There are a lot of different ways to get leads for your construction business. Some people will have better results with one form of lead generation, and others will have success with a different lead generation method.
If you don’t have a good method to generate leads for your construction business, then you are likely just starting out and asking how to get construction leads. If you have plenty of leads, but would like for more of them to come from referrals then you are likely at a different stage of your business and already have plenty of general contractor leads.
Start Up – This is where you are just starting out. There are virtually no leads coming in, and you quickly realize that your biggest job as a business owner is to learn to market your business, the easiest way is with residential construction leads.
In the slow season, your family may likely be encouraging you to go work for someone else, don’t let that happen. Learn to market your business.
In the start up phase, you have to try everything. You have to be everywhere. You have to talk to anyone and everyone, which is likely the best way to get construction leads.
Growth – This is the phase where you now have enough leads to keep yourself and your crews busy. The phones are ringing pretty regularly and you feel like your business is finally going to succeed. You likely have found at least one effective method of generating construction leads and things are going well. In this phase you should start raising your prices and looking at your profitability. After all, businesses are supposed to make money.
Expansion – This is where you may look to expand into other markets, either by offering different services to existing clients. Offering new services to everyone, or maybe opening new locations or expanding service into other locations.
Maturity – This is the phase where we all want to be. We are no longer coming to work every day thinking about where we are going to grow next. You have a great reputation, reliable source of leads, and most importantly enough money to be completely satisfied. Your business is now a well oiled machine that largely runs without you needing to be there for every emergency that comes up. Hopefully by this point, systems are in place that keep referrals coming in and you are no longer having to spend unnecessary money on advertising.
Now, remember in the start up phase, you will want to try as many of these as possible. After you find a few that work for you, start doubling down on the ones that are working and cut back on the ones that don’t work. Every business is different, and every person is different, and every market is different. You need data, not advice. So track everything! Know your numbers!
Door to Door – Now this method may not be the most popular, but that is where you will have the advantage. Not everyone is doing this, and it works great. You are not going door to door to sell your services, you are going out to targeted neighborhoods to be seen in the area. Your vehicle is parked in the neighborhood, and you are knocking on doors handing out flyers.
Signs – Signs are an important part of lead generation, and they can be mostly passive. When you are on a job site, be sure that the home owner, or business is aware that you will be putting a sign in the yard while you are on the job site. Sometimes you can even offer a discount if they let the sign stay there for a few weeks after you are done. Just so everyone in the neighborhood can see your business name and have access to your contact information, whether it is your phone number or website.
Flyers – Much like door to door, flyers can be handed out most anywhere that you find your ideal clients congregating. One thing you can implement in your processes is to have people go door to door while you are on a job site handing out flyers. You are already in the neighborhood, why not make the most of it.
Vehicles – Now another great thing about having your business information on your trucks or vans is that people get to see them while you are working in neighborhoods that you want to do more business in. This is once again, a mostly passive way to do lead generation and once the work is done on the vehicles, no additional effort is required.
Organic Search – This is one of the most under utilized categories for most businesses, which makes it very easy for the people at the top to stay at the top. Since this will last a long time, and is essentially free after it is set up, this will be one of your long term advantages for building referral traffic from Google. Google is already someone that your potential clients know, like and trust. There are over 5 Billion searches a day on Google. If your business has or had a category in the Yellow Pages, then there are very likely people searching for your business every day on Google. Try to be the one on the top! It takes a while, but it is so worth it. Always set aside at least a portion of your marketing budget (time, energy or money) to get found on Google. If you do decide to pay for it, ensure that the people you pay are actually ranking for something that will benefit their own business. After all, if they can’t rank themselves, what makes you think they can rank your site?
Paid Advertising – This is a big one, and I am lumping it all into one category, as the purpose for this is essentially paying someone to advertise your business with the hope that you will get results. Under this category, there are many different ways to get leads, here are several:
Now, of all those, one of the most cost effective ways is retargeting, which is available on many large advertising platforms . With retargeting, you are only showing your ads to people that have already visited your website. The problem with that is that they had to have already visited your website, so retargeting essentially has to be done in conjunction with other forms of advertising, or just having a site that gets organic traffic from Google, which is commonly known as the free traffic from Google, or perhaps another way of getting free construction leads, that of course aren’t really free as you have to do some sort of work to get good rankings.
Events – Events can be either ones you attend like a Home Show or Trade Show, or an event that you hold yourself, which can be a great way to earn the trust of people you want to work with.
Networking – Networking is likely the oldest form of advertising, everyone likes doing business with people they know, like and trust. You have to get out there and meet people.
BNI – Professional networking group designed specifically to pass referrals (if you join BNI, tell them that Bill Cook from the Oklahoma Sooner Networking Group sent you!)
Chamber of Commerce – this is available in most cities across the country, and there are national versions as well. In many bigger cities, there are many that you can join.
Meetups – There are many groups here where you may find like minded people to network with. Usually free and much more casual, which can be a bad thing.
Volunteer organizations – Habitat for Humanity is a great example where anyone in the construction business can get their name out
Tracking is one of the most important things you can do with your leads. If you don’t know what is working, how can you know where to focus your efforts?
This doesn’t have to be complicated. When you are talking to a potential client, ask them how they found you.
Keep it simple. A pen and a piece of paper can be your tracking system when you are getting started. It can be a spreadsheet, there are many free options. It can be a notebook. Just track where your leads are coming from.
Track at least the following:
Value of Project
Profit of Project
Cost of Lead
With all that information, it will become apparent over time that some of your lead sources are more effective than others. If you spend $1,000 on Google Ads, and take in $10,000 worth of business, then that is a 10X return. Spend more money on Google Ads! If you spend a couple thousand dollars on a particular source and you don’t get anything in return. Cut back on those expenses, or eliminate them entirely.
Your business depends on you strategically controlling your resources. Your resources are limited, focus on what is working. Double down on anything that is showing promise. One way to do this is try 10 different things. Of those, maybe double down on the three that are returning the most profit to your business.
A lot of people will be researching your company before they call you. They will likely visit your website. In some of the advertising, you will be sending them to your website before you have contact with them. There are things you can do that will help you not drop the ball when they get to your site.
The first thing you want to do is to make sure that when someone visits your site, they know they are in the right place. Don’t confuse them. Your logo and the words at the top of the page should reassure them that they are in the right place.
Having your phone number displayed prominently in the top of the page will help your potential clients know how to contact you. Don’t make them search for the number, by clicking to your contact page. Have it on the first page they see.
I have seen some of Bill's SEO work and am always impressed with the quality of his work. He seems to have an uncanny ability to recognize profitable keywords and then use great techniques to get them to the first page of Google. If you need to get more clients and revenue from your website, give Bill a call.
It is hard to overstate the talent that Bill Cook displays when he is working on business websites. The sites I have seen him work on consistently move to the top of the search engines for the keywords that actually get more clients. If you need more clients, you should call Bill.