Now more than ever, Irish homeowners are searching for services online and if you want to find new customers and win that business – then you’ll need to be seen online too.
For many trade professionals who are busy on the tools, thoughts of actively connecting with prospects and finding new customers online can feel a little overwhelming.
However, online marketing (also known as digital marketing) is a powerful and effective way to promote your business, so getting your head around the process is worth the effort.
Here are 5 online marketing ideas to help you get started.
1. Build a website
These days you don’t need coding, design experience or expensive website services to create your very own business website.
There are now website builder tools that come with a range of template designs which you can customise and set up in no time at all.
When considering what to include in your website and how it should look, remember the most important things is that your website is fast loading, easy to navigate and mobile responsive.
A website site should include an introduction about your business, details about the services you offer, your accreditations, qualifications or credentials clearly displayed and where possible - customer quotes or testimonials.
The following menu navigation will easily cover all the necessary requirements:
- About Us
- Contact Us
Where possible, include high-quality photos of yourself or team and some successful projects (be sure to have the customer's permission to use their images on your website) and add call-to-actions like phone, email or a web inquiry form in the footer of each page.
Onlinetradesmen Website Builder Tool is free with membership, includes website hosting and if you so choose, you can also register a business domain name. We give you everything you need to launch your own standalone business website.
2. Create an online business profile
As nearly half of online searches are for local companies and services, search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yelp all want to provide the best search results for their users.
Therefore, businesses with a strong online presence will more likely have a higher Search Engine Results Page ranking (SERP) than those businesses that don’t.
Yelp and Google My Business offers a free business profile and will help get your business found in search, maps and more.
Trade professionals who are registered with Onlinetradesmen get an online profile which they update regularly. Plus, our significant investment in search engines like Google means that when a property owner is searching online for a trade professional, our service categories and member profiles will often be found at the top of search results.
3. Get Social
Many tradespeople start out by creating social media accounts with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you can keep these accounts updated with engaging new content every day, then you’ll do well to raising awareness for your service, traffic to your website and business referrals.
However, social media companies favour content that keeps people scrolling on their platforms and the challenge for many trade professionals is to consistently post new and engaging content that will get onto people feeds.
If your content is not regularly getting high engagement, then it can be very difficult to reach the people who follow you or get business from new customers and prospects.
The key to social is to not spread yourself too thin and choose just one or two platforms you can dedicate time each day to posting.
Facebook has approximately 3 million users here in Ireland and with over 75% of those users scrolling the platform feed for at least 30 minutes or more per day, it’s a platform that some small business owners swear by.
See below our tips to better reach and engagement with a Facebook Business Page.
4. Get online reviews & ratings
In business, customer satisfaction will often result in word-of-mouth referrals.
Traditionally, trade professionals have successfully grown their businesses using word-of-mouth and little else.
However, while friends and family word-of-mouth referral is still very powerful, the growth of online marketing now means that people will also readily trust online reviews and ratings as part of their decision process when buying or hiring.
So, if you want to continue to grow your business online and build a strong pipeline of work then collecting online reviews and ratings is what will get you there.
Therefore, remember to ask your customer to leave a review via your online and social media profiles once you have completed a job.
Read 5 tips for tradesmen on how to get online ratings.
Customers who find and hire Onlinetradesmen members get sent a reminder to review and rate their work after the job is closed, which makes getting reviews very easy for our members.
Additionally, Onlinetradesmen's rating system is locked down, so only previous users who have hired a tradesmen from the service can leave ratings.
TIP: Take your best reviews and testimonials and highlight them on your website
5. Email your customers
Creating a targeted email database of customers and prospects and sending regular email communications is often considered too much work for many tradesmen, but it can be one of the most powerful online marketing tools for a small business owner.
Regular email communications will allow you to stay top of mind with your customers and prospects and unlike social media, you own the communication channel.
Tools like Mailchimp is very easy to use and will allow you to email up to 2000 contacts free of charge.
Email is the perfect online marketing tool for trade professionals who offer seasonal services or for those tradespeople who want to show off recent projects, share news, special offers or the latest government regulation - email is also a very effective.
If you would like to know more about creating an online profile, a business website or winning more work with Onlinetradesmen, then click here to contact the team and we'll call you back.