The marketing and advertising done by the construction industry on the contractor side is generally very poor and what the manufacturers of products are putting out is often very lacking as well. Contractors love to make posts in online groups or in some social media platform, using a pretty picture of some project they have completed plus your logo and business name on the photo somewhere plus some copy that reads “Give us a call to get x, y, and z done. Free Estimates.” Wow!!!! Y’all are clearly communicating with Mrs. Jones about what you do. I can guarantee that this is not working nearly as well as you think it is. There is no story; there is no problem solved; and there is nothing to connect to.
Having gone to film school and spending years working on television shows, I am not sure if that experience played a role in my instinctually being able to market my company effectively or if I could have done this without the previous training. To make myself feel better about spending $70k on a degree that isn’t worth the paper it is printed on, and honestly, I could have used during the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 without feeling bad about it, I’ll say that the schooling was a great investment for me. So, what’s my approach that is so different from the above?
I use the basic story telling arc. There are six steps to this that we need to break down.
1. Exposition – This is the beginning of the story where we set up our environment, the characters, and their initial situation is introduced. All of this information gives us the context to understand what we were just dropped into and helps us understand context.
2. Inciting Incident – This can also be called the catalyst or trigger. The inciting incident is the problem that sets your entire story in motion. It disrupts the status quo of the main character’s life and pushes them towards a path of action or conflict.
3. Rising Action – This is where the protagonist faces different obstacles and challenges as the tension builds in their life and they are seeking a resolution to their problem. The main character’s goals and motivations become clear, and the story develops through a series of events that raise the stakes and propel the story forward.
4. Climax – This is the part of the story where we have the maximum amount of tension and conflict in a story. It is the height of all the action. This is where the protagonist must make the critical decision or take a crucial action that determines the final outcome of the story. The climax is often emotionally charged and can be a moment of realization or revelation.
5. Falling Action – This can also be known as the resolution or denouement; this is the aftermath of the climax. It tells the consequences of the main character’s actions and resolves any conflicts that previously existed in the story. The loose ends are tied up and the story begins to wind down.
6. Conclusion – This is the final part of the story where any loose ends are fully closed out, and the story comes to a satisfying or conclusive ending. It can include a resolution for the protagonist’s character arc, and it provides a sense of closure to the reader or audience.
This is the basic formula to any story, but it can be adapted depending on genre, style or creative choices. All the basic elements will generally need to be there. So, let’s look at a story that most of us will easily know and understand.
1. Exposition: Luke Skywalker is a farm kid growing up with hopes of being a pilot.
2. Inciting Incident: Luke comes into the possession of two droids that escaped the empire and one of them wants to return, leading him on a journey.
3. Rising Action: Luke meets Obi-Wan who teaches him the force, he finds his aunt and uncle dead, he leaves his home with Han Solo, rescues a princess, and delivers the plans to the Death Star to the rebels.
4. Climax: Luke pilots his X-wing through the trench, trusts the force, and destroys the Death Star.
5. Falling Action: The Death Star is destroyed, the galaxy is safe from the ultimate killing machine, the main characters have all survived.
6. Conclusion: There is an awards ceremony celebrating the heroes, and they all look forward to the future.
Broken down into these pieces we can try and follow this structure to better market and advertise our businesses. I believe by now you can see how much of a difference this approach will make in reaching people and connecting with them. Let’s look at it in practice.
1. Exposition: Mrs. Jones enjoys her home with her kids and dogs in suburbia and everything functions as needed.
2. Inciting Incident: A storm happens, the room leaks, and her wood flooring gets damaged.
3. Rising Action: After contacting your firm, you were able to help Mrs. Jones see that the wood could not be fixed but would need to be a full tear out. This is more than she expected, but she has insurance for this and will happily contact them.
4. Climax: The insurance claim goes through, XYZ Contracting is able to perform the work and put a brand-new floor in place that is everything Mrs. Jones has dreamed of for years but never thought she could afford.
5. Falling Action: The family is able to get back to life as normal, and their new floor better fits their lifestyle.
6. Conclusion: Everyone is so excited to experience the new floor, and the Jones’ are able to entertain again and tell their friends about their great experience with you.
To write this up in an actual post, I would make it look something like this:
A few months back, we had that horrible storm that did a lot of damage to many homes in our area. Our recent client was part of this unlucky group. Sadly, during the storms their roof leaked while they were out with friends for dinner. The water damage was so severe that the entire floor needed to be replaced. Luckily, the homeowner’s insurance was able to step in and help take care of some of the project costs. Our client was not only able to get the floors she always wanted but they are also a better match with the family’s lifestyle. We were able to assist them from demo through installation to help them get back in their home and start entertaining their friends again. Give us a call at 555-555-5555 today or send us a message to discuss your project with today!
I want to be able to tell a compelling story that another buyer can relate to. I want them to see how I can be the guide that solves their problem.
Not only is there something for the reader to connect to, relate to, and understand but it also reads so much better. A nice before and after picture will go a long way here as well. Additionally, including the problems faced during the installation and how they were overcome and what types of things we do to help keep the home cleaner or tidied up during the installation process will go a long way. I don’t want to write a novel, but I do want to be able to tell a compelling story that another buyer can relate to. I want them to see how I can be the guide that solves their problem.
Most advertising is written so that you get to be the hero. Do not do that! Make your client or prospective client the hero. Let them see how successful they can be when they choose to work with you, and who has the tools and knowledge to get them where they want to end up successfully.
Every project has a story. It is your job to find out what it is. This will help you better sell when you are bidding projects as you will be identifying the underlying problem or where there needs to be a new shower, floor, kitchen, etc. Now get out there, listen to your clients, and make them the heroes of their journey.