How to market yourself as a tradesmen or women in an industry already inundated with a LOT of small to medium businesses already doing what you’re doing.
Marketing yourself as a tradesmen, whether you’re a plumber, electrician, builder, painter, tiler or plasterer to name a few different trades. It really depends what your goal is, or what you want to achieve from being self employed. Some people are happy to plod along with a small stream of work, accept that there are times where work dries up and times when the phone doesn’t stop ringing. Other people want more.
If you’re the latter then read on. If you’re one of those that’s happy to tinker along making sure you’ve got enough money for a couple of pints at the end of the week as well as rent and bills then feel free to get some business cards made up, stick a cheap magnetic sign on your van and wait for the phone to start ringing.
Tradesmen and women marketing themselves as professionals
First things first you want to be seen as a professional who is an expert in their field. This means to some extent a uniform, a smart tee shirt with a logo will suffice and will stand you out from the scruffy tee shirts and joggers who are lining up in B&Q.
A tidy van, this doesn’t mean new. It means clean and tidy, so no copies of The Sun in the front window and McDonalds wrappers strewn across the front seats. How you portray yourself gives your customers a sense that you want to be seen as someone who takes pride in their work and their image.
Marketing your new trades business
First things first, BUY a domain and an email address to go with it. This is NOT expensive, you can buy a domain from Google Domains for £10 a year and an email address to go with it for £4 a month. Why? Well I’ll tell you why. johnsplumbing@yahoo doesn’t look as professional as john@johnsplumbing does it? Having a Yahoo or Hotmail address simply shows that you’re not really a business, you’re someone who’s created a free email address. An email address from a business looks professional, something from Hotmail gives the impression that you don’t care, that you can easily shut it down, that you’re not in it for the long haul and won’t be around for future work or if there is a problem further down the line.
Get a website and start collecting email addresses from your customers. Getting a website built is NOT expensive. The expensive part is getting said website to the top of Google searches. We won’t cover that in this article but more info can be found here.
Having a website further fortifies the above by showing prospective customers that you are a legitimate business. It doesn’t have to be all singing, all dancing. Just a simple page with a description of what you do, who you are, some images of your work and a way to contact you. Easy. Marketing your tradesmen or women business is easy when you keep things simple.
Why collect email addresses? I’m glad you asked. An email is easy to use when reaching out to more than one person. You can send the same email to hundreds of people at the touch of a button with CRM tools such as MailChimp or Hubspot. If you are consistently in contact with your customers they are less likely to forget you and more likely to remember you when you’re needed.
Notice I said consistently, rather than constantly? SPAM emailing is the quickest way to lose a customer. So regular emails, with informative information is better than bombarding them with emails just for the sake of it.
How to further market your business for tradesmen and women
Once you’re all set up with your smart uniform, clean van, professional looking website and email the next step is to NETWORK. Get your name out there as the professional who is an expert in what they do. Networking can be broken down into a different aspects. There is informal networking which could be telling family and friends, who then pass the message on to their family and friends etc. etc.
Formal networking, such as networking groups that are local to you, a simple Google search will show you what I mean.
Social networking, such as building a social media page for your business and growing a following on them.
Then my favourite, business networking. This is not always possible as it depends what trade you’re in, but I would describe business networking as growing your list of contacts within your industry. I was always very good at getting bathroom renovations because I would always build a good relationship with local showrooms and designers who would then pass on my details to prospective customers.
What types of businesses would use yours? and how can you grow a relationship with them?
Are you stuck? or not sure where to go from here?
If so feel free to get in touch with me. We can discuss any areas you may have missed, or working together in areas that you need an extra pair of hands in. Either way I’m always up for a chat so email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to keep going.