While it’s true that word-of-mouth is a prominent method of business recommendation, ‘mouth’ has become a much more fluid concept. A lot of people will tell peers and strangers about an experience with contractors via the internet. So, you need to make sure they’re saying good things. Let’s look at the key elements of your e-reputation, and what you can do to improve your online image.
How Do People Recommend Your Contracting Business?
People who are thinking about working with you are going to confirm that you’re up to standard in two ways: by referring to the documented experiences of others and by assessing the things you’re presenting to them directly. Let’s talk about the former first.
People will usually share their opinions about a contracting experience through three avenues:
Reviews are designed for this type of scrutiny or praise. People go to vent about an experience much worse than normal or much better. Luckily, celebration makes slightly more impact (92% increase in buying attraction) than critiques (82% likelihood to deter).
You’ll find people leaving reviews about you on Yelp, Google Business, your website, Twitter, Reddit, etc. Make sure you keep up with feedback and make the necessary changes. Admitting fault is really hard but it’s key to improving your business and creating positive responses from future clientele. You’ve gotta give the people what they ask for—even if they’re a little bit sassy about it.
A lot of review platforms also offer a rating prompt (usually 1-5 stars) as a quick visual of your overall performance. These are super unforgiving because they don’t give people any context or clarification.
People will also take to social media to give shoutouts, tag you in stories, or worst-case scenario, write angry Twitter rants. Strive for #mvp and not #cancelled.
How Can You Improve Your Impression?
First impressions are everything and because you’re an artisanal contractor, you aren’t spending enough time with clients to build a personal rapport. This means you’ll have to woo them right off the bat—a tall order. They’ll be looking at the entire experience, not just the result. They want service with a smile, tidiness, transparency, all of it. Here are some ways to boost your online reputation as an artisanal contractor.
Great testimonials front-and-center on your site will create trust among new browsers. They’ll see that others took the leap of faith from the very same position they’re in and that their risk paid off. It’s easier not going first.
Blogs are a great way to establish expertise and authority in your field. They’ll clarify business specs and questions people may have, while showcasing how well you know your stuff.
In a lot of artisanal trades, photos are crucial. People are looking for result-based services and specific solutions to specific problems—show those results! Your impressive before-and-afters belong right in the middle of your landing page.
Many people need to feel familiar with something before they can trust it. If they haven’t heard about you through a dependable friend, they’re going in blind. To make the experience less threatening, you want to get into their heads. Why not create a sales funnel that gently approaches them with your branding a few times before you ask them to commit? The best way to do this is through ads, newsletters, free merch giveaways, and similar initiatives. Anything to have you reappear online to your target audience.
A cohesive and comprehensive website and social media presence are key. Tidy and clear branding is the best approach to appearing professional. Splurge on a professional in the field to help develop your image. Nothing’s worse for business than customer confusion and a sloppy brand image. Make sure they can find your contact page easily.
This is an ethical grey area and we’re not here to suggest you do it, but you should know that filtration is possible, at least on certain platforms. Deleting bad reviews is going to obviously showcase the good reviews. We recommend deleting bots/spam, or super inappropriate posts, but leaving honest feedback and taking it with grace. People will notice ‘dirty deletes’ and tell their friends you’re dishonest.
It may sound shallow, but people will trust you if you have more followers or people they trust sharing and tagging your content. Posting good content often is a good way to seem approachable.
Your website will become more visible if its SEO stats are optimized. A great way to establish this authority to search engines is to have other established websites backlinking to your website (and vice versa: external linking).
You’re more dependable if you engage with your customers and respond promptly. They want to see that you’re a credible, accessible business (not scammers) who provides timely, helpful and caring customer service. People feel reassured that they see you are willing to help rectify anything that doesn’t go according to plan. Reasonable enough.
If you manage the feedback you receive and follow these easy strategies, your happy clients will be gabbing about you all over town—and the web. Discover more business tips on our blog or book an appointment for the full Linkeo experience.
Credits: Hats off to Mohamed Hassan on Pixabay for the glorious thumbnail image. Thank you so much!