Marketing for trades & service small businesses can sometimes seem too expensive or just way too hard. There are some really easy habits you can implement today, that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
You don’t need a $1 million TV budget to stand out with these tips:
Show photos of previous work
Customers love to be inspired and seeing ‘before and after’ images (think of how many reality TV shows have reveals). It also builds confidence for the customer that you have the right skill set for the job. It can also help clarify the scope of jobs, as most customers aren’t experts and are looking to you for guidance.
Testimonials from other customers
Have you ever tried a restaurant after seeing a giant billboard advertising it? Compare that with a friend that said it was the best meal they’ve had in months. You’d most likely try it after a recommendation.
Testimonials are very powerful and have a far greater influence than most paid advertising channels. Send a simple email template after you’ve completed a job, asking for a testimonial to help grow your small business.
Give a positive ending
Studies have shown that buyer’s remorse can kick in when receiving a bill. This is the feeling of regret after making a purchase decision and can occur even if they are really happy with the end result.
A way of curbing this feeling is adding a ‘surprise & delight’ element. This could be as simple as adding before and after images at time of payment. This reminds the customer of the emotional, positive impact in the original motivation to get the job done (and also can remind them how bad it looked before).
Adding images to an invoice makes you stand out in their mind so hopefully they are more likely to pay on time, or in some cases could result in early payment and an increase in tips or bonuses.
Always give a heads up
If you’re going to be late, shoot a quick text message to the customer. Being organised and communicating if you’re going to be delayed can be just as important as the work itself.
Always take the extra 30 seconds to let someone know you’re running late, as it could impact how quickly you get paid, referrals or any positive review, regardless of how well you did the job.
Share, post, like
Post your work on social media to show a gallery of your skill set. Instagram is great for getting referral work and means you don’t necessarily need to build and manage an expensive website.
It’s also a great place to direct customers before you meet with them, so they can get inspired and have a better understanding of your process. For example, it could spark questions around the type of finish or materials used, which could avoid confusion later on.
Reward word of mouth recommendations
Have a mini reward system for referrals, like a 5% discount or $20 gift card. The existing customer has motivation to recommend you, they feel positive about helping their friend/colleague to find someone trusted, you win a great reputation and more work. This also ties in with the testimonial power mentioned above. Win, win, win.
If you’re needing a simple app to help you stand out from the competition, check out Bridge. Australia’s easiest app for tradies to save time quoting and invoicing.