Crafting your story is a Critical part of being a successful, profitable tile contractor.
I want to encourage all of you to think about your story. Who are you? What do you do?
Stories are very powerful. Who remembers a story that their mother, father or grandparent told them when they were a child? Perhaps it was as simple as a Dr. Seuss story like Green Eggs and Ham, I remember those stories as a child. I also remember my grandfather being a great Storyteller, he told many stories, often telling the same ones over and over again, but you know what? Even though my grandfather repeated stories, he had the rooms attention, no matter how many times they had heard it! And so clearly we can see the impact of stories. Stories make an impression on us, they often are remembered and passed down for generations!
Stories help your potential customers to identify with you. If you’re telling them your story well, you are conveying your core values and not just what your company does, this helps them identify with you and say “this is the company I want in my home! They share my values, they believe in what I believe in, they’re concerned with what I’m concerned in.”
Stories are often more powerful than facts. I’ll give you an example.
My name is Luke, all my life people have came up to me and said “Luke, I am Your Father”
Everyone will recognize this as a famous line from the movie Star Wars.
Here’s the thing…. Darth Vader never said that! He said “No, I am Your Father”
So why is this important to a tile contractor business?
It is important because if you are not telling your story, people will tell it for you! And you might not like how they tell it!
So how do we go about crafting our stories?
Keep in mind the acronym K.I.S.S.
Keep It Super Simple.
Do not make your story to complex, people can easily get lost in the details, so keep your story clear. You want people to remember what you do and why you do it. When crafting your story think about your ideal customers, think about the customers that you’ve had the most success with over the years, the customers that were the most profitable for your tile business.
What problem did you solve for them? Why did they hire you over the other tile guy? Think about this as you’re crafting your story and think about how you want to relay your story to your potential customers, this will help you to attract the same type of customers.
Where are you going to tell your story?
Are you going to use social media?
Are you going to use Instagram?
Are you going to use Facebook?
Are you going to create videos for YouTube?
You know, this is really dependent on you. Are you camera shy? Do you like to write?
If you do choose social media I encourage you to think about it as the paintbrush of painting your story. Social Media has made it easier than it has ever been to Tell Your Story!
Here’s the thing though… You have to Just Do It! Post that Selfie! Funny thing about selfies, they’ve been around a long time, a lot longer than social media or even cell phones! The first selfies were actually self portraits used by painters to sell themselves.
So it’s a time tested and proven technique to sell yourself!
Do not be shy and do not be passive when talking about your services. Use Action Words like “Buy Now”. Think about this like anchoring, you want to anchor in their mind that you are the tile contractor for them!
I used to post “stories” every morning inside my Instagram page, I would talk about How Beautiful the day was! I never knew how or if it was popular with my followers until I stopped! One of my followers messaged me and said “Luke, where are you!? I miss your morning stories!”
Many people have asked me recently about my personal story and why I created the Tile Money Podcast, so here it is.
I learned the tile trade at 17 years of age, I got my start in Tucson AZ working on track homes.
Like a lot of my tile friends I left my apprenticeship to soon when I was offered some quick money working out of state for a month, after that I kept getting “side jobs” and eventually made my way further West to CA.
I met the love of my life in Monterey CA, the same year we got married I received my C54 Tile Contractor License. I was 25 and the year was 2008.
My business never took off, I could blame it on the recession, the new surroundings, the new marriage etc. but the truth was…. I wasn’t ready to start a business.
I had no clue how to tell my story, why would anyone hire me over another tile contractor? I didn’t know.
Seven years later we moved south to San Luis Obispo and I decided the timing was right, the economy was booming and I had gained confidence and was ready to tell my story! I hit the ground running, telling my story to everyone who would listen!
That first year I sold $200,00 in tile installation labor.I had worked in roughly 40 peoples homes. Lots of people told me I was doing great! It was nice to hear, but I knew something wasn’t right, I was happy people were hiring me and it seemed I won every job I was bidding on! But where was the money!?
I was constantly working, often seven days a week. My breaking point was when my daughter was born, she was still in the hospital, only a couple days old when I received the dreaded phone call! One of my customers was not happy with one of my employees!
I felt I had to leave the hospital, leave my wife, leave my newborn to go and smooth out the situation.
It was here that I learned the truth, My Business was running me, I was not running my business! I knew something had to change.
I turned to the internet to search for answers, I found Tile Geeks and Global Tile Posse on FaceBook, I asked lots of business questions and received some help, and even better,
I heard about PodCasts, I downloaded my first podcast to listen to at work.
This is where things started to improve for me!
I could learn while I was driving to and from job sites, even learn while I was working!
I started searching for more specific podcasts, who was talking to me, a struggling contractor?
Even better, who was talking to me, a struggling Tile Contractor?
How could that be?!
There were podcasts on every other subject!
It was then that I had my bright idea, it was then that the entrepreneur in me was once again alive and on fire! If no one was talking about the business of tile, on a podcast, maybe I should!
I started talking about it on Instagram, created my Tile Money IG page, sharing inspirational quotes and encouraging my tile installer friends to Know Their Worth!
Then I stopped.
I wasn’t sure if I could actually do it!
I let months go by, I got very depressed and didn’t know why.
Later I realized the cause of my depression, I was not doing what I knew I should be, I was not helping my friends…. they continued to reach out, even months after I stopped posting on IG.
I had to push on and continue my efforts with Tile Money!
I pushed through my insecurities and self doubts and launched the podcast!
Within several months after launching my very first episode, the NTCA contacted me with encouraging news, they had heard my podcast and were interested in backing my efforts!
Together with Laticrete they have been sponsoring my efforts to educate and inspire tile contractors to run profitable, sustainable tile installation businesses. Today I am so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, for example, together with Ron Nash and Laticrete, we just held our first ever in person Business Incubator in Minneapolis MN! Look out for more of these live events!
We have been able to encourage tile contractors around the world!
So that’s my story and how I started Tile Money!
Share your story on social media using the hashtag #mytilestory
Take the necessary time to craft your story, and from time to time edit and adjust as you grow and evolve.
Stay profitable tile friends!