Low-cost marketing strategies for contractors
Door-to-door canvassing in areas where you are currently working or worked recently can be very effective, and yet it is one of the low-cost marketing strategies for contractors many neglect. If one person in a subdivision is replacing windows, for example, others in the area may need to as well. Let the neighborhood know you’re doing the work.
Work with local home centers
Apply online at Home Depot Pro to begin the process of becoming an installation service provider for The Home Depot.
Also look for opportunities to post your company’s brochures, business cards or other similar printed material on community bulletin boards in high-traffic stores.
Take advantage of free online listings
Today consumers search online for local contractors. You can create an online presence for your contractor or remodeling business by getting listed on the many websites and directories on which local business owners are allowed to create free business listings. Some you may already have heard about include Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Places, Internet Yellow Pages, and Yahoo! Local. A local business listing is an online profile that contains the business name, address, phone number, and other details. The more listings you have, the more likely you are to show up in local search engine results.
Build a low-cost website
Creating a website for contractors doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars or require computer programming skills. WordPress is the most popular online publishing platform, currently powering more than 20 percent of the web. With free WordPress software you can build a simple website in minutes, using free and low-cost designs that can be customized to promote your business.
Social media is one of the most effective low-cost marketing strategies for contractors and can be a great way to connect with fans and gain new customers for free. Think ahead about the content you can share and what you want to accomplish. Take pictures of your projects (before and after), demonstrate your skills, offer specials, or cover the latest trends, profile employees, show your support of local charities. Start with one social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and add on as you gain expertise. Use LinkedIn to connect with complementary businesses. To manage all your social accounts from one place try tools like HootSuite and Sociaoomph that offer both free and professional versions.
‒By Joanne Costin
Low-cost marketing tools
|Marketing tool||Your cost|
|Customer database||Free. Zoho offers a free CRM system for entrepreneurs. Manage up to 5,000 records.|
|Networking||Costs range from zero up to thousands of dollars, depending on the number of events and memberships that decide to use|
|Referral program||$10-$50 per recommendation|
|Press release||$150-$200 for professional writing and local distribution; national distribution ranges from free online distribution through prlog.org to more than $1,000 through PR Newswire.|
|Website||Free theme and software through WordPress.com; Hosting from $1-$10 per month; domain name $13 per year|
|Email marketing||As low as $20 per month through using Constant Contact, depending on the number of names on your list. Professional content and design $150 -$300 per email|
|Working with home centers||$10 registration fee; $50 processing fee plus background check|
|Postcards||5000 by $2,400 (includes printing, postage and mailing)|
|Door hangers||5,000 for $275|
|One page flyers||5,000 by $520|
|Yard signs||$12 each|
|Vehicle magnet signs||$30-$50 each|