If you’re a builder, contractor, remodeler, or other tradesperson, you undoubtedly know that the best way to generate more business is by word of mouth. After all, if people just tell people about you, your phone will never stop ringing, right?
Here’s the truth. To grow your business as big as you want it to be, you’re going to need more than just word of mouth. At a certain point, word of mouth hits its ceiling. You may be generating sales, but you could also come up short of your goals.
Real World Marketing Saturation for Builders and Contractors
When you’re at the point where you need faster growth, you know the right thing to do is to begin advertising or marketing. But how can you invest your money well into a strategy that will bring you strong returns?
To help answer this question, we talked to Rob Countryman, owner of Countryman Home Improvements, Inc., to learn about the strategy he used to grow his business from nothing to over seven figures in less than five years.
When Rob and wife Tina moved to a new town and founded their business, they knew two things. First, he needed a lot more work. Second, no one in their new hometown knew who he was. He was going to need to market himself if he wanted any clients.
Use Billboards to Capture Attention
Rob looked at what other contractors were doing and decided a billboard was a great way to stand apart from the rest. Taking some of the last money they had to spend, Rob got a billboard without even telling Tina. It was a simple ad with Rob’s face and the catch phrase “I return calls the same day, guaranteed.”
A few days later as Tina was driving down the road, she looked up and saw her husband on the billboard. She just about ran right off the road! Rob has recounted more than once that starting with a billboard is one of the best decisions he ever made. Today, there are over 18 billboards sporting Rob’s face in their home market. Anyone who owns a home is guaranteed to see those billboards, unless they never leave their house.
Wrap Your Trucks, Trailers, and Other Equipment With Your Information
For Rob, billboards were only the beginning. After all, billboards are fixed in one location, usually only on main thoroughfares.
Rob needed moving billboards, so he paid a local vinyl company to wrap his truck and trailer with the same information the billboards have. This helped people associate his vehicles inside the local communities with the billboards they saw outside on the main roads.
Today, his team of over 15 members all drive vehicles lettered with the Countryman name and contact information. Every single trailer also bears this information. Combining the billboards with the vinyl-wrapped equipment, Rob now has over 30 highly visible advertisements integrated into the local community.
Advertise on Local Shopping Carts
When you’re doing work in an area that has a high concentration of both locals and vacation home owners, where’s the one place that you can advertise that they both will regularly visit?
Your local grocery store!
As Rob continued his market saturation campaign, the next step was to target local grocery stores with ads. Over the course of a few years, Rob bought advertisements for every cart in multiple grocery stores within their target market’s shopping range. Today, the running joke is that the ladies in the supermarkets are too busy looking at his handsome face to watch where they’re going!
Online Marketing Saturation for Builders and Contractors
Being a savvy business owner, Rob knows that people can see his information over and over again, but many still won’t immediately pick up the phone to schedule work without first doing more research.
The second part of Rob’s marketing saturation strategy is a robust online presence, which helps potential customers do the following:
- See reviews
- Learn more about Contryman’s services
- Easily contact Rob’s team to begin their project
Getting Known on Facebook and Instagram
First, Rob and Tina started company Facebook and Instagram pages. They kept the same image of Rob’s face that was used on all their real-world advertising to help people draw the connection onto the digital space. Then, they started being active in local groups using their individual profiles as well as their Facebook business page in groups where that page was allowed to join. This activity got their name out into the community and built trust with local people.
Beyond just knowing about Countryman, homeowners were now able to interact with him online. This helped them get to know him and Tina. They came to trust that they really are experts in the services they provide.
These days, if you go into any of the local social media groups in their area, you’ll see both Rob and Tina still actively helping people and answering their questions. What you’ll also find are many other people tagging Rob or Tina in the comment as an answer to a question where someone is looking for the services they provide. Now that’s word of mouth advertising!
Getting Found on Google as a Local Builder or Contractor
The Countrymans know that there are a lot of people looking for the services they provide who will skip browsing Facebook for the best local contractors. These people go to Google and simply begin searching.
So, early in their business, Tina began a Google My Business account and has continued growing it to this day. It provides an extremely helpful snapshot for anyone who’s looking into their services to see photos, reviews, and easy contact options.
Today, when you search local keywords relating to what they do, their Google My Business page will quickly provide you with everything you’d need to know to determine if you should continue researching Countryman Home Improvements.
Building a Great Website for a Builder or Contractor
The final phase of Rob’s marketing saturation campaign was to build a good website that contained answers to things he knew people would be searching for.
Their site lists the services that Countryman Home Improvements, Inc. provides, along with pictures and biographies of their team members. It also includes easy contact options for anyone who would like to request a quote.
In the future, Rob has plans to build a much larger website that allows potential customers to provide some project details and immediately receive an estimated project range, without having to even contact his team. This will help their estimator stay busy on quotes that are most likely to convert to jobs while providing future customers with a real expectation of their project cost.
The Results of Marketing Saturation for Builder and Contractors
For builders, contractors, remodelers, and other tradespeople, the best marketing strategy is to saturate both the real and digital worlds with your name and services.
As Rob’s model has shown, his business gets in front of people in their cars, while they’re shopping, as they browse Facebook, and even when they look at the trucks parked at their neighbor’s house.
If people see Countryman’s advertisements in real life and want to research his business more online, it’s easy for them to find satisfied reviews and photos of past projects.
When people interact with the Countryman’s on Facebook or Instagram, they’ll suddenly start to notice his trucks and billboards all over their hometown.
By saturating the real and digital world of his local market, Rob’s business has become the dominant home improvement business in their region in less than five years.
And you’d better believe that this saturation has led to a huge increase in word of mouth business, too!
Applying Marketing Saturation to Your Business
If you’ve made it to the end of this article, we know you’re ready to see results like Countryman.
Our advice is to look at the three online and three digital steps that Rob took and begin with one in each “world.” Get your trucks wrapped and begin being active on Facebook. Or, have a website built and buy some billboard space.
The important thing is to begin with something and stick with it. Then, as you grow, continue to apply these other steps into your marketing saturation strategy.