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Old 04-03-2014, 04:50 PM   #1
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Free Advertising


Hey everyone,

Anyone out there have any ideas for me on advertising? I'm trying to get more work for my flooring business, and would really like to do some advertising as inexpensively as possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: Free Advertising


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Old 04-03-2014, 10:54 PM   #3
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Re: Free Advertising


Go to real estate club meetings 1 hour before the meetings start, pass out your cards and you will meet many contractors who flip houses and are looking for flooring contractors. You will meet real estate agents who have clients who need floors to sell their homes. Go to other types of group meetings, meet people and build a network. Try to get agents to put you on their preferred vendor list. Almost every real estate office has this list.

Send business cards every 3 months to restoration contractors and the best way to connect with them is to drop in and make personal visits at their place of business. These contractors always need contractors to repair water damaged floors.

There are many free websites on the internet where contractors are looking for bids for remodels and new construction. Many websites have blueprints that are free.

Start a one-page website and this can be done for less than $30. Then, list yourself on Google maps and this is a very powerful and effective tool that is free. I get about 2 to 3 calls per week from Google Maps. I think most people dial your phone number without going to your website. Most businesses that use Google Maps use several different addresses and phone numbers (maybe not the most honest thing, but it is effective).

Mail a business card or flyer with every bill that you pay. People who work at utility companies, insurance companies, and moonshiners also own homes. Leave a business card and flyer at every business you visit and this includes government agencies, restaurants, doctors, gas stations, etc.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:37 PM   #4
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Re: Free Advertising


Go stand around in Lowes and HD's flooring department and hand out business cards. But pretend you are shopping, so get a cart and put a few things in it. Looks for legit.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:36 PM   #5
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Re: Free Advertising


Thanks everyone. I've been advertising on Craigslist already and have gotten a decent amount of work from it, just looking for some more advertising options. pcplumber, you said there were free websites where contractors are looking for bids. Could you name a few of them so I check those out?
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:52 PM   #6
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Re: Free Advertising


Facebook personal and business page, yard signs, truck lettering, referrals, bulletin boards at material suppliers
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:00 PM   #7
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Re: Free Advertising


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Go stand around in Lowes and HD's flooring department and hand out business cards. But pretend you are shopping, so get a cart and put a few things in it. Looks for legit.
You can land every DIYer, low price seeking, think they know evey thing because they watch HGTV customer out there.

I have never picked up a single decent lead from my local big box.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:31 AM   #8
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You can land every DIYer, low price seeking, think they know evey thing because they watch HGTV customer out there. I have never picked up a single decent lead from my local big box.
Like all leads, they must be thoroughly qualified. It isn't for everyone but if you and I and other members are in our suppliers stores (not necessarily HD or BLOW) not everyone there is a dolt.

I have met contractors looking for what I do in the aisles and parking lots of supply houses. Conversation started those relationships often from observation of what aisle they are in, truck lettering, logos in uniforms and conversation overheard with staff.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:59 AM   #9
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Like all leads, they must be thoroughly qualified. It isn't for everyone but if you and I and other members are in our suppliers stores (not necessarily HD or BLOW) not everyone there is a dolt.

I have met contractors looking for what I do in the aisles and parking lots of supply houses. Conversation started those relationships often from observation of what aisle they are in, truck lettering, logos in uniforms and conversation overheard with staff.
The statement had nothing to do with meeting contractors at supply houses. It was pretty clear on the parameters. HD or Lowes and their customers which would be HOs.

And just like every area you target there is something called a demographic. When you target that area you are targeting that demographic. The HO in a big box is most likely coming of an HGTV marathon and wants to do it themselves on the $500-$1000 like the show. They are not looking for a contractor and most likely haven't considered what it would really cost to have a professional do it.

I have passed out hundreds of cards in those places and wired quite a few. They were pretty much all the same with a few exceptions.

As to your contractor analogy, I AM always open to relationships with fellow contractors.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:30 PM   #10
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Re: Free Advertising


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Go stand around in Lowes and HD's flooring department and hand out business cards. But pretend you are shopping, so get a cart and put a few things in it. Looks for legit.
Wtf?! This is hilarious.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:48 AM   #11
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Wtf?! This is hilarious.
Hey the poster asked for FREE advertising ideas and that's what I provided. He never said he was looking for high end clients. It's up to him to decide if the clientele of these places meets his needs. It's no different than walking thru neighborhoods putting door hangers out. You have no idea who lives in that house you are putting the door hanger on.

This is no different than posting an ad on Craigslist. Like PoleBarnsNY said "Like all leads, they must be thoroughly qualified."
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:02 AM   #12
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Just because customer are going to install their own peel and stick tile or paint their own wooden chair or are looking for a weed wacker does not mean they are going to build their own garage, kitchen or pool heater.

To suggest that is absurd. I have sold substantial projects to customers a few times I met at these stores. I also sold a cop that pulled me over. It isn't a big source but it has happened.

Finding business from "free" approaches to lead generation is a matter of keeping your radar up.

If many things you try don't work that has worked for others, then it isn't the method. It's the person that's going about it wrong. Perhaps the attitude that everyone that buys light bulbs and glue at that store is a TV fanatic that wants to put on their own roof or addition is the problem since it isn't true.

We can disagree about that. Each to his own. "Does not work for me" does not equal "does not work" but some people you just can reach and opinions are strong here even of they are based on personal anecdotes.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:13 AM   #13
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Re: Free Advertising


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Facebook personal and business page, yard signs, truck lettering, referrals, bulletin boards at material suppliers
My thoughts exactly.

Facebook has been great for me. It gets the word out fast and will introduce you to new clientel. It works best if you have content that shows you are professional and know your stuff.

Yard signs. Get em out there. I plant them on every job and leave them there for a few weeks. Local people think I'm an animal because of how much work I do based of the signs they see.

Make your ride look good and professional. Put yourself in the upper tier of clients by looking like you belong there.

Referrals...its not about what you know but who you know.

Suppliers - Develop a "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" relationship with your local yard. If they see you patronize them they will give you leads that come to them.

My facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/slewiscarpentry

My van lettering is on my facebook page.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:54 AM   #14
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Hey the poster asked for FREE advertising ideas and that's what I provided. He never said he was looking for high end clients. It's up to him to decide if the clientele of these places meets his needs. It's no different than walking thru neighborhoods putting door hangers out. You have no idea who lives in that house you are putting the door hanger on.

This is no different than posting an ad on Craigslist. Like PoleBarnsNY said "Like all leads, they must be thoroughly qualified."
There is a huge difference. I chose the neighborhood. Demographics offer you a much better chance of landing a less than a random craigslist browser.

I can already tell you the percentage if garbage versus good is high on craigslist. You will spend far too much time"qualifying" leads.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:07 AM   #15
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Just because customer are going to install their own peel and stick tile or paint their own wooden chair or are looking for a weed wacker does not mean they are going to build their own garage, kitchen or pool heater.

To suggest that is absurd. I have sold substantial projects to customers a few times I met at these stores. I also sold a cop that pulled me over. It isn't a big source but it has happened.

Finding business from "free" approaches to lead generation is a matter of keeping your radar up.

If many things you try don't work that has worked for others, then it isn't the method. It's the person that's going about it wrong. Perhaps the attitude that everyone that buys light bulbs and glue at that store is a TV fanatic that wants to put on their own roof or addition is the problem since it isn't true.

We can disagree about that. Each to his own. "Does not work for me" does not equal "does not work" but some people you just can reach and opinions are strong here even of they are based on personal anecdotes.
People aren't shopping for a garage or kitchen at these places abd if they are they are looking for price. Are there exceptions? Sure. But I have had my info at several of these stores for years and none can afford my services. They always think I am to high even after selling value they just want price.

But this guess back to what kind of customer do you want. Do your want then to nickle and dime you? Or do you want the guy that has money, knows value and let's you do your job.

Hanging out at Lowes and HD is "free" but will end up wasting your time. I do agree that the key is to keep your ears open and already looking no matter where you are or what you are doing, but it's not absurd to suggest it's not a great idea to sit at these stores looking for work.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:08 PM   #16
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There is a huge difference. I chose the neighborhood. Demographics offer you a much better chance of landing a less than a random craigslist browser.

I can already tell you the percentage if garbage versus good is high on craigslist. You will spend far too much time"qualifying" leads.
So tell us what your ideas are for FREE ADVERTISING?
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:24 PM   #17
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So tell us what your ideas are for FREE ADVERTISING?
There really us no such thing. Unless you consider your time worthless.

But networking and jumping on opportunities when they present themselves are about all you have.

And don't think I'm not speaking from experience. I sold custom sheds on there for a few years. It took a long time to get the wording right to keep the tire kickers away. You also have to keep putting the ads up when they expire or are reported enough to get removed.

It was far from FREE.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:37 PM   #18
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Re: Free Advertising


I've landed a few really good customers at lowes. I'll just be picking up a few thing, I guess I look like a contractor, so people ask me questions. Next thing I know, they want me to come bid some decent jobs. It's usually seniors at the lowes in the good parts of town. Not that I hang out looking for work, but work happens sometimes.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:16 PM   #19
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I've landed a few really good customers at lowes. I'll just be picking up a few thing, I guess I look like a contractor, so people ask me questions. Next thing I know, they want me to come bid some decent jobs. It's usually seniors at the lowes in the good parts of town. Not that I hang out looking for work, but work happens sometimes.
I agree. That's why I say to jump on every opportunity. Hanging out waiting would be a waste too many DIYers.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:34 PM   #20
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I agree. That's why I say to jump on every opportunity. Hanging out waiting would be a waste too many DIYers.
agreed, no way I'd hang out. But when I see someone that looks confused and doesn't look like an hgtv junkie, I'll offer advise. You're very welcome for the advise, what's that? Why yes, I am a full service contractor. Of course I can build your new $10,000,000 mansion. Lmao

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