Jonny Lawrence, Logic4Training’s resident digital marketing expert, provides some tips on how you can win new work.
Winning work in 2016 is about more than just being skilled at your trade. The modern electrician needs to be professional, courteous to his/her customers and tech savvy – there’s a whole world of new business that can be accessed online, so having a good web presence and understanding social media will pay dividends. Sounds complicated? It needn’t be, some digital know-how and the right attitude will make for more work and improved working practices.
Logic4Training conducted a survey last year which shows that electricians are a tech savvy lot, with 83% of you accessing apps at work. Across the building services sector, 90% own a Smart Phone or Tablet, with 98% incorporating them as part of their job. Apart from using apps to ﬁnd out technical detail, there are a range of apps that can improve the administration side of your business and assist in how ‘professional’ you appear. We all hate paperwork, so why not get rid of it using the latest invoicing and time tracking applications.
“Logic4Training conducted a survey last year which shows that electricians are a tech savvy lot, with 83% of you accessing apps at work.”
Keep on track
Apps like Evernote, a digital notebook, allows users to store checklists, link, notes and even receipts which can then be accessed from any computer or Smart Phone. To keep on top of how long jobs are taking, which can be useful for accurate quotes and invoices, apps, such as Toggl are extremely useful and free!
Accounting admin is often the biggest headache, but one that’s very important if you want to get paid!The SmartTrade app is a free mobile payment app that also takes care of quotes, statements, receipts and much more. You can accept credit and debit cards wherever you are and there’s no need for any expensive card reader, no contract, no merchant account. In addition to this, SmartTrade also helps organise bookings and jobs, sends customised quotes, invoices and receipts and manages your accounts more efficiently.
By using accurate time tracking, digitised invoices and allowing for card payments, sole traders can now easily put in place the infrastructure more usually associated with larger organisation.
While Logic4Training survey also showed that electricians are leading the way when it comes to mobile friendly websites (a must for doing well in Google), in general, the building services sector is still slow to implement an ‘online shop front’.
Apart from the internet being the ‘go-to’ place to find out anything, modern customers want to research your firm prior to engaging your skills, looking for positive reviews and feedback.
Getting a website built is now easier and cheaper than ever before, with packages available from as little as £200. To make your website work effectively, you need to consider the following:
- Function: It needs to be easy to navigate, with contact details on every page. Don’t just presume visitors are going to land on the home page.
- Visuals: Take good quality photos of your jobs, to provide a quick and easy way to show your handy work.
- Mobile friendly: Something electricians are better at than most. This is essential to get good Google search rankings and to make sure visitors can view your site whatever internet enabled device they’re using.
- Get found: List yourself on Google Maps and use phrases relating to your locality – ‘electrician in Eastbourne’, for example.
- Keep content fresh: With new case studies and maybe a blog.
Once you’ve got a website sorted you can then tout your wares on social media. A game changer for small businesses, allowing them to reach vast amounts of people with the only cost involved being time. Links back to your site via social media also helps improve keyword ranking.
Apart from interacting with customers, social media platforms can be used to connect with other local businesses, keeping an eye on the competition while maintaining a presence in the community.
For electricians, Facebook is great for sharing pictures and chatting to customers – create a business page and get a few good reviews under your belt and your away. If you’re feeling creative, surveys, games and competitions can all help create interest and encourage more people to ‘like’ you.
Twitter is a good place to share content from your website, up to the minute pictures of your work, as well as relevant industry news, positioning you as a knowledgeable and helpful installer. Twitter and Facebook are both very interactive, so make sure you check in regularly to respond to questions and communicate with fellow installers and customers.
Logic4Training’s final point
With all this tech it can be easy to forget the importance of good old fashioned, customer service. Going that extra mile, being pleasant, courteous and helpful, will all assist in improved client relations. Referral is still a big source of work for most electricians, and the way to ensure this rests on customer service. With ‘word of mouth’ now taking place online too, through the countless review sites and social media, good customer service is more important than ever before – a few bad reviews can kill a business.