by Karen A. Davis
Operating a small- to medium-sized building industry business isn’t easy these days. The economy is down, and it seems as though many projects are in a holding pattern, if they’ve started at all.
But you can’t just sit by waiting for the phone to ring. Now is the time to create new strategies for getting your name in front of potential and existing clients, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it. Here are a few ideas:
1. Build relationships. Correspond with clients regularly with an e-mail, postcard, or phone call so your name stays in on the tip of their tongue. You want to be foremost on their mind when a project is in the early stages so they will call you when they are ready to implement the vision.
2. Take on a partner. Contact a colleague you trust who offers complementary services to yours and work together to build business. Share advertising space or swap client lists and give each other a great introduction.
3. Position yourself as an authority. Write an article – or several – for trade magazines. If you’re an architect, try writing one for a construction magazine; there may be less competition. Send those articles to your existing clients so they know you’re an expert, and suggest that they pass the articles on to others who may benefit.
4. No time to write articles? Start an online blog (weblog) and begin to jot down your views on current events and building industry issues and trends. Let your clients know where to find it and how often it will be updated. No excuses; a blog can be started for free.
5. Join online social networking sites. No, they’re not just for kids. According to a recent Detroit Free Press article, nearly half of all Facebook users are 35 and older. Facebook, as well as MySpace, Meetup, Linkedin and many others have professionals that join every minute, and they are looking to connect with people who can help them grow their business, and whom they can help. You can even create your own networking site at Ning.com.
6. Build a website, already. You can create a website with good content for less than $100 per year (not including your editing time). At minimum, list the services your offer, post photos of your most recent projects, and give viewers a reason to contact you.
Marketing doesn’t have to break the budget. Many strategies only require your time and effort. For more tips go to www.buildingsource.net or contact Building Industry Resources for help in implementing these ideas.
© Copyright – Karen A. Davis. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Twitter is a microblogging service that allows users to send very short messages (140 characters or less) through the internet or a cell phone text message. Companies are utilizing Twitter to promote their services and to provide other information to their clients. Read Twitter for Business by C.G. Lynch of C.I.O. and respond to a tweet from B.I.R. at http://twitter.com/buildingsource