Word of Mouth is Not Enough for Steady Construction Leads – Think Outside the Box

Word of mouth marketing might be popular among construction companies, but it’s also unreliable and limits your growth. With a little creativity backed up by good data, you can pull in more of the leads you really want more consistently.

Show Off Your Skills with Video

Video lets you show off your projects like no other medium can. It also gives your prospects a chance to see and hear you, which helps build trust. To pull in leads from your videos, though, you need to know what topics your target audience cares about most. Reviewing data from building permits in your area can spark lead-pulling topic ideas.

If you spot an increase in building permit applications for restaurants or other businesses where appearances matter, you’ll know it’s worth addressing the concerns of these potential clients. Trying grabbing their attention with a video series showing the esthetics-enhancing features you’ve built into your past projects.

Tempt Prospects with Useful Tools

Planning a construction project, choosing products for remodeling, and securing financing are complex topics that require numerous calculations. Your potential clients are out there looking for anything that can make their project planning easier. By providing helpful tools, you’ll be attracting leads to your website while also demonstrating your expertise. If you specialize in kitchen remodeling, your tool could be as simple as a cost-calculator or a quiz to help your prospects prioritize the features of their new kitchen.

Gate Your High-Value Content

Useful content is one of the best ways to attract visitors to your site, but sometimes it takes a little nudge to turn those visitors into leads. Instead of making everything you publish freely available, choose some of your more popular content to offer in exchange for contact information.

This tends to work best with content that provides a concrete benefit. If you have proven tips on how to save thousands on a new home addition, your best prospects will be happy to give up their email address to hear them.

For more tips on taking your marketing beyond word of mouth, contact Construction Monitor today.

Building Loyalty in Your Customer Base

When your competitors are just a quick internet search away, building loyalty in your customers requires a strategic approach. By using market data to predict your customers’ needs and by staying in touch during the slow times, you can keep your customers around for years.

Give Them What They Want

When your customers know you understand their needs like no one else, you become their go-to provider. They’ll have little reason to shop around for anyone else. Keeping up on the trends helps you anticipate your customers’ needs so you’ll always be ready with the products and services they want.

Reviewing building permit data tells you what types of construction projects are happing in your area. If you sell lighting fixtures and there’s a rise in office building construction, chances are a lot of your customers will be looking for LED task lighting. An increase in warehouse construction, on the other hand, suggests they’ll be coming to you for batten and high bay fittings. Data on the top companies in your field can help, too. If local contractors are making a killing on kitchen and bathroom remodels, it’s probably worth having a good inventory of lighting for those rooms.

Stay in Touch

Construction work is seasonal and cyclical, so your customers might not always have a constant line-up of building projects. No matter how happy they are with your work, it could be months to years before they need you again. Staying in touch with them during their down times helps ensure you’re the first company they think of the next time they’re ready to buy.

A blog and email newsletter are both efficient ways to stay connected with your customers, but the topics you choose have to be relevant. Construction industry data can help you find those topics. If recent building permit data tells you home additions are hot now, blogging on the subject will encourage customers to keep visiting your website even when they aren’t ready to buy immediately.

How to Use a Q&A Podcast to Connect With Potential Clients

Constrpodcastuction is a complex, often bewildering field and your would-be clients are out there right now looking for answers to their questions. Running a Q&A podcast helps you attract those potential clients and position yourself as an expert they can trust to bring their projects to life.

Choose Questions that Matter

For your Q&A podcast to make a real connection, you’ll need to focus on the questions your ideal clients want answers to most. Choose a theme, but keep it broad so you don’t limit your audience unnecessarily. If you want more hotel construction clients, go with “hotel construction” as your theme rather than “renovating boutique hotels.”

When you start out, answer questions you’ve received through email, blog comments, social media or in person. Researching trending topics can give you more ideas.

In your answers, aim to provide genuinely useful information, but also let your audience know exactly how your services can help solve their problems. For social proof, occasionally invite a client onto your show and ask them about their experience working with your company.

Have fun and let your personality shine. Giving your listeners a chance to hear your voice and get to know you as a person is a big part of what makes a podcast effective.

Turn Your Listeners into Leads

Include calls to action (CTAs) at the beginning of each episode, a little before the half-way point, and at the end. Instead of trying to get your listeners to call and schedule a meeting, offer additional valuable content relevant to their interests.

To make it easy for listeners to give you their contact details and get the lead magnet content you’re offering, use a service that lets them sign up by SMS. These services provide a short phone number where your listeners can send a one-word text, such as “build.” The word triggers a text message from you with a link to a webpage where they can sign up by email and get their free content.

3 Tips for Getting Word of Mouth Referrals from Customers

word of mouth referralsWord of mouth has long been one of the most powerful forms of advertising a construction company can use, but it doesn’t happen all by itself. To really get your clients actively spreading the word about your business, you’ll need to guide them toward taking action.

Make it Easy

The less effort your clients need to put into sending leads your way, the more likely they are to do it. Start by giving your clients extra material they can hand out to anyone who might be interested. Make sure it’s material that offers real value so your clients will feel good about passing it on to their friends and business associates. It could be something as simple as a pamphlet with 10 tips for controlling costs on a commercial office building project. Beyond this, provide a simple method for sending in referrals. Offer a form on your website or mail out a form with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Reward ReferralsĀ 

The simplest option for motivating your clients to send you leads is a fixed-amount cash reward or a percentage of the profit from your new client. Alternatively, send a gift that’s personalized to your clients’ interests, such as a wine club membership or a photography class voucher. A reward like this can help strengthen your relationships by showing you care about your clients as individuals. To reduce the risk your client will forget, offer a time-limited bonus available only for leads sent within two or three weeks of their projects’ completion.

End on a High Note

The way you cap off a project is the way your client will remember you. Leave them with a positive impression and they’ll be more likely to recommend your company, even if the project hit some minor bumps along the way. When a project ends, surprise your client with a token of appreciation, such as a gift card to buy something for their new building or a set of framed photos of the building.

3 Ways To Get Current Customers To Provide Construction Leads

personal referralsWord of mouth is critical for construction lead generation and your current customers present some of your best opportunities for getting the word out about your firm. To get those referrals coming in steadily, though, you’ll need to give your customers a little encouragement.

  1. Time it Right – When your client is feeling especially appreciative of your work, they’re more receptive to the idea of returning the favor by sending business your way. A few good times to ask for a referral are when your client thanks you for a job well done, after you’ve done a favor for them or gotten them out of a sticky situation, or when you’ve exceeded expectations, such as by getting a job done ahead of schedule. Be ready with a form that’s easy for your clients to fill in with their referral’s contact information. A self-addressed, postage-paid postcard they can drop in the mail later is even better.
  2. Offer a Little Extra Motivation – A referral program offering a reward for new clients is the most clear-cut way to incentivize customer referrals. For large contracts your current customers help bring in, you could even offer a cut of the profits. A cash incentive isn’t a must, though. In fact, with high-end clients, small rewards can backfire by looking trivial. Instead, when a valuable client sends you a construction lead that turns into business, thank them with a gift tailored to their preferences, such as restaurant gift card, tickets to an event or a bottle of their favorite wine. A thoughtful gift is likely to be remembered when another referral opportunity shows up.
  3. Stay in Touch – Even during on-going projects, continue building relationships with your clients to keep your firm at the forefront of their minds. Pass along useful industry news, tell them about a potential opportunity or introduce them to someone who could benefit their business. As you connect, educate your clients about the range of services you offer so they understand what kind of clients you’re looking for.

 

How Word-Of-Mouth Advertising Has Moved Online

word of mouth advertisingA personal referral from a satisfied client is more powerful than any ad, but these days, that kind of word of mouth advertising isn’t limited to in-person conversations. Knowing how to spread the word online will help you win clients you might otherwise never have heard from.

Social Media Buzz

Social media is an indispensable tool not just for connecting directly with your potential clients, but also for helping them connect with each other. When people come across something useful or interesting online, they’re often happy to share it with anyone they think might benefit. Social media makes sharing quick and easy.

By publishing insightful guides and whitepapers, inspiring images, and other material that helps your would-be clients accomplish their goals, you’ll give them something to share with others in the market. Your shared content then does the work of demonstrating your skills and expertise without coming off as self-promotional.

Sites such as LinkedIn and Houzz are natural fits for construction professionals, but mainstream social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest also help. The trick is to know which platform your target market gravitates to and direct your efforts there. Each one requires a tailored approach.

The Power of Influencers

Online influencers are bloggers, experts, celebrities, and others who have the power to affect purchasing decisions thanks to a large online following of people who trust their opinion. The Internet has allowed enthusiasts in even the smallest niches to establish followings, giving you the chance to access highly targeted audiences.

Well established bloggers commonly offer paid advertising opportunities such as sponsored posts, reviews, and shout-outs. Because these allow the blogger to inject their own personality and opinions, they’re more relatable, engaging, and trustworthy than ads. Guest posting, publishing your post on someone else’s blog, is another way to tap into an influencer’s audience. These methods work as efficient word of mouth advertising with one trusted authority recommending your services to hundreds or thousands of people in your target market.

 

 

Improving A Tarnished Online Reputation

online reputationTalk spreads fast online and even one disgruntled client or former employee can do a lot of damage to your reputation before you even realize what’s happening. As frustrating as it is, with a little patience, you can improve your online reputation and save your good name.

Assess the Damage

Start by searching for mentions of your name, your company’s name, your branded services, and related terms online. In addition to using the major search engines, search complaint sites such as Consumer Affairs, ComplaintsBoard, and Ripoff Report. Use tools like SocialMention and Hootsuite to find related social media posts. Doing this helps you gauge the severity of the problem and pinpoint the exact cause.

To stay on top of future complaints, create Google Alerts for terms related to your business. You’ll receive an email whenever someone mentions your chosen terms online.

Present Your Side

Taking the time to respond to negative social media posts, forum discussions, and blog comments about your business shows anyone else reading that you don’t ignore problems. Calm, thoughtful responses also win you respect. Explain your side of the story, fill in details, correct inaccuracies, and if you were at fault, explain the steps you’ve taken to make things right.

Next, make an extra effort to reach out to your potential client base. Participate in forums, Q&A sites like Quora, and related Facebook and Google+ communities. Provide helpful, authoritative answers to demonstrate your expertise and re-establish your reputation as a reliable, pleasant person to work with.

Have Inappropriate Content Removed

If your copyrighted material is being used without your permission, first alert the website owner to the copyright violation. If you get no results, file a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA) Takedown Notice. Website hosts, search engines, and online platforms often provide forms for this.

In addition, Google, Facebook, and many other sites will remove sensitive personal information, such as your social security number, and take action against bullying and hate speech on their platforms.

For more tips on how to improve your online reputation, contact us at Construction Monitor

3 Innovative Ways to Generate Word-of-Mouth Referrals

referral programReferrals are some of the most promising business prospects you can get, but attracting them takes more ingenuity than ordinary advertising does. With a little creative referral marketing, you can build a steady stream of construction leads.

Make sending postcards easy: Keep the clients waiting in your lobby busy by giving them the opportunity to write a postcard that you’ll send for them. Have a pack of postcards printed up with your firm’s logo and contact information, and either a marketing message or an appealing image the recipient will want to hang on to. Place them in a display on your front desk with a sign explaining your offer. You could offer this as a “refer a friend” option or let your clients write whatever they want.

Showcase your top clients: When you create a presentation, workshop or post for your blog, find a way to highlight your best clients. Helping your clients gain visibility can bring them more business and encourage them to return the favor. In addition, the fact that they’re already working with you acts as an endorsement. It gives anyone considering hiring your firm a place to turn for a third-party opinion on your services.

Join a networking group: Meeting up with a group of other professionals for breakfast every Tuesday might not seem like an efficient referral marketing tactic, but consider that each one of those business people has a network of their own. Building real relationships with them gives you a chance to tap into those broader networks.

Interacting with a group of like-minded individuals also helps you develop your knowledge, pick up new marketing ideas, and gain connections and opportunities for collaboration.

As you get to know people in the group, aim to inform them of how you handle referrals. Let them know you treat prospects with respect and won’t hound them for work. This helps remove the perceived risk to someone who might want to send a friend or their own client your way.

For more tips on effective referral marketing, contact Construction Monitor today.