9 Proven Techniques To Get Free Construction Leads
As a construction contractor, your livelihood hinges on your ability to generate leads. Most often those leads come from referrals. I often get requests to step outside referral leads and start spending money on paid ads like Facebook.
But is it possible to generate leads if you are operating on a shoestring budget?
Whether you are just launching your business or are simply looking for a way to drum up new customers, generating free leads is easier than you may think. Below are seven simple ways to get free construction leads for your business.
1) Post success stories
Case studies and success stories bring a human element into an industry that revolves around buildings, materials, and tools. They can breathe life into a lifeless structure and showcase your ability to transform a property from boring to breathtaking.
A good success story or case study can illustrate how you were able to go from basic home or room to a spectacular design.
Here are some key elements to include as you craft your case studies:
- It’s all about images. Include before and after photos of the project that highlight the transformation. Any visual content can help capture your audience’s attention and strike some engagement. The better the quality of images you can provide, the more your piece will drive engagement and strike up an interest with construction industry publications.
- Special features like the wood used for kitchen cabinets or window frames that were specially cut to fit a particular frame.
- Feature quotes or testimonials from your customers that, if possible, specifically state what you did that was special. This could range from your willingness to listen to their needs to the custom structures you installed.
- Share any particular challenges that you had to solve. Chances are your customer may have similar issues and you are providing them with a possible answer.
- Keep each case study to one page while being succinct.
A key benefit of case studies is their versatility. You can post them on your website and social media sites, while also printing copies and distributing them at industry trade shows and local business fairs. Do not forget to secure permission from your customers before featuring their comments and photos.
2) Update your blog regularly with helpful content
More contractors than ever are posting blog content to their websites. If you have delayed adding a blog to your site, it’s time to stop procrastinating and take the plunge. You can keep yourself on track by creating a schedule and resolving to stick to it.
The key to success with your construction blog is to make sure your content is original, helpful, and relevant to construction contractors. Below is a shortlist to consider when updating your blog:
- Finance and budgeting topics
- Design-related topics, such as the latest construction design trends
- Legal topics, such as local codes and regulations
- Staff and company news
- Frequently asked questions
- How you solved a customer’s problem
3) Be prolific on social media
Simply having a couple of social media profiles is no longer enough to turn your business into a lead-generating machine. You need to beef up your social media presence through regular posts and activity. Some creative ways to promote your business on social media include the following:
- Showcase your community service. If you regularly give back to your community, let your social media followers know!
- Launch a fun contest. For example, you can ask followers to submit ideas for a new slogan or mascot for your company.
- Engage with vendors. If the work was done was a collaboration of architects, plumbers, electricians, then mention them as a way of showing your ability to work with all kinds of contractors and vendors.
- Engage with customers. Pose a question to your followers to generate a discussion. And be sure to respond to their online inquiries and comments. If your customer is a commercial property owner, then share their achievements and the collaboration.
- Share your case studies. This is where the work you did in step two can help kill two birds with one stone. Share a series of photos within the post and then link to your success story blog post.
- Expand your network. You don’t only need to share your success on Facebook or LinkedIn. You might need to consider using tools like Houzz or Pinterest Instagram.
- Share your work as you go. Using your mobile device, turn on the video and live stream the work your team is doing. You can share snippets to generate buzz then share the final reveal when it’s complete. You can also use free video editing tools and compile photos into a single video that you can share.
Ideally, it’s a good idea to designate a member of your team to regularly monitor your social media sites so you can respond quickly to requests from followers and potential new clients. If you are just getting started and do not yet have a team of employees, then set aside a little time each day to devote to your social media sites.
4) Encourage customers to post online reviews
- 97% of consumers say reviews influence their purchasing decisions
- Simply showing reviews can boost conversion rates by up to 270%
- Companies that take advantage of free listings on four or more review sites enjoy revenues that are 36% above average
Given these statistics, you can hardly afford not to ask your customers to post reviews. But it can be easy to forget to ask customers to leave a review. A good way to remind yourself is to update your final walk through checklist to include your review request. You can also place your request for feedback on your customer’s final invoice in the comments section.
I would recommend creating a series of emails that you can automatically send to make it a little easier, but you’ll need to remember to send them more than one time.
5) Advertise on your vehicle
Did you know that an ad placed on your vehicle could be seen by as many as 70,000 people per day? As a contractor, you likely spend many of your waking hours in your vehicle driving from one job site to another. If you don’t already advertise your services on your vehicle, it’s time to start. There are many free and cost-effective ways to use your vehicle to advertise your construction company:
- Create your own bumper sticker with your company details
- Request a personalized license plate next time you update your vehicle registration
- Consider a customized vehicle wrap. (Yes, I know this costs money and this is a list of free marketing ideas but the cost can be so low that it would be worth it if you limit the wrap.)
- Design a magnet or decal to place on your car
- Create a catchy tagline to feature on your vehicle
While some of these strategies involve a one-time expenditure, they all have the ability to generate free leads for months or years. It’s a great way of passive prospecting that requires very little effort.
6) Send Newsletters
As with your social media posts, newsletters are another free method to share your company news with customers. Most customers are not making quick decisions but are rather making decisions slowly after research.
This may come as a surprise to you, but an email newsletter is still one of the better methods to stay top of mind and establish a relationship. Not only is it a way to stay in touch with those you’ve done business with, but it serves as a regular reminder of your company and the work that you do.
Some services are still free to use until you hit a certain capacity of emails, such as MailChimp.
7) Host a Live webinar
More people than ever are hosting and participating in webinars since the COVID-19 outbreak. You can choose from a variety of free software options that are easy to download and use. Within a matter of minutes, you can be on your way to designing an engaging, customized webinar. If you are new to hosting webinars, choose a software provider like Zoom that is known for being swift and responsive to customers who have questions.
To gather guests, you can freely post on various social media platforms and target different audiences. These don’t have to be men and women looking for contractors but you could think about targeting interior designers, vendors, or other contractors.
For example, you could gather other home contractors that may not do what you do like plumbers or electricians or flooring business owners, and share your knowledge. This may seem counter-intuitive to lead generation, but you’d be surprised how word spreads about your community-building skills and these people become your best referrers.
8) Create podcasts from your webinars
Podcasting is a great way to help your company remain on the cutting edge of your local construction industry. 144 million Americans now listen to podcasts and that number is expected to continue to increase. Podcasts are convenient for listeners, and they offer a great way for you to position yourself as an expert in the construction industry.
If the audio that you recorded from your webinar is decent then creating a podcast from your webinar is an easy and cost-effective way to take advantage of the time already spent and to reach a broader market. Kill two birds with one stone. (Is there a kinder, gentler way to say that?)
There are free online tools available to help you extract audio content from your webinar. You can share the content with people who attended your webinar and advertise it on your website as a means of attracting new leads.
9) Be A leader in Your Community
Being a leader in your community means more than networking with others in your community. By leading, I mean that you need to be a part of the overall conversation and spearheading activities that your target market considers important.
Joining other community leaders puts you in the middle of important decisions that might affect your local city or municipality. This is how you are remembered as others see you as an authority figure.
Another example of community leadership could also mean being a part of something larger than your company. Consider picking a special cause that is close to you or your team and sponsor it in terms of volunteering and donations.
Join your local construction association like AGC and become an active and engaged member.
What is the single best way to generate new leads?
There are many ways to generate leads at little to no cost if you are willing to invest some time. But the single best way to ramp up your lead volume is to seek help working with a professional in web design and digital marketing. With a digital marketing leader in your corner, you can put your construction firm on the fast track to success.
We invite you to contact us at GlobalSpex to discover why contractors across America trust us to help them produce leads. As a WP Elevation Lead Certified agency, we are dedicated to ongoing education and professional development to stay abreast of the latest cutting-edge lead generation techniques. We look forward to helping you enjoy a steady stream of high quality leads!