As a tradie, you focus on working hard and producing results for your clients and customers. But when it comes to marketing, you might not know where to start.
If you’re feeling a bit lost, this guide will help you explore the key pieces of marketing your business in today’s digital world. We’ll cover everything from branding, to social media, to content marketing, and more.
We’ll look at some of the most effective ways of marketing your business as a tradie. We’ll also cover how to use these methods in conjunction with each other so you can create an integrated marketing strategy that works best for you.
We’ll start with digital marketing – the service we provide for 350 clients – but also cover traditional marketing, branding, and referrals. Let’s dive in!
Route 1 — Digital marketing
Digital marketing uses digital channels to grow your business. It uses Search, email, and other channels to attract and convert customers.
If you’re new to digital marketing, you might be surprised at how profitable it can be. That being said, the average return on ad spend for a Megaphone client is 11x. Let’s explore some of the unique benefits of using digital marketing for your trade business.
Why you need digital marketing as a tradie
There are numerous benefits of digitising your marketing strategy, including:
1. More reach
You’re able to reach a much larger and varied audience by using the internet than if you rely on local marketing exclusively. Larger reach means more visibility for your business and services, hopefully leading to more sales.
87% of Australians are online, and 93% of users use the internet every day, so the opportunity is huge. Even if you only offer local services, you’ll still reach a much greater percentage of your local population by using digital marketing techniques.
2. Detailed metrics and analytics
A lot of online marketing software includes detailed tracking of data and metrics so you can have much greater insight into your marketing performance.
This includes data tracking clicks on your website, social media and Google advertising, and email campaigns, allowing you to test which methods produce the best results.
3. Better customer engagement
The nature of conducting business online leads to greater customer engagement. This can be through commenting, direct messaging, and following and sharing social media content.
It’s easier and less time consuming to build relationships with your customers and communicate with them through online methods. You can create a valuable personal feel to your business without sacrificing precious time to visit with each of your customers in person.
Digital marketing for tradies in 5 steps
Here’s how to get started with digital marketing in just 5 easy steps.
1. Create a website
Source: Skilled Tradies
If you don’t have one already, you should create a website for your business.
You can outsource this to web professionals, or easily build one yourself through platforms like WordPress and Squarespace. There are plenty of free, cheap, and easy online tutorials, themes, and hosting platforms to make this process as painless as possible.
Keep your site updated with current products and services, an about section, a FAQs page, and contact information. You can also include social media links and any other connected resources.
As a bonus strategy, you can host an industry-related blog on your website. This can help drive traffic to your website and grow awareness and visibility. In fact, content marketing is a highly effective way to market.
In 2018, 75% of consumers made judgments about businesses based on web design—this means that you need to prioritise making your company website a pleasant user experience. Make sure all information is readily accessible, use eye-catching colors and images, and streamline any processes like contact forms or sign-ups.
2. List your business on Google
Google allows you to list your business for free in their directory, so you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity.
This allows your company to pop up when people search for keywords like your location and services you offer.
Make sure to fill out all your business details so people can find all your information in one place (website, address, contact info, etc.) Usually, Google business listings will also include reviews and customer-supplied information about the business. So you want to make sure you’re providing excellent customer service and do your best to resolve any issues before they result in negative public feedback.
(Include a screenshot of Google business listing)
3. Use social media
Social media is a fantastic platform for creating and launching paid ads, as well as organically growing your customer base.
Focus on one or two platforms to start, and consistently publish content and update your information.
Again, you want to include information about your company in your social media bios. You can also link out to your website and specific services or products. Social media is also a great place to post customer testimonials and cultivate customer loyalty.
4. Launch email marketing campaigns
Another widely-used digital marketing strategy is email campaigns. You can advertise your sales, promotions, and new products and services, and send business updates to your existing audience through emails and newsletters.
5. Take advantage of affiliate marketing
If you prefer to let others create content for you, consider adding an affiliate marketing program to your strategy.
You pay people a small commission for mentioning your company and services in their social media and blog posts. It’s advertising for a fraction of the cost, and you get to take advantage of other people’s pre-existing following.
The best part—you only pay your affiliates if their links lead to direct sales. So you know your money is well-spent.
Route 2 – Branding
It might seem off topic at first glance, but if you want to boost your marketing results and see real success, then you have to start by building your company’s brand.
Your brand determines how people view your business and how well they remember you and the services you offer. It unites all the various aspects of your business together into a cohesive image and impression.
To help you craft your own brand and see how it ties into marketing your business, let’s break down what branding actually is, and tackle each piece step-by-step.
What is a brand?
Your brand consists of four key components:
- Your image—Your visual identity is the aesthetic element of your brand. This can be your face or company image, but it can also involve fonts, colour schemes, logos, and other stylistic choices. Your customers should ideally be able to associate you with a specific visual style that sets you apart from your competition.
- Your values—What makes your company unique? Try to identify what you care about as a business, the qualities and characteristics you want to emphasise. For example, you might say your values are integrity, excellence, consistency, and honesty. Think of concrete examples of how your business fulfils those values in your day-to-day operations.
- Your mission statement, vision, and goals—What is the driving force behind your trade business? What are you hoping to accomplish—both for yourself and your customers? This should include long-term, broad goals along with short-term milestones to help you successfully track your progress.
- Your products and services—What products are you selling? What services do you offer? What sets your offerings apart from your competition? What unique solutions do you provide for your customers’ problems?
How does branding tie into marketing?
Your brand influences your marketing strategy and content and provides a starting point for you to build off of.
Your brand creates a sense of cohesion and consistency across your business and unifies your efforts. Having a well-crafted brand will do a lot of the heavy lifting for your marketing strategy, because it will help with creating awareness and recognition among your target audience.
Defining your target audience
Identifying your target customer base is vital for building a brand (and a marketing strategy!). You have to know who you’re talking to and what they want if you’re going to effectively reach them and convert them to your business.
- Who they are—Start by identifying basic demographic information: age range, gender(s), location(s), etc. Then research and develop strategies that will resonate with those specific audiences. For example, an older audience might resonate more with traditional methods, while a primarily younger audience will be more likely to respond to social media advertising.
- Their problems—What do your customers care about? What issues are they experiencing that you can help solve? Show you can relate to their concerns and that you fully understand their problems. When you are able to grasp their pain points, then you’re primed to offer them your unique solution.
- How can you help—What solutions do you offer that can help improve their day-to-day lives? How do your services or products solve their problems? This is where you get to highlight how your business uniquely meets their needs in ways other businesses don’t. This is where you showcase your company’s value proposition—the specific benefits you bring to the table.
Referral marketing can be done both digitally and traditionally. Instead of being its own truly stand-alone method, it naturally flows from the rest of your marketing processes. However, there are a few things you can do to focus on growing your referrals.
Referral marketing strategies for tradies
Source: Tradies In Business
Capitalising on your referrals relies on a handful of key marketing building blocks:
1. Building word-of-mouth
Provide your customers with a great experience, and they’re more likely to talk about you to their friends and acquaintances.
Word-of-mouth is especially effective as a local strategy, since you’re already focused on community engagement. But it can also work digitally, in the form of social media engagement and reviews.
You can build online word-of-mouth by posting relatable content that your followers will want to share with their friends. And if customers enjoy your services and products, you can provide easy ways for them to share their thoughts and experiences and recommend your business.
2. Establishing partnerships and relationships
This can look like growing your professional network and strategically partnering with other local businesses and industry professionals.
This can also be focusing on cultivating strong working relationships with your customers, both locally and online. This fosters a sense of trust and mutual respect that can help improve your results.
3. Asking for reviews and feedback
Source: Tradies In Business
After a customer makes a purchase, you can send a follow-up email asking them for a review or other feedback. You can also reach out to customers directly for testimonials, and ask them if you can display these on your website or social media.
Again, this is another instance where having a robust social media presence can help. Social media makes it easy for your customers to post reviews and share their experiences with your company, both to their own followers and to yours.
4. Providing excellent customer service
This should go without saying, but you have to excel at customer service if you hope to build referrals and a positive reputation for your business. Even if you provide the best service, no one will want to do business with you if you don’t have the necessary interpersonal skills.
The way you interact with customers can be a distinguishing feature of your company. From your website to your in-person interactions, focus on creating a professional and enjoyable experience for every person you interact with.
Customer service can be enhanced through digital channels, such as using live chat on your website or apps to easily connect with customers, and being available on social media to respond to customer questions and concerns.
5. Compensating affiliates
If you decide to use affiliate marketing as part of your strategy, make sure you offer fair compensation, so they are likely to stick with you and create quality content that boosts your business. Even though affiliate marketing can essentially be a low-cost way to advertise, you do get what you pay for. Make it worth your affiliates’ time.
Connecting with affiliates is super-simple through websites like cj.com. They provide onboarding to their network of publishers, and offer quick and easy payments through their platform.
6. Rewarding referrers
Offer small rewards in return for taking part in surveys or giving feedback to incentivise people to participate. These can be giveaways or coupons, or another creative incentive. For example, you could host a giveaway that people are entered into when they leave a review on your social media page.
While digital marketing should be your primary focus, there are benefits to incorporating traditional methods into your overall marketing strategy as well.
With traditional marketing, you can focus on your local audience and cultivate a loyal customer base rooted in your community.
It can also be more natural and take less concentrated effort, because it builds on the natural relationships you develop with neighbours, friends, and other local businesses.
Things to keep in mind with traditional marketing
Traditional marketing relies on a couple of key components:
Traditional marketing focuses on where your business and customers are. Place ads in local papers, post flyers in local businesses and gathering spaces, host and sponsor community events, etc. The key to local marketing is engaging within your community. It’s an excellent way to build and maintain customer loyalty.
Traditional marketing requires creativity to make your business stand out from the crowd. You have to have unique and fresh ideas to market yourself in a memorable and effective way. An eye-catching billboard, for example, or sponsoring a popular local event or team. The best ideas are ones that build engagement with your audience.
Now you know why your brand is important, how to define yours, and the ins and outs of both digital and traditional marketing methods. With this knowledge, you’re now equipped to launch the perfect marketing strategy for your trade business.
If you start to feel lost, you can always reach out to the folks at Megaphone. We’ll be happy to offer you a free consultation, worth $1,200, to help you grow your business with digital marketing.
How do I advertise my local small business?
Between digital and traditional marketing, you have almost unlimited outlets for advertising your business. Here are a few places to try:
- Local ads in papers or magazines
- Google Ads
- Ads on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook
Is digital or traditional marketing better?
There’s not a clear winner between digital and traditional marketing, because it all depends on your goals and the way your business is structured. Typically, a combination of both makes for the best well-rounded marketing strategy. Regardless, you will want to make sure you at least have a company website, even if all your other marketing efforts are traditional.
How can I improve my marketing skills and grow my business?
When you’re running a trade business, mastering the principles of marketing may not be high on your to-do list. But luckily, there are plenty of places you can look to for help.
Partnering with a digital marketing agency can be the ideal solution if you want to quickly see results while saving yourself time to focus on other aspects of your business.