At the start of the year, full of anticipation for what the year had in store, we released a blog on how to get new business for your business in 2020. For many trade businesses in Australia, 2020 wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
But, as the year reaches its twilight, things are starting to look up and 2021 is shaping up to be a big improvement. Touch wood.
With normality returning, standing out from your competitors is once again going to be one of the biggest challenges in gaining new business in 2021 and we’ve got some more handy tips that won’t break the bank to help you get ahead.
The more reviews, the more business you get. It’s that simple.
We’re pretty confident in making such a bold claim because of one key factor. Digital discussion and evaluation are becoming so much more important in the decision-making process and it’s easy to see why. With more options now than ever before, the decision-making process is getting longer and consumers are becoming savvier. To put it bluntly, consumers are increasingly ignoring fancy sales tactics and now make decisions based on trust first and foremost.
So what’s one of the best ways to build trust? Social proof of course!
After all, a consumer’s biggest concern when deciding on who to go with is whether or not you will do right by them and their needs. Now imagine if they type your business into Google and found 30+ glowing reviews on how great their experience was with you. You’ve just built valuable trust and made their decision a whole lot easier.
So where should you encourage clients to leave these juicy reviews?
Your two best options are – Facebook and Google, and each have their pros and cons. We’ll briefly touch on them but here’s a great resource if you want to learn more.
Google: The greatest advantage of having reviews on the biggest search engine in the world is the fact that it can boost your Google ranking, so when someone is searching for your field of expertise in your location – you are displayed on top of your competitors because Google knows you can be trusted. The disadvantage is that people are generally less inclined to post on Google than they are on Facebook.
Facebook: The social media giant has more than 2 billion active users which is its greatest strength – people are much more comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions on a social platform. The main disadvantage is that people will have to specifically search for your business within Facebook to find you.
Which platform you choose is entirely up to you, however, you should really consider making use of both if you’re able to.
If your client is happy with your work, ask them to give you a review. Maybe offer them a small bonus to help sweeten the deal.
Get your past clients on an email list
This is a crafty marketing tactic that you don’t commonly see in the trades sector. The key here is ensuring your message is communicated in a clear and professional manner.
There are some amazing tools out there that make creating and sending emails easy. Mailchimp is a commonly used email platform and is a great place to start. The free version has some great features and is easy to use. Simply upload a list of your client’s email addresses and craft your message from one of their templates.
The contents of the email can vary and will require some thought. Ask yourself, what will get your clients to pick up the phone and give you a call? Here are a few ideas for you to consider:
- Offer a discount. Perhaps you can discount your rates or throw in an extra service for free
- Remind clients how important it is to maintain/service expensive assets (heating & cooling units, solar systems, fire alarm systems, etc)
- Let them know if you’ve expanded or are offering a new service
- Introduce a refer-a-mate system. You can learn about building one for yourself here
Your emails don’t have to be fancy or long – in fact a simple email is more effective than one with unnecessary words. Just make sure it reads well and doesn’t have any grammatical errors – you are a professional after all and your message needs to convey this. Need some tips on how to go about writing an effective email? Mailchimp has a tonne of useful resources to help you.
Get on Facebook, and actually use it
We know how precious time is when running a business and right now you’re probably thinking “I don’t have time to use Facebook”. Yes, we know, being active on Facebook can be a little time consuming, but if done well it can really pay off. As we mentioned earlier, Facebook is a place where people go to interact with friends, family AND businesses.
In our previous article, we touched on how you can utilise Facebook’s advertising features to generate leads for your business. In this article, we wanted to touch on the benefits of using Facebook as a social space for your business.
Grow your following – This is probably the most difficult part of mastering Facebook but if you can manage to gain a follower base, it’ll give you a far greater chance of success. Here’s some ideas to get those page likes flowing in:
- Encourage your friends and family to like and share your page
- Run small giveaways to encourage people in your area to like and share your page to go in the running to win something.
- Encourage clients to like your page and place a “like us on Facebook” on your signage
Post photos/videos of your professional work – Before and after photos are perfect to use for this. If you can show a visual of how great your work is, you’ll always be at the top of a potential client’s mind if they ever need whatever it is you provide. Uploading images and videos of your craft also shows that you take great pride in your work and satisfying your clients is important to you.
And finally – engage with your audience! – Use Facebook to keep people up to date with your business and respond to their comments, posts and messages promptly and professionally. Your Facebook page is the ultimate touchpoint for people to interact with your business in a lighter, more casual way.
2020 has been a strange year in more ways than one. Many businesses have felt the pinch of COVID-19 in one way or another, which has seen huge shifts in the way we conduct business on a day-to-day basis.
This is where your marketing efforts become so important for gaining new clients, as your business grows into 2021 and beyond.
We hope this article has given you a few low-cost ideas to assist with marketing your business. If you like it or think you know someone who might benefit from it, feel free to share it.
Author: Sid Ferguson