I hope you know, because it’s your company, and you better have one! Your big idea is what gives people their “aha moment”. That momentary point in time when they decide YOU are the right contractor for them.
But big ideas come in the form of many things; sometimes pricing (although I hope not), sometimes in the form of a great reputation, a new twist to an old product or service offering, or maybe it’s how or where you advertise.More
Most advertising I see today is boring. It’s not the fault of the marketers; it’s just the constant bombardment from the millions of ad messages out there every day. It’s easy to see why most contractors are pissed off when it comes to advertising since most are operating on a small budget to begin with. Not many people I know have the ability to launch multi-million dollar campaigns to brand their businesses. But to be effective, your marketing has to interrupt the consumer. It has to make them stop in their tracks and think about the message they are reading.
That’s why advertising on even the smallest budget can be effective
To make sure you are getting the bang for your buck that you need to compete in a down economy, I have come up with a quick checklist to keep close when building your next ad campaign:
1. Communicate a single, simple message — in a recent survey I read most people find advertising confusing. People can’t remember someone’s name much less a complicated marketing message. When talking about print, keep the headline simple and direct. And every aspect of the ad should support the headline. Whether the ad is delivering a message on price, quality, or selection, it has to be tied into the headline first and foremost.
2. I write this blog the same way I talk, with a lot less colorful language mind you. But what I am trying to say is that I get my point across in a meaningful way that most people can understand easily. The same thing goes for advertising. I always try to make ad copy understandable to kids. That way, if they get it, most adults will too.
3. Make sure the ad portrays a professional image of your business, in other words, no funny cartoons or clever taglines. People are going to pay you many times more than what they make in an hour or a day and whether they say so or not, they require your professionalism.
4. Your entire approach to marketing should always be asking the customer to buy. Not directly, but through suggestion. In other words, make sure you list all of your; address, phone number, e-mail address, store hours, whether or not you accept credit cards, financing, you get the point. Remove every barrier your buyer has to telling you no.
5. Whatever your ad says, it has to be truthful and ethical. I read stories every day about contractors who get busted for misleading homeowners.
You can throw out the previous five points if you don’t take this last one to heart. Ad frequency — if your message isn’t in the marketplace enough to create an impact, then you have just wasted dollars you could have used on other parts of your business. So make sure you have enough money to spend on a media schedule that provides the frequency you need to make an impact!
When your creative juices aren’t flowing and you are up against a deadline, turn to two unlikely sources for ad copy inspiration. Many of you can find one sitting right next to you on your wife’s bedside table. The other one you probably see everyday and don’t pay any attention to it, and it is right there in your checkout line at the grocery store.
When you spend your days hustling, it is easy to forget the things you need to do to make sure your contracting business is not only successful today but tomorrow and next week too. You don’t have time to feed yourself properly much less take the time needed to develop a solid marketing program.
So, I came up with a quick list of 10 things to keep in mind the next time you sit down to check your advertising program. Even if the next time is your first time, there are some solid foundation building ideas listed below, but I want to know some of yours too, so leave a comment or two below!More