For contractors who are just starting to work for themselves, it’s a process to find your first clients. Competition tends to be stiff, and customers are slow to commit to a company that hasn’t been on the market for very long. But there are ways to transcend common obstacles and with a few easy tips, you can build up your client database in a flash, landing new business opportunities along the way. This article will walk you through all the essentials.
Build Your Strategy—Find New Clients
Whatever your field, if you’re in the world of construction and contracting, you need to design a strategy that draws people in. The industry is booming, and while there’s lots of work to be had, you need to stand out amongst the hundreds of businesses that are already out there.
Even if your services are stellar, you can’t count on client loyalty to prevent dry spells—projects tend to be long, expensive, and spaced out. So, while customers may love the deck you built them last summer, they aren’t necessarily going to call you again any time soon. Though demand seems high, it’s unpredictable. A contractor who wants an ever-growing sales turnover needs to constantly implement strategies to expand their client reach and requests for quotes.
Traditional Methods for Finding New Clients
Participate in Local Events
Attending or supporting local events is a great way to get the word out on your company. Enjoy built-in visibility by participating in fundraisers or sponsored sports games. You can also offer your services to a local organization. These types of events are wonderful for broadening your network, advertising your services, and boosting your reputation as a kind and generous company.
Sales Rep Prospecting
If you’re low on clients, you can always hire one or several sales reps to prospect local business opportunities. This marketing strategy is only useful if your company has hit a certain size. That said, it’s a sure-fire method if you’re looking to tap into larger emerging markets.
Although more technical digital marketing strategies have taken the lead, this doesn’t mean that age-old methods don’t work. Often overlooked, word-of-mouth is instrumental in building up your company’s reputation.
So, if you want new clients to find you and your business, make sure you’re talking about what you do wherever you go. Spread the word amongst friends, family, and loved ones. You can connect with the people you meet when you line up at the bakery, pay for your cold cuts, or wait for your kid at school pickup.
Forming partnerships with other businesses can also help get you new clients. Working on your own isn’t always easy. To form connections and create a sense of community, you can always approach other contractors who offer different services than you do.
For example, if you’re a carpenter, you can reach out to a painter, plumber, or electrician. Sometimes your clients will need services that fall beyond your scope, so it’s always good to have people you can refer them to. Your colleagues and contacts can do the same for you, sending anyone who needs a carpenter your way. This sort of partnership is win-win, allowing contractors to find all sorts of work in their field.
Registration in Professional Associations
In our final traditional method, you might consider joining a professional association as you try to find new clients. These organizations nearly guarantee a wider reach, opening the door to all kinds of business opportunities. Clients are more likely to trust a contractor who is recognized by their colleagues in the industry. And signing up for a listing in professional directories and databases offer a sure-fire path to increased visibility in your field.
Of course, advertising offers an obvious solution if ever you can’t find clients. You have several choices, each one with their own pros and cons, depending on what you are trying to accomplish.
On the radio, you can count on hosts and ads to sing your praises and let people know what you do. You’ll have to choose the right time slot and radio station for your audience.
Print – Flyers
As a contractor, you can also print flyers to spread the word about your work. Once you’ve been to the printers, you can hand out your flyers at local stores and businesses, schools, and even on people’s wind shields. You want to hand them out everywhere, so that you can reach as many people as possible.
Online advertising can take many forms. Either on your own or with the help of an SEO web agency, you can run SEA campaigns, indexing your site with the help of relevant keywords. This will help you appear higher in Google searches. Another option is using push marketing strategies with Display Ads. These are banner ads that appear at the top of websites as people surf the web.
For further visibility, you can set up campaigns on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram.
With the rise of BtoC communication on the socials, you may think newsletters have become outdated. But they remain a key element in any communication strategy.
Internet users check their email almost every time they go online. Once they’re done scrolling social media, they’re hopping from one email to the next. This means multiple opportunities to get into your clients heads.
If you’re looking to reach new clients or work on your customer loyalty, email offers a powerful marketing tool.
Building a Showcase Website for Your Contracting Business
Website creation has become a must for any business hoping to become known in their industry. And as you can tell by everyone glued to their phone as they walk down the street, the Internet takes up an enormous place in our lives. Whether they’re looking for residential or commercial services, most people will go online to find their next contractor. If you want any chance at reaching all those prospects on their smartphones, you need to build a solid online presence.
Even if you already have an online presence, you’ll also want to set up a website, featuring a gallery and/or a blog for your business. Next, a well-thought-out SEO and SEA strategy will help you appear at the top of Google search results for your activity’s main keywords. You want to focus on target cities and towns to attract clients that are already close to you. Just be aware that organic SEO and sustained online visibility can take some time to bear fruit.
In the meantime, we’ve created business solutions, specifically designed to lighten the daily grind for contracting professionals. Take Planner by Linkeo. This effortless online booking platform lets customers reserve a time slot from wherever they are, saving you time on the phone and keeping your business accessible 24/7. Artisans can also benefit from Quote, an automated quote and billing software. Besides saving time, this is a great way to earn client trust through an instant and free, reliable estimate. Both of these solutions allow you to create a client file, which you can add to your customer database, making it easy to stay in touch and send your contacts your latest news.
Find New Clients on Social Media
In your quest for new clients, you’re going to need to tap into social media platforms, professional and otherwise, to reach as many prospects as possible. For contractors, we’re going to focus on what we believe to be the three most useful social networks for your field.
Known for its professional networking, LinkedIn is the ideal social media platform for artisans looking for clients. It brings together professionals from all different sectors—at any time these people could be in the market for contracting services. You can also connect with businesses who might be open to partnerships with artisans who can help them expand their network through new untapped markets. Staying active on LinkedIn also keeps you informed on the latest news in your industry, making it easier to adapt to changes in your sector or the economy at large.
For contractors who want to grow their client roster and become more well known, Facebook is a very useful tool. There, you can post info on your company, with bonus photos and videos for extra promotion. Facebook is also known for its targeted ads, which you can tailor to reach your desired audience using highly specific criteria.
This makes it possible to find the clients who are most likely to be interested in your services. Another advantage of Facebook is its free business page. You can publish as many free posts as you want, sharing your skills and accomplishments with your followers, and drawing in new prospects to your work.
Instagram is another social platform where contractors can promote their services. With millions of users worldwide, Instagram is a great place to attract potential clients who might be ready to hire your services. But if you’re going to use Instagram, you need to focus on visual content. So, if you’re a carpenter, you’ll want to take photos of your work at the golden hour when the lighting is perfect. Under your image you can include your prices and other info. Strong and frequent posts of your beautiful designs and creations will increase your chances of attracting new customers.
🚀 The Future Is Digital—For Contractors and Everyone Else
As you can see, there’s no shortage of strategies and tips for contractors looking for new customers. From pounding the payment to launching a Facebook Ad campaign, you can easily expand your customer reach for the benefit of your sales turnover. You just need to choose a solution that works for your budget and your business.
In our experience, it’s the online options that are most successful when it comes to fast, consistent growth. For a smooth and seamless digital transition, Linkeo offers easy digital solutions to take your business to the next level. With more than 22 years of experience, we grew up alongside the Internet, with small businesses and contracting companies making up the heart of our clientele.
Get in touch with your local Linkeo agency!