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Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.

 
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:50 PM   #61
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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Here is my own personal top 5 ideas that do not work (in no particular order):

Here is 6 things that DO work:

1. Word of mouth. The best advertisement around.
2. Execution. From start to clean-up, you gotta shine.
3. People skills. Got to do what you say, when you say you will do it.
4. Website. Create traffic to it-like posting on Contractor Talk.
5. You-the professional. You want to make the big bucks-prospect must believe in you and decide that no one else will be right for their project.
6. Clean vehicle and uniforms. First and continuing impressions will get you your price.

Just wondering, what are your experiences?
Agree that all six of these are important. Some should go without saying and speaks to Professionaism in general 3 and 5.

Website alone (build it and they will come) is one of the biggest misconceptions I get when I design a site for a contractor. I spend extra time helping my customer understand how to market their site locally - local directories, church bulletins --- the flyers that cost only 45% if they have a special promo and some sort of "hook" to them.. Search Engine Optimization is not the end all be all either. Your site should be a 24x7 7 day a week 365 daya year sales person for you but only if you set it up right. Folks want to SEE stuff not read STUFF.

Testimonials on a website is a good thing along with photo of the work.

The best marketing is referral business you obtain because you left your customer feeling good about the work you did for them and they felt they received good value for the money they parted with !! Another happy salesperson for you in customer's clothing. Friends and neighbors OFTEN ask each other about the work they see contractors doing when your trucks are parked in the driveway. Piss one off for some dumb shortsighted reason and sometimes you kill a few potential jobs.

Craig's list although free is a bit on the cheezy side and many upscale folks stay away from it if that is your niche. You know what they say... follow the money. They will almost always shop online first and look for a professional looking website, good references and nice photos or your best work is a must on your site in a professional looking gallery.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:48 PM   #62
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


This has been a great thread. I've only really been in business a three or so years and until this past fall have been able to move from job to job (almost all large whole house remodels) without business cards, a website, and marketing effort whatsoever and I've even turned down quite a bit of work b/c I was too scared to try to do more than one and a half jobs at a time or so. This winter as things slowed down, with the help of lots of fantastic advice from this forum, I put an action plan together. I have a website (still a work in progress but getting better), am learning seo tricks du jour, have business cards, have some door hangers/post cards from vistaprint, have a blog, have a business, facebook page and a linkedin page, just set up a page in jobsite123 (thanks to the post on this thread), and feel like I'm moving forward. I even landed a bathroom remodeling job (small - just $8K or so) from a website lead on my first website generated contact (batting 1,000!). I'm looking forward to the snow melting around here so I can put out some door hangers and do some of my own canvassing, I have a few networking events on my calendar, am looking to get links on some local neighborhood association websites, etc., etc., etc.

Thanks to all of the extremely generous folks on this site, I have overwhelmed myself with so much knowledge it's spilling out my ears. I have a long white collar previous life in sales so can add with some confidence that marketing is all about finding a way to create some positive mental shelf space with folks who have a reason to take action. It takes a sales effort to find them and help them understand you can solve their need better than someone else but it's all good if it's going in the right direction.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:53 AM   #63
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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The problem with your flyer design is not that it doesn't tell me what you do. It most certainly does, just like a zillion other flyers. The problem is I have no compelling reason to respond to it. Telling me you do additions is not the same as informing me that you can provide more living space without the inconvenience of moving. Telling me you do basements is not the same as inspiring me to think of all that space that is being wasted by not having it finished.

If your flyer told me what problems you can solve instead of just telling me what you do, it would be considerably more effective. OK, maybe now I just eliminated the sense of just plugging my services because that's free advice on how you create a flyer that yields a much better response. But to help with design and balance so the message gets noticed, I'd have to charge for that service.
good idea, I have been stuck in the same old "company name / what we do" type. You inspired me to do something different.
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:50 PM   #64
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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good idea, I have been stuck in the same old "company name / what we do" type. You inspired me to do something different.
You nailed it!!! That's exactly what I was getting at. Great job.

My only comment is the photo. It's way too dark, but most likely is fixable with Photoshop. Perhaps even a before and after, but the organization of your layout is right on. A little more "white space" would help too (more breathing room between the heading and logo).
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:21 AM   #65
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Not a bad idea starting off with the benefit. If your going to rely on 1 flier, its kinda hard to test the results since there is nothing to measure it against assuming you are using a dedicated phone number.

I like to convert the sale in the top third of the flier. That being said starting off with a question then asserting the benifit followed by an immediate call to action has done the trick for me.

Execution of perception about who you are as a company is also important. Perception is one of those variables that never makes sense because there is no logic involved. This involves the service of a professional who understands color and space.

The middle of the flier can be used for credibility if a hard sell is needed. Here is where a good old fashioned testimonial might work from a local somebody.

Bottom third is the boring stuff like a repeat call to action and company info.

I'm no marketing guy, just giving an example of what has got me results with the primary goal of obtaining targeted leads.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:57 PM   #66
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


The best marketing is free or low cost. Getting referrals costs you nothing except a satisfied customer. The best online marketing is free. Getting ranked high on Google just takes good content on your site and quality links.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:01 PM   #67
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


The best content on your site is your customer's content. Get them to talk about you. Our site is built so that it can build leads through social media discussion around your prior job.

But if you've got your own site, make sure you let people comment on your pages. It needs to be interactive!
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:08 AM   #68
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


The best marketing is the type that is working for you. If it is not working for you, then you should step back, pick your head up out of the sink, and look in the mirror.....

And ask yourself am I working the whole market?
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:31 AM   #69
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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good idea, I have been stuck in the same old "company name / what we do" type. You inspired me to do something different.
You have to offer a reason to call today!
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:48 AM   #70
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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The best marketing is free or low cost. Getting referrals costs you nothing except a satisfied customer. The best online marketing is free. Getting ranked high on Google just takes good content on your site and quality links.
Getting referrals is in fact the number one way we get NEW clients. We bounce off the satisfied customers quite often. Even after years of completing work for someone -- they point their relatives and colleagues in our direction.

People are always wary of getting burned. They want to go with a company that has proven results without the bull. The sooner you become known for quality work in your area, the price your company charges becomes less of an issue to your new clients.

We seem to have a waiting list of clients to service during hard times. You get to the jobsite and treat their property as if you were working on your own home. You essentially take over their home -- mentally. Pet their dog and walk him around the block, for Christ's sake!

One more quick note. Take pictures. Of all phases of construction. From demo to completion. When requesting your final payments, give the client a photo montage of everything you did for them. Show the client what you put behind their walls during construction. Pull the necessary permits (if needed), assure them that everything is done correctly and to code requirements.

Also, remember to make copies for yourself to show those future customers!

Last edited by Darwin; 02-22-2010 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:32 PM   #71
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


I am Doug Uneberg the owner of Room Renovators - Charlotte NC Remodeling, Roofing & Painting contractors.

Here are my Top 5

1.) Google Adwords & other Internet tactics such as SEO and having a great, simple website that portrays your work, accreditations and services (people use the net for everything now and they only click on the first ones they see) btw Craigslist does work but you have to speak reality and quality to customers to sell them and produce that for them as we do.

2.) 4x6 Color Postcards/Doorhangers - Very Cheap, I get 5000 postcards for about $175. being talented in Websites and Graphics helped me out as I do all this myself. Make sure you have decent graphics, black n white flyers are trash, if it looks like cheese they will label you as cheese. after all you're a contractor not a college kid mowing lawns right?

3.) Cold Calling - You're a Contractor but you're also in Sales and need to sell yourself and Services to stay in business and do well. picking up the Phone and calling people to let them know who you are and what you provide is a great way to get in their door. you can also mail out a Refrigerator magnet so they can call you when they need you and never have to find your card! (hiring a telemarket is best but you can do this yourself if your quick witted and a good talker)

4.) Paid Referrals -Nothing is better than being referred by a past client that was tickled pink by your company and quality services but they are more likely to tell the world if they receive a check for it after you sell the job to the neighbor.

5.)BBB Accreditation - With the way folks get Ripped off by fraudulent contractors and scammers posing as contractors customers want to see if there are complaints with the BBB........Having an A rating is Vital especially with Older folks because they are usually targeted by unsavory companies....

Remember do unto others as you want done to you. Be honest, Be Reliable, Provide Quality and always Educate your potential customer. I get more jobs by Running my mouth about what needs to be done in lamens terms and explain to customers which products we use and why!
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:58 PM   #72
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


what is seo ? do you join the BBB is there a cost ? should you start with a pre-fab type of website to start ? ( $$$ cash is tight ) or none at all ? is there more ways to get your name out there thats not to expensive ?
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:24 PM   #73
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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what is seo ?
It is a fancy name for making your website the most visible to search engines.
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do you join the BBB is there a cost ?
I believe there is a yearly fee.
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should you start with a pre-fab type of website to start ? ( $$$ cash is tight ) or none at all ?
You could get a free site; I wouldn't. You can design your own with free software and be up and running for less than $65. In addition, less than $20 per monthly fee thereafter.
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is there more ways to get your name out there thats not to expensive ?
Heck yeah!
1. Blogs - free
2. Website - almost free.
3. Social Networking Sites - free.
4. Related forums - free.
Good Luck.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:43 PM   #74
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


darwin ?... can you go to the library and get a couple of books on building a website and expect to have a decent one and how easy is it ? are there any special tool needed ( programs or downloads ? ) and how do you get people to it ?
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:54 PM   #75
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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darwin ?... can you go to the library and get a couple of books on building a website and expect to have a decent one and how easy is it ? are there any special tool needed ( programs or downloads ? ) and how do you get people to it ?
You could, but that's the long way. I went to www.bluevoda.com and designed mine. Their software is free and pretty easy to learn. If you don't have a feel of what your site should look like and feel like then hire someone.

It really depends how computer savy you are. Designing your website, and sending people to it are two totally different ballgames, and require different skill sets. But it is do-able!

Last edited by Darwin; 02-27-2010 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:21 PM   #76
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


whats the deal about domain names ? what were the cost from bluevoda when you did your site ?
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:39 PM   #77
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i guess that cost would be webhosting ? how much $$$ ?
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:25 AM   #78
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Freddie, I will send a PM to you with details.
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:24 PM   #79
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Just for the record, I use Craigslist just for the SEO rankings. My website is relatively new (2 months old) and I'm already climbing the Google search ranks. I don't get many calls from Craiglist, it's saturated with unlicensed bozos giving the farm away but it totally helps the search engines find your page.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:01 AM   #80
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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Just for the record, I use Craigslist just for the SEO rankings. My website is relatively new (2 months old) and I'm already climbing the Google search ranks. I don't get many calls from Craiglist, it's saturated with unlicensed bozos giving the farm away but it totally helps the search engines find your page.

I use Craigslist for exactly the same thing and I incorporate full color flyers with keywords imbedded in html code to drive traffic to my site. When you use Craigslist for this make sure you choose a heading that pulls your trade and areas for example " Charlotte NC Remodeling|Roofing|Painting" .....................do not do this: "Let us Remodel your home***One Call does it All***" it wont pull as high with google....you want keywords in the body of the ad and the heading that are relevant to your trade and areas served.

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