For so many, the chance to launch your own business and be your own boss is one of the most appealing things about a career in construction.

In fact, in the third quarter of 2021, there were around 810,000 self-employed workers across the sector, considerably more than any other industry in the UK. 

While the prospect of working for yourself is indeed an enticing one, bringing with it a long list of benefits like an improved work-life balance, higher earning potential and being able to choose your own clients, it also holds a unique set of challenges that you’ll need to navigate.

Among them, is the ability to promote yourself and your business. Being responsible for finding your own work can be one of the most daunting things about taking the plunge and going it alone, and the ability to generate leads is absolutely vital if you’re to succeed. 

One of the most effective ways of drumming up business is through social media. While traditional methods such as signwriting vans and business cards are still valuable, these days social media should always be factored into any advertising strategy, even in the trades. 

Why social media? 

One of social media’s biggest USPs is that it costs absolutely nothing to set up, meaning you can begin tapping into a pool of 53 million active users in the UK without spending a penny. 

UK adults spend over an hour on social media every day and 67% of potential customers use this method for both customer enquiries and service / product research. 

The instant nature of social is another huge benefit, allowing you to communicate, share updates and advertise in real-time. 

In our Meet the Team series, we’ve heard on more than one occasion from students how useful Facebook and Instagram have been when setting up their business, helping them build awareness and find consistent work. 

What are the key social platforms for trade businesses? 


Still the world’s most widely-used platform, Facebook remains a great starting point for any business. The analytics available to business pages are what set Facebook apart from its competitors, offering in-depth analysis on things like optimal posting times and audience demographics. You also have the option to run highly-targeted paid ads, often delivering significant results for very small budgets. 


Instagram also boasts an impressive analytical offering for businesses, largely due to it being owned by Facebook. Aside from that, the platform generally has a younger audience and relies on images, making it a natural choice for anyone who has strong visuals to share and promote your business. 


Twitter is less visual, but is great for offering quick updates, responding to queries and engaging with others to drive brand awareness. The paid advertising side of things isn’t quite as strong, so if you have budget to use, Facebook is probably a little more suited.


LinkedIn is built specifically for professional networking and is perfect for making valuable connections with potential clients and seeking out work opportunities. It’s also a handy way to stay clued up on the latest industry news and networking events.

Content ideas

Everyone should have their own personal style of content to set you apart from competitors. To get you started, we’ve come up with a few points of inspiration. 

  • Before and after shots
  • Behind-the-scenes videos showing the building process
  • Sharing client testimonials
  • Short tutorial videos
  • Sharing and commenting on industry news

How to build a presence

According to social scheduling platform, Hootsuite, it’s recommended that you post at least once a day on Facebook to drive engagement, though no more than twice. Instagram can be a little less, 2-3 times per week and no more than once a day. 

For Twitter, it’s slightly more, 1-2 times per day but no more than 3-5 times, and LinkedIn at least once a day, but no more than five. 

Encouraging customers to leave reviews on social media can also be priceless, as this offers potential clients reassurances of your skills when they first discover you. Along with that, make sure your profiles contain all your latest contact information to prevent you missing out on any enquiries.