Are you a tradesman – plumber, electrician, carpenter, builder – and want to do some marketing to get more customers? We had a meeting today with a new client and talked about marketing.
The 3 Marketing Tools a Tradesman business needs
There are lots of choices in marketing, but for a tradesman’s business, there are actually only 3 marketing tools they need
- Business cards
- A website
- A mailing list (email or postal)
Let’s run through these and how to use them
Tradesman’s business cards
Cheap to design and print, these are your number 1 marketing tool when you first start. They should have accurate information about how to contact you printed in large type with a recognisable business name.
How tradesmen use business cards
Hand two to every customer. One to keep and one to give to a friend.
Keep them in your wallet, in the car glove box and hand them out liberally especially if you go to a social function or belong to a networking group or business meeting group.
A tradesman’s business website
When you’ve enough cash, buy a website. A simple 5 page site is all you need to start off.
How tradesmen use a website
It needs to have
- a header that says your company name and phone number,
- a home page that describes your business and the geographic area in which you work,
- a page with your full contact details,
- a page to describe your specialist skill,
- a page of customer testimonials,
- a page about you and your team.
A tradesman’s mailing list
Once you’ve been working for a while, you will send out invoices to get clients paying you. This is your chance to start to grow a mailing list. This is useful because your past clients may refer you to future clients, and sending out mailshots or newsletters serves as a reminder to people about your services, and how to contact you.
How a tradesman uses a mailing list
Keep a record of every customer name, business name, address, telephone and email when you raise an invoice. If you use an accounting software programme, it’ll save these details for you.
When you get a phone call or email enquiry for a new job, save the contact details. Check on the phone that you have spelled their name correctly – this is particularly important for email addresses because one wrong letter and the message won’t arrive.
When you do a job quote, save the contact details.
Every month collate all these lists into one place (preferably electronic). Save the file with an obvious name e.g. August 2014 Mailing List. Then send out a short message to the whole list using specialist email sending software like MailChimp/AWeber/FeedBlitz. DO NOT USE your email program. Ask me why not if you don’t know.
Put the date in your diary to send the newsletter every month for 1 year.
Stick to the schedule.
Send that mailing.
Even if it is short and has one photo of a job you’ve done (before and after photos are great), or a customer testimonial – it all adds up. Over time you will get to having a big list.
Say you do 10 jobs a month and meet 5 new people each month who take a card. Within 5 years you’ll have over 900 names on your list. If you do 20 jobs a month and meet 10 new people – you get to 900 names in half the time!
That is it.
There are additional marketing techniques that you can add on top of the basic 3 such as outbound mail campaigns, using recommended trades services (Builders Crack, Rated People), creating website landing pages for Yellow Pages and other directory listings, customer satisfaction surveys, freebie giveaways or seasonal special offers.
But don’t do these until you have the basic 3 covered and working well.