Whether you have just started out running your own business as an electrical contractor or you are an established electrician, you will have had various encounters with marketing people attempting to sell you a variety of services that will supposedly make you money. From shiny advertisements to building websites, every time you get a phone call from these types of people, they always seem to promise you the earth. But how many times have you fallen for their game and signed up only to find your phone doesn't ring after all?
My ToolBox tip this week shows up the main culprits, so if your phone rings this week with 'one of those calls' then you can equip yourself with some essential knowledge. Look out for these 'types' and avoid.
"An amazing advertising opportunity"
The call will go something like this. “We have only one amazing opportunity to advertise in our top rated magazine delivered directly to your customers. Its first come, first served and if you don't sign up today then we'll move onto the next electrician in your area.”
Firstly, never sign up on the spot to pressurised offers like this. Choosing where to advertise needs to be a thought out decision not a knee jerk reaction. Advertising in the wrong places costs electricians thousands of pounds every year. For a start, your advert needs to reach the very people who will use your services – for example, local home owners in your local area. A good starting point is a parish magazine. These are hand delivered to house holders in your local area. Word your advert correctly and position it correctly in the magazine and it will be worth your investment.
Never leave this job to the magazine advertising seller
Some advertising outlets will offer to do the artwork for you and unless you ask otherwise, they'll just place your advert into any position they've got going.
It is essential that you deal with your own artwork and ask for the correct position in the magazine. I talk a great deal about advert positioning in My Electricians ToolBox but basically, if your advert if not on the prime pages where your customer will read, then chances are it won't get noticed.
Equally, wording is important. Remember you are selling yourself so offer a personal service. Make it obvious you are an electrician. Many electricians don't do this and make their advert so wordy it becomes confusing as to what service you actually offer.
Remember magazine sellers are only interested in their profits
They might well make you feel important and seem interested in your business, but that is their sales pitch. Once they have sold their quota of adverts for the month, they don't care whether your phone rings or it doesn't. If you want advertising to work for your business you have to tell them what you want.
"I can get you to number one in Google"
Beware of the generic website developer or social media guru
I speak to many electricians who have lost faith in their on line marketing because of their choice of web developer. I hear electricians tell me how much money they waste on having a website built to find it sits there doing nothing.
Firstly on line marketing is not a do it and forget it approach. It requires the same effort as your off line marketing. However, the most important approach to take with your on line marketing is to use the services of someone who understands the electrical industry. If your web developer has no knowledge of the electrical industry, then how are they going to get you customers? Remember this is marketing for electricians :)
Again, there is no shortage of people who can build you a website or carry out a social media campaign for you, however if they don't understand the challenges and struggles an electrician goes through then the campaign or website is not going to be effective. When you promote your electrical contracting business on line, you need the support of someone who has been through what you are going through yourself, they are the people to help, as they have been there and done it themselves.
Who do you trust to give you sound advice?
Taking business advice needs to be carried out wisely. The My Electricians ToolBox video below summarises todays blog post and will help you to see that those bright shiny objects are often just a red herring, the true success is in the hidden gems! :)