5 Best Lead Sources for Contractors

5 best lead sources for local contractors

5 Best Lead Sources for Contractors

If you’re a contractor looking to get your name out there to potential customers, this blog will cover the pros and cons of the top 5 best lead sources for contractors. While marketing should be approached on an individual level, these are broad recommendations that any local contracting business should consider. The lead sources are listed in order based on how easy or difficult they are to start and generate leads with. We’ve listed the easiest first and the hardest last. Take a look at the pros and cons, consider your business, and start with the one that fits best for you. If you want to make sure you’re picking the best approach, you can request a time to work with us to plan your best next steps. We’ll reach out to see how we can help.

Facebook

Pros

Facebook is a great lead source that allows you to target a specific audience based on their location, interests, and demographics. As a contractor, you can create Facebook Ads that target homeowners in your area who are likely to need your services. For example, you can target homeowners who have recently purchased a home or who have shown an interest in home improvement projects. Facebook Ads are also cost-effective, so you can set a budget that works for your business. 

With Facebook, you also have the option to post for free in local groups with testimonials and pictures of your work. This not only reaches an active and local audience, but it establishes your company as a trusted local contractor.

Typically, if you have limited resources and an active local audience in Facebook groups, this is the first and fastest way to see results for free. This is generally where I recommend my clients start their marketing efforts. 

Cons

Facebook ads can be a significant investment for any contractor just getting into marketing. The minimum daily budget that I recommend for a single ad is $5-10. This is small enough to not spend a fortune, but large enough to get the data you need to adjust and improve your ads. However, spending $5-10 per day is $150 to $300 per month. This can be a big investment for a small business, especially if you don’t know how to run ads to make the most of your budget. Facebook ads can 100% be worth it, and I generally recommend starting with Facebook ads before moving to any other ad platform.

Using free Facebook posts as a lead source, the drawback is that you are dependent on your local Facebook groups having a large and active audience. If your area doesn’t have an active audience, you can post for free all day long and see zero results. Since we’ve worked with several clients in more rural areas with smaller audiences on Facebook, we have an idea of how big and active the audience needs to be to see leads start flowing with free posts. 

Request a free consult, and we’ll help you figure out if your local audience will be active enough to generate leads.

Business Website

general contractor website builders

Pros

In today’s digital age, having a website for your business is a must. Here’s 5 Reasons Every Contractor Needs a Great Website. In fact, we recommend that all of our clients build or optimize their business website as one of the first few steps to generate leads. 

What we’ve seen with our clients is that the leads coming from their websites are the second best leads of any lead source (second only to repeat business). The reason for this is that your website is where people go when they want to learn more about your business, services, and reviews. When they click on your website, they aren’t interested in any contractor, they are interested specifically in learning about you. Out of all of our clients’ lead sources, website leads have the highest conversion rate and highest average lead value (total sales divided by number of leads). 

In addition, your website helps capture more leads from your other lead sources. For example, in all of our clients’ Facebook posts, we link to their website, allowing people to read more and giving them a second opportunity to convert. For Google My Business leads, a website makes your company look more professional and more established. For Google Ads, a website is required. And for repeats and referrals, a website is an easy way for a happy customers to share your business with their friends.

In general, a professional website is one of the single most important upgrades you can invest in. The reason it’s not first on the list is because it’s more difficult to implement, leading us to the cons of building a website.

Cons

Building a website and deciding how to get it done will take a lot of research. Your first option is to DIY it. There are a ton of resources out there to help you build your own site. For example, check out this article to learn about General Contractor Website Builder Pros and Cons. They are designed to make it easy for a beginner to build a great website, but not all website builders are created equal!

If you’re looking to DIY, make sure to check out this article about General Contractor Basic Website Requirements. It’ll go over all the important things your website needs to be able to do so you get the best leads possible.

When I built my business as a general contractor, I started with Squarespace (and no previous website building experience). It took me about a week to put together my first site, and I was so proud of it. Looking back on it now, it was obvious that a beginner had built it! Each year, for the next three years, I would spend another week to rebuild my site and make it even better, and each year it looked more and more professional. But it was still clear that a contractor made the website, not a professional developer. 

The other thing to consider is how effective your website will perform as a lead source. As a contractor, I didn’t know the ins and outs of what makes a great site perform or how to optimize for leads. Looking back on it, I probably missed out on some customers because my website was not optimized. 

All I’m trying to say is that building your website on your own is a great way to bootstrap and grow with minimal investment. However, hiring the right professional website company can make a site that is beautiful and works as a high-performing lead source.

Hire a Pro

 

The other option is to hire a professional website developer. We’ll be writing several blog posts on this topic in the coming months, so if you’re interested, make sure to check back.

Google My Business Profile

Google My Business Tools and Listings for Local Contractors

Pros

Google My Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps. By creating a Google My Business profile, you’ll be able to list your business hours, address, phone number, website, and services. You can also add photos to showcase your work and respond to customer reviews. When homeowners search for contractors in your area on Google, your business will show up in the search results, making it easier for them to find you. If your profile is optimized properly, this can be a great lead source.

Cons

Your Google My Business profile is unlikely to generate significant lead flow on its own unless you have been in business a while, have at least 30 reviews, and a great rating. If that is the case, then you have plenty of room for profile optimization. By crafting responses to reviews with SEO in mind, you can boost your ranking and search appearance on Google Maps without even having a website. 

However, if you don’t have a ton of reviews, even with the best profile optimization, there is limited benefit. 

Google Ads

Pros

Google Ads are a great way to get in front of your ideal customer at the ideal time. You can target certain search terms and keywords to show up right when your customer is ready to make a purchase (or at least take the next step).

More importantly, Google Ads is a lead source that you can continue to grow and scale for years to come. Once you get a decent return on ad spend, all you have to do is increase your budget. I’ve worked with contractors who have spent $10k to $20k on Google Ads per month and they still had plenty of room to grow with the platform. 

Cons

Generally, running a Google Ads campaign is a more expensive option, with the lowest recommended budget being $500 per month depending on your location. I recommend starting with Facebook Ads first, and then adding Google Ads once you’re seeing a decent return on investment. Google Ads tends to be high-risk, high-reward, so it may not be the best place to start if you have a limited budget.

Repeats and Referrals

Pros

Repeat business is the bread and butter of local contractors, and referral programs are a great way to incentivize your existing customers to refer new clients to your business. By offering a discount or other incentive for referrals, you can encourage your satisfied customers to spread the word about your services. Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective ways to gain new clients, so this is a method that you should definitely consider. 

Cons

The reason this is listed last is because it is the most difficult to achieve. To get loyal customers that keep coming back, you have to have a genuinely amazing product or service! More than likely, this will take years of trial and error to develop something that your customers rave about. And if you already have it, you’re golden!

The other drawback to repeats and referrals is that it’s the slowest method for growth. Granted, it makes growth come naturally, but there’s no way to grow and scale word-of-mouth like other forms of advertising.

That being said, repeats and referrals can be the most consistent and long-term reliable lead sources.

Conclusion

As a local contractor, there are many different advertising options available to you. By choosing the right advertising methods for your business, you can increase your visibility and attract new clients. This list is ranked in order based on how easy it is to get started on each platform to grow your business. Just because repeats and referrals are listed last, doesn’t mean you should ignore it. It just means that if you’re starting your business or if you want to grow your business with marketing, it is the most difficult to achieve. 

Regardless which method you choose, it’s important to track your results and adjust your strategy as needed. With a little bit of research and experimentation, you can find the advertising methods that work best for your business and reach your target audience. 

Read this article from NextDoor for a few Marketing Tips for Contractors.

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