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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi There
I have just recently started a new business in Contracting. Up until now I have managed to stay very busy with work arriving via word of mouth.
However things are starting to dry up a bit and I want to know the best way to tackle advertising.
I have spoken to other Contractors and I get a mixed response. Many feel that local papers are worthless and only attract a lot of fishing for prices.
I am interested to hear what other people in the business do and how they generate work.

Thanks
Rich
 

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Try a home show,....Maybe do some research and try an internet source for some leads,....maybe join a bmi networking group,....canvassing,...there's alot of options out there.
 

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If you do not already have a Google Local Ad (free) set up, DO THAT NOW:thumbsup:

yes if your advertising budget is not very high tackle every free portal you can, Also Website are inexpensive and prove credibility.. they also generate business. Look into starting a website.

Also For me Direct Mail Works best, Its about 500 per 1500 post cards sent, But the return is worth it every time.


Good Luck To you

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Google ads

I registered a google ad last night. I guess I don,t fully understand how customers find you. I assume they just google contractors within a geographic area!.
The direct mail idea is very good and I may look into that.
I also think the website idea is good, especially if it is coupled with a direct mailing. that way it gives potential customers the opportunity to see your work.
thanks for your input
Rich
 

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Nest Home Improvement
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There are numerous strategies to help you get new customer that are either free or low-cost. Here are a few that come to mind.

• Networking. Call or email all of your family, friends, past co-workers and acquaintances and go out and meet new people.

• Volunteer your services at local religious, civic and non-profit organizations in exchange for free advertising in their publications.

• Write a home improvement article for your local newspaper and encourage the paper to publish them. Also, publish your articles on a free weblog or blog (see www.wordpress.com and www.blogger.com ).

• Make neighborhood flyers/postcards. After completing a job, you can leave flyers around the neighborhood or your latest jobsite.

• Already mentioned but If you don’t already have a website you can get even a basic free website from google or via blog.

• Ask previous customer to submit positive reviews about your company on review sites such as www.angieslist.com, www.citysearch.com, www.measuredup.com, www. local.yahoo.com, and www.yelp.com .

• Get Referrals! One of your best sources of new business is referrals from existing clients.

• Contact the local senior citizen resource and referral agency and offer a discount for seniors in your area.

• Call and introduce yourself to every realtor and property manager in town.

Good luck!


Remodel painting and handyman services in Durham Carrboro and Chapel Hill
 

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I also think the website idea is good, especially if it is coupled with a direct mailing. that way it gives potential customers the opportunity to see your work.
Very true, your web site should be a support tool for all your other marketing. Relying too much on a web site could run you broke if you're not careful, just like not having a web site will hurt your other marketing efforts.

On your question about how search engines work, that's an issue you either hire a pro to do for you (with decent research to avoid snake oil), or prepare for a long learning curve. Your other marketing will yield most of your initial traffic while the search engine traffic will come later.

One common mistake made with web sites is a we this, we that, we we, us us focus. Make it about your customer. What is important to them? What problem can you solve? Why should they choose you? Do that and you will be miles ahead of many well established businesses. Also apply the same principle to all your other marketing materials like the mailings.

If you've not already done so, search this forum for marketing and advertising ideas. There have been some great discussions on this topic to give you ideas, as well as how well some of them work, and how they work best.
 

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I'd be very careful with the free blog advice. You need to weigh it against your long term goals. Since good hosting is only $7 a month or less, the need for free is not that strong. With Blogger (owned by Google), you won't likely ever be able to move your content because Google technically owns it (you're giving up your ownership rights with free publishing) and the Blogger platform probably won't work on other hosting. Also, if Google makes changes to their system or terms of service that adversely affect you, you're stuck. Not that Google ever changes things.

WordPress is highly recommended, but I suggest a self hosted version, www.wordpress.org, for many of the same reasons listed above. Unlike Blogger, WP can be installed on most (probably all) hosting platfroms. The small cost of hosting is cheap insurance to assure you own the content and can always migrate to anything that better suits your needs later.
 

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Roofing sales pro
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What i use is an internet search engine perfect for this. ANd for a 1.32 a hours after you do a roof you can basically have a fieild day with the street and ajoinging streets. one looking 10 times more proffesional than the idiot speend 600 a moth in the newspaper, people are look for the cheapest pric 8 out of 10 times.
 

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Very true, your web site should be a support tool for all your other marketing. Relying too much on a web site could run you broke if you're not careful, just like not having a web site will hurt your other marketing efforts.

On your question about how search engines work, that's an issue you either hire a pro to do for you (with decent research to avoid snake oil), or prepare for a long learning curve. Your other marketing will yield most of your initial traffic while the search engine traffic will come later.

One common mistake made with web sites is a we this, we that, we we, us us focus. Make it about your customer. What is important to them? What problem can you solve? Why should they choose you? Do that and you will be miles ahead of many well established businesses. Also apply the same principle to all your other marketing materials like the mailings.

If you've not already done so, search this forum for marketing and advertising ideas. There have been some great discussions on this topic to give you ideas, as well as how well some of them work, and how they work best.

Exactly! Use your website as a closing tool, On your advertising or Direct mail, create a call to action to your website, Like "get your free Roof Report on our website" or "see what bathroom remodeling can do for your home on our website" a post card alone isnt enough most time to close a sale, they want to see content pictures and results! drive them to your site, and let your professional site close them.
 

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Lack Of All Trades
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1,232 Posts
Hi There
I have just recently started a new business in Contracting. Up until now I have managed to stay very busy with work arriving via word of mouth.
However things are starting to dry up a bit and I want to know the best way to tackle advertising.
I have spoken to other Contractors and I get a mixed response. Many feel that local papers are worthless and only attract a lot of fishing for prices.
I am interested to hear what other people in the business do and how they generate work.

Thanks
Rich
Thats kinduv difficult to answer. I guess it really breaks down to where you are located and what works there.

If you wonderin what works in your neck of the wood, well then, it be easier to squeeze a drop out of a mop. good luck wit that.
 

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STAY AWAY FROM CRAIGSLIST. Everytime I have used that crappy website, I get dissapointed. The potential jobs I have responded to are either tire kickers or cheap asses. That website promotes cheap labor.

On another note. I recently signed up for yellowpages.com. It is not cheap, but I hoping it will pay for itself. It been up for about 30 days, no phone calls yet. Just be careful. Set a budget that YOU can afford and stick to it. Websites are very important- use a pro to build/manage it.

Good luck to you!
 

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I have gotten most my work off Craigslist, I know everyone here bashes it, but it works for me. I think it's great, it's free!

I am still looking for new forms of advertisement myself. I try and pinpoint the cheapest and most effective methods, listed in order are:

Craigslist
Business cards
Website
Flyers
Follow up post cards

I have some door hangers ordered, and an add set up for the 2010 directory in a local area, I picked the richest area around, I figure might as well advertise where all the rich people are.

Things on my to do list, or things I am considering are:
SEO work on webpage
Sign up for the Master Builders Association
Signs
Yellow pages
Newspapers

Things I would stay away from are lead services like Service Magic, and mass mailings, I always hear bad things about them. And how you implement each advertising tool will make a big difference too. Put some research into each one and get it done right, don't cheap out, hire a graphic designer, and a web designer. Read a book on the subject too, "Startup Guide to Guerrilla Marketing" isn't bad.
 

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Well there you have it, somethings works for others and some not, You are going to have to try everything to see what works for you.
 

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KennMacMoragh - When you are thinking about your site and your seo you are definately on the right track. A couple of things I would recommend:

1. Write up some type of free report that you can give away in PDF form on your website.
2. Create a page on your site where the prospect has to give you some info to get the report - not to much but at least name, phone and email.
3. On all print advertising mention this free report with the link to where they can get it.

This is what I call a "offline/online" fusion - simple and cheap way to get a lead that you can then followup with to close the deal!
 
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