Where most general contractors and construction services go wrong is to think more leads is the answer. If your pipeline is blocked with endless time-wasters and unreliable prospects, your business is in just as much trouble.
The two types of leads you want are either looking to learn about their construction options (Information Qualified Leads) or learn about your construction services (Marketing Qualified Leads).
The former are free construction leads, the latter are paid. And we’re going to show you how to get both.
Every construction company owner and general contractor knows that all leads are NOT created equal.
For example, would you rather 100 leads who have a vague interest in your services, or 10 leads who are eager to pay for your services?
When it comes to leads, quality trumps quantity.
So we’re not going to give you a list of the ‘Top 1000 ways to get leads’. Sure, it’s possible to generate a lead or two by standing on the street corner and yelling about your decades of experience in commercial or residential construction.
But that’s wasting your time (and possibly straining your voice).
Instead, we’ll show you how to generate the TWO most valuable type of leads:
- Information Qualified Leads (IQL) = Free Leads
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) = Paid Leads
Even better, we’ll show you how to generate these construction industry leads by spending as much – or as little – as you want.
Read on for 10 brilliant ways to generate construction leads, both paid and FREE.
Two main types of construction leads
Every builder, home improvement expert and construction company leader knows that there are good leads…and great leads.
No one will turn down an interested inquiry, but there’s a difference between someone who signed up for your email newsletter in 2012 and has never opened an email from you, and someone who filled out a consultation request on your website this morning.
Both are leads. But they’re not the same.
Too many lead-gen guides for construction companies treat every lead like they’re worth the same. That approach can leave you pouring your marketing budget into a lead-gen strategy that has poor ROI at best – and zero ROI at worst.
In this guide we’ll show you 10 of the most brilliant ways to generate leads across the TWO lead categories that are most likely to lead to sales:
- Information Qualified Leads (IQL)
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
These two types of leads represent customers at each end of the sales funnel.
People go into the top of your sales funnel looking for information and advice, and they move to the bottom of your sales funnel when they’re ready to speak to you about an upcoming build or project.
You want a mixture of leads at the top and bottom of your sales funnel to keep business coming in. Too many leads at the top and you’ll have no short-term work, and too many leads at the bottom and you’ll have a backlog of work now with nothing on the horizon.
Read on for the proven strategies of attracting leads at every stage of the sales funnel.
What are Information Qualified Leads?
Information Qualified Leads (IQL) are looking for info.
They might have only just heard about your company, or not know a single thing about you at all. They’re mostly looking for information related to new home builds, renovations, remodelling projects, commercial properties, etc.
To help attract these leads you need to demonstrate expertise and build trust. After all, they’re not actually looking for your business, they’re looking for ways to save money on their next project, for the latest design trends, for architecturally innovative ideas – you get the idea.
63% of people requesting info on your company aren’t ready to purchase for at least 3 months, so you need to build brand recognition and trust to generate these leads.
5 Strategies to generate Information Qualified Leads
Information Qualified Leads are your top-of-the-funnel leads.
They’ve just figured out there’s a problem in their life that needs attention. This could be a backyard that’s doing nothing and might make for a profitable subdivision. It could be a retail location that’s seen better days and needs a fitout, you get the idea.
They’re not looking to hire a construction company yet, so you can’t look to generate these leads by selling your business, but you can provide information that they’ll happily gobble up.
Best of all, since these people want information, you don’t have to spend a CENT to give it to them.
If you’re willing to spend a little time creating content and setting up the following lead-gen techniques, you can start bringing in leads for FREE.
#1 – Turn your construction website into a customer-conversion engine (FREE)
There’s a good chance you’ve got a website, but is it a glorified business card or a customer-conversion engine?
Most construction websites are informational. They explain a company’s services, they include contact details, and they act like a billboard in case someone feels like contacting you.
That approach is leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
Your website should be a salesman working 24/7 (and never asking for overtime) to generate leads for you. For your website to bring in regular leads you need to add trust elements that guide people towards contacting you, leaving their details in return for content, or scheduling a consultation.
To turn your site into a customer-conversion engine, consider adding:
- Multiple Call-To-Action Buttons: Avoid boring CTA’s like ‘Click Here’. Instead, offer value or trigger feelings of scarcity like ‘Get a Quote FAST’, ‘Spots Limited’, etc.
- Badges: Show off your industry awards, affiliations or standards
- ‘Why Choose Us?’ Icons: Help overcome customer objections by pre-empting their questions and showing off the reasons to choose you
- Warranties & Guarantees: Develop trust and credibility by giving people peace of mind assurance
These types of features help show people your construction company has their best interest at heart, and makes it easier for them to pick up the phone and call you.
Wondering how to build a site that’s made up of lead-gen features? Explore Pedestal, the website builder created for construction companies that generate 26.7% more leads than other website builders.
#2 – Offer a free eBook (FREE)
IQL leads want information, and what better way to give it to them than in the form of a free eBook, downloadable guide or digital asset?
Your eBook is a powerful lead-gen tool because it sits behind a gated wall – making it ‘premium content’. If someone wants your eBook, they’ll need to give you their email, phone number or best contact details in return.
They get an awesome free eBook to help with their upcoming build and *boom* you just got a lead.
The challenge here is to create an eBook that people actually want. The more interesting and value-packed your eBook, the more leads you’ll get from it. It’s best to use your expertise as the foundation, then come up with topics based on your customer’s emotional trigger points – hopes, fears, pains.
For example, if you work in backyard subdivision and rebuilds, you could come up with topics like:
- Is your backyard worth $1,00,000? Download the guide to find out
- How to turn your backyard into passive income in 3 simple steps
- How to become a property investor in 5 insanely simple steps
You want your eBook to be short and sharp, so there’s no need to go over 20 pages. And if that sounds like a lot, a good eBook should be packed full of images, graphs, charts and photos that make it engaging, so it’s about providing short and sharp value that gets your construction customers excited to hand over their details and become a lead.
TRADIE DIGITAL TIP: Unsure what topics to write about? Website builders like Pedestal come with eBook topics already generated. You’ll be able to pick from titles that conversion experts have come up with, which means less homework for you and faster lead-gen.
#3 – Optimize your social media profiles (FREE)
You’ve probably got a business Facebook Page, or Instagram account, but when was the last time you updated it with your followers in mind?
90% of social media users follow at least ONE brand, which means you can generate leads by turning your social platforms into eye-catching, helpful destinations. Keep in mind, you shouldn’t expect a landscalide of leads just because you’ve spent your afternoons tweaking your Facebook page, but you can project an image of authority and credibility by:
- Adding high-quality images of construction projects
- Adding images of you and your team to build trust
- Adding ‘Before’ and ‘After’ images of your latest jobs
- Adding helpful (and free) hints and home improvement tips
- Add your company’s contact details so people can get in touch
The word ‘optimize’ has become overused in marketing. Really, it just means “make it easier to use”.
If your social media profiles are full of helpful content, make you look like the expert you are, and have ways for people to reach out, then you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of new IQL leads.
#4 – Add a blog to target construction keywords (FREE)
Construction clients love to research their next project.
No one is hiring a concreter or bathroom renovator because they had a spare weekend to kill.
They reach out to general contractors after reading articles, blogs, comparisons and guides online. In fact, 47% of customers read 3 to 5 pieces of content before ever reaching out to contact a sales rep.
If you want your business to be on the receiving end of those calls, start by adding a ‘Blog’ page to your website. Each blog you add can be optimized around specific keywords, all of which bring their own monthly search volumes.
The higher the search volume, the greater the competition. It’s best to target keywords that have a mixture of monthly search volumes so you’re not going up against bigger SEO budgets every time.
Here’s an example of how different construction keywords are searched by potential customers:
|Construction Companies Near Me
|General Contractors Near Me
|New Home Build
|Kitchen Renovation Ideas
|New Home Build Cost
|Is It Worth Subdividing Land
By creating regular content you’ll be able to rank for construction-related keywords that bring in regular traffic via Google. For example, suppose you wrote an article on the ‘Top 10 Red Flags to Watch Out For When Hiring a New Construction Company’.
When a potential customer jumps on Google to look for warning signs – because they’ve been thinking about adding an extension to the family home but they’ve been burnt before – they can find your blog.
This brings traffic to your site, and generates IQL leads who end up browsing your content and feeling confident in contacting you because you offered a ton of useful info.
With companies who blog generating 67% more leads than those who don’t blog, the numbers speak for themselves.
#5 – Show off case studies, testimonials and reviews (FREE)
It’s a mistake to think leads only come from ads.
Some of the most powerful ways to generate leads come by convincing people you’re an expert in the construction field. When people see you as a thought leader, they’ll come to you and you won’t need to spend big to attract them.
When these prospects are in the learning phase and looking for information, the right case study, testimonial or review can tip them over the edge. 92% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase, turning your case studies and reviews into free ads.
Your case studies should be a mixture of what you do, and the value you provide to clients. To help you gather this content, try interviewing your most impressive customers to create case studies. Written text is fine, but video testimonials and reviews are much more powerful.
TRADIE DIGITAL TIP: Try to include numerical value as much as possible. How long did a project take? How many square meters of tiles did you install? What percentage of energy efficiency do your homes offer? Real metrics can help show your expertise and build confidence.
What are Marketing Qualified Leads?
A Market Qualified Lead (MQL) has shown interest in your brand based on your marketing efforts.
They’ve voluntarily handed over their details because your ad or content was so impressive. They already know that your construction services can help them, and they’ve made the choice to engage with you and find out more.
These leads are further down the sales funnel, meaning they’re closer to making a purchasing decision than an IQL, and are extremely valuable. As they’re getting close to a purchase, competition for these leads is fierce.
You want them in your inbox, but so does every construction company, home builder and designer within 500 miles – meaning you’ll have to pay to play.
On the flipside, when you find a lead-gen channel that delivers consistent leads, you can scale up and generate as many leads as you want without wasting ad spend.
Looking for FREE marketing help? Check the ultimate guide to construction marketing [works for residential and commercial construction companies]
5 Strategies to generate Marketing Qualified Leads
The smart construction company owner knows you have to spend money to make money sometimes.
Whether it’s leasing equipment to help you complete a job, or paying for Google Ads to generate quick leads, money out is only a problem if it isn’t helping bring money back in.
Marketing Qualified Leads are looking for solutions, not information, and they’re prepared to engage with construction companies who make themselves visible. In 2021, that visibility costs money, but it’s not all bad.
Every paid lead-gen tactic is measurable, so you’ll know exactly how many clicks you get, how many sign-ups you get, etc.
By tracking your ROI you can cut back on the lead-gen techniques that aren’t working, and pump your budget into the strategies that are bringing you new work.
#6 – Run Google Ads (PAID)
Google Ads are a proven strategy to get residential construction leads and commercial construction leads.
By ranking instantly at the top of Google when people search for home building services and general contracting services, you can drive traffic to your website or landing page by crafting messages that speak to people’s construction needs.
You bid on the construction keywords that suit your business, and only pay when someone clicks on your ads (this is your click-per-cost, or CPC). The average CPC for a Google Ads campaign is $2.69, but this can be higher or lower depending on:
- The level of competition
- Your business location
- Your Quality Score
The goal here is to bring in the right type of leads, not time-wasters and tyre-kickers who are miles away from hiring a construction company or builder.
WARNING: DON’T RUN A GOOGLE ADS CAMPAIGN YET!!!
The wrong Google Ads foundation can leave you bleeding money with no leads to show for it. We’ve spent $2.3 million on Google Ads to learn what works and we’ve created a simple blueprint you can follow.
Discover the secrets of successful construction advertising
#7 – Run Facebook Ads (PAID)
2.7 billion people use Facebook every month.
And you’d be crazy not to tap into this massive audience with Facebook Ads that are simple and easy to click on.
Since Facebook already has their users’ contact info (which is required when you sign up), someone clicking on your ad doesn’t even need to fill in their name or phone number – Facebook auto populates that information for them.
That’s how you generate a lead in just a couple of clicks.
Facebook Ads also give you powerful targeting options so your ads appear to the people most in need of your services.
Looking to run ads to men, in their 60’s, living in areas with new construction projects, and interested in home improvement? No problem, select your audience and send your ads where they’ll be most effective.
WARNING: DON’T RUN A FACEBOOK ADS CAMPAIGN YET!!!
It’s easy to waste your ad spend if you don’t know how to optimize your ad campaign. Before you spend a CENT, read our simple guide on setting up crazy profitable Facebook Ads
#8 – Search Engine Optimization (PAID)
We know, we know…yes, SEO is *technically* free.
But the value of paying for SEO outstrips anything most construction companies can do in-house by 10 fold. Case in point, SEO is broken into what you can do on your website (on-site SEO) and the strategies applied away from your website (off-site SEO).
In 2021, off-site SEO accounts for 75% of your results.
It doesn’t matter if you’re adding construction-keywords to your blogs or optimizing your Page Titles to get more clicks from the Google results, a company who’s paying a freelancer or agency to build backlinks (which is the bread and butter of off-site SEO) will see their rankings outstrip yours and get the traffic you wanted.
If you plan on paying for SEO, use the following lead-strategies to fill your inbox:
- Rank for your primary services: If you offer single story home construction, then ranking for ‘Single Story Home Construction’ in your local suburb will connect you with people who are in the market for new homes.
- Build quality backlinks: The more backlinks you earn from relevant, quality websites (websites in your niche are worth more than random websites in unrelated industries), the better your SEO results.
- Optimize your website: Google prefers to rank websites that are fast and responsive – meaning they look great on every device. Hiring someone with technical SEO experience means your site is built to rank.
People head to Google every day to look for construction companies. By ranking your website for relevant construction keywords, you’ll bring those people to your website. And since you’ve turned your website into a customer-conversion engine already (back when you were targeting IQL leads), you’ll see a spike of leads through Google.
As a bonus, Google leads close 8.5 times higher than traditional outbound leads like cold calling or letterbox drops, so your bottom line will thank you.
STEAL OUR SEO SECRETS: Check the jargon-free guide to construction SEO
#9 – Use retargeting to connect with the ‘98%’ (PAID)
Ready for a terrifying stat?
98% of people who visit your website aren’t ready to get in touch with you.
That leaves you with just 2% of people who feel confident to call or email you. If you get 1,000 website visitors a month, that leaves 980 people who head back to Google and get on with their lives.
But by running a retargeting campaign, you can follow those 98% of people around the internet and help turn more of them into leads.
It’s up to you where you want to run your retargeting campaign because all the big boys have retargeting pixels (these are snippets of code that help you see how your site visitors browse online) and audience options – Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
By running ads on the websites these people browse after yours, you can keep your construction company top of mind and remind people you CAN help them out.
#10 – Run an automated email marketing campaign (PAID)
We’ve already shown you how to collect email addresses by offering a free eBook. That’s step one. Outside of an eBook you can also collect leads by asking people to opt in to receive your newsletter, or to join a premium mailing list in return for members-only benefits.
The next step is to nurture those who weren’t ready to connect with you through an automated email marketing campaign. This is a step ignored by most construction companies, but studies have shown email marketing ROI can be as high as 4400%.
Although you can send emails to your subscribers for free, paying for email automation software is well worth the money.
Instead of writing hundreds of emails and slouching in front of a laptop all weekend, you can set up an email workflow that sends an email every day, or every other day, to nurture leads.
While you’re on-site or putting together a project proposal, your email software is tracking who opens your emails and lead scoring for you. All you have to do is check out your analytics (which many free email automation software don’t offer) and you’ll see which leads are the most keen.
There are dozens of options for your email software, though some of the most popular tools include:
Email automation can also help you generate leads from lists that have gone cold.
Maybe you had subscribers who signed up to your mailing list months, or years, ago. An email campaign targeting these cold leads and offering helpful content, or incentives to get in touch, can generate quality new leads.
Which construction lead generation strategy will you use first?
Knowing how to generate quality leads is the secret to avoiding the ‘feast or famine’ that plenty of construction companies deal with year in and year out.
To avoid a backlog of projects or an empty pipeline, focus on a mixture of paid and free construction lead-gen approaches.
|PAID LEAD GENERATION
||FREE LEAD GENERATION
||Optimize Your Website
||Offer a Free eBook
|Search Engine Optimization
||Optimize Your Social Media
||Add a Construction Blog
||Build Trust With Case Studies & Testimonials
Your future customers are on the internet and using Google right now to search for and compare construction companies – with a staggering 97% of people jumping online to look for construction companies.
By combining paid and free lead-gen tactics, you can connect with those customers, build relationships, and grow your business with confidence.
Looking for faster results? Explore our Digital Marketing Services to discover how we GUARANTEE leads for all construction companies