Starting a successful local business in any industry comes with a set of distinct challenges, especially in relation to the initial marketing and promotion stages. Most carpenters aren’t already equipped with extensive marketing skills, so there’s usually a bit of a learning curve involved when you’re trying to create brand awareness independently.

Of course, investing in a third-party marketing service is an option, but ultimately, it’s best to know how to advertise your own company, which will save money and facilitate better results in the long-term. With that said, here are seven things you can do to effectively market a local carpentry business:

Encourage referrals

Referrals and recommendations are incredibly important in any form of local business, especially those related to services that are judged based on quality. In general, if you do good work you should receive a good number of referrals naturally, but it’s also wise to encourage word of mouth by asking your existing clients to refer their friends, family members, co-workers, and members of their community.

Leaving a business card with all your information on it is a good way to start. In addition to your contact info, you’ll also want your card to display your company’s logo and some key advantages of your services. For example, you’ll want to mention that your services are protected by carpenter’s insurance and maybe also provide some sort of satisfaction-based guarantee. It is important that you choose a provider that can work for you, this may be through monthly payments, as carpenters insurance can help you secure customers and ensures protection.

Create comprehensive business listings

Aside from trying to create new business from existing clients, you’ll also want to make your brand easy to find online, as a large percentage of consumers use search engines to select local service providers. You’ll want to start by listing your business on Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, and other popular business directories and networking sites. The more places your company is listed online, the more opportunities you’ll have to make an impression on prospective customers who are comparing carpenters in your area.

Start a blog

After you’ve launched a basic website, printed some business cards to hand out to existing clients, and have placed your site in all the best directories, it’s best to enhance your online efforts by launching a continually updated blog related to carpentry. This will give you a chance to display your expertise and knowledge while also attracting additional web traffic. Many times, people will start with a DIY approach and later change their mind while searching for the necessary information, so providing solid instruction and insight on your blog is a good way to say “hey, if you want to do it yourself, here’s how it’s done. Or, we can do it for you.”

Target keywords

After starting your blog, it’s best to create your written content around specific keywords and topics that are likely to generate traffic from search engines. For a local carpentry business, this would mean optimizing for keywords like “carpenters in (insert your city name here)” or “carpentry services in (insert your city name here)”. It’s also worthwhile to develop guides and informational posts related to trending topics or common queries, such as DIY tutorials and how-to guides. Furthermore, covering news related to carpentry is a good way to give the site a boost in traffic and relevant web presence.

Network with local businesses

One of the best ways to start generating more referrals and repeat business is to give your business cards and/or brochures to local business so they can display them on their counter and/or pass them on to interested customers. Of course, certain kinds of businesses will provide more leads than others. For example, you may want to start by networking with hardware stores, property restoration companies, and construction contractors. In some cases, the latter will even contract your services on a repeat basis, so marketing on a business-to-business (B2B) basis is definitely worthwhile.

Incentivize reviews

Even when a customer is thoroughly satisfied, they’re usually not in a rush to go online and leave a sparkling review, as it may not even cross their mind. One way to encourage more positive reviews is to offer an incentive for customers who participate, such as discounts on future transactions, or even complimentary services. When people stand to gain something from leaving a review they’re much more likely to take time out of their day for it.

Practice ongoing SEO

Finally, after you’ve done all of the above, you can greatly benefit by implementing local search engine optimization (SEO) tactics in every new blog post and page added to your site. You can also improve your rankings by guest authoring on authoritative sites that are relevant to your niche and then linking back to your site within your guest posts.

Marketing gets easier once you’ve gained some momentum

While all of the above might seem like a gauntlet of things to do for someone who has never done marketing before, things will inevitably start to take care of themselves to an extent once the ball is rolling.