11 Ways to Find New Customers as a Contractor
In this blog post, we will highlight 11 ways that you can find new customers as a contractor. This is important because finding clients is more difficult for contractors than for those who are self-employed or have an established company. There are many different avenues to explore when trying to find work as a contractor, and the strategies that we outline below should help you learn how to identify which ones work best for your business.
Table of contents
- Create Your Own Website
- Claim Your Google My Business Site
- Local SEO
- Leverage Social Media
- Guest Posting as A Pro
- Join A Forum For Contractors
- Join Contractor Finding Websites as a Pro
- Improve Your Reputation With Reviews
- Join Professional Groups
- Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Ads.
- Optimize Your Marketing Efforts
Create Your Own Website
There are many ways to self-market yourself, but having a website is crucial to self-promote your business in today’s digital world. You may think you don’t need a website because there are many online marketplaces and websites where freelancers can find clients, but it’s still important to have your own personal domain. For instance, if someone wants to contact you via email or phone call about an upcoming project, they’re going to like the direct link for your site rather than one of the links in other sites that are trying to promote their business.
Building a simple website is effortless these days. There are many alternatives such as WordPress, Shopify, Wix, and so on. These websites offer drag-and-drop website builder tools for newbies. Even if you are not a tech-savvy person, you can create a website in a matter of hours, if not minutes.
One other advantage of having your own website is that you’ll have a sales channel that you have 100% control over. That being said, if let’s say, some of the third-party sites like Angie’s List, for some reason remove your listing, you can still have your own website to contact your current and potential customers.
Claim Your Google My Business Site
As a contractor, you should have your own Google My Business page to make it easy for potential customers to find you. You can easily search your business name in Google search results. Typically, your company name will appear on the right side of the screen. If you didn’t claim it yet, you could claim it by just clicking the “claim” button. To verify you are the owner of this location, Google will send you a code via mail, or sometimes they prefer to call the number associated with your business. When you get the code, you’ll just enter it on the GMB dashboard, and voila, you’ll have complete control of the site.
This is also one of the best ways to rank high in local search results on Google, which will help drive traffic and new business opportunities. You can create a profile with photos and videos that showcase your services or promote special offers from time to time. This is also an excellent place to include digital versions of your business cards, testimonials, and other marketing materials.
You’ll also want to make sure that all of your information is up-to-date on Google Maps by adding additional location coordinates. Google also provides a simple data dashboard on Google My Business so that you can check your performance weekly or monthly. You can also compare what other businesses are doing vs. your GMB page, such as total photo views, calls, map views, etc.
There is also one additional feature that you may benefit which is Google’s free site generator. With only one click of installation, Google automatically creates a copy of your GMB as a stand-alone website.
Speaking of Google My Business, it will be wise to invest in local SEO to be found easily in local search results. It does not matter if you are a general contractor or specialize in one service. It will always be essential to rank high on local search results.
One of the most effective ways is to create and publish content that appeals to your specific geographic area, such as news articles, blog posts about projects happening nearby, etc.
Another way would be submitting details about your company to directories specializing in reviews of local contractors.
To find such sites, search for “locals” or just “directory.” Some popular directories are:
- Yelp (general contractor and most services)
- Google My Business
- Angie’s List (New name is Angi.com)
- Better Business Bureau
- Bing Places
- Home Advisor
You may not have enough time to invest in Local SEO. If this is the case, you can hire an SEO professional with a decent cost somewhere between $ 500 to $ 1500 per month, depending on your needs. There are also SEO companies outside of the United States that offer affordable SEO services. Of course, before opting for these companies, check their work, credentials, and referrals.
Leverage Social Media
Today, if you want to digitally exist, you should have at least one social media account. This may be Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. It is not easy to get followers and likes on social media if you don’t spend time and effort. If you are a one-person team and don’t have time for social media, you can use only one single social media account and share your work and customer testimonials there. Social media levels up your business and makes it easy to find new customers as a contractor.
There are some basic things that you can do. For instance, you can follow some interior design accounts with many followers, and from time to time, you can join the conversations as a professional and share your pro tips with the followers of that account.
An Example of Tag Cloud From Stone Tile Depot
Another thing that you can do is find some hashtags for your niche and start following people who use those hashtags. For instance, if you are a contractor in the tile business, then search for #interiordesign, #homedecorator, or something like this – it doesn’t matter what hashtag you choose as long as people use it.
This way you will get to know new people with similar interests and eventually, they might be your customers in the future!
Guest Posting as A Pro
Another thing that you can do is write articles for various blogs or websites on topics related to what you do as a contractor. This will help potential clients find your business and create an online presence for your brand.
Once you have written the article, submit it to various websites that allow guest posting – make sure to check their guidelines before submitting anything.
This is an excellent way of finding new customers by using platforms such as Upwork or Freelancer and so on. All these sites are mainly dedicated to contractors who want to find new clients or customers. If you are not good with words, you can also hire a freelancer and write for you. If you provide specific keywords and clear guidance, these pro writers can be your ghostwriter easily. Then you can submit these professionally written articles as your own and increase brand awareness for you or your company. You can find writers easily from websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, etc.
Join A Forum For Contractors
One of the best ways to find new customers is by joining a forum for contractors. These forums are dedicated chiefly to contractors who want to market their services or products and build successful careers in the contracting industry. By finding these niche communities, you can network with other like-minded professionals, leading to finding potential leads quickly. A good example is contractortalk.com.
After you join this website, you can create new subtopics, join an ongoing talk, share your professional ideas, or get the latest information about your industry.
The more you participate in these forums, the easier it will be to find new customers.
Join Contractor Finding Websites as a Pro
Finding a good contractor is not easy these days. While word of mouth is the most effective marketing technique, it may have some limitations to bring new customers to you. Because of that, you can join websites that list service providers such as craftjack.com or thumbtack.com.
Joining is the first step and but writing a good copy about your business is also equally important. Because of that, you should write a professional profile with your contact information and provide photos of the work you do. The more you give details about your work, the better you’ll establish trust with your customers and potential clients.
Improve Your Reputation With Reviews
Reputation management is very critical if you want to establish strong bonds between you and your customers. To do that, the best way is to get customer reviews. If your past customer reviews are positive, you should ask them to write a review on sites such as Angie’s List.
If they are negative, of course, it will be better if these didn’t exist, but if for some reason they do, then take corrective actions immediately and address the situation with the customer at hand directly. Many websites have reviewing system. You can leverage them easily by sending invitations to your happy customers.
Google My Business, for example, is one of the best places to get customer reviews. The key to success to get high-quality ratings or reviews is honesty, integrity, and transparency. If you believe that you do your job quite well, you don’t need to worry about getting good reviews. But you have to be proactive. If you wait for your customers to submit a review, this will probably be a prolonged process. There is nothing wrong with asking for reviews after you successfully finish your job.
You must also know that there are cases when you receive a bad review and not your fault. When this happens, do not retaliate; take corrective actions immediately and address the situation with the customer at hand directly.
Join Professional Groups
There are many professional social groups online. You can join them and get in touch with people who have the same interests as you do. You will be able to ask for referrals, advice, or recommendations on how to go about finding more customers.
For example, you can join Facebook groups and actively participate in group discussions. There is also something you can do offline. If you are a local professional or company, you can apply to pro clubs in your area. Most of these local groups have weekend brunches or weekly discussion meetings. Networking is critical. You can present your work to other members and get referrals.
Some of these clubs require monthly or annual membership fees. If you think these fees are worth expanding your business, you can simply apply to one of these clubs.
Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Ads.
Well, you can think that paid promotion is not something that works for you. It may be true for Google Ads while the competition is very tough. On the other hand, you can use websites such as craigslist, Contractortalk, and Thumbtack for paid listing.
You can place ads for your services where people looking for contractors in the same area will see it when they search these sites. These websites allow you to showcase your business professionally.
You can make the ads as simple or complex as you want and pay only when someone views your ad. This means that these platforms offer contractors with different budgets to promote their business effectively.
Optimize Your Marketing Efforts
In this article, we talk about 11 ways to find new customers as a contractor. Our last tip is to optimize your marketing efforts. As a freelance contractor or as a small business, you may not have enough resources, time, or people to invest in these methods. That is why optimizing your marketing efforts is the key to success.
If all of these tips work for you, you can consider yourself very lucky. But most probably, some of them will work, some of them will not. In this case, it is best to combine and figure out which marketing methods work for you. Then, you can wisely concentrate your efforts on those marketing methods that bring you the most business.
Some of these methods are free such as word-of-mouth, social media, Google My Business. Some of them require you to allocate some marketing budget. In my opinion, the best approach is to blend these efforts. While free sounds more attractive, it may not be the best way for your business.
Hope you enjoy these tips. If you want to add more, feel free to send your comments to us.