So what are the 4 main areas that you can work on this year to help your business grow? Part one of four – A Tradie Website!
The beginning of a new year can be a daunting time. We all set big goals because this time next year, we believe we can be someplace better than we are today.
This is normal for any semi ambitious person, and it’s certainly not industry specific. Over the years, I’ve learned that one of the main things that really stops people from achieving their goals, is an uncertainty of where they should be applying their efforts.
For Tradies, one of the biggest mistakes I see, is individuals setting a goal without having clarity of what path to take to get there. An example of this might be, ‘In July this year, I want to be working for two more builders as their preferred Electrician’.
That’s a great goal, but what do you have to do to achieve it? These contracts aren’t going to fall in your lap, you’re going to have to go and get them.
The next series of blogs was made to offer some guidance and some tactics, that you can apply to your business going forward in 2015.
Tradie Web Guys will be focussing on these key elements for both ourselves and our clients in 2015, and believe these topics are pivotal in helping the modern Tradie forge ahead of the competition.
In this series, we’re going to cover the following topics:
- Your website
- Your Professional Profile
- Transitioning into the cloud
- Content creation and having basic understanding of SEO.
So to get started, we’re going to discuss websites, but in a different light. We never look at your website as ‘just a website’, we look at it as a valuable business asset that forms the foundation of your ‘Modern Business’.
In 2015, you have to be realistic about where your customers are going in order to find you and let’s be honest, it’s not the phonebook anymore. If you’re not online, then you’re closing a huge window of opportunity.
The internet has changed the landscape of the way we do business and like it or not, it’s just getting started. Having a professional website is the first step in establishing your profile.
So lets discuss what a website really is…
Because the majority of people that come to us, don’t initially understand the value proposition. The word ‘website’ is a bit of a ‘buzzword’ in the sense that people know they should have one, but don’t necessarily know what they need.
A tradie’s website is their modern day shopfront
It’s a place where customers can go to learn about you and establish if the services that you require are a fit for their needs. It’s a place where you can upload images of products, services, reviews and general information that could speak to your ideal client.
Where back in the day, potential customers might have dropped into a showroom, today they jump on their smartphone. It’s an element of convenience that often comes at the cost of genuine relationship building. You have to make sure that your website encapsulates that dynamic and allows the trust building process to begin from the moment that visitor lands on your page.
A tradie website is a marketing tool
A tradies website not just a pretty place that people might visit to see pretty pictures of homes you’ve built in the past.
A well built website will have features that allow your visitors to become a part of your community and learn more about your products along the way. We call this process ‘Sales Funnel’ and for a tradie, it’s a supremely powerful tool. Not only does a ‘Sales Funnel’ qualify your prospects through various stages of the buying process, it also allows you to build an asset into your company in the form of a names database.
By collating a list of subscribers, you’re collecting marketing leverage that allows you to communicate with individuals that have shown a genuine interest in your products, or services.
A tradie website is the foundation/hub for all of your content and open source intellectual property (IP)
You own your website and by adding content to it, it remains yours. All too often I see companies write a blog post, or upload an image gallery to Facebook that doesn’t link back to their website. If, for some reason Facebook decides to close that account, they’ll loose all of their content. By having it on your website, no one can close it, therefore it’s protected.
You can also keep certain pieces of IP on the website. Things that you would like people to have access to, without them bugging you for them. Take for example, Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), Insurance documents, or Business Certificates. If you’re in an industry that regularly calls for such items, you can save yourself a load of admin time by having them readily available for download.
Your website is a ‘social proofing’ weapon
It’s a place where potential customers can come to see examples of people just like them that have used your services and loved it. Things like testimonials and reviews are really powerful on a website and they can often be the deciding factor between winning and losing a job.
This isn’t a hard sell, it’s for anyone who wants to get moving.
So now let’s look at some of the fundamental elements that a tradie website should have.
Actually to be fair, every website should consider these, regardless of industry.
Scalability! How scalable is your website?
What’s the point in building a website that needs to be rebuilt in 3 years time because you’ve ‘out grown’ it? You’d be amazed how often we encounter this scenario. Make sure that your website is adaptable and enables you to make changes along the way.
Fact: Your business is going to change and as a result, so will your website. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to save a few dollars in the beginning on a product that won’t grow with you. It will cost you a fortune in the long run.
Every tradie website MUST be ‘Mobile Responsive’!
This means that regardless of the device your visitor is searching from (smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc), your website will always scale accordingly.
Google openly confirms that a mobile responsive website will perform better from an SEO standpoint and with the growing trend of people using mobile devices, it’s critical that you accommodate for that increasing segment of the market.
We recommend you build your website on an open source CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress
Actually, we only build websites in WordPress, as it allows our customers the freedom of making minor updates themselves and also enables them to have other developers work on your site if (heaven forbid) something happens to us.
Don’t get tied into platforms that don’t offer you flexibility in the space of who can and who can’t access your data and always make sure that you have logins. You’ll have to keep on top of security updates as open source CMS platforms can be more susceptible to security issues, but otherwise you should be in pretty safe hands.
Make sure your website has functionality to build landing pages
This is critical for running promotions and campaigns as it allows visitors to get the exact information they’re looking for, without having to navigate to a page from your homepage. When we talk conversions (and we always talk conversions), utilising well built landing pages will increase your conversions significantly.
Create a website that has opt-ins that drive traffic into an automation sequence
This is how you create a ‘Sales Funnel’ and by doing so, you’re actively building your database.
The key to making this successful is the automation. We’re all busy and we’re all time poor, so by setting up an automation sequence correctly we can leverage time and content both effectively and efficiently. Here is a short video on how the sales funnel actually operates, from opt-in, through to the automation sequence.
Create great content
Content that your customer is going to want to read and content that they can get a lot out of. As tradies, you need to get creative with this, however often you have an advantage over many industries in the sense that you have a visual product. Use various social channels to promote your services. Channels like Instagram, Pintrest, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Don’t be afraid to showcase your work on your website and get in the habit of educating your audience, as doing so will help position you as the expert.
In summary, think of your website as the lifeline of your business. It’s a living organism that needs to be fed with content and nurtured by keeping on top of updates etc. Don’t treat your website as a static platform that collects virtual dust. Bring it to life and let it represent your business. You’ll be amazed at the results if you apply a little time and effort into it If you don’t have the time yourself, someone can be sourced to do it for you. There are many companies like Tradie Web Guys that can manage everything on your behalf, so you can stick to doing the work, while we stick to making it look good for you.
In the next post, we’ll be discussing how to develop your professional profile, so that you stand out against your competitors and you position yourself as the expert.
If this is the solution you need and you’re ready to take action, click on the button below.
Also, if you haven’t yet seen the sales funnel process in action, or want to learn more about it, go to this link. It’s pretty much the coolest thing since the cordless drill!