Manufacturing Business, Digital Marketing

BJ Upholstery in Darlington

Zedcomms are a company who are ‘passionate about improving the business’.  A web design, Internet marketing and business development specialist.

BJ Upholstery based in Darlington is a traditional business who restore and reupholster antique soft furnishings.  Operated by a husband and wife team they have been in the reupholstery business for thirty years.

The Challenges

The loyal customer base was reducing and the call for restoring antiques was reducing too. A wider audience was required and new markets to serve.

The Solution

First, we looked at the company website and the supporting social media. We ran a ‘Snapshot Marketing Report’ that highlighted the company’s exposure online. They had very little exposure and the new customers required did not know they existed. They were known in Darlington and narrowly showed in search results as an antique reupholster and the report gave us the information to build an action plan.

We updated the website and created an easy to publish and search-friendly platform to work with. We did not totally rebuild the website for a few reasons; we wanted to keep the costs down, it looked ok and the style showed the business as it was, a nice traditional upholstery workshop in a market town, a bit old fashioned but well established. We didn’t want to come across too ‘flash’ we didn’t want a modern generic-looking website.  The website looks like an old upholstery workshop that is producing beautiful work.

Next was to build the social profile; we added Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and started telling the BJ Upholstery story regularly. Photos and descriptions of completed work are published which is an interesting bonus as prior only the customer saw the lovely work.
Website SEO was boosted by optimising the website and adding rich content to appeal to the target customers.
This is all ongoing and flexing as the business evolves and changes with demands and requirements of the owners.

Dig Advertising SS

The Results

Inbound enquiries are at a historical high and the company is attracting the ‘perfect customer’. The perfect customers are people who appreciate quality and don’t mind paying for the best service. People from further afield have become customers, at the time of writing two sofas are in the workshop from Gloucester, BJ Upholstery are producing jobs for interior designers, making bespoke sofas to order, upholstered a chair in football shirts and last year reupholstered a footstool in a potato sack for a customer in London.

 BJ Upholstery travels to the Yorkshire Dales, York, Harrogate, Newcastle as well as the surrounding area of Darlington and Durham. 

Digital Marketing can be overused and misunderstood.  Digital Marketing is just your story and what you offer shared in the public domain, on the Internet, which is a digital environment. 

More Information

Any business can request a ‘Snapshot Marketing Report’ from Zedcomms.com, follow the link and request online.

Work With A Mentor Or Industry Expert

Mentor

Ideally, we could do with both.

An Enterprise Mentor can mentor any business in any industry but their level of specific knowledge will be limited – you still need them though.

Have an outlying mentor and build into your action plan to find an industry expert or experts as you go forward.

I’m often asked for a mentor who has worked in the mentee’s industry. I understand this but what they are asking for is an industry expert. An industry expert may not have the mentoring skills and therefor the conversations will be shallow and quick. I find experts to be fairly single-minded and will tell the mentee what to do because it worked for them. This is fine but it is not mentoring. When working with an industry expert, take what you like and leave what you don’t. 

An enterprise mentor is a person who will support you to help you achieve your goals. A mentor may share with mentee information about his or her business path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modelling. A mentor may help with decision making, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources. You can share with your mentor your finding with the industry experts to further the action plan.

 

 

Check for ‘Broken Links’ in your website

Broken Link

Housekeeping Tip

I embarrassingly stumbled on a broken link on a customers site today.  It was a text link that allowed site visitors to contact the business to find out more on special offers.  A simple fix that took less than a minute.

Don’t let it happen.  We don’t know how many visitors got to the same link and went to a dead end page – not a good impression and the visitors, more than likely, went away or on to the next thing.

A very simple tip to maximise your website – Do this:

Take some time per week to navigate through your website as if you were a visitor.  Make notes of any broken links (links that don’t go to the correct page or a dead end page as in this example).  Also, note any changes you think that will explain your product and service better and ask your web person to fix it.

Another advantage of having a peaceful hour navigating your website is you know how it navigates, how it works and what content it contains.  Refer to the website in your daily conversations with customers.

Building your reach using a website

Business street

Building a website is just the start of your marketing journey.  The best business websites are established ones.  So get your website setup and published as soon as possible.  If your website is already published but (as in many cases) dormant this can be a benefit as the search engines know you exist.

Building your reach and popularity.

Here are some tips to build your website performance, reach more customers and get more enquiries.

Update it often – I’ve been saying this since the late 1990s but most businesses don’t because they don’t have the time, inclination, they haven’t seen a return on investment and possibly don’t know how to do it.  OK – so hire someone to do it.

Add good keywords, location – often forgotten is location – not just your location but where you do business.  Tag your pages and posts with the town or city, area or region you did business in.  If you want to reach a location specifically then tag using the desired locations.  As an example; I work with a furniture restoration company who have recently started reaching customers who weren’t too far away but hey didn’t get any enquiries.  Since we started tagging the desired town a flow of fresh customers have started coming in and of course, the momentum builds along with word of mouth.

Add good keywords, services – as above you can tag posts and pages with the services you offer.  For example; you are a printer and you are known for business cards and letterheads but you also provide posters and picture framing.  Tag your posts with what you have delivered and you also provide.

I hope this helps – contact us if you have any questions or comments.