Posted by Paul
August 5, 2019
If you’re an electrical contractor who own’s their own business, chances are, you don’t have the resources of larger companies that have departments dedicated to sales and marketing. But does that mean you should just avoid marketing your business? Absolutely not! As a business owner, you are responsible for the success and failures of your electrical contracting business. So, whether you have the know how or not, its up to you to start somewhere.
Whether you work alone, within a small family business or own a larger electrical company, there are some basic marketing tips you can employ that won’t take up too much of your time and resources. And they’re proven to reach new clients, get you more jobs, and help grow your electrical business.
18. Start a blog
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.
Before you employ any marketing strategies at all, you need to do some research and planning. Create a marketing plan that includes goals and then decide how you’ll measure whether your marketing efforts are hitting those goals, and set a budget for what you want to spend on things like advertising and branding (but more on those later).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. There are a wide range of tools you could employ for this, ranging from Linkedin to specialized forums and Facebook groups.
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.
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. This is a prime marketing strategy because new customers want to hear about experiences from former satisfied customers.
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.
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. After all, this is one of the benefits of having their contact information. Calling an electrician may very well be a to-do list item they’ve been putting off.
An easy marketing strategy to incorporate is sending 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.
If your customers are happy with your work, ask for their help in spreading the word. Customer reviews have never been more important than they are today. Roughly 86% of consumers will read up to 10 reviews before deciding trusting a local business. While this may seem concerning if you don't have any customer reviews, the good news is, more than likely, your customers will 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.
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. Remember, word-of-mouth referrals is the cornerstone of a good business.
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.
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.
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.
With every electrician 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.
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 and company name 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.
So much of marketing these days happens in the digital space. It was once believes that having an online presence was just a fad, but online marketing is not going anywhere soon. From SEO to PPC, it is essential to have a bullet proof digital marketing strategy that aligns with your marketing goals. Here’s how to take advantage of simple technology to reach as many potential customers as possible.
First things first: You need to get online. If you don’t have a website, get one now. If you are worried about paying a ton for website design, 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 using SEO tactics such as optimizing landing pages and adding your NAP (Company Name, Address & Phone Number to every page on your site). adding your NAP (Company Name, Address & Phone Number to every page on your site). Making some basic search engine optimizations will help your site become found in search more easily, meaning a greater number of new clients within your service area.
Once you have a website, start writing a blog. Content marketing can be one of the highest ROI forms of marketing your contractor business. By simply high quality articles on topics that you already have first hand experience with, you have the ability to quickly build trust with potential new clients. The idea here is to develop high quality content around search terms potential clients may be searching for on Google. This may be something like, 'how to hire an electrical contractor'. When writing an article like this, apply your knowledge on the subject, be honest and be transparent. While this may seem counter intuitive to some, as this may come off as deflecting business, your honesty and transparency will be portrayed authoritative. The natural next step is to hire you.
One of the most powerful forms of paid advertising for small businesses is pay-per-click advertising, or also known as PPC. This places ads for your service within Google search results for terms and keywords that are related to your business. One of the great things about PPC advertising is the ability to quickly send traffic to one of your landing pages on your site. This not only allows you to generate targeted traffic quickly, but also allows you to quickly learn what is an is not working on your landing pages such as the placement of a contact form or testimonial video on your page.
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 LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter allow you to pay to “boost” your posts so more potential customers see them.
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.
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.
Housecall Pro is rated the #1 software to run your HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Carpet Cleaning and other home service businesses. Our features allow you to schedule and dispatch jobs, get booked online, send invoice and receive payment within minutes whether if you are in the office or out in the field. This comprehensive software can help you grow revenue by 30% in one year and save up to 500 hours a year. Join all the other successful home service businesses who have already started and try Housecall Pro for 14 days free today.