Whether you’ve been in the electrical industry as a business owner for years or still building your business on the side of a full time job, generating leads is the lifeblood of your business. Without a solid and consistent flow of leads you wont be in business long.
It takes time to build this consistent work flow and the level of work required to establish this is quite often underestimated.
But there are proven strategies you can use to speed this process up. These strategies still require effort and commitment on your end but if implemented will absolutely pay off.
Business cards and flyers
Let’s start with a strategy with a low barrier to entry, meaning low cost but it takes a little more effort and time on your end.
Business cards and some form of promotional flyer is an absolute must for trade business owners. Your business will likely be targeting the local market which means you can use physical promotional material to get your name out there. Business cards and flyers can be created through Vistaprint for an extremely low cost.
Once you have these its time to get out there. Part of becoming a business owner is getting used to being uncomfortable so start dropping your cards and flyers into local homes, go door knocking local businesses and start building relationships
Your network is the most important asset you have in business so use this opportunity to spread the word about your business and also build your network.
Leverage your current network
As I touched on in strategy one, your network is an extremely valuable asset to your business and even if you don’t know many people, I can guarantee once you sit down and start brainstorming people you know you will come up with a list of people who would benefit from your services
Start reaching out to these people but rather than going for the hard sell, you just want to have a friendly chat and let them know you’re in business and what you offer. This will plant a seed and when the time comes that they need your services you’ll be the first person they call
Remember building relationships is important so stay in contact with these people and offer help where you can. Your network will become a huge source of referrals which are the absolute best leads your business can get
Contact local retailers
This was a game changer for my business. As soon as we took our focus off targeting single homes or home owners and focused on spending our time reaching out to large retailers or businesses that sold products we could install our business levelled up fast.
This method takes a little more time and effort to build that relationship but when you get it you can avoid paid marketing and get free ongoing leads as long as that relationship is maintained.
Often this strategy requires some social proof that your business is a good fit for their business but if you have been asking your current customers for reviews this shouldn’t be a problem. Position your business so these retailers are confident you can provide a professional service
Look for ongoing maintenance work
Landing a maintenance contract with a large organisation will give you a source of reoccurring revenue, these clients will completely transform your business. Again they take longer to lock in but once you have them you can focus less on marketing and more on delivery and customer service helping you to scale faster
Often these organisation push for cheaper prices but when you run the numbers your profit is quite similar due to the ongoing work, less time doing paper work, less time on the phone and less unbillable time driving between jobs.
Its crucial that you do everything possible to maintain these relationship once you establish them, don’t get sloppy. Its important to build processes to manage these clients so dealing with you is frictionless
Build a website optimised for lead conversion
Your website establishes the base foundation to your business, I would go as far as saying without a website you are really going to struggle in business. Most people when looking for a service will jump on google, look for a suitable business and the first critical touch point is a website. If you don’t have one they’ll find someone that does. Don’t underestimate the importance of a website
In saying that, all websites aren’t created equally and although basic websites still give you some credibility they don’t just rank high on google without effort and they also wont help convert leads to paying customers.
When you are building a website its important to understand the psychology and buying behaviours of your clients, once you understand this you can design a site that captures their attention and guides them to either complete your contact form or call you.
As you grow in business you will start to understand the important of lifetime customer value, this is simply the estimated dollar value of each customer over a certain period. Rather then spending marketing dollars or your time to constantly be finding new leads you time is far better off being spent getting your existing clients to spend more with you.
It’s a far cheaper and time effective way to increase revenue.
So this is where email marketing comes into play as you grow in business your marketing skills will also grow. If you are just starting, you want to start sending emails to your current client list.. a simple email showcasing your recent work or a review or a new service you offer once or twice a month is sufficient. The idea here is to stay front of mind so when someone needs something you’re the first one that comes to mind
Once you start to learn and understand your email marketing strategy you can include call to actions and automated email sequences so you can setup the system and forget about it.
Use email marketing software like Convertkit or Activecampaign to create these automated email sequences and start to target your existing client base. Don’t forget they exist, they will keep spending with you if you are providing them with some form of value
Cold email outreach
Email outreach is one of the most effective and low cost ways to bring in new clients. You will need a well worded professional sounding email template that can be edited to appeal to the business you are emailing. Dedicate time each week to sit down and send out emails to local businesses. Make sure you keep a list of businesses you have emailed so you aren’t sending to them twice.
Again don’t go for the hard sell, this never works. Most businesses get 50 emails a days smashing them with marketing. You want to put emphasis on the relationship.. it always comes back to the relationship. Let them know you’re local business owner looking to build some relationships with other business owners in the area, offer to come down for a chat and see where it leads.
Most of the time you wont get a job out of it then and there.. although it does happen.. but you’ll have build a new relationship that will call you when they need some work done.
As you have most likely picked up a lot of these strategies as based off relationship building and avoiding a transactional type operation. Relationships are everything in business so if you are struggling to find work always bring it back to relationships, can you call a current contact or can you build a new one?
Come at it from the angle of friendship rather than business and you’ll always be busy.