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Hey team, Cameron here from The Professional Builder

Now we’ve been getting a couple of questions that are really, really broad and they’re based around, “I need to do some marketing and where do I start?” So I thought I would quickly run you through into a bit of a process here.
So the first thing you need to do is really answer the question: what are you good at. There’s no point doing work that you suck at.
So what’s your USP? What makes you different? Now you shouldn’t be competing in areas that you can’t win at, so ideally you’d be going into a blue ocean, so a new area that no one else is into or otherwise you’re going to be in a red ocean, which that means there’s blood in the water so there’s hundreds of other people doing the same thing that you do. Then it’s going to be very hard to stand out.
So anything about the type of work that you do, stuff that makes you different. Maybe you’ve been building new homes and you’ve done one or two eco homes, so why not look at the eco home side of things, right? So that might be your point of difference and what makes you different, because like I say there is hundreds of other building companies out there, why should someone choose you over anyone else? Okay. What makes you different?
So next you want to look at who is your customer? And that’s going to be really defined off that question number one, okay? So if you’re going to be building luxury homes on the coast that are holiday homes, per se, then your most likely customers are going to be high net worth people in high positions, right? Sort of 40 to 60 years old, CEOs, COOs, founders of the company, that type of thing. You’re obviously not going to be building luxury holiday homes on the coast for mum and pop who have been working their whole life, and scraping by week to week. So you really need to know who your customer is in order to do some kind of marketing towards them.
So what is it that you’re good at, okay? And along with question number one, what is it that you’re good at but also that you make money off, because there’s no point in doing work that you’re not going to make money off. You might be really, really good at doing new builds but you suck and you guys are really, really good at doing renovations. So yeah, stick to the stuff that you’re good at and you actually make money on, all right? So then your customer’s defined, that’s cool. Then we can start working on some other bits of our marketing
So the next thing is what’s your offer? So if you go out to someone and say, “Hey, I build houses. Yada yada yada,” they’re going to go, “Cool, that’s great.” Again, what’s your offer? What are you actually going to go out to the market with and offer people? So some of our guys do design and build consultations, all right? Or you might do like a dreams to reality session. Now it could just be as simple as going to catch up with these guys and start the process, but if you’ve just got the same offer as everyone else, like I was talking about above, it’s going to be very, very hard to stand out. So if there are 100 building companies out there that they all say, “Contact us and we’ll have a chat,” then that’s not going to be very helpful is it?
So what you really want to do is have something that stands out. An offer that might be limited, it might be something that you have that maybe you’ve got a design team in-house or you work really closely with a designer, okay? Or a interior designer or an architect. So maybe there’s something along those lines you could tack together to make yourself really stand out and offer out to the marketplace. And that way you’re going to peak a lot more attention from people when you go out and advertise the fact of what you do.
So the next thing is what is your conversion tool, okay? And by that we mean if we get lots of eyeballs pointing towards you what’s the thing that’s going to convert those eyeballs into leads? So to start off with it might just be you. It might be you in person, on the phone with people, meeting them at a café, going to their site to do a site visit, and that’s probably what it’s going to be to start out with, all right?

The next thing you might hire a salesperson, okay? So that conversion tool might be your salesperson. But then, ideally, you’re going to have a website and this is something that you want to work on to have something that’s going to deliver you leads 24/7. So the website is essentially a salesperson that doesn’t get sick, doesn’t take holidays, works 24/7 365 days a year, as long as you pay your hosting bill for a small fee. All right? It’s only like $20 bucks a month hosting. So that’s, ideally, the conversion tool that you’re aiming for but to start with it might just be you, okay?

And then now that you’ve got all those things in place it’s time to get the traffic or the eyeballs. So imagine this could be anything from billboards to someone seeing your van signage, it might be a conversation that you’ve had at the pub. But some traffic sources that we like to use are Google Ads, Facebook Ads, social media. You could use things like direct mail, sending actually mail out to specific lists of people, okay? You might have flyers three streets wide. You might have people see your site signage.
So once you’ve got your conversion tool in place, and you’ve got all this other stuff nailed, then you can really look at the traffic and, essentially, pouring more water into your bucket so that you can convert these people into jobs.
So that’s the sort of high level process, right? And you can also chuck in stuff like SEO into there. I don’t actually like to mention that one because it’s a bit further ahead than a lot of people, and they tend to put that in first, and it’s a giant waste of time because it takes a while to actually pay dividends. All right? It’s a long-term process and you need to know that your conversion tool works, like your website, okay?
So you generally fall into three buckets when you’re looking to do some marketing. The first one is, “Oh man, I’ve got no work,” okay? And in which case there’s no point in going to build a website because that’s going to take sort of six to eight weeks to get done, okay? And by that point you’re probably going to be losing money, you’re out of business paying the guys’ wages with no work coming in. So if you’ve got no work you need to go out there and you need to hustle. I’m not going to lie, you need to work really hard. So you could do things like go to the job boards like Builderscrack and there’s a few other ones out there, like Houzz and I think a few others like that, and people advertise for work. Now this stuff is generally price pickers, but at the same time as long as you can cover your costs and you’ve got the guys busy then that’s one avenue, right? We don’t recommend that but if you’ve got no work you’ve got no work.
The next one is you might want to go and talk to other home builders. Maybe they’ve got a shortage in labour, which might lead you onto labour work, all right? And just, again, keeping the guys busy. Or you might find that hey they’re busy, they’ve got … Their website’s feeding them leads and they’ve got extra leads coming through that they can’t do, so you might be able to pick up a few extra jobs just through conversations that you have with other home builders. Okay? So that’s another avenue to chase up.
You could always go out to past clients as well. So if you’ve been working for the last five or 10 years you’ll obviously have a list of people in your accounting package, or in your database, or your CRM, or even in your emails that you’ve spoken to before. Now you can go back and list all those people out, pick up the phone and call, talk to these people, send them an email or both and, “Hey guys, where you at? I know we’ve done work before, have you got anything else going on? Have you got any friends that are looking to do any builds,” or it might just be that you pick up a deck or it might be that you pick up some smaller jobs like that. But, again, it’s just about keeping yourself busy while you work on these longer term strategies.
The next camp you fall into might be that you’ve got some work coming up but it’s still one to two months out. So in which case you’ve got a little bit of time up your sleeve but, again, you still want to get out there and spread the word because one to two months is going to go past really, really quickly. And you want to do the same thing up into you’ve still got six months work ahead of you. That time’s really going to disappear on you, so you want to go out there and you want to start building that pipeline of leads, okay? So get talking. Go and talk to architects, real estate agents, your suppliers, your merchants, all of those people. Again, talk to past clients and things like that.
You want to start conversations with people just so you can get the ball rolling, so you can get your name out there, so you can put your feelers out and see what kind of work’s out there that you might just be able to grab up, and chuck in the pipeline. It might be that Bob and Sally want to get the bathroom renovated, but they don’t really need it done for a few months time. In which case, cool, work on it with them, slot it in in six months time when you’re going to be able to work and they’re going to be ready.
That sort of stuff is what we’re really looking to fill up our pipeline with because there’s three camps of people, right? There’s 5% of people who are ready to buy now, and it’s a very small group of people, and this is who everyone’s trying to get, right? Trying to get work now. The next group of people is about 25%, okay? And those are the type of people just looking for a bit more information before they make a decision or they just need a bit more time. So that’s a big group of people that we want to focus our attention on and start building into our pipeline. And the rest of the 70% are further out or they’re just tyre kicking, right?
So we could do things like past client mail-outs, like I mentioned above. All right? Same thing. Get on the phone, followup people that you’ve spoken to before or worked with before. You could offer a 1% referral to your local groups, schools, charities, that type of thing. So the 1% referral is that, “Hey you refer any work to me I’ll give you 1% of the purchase price,” okay? And that’s paid out by cash or it could be as a holiday, or a new TV, or whatever it might be but it’s a really good incentive for other people to refer you work. Okay? And it’s just another traffic source at the end of the day, so that’s one option.
The next thing is social media, right? You can do some social media posting, and in Facebook groups and things like that. So where I live we’ve got a group here, which is our local area group and it’s not even the city, it’s just a local area of the city, and it’s got about 54,000 people on this Facebook group. So you can post into a local group like that. Doesn’t cost you anything, you’ve just got to join up and search Facebook for those local groups. So if you live on the Sunshine Coast just type that into Facebook and you’ll find a couple of groups around that area. And you can post in there what you do, not salesy, “Does anyone need help with a project, some advice, building help,” whatever it might be. Don’t be a salesperson but get out there and start conversations with people, see how you can help and in turn you might pick up a few leads through there. Doesn’t cost you anything, all right?
And the other option is social media posting on your page or on your personal profile, because you might have friends to read your profile or you might have people that are following you on social media. And you can put stuff on social media. All right, we’ve got a social media playbook you can go through in order to see some examples of what people have posted before. But the big thing is there, and I’ve got in brackets, with paid promotion, right? So Facebook, along time ago, got rid of all the organic reach, which means if you post something on Facebook less than 2% of people, or your followers, are going to see that. Okay? Unless it’s really, really compelling and they share it, and comment, and that type of thing. In which case it’ll go further.
But you want to pay to promote this thing, okay? And you can do that to your local area. So if I was working in, again, Sunshine Coast I would promote that to a certain area that I work in or if I work in Dunedin down New Zealand then, again, you want to just promote it to that local area. And $5 a day for five days, $25, might be all you need to get a couple of people comment, and get involved, and see what you do and how you can help.
And something else you might be able to do is fliers around the local area. So you might be working down XYZ street, get some fliers, chuck them … Get the apprentice to go three or four streets wide and drop them round. And you might find that these people have driven past everything going, “Hey that looks really cool, the work that they’re doing there, that new garage that they’ve put out front,” or, “The new cladding that they’ve done,” and in which case they’ll see the flier and they’ll go, “Cool, here’s your contact details.”
So the next group of people you’re going to fall into is, cool, you’ve got some work lined up. This is a good position to be in, obviously. You’ve got six to 12 months worth of work ahead of you, but that’s no time to get lazy, right? So you really want to keep that pipeline full and it’s easier to say no to work than it is to scramble for more.
So the things we want to get in line for that is your direct response website, okay? So not a normal website. This is where most people get tripped up, is they go and talk to their local website company and they do an okay job of it, and you get a website up. But at the end of the day you send eyeballs to your website and you don’t end up with any leads. So point in case we had a couple of members who came to us, said, “We spent $5,000 grand on a website and haven’t had any leads. What’s going on?” And I said, “Cool, let me have a look.” It looked great but had zero information about what they do, how they can help, and didn’t even have, in front of people’s faces, how they can get in touch. So it’s really hard for people to get in touch when they don’t get asked to reach out. So you want a direct response website. So look for someone who does these.
TPB does do websites for members, all right? So there’s one avenue, but we also have the resources there that you can work through on the membership site.
So all the stuff I’ve talked about guys is in the membership portal. So you can see here USP in one, this is all under the marketing machine training. And then we’ve got a few elements here around your guarantee; your four big questions and five main concerns, overcoming the five main concerns that people have; how we work with you, so people want to see that process. Then you’ve got all these other things here, identifying your network and preferred partners, video testimonials, all these things are going to help your marketing, all right? But what I was just talking about, we’ve got website optimization for conversion, training on that, and we’ve got another one on websites as well.
So the other things you can do, get an ebook done, all right? And you do this yourself. We’ve got a full training on that, all right? Or just answer the top five questions that people come to you with and put that as a guide, and you’ll be very surprised at how many people find that interesting and find that helpful, and in turn you get their email address, phone number, and name. Okay? And you can put this on your website, you can send this out via email to people, you can offer it to, again, people on a Facebook group. Just another point of difference.
And then you an do some online marketing, so this is where it gets really, really cool. You go, “Hey Mr. Google,” or, “Hey Mr. Facebook. I need some work. I need some leads,” and they’ve got big pools of people. So they obviously own all the traffic and own all of the advertising or the groups of people. And you say, “Cool, here’s some of my money,” and they give you some leads. All right? This, obviously, comes down to you having your website in place or another way to convert these people, okay? Whether it’s them picking up the phone and calling you. But ideally you have a direct response website first. Then you do the online marketing and you say, “Here’s some money,” and then they give you some traffic, some eyeballs. And ideally some of that traffic turns into jobs or leads, right?
So that works really, really well and you can find leads can come from anywhere, from sort of 20 through to 300 dollars. It really depends on the area that you’re in and the type of work that you’re after. Obviously if you’re looking to get someone to come to your show home there’s going to be a big group of builders that are going to be competing for the same properties as you or the same traffic, in which case it can be quite expensive. But for the most part it works really, really well and you can get a bunch load of leads for sort of $50 each.
You might be able to do video testimonials and advertise those online, so all the people you’ve just done work video for. Shoot a video with them and, ideally, have good audio. All right? That’s the main part. And you can get that transcribed into text or you can just put in on Facebook, or Instagram, as a video. And, again, people are going to watch that video, go, “Shoot seems like they do good work,” and get in touch.
You might have strategic alliances with architects to refer you work, right? So while you’ve got the breathing space go and approach all your local architects, and see how you might be able to work with them. At the end of the day they want people to take the work that they do and get it completed in a timely fashion, and well looked after. They look really, really bad when they refer work to a builder and that builder does a bad job. So if you can make it a win-win for them then you’re going to get more work and more work from them, all right? We’ve got a couple of guys who just get work from architects because they do a good job of it and they have that nice relationship that they’ve built.
And you might be able to do things like home shows, right? So what kind of home shows do you have coming up in your area that might be of value? You can get hundreds of leads from this. Granted they might be window shoppers, but again it’s about having the conversations when people come past, gathering their info, and then grading them from A clients, B clients, C clients. And following up the As, then the Bs, then the Cs, in order to turn those into work. All right?
So just a few different ways that you can approach the marketing. Guys, if you do have a … It’s such a broad topic that if you do have a specific question you’re going to get a very specific answer, okay? So better the question better the answer. But feel free to reach out, we’re here to help you. We’ve got all of the resources here on our membership site, all right? Ads and copywriting, how to write ads, postcards and lumpy direct mail, local business networking, right? Every week you go and network at a B&I or somewhere similar. The 1% referral system, how to do that with templates and tools. Site signage, vehicle signage; offline posters, banners, and site racks, so all of that offline stuff. All right? All of the examples and templates there you need. Stuff on architects, home shows, paid traffic and online marketing. And then we’ve got email followup, that type of thing. Bunch of stuff in here. How to hire a marketer.
And guys this is the most important one here, so I’ll just open this up. With everything that you do you want to be writing down where the lead came from, right? If you pick up the phone you want to know, “Hey it’s Bob from XYZ Construction.” maybe look in it. Follow the phone scripts, but get where they came from, all right? So if they found you on Google write that down. If they got referred to you from Bob down the road, or the architect, or a past client, then you want to write that down. So we’ve got the testing and measuring sheet here that you can fill out. But really, really important that you know, “Hey we 100 leads last month, two of them turned into jobs and they came from the architect. The rest of them were a waste of time.” So don’t do the stuff that’s not making you money, all right?
So guys hope that helps. Like I say, if you’ve got a better question we can give you a better answer, but this is hopefully a helpful overview of the marketing system and how to best approach it. Cheers guys.

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