Marketing is an extremely complex subject no matter how you approach it. It’s a challenging task for any business, making it fairly easy to overlook, misunderstand, or even neglect some of its most basic points.
In the contractor world, it’s no different. Almost every contractor starts as a small business with limited resources, including a marketing budget and other limitations – although marketing isn’t something you can ignore.
With that in mind, let’s shine some light on contractor marketing mistakes that you can learn to avoid when outlining your plan!
You don’t study the competition
Studying the competition isn’t about copying what works, at least, not entirely. It’s more about learning their shortcomings so that you can do better where they falter.
For example, maybe you have a competitor that has been on the market for years and therefore has a much better marketing budget than you do. Sounds intimidating, but say you dig a little deeper and discover that they don’t engage with social media as much as they could.
Now you know where you can do better.
You don’t want to learn social media
There’s no way around this one. However, social media doesn’t have to be as complicated as people make it seem.
If you start researching, you will find that everyone has their own theory. You will find courses, seminars, articles – all with their own “secret method” as to how you should handle social media. It’s very off-putting if you’re already someone who doesn’t want to deal with it in the first place.
If that sounds like you, I highly recommend going through this blog for more practical social media tips, especially tailored to contractors. Truth is, you can focus on the basics first: keeping your contact info up-to-date, replying to messages, etc.
But having to post something new every week or so is a little more complicated, as it requires a decent understanding of more subtle intricacies. This is where hiring a social media pro will be your main goal.
You don’t analyze your marketing metrics
Marketing is made to yield results. If results aren’t showing, then something needs to change.
The best way to understand that is by studying your metrics. If you’re working mostly online, you should look at how many people are engaging with your posts. At what times do your posts get the most engagement? What attracts your audience? Are most of them male or female? What’s their age? Where do they live?
The more of this kind of data you have, the more you will understand your target audience. And speaking of which...
You don’t have a target audience
Marketing is never about reaching everyone – it’s about reaching those that are most likely to need you. This is what we call a “target audience".
Movies are a great example. Most mainstream blockbusters (like Marvel movies) aim for a PG or PG-13 rating at most, ensuring that it attracts as wide an audience as possible. Disney, who owns Marvel, typically avoids R-rated movies, as that’s not their target audience.
A studio like Blumhouse, however, is famous for producing low-budget horror movies with an R-rating. These are your typical standard jumpscare-filled horror movie that aims for cheap thrills and making a profit. Hence why, even though the quality of their productions is inconsistent, they always make a profit. Their release windows are well-timed and the low-budget ensures the movie is paid for very quickly.
The point of all this is to say each of these companies found their target audience.
They are not successful based solely on their budget or even the quality of their products, but because they know who to sell it to – and how to sell it.
When you apply that logic to the contractor world, you will find it much easier to sell your services, because you will know who you’re selling them to. You can adapt your language and all your communication efforts to better suit that audience.
You don’t focus on retention
A common misconception about contractor work is that your focus should be on acquiring new clients as much as possible.
And while obviously, that’s a good thing, retention is also important and it often goes overlooked.
Retention is when you serve the same clients over long periods of time. You provide good service, gain their trust, and now they will return to you instead of looking for others. There’s no big secret to it, other than offering high-quality customer service and delivering on your promises.
A good tip is to look at new clients as the start of a relationship. Don’t think of new clients as temporary, because you may end up treating them as disposable. Treat them like they’re essential to your future and do your best to ensure a healthy relationship!
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