In order for any contractor to grow their company, and be successful, you need a steady stream of leads to obtain new business. They are the lifeblood that will help sustain your company over the long haul.
Many contractors are searching for methods to generate free leads. In this article, I’m going to show you how contractors can generate leads from various methods on a consistent basis.
The methods that I’m going to show you are simple and somewhat easy to implement. But they require time and effort, and with each step completed, you will reap the rewards of the next step. The key is to take action and persevere.
There are many ways to find leads, but the key is to follow a strategy and stay consistent with it. Once you find some marketing strategies that work well for your company, double down on them and measure your results.
But remember that if you want to be successful in your local market, marketing and lead generation are activities in your business that should continue indefinitely.
Set a goal to obtain about three to five new prospects a week, using the following steps:
A great way to get free leads for your contracting or home service business is through referrals from friends, family, and other contacts you already have. If you want more clients, the best thing to do is to simply ask for them, and then be sure to follow up after the initial key contact is made.
If you have a referral program in place, the customers you come in contact with will be more likely to know someone who might need your services, so they’ll feel compelled to refer you. That is why you should create a program today that you find tune and continue for as long as you own your business.
But, don’t just text or call somebody and ask for referrals. Be strategic about it.
When you want to ask somebody for referrals, it’s best to do it in person. Face-to-face contact is much more powerful than just a phone call or text message. But if you can’t market face-to face, a phone call is better than a text, and a personal letter also trumps texting.
Ask your Facebook or social media followers or subscribers if they know anyone who needs your services. See if they know anyone who needs a new roof, remodel, siding, windows, carpet, etc.
Offer free estimates for anyone who needs it.
One technique that works particularly well is to ask your customers to refer you to certain prospects, and you’ll give them a discount or credit of up to $100-$500 if they refer your company. If you ask them to refer their friends, the chances are they will recommend you to people they know and trust.
The best way to put this on auto-pilot is to send them to a page on your website that has a referral form, or simply ask them how they found you and what you can do to make their experience better.
Referrals are the ultimate compliment from a customer, so ask your existing happy customers if they know anyone who needs your services.
It is a bit easier to get a new customer when you have existing customers, because they are more likely to trust you and give you a chance.
One of the best ways to get referrals from past clients is to ALWAYS provide great service to your customers, and then ask them if they know anyone who would be interested in your services. In fact, you could ask them to refer you to someone, and you’ll give them a discount or offer some cash for the referral.
If you don’t offer them a discount, you can always ask for a testimonial from them and direct them to your Google My Business reviews page and then put it on your website. If you can get a video testimonial, all the better!
This is not something you do once and forget about it. Your past clients should be on an email marketing list that you send biweekly or weekly with helpful tips and ideas to make their lives easier.
When they know someone or if they need your services again in the future and you have been emailing them consistently, they will most likely contact your company for help.
Networking in your local community is another great method to get free leads. Talk to as many people as you can and let them know what you do. If you find a warm lead, make sure to ask for a phone number, so that you can follow up with them later.
Search for associations and organizations for each of your target industries and professions in the regional phone book or on the Internet.
Go to your local hardware store, gas station, grocery store, home improvement center, etc; and give out your card. Be sure to keep your business cards neat and clean at all times.
Hand it to everyone you meet.
Lay it next to a cash register, or in the talk-to-a-sales-person-about-product area. Even if you do not sell anything to the person, they will remember your face and the fact that you were there.
Just make sure your contact information is on both sides of the business card since you may get a customer who wants to call you directly.
The key to successful networking is consistency. Do not give up.
Even if you get shot down fifteen times, keep trying. You never know when that sixteenth person will be the one you have been waiting for.
You really should have a company website if you want to generate free leads online.
Your website is your business’s first impression with potential customers. A great contractor website design, SEO (search engine optimization), and a customer-centric content strategy are all essential to stand out to potential customers, beat your competition and win the local market.
You can have a basic site that is just static pages and not include the ability to accept leads. But, you need a site that has some information about your company, services and how to reach you.
The minimum requirement for ranking on the search engines is to have a site with about two pages. But you will have a tough time beating your competitors if they have many more pages and offer more informative content for your niche.
That is why I suggest you engage in content marketing and SEO (search engine optimization), which I will discuss below.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
One of the first steps in marketing your contracting or home service website online is setting up your Google My Business (GMB) listing. It is often the first place customers are searching in your local market for services and it is an essential part of your digital presence.
The world is becoming an increasingly digital place and nearly every human being is using the internet to search for a business close to them or within a specific service area. Statistics show 97% of all internet users are using Google to search for a local business and 54% are doing this at least once a month.
Getting free leads from Google has the added benefit that you’ll also get higher rankings in Google’s search results because your business will be listed in their Local Business Center.
And, if you take the time to create a strong Google My Business account, you’ll find that you’ll get more people visiting your website. You’ll get better rankings in Google search results.
It’s free to sign up for Google My Business listing. You can sign up for here.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The term SEO is short for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of making various improvements to your website in order to increase its visibility in search engines like Google when people search for your services.
It’s no secret that consumers are becoming more reliant on the internet to research and find contractors online. Recent statistics have proven that 97% of internet users search online to find a local service business.
If you do not have an online presence or your website is not on the first page of Google, you are missing out on a lot of new potential business.
That is why SEO needs to be a big part of your marketing strategy.
SEO will help increase your website visibility in search engines by improving its on-page and off-page factors for better ranking. An example of on page factors is adding great content to your website pages and creating helpful content around the services you offer.
Google loves this and will most likely reward you for your efforts with better website rankings.
That’s because search engines are constantly crawling the web and adding new pages to their indexes, which means that information about those pages is often out of date, or insufficient to meet their quality guidelines.
The reason is simple: there’s a lot of competition out there!
As businesses grow, so do sales and profits, and more and more entrepreneurs enter the marketplace. The market gets more crowded and competitive, and the way to stand out from the crowd is to improve your search engine rankings by optimizing your site for search engines.
SEO is the key to your site appearing higher in search results. And with more visible websites, you have more customers!
One of the main methods for improving your website SEO is through content marketing, which I will discuss now.
Content marketing is a simple but powerful lead generation tactic that involves creating and sharing valuable, informative content with your target audience.
Content marketing for contractors is a technique that you employ to establish awareness and authority for the services you offer. It draws in and retains audiences by sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other types of media.
This approach is extremely useful for making your company top of mind when it comes to when people will need your services.
Through content marketing, you can also establish a personal connection with your audience. You want to break through the noise and create long-term relationships based on trust. If you can do this, it will be much easier to generate sales leads, increase sales, and improve your bottom line.
In a nutshell, your content should inform, educate, and inspire. If people can get value from your content, then they will be more likely to follow you on social media, visit your website, and become paying customers.
It’s not like every contractor is using content marketing. Even among those that do, the quality of their content depends on the company. However, if you do it right and on a consistent basis, it’s a proven way to market construction services.
When you’re successful with content marketing, you will help your website SEO and become a trusted local resource. It’s the perfect combination of education, marketing, and sales.
TELEPHONE PROSPECTING (COLD CALLS)
Finding new clients means working with people, so how you engage with them is key. If you’re comfortable talking over the phone, consider making calls to reach new clients in your area, especially if you build relationships this way. Before you start telephone prospecting, you need to prepare a target list.
This means that you need to research and develop a targeted list of people and businesses in your area who you believe will be interested in your services. This can take some time, but it’s necessary to ensure your success.
For example, if you are a painter or electrical contractor, you can go on Yelp and make a list of local general contractors who have a lot of great reviews that are current so you know they are busy. Many of them will have multiple jobs they are working on where they may be short-handed or they do not have a full-time painter or electrician on staff.
Once you have a list of people and general contractors that might be interested in your services, call them and tell them about what you do and how you can help them.
If your a contractor who is busy and does not have time to personally do lead generation by telephone, then it can be done for you.
It is a turnkey service that not only has agents calling on your behalf, but also call tracking and call reports. The best part is that these services can be outsourced for a very low cost.
CREATE A FACEBOOK GROUP
You can get free leads for your business by creating a Facebook group. It’s not just a lead generation spot. It’s a place where you’re going to network.
A Facebook group that is structured in an engaging manner can be a powerful tool. These groups don’t just generate sales; they also create genuine communities.
For contractors and home service businesses, your group should not solely be about your company or even your services. You should create a group that solves a problem or helps your target audience.
For example, if you are a home remodeling contractor in Los Angeles, you can create a Facebook Group called “Los Angeles’s Best Interior Designs” or ” Home Makeovers in Los Angeles.”
You can invite people to the group by asking friends, past clients, advertising or through existing Facebook groups. Simply make it clear why they should come to the group and what they can expect to receive.
Post helpful content and before and after pictures on Facebook to your group (and be sure to include links to relevant content on your website).
By doing so, you’re going to connect with people in your local community who are looking for ideas and to remodel their homes. You’re going to build relationships with people and help each other.
When people take time to help each other out, they’re not just being productive — they’re making a difference and being kind.
That will will build trust and help brand your business. It will also drive traffic to your website, and make sales.
To continue to get free leads and have a great follow-up campaign with your past clients, you have to have a first-class email marketing strategy.
Email marketing is a channel that every successful business needs to use in some capacity. It’s one of the most affordable ways to push your offer to your target audience.
It’s relatively easy to set up, which means you can test different approaches and keep what’s working.
This is the only channel for lead generation that allows you to be very granular with your marketing and to be in constant touch without being too pushy.
Having a great follow-up email marketing campaign with your past clients is a great way to keep your business and name in front of them.
Make sure you are telling your clients about specials and new products or services you provide. Also, be sure to provide your clients with amazing content and make sure it is blog-worthy.
You can use free email marketing software, such as AWeber, MailChimp, or Mailer Lite, to send out your email campaigns. These software companies have tremendous resources, tutorials, and free guides to get you started.
If you do it correctly, email marketing can give you a significant return on your invested capital. (ROI)
MAKE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL & VIDEO MARKETING
YouTube is a great tool for generating leads for contractors. It is the second largest search engine in the world, with Google being the first. YouTube is also the third most visited website in the world, behind only Google and Facebook.
Video marketing is already an essential tool for most businesses and it will become an ever more important place for businesses to be in the future.
By setting up a YouTube channel, you will be able to show your services and company to a wider audience and generate leads and sales.
It’s a simple matter of creating a YouTube channel, adding your video content, and promoting it through social media. There are a number of ways to use YouTube for lead generation, but one of the best methods is to create a YouTube channel targeted at your ideal customers.
This will help you brand your business and guide more traffic to your website or landing pages.
The content on YouTube is also ranked highly by search engines and therefore has the potential to be found by a great number of people. In order to get the most out of YouTube, it is important to optimize your videos for search engines (video SEO) and get the most exposure for your business.
Using YouTube in combination with the other marketing tactics mentioned here, marketing automation and lead nurturing can help you create a powerful lead generation strategy for your business.
VEHICLE SIGNS & TRUCK WARPS
Some of the other ways contractors generate free leads are with car and truck signs or wraps. It will help to generate the attention you want and most likely bring in the leads you need that you can build upon for your business.
Car and truck wraps are one of the most effective methods of advertising available because they are highly visible, affordable and can be effective at reaching the right audience.
The difference between normal vehicle signs or decals and truck wraps is that wraps can be seen for miles, which is great for a company that is looking to promote their business. If a person is traveling on the highway and sees your company wrap, then chances are that they are going to pay attention.
In fact, you might be surprised at just how many people see your advertisement and contact your company.
A truck or car wrap is a type of vehicle advertisement where a vehicle is wrapped in a vinyl material that can be printed with a company’s advertisement. The vinyl material is created with a special paint mixture that readily conforms to the smooth and contoured surface of any vehicle.
Designing eye-catching graphics that grab attention both on and off the road, our marketing is comprehensive and effective. Well-designed truck and car wraps that are in a high traffic area will generate interest and leads.
These wraps will work nine to five, Monday to Friday, with your name and number in plain sight.
You need to make sure that you choose the right company that offers the best quality of work when it comes to this type of service. It will help to generate the attention you want and most likely bring in the leads you need that you can build upon for your business.
LEAD NURTURING AND FOLLOW UP
Once you land a lead, you must manage the lead or it will disappear and you will get no business from it. This is where lead nurturing and what is called a “sales funnel” comes into play.
Most of the leads you get from your marketing efforts need to be nurtured in your sales funnel along the way to becoming a customer.
A sales funnel is the steps that you need to work through to get a lead to buy from you. It is a process that begins with capturing a lead and ends with a sale.
The first step of a sales funnel is a lead’s name, phone number, and email address. Once you generate a lead, you cannot expect the lead to buy or do whatever it is you are wanting them to do.
A funnel is formed by a series of email marketing campaigns and web pages that guide the lead to the ultimate sale.
You must take the lead through a series of steps that slowly teach them more and more about you, your company and your solution, and even entertain them along the way. The steps must be logically arranged so that your leads progress from one step to the next until they are in a position to buy from you.
Everything from email communication to webinars to social media to print advertising can be used to grow leads for your sales team. The more you can grow the lead, the more likely it is that you will eventually convert it to a sale.
The Contractor Brotherhood | Helping Contractors Get More Leads With Digital Marketing, SEO, and Paid Ads | I post about the process