by Daniel Quindemil, Founder of I AM Builders
Everyone is always looking for the next big thing. Using a variety of proven marketing strategies, contractors can explode their construction businesses and reach more potential clients than ever before.
The next big strategy that they can just plug in to their business and magically triple their leads, make their office phones ring nonstop with people begging to give them money.
Here’s the reality. It takes a lot of skill, a lot of talent, and a lot of awareness of the playing field. That’s what we’re going to go over in this piece, so sit back, relax, and enjoy all the free gems that we’ve spent years uncovering in our very own marketing.
According to Google, viral marketing is a “method of marketing where consumers are encouraged to share information about a company’s goods or services via the Internet.”
Just so we’re on the same page, by “sharing information” we mean encouraging word-of-mouth advertising. In other words, we want people to actively talk about our company to their co-workers, friends, or family without us forcing them to.
How do you pull that off? It’s not as hard as you think.
You need to do something noteworthy enough on a social media platform with great organic reach.
For example, LinkedIn is a very hot platform with a ton of attention on it right now. So if you, as a construction professional, post a video of an incredible feat on there, say building a house in 30 days from scratch, there is bound to be attention on you and your company.
The more noteworthy, the better.
This works like a charm for construction companies that are just starting out, allowing them to scale their branding efforts in a very short period of time because the virality of their marketing explodes their reputation among other potential clients, or in other words, they hack their growth. (more on that later)
Leverage Referral Marketing.
A company that relies entirely on referral marketing is probably not the prettiest sight for a digital marketer’s eyes, partly because it goes against all their beliefs. Here’s the thing, every industry is different. In construction, the way to get more business is mostly about leveraging your marketing to lead to referral marketing.
This is because the reputation of a construction company is 99% of the reason why people hire them for project work. Once you understand that core principle, everything else falls in place.
The, it becomes a game of how to get in good standing with a potential client so that when the time comes, you can leverage that to receive referrals.
Make New Partnerships.
Whether you’re a general contractor, subcontractor, architect, or any kind of construction professional, it always helps you tremendously to have cemented partnerships. Many contractors and designers are using estimating companies to budget pricing which helps them secure more work. Making a new partnership in the construction industry means relying on one specific company to use whenever their specialty comes up.
For example, let’s say a painting contractor is lacking in new work, and are in danger of having to shut down their business. But, suddenly the owner of the painting company cracks open a couple beers with a successful owner of a drywall company, and a relationship forms. Now, whenever the drywall contractor gets jobs, they’re always sure to recommend their friendly painting contractor.
Do you see what happened?
Positioning yourself as the go-to construction company for people of all trades to reach out to you is a winning strategy that can guarantee you a steady stream of projects to work on.
So don’t shy away from building meaningful relationships with contractors of other trades and coming together to create an unofficial partnership that helps both parties involved.
Start with an Exclusive Trial.
Usually if a software company wants people to buy their program, they’d offer a free trial that sucks in leads like a vacuum. After all, people want to be confident in what they’re paying for so testing it out for free is a very logical answer to any questions they have.
The same concept can be applied in construction.
To sum up the entire process, it’s putting your foot in the door of a potential construction job, and then inviting yourself in while you’re already there.
Let me illustrate a simple example; let’s say you’re a drywall contractor and you’re struggling to get more work. So, to fix this issue, you offer an irresistibly cheap service where you offer to inspect/repair the drywall in an older building. This of course attracts a fair share of interested clients to ring you up for their very cheap, and very much needed drywall repair. So, you go and do your work for them as normal, but while you’re there you notice a huge amount of mold forming behind the drywall, and it needs to be completely taken down. Guess who they’re going to hire to do that job?
The point here is to offer a very appealing trial to your services that seamlessly transitions to the rest of your main services. Whether it’s a drywall inspection that leads to a new home improvement job, or an air duct cleaning leading to a new A/C installation, the goal is to create a better entryway into your sales process.
Reach Out to Specific Contacts.
By reaching out to specific people who can help your company grow, you position yourself as the contractor with the most perceived value. And when it comes to the bidding process, the contractor with the most perceived value always wins.
Here’s a list of the main people you need to contact taken straight from this article.
1. Contact Developers.
Developers are always looking for GCs that can build their projects. If you’re a General Contractor, having a long list of developers on good terms with you is a no-brainer.
2. Contact Architects.
Architects are largely considered the “undercover managers” of projects. Since they’re the first person the developer reaches out to design their project, it’s natural the architect is then the one to refer a GC to the developer to help make the project come to life. If you’re a GC, start talking to some architects!
3. Contact General Contractors.
If you’re a subcontractor, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be calling local General Contractors that are winning a lot of jobs. Creating a referral partnership (see above) helps both parties tremendously. Get a list of GCs and introduce yourself to each one, but make sure you’re interesting.
4. Contact Realtors.
Guess who helps the developers buy the land they plan to build on? Real estate agents! Having a list of real estate agent connections ensures you a steady stream of developers being referred to your services.
Social Media Growth Hacking.
Post a ton of content on LinkedIn.
Yes, that’s seriously all there is to social media growth hacking for construction companies.
You need to understand why people would follow your page, and then triple down on your content production to appeal to that reason.
Doing so will naturally build your social media following, and also lead to your construction company being the biggest authority in your field.
Follow Up with Past Customers.
This one is practically a given. To everyone you’ve worked with in the past, you need to continue to reach out to them and check up on how they or their company are doing.
Following up on past customers is a shockingly underused tactic I see around construction company owners. Usually they take their payment and leave, only to desperately hunt for their next job. Don’t let that be the case, set up a system in your sales process that addresses all your past clients.
This leads to new construction work, and eventually to a bigger construction company.
Starting up a construction company is one of the toughest businesses to start on the planet, besides starting your own social media or becoming a full-time “Youtuber” of course.
All jokes aside, having an effective marketing plan can be what makes or breaks your business, and applying these exact hacks in this article is sure to give any construction company a predictable, and scalable, stream of revenue.
Daniel Quindemil is the Founder of I AM Builders, a Construction Estimating and Consulting Firm. He has a Bachelor in Architecture and is a Licensed General Contractor. He has supervised and managed projects for the University of Miami, Bacardi, and private investment firms. He is an expert at design, construction, and estimating.