trades marketing agency

Observation: 7 Steps to Scale a 7+ Figure Trades Business

· 2018

7 steps to growing a 7+ figure NZ trades company.


trades marketing agency

6 figures is fine but how about 7? We’ve put together 7 steps to 7 figures specifically for the NZ trades industry.

Step One: Know what your competition ate for breakfast.

Competitor research and analysis is another way of saying ‘look at your competition, take notes of what you think is working for them and apply it to your own business’. It’s best to research your competition, even the little fish. What are they doing well? What are they doing wrong and what is your competitive advantage? Start critiquing your own internal processes and set some KPI’s. What could you be doing, better than them?

Things to consider:

  • Are they going forward or backwards?
  • Where’s the majority of their work coming from?
  • What platforms are they advertising on?
  • What are they currently doing better than you?
  • What’s their website like?
  • What can you do better than them?

Step Two: Audit your value proposition regularly (aka your services).


Businesses naturally evolve over time and as industry and tech changes so should you.

However, it’s extremely important to ensure that your business is evolving in the right direction. From our observations within the industry, businesses that recognise their strengths, that know where they make most of their money, and then implement change to focus on these areas, are the ones who experience rapid growth.

What this looks like in real time:

  • Establish your range of services.
  • Work out which ones cost you more/less.
  • Work out your margins factoring advertising cost cross service + wages.
  • Consider changing the direction of your advertising and employ the next members of your team to ensure you’re making BANK.

Step Three: Position your brand, perception IS reality.


Branding is much more than a name, slogan, logo or design. Today, ‘brand’ is a bit more complex, and even more important in today’s world of marketing. It’s the perception that a customer has when they hear or think of your company name. It’s what forms first impressions and it says a lot about your business, it helps to position your brand and ultimately establish trust in your business.

As a first impression, branding is ‘make or break’, can the customer instantly know what it is that you offer? If you’ve nailed it, they’ll look further in which case does your slogan give them enough information to enquire? From there, do your fonts and colours appear to be uniform? Are your email footers and quoting documents well presented? Do you appear to be organised enough for them to trust you with their investment?

If you’re not quite convinced, let’s take a closer look at where your branding will end up:

  • Firstly, your mum/dad will see your brand.
  • It’ll be on every business card, email footer, staff shirt and invoice you ever send out.
  • All of your Facebook friends will see your branding.
  • You’ll likely spend over $1000 signwriting each work vehicle you buy (which means if you live in Auckland, hundreds of thousands of people will see it on your car in traffic each year).
  • Your ex-partner (s) will see your branding.
  • It’ll be all over your website – it’s the first thing major property developers or architects will see when considering working with you.
  • Every dollar you spend on marketing and advertising will be pushing your brand.

Step Four: Measure twice, cut once.


When it comes to websites, it’s really important to get this right. Your website will be the central hub for new and repeat business, it’s a reference point for developers, architects and new workers. If you _____ this up, it’ll end up costing you more, not just in the long run, but every step of the way.

As we’re first and foremost a digital marketing/advertising agency, our priority has been in delivering cost-effective, well-formed marketing /advertising campaigns. We first started designing and developing websites as a reaction to the number of poorly built websites which we were being asked to market on. These websites were either built on platforms which search engines (Google) couldn’t read and/or the UX (user experience) was too difficult to navigate, therefore, marketing/advertising these websites was not cost effective.

Not having a cost-effective platform to advertise on means you’re NEVER going to be competitive in your digital space. It’s like trying to build a house with a spoon when everyone else has new milwaukee electric nail guns. Your website needs to be built on an adaptable and scalable CMS, SEO structured platform with clear calls-to-action and seamless UX throughout.

We could write about websites until your eyes dry up, if it’s something you’re wanting more info about, Leon will gladly talk your ears off over a few beers in the office sometime, just request a meeting.

website design agency

Step Five: Show them you work and they’ll show you the money.


People these days are super visual – When considering tradies for a renovation, restoration, or other project, people are more inclined to go with a company which, as well as being found on Google and having seamless UX, have the best examples of their work displayed in a gallery on their website.

Document what is happening on the construction site on social media every time there’s something worth sharing. For big projects invest in quality photo and video content (We recommend before and afters). You can use this content to keep your website and advertising material current.

Quality content = more cost-effective marketing through social media.
Decent showcases = bigger and better contracts.
Bigger contracts = more money.
More money = bigger boat.

Treat your photo and video content as the foundations of your companies growth, you wouldn’t build a house on foundations you found on an iPhone 4 from 3 years ago so don’t treat your business any differently.

Video is an area that is growing at an incredible rate, and these statistics show why:

  • 97% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service
  • 76% say it helped them increase sales
  • 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video

Step Six: All exposure is good exposure unless you’re BP and you spill oil.


Marketing and advertising works best when the service/output is at its best – word of mouth is still the most qualified lead, it has potential to create a long line of business referrals if you’re offering a fantastic service.


Marketing means, no matter what stay visible and at the forefront. Having a consistent flow of inbound leads means you can go fishing for longer periods at a time and leave admin to sort the quotes and paperwork. It also means when it comes to selling your business, your company will be worth more.


Once established, you can stop paying for Google Ads. Ranking on page 1 search results organically for all related terms in your industry helps to establish you as an industry leader. Cold call salespeople call this SEO and more often than not they outsource it to India. We recognise it as an essential part of your overall strategy. Work in this area generally consists of blogging, backlinking, copywriting, web development, mobile optimisation, schema markup, blood, sweat, and tears.


Having a community of people following and engaging with your business on social media will bring in more business. The general rule of thumb is that social media is best used to share your company’s story and culture while allowing people to connect with your brand on an instant, personal level. This forms an intrinsic sense of involvement/ a relationship between your followers and your brand, once they like your page, they’ve shown allegiance to following your journey. However, established an engaged audience won’t happen overnight. You’ll need a content strategy a high-level understanding of Facebook Business Manager and an advertising budget.


A well structured Google Ad campaign will help to bring in short-term leads as well as repeat business. These are paid leads, between industries these generally can cost anywhere between $3 – $15, only ever charged each time someone clicks through to your website – this is where having the right website helps to impact whether the person gets in contact, as well as how much you’re paying per click.

We generally recommend pairing this with a display network campaign targeting all past website traffic. It’s a reminder that you exist, builds brand recall and ultimately contributes to the likeliness for a potential lead to trust and choose you. If poorly set up, again, you’re going to have an extremely hard time being competitive and establishing ROI (return on investment).


Digital marketing supplements other traditional marketing efforts, on a larger scale they work well together. Ever thought of doing radio ads? Maybe a billboard or even a brochure?

Most traditional advertising has the same end goal as digital campaigns, to make a sale, complete registration etc.  

As an agency, we’ve worked on projects with a range of different budgets, across a range of different platforms; radio, billboards, busses, flyer drops, bus shelters, tvcs, you name it. We can tell you now, if you’re willing to stick to your guns and invest, traditional advertising is worth considering. We can also tell you that the budgets we’d recommend here are around 15-50k per month, with a stern recommendation to invest for at least 3-6 months.

What these projects also all have in common is that they had a large digital presence to help to convert the ‘inbound’ leads aka website traffic. For trades, we would recommend running digital without traditional, but not traditional without digital.

Step Seven: We’re in 2018, adapt or die.


Integrating modern software and tech will help you to manage performance and scale your business growth faster.

Modern technology is the lifeblood of several innovative trades companies which we’ve come across in the past few years, they’re always winning, we recommend using the following software to sustainably manage your business growth.



  • Xero for accounting – keeps track, provides accounting analytics.
  • Pipedrive for managing leads – link your contact form to Pipedrive (allows you to juggle a large number of leads).
  • Co-construct – Project managing and tracking.
  • Facebook and Web chat functions – use them properly.
  • Use Touch Voicemail – Acts as your PA on the go, sends your voicemails to you as a voice recording inside of a text message and allows you to chop and change your voice message greeting easily.

Every trades business offers its own unique value, whether its price, speed of delivery, location, machinery, expertise, experience and/or quality of output. We like to think we’ve given a pretty detailed and thorough outline of what we think you need to do to scale a 7 figure trades company, but we still recommend talking with an industry professional to form a strategy unique to your business – if you’re looking to take the next step, complete our online brief form and we’ll be in touch to arrange a meeting.

We'll share the latest trades news, tips, tricks, digital advice and of course some banter.

6 DIY Steps to a 6 Figure Trades Startup

· 2018

6 DIY Steps to a 6 Figure Trades Startup


Tradies may get the ladies, but here’s how to get 6 figures with your own trades startup.

Thinking of starting or scaling a small trades business?

Follow these 6 simple steps, if you’re not turning 6 figures in the first year, you’re doing something seriously wrong. We’ve kept it super simple, it should take you about two hours to get it set up!

Step One:

Google My Business / Get on Google Maps, this will require an address, 25 minutes on a laptop and a 2 week wait for verification + 5 min to verify. 

Here’s how to get started here.

Step Two:

Basic SEO (list yourself on No cowboys, Heart of the city, Builders Crack, White pages) hit the buzzwords, the areas you service and the services you’re confident you can deliver on! Make sure you list a valid email address and phone number, show off your logo and include any photo’s which may support your case!

Learn more about SEO and basic starter steps here.

Step Three:

Basic Social Media Marketing – Create a Services Facebook page. Depending on the number of services you offer this could take between 20-40 minutes. Use your company logo as your profile picture, use a project photo or team photo as your cover photo. Include all the bells and whistles, phone numbers, a full description of all services as well as a brief section about your business, what’s your point of difference? 

Simple steps for setting up a Facebook page and what to include here.

Step Four:

Basic Content Marketing – Share completed projects and updates on your Facebook page, people will reference this! The more photos with descriptions the better, what you got up to on the construction site today, anything that shows your personality and the personality of your brand, you get extra points for before and after photos and Rose reckons shirtless photos are likely to increase post engagement. 

Step Five:

Get the word out – Use your personal contacts to get the word out through Facebook. Invite people to like your page through your page, share your page on your personal news feed, harass the group chat, make an Instagram post about it. Put your face on your page somewhere, once they see your mug on a well-structured Facebook page showcasing your well-written services and trades standard photography,  they’ll be into it.

Step Six:

Community pages – Once you’ve got yourself set up on social media, it’s time to get the word out to everyone in the areas you service, get your hustle on! Post in community groups you’re able to service every week and we know you’re going to get enquiries! Use a photo which showcases the service you’re offering, if you’re a plumber or a sparky, this can be tricky, get creative and make it work!

Have a copy and paste template with an image, spend 15min per week posting during peak times, 6.30pm will do it.

Aucklanders here are a few pages for you to post in:

Auckland buy/sell/swap

Buy/sell anything Auckland

Auckland buy/sell/trade

Find your regional community Facebook pages, these are the equivalent putting up a note on community boards at supermarkets. Believe it or not people still check those too.

Now that you’ve started making moves in the direction of your own trades start-up, you’re going to have a bunch of questions to follow.. when to get a website, how to scale your business from 6-7 figures, we’ll leave you with a few unrelated tips which we hope will plant a seed for future successes  in your trades business and keep you posted on the others. 

  • Use Xero.
  • If you’re tackling bigger projects, consider using Co-construct for transparency and material billing.
  • Save every photo from every job.
  • Update your voicemail to sound more business-ey.
  • Shout your workers’ beers every Friday.
  • Don’t be sold by a digital marketing agency over the phone.
  • Plan to have 15-20% of profits set aside for business growth through marketing and advertising, this may mean as you grow, you have to increase your rates.
  • Establish payment terms which work for your small business growth (eg. by adding 5% increase to unpaid invoices per month, you’re 95% more likely to get paid on time).
  • Be kind, professional and transparent, word of mouth is still the most valuable form of marketing.

Already have a trades business you're wanting to scale-up?

Auckland Digital Marketing Agency

Māori Language Week Awareness

· 2018
Flight Digital Maori Logo


Flight Digital’s lead brand strategist, Sam Dean, re-creates our logo in Māori, by hand of course.

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori has begun.
Māori Language Week, Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, is a government-sponsored initiative promoting the use of Māori language. The week is part of the broader Māori language revival and raises public awareness for Māori language revitalisation, learning and public usage.

Māori language doesn’t have a lot to do with our service day to day, which upon realisation, our team agreed we have a unique perspective by which we could contribute to the conversation around Māori language. We’re modern-day scribes (writers not rappers), in the past year we’ve written copy for over 70 websites, published over 1,000 short articles on behalf of clients, written copy for well over 500 social ads, well over 500 Google ads, designed numerous different ad creatives, and emails? well, somewhere in the thousands. Over 99% of these in English, under 1% in Chinese, 0% of these in Māori.

The value that we see in Māori language week is the opportunity to open a conversation, (opinion) arguably New Zealand’s culture, being so diverse and young, doesn’t have a hugely definitive identity nationally. As a country, we’re only really a few hundred years old, we’re still very much a developing nation, with a diverse range of culture’s spread through a range of nationalities. As a country, we’re in a unique position where we have a range of ethnicities throughout our schools, we’re able to form culture, the heart of this culture could be considered to be Māori language.

What does this have to do with Flight Digital? Today, not a lot… We look forward to a day where we’re writing more Māori integrated copy for Ad’s and websites, in order for this to happen, there needs to be a cultural shift through business, which we believe Māori language week and the media coverage around it has potential to set such change in motion.

As an agency, we touch base with business owners on a daily basis, form strategy and marketing initiatives on behalf of clients across a range of different industries and deliver these messages to literally millions of people each year. We plan to show our support not only during this awareness week but ongoing, integrating Māori language in our day-to-day office culture and giving further consideration to incorporating the language when forming strategies for clients. The question is, what are you going to do to help form and preserve the language at the heart of NZ’s culture?

Learn more here:

Flight Digital’s lead brand strategist, Sam Dean, re-creates our logo in Māori, by hand of course.

Rose Morris - Flight Digital Strategist

Meet Rose

· 2018


Our latest addition to the team in marketing and account strategy. We were lucky enough to reclaim Rose from a brief stint in the UK. Rose has a vast knowledge across corporate marketing strategy including Linkedin, Facebook, Google and email marketing. She’s passionate, focused and driven, her experience in the industry continues to strengthen our strategy while her personality contributes to moulding an overall positive team morale.

Q & A's

What’s your claim to fame?

I was once on the same roller coaster as Snoop Dogg

How do you prefer to learn?

I learn by doing. Just throw me in the deep end!

What did you want to be when you were in high school? how has that journey developed?

I knew I always wanted to work in marketing but was never sure on what direction I would take. I’ve dipped my toes in a few industries beginning in Freight & Logistics to Gift Experiences but am happy to say I’ve found my passion in the Digital Marketing space.

What is it about Flight Digital that attracted you?

I was ready for something new in my career and wanted to learn and be part of something fresh and innovative. I heard about Flight Digital through a friend and seen them through all their Display Ads… and when I walked into the office and saw all the plants I knew I would like it here. And I’m happy to say it’s lived up to expectations!

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Eat. Am I right?

What skill would you like to master?

I’d love to be able to speak French

What song have you completely memorised?

Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

What would be your first question after waking up from being frozen for 10 years?

Is Coronation Street still on TV?

What were the best six months you have spent working in your career? (might want to word the question differently)

I lived and worked in London for 2 years and learned so much during this time, not only about marketing but also about different cultures and about myself. I also travelled a lot with work, which wasn’t a bad perk.

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

I could talk your ears off about overseas prisons.

What fad or trend do you hope comes back?

Do sticker collection books still exist?

pleasuredome-social-media-showcase digital marketing agency auckland

Pleasuredome The Musical Digital Strategy

· 2018


NZ digital marketing agency

The plan of attack.

With 4 campaigns set to achieve; Engagement, Video Views, Link Clicks and Page Likes we were able to saturate the Auckland market with such a hype! Our first goal was to drive traffic to the site so we could build up our re-marketing list then simultaneously drive engagement and social growth with fun, fresh content. So not only was an individual followed around with Pleasuredome content but the content was absolutely buzzing and this created the FOMO factor! This generated earned media, their fans were starting to promote them themselves by sharing and tagging their friends and family.

Pleasuredome the musical digital agency - Flight Digital
Flight Digital - Pleasuredome the musical digital agency

The verdict.

“These guys are the greatest, like for reals. Their work simply smashed though all of our expectations. The team are incredibly helpful, strategic & passionate about what they do. There is no way any of my future creative projects won’t be maximising digital marketing, and flight digital, are the pick of the bunch.”
“Charlie McDermott”


How we do better business

· 2018


Aside from a lot of hard work, it’s reasonably straightforward.

We win our clients by delivering exceptional service on each and every project, which reflects in our clients’ campaign results. We aim for our standard of work to be nothing short of the best the industry has to offer. Other potential clients see this.

How do we deliver results differently to other agencies?

It’s simple, our digital agency has extremely streamlined processes, with internal software used for time tracking, reporting, automated invoicing and billing. This allows us to track our team’s time on each project down to the minute, allocating time fairly between clients and giving accurate start/finish dates for all projects.

What does this leave us with?

By automating the admin associated with each account, our marketing strategists can spend more time delivering exceptional strategy, rolling out exceptional campaigns which earn exceptional results.

Leading digital agency

Rethink East West Link – NZTA Digital Campaign

· 2018


Leading digital agency

In March 2017,we worked with The Onehunga Enhancement Society TOES  in an effort to raise awareness and receive submissions from all who would be affected by the East West Link proposal going forward.

Today we can gladly say that the campaign received the third most submissions that the Environmental Protection Association (EPA) had ever received.

As we were invited to the party late in the mix, work for this campaign start to finish was under two weeks. For this campaign, we ran targeted ads across various media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Search Network, Google Display Network, Mailchimp Campaigning and Gmail Advertising.

Today, under a Labour government the proposed road layout has been rejected, which for many in Onehunga is a huge success. The waterfront will remain untouched, light rail will prevail and a new plan for linking the East and the West roading network will be put in motion.

Flight Digital - Rethink east-west link campaign for Onehunga