Canadian Contractor

Have you been Googled lately?

Online research is the new factory way of thinking. If you keep plugging away as a renovator with your old factory way of thinking, it's possible your business might go extinct.

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January 29, 2014 by Alec Caldwell

Whether you like it or not, most of your potential customers will Google you before deciding whether or not you’re the right contractor for them.

Online research is the new factory way of thinking. It’s a fact that most consumers will go online to gather information and decide what they are buying, who they will buy from and the price they are willing to pay.

If you keep plugging away with your old factory way of thinking and not managing or having an online profile, it’s possible in time you might go extinct.

Negative comments online, about your work, honesty or integrity will – absolutely – hurt your ability to sign up new customers. This is self-evident. Yet, too many contractors pay little attention to their online reputations. Canadian Contractor took a close look at this topic last summer:  “Has your reno work been slammed by a customer online?”

If and when you are “slammed” online, it’s important to remember that the way you respond to such accusations will show everyone the type of contractor you are and how your customer service is.

How widely do you have to spread your net online? Well, if you depend on only one source of online marketing (such as just having your own website, or being listed at one contractor review site), this could be a mistake.

In addition to sites like HomeStars, it’s worth looking at your presence on Facebook or LinkedIn. Here you can make article blogs, post job photos – and even get customer reviews. No money changes hands to get higher ratings. 18.6 million Canadians are on Facebook and 7 million of us are on on LinkedIn.

And a note on the importance of LinkedIn: reserach shows that 82% of consumers “trust” LinkedIn, compared to just 28% who trust Twitter and 23% who trust Facebook.

With LinkedIn you have to put up a profile and everyone who reports good or bad things about you has to be on LinkedIn themselves. This could also include your suppliers. So everyone is accountable. This helps to eradicate false reviews.

Online marketing is all about building up your profile whereever you can, showcasing your company and your expertise and not swimming in the same old pool. If you think you can work the old factory way forever, think about this. It became harder overnight to telemarket when the privacy law arrived. Paper advertising still works well – but lots of people are immediately consigning newspapers to the blue bin as soon as they arrive at their door. Spam emails are being caught in filters or hastily deleted without being read. The new frontier is your web presence.

And although you don’t want to spend too much time online, remember that all you need to monitor your “webutation” is 15 minutes a day. Or you can hire someone to do this for you.

Google your name now and see what your customers are saying about you.


CARAHS was founded as a non-profit association to help, educate, inform and mentor self-employed renovators, builders, trades and home services. We welcome your comments, feedback and stories to share with others.

We offer education, information and benefits.

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Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell is the Founder of CARAHS, a Health & Safety Organization. We are approved providers by the Ministry of Labour (Ontario) to teach Working at Heights Training (Pro#34609) Visit the Ministry of Labour's web site to view our listing
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