I’ve noticed many residential contractors resist marketing. Rather than just telling you NOT to resist marketing, I’ve been working on identifying the cause and the solution. Of course, contractors aren’t alone in disliking or resisting marketing but there are some factors that are unique to the profession.
Why Contractors Resist Marketing
One factor is that many contractors spend a lot of time on a job site away from computers and thus are less comfortable with computers and the web. That’s why contractors are less likely to have a website or have an out-of-date website.
Another factor is that contracting is a complex profession. One doesn’t just need to know how to build things — contractors also need to know about building materials, personnel, design, budgeting, bookkeeping, proposals and client relationships. Thus contractors are juggling a lot and time strapped.
I think these are the factors that cause contractors to resist marketing. Different ones apply to different individuals:
Time – Days are full and time is spent on the construction site.
Shame or Embarrassment – about lack of marketing knowledge and the web in particular.
Worry or Fear – about be taken advantage of or buying something unneeded.
Doubt or Confusion – Uncertainty what kinds of marketing to invest in or if it’ll work, or if one thing might be better than another or who to hire, etc.
Dislike – There are a lot of examples of unpleasant marketing in our lives. That includes cold callers, ads on YouTube, political campaign ads, etc.
Money – If your business is young or you lost money in the recession or you are stuck doing small projects, then money may be an issue.
In some of the business circle, these are called limiting beliefs. Let’s just call these these negative beliefs. Negative beliefs about marketing are holding you back.
How you can overcome these negative beliefs:
Time – Your days are full and spent on the construction site. If your business growth depended on it, could you carve out 1-2 hours a week to start a new marketing project. Maybe Friday afternoon 3-5 pm. Or is their an individual who knows your business you could delegate the website set up to. I share some other ideas here: How Time-Crunched Contractors Find Marketing Time.
Shame / Confusion / Worry / Fear – You feel you lack marketing knowledge. If that’s the case, write down all your questions and areas of doubt. Who or what resources do you trust to answer these questions? Before you spend money, do some reading or speak to a colleague from NARI or the Chamber of Commerce. If it’s the web that’s holding you back, speak to the teens or young adults in your world. You may want to talk to a marketing coach or business coach.
Dislike – Not all marketing is annoying or bad. It’s the annoying marketing that stands out. You want to look for examples that are positive. Maybe Superbowl ads, informative websites, etc. (Help me out people!)
Money – Money might be an issue if your business is young or you lost money in the recession or you are stuck doing small projects. Start with marketing that costs little money. Here’s some ideas of cost and where to start: Zero Marketing? How to go from Zero to Smart Marketing. Also, Marketing is an investment in the growth of your company and your future; keep that in mind when saving or allotting resources. Finally, be sure to calculate marketing in as part of your overhead.
How Marketing Could Make a Difference to Your Business and Your Life
How would it be if you had all the clients you needed? How would it be if you had clients who could easily afford your work or larger projects? How would it be if you had more time for yourself and your family?
You don’t have to be stuck taking every project that comes your way. With more leads you could pick your projects more. With more leads you could take better projects and build a good looking portfolio which would attract more and more stellar projects to you.
You could also have more time with yourself and your family. It’s essential you make time to work out, get outside or take some breaks during the year to maintain your health and vitality. All work and no play is no fun!
Picture your best client now…or your dream client. Now picture a bunch more of them. Picture yourself with time off. Maybe you are at a sporting or music event. Maybe you are doing something recreational outdoors. Maybe you are spending the whole day with your loved one(s)!
Hold that picture! When you have a positive picture in your mind of how marketing can have an impact on your business growth — your energy increases and it’s easier to tackle difficult tasks that aren’t your bailiwick.
Want to know more? Here some more short articles to help you start marketing your residential contracting business.
I’m Karen and I’m co-owner of Full Orbit Web and Marketing at 510-527-9920. Feel free to reach out if you have a question about marketing or the web. I get along well with contractors and have had the privilege of working with contractors all over the country for the last 8 years. Please check out our portfolio for some examples. Go here to learn more about our work with contractors. Stop losing jobs because you don’t have a website and adding projects because prospects can see how stellar your past projects are!