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The Question We Are Asked Most:

"If you were starting as a new contractor, how would you advertise?"

We get this question more than any other. So often, in fact, we feel like it deserves it's own prominently placed page on our website. This is what we would do:

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Let's Start With the Basics:

Even companies who have been in business a very long time can benefit from the checklist below.
Take a look to see if there was anything you didn't think of. 

Logo:
Start with a good logo. In fact, have one professionally made by a good designer. Never settle for something you threw together in a Word document. We see this A LOT, and it is not sustainable. You'll need to brand your company from the beginning, and your new logo will be the cornerstone of that branding. If you need a good logo designed, we highly recommend that you check out freelancer.com. You'll spend between $75-$200 and get many choices.

Website:
We would start with either an X-26 or X-36 website, (or the equivalent if you are working with another designer.) These 26-36 pages give you a chance to highlight everything you do with pages that will keep your customer engaged and on your site longer, increasing the chances that they contact you. It will also give some diversity for your upcoming ad campaigns, so that customers can land on pages relevant to what they were looking for to begin with.

Company Colors:
During the process of designing a new logo, a good designer should ask you about company colors. We recommend choosing color combinations that will stand out, and those you can live with well into the future. Remember, choosing a hard-to-find color can make it difficult to find promotional items or company t-shirts that match.

Phone Number:
Yes, your phone number does still matter. If you are using your mobile number as your main company number, talk to your carrier to see if they have a number that looks more business-like. This number will be prominently placed on your website and other advertising, so make it a good one.

Business Cards:
Yes, they are still a thing, and are still the easiest way to quickly hand someone your information without insisting that they add it to their phone. We recommend keeping a few with you at all times so that you can quickly hand them to potential customers. At a minimum your business cards should be full-color and on nice card stock. They are so inexpensive these days, there is no reason to have a crappy business card. We are happy to recommend a company who does excellent work if you are interested.

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Contracts, Paperwork, Brochures:

There are some great resources online to find the wording for contracts, so be sure to search for those, but have them checked by your attorney to ensure they will hold up to scrutiny in your state. 

Don't Skimp on The Quality:

We understand that your budget may be tight until you get some jobs under your belt, but once you have the money, invest in ensuring that the information you are leaving with customers helps you stand out in the crowd. Sure, your customers are likely getting multiple bids for their project, but this can work to your advantage if you understand the realities of presentation. 

We know from experience that most contractors are still using the bare minimum to present their bids so this creates a great opportunity for you to show off your company. Having full color printed brochures to tell your story, well defined terms for your proposals, and literature to backup your manufacturer selections are important to closing more deals. As fewer consumers want to hear your sales pitch, their expectation is that you will hand them a package they can look over later. Making your presentation top-notch has become more important than ever, and the numbers of closed sales will speak for themselves. 

By the way... Do not stamp your company information on manufacturer brochures and call it a day. Sure, you'll sell a few, but nothing like you will with a well-designed and prepared proposal and company brochures that SELL YOUR COMPANY, NOT THE PRODUCT.

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Now, Let's Get Some Leads:

Lead generation is big business these days, but it won't work for everyone. 

How Do We Get Leads?

Now that you have your website in place and your bid presentation is perfected, it's time to get some leads. Historically we would be pushing a strong SEO program to increase your organic results, and while that is still important, at this moment we more often recommend using social media, Pay-Per-Click Advertising and Re-Marketing through Facebook and Instagram. 

SEO:

Yes, Search Engine Optimization is still important for contractors and that won't likely change any time soon. If you take anything away from this article, leave with this: A static website will rarely produce the SEO results you desire. Most (almost all) contractors put little to no time into SEO and that lack of effort means they are not your competition. If you plan to commit to an SEO program, realize that it is not cheap, nor should you be paying for the "crazy low priced deals" you find advertised around the internet. The only result will be a lighter wallet. Quality SEO work takes time, effort and/or money. 

Pay Per Click:

Pay per click advertising can get expensive, but few things will result in leads generated more quickly. While this is a complicated subject we will cover at length in blog posts and videos, so check around our site for more information. By advertising directly on popular search engines and paying for each click, you can drive traffic directly to your website where your customers can easily contact you. Don't forget to look for obscure searches that can get great results in your area with lower click costs. 

Re-Marketing:

Re-marketing is advertising to potential customers after they have already visited your website. We recommend that you re-market using facebook and other social media outlets so that your customers are reminded about your company while they are using other websites... in case they forgot to contact you. This is also a very easy way to reinforce your brand while customers are tyring to make a decision about which company to use. 

It's Time to Get To Work!

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