The digital era is full of possibility for tradies – because, in theory, as long as you can get your services online in front of the right people, you can find work. The problem is that having infinite marketing options can be confusing and overwhelming, leaving business owners unsure of where to start and what to invest in.
Whether your business is relatively new or you’re just trying to keep up with ongoing changes in the marketing space, there’s still time to get an effective marketing strategy in place for 2022 and reap ALL the benefits.
Read on for a few tips (or bypass the spiel and contact us to chat all things business marketing).
1. Sharpen up your digital marketing
When you hear the phrase “digital marketing”, what comes to mind? Your website? Your Instagram feed? The emails you send to your customers when you want them to (finally) book your service?
In an ideal world, you would be across all of the above, and more. This is critical because customers’ expectations for the online experience your brand provides are higher than ever, meaning you have to work harder to get and keep their attention.
The bad news is, if your online presence doesn’t include quality photography, great design, captivating videos, persuasive copy and solid calls-to-action, you’re missing out on potential sales – but that doesn’t have to mean doing it all on your own.
Here are a few basic tips on sharpening the tools in your digital marketing shed:
Even if you’re not overly concerned about the visual appearance of your brand, your ideal customers are. Get yourself a nice logo, a tidy website and a few social media tiles you can reuse each time you’ve got something to share with your online community.
Social content doesn’t have to be complicated – often, it’s enough just to share your expertise in short form. For easy wins, turn your frequently asked questions from clients into quick social media tips.
It really is the most engaging medium, and in most trade-based business, there will be plenty of opportunity to create effective visual content. Show off your team, your new uniforms, your office dog, your projects in progress, your completed projects – anything goes!
2. Get your free marketing on
It’s a common misconception that marketing always has to be expensive. While it’s possible (and sometimes wise) to spend up big, there are plenty of free tools online that deliver effective great results – all you have to do is choose the ones that best suit the requirements of your business. For example, if you do a lot of email marketing, MailChimp may prove to be a good investment of your time, whereas if most of your leads come through social media, you’ll likely get more benefit out of social analytics and scheduling tools. In any case, there are a few things that trade businesses across the board should be doing.
A powerful free tool like Google My Business will always be worth using. It’s simple – all you have to do is create a 5-minute profile for your business – and it’s great for your SEO rankings. Besides, everything that’s worth finding can be found on Google.
Nothing that you say about your own business will ever be as trustworthy or influential as what your customers have to say about you – so don’t be afraid to ask for reviews! Add “Review me” buttons to your website and the bottom of your email template and encourage your favourite clients to tell you what they really think.
As the demand for fast, personalised service gets more intense, business owners everywhere are finding it more difficult to keep up – and that’s where chat bots come in handy. A chat bot is great for helping visitors get what they want out of your website, fast – and just by engaging directly with them, it automatically increases the likely duration of their visit.
3. Invest in offline marketing
Having a great website is fantastic, but if you arrive to meet a first-time client looking out of sorts, it might seem a little off. That’s where offline marketing is important – it covers everything that falls outside of the digital realm, from your print collateral (think business cards and flyers) to your uniform and the decor on your truck. These things are great for making a lasting impression – especially if you’re often visiting potential customers to quote on jobs.
4. Hit “refresh”
Let’s be honest – the past few years have been, in a word, hectic, and if you’re still spinning out a little, it’s okay to take a break. Whether you have seen a lull in business over the past few weeks or you’re ready for a self-imposed holiday period, this is a great opportunity to re-evaluate a few things, starting with…
With the right team, it’s possible to navigate almost anything – but those ideal team members aren’t always easy to find. If you always have too much to do or often have to work overtime to cover absent staff members, you have a few options. You could hire a new staff member or two, reshuffle roles, or look to upskill your existing team and increase their long-term value for the business.
Marketing is an essential expense in every successful business, but marketing to the wrong people is a waste of time and money. Consider whether you have enough customers, whether the customers you’re serving are right for your business, and whether they’re responding to your marketing efforts. If the answer to any of those questions is a “no”, you could be overdue for a change.
The processes you go through every day ultimately become your business – and the things that worked when you first started out may not work forever. If you ever have doubts as to whether what you’re doing is necessary and effective, take the opportunity to try an alternative or do away with it for a short time and see whether anything changes.
5. Ask around
You know what they say: if you build it, they will come. Once you’ve built up a solid online presence, you’ll feel more confident promoting yourself and sharing your work with prospective clients, and those who are interested in what you have to offer will be impressed by the way you show up online. Great business relationships often begin with general conversations – so if you want more business, get your website in order and start talking about it.
Want to grow your trade business without all the uncertainty and confusion of the DIY approach? Why not get our team of marketing experts on the tools in your place? Click here to book a Game Plan call – it’s that easy.