At Xometry, we’re focused on helping small manufacturers across the nation improve their business. As of 2016, there are over 190,000 manufacturers who employ less than 20 people and don’t have much time or resources to market to new customers.
A number of our ideas have to do with digital marketing. Don’t think that can help drive your business? Think again. Over the past 2 years the number of searches in Google for “machine shop near me” has increased significantly.
Google Trends shows a dramatic increase of the phrase “machine shops near me” online since 2014.
You’re used to getting business through word-of-mouth referrals, but customers are now deferring to online resources to find shops to work with. Potential customers get to know you through your website and other channels like Google before doing business with you, and testimonials from existing customers are one of the best ways to showcase your value.
I reviewed over 100 manufacturing and machine shop websites across the United States, and less than 25% of them contained at least one customer testimonial. This simple addition to your website will help you stand out from the crowd and put you well ahead of the competition.
Don’t be afraid to ask your good existing customers for an endorsement. Even if they can’t you use their names, you can use a description like “Project Engineer, Fortune 500 Aerospace Company.” It’s ok to remind them a couple times.
You are an expert in your field, and there is information in your head that customers find valuable. Start small with one blog post each month. Don’t spend more than 30 minutes. It is a small commitment and shouldn’t take away from your time on the machine shop floor. Write about anything relevant that could interest your current and prospective customers.
And don’t forget, your blog fuels Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google prioritize high-value, targeted content, and maintaining a monthly blog will increase the amount of people that are able to find your business online.
LinkedIn is a free way to improve your personal SEO and provide another place for customers to learn about you before they buy. A few minutes building your profile with your experience and expertise is well worth the effort. You can also use it to ask for recommendations and endorsements.
Google Analytics is a free, powerful tool that helps you understand the types of users viewing your site. Your current customers may not be spending any time on your site, but your potential customers are likely to check you out. With Google Analytics you can get a clear view of how many people come to your site and what they do when they’re there. You can also see where these visitors are located across the nation. There’s even an incredibly easy app you can use on your phone — I admit, I check these stats myself for our site several times a day!
Looking to grow your business or fill excess capacity? Xometry’s Partner Network provides members with free access to jobs through our online platform where you can view job details and only take the jobs that are a fit for your shop and fit within your shop’s capacity. There’s no bidding on jobs.
Xometry has over 20,000 customers who order parts through our easy-to-use platform that provides instant pricing, lead times, and manufacturability feedback. We currently offer services including CNC machining, 3D printing, sheet metal, and urethane casting. Simply sign up with no commitment or fees and try it out!