Marketing tips from the experts… your peers!

At the June 15th PRO lunch, hosted by EleMar Oregon, we had the rare and precious opportunity to hear from not one, or even two, but over 60 experts on the subject of small business marketing.  Are you curious as to how we were able to coordinate and compile so many experts for one day?  Simple, we just invited the members of the Professional Remodelers Organization to lunch!

It’s an easy trap to fall into, when faced with so many options for activities, seminars, continuing education classes, etc., to lose track of the greatest resource provided by the PRO… the combined experience, expertise, and insight of our over 225 members.  In a group of that size, it’s safe to say that most questions could be answered with a thoughtful and informed response, and someone has probably tried it, whatever it is, at least once, and can tell you why they would, or wouldn’t, do it again!  So this month we took a moment to tap that wellspring of experience and talk about what we can do to market our businesses.  Some of the ideas seemed simple, but all of them were things that we can easily lose sight of as our pace and/or workload increases.

  • Everyday Good Practices
    • Create Alliances and Maintain Contacts
      • Build win-win relationship with your contractors, suppliers and vendors though camaraderie and incentives
      • Stay in touch with people in your industry.  Know what they’re up to.  Their next big project could carry you with them.
      • Leads from Lenders – find out who’s really ready to get started.
    • Networking
      • Membership & Engagement in Trade Organizations
      • Diversify your efforts – join multiple network building organizations
    • Let everyone know what you do – ALL of what you do!
      • Your neighbors might know you’re a remodeler, but may not think to call you for that new deck they’re building.
    • Competition & Award Entries
      • Leverage your awards by promoting them on your website, in newsletters, blogs, social media, and email signatures.
    • Branding
      • Consistent messaging & Logo use is a must for brand recognition
    • Know your product and your customer
    • Continuing Education Courses
      • Increase your value and skill set with continuing education and advanced certifications
    • Goal:  How often can you get your name in front of your customer?
      • Quarterly Newsletter
      • Door Hangers
        • Place locally to your job locations.
      • Job signs at your construction sites
    • Hard Cover Portfolios
      • Order them online for an inexpensive but professional look for your business in place of a notebook.
  • Bang for the Buck
    • Home Shows
      • You’ll find a more targeted audience, despite the smaller numbers
    • Subscribe to Industry Publications
      • Weekly Construction Monitor
      • Commercial/Residential Bid Reports
    • Tour of Remodeled Homes – Find a way to display your work to the public.
    • Use your local newspapers
    • Bus ‘Butt’ Advertising Banners
    • TV
      • Targeted Ads, use the video’s for web and blog content
      • Many found TV & Radio to be unsuccessful  – it’s all about timing and target audience
    • Ask HOW people found you to determine the best use of your dollars.
  • In this Day and Age
    • Website
      • Make sure your contact information is easily accessible.
    • Social Media
      • Twitter, Facebook, Blogs – stay in touch and keep yourself in the front of your customer’s minds.
    • Blog
      • write what you know, who you are.
    • YouTube
      •  build your own channel to highlight your work, show interviews & customer testimonies.
    • Increase your Google presence
    • Use QR Codes
  • Old School, Tried and True
    • Referrals and Testimonials
      • Perform Quality Work
        • Consistent, quality work will keep the referrals coming
      • Offer referral incentives
      • Always ask for testimonials from clients, vendors, suppliers
      • Give referrals and testimonials – more exposure for you too!
      • Use ‘Thank You’ gifts, surveys, and newsletters to stay engaged with past customers.
    • Hand-written thank you notes
    • Cold Calls and Follow up calls
  • Ready for some help?
    • Contract Marketing consultants or firms
      • Set clear goals up front for what you hope to accomplish
      • Define measurable and achievable deliverables and timeline
      • Find one through a reputable referral or trade organization resource… like the HBA PRO website.
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