Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
How contractors can market their services to DIYersJune 22nd, 2021 by
DIYers. While they’re certainly well-meaning, under-prepared homeowners can turn a seemingly simple home improvement project into an absolute mess.
And that creates all kinds of headaches for contractors.
You don’t want to come off like you’re opposed to a DIY approach. Potential customers might think you’re just after money. And besides, some projects can be done by homeowners.
But some projects are legitimately complex and even dangerous. Plus, coming into a project halfway through and trying to fix everything the homeowner has already broken is no picnic.
Marketing your services can certainly be a challenge in these HGTV times.
How do you solve the marketing-to-DIYers problem? It starts with a shift in perspective. Stop looking at them as the enemy. Instead, take a different approach—that of an educator and enabler.
If you position yourself as the go-to source for DIY help, homeowners will be much more likely to trust you with the projects that are simply too big to tackle on their own. Not only that, but you’ll also be in a position to tell them which projects they really should attempt.
In this article, we’ll explore marketing tips and techniques that can help you win the business of even the most independent DIYer. We’ll be looking at strategies that are low-cost and that don’t require you to be a professional marketer, yourself.
We’ll cover three areas:
- Providing workshops for DIYers
- Partnering with DIYers
- Publishing content for DIYers
Providing workshops for DIYers
The next time you go to a hardware store, don’t walk in thinking like a contractor. Go in imagining you’re a DIYer. Chances are, you’ll notice ads announcing workshops for DIYers of all levels.
The major hardware chains get it. They know the average DIYer is going to need help from time to time—often before a project even starts. They also know that giving away free advice ultimately serves them.
Why DIY workshops bring in business
Think of it this way. When a DIYer does their homework and discovers that building a new deck or knocking out a wall in their home is way more work than they expected, where are they likely to turn for help?
If they’re getting their information from a user-friendly workshop, that’s probably where they’ll turn first. And if you’re the one putting on that workshop, that means they’ll turn to you.
If you’re not sure where to start, cast a wide net. You know the kinds of homeowners in your area. You know the sorts of projects that are most popular with them right now. And you know what a DIYer can do, what they can’t do, and what they think they can do … that they likely need some help with.
Focus on that last category. Offer workshops that cover valuable, sought-after information. You’ll get folks who are genuinely qualified to do the work on their own, and that’s fine. Help them make their project a success.
But you’ll also get folks who dreamed big, but aren’t ready to put in all the work. And when that happens, you’ll be well-positioned to win a new customer.
We also suggest catering to some more specific audiences.
WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS THINK MATTERS: The ROI benefits of customer feedback surveys for contractors
Offer specialized workshops for women
One of the best specific audiences to start with is a women-only workshop. As a recent study by equipment rental company Big Rentz shows, men tend to be more confident when it comes to DIY projects than women.
Make it your mission to empower them.
When you do, they’ll see your company as the one that took them seriously instead of trying to take advantage of them. And as they come across projects they need help with, they’ll likely turn to you.
Teach millennials and gen-Zers the value of sweat
The under-34 crowd also lags behind when it comes to basic repair knowledge.
Another study showed that 42 percent of people between 18-34 feel “embarrassed by their lack of home maintenance knowledge.”
Give them the satisfaction that comes with completing tasks that don’t require a remote or swiping right. Offer workshops and classes that teach them how to perform routine tasks.
They’ll learn the feeling of pride that comes with fixing those nagging little jobs around the house. In the process, you’ll earn their loyalty.
And when they decide they want to impress their friends with HGTV-worthy redos, you’ll be right there to handle the projects that are too complex for them.
Partnering with DIYers
Instead of seeing DIYers as your competition, look at them as sources of revenue. Since construction and repairs aren’t their livelihood, there’ll be jobs they won’t have the time or the expertise to complete by themselves.
That doesn’t mean those projects can’t happen or that they have no choice but to pay someone to do the entire thing. What if you take care of the more technical aspects while leaving the easy stuff—like painting or cleanup—to them?
For example, one enterprising contractor offered a customer a deal she couldn’t refuse. He quoted her two prices: one for the finished bathroom and another for just the drywall, fan and light installation.
As someone who had no clue about how to install electrical fixtures and drywall, she turned these technical details over to the company. Saving money was big on her must-have list, so she finished the painting herself.
To this day, she’s recommending his company to all her friends. Find a way to work with your DIY prospects, and you’ll find that most of them will become loyal customers.
Publishing content for DIYers
Content that teaches people how to complete more challenging tasks can be an effective marketing tool.
Many DIYers may initially want to attempt high-level projects. They’ll do what we all do to get started—they’ll research it online. That’s your chance to demonstrate your expertise.
And much like workshops, when folks decide a project is simply bigger than they can handle, you’ll be the local expert who’s already helped them.
Use visual content for best results
Use visuals in blog and social media content. 65% of the world’s population are visual learners. You’ll reach a bigger percentage of your target audience if you cater to that.
Visuals are especially effective when you’re demonstrating how to do something new. That’s why products that require assembly include visual diagrams of the process.
Video content gives you the best of both worlds
Videos are especially effective for communicating with prospective customers. A whopping 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching a branded video on social media.
After all, they combine both audio and visual content—and they can be very entertaining. In addition, your audience can pause them at every step, rewind them if they need to. Or even play them several times until they master the knowledge.
Include DIY tips to position become a thought leader
DIY tips are a great source of content for contractors.
For instance, if you provide your audience with tips on how to make a paint job look professional, they’ll likely consider your company to install the drywall or plaster underneath that paint.
Share value online and off
Whatever your expertise, share it online and off. Content marketing goes well beyond your website, blog, YouTube channel or Facebook page.
Every conversation you have with a potential customer is an opportunity to share your expertise. Freely offer advice, even if they’re acting like they plan to work with a competitor.
As you develop a reputation for being genuinely helpful, new business will come your way.
After all, there’s no substitute for word-of-mouth recommendations. The numbers don’t lie. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than anything else.
Bringing it all together
Every DIYer out there is a potential customer. And sharing information—whether through content marketing, workshops or partnerships—is the ideal way to earn their trust.
Start doing what you can to tap into a whole new group of customers—local DIYers.
KEEP READING: Word of mouth marketing: 3 ways to grow your business