When you are trying to market your trade business, you need to keep in mind that there are two pools of customers to consider. The first is your emergency customers. These are customers who need an urgent fix – for example, a burst pipe, a broken fence, or a damaged roof. The second group of customers are those who have time to plan their work; this would be for big projects or routine maintenance.
It’s important to consider both of these groups when planning marketing because they will find a tradesperson in very different ways. They will also look for different things. Basically, this means that your marketing strategy needs to have two separate strands to maximise the customers you can attract.
To help you work on marketing your trade business online, we have split the best practice into three sections – the groundwork, emergency clients, and planning clients. With these three sections, you can make sure your marketing is attracting all of the right clients for your business and make sure that you’re not leaving any of your business to chance.
The first thing you need to do is create your brand. This will give your marketing a consistent voice and look, which will make it easier for clients to find you. While ‘making a brand’ might sound daunting, you have probably already started taking steps to do this.
Choosing a business name and logo is the first step in this process. It can be worth the time and money spent to get a logo professionally designed because though a good logo is inexpensive, it can make a big difference to your bottom line. If you use colours in your logo, then try and use these in all your messaging as this will create a consistent look and feel.
The next thing you want is a tagline. This should be a short sentence that sums up who you are, who you serve and what you have to offer that no one else does. For example “Quick, affordable and skilled plumbers to deal with any problem”. Remember the importance of consistency across channels. There’s a superb article here that dives into the topic of brand consistency in much more detail if you want to expand your knowledge further.
Use the network you already have to spread the word. Don’t be afraid to ask you existing customers, friends and family to pass your detail along to anyone they know who needs your services. This is a great way to grow your network of clients even larger. You can find some more thoughts on getting other people involved in your marketing, here.
Marketing To Emergency Clients
Claim your Google Business listing
Most people will use Google when they need to find a tradesperson. Even if they have heard of you before, the first thing they will do is Google you. One of the first things that pops up is the details that Google holds about your business, and this will be before your website.
Making sure your details here are correct will make you look more professional and will ensure that you don’t lose clients who don’t look any further than this. Just go here to claim your business.
Make it easy to call you
In an emergency, clients want to call you quickly. They aren’t going to hang around filling our webforms, or scrolling through pages to find your number. They want to contact details front and centre.
The perfect way to give you number is as a click to call link. This means that if your potential client is using their smartphone, then all they need to do to ring you is touch the call button and they are in business.
Have a well designed, clutter-free website
If you don’t have a website, you need to get one yesterday! There are some great, easy-to-use and often free (or cheap) website making… websites that can very easily get you on your way. Check out a selection below:
www.wix.com – super easy, cheap!
www.squarespace.com – slightly more sophisticated, slightly more expensive
www.wordpress.com – versatile and future proof (also pretty advanced)
If you already have one, take some time to look at it through the eyes of a panicked customer who needs to know if you can help them now. So ask the following questions.
- Is your phone number at the top, and bottom of the homepage?
- Is it easy to find a list of services you provide?
- Do you clearly show the areas you work in?
- Is there evidence of your previous work?
- Are there any recommendations or testimonials?
- Do you offer a price guide, emergency call-out fee or quote per job?
These are the key things this sort of customer needs to find quickly and easily.
Get social (media)
For many industries, Facebook is the best social media platform for generating business, so this is where you should focus your energy. A good page will bolster your online presence and is also an easy place to cultivate and curate customer referrals. Other social media sites to consider are LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Think about your business from a customer’s perspective. Where would you look and what information would you want to find? Then, make sure your business is in the right place with current, useful information. Think about how things look, too, visuals are very important in social media! Find out more about social media visuals, here.
Marketing To Clients Who Are Planning Ahead
Clients who have the time to consider which tradespeople they want to use will be looking for specific things. They will have the time to assess your content to decide if you offer then the quality and value they are looking for. Here are some tools that will help you to attract these customers.
Have a Work Request form
These clients tend to prefer sending a description of the work they need doing. This allows them to feel out if you are the right tradesperson for the job. The best way to do this is through a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This will allow you to respond quickly and efficiently, which will help drive this sort of enquiry into a sale.
Prompt and professional responses will sway these clients, so stay organised with these systems.
Create a presence on Rated People/My Builder
Both of these sites have pros and cons, but they are certainly looking like there are here to stay. These sites have continued to grow over time, so it would be foolish to ignore them. To decide which is the best option for your business, you can check out our guide to choosing which to use here or for an overview of all trade referral sites, click here.
Display your trade accreditations
Building trust and expertise is critical for customers who are planning big projects. Use your skills, accreditations, awards, reviews and expertise to create a trustworthy and experienced brand that gives customers confidence and assurance.
It can be worth becoming a member of any relevant government or trade association and accreditation schemes you can. For a lot of customers, they take these as an indication of quality and trustworthiness. The display of these accreditations on your website and online presences can help to create a feeling of trust from your potential clients. This could be what pushes them to commit to hiring your company.
Time To Boost Your Marketing?
We know you’d rather spend your time on the job. Still, by carving out a few hours a week to dedicate on digital marketing, you can help to build a trustworthy and well-known brand. Not only that, but you’ll be creating a healthy job pipeline, and sales funnel that ensures consistent and sustainable work levels for your business.