When you’re running a business as a self-employed tradesman or as a small team it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly how you should be marketing yourself. Unless you have some experience in the area or have some time to train yourself it can be a daunting task however leaving it completely and relying on word-of-mouth is going to mean your business gets left behind the competition. Word-of-mouth alone just isn’t enough for you to use especially if you’re competing with modern tradesmen who will probably be using areas such as social media to gain new customers.
From creating a website right through to building portfolios, tradesmen have to deal with an array of marketing techniques in order to gain new customers and stay afloat in a competitive industry.
Have a look below at some of the marketing techniques you might want to use for your trade business:
Build A Website
Nowadays it is essential for any business to have a website. Most customers won’t use a company if they’re not able to view them online first. It’s almost like a safety blanket. One of the first things a customer will search for, even if they have received a recommendation will be your website. A website means that you are proven legitimate and it also means you have the opportunity to set yourself aside from any competition. Some of the things to consider when building a website include:
- Clearly identifying your business by providing a name and/or logo.
- Providing your address and contact details.
- Provide details about your business, such as your experience and any unique selling points. You could even consider having a dedicated about us page.
- Show any trading bodies and trading standards that you’re registered with, this shows that you’re a reputable company to use.
- You could show the qualification of you and any team members.
- Showcase your portfolio or parts of your previous work for customers to see.
- Have a review section where customers are able to leave feedback about your services.
- Show the materials that you use right from the boilers you install through to things such as the 15mm copper end feed. Being able to show the materials you source shows your customers you care about the quality of work completed.
If you have no expertise in building a website, you don’t need to worry. You definitely don’t need to be a professional programmer to make it look professional. There is an abundance of tools online that allow you to uld a website such as Wix or WordPress or you could always outsource this task and ask someone to build the website for you.
Be Easy To Find
Ok, so this may sound really simple but it’s important to make sure you and your business are easy to find. For this, you need to focus on areas such as google search and bing. There are a few things that you can do in order to help with this and they include:
- Organizing your website, this basically means you need to ensure your website is easy to navigate. Think about how each page is displayed and if all the links are working properly. There is nothing more off-putting to a potential customer than coming across a broken link when using a companies website.
- Use SEO- This is a search engine optimization. You should make sure you are applying this throughout your website continuously.
To support the effort that you’re going to put into search engine optimization it’s a good idea to make sure your registered and listed in local online directories. Some of the most commonly used include Yelp, Google my business, trust a trader as well as specific safety regulation lists like the gas safe register.
Make Use Of Social Media
Most people now have at least one social media account therefore it makes it a fantastic tool for reaching out to your target audiences. A lot of tradesmen now report gaining considerable amounts of new customers merely from being active on social media. Plus the majority of social media is free to use, which can be very helpful with a marketing budget to keep the costs down. Some of the platforms that are commonly used include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, For a trade business you will probably find that Facebook is the most successful so it’s a good idea to start there and then if you start to gather interest or consider having a blog on your website move to a platform like Instagram. Using Facebook is like having a virtual business card and you can even add direct links to your website, chat with customers online and post to trade pages.
Build A Portfolio
So, we all know that a successful marketing campaign isn’t just about having a flashy website. At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding and that means that customers will want to see evidence of your previous work. It’s a good idea to build a portfolio of your best work and show a variety of services so that customers are able to see what level of service and quality they can expect from you. It’s a good idea to include customer testimonials too, having a review or comment from the customer that you completed the work for can do wonders when a new customer is scouring your portfolio. They are more likely to trust the word of someone who has experienced your work for themselves rather than just a picture. If you’ve decided to make use of Facebook too you can ask your customers to post your work and tag you in it so your new customers can see what they’re likely to expect.
Make Use Of Reviews
It’s been proven that customers prefer to buy from someone or use a service that has reviews available to view. It gives potential customers the chance to get to know you through the eyes of previous customers and they can then decide if you’re what they’re looking for. It’s a good idea to share reviews across your social media platforms, on your website and even in business flyers.
This is just a short guide to help you with your marketing as a trades business, hopefully it has given food for thought and set you on the right path with building a great marketing strategy. Do you have any other bits of advice that you can share in the comments section below?