Published on Monday 13 April 2015 in The Shoestring Marketing Blog
Hopefully like lots of Vanarama customers your problem is not where your next job is coming from, but how you're going to fit the next job in?
But what happens when the work slows down, and what can you do to make sure you have a steady flow of enquiries coming in? Ensuring you have a high enquiry rate means you can charge premium prices for your work and work smarter, not harder.
To help you we have identified four marketing must haves for your trades business to ensure you are visible to your prospects and have a steady flow of enquiries coming in.
Mobile optimised website
It may sound obvious, but in today's mobile driven world more and more searches are being carried out on a mobile device. That means your potential customers. Without a mobile optimised website you could be losing customers to your competitors. A mobile website is simply one that flexes to fit the device that it's being viewed on, often the text will be easier to read, and users can view your content without having to zoom in.
Google is set to change how it displays search results in the next few weeks. If your website isn't mobile friendly you could move down the rankings, whereas your competitor's mobile friendly website will appear higher in the rankings when people are searching on a mobile device (e.g. mobile phones and tablet computers).
Action point: Test your website's mobile friendliness here and if it fails you need to speak to your web developer who will discuss with you what you need to do to make it mobile friendly.
One of the oldest, but most cost effective ways to promote your business is via the trusted business card. Make sure when you finish a job you give the customer a plentiful supply of them so they can hand them out to friends and family. Word of mouth marketing is by far the cheapest way to promote your business, so make sure you have a stack of cards ready to give out.
Remember to include on the card your full name, mobile number, email and web address. Also, don't forget to use both sides of the card and add a list of your services and any trade accreditations you have.
Action point: For less than £30 you can order 500 business cards using one of the many online suppliers. Some will also let you design your business cards online to save the cost of design fees. For best effect and exposure, why not buy an outdoor business card holder for your van, so people can grab a card when they see your sign written van?
To ensure you keep a healthy supply of enquiries coming in, an email database of your customers will ensure you can keep in touch monthly or quarterly with a friendly email. For maximum effect think about your customer and what they would appreciate. No one likes lots of sales emails but a timely, well written email crammed full of helpful tips will work wonders for your business.
Action point: Sign up for a free account at www.mailchimp.com and you can create and send stylish emails to your customers. Start collecting email addresses for your customers and add to your MailChimp account on a regular basis.
Social media accounts
Social media presence on Twitter or Facebook is not for everyone, and our advice is to always do what works best for you and your business. But those that are willing to invest the time to build a loyal following on Twitter and Facebook will find it provides another potential touch point to interact with your customers. We're not suggesting you'll find lots of new business on Twitter and Facebook but there is plenty of evidence to suggest it works well to keep on your customer's radar and can prompt them into making an enquiry.
Action point: If you haven't already, set up free social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook for your business. There are lots of courses run locally up and down the country that will help you understand how social media can work for your business.
We hope you've enjoyed our round up of essential marketing must haves for your trades business. Our Vanarama blog is full of articles to keep your business moving.