The internet has dramatically changed the way that people find builders, plumbers, electricians, roofers, scaffolders, plasterers, gardeners and all other tradesmen. Gone are the days of a Yellow Pages ad bringing in the work. Now everything has moved online.
Since late 2011, I have been building websites and promoting tradesmen online. It all started with a conversation with a next door neighbour of mine, who worked as a plasterer. He was frustrated at not being online, but didn’t know how to get online and had a horror story of being ripped off in the past, so I began thinking about how I could help.
With my background in building websites and marketing online (more on that later), I built him a website and did some promotion.
To my (and his) joy, his phone began ringing.
Before long, word had spread and within a few months I was building a few websites per week for tradesmen around the South of England.As a result of all of this, I started Job Done Websites (www.jobdonewebsites.com).
I began my internet career in 2005, working with a small website company in Southampton while studying at uni. Working with these guys was a great experience and introduced me to the world of search engine optimising, pay per click, writing copy and generating traffic from the internet as well as offline media such as radio.
Another job I had while at uni was working in Executive Search (Corporate Headhunting). Here, I used my internet detective skills to track down suitable candidates for high paying city jobs. It was interesting and I got pretty good at finding people online!
The Drumming Business
Then after Uni I started my own internet business, recording drums for bands and musicians around the world. I’d been a keen drummer since the age of 12 and whilst at uni I’d been gigging as much as 5 nights a week and playing in 10 bands (whilst doing 2 jobs and the uni course!), so I was pretty sharp on the drums.
When I started this business, there were very few other musicians working this way. I got together the necessary recording gear, built a website and started advertising like crazy. My ability to get work meant I was able to turn professional quite quickly – and to my knowledge I was the first professional online session drummer in the UK, possibly the world.
After a few years doing this I decided to write a book about my experiences with the new and exciting world of ‘Online Session Drumming’. Unusually for me I didn’t promote it that heavily. Guess I thought people wouldn’t be that interested.
But to my surprise, people began finding the book and it took off. Before I knew it, my little book was being reviewed in the biggest drum magazines and was available on Amazon.
The Business Grows…
People began demanding more, so I set up a website and filmed a DVD. Word about the book and DVD spread on Facebook and it became clear that this was something that wasn’t going to go away.
So I cleared the diary for a couple months, stopped answering emails and went to work. I planned, scripted, filmed and edited an 11-DVD and workbook course covering every aspect of Online Session Drumming, focussing heavily on getting work and marketing yourself on the internet. This was scary because I had no idea what demand would be like, and I was charging 10 times the ‘going rate’ for drumming DVDs, or about 35 times the price of an ordinary DVD.
All the promotion was done by me online, and I studied online marketing in depth for about a year in order to be able to make the most of the launch. I pressed ‘go’ and waited.
Within a week I had sold out of the courses I had made and within 6 months I had reached my one year sales goal.
One the back of the course, I started a Monthly Membership focussing even more heavily on the internet marketing side of things.
The Tradesmen Websites Business is Born
Towards the end of last year, I met Ben – the plasterer next door – and the website company grew from that.
I’m really excited to be able to work in this area – helping tradesmen get online is something that needs to be done, and I enjoy using my experience with online marketing and building websites (the current estimate at number of websites I’ve built is over 80) to get these guys some work!