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chicken feed

brain picking time

i am in the process of renewing our advertising for the year not happy with our current company, long story.

where would you choose to advertise online (small plastering firm)

any help would be much appreciated i am at a loss where to start Rolling Eyes
T.G

Do you have a local free paper, we have a paper that's free to the reader it's exceptionally popular and I'd say pretty much all the local trades advertise in it
Shan

Utilise as much free advertising as you can:

www.yell.com
http://www.approvedbusiness.co.uk
www.applegate.co.uk
www.homebuilding.co.uk

There are literally hundreds of these websites to submit yourself to.
chicken feed

thanks off to investigate.

local papers pretty usless around here we used them for 20 yrs and then the prices went up from 14 a week to over 90 in one jump. the work generated from ad dropped when most traders dumped them.
Colin & Jan

We have had fair results with local Parish magazines. Relatively cheap and you have the local aspect.
chicken feed

We have had fair results with local Parish magazines. Relatively cheap and you have the local aspect.


thanks will have to look into that trouble is we don't tend to get any local mags being a way out of the village.
Shan

This is a good one: http://www.touchlocal.com/
Kenworth

Over here the family style resturants feature paper placemats with advertising. These are memorable because the diner has it in front of them for about a hour or so.

Tree removal, chiropractor, dog groomer, attorney, vetrinarian, household movers, movie rental, painters, plumbers, etc, all make use of this advertising.

Don't forget Craigslist.
dpack

a few swerves

cheap pens with your details on are a good random exposure and can be very cost effective if well placed

get on the local authority list of tradesmen

getting on an approved list for insurance companies is better than any advert

the personal touch by handing out a card during a chat can be very effective

advertising is useful to get new client groups but word of mouth and networking is free
Tavascarow

I think free social networks are more effective than paid online advertising to be honest, unless you are paying to be on the top of the first page of Google.
& even if it aint, what have you lost?
Take advantage of the free 250 business cards that I keep getting offered & leave them lying around.
Get a sign to hang outside of properties you are working on.
Being plastered by ....
Get some magnetic signs & have them on your car as well as the works van.
chicken feed

I think free social networks are more effective than paid online advertising to be honest, unless you are paying to be on the top of the first page of Google.
& even if it aint, what have you lost?
Take advantage of the free 250 business cards that I keep getting offered & leave them lying around.
Get a sign to hang outside of properties you are working on.
Being plastered by ....
Get some magnetic signs & have them on your car as well as the works van.



i like the sign to go outside work in progress idea & the magnetic van signs.

this is just a idea to generate the small ammount of work the local rag brought in, we have never advertised much if at all 90% of the work that comes in is word & mouth but a little more work in these hard times is no bad thing hence the new idea post.

thanks guys i will be setting to on monday Laughing
Nick

Where are you based? chicken feed

just outside of peterborough welsh veg grower

Sure you already do but what about speakign to other building firms who may need to sub out sometimes, especially smaller jobs. My handman also gets about 40% of his work from one lettings agency, when tenants leave he goes in and fixes things. He just called them and asked. Think about other such businesses you never know.

My B&B does well out of the local dentists as they seem to use it as a training place for new recruits from other countries. That or they get through a lot of staff (not my dentist by the way)

I guess what I'm saying is think out of the box and consider other customer bases rather than traditional ones. especially these days as everyone is being more careful about taking on full time staff
Mistress Rose

We have our own company website. If you make changes to it fairly frequently it will get higher listings on search engines. This can be perhaps a picture of a bit of work you did (with house owners permission) or anything else you think relevant.

We are on a couple of trade sites; in our case as woodland managers, logpile, coppiceproducts, and woodlots.

Our local free paper is a monthly, and not too unreasonable during the firewood season, but we haven't managed to get other work from it during the summer.
Lorrainelovesplants

We use parish magazines a lot - very good return from them. We have ceased to advertise in the papers as we never got one lead!
But, writing a little article with a photo pays dividends - okay - were not a plastering firm, and animals always sell papers, but you could investigate the possibility of offering a reduced deal for someone in exchange for their consent to photographing - ie old persons home, kids nursery etc.
onemanband

I've tried newspaper ads. I'd only use them now if I was seriously low on work. - Spend a days money on an advert and get 1 days work - that means you work for nothing - get 2 days work you're working for half pay and so on and so on. That said one advert has led to a regular customer and recommendations to their friends.
I get 90% of my work from word of mouth / recommendation / regular customers.
The rest I get from chatting to neighbors / dog walkers / random people in the street where I'm working. I also put business cards through neighbours doors and sometimes just leave a few cards on the garden wall / gate or somewhere passers by can pick them up. My business card has a picture of me at work on one side so neighbours will recognize it as 'that bloke working across the road'
I keep meaning to get a signboard but seem to manage ok without one. If you get a signboard it would be an idea to attach a few business cards to it so passers by can take one.

I'm not too sure on small magnetic signs on a car or van - I think they look a bit amateur. On the other hand proper signwritting isn't cheap. You have to think how many people will actually take down the number on your van (excluding people with complaints about your driving or parking Laughing ) I don't think many people would take down a number off a van whilst it is being driven around - they may take the number if you are working in their street, but a signboard will do the same and cost much less.
There is also the issue of theft with signwriting. I once drove a plain company van for 6 months before boss got it signwritten, I joked about it getting broken into now it was signwritten....... then 2 weeks later .....broken into............and again a month later.
Bramleyapple

I've only recently started advertising online and have found Vivastreet and Friday Ads quite good. I've also had interest from both ads I posted on Gumtree. So far I've only posted free advertisements. Smile 12Bore

Hello Bramleyapple, welcome to DS! hello2 Pilsbury

@onemanband, as far as taking numbers from vans I never bother putting them In my phone or have a pen or paper but I just take a photograph of the sign on my camera now nd copy the number later, the magnetic signs are normally free from vistaprint so why not is my answer. Katieowl

I've got Vistaprint magnetics on the car...in the summer when Tesco is packed when I go to the supermarket, I move it so you can see it as you walk past, and put a plastic wallet with our cards and flyers in with a 'take a card' notice - didn't cost much, because we had the cards and fliers anyway, and even it only one person comes back and uses us, even next year, or even just REMEMBER that we were the 'pink house by the sea' and googles it, it was worth it.

Kate
Nick

Are you the pink house by the sea in burnham on sea, or Corsica?

(yep, I googled!)
Katieowl

Well I'm presuming that if they were in Cardigan Tesco...they'd assume it was somewhere local... so The little pink house by the sea which is actually what is says on the card...gives you top of the google page.

"Pink house, Cardigan" still brings us up, but further down the page.

Kate
lottie

Most D.I.Y. stores have a board at the exit where tradesmen can put their cards. We have given work to 2 different people as a result of picking one up. People using a D.I.Y. shop are often in the process of home improving and need a professional for the jobs they can't do. arvo

Have you tried business networking groups like BNI (other business networking sites are available)?

You pay a subscription (can't remember what it is now), you go along, have brekkie and chat to people and everyone has to say a bit about themselves. The idea is that people like helping each other out and so recommend each other to customers they have that don't clash.
You can go to the first one for free, if you don't like it, nothing lost.

The trades do very well out of it.
onemanband

Most D.I.Y. stores have a board at the exit where tradesmen can put their cards. We have given work to 2 different people as a result of picking one up. People using a D.I.Y. shop are often in the process of home improving and need a professional for the jobs they can't do.

The 'boards' at the chain diy stores you have to pay for. Looked into it once but seemed expensive.
Worth looking into though.
onemanband

Re magnetic signs ;
To clarify - I think they look amateur when on vans. Especially a little magnetic sign on a Transit van. If I see that, I think they could be fly-by-nights or the A-team on an undercover mission Laughing
I don't have a problem with mag signs on cars for window cleaners, housemaids, dog walkers or Katieowls sort of thing, but on tradesmans vans I think it looks cheap and un-professional.
Just my opinion.
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