I'm not a builder, but I was doing research and this came up in search, so I landed here. So interesting to read your comments. If you don't mind, I'll add something. I'm a digital marketer (don't worry, I didn't come to sell you something). I've worked with local businesses for 25 years now and since my family is in the building trade, I have a special love for helping those in the trade. You asked how to get the higher paying clients so I thought I'd share a story. I have a painter client who like Kowboy was running all around the Silicon Valley chasing leads who were just looking for the lowest bid. When she came to me to build her a new website, she asked if I could filter them out. I said, "Sure. I'll just make you look more expensive -- but worth it!" The idea was to keep the low-ballers away and pull in the ones who appreciated quality. She actually had the perfect yelp reviews that said, "Jennifer is a little higher than others, but she's worth it." One year later she said to me, "I'm now confident I'll be able to retire one day." She hired 7 painters. And she said she was getting the right kinds of leads.
I did the same thing for a landscape designer. She said she only needed 4 good projects a year. Why only four, I asked. Because she said her hands were in the dirt with them and that was all she could handle. One year later, she said to me she was living the life of her dreams. She was getting 4 projects a month and she didn't have to get her hands dirty anymore because she hired a team.
I doing this now for a building contractor and a hardscaper contractor. They've seen results in just a few months! So, cheer up! It's possible!!
One just started his business in October. Already he's cutting his ad spend back to almost nothing because of a multiple of factors. I'll share these with you to help you too:
1. Number 1, he does good work!!! He also has history in the trade and knows how to run a business.
2. He's diligent about asking for reviews!
3. His new website makes him look great - both words and pictures. He has very few project photos so we used stock photos (everyone does - we just don't call them "project photos"), but we're gradually replacing them with the real deal.
4. We're running ads just on keywords and projects that will let him build a killer portfolio fast
5. As a professional Yelp partner, I get the ability to optimize Yelp ads that the business owner doesn't get. I put in a bunch of negative keywords to keep out those looking for little fixits. It worked for both the building contractor and the hardscaper.
6. His customer service is impeccable.
7. His SEO is picking up and bringing him the best quality leads because the website warms them up with the right messaging and convincing reasons to do business with him.
Yes, it takes time to build your reputation so that your referral marketing machine gets into overdrive. Until then, a great website with the right messaging and copy, as well as visibility in search, whether it's SEO or pay per click, can really help. It's your sales person working for you 24/7 if you do it right. And you'd be surprised as to what you can accomplish even if you only have one great review and one great project to show off. So do what you need to do to get that great project. Offer a discount if you have to. Then work that project like it's the most important job in your life because it just might be.
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