For the entrepreneurial plumber looking for the best ways to maximise return on investment for their marketing, there is a wide range of ways to promote your business for free.
Ranging from social media sites to making sure your vehicles and uniforms carry information about your business, there are many examples of how to get the message out to potential customers.
This post provides an overview of various methods available and those planning to use social media to attract more custom may also want to read another blog on our site that tackles this issue in particular.
Customer awareness is vital for a plumbing firm and while word of mouth and paid advertising or leaflets can attract business, it is important to look at the more innovative options that are available. The added advantage of those detailed here is that not only can they work, but they are free!
In a competitive field, plumbers can stand out from the crowd by marketing themselves more effectively than their rivals.
Branding and logo
Make sure you create immediate recognition by choosing an effective and eye-catching logo and name. By generating a positive and memorable image, you can ensure that people locally think of you when they require a plumber.
The logo and branding can be included on cards, vehicles, uniforms and anything else you use as part of your business. It costs nothing to ensure that wherever you and your equipment are seen, they are marketing your company.
Make sure anything you brand has clear, accurate details such as phone number, email address and even possibly a QR code linking to your website.
On the subject of websites, it is now possible to get hold of free or very low-cost web space and create your own portal with a small number of pages and essential information for customers. These can include testimonials, logos, details of services and contact information.
Content on the internet should be regularly updated and include search terms relating to plumbing and the area in which you operate, so that it is easy to find. Starting a blog can also mean that customers visit your site more often.
As well as creating your own website, why not also look into listing your business on free sites in order to drum up some extra revenue? Large and well-used directories such as Yell, Google Places, Yelp, Yahoo and Business Spread are free to submit to and can generate good leads.
Word of mouth
Make sure you do a good job for clients and they will repay you many times over in the plumbing business. Word of mouth is one of your most effective marketing tools and requires very little work on your part, as your advocates will do most of it for you.
If people are really pleased with your work, ask them to recommend you to friends and family, giving them business cards to hand out and asking them for a testimonial. By effectively tapping into the valuable resource that is happy customers, you can gain more and more referrals.
References from existing customers and even asking for their phone numbers if they are happy to talk about their experience using your plumbing services can improve your offering and remember to take photos of good work to share with potential customers.
As more and more people turn to social media not only to connect with friends and family but for business information and offers, sites such as Twitter and Facebook can provide you with access to a wealth of possible customers.
Using location details or hashtags that will appeal to those living locally can assist them in finding you and ensure that plumbers can connect regularly with their customer base, provide updates and advice, and give those who like or follow their postings with special offers.
Engaging posts and interesting content - including photos giving examples of your work - that goes beyond simply promoting your business can ensure you build a relationship with clients.
Identify your customer base and your differentiators
Know your customer base and be aware of the best channels to reach them. Make sure they are able to contact you when they need plumbing services.
Be aware of how you differ from the competition and exploit these differences. Make sure you get the message out about them by telling people, advertising them and tapping into local media where possible.
Get involved in the local community
If you join local groups or organisations and become active within the local community then you will become better known and access new opportunities for networking. Doing small jobs for local groups in kind can also provide you with new customers and chances to showcase examples of your work.