One of the most satisfying parts of my job is to pick up the phone several times a day and answer questions from subscribers. No two questions are ever the same and it often becomes a learning experience for everyone involved.
Lately there have been a rash of phone calls to our office from private citizens. Each phone caller had the same question: “Do you make duplicate keys for cars?” After fielding a few of these calls, I finally asked one of the callers how they got our number. The caller had used a cell phone and searched for “auto keys.” Somehow the Locksmith Ledger phone number popped up on the screen.
A similar situation is occurring on my home network. When using Google for any lock-related subject, a box is displayed in the upper right corner of the computer screen asking the question, “Need a locksmith?” After viewing this locksmith box on many occasions, I decided to click on ‘yes’ and follow the trail. An 888 phone number is displayed so you can immediately call or a space is provided so you can enter a description of your security problem plus your E-mail address or phone number and the internet locksmith company will contact you. I did not provide contact information and terminated my conversation with the Google locksmith.
During my locksmith career I spent thousands of dollars for Yellow Page ads. The ads worked in those days and the phone kept ringing. Today people have several ways to contact someone and the use of Yellow Pages is no longer at the top of the list.
Advertising is basically any kind of system which can be used to generate publicity. Companies which are the most skilled at advertising their product or service have found economical ways to obtain the largest amount of publicity for the cost.
An old friend of mine is in the advertising specialties business. He sells pens and LED lights which can be embossed with your company logo or other information. Products like these are generally distributed to people you already have as customers. A less expensive, modern way to reach your existing group of customers is with E-mail newsletters, Twitter, Facebook or other social media outlets. Your company name is continually put in front of existing customers and the price is right. Your message is not stagnant such as with giveaway items and you can offer periodic promotions or discounts to measure advertising success.
The real test of advertising is how many new customers you can develop. Any business will lose a small percentage of customers each year. To increase business, new customers must be cultivated. As the security industry changes, it is imperative that we must somehow let the public know that we are still here, prepared with new technologies, and can do the job.
There are many website developers and website hosting services listed on the Internet. There are companies who offer search engine optimization (SEO) which are in business to help you stay near the top of the Internet list when the public searches for locksmith assistance. A well-written website can mean the difference between keeping your existing customers and attracting new customers or losing business to distant companies who are in the website business of obtaining a wider sphere of influence.
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Ten or twenty years ago there was no question that your business required a Yellow Page presence. Jobs are derived from two sources, return customers and new customers. In a non-emergency...