If you’re running a blue collar business, you have to be confused by all the marketing messages you see online. I know I used to spin my wheels looking at all the options for reaching new customers for my lawncare business.
There are a million ways to market a plumbing biz, a remodeling company, a landscaping business, etc. And there’s 1,255 know-it-all gurus per square mile of internet.
They want you to:
- Post Youtube videos since the SEO is easier now with vids.
- Stop using Twitter since it’s not growing.
- Spend $1000 on Facebook ads to see what works (Actual advice I heard from Neil Patel on a podcast interview!) I know the guy has crazy smarts, but damn, do you have a grand laying around to test some ideas out?
- Put a Facebook Pixel on your website. Is there a 300 page manual involved?
- Use Google analytics to see how long users are staying on your landing page. You know, so you can tweak the copy (text on your site) in order to keep readers on your page.
- Create multiple landing pages in case one does 2 percent better than the rest. Good plan. However, it took you and your geeky nephew 12 hours to make the first landing page. Do you really have time to dive into more?
The point is this. You cannot try every single tactic that internet marketers suggest. You can try, but a mental breakdown will be the result.
I’m here to keep you out of a padded room.
There’s nothing wrong with listening to startup podcasts and reading eBooks by internet marketing experts. Just know that focusing on one tactic at a time is better than trying to use all the methods heard daily on the web.
Since you can never have time for all these guru tactics, why not give focus a chance?
If you’re operating a grading business or running a lawn mower shop, you stay busy enough with the physical labor. Most small businesses have just enough staff to make things run smoothly. Not smoothly enough for the owner to never step in to help though.
I know. I did the bookkeeping, blade sharpening, oil changing, marketing, and most of the grass mowing when I was a full time landscaper. My helpers were much appreciated, but I had to get my hands dirty to actually make a profit.
The mower shop I used back in the day had a husband and wife team running it. They were always there. Not on a beach like Tim Ferris with some 4-hour work week plan.
I’ve no beef with Tim. Though even he doesn’t live by his 4-hour philosophy book that made him super rich. He still grinds on a daily basis.
Focus is your friend when it comes to marketing.
For me, I would try one platform at a time to see what worked. That doesn’t mean spending $1000 on FB ads to see if my assumptions about 70-year old women being in love with my targeted ads there.
Instead, I would spend a single dollar a day for 14 to 30 days to see if I got any engagement at all on Facebook. Making sure to change up each post to see what is not working. It could be:
- The wrong message.
- An easy to ignore photo in the post.
- The wrong time of day to post.
- The wrong targeted audience.
After 30 days you should know if Facebook is going to work with your methods. Maybe you should ask for a local expert to help with your postings. Or move on to another social platform to see if perhaps Pinterest works better for you.
If your work involves beautiful landscapes, then photos could get you the attention you need for your landscaping operation.
Depending on your target market, you may do better with quick conversations on Twitter or even SnapChat. Though unless you’re selling to high schoolers, SnapChat may be a reach. I have no clue what to do with SC.
And you should be glad I’m telling you that. Other experts like Gary Vaynerchuk say it’s a good plan to know every social media platform that arises. That may be fine for a college kid running a tech biz from his dorm. Not true for Joe The Plumber who’s elbow deep in a septic tank.
Joe better keep it simple with one or two channels to gain some traction online.
- Joe could blog about the disgusting week he had.
- He could post to FB about what not to put in the garbage disposal.
- Or he could do Youtube videos about the cool equipment he just bought that will soon be covered in used toilet paper.
And if you think that type of content doesn’t show a company in a professional light…. get real. People looking for a plumber aren’t looking for a guy in a 3-piece suit.
They want a man not afraid to get dirty. One who has fallen in a septic tank and lived to tell about it.
If you think writing a boring story each week on your FB page about how “We strive to help our customers, no matter how tough the job,” will work, think again. Your potential customers already expect you to do a good job.
I’m pretty sure they won’t pay up if it’s clear you don’t have a clue what you’re doing.
Your job as a marketer is to make them pay attention to you. To listen when you talk or type out a post.
If you’re going at this online marketing thing alone, then it’s a tough road.
Especially when all the online gurus are speaking a different language. They are focused on helping app creators to sell their games.
Or giving bloggers tips to get noticed.
These gurus, while very knowledgeable, are not in touch with the average Jimbo who just rolled on 22 gallons of paint in eight hours. Badass painter there! My dad has done it and more, so I know.
I am not an elite internet marketing guru.
Just a former landscaper with a superpower that involves writing and other content creation that gets attention. I don’t know every move you should make when it comes to marketing your business online.
What I do know is that you can’t make all the moves that the experts are telling you to try with their endless stream of content.
You don’t need each social media channel to grow your business. You only need to get folks to pay attention to the one or two you do engage on.
I feel your pain and I have been where you are. I’ve busted my knuckles turning a wrench on commercial lawn mowers. I’ve dropped off 500 flyers in a day only to get 5 calls for estimates. And I am a working class dude still.
Lucky for you all, I’ve wasted a lot of time online learning a lot of marketing techniques. So I know what works.
Mainly, what works is not spreading your efforts too thin. By paying attention to how customers actually find you (just ask them), you will learn which efforts to increase.
Feel free to shoot me an email if I can be of help with content creation for your website or social media pages.
I’m not as smart as guys like Neil Patel and others. However, I am in touch with business that involve dirt under the fingernails.
And I promise not to overwhelm you with too many tactics. I’ll keep it simple, yet effective.