How To Get More Customers as a Tradesperson
Many small businesses still don’t have a website or any form of online presence and, while word-of-mouth is still a common way for tradespeople to attract new clients, a website or social media profile can be beneficial in driving clients to get in touch with you. You can create trust through an online presence, and visibility reassures customers that you’re not a fly-by-night outfit.
If you haven’t taken the plunge to create a website, read on to discover the benefits of building an online presence to increase your customer base.
Word-of-mouth business is driven by one person needing a trusted recommendation; perhaps a client has seen your work in a friend’s house and asked what you were like. If someone spots a van with signage on their neighbour’s driveway, it’s not uncommon to think, “If that tradesperson is good enough for my neighbour, they’re good enough for me”.
A recommendation, business card or van signage is the first step a customer takes to find you. The next step is to know they can trust you, and a website, even very basic, can help with that.
If you include a website address on your business card or van signage, this enables your potential customers to investigate who you are, what you do, and if you are a good fit for them.
Get on Google
A website can help you show up in the results list when a client is searching Google for your trade in their area. If you’re not online, how can you be found? Even if you can’t stretch to creating a website just now, you can list your contact details with Google’s Add A Place facility.
To do this, from the Google search bar, type in a search for your trade and the area in which you work, for example “plumbers swindon”, or “plumbers near me”. Google returns a map and a list of related businesses. Click on the map to open it in full, and on the left-hand side, you will see a list of all the relevant businesses pinned on the map. Scroll to the bottom of the list and click to add a missing place. In the pop-up form, add your trade name, choose your trade category, add your business address and phone number, operating hours if applicable, and any photos you have. Photos will add credibility to your profile.
It’s All in the Detail
A website or social media profile enables you to provide more information than you can fit onto a business card, such as your working hours, or the types of projects you specialise in. It’s also a great way to inform customers of the geographical locations or areas that you cover.
If you are willing to travel outside of your area or county but charge a travel fee, let your customers know - it may be that you have such a long list of testimonials, that the client wants you regardless of the additional fee. Furthermore, it reduces the number of wasted phone calls if a client is well out of your travel remit.
Show Off Your Work
Your website or social media profile can showcase before and after photos of projects you have completed, demonstrating your skills and ability to transform a client’s bathroom, hang wallpaper, or landscape their garden for example.
The beauty of using photos is that they don’t need more than a sentence or two to describe what’s going on, so if you’re not so skilled at writing, photos more than compensate. Don’t underestimate how a few pictures can build trust with potential customers, as it clearly shows that you’re not afraid of publicising your work and that you have nothing to hide.
Using Word-of-Mouth Online
As a trade, your client base is unlikely to fall into niche categories or age ranges. You may fall into a broader sector, such as maintenance for rental properties, domestic work, or commercial contracts only, which can help guide the presentation and content of the information you present. And the more you provide, the greater the depth of trust you can build with your potential customers.
As well as using photos to show off your best work, don’t forget to ask your customers to write you a recommendation. Just like word-of-mouth referrals, potential clients will read what others have to say about you, and make their decision to call you or not based on your ratings.
Do you already have a website, or are you thinking of putting together a social media presence? If you’d like to share your experience, please let me know in the comments below.