How to differentiate yourself from your trade competitors

It can be difficult for tradespeople to market their skills and differentiate themselves from competitors in a saturated market. Painters, builders and other tradies who own and operate their own businesses often face fierce competition, so take a look at these tips to help make your company stand out from the rest.


Never underestimate the power of simple advertising, especially when you're on the jobsite. Paint your business name and contact number on your vehicle to advertise yourself even when you're not working, and erect signs around properties when you're undergoing a project. This alerts neighbours and passers by to your company. Keep signs simple, with your company name, phone number and website details printed in a clear font.

Partner up

Businesses that offer limited goods or services can build up a better overall customer relationship by bundling their offerings with those from other businesses. For example, a carpenter who does kitchen fit outs could team up with an interior designer to maximise coverage and target more customers. 

Building relationships with businesses in related fields can be profitable for both parties, as you can recommend each other to customers during or after your part of the project has been completed.

Letterbox drop

A classic letterbox drop may seem outdated, but if you do it right it can be an extremely effective way to target a new market. The key component to a letterbox marketing campaign is a strong call to action that gives customers a genuine reason to contact you or visit your website. Things like giveaways, discounts or free online quotes can all encourage people to get in touch.

Include an attractive magnet with your details for potential customers to put on their fridge. Even if they don't require your services immediately, they will be faced with your contact details on a daily basis and you are more likely to be front of mind when they do need work done.

Follow up

Try to keep in touch with every customer, even those who have only hired you for small one-off jobs. An email after the project has been completed to check on their satisfaction levels can be a great way to keep your business fresh in their memory. You could also send them a thank you card to show your appreciation for their business, and offer them a discount on their next job or when they refer your services to a friend or family member.

Get digital

The online realm is becoming more and more important for consumers looking for tradespeople. Telephone books are almost obsolete, and instead people are turning to internet search engines to find tradespeople to hire. That makes it vital to have a functional website detailing your services.

Consider hiring a professional to design your website for you, in order to maximise traffic. 

Make sure your website has plenty of photographic examples of your work, so customers can see the kind of things you can offer them. If you have customer testimonials or feedback, include a few of these on the home page so visitors are immediately greeted with glowing praise when they visit your site.

Build trust

Offering a money back guarantee is a great way to ensure customers trust your business. As a tradesperson, you'll want to do the best work possible to ensure customers spread positive word of mouth feedback about you. Discounts or refunds if customers are unsatisfied can help keep them onside and ensure they go away with a positive opinion of you.

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