Oyekunle Oloyede founded his company, Oliran Services, in December 2020, in Alimosho, Nigeria, after identifying a gap in the market – there was no platform for people to search for and hire certified handymen for various jobs. His business helps connect his clients, which include the general public and small businesses, to certified handymen providing various professional services.
Over the past two years, Oliran Services has gradually grown and helped connect over 20 certified handymen to hundreds of clients.
We sat down to interview Oyekunle to find out more about how Oliran Services came about and the sort of marketing tactics he implements to promote his professional services platform.
Hi Oyekunle! What inspired you to start Oliran Services?
The idea for Oliran Services came about in 2020 when I had just bought a pre-loved car. I was looking to modify the car to suit my needs, have some bits and pieces fixed up, and revamp it with a new paint job.
Searching online, I found details of a local mechanic who could get the job done for me. I visited his workshop and left my car to be painted, only to return to a broken sunroof. Not only was this mechanic not certified, he was unwilling to give any compensation for the damage to my vehicle.
It was following this experience that I realized there wasn’t any reliable platform in Nigeria that I could use to find certified professionals to get various jobs done. And that’s how Oliran Services came about.
How does Oliran Services set itself apart from other such companies or other handymen services?
I personally vet each professional worker added to the platform and ensure they’re qualified, trusted, and reliable. We carry out stringent checks and then have a comprehensive set of terms and conditions that the handymen have to agree to and sign before they can register their services on our platform.
By doing this I make sure that our clients, be it individuals looking for painters, carpenters and plumbers, or businesses looking for large-scale services such as office cleaning, are connected to reliable and certified individuals who provide the required professional service.
1. Distribute flyers among locals in your community
Can you tell us a bit more about how you market Oliran Services?
When I started Oliran Services, I knew that to grow our business, I had to spread the word in the local community. After all, they would be our primary target audience. This was also a cost-effective way for me to advertise given that I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing.
Around this time, I came across PosterMyWall. I found a large variety of professional services flyer templates that I could select from and quickly customize with information about Oliran Services, all in a matter of minutes. After creating a suitable design and downloading a high-res version of the flyer design, I printed these off cheap, at the local printers.
Using flyers not only saves you money but with lots of pre-made templates to choose from, you save on time too – a win-win! While designing my flyer, I always include the following:
- Logo and some basic information about my business
- Contact information including contact numbers and a link to my website
- An image or two so the design stands out – just text can make the flyer seem boring and overcrowded, making the customer lose interest.
I always choose an aesthetically pleasing design and focus on the layout of the text and images when I’m finalizing it. To grab the attention of customers, your design needs to look professional and not too cluttered.
Here’s a tip! With today’s tech-savvy, digitally inclined audience, adding a QR code to your flyer is a good idea. This QR code can lead them to a web page you would like them to view online. It can send them over to your website, your WhatsApp profile for them to save you as a contact, a video you’d like them to view, or a social media page for them to follow.
2. Hand out your business cards anywhere and everywhere
Another offline marketing strategy that has really helped my business grow is the use of business cards.
To keep up with business expenses, I drive a taxi in my free time. While driving locals around I always engage in conversation with them, which leads to me telling them about my business. Almost every time, my customers are in need of some sort of service at their home or workplace. So they’re interested in finding out more about Oliran Services. Towards the end of the journey, I leave them with a business card, which has my contact details, a URL to the website, and the services we provide, listed.
I always make sure I’m carrying my business cards with me wherever I go, so not only do I hand them out when giving rides in my taxi, I do it whenever I come across anyone I can exchange a conversation with — when I’m out on work visits, at the shops or local clinic, and at large social events or gatherings as well.
Engaging prospective customers in an interesting conversation will make it easier for them to recall you when they look back at your business card. I create business cards easily using PosterMyWall’s business card templates.
3. Engage with your audience through meaningful social media posts
How do you promote your professional services platform to an online audience?
I started by posting regularly on our social media platforms, Facebook in particular, and saw good engagement levels. Gradually through trial and error, and an analysis of social media metrics, my social media strategy shifted. I started posting less often, and instead created a schedule where I’d publish useful and relevant content every alternate day.
My content includes a ‘Did you know?’ series, in which we share helpful tips and facts about homes and cars, helping people learn something new about how they can take care of their belongings. This content performed really well as it was information everyone needed and it worked well for us as a business as it established us as experts, therefore increasing the customers’ trust in us.
Apart from this, I also regularly post images and videos on our social media just to remind followers about the services we offer. In these graphics, I ensure the template used is attractive, the elements are laid out well, and the text is not too crowded.
4. Use WhatsApp for cross-channel posting
I can see you’ve added your WhatsApp details to a lot of the graphics you create on PosterMyWall. Is WhatsApp a key channel when it comes to marketing Oliran Services?
Yes, WhatsApp has been a key player in helping us grow our business and boost our customer base. To save time and effort, I share the designs we create on PosterMyWall for Oliran Service’s social media profiles on WhatsApp through their live status feature, which lets you post an image, video, or text-based status update for a period of 24 hours.
WhatsApp has also helped as it’s relatively cost-effective and helps me get the word out to a large audience. In Nigeria, WhatsApp groups are quite popular, and I’m a part of many such groups, so I regularly send out the ads I create as a message in those groups to promote our services. This gets me a lot of positive feedback and responses.
Finally, do you have any advice you’d like to share with small business owners who may be struggling to market their services?
If there was one piece of advice I could give, it would be to never give up. It’s very easy to give up when you’re faced with struggles. Power through it, there’s light at the end of that tunnel. Keep experimenting with low-cost marketing strategies to promote and grow your business. Meet people and network with them. This will always help you get the word out there. And finally, make necessary changes based on customer feedback.
Thanks, Oyekunle, it’s been great speaking to you. We wish you and Oliran Services all the success in your future endeavors!
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Senior editor at PosterMyWall.