Looking for a way to generate contractor leads for your home improvement business to grow your bottom line without breaking the bank? While lead generation without spending a dime is possible, you will need a bit of creativity, patience, and the right marketing tactics to help open doors to make more homeowner connections.
What’s great about developing a marketing strategy to help generate free construction leads is that the initiatives you put in place now and maintain have the potential to consistently help you bring in more business, indefinitely. Just remember that marketing and lead gen tactics take time and patience; getting started now will help set you up for long-term success.
Whether you’re a new trade business that’s just starting out or you’re a seasoned veteran in construction who’s looking to boost your customer count on a budget, we’ve broken down 7 ways to help you generate more construction leads and opportunities for your business without spending a dime.
Let’s review some free ways to start generating leads for your business
While lead generation tools are important to growing and scaling your business, there are plenty of free tactics that can attract interested homeowners and help you convert them into customers. Let’s dive into all 7 ideas that can get you started.
1. Make Sure New Customers Can Find Your Business Online
If you want to reach new customers for free, you need to be visible where researching homeowners are looking, and that means having a presence on search engines like Google. Google My Business offers free business listings that can help you become more visible online. A Google My Business page can help your business emerge in local search results for queries specific to your construction services, such as “General Contractor near me”. When optimized correctly, Google My Business can display your business information in the search results and maps, helping you generate free contractor leads.
For example, if a homeowner wanted to find a contractor in Toronto, they would probably head over to Google and type in “Contractor in Toronto”. If you’re listed with Google My Business, you would be displayed in that search result and can be found with that specific query.
Once you create your free listing, you can add photos of your work, your business hours, services offered, and other details to help researching homeowners get in touch with you. Many factors go into helping your business rank on the first page of specific search queries, but what’s important to be found online is taking the first step in creating your Google My Business page and inputting all the correct business information.
- How To Start a Google My Business Listing.
- SEO for Contractors: What is Local SEO and How to Boost It
2. Implement SEO Strategies to Attract Contractor Leads
Homeowners spend hours researching online before reaching out to a home service pro. Whether they see your company lawn signs or heard about your business through word of mouth, there has never been a higher urgency to outrank the competition in organic search results and get found by your next customer. This is when SEO (search engine optimization) should be used. SEO tactics can help your business get found online and generate contractor leads for free.
When evaluating your SEO strategy, it’s important to think about your customers. When they go online and search for your services, what types of queries are they searching for? Make a list of these queries, aka “keywords” or “key terms”, and determine how to make your website more relevant to these searches. Updating your website content to include the right keywords is a free tactic that over time can help boost your visibility online, and in turn, can result in more connections for your business.
3. Get Serious About Content Marketing
Content marketing involves producing online content like blog posts, articles, and videos to inform your target audience on a subject and convert them into customers. Your content should be related to your trade and presented in an interesting way to your target audience without aggressively selling your services.
When done right, content marketing has the ability to seriously grow your lead count without a cost to you. Content creation takes time but can be made easier when writing about topics you’re already an expert in, like your trade. You could write about a topic you know resonates with homeowners like a frequently asked question you hear, or what a typical renovation entails, for example. Content that answers a homeowner’s question that is relevant to your service offering is material that search engines love, so think about writing content that answers a specific search query about your trade and place keywords in your content to help boost your organic SEO (point number two!).
From there, the best-case scenario is that the articles you publish help attract free visitors to your website for years to come. Plus, these articles will help educate homeowners on their renovation or repair quandaries, which can build trust without even speaking to them, a double win for your home improvement business.
4. Stay Engaged on Social Media For Contractor Leads
Like most home service pros, you’ve likely taken the first step in creating a free Facebook and/or Instagram account for your business. Both are great avenues to pursue when looking to generate free leads for your business. However, just creating social accounts is not enough. Your social outlets require love and attention regularly. There is nothing worse than a prospect finding your social pages and seeing an empty page with no updates, or even worse, a post from 2011.
To ensure your social media accounts are effectively generating leads, you should post content consistently (on a schedule) and frequently. Building a following on social media can be a slow process, but it can have a snowball effect once your content starts getting noticed. Share photos regularly of previous jobs, or update your social audience on your accomplishments like winning a HomeStars Best of Award. Engage with other pros and join industry-relevant groups and forums, and get involved in virtual discussions on social channels to connect with other like-minded businesses. This natural engagement online will help drive more visits to your social media channels and in turn, increase the likelihood of homeowners seeking you out.
- 5 Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged on Social Media
- How to Stay Top of Mind with Social Media During the Off-Season
5. Review Marketing and Your Free HomeStars Listing
Reviews are key to not only attracting new construction leads, but can help seal the deal and close more jobs. HomeStars is Canada’s #1 website connecting homeowners to trusted home service pros – we see over 9 million visits a year from researching homeowners looking to find a pro with reviews written by past customers. With that considered, it is probably safe to say that pros who frequently collect customer reviews are more likely to see leads and interested prospects than those with very little or none. You can create your free HomeStars profile here, and start collecting past customer reviews right away.
87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
To make things as simple as possible for collecting past customer reviews for your HomeStars profile, you can send review requests to clients using the HomeStars for Pros app. All you need to do is 1) Create your free HomeStars profile, and 2) download the HomeStars for Pros app to get started.
- Webinar: Review-Based Marketing is King Right Now, and Here’s Why…
- Video: How to Request a Customer Review on HomeStars
6. Ask for Referrals, with Gratitude Top of Mind
Referrals cost you nothing—you just have to stay connected with your past and potential clients regularly so you’re top of their minds when they or someone they know starts planning a home renovation or repair project. This can be an easier (or cheaper!) hack to help generate free leads for your business.
Many homeowners hire contractors by asking for recommendations from people they know and checking the company’s reviews from credible sources online like HomeStars before making a hiring decision. Homeowners would rather hire someone verified and trustworthy than choose an unknown business.
To help your business get free referral business (without the gift cards and incentives) simply let your customers know that you appreciate them and that you welcome their referrals. Most people feel good about helping others, once they understand how they can, so ask the right customers at the end of the job, and be sure to show your gratitude for their business.
7. Register Your Business on Small Business Directories
To boost contractor leads for your construction business, consider enlisting it in established Canadian small business directories. While these platforms have limitations, they serve as pivotal steps in expanding your online presence. Here are various directories to explore and elevate your visibility:
- Kijiji: Offering extensive online exposure, Kijiji showcases your construction business, yet its broad categories might hinder your business from standing out. Additionally, Kijiji users typically seek cost-effective deals, which may not align with your service scope for more comprehensive projects or full-scale renovations.
- Craigslist: Similar to Kijiji, Craigslist covers diverse categories. Caution is advised due to recent scams. It could be useful for securing smaller contractor jobs but bigger construction leads may be amiss due to the platform’s reputation for hosting budget solutions.
- 411.ca: Covering various industries, 411.ca lacks a specific focus on home repair or renovation. Despite this, it can serve as an initial platform, especially for businesses looking to secure small to medium contractor leads.
- Facebook Groups and Marketplace: Engaging with local community groups on Facebook can be advantageous. Using Marketplace to promote your construction services and exclusive offers can attract users seeking such services. Find homeowner groups within your service area and organically advertise your services, emphasizing attractive discounts or special offers, allowing you to stay attuned to homeowner needs and trends.
- Yelp: While widely recognized, Yelp caters to multiple industries, not exclusively to home renovation. Exercise caution due to concerns about fake reviews and conduct thorough pre-registration research.
- ShowMeLocal: Another local business directory option – however, it may not exclusively target your specific audience, potentially limiting its effectiveness for generation contractor leads your business.
- Google My Business: As mentioned before, a robust Google My Business profile is crucial in the digital age. A well-crafted profile improves visibility among homeowners, allowing you to showcase essential details, website links, and images. However, manage reviews vigilantly as Google My Business permits everyone to leave feedback.
We hope you enjoyed our 7 tips to generating free homeowner leads. If you have any questions or would like to connect with a HomeStars team member to learn more about how HomeStars help you connect with your next customer, call us at 1-800-701-9265 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.