The Tradesperson’s Guide to Success: Secrets from Industry Expert Roger Wakefield

On this episode of the Profit Roadmap, we’re talking with Roger Wakefield who is The Expert Plumber, host of The Trade Talks Podcast, and he is a Blue Collar Influencer and trade advocate. 

We cover some great topics, including:

  • Tips for growing service businesses
  • Why the trades are so important
  • Getting the courage to create content
  • How to sell a service business
  • And so much more!

Roger’s Story

Roger is a humble guy who will tell you that he has been a plumber since 1980. He fell in love with plumbing in high school and quickly realized this was the field for him.

He quickly realized that although there was a state licensing program for plumbers, there wasn’t a lot of formal training on the other parts of the business like customer service and how to use social media.

Roger attended a conference about 5 years ago and learned how much YouTube plays a role in marketing. He took a ton of notes and started making videos.

Roger spent years building his company and was proud of the work his team was doing and their reputation. His efforts were so effective that he was able to sell his company and focus on social media

Additionally, because Roger has worked in many aspects of the trades and construction, he shares a wealth of knowledge and experience on YouTube and social media.

Advice for Selling

The service industries have changed quite a bit over the years, and a lot of business owners are curious about potentially selling their companies.

Roger says that one of the best things you can do is become a great businessperson. Part of that comes from being able to know your numbers and having the right resources before you consider selling.

Mindset is also key here, and when Roger coaches business owners, he tells them that they should build a company that they wouldn’t want to sell.

It seems like a bit of a catch-22, but what Roger is saying is that when you build a great company, that’s when people want to buy it and will pay a premium to get it.

Simply put, that comes from making your company valuable and generating lots of revenue. That said, you should be at a place where you are enjoying the work and don’t feel totally burned out.

Building Your Brand on Social Media

Roger recommends that every service business that is serving residential customers should be using social media.

Yet, that can feel intimidating for lots of service pros, especially if they are concerned about creating amazing content.

Roger tells people to go back and look at the first videos he made. He had some learning to do, and had to figure a few things out.

He leaves these videos up to show people how he started, and to prove to them that if he could do it, so can they.

So turn your camera on, start making content, and share it with the world! And like most things that may be new, be patient, as it will take some time to hit your stride.

Advocating for Trades

Roger learned early on that being a teacher can be a great thing, and helped train apprentices throughout his plumping career in union training programs.

He knew that most of them came from a background with a lot of pressure about going to a traditional college and getting a degree.

He helped show apprentices that they could have a great career that was also very rewarding financially. 

Ultimately, people who work in field services and the trades, should work on continuing to improve their skills, learn more about the industry, and level up their communication strategies too.

After a meeting with Michael Gerber, the best-selling author of the E-Myth, Roger learned that lots of schooling is focused on teaching people how to be doctors, lawyers, and other jobs, but very little about building a business.

He also recognized this was equally true of the trades, and it takes conscious effort to keep learning and growing after you’ve got your license or opened your business.

Roger is a big advocate for the next generation joining the trades. There are a lot of job openings in all field service industries and this is a great career path that doesn’t require a college degree.

Interviewing in Field Service

Roger has some great advice for anyone interviewing for a position in field services.

He recommends that you look good with starched jeans, work boots, a tucked-in shirt, and that you smell good.

You want to create an image of yourself that is professional, friendly, and shows that you are the right person for the job.

He also says to leave your cell phone in the car so you can be fully focused and present.

Most interviews have a chance where candidates get to ask questions and Roger recommends that they say something like:

“What needs are you trying to fill right now? And by the answers I’ve given you today, do you think that I could fulfill that position?”

He says that this lets them know you are serious and interested and you can add follow-up questions about the growth and training opportunities that could be provided to you.

This shows companies that you are ready and willing to learn.

Learn More About Roger Wakefield

Want to learn more about Roger Wakefield? Be sure to visit his website and keep an eye out for his upcoming app!

Related: Field Service Marketing Trends for SEO with Tony Ricketts of Lawnline Marketing

The following music was used for this media project:

Music: Summon the Rawk by Kevin MacLeod

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License (CC BY 4.0):


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