October 18, 2010

Make the Most Out of Pictures

Use Pictures to Tell Your Story

Pictures are worth a thousand words, so the story goes. In marketing, pictures can do a great job of selling a product or service when used correctly.  With the right strategy and a little technical knowledge, a one-man contractor shop, or even a place with 40 employees, can significantly increase their workload with the use of pictures. Let’s use a remodeling contractor working on a kitchen as an example.  And we will also discuss an Internet photo hosting service called Flickr.

The contractor makes an appointment to visit the home and prepare an estimate.  During the process of measuring cabinets and asking the home owner different questions, the contractor takes pictures of the kitchen.  After getting a firm idea of what the homeowner has in mind, the deal is set and the work begins. A few weeks later the contractor is finished with the job and asks the home owner if he can take a few more pictures to add to his portfolio.  The home owner agrees and the contractor snaps a few more pics.  These pictures are later added to the Flickr site.  At the bottom of the picture is a description explaining the company name and website address responsible for this “before and after” collage.

This slideshow of pictures can then be emailed to friends and clients as well as being linked on Facebook, the contractor’s website and on Twitter. Try it for yourself.  Go to www.flickr.com and type “Kitchen remodel” in the Search function at the top of the page.  You will find some pictures that have anywhere from 200 to 1,700 views.  If 250 new prospects saw pictures of your handiwork, how many of them would be enticed to contact you?  How many new jobs could you land if you could SHOW your work to clients rather than TELL them about it? And best part is, it’s free!

September 7, 2010

Getting Started With YouTube in Your Contracting Business

Of all the technological advances to come along in the last  couple of years, YouTube ranks as one of the most important. In fact, YouTube has become the number 2 search engine behind their parent search engine Google. Think about it, the ability for anyone to upload a video has taken the world by storm.  Instead of putting up one more video of a cat playing the piano, let’s talk about a way YouTube can be used in your contractor marketing plan.

Contractors field questions all the time about the best way to fix or repair something. Whether it’s plumbing, electrical, carpentry or any other field, most people think they can do as good a job as the expert with just a few “insider” tips.  But a lot of the time people will step away from the project and call a professional if they could actually see what’s involved BEFORE they get started. This is where YouTube can be helpful.

Think about the different projects that people always talk about and pick one as your project video.  Make a short video that shows a portion of identifying the problem, getting the right parts or materials, preparing the job site, and actually completing the work.   The description can elaborate that although the video was condensed to 6 or 7 minutes all of the steps involved actually took 4 hours to complete, or whatever the time frame turns out to be.  This could be an excellent way to show expertise in an area and drive sales to your doorstep. So get on YouTube and see what other contractors are doing and see how you too can drum up new business by showing people how hard your job really is!

  • YouTube is making money? (tech.fortune.cnn.com)
  • AOL Sign Web Search, Mobile Search and YouTube Deal with Google (crenk.com)