How to grow your electrical business with smarter marketing

BUSINESS | October 2019

Are you looking for ways to make your electrical trade business stand out in the market and grow? Whether you’re a one man band or a team of 10, here are some marketing tips that will help your business to gain traction in the local market.

1. Get a decent website

A good-looking website is your digital business card. It shows you’re a credible business that’s serious about serving the local community.

You probably already have a website, but if it’s more than a few years old it could be time for a refresh. A really important reason to update your site is Google’s new attitude to sites that don’t adjust automatically to mobile phones. When you’re talking to your website company, you’ll find out that this type of website is known as ‘responsive’.

Switching to a responsive website doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many templates that could be adapted to an electrical business. If you go for a common platform like Word Press, you’ll find it’s easy to add and change content yourself.

Images are important for websites, so pay a professional photographer or find an enthusiastic friend with a fancy camera. Take pictures of your vans, people, equipment and anything else that could impress web visitors.

2. Make sure your website is SEO is on point

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It describes a series of things you can do to your website to encourage page one rankings for Google searches. The heart of SEO is a list of the key words and phrases that potential customers would probably use to find your website. So if you’re an electrical business in Rotorua, the list would probably include: electrician in Rotorua, Rotorua electrical, best electrician in Rotorua…and so on. These valuable words need to be woven into your website content. They should also be included in something called ‘meta data’, which is the heading and description you see in organic search results.

If it all sounds a bit headache-making, find a respected SEO company to optimise your website. There are many of them, but some are better than others. Check out reviews and ask other business people you know to give you a recommendation.

3. Load your website up with useful blogs

Winning the Google search game is easier if your website is full of valuable content that helps people. You don’t have to give away all your knowledge, but it can be helpful to demonstrate your skills and experience with true stories (i.e. case studies). For example: rewiring an old home, doing the electrics for a bathroom reno, installing heating, changing old lights to new LED and so on.

Now we know that electricians aren’t always novelists, so blog writing could be beyond your comfort zone. But there’s a fix for that; it’s called ‘get a copywriter’. Copywriters are people who write commercially, helping you to sell your services to would-be customers. They write ads, brochures, websites and blogs. To get a copywriter going with your blogs, you just need to download your thoughts as a conversation while they take notes. The copywriter will turn your stories into blogs that will add more power to your website.

4. Get your business onto Google Maps

Getting into Google’s local map listings is hugely valuable and it’s free! Once it’s set up, your Google Business Profile is working every day to attract new customers to your business. To get started, just search on Google My Business then follow the instructions. It helps to have some attractive pictures of your logo, vehicles and people.

5. Link to your blog posts from social media

To drive potential customers to your blogs (and your website), you can link to your latest posts from Facebook and Twitter. But first you need to set up a Facebook page and Twitter profile for your business. Don’t be shy. Building a business requires enthusiastic self-promotion. You need to become a proud tall poppy in the electrical sector.

6. Run a Google Ads campaign

When you do any kind of Google search, the results will almost always have Google Ads at the start and finish. You can tell they’re ads by the little box below the heading that says ‘Ad’. If you want to see who’s using Google Ads in your area, try searching ‘electrician in [your town]’. It’s likely there will be several electrical businesses in your area who are short-cutting the search process by using Google Ads. You can join them by learning to use Google Ads and running your own campaign or by handing the job over to a Google Ads expert.

Google Ads make it easy to control how much you spend in a week. You only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad and you can set a daily budget. When the budget’s gone, your ad will no longer be served up in results.

For a competitive industry like the electrical trade, Google Ads can sometimes be the only way to get onto page one of search results.

7. Have a brand refresh

Logos are like tyres; they don’t last forever. We’re not suggesting you get a whole new business name, because that would be like starting from scratch, but it’s a good idea to refresh the look of your logo every 10 years or so.

If you don’t know a graphic designer, ask around for some recommendations or do a web search. Look for ‘brand designer’ too, because your logo is a key part of your business brand.

A good designer will evolve your old logo into something more contemporary and eye-catching. Once you’re happy, your new branding can be applied to your website, business cards, vehicles, team uniforms and business stationery. And don’t forget your signage! A branded billboard that advertises your business is a great way to capture interest from passing traffic and pedestrians.

8. Use your email database

Do you have a database of customers? Or to be more specific, do you have a database of customers’ email addresses? We hope so, because it’s an incredibly powerful marketing tool.

With a platform like Mail Chimp, you can use your database to get in front of existing customers regularly. You don’t want to drive them up the wall with your communications, so make sure your news is useful to them. For example, you could: offer free electric blanket testing, tell them about a recent project that you’re proud of, provide tips about electrical safety, introduce new team members, and offer ideas about cost-effective heating, lighting and cooling. It will all help to keep customers loyal and drive repeat business.

9. Make a video or two about your business

Having a video on the home page of your website is another way to help your electrical business get noticed by Google and by potential customers who find your site. You can also put your video on You Tube.

Videos can take various forms:

  • A company profile that explains who you are, what your company is good at and why customers like working with you.
  • Customer endorsement videos, where you put a happy customer in front of the camera and ask them to provide a testimonial.
  • Tip videos that help people with everyday electrical issues, like how to reset a circuit breaker and how to avoid electrical socket overloading.
  • Home improvement tips that will drive work your way, like switching to LEDs, adding extra electrical outlets, installing an EV charger in the garage, installing security lights…the list goes on.
  • A ‘meet the team’ video, so that customers feel comfortable will letting your people into their homes.

Video production doesn’t have to be super-slick. You can simply use your phone to do the filming, however it’s a good idea to download some editing software to tie it all together. Remember to add some music for the professional touch. It’s also good to put your logo at front and back, for brand awareness. Take a cruise around You Tube to see what other businesses are doing to promote themselves with video.

10. Encourage your happy customers to do a Google review

Online reviews are powerful endorsements for your electrical business. They show the world that you’re a trusted supplier and they can give you an edge over your competition. Ideally you want honest, positive reviews. One way to make that happen is to invite favourite customers to submit a Google review. You can do this by email, just be sure to include a link to your Google profile review form, so that they can click straight through. Note: the customer needs to have a Google login to do this.

To find your review link, go to your Google profile and click on the ‘write a review’ button beneath your listing. A form will pop up. Copy the URL (web address) in the nav bar and use it to make a hyperlink in your customer email.

Getting your business insured

Whatever business insurance you need, State has got you covered:

  • Business Liability - Covers you for legal liability for accidental damage to someone else’s property and/or injury to another person.
  • Business Vehicle - No matter if it’s a beamer or beater, business vehicle insurance covers it for theft, accidental damage and liability.
  • Business Assets - Our Material Damage and Mobile Business Assets policies cover the tools in your business, the stock on your shelves, and building you own.