7 Ways to Market at Low Cost or No Cost – Part 2 - The 7-Power Contractor

7 Ways to Market at Low Cost or No Cost – Part 2

Here are the rest of the 7 ways I recommend these days to go about low cost or now cost marketing these days:

  1. Referral Marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies there is. It’s also a great example of low cost or no cost. Recommendations from one satisfied customer who is willing to recommend you to their friends, relatives and acquaintances is what you’re after. There should be some reward for them doing this. It can be a discount coupon for both the new customer and the person who referred you or even a reward program.

Today, they can recommend you to an even wider circle by going online and into the social media world to brag about you.

Expanding Referral Marketing means tapping into fellow contractors who provide services to your target market but that don’t directly compete with you. An example would be creating an active referral marketing arrangement with a company that specializes in home alarm systems and that’s all. That’s great if you do plumbing, heating and cooling only. Make sure you know the contractor and their reputation. Because if they mess up at your customers’ home and you recommended them, you’ll get tarnished by the same brush.

If you’re worried about potential competition down the road, you can always create a “standstill agreement” where you formalize you won’t engage in the same business or serve each other’s customers with specific services. My company did this with an alarm company who we knew for many years. They didn’t want to be in the plumbing, heating and cooling business and we didn’t want to be in the alarm business. But, we were very active in recommending one another to our client list and we were very good at locking out our competitors who did try to provide it all by pointing out the virtue of hiring a specialist.

What’s also nice about activating your network of contractor referrals is it gives you a front seat to see how they perform. If and when you want to enter that market you can approach them and make it a win-win for you, for them and for your customers.

  1. Shoe leather campaigns are typically when your entire team takes your logoed vehicles into a service area that you’re looking to reach more of your ideal customer base. You go door to door with colorful brochures and small logoed gifts designed to introduce yourselves.

Your goal is to put a face to your company and to burn an image in their mind that you want their business.

A careful selection is required of both the towns you’ll be going to and the assembled “leave behinds” you’ll want to invest in.

It also should be triggered by your Marketing Calendar so it is an

ongoing endeavor.

A milder version is to take all your trucks and drive them in and around the streets where they’ll be seen in what is sort of a parade. Stopping at the main street coffee house where your prospective customers will see you is what you’re after.

If you’re a commercial service and install company, you absolutely must

get “belly-to-belly” with your commercial customer. Shoe leather campaigns are still the best way to build and maintain your connections with the people who make the decisions on which vendors to use at their facilities. If you are serious about ramping this up, consider engaging a Commercial Sales Agent whose job is focused on opening up new commercial accounts and maintaining relationships with them so more and more business with them is possible. Plus, they too become an invaluable referral source for accessing other commercial accounts.

  1. Social Media is making use of outlets like Facebook™, Twitter™, Instagram™ and LinkedIn™ as examples of good places to establish and maintain a social networking presence. To me, the key is to make sure that if you’re going to engage this approach you are ready to put out a steady stream of appropriate content suitable to social networking from a business approach. It is also wise to set a budget and seek out professional help. Some help will be determined by a balance of your budget for time you can spend on it and your budget for what money you have to spend.

Be aware that really strong social media shouldn’t be totally delegated. Even if you have professional help with supplying content and distribution and keeping it fresh, you want to make sure that what is going out is in your unique “voice”. That way it is in synch with the uniqueness of you and your company. Being fake is likely to be exposed in short order.

Know that it’s not impossible but highly unlikely that the same vendors who help you with SEO (aka Search Engine Optimization), PPC (aka Pay Per Click), SEM (aka Search Engine Marketing) and your website will be the very best choice to help you with making social media work.

That’s because all of the above is so fluid and demanding.

Again, there’s a whole lot you can do on your own here that will go a long way to making low cost and no cost payoff. And for low cost done strategically with key vendors you can really leverage the ROI (aka return on investment).

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