
This is why constructing buyer personas can come in handy.
A buyer persona can help you define a specific audience based on the needs, desires, demographics, and more that they share in common.
Using the roofer above as an example…
- Sally the single mom doesn’t know anything about roof repair, but she knows she has a leak. She’ll likely choose a company that is personable, highly-rated, and who can explain how they’ll fix her problem in a way she can understand.
- Bad-back Benny has been in the trades all his life, but he can’t climb a ladder anymore and his roof needs replaced. He’ll likely choose a company with a fair-market price and whose technicians display a certain level of competence and knowledge in their field.
- Meticulous Mary lives in an affluent subdivision and hates clutter. She’ll likely pay top-dollar for the best product so long as the company is professional and doesn’t trample her rose garden getting to the roof or leave unsightly materials strewn about her yard.
- Penny-pincher Paul only cares about one thing: cost. He’ll likely get five or six quotes on any work he needs done, and usually selects the cheapest option regardless of perceived quality.
These are just examples.
Your specific target audience is made up of one or many buyer personas. We’ll use these later on to craft an attractive offer that resonates with each one.
3. How to create an attractive message.
Now that we know who we are and we know who we’re talking to, we have to figure out what to say.
That’s our message.
But first, lets talk about where we can send out our message:
- Your website. A great space to host various messages to your target audience.
- Advertising. Think business cards, billboard ads, radio ads, direct mail and more.
- Vehicle wraps. What a great place for a logo and tagline!
- Customer yard signage. What better way to tell neighbors who did their fantastic work?
- Trade and home shows. Get face to face with customers and give them your message.
- Social media. Blast your message over and over again.
Okay… but what the heck is the message?
I can’t tell you what to say, but I can give you a framework to create a message yourself.
BRAND + VALUE + AUDIENCE = MESSAGE.
Put it into paragraph form first. For instance:
The only corners AAA Contracting cuts are perfect ones. When you need the finest attention to detail, don’t settle for fly-by-night contractors – choose AAA Contracting.
What’s the message here? Quality.
This message might not resonate with penny-pinch Paul, but it sure will with meticulous Mary.
Now, the only thing to do is reinforce that message over and over again.
In any of your marketing material or mediums, quality should be the main focus. You could reinforce that idea with project pictures, testimonials, video and more.
What message would you give your target audience?
Contractor Marketing 101: Wrapping Up
Contractor marketing isn’t only about generating leads.
It’s about generating the right leads for your business.
To do this, you need:
- A strong brand identity.
- A specific target audience.
- An attractive message.
Once you have those three fundamentals down, it doesn’t matter where you promote yourself – you’ll have a strategic methodology to reach the people you want with a message that resonates with them.
If you’d like help on creating any of these things, book a free strategy session with us today.