How a Slide Deck Can Help You Showcase Your Value to Potential Clients

slide deckSlide deck presentations don’t have to be boring. With good organization and a little creativity, you can turn your presentations into highly effective tools for convincing prospects of the value you’ll bring to their construction plans.

Tell a Story

If you’re trying to win over a new client, the goal of your slide deck presentation is to persuade them by providing information. A mess of disjointed data from past projects can’t do that. By organizing your presentation as a story, though, you can convey information in a clear, memorable way.

Remind your audience of the problems they’re facing, show them how things could be instead, then show how your company can get them from A to B. So if your prospects are looking for an expert in modernizing office buildings, you might start by describing problems such as energy inefficiency and crowding, then show how your company has solved these issues with energy-saving features, public spaces, better building access, and other improvements. To keep things clear, stick with three main benefits your company offers and three points about each.

Think Visually

We tend to process information presented visually faster and remember it for longer than written information. Slide decks are perfect for conveying your value visually, but so many presenters miss the opportunity by transferring text directly onto their slides in the form of full sentences and bulleted lists. The result is dull and confusing.

Instead, use visuals to clarify and augment your points. Each slide should give an instant visual summary of the specific value you’re presenting, while you fill in the details verbally.

Put some thought into the best way to represent your main points visually. Replace bullet points with diagrams or illustrate features and benefits with icons. For example, you might use a colorful blow-up drawing to show the energy-saving features commonly included in your buildings. Combining a photo of a finished building project with a graphic illustration of the value you brought to that project is another option.

5 Tips for Creating a Stellar Ebook

ebookAn ebook is the classic lead generation tool for a good reason. It motivates your audience to share their contact information and gives you space to show off your expertise. Plan your ebook well and you can create an asset that keeps bringing you construction leads for years.

  1. Define your topic clearly – A narrowly defined topic makes it easier to offer a concrete benefit and cover your topic in depth, which makes your ebook more attractive and valuable to your audience. If you’re targeting commercial real estate developers, “Five Features Commercial Tenants Love” will appeal to them more than “The Basics of Green Construction.”
  2. Catch them early – People in the early “awareness” or “interest” stages of your sales funnel are the most likely to be influenced by your ebook, so keep that in mind when you choose your topic. If you offer home remodeling services, consider creating an ebook about prioritizing home upgrades.
  3. Balance educating and selling – Teaching your readers helps you hold their attention and earn their trust by showcasing your expertise. If you expect them to stay with you after they get the information they want, though, you’ll need to lead them forward. When you talk about the benefits of a construction feature, technique or material, make it clear your company can provide it. End your ebook with a call to action, such as an invitation to download a detailed case study or a video course.
  4. Keep your style simple – A simple, conversational writing style makes it easier for your readers to understand the often complex ideas involved in planning a construction project. It also shows your readers your approachable human side, which helps build rapport.
  5. Present it well – Good visual presentation encourages your prospects to actually download the ebook you’ve been talking up in your blog and social media posts. Create an attractive cover or hire a graphic designer for one. Give your ebook its own landing page with compelling copy and graphics that convey the key benefits.

Why Title Quality Can Make or Break Your Blog Success

The first impression your would-be readers get of your blog posts comes from your titles. Settle for bland, ambiguous titles and you’ll struggle to grow your readership. Invest some time into crafting descriptive, attention-grabbing ones, though, and you can win readers who turn into loyal clients.

The Right Kind of Attention

When reading online, people tend to scan, so you only have around three to five seconds to catch your readers’ attention before they’re off to something else. To stop readers in their tracks, a blog post title must convey the topic of the post quickly and clearly.

As a title, “Eco-friendly Home Features” is so vague a reader can’t really tell if the post is relevant to their interests. “Construction Features for a More Energy-Efficient Home,” however, stands out from the crowd by stating exactly what readers stand to gain.

Blandly descriptive blog titles aren’t enough, though. Your titles also need to spark interest. While you can do that by stirring a controversy or offering entertainment, it’s often easiest to promise a benefit. “Trends in Commercial Office Construction” might sound like a nice read, but “Emerging Office Building Trends Tenants are Paying Top Dollar For” is a lot more compelling.

A Wider Audience

Intriguing titles gain more traction on social media, letting you reach whole new audiences. Your target prospects are more likely to share an appealing title than one their followers will scan right over. The same thing goes for blog posts your readers share by email. A boring title is likely to be ignored, but if the title sparks the recipient’s interest, they’ll click no matter who sent it.

Good titles also make it easier for your potential clients to find your blog in the search engines. This isn’t so much about choosing popular keywords as it is about being specific. You’ll have a much better chance of ranking well for a narrowly defined term such as “energy-efficient roofing options” than for a broad term such as “eco-friendly homes.”

Using Emotional Advertising to Attract New Business

emotional advertisingWhen your potential clients are looking for a construction company, facts and data aren’t the only things they consider. How they feel about your company also matters. By appealing to emotion, you can create an immediate connection with new prospects that makes them easier to convert to clients.

Build Positive Associations

Shock and anger might grab our attention in the short term, but ultimately we’re more drawn to things that make us feel good. Showing your prospects the benefits of doing business with you is more likely to win them over than trying to scare them with horror stories about your competition.

If you build hospitals, you can associate your work with feelings of vitality, serenity, and hope. In your advertising, show how your family-friendly public areas evoke a sense of calm or how your flexible design approach allows for future technological advances that give new hope to both patients and staff.

If you specialize in commercial office buildings, aim to inspire feelings of satisfaction and excitement. Talk about how companies love to rent your buildings because their employees are happier and more efficient there.

Reflect Your Audience’s Values

To really connect with your prospects on an emotional level, you need a clear understanding of their values and beliefs. The emotions you evoke in your ads and how you choose to evoke them tell your prospects whether you really “get” them or not.

If you’re targeting start-up owners in need of their first office building and you know they want to be seen as bold and visionary, you might focus your ads on the pride they’ll feel bringing clients to the innovative office your firm built. If you work with property developers primarily interested in financial independence, it makes sense to talk about the satisfaction they’ll get owning an office building high-paying, long-term tenants love.

By appealing to emotions your prospects want to feel, your ads seem less like ads and more like messages from a like-minded group your prospects will be happy to connect with.

Why Marketing in the Off-Season is Critical to Building Your Brand

top of mind awarenessBuilding a brand isn’t something you can do overnight. If you want to give your target prospects a clear idea of what your construction company stands for, you’ll need to keep your brand in front of them year-round.

Earn Top of Mind Awareness

Memorability is one of the most valuable benefits a strong brand identity brings your company. Your brand sets you apart from generic general contractors and draws your ideal clients to you. Maybe you’re known as the eco-friendly company that publishes funny yet practical green home renovation tips on social media or the medical facilities specialist that sponsors training seminars for clinic staff.

Creating this kind of memorability requires consistency. Drop off the map over the winter and your would-be clients might not remember you exist, much less what your brand promise is. Stay in touch, though, and you’ll be the first company they think of when they’re ready to start a new project in spring. The work you do to build your brand over the off-season, whether it’s getting your logo seen at events or publishing a series of infographics, keeps your company’s name at the forefront of your prospects’ memories.

Stay Ahead of the Competition

Building your brand’s image in the minds of your potential clients takes time. To really understand what your company is all about, your prospects need to see your marketing repeatedly. By marketing during the off-season, you’re giving yourself more time to educate your prospects about what your company offers, prove your skills, and develop a rapport.

When the construction season comes around again, you’ll have an established relationship with people who really understand the benefits of working with you and who like your team on a personal level. The emotional connections you’ve built through long-term branding fosters a loyalty that isn’t easily undone. That puts you miles ahead of any competitors who wait until spring to start battling for attention along with everyone else.

3 Key Reasons to Use Ebooks in Your Marketing Efforts

ebook marketingThe complex, ever-changing technology of the construction industry can make it hard for your potential clients to decide which company is right for them. Ebooks help solve that problem by letting you demonstrate your expertise in a way that guides your readers toward choosing your company.

  1. Build credibility – Because the typical ebook focuses on a single, narrow topic, it gives you a chance to include facts, data, and your own personal insight to show your potential clients you know what you’re talking about. You’ll also have space to highlight client success stories. If you specialize in renovating retail spaces, you might write an ebook that helps first-time specialty store owners understand ADA accessibility guidelines and the options your company can offer for meeting them.
  2. Reach a wider audience – Offering your ebook in exchange for an email address is a good way to bring in new leads, but it’s not the only way. If your ebook solves a common problem or covers a current hot topic, chances are your prospects will pass it on to their friends and colleagues. You’ll reach potential clients who might never have known about you otherwise. To get even more eyes on your ebook, email complementary blogs and let them know you have something that could benefit their audience.
  3. Educate your prospects – When a would-be client isn’t sure exactly what they need, they’re liable to pass your company by even if you’re a perfect fit. They might know they need a new pediatrics center, but have no idea how to start working with a construction firm to plan one. With an ebook that helps potential clients in the early stages of planning, you set the foundation for a trusting relationship that will be hard for your competitors to match. Beyond just guiding prospects in the basics, your ebook can also show them how your company’s services are different and why that matters. If your pediatrics centers feature unusual, child-friendly architecture, your prospects should know.

 

Increasing an Audience Starts With Great Content… but it Doesn’t End There

Valuacontent strategyble, thought-provoking content is a must for building an audience, but just throwing that content online won’t get you much attention. To gain a loyal readership that really engages with your construction company’s online content, you’ll need to put some effort into connecting with your audience.

Reach Out to Your Market

Directly interacting with people in your target audience is one of the best ways to make sure your content gets seen. Instead of just posting your own content to your social media accounts, get involved with your target readers by “liking,” replying to, and sharing their posts. When you leave a comment, make it something meaningful that will stand out.

Build a list of active blogs that cover your construction specialty and when you spot a new post that might attract your target readers, stop by to leave a thoughtful comment.

If there’s a forum where your ideal clients go for guidance on their building projects, make it a point to contribute your expertise there. Once you build a good reputation with the regulars, occasionally share links to your content when you think it might help someone.

Network with Industry Pros

Cooperating with other businesses lets you tap into existing audiences to build your own. Plumbers, electricians, and other contractors, building materials suppliers, architects and civil engineers, interior decorators and landscapers can all help get more eyes on your content.

Look for complementary businesses that share your target audience and put yourself on their radar by commenting on their blog and social media posts, and sharing their work with your audience.

After a few weeks, send a personalized email to let them know about any blog posts or other content you might have that would benefit readers. You can even involve them in your content creation by asking for a quote or conducting an interview. Offering to write a guest post is another effective way to attract their readers’ to your content in a way that benefits everyone involved. 

Building on Your Content Base to Build Your Brand

build your brand with contentYour construction company’s brand isn’t just your logo and tagline, but also the information you provide your audience. A solid base of valuable content helps your potential clients understand what your brand is all about.

Focus on Your Clients’ Needs

Start building your content base by creating five to 10 long-form blog posts that provide timeless, valuable guidance. For each one, focus on answering one of the most pressing questions your ideal client might have.

Once you have ideas on what to write about, choose a format for each post. Depending on the topic, your post might be a step-by-step how-to, a quick-start guide, a media-based post with photos and videos from your portfolio or a statistics-based post about current best practices.

Sharing stories of your clients’ successes is an especially effective way to showcase your brand’s best attributes and pull in leads. Outline a problem your client had, then detail how you solved it and what benefits your client gained from your solution.

Develop Your Content with Care

When you’re ready to write, go beyond your own knowledge and experience. Include hard data from reputable sources along with your own analysis and consider interviewing other experts. To garner the most backlinks and shares, you’ll want to aim for at least 2000 words per post, so it helps to draw in material from a variety of sources.

Throughout your content, weave in examples of what your brand stands for. If you want to be known for comprehensive home renovation services, mention the hard-to-find services you offer or describe how you’ve guided clients through the entire design, production, and construction process. Finally, remember to lead your readers toward the action you want them to take, whether that’s downloading a case study or calling you to schedule a meeting.

Once you have your first foundational content online, focus on promoting what you have, but don’t stop building your base. Following an editorial calendar can help you find time to create more high-quality content.

4 Ways To Reuse Existing Content To Generate Leads

repurpose contentCreating useful content on a topic as technical and specialized as construction takes a lot of effort, but it doesn’t have to be an unending slog. When you reuse existing content, you get more value from your work and more ways to reach new leads.

  1. Put it on video – Video helps you reach potential clients who’d rather sit back and listen than read through your website. Instead of creating new content for your videos, base them on the blog posts and articles you already have. End each one with a call to action that encourages viewers to get in touch. Then share your videos on sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Instagram to reach leads who haven’t found your website yet.
  2. Develop a mini-course – A blog post series covering a complex topic can be overwhelming and off-putting to some prospects. By breaking that information down into a three- or five-part minicourse delivered by email, you’ll have a better chance of getting through to them. You’ll also have a new lead magnet that encourages your visitors to hand over their contact information.
  3. Build guest posts – Having your content published on other construction industry blogs and sites is a time-efficient way to reach a new pool of potential leads. Think of a few topics you know well, contact blogs that cover those topics and ask if they’d be interested in a guest post. When you get a bite, reuse existing content by mixing and matching to put together a top-notch post fast.
  4. Create infographics – Few things are as shareable as infographics. An eye-catching infographic packed with useful, interesting data can extend your reach on social media and get your name in front of new potential leads. Choose a topic you’ve already written about and pull some related statistics, facts, and tips from your content. There are online services that let you make simple infographics, but a graphic designer can create images that better express your brand identity.

 

How To Use Branded Content To Generate Leads

brand marketing strategyIn today’s crowded construction market, traditional ads aren’t always enough to get your firm’s brand noticed. By using branded content wisely, you can not only reach a wider audience, but also connect better with your ideal prospects so they’ll be more likely to contact you.

Focus on Quality

For your content to garner any attention at all, it must offer real value. You’ll get more leads out of a single piece of well-made content than a dozen articles that blandly repeat facts your audience already knows.

Take the time to create content that’s not just informative, but also entertaining or inspiring. Aim to create content that resonates with your audience on an emotional level, not just an intellectual one. It’s this emotional aspect that sets branded content apart from ordinary content marketing material.

Using branded content doesn’t have to be limited to publishing blog posts, photos of your projects, and video tours of your job sites, either. An unusual format, such as a music video, a game, or a series of interviews can do a lot to set you apart from other construction firms and intrigue your audience enough that they make the effort to get in touch with you.

Guide Your Audience to You

While branded content can get your name in front of your target audience, it won’t necessarily bring you leads unless you steer your audience in the right direction. Your branding can be subtle or direct, but there must be some way for your audience to connect the content with your firm.

End your articles with a note about who created the content, with or without a call to action. In your videos, place your logo in the corner or create a simple outro that introduces your firm. If you prefer a more modest approach, include a link in the video description that leads viewers to a page where they can learn more about how the video was made and how your services fit in.