Are referrals beginning to dry up? Are you looking for ways to increase growth with more construction opportunities in 2018? Subcontractors are specialists in their field, and rather than selling a product you have to sell your services. The problem is, unless the person who is hiring you is also a specialist in your field, they might not know the nuances behind why you or your company. What you need is a marketing strategy to separate your business from the competition, and communications plan that is stakeholder-centric. In other words, it speaks to your buyers in terms that they understand and resonates beyond the dollars and cents. To set yourself apart and deliver a unique value proposition, you need to market your business. Here are seven subcontractor marketing tips to win more jobs.
1. Know your target audience
The first of our subcontractor marketing tips is knowing your audience. Who is it that you want to attract? Who is most likely to see your marketing material? And who is the decision-maker? Take into consideration who is more likely to see your ads, and which platform to use. If your business is in commercial drywall, a Facebook or Google ad will provide you with excellent targeting criteria. It might also help to try vertical publications dedicated to project managers at large general contracting or architectural firms, as well. Knowing your decision maker audience makes a huge difference in marketing. Remember, owners, architects, general contractors, and other subcontractors have different perspectives.
2. Know your strengths
When developing a marketing strategy, you must know what sets you apart from your competition. Is it your low prices or your specialists or services? These are called key differentiators, and they help create your marketing mojo. It’s always good to visually represent your company in a unique manner. McDonald’s is known for the golden arches. IBM was recognized for decades as big blue. Apple = Well…It’s the once bitten Apple, no less with religious undertones from the story of Adam & Eve. Developing your “brand” helps general contractors recognize your firm, both visually and in the word. Once you’ve figured out your key differentiators, and your brand identity, it’s time to tell your story in a marketing plan.
3. Content marketing tips “Tell Your Story”
The next of our marketing tips is craft your content and highlight your best projects and customers. Once you know who you are marketing to (e.g., multiple types of buyers) and what strengths set you apart from the competition, you’re ready to create content that is unique and will attract potential clients. It’s important that you develop stories directed to your audience, so they connect on the various levels of success that you can offer. For example, you stay within budget 99% of the time. Your projects are never late. You have 100% customer satisfaction with testimonials to prove it. Content in 2018 is shifting to video format, so leverage video to connect with your audience. If you’re highlighting your expert staff members, use unique photos of them and their work in your ads and content. Lastly, make sure your content is professionally developed. There reasons companies spend millions of dollars on content, and this is because it works. It works when it’s done well.
4. Social media as a marketing tool
Social media might seem like a millennial thing, but it’s a great way to market your business and build a network. Which is why it’s a subcontractor marketing tip. Of course, your marketing strategies will depend on the platform. Twitter is great for short blasts, like advertising that your portfolio is now on your website, or tweeting short tips for finding specialists like you. Facebook is a bit more versatile. And LinkedIn is a great way to post your content to target decision makers and targeted customers.
5. Website design your business
Your website is where most clients will go to check out you and your work. That’s why it’s important to plan your website carefully and keep it updated. There are many online services that host websites, some even come with easy to use templates. It doesn’t take a professional web designer to have a professional website. Your website is a reflection of your company (i.e., your online business card), if the information is hard to find or it looks out of date, potential customers will assume the same about your company. Whereas if it looks professional and has lots of easy to access information potential customers will see your business as a leader. That’s why website design is one of the most crucial subcontractor marketing tips.
6. Engaging with former clients
It’s easy to focus too much of your valuable time on growth marketing – finding new clients. But, former or current clients are an excellent source for repeat business and much more cost-effective regarding advertising spend. They’re people you’ve already networked with, who know you and your work. They’re people who will either have more work for you in the future or can refer you. That’s why it’s important to engage with former clients and connections. Remind them of the exceptional work you performed. Give them valuable tips, and maybe they’ll reciprocate. The stronger your relationship the more likely they’ll think of you next time they need a subcontractor or if they hear about a new opportunity. The bottom line is to invest in maintaining relationships with former and existing customers.
Ads are a more traditional form of marketing, but its necessary. But there are a bunch of ways to do them now. Think digital and social. There are Google ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, radio ads, and more. So you have to break down which one will work best for your business and what content works best. Digital advertising is measurable and you can easily track the ROI. Advertising can be expensive which is why it’s important to monitor your analytics and see what works best for your business based on who you wish to attract. Expanding your audience of followers on your digital channels can bring long-term benefits in dollars, but you need to be patient.