A Newbie to Checkatrade
At the tail end of 2020 I decided to join Checkatrade. My business is not a 'classic' trade (my team and I provide drone services for a wide range of sectors) so I wasn't sure if there would be a good fit but I thought 'heh, let's give it a go'. I also come from a marketing background, in fact I run a boutique marketing agency, so hopefully that's helped but it was all new to me here too.
So after signing up for a trial package I went to work on the basics, the 'stuff I could do on day 1':
- Filling out the profile information
- Adding initial folders for photographs, videos etc. to show work
- Uploading Certifications and verifying
A Bit Stuck
A bit tricky to be honest as some of the specialist areas we offer aren't available in the categories e.g. Thermal drone work; land surveying; visual and thermal building inspections. And nor are the key Certifications required to provide our services such as CAA - Civil Aviation Authority, approvals and Certifications.
But I worked around these by adding to the profile information - whether this will show in 'search' on Checkatrade or wider on Google I was unsure. Lauren, Checkatrade Community Manager has kindly advised since that "This will help with SEO on google but not on the Checkatrade searches". Great to know!
I decided to open up the search to the wider world on Checkatrade. My companies' name isn't very well known yet, so unlikely that someone would find my business in Checkatrade that way. Within a week or so of doing so I suddenly got 5 x enquiries - some were a 'goer' some not. I replied to all of them regardless and advised of alternatives if they weren't services we could offer e.g. providing a RICs Surveyor report, I referred them to a surveyor I know.
Some of them did turn into work, which is great! So the paid for option has already covered itself 5x over. Worthwhile in my view!
Because of the type of business I have, my work tends to be mostly referrals and collaborations with other trades therefore the Checkatrade Community works really well for me.
I try to dip in and out of others' posts, articles, comments and also write my own - either to 'inform' more about what we do and how we can work/help generate work for other trades or on more general topics.
Whilst the Community is more leads for me than other businesses the Networking groups will help to source more work as itís a great way to connect with local members of all trade types.
So far I am finding it a great way of generating work. In general, with the Checkatrade profile, I feel one has to 'work at it' a bit and keep things fresh, but hopefully, that's what you're finding too. That with effort comes rewards? My advice would be to ensure your profile page is jam-packed with useful information and pictures that will help customers to choose you over someone else.
Open to Chat
I am always open to having a chat to see how to collaborate with others: Roofers, Builders, Land Surveyors, Property Developers, Architects, Construction, Interior Designers....
Talking of which I was on a job the other day, surveying a roof for a customer who needed photographic and thermal photography evidence, of the root cause of a leak in their roof. I provided accurate data and images to support their case - and spotted the root cause of the leak, which wasn't as obvious as it may have seemed nor visible to the naked eye, the thermal images picked it out.
During the job, some builders got chatting to me, I explained what I was doing and that I can survey in absolute detail all elements of a roof that they would like to, small or large and at height (the one I was doing was over 3 stories). Completing the work on site in about 3hrs and delivering the 'evidence' within 48hrs.
They asked me - "So you could fly roofs we think need redoing, or the customer thinks needs looking at, provide the information, so that we can then evidence why we could help the customer by doing our work?"
I replied - "Yes, without ladders or scaffolds, in a rapid turn around time and with detail that would give the customer confidence that the works are required".
They - "Took my business card and have been in touch since with work that's now planned" Nice collaboration!
So feel free to give me a shout! We never know how we can help each other to generate more business.
09-04-21, 14:35S4G Drone ServicesThings to do when first joining Checkatrade? What I've tried in first 3-6 Months
Just had a look at your website, your house tour made me smile, nice touch with the curry recipe :)
We work with a couple of surveying companies, Ill pass on your details to them
Hey Mark @S4G Drone Services
Thank you so much for creating and sharing this detailed and very helpful post!
Its great to see you're doing well and that joining as an affiliate member, to then switching to a 'live searched for' member, made a huge difference within 1 week for business and enquries.
How did you find navigating your way around the Members Area for upload text, pictures, videos etc. Did you find it easy and do you have any tips for other members when creating text or uploading pictures/videos?
I was wondering if you've had to use the 'Remind Your Customer' tool yet too?
I'm looking forward to seeing and hear about more of your collaborations with other members soon
12-04-21, 17:27S4G Drone Services
Thanks Jason, and glad that the Curry Recipe made you smile. Just shows a different 'flavour' of what can be achieved for all kinds of businesses. Much appreciate you passing on my details to surveyors.
Please do let me know if there's anything I can do for you, even an intro that would help.
12-04-21, 17:29S4G Drone Services
Hi Lauren, many thanks. It was a little difficult setting up and navigating the pages, uploading etc. particularly getting qualifications and certifications validated (as many I/we hold aren't available from the dropdown lists yet, nor are some of the Services we offer).
Apart from that no problems at all. Delighted to be part of the Checkatrade Community and one of the first Checkatrade drone companies listed.