You might think marketing’s something reserved for big corporations, rather than local plumbing businesses. Large companies certainly have more money and employees behind their marketing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use some savvy marketing techniques of your own to win more plumbing jobs in 2020.
We highlight our top ten tips that can help you win more work in 2020, including several low-cost or free ideas that you can fit around your business.
1. Win more business from existing customers
Often the easiest work to win is from people you’ve already done work for. People buy from people they like and trust, so make sure whenever you interact with others you show off your best self. Quality customer service is a way of marketing you and your business to existing clients, so it’s you they think of when they next need work doing.
2. Make it easy for customers to remember you
Building on our first top tip, don’t assume people will remember you the next time they need a plumbing job doing, even if you’ve done work for them before. Make a habit of leaving a paper trail in the form of a few business cards (so they can pass them onto friends and family) or putting a branded sticker on their cylinder after you’ve serviced it. Use local businesses for your printing, as you never know who they may know in your area!
To make your business visually memorable, consider getting a simple logo printed or stitched onto polo shirts that you can wear as a uniform. Tie it all together by getting the same logo on your van to advertise your services wherever you go.
3. Consider where your ideal (new) customers hang out
Learning more about your ideal customer will help you figure out where to market your plumbing business to new customers. Think about what kind of profitable plumbing jobs you want to do, and where people who need those jobs are likely to hand out.
What age group do they fall into, where do they live, what types of places do they visit regularly, where do they shop, where do they get their news and entertainment from? What are they likely to be searching for online or on social media to find the services you want to provide?
There are loads of marketing ideas depending on who you want to reach – everything from targeting community groups, networking, writing a householder column for a local magazine or a guest blog for home improvements websites, to adverts (in print or online), business cards or flyers in places your ideal customers are to see them. We’ll talk about a few of these in turn.
4. Network with an end goal in mind
You might roll your eyes at the idea of networking but it’s not as awkward as you might think, and you don’t have to get suited and booted to sit in a gloomy hotel function room (although of course there are plenty of those type of networking events around!) Once you’ve figured out who your ideal customer is, think about how you can be in the same place as them – or the type of people they’re likely to be connected to – to start a conversation.
For example, if you service hot water cylinders on new housing estates, residents might have their own Community Group where they meet, or a Facebook page where they share recommendations for local tradespeople. You might want regular plumbing repair jobs from local letting agents; so what kind of networking events do they attend, or can you simply bob into their offices?
5. Make the most of your community
Make yourself a known figure in the local community and the plumbing community to up your profile. There are loads of options here, from entering local business awards to sponsoring a local sports team, becoming a regular member of a networking group, to being part of a local charitable project.
6. Make the most of social media
Having a presence online is an essential — and free — way to get more plumbing leads. Research shows that companies who show a bit of personality and create valuable content on social media tend to be more successful. This is particularly effective when customers are looking for a plumber because people want to know they can trust a tradesperson before they let them through the door!
7. Run a giveaway on Facebook
Everyone loves a freebie, so hosting a Facebook giveaway is another way to encourage people to like and follow your business Facebook page and get the word out there. You could offer something small like a gift voucher, or a free cylinder service. Just make sure it’s something you can afford to giveaway and that the winner agrees to some publicity photos you can use online or in the local paper!
For more social media tips, read our recent blog.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Don’t worry about doing everything yourself. England alone has 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships who can identify free training, funding and opportunities for qualifying businesses. Your local Chamber of Commerce website is also home to details of the training and resources available in your area for start-ups and growing businesses.
9. Stay in touch
Whilst we don’t encourage email spamming people, now you’ve got your customers you definitely want to keep them - or at least the ones that paid you promptly and were nice to deal with!
Ask your customers if and how they prefer to be contacted (this helps you comply with GDPR, and avoids wasted money on marketing they’re not interested in). Are they likely to discard leaflets or automatically delete emails without reading them? Would a text or Whatsapp, or even a good old-fashioned phone call reminder about their annual boiler or cylinder service be better?
10. Affiliate yourself with quality
Last but not least, customers want a plumber they can trust and being part of the Kingspan network will help build that loyalty with ease. Your affiliation with us will ensure that your clients comply with regulations and get top quality products that will last for years. Join the Kingspan Installer Network https://www.kingspan.com/gb/en-gb/products/hot-water-cylinders/kingspan-installer-network-kin