If you noticed a sales slump in your electrical contracting business this year—you’re not alone. First off, there is tons of competition and today’s consumers have lots of choices including reading unbiased reviews on popular online recommendation websites. Second, perhaps you need to veer off the path you’ve been taking to gain customers and develop a unique electrical contractor advertising plan.
Why Change Now?
The first thing you need to do is change your mindset on how and where to advertise. Why? If your sales are on a downturn, that alone should send a message something needs to be different. To compete with all the other contractors within your market, you need to realize your electrical contractor advertising campaign is not working—and change it!
Advertising the 21st Century Electrical Services!
There may be reasons you don’t want to put up a website or write blogs or participate in social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn but whatever those reasons are, it’s time to reconsider your choice and jump on board the Internet bandwagon.
Amy Florence of EC&M Magazine wrote a great piece on how to boost your business during downtimes and interviewed both electrical contractors and leaders in the advertising industry. Along with traditional advertising methods like newspaper ads, radio or TV spots and Yellow Page ads, Ms Florence also points out you really can’t count on these ad venues alone to “boost your business.”
What does stand out in Ms Florence’s article is the need to have a website and create a good online reputation for your business.
Where to Start
A website is easy enough to start if you don’t have one. A partnership between Google and Intuit, Get Your Business Online offers free websites for all types of business owners. If you click on the link above, it will take you to the web page for New York State, but to find your state’s official Get Your Business Online page insert your state: (http://www.gybo.com/yourstate.com) and get started (see screenshot to right). The websites are so easy to create and are free for a year. Once the free year is up, you will only have to pay a mere $2 for your domain name and $4.99 for web hosting services—a very inexpensive electrical contractor advertising strategy and there’s no need to worry about HTML or other tech stuff.
Social media is free—all they take is the time to set up and once they are set up, you need to stay on top of them by posting, tweeting and interacting with your followers. The nice thing about LinkedIn is beyond your professional page, you can create a business page and join electrical contractor groups where often RFPs or jobs are posted.
Another idea is to consider hiring a PR firm to handle creating, promote and updating your online presence but the inexpensive way to do this is to make this job an internal position and hire someone. PR firms, depending on services offered, can cost a lot and eat up your advertising budget quickly.
Call local colleges and universities and tell their recruiting office you are looking for a PR candidate—even an unpaid intern position. Students and new graduates will jump at the chance to do the job in order to add your company and advertising achievements on their resumes—and you can get these students or grads for free or at an affordable entry-level salary. If you do hire someone, consider making it a part-time position or a remote position where you can pay the person on a per-contract basis to avoid company benefits and payroll taxes.
Unique Way to Advertise
If you add up on the dollars you’ve spent on advertising that gained you no sales leads, you need to think of other ways to brand your business and gain customers. This is what Sunrise Signs is all about—helping contractors of all kinds get noticed with affordable vehicle graphics and wraps.
Whether you have one, two or a fleet of work trucks or vans, vehicle wraps are much more affordable than traditional advertising mediums. To show you how much cheaper, we invite you to download our free Vehicle Wrap ROI calculator to quickly compare the cost of traditional ad methods to vehicle wraps.
Choosing vehicle graphics and wraps as part of your electrical contractor advertising campaign is not only smart; it’s a proven ad method because:
- One wrapped work truck or van can gain up to 70,000 visual impressions per day.
- A business would have to spend $130,000 advertising dollars to achieve the same effect as one $3,500 wrapped vehicle.
- 95 Percent of people surveyed said they noticed vehicle graphics.
- Vehicle graphics help build brand identity via name recognition embedded on the vehicle wraps.
- Contractor vehicle wraps last up to five years and is 100 per cent removable meaning when it’s time to retire your work vehicle(s) you’ll gain a higher resale value because they help to protect manufacturer paint.
- Your electrical contractor all-white vans or trucks will stand out in the crowd and get noticed!
It’s time for you to reevaluate your ad budget, get online, create a website, blog about DIY or troubleshooting tips and above all, make the smart choice to invest in vehicle graphics and wraps—we even do franchise wraps! Following some of the tips here will get you on the path to developing the best electrical contractor advertising strategy and turn downtimes into busy times.
Special thanks to:
Florence, Amy - EC&M Magazine - “Ten Ways to Boost Your Business in Down Times.”