You can be the best plumber, builder or electrician providing top quailty workmanship, but if the phone isn’t ringing there simply isn’t the work to do. There are a number of moving parts to a trade or service business that go beyond the toolbox. The most critical to get right for a healthy growing business is smart tradie marketing.

When people are looking for the services you provide, you need to be there. The right mix of tradie marketing strategies can have your phone buzzing with new customer leads consistently.

While the stereotypical image of a tradie is under a sink, up a ladder or covered in grease, the truth is that without top-notch marketing for tradies your business:

  • Sales will be struggling
  • Growth will be poor
  • Brand awareness will be down
  • Income unpredictable

Smart tradie marketing strategies not only get the phone ringing but also:

  • Generates leads week in week out.
  • Lower the cost per lead (CPL)
  • Increases brand awareness and trust
  • Boost your income and turnover
  • Enable you to grow the business!

So while your skills, know-how and experience may be perfect, without customers a tradie won’t get very far. Get that tradie marketing right though, and a successful tradie can comfortably rake in six figures a year.

Sounds like tradesman marketing is pretty important! Let’s go through the different tradie marketing ideas including digital marketing, networking and traditional marketing.

1. Local SEO for Tradies

Local SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) is all about improving your visibility in search engines in a target region. Local SEO focuses on strategies that get you in front of customers in your area. Dedicate time consistently (or better still outsource it to local SEO specialists) and you’ll reap the rewards of appearing in local search results.

The fact is 97% of people search for a local business online before getting in touch and Google virtually has a monopoly on the market. This is why Local SEO is the number one tradie marketing strategy.

Tip: When it comes to digital marketing for tradies, the big winner is Local SEO. Check out this plumber SEO & marketing guide that goes into great detail about how plumbers and other tradies alike can win with SEO.

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2. Google My Business

Another absolute must for Aussie tradies and a key ingredient of local SEO is a listing in Google My Business (Google Maps). It’s the best way to boost your online presence these days and links directly to reviews that people searching for tradies really trust.

Google My Business listings appear in a “3 pack” above the other organic search results, so it’s a super cheap and easy way to have all your details seen by those who should be seeing it.

Tip: Go local! Listing your business on Google My Business and other top Australian directories is great for tradies. These local links build authority in the cities and regions that are near you.

3. Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords)

Google Ads can be the best advertising for tradies to get the phone ringing fast. A campaign can be setup and generating leads within 24hrs. The catch is ads are competitive and clicks are very expensive. In fact a poorly optimised campaign can be a huge money pit. So getting expert help will mean your budget goes further.

Tip: It’s best to run Google Ads in tandem with local SEO. Relying on ads alone means you’ll be paying top dollar for leads now and into the future.

4. Website Conversion

It’s tempting to put the need for a modern website into your ‘later’ basket. But in 2019, it really deserves its own entry. Why’s that? Because we’re not just talking about a good looking website. We’re talking about most important salesman on your team and it has a job to do. That is convert visitors into clicks and calls.

In short, smartphones are pretty much THE way people do their searching and browsing for tradie services. Toilet’s leaking? Type that into Google. So having a mobile responsive website is key to making the most of your website traffic.

Simplify, simplify, simplify. It’s tempting to make your mobile website whiz bang, but prioritise the really important elements of a small business website design – fast load times, clear call to action buttons and trust factors such as reviews.

Tip: A 50% increase in website conversions means you cut your lead costs in half! What would that mean for you?

5. Email marketing

Email marketing has the highest conversion rate of any marketing channel. Why? Your email list includes people who already know and trust you. Sending an email campaign regularly keeps you front of mind when people need your services. Build your email list into the thousands, adding new customers and using an attractive sign up offer on your website.

The majority of your emails should provide informative content and tips. Focus on giving value to subscribers and guess who they’ll call when they need the services you offer?

Tip: Don’t be disheartened starting out, that list will grow and in time will be guaranteed to generate leads with just a few clicks.

6. Social media

The best thing about social media is that you can engage with customers, generate reviews, promote your business and do your networking at all the same places – at a very low cost! It’s also the way to humanise your business by providing the kind of valuable content, photos, links and videos that social media users are looking for. And your followers then do the next phase of your work for you by liking and sharing.

While social media is relatively cheap compared to other tradie marketing options, the conversion rates are lower. Your time is limited and so is your expertise, so pick your social media platforms carefully.

Tip: Our affordable SEO packages include content syndication, sharing your content to thousands of social media followers and multiplying the exposure generated by every post.

7. Word of mouth

A great ad or search engine visibility is one thing, but the best ROI tradie marketing idea is word of mouth. Toilet overflowing? Recommendations like “I know a great guy for that!” are worth their weight in gold.

For that, you’ll need to work seriously hard on producing very satisfied customers, so that they become your walking advertisements as they chat to friends, family, and someone at the dog park! You can also supercharge your ‘word of mouth’ power by actually asking your customers if they know anyone else who needs a great Aussie tradie. Reviews and social media take word of mouth to a new level.

Tip: 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, so make getting more Google reviews a priority.

8. Referral programs

Speaking of word of mouth, here’s an idea: a referral program.

Leveraging those satisfied customers once again, invite them to join a referral program that gives them some kind of reward (like a discount or a freebie) for successfully passing your good name onto a friend.

Tip: Say thank you! When a customer passes your name on and that referral turns into a new customer, a simple ‘thanks’ in the form of a phone call or email can be just as powerful as an actual reward.

9. Slick Signage

If your premises or vehicle signage is not up to scratch or non existent that really reflects poorly on your services – which are probably top notch! Not to mention the leads you’re missing out on that are literately passing you by. As you’re driving to the next job, some great-looking graphics on your van or ute can attract a surprising number of people who are looking for a tradie.

Tip: Take photos of uniformed staff and vehicle signage for your website and social media to build trust and credibility.

10. Strategic partnerships

Strategic alliances are great for trade service businesses.

We’re talking about things like simple working relationships, like becoming the preferred carpenter for a builder or a plumber and electrician referring work to one another. Some are done on a handshake while others may also involve actual formal agreements, like being the contracted plumber for a nursing home.

Tip: Be cautious as potential partners seek you out. If the chemistry is not right or it seems like they’re out to take advantage, keep looking.

11. Traditional advertising

Let’s start with the obvious, print media is dead. TV and radio can still have a place in tradie marketing but remember these people are not actively looking for your services. So really it needs to have a seriously enticing offer for any sort of conversion rate beyond expanding brand awareness. You also need to ensure you can service clients across the entire region of the broadcast and have the budget to maintain a campaign.

Tip: It’s all about digital in 2019, print media marketing like newspapers and yellow pages for tradies is so 1970s.

The final word: Don’t ignore your tradie marketing

Great know-how, equipment and experience is one thing, but marketing is something no tradie can afford to ignore. Tradie businesses that grow their leads and thrive long into the future take marketing as seriously as any other entrepreneur, so put down your tools for a moment and get on it today. Contact the experts in tradie marketing services, SEO Copilot!