Why Contractors Should Know Their Target Market (and How to Find it)
As a contractor, you don’t have a ton of time. Between juggling different subcontractors, lining up your next projects, and putting out fires that come up unexpectedly, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Your schedule doesn’t leave a lot of time for marketing, which can mean you’re often forced to take on jobs that aren’t exactly what you’re looking to do, just to keep your schedule full. If you’re looking for a way to start breaking into another market, whether that’s commercial residences like apartment complexes or a higher class of electrical contracting, the absolute first thing you need to do is define your target market.
If you’ve been bouncing around from job to job, and none of them really seem all that similar, you’re working too hard to get jobs you don’t actually want. It’s time to sit down and define your target market, so you can work smarter, not harder, to get higher-paying jobs that you legitimately would like to work on.
Why Know Your Target Market?
Knowing your target market is the first step to marketing your company in a way that’s smart, cost-effective, and that will provide massive ROI in the long run. If you’d like to have the power to pick and choose jobs that are best for you, rather than just best for your schedule, you need to define your target market. It’ll take a little bit of research on your part, but it’s actually a pretty easy thing to do, and one that will set you apart from other contractors to get you the jobs you legitimately want.
Defining Your Target Market:
The first thing you need to figure out is who you’re catering to now. What jobs do you take on the most often, and what commonalities do those jobs have? Then, figure out what market you’d like to work in. Sometimes, they’re similar. For example, if you typically take on smaller projects like commercial apartment renovations, but you want to start building apartment complexes from scratch, that’s not a huge leap to make. It’s just a matter of defining where it is in the market you’d like to work.
Research Primary Points of Contact
Once you’ve figured out where you want to take your business, it’s time to research your primary points of contact. Start with the market you’re already working in. Who do you most often talk with? This isn’t always a decision-maker, but the person put in charge of finding a contractor for a project. Whether this is a project manager or one of the decision-makers’ assistants, these are the people who first reach out to you for a job. It’s important that you figure out as much as you possibly can about these people, from how old they are to the salary they make to how many kids they have.
This way, you can develop what we call a buyer persona, to help better understand who these people are and what their pain points are when it comes to their professional lives. The idea is to develop three or four buyer personas that give you a window into the lives of the people you most often deal with. Check out this blog about buyer personas for a lengthier description on how to develop your own. Then, you can address their pain points and create content and emails that solve those issues for them. Once you’ve collected a great deal of information for those contacts in your current market, and you’ve got a few solid buyer personas going, start to do the same for primary points of contact in your goal target market.
While it’s important to develop personas for the people you most often contact, you’ll also need to understand the decision-makers. Though you won’t deal with these people directly as often, they’re the ones giving your primary points of contact the go-ahead to sign with you, and they’re the ones you ultimately need to convince. After you’ve established buyer personas for your primary points of contact, do the same sort of research on those decision-makers. Understand what they’re looking for in a contractor, and what problems they most often run into, so you can develop your company to solve those issues. The better you understand the decision-makers in your industry, the better you’ll be able to cater your services to them and their unique needs, goals, and pain points.
Once you’ve made up your buyer personas, it’s time to take a good, hard look at the information you’ve collected. What are the pain points that all personas share? What are some ways that your contracting company speaks to those pain points? You provide a unique service that functions to make their lives easier, but how can you translate those services into a language that’s easy for those contacts and decision-makers to understand? Take a minute to look over the research you’ve done, and the personas you’ve created to figure out how best to use this information to your benefit.
Develop content for each target buyer persona
Finally, after you’ve done the research, analyzed the information, and know where to go, it’s time to develop content that speaks to each of those target buyer personas you’ve developed. From your research, you likely know that each persona has different needs and goals when they’re looking for a contractor, and you can write and share content that speaks to each one of them individually.
Take care to start small. When you’re first working on defining your target market, start with just three of the most relevant buyer personas. Develop content that is rich and useful to those three personas, and watch to see how that content affects your business. This gives you a solid platform to build from, and once you’ve perfected the content for those three personas, you can branch out into some of the other target personas you’ve identified in your research.
Define Target Market, Boost ROI
When it comes to marketing your contracting services, it’s a lot easier to market to a specific group of people than it is to market to the vast population on the internet. By defining your target market, and the buyer personas within that target market, you’ll be able to generate qualified leads much more efficiently, and at a lower cost to you. Once you’ve implemented the basic buyer personas, and have started to develop content around each of them, you’ll find it’s much easier, and less time consuming to market in a way that truly generates the leads you want.
That said, we know defining a target market and building out buyer personas isn’t always easy. If you’re looking for a bit of help on your digital marketing strategy, or aren’t sure where to start when it comes to defining your target market, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Evenbound. We’re experts at developing buyer personas, and we have a knack for unearthing valuable target markets that can place your contracting company exactly where you’d like to be. Feel free to set up a no-obligation consultation with our President, John Heritage, to see how we can help.