Sales & Marketing

Top 6 Marketing Mistakes That Service Contractors Make

Regardless of whether you are involved in construction, landscaping, painting or any other industry, as a service contractor you are reliant on clients and new contracts to be successful. This is why marketing should play an important role in your business model because how else will new and prospective clients find you?
Marketing is your presentation to the world and often an online campaign is the first point of contact between you and a prospective client. So, while recommendations and word of mouth are always solid tactics, you can’t wait for them to come rolling in, especially when people are using a variety of different mediums (suggested reading: Why Nextdoor.com Should Be On Your Radar) to find their service contractors nowadays. How you present and market yourself is key and if you are struggling to find new clients, it could be because of one of these common marketing mistakes:

    1. Having A Website That Doesn’t Breathe

      I say your website NEEDS to breathe. Your website should be a top priority and those who don’t regularly update it with their services, prices or even portfolio and recommendations will turn away potential customers. A neglected website gives a bad impression and should be treated in the same way as a workspace. You wouldn’t have an untidy office to meet clients in would you? Instead make sure you pick a user-friendly and good looking theme, add some keywords and descriptions to make search engines find it easily as well as photos or proof of previous works. Remember to have a killer “contact me” page to make it easier for prospective clients to get in touch.

    2. Only Marketing In Peak Season

      It’s easy to market in peak season when cash flow is strong, and the results of your marketing efforts are highly visible. We’re all short sighted, so seeing the ads go up and then revenue come in makes are neurons fire fast. Not only ours, but our competitors who are also spending money on advertising.
      However, those that can be logical and contrarian can find huge opportunity marketing during the slower periods. While the effects don’t immediate dopamine like results, many customers are researching companies and planning their projects. This is a great time to be in front of them, particularly if you can make a great first impression with your website (link to website first impression piece). To top it all off, competition poole will be less, and likewise so will the cost of your advertising relative to.

    3. Forgetting Reviews And Recommendations

      Many service contractors don’t build reviews as they should and waste this potential to create client trust from the outset. There are online review programs that solicit and funnel reviews by email and text that you can utilise (coming soon: Best Review Building PlatForms) and always ensure that you ask previous clients to review your work as well.

      Send out a follow up email or package after you complete work so that you can not only get feedback for improvement but also a review that you can put on your website or marketing materials for the future. Recommendations can make a contractor feel safer to a prospective client, which is why they are an excellent addition to your marketing strategy, particularly if previous clients are willing to help.
      Prospective clients and customers will always opt for those who are recommended to them by friends and family over a random find which is why reviews and recommendations are important.

    4. Avoiding Analytics

      A gut instinct or basing decisions on emotions can only get you so far. While it may prompt you to enter certain sectors or be the inspiration behind campaigns, it is not going to help you know if it is succeeding or not. As I mention In my post on hammering down marketing costs, the #1 thing to do to stop wasting $$ on advertising is track conversions.

      Analytics can be confusing, particularly when you get started but using data and seeing exactly the impact that certain things have on your bottom line can help you make smart decisions, save money and gain clients overall. You can track your return on investment (ROI) as well as knowing what tactics are more likely to work in the future (and ones that you don’t have to waste your time on).

    5. Not Having A Target Audience

      When you market to everyone, you market to no one.
      A lack of understanding of your demographic can have you shooting in the dark with your marketing campaigns and just wasting money. There is no point marketing to customers that your services don’t suit, particularly if they are never going to be suitable because you need to target customers that not only want your services but are also likely to recommend you or create more leads and potential business in the future.
      Find your proper audience by looking at who the main bulk of your customers are, look at spending and lifestyle habits or perhaps they are only in a specific area that you cater to as well as why your services suit them. Analytics will be able to help you narrow this down, as well as your own records and then use this information to create a specified action plan to adapt to your marketing campaign.

    6. Not Specializing

      Specializing in everything, means specializing in nothing.. Trying to cover too many bases at once is a sure fire way to drain resources, kill efficiency, and leave customers unhappy. When you specialize in a particular service your marketing message is clear, which attracts your target customers. As the flywheel spins, those happy customers will compound and refer you on to even more prospects… and each one of those referrals is conveying the same message: “They did an awesome job on my __________. All do is _________, and they’re really damn good at it”.

      With the specific focus your sales team can hone their expertise in one particular area. Their conversations with customer will be filled with “I suggest this because….” And not “I’ve never heard of that, let me check on it….” The confidence will resonate and easily lead to more sales.

      Aside for the marketing there’s also a huge benefits to operational efficiency, and quality standards all of which leads to more value and a better experience for the customer. I elaborate much further in this post here.

Rectifying these mistakes is an excellent place to start and you should see an improvement in your marketing campaigns fairly quickly, particularly once you have decided on your services, demographic and market that you are going to target. Remember that marketing is all about specificity and tracking progress and that being a service contractor is a business, and every business needs marketing.

Corey Philip
President and founder of a home service / specialty trade contracting company (think patio's and deck) with a focus on customer experience. Data driven marketer. Runner. Currently working on a Facebook marketing course, exclusively for home service businesses. Want to be a part of it. Read more here.