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Trade Business Growth Strategy

Are you the owner of a plumbing, electrical, construction, home renovation, landscaping, or other trades business that just can’t seem to grow as much as you would like?

Are you tired of playing a constant game of phone tag with prospective clients?

Are your sales unpredictable?

Do most of your new inquiries come at the very point in the season when you are the most busy on the job site?

Are you ready to start working more on the business, and not just in the business?

If you find yourself saying “yes” to any of these questions, know you’re not alone. Here at Bristol Strategy, we’ve met plenty of trades businesses like yours. And we can help. Learn how The Garden Continuum used Inbound Marketing to transform and grow their business. 

Business Case Study: The Garden Continuum

Monique-AllenIn 2015, Monique Allen, the owner of the landscape company The Garden Continuum in Medfield, Massachusetts, felt that her marketing efforts were stuck.

While Monique advertised in magazines and newspapers, she found that print ads proved an ineffective use of her marketing dollars. Online, she redesigned her website multiple times, but the changes were merely to keep up with digital look—her existing online presence did nothing to take advantage of the incredible lead-generating power of the Internet.

Even more challenging, her greatest number of new leads came in during the spring season—the busiest time of year for a landscape company and fell off during other seasons. This meant Monique had to spend precious time responding to prospect inquiries at the exact time she most needed to be directly helping her existing clients by providing her services in the field. During the off seasons, she struggled to keep her team busy. 

garden continuum Landscape Design and Fine Gardening

Adding to these difficulties was the fact that she had no way of knowing which of these potential new prospects were seriously interested in working with her, and which were at the very beginning stages of the process and merely wanted to find out more information about her and her company.  

“I was exhausted and feeling dissatisfied with the unpredictability of my selling," says Monique. “I felt like I was always racing between actually doing my work, and selling my work. The problem I needed to solve was I needed to make selling easier.”

Enter Bristol Strategy

When Monique contacted Bristol Strategy for help, one fact immediately became clear: Content powered by the inbound marketing methodology was the key solution to Monique’s problem—but only if it was organized and positioned correctly.

We developed a plan of action:

  • identifying Monique’s ideal client;
  • digitizing her existing sales process;
  • designing a new, content-centered website;
  • repurposing old blog content;
  • creating informative ebooks;
  • and even developing a new, automated phone call scheduling solution.

The results were impressive. Leads are now up 625 percent from when the partnership first started, and 70 percent of initial calls result in a sale—and even better, they’re the exact type of client that is the best fit for Monique’s business.

You can hear Monique’s story in her own words in this video case study:

Sounds like a dream come true, right?

Well, there’s great news—your business can achieve the same level of success, too. The secret to it all is this: a defined, scalable system for marketing your business online.

And that’s exactly what we specialize in at Bristol Strategy.

Schedule your growth call:

Trades businesses struggle to grow each and every day. Their business may not be consistent and most have difficulty growing.

Gain from the experience of other trades businesses as discussed in this case study. 

landscape-customer-in-control

 

Request a Trades Business Growth Call - please complete this form to the right → 

Why Do Trades Businesses Need to Market Their Business Online?

At this point, you may be thinking:

“Sure, an online marketing system sounds great, but my types of services are unique to each client, and so I need to sell them in person. This would never work for me.”

If you are feeling that way, you’re certainly not alone. But we know from experience working directly with trades businesses that a digital strategy can not only be successfully implemented in your own business, but can be the key to accelerating your sales and revenue.

The reason for this is simple, and profound: Today’s digital world has completely transformed buyer behavior—regardless of your industry. And as a result, clients are now in control of the conversation.

landscape customer in control

Ten or even five years ago, you likely would have been just fine relying on your traditional process, conducting sales person to person. But now, prospects are using the Internet and social media to become educated about their options before ever contacting a company or making a purchase. As one example, just think of all the times you’ve seen people ask for a recommendation for a plumber or contractor in your local Facebook group. And you can be sure this is happening whether your own business is online or not.

When she began working with Bristol Strategy, Monique had this same hesitation.

“I had been doing this for such a long time, my sales process was innate,” she says. “But Bristol Strategy proved to me that while the specific interactions are unique from client to client, there’s always a core process for how you sell. And that’s connected to your services, your brand, the ‘why’ of you as the owner.”

The Process to Market a Trades Businesses Online

The process to market a trades business online requires content plus a methodology for engaging visitors to your website. It is as simple as that. When a skilled content strategist works with you, they are able to turn your description of your sales process, why people buy from you and your differentiation, into a content plan. 

It is a mistake to simply place the content onto your website. Static content does not engage the modern client. It has to follow an approach that gives them the information one step at a time while nurturing them to a discussion with your company. 

Enter the Inbound Marketing Methodology

To unlock the true revenue-generating power of today’s digital environment, it’s key that you implement the correct system. The best methodology to achieve it is inbound marketing.

inbound-marketing-stages

Inbound marketing is a methodology for bringing clients directly to you, rather than you searching for them. It accomplishes this through the creation of custom, targeted content designed to exactly meet the client needs at each stage of their buying journey. This content is then delivered to them on demand using efficient and cost-effective marketing automation tools.

By creating this type of content, you’re not only delivering potential new clients exactly what they need at the exact moment they want it, but you’re also positioning yourself as an authority in your industry.

This approach to marketing your business online is especially beneficial if your services include large-scale projects such as home additions, renovations, or upgrades that require clients to make a significant investment. For projects like these, your clients will be especially concerned about finding a business that they can trust.

front arrival landscape design with hardscapes

By being a source of clear, credible information, you can prove to these new prospects that are unfamiliar with you that you are an experienced business that they will derive significant value and a successful project.

In addition, not all trades businesses are adept at using digital technology. Implementing an inbound marketing strategy will make your business stand out among competitors that don't have a strong online presence—and provide your business with even more of a competitive advantage.

What to Expect When Implementing Inbound Marketing

When you make the decision to implement inbound marketing for your trades business, your first step will be to decide exactly who your ideal client is—after all, you can’t create the perfect content for your perfect client if you don’t know just who that person is in the first place and what problems or needs they must address. This profile is called a buyer persona.

landscape customer ideal buyer persona

Monique found the process of developing a buyer persona for The Garden Continuum to be transformative for her business.

“I realized I had a particular type of client I liked to work with, and Bristol Strategy helped me identify all of the traits and characteristics of this client,” she says. “They then helped me build this wonderful net using content to not only capture this ideal client, but also filter out the people who didn’t align with my work. And now I’m finding most of my calls are exactly the type of client I want to work for.”

Once you’ve identified your ideal client, your next step will be to clarify and digitize exactly how you sell. Your goal is to create a digital sales funnel that moves clients through each phase of the buying journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.

buye-journey-information

During the awareness stage, a prospective client has identified they have a problem, and are researching its root cause. In the consideration stage, the client has determined the problem’s cause, and are now researching possible solutions. Finally, by the decision stage, the client has explored possible solutions, and are evaluating the specific products and services that can solve their problem.

Following the inbound marketing methodology, the best way to capture and nurture clients’ interest is a content strategy that models your best sales process, online.

The best way to think about it is this: Picture your very best salesperson (maybe that’s you!). You can’t help but be impressed by their ability to anticipate the client's needs, overcome their hesitations, and guide them to a specific purchasing decision in a way that makes them feel comfortable and appreciated.

garden-landscape-design

You should look at your content, via your website, as the same—your very best salesperson, online. And this salesperson works for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The content strategy captures your ideal process and by publishing the content online and using specialized marketing techniques, you essentially have implemented a digital sales funnel that is like your ideal sales process.

 

The Benefits of Inbound Marketing for Your Trades Business

There are many ways inbound marketing can transform your business, beginning with your relationship with your clients.

lead-generation-workflowAs we now know, the buyer wants to be in control of the conversation that they have with you (or with any other company, for that matter). By providing them with custom, targeted content tailored exactly to their needs, you can begin to answer their questions, address their concerns, and help them become more educated in a way that is most comfortable for them. Your very best prospects are now able to find you.

In addition, your clients don’t just want, but expect, this information and resources to be available to them at the exact moment they’re needed—even if it’s 11 pm at night.

The marketing automation tools used as part of an inbound marketing strategy offer a way to deliver this information to clients on demand, so your website can sell for you 24/7—even while you sleep.

Make your business more responsive to clients and increases revenue

We know too from experience working with contractors that, for many companies like yours, the sales cycle can vary by the season, with the greatest number of new client inquiries coming at the very moment you’re most busy working on the job site.

By creating a clear sales funnel online, inbound marketing not only allows you to create more predictability in your sales numbers, but even extend your sales cycle to the slower seasons when you have more capacity to respond. 

Monique experienced exactly these changes after implementing inbound marketing

“There is a nagging stress in the back of your mind when you know there are phone calls you haven’t returned,” she says. “That entirely went away. One of the great things Bristol Strategy helped me implement was a system so prospects could schedule a phone call with me. Once they consumed all of my content and decided they wanted to talk to me, they had a way to drive the decision. When I get on the phone, they’re so excited to talk to me. When I’m trying to close a sale on the phone, they’re so primed and ready.”

But that’s not the only way Monique found inbound marketing improved her landscaping business.

“I didn’t realize inbound marketing was going to work so well,” she says. “I didn’t realize that by solving this sales problem, it would highlight other areas of my business that needed attention. Now that sales are coming in more predictably, I’m focusing on things like the delivery chain and employee and skills development. And that really starts to transform a business.”

Other Trades Businesses Share Their Experiences

But The Garden Continuum isn’t the only trades business that’s benefitted from partnering with Bristol Strategy to implement an inbound marketing strategy. For example, just ask Gilday Renovations.

Gilday Renovations Partners with Bristol Strategy

After partnering with Bristol Strategy, the award-winning, Maryland-based home design and renovation firm doubled their website traffic and generated a significant number of new renovation projects for their sales teams after adopting inbound marketing.

The cousins who run Gilday Renovations also noticed that the prospects who requested a call to discuss a renovation project also downloaded eBooks about their approach to kitchen design or one about their company. This content helped the new prospects learn about their differentiated approach to renovation, and this familiarity has helped during the sales process.

And these aren’t the only examples we have, either.

Judith Lipson-Rubin, owner of Moodscapes LLC, an organic landscape business in Arlington, Massachusetts, says:

"We needed to completely revamp our website. We knew what we wanted to say, but did not know how to put our mission into words. Dave and his team developed a content strategy that allowed us to clearly redefine our purpose and create a website that we love! Bristol Strategy worked with us every step of the way to ensure our clients could understand who we are, what we stand for, and why we do what we do. One of the many results of implementing inbound marketing we are working with more clients who have the same values as we do. We are very happy."

moodscapes landscape design company partners with Bristol Strategy

The Bottom Line

The effect of inbound marketing on your trades business can be transformative: An increased number of leads that are of higher quality than ever before, in a process that takes less time for you to manage. You’ll be putting your very best sales process to work for you 24/7, in an efficient manner. Ultimately, this leads to increased revenue, as well as new opportunities to grow your business.

An inbound marketing agency like Bristol Strategy has the expertise to help you to craft an inbound marketing strategy, capture your ideal sales in digital form, and implement it on your website.

We've proven that we can drive real, measurable results for our trades business partners. And we can do the same for you. 

Ready to get started? Request a meeting to learn how you can transform and grow your trades business with Bristol Strategy. 

 

Schedule your growth call:

Trades businesses struggle to grow each and every day. Their business may not be consistent and most have difficulty growing.

Gain from the experience of other trades businesses as discussed in this case study. 

landscape-customer-in-control

 

Request a Trades Business Growth Call - please complete this form to the right →