When you go into business as a tradesperson, your focus is often on performing your trade to the best of your ability – as it should be. With time, the quality of your work will speak for itself, which is the most valuable testimonial of all.
However, any trades accountant or bookkeeper will tell you there’s more to it these days. While your good reputation preceding you is undoubtedly essential, there are a few other ways that you’ll want to market your services to ensure that you have a steady stream of work. Read on to learn 7 ways you can market your trades business.
1. Appear in directories
Since setting up a new business is usually a digital experience these days, it’s easy to overlook the step of making sure you appear on a physical list where people can find you. Ensure your trade business is on whatever relevant trade directories run in your area.
Additionally, make sure you appear in the online equivalent. Yelp, Google, and Facebook each have business directories. And let’s not forget the old standby: the phone book. Yes, they still exist! They are valuable resources for some people looking to hire a tradesperson.
2. Have a website
Some website-building platforms are very user-friendly, but if you feel that’s beyond you, hire someone to do it. Almost everyone does an online search before they hire a business, and not having a website is like waving a giant flag that says you’re out of touch, old-fashioned, or possibly not legitimate. Meanwhile, having a website reassures people that you are who you say you are, and can provide the services they need.
3. Leverage social media
Nothing is stronger than a good referral, and people naturally turn to social media to find out what your customers are saying if they don’t know someone who’s used your services personally.
Keep your social media presence strong and engaged. If you’re uncomfortable doing this, hire someone to do it for you. It’s critical when doing business today.
4. Offer referral promotions
When you wind up with a happy customer, provide them with an easy way to speak positively about you and suggest you to their friends. A card or a thank-you email with a discount code will do the trick.
5. Run ads
Trades marketing can be tricky because, typically, your services aren’t always needed. But when you are needed, it’s usually urgent.
If your trade business doesn’t appear on the first page of Google, it might be worth your while to take out an online ad. That way, when someone searches for a tradesperson in your area, your business will appear next to their search. The only way someone can click on your information is if they see it – so make sure they have that chance, whether through an organic search or a paid ad.
6. Make yourself visible in the real world
Make sure your business’s name and logo appear on any equipment you use and make clothes for your team to wear when they’re out and about in the world.
It may be smaller than a billboard, but driving and walking around letting people know who you are, what you do, and how to contact you will go a long way to market your trades business. If people become familiar with your business name, they’ll be more likely to turn to you when they need you.
7. Good old-fashioned snail mail
Believe it or not, print campaigns are alive and well! If you operate a trades business whose services are sorely needed in a specific area, consider making a print ad to pop into mailboxes. A word of warning, though – make sure your print ad is relevant, valuable, and eye-catching. You don’t want to spend money producing something that will immediately go to the recycling bin.
Marketing for trades businesses is a lot like any other type of business in that you have to understand your audience and their needs and show up when they’re looking for you. With some research and proactive planning, you can be sure your business will appear in the right place and at the right time.
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