Nottingham-based home improvement specialist Glazedale is bringing a much-needed fresh approach to an industry that’s been fighting against the ‘persistent double-glazing salesman’ stigma for far too long…
Husband and wife team Darren and Claudia Shelbourn are the brains behind the operation, which focuses mainly on bespoke, high-end installations for homeowners. Darren started out as an industry apprentice in 1988 before setting up on his own in 1991.
Darren Shelbourn, Glazedale’s owner and MD explains: “We used to buy in many of the windows when we first started out, just making the bespoke frames ourselves – but as the business grew, we were being asked more and more for bespoke installations. It made sense to rent a factory and move into making all our own products so that we could control the quality ourselves.
“We looked around and decided to go with Liniar profiles, due to their energy efficient and fabricator-friendly design, and we haven’t looked back since. We find many homeowners and self-builders want something a bit different to the norm, and we’re able to supply that; with everything fully matching and a systems company that is constantly designing new products.”
A 21st century firm
Glazedale is one of the few window fabricators that has really embraced social media as a marketing channel. Darren joined Twitter around 4 years ago and is using it to great success – not only building relationships with local contacts, but more importantly, generating real business.
“When I first joined Twitter, it felt like I was constantly using it,” says Darren, as Claudia nods in wry agreement. “But I knew I needed to spend time building up my followers, so I started following lots of people and tweeting interesting stuff, which gradually started to pay off. We now have over 3,500 followers, so I don’t need to spend as much time tweeting, although I still try to post at least three times most days.”
“I don’t use Twitter to ‘sell’ online, as people don’t want that. Instead, I try to engage with people, show the human side of the business and help them by answering queries wherever possible.
“Since then, we’ve built up our Facebook page, which now has almost 800 ‘fans’ – we find that’s a great way to showcase our installation images and demonstrate the quality of our work.
“We find it makes us stand out, as not many of our competitors are ‘doing’ social media – or certainly not very well – and it definitely helps to erase the image people used to have of the pushy double-glazing salesman.
“As well as raising the profile of Glazedale in the local area, social media has actually generated orders, with add-on work where we’ve subsequently been recommended to neighbours and also gone back for repeat business.”
See how they do it
Follow Glazedale on Twitter @Glazedale and see what they get up to on Facebook by Liking their page at www.facebook.com/Glazedale
Glazedale’s website can be found at www.glazedale.co.uk.
Find out more about Liniar at www.liniar.co.uk.