Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing

 
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:41 PM   #1
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Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


I have been working for builders for the last 15 yrs trimming new homes.(anywhere from 30 to 90 per year) most of them in the 90's and 2000's.

As everyone knows the last few years builders are beating us up on prices. Right now all i'm doing is paying the bills (barely) and can't seem to get that profit I need to get ahead. Travel expenses are killing me. Put 35000 miles on truck last yr.

Been thinking of trying to market myself to the general public and not focus on working for builders as much. What works for you other finish carpenters as far as marketing.

I want to focus on interior trim as much as possible but am willing do diversify some. (don't want to do "handyman" stuff). I Like doing mantles, stairs, entertainment centers etc.

Already have a website and sign for my truck and have new cards to pass out. Any other ideas are welcome. Thanks, Don
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Last edited by Buckeye Don; 04-19-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


if you want to get more work directly through homeowners your going to have to expand your skillset to more than just trimwork. consider getting into building custom cabinets, reno'ing basements, very elaborate decks as opposed to the run of the mill deck done by any other contractor

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Old 04-21-2012, 05:37 AM   #3
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


I agree with you Kirk. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:16 AM   #4
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye Don View Post
I have been working for builders for the last 15 yrs trimming new homes.(anywhere from 30 to 90 per year) most of them in the 90's and 2000's.

As everyone knows the last few years builders are beating us up on prices. Right now all i'm doing is paying the bills (barely) and can't seem to get that profit I need to get ahead. Travel expenses are killing me. Put 35000 miles on truck last yr.

Been thinking of trying to market myself to the general public and not focus on working for builders as much. What works for you other finish carpenters as far as marketing.

I want to focus on interior trim as much as possible but am willing do diversify some. (don't want to do "handyman" stuff). I Like doing mantles, stairs, entertainment centers etc.

Already have a website and sign for my truck and have new cards to pass out. Any other ideas are welcome. Thanks, Don
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Hey Buckeye,

I think you need to take advantage of your website and market it locally through the search engines. You said you were getting killed on travel expenses, you should focus your website marketing locally to cut down on long travel.

A few issues might crop up with your website - it is setup more like a blog and less like a website. There is much potential with the design, but it still looks too much like a blog instead of a lead generation website.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


hey buckeye don, that's the same thing ive been wanting to do, in you same situation, let me know how it goes, i still lack website and other stuff
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:27 PM   #6
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


Hi, I’m not a carpenter; the husband is though. Working local depending on your area, if you are going to depend on your website to bring in more traffic, it takes marketing to move it up the search engines and to reach local customers.

This can include having a blog or articles on carpentry that would interest potential customers. If your area is like ours, there is a lot of competition and more people are looking on the Internet, over the phone book advertising or mailers. Hope this helps you some, with going local.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


Don, you can and should market to the general public. No one knows how that will work out for you, you won't know until you end up trying multiple avenues and spending a good amount of advertising dollars.

I post a CL ad almost every day, but never expect much from it...but it's "free". Some do well from CL, ya never know.

Find a neighborhood, or 10...that you know (research), would benefit from your work, and saturate it with advertising...postcard mailings, door hangers, etc.

http://gotprint.net/g/welcome.do

http://www.vistaprint.com/vp/welcome...&GNF=1&GPLSID=

Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


Some good ideas everybody. Just starting this process of weaning myself off of builders. Should be interesting I'll try to keep you updated. Thanks again.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:09 PM   #9
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


Don, so far you're getting a good mix of feedback from both industry insiders and the added perspective of us service providers. MarketingPros made an observation on your site I would add just one thing to.

Although your colors are good and I like your palette choice (apparently part of the theme you chose), I would advise against light text on a dark background. Personally, it doesn't bother me,, but it is a known "no-no" on design because many or most people find it difficult to read. Your main content areas should have a light background with highly contrasting dark text.

There are situations where this rule can be violated, but yours is not one of them. However, you can (and should) keep it reversed for your portfolio pages. Having the images against the dark background with a brief caption is more striking. Just don't do your content that way.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:48 PM   #10
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


You can send out a bunch of email or letters to local contractors who are dealing with your target market right before they need your services, and set up a deal where they recommend your services for a finders fee or some kind of simple gift like dinner for two.

You could also just offer to share leads where you return the favor.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:41 AM   #11
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


The easiest and fastest way to get business is JV (Joint Venture) marketing.

Find another business not related to your business, such as a plumber.

You will both need to share your email or address list. Send info promoting each other to your list.

If you don't have a list then you can offer an incentive to a contractor that does have a list. A service contractor like a plumber or hvac is an example.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:53 AM   #12
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Re: Question For My Fellow Finish Carpenters About Marketing


CL has worked out well for my company. You do get calls from tire kickers and people who are looking for champagne quality at beer prices. Some of the work I've gotten from CL include renovating a condo, many many decks and flooring projects. Take advantage of it. You can't beat the cost.

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