Operating as a tradie in Australia can be a difficult exercise when it comes to marketing your business.
You’re the proverbial jack of all trades. Having to complete your trade work whilst also spending your supposed free time doing all the necessary administration work, sending invoices, and providing after-service customer service to your clientele. Marketing is relegated to being an added headache to an already stressful business.
It is no secret that the world of business and marketing has changed a lot in recent years. The key to success today in any type of trade capacity is the implementation of new ways to generate leads, build an online presence and increase exposure for your brand.
Marketing for tradies is like any other form of marketing but your goal is to bring about more jobs, paying higher tickets, and increase your sales pipeline for months to come, so you can stay in business and pay that annoying apprentice who doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing half the time.
That’s why we’re bringing you this guide for increasing leads, sales, market share, and online brand presence for your trade business.
Whether you’re a plumber, electrician, landscaper, or tiler, this is the perfect guide for marketing your business in the digital age.
The first step to smashing your marketing out of the park is to create an extensive tradie marketing plan.
The Tradie Marketing Plan
A good tradie marketing plan is going to allow you to have a written set of marketing goals and sales objectives that have been focused on your ideal customer. Your marketing plan will spell out the following:
- Who is my ideal customer?
- Where are they located?
- What services are they looking for?
- What services does my business provide?
- Do I have the capacity to take on a large increase of work?
- What are my most profitable service provisions?
- Do I have a USP (unique selling point)?
- What is my USP?
- How much money can I afford to spend per month on marketing to reach my ideal customers?
It is a great idea to write all this down in a word document, or a piece of paper for your safekeeping.
Once you’ve answered these pressing questions you can consider
Now time to get your hands dirty, make a plan and start executing our marketing plan completely. It’s now time to look at the different methods of marketing and how they can impact your trade business.
Offline Marketing Methods
Offline marketing includes any form of marketing that doesn’t involve the use of online technology. Due to the advent of the internet and specifically the web 2.0 era.
Offline marketing methods have seen a rapid decline.
Prior to the internet, tradesman and other small businesses would focus their marketing spend on the following methods:
- Leaflet drops.
- Direct response mailouts.
- Leaving fridge magnets in people’s mailboxes.
- Billboards (for those tradies with larger budgets)
- Yellow pages
When compared with their digital counterparts, these offline methods of marketing fail to reach the same amount of potential customers that digital marketing methods (which we’ll explain below) can meet.
Cost of marketing offline
The cost of offline marketing is extremely high and often ineffective when compared to digital marketing channels.
For example, to advertise in the Yellowpages which has appeared to have moved the bulk of their operations to their online directory, you’d be looking at spending close to $3,000 per year inclusive of GST.
Radio advertising is a dying industry, with the advent of podcasts and digital apps like Spotify, investing your marketing spend in radio is likened to throwing your money down the drain.
In large markets like Sydney and Melbourne, radio adverts can cost upwards of $8,000 per week to reach your potential clientele when they’re on their commute to work and that’s just for a typical ad that goes for no more than 30 seconds.
The potential return on investment from TV advertisements is even worse. Not only does it have a high barrier to entry (you need to create the ad with a production crew) it is expensive. To advertise on one of the 5 main channels on Australian television at a time period that is considered prime, will cost your business upwards of $25,000 per 30 seconds advertisement.
As is evident from the figures, and the Google search trend-charts above you’re much better off saving your hard-earned marketing spend for cheaper, more efficient forms of marketing.
Recommended Offline Marketing Methods
If you’re still keen to advertise your tradesman business offline. The following methods are advertising methods that we at Maxim Media highly recommend.
Branded Transportation & Work Clothing
Having a branded and signed vehicle not only allows drivers on the road to becoming aware of your brand but can also create an indelible impression of professionalism on arrival for your customers. Since it doesn’t cost too much to wrap your vehicle in your business’s branding and to purchase company-branded clothes, this marketing method comes highly recommended should your trade business be frequently on the road.
Word Of Mouth
Word of mouth marketing is often thought to be the “golden” form of marketing. Word of mouth advertising is where a satisfied customer will tell their friends and family about your business or product and naturally; their satisfaction with your company will lead to sales for you.
To make sure you receive a steady stream of incoming leads, it’s in your business’s best interest to provide the best service possible.
In doing this your customers will ultimately refer your business to their friends and family. Whilst difficult to tangibly quantify the ROI from this method of marketing, your service provider should be provided with this marketing method in mind.
Offline marketing methods have seen a much-publicized rapid decline. Where once it was profitable to be in the Yellow Pages, Radio and even to do door-to-door sales solicitation, those times have changed, and not investing your marketing spend digitally will leave you dragging your heels behind your competition.
Online Marketing For Tradies
Every man and their dog is utilizing the internet to search for the answers to pertinent questions, order food, and hiring tradies for in-home or in-office projects is no different.
That means your customers are utilizing Google to search for providers when they need to move houses, fix their leaking shower, fix their meter box, or have their garden pruned.
Our directors have run actual trade-based businesses and recommend the following online marketing methods to tradies looking to grow their business.
- A built to convert website
- Content marketing
- Google My Business optimization
- Google Ads
Built to convert websites
Most tradies aren’t using a traditional website, they rely on word of mouth marketing or referrals to get the bulk of their business. Having a built to convert website will help your trade business stand out from the thousands of other businesses in your market.
A built to convert website allows web traffic or your potential customers to come to your website and easily contact your business and book a job.
Built to convert websites are mobile responsive, follow a specific user experience flow (allows your users to get the answers they’re looking for), have before and after pictures of the work you’ve completed, and provide extensive information on your service provision.
They have a fast loading time and not only help your business stand out but convey the idea of professionalism which gives you a marketable advantage when compared with that of your competitors.
SEO or search engine optimization, in layman’s terms, is getting a webpage on the top 1-3 positions in Google’s organic search.
It’s a marketing tactic that has the potential to bring your business an immeasurable amount of new leads and grow your business significantly in the long term. Good local SEO can take upwards of 6-8 months, but the rewards and increase of market share are immeasurable. It has the potential to drastically change your business and increase top and bottom-line revenue.
Unlike offline methods of marketing your website can be shown to potential customers that are searching for terms relating to the purchasing of your trade service.
You’ve likely come across this article as it’s ranked for relatable terms on Google. This in essence is SEO.
We highly recommend tradies also engage in content marketing.
Content marketing is the use of valuable and relevant content that allows you to communicate your company’s unique story, attract more leads, generate traffic on social media platforms, and search engines. It can be in many different formats from videos or pictures with captions explaining a process step by step to blog posts detailing an issue within your industry.
Content Marketing is the strategy of creating compelling and engaging online content (blogs, eBooks, etc) for potential customers who are searching Google about topics related to what you offer as services.
For example, if you’re a plumber, you might create and distribute content relating to DIY plumbing. If you’re a landscaper you might create specific video and written content about the legalities of cutting down trees on your own property.
Content marketing has the aim to increase visitors to your built-to-convert website and increase brand awareness amongst potential customers that are looking to educate themselves but not necessarily purchase your service immediately.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is Google’s take on customer relationship management. It allows businesses to store all the information about their company in one centralized location and gives you tools to manage the quality of your business’s reviews across the internet.
It also lets you do things like claiming your business listing and offer a virtual tour of your business to potential customers, which can be really helpful if you’re running a large-scale operation or want to highlight certain features of your service delivery.
Optimizing your Google My Business listing especially as a trades business provides a competitive advantage. Potential customers can and will view your GMB and read and compare reviews with that of your competitors. Like SEO, having a well-optimized GMB with great reviews that’s positioned in the top 3 listings (3 map pack) will increase your market share, sales, and inquiries to purchase your trade services drastically.
Google Ads is an additional marketing method that tradesmen can use to bring new leads. Google Ads allows you to target potential customers that search specifically for your product or service.
The way this works is when someone searches for a term, the ads related to that term will appear on the top of the page, based on keywords and other factors such as location, if they’re logged into their Gmail account, their internet browser, and more.
For example, if someone were to search “plumbing” or “plumbers”, ads from different plumbers in the area would show up.
Having a well-positioned Google Ads strategy targeting your potential customers is an awesome marketing strategy for tradies. It allows you to specifically target customers who are searching for buying keywords like ’emergency plumber’, emergency electrician’ etc.
Whilst Facebook advertisements can work really well for tradesmen that also sell products. Marketing trade services through Facebook ads is a bit of a futile exercise. Unlike Google Ads which targets potential buyers as they’re looking to be educated about a product or service or if they’re looking to immediately book a job for your service.
Facebook Ads relies heavily on grabbing the attention of users. Most people utilizing Facebook are not actively looking to buy and as such lack buyers’ intent.
As such, your marketing on Facebook may rely heavily on loss-leading or providing significant discounts that you generally don’t need to do for other online marketing mediums.
Maxim Media Recommendations
There you have it, the ultimate tradies guide to marketing. Last but not least, here are our recommendations to get your trade business more jobs and greater market share.
- Have an aesthetically pleasing website with a contact form on the home page to capture leads.
- Actively contact leads via telephone that submit inquiries through your contact form.
- Once a lead’s email has been captured, use marketing automation software to send out targeted emails into perpetuity to the lead or until they buy.
- Have a booking form on your website that allows potential customers to book, schedule, and ideally pay for trade services online.
- Create weekly industry-based blog posts and use your name as the author to create the illusion of authority for Google (pro-tip we create extensive industry pricing guides for our clients to give an initial traffic boost)
- Cross post your weekly blogs on your Facebook & Twitter accounts.
- Share your weekly blog posts with as many companies as you can via email, ask them to share your blog post with their readership as well.
- Invest in Google Ads immediately.
- Follow-up after the service is completed via text & email and ask happy customers to leave a review on your Google My Business page.
If you’re not interested or not up to the task of doing the above, we’d love to do it for you.
We know you’re busy doing jobs, admin work, and spending quality time with the family or out playing scallywags in your leisure time.
Digital marketing is no easy feat, it takes time and dedication to master the craft. It’s an industry full of jargon and DIY digital marketing for a tradie can be a costly mistake.
Don’t waste thousands of dollars on learning DIY marketing. Let the experts at Maxim Media do it for you.
Request a FREE digital marketing audit for your trades business today and we’ll get you on the road to more sales, increase web presence, and a large market share in your trade industry.