When it comes to being successful in growing your business as a contractor, it’s important to capture as many leads as possible to facilitate growth. However, getting these leads isn’t always an easy task and can involve putting in some work. Lucky for you, there are a lot of (relatively) easy ways to find leads. In a world where competition lurks around every corner, the most important piece of your business is getting in front of potential customers before those pesky competitors do.
At JobFLEX, we know how important it is for contractors to find tools that can help you run your business more efficiently (like our invoice and estimate app). The bottom line is that finding leads on your own can be exhausting and time consuming, and you’ve already got enough to do during the day! While there are a lot of websites and services that will charge you for your listing, or charge you for each lead, there are also a lot of them that allow you to list your business for free. We like a good deal as much as the next guy, so today we’ll focus on places where contractors can find free leads.
The top free lead generation services for contractors
HomeAdvisor presents a digital marketplace that can serve as a platform for small contracting businesses to get their services out into the world in front of homeowners in need of help. Setting up a profile is simple, and with HomeAdvisor’s marketing budget, plenty of people go searching for contractors by using this site.
Angie’s List. Home Advisor now owns Angie’s List, but the sites still exist separately and it’s worth getting listed on both. Thanks to years of advertising, Angie’s List is a popular platform for customers and contractors alike. You name it, Angie’s List can cover it when it comes to listing contractors for home renovations. This includes electrical, plumbing, landscaping, housecleaning, painting, remodeling, roofing, and heating and air conditioning. Creating a business profile with Angie’s List is straightforward with the ability to leverage support from a dedicated team at Angie’s List to increase your exposure.
Houzz. Houzz is considered one of the more popular platforms for contractors to share their work with the public. In fact, the site is set up so contractors can easily find new customers aligned with their specific home project need. Another great thing about Houzz is that contractors can list a range of very specific services under the category of home improvement and repair, which can be great for really niche contractors. Businesses can utilize Houzz’s platform to generate leads and get noticed by more than 40 million active homeowners.
Build Zoom. There are a lot of services, free and paid, that try to match up contractors with homeowners. But what homeowners really want is to find the right contractor for them – not just a big list of semi-relevant businesses. To that end, Build Zoom makes location an important factor when it links up homeowners with contractors to help find a local business to meet their needs.
Google My Business. Google is the king of search engines, and it’s not even close. When you search for contractors in your area, Google will usually return a pack of local listings on their map. If you want to show up here (and you DO want to show up here) you should have a Google My Business page. This is important to the success of your business in that customers can search for a certain niche and Google will give them results of local businesses near their location. Maybe more than any other service on this list, a Google My Business listing can really generate a lot of free leads for contractors. It’s very simple to set up your page; you can even add pictures, a description, hours, and more to further assist the customer.
Bing Places for Business. While it can be easy to ignore search engines not named Google, Bing Places for Business allows you to set up an online business profile that potential customers can find when they are searching for a particular service on their site. You can’t afford to ignore Bing because it’s free and the site still gets millions of visitors each month and a Bing Places listing will allow you to show up in their local map listings when someone searches for your service.
Yahoo. Similar to Bing Places for Business, Yahoo allows you to create a local business listing. However, setting up your listing may get you an upsell from Yext, a company that makes you pay for listings on a number of local directories. Fortunately, you don’t need to sign up for Yext in order to manage your Yahoo business listing, just fend off the upselling as you fill out your profile. Just like Google and Bing, this listing will allow you to show up in local search results when people search for your service on Yahoo.
LinkedIn. While LinkedIn might not be the first place you think of when you think free lead generation sites for contractors, the truth is it’s a hugely popular site and a free way toyou’re your name out there. You can create your own business profile where people can follow your page and where you can interact with people as well. You can post updates about your business regularly to help draw potential customers in. Many business professionals spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, and they need home renovations, too. Getting listed and staying semi-active could help you land free leads while your competitors are asleep at the wheel.
Yelp. Most of the time, Yelp is considered a platform where people find reviews of local restaurants. While this is true, there are a lot of other things that Yelp can offer. Like the other sites listed here, you can set up a profile and get listed for free. Secondly, Yelp pages often rank well in Google. So, even if your site doesn’t show up when someone searches for your site on Google, your listing on Yelp just might. If for no other reason than better Google exposure, it can be a good idea to fill out your free listing on Yelp.
Facebook. Today’s customers are fickle, and often they will check social media platforms for any information before signing a contract. Facebook is still massively popular and maintaining a free business listing can help you promote your business two ways – using these platforms as a form of advertising tool and using it as a means to interact with your customers and gain referrals. Facebook offers a unique mix of outbound marketing, consumer interaction (including reviews) and gets billions of visitors each month. As a contractor, you’d be wise to build a robust Facebook page and set aside a little time to update it and leverage its many free tools.
Niche contractor sites for free lead generation
The sites listed above can work for just about any contractor, but there are some valuable sites that can help niche contractors generate free leads as well.
eLocal Plumber. Customers can easily browse eLocal Plumber’s listings to help them find a local plumber and ask them about their services – or customers can let eLocal Plumber find a plumber for them. Customers can use the quick-connect hotline that allows them to get in touch with one of their plumbers as soon as possible. This service is really handy for customers, and considering they offer free listings, it’s worth taking a few minutes to fill this out as a plumber.
Plumbers Near You. Plumbers Near You is a straightforward tool for customers. They put in their zip code and Plumbers Near You returns a list of local plumbers in their area. A listing is free, so this is another no brainer for plumbers looking for more ways to get free, local leads.
ProMatcher. This directory is for concrete professionals who are seeking new leads. You can specifically list the different concrete services that you offer to help the right customers find you. Once ProMatcher has connected you with the customer, the standard sales process can commence. This is an incredibly easy process for concrete professionals to take advantage of for lead generation.
Construction World. Businesses can create a free listing on Construction World with a description about your business and the services offered. You can even add images to your listing in order for customers to get a better feel for what you offer. Potential customers can search the directory for a certain category or service within a designated area and they will receive a list of the different construction companies that can meet their needs. From there, they can use the contact information on your listing to reach out to you for further information.
Landscape.com. This directory is for all things landscaping and allows customers to search for a landscaper by a certain location, keyword, or directly by name. Customers can describe the scope of their project along with a proposed budget and date they need it completed by. From there, this service will make the connection between the project specifics and contractors who can do the job. Creating a profile is simple and free for landscaping contractors, and this service can be another good stream for highly qualified, free leads.
Don’t miss opportunities for generating free leads Wearing a lot of hats is par for the course for small contracting business owners, but there are ways you can make your life easier. The sites above mostly require just a little bit of initial work to get your business listed and in front of customers – and none of them will cost you a dime (unless you upgrade your plan). With this list as a starting point, you have the opportunity to build a bigger pipeline of free leads starting today.