A few days ago, I encouraged you to consider opening a Facebook account and connecting with people, including perhaps some client or boss type people. Jeff Gambill commented on the post that he’d never considered doing that, but probably will sign up for Facebook as a possible way to get some more work for his small construction business. Jeff recently discovered ConstructionKnowledge.net and has been a long time fan of learning and improving his skills and understanding of other trades.
As I thought more about Facebook and marketing in general, I remembered an “Ah Ha” moment I had 20 years ago. I was running a General Contracting firm with about 80 people. A past customer started a project with another GC. Our sales guy called on the past customer to find why he hadn’t come back to us. Had we done something wrong that we didn’t know? Had there been problems with the last project that he never told us?
The customer answered, “No, you guys did a great job, but it was a few years ago. When I started thinking about this new project, I just didn’t think about you. I’d been hearing things about this other firm and just gave them a call. Things went from there.”
We need marketing becuase customers forget. They have their busy lives and don’t think about us much. So whether you run a business or your own career (and I’m convinced there isn’t much difference between the two), you need to remind possible clients or bosses of your existence.
Imagine setting up a Facebook account and friending most of the people in your email directory. Only the ones currently on Facebook get notified, and most of them will probably accept your friend request. Now you have some people who see your posts. You may post on your wall that you’ve been calling around for work, never having seen it quite this bad before. Not whining or begging, just commenting on what you are doing and thinking.
A potential customer (or boss) may see that post and be spurred to action. Lots of projects are happening right now because the customers have been thinking about the project for years, but no one expressed much interest in taking them on. Now the call requesting a quote gets promptly answered and the bid given. The starting time becomes as soon as the permit clears.
Besides getting you remembered, marketing motivates customers to take action. Wendy’s doesn’t advertise because they’ve got money to waste. They spend all those dollars on ads because the ads encourage customers to act in ways they wouldn’t have. Adding some offices differs from buying a Frosty, but the advertising works the same.
So, as you manage your career or your business, think about marketing as a way to make customers remember who you are and what you could do for them. Make the time and take the risk.