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Iceni Magazine | July 20, 2024

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What Any New Contractor Can Do To Secure Their First Clients

What Any New Contractor Can Do To Secure Their First Clients

When you think about contractors, what immediately comes to mind?

Do you think of those go-to repair or remodelers with close relationships with their clientele? Do you think of the top search results on Google? How about those successful contractors that everyone within their locality knows who they are? These are all pretty amazing, right?

These three examples alone are the perfect examples of success when it comes to contractors. With that said, however, it takes a while to get to that status, that status where people know you, they trust you, and they’re positive that you’re going to get the job done for them. But how exactly can you achieve this status?

What can you do to prove that you’re the one that can be trusted? While of course, when it comes to any business, it’s something that merely takes time. But with that said, it’s something that’s still not impossible to do. While time is your friend when it comes to securing a solid business, it ultimately comes down to your clients though. So, with that said, here’s exactly what every new contractor needs to know to secure clients!

It All Starts with Building an Impressive Online Digital Presence

In the digital age, an online presence is often the first impression clients have of a contractor. This is something you have to keep in mind. It’s no longer about finding the first ad or name for a contractor in the phone book; that basically doesn’t exist anymore.

So, instead, you’ll need to just create a professional website, perhaps with the help of someone like this website designer for painting contractors, that showcases your skills, experiences, and previous projects. It’s a lot of work, but you need to show that you’re different from the competition, and this might even mean having to optimise your LinkedIn profile and consider joining relevant professional networks.

Yes, this is something even contractors need to do, whether it’s B2C or even B2B. But generally speaking, an impressive online presence not only establishes credibility but also makes it easier for potential clients to find and connect with you. So, in general, no matter what type of clientele you’re after, you need that professional appearance, and it’s going to start with this!

Network Like Your Business Depends on It (Because It Does)

You know how it was stated earlier that most people, businesses included, have a go-to contractor? Well, this usually happens through networking. While it’s not always from this, it almost always is. So, with that said, you have to network. Sure, it can be really uncomfortable, but it’s one of the only ways to really get out there.

Networking is a powerful tool for new contractors. It’s really going to help out if you attend industry events, join online forums, and participate in relevant social media groups. Plus, building relationships with fellow professionals and potential clients can lead to valuable referrals and opportunities. Really, don’t be afraid to reach out, introduce yourself, and express your interest in collaboration.

Freelance Platforms (Maybe)

Technically, the word “contractor” is a vague term; while most people usually think of building-oriented work, it doesn’t need to be that way. So, if you’re running a contracting business and it’s not hands-on (like plumbing, construction, building, etc), then it can help to use these. Again, it just really depends on what you’re doing. These platforms are only for work at a distance.

So go ahead and take a look at platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr, which can be invaluable for new contractors looking to secure their first clients. Create a compelling profile, highlight your skills, and actively apply for relevant projects. Building a positive reputation on these platforms can lead to long-term client relationships and a steady stream of work.

Start Off with Offering Some Discounts

As a new contractor, consider offering special promotions or discounts for your first clients. This not only attracts attention but also incentivizes potential clients to take a chance on your services. Once you’ve proven your capabilities, satisfied clients may become repeat customers and refer you to others. Usually, this is done by having a promotion on your website or whatever booking that this is going to be done through.

Do You Have an Existing Network that You Can Tap Into?

If you’re able to, it’s going to really help if you’re able to just leverage your existing professional and personal network. Let friends, family, and former colleagues know about your new venture. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and personal recommendations can lead to your first clients. Just try and encourage those in your network to spread the word and consider offering referral incentives. You could also try integrating into a network that already exists, with things like buying a pool route for sale, which allows you to purchase an already-established clientele base.

Look into Attending Local Business-Oriented Events

Again, it doesn’t matter if your business is B2B or B2C (or both).  In general, it’s going to help if you just don’t underestimate the power of local connections. Attend business events, chamber of commerce meetings, and industry conferences in your area. Face-to-face interactions can be memorable and build trust. Distribute business cards, participate in discussions, and be proactive in introducing yourself to potential clients.

Is the Process for Your Clients Easy?

If you truly want to secure clients, then you need to understand that you have to work for it, not the other way around. You’re going to want to make sure that getting a quote is easy for them and that your website is UX-friendly, even mobile-friendly. But it’s not just the booking/ browsing process, but the entire process needs to be easy.

Both for you and them need to have an easy experience. It might help out if you have solid HVAC invoicing software if you’re running an HVAC business (or any business for that matter) where it’s entirely understandable both for you and the client. Communication needs to be clear as well. Overall, the process and the whole experience have to be easy; how else could they recommend you if it isn’t?

Utilise Local Print Advertising

Does this still work? You’d be surprised to know how handy this actually is! Actually, it’s going to be a good idea to just go ahead and invest in local print advertising to reach homeowners who may not be actively searching online for handyman services (or whatever contractor service you do). If you can, try and place ads in community newspapers, local magazines, or bulletin boards. But usually, there are special ad agencies within the city that could help you out, too. But in general, a well-designed and visually appealing print ad can capture the attention of potential clients in your target area.

Why Not Try a Referral Program?

Honestly, as a new contractor, the harder part is just that first step, just immediately getting out there and known. Once you’re known, it’s usually smooth sailing from there. So, if you’re able to, just try to encourage word-of-mouth marketing by implementing a referral program to offer discounts or special promotions to existing clients who refer your services to others.

People are more likely to trust recommendations from friends or family, and a referral program incentivizes your current clients to become advocates for your business. Essentially, if you can do this, then it’s going to be way easier to get known.

Focus on Content

What was stated above was all about building trust, and it’s usually a domino effect. So why not consider focusing on creating some content to prove that you’re helpful and trustworthy? It’s really up to you how you do it, but it’s really going to help to just create informative home maintenance guides that you can distribute digitally or in print.

These guides can cover topics like seasonal maintenance tips, DIY solutions, and the importance of regular inspections. What you really want to do is to just position yourself as a helpful resource, and homeowners may turn to you when they need professional assistance. You can use your own website like a blog, but of course, YouTube tutorials and videos on IG and TikTok could really help, too. But if you’re gearing more towards B2B, then LinkedIn content might be best.

Try Out Packages First

Something you’re really going to want to do would be to just develop maintenance packages that cater to homeowners looking for ongoing services. This could include seasonal home check-ups, regular maintenance, or subscription-based services. In general, when it comes to providing options for long-term partnerships, it encourages clients to see the value in a continued relationship with your handyman services (or the general contracting service that you’re offering)…

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