Before and After Pictures
There is one marketing advantage contractors have over all other business types that contractors just don’t use enough and that is before and after pictures.
Have you ever watched Bar Rescue or any show where they make a transformation and then right when they are about to show you the finished product, they cut to commercial? There is a very specific reason for that. Before and after scenes are virtually impossible for viewers to turn away from. Remember the phrase, “DRIVER!! MOVE THAT BUS!! – Then, commercial break. There are so many TV shows that only exist because of consumers inability to ignore before and after transformations.
The same holds true for before and after pictures. The entire 64-billion-dollar weight loss industry is based on before and after pictures. People just cannot resist these pictures. The best part about this fact is that contractors can show the most compelling before and after pictures.
Most contractors do not take advantage of this fact. In most contractor marketing, I see lots of after pictures, or pictures of the product itself, or pictures provided by the manufacturer on some house that doesn’t even exist in the market they are serving. When was the last time you saw or brick or siding house in Southern California or Phoenix? Or a stucco house in New England?
Take any pictures in your marketing materials and I promise you, they will not perform as well as a great before and after picture.
Do you want to gain followers on social media?
A painter/landscaper/handyman who shows only before and after pictures on his Instagram account will get 10 times the followers of a painter/landscaper/handyman who only shows finished products. Many people will follow for years to see interesting pics and get ideas for their own upcoming projects. That’s the point of social media to build followers who interact with your content, and either become customers or share your interesting content with their network of people who eventually become customers.
No other business including weight loss can show such compelling before and after pictures as a contractor. This is an especially important advantage with todays social media channels that are so “image” based. Accounts that show compelling images grow faster than those that don’t, all other things being equal.
The reason most contractors don’t take before and after pictures is because when they do, the images come out crappy. The fact is, it isn’t easy to take great images. However, with a little training and effort, you can take better images. The first thing I advise contractors to do is to learn a little more about taking great pictures, or have someone on the team get some training. You can easily buy a book online about how to take better smartphone pictures. Just a few hours training will make a huge difference.
Local camera shops host beginner photography classes which also double as a great networking event. There are cheap online classes as well. Here is a link to a great book on taking better smartphone images. And here is a class you can take online to take better pictures. You can also try Udemy and LinkedIn for more classes on how to take better pictures.
But even a bad before and after picture is more interesting than a professional “after only” picture. So do not wait until you have had some training, start taking before and after pictures now, today, and begin to post them. Don’t worry if they aren’t that great at first, it’s fine. You will get better and so will your images. After all, you don’t have that many followers yet anyway, no one is going to see them. Its more of a way to get practice and get into the groove of taking and uploading pictures to your social media accounts. Once you have a well populated account with lots of content, you can go back and delete any images that are no longer up to your standards.
So, you think you are the type of contractor that this idea doesn’t really apply to?
Even electricians and HVAC companies can do this. Imagine a rats nest wiring fiasco, and the clean efficient aftermath, or even an old rusty sun worn AC unit replaced with a new shiny model. You can even take video of how the old one sounded, and how smooth and quiet the new unit is.
SECRET TIP – I don’t like to give out my best tips like this, but since you read all the way to the very bottom of the article I will go ahead and let you have this one. The best way to get ideas on what to post are to follow the largest social media accounts of similar trades in other big cities. No need to go into it further, this should be enough, but please don’t copy or plagiarize, just use these accounts to get your own great ideas.