Tradesmen Marketing: How To Get Started
Why do tradesmen need to focus on marketing?
Tradesmen marketing, you’ve probably heard the term.
As a Tradesmen, you play a critical role in our society, providing essential services such as plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, window and door installation, building projects and more!
While being skilled in your trade is essential for your success and the quality of work you produce for customers, tradesmen must also have a robust marketing plan to connect with potential customers and grow their businesses. Ultimately marketing helps you compete in the local market.
However, marketing can be a daunting task for tradesmen who may not have formal marketing training or experience. We speak to countless tradespeople who come to us with these exact problems. They know they should be doing something, but just don’t know where to start.
With the right marketing strategies and techniques, you, the tradesperson, can reach your target audience in an effective way, that drives enquiries and helps you differentiate from your competitors, big or small!
In this article, we will dig a bit deeper into some effective marketing strategies that tradesmen can use to promote their businesses and grow their customer book. We’ll include simple, actionable takeaways where we can. If you don’t have the time, or patience to do any of the below, then please give Ben a shout.
Marketing is complex. Marketing takes time. But breaking your strategy down into smaller steps can help things come together much better. This article is in order of priorities, so follow it through step by step.
Understanding your target audience
That’s right. This is our first place to start. Identify and understand your target audience.
Who are we trying to attract? This will set the scene for the rest of our marketing strategy.
Who are the people you want to reach with your marketing efforts? Understanding your target audience’s needs, search habits, and pain points is crucial in creating effective marketing collateral. This is everything from your messaging, to your website, to your brochures, to your email marketing.
A good place to start is by asking yourself questions, this will help you build out a persona, you could write this down in a Google doc, Word doc, or use an online tool to help you visualise this. You may be thinking that this step sounds a little stupid, or not worth the hassle – “ I know who my customers are”.
After 15 years in marketing, the businesses that don’t have this ironed out, tend to be directionless and end up wasting tons of marketing resources chasing the wrong things, with the wrong messaging. Doing this will also be beneficial for your sales team.
Try these questions below and start building your customer persona(s) – you may have multiple.
- Who are my best customers from a revenue standpoint?
- Who are the best customers to deal with?
- What size house do my ideal customers live in (this could be an office if you’re B2B)
- What are my ideal customers’ pain points?
- What makes my ideal customers reach out or start researching for my services?
- What services are they searching for online?
- What phrases are they searching for online?
- What services do they buy together?
- What is their typical budget?
- Where do they spend their time online?
- When are my ideal customers the most satisfied?
- What do my ideal customers mention in their reviews and feedback?
- Answering these questions will help you tailor your marketing messages to your target audience and make your efforts more effective.
Give them a fictional name, even an address and image, and this should be where you focus your resources and aim to capture your ideal customers. A good place to start here is in your existing customer book. Typically those customers who were a pleasure to deal with paid on time, and spent the most money. This gives you a starting place to dig into these questions.
Creating your website
Once you understand your ideal customer profile, you’ll need a base. An online presence you call home. A digital shop front. In today’s digital age, having a website is a must-have for all tradesmen, like seriously.
Your website is most likely going to be the first touchpoint between your business and potential customers, you’ve got to make a good first impression. Your website should be easy to navigate(on both desktop and mobile), look great, be quick to load, and provide all the information your ideal customers need to make a decision.
You need to remember, you also need to drive traffic to the site, this is where having a good presence in the search engines is helpful. You achieve this using SEO, which stands for search engine optimisation – and is basically doing things to your website to help you rank for certain phrases, topics and keywords. Your website could look fantastic, but if nobody is finding it, then it’s no good.
Back to the website, you need to ensure your tradesman website includes information about your services, rates, and service area, alongside the all-important customer reviews, and customer projects showcase (social proof). Having a blog section on your website is crucial, this is where you can share industry insights and tips with your audience (this is where your research on what people are searching for comes in handy).
In the next section, we’re going to dive deeper into how you can help your website to rank better on search engine results pages and get more customers to find your website using an approach known as search engine optimisation, or SEO.
SEO is all about helping a website receive as many visits as possible from interested web users. It improves how visible a site is on search engine results pages and works to generate traffic that leads to more engagement from genuinely interested web users.
We’re going to be focusing on how you can use SEO to improve your website’s ranking on Google, but the approach can be used with other search engines as well.
If your website isn’t driving you any traffic, or enquiries, then maybe it’s time for a change. We could get you up and running with a brand new site, ready for growth within 14 days, with transparent pricing, and no hidden fees. We understand your industry and are experts in marketing.
Getting more people to your website (SEO)
First things first; what do we mean by ‘rankings’ when we’re talking about a website? Your website’s ranking refers to the position it appears in the list of results that come up when someone searches for something using a search engine like Google.
If we say that you’re website is ranking in position #9 for the phrase ‘window fitting companies’, that means it’s the ninth result on Page 1 that appears on a search engine results page when somebody searches for that particular phrase.
Your website will move up the rankings on the results pages of search engines when those search engines deem it to be one of the best websites for that particular search result. The overall aim is to be ranking in the #1 position, but at the very least you want your website to be on Page 1.
Let’s say 500 people a month are searching for that one phrase, if you are on page one, you’ll enjoy a share of that traffic. Do this for 200-300 phrases with a similar search volume and you’re on to a winner!
Here are a few quick tips to start improving your visibility on search engines. Think of this as your ticket to page one…
💡 Backlinks = Getting another site to link to your website, from theirs.
Getting a lot of links to your website from other websites is a great way to improve your ranking. In fact, it’s been found that websites that rank in the top position on Google have almost four times more backlinks than the websites in the other nine positions.
A great way that tradesmen can build backlinks is to ensure that your website is listed on as many online directories as possible. This includes the likes of Bark, Checkatrade, Trusted Trader, Age UK, Yell and Thompson, to name just a few.
You can see an example below from ThreeBestRated.
Set Up a Google Business Profile
Another useful tool is the ‘Google Business Profile’, previously known as ‘Google My Business’. This free tool allows you to create a profile for your business that appears as a search result and shares photos, contact information, links to your website and customer reviews all in one space.
You need to make sure that this has been set up with all the correct information and then move on to creating more content for the profile which will help it to gain more attention from web users. Consider adding regular photos of the work you’ve been doing, sharing posts about available deals and offers, or including links to FAQs that can help potential customers find what they’re looking for.
Make sure you pass Google’s Core Web Vitals
One of the primary factors that Google uses to determine where a website is going to rank is how fast the pages load.
- ✅ Fast-loading pages = High ranking website
- ❌ Slow-loading pages = Bottom of the results
A recent study from Google also found that when the loading speed of a page goes from 1 second to 3 seconds, the probability of a bounce (a person that arrives and leaves on the same page without interacting with the rest of your website) from that page goes up by 36%. That’s a huge proportion of potential customers that you’ll have lost before they even scroll through your site.
You can use tools like Page Speed Insights to check how fast your page loading speed is. If your site is taking more than five seconds to load, it’s definitely worth looking into what you can change to reduce this.
Be sure to make sure you’re passing these tests.
When you’re looking for relevant search phrases, you’re likely to come across questions relating to your trade that you could answer with a written response that your customers might find useful. These are great ideas for blog posts.
Regularly posting on a blog can be a great way to improve the ranking of your website. We’ve created your site with a blog all set up; all you have to do is start adding content to it.
Studies have shown that businesses that have blogs can increase visitors to their website by up to 55%. Not only can increased traffic improve ranking, but regularly updating your website with new posts will also show Google that the site is active and constantly being improved, which can boost your ranking position as well.
Email Marketing for Tradesmen
Email marketing is an approach that involves sending content through email to a list of customers, potential customers and people that have expressed an interest in your services.
With the huge rise of smartphone and social media use, you might think that email is an outdated mode of messaging. But it’s actually a channel that is continuing to grow, with an estimated 30.3% increase in email users over the next few years.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to build a following of potential customers, gain more customers and target different groups of people within your customer base. It allows you to share content in a more personalised way, which can help to improve the relationships you have with your customers, leading to more business through recommendations and repeat work.
If you’re on the fence about starting email marketing, consider this. ROI for email marketing is four times higher than any other digital marketing channel, so if you’re looking to get the most out of your money, this is the best option to invest in.
If you’re going to pursue an email marketing strategy, you first need to build an email list. This is a collection of email addresses from people that have shared their contact information with you and will have opted to receive your email content, whether that’s through a regular newsletter or other, frequent messages.
You can start building an email list by using your existing customer data. If a customer has provided you with their email because of previous work, start sending them your email content. They can always unsubscribe if they’re no longer interested.
You should also add the option to sign up to your emails on your website with a box where web users can enter their contact information. Use an engaging ‘call to action’ that lets them know what they can expect from your email content, encouraging them to sign up and gain access to exclusive information.
A best practice that many of the top trade businesses use to gather email addresses is something known as a ‘lead magnet’.
Value-led things such as a product brochure (windows, doors etc..), a cost calculator, an energy efficiency guide, a design of a door tool etc… helping the customer in their research journey.
In exchange for the value, the prospect leaves their email address, name, or even a postcode. You then have their details to communicate with them throughout their discovery journey. You’ll be in their inbox and in front of their mind when they’re purchase-ready.
However you decide to start building an email marketing list, make sure that you’re complying with relevant GDPR laws by telling people what they’re signing up for clearly and honestly.
If you’re intrigued about how you can use a lead magnet in your email marketing strategy, speak to us and we’ll make sure you tick all the right boxes.
Social Media for Tradespeople
It’s impossible to ignore the impact that social media has on our lives nowadays. What started out as a tool for people to keep in touch with one another has now also developed into a new tool that businesses can use to reach new customers, interact with existing ones and build a presence online that can help to spread the word about the services they offer.
It might surprise you to know that the trade industry is an area where a good social media marketing strategy can be an incredibly effective way of finding new customers and growing your business. Social profiles should be used to show potential customers that your company is active and should showcase projects and reviews so that people can take a look at the work you do and check that your services are worth paying for.
Once you understand the best platforms to use for this marketing approach, the type of content you should share on each and how to keep your profiles updated, you’ll find a whole new world where you can share the work that you do and connect with people looking for your services.
Understanding the different social media networks and platforms is vital to your success in paid social media advertising. Just like with content marketing, if you don’t know what channels and platforms your audience is using, you’re going to end up wasting your efforts in the wrong places.
For most tradespeople, Facebook, Instagram and possibly Tik Tok is a great start.
For more information, we’ve written a guide to social media for tradespeople here.
If you’re just starting out with developing a marketing strategy, it can seem daunting trying to decide where you should begin. Even businesses with an established approach can feel lost when it comes to new social media platforms and the latest technical criteria for ranking on Google.
One of the best ways to find success with marketing is to start small with several different approaches so you don’t end up with all your eggs in one basket. Measure the success of things like paid social ads, writing blog posts or building backlinks, and introduce new strategies when you’ve got a reliable stream of new customers coming in. Every business can benefit from a varied marketing strategy, and once you’ve found the right approach for your company, you’ll be all set for success.
We keep it simple. We’re good at what we do and we focus on the trade industry. We’ve worked with builders, window installers, floor experts, and glazing manufacturers and have built a network of partners who understand all aspects of the trade. This is our edge and it’s what make’s us different. If you want us to take your marketing to the next level, then drop us a line and we’ll be happy to see how we could help your trade business.
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Combined, we have over 30+ years of experience working with tradespeople. From window and door installers to builders who work on domestic extensions and conversions. TradePixels is a new way of getting your digital marketing up and running.
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