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10 Ways Tradespeople Can Attract Customers

Close up work bench with tools and papers scattered across

Looking for ways to attract customers? Whatever industry you’re in, attracting new customers should be a priority, particularly if you’re a small business or work on a self-employed basis.

Though you may already have a loyal customer base, new customers help your business grow and offer new opportunities and ways to improve.

There are numerous ways in which you can attract customers. Moreover, there are ways to suit every budget and how much time you can invest.

1. Photos Of Previous Work

You’re trying to prove to a potential customer that you’re the person for the job. You can tell them everything you do, what associations you’re part of, etc., but generally, most people prefer to see a visual representation. A portfolio of your work allows you to accurately display what you can deliver. In addition, just having a portfolio in the first place suggests to potential customers that you’re organised and take pride in your work.

“Each page is a story — a challenge you saw and overcame to the best of your ability.” Source: Forbes

These days, most people opt for a digital version of a portfolio. For example, you can incorporate your portfolio into your business website as a separate page, gallery, or blog about each job you complete. In addition, some people choose to use social media platforms to showcase their work on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Try them out and see which works best for you and your business.

2. Review Websites

Online reviews are hugely important to any business as they allow customers to review their experience on a trusted website.

“70% say that online reviews are their second-most-trusted source”  Source: Realhub

Review websites work hard to vet the businesses and tradespeople they list on the site. Helping to ensure those listed are qualified professionals and not cowboys benefits the customers looking for a tradesperson and the tradespeople themselves. A few of the most popular review websites include Google, Feefo CheckatradeRated PeopleTrust A Trader, and Trusted Traders.

Do your research, find which works for you and your business, and don’t forget to ask customers to leave a review.

Person using a smart phone to view company reviews

3. Word Of Mouth

Word of mouth is arguably one of the best ways to attract customers. It’s organic and, therefore, deemed more trustworthy than non-organic marketing.

“92% of consumers trust recommendations from others, even people they don’t know, over branded content.” Source: Realhub

Word of mouth works in a snowball effect. One person recommends your company to a few friends. Those few friends recommend it to a few of their friends, and so on. Before you know it, hundreds of people have been introduced to your business simply because you impressed one customer.

4. Van Signs

A study by Arbitron’s In-Car found that drivers spend an average of 20 hours behind the wheel every week in the UK. As a tradesperson, you probably spend a lot of time driving to jobs, the merchants and using your van out of work hours. Therefore, you’ll probably be driving much more than the UK average.

That means you pass many people daily, so why not advertise your business simultaneously? Up to half of Britain’s van drivers miss a massive opportunity by not branding their van. Don’t be one of them. Vinyl van stickers and wraps are hugely popular due to their low cost, which means high ROI. They’re also easy to remove should you upgrade your van or change your branding style.

5. Social Media

There are over three billion active social media users across the globe. You’re likely already one of them, but are you using social media for your business?

Many platforms will help you grow your business, from Instagram to Twitter and Facebook to YouTube. In addition, you can use the platforms as digital portfolios of your work, engage with potential customers and connect with people in the industry.

Numerous tradespeople, including electricians, plumbers, and gas engineers, use social media for their businesses.

Woman wearing a yellow short holding a smart phone

6. Branding

Branding is essential for any business as it creates a memorable impression for potential customers and impacts how they perceive your brand.

Not only is it beneficial to display your brand on your vehicle, letterheads, invoices, etc., but uniform plays a big part. It acts as a walking advertisement and ensures staff look presentable and professional while representing the business.

If you want to go one step further, many businesses have a range of promotional merchandise to advertise their services. Again, think outside the box. From stickers and mugs to hats and teddies, ensure your merch is relevant to your business.

7. Ad Board On-Site

Another way to attract customers is through a traditional advertising technique—the humble ad board. Of course, when you’re working on-site, you’re the best advertisement for what you do. But how will people know who you are or how to contact you? By investing a bit of money into an ad board, you’ll be able to promote your business while you’re on the job.

Make sure to include essential information. Your business name, contact details and website are a must. You may even find a customer happy to continue displaying your business after you finish work.

8. Online Ads

Why not try online advertising if you want to take things to another level in the digital realm? For example, online advertising could be on social media platforms, search engines or other websites.

You can set a budget to suit you, the target audience you want to reach and specific locations. Plenty of online guides will take you through setting up Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook Ads, etc., and it’s much easier than you might think.

Online ads are a great way of boosting your brand awareness. So try advertising online if you’re just starting, have a special promotional offer, or want to get your name out there.

Person pointing at a tablet

9. Act On Feedback

Feedback isn’t always the most positive. People don’t always have the same expectations, so customers might feel you could have done things better or differently.

Don’t fret about it. See it as constructive criticism instead. Start by politely replying to the feedback, apologising for the issue, and explaining how you are willing to rectify it. Then, use it as a lesson and make it your mission to learn from it and improve.

10. Show Off Your Expertise

As well as your portfolio, don’t be afraid to show off your expertise in other ways. When you’re on social media and active in the trades community, you will find that people will often reach out for advice or help. Don’t be afraid to show off what you know.

Not only are you promoting yourself, but more importantly, you’re helping a fellow tradesperson.

More Ways To Attract Customers

If you want to discover more ways to market yourself and attract new customers, consider Marketing Activities For Tradespeople.

All data correct at time of publication.