Free advertising . . . really?

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pc plumber
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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