The good news is yes. So, wherever your construction business is financially, here are 10 no-cost ideas to help you promote your services to new clients!
- Create a plan. Good marketing is all about strategy. And what’s great about strategizing is that it doesn’t cost a dime. So, start with your goal. Do you want to generate new leads? Get more requests for quotes? Book more business for the quarter? Whatever it is, identify a specific, tangible goal, and then brainstorm. Where does your target audience hang out? How do they make decisions? Where can you reach them? The more time you invest in researching this information, the better prepared you’ll be to make your (free) marketing effective. Construction companies have different clients, so what works for one company may not work for your clients. Understand your clients and market place.
- Blog regularly. If you’re like most construction businesses, your prospects are online. As such, your website is a major marketing tool. How can you get more people to see it? One great, free way is blogging. You’ll have to invest time to churn out quality content on a regular basis for a blog, but if you do the writing, you won’t have to invest any cash. In exchange for your efforts, blogging can help you improve search engine rankings, traffic, online authority and more. Blogs can be construction tips, or they could be short updates of your projects and important milestones reached. Include photos - but do check to ensure that the photos don't show unsafe acts, an untidy site or poor quality work.
- Do something newsworthy. Think about ways you can generate free publicity for your business without a financial investment. Can you provide free construction help to a local event in exchange for promotion? Would it be doable to host a workshop or seminar at your facility on an area of your expertise? Try to make a splash, then reach out to local journalists and media professionals about it. The key to getting coverage is being legitimately newsworthy. Consider when projects reach a special milestone or safety achievement. Of course you shouldn't have them too frequently because this will take away the impact.
- Join a local professional organization. Do a little research into business organizations in your area that allow free membership. Join and get networking. Whether it’s the chamber of commerce or a new alliance, you can gain new visibility by participating.
- Team with other businesses. Any time you can find other local businesses to partner with, it can be a powerful, effective marketing strategy. Perhaps you specialize in small-scale handyman jobs, but there’s another business that does roofing. By referring your customers to each other, you cross-promote and both reap the benefits — and it doesn’t cost anything.
- Get active on social media. Invest the time to be active on social media and it can pay dividends over the long haul. The keys are being consistent, offering real value and finding a way to stand out. What kind of information and resources does your target audience want? What will help them or answer their questions? Make your content less about you and why you’re awesome, and more about your prospects and how you want to help them. Keep providing real value day after day, and people will notice.
- Use a referral program. Current customers can be one of your most powerful marketing tools when they tell their friends about your work. Incentivize referrals by offering a reward for bringing in new business. Maybe you provide a free sample product or a bonus service. Perhaps you give the referred customer a discount, as well as a discount to the one who referred him or her. Find a way to make it worth people’s time to promote you, and you get free promotion.
- Build an email list. If you aren’t already building an email list, you’re missing a golden opportunity for future marketing. Add an opt-in form on your site that tells prospects why they should sign up. Stay in touch with past clients. No matter how good your relationship was and the last project you executed for them there's no guarantee that they're going to remember your company in a year's time for their next project. So send out a short email, holiday greeting, or company update once a year.
- Send a survey. Email your list of past/current customers and prospects a survey, asking for feedback. Doing so not only gives you free market research, but it also reminds your audience of your services.
- Hold a contest. Prizes for a contest don’t have to be expensive. You could give away a couple free products or some complimentary services, for example. So, run a contest online that asks people to sign up for your newsletter, visit your site or complete another action that aligns with your goals.
While marketing your construction company with no money is a challenge, there’s actually more potential than you may realize. Try the ideas above to start spreading the word about your business! If you stay faithful to the process, you should start reaping results in no time.
Title image courtesy of Shutterstock.