With the start of the new year, now’s the time to start thinking of new strategies to help your business grow. If you don’t have one already, a marketing strategy is one of the best things you can do to find new customers and keep old ones coming back.
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What Is A Marketing Plan?
Simply put, a marketing plan is an outline of how you anticipate generating leads and attracting customers to your business. Marketing plans can be as general or as detailed as you’d like but should give you a solid idea of how you’ll help potential customers find your business in the year.
Creating and implementing a marketing strategy plan for your contracting business may seem a little intimidating. Luckily, we’ve explained how to create a marketing plan in five easy steps.
Step One: Know Yourself & Your Competitors
Before you start marketing yourself, you need to know yourself. At the core of any marketing message is your brand. If you’re not quite sure what your brand is, you can ask yourself the following questions.
- What services does my business offer?
- Who do I serve? This can either be type of client (like commercial vs. residential) or a geographical service area.
- What makes me qualified to do the job? If you have special certifications, training, or skills, jot these down.
- What can I offer clients that no one else can? Think of special values or unique services that you bring to the table.
If you find yourself stuck, take a look at your competitors and their websites. How do they present themselves? How can you set your business apart from the rest? Once you have a good idea of who you are and how you want to present yourself, you can start working on specific tactics.
Step Two: Consider Your Platforms
Next, consider the components of a marketing plan and which platforms will work best for your business and level of resources. There’s a lot to work with out there, but these are some of the most common.
This type of marketing uses a mode of communication you’re probably already a little familiar with— email! Email marketing allows you to send out mass messages to all of your contacts all at once. Because this type of marketing requires that you already have contacts to email, it is especially beneficial for customer retention.
Creating a blog is a great way to get traffic coming to your website. There’s no one correct way to blog, but here are some general content marketing ideas for small businesses:
- Answer people’s frequently asked questions
- Give people new ideas for their homes and businesses
- Update customers on your business or give behind-the-scenes looks
- Showcase customers’ testimonials or projects you’ve completed
- Compare or review products or materials
Blogs are effective in part because they are shareable. If you have an interesting story or a standout article, folks can bring even more eyes to your business by sharing it on social media.
Creating business pages on social media– especially Facebook— is an increasingly important aspect of small business marketing. Business pages are where people come to find out information, read reviews of your work, and ask questions about your business’s services.
Social media is also a great place to show off your work and interact with potential customers.
You may think of local marketing as handing out business cards or purchasing local ad space, and while these are both valid methods, it’s also important that you optimize your business locally online.
Make sure that when people look you up, they’re able to get all the information they need to contact you. Claim your business on Google and Yelp for insights and the ability to respond to reviews and customers.
Step Three: Set A Goal
After you decide which marketing tactics are best for your business, set achievable goals that you can work towards. Examples of goals include:
- A certain number of follows, shares, likes, or comments
- Leads from a particular marketing method
Having goals allows you to measure the success of your marketing efforts.
Step Four: Create A Marketing Calendar
If you are wondering how you’ll execute all of this and still find the time to run your contractor business at the same time, you’ll like this next step.
A content marketing calendar is a simple tool that will organize what you need to do and let you know when to do it. You don’t need to post pictures or be churning out new material every day, but it is important to be consistent. Even if you start with just one blog post or two social media updates a week, it’s a start in making a lasting impression in people’s minds.
Write down what days you plan on posting what as both a reminder and as a way to hold yourself accountable.
Step Five: Get Started
You’ve got the contractor marketing know-how, now it’s time to show it off! Be sure to follow the plans you made and watch your business grow.
If you’re looking for new ways to find leads, check out CraftJack’s lead generation service.