No1 is presenting you with our new EDM series where we talk about suggestions of how to prepare for forecasted changes in the construction market, and discuss solutions that can help you and your business to survive, improve and grow.
On this Chapter: Increase your marketing efforts:
Maintaining and developing a successful, sustainable business depends on your customers’ perception and experience of your Company.
Marketing is the process of getting your business noticed by the people who need or want what you have to offer - they need to know who you are, what products/services you offer and how to contact you.
With the current market in a state of uncertainty, now might be a good time to consider investing in marketing to increase your visibility to potential customers.
There are many different forms of marketing available to you, and quite likely there are a number of them that you are currently using or have tried in the past.
Weighing up which option or options that are best for you and your business is an important decision.
The main modern substitute for the good old yellow pages is your browser. A person in need of services is only a few clicks away from finding out which companies are offering what they are looking for, and in that case it is very important to have a place where they can find you (or your company) - so it is important that you have a website, and it must be a good one.
Whether you already have one or are looking to set one up, it is important to remember that yours will be one amongst many and in order for it to succeed in highlighting your business you will need to focus on a few key aspects:
- Excellent First Impression - your website needs to look appealing and be organised. Within a few seconds of landing on your website, your audience should know exactly what your offer is. Make sure that your homepage showcases:
- The services you offer
- Why they should pick you – your point of difference
- Your qualifications, experience and industry knowledge.
- Easy to Navigate - Make life easy for your customers and help them find what they’re looking for by putting yourself in their shoes. Make it easy for your customers to find:
- Services information
- Contact details
- Prices or an easy way to get a quote
- Examples of what you’ve done (e.g. portfolio, testimonials).
- High-Quality photos - In the building and construction industry, it’s not enough to simply talk about your work. You need to take the opportunity to highlight the quality and variety of work you can do for your customers. Some ways that photos can enhance your website are:
- By showing the variety of projects you work on
- Reminding people that you’re relevant and sought-after by updating projects regularly
- Use before and after shots to your advantage
- Use a chronology of a project to give people the full picture.
- Make it Mobile friendly - Essentially, ensure that your website functions well on a mobile device. Mobile has now overtaken desktop searches and search engines like Google now push mobile-first indexing. Ultimately, if your website does not work well on different devices (i.e. it doesn’t have responsive design) it’ll hurt your ranking and exposure. Ways to make your website mobile friendly can include:
- Responsive design
- Page speed
- Using text that can be read without zooming in
- Not having to scroll excessively
- Easy-to-navigate menu.
- Valuable Content - Quality over Quantity- People remember websites that add value, providing relevant information in a clear and efficient way. Concentrate on producing content that matters, with accurate and truthful data - world of mouth is one of the most credible ways of being showcased, so if the information you provide is good, people might not only come back to your website, but also refer it to others, resulting in an organic and efficient reach.
- Credible Information (including testimonials & reviews) - It is very effective to demonstrate why customers should choose your business by sharing customer testimonials and reviews. Unfortunately in the trade industry, countless people have had bad experiences - adding social proof has a legitimising effect.
- SEO & Adword - Part of having and managing your website can include utilising SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and AdWords. Ensuring your service offering is clear is great for SEO, as you’re using all the right keywords that search engines are looking for. For example, mentioning on the homepage that you’re a Metal Roofer in Sydney is good for clarity and local SEO. Depending on your budget, you can also run AdWords campaigns to boost you to the top of Search Engine pages. Employing the services of a trained and experienced IT Professional in this area is more likely to deliver faster results as their experience can yield more targeted campaigning.
- Track your Website Traffic - One of the most important things you can do to continue to improve your website ranking is to track the traffic. This will allow you to get an insight on who you are reaching out to, and how you could optimise and polish your website for better performance.
Although most of us believe that social media is a place for ‘likes’ over cute animals or sunset pictures, it is commonly forgotten the power that social media offers as a way to reach out and meet your potential prospects.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, Pinterest and even Tiktok are platforms to be explored with commercial eyes, because you never know where your future customers will be looking for your service - and whilst it is a bit hard to know where to place your focus, it is expected that the more you expose yourself (in different platforms) the higher are the chances of success.
Regardless of which form of marketing you embark on, you will need to consider who your target market is, and from this what is the best way to reach them. If you will be running your own marketing, it is important to also consider the types of marketing that you feel comfortable working with.
Social Media advertising using Facebook for example may be a medium that you are familiar with - if this is the case, familiarity has the advantage of efficiency and also suggests that you have a social media presence that you can capitalise on.
There is an opportunity to promote your business and engage with potential customers regardless of which social media platform you choose to explore. Share updates on your latest projects, customer testimonials, and other relevant content.
Each of these mediums can work well in complimenting each other and you can also post similar marketing / advertising across all of them - this has the advantage that you can target a particular market and increase your chances of getting notices and generating leads.
Facebook for example allows you to select a specific geographic area for your ads to appear in - this will increase your efficiency when quoting and also when completing the projects you have won.
“Oh mate, but I spend so much time on the tools and doing quotes… How can I find time to share content on social media?”
Scheduling Social Media Posts Ahead of Time is a very beneficial technique, and there are several apps/online services specifically oriented for this task. When you share content across social media pages, you increase your site traffic and attract more subscribers or customers.
Manually sharing content on multiple social media platforms can become a time-consuming task - this is especially relevant in the trade industry because let's face it, you work long hours.
Scheduling your posts ahead of time adds value to your social media strategy not only because it saves you time, but also because it allows you to spend more time engaging with your audience and understanding what types of posts they like to read.
There are a number of benefits to scheduling social media posts, and these can include:
- Reach your (potential) customers at the best times - Scheduling social media posts ahead of time allows you to share content at the time when most of your audience is awake and online, increasing the chances of them seeing it. If your customers are more likely to do their research in the evening, then this is the time to schedule your posts.
- Establish consistency and a regular presence - because your market is likely to follow many accounts across a number of platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.) your posts could get lost in traffic especially if you post sporadically. By scheduling your posts, you’ll maintain a consistent presence across all of your social media networks, helping you stay top-of-mind for your followers.
- Plan out your content - Scheduling content in advance reduces the chance that you’ll overshare or under share a specific post. You can be more strategic about when and how you share specific content to attract more views for your posts. This can include both new and previously posted content.
- Engage with your audience - Another benefit of scheduling content for your social media accounts is that it frees up time to engage with your audience. Replying to comments, asking questions, and providing answers in return allows you to grow relationships.
- Repurpose your content - While stats can reveal which of your posts are the most popular, social media is another indicator of what resonates with your target audience. Looking at the number of shares, likes, and comments on your scheduled posts can help you determine what types of content you should create more of.
- Be prepared to share older content with a new audience - Over time you will likely acquire new followers who haven’t read the content you published in the past. From your dashboard, you can reshare posts so your newest followers won’t miss any of your content - this can help to grow the relationship and engagement faster. Each social network offers statistics or analytics tools that you can review to support these decisions. Most often, these stats are available within your user account dashboard for each social site. This information can provide guidance and insights for new post ideas or how your content can be repurposed as PDFs, videos, or audio posts to better serve your audience’s needs.
Asking for a review on your website, Google My Business, or social media platforms is a fantastic way to build your business. You can do this simply by asking a question once you have completed the project like ‘If you are happy with my service and workmanship, it would be greatly appreciated if you could provide me with an honest review’.
Alternatively, you could send out a thank you email following the completion of the project thanking them for the opportunity, perhaps including a photo or two (this shows you are proud of your work) and have a link that they can click on to leave a review.
Whilst receiving a review in the current digital age is something that consumers are often looking for when making financial decisions, marketing does not always need to be in the form of digital or print media. Receiving a referral can be invaluable.
A referral generally leads to a higher conversion rate as the trust has already been established. Marketing yourself when completing a quote or onsite working by showing respect and being prompt will certainly go a long way to a positive review and or a referral.
By establishing rapport and having a genuine connection with your customers will help create a good reputation for you and your business.
Word of Mouth marketing has been pretty much around since people have been offering goods and services - it works because people trust other people. This is a concept called “Social Proof”, which is the belief that the majority knows best.
So, in order to make the best decisions, individuals look toward the choices other people have made, before acting themselves. From a brands point of view, brands have to consider how to position their marketing, product, and customer experience, in order to yield the most amount of interaction between customers and potential customers.
In your case, you are the Brand!
According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report, Hubspot and Business News Daily Website:
- 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising.
- Beyond friends and family, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
- 75% of people don’t believe adverts, yet 90% trust suggestions from family and friends and 70% trust consumer reviews.
- People are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a ‘brand’ (remember, the brand is you) recommended by a friend
- 88% of consumers placed the highest level of trust in word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know.
People like to talk about their experiences with their friends, family and colleagues, and it is fair to say that most people are looking for a tradesperson that they can trust. Quality work, easy communication, clear quotations and fair pricing all work together in satisfying your potential customers.
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Aside from Social Media, there are also traditional marketing methods like local newspapers and letterbox flyers as well as targeted online ads.
These are not to be discounted as your potential customer base and lead source will come from different age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. Having a printed piece of paper in your hands is a familiar form of marketing for a number of people.
Another positive way to grow your business is to collaborate with other businesses. Partnering with other businesses, such as builders or property managers, can help you expand your customer base and generate more leads.
It also works in favour of your strengths by enabling you to bring your skills to a project with another tradesperson so that you can collectively take on larger and sometimes more involved projects.
In addition to collaborating, you can also attend public events and network with those present. This does not need to be events like trade shows, it can be as simple as engaging with people at your local on a Friday evening. Being prepared to strike up a conversation at a dinner party or at the footy.
It is your hands on the tools so you really are your best ambassador. You are not there to provide quotes, you are there to have a good time and to build meaningful relationships where people can recognise your strengths. Always remember, be humble and be yourself - be proud that you run your own successful business.
By implementing strategies like these, you can increase your marketing presence and attract more customers to your business.
Stay tuned for our June issue: Increase your marketing efforts