Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

How to get ahead of the competition with YouTube

Canadian Contractor Marketing & Sales Commercial Insurance Professional Service

Two-thirds of all customers are "visual learners." That means, to entice prospects into hiring you to do renovations for them, you need to excite them with images, not words. An online video on YouTube can do this for you brilliantly.

By Karen Hamilton

I saw a commercial a couple of weeks ago featuring a builder and homeowner standing in front of a picturesque vacant lot. He, the builder, was lively and animated as he described the beautiful home he would soon be building for the homeowner and her family. She stood there quietly, squinting at the dirt and grass that stretched in front of them, until the builder finished articulating his vision. When he was done, he turned to her and asked, “So, what do you think?” The homeowner looked at him with a quizzical expression then replied, “I don’t see it.”

The problem with a lot of customers like this is that they often have trouble visualizing exactly what it is you can do for them. This is especially true if your trade involves building components that are not visible in the final renovation. Talk to me about paint colours and finishes for my hallway and you’ll have my rapt attention. Discuss the pros and cons of using rigid foam board under sheathing when you’re insulating my walls and there’s a good chance my eyes will glaze over faster than Britney Spears’ at a Mensa convention.

If you want to stand out from your competitors while at the same time reaching potential customers who are visual learners (an estimated two-thirds of the population), why not let pictures do the talking for you courtesy of YouTube?  Here are some ideas for getting the most out of this free and easy to use service.

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Demonstrate what you do

Are you an electrician? Show them what’s involved in snaking a wire through a conduit. A carpenter? Video some examples of coffered ceilings you’ve installed. (All the better if you can do this for different stages of the project.(

Take them shopping

Take viewers virtually shopping at your suppliers and explain why you choose the materials you do and why, even if it adds to the cost of the job, it can be cheaper in the long run.

Explain why they should hire you

Too often homeowners choose one contractor over another based solely on price or personality. Educate viewers about what they should look for, including certifications, insurance and references. Explain why cheapest isn’t synonymous with best.

Educate them

Educate homeowners about what they should be on the look-out for in terms of dry rot, black mold, roofs that need replacing or any of the hundreds of other things that always seem to need a homeowner’s attention. They’ll thank you for it and hopefully hire you for being the one to warn them in the first place.

Show off!

Turn YouTube into a visual portfolio and show off the excellent work you do for the imaginatively challenged-amongst us.

Karen Hamilton is part of the team at Hammerati. Hammerati is a professional network exclusively for the construction industry.

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1 Comment » for How to get ahead of the competition with YouTube
  1. Great article!
    You could also use an online 3D design program (like 3Dream.net). It lets you quickly create a 3D space, then with a click or two create 3D renderings to show (and excite) your clients. It works for the Property Brothers and Candice Olson…

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