The services of tradies – plumbers, electricians, carpenters, landscapers, etc – have always relied heavily on two primary marketing channels to drive customers (new and repeat) to their businesses:
- Yellow Pages (or other popular, local, offline, directory advertising)
- Word of mouth referrals, or social proof
In the absence of storefronts, tradies depend on these forms of marketing, as well as on-vehicle advertising and of course, their websites, but the chances of people encountering these other channels (when they are in need of your services) is slim.
The Yellow Pages (or other similar trade directories) is still heavily relied upon by the older, more traditional demographic that hasn’t yet fully transitioned to the digital world, but for most of us, we use the Yellow Pages as a way of reaching things in the top cupboard or for getting our computers monitors set to the correct height…
Word of mouth, (or social proof) will always be critical, and it is by far and away the most persuasive and powerful of all marketing channels. It’s also free, although it does require you to a do a good/remarkable job for it to work most effectively.
If a customer has been impressed by your service, professionalism and pricing, they WILL remember you for next time, AND tell their friends.
Good service can go viral.
This kind of activity happens offline every day. People meet, they exchange the news of the day over coffee or around water cooler in the office and problems and resolutions get discussed, and recommendations and referrals are made. It’s also happening every minute of every day online, across Facebook and other social media platforms, like Twitter and Instagram. It’s also where people go to post requests from friends SEEKING referrals and recommendations.
Services by tradies are sometimes NOT remarkable, or they ARE remarkable but for completely the wrongs reasons. Delays, poor service, quotes not accurately representing final job costs are all very common reasons for you to NOT get repeat business. You’re on your own with these…do the right thing.
Good news travels fast online, but bad news travels much faster still.
Maintain a professional, high quality service that you’re proud of and DELIGHT your customers in the value you provide. Fail to do this and your reputation online can be damaged in a flash.
It’s therefore time (if you’re not doing it already) to be on the social media platforms so you can benefit from this powerful social proof, monitor (and manage) your reputation online and as a way of delivering value to customers BEFORE they become customers, through sharing of interesting and relevant tips and by answering common questions. And if you ARE doing it already, maybe it’s time to take it to the next level by outsourcing the work to the experts.
This is a space you can’t afford NOT to be playing in. Often for a fraction of your Yellow Pages budget you can have your social media managed