A great online presence helps great tradespeople stand out from the competition and win more of the work they want. But how do you build a successful online presence?
FindaTrade.com share their top tips for tradespeople online.
It is widely accepted that the best way to find a tradesperson is through a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.
You know that when someone calls and tells you they have seen the work you did at their friends house and got your details from them, that you have a good chance of doing the work. They already have confidence in you and your services before they’ve even met you.
As you likely know, not all work comes this easily.
It is a competitive market and standing out from the crowd and quickly establishing trust and confidence with a customer can take time plus a little know-how.
With more and more people using the internet to find a tradesman, having a professional and detailed online presence is becoming key to tradesmen winning more work.
A well executed online profile can help bridge that gap in customer trust which does not come as easily when a personal recommendation has not been given.
What are the benefits of an online presence for tradespeople?
- Customers can find you 24/7.
- Your information is available at any time to potential new customers.
- They can learn about you and your business before they even contact you – this builds trust before you even speak.
- Showcase your business.
- Unlike other forms of marketing an online presence can present much more detail and information to potential customers.
- This enables you to tell potential customers about your services, what qualifications you hold, photos of your work, testimonials from previous customers and much more.
- Get rated and reviewed by your customers.
- Show people what others have said about you and your work.
- This shows you are willing to be accountable for the work you do and are happy to share the feedback and ratings you have received.
- You’re in control.
- Other than your ratings and reviews you are completely in control over your online presence.
- This helps you focus on exactly what is important to the customer and can even allow for some of your personality to show through which helps you to build rapport.
- You can also make changes and improvements whenever you like. If you’ve just completed a new job, upload the photos of the work to show others what you have been doing.
- Cheaper and more cost effective.
- Less and less people are reading printed press, preferring to use their laptops, tablets and mobiles to find information online.
- People are also fed up with being bombarded with leaflets through their letter box, most just get thrown straight in the bin.
- An online profile is cheaper (sometimes free) to set up and often has little or no costs going forward unlike advertising using newspaper ads, yellow pages and leaflet drops.
- Simple and easy to set up.
- Most companies offering these services provide a simple to use system which anyone can use.
- Support and help is also often available if required.
6 steps for tradespeople to create a successful online profile
A great online presence can do wonders for your business, however, get it wrong and it can actually harm you.
Presenting yourself in a professional, friendly and approachable manner is key to turning more leads into work for your business.
Here are our top 6 tips for a successful online profile:
1. Show that you understand what the customer is looking for
The first thing a customer wants to know is ‘do you do the work I require?’. If you do not (or they do not think you do) then they are not going to waste any further time looking at your profile.
Make it clear upfront who you are, what areas you cover and the types of work you carry out.
Show them that you understand what is important from their perspective, this includes (but not limited to); their satisfaction of your work, your respect for their property, the need for good communication and keeping them informed, providing a fast yet detailed quote.
Tip: A bullet point list of major towns/cities you cover and the type of works you do makes understanding your service easy.
2. Use photos to showcase your work
As they saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words. In this case, adding photos of your work will show more than you can ever explain in words.
Using before and after photos of your work is also a great way to show how your transformed someone’s home.
Tip: Add captions to the photos of your work to help explain what you carried out.
3. Use a system which allows for verified customer feedback
Using a system which allows for verified customer ratings and feedback helps your customers build trust in your business fast.
A verified feedback system is important because it means that they are independently reviewed by an impartial company so that customers know they are genuine.
It’s a good idea to ask some of your previous customers if they are happy to be available to speak with potential new customers about your work – this helps strengthen their confidence in you even further.
Tip: Use your best customer feedback comments as standout testimonials in the main section of your profile.
4. Keep your profile up to date
By keeping your profile up to date with recent photos, ratings/feedback and testimonials show that you are still an active business and someone who is consistently achieving good ratings and having happy customers.
This only needs to be done every few months and is most cases does not take long to do.
Tip: Adding dates to your photos of work helps show how recent they are.
5. Show willing to offer help and advice
To help get a person invested in you and your business it is good to offer them something for free which they still find valuable.
This can be done by telling people you are happy to provide help and advice on projects even if they do not end up choosing you to do the work.
This shows you are happy to help people, but are not pressuring them in to using your services – in the long-term it often means that they do because they are pleased with the help you have provided.
Tip: When quoting, explain to customers that if they receive other quotes they should make sure they also include x, y and z. This shows to them that you understand what is required and if other companies do not include this information they will often choose you because they know you understand the work better.
6. Use a professional looking profile system
No matter what you do or say in your profile if it does not look professionally done it will detract from your message.
As with most things humans are visually responsive and it is no different with an online profile page. Make sure you use a system which provides you with a detailed and professional looking profile which is eye catching but also easy to read.
This is also true of any photos you upload, make sure they are in focus, well lit and of course the right way up!
Tip: If you are not good with photo editing ask a family member or friend who is to correctly, crop, position and resize your images so they fit well in your profile.
Get your business online and create a professional profile to win more work
A professional online presence really can make the difference to you and your business.
It is also very useful to use a site which will be able to provide you with job leads along with a profile. Not only do they help to find you more work but you will get verified ratings and feedback comments for the work you carry out added to your profile.