As a locksmith beginner, my first instinct was to protect my tools. I decided that the best way to do that was to drive an unmarked vehicle. Any vehicle signage mentioning “locksmith” seemed to be a way to alert every miscreant in the area that something valuable was in my truck.
My thinking has changed drastically over the years. Business is hard to develop and every successful business uses advertising to some degree. Yellow pages, the internet, radio, TV and newspapers are all popular ways to get your message to the public. But most of these advertising possibilities come with a cost.
One of the least expensive ways to advertise is on the sides of your service vehicle. Your vehicle serves as a moving billboard. Many people have remarked to me during my locksmith career that they had repeatedly seen my vehicle somewhere on the road.
Successful advertising requires repetition. The more times your business name is placed before the public, the better chance you have of people remembering your company when they require locksmith assistance.
The most important point is to feature your business name in bold print. If the public does not remember anything else, your truck lettering must instill the connection in their mind of your name plus ‘locksmith.’
Additional messages printed on your vehicle are also important. If there is too much wording, it becomes a gray blur and people will lose interest in reading whatever you have to say. Short sentences such as, “24 hour service” or “established in 1947” are important facts and easily read by people as you drive by. A short, memorable slogan is also helpful in quickly getting your message across. A slogan such as “qualified bonded locksmiths” or “professional security solutions” says a lot in just a few words.
In addition to establishing credibility with your truck sign, a short resume of specialties is also helpful. It is difficult to be a general practitioner locksmith today. Most locksmiths find it more profitable to specialize in certain areas such as automotive, safe work or electronic security. You might show bullet points such as “safe specialist, CCTV installations,” or any other specialty you would like the public to know about.
The year or model of your vehicle is not important, but cleanliness is. A vehicle with a good paint job which is kept washed on a regular basis exudes professionalism to the public. A rusty, unwashed truck is not quite in the same category.
Pictures accompanying this article are from some local locksmith shops in the Chicago area. Each shop has their own creative advertising ideas as to what will catch the attention of the public. If you have truck lettering which is a real attention-getter, send a picture and small paragraph about your vehicle and we will feature it on the back page.
3030 Salt Creek Lane Suite 200
Arlington Hts. IL 60005
or Email: Gale.Johnson@cygnuspub.com
When business is quiet, take some time to create a flier, search the Internet for organizations looking for a guest speaker, or visit potential customers and drop off your brochure.
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