Marketing planning and budgeting for contractors
Being a contractor is quite challenging. Finding new assignments, customers, winning more profitable projects, doing quality work, building reputation…
None of this would be possible if people don’t have a way to find out about you.
So, good marketing strategy is essential for an independent contractor.
It really doesn’t have to be tough and you don’t need big budget for it. With some effort, some creativity and strategy, an effective marketing plan can help you get your name out there, bring in new leads and stand out of crowd.
Before starting you need to make a plan and prepare for marketing yourself and answer these questions:
1. Who do you want to reach?
You need to determine who your target audience is. Some marketing research, should give you a nice perspective on who your potential customers can be and help you decide on target audience.
Even the best message to the wrong audience will be useless. Selecting the right target and passing the right message is imperative.
2. How will you reach them?
Deciding how your message will be delivered is the next step.
It can be your individual brand, a LinkedIn or Facebook ad, email, social, print, telemarketing, trade shows, publicity to a yard sign, TV or radio commercial… there are so many possibilities for choosing your delivery method. Choose wisely.
Select your primary media choices based on your target market size and media cost, ranging from free to fee.
Depending on your target market you will decide the best media for marketing. Choose media that your customers are most likely to respond to. There is no point to go with TV commercial if your target audience are young people, spending most of their time outside the house.
3. What advertising tools and unique message will you use?
Your plan should also include tools, technologies or resources you’ll need – for example, online social brand, a new website, an email service provider, or a new piece of software.
If you have same message as everyone else there will be no different results than everyone else.
Communicate with your audience with unique message, be different – and you’ll win.
There is no need to purchase the most expensive ad space and time. Choose specific sites, ads, cards, letters, scripts, and forms, knowing the ad “type” and the intended goals of each. Choose ads that have been successful in the past.
Make it simple to communicate through your media choices.
4. What is your budget?
When you’ve defined your major campaigns and needs it is necessary to determine the appropriate total budget for your marketing efforts. Include this amount in your starting expenses plan.
Don’t wait for business to get slow, and then desperately throw money on ads.
Make your strategy to consider the needs of your market and provides a year-round plan to meet those needs.
Once you build it, chart its results, monitor it, and then only modify what needs work. Revisit your marketing plan regularly and measure your progress.
It may seem like quite a lot of planning and preparing, but it will save you time and money later, and it will give you confidence, less stress and time to focus on generating and managing your customers.