7 marketing ideas that will cost you little or nothing at all

When it comes to running a trade business, the saying is true – you have to spend money to make money. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee any particular marketing activity will work. The success of any particular marketing activity can depend on your trade type, servicing area and even just the way your marketing has been implemented. For this reason, we are massive fans of complementing larger cost marketing activities with ones that cost very little or nothing at all.

Here are 7 of our low, or no-cost marketing ideas, that’ll have you thinking “outside-the-box”. Is at least one of these ideas new to you?

#1 Industry referral networks

You know all too well how saturated the trade industry is with high-quality trade businesses. This presents a huge opportunity for you.

Establishing referral networks with non-competing businesses, such a construction company if you are a plumbing or electrical business etc., is a free method of gaining business. The best part about referral networks is that they are a win-win for everyone involved.

In addition to this, connecting with tradies in the same trade will allow you to collect the overflow from each other’s work. Our Lifestyle Tradie members are constantly posting in our exclusive member-only Facebook group when there are jobs available that they cannot complete themselves due to time restraints.

#2 Facebook community groups

Ever increasingly customers and business alike are using Facebook Community Groups to find and sell services. In the trade industry, there are hundreds of local groups that are often specific to trade.

These groups are an awesome way to find work by responding to customer requests. You can post photos of projects you are working on to advertise your business. Just ensure you read the rules of the group before posting.

#3 LinkedIn relationships

LinkedIn, traditionally being perceived as a corporate networking website often gets overlooked by tradies. However, your free LinkedIn profile enables you to establish relationships with customers and trade-related professionals in the industry.

When customers search online for your business your LinkedIn profile will show up. LinkedIn shows your career history, credentials, skill endorsements, business information and images of your work. Include a picture of yourself and you’ve got yourself one of the easiest forms of  credibility to grow your relationship with your customer.

Outside of customers, there is a large network of trade industry and other relevant industries present on LinkedIn. Connecting and developing a relationship with such people is beneficial for gaining new customers. For example, seeking and connecting with strata companies could potentially provide you with work..

Additionally, when you connect with people in the trade industry you will often be exposed to their content posts on industry trends, developments and ideas – including great marketing tips.

#4 Branding

Your branding is your most powerful marketing tools to attract customers and create brand recognition. Branded vehicles are a great way of doing this. If this is not in your budget yet, you can invest in other branded items, including:

  • Magnets to give to customers (people still stick them on their white fridge)
  • Stickers can be even more powerful by placing on hot water systems/switch boards. They are there for a lifetime!
  • Onsite Signage to place out the front of properties you are working on, such as long-term projects like renovations and construction
  • Information booklets to leave behind with customers. This is all about empowering the customer with knowledge to make a decisions.

#5 Customer referral campaign

Potential customers need a professional they can rely on and will often turn to their friends and families for referrals.

Because this social proof is so powerful you may want to develop a customer referral campaign incentivising people to tell their friends and family to use your service.

Once you have “wowed” the friend with your service, they are now your customer and you will additionally benefit from repeat business.

#6 Press release

Is your trade business doing something exciting? Have you recently been awarded a small business award? Are you helping out community groups? Or…Is there an inspirational success story behind your business journey?

If you are doing something noteworthy, it is likely that the media would love your story. Instead of paying for the media coverage, write and send out a press release to all your local papers. There is an art to this, but when one of their own stories falls through or if your story has sparked their interest, they may use it and you’ll receive free publicity. That’s thousands of dollars of free publicity for your business.

#7 Community sponsorship

Our last but not least marketing idea is community sponsorship. By sponsoring your local, football, netball, scouts or surf club you are tapping into large community of potential customers and doing good at the same time! Just be sure you have true exposure to the database of that group.

As I mentioned earlier, these 7 ideas are just some of many!

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.