How ‘service areas’ help us find the best leads for your business

We help tens of thousands of small businesses throughout the UK find new customers every single day – from accountants in Acton, to window cleaners in Wandsworth.

But with customers coming to Bark looking for everything from personal trainers to masseurs, wedding planners and more, matching each customer with the right service providers is no small feat.

That’s where ‘service areas’ come in – and today, we’ll show you how to update your service areas to hear about the best leads for your business.

STEP 1: Let us know which services you provide

Service areas let you adjust the type and quantity of enquiries you receive from us. If you’d like to hear about more leads, you can add new services or widen the service area you cover – and vice versa.

Similarly, if your business relocates or branches out into a new type of service, you can update your service areas to reflect this so that we continue sending you enquiries you’re interested in pursuing.

The first step is to click the ‘Service Areas‘ tab in your dashboard. This will take you to your service areas page, where you’ll see a box that looks like this:

Enter your services here
Enter which services you provide into your ‘Services’ bar to get started.

Type the service your business provides into the box and click the ‘ADD SERVICE‘ button to let us know what sort of customers you’re interested in hearing about.

STEP 2: Add relevant ‘related services’

When you add a new service type to your service areas page, we’ll then suggest some related services we think your business might also provide.

For example, if you tell us you’d like to receive photography enquiries, we’ll present you with a list of related categories like this one:

Add related services
Next, add the related services you also provide.

Simply tick the check boxes next to the categories you’re interested in to add them to your services.

STEP 3: Tell us how far you’re happy to travel

At this stage, we know what you do – but before we can start sending you relevant enquiries, we also need to know where you do it.

To specify your travel preferences, type where your business is based into your Travel Preferences bar and enter how far you’ll travel from there:

Enter your travel preferences here
Specify how far you’re prepared to travel using the ‘Travel Preferences’ tool.

Clicking ‘ADD LOCATION‘ will plot your chosen radius onto a map around your chosen city, so you can visualise where the customers we alert you to will be based.

If you offer multiple services, you can then click the ‘Show categories‘ button to specify a different radius for each of them:

Your advanced travel preferences
Click ‘Show categories’ to specify different service areas for each of the different services you provide.

This can be useful in cases where you’re prepared to travel further for certain types of high value job (e.g. loft conversion) than you are for lower value ones (e.g. bricklaying).

Finally, you can select whether you want to receive enquiries from customers who are searching nationwide using the toggle button at the bottom of the page – and after that, there’s just one thing left to do.

STEP 4: Start contacting customers!

Once your service areas are set up, you’ll automatically start receiving emails whenever a new customer requests your services. You can also find a list of everyone who’s currently searching for services you provide in the ‘Requests‘ tab of your dashboard.

When you see a job you’re interested in doing, simply click the green ‘CONTACT‘ button to send them a personalised message and estimate.

We hope you’ve found this simple walkthrough useful, and that it helps you secure even more business with our service. If you have any questions, send us an email at team@bark.com, or leave a comment in the space below!

Ask the Expert: How to get more customers and grow your business with Bark

Thousands of people throughout the UK use Bark every single day to find new customers and grow their businesses.

Some use our service here and there to fill the gaps in their diaries. Others use us to generate thousands of pounds a month, often using Bark as their sole source of qualified leads for their business.

But, in our experience, there’s one thing that all our best pros have in common, no matter how frequently they use Bark. They know how to make their businesses stand out by presenting clients with a great sales pitch.

To help you get the most out of our service, we spoke to some of our most successful professionals to discover their biggest pitching secrets.

“We’ve made some great contacts and
generated £10,000 in business”

“I made a 30x Return On Investment on my second Bark response,” says Very Clever Marketing’s Dom Murphy. “We’ve made some great contacts and several loyal customers, and generated approximately £10,000 in business.”

Dom initially joined Bark because, unlike other lead generation services, it doesn’t cost a penny to open an account – and you can hear about customers in your area completely free of charge.

Since then, he’s generated roughly £10,000 using our service, and says the key to his success is his ability to quickly form relationships with customers.

“Focus on building relationships,” he says. “Offer the customer something for free – tell them about a special offer you have on. Encourage them to call you or perhaps even call them yourself and say you’re calling in response to their Bark listing.”

“Explain to the customer that you’d like to meet with them or talk on the phone,” he adds. “This will allow you to build a relationship with them, instead of just throwing the book at them and quoting.”

“Realise that there are several others responding too. It’s not a ‘solus’ lead just for you,” he concludes. “Make yourself stand out from the get-go and avoid using terminology or jargon.”

“I recommend Bark to all my friends
with small businesses”

Having been in business for 11 years, Janet Gow has historically been wary of lead generation companies – but after a great experience with Bark, she’s now changed her tune.

“In the six months I have been listed with Bark I have already secured £7,000 worth of business,” she explains. “I now recommend Bark to all my other friends with small businesses.”

John Austen from Marvel Booths agrees Bark has the potential to help small businesses grow exponentially.

“Bark has helped us grow the photo booth side of our business exponentially,” he says. “We have already invested in a magic mirror and second photo booth, four months ahead of schedule.”

“You need to have great marketing material, and you really need to think about how you’re going to stand out from other competitors,” he adds. “You can only be the cheapest for so long.”

He says the best advice he can give to someone who’s thinking about signing up to Bark is to just give it a go – so long as you remember to treat it the same as you would any other part of your marketing strategy.

“I’d say put aside some budget and give it a go. Perhaps enough for 100-odd credits, which is around £115,” he explains. “If the client doesn’t read your response [and their phone number doesn’t work], you get a refund anyway.”

“If you get even two bookings it’s probably been worth your while,” he adds. “And you’ll get direct contact with around 20 potential clients for that fee. In theory, that’s probably better value than advertising on AdWords and Bing.”

He concludes: “Think about your USP and make sure your customer service is exceptional. Who knows where it might take you!”

Join today and start hearing about potential
customers completely FREE

We hope this article has given you some fresh insights into how our most successful pros pitch for business on Bark.

Put their advice into action today and soon you too could be growing your business online with our qualified lead generation service – just like Dom, Janet and John.

If you’re new to Bark, you can start hearing about customers in your area completely free, so you can get a feel for just how easy it can be to secure new business with Bark.

Simply click the link below now and claim your free Bark account to start growing your business with Bark right away.

Click here now to start growing your business with Bark.

Why wedding photographers love Bark

The best wedding photographers are masters of networking. They know the key to success is to be constantly meeting new people who might want to do business with you.

When you get down to it, the traditional avenues photographers use to grow their business online – blogs, SEO, social media and the like – are all types of networking. But, much like networking in real life, they can be time consuming. You can introduce yourself to dozens of new people without meeting a single potential customer.

That’s what’s different about Bark – we’re a more efficient way to market your services online. By ensuring that everyone you speak to is actively looking for the services you provide, we’re helping thousands of independent British photographers grow their businesses quickly and easily online.

“Bark.com has given me the opportunity to compete with the established photographers out there,” says Bark wedding photographer, Moritz Schmittat. “A year ago, I had a different job – now I am a full-time photographer.”

Bark helps another happy couple capture their special day on film – photo by Moritz Schmittat
Bark helps another happy couple capture their special day
on film – photo by Moritz Schmittat

“Bark users can compare my quality, customer service and pricing side-by-side with industry veterans,” he adds. “This has made it possible for me to set up a sustainable photography business within weeks after joining Bark.”

We invest heavily in online advertising campaigns to find brides and wedding planners throughout the UK – something that’s simply not an option for most independent photographers. Customers looking for wedding photography visit our site and let us know what they want, and we contact quality pros in their area on their behalf.

We’ve alerted Moritz to more than 200 customers since he joined the service in early 2015 – and he’s secured 20 wedding bookings through us in the first five months of 2016 alone.

Moritz isn’t alone, either. Photographers across the country are enjoying huge success with our service – like Adam van Bunnens, who’s been alerted to over 600 potential new customers since he joined the service in September 2015.

“I love Bark, it’s sleek and professional and great [for] Google ranking,” he says. “It is what the industry has been crying out for.”

“Using Bark is a unique, refreshing way to interact with clients and give them the photographs they desire for their special day,” he adds. “The experience is very rewarding.”

Kissing the bride by moonlight – photo by Moritz Schmittat
Kissing the bride by moonlight – photo by Moritz Schmittat

“Bark has indeed helped my business a lot,” agrees Laine Apine Photography’s Kristīne Pētersone. “I have many great quality leads coming in my mailbox – unlike some other services I have used where the budgets are almost always unrealistically low and the leads are scarce.”

So that everyone can test out our service and see how well it can work for their wedding photography business, we ensure our new pros can always contact their first three clients on us. That means joining Mortiz, Adam and Kristine today couldn’t be easier:

Simply click here and open a free account right away.

Bark has grown rapidly since our founders Kai Feller and Andrew Michael started it in late 2014. Over 60,000 small businesses up and down the country are already registered with us and helping regular people find everything from window cleaners to legal representation.

“We wanted to create a resource you can use to find local professionals for absolutely anything,” Kai explains. “That’s the vision, really – helping people find wedding photographers is just one part of it.”

He continues: “As a photographer, we’ll alert you to customers we find in your local area completely free of charge. When you see someone you’d like to help, it’s then just a small one-off fee to introduce yourself to them, and everything you make is yours to keep.”

Wedding photography has proved to be one of our most popular categories, with more people turning to us every day to find the perfect pro to capture their special day.

As such, we’re always looking for new pros to keep up with this rapidly growing demand, and if you think Bark could work for your business we’d love to welcome you on board.

We’ll alert you to potential clients completely free of charge, so you can pick and choose the ones that work best for you. We don’t take any commission, and there’s no obligation to continue using our service after you’ve used your three complimentary introductions.

So there really is nothing to lose – and potentially everything to gain.

Click here to open your FREE account and start growing your business with Bark today.