This week’s contractor marketing podcast is about how to ramp up your marketing for the holidays!
The holidays are just around the corner and there is no reason why any contractor should have to take a “forced vacation”. This is not a problem that is “contractor only”, Dave was talking with a Realtor the other day and she was saying that some of her competition is already winding down for the year, stating that “no one sells their house during the holidays”.
That is shocking! If you ramp down now, there is a good chance that your business and marketing efforts will not bounce back until February or March of next year! That is just crazy if you are a professional in business for yourself.
Dave has a great point, he often asks other contracotrs how everything is going this time of year and many of them say that no one is spending any money which confuses Dave as the end of the year is often his busiest time! There are many people who do not want to put off their home updates until next year, and as long as he stays in contact with them, he can make good money while his competition is crying that they have no business! These are budgeted repairs that are not dependent on the holidays but which just need to be taken care of.
People Spend Money
It is untrue that people will not spend money during the holidays. There is a lot of commerce done by the players who stay working and lead generating rather than giving up the field until after the holidays. Honestly, nothing has to change but YOUR attitude. If you think that there is business and opportunity, you will be surprised at what happens!
People will spend money on what they value no matter what time of year it is and if your marketing is generating a need in them for your services they will absolutely schedule you during the holiday season.
How To Ramp Up Your Contractor Marketing For The Holiday Season
Here are some of our top tips for holiday marketing (some may surprise you with their simplicity!)
1. Off holiday cards.
Instead of sending Christmas cards like everyone else is doing, send a Thanksgiving thank you card. Dave really makes an impact with his marketing by sending an “off-holiday” card like a Thanksgiving or St. Patricks Day card.
In the “Thanks” card, he uses verbiage that mentions that he thanks them for their business and wants to offer them a particular service at a lower than usual rate. Two things about this model…first he doesn’t discount for new customers as that brings in tire kickers and price shoppers. Second, he doesn’t call it a discount, instead he offers a “gift certificate” to his valued customers and then allows them to share it with one friend or family member if they know someone who needs work. This framing of the offer is vital for keeping his level of professionalism high and truly “loving up on” key customers who have already proven they like working with him!
By doing this Dave got some business, but more so he got a flood of testimonials and referrals to his business from formerly satisfied and now extremely happy past customers.
2. Knowing your sales/production cycle.
Dave has to keep his funnel full a lot. Most of his jobs are between one day and a week long and so he has to have a continuous stream of who want to have work done. Justin’s business is a little different. At any point in time he has 2 to 3, six to eight month long jobs in production. But that doesn’t mean he has no time to fill. For example, a painter might be working at a job site for a week, kicking the rest of his crew out and meaning that he has to backfill their work.
For this reason, every August or September Justin will contact his high end relocation Realtors and check in to see if they have anyone on the books who is moving or might need some work done. The neat thing about this is that they might not have UNTIL he called which gave them a reason to reach out to their clients. By doing this process each fall, Justin is able to fill up his holiday pipeline with people who need work done when they get back to Florida for the “winter” months. His busy season runs through January 15th while Dave’s peaks between Christmas and New Years, which leads us to…
3. Marketing when it is working.
It would be great if all marketing worked equally and like Dave said, he could get 3 calls a day everyday. But that is rarely the case. Today he got 20 and there are days when he gets none. But the key is to keep forward motion going. Even when he was starting out and had no money for marketing he would do door hangers and walk neighborhood himself.
Say he put out 1,000 door hangers, got a bunch of calls, gave 4 estimates and sold one job, that was a great way to get into an area that he wanted to work. But even if he got nothing there, the act of marketing and DOING something will make other opportunities appear. Too often Dave and Justin hear about a contractor who is sitting waiting for the phone to ring. The sad thing is that if they are not working then they have time to do some of the more creative marketing that could make a huge difference in their business! You can’t just sit around waiting for a call, you have to MAKE the phone ring!
This time of year is great for getting speaking events where you can get leads and be seen as an expert in your industry. Getting the chance to stand up in front of 10-20 people who are listening to you builds relationships and gets you a ton of engagement, not to mention will help to build your database!
5. Marketing to your existing customers.
It is MUCH easier and less expensive to market to people who have already paid you before and who know, like and trust you already. If you don’t already have a database, start one today and begin sending out a monthly newsletter to them! You can even do something snazzy like getting them a $5 Restaurants.com or Starbucks gift card. This kind of unexpected item will really make a big impression!