Contractors and Blogging…I get asked this question all the time. And I always answer with this question, which do you have more of, time or money? Because if you don’t have the time, don’t do it. If you are still considering a move into blogging to help generate leads for your contracting business, keep reading.
OK, first of all, this isn’t going to be your typical “hey, this is how you blog” or “how to setup a blog” type post. If anything, this post is going to tell you why you shouldn’t blog.
I have done a lot of work lately with contractors who either have blogs or want to start blogging and they have no idea what they are doing. They go about their blogs by keyword stuffing titles and posts or just adding picture after picture with no context, meta-data or relevance to their reader.
They basically either suck now or will suck once they start
So here is what I want you to know. Blogging, over time, has the ability to bring you as many if not more clients or customers than your referral program does. And if you have no referral program in place and you rely on marketing alone, then blogging can (and will, over time) generate enough business each month to be able to either cut or eliminate all of your other marketing spend, depending on your size and growth trajectory.
But Darren, I don’t know what to write about…
Great point and I hear ya. So here are a few ideas to get your blogging career off the ground. When I consult with anyone who wants to start blogging, I say sit down and write out or video tape 30 blog posts.
But Darren, didn’t you just hear me say I don’t know what to write about?
Yes, yes I did. But blogging is a long-term effort, especially if you want it to help bring in leads. So you have to be prepared to do the heavy lifting to help you bring in new business. So, if you don’t have 30 post ideas, I am here to help! Look to develop content from these sources:
- Take the 20 most common questions people ask you. Write or shoot a video explaining those answers. There’s 20 right there.
- Use marketing material from suppliers and vendors. Your supply house is packed with features and benefits type marketing material you can use to create your own content for your site.
- How-to’s or DIY. Do what I do here, tell people what they need to do, then charge them to do it.
- Do product reviews. This will generate traffic from people out there doing DIY improvements. Then, when the shit hits the fan and they need a pro guess where they turn to? You silly!
- Video. You can shoot video to showcase your work or help with DIY’ers.
- FAQ. If you have a FAQ page on your site, you have tons of content to create blog posts with. This kind of goes back to number one, but you now already have the questions already in mind to answer.
The nice part about blogging is that it does a lot of the selling for you. You become the expert in your marketplace. Even though your blog will have a wide-reaching audience, your local prospects will also be doing a lot of searching on your vertical and when it comes to buying, there are a few things blogging can help with:
- People buy from people they like, so your writing style or videos can really accentuate your personality, therefore increasing your chance to close.
- People want to buy from people, not nameless, faceless companies.
- People buy from experts, not salespeople. Positioning yourself as the expert “pre-sells” your prospects.
- People hate to be sold, but they love like hell to buy!
- Your competition probably isn’t doing this, and if they are, they are probably doing it badly. Doing it well will move people further into the sales funnel BEFORE they ever pick up the phone, send you an email or come into the showroom.
Don’t take my word for it. OK, well, considering what I do here, DO take my word for it, but also see it in action. These people below have committed to a long-term strategy of blogging about their businesses, industries and personal lives and are killing it for their efforts, so check them out!
Some examples of people doing it well
Chris and crew at BloggingPainters.com
My man Andy at Traditional Painters
My boy Chris at Magic Pools is fantastic using video
So, to close this post out, blog. Go ahead and blog. But if you can’t commit to doing SOMETHING at least once a week. Then don’t. Cause nothing looks shittier than someone going to your blog only to notice the last post dated two years ago.
5 thoughts on “Should Contractors Blog?”
Great info Darren! I started a blog about a year ago with the help of someone else that does the writing for me. I found this to be the best way for me! Just today I started a second blog site with the help of the same person. Over the past year I have gotten a lot of hits on the blog and people calling and saying they have been reading and following what I am doing.
I really think it has been a great ROI for me!
Hey Darren, thanks for the nod! What timing, I did a bid today for a couple from London (I’m in Utah) and we starting talking about the differences in paint techniques and he asked how I knew so much about “emulsions and limes”! I told him about reading Andy’s blog and it was a great icebreaker. I take my IPad on every estimate now and most times use it to bring up a blog post, whether it is mine or a colleagues to help educate or back up a point!
Good luck on your bid Chris…but then again, you don’t need luck, you rock sister!
Thats great to hear Chris, a bit of transatlantic blog cross fertilisation never hurt. We are all over “trim” now, “woodwork” is so 2011.
I had an email from a fellow UK blogger today who had received an email from a US specialist who had read my blog and he wanted to know something about a related European paint product he has been asked to use.
I think that via blogs, we can give out info that you can’t get off the side of a can or from a rep.
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