Case Studies Should Be Part of Your Content Mix

By Rosemarie Ascherl-Lenhard, Public Relations Foreman, Sonnhalter

The terms “case study” and “testimonial” are sometimes used interchangeably, however case studies are not exactly testimonials. Although one piece of content can pull double duty, a simple testimonial can’t provide the value for your organization that a case study can.

In marketing, a testimonial is essentially a statement by a customer providing an endorsement of a product or service. A case study is a more in-depth, valuable piece of content. Spinach content if you will. Case studies explore a user’s journey, not just with your organization, but through their entire problem and solution. Ideally, (more…)

Share this:

Social Media, How Can Tradesmen Connect?

Mile Free, Director of Industry Research and Technology for the Precision Machined Products Association, is posting today with advice for connecting on social media. Miles blogs regularly on PMPA’s blog, Speaking of Precision.

As tradesmen, advertising used to be pretty easy to figure out. A yellow pages ad in the local phone book, small display advertisements in the newspaper and maybe some classified advertisements in the weekly as well. Near a big city? Maybe you would have bit the bullet for a display ad in their yellow pages too. As a customer, in the old days, that’s how I would have found you…

So who uses a phone book these days?

Who still has a land line phone?

How many folks with smartphones walk around carrying a phone book?

My latest phone book is still on the front porch

My latest phone book is still on the front porch

That’s a trick question. While no one is carrying a phone book, the fact is that when they need to find something, they go search for it. On their smart phone or web device. How easy are you to find on search? For what kind of things are you on Google’s page one?

I’m not suggesting that you need to pay for advertisements on Google to get to page one, but if you use  social media tools correctly, you can be found on Google for the services that you provide, and that your customers want.

While I am a staff director for a trade association of precision machining companies, the lessons I learned about how to increase visibility in online search are just as applicable to tradesmen to build your credibility, and thus your visibility online.

Here are 5 steps to increasing your online visibility:

  1. Make sure that your website covers the products and services that you provide. Having an up-to-date website with photos is key to engaging your potential customers and audience. Think of it as your online showroom. Make it look like a showroom, a place where people would like to shop. Nice photos on your website and in your blog get you found on Google too.
  2. Create a blog to share your expertise. It will only take an hour or two a week to create some modest posts about your specialty, or show pictures and discuss a job you just completed, or why you should use a professional to do ____. Share it on both your business and personal Facebook pages.
  3. Use LinkedIn Groups and Facebook to increase your credibility in Google and other search engines. LinkedIn Groups are where you can post your blog posts as news items to get wider viewership. As Google finds your content on places other than your blog and website, it boosts your trust factor and credibility. Find them for your trade, your customers and your locale. Facebook provides a great way to have a conversation with your “natural market”- the folks you already know- and gives them material to help generate word of mouth. Even Twitter can have a role in your tradesman marketing.
  4. Repurpose what you already have. If you already have a sales brochure, repost sections of it as stand-alone blog content. Take photos from your jobs completed book, repost them telling a bit about the back story- How by doing it with your approach, you saved the owner $XXX in time or dollars. Or why these materials instead of XYZ…
  5. Share your expertise. Keeping your expertise hidden doesn’t help anyone. “3 things that can go wrong when you pour Liquid Fire ™ down your toilets instead of getting professional help” may just save someone’s eyesight, as well as help people think about what is really important when trying to solve their problem.

You are an expert. You don’t have to tell anyone why you use 1-1/4” fasteners instead of the 1” ones …but what’s the harm in pointing out that as a professional you use the right fastener for the job, as opposed to just buying the cheapest ones down at the depot store? And then showing them a photo of a job you had to fix because the other guy didn’t use the right fastener?

As you share more and more of your wisdom and experience online, if you tag it properly, you will soon discover that Google has put you on page one for some of products and services in your area that you offer. Because you blogged about them with credibility. And it happened without an ad buy- because to Google, you have become the credible expert in your area.

Share this:

3 Ways Tradespeople Can Use Social Media To Boost Credibility and Business-Part 1

I’m always trying to give manufacturers ideas on how to reach the professional tradesman by using social media. I’ve asked a friend of mine and fellow B-to-B  blogger Nicky Jameson to offer her comments and insights on how the tradespeople can utilize social to build their business. I think you will enjoy her comments in this 2-part series. Enjoy.

Many tradespeople feel they don’t really need to have anything to do with social media. Perhaps because their business comes mostly through referrals, or they don’t see immediate value in social media, or they feel it may take up too much time and they need to be out getting new business. And many tradespeople feel intimidated by social media.

Getting business is important and should never take a back seat to your marketing activities. Social media tools are exactly that – tools. However social media is an opportunity you don’t want to miss because it can actually help you target local business more effectively. More importantly, it can help establish you as a trusted person to do business with. Trust, engagement and relationships are the building blocks of business – and social media.

If you’re a tradesperson, you rely on word of mouth to spread the word about your business and services. Did you know social media can help you take this to a new level?

Here are 3 ways Tradespeople can use social media to benefit their customers and business:

1. Use social media to establish trust with consumers

Did you know that one of the top concerns consumers have with regard to allowing tradespeople into their homes is trust? Put yourselves in your customer’s shoes for a moment. As a customer, you’re alone in an emergency. You need a plumber or an electrician… or another tradesperson to fix something you can’t do yourself. You’ve never met the tradesperson, yet there you are about to let a complete stranger into your home for an unspecified time. Most people are uncomfortable about allowing strangers into their homes at any time and they usually have no way of knowing who’s trustworthy and who isn’t.

femaletradesAccording to Hattie Hasan of UK plumbing company Stopcocks, trust has never been more important and consumers are becoming increasingly cautious when hiring tradespeople. They also want to ensure they spend their money wisely… on jobs well done.

When you join a social network that operates on a trust basis with other tradespeople, it helps you establish trust with consumers. When they search for you online and see you are in a trust-based social network, it helps build confidence in potential customers.

Part two will cover :

Using social media to build a positive word of mouth

Using Social media to establish yourself as an authority

See Part 2 here.

Nicky Jameson is an online copywriter who specializes in improving B2B websites. She’s also a blogger on using social media for business. Nicky blogs at and her website is


Share this: