Running a construction company is a busy job. In a normal day, you might spend the morning in an office doing paperwork for new projects and the afternoon on-site supervising a new build.
That doesn’t leave you much time to find new clients for your business. Luckily, if you know how to generate new leads effectively, you don’t need much time. All you need is a strategy and some clever techniques to help the clients come to you.
If you need new clients, it can be tempting to pitch for every project going. However, this isn’t going to help you in the long run. If you pitch for a project that you can’t afford, or one in an area of construction that isn’t your speciality, it could harm your business in the long run. Instead, spend your time crafting quality pitches for projects that you know you can complete to the best of your ability.
Winning awards is one of the best ways to draw attention to your business. Sometimes you can apply for them, other times it is the luck of the draw. Start off small by applying for accreditations like the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) and ensuring you are enrolled with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).
When you gain the accreditations, post them to your website and issue press releases to inform your audience. Accreditation and winning awards reassures your potential clients that you are the best at what you do.
You’re probably already doing some advertising, but are you doing it smartly? There are so many different ways that you can do it, but it’s better to advertise on specific channels targeted towards your audience, than to advertise everywhere and see what sticks. Whenever you’re working on a new build, advertise in the local area – people can see your physical work, so they might be inspired to hire you.
If you haven’t already, consider online methods like Facebook advertising. The great thing about Facebook Ads is that you can narrow your advert down to a very specific audience. You can also use Google Adwords to ensure that you appear at the top of Google search engine results pages.
You want to make it as easy as possible for a client to reach you. Gone are the days where just a phone number is acceptable. Instead, you need a phone, an email address, a physical address and social media.
Make sure they can reach you on Facebook Messenger and Twitter. You should have someone who is always ready to respond to enquiries as soon as possible.
If you have social media so that your clients can reach you easily, you’ll also want to use it to build a brand. Don’t try to be on every social media platform possible, but focus on the one that your target audience uses the most. A great new social network for a construction company to have is Houzz, where you can show off project photos and reach out to potential customers. Keep your social media visual – lots of photographs and even videos of behind the scenes at one of your projects can go a long way. Have fun with it, experiment and you’ll soon see your follower count rise.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with being active on social media. You want to get to know your customers on a personal level, so respond to them on social media. If they leave a review, reply and say how great it was to work with them. Send them a thank you note after the project has finished.
The more that you know your clients on a personal level, the more likely they are to recommend you to their friends and family. This technique is particularly important if you work in an area where there is a lot of competition – word of mouth goes a long way.
If your website doesn’t already have a blog, it really should. Blogging is a great way to share your expert knowledge with clients! You should blog about a variety of topics – industry news and issues, new construction trends or techniques and your own company news.
If you win an award or a big new contract, this is the place to let people know about it. Sharing your knowledge about topics relating to the construction industry establishes you as an authoritative and trustworthy business.
Hosting an open house is a great way to let the clients come to you. You open up your office and invite the public in to see what you do. They can see your work, ask you questions and put faces to the company name. It’s an opportunity for them to see how you work without any sales pressure, and it can be really effective – just leave a form for them to fill in with their email address if they’d like to know more about your work.
SEO helps your clients find you. It revolves around ensuring that your website appears on Google search results, preferably on the first page. You’ll need to have good content which uses targeted keywords, so the best place to start is by doing some keyword research using the Google keyword planner.
This will show you which phrases (such as ‘construction company Birmingham’ or ‘electrician Liverpool’) are getting the most traffic, and then you can work your content around the keywords. If you are completely new to SEO, it’s always worth getting a professional digital marketing agency to help you.
Following on from SEO, one of the most important techniques for local business is reviews. This includes Facebook and Google reviews, as well as any on websites like TrustPilot and even Houzz.
Positive reviews can lead to your website being placed higher in the search engine results, as well as building trust for future companies. You can ensure you get reviews by reminding customers in a thank you note to leave you a review.
When people are trying to find a contractor, they will often use directories to find ones in their local area. You don’t need to be on every single directory that exists on the internet, just the one that people in your area use most. Directories also have an SEO advantage as the powerful backlinks to your site push it further up the Google search engine results.
Author: Leila Jones is a content writer for Kimberly Access. She is a Public Relations graduate from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK.
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