The internet age has opened up a whole raft of opportunities for electrical trades businesses in terms of low cost/no cost marketing, to the extent that if you're not getting involved online in at least a small way, you stand a real chance of being left behind.
While it's obviously important to prioritise and take care of your core services first, reserving some time to spread your business across the web can pay substantial dividends too.
It doesn't have to involve direct selling either. Through a process known as content marketing, you can become known as a knowledgeable practitioner who can be relied upon to do things right, the first time.
Industry expert Doug Chandler agrees that electrical contractors and electricians can't afford to adopt a “wait and let's see” approach.
“The industry's embrace of electronic communication and social media as a way to replace or augment more traditional means of getting information to existing and potential customers has trailed only a short distance behind other markets, if at all,” he explains in an article on the Electrical Wholesaling website.
“Why? It's how people want to learn about new products, for one thing. For another, the technology has become good enough that refusing to use it puts your company at a competitive disadvantage.”
“Most people have become more dependent on the internet for their information”, marketing project manager Richard Fernandez writes on the Signsland website.
“Whether it is a general contractor or a home-owner, most folks will first go to the web in order to find their next electrician.”
Fernandez says one of the best ways for an electrician to “define his niche and put his expertise on display” is through blogging.
“A blog will accomplish a few things,” he says. “It will allow the electrician to give out free information that can be of use to potential clients. Depending on the market focus, the blog can be a place where the electrician relates stories of overcoming tough situations and providing a viable solution.”
“Above all else, it will let prospective customers see that there is a real person driving this business and it is not just a faceless website.”
“Forums are also good for raising your profile as a domestic or commercial electrician, and if you can find ones focused on your geographical area then all the better,” marketing blogger Jamie Fairbairn advises in an article on the Ezine Articles website.
“Having a PDF guide to basic electrical safety in the home or workplace for people to download will give you more kudos.”
“If there are any small electrical jobs around the home you wouldn't normally do, like changing a plug, you could make your own video to show others how to do it safely,” Fairbairn says.
“Don't leave your website to go stale; either write some articles/tips yourself or pay someone to do it. Many electricians' websites never get updated so you can gain an advantage over your competitors.”