At first glance, Job referral sites like HiPages, Service Seeking and TradiePortal look like a super easy way to find leads and pick up jobs. In theory, you’ve got a ready pool of clients looking for your specific trade – all you have to do is submit a quote. No worries!
The reality is that it’s actually a risky proposition to rely on sites like this for leads – and here’s why.
Five huge disadvantages of job referral sites
- You don’t own the leads
The biggest downside of job referral sites from a marketing strategy perspective is that you don’t own the leads (and, more importantly, the client’s contact details). The job referral site holds those details. This significantly limits your marketing potential, as you won’t be able to email, text or otherwise contact them with future promotions or services that may be of interest to the client.
- Bidding for jobs can be a race to the bottom
Most job referral sites work by the potential client listing a job that needs to be completed, you submitting a quote, and the client choosing a tradie based on price and reviews. Nine times out of ten, the lowest price is the one that wins – meaning that you may have to compromise on your rate in order to win work, potentially even to a level where you’re only just breaking even (or losing money)
- You have no control over the quality of job (or client)
The bidding process also has another big disadvantage: typically, you’ll never speak to the client or view their premises until after you’ve accepted the job. This means that you may be unable to properly assess the job (and the client) until it’s too late. This, along with the ‘race to the bottom’ nature of the bidding process, means you may end up taking low quality jobs, with all the problems that come along with them.
- You’re only talking to people who are actively buying
The very nature of job referral sites means that their audience consists solely of people who are ‘actively buying’ – people who need a project completed now. While this is great if you need work now, next week or maybe next month, it’s useless when it comes to creating a pipeline of work over a longer horizon. For this, you need to be talking to the people who are only just starting to think about a project – and for that you need to be doing your own marketing via other channels.
- You have to pay the job referral site for leads (that you don’t own)
Last but not least, all job referral sites cost money, whether you’re paying a subscription fee, paying to bid, paying to raise your profile or paying the site a commission on your invoice for any jobs booked through it. This cuts into your bottom line straight away and, to add insult to injury, you probably don’t even get to use the leads provided by the site in future.
OK, what’s the alternative?
The alternative is pretty simple: take control of your own marketing strategy based around your own website, optimised to generate leads and appear at the top of Google search results. There are a ton of advantages to this approach:
- You have complete control over every aspect of your marketing strategy and choice of projects.
- Every lead you generate through your website is yours, to nurture over the long term.
- You can focus on quality, high-paying projects through tailored branding, emphasising quality and other non-price aspects of your service, and effective project assessment and vetting.
- You’re dealing directly with every client – not having to go through a middleman.
- Every cent you spend is an investment in your own business.
- You can talk to people at all stages of the purchasing process – whether they’re ready to buy today or only just starting to think about their project.
Are you ready to take control of your marketing, but don’t know where to start? Book a 100% free no-obligation 20-minute strategy session call (valued at $999) with TradiesGo today, and get ready to grow your business faster than you ever thought possible!