Marketing Your Trade Business

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Stu Clark, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Stu Clark

    Stu Clark UKBF Newcomer

    4 0
    Hello everyone

    I’d like to discuss ways in which other trades men & women have marketed their company, whether they’re looking for advice or have some advice on how they’ve succeeded.

    Would be really good to help other trades with their business.

    I run a company called The Successful Tradesman but I’m also a time served plumber who specialised in bathroom renovations. I’ve done the whole lonely sole trader thing and I’ve also ran companies with over 30 staff. Now my aim is to help other tradies market their business successfully.

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to join me in discussion.

    Stu
     
    Posted: Jan 14, 2021 By: Stu Clark Member since: Jan 14, 2021
    #1
  2. intheTRADE

    intheTRADE Contributor

    505 184
    I don't mean to sound blunt but the last thing you are doing is helping other trades by charging £660 to create a website on a DIY website builder that is available to everyone.

    To add to that, that website builder is Wix which is not only notoriously slow (like your own website and those that you showcase) but it is absolutely terrible for SEO and you will never rank anyone's website just like you haven't ranked your own plumbing website.

    Domain and Email Management for £350 per year? do you mean £35? I really hope you do.

    You seem to say all the right things under SEO Services on your website but haven't implemented any of that on your own plumbing website so I am sceptical straight away so I can only assume you have copy and pasted that service copy from another source

    I've no doubt you have good intentions and genuinely want to help other trades but it is clear you have absolutely no web design or SEO experience, training or qualifications so you will do more harm than good. It's like a non Gas Safe Registered engineer carrying out a boiler installation - It will go wrong and be a shoddy job.
     
    Posted: Jan 14, 2021 By: intheTRADE Member since: Apr 14, 2019
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  3. Stu Clark

    Stu Clark UKBF Newcomer

    4 0

    Hello,

    Thanks for taking your time to check out my site and services, I appreciate your feedback, although that wasn't really what I was aiming for when I started this thread.

    I understand what you're saying about Wix, if it's not utilised correctly it can be very slow, the developers have improved its SEO abilities in the last couple of years though, the reputation it has for being poor at SEO was from results a few years back. The main reason a lot of Wix websites don't perform very well is they are built by inexperienced people who aren't sure what they're doing, as is the problem with all things that are DIY.

    Even the mighty Wordpress is free. The main reason I use Wix is its easy for a novice to edit it if they don't want to pay me or someone else to do it for them. It's not like Wordpress where you can break the site easily if you don't know what you're doing.

    To use another plumbing analogy, Wix is like speed fit. It's available to everyone who wants to try and give it a go, but only a professional can make it look good.

    From my experience, most tradesmen don't want to pay someone month after month and a lot of "marketing consultants & SEO specialists" that I've dealt with over the years don't do what they say they're going to do and have no clue about the trade industry, so they're using marketing techniques that aren't relevant or don't work. Can you imagine a blog post about plumbing or electrics written by someone who has no idea what on about would look like to a reader?

    Domain and email management, yes £350 a year. A domain costs £20-30 and an email account between £80-120, so I understand that if you were to go and buy it yourself that would only cost £150. But am I not allowed to earn a living and charge for a service I provide? do you really see that £200 a year being such a rip off, when you know that it initially takes an hour to set everything up, then there are going to be multiple times throughout the year where I'm going to have to manage the account for one reason or another.

    My own plumbing website has been live for about a year and the rankings are growing steadily month by month, My Plumbing Report is landing on page 1 of Google depending on your area as it's a small niche. I have not put the time or effort into my plumbing website because I haven't needed to, I've no desire to grow that business or gain more customers because it's not my main area of income.

    This is a new venture for me, on the back of training courses and experience running and managing my own and other businesses (including their websites) that I've previously worked with.

    In what way do you think that your above comments are actually helping anyone?

    I understand these forums give someone a way to discuss things without anyone know who they are (I mean you haven't even said your name) but this thread has all intentions to help other tradesmen and women out, by answering questions and discussing different ways to build their business.

    How do you feel you have contributed to that?

    Cheers,

    Stu
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2021 By: Stu Clark Member since: Jan 14, 2021
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    Your numbers are wrong. Hosting is cheap as chips and includes email. Wix is still terrible no matter what you do with it.

    For local tradesmen GMB and referrals will achieve far more than a wix website.
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  5. Stu Clark

    Stu Clark UKBF Newcomer

    4 0
    Hosting with popular sites such as Flywheel or Siteground will still cost you £30 a month, plus domain and email. So no, it's not cheaper than using Wix to host and Godaddy or Google for domains which is what I do. It's a similar cost no matter which way you look at it. All I'm doing is adding a management fee on top for those people who don't want to deal with it themselves.

    What your insinuating is that I do the work for someone and only charge them what it cost me. So in a trade sense, you're installing a boiler and not putting a labour charge on top. So you're not making any money. Are you even in business?

    Yes, I completely agree with you that GMB listings and referrals work very well, if you'd read my article on Marketing tips for tradesmen on my website you would see that SEO work is at the bottom of that list because there is a lot more that you can do before you get to this point. I know how important GMB is, that's why I include it in my SEO packages as standard and have a standalone service for it.

    Your GMB ranking isn't only based on NAP and citations though, Google still takes into account whether or not you have a website and how relevant it is to your niche. If you don't have a website or its a very bad one your local listing will also be affected.

    My reasoning for promoting SEO is simple, although it's a long term strategy it has the best results. For example, when I was at the top of Checkatrade I was getting between 80-100 people viewing my profile a month. You look at the number one organic spot on Google for a plumber in Bristol and they're getting over 4000 viewers a month organically. That's a huge difference!

    It's not for everyone, it's for people who want to increase their website traffic and grow their business. Not to simply survive.

    Stu
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2021 By: Stu Clark Member since: Jan 14, 2021
    #5
  6. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    You are looking at the wrong hosting. You can get decent hosting with email, ssl and cPanel for far less than that. Using godaddy or google for anything is just wrong.

    A local plumber doesn’t need hundreds of visitors per day. All they need is one converting lead per day. You can do this with GMB and a smattering of directory listings. Don’t even need a website.
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Stu Clark

    Stu Clark UKBF Newcomer

    4 0
    Yeah, but your still referring to Wordpress that is difficult to edit if you don't know what you're doing. That's why I prefer Wix as it's easier for clients to edit their website without the risk of them breaking it. I appreciate what you're saying, Wordpress does have the better reputation for SEO, but for something simple like a brochure site & blog which is really all a tradesman needs, it's easier to not over complicate it.

    And it really depends on the size of the company you're referring to. A small, one-man band local plumber doesn't need a lot of visitors, they need a platform that gets them work and keeps them busy. But from experience, the minute you start employing people and growing your company you need other avenues to get clients, you can't rely on referrals when you have not only yours, but other peoples lively hoods to consider.

    A website also gives you that professional edge when people do find you on sites such as Checkatrade. People are more likely to contact you if they see that you have a website as it confirms in their mind that you're a local business.

    It really all depends on the individual and what they're planning on doing with their company.

    The whole point of this thread wasn't really to discuss SEO or websites. It was to discuss with other tradesmen & women how they've successfully marketed their business and whether they have any tips or advice to other tradesmen & women about how they can do the same.

    Cheers,

    Stu
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2021 By: Stu Clark Member since: Jan 14, 2021
    #7
  8. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    It’s very difficult to break Wordpress. As a site admin you can lock everything down so the plumber or whoever only has author access.

    I answered your question: GMB and referrals. Checkatrade and similar aren’t trusted so much these days. Nextdoor works really well as does panel wrapping your van. A website usually comes bottom of the list.
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #8
  9. Chris Hanson

    Chris Hanson Full Member

    7 0
    Facebook is to be a great way to be in touch with customers, we still leaflet drop the vicinity we have worked in as neighbours do talk and pass on referrals.
     
    Posted: Mar 26, 2021 By: Chris Hanson Member since: Dec 1, 2020
    #9
  10. msec

    msec UKBF Newcomer

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    This comment is incredibly ignorant. The skill isn't in the technical building of the website, the skill is in building a website that can convert visitors into customers for a trade business. I built an electrical and plumbing business from scratch to 5 figures a month using nothing but Wix. The key was in the design and optimisation of the site to convert, not in the platform it was built on. Anyone can build a website now, but not anyone can sell trade services via the media of a website. THAT takes skill, experience and a lot of trial and error that can't be bought or taught.

    £660? The tradesman will make that money back in his first 1-2 jobs! From then on it's pure profit. With my experience, I could set up a website and a system of driving traffic that could easily produce £5 - £10k a month profit tomorrow. You think I'm going to charge £660 for that? No. And neither should the poster.

    Training and qualifications? Not necessary. And I don't say that lightly, I say it from 15 years marketing experience trying every single thing you can possibly imagine. The most successful web designers and builders have a marketing focused approach, not a technical one. There are far more 'qualifed' web designers out there relying on the general ignorance of business owners than there are ones who actually know how to get results and are willing to be held accountable. If I wanted a website for my trade business, I'd much rather go with someone who knew first hand how to sell trade services to the public than a millenial who either wants to show me his creative skills or how great he is at coding.

    Your Gas Engineer analogy also isn't apt. Building a website doesn't take practical skill, and no-one's going to die if a website doesn't convert!
     
    Posted: Jun 7, 2021 By: msec Member since: Jan 30, 2013
    #10
  11. intheTRADE

    intheTRADE Contributor

    505 184
    Ignorant or the truth?

    I am dubious. What is the link to the website?

    Not from leads to a Wix website they won't

    I presume you are sitting on a beach retired now the after 15 years of building these websites and the thousands of customers you have who have paid for them?

    It's incredibly apt! No one will die, but the business will
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2021 By: intheTRADE Member since: Apr 14, 2019
    #11
  12. msec

    msec UKBF Newcomer

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    Ignorant. Please don't make me repeat myself, it's tiresome.


    I sold the business in 2017. I'm not sure they even have a website now. Irregardless, be as dubious as you like. When you don't know what you're talking about I'm sure everything sounds dubious. Posting a link so we can endlessly go for tit for tat on points I've already addressed is a pointless excercise anyway. If it makes you feel any better, the site was built on Wordpress at the time I sold the business.

    Yes they will. I don't need you to confirm this, I've already done it repeatedly. As I've already said, the platform is largely irrelevent if the site is optmised to convert and the marketing is effective. If you're going to offer opinion, at least offer some reasoning behind it so I don't have to keep repeating myself.

    No, I'm sitting in my kitchen eating bacon and eggs. After I sold my electrical and plumbing business, I then sold the marketing and publishing business that I'd built alongside it. I now live off property investments.

    Having said that, I find your assertion that I somehow need to be the next Richard Branson to validate my opinon as bordering on ridiculous. Especially as you haven't offered any reasoning behind your own opinions other than 'you're wrong'. Even if I was still working on the tools in my original business, my opinion would still be formed from first hand experience and still be correct.


    I know successful businesses that have no online presence whatsoever. If you think a business will die because it's website was built on a Wix platform, you are absolutely clueless. Again, I don't need your confirmation of this, I've done it first hand. I was at 4 staff and 2 vans before we even thought about Wordpress. Your knowledge of both marketing and what it takes to grow a business is so fundamentally flawed it's not even funny.
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2021 By: msec Member since: Jan 30, 2013
    #12
  13. Ozzy

    Ozzy Founder of UKBF UKBF Staff
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    Sometimes it’s good to agree to disagree.
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2021 By: Ozzy Member since: Feb 9, 2003
    #13
  14. msec

    msec UKBF Newcomer

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    No wonder sites like this have no practical purpose if you actually want to grow a business.
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2021 By: msec Member since: Jan 30, 2013
    #14
  15. Ozzy

    Ozzy Founder of UKBF UKBF Staff
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    I’m not sure why you come back with that statement. I was looking to stem something escalating into personal comments and a circular argument.
    Sites like this help many people in their business, and I’m pleased to say has quite a library of testimonials.
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2021 By: Ozzy Member since: Feb 9, 2003
    #15