While word of mouth is often seen as the secret to growing referrals and first-rate service might lead to recurring customers, unless you’re able to effectively market yourself to fend off competition, chances are you’ll struggle to grow.
Even with exceptional customer service and strong systems in place, with no branding, your business will find it difficult to distinguish itself in a congested market.
Contrary to popular opinion, marketing isn’t just flashy campaigns and powerful one-liners, it’s about building a brand that makes you identifiable. Your logo, name and colour scheme are just some of the characteristics that potential customers will start to remember you from. Think about all the great brands that have succeeded in being recognised just by a text font or coloured background.
And once you have your image downpat, you have to start thinking about repetition. The more a potential customer sees your branding, the more likely you’re going to pop into their heads when they next require a service you offer.
Think about it: when someone’s toilet is blocked or their circuit board has blown, chances are they’re going to think about that tradie who they’ve most come across – whether it’s the billboard they pass on the highway or the flyer that’s delivered to their mailbox.
The truth is, however, you’re not a multinational corporation with a generous budget to spend on advertising. Instead you might be a humble tradie, carrying around his tools looking to grow their customer base or a local service wanting to take the next step.
While similar principles of large organisations still apply, your marketing budget is likely to be much smaller, especially in the early stages. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from trying to grab the attention of would-be clients – instead, you need to work with what you have.
“You can brand your assets,” Small Fish’ Jon Dale says on his website.
“You have people and vehicles out in the world doing work in homes and businesses and on building sites.
“So brand them all. Put uniforms on your people, get your vehicles signwritten – all of them, even your people who drive their own vehicles, and put signs up outside every job you work on.”
Dale refers to it as “Site-Specific Marketing” – branding your people, vehicles and job sites. Compared to the big signs you see on your way to the airport, the cost is substantially less and it’s the first step to making your brand front of mind for potential clients.
Looking to start your own business? Head to Qualify Me! to see how a tradesman coach like Dale can give you the keys to success.