It's no secret that the plumbing industry can be a competitive one. If you're not battling with other firms to get your costs down, you're trying to convince wary customers that you're not about to rip them off.
However, these hurdles can be overcome and - thanks to social media - you can even reach out to potential clients like never before. If you haven't already dabbled in Twitter and the like, maybe it's time you gave it a go.
What do I need to do?
If you do decide to take the plunge, then the first thing you need to be aware of is that you need to be committed to the cause.
Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as opening a social media account and seeing the jobs roll in. You have to invest your time into growing your presence on this platform and encourage people to follow you.
To achieve this, you have to give them a reason to be interested in you. Whether it's by regularly posting special offers or interesting/funny content, having an account that people actively want to keep tabs on can be an incredibly valuable asset.
One of the biggest benefits of social media is that it enables an audience to engage with businesses on a level like never before. However, with great power comes great responsibility - and if someone does contact you with a query or a complaint on this medium, you need to be seen to be responding to them in a suitable manner.
With this in mind, you need to manage your account closely, especially if someone is not happy with the service they have received and have chosen to vent their frustration at your social media presence. A delay in replying to them - even if it's just to reassure them that you've acknowledged their message and will be in touch shortly - is only likely to enrage them further.
How can I use social media to promote my business?
Above all else, you need to ensure your account contains your contact details somewhere on your page. If you have created an account to generate business, then forgetting to include this information represents dropping a rather large clanger!
With much emphasis on images on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using photos of some of the successful jobs you have completed is a perfect way to promote the quality of the work you carry out.
Of course, you need to make sure you get permission from the customer first, as this could otherwise potentially lead to an awkward situation if they are unhappy with their bathroom being used as an advert without their knowledge.
However, if they are happy for you to proceed, then this could be an ideal approach to show the world what you can do - especially if you remember to take a photo of what the bathroom was like before you started so your audience can compare.
One question many people are advised to ask their plumber before starting a job is whether or not they can provide references to confirm they are not a rogue tradesperson and this approach can answer this question easily and effectively.
You may also find potential customers getting in touch with you after being inspired by one of the photographs you've uploaded and wanting something similar for themselves.
Another way of promoting yourself in this way is asking your customers if they have their own accounts on social media that you can give a mention to when a job is completed. Everyone likes getting a bit of attention - and they could be encouraged to spread the message within their own circle of friends and family, ensuring you really benefit from the digital age's version of 'word of mouth' referrals.
So, if you haven't tried it yet - give it a go! It doesn't cost a penny and you could really end up reaping the rewards as a result.