If you are a tradesperson. chances are that you have been relying on leads from referrals and third party sites. There are some benefits for start-ups  when it comes to lead generation, and if you are a local plumber, electrician, gardener, or glazier, you will find work instantly. The good news is that you will only pay for leads – most of the time – unless you are paying for upgraded listings. There are some facts trades directories don’t share on their terms and conditions, or hide them in the small print.

There are, however, some disadvantages of using trades directories and most of the sites will keep very quiet about them. In this blog post we will reveal them so you can make a decision which way to go.

They will Send the Same Leads for Multiple Tradespeople In the Area

When you register on a trades directory such as CheckATrade, Yell, MyBuilder, or TrustedTrader, you will be competing against the rest of the people in your area wanting the same job. So, it’s about pricing most of the time, and you don’t get to choose who you want to work with. Chances are that you will come across some nightmare customers you wish you never had!

You will pay for leads that are not exclusive to your business; in a way, people just put out there what they want, but they are not searching for you as a local tradesperson specifically. This is one of the most important facts trades directories don’t want you to know.

Upgrading Your Listing Will Not Get You to First Position on Google; Only the Directory

Many directories (well, salespeople) will tell you that you will get to the first page of Google if you advertise with them. The chances of this are very slim. You will probably get to the top 5 results when local customers search for what you do, if you pay enough. Getting on the first page of Google is a completely different kettle of fish.

Lack of Control: Your Business Can Disappear Once You Cancel

The truth about paid listings with trades directories is that once you cancel the monthly or yearly fee, you will stop getting business. So, you will have to go out there and find your own. That’s why we recommend that you have a local presence; a listing – even if it is a one-page website to let your customers contact you. That way, you will not have to pay for leads, and chose who you work with.

You Can Only Display Limited Information

Of course, there are also limited branding opportunities when it comes to adding a listing to trades directories. You can generally add your contact details to free listings; portfolios etc. are usually extra, and you will have to upgrade your package. The question is; how can you stand out with limited information among dozens of tradesmen in your area who are offering the same thing? It is a tough nut to crack!

If you have been stung by directories, you have to know that you are not alone! Check out this post by the Yell Action Group!

You Are Competing on Price Most of the Time

People who go to website directories usually have the price in mind. They will look to get the best value for money, so they are more likely to choose an inexperienced or cheaper tradesperson. One of the facts trades directories don’t want you to know is that they don’t actually check whether there is a real job going on. So you might end up chasing your tail getting the leads that only care about the cheapest price. Or you might be bidding on work that your competitors put out there to check your prices.

What’s the Better Option Marketing Your Trades Business Online?

Getting a free listing in trades directories is good, but you will also have to have your own brand presence. That’s why we recommend that you get a portfolio website that is yours and cannot be taken away. You can also get a free Google Maps listing, and collect your own testimonials. This way, you will build your reputation and assets for long term. instead of relying on leads you share with other tradespeople in the area.

Would you like to find out more about how to grow your trades business without directories?

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