Building relationships online.

 

How do your customers get to know you?

Do they know all of the services you provide?

 

Tradies are pretty good at building a relationship with prospective customers face-to-face. Creating rapport is the first step to finding out what your customer’s biggest problem is, so you can sh0w them how you can best solve it for them.

One of the biggest challenges for Tradies is getting in front of prospective customer in the first place. Placing advertisements in local papers, doing letterbox drops or planting your business card on noticeboards in supermarkets, cafés and fish and chips shops may get you some good leads. However, this kind of contact is only slightly better than a cold call. It is also hard for you to stand out from all your competitors.

We all know that word-of-mouth referrals provide the best introduction to prospects. The hard work is done and you can just get on with building trust.

If someone is going to welcome you into their home or business and hand over the responsibility of installing, maintaining or repairing equipment, they need to trust you. It’s important that they feel they know you well enough: not just what you do but the quality of workmanship you offer, and the lengths you’ll go to, to ensure they are satisfied with the result.

There’s a big gap between a cold contact and a workable relationship with a customer. One of the most cost and time-efficient ways of bridging that gap is through online communication. Not only does it cost you less, it’s easy to start, and gets you in front of the decision-makers where they are hanging out – on internet and social media sites.

Many business owners think that being “online” means having a website. However, this only part of the equation. You also need to have a presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google + and even Linkedin.

Online marketing offers you great Opportunities:

  • Direct contact with your chosen market segment
  • You define the specific characteristic of your readers
  • Your content demonstrates your values and expertise
  • You can track and record their response to your content
  • Content can be Search Engine Optimised
  • You can create campaigns including blogs and advertisements
  • Content can be seen on multiple social media sites as well as your website
  • You set and control the budget for your online advertising
  • Starting and stopping your campaigns is easy
  • You can collect data about prospects for further communication with them
  • Prospective customers can be directed to your website
  • You can add special offers to your content to increase sales during your quiet periods

Most importantly, you can build a good relationship with prospective clients before you meet them. When they need you, they’ll already know you.

More and more people turn to the internet when they need products and services. Around 70% of internet users do not search beyond the first page of results. So your business name and details needs to be amongst the results found on that page.

Using social media communication helps to improve your search engine rating.

Of course, you need to make sure that the content you provide is useful to your chosen market. They want to be informed, entertained and engaged by what you have to say. If your content is just one big advertisement for your business without a big win for them, they won’t bother reading any further communication from you.

 

When preparing your online content, keep these points in mind:

  • The title needs to be relevant so it catches the reader’s attention
  • Talk about them, not yourself
  • Solve a problem for them
  • Educate, excite, engage or entertain them
  • Try not to be too technical or detailed as readers may lose interest
  • Use keywords within the content to attract search engine attention
  • Add images where you can – people’s initial response is higher to images
  • If you send blogs too frequently, they will not read them and may get annoyed
  • Keep the language conversational
  • Encourage your readers to take action
  • Make it easy for them to unsubscribe is they want
  • Plan when to send your communication to maximise special offers, events etc.

Remember that you are building a relationship and that will take time and focus. Think about what they want to know, not what you want to tell them. You’re using a powerful communication tool so use it wisely and use it to add value for your reader.

 

Lane Burdett – Tradie Marketing

 

 

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