We were taught it in math class, and it's a practical rule you can apply to your service business: Show Your Work. When you run a business that does things for people, you often have something worth showing to others. It doesn't matter if you're a landscaper, painter, repair tech, plumber, designer, writer, or anything else.
Your work is your trade, and your trade is your art.
Your work represents you, as well as what your business is and will be known for. No doubt you want to be proud of it. Believe it or not, sharing it has value in many different ways.
Why you should share your work online
Let your work sell itself
When share your work online with others, you're actually marketing your work to a much bigger audience. Sharing on these platforms gives you the opportunity to
- Thank the customer for the opportunity to do the work
- Show the work you did so others can see it
- Talk with someone who likes the work and maybe wants you to do something for them
- Talk with other professionals who might give you helpful feedback on the job
All of these ultimately can help you sell your business and services just as a byproduct of sharing your work.
Build your business story
Do you remember the first job your business did? Would you like to see how much your work has improved, or maybe see how the jobs have gotten bigger as your business has grown?
If you're sharing, you're keeping records. Those records are great to look back on just to see where you were, or maybe reference how you did a job in the past. It's also great for showing new customers examples of what you might be proposing for their job. Many people aren't too good at imagining what the outcome of your work is going to be. With a bunch of photos showing the product of your work at your fingertips, you can show them exactly what kind of work you do.
Most people do their best work when someone is watching. It takes a bit of courage to put your work out there for the masses to see, but it helps keep you honest and in check.
Sometimes, you may find you're working for a customer who doesn't really know if you've done a good job or how to do it. If they knew, they'd probably do the job themselves. When you work for enough customers like that long enough, your quality can easily slip for no other reason than because it can and you get used to people not noticing small details. This doesn't make you a bad business owner, but it is something you should try to avoid as much as possible. If you make a habit of sharing your work publicly, it can be a great way to combat against the natural tendency to rush a job or cut corners when no one is looking.
Where to share your work
So we've established that you should be sharing your work. Be sure you don't make the mistake of thinking that sharing isn't a job itself. It definitely is. Taking the picture, writing some text to go along with it that describes what you're sharing, adding tags. Deciding how much time you want to put into it is worth considering.
If you're a hustler
Facebook (you do have a Facebook page, right?) Facebook has a huge audience, and you can benefit from that as you reach out and share your page and your posts to build up an audience. Facebook also makes it easy to share multiple pictures in a single post, or even treat a job as an album so you can add a bunch of pictures.
Instagram (you have an Instagram business account, right?) Instagram has become really popular in recent years, and is actually owned by Facebook now. When it comes to sharing pictures, though, Instagram has a few benefits over Facebook:
- Instagram a little bit easier to use, and it's much easier easier to share nice photos
- Hashtags work well for people discovering your posts
- Following other professionals and seeing their work spreads inspiration
If you're a hustler in training
Focus your sharing on Instagram, and select the posting option that also shares your Instagram post on Facebook. You'll get the best of both worlds, but you won't have as much control over what actually goes into the Facebook post.
Keep business accounts on social media separate from your personal account. For Facebook, just creating a Facebook page is a great way to do this. For Instagram creating a separate business account is the way to go.
When you share, thank your customer for the opportunity to serve them. You don't want to call them out by name unless they've given you permission to do so, but thank them and compliment them. Something like "Just finished a job for a great customer with a beautiful house" can go a long way. Chances are, your customer might find your post, and they'll respond positively to your gratitude and kind words.
Do your best to share good photos. Don't share poor-quality photos of your work. If you do this, you make your work look bad. Take the time to make sure you have good lighting, good positioning and framing, and check that the picture isn't grainy or blurry. Bad pictures of good work just looks like bad work to your audience.
Learn the hashtags that work for your industry. As you begin to follow other professionals, you'll notice how they tag their posts. Join in on the practice, because it helps build an audience and increases the chances others will discover your work. Hashtags like #hardwork #smb #trades #servicebusiness work pretty well for a vast majority of service businesses, but you'll want to find tags that specifically represent your services and skills.
How WorkWeek helps
When you signup for WorkWeek you'll get a website for your business right away. It will share your contact info, what services you offer, the areas you service, and will also include a handy form customers can use to contact you.
When you connect your Instagram account to WorkWeek, your Instagram posts will automatically be pulled into your website so others can see the work you've done. This can help lead to visitors checking you out and following you on Instagram. You don't have to do any extra work at all—just connect your Instagram account and start posting on Instagram. We'll take care of the rest.
We hope we've helped you see the value in sharing your work both to potential customers, as well as other professionals in your industry. It is a little extra work, but we promise it will pay off in the end.