Free advertising . . . really?

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A 2009 photo of Alex Lacek (left), with Leonard Megliola and David Callahan at the Bestline Plumbing offices in Gardenia, California (Los Angeles).
A 2009 photo of Alex Lacek (left), with Leonard Megliola and David Callahan at the Bestline Plumbing offices in Gardenia, California (Los Angeles).
A 2009 photo of Alex Lacek (left), with Leonard Megliola and David Callahan at the Bestline Plumbing offices in Gardenia, California (Los Angeles).

Recently, someone posted on Contractortalk.com under the heading “free advertising”, this question:

Anyone out there have any ideas for me on advertising? I’m trying to get more work for my flooring business, and would really like to do some advertising as inexpensively as possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

And Los Angeles, CA plumber  Leonard Megliola (PCPlumber) answered with these ideas, which could be applied for virtually any trade contractor searching for business leads and action:

Go to real estate club meetings 1 hour before the meetings start, pass out your cards and you will meet many contractors who flip houses and are looking for flooring contractors. You will meet real estate agents who have clients who need floors to sell their homes. Go to other types of group meetings, meet people and build a network. Try to get agents to put you on their preferred vendor list. Almost every real estate office has this list.

Send business cards every 3 months to restoration contractors and the best way to connect with them is to drop in and make personal visits at their place of business. These contractors always need contractors to repair water damaged floors.

There are many free websites on the internet where contractors are looking for bids for remodels and new construction. Many websites have blueprints that are free.

Start a one-page website and this can be done for less than $30. Then, list yourself on Google maps and this is a very powerful and effective tool that is free. I get about 2 to 3 calls per week from Google Maps. I think most people dial your phone number without going to your website. Most businesses that use Google Maps use several different addresses and phone numbers (maybe not the most honest thing, but it is effective).

Mail a business card or flyer with every bill that you pay. People who work at utility companies, insurance companies, and moonshiners also own homes. Leave a business card and flyer at every business you visit and this includes government agencies, restaurants, doctors, gas stations, etc.

You can read Leonard’s story in this very old Construction Marketing Ideas blog posting.

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1 COMMENT

  1. When it comes to advertising and marketing, most small business owners look at things the wrong way. They look for the cheapest way to advertise instead of starting with the magic question: “what should I be willing to pay to acquire a new customer/sale/client?” For a flooring business, whether you’re installing new hardwood floors or refinishing stone floors, one new customer is worth quite a bit of money. Instead of searching for the cheapest advertising tactic, why not focus on one that will actually work–and then weigh the cost vs. the value of a new client? Starting with the question, “what’s the cheapest way to…” almost guarantees that you’ll head off in the WRONG direction. Ben

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