If you want to set yourself up in business as an engineer, there is no doubt that the crucial steps of marketing your business can be challenging. You need to learn the optimal strategy and how to put it into practice. Creating effective marketing strategies when starting out can take just as much of your time and effort as the actual work with your consultancy itself.
However, there are several ways in which you can optimize your marketing strategy when selling your engineering consultancy, and below we offer seven of the best ways to get the best “bang for your buck” while doing so.
1. Employ Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is one of the most effective ways of making your consultancy visible online. Because of this, it ought to be prioritized when you are thinking about your marketing strategies.
If you’re not familiar with SEO, it is basically a way of making your company or consultancy more visible when people are searching for particular keywords using Google or other search engines. You can design your website so that it has the best chance of showing up near the top of a search for a specific word or phrase, for example, “Engineering consultancy in New York City”; SEO will help alert the search engine to the fact that your website fulfils the search criteria.
To optimize your chances of being picked up by search engines using SEO you or your website designer needs to add or change certain things on your website make it more likely that you will appear near the top of any search lists. Keywords are one of the essentials for SEO: you need to think about what the most likely searches will be in your sector and add words that reflect them in your page titles and text. Continually expanding your website and updating content also helps get priority from search engines, as does improving page loading times, visual appearance of your site, etc.
Optimizing SEO can seem a challenge if you do not have the expertise, but without it you have very little chance of your potential clients finding you on the Internet. Either employ a professional to help you in this area or seek out the many “how to” articles and videos available online.
2. Use pay-per-click advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an excellent way of rapidly boosting traffic to your website and improving your revenue. When you use PPC advertising you can choose the phrases or keywords that you want to make your website show up in searches. When people search for your keywords or phrases, if you are offering the best price for PPC to the search engine, your website will be at the top or near the top of search listings. You don’t even have to pay for this listing, you only pay for the number of people who click through to your website from your listing; to retain control of the economic side of things, you can set a limit of clicks per day, per week, per month etc.
3. Provide the best content
Everybody loves something for nothing, so try to provide your visitors with high-quality content that will be helpful to them, whether it’s a blog post, a video, an e-book, discount offers – whatever you think your potential clients will like best. This is a way of catching the eye of people as they search the Internet and it also helps to push your site up search engine rankings. Naturally, if people are happy with your content, they are more likely to remember you and consider you when they need your engineering services, or recommend you to others.
4. Publish an email newsletter
Newsletters are an excellent way of both contacting future clients and keeping in touch with the ones you already have. Historically email marketing has been about pitching goods or services to recipients, often uninvited, or sending special offers, but with your engineering company you should think about what value you can add for your clients.
Your email newsletter could certainly be used to advertise any discounts or special offers you wish to promote but should also provide the recipients with interesting or useful information, for example you can explain aspects of engineering to them, offer them links to engineering-related blogs or news items that may interest them, and let them know about your company and its personnel. Ideally a newsletter should read more like a letter from a friend or acquaintance, with a chatty and engaging style that recipient is happy to read – not a bombardment of hard sales talk.
Numerous email marketing platforms are available on the Internet, with MailChimp being perhaps the best known. These platforms allow you to send out email newsletters at no charge or minimal costs. However, you must bear in mind that you must not have anyone on your mailing list who has not specifically agreed to be a recipient. If non-subscribers receive your emails, you could get in trouble for sending spam.
5. Employ social media
Whatever type of business you’re in, social media is an excellent way of staying in touch with your existing customers and attracting new ones. You can enjoy direct communication with clients through social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can use these platforms to answer questions from customers, keep customers updated about what you’re doing and any changes to your offer or company details, and to alert them to special offers or services that you can provide.
6. Get reviewed
Getting a good body of online reviews has become extremely important in marketing your engineering firm. Good reviews are a great help in bringing in new clients, and an absence of reviews may make people look elsewhere. You should always keep an eye on your reviews on sites like Google, Yelp and Angie’s List; if you get a bad review, and every company will get some eventually, don’t take it to heart; either politely and constructively explain why you don’t agree with the reasons for the bad review or, if the review is justified, offer redress to the customer and hopefully they might edit or delete their review. Another way of combating bad reviews is to encourage good ones; always ask your satisfied customers if they can leave you a good review if possible. If your work is good enough, over time the good reviews will vastly outweigh the bad ones.
7. Build up trust
Trust is one of the hardest things to create within the business environment, but when you have created it it can be invaluable. When your clients trust you and believe in your services, they will often refer others to you. It has been shown that 80% of consumers make purchase and commissioning decisions based on recommendations from others. If you use the digital marketing tips above to build up solid relationships based on trust with your clients, you can gain advantages that no amount of paid for advertising can generate.
Hopefully the above tips have given you some ideas about the ways in which you can market your engineering company. Don’t forget that once your engineering company is up and running and successful, one simple error or omission could expose you to a lawsuit that could take everything away. Because of this, it is highly advisable to consider taking out professional liability insurance for engineers, designed for engineering firms, so that if something does go wrong you won’t lose everything you’ve worked so hard to gain.