Growth Tips for Trade Professionals and Contractors: How to Build Your Online Presence
Updated: Jan 6
No matter what industry you work in, websites and social media have become essential components of marketing strategy, credibility, and networking. While word of mouth and physical advertisements used to be the preferred methods of bringing awareness to your business and brand, the digital age now demands an active website or other online presence, and not having even your most basic information on the web is a lost revenue opportunity.
When consumers need a product or service, they will immediately go to a search engine, making a website, Instagram, or Facebook page a key first point of contact. However, there are still a number of industries that don’t emphasize the need to invest time and effort in building an online presence for your particular business. In this new blog series, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of those specific industries and presenting the most important reasons why a website, social media pages, and digital marketing campaigns are now crucial for your business’ future success. This week, we’re beginning with a deep dive into the trades and contracting industry.
Your Online Business Card
Professionals in trades and contracting have long relied on in-person interaction to convey information about their services. The norm used to be handing out a business card with all your information on it, and while that practice still applies, your in-person conversations should also feature the phrase, “you can check out my website.” When you build a website for your contracting or trade business, it has the ability to act as your digital business card, a quick sales pitch, and even a portfolio of your best work. Physical business cards are easily misplaced or thrown out, but a website or social media account will always be there for your clients, so long as you keep it updated, of course.
Many new builders are entering the industry with a dedicated website anyway, so your established company that has been in business for years can’t risk getting left behind. As mentioned, word of mouth networking has proven to be effective in the past, but conducting your business only in that way can be limiting for your long term growth. If you plan on expanding your business to new clients, a professional website is certainly worth your time.
Generate More Leads
Websites are a foundational part of online advertisement, and when they are used effectively with social media and digital marketing strategies, your chances of lead generation significantly increase. If you specialize in a trade, contracting, or other related field, your website can become a point of intake for quotes and queries even when you are out of the office or away from a building site. It’s almost as if a website puts you in two places at once, and you never miss an opportunity for a new project.
It is also important to leverage your website through social media and any digital marketing campaigns. While potential clients can reach out via a direct message on social media if you pique their interest with a post, you should still be directing them to your website so you can capture a request for a quote. You might start posting images of previous projects on Instagram to establish your social media presence, but you should include some phrasing in every caption or graphic that urges your viewer to go to your website to learn more or submit a request for a quote.
Boost Your Credibility
When you use a search engine to look up a trade or contracting service, like “tiling contractors” or “insulation contractors,” most of the time a list of nearby companies pops up at the top of the results page (pictured right; courtesy of Google Ads Help). These listings are known as Google Local Search Ads, and believe it or not, they only work if your company has a credible and professional-looking website.
Local search ads offer a number of benefits to the businesses that use this service, including more store visits, more calls, and linking to the business’ website and location page. Google charges a standard cost-per-click (CPC) for local search ads, such as get location detail clicks, get direction clicks, mobile clicks-to-call clicks, and website clicks. However, this service is well worth the investment for your business since it immediately puts your website in view of a curious browser.
Attract New Talent
Beyond the credibility a website demonstrates for local search ads and broader search engine optimization (SEO), you also impact both your new and existing clients. As much as the “I know a guy” mentality has prevailed in trades and contracting, an element of pride for your work comes through with a sleek and streamlined website, and future clients, whether or not they are recommended by one of your current clients, are likely to take you more seriously. A website helps put a face to your company when you’re recommended by word of mouth, and clients won’t need to jump through hoops to find you.
The credibility of your website also extends to future employees and building partners. New builders are going online to scope out potential contractors and tradespeople for their upcoming projects, and a website certainly helps them make those decisions quickly. Contracting and trades are just as competitive as any other field, and it is important to attract and connect with talent. Likewise, a professional website will draw in high-quality candidates who identify with your brand, which lets you focus more on your projects and less on regrettable hiring decisions.
Showcase Your Success
We often hear the phrase “show, don’t tell” in creative writing and the arts, but that principle also applies to other fields, including trades and contracting. Websites and social media thrive on images as much as they do on text, and you can strategically use both platforms to showcase your prior successful projects and clearly convey the quality of your handiwork. A photo gallery on your website or carousel postings on Instagram can virtually take your potential clients through a past project from start to finish and show your company’s professionalism and expertise. Before-and-after photos are an especially powerful way to show the quality work your team has completed in the past and is committed to reproducing in future projects.
A Sample Website You Can Check Out!
Modern Corporation Co. is a full-service licensed contractor based in Hamilton, Ont. and provides services to the surrounding areas of the city, including Ancaster, Dundas, Stoney Creek, Burlington, and the GTA. Their quality workmanship and customer service are showcased across the many pages of their website, and their site puts all of the above suggestions to use for an effective and powerful online presence.
If you are in the trades and/or contracting industry and would like to begin building your own website, please reach out to the CodeMasters Inc. team to set up a consultation and discuss your needs and ideas.