There is no substitute for experience—especially in construction. Schooling and classroom education have their place, but there are so many elements and unforeseen conditions that only real-world, hands-on experience can present. And after years in the industry, your history and experience can be the catalyst for marketing your business now and for the future.
Social media and the Internet play a big role in marketing—and in some ways, they are the new "word of mouth." When creating or updating your online content, be sure to highlight your history and experience. People want to hear life experience stories. These stories can show you as a unique contractor and help demonstrate your professionalism. In addition, you may want to show off building designs, quality workmanship, the latest technology, safety and building practices, or tips and tricks.
Posting videos and blogs on social media can draw traffic to your website. A video can give people a feel for your personality and create a more personal connection. A video is also a great way to show potential customers the beauty of some of your past projects and details of your creativity. I recommend keeping your videos under 2-3 minutes each. Try not to focus so much on a sales pitch, but instead on a service you are providing.
An accompanying blog can bring more detail to the video and fill in some gaps. A blog can also get people engaged in your topics. Open-ended questions or an invitation to comment can encourage interaction and help you develop a following. Sorting out online connections by relationship—contractors, past clients, vendors, or potential customers—can be beneficial. You can then offer your newsletter or other marketing materials to them as appropriate.
You may need some help setting up your website or social media accounts, but the key thing here is that your history and experience are gold, and no one can tell your story better than you. Just be yourself and share it with the genuine excitement that led you to the construction industry in the first place, and you will do great.