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Q&A with Manny Neves, Hardcore Renos, Part 2 of 2

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Q&A with Manny Neves, Hardcore Renos, Part 2 of 2

Q&A with Manny Neves, Hardcore Renos, Part 2 of 2

Combining a filmmakers’ eye, a love of international architecture, and a massive social media presence have helped build this Canadian construction company.

Interview by Will Gonell, Gonell Homes

Why did you turn to social media to promote your business?

Very early on I needed to get my ideas out there and I was one of the first to use YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter to express my renovation ideas. Social media to me is the equivalent of the word-of-mouth of yesterday. Everyone is on social media and they use social media to source out their day-to-day requirements.

The goal for anyone interested in using social is to build your brand. One hundred percent of my leads are from social media. Clients contact me because of a post and or comment I shared that resonated with them. When I meet new clients, they speak to me as if they have known me for years. Social media builds a trust factor like word of mouth, the more you share, the more you are honest, the more your personality comes across, the more people want to work with you.

How much time do you spend on Instagram and other social media platforms?

Two years ago I was full tilt on eight social media pages, posting three times a day and sharing so much. I was spending about 20 to 25 hours a week building and posting content.

These days I am about once or twice a day, spending five to 10 hours a week on it. I wanted to reclaim my personal life and began to pull back from posting and engagement.

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How have you cultivated your social media following?

People will only follow you if you give them reasons too. I share a lot of what I learned and tried on site. I opened people eyes to new ways to build, and new products. I was one of the first to make construction sites look cool, interesting, and stylish, all because of my film background. My posts stood out from the crowd.

By manipulating my images – adding contrast, vibrancy, sharpness, and brightness – my construction sites didn’t look plain Jane. Then I had a lot of video. I placed cameras where others never thought to put them and I gave construction a fresh perspective and people watched my videos. I have videos with over 246,000 video views and images with over 5,000 likes.

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What are the pros and cons to social media?

Any contractor can build a construction brand as big as Apple or Coke, you just have to be smart about it. Working social media is another full time job added to your already busy on site job so you need to plan it. From day one I never bought into the notion that social media posts needed to be right here, right now. Every single one of my posts is planned and there is a story behind my posts. A week or a month or a year from now, nobody can tell you what day that post was posted.

A crappy image and content description posted on Monday will disappear by Tuesday, a well thought out image and story with a beginning, middle and end content posted on Wednesday will gain traction and last throughout the week and be shared.

The downside is that social media is an addiction: getting followers and likes and comments is the same as getting drunk or high. Some people care more about the social numbers than the quality of engagement.

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Where are your future growth opportunities?

First off, being a renovator will never be a fall back “job.” It’s a career and can be a very successful one. Contractors need to educate themselves better and build a brand that is valuable. Most kids today are heading towards IT this and that and looking at developing the next big app. These same kids have now idea about construction and what it costs to maintain a home, we do. While the rest of the world is advancing in all sectors, construction is falling behind. Tradespeople need to think beyond the city they work in. They need to think globally.

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Social media allows us to have a conversation with a contractor half way around the world about how they frame, they tile, they finish things. Growth is in seeing how other tradespeople in other countries are building.

I have more conversations with people from Australia, Asia, and Europe than I do North America. In North America, everyone is building pretty much the same way. I am more interested in new building techniques from other contractors from around the world. There are over seven billion people on this planet, with 350 million in North America. I want to hear what the other 6,650,000 people consider a home to be.

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