Branded vehicles are the go-to marketing technique for Tradespeople everywhere, and - luckily for you - they’re still bloody brilliant at letting everyone know who you are.
That is, of course, when you’re actually on the road.
The fortunate thing for Tradespeople is that a lot of the ways you’ve always marketed your services are still effective to this day. Word of mouth is hugely impactful and, with the rise of the likes of Checkatrade, TrustATrader and Rated People, the internet has never been a better place to let people know about what you do.
“So”, I hear you ask, “If what I’m doing is working, why do I need a website?”
Good question, but one we’re pretty well placed to answer.
Unfortunately for you, things like the trusty business card are almost extinct and you’re much less likely to pick up huge amounts of business from the local shop’s notice board than you were ten years ago.
You might find that adverts in local magazines or newspapers still convert to phone enquiries, but, if you really want to kick-start your post-COVID comeback with some modern and effective marketing, a website really is the only way forward.
“Okay, I definitely want to make a good comeback, but why do tradespeople need websites to do so?”
Right; sorry. Because:
1. Your vehicle marketing is working wonders for building awareness of who you are, but people will still want to know exactly what you do.
Your car or van might state “John Smith Plumbing”, so you’d be right in thinking that people will draw from this that you’re a plumber.
But what exactly do you do? Bathrooms? Kitchens? Boilers? Gas? Do you offer additional services that other plumbers may not? What are your unique selling points; things that you do that your competitors don’t? Your website is a great place to elaborate and tell people about all the different services you offer.p>
2. People will remember your name if they see it enough, but they won’t remember your number.
Imagine the Morgan family move to the high street. The day they’re moving in, your van is parked outside because you’re building next door’s extension. Your van then continues to be parked outside for the next three weeks whilst you finish the project.
Six months later Mrs Morgan decides she wants an extension, too, and she remembers your name from your van, so she decides she’ll give you a call. Next door’s extension looks great, so she knows you’ll do a good job. She goes to call you and… Oh, that’s right: she knows your name, but not your number.
No worries, Mrs Morgan will just Google you and find your website. Except you don’t have one, do you? Ah well, the Morgans will just search for other builders in the area and use them instead. See how important this is? It’s the matter of winning or losing business.
3. Having a website makes you look professional and legitimate.
Nowadays, most people considering buying a product or service from a new company will use their website as a way to decide whether or not they’re going to commit to parting with their money.
Think back to a time when you’ve ordered something online and tried to get a refund; you’ll know that you almost certainly visited the website in the process of trying to get your money back. Imagine if you searched the company only to find they don’t have a website – you’d probably feel like they’d taken your money and then disappeared into thin air.
Having a website gives your potential new customers a reassurance that you’re not going anywhere. You’re robust, reliable and there’s a route to fall back on if anything goes wrong; a central place to visit if they need to sort out an issue. It makes you feel like a safe pair of hands, which you know you are.
4. Your customers don’t just want to read about what you do, they want to see.
And, since brochures are clinging on for dear life but are likely to follow the same sorry path as business cards, your website is a great place to showcase previous jobs.
Images are hugely powerful ways to show off how great your work is. Most people buy with their eyes, rather than their ears, meaning it’s important to make sure that your potential customers have a visual representation of what your work might look like in their own properties..
Your website is a great place to feature a gallery of previous projects, with social media making the “before and after” format massively popular. This is like the modelling portfolio you’d take to a casting. Except you’re not a model - you’re a painter and decorator and your clients want to see how crisp your cutting in is. We’re making sense now, aren’t we?
5. Word of mouth - but make it modern.
With the rise of social media and the internet in general, word of mouth and what people think of you has never been more important to get right.
If someone didn’t like your work ten years ago, they might’ve told someone down the pub or someone they bumped into in the supermarket. It might’ve reached five or ten people, at a push. Now, however, you do a bodge-job for someone and everyone and their Grandma have seen the post on Facebook before you’ve even had time to blink.
Your website is your chance to control the narrative. We know you’re not the kind of flooring specialist to leave carpet edges curling and fraying, but having a website will give you the chance to let your future customers know that previous customers rate you as highly as we do.
Written testimonials alongside photos from previous projects are perfect for giving those sat on the fence a final little nudge in the right direction. And by that we mean hiring you for the job.
6. Your website means you’re always open.
Missing a call from a potential new customer can be really frustrating, but you can’t spend all day on the phone or you’d never actually complete any work, would you?
Well having a website means there’s always somewhere for your customer to direct their enquiry, and, with all the technology available nowdays, you can even use artificial intelligence “bots” to answer queries and talk to your customers on your behalf. A bit like having extra staff that you pay almost nothing for - which is cost effective and great for customer service.