Online Marketing for Tradies
Here at Trade Risk we get the bulk of our new clients from two different sources: referrals from existing clients and others who find us online.
Any decent tradie will be great at getting referrals from existing clients and from word of mouth, but from our experience the majority of you are not using online marketing to its potential.
More and more Australians are searching for goods and services online, and in this guide we hope to share with you some of the things that have worked for us.
If you’re not utilising any form of online marketing for your business, here are the top five things that the Trade Risk marketing team recommend you do right now:
1. Register a Domain Name
Step 1 may sound difficult, but it’s actually incredibly easy and should take your around ten minutes at a cost of just $20.
Your domain name is basically your address on the internet. Ideally your domain should match your business name, so if your business is Jones Carpentry, your domain should be www.jonescarpentry.com.au.
Even if you aren’t planning on having a website, it’s still a good idea to spend $20 on securing your domain name before someone else does.
First of all you need to visit a website that allows you to register domain names. Here at Trade Risk we use VentraIP.
Simply try a few combinations until you find a suitable one that is available. You might be amazed at the number of domains which are already taken, but you should be able to find something suitable.
2. Build a Website
If you thought step 1 sounded difficult, you might think that step 2 is near impossible! But don’t worry, because it can actually be very easy.
To get your website up and running you don’t need to have any experience in website design or coding. Realistically you could have a basic website for your trade business online within a few short hours.
One of the easiest and most popular ways of publishing a website is by using the blogging system known as WordPress.
WordPress allows you to publish information and even photos relating to your business all from a very easy to use interface. If you can update your status and add photos to Facebook, then you’ll have no problem using WordPress!
3. List on Business Directories
Once you have your domain registered and a basic website online (or even if you don’t) the next step is to get yourself listed on a few local business directories.
Some directories are free, whilst others will attract small annual fees anywhere from $20 through to $100 or more depending on the type of listing.
4. Get Social!
Social media platforms can be a great way of promoting yourself as a local tradesperson.
You should start by registering business pages on Facebook and Google+ as a minimum, and you may also want to consider other platforms such as Twitter and even Pinterest which allows you to share pictures of your work.
Social media can be a great way of spreading the word about the work you do as a tradesperson, especially when it comes to photos.
If you’ve done some great work, take some photos to share on your social media pages, and you may be surprised how quickly it gets shared around by other people, thereby spreading the work about your services.
5. Get Links to Your Website
Having your own website and social media profiles online is great, but the next step – and in our opinion one of the most important steps – is to get your website showing strongly in Google.
One way you can do this is to have other websites linking to yours. It isn’t always easy to get other people to link to you, but a good place to start is any other businesses you work for or with who already have websites.
In theory the more links you can get, the better your website should perform in Google. So when someone searches for “I need a plumber in Kelvin Grove” hopefully your website will be the first one that shows up.
6. Update Your Website
Carrying on from the previous point, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure your website appears higher in the search rankings for relevant searches.
One of the best ways to do this is to update your website regularly.
Now you probably don’t have time to post multiple detailed articles each week like we do at Trade Risk, but there are things you can do.
If you’re an electrician you might want to post articles on your website about the benefits of solar, or maybe tips on electrical safety around the home.
Maybe you’re a carpenter, in which case you could post articles on recent jobs you have done (along with accompanying photos) or perhaps a series of tips on looking after timber surfaces.
It doesn’t really matter what you put on your website, as long as it is relevant to your business and provides value to anyone who might visit your website.
Is it Worth the Effort?
In our view, it is absolutely worth the effort! Whether or not it’s worthwhile for your business really depends on the type of trade business you are running.
If you are a carpenter who only does framing for new buildings, then perhaps a website won’t add much value to your business.
But if you’re a painter who relies on the Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth for domestic and small commercial jobs, then a good website could have a major impact on the amount of business you get.
Here at Trade Risk we are big believers in online marketing, and of course we want to help all of our tradie clients in any way we can.
If you’re having a bit of trouble or need some help, feel free to email us and we’ll see if we can help. Obviously we can’t do the work for you, but we’ll be happy to spend a bit of time helping you out with tips and advice.
Please keep in mind that the free advice service is only available for Trade Risk insurance clients.