As you well know, when you work as a deck and patio contractor, you are doing business in a highly competitive space. That’s why leads are to your company what oxygen is to your body. Your pipeline needs constant cold leads—potential customers who don’t yet know your company or want your solution but could be convinced.
Your potential customers have lots of choices, so step one is simply becoming one of them, followed quickly by step two: becoming the only obvious choice. There are a number of effective ways to do this in the deck and patio contracting business in 2019. Practice all of them and you’ll never stop breathing life into your business.
Here are the top seven ways for deck and patio contractors to generate quality leads in 2019:
- Master targeting to find the right cold leads
- Dominate search engine marketing
- Tell stories with videos
- Blog to solve big problems
- Get professional connections with a LinkedIn account
- Offer a value-packed free guide
- Host an attention-getting contest
Let’s take a look at each of these lead generation strategies in more detail.
1. Master targeting to find the right cold leads
You know you need to keep your pipeline full of leads. But how do you connect with as many potential customers in your target market as possible? The answer: Create an undeniable cold lead strategy and you’ll never lack for potential customers to follow up with.
Essentially a cold lead strategy involves:
Step 2: Collecting their contact information so you can follow up.
But where does the undeniable part come in? You can spend plenty of money promoting a Facebook ad, but it won’t generate quality cold leads unless you do one thing right: targeting.
Before you deploy an ad on social media, you need to select targeting criteria. And the importance of this step can’t be overestimated! Who is your target demographic? What are their interests? What matters to them? If you do your research, you’ll find that perfect niche audience. For example, if you’re trying to sell patio renovations, why not target people who recently moved or people who have an interest in home and garden topics?
Want to see how this is done? Check out this Case Study about how we generated 732 leads in 2 months for a modular house company.
2. Dominate search engine marketing
When your customers use Google to find a deck and patio contracting company, you want your ad to show up above the organic (i.e., unpaid) search results. That’s search engine marketing. We’re talking about using Google Ads to drive leads to a landing page on your website where they will hopefully give you their follow-up information.
Now, Google Ads can work incredibly well, but they can also be a spectacular waste of money. It takes a certain level of expertise to really dial in an effective Google ad campaign, so make sure you get professional support.
Also, as a deck and patio contracting company, you’re undoubtedly serving a particular city, town, or region. That means ranking on Google Maps could drive a lot of business your way. Say your potential customer Googles something along the lines of “deck contractor near me.” You want your business to show up listed under that map that appears in the search results.
To do this, you need a Google My Business listing, and enough positive Google reviews from past customers to push your name up to the top. (Check out this article for more tips on ranking #1 on Google Maps.)
3. Tell stories with video
Imagine if your lead could watch a 2-minute video that showed snippets of you building a deck or a patio, ending with the eye-catching final results. In 2 minutes, the value you offer as a contractor will become totally obvious and completely real. No need for your leads to use their imaginations—they can see how awesome your work is with their own eyes!
Videos, when done well, make people pay attention and reach out. When your videos are easy to digest and visually appealing, you can reach many more leads on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. And as always, you’re sending the people who engage (i.e., interact) with your video to a landing page that could turn them into legitimate customers.
4. Solve big problems by blogging
Blogging about topics that relate to your business is a fantastic lead generator. That’s because when you use a blog to answer questions your potential customers might have, they are:
- More likely to find your website, and
- More likely to see you as an expert, and someone they can trust to actually get the job done.
For example, imagine your potential customer asks Google: “Do I need a permit for a deck renovation?” Now imagine that one of the first search results they get is a blog post you wrote, titled “Deck Permits: Everything You Need to Know for Your Renovation Project.” If you prove your expertise and helpfulness when they need guidance, they’re much more likely to think of you when they’re ready for a contractor.
Think deck and patio building makes for boring blog content? Think again! Solving a customer’s problem is never boring. To generate ideas, just think about what questions your potential customer might be asking. For example:
- “What deck and patio styles are trendy in 2019?”
- “Is there an eco-friendly way to weatherproof my deck?”
- “What materials can I repurpose to create unique patios?”
- “What trellis style will suit my mid-century home?”
5. Get professional connections with a LinkedIn account
LinkedIn gives you invaluable opportunities to network with other professionals, especially ones in complementary industries. For example, could you be generating more leads by reaching out to other renovation or building-oriented companies? How about real estate agents who advise their clients to do renovations before selling?
With your LinkedIn account, you can join industry discussions that will give you ideas and spark invaluable connections. It’s also a great place to do market research. You can observe what kind of content or information related to your industry is generating the most excitement or engagement. And LinkedIn’s publishing platform gives you another place to connect with potential customers. Think of it as another place to offer blog-like content that solves problems and answers questions.
6. Offer a value-packed free guide
Who doesn’t love “free”? Especially when it’s a truly valuable resource. Creating and giving away a free guide works in the same way that blogging works. It’s an opportunity for you to help out your customer before they spend a single dollar on your services. It creates a feeling of trust, and lets you show off your expertise.
What kind of a guide could you, as a deck and patio contractor, offer? Just think about what your ideal customer is looking for and how to be helpful. For example, if homeowners looking for deck and patio renovations are your target demographic, how about creating a step-by-step guide to planning out a deck or patio renovation project? Then you can offer a download of this guide in exchange for an email address, and you’ve got a whole new batch of leads on your hands.
7. Host an attention-getting contest
Facebook contests are a fun, no-pressure way to connect your business with lots of potential leads. For the cost of whatever your prize is, you could be driving awareness to thousands of potential customers.
To run a contest, you just need to:
- Pick a prize that’s related to your business. For example, offer $500 off a new deck or patio. That way you know that every person who enters the contest actually wants a new deck or patio (i.e., they’re potential customers).
- Figure out what contestants need to do to enter. For example, asking for email addresses is a simple way to ensure you have a way to follow up with these leads.
- Create a contest page. Make it attractive, with great photos, an exciting title, and an easy-to-use submission form.
- Promote it everywhere. Share with your email list, your friends, and your social media followers. Use a Facebook ad. Add a banner to your website. Get the word out!
Build those leads!
There’s no doubt that running a patio and deck contracting business in 2019 is challenging, with new competitors entering the market every day. But if you do excellent work and invest effort into letting your leads know about it, success is yours.
About the author
Jordan West is the founder of Mindful Marketing Co. When he’s not helping businesses, he loves golfing, wine and being with his family (because that’s what this is all about).