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Building Trades as a Sales & Marketing Engine –

Brothers & Sister Building Trades – get out your smart phones! Google search qualified and/or licensed (enter your trade) contractors in your city. Overwhelmingly the results for that search will be as follows – paid ad words (top and right side of page highlighted) Directories (not necessarily in this order) – such as (Angie’s List, Manta, Dex, Yahoo, etc.), and local listings which are also called organic listings (non-paid listings) the ones that we look at will appear. The non/anti-union contractors show up approximately 92% of the time on the first page in concentrated numbers.

Google reports that approx.. 24% of billions of searches every day are for local services and construction in high on that list, hence why Angie’s list & others directories exist.

Those Building Trades market reps/organizers that continue to think that end-users, construction managers & general contractors don’t vet and often secure the hiring of contractors on the internet are very wrong, especially in the areas of service, residential & middle markets – and the hard and available numbers back that up.

Labor unions & Labor Management Co-operation Committees (LMCC) using the internet for marketing their signatory contractors to increase hours and market share would rate a 1 on a 1 – 10 scale, with 10 being a properly executed structured campaign that produces inbound business at a significant rate for the union construction companies.

Labor Unions and LMCCs have paid tens of millions of dollars to web designers, web developers, public relations groups, consultants/industry experts and marketing firms; and have not even been introduced to the world of internet marketing! When  Labor Rising present to various Building Trades meetings, union organizers and agents have never heard the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization), ad words, organic listings and key words (just to name a few) 95% of the time. Building Trades don’t have a basic understanding of “interruption based marketing” and “convenience based marketing.” Union organizers’ & agents’ knowledge of aggressive and structured use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and U-Tubes, and their ability to substantially raise union market share, if properly use is extremely low.

Building Trades use websites & social media in a totally passive way. The website platform and infrastructure now used cannot conduct commerce at all. Listing our union contractors on our union websites is very much akin to throwing snow balls at a raging fire and expecting to put the fire out. Numbers clearly show that literally no-one searches our union websites to find a contractor! This is easy to find out with analytics of the website traffic.

For all the BS (business speak) and marketing that the Building Trades, union organizers and LMCCs have been engaged in, we don’t know jack about the way every other market – markets!

It is pure BS that our vendors, consultants, industry experts and marketers have consistently and conveniently missed telling us about these concepts. That is not acceptable. Either they don’t know – fire them; or they haven’t told us – fire them!

Blogging is but one example!

Blogging is effective for engaging & educating clients. It positions the Building Trades and/or signatory contractors as a leader in all facets of construction from residential to heavy industry. It positions us as the “authority” in construction related activities, training and new construction technologies, including Green.

When potential end-users, owners and buyers are searching for information on our contractors’ expertise, blogs channel “authority” to our signatory contractors and unions.

Less than 3% of all unions and union contractors websites blog properly and timely. Blogging is a professional activity & it is not an activity that an in-law or friend can do!

If any of our existing vendors, consultants, industry experts and marketers start looking for a check in this arena, ask them one question: Who has your firm positioned to the reap both increased hours and market share on the Google search pages? Do they position our union contractors using paid ad word campaigns – just to highlight but two highly specialized activities that these types of companies do.

Labor Rising and the Contractor Marketing Program (CMP) for union organizing and building trades unions that fully integrates the internet and other organizing strategies to dominate and win market share for our contractors and union members!

Here is A Primer –

Relevance and Authority, the Pillars of a Google search –

In the world of Google, relevance is what “you say about yourself.”  For example, to get in a Google search, you say you are a plumber several times, and that is the most basic way you become relevant on the internet as a plumber.

We in the Building Trades say we are relevant because we say we are plumbers, hvac, electricians, roofers, painters etc.  What that does is put us in a category with millions of other entities saying the same time about themselves. This is what “you say about yourself” and is a statement of your relevance.  Relevance gets you in the game!

Authority is what “others say about you”, Tweets, Facebook, Google, You Tube & Reviews are but a few examples of what “others say about you.” It determines your ranking on Google to a huge degree.  On Google, if you’re not on the 1st page you might as well go away because you will not do much business.

Here are real life and on-going examples of the power of Google as it relates to Relevance and Authority.

Union organizers and agents – Google how to become an electrician, plumber, roofer, hvac, welder, etc. According to the stats the term careers and jobs are used 93% of the time, as the term apprenticeship is seldom used. Overwhelmingly, the result will not include union apprenticeships on the first page – if at all!  The pride of our trades is our “state of the art” apprenticeship schools (in which I taught for 9 years). When you do a Google search on the internet, our apprenticeship schools are barely relevant, if at all.  So, we say we have the best training, and we do!  However, we are barely found in the Google searches.

What is absolutely lacking is the authority or “what others are saying” about our apprenticeship schools. From the comprehensive training programs provided for the industry, the internet has little to no knowledge of our programs. We are in our own bubble, Brothers & Sisters.  Translation is that no one outside of the Building Trades is saying anything about our apprenticeship programs with enough authority to matter. Even internally, what we say about our apprenticeship programs is overwhelmingly improperly formatted and cannot be found on the internet!

In contrast, look at the activities of the anti-union and the majority of vocational and community colleges. Those entities are literally stealing all of our apprenticeship training modules.  They rewrite them and load the materials onto their websites with key word rich content. Authority on the modules is strongly inferred through authorship by professors, engineers, etc. In the case of community colleges, an .edu is used as the suffix to links. An .edu conveys a lot of authority in the world of how Google ranks!

The cumulative effect is that by the end of the decade any young person looking to be a tradesperson will find only vocational schools and community colleges as their pathway to training.

Look at C.U.R.T. (Construction Users Round Table), AGC (Associated General Contractors) and the ABC websites as examples.  They all refer to unions as minimally as possible and in the most general of terms, and will not confer authority through the internet on our apprenticeship schools in any substantive way.

On the other hand, with regard to relevance and authority, both our signatory contractors and unions can dominate these search engine internet marketing strategies if we collectively choose to make it happen and invest the same energy that we have put into jurisdictional disputes, politics and labor management cooperation.  If unions and signatory contractors continue to ignore how the rest of the country does business and not engage, we will cease to be relevant.

Hard words of advice – our current vendors, consultants and industry experts clearly have no expertise in this internet marketing space.  However, where there is a big pay check, you will find these influencers.  They haven’t kept us up to speed and in the game and they will hinder our ability to move forward effectively. Time to loss the vendors used to date. If any of their strategies worked, in any way, we would see it by now!  The status quo has to be broken.

 ”if you see a good fight – get in it”

 In Solidarity,

Danny L Caliendo


Labor Rising

Educated Union Member

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