Everything you need to succeed as a Home Services company in a digital world.
November 12, 2018 • Home services businesses don’t often have the resources of larger companies that have departments dedicated to sales and marketing. But does that mean you shouldn’t be marketing your business? Absolutely not. Whether you work alone, within a small family business or own a larger electrical company, there are some basic marketing strategies you can employ that won’t take up too much of your time and resources. And they’re proven to reach more customers and get you more jobs. Establishing community relationships can be great marketing When people think “marketing,” they often conjure up images of TV commercials and Yellow Pages ads. But marketing can be so much simpler than that. If this is your first time developing a marketing strategy, you should start with your community. Networking is one of the best ways you can market your business. First, lay the groundwork Before you employ any marketing strategies at all, you need to do some research and planning. Create goals for your marketing strategy, decide how you’ll measure whether your marketing efforts are meeting those goals, and set a budget for what you want to spend on things like advertising and branding (but more on those later). Identify the type of work you want Different electricians look for different kinds of work. Are you hoping to bring in work in the form of new construction projects? Replacement of electrical in existing buildings? Maintenance and repair work? Decide what kinds of new customers you’re looking for before moving onto the next step. Identify your target market Once you know what kind of customers you’re looking for, figure out where you can find them. For example, if you want to increase your work in new construction projects, contractors and architects might be the best market for you to focus on. If you’re looking for repair and maintenance work, your target market might be homeowners and property managers. Reach out to your target market Once you’ve identified who your target market is, it’s time to start planning some outreach. Are there any industry events for local construction companies and contractors that you can attend? Maybe a homeowners association would allow you to drop in on a meeting to introduce yourself to neighborhood homeowners, if they’re your target market. Network with other electricians An often overlooked way to market your business is to network with other local electricians. Sure, they’re your competition. But if you develop a friendly relationship with them, they’ll be more likely to refer jobs to you if their schedule is too full to take new work, or if they’re offered jobs that aren’t within their specialty. Network with other businesses Similarly, you should try to network with other local businesses, especially home services businesses. A family or contractor that’s doing a major renovation might get your information referred from their painter, carpenter or plumber. Your existing customers are your best marketing tool Home services businesses rely on a lot of word-of-mouth business referrals. That’s why your existing customers can be some of your most valuable assets when developing a marketing strategy. Use your existing customers Satisfied customers are a gold mine of marketing potential for your business. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask for their help Organize your customer information An often overlooked part of a good marketing strategy is collecting information on all your customers, including their contact information, services done and feedback, and keeping it organized in one central place. An electronic database is a good bet,because it will help streamline any outreach marketing you choose to do later. Reach out to your customers regularly If you have any customers in your database you haven’t heard from in a while, reach out and ask them if they have any service needs they’ve been putting off. Calling an electrician may very well be a to-do list item they’ve been putting off. Offer a free annual check Send a yearly email or postcard to your existing customers offering them a free electrical “health checkup.” This will create goodwill with your customers, because they’ll know you’re looking to catch issues for them before they arise. And if they have any electrical needs, it’ll be convenient for those to get done at the same time. Ask your existing customers for testimonials If your customers are happy with your work, ask for their help in spreading the word. More than likely, they’ll be happy to give you a testimonial you can put on your website and other marketing materials to help show new prospective customers that you do quality work. Ask for referrals, too Similarly, you can ask happy customers to refer your business to their friends, family and other contacts. If they’re pleased with your work, they’ll likely be glad to share you with the people they care about. Use your equipment to help market your services You already have to invest in things like an office space, vehicles and uniforms. So make that investment work for your marketing, too. Here’s how. Keep your fleet and building in good shape When your service vehicles and office are clean and tidy, it sends a message that your business is professional and put together. Don’t let them fall into disrepair and send the wrong message. Host an open house at your office If you’re going to keep your office clean and professional, why not use it to host an open house? Invite existing customers, industry contacts and peers to have drinks while you give a presentation on electrical health — or just mingle and try to drum up new business. Invest in good design With every business card, shirt, hat and vehicle, you have an opportunity to share your business with your community. Hire a good designer to create a series of logos that can go on display so everyone who sees you working knows exactly who you are. Build name recognition Think of creative ways you can use your new logos. Put them on pens and coffee cups to give away to customers in drawings. Emblazon them on custom hard hats. Putting your logo on as many things as possible will build name recognition for your business in your community, so when potential new customers have electrical needs, they’ll think of you. Get online So much of marketing these days happens in the digital space. Here’s how to take advantage of simple technology to reach as many potential customers as possible. Have a website — and optimize it First things first: You need to get online. If you don’t have a website, get one now. Free website builders like Wix and Squarespace have templates that are designed for home services businesses. Once you’re online, optimize your site to appear high in the rankings when people search for electrical services in your area. Start a blog Once you have a website, start writing a blog. Post articles about topics your customers might find useful. When they’re searching for information related to their electrical needs and find your blog content, the natural next step is to hire you. Employ pay-per-click advertising One of the most powerful forms of paid advertising for small businesses is pay-per-click advertising. This places ads for your service within Google search results for terms and keywords that are related to your business. Be on social media… and use it Your customers are using social media, so why aren’t you? This is a great way to engage with current customers and reach new ones. And social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow you to pay to “boost” your posts so more potential customers see them. Get on review sites Sites like Yelp and Google Reviews can be powerful marketing tools. People in your area who are looking for an electrician will likely include reviews in their search, so make sure you’re on those sites and asking your happy customers to leave you five-star reviews. Learn the basics of email marketing If the customer database you’ve already compiled includes email addresses, start a newsletter! You can offer your customers discounted services for subscribing, and sending a regular email blast is a great way to keep your business at the front of customers’ minds for when they need electrical services. The world of marketing may seem daunting to a beginner. But as you can see, it’s actually not that hard to get started. Put these 22 tips into practice, and you’ll be seeing new customers in no time.