Everyone owns a car. That’s a no brainer. At some point, every car has to get worked on, whether it needs preventive maintenance or corrective maintenance. And, with the economy how it is, more people drive those busted up jalopy’s that always seem to need something done to them.
The only problem is that if I were to drive down Main Street in my town, I would count at least 6 auto service shops, and I’m doing that by memory so I may be missing a few. Is my town big? No, there are between 5,000-7,000 residents. What does that mean for these local shops?
You need to stand out:
You can only compete so much with local prices. Why? Because all of your parts cost a certain amount of money, and you need to charge a certain markup + labor in order to make a profit, if you don’t, you’ll go out of business. Local advertising is great, but costs a fortune.
In order to stand out from the rest of your competition, you need to offer something they don’t. It doesn’t happen over night, but a web presence backed by a healthy promotional campaign is the next big marketing move. Actually, it is the only big marketing move. There are people local to my town (and yours) who are looking for an honest auto repair shop.
This is a bit of a side note, but I say honest for a reason. Mechanics aren’t usually honest because they want to make money. The love of money is the root to all kinds of evil, and when a mechanic needs more of it, they may lie to get someone to spend more money on something that isn’t really needed. I’ve seen it happen.
Believe it or not, honesty is a separate marketing campaign in and of itself because there are so few honest mechanics out there. Why? Because when you’re honest, people talk. When people talk, that provides the biggest impact on your business–either positive or negative. And this doens’t just apply to auto shops.
A Website with a Blog:
Once again, you need to stand out. How many auto repair shops do you think have a blog? Besides the dealerships, there are likely none out there. That is great news for you. Why? Because when people search terms like, “how to rotate tires” they come up to your blog with your video showing them how to do it.
Speaking of tire rotation, there were almost 2,000 searches for the keyword “rotating tires” and 6,600 searches for the phrase “tire rotation”. Not to bad, if I say so myself. You, as a shop owner, need to capitalize on that. And you can, if you know how to.
You don’t have to be a WRITER:
Listen, not everyone knows how to write. If you can form basic sentences with nouns, verbs and the rest of the garbage that goes into a proper sentence, great! It isn’t that hard to learn. And with spell checker, it is almost impossible to NOT learn how to write.
But, even if you don’t want to, you could have someone else do it for you, or use a different kind of media to get your point across. There are blogs out there that use nothing but pictures. Some use videos or infographics. Some use a combination of everything. But the point of the matter is, you have to prove to your audience, that you can deliver.
You must show that you are an EXPERT:
Here’s the deal. Before I found my mechanic, I searched for a long time. I usually do all of my own work myself–unless I don’t have the tools to. But, in PA, you have to have your car inspected by a local service shop. That means, that they are the judge, jury and executioner with your car’s drive-ability. Not a good thing, in my opinion. But that’s how we roll here in Pennsyltucky.
So, I conducted an internet search. I found the guy with the highest number of high quality reviews, and went to him. He’s great. He is honest, and gives us a great deal on his work. A lot of the time, he gives us a discount on the parts because of the sheer traffic that I drive to his shop.
But that is beside the point. The point is, that I found him on the internet. I conducted a Google search for mechanics within a 10 mile radius–because I was tired of getting ripped off.
Those reviews proved that he was an expert in the automotive field. And you know what? He fixed a problem with my Jeep that neither myself, nor the Jeep dealer were able to figure out. That’s a different story for another day, but the point is, that I found him on the WEB. And I always look on the internet before I make a decision. And you know what? So do your customers.
People are ALWAYS searching for what you’re offering:
You have to realize something; people are always on the internet searching. What are they searching for? Free information. Teach them how to do the tire rotation. Or, the oil change. Or how to replace the front shocks on their car. Or, why proper maintenance is so important to keep a car running well. Or, how to drive in the snow. Or, the most common ways to break an auto transmission. Catch my drift here?
They need you to show them. That way, they can learn how to do it themselves. But once they see that the car has to get jacked up to pull all four tires off for a rotation, they will likely go to an expert to get it done.
Here’s the short list of what you need to stand out:
- A website with a blog attached to it.
- Keyword rich content (not too rich though!).
- Awesome, inspiring and share-able content.
- Prove that you are the authority on the subject.
- Let them see your contact info–but don’t be pushy.
- A content strategy to help your marketing.
- A strong social presence to help your current customers find deals.
You can do it, but you have to start somewhere. Start with a self hosted blog, install WordPress and get going. The only direction from here, is UP!