Today we connect with Kelly Thirgood of SocialPanda Online Marketing. Over the last five years, Kelly has focused on working with smaller service industries to grow their businesses through digital marketing. She passionately believes digital marketing can be cost effective and should produce results.

Kelly has found, “Tradies can get left behind in the digital world and end up relying predominantly on word of mouth. With a reliance on our devices, coupled with COVID forcing us to connect online in new ways, digital marketing is the most powerful way to increase bookings. We know service-based businesses with an online presence reflective of their unique business offering can reach their audience and see their enquiries and bookings skyrocket!”

Kelly shared her top five tips on digital marketing for trade based businesses.

1. Your website: the 24/7 sales team

Your website is not an online business card, it is your 24/7 sales team! Review your website, how is it looking? Does it need an information update? New services added? More engaging photos? A modern look? We have a great deal of success with refreshing websites and bringing them new life.

"A refreshed website gives a professional look, grabs the attention of new customers and inspires them to contact you."

2. Google Search: to gain new clients

A successful website for a Tradie, or any service-based business, is supported by search engine marketing. While Facebook Ads may sound appealing, when it comes to results, investing in SEO and Google Ads is the most successful and cost-effective strategy for increasing the number of booked jobs.

“By creating the right messaging, google ads can put you in front of people, exactly when they are looking for your service.”

3. Socials: to engage your loyal clients

For tradies and services, our advice on social media may surprise you.  Social Media Advertising gives awesome results for visual products (who doesn't love a bit of spontaneous shopping) but when it comes to services, it doesn't get the high return on investment that we are looking for.  Focus your social media time/investment on engaging your current clients, that way, they think of your business as soon as they need your service.

“Focus your social media time and investment on engaging your current clients”

4. The real game-changer

There is a lot you can do on a shoe-string budget for your online marketing, but nothing beats committing to a monthly budget to fill your calendar with jobs and even be booked months in advance. We see it time and time again... for both new and established businesses, when our business owners commit to their marketing they get the game-changing boost they need to see their business thrive.

“Make the commitment to make an impact”

5. Google My Business: essential for local biz

An extremely powerful and easy action you can take is to keep your Google My Business Listing up to date and always ask your clients for reviews.  Don't have a Google My Business Listing?  It's free and absolutely essential for locals to find your trade or service. Find out how to create your Google My Business listing here.

"Google search is king for finding trades and services in our local area."

Supporting local business: Connect. Support. Inform. Upskill.

These 5 tips are a great starting point for your consideration. Feel free to check out our other articles, webinars and industry development opportunities for ways to further your knowledge and upskill your team.

The Mornington Peninsula has an abundance of talented local people in business. As part of the Support Local campaign we are connecting local business experts to you, our local business community. In our new series of blogs, each local expert offers their valuable insights on a business-related topic. Through sharing their expertise and insider knowledge, these experts hope to play a part in re-energising the economy with new ideas to support local.

Meet our local expert: Kelly Thirgood of SocialPanda Online Marketing, Tootgarook.

Kelly Thurgood

SocialPanda Online Marketing focuses on growing small businesses with the use of digital marketing, particularly those in the service industry. This includes websites designed to gain sales and Search Engine Marketing to connect businesses with new clients. Kelly and her dedicated team work to deliver results for many local Mornington Peninsula based businesses. She takes the time to understand each business and build long-term relationships. This connection and attention to detail enables Kelly and her team to gain results that meet and even exceed the expectations of her clients. As a new mum (at the ripe old age of 43!), with her tradie husband, gorgeous baby boy and two mischievous pups, she balances work and family life by working from her home office in bayside Tootgarook.