‘Having great content helps,’ he says of his successful Instagram page. ‘I always recommend having professional photos or videos. When you compare the phone pictures to the professional photos, it’s clear the professional shots stand out a whole lot more.’
Michael also invests in Facebook ads to target potential new clients and monthly e-newsletters to keep existing clients up-to-date. His website blog page is also regularly updated to feature industry news, trend pieces, useful hints for clients and in-depth insights into current and completed projects. Having all of these updates overseen by a third party has allowed Michael to expand upon his digital horizons.
‘One of the best parts about outsourcing my digital strategy is that I’ve been able to do way more with marketing than I could ever do myself,’ Michael says.
Of course, a successful digital strategy takes a lot of work – and it’s certainly not a one-man job.
‘The key to digital success is having a good team behind me that I trust to create and review my content and make it look appealing to prospective clients,’ Michael explains. ‘I mainly concentrate on my Instagram Stories, but the team at Sea Salt handles my social media posts and ads, monthly blogs and newsletters.’
While digital solutions may take some time to implement, they can be huge timesavers too. As well as transforming his business with external methods, Michael is using digital platforms internally to lead his team to success.
‘My supervisors have iPads, which we share job files between,’ he explains. ‘We also use them to update each site’s work schedule and orders. Meanwhile, we use cloud-based accounting software, which is great for tracking job costs and filing invoices.’
Michael’s digital approach may be hugely successful already, but he won’t be resting on his laurels any time soon. The online world is constantly evolving, with Michael admitting his approach has changed ‘tenfold’ since he began his business. His digital future looks bright – he plans to continue concentrating on digital content, from imagery to video, to build the brand and showcase his team’s craftsmanship.
It’s an inspiring growth story and one that’s sure to spark ideas for businesses such as Michael’s. His advice is not to hold back or be afraid to make mistakes.
‘The only thing that doesn’t work is not being active,’ he says. ‘You have to be active to gain traction. It doesn’t always have to be high-end work; just show what you’re currently working on, be proud of it, and people will respect and engage with you.’ It certainly seems to be working for Cunningham Constructions.