Is your client list looking a little sparse? Wishing you were booked up ’til 2015? Or simply newly qualified and ready to get your name out there? Whether you’re already busy but want an extra boost or are new to your area, here are 5 quick marketing tips that will get customers on the blower in no time…

1. Get listed online

The first place people go to look for a local plumber isn’t the yellow pages anymore, it’s the web. Make sure you’re listed in all the major local directories online to stake your claim. Thompson Local, Yelp, TrustATrader (paid) and RatedPeople (£15 p/m) are good places to start. You’ll need to monitor how much work these paid plans bring in to make sure they’re a worthwhile investment as you go.

2. Get online properly

With just a little bit of time and the smallest amount of computer know how, you can create a website for your plumbing business for the price of your domain name. WordPress is a great platform to start using. It’s easy to navigate and free to use, until you buy your domain. Here’s a comprehensive guide to setting up your website. Once you’re ready to go remember, for your business online, the most important features to include are:

  • Brand name and telephone number clearly displayed
  • Testimonials from previous clients
  • A “Get a Quote”/enquiry form (you can use a plugin to create this)

3. Localize your SEO

With your website all set up, it’s time to start making sure people who need your services find your website when they type things like:

  • Plumber Cardiff
  • Best plumbers in Cardiff
  • Canton Cardiff Plumbing

This technique is known as localized SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If your website doesn’t show up in Google when people search for services like yours, you’re missing out! Make sure you mention your location regularly on your website. You could even set up a blog about your work and life in the local area. This will help Google to recognize that your website will be useful to people searching for your service in that precise area. Make sure you get your Google Places listing sorted too!

4. Send email newsletters

Mailchimp is a handy tool any business can use for free to send marketing emails which look great and keep your name fresh in your previous customers’ minds. The rules are:

  • Only email customers who have given you their address
  • Email once a fortnight, absolute maximum
  • Always have something interesting or useful to say (include discounts and top plumbing tips)
  • Give recipients the option to “opt out” at the bottom of the email.
  • Display your phone number prominently

5. Avoid flops

If you can steer clear of marketing techniques which simply don’t work, you can spend more time and money on the advertising channels which are more likely to bring custom. To save yourself a lot of energy and heartache, avoid the following like the plague. They’re just terrible for plumbing…

  • Direct mail (posting letters)
  • Billboards

Which marketing techniques have you tried to publicize your plumbing business? What’s worked and what’s been woeful? Share your experiences and opinions with our readers below.