The simpler days of placing an ad in the Yellow Pages and watching as business flows in are disappearing.
These days, the real war for the customer’s attention is taking place online. Battles are waged across the web, most notably on search engines, websites, online directories and social media. As a modern handyman professional, your business depends on your ability to market yourself on each of these mediums.
While it might seem obvious to have an online presence, the reality is that it’s much more than simply an Angie’s List listing and a single-page site. Today’s consumers demand a dynamic web presence and corresponding social media channels that are current and engaging.
Building your online presence may feel daunting, but the rewards for doing so correctly cannot be overstated. Here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.
Start With a Website
Websites for handyman businesses are just as important as exterior signage for a brick-and-mortar business. Your website should look clean and well constructed. It should also be easy to follow and pertinent information should be easy to access.
Most importantly, ensure your contact information is easy to find and available on multiple pages. This may seem trivial, but a customer’s ability to find your phone number and email may make or break their decision to get in touch with you. The web is all about convenience, so make sure your website reflects that.
Imagine a satisfied customer recommends your services to his or her neighbor. The neighbor is looking for confirmation that your business is legitimate and that your services align with his or her needs. This is where your well designed website comes in.
It’s important to keep in mind that potential customers are judging the quality of your business based on the quality of your online presence, so present them with a website that indicates you are a professional.
You may not know how to put a website together, and that’s fine. There are plenty of options, from building the site through an easy-to-use platform such as Wordpress or Wix or hiring a web designer to take care of the whole process for you.
Many consumers do business on their smartphones – especially when they’re considering emergency remodeling. Make sure that your site flows well on a mobile platform.
Stay Active on Social Media
With so much going on day-to-day, it might seem like a chore to go online and engage with your intended audience and customers via social media, but the importance of it cannot be stressed enough. Keep in mind that customers respond well to a consistent, professional voice.
Think of your customers as window shoppers – when they’re online, they’re shopping, so it benefits you to treat their surfing as an interview of sorts. Post relevant updates to your channels – for example, home care tips that situate your business as the influencer. Post updates on your business, but take care not to sound too promotional as that can turn off potential customers as well.
When in doubt, consider what you respond well to and replicate that on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Market your Business on Online Directories
Between Angie’s List, Google Places, Yellow Pages and Yahoo! Local, there are many popular online directories that help the discerning consumer decide where to take their business. And in the age of digital reviews, the good comes with the bad. First, the good – satisfied customers can quickly and efficiently share their positive experiences with your business. On the other hand, a negative experience can be brought to light in a very public way as well.
Embrace bad reviews in moderation – unfortunately, they happen, but do everything you can to make it right and take the conversation offline to solve the problem. Respond to all reviews – positive and negative – quickly and publicly. You can set up a Google alert to send you an email when a new review is published that can streamline this process.
On the listing, add as much information about your business as possible. Customers don’t want to have to work hard to find important details – these sites exist as a sort of one-stop shop for all their needs.
In addition, ensure that your listing is well written, grammatically correct, and easy to navigate.
With so much of the handyman industry going digital, changes can be confusing and frustrating. Remember to keep your listings simple, clean, well written and positive – customers are already online, so do everything in your power to help your brand stand out.