Professional Electrician’s Ruth Williams visits YouTube Vlogger and NICEIC Approved Contractor Thomas Nagy to find out just how big a role social media is playing in the Electrical Industry.
Meeting up with Thomas in a lively coffee shop along Hampstead High Street is a far cry from the coastal scenes of Devon where he grew up. From starting out his four-year apprenticeship at the age of 15 and giving up his short lived job as an engineer, Thomas made the move to London to run his own electrical firm back in 2007.
“In Devon, working on day rate was really tough. Although you had work, it was constantly a battle. You were earning enough money to get by but that’s all you were doing”, he says.
“Having said that, there are other sparks out there based in Devon who earn more than I did and I think it just boils back down to ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know’, which is where the inspiration behind my YouTube Channel came from”.
Thomas’ YouTube Channel, which features interesting and topical videos relating to life as a ‘spark’ and the challenges they face, now boasts a following of 43,000 subscribers and serves a triple purpose: acting as a promotional tool for Thomas’ business, offering useful tips and advice to electricians and building a community of like-minded professionals.
Despite the all too common issue of keyboard warriors having their say, Thomas isn’t distracted from the channel’s function: “Generally, if you ask electricians to show you photos of bad work they will happily do it, if you were then to ask electricians to show you photos of their own work suddenly the response rate skews an awful lot – people aren’t prepared to do it because of the criticism they receive”.
“You learn from other people and there are times my subscribers offer me an alternative way of thinking that is a quicker and better way of working and vice versa. It’s about having a platform where you can communicate honestly”.
Indeed, such honesty is one of the major factors that Thomas accredits the success of his channel to: “I’m very up front that I do not know everything and I don’t think there is an electrician out there that can know everything. I’m sure there are a lot of people that will dig at me for claiming that but equally, there are a lot of people that appreciate it.
Another element that Thomas feels has added to the channel’s success is the flexibility of working for himself: “I’m my own boss – I like my own freedom, I work in my own time and it’s my own choice. It has its downsides because if you don’t earn any money it’s your own fault and you have to be able to manage your own time, but I love it!”
So what does Thomas think can be done to help more small and medium businesses prosper in the electrical industry? “Digital marketing is growing and that is the direction the world is heading in,” he answers, “but word of mouth and good customer service is still very important – the majority of my work comes from referrals. It’s a monopoly of things but digital branding and word of mouth are interlinked because word of mouth gives your branding the credentials it needs”.
So what are Thomas’ plans for the future? “I’ll keep doing this!” he states. “I have no desire to change jobs and the YouTube channel will keep on going. No doubt I’ll still get haters and keyboard warriors but my skin will just continue to get thicker at the same time!”
You can view Thomas’ videos and subscribe to his YouTube channel by clicking here.