Can you achieve sustainable, effective and profitable construction marketing with a total annual budget of $1,000 or less? I think the answer is “yes”, though you’ll have to do some serious learning and improvising — and you’ll need a solid business/reputational base to pull this off.
The key to the strategy is to understand how to build a do-it-yourself website and social media/publicity strategy.
For the website, you’ll use the open-source wordpress.org base. You’ll need a shared/cloud server (inexpensive), a good domain (also cheap), and the selection of a free or inexpensive theme and relevant operating “plugins”.
(If these words are Greek to you, add plenty of time to learn the process. WordPress says you can install the system in 10 minutes — and you can — but the first time around it took me a few days of agony (and I had a basic understanding of the processes involved.)
You’ll also need to set up relevant (free) pages and links to Facebook, Twitter and possibly LinkedIn.
Then you’ll need to write effective, useful, relevant and client-centric contract, ideally engaging truly satisfied current clients in the process. Create a relevant eletter (free or inexpensive tools are available with Mailchimp or Constant Contact, and set your communications strategy in motion.
Ah, but there are some really serious catches in the bare bottom budget approach:
- If you are comfortable writing and working with Cpanel, and know about how to handle FTP channels and install appropriate security plugins, you’ll be okay — but if you aren’t, how much time can/should you spend on this type of work?; and
- Your underlying business reputation/brand must be solid. You need truly satisfied clients because they will provide the credibility/testimonials to help fuel your content and readership relevance.
If you are lacking in knowledge, your challenge shifts to deciding if you want to learn the processes yourself, you want to sub the work out to a marketing agency/service, or you want to try a hybrid approach leading the process and hiring sub-contractors to do the grunt work. While the latter could be the most efficient approach, it is predicated on your having enough knowledge to know how to select the right subcontractors. (A skill you may have for the construction trades, but do you have it for web design, search engine optimization, and server optimization.)
The second option, and wisest approach for most businesses, is to contract with a specialized marketing consultant/website designer with familiarity with the construction business, while digging deeply enough into the process so you can truly evaluate and understand the underlying processes. The latter is important to prevent you from being at the mercy of your supplier — and for you to truly understand the actual underlying costs behind the web design/management services.
I know of at least a few providers who can offer this service with quality and integrity, and will reference their names to you if you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.