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Field service: sexing up your “boring” business!

Are you ready to bring sexy back to the plumbing business? No? Good! Yes, it might have been misleading, but I just used the word sexy to grab your attention. Let’s face it, most field service businesses aren’t, but that’s ok!

Attempts to sex up “boring businesses” usually ends in disaster, and the ones that succeed in grabbing attention really only manage it through comedy (difficult!) or derision (embarrassing!). You and I know that field service businesses aren’t really boring, but when you don’t have a shiny product or exotic service, it can be a hard sell.

So why are we even talking? Well, I’m here today to tell you that helping your field service company grab your potential visitor’s attention doesn’t mean you have to resort to cheap gimmicks. Likewise, because your industry is a little more…pedestrian, it doesn’t mean that you have to be a boring business either.

I’ll let you in on a secret I’ve learned in my years in digital marketing: eye-candy is nice, but killer info is truly captivating.

Help your visitors

Let’s face it, people are coming to your website because they want to achieve a task, not because they want something nice to look at (a side note: if they are, congratulations! You’ve achieved quite a win there, in your sexy field service tech niche – but it’s not something that everyone should – or would want to – emulate!). You’re in the great position of being able to help them with that task, firstly with your product or service, and latterly with your website and social media channels, which will hopefully be full of information, tips and advice that will impress prospective clients and strengthen relationships with the ones you already have.

So, instead of trying to ramp up the heat level, why not ramp up the interest level? Since you’re operating in the field service sector – such a practical area – it’s going to be easy, and your visitors are going to love you for it.

3 actionable ways to make your boring business more interesting

Images

Don’t underestimate the power of good images. It doesn’t matter where you are using them; a strong image is a great opener. When people think about sourcing great graphics for their website, they often think exclusively about blogs and social media. While it’s true that images are crucial in these areas, don’t forget about your website. Great images will put your product or service in a positive light, enhance brand image, and pull an otherwise unremarkable website into something really attractive.

For example, when we moved into a new office here at Synchroteam, we had a photographer come and take some photos of the new digs. Our customers loved them, and they got lots of attention online – a perfect result.

Images from the Synchroteam office

A photo from Synchroteam’s new office – buh-bye boring!

So what can you do?

– Assess the images you use on your website, social media and blog posts. If you find it hard to be objective, find someone who will give you honest feedback. Are they fresh, interesting and informative?

– Brainstorm about how to improve them. Is there someone in your organisation who’s very creative? Could you get that person some training in graphic design, social media or digital art? Could you do it? Could you hire a graphics person part-time, as a freelancer or as an intern?

– Find new, improved image sources. The days of clip art are over! There are great free (and paid) stock image services that you’ll find by just googling.

– Finally, recruit a professional photographer to create an image bank for your company. This is a definite financial outlay – good photographers don’t come cheap – but it’s a long-term investment. A good professional will take the job seriously, finding out about your objectives, company branding, and more to create a personalized, professional stock of images that you – and only you – will be able to use over and over again.

Some ideas:

– Your techs in action
– Your techs with some of your biggest-name clients
– Your techs carrying out some of the most usual services
– Your product being used
– Your staff in the office: meetings, working, relaxing.

Free information – the best remedy for a boring business

Everyone loves free stuff, and field service clients are no exception. While you may be able to offer traditional free things, like keychains and travel mugs, that’s not what I’m talking about here.

Instead, I’m talking about digital freebies – in other words, free professional advice. Some of this information should be contained in your blog and/or social media, but with careful planning, you can share the information out around your website, subtly encouraging your visitors to check out certain sections or spend longer exploring.

To give you a better idea of how this might work, I’m going to pick an imaginary field service company. Looking out my window at the first signs of winter, I think a boiler maintenance company, Acme Boilers Inc, will do nicely

Free resources for visitors to AcmeBoilers.com

Ebooks

Suggested ebook titles for a "boring business"

Infographics

Infographics look good, provide concise doses of relevant info and people love to share them. Pick a topic of interest to your visitors, and get thinking.

Remember, the trick is to think beyond the immediate need of the visitor to your website. Sure, they want a boiler, but by extension are looking after their home, worried about the incoming winter, and about to spend a good chunk of money. With those 3 ideas alone, an creative mind can find a dozen ways of capturing your visitor’s attention.

For example, over at AcmeBoilers, we could try:

A mockup infographic for our mockup boring business

 

See? In just two formats, and for an imaginary “boring business”, we’ve created 10 pieces of free content that people will love to download and share.

Assorted entertainment

There are loads of other tools to add interest that you can try. The key is to get ones that are of interest to YOUR target market and visitors. For example, fun, lighthearted information (like surveys, quizzes and tongue-in-cheek articles) will work with some demographics, while others will find it frivolous. If many of your readers are residential users tasked with looking after the home, then perhaps they would enjoy more domestic-oriented features.

While I was researching this article, in fact, I found one domestic boiler company that already got a great head-start. They offered a series of downloadable recipes from various local celebrity chefs. Providing good quality information, illustrated with creative photos of the chefs, easily sharable, and branded appropriately, they are a perfect example of how a little creativity means you can do a lot online with very little!

Does your website offer a special something? Let us know over on Twitter!

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