Yellow Pages not working for your Trade Business?


Are traditional forms of advertising not working for your trade business?

Many tradies have put up a website, participated in voucher books or put ads in local papers (and not in that order) but most forms of advertising don’t keep working ongoing.

The local paper being the ongoing ‘crutch’ that many trades businesses return to as its easy to just re advertise for the next few months with another 10% off and hope it works this time.

Most news paper ads aren’t tracked to see if they work and over what period of time and if there are two partners in the business one will usually says it works  and the other thinks its a waste of money.

A current client has been spending $4,500 per month in recent times and thinks its working OK but not every month as their business is dictated by the season and weather.


Its important to diversify your ad spend and track where it works

Don’t just diversify your spend, CHANGE your activities!

If you don’t track it or have it tracked for you there is no real way to know what’s working for your business.

Phone books in general have been in steady decline for the past eight years so this isn’t new but what are you doing differently now then what you did eight years ago?

Do you get out and network in your local area, do you market your business in the on line world and do you track these activities? 


Three questions I get regularly from trades businesses are:


Does networking work?

You bet it does!

But only if you want to do it. Only if you enjoy talking to people and only if you follow through on what you promise.

Networking starts with you but its not about you.

When was the last time you put your card in some ones face (without them asking) and they were happy to get your ‘advertisement’? Handing out cards when someone hasn’t asked for it is not only not called for but will put people off very quickly.

You probably already ‘network’ down at your local footy club, the local pub on a Friday afternoon or weekend BBQs but haven’t thought too much about it. Always look at what you can do for others and you’ll get remembered for what you do.

There are also professional networking groups around like BNI (Business Networks International) which work for many business people. Disclaimer: Myself included as I am a member at BNI Carrum Downs. Feel free to come along and say hello!


What type of niche could I target?

Whilst having worked with different trades over the years it was not initially a focus, in fact at one point I had three legal firms as clients, needless to say my days are more interesting and I’m having to deal with a lot less arrogance since deciding that I wanted to work with tradies.

The really big bonus working with a niche market though and not offering our services to just anyone is that if you’re good people refer to you as (in my case) that ‘tradie marketing guy’. Not just another marketing person.

Since the decision to focus on trades we have never been busier.

That’s right, Never been busier.

So, find your niche (and one that you enjoy) and start targeting them.

For a Plumber this might be ‘drainage for Industrial buildings’, doing ‘blocked drains only’ and for a locksmith this might be ‘specialising in high end German cars’ as one of my clients does. What ever you niche is, find it and profit from it.


I have a website, what else do I need?

There are a number of questions you need to be able to answer here:

  • Does it currently generate qualified leads?
    Do the people calling you from your site actually know that you can help them?
  • Are those leads in the right area?
    I know of a locksmith who was getting calls from Bayswater Perth, He is in Melbourne.
  • What is the ratio of people going to your site and leaving without contacting you?
    This will tell you if your website is optimised for conversion to contact you.
  • Where is your traffic coming from? eg: an on line ad, an industry body link etc.
    Are people finding you for what you want to be found for? Are they price shopping because you are linked to from the wrong sites?
  • Is the website actually yours
    In case you have a falling out with the developer at a later stage.


All of these are relevant and a good on line advisor/web guy/website developer can go through this with you.

Make sure you have Google Analytics set up on the site. Analytics itself is free but they may charge you a small amount to install it on your site but make sure that’s a one off payment.

Google Analytics can and should be set up from day one on any new website. Set up should include a weekly/monthly report to your email address so you know what your site is doing.


 Written by Lane BurdettTradie Marketing Australia




Tradie Marketing is not associated with Yellow, Yellow Pages or Sensis in anyway.


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