General Contractor Advertising Tips: 4 Ways to Promote Your Business

Nick P. Cellucci
Written by Nick P. Cellucci
Updated September 2, 2021
Professional consultation in the kitchen
kate_sept2004 / E+ via Getty Images

Advertising your general contracting business can keep a steady pipeline of local leads coming your way

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

You know the strengths that give you an edge as a general contractor. It could be the quality of your work, your careful allocation of resources to help customers save, your friendly team, or any combination of these.

But how do you communicate these strengths to prospects so you can secure more contracts? Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned business owner who’s ready to grow, you need a solid marketing strategy that combines digital channels, local networking, and more.

We’ve assembled a list of advertising channels for general contractors below. Use these contractor advertising ideas to reach local prospects, expand into new markets, generate leads, and scale your operations.

4 Advertising Channels for Contractors

The following general contractor advertising ideas have all been ranked according to the recommended budget and experience level. Some strategies are perfect for beginners, while others will require a bit more marketing experience. 

To start, select an idea that fits your budget. There’s no pressure to use every idea for your general contracting business. You can even start with just one and scale up from there as you find success.

1. Lead Generation Services

Experience level: BeginnerGeneral cost: $

In the construction industry, leads are the core of your business growth. As you make a name for yourself in your local market, you’ll earn some sales through word-of-mouth referrals. However, these tend to be sporadic. To reliably grow your business, you’ll want a proven system to generate quality leads.

A lead generation service provides an active approach to gathering leads while requiring very little of your valuable time. Working with an agency or a specialized lead generation tool, you can have leads delivered to you based on parameters you set.

Angi is one lead generation service that helps contractors connect with prospects. You showcase your construction business through photographs of your work and customer testimonials. 

In return, Angi connects you with qualified local leads specifically interested in homebuilding, repairs, and renovations. You can communicate with prospects directly to provide quotes and estimates.

Keep in mind that, even as you generate new leads, there are measures you can take to increase your odds of converting them into sales. 

Follow these tips when trying lead generation:

  • Respond quickly. First impressions are critical. Demonstrate prompt, reliable communication and beat your competition to the punch by responding within 24 hours.

  • Be ready for the follow-up call. When you reach out to a lead for the first time, be prepared to state your name, what you do, and how you can help them solve their problem. This is especially handy if you reach someone’s voicemail. 

  • Set up a consultation meeting ASAP.  Many prospects are eager to get the project started/finished.

  • Ask lots of questions. This gets you the information you need, helps show your interest in the work, and allows you to get to know the prospect better. Take detailed notes.

  • Clean up your writing. Whether you’re typing up an email follow-up or a written quote, always check your spelling and grammar. Proofreading tools such as Grammarly can help ensure your writing looks professional before you hit “send.” 

2. Social Media

Experience level: BeginnerGeneral cost: $$ (free without advertising)

The construction industry is highly visual. Prospects want to see the spaces you’ve worked on. They may want to browse through past projects for ideas and inspiration. This makes social media one of your best potential sales tools.

Some of the major platforms you can use for your contracting business include:

Facebook

  • Tell stories, share blog content, detail your latest building projects, and put together photo albums. Post pictures of designs you like.

  • Share before and after pictures so prospects can imagine how your work might look in their own home or office.

  • Create events to host an open house for a newly built or renovated space.

Instagram

  • Post images of entire projects with eye-catching before-and-after photography. Note that people aren’t as interested in the before as the after, so just post 1-3 before pictures and as many after pictures as possible. 

  • Capture quick home tours or time-lapses of your projects coming together. 

  • Hashtags such as #homeremodel or #atlantabuilders can help people search for you directly.

Twitter

  • Share links and send traffic to your website.

  • Become a source for construction industry trends, tips, and more to demonstrate your knowledge.

  • Provide a unique take—people are more likely to respond to ideas they’ve never heard before.

All of these platforms offer both paid and organic posting. Organic social media refers to any posts without a paid promotion (aka the free contractor marketing ideas you try). Paid social (aka paid contractor advertising) includes advertisements and sponsored posts displayed to people beyond your followers.

3. PPC Advertising

Experience level: AdvancedGeneral Cost: $$$

Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a type of digital advertising that runs in search engines. Google Ads and other PPC tools allow you to target highly specific audiences so your ads only reach the people you think are likely customers. This makes PPC a great advertising tactic for general contractors.

For example, you can target people searching for “general contractors in [your city]” and display your ads only to people in your zip code.

PPC ads look like normal search results with short, simple messaging. Ads should highlight a key feature of your business, whether it’s local service (“Quality Home Building Services in Springfield”) or your specialization (“Upscale House Builder in North Carolina”).

With PPC, you’ll be able to track how many times people see or click your ads, how many people reach your website from ads, and how many leads your ads generate.

While PPC is a great way to grow your contracting business, you’ll need marketing experience to keep costs low and ensure ads are effective. Consider adding a full-time marketing role if you can afford it or outsourcing the work to an agency or a marketing contractor.

4. Referral Programs

Experience level: IntermediateGeneral cost: $

Customer referrals can come from a variety of sources. One method is the professional partnership. General contractors can team up with any number of partners to generate referrals for one another. Any business that isn’t a direct competitor is a potential partner.

For example, home insurance agents make for great referral partnerships. They tend to work with people who are having problems in their homes. Whether it’s exterior storm damage or plumbing issues from a burst pipe, their clients need contractors. Form a partnership, get these leads, and refer your customers to their insurance offerings in return.

You can also gather referrals from your own customers. You’ve likely earned contracting work this way, but you can increase this traffic with some proven best practices:

  • Provide a solid customer experience. Stay on-time and on-budget with open communication, and your customers will be more likely to refer their friends, family, and colleagues. 

  • Always carry business cards. Offer copies of your business card to satisfied customers. When someone visits their home and asks who renovated their kitchen, they can pass on your contact information. 

  • Incentivize referrals. In exchange for a referral, offer a coupon for free repair work, a home upgrade, or energy audit. Encourage repeat business by offering free design hours toward their next project. 

  • Stay in touch. Ask customers to join your mailing list and send email updates to them using free tools like MailChimp.

Before You Advertise

Team installing a kitchen
sturti / E+ via Getty Images

As with any business strategy, it’s important to fully prepare before implementation. Account for the following components before you create your general contractor advertising strategy.

Take a Headcount

Done well, marketing is a full-time job. You may need to hire a team member or two or outsource your marketing to a professional agency or freelancer.

Use Digital Tools

Take advantage of digital tools like Angi Pro to help manage new leads that come through.

Build Your Online Reputation

Once your name is out there, be prepared for potential customers to do their research. They’ll want to see your website, read your reviews, and vet you to ensure you’re the right fit before they reach out. Have positive testimonials and a clean, professional online presence waiting for them.

Set a Budget

How much should you budget for advertising? Builder Magazine recommends at least 1 percent of your gross (not net) annual revenue as a good place to start. By that rule, a company grossing $5 million a year should budget $50,000. As you get a feel for the returns you’re getting on your efforts, you may want to scale up from there.

Find an Advertising Solution That Works for You

These ideas are all well-suited to the construction industry in general, but no idea is perfect for every business. As you try different solutions, you may discover that certain contractor advertising methods work better in your market.

No matter where you are, you can start connecting with new local customers on Angi who are searching for a contractor. Angi sends you prospects who are ready to book and gives you the tools to manage leads, accept payment, and more. Sign up for Angi Ads today.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.