By now, you’ve probably realized that you can't grow your business on referrals alone. This is why you need cleaning marketing.
Trying to grow your cleaning business on referrals alone is like wishing for the rain to wash your dirty car. Only it’s sunny outside. Also, you live in the desert.
I’ve got a better way to start marketing your cleaning business… In fact, I’ve got 13 of them.
We’ll go over things like:
By the end of this article, you will know some of the best-kept secrets to rapidly grow your client base… whenever you want.
Above all other strategies, keep doing an awesome job!
When you commit 100% to quality, your clients…
To get a new client is an expense, but to keep one you already have is FREE. So consider your cleaning services to be one of your best cleaning marketing tactics.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get great, long-term clients. Referrals work, because they can shortcut you past new clients’ “trust barrier.”
But it can be hard – and even a little scary – to ask for referrals.
Here are some quick tricks to make you requests more successful:
1. Target the right cleaning clients.
2. Choose the right time to ask.
3. Offer an Incentive
When someone loves your work, don’t be afraid to ask. Remember: “if you don’t ask, you will never get.”
That’s a lot of potential clients.
If you want high quality, long-lasting ads on your car, go with a vehicle wrap.
If you just want something that will get the job done now for as little money as possible, get some custom-made magnet clings.
No matter which option you choose, be sure to include your:
A quick word of caution: You do not want to put a big list of your services on your car. They are confusing, cluttery, and nobody really reads them.
What if you don’t want to stuff your cleaning marketing pieces into the mailbox … along with all that spam mail from banks and credit card companies?
I have good news: door-to-door flyers still work!
One of the best, most cost-efficient ways to distribute your cleaning flyers and door hangers is through 5-arounds.
Also called 9 arounds, 25 arounds, etc. The idea is the same, even if the number changes.
Let’s say you have two employees: Sally and Dave.
Both of them are cleaning Ms. Smith’s house together. Sally finishes the upstairs, while Dave is still working.
Now, Sally can market your business for you. She takes a stack of your flyers, and places them at the five nearest houses.
5-arounds increase your visibility in a small area that you already work in. The best marketing shows up again, and again, and again.
Your leads will see your flyer on their door, and then see your car parked across the street… So your name sticks in their heads.
This also gives them the opportunity to go talk to their neighbors and ask about how great your services are.
I have seen a much higher conversion rate with 5-arounds than I do with other cleaning marketing strategies, simply because these allow you to keep showing up.
Plus, when your 5-arounds are successful, it can increase your route density and allow you to take over entire neighborhoods.
The truth is you can lump all of these into the same category.
There are only three real steps to executing any Direct Mail or Door Hanger/Flyer campaign.
For beginners, you only need to worry about steps 1 and 2.
Like any cleaning marketing piece, and there are a number of elements you NEED to include:
But the most important part of your marketing piece is the OFFER, which should be so juicy nobody can ignore it.
Either way, you want to make sure this offer is BIG and BOLD on your marketing pieces.
Print marketing is expensive, so you have to avoid some pretty big mistakes when crafting your direct mail.
Here’s what most cleaning business owners don’t know: the most expensive part of Print Marketing is not printing out the flyers and postcards… The true cost comes from distribution.
What’s route density? Route density = less time on the road = more money. We’ll get to this in the next strategy.
However, there are a couple of ways to make your direct mail efforts much more effective…
Essentially, the idea is that you use software to select a few houses in a specific area, get their addresses, and send them your postcards directly.
This works better for two reasons:
Among the hundreds of other things Service Autopilot can do to make your business run better (i.e. more profitable), Service Autopilot has a tool called Smart Maps, which allows you to click on houses from the map and get their addresses so you can send Direct Mail only to the houses you care about the most.
This cuts down massively on wasted marketing dollars, and it ensures your routes are as dense as possible.
So far, most of these strategies have been about bringing new leads to your business.
But what happens when someone doesn’t buy at first sight?
Email is critical to your growth. It’s all about the follow-up.
Most people don’t buy on their first visit. In fact, it takes an average of 6 to 8 touches to convert a lead into a client. In other words, you need a way to keep coming back to your cleaning clients.
Email marketing is so successful because it reminds your clients that you exist, and that you can solve their problems.
It works even better if you can segment them into specific interests. Do they care more about clean windows? Laundry? Sparkling tile? You can keep track of this automatically with the right software, through an easy-to-use tag system.
There are a dozen different tools out there to send emails out in a series. But if you really want to segment your leads and upsell your clients for maximum effect, look at Service Autopilot.
Service Autopilot allows you to tag leads and clients, segment them, and automatically send them emails based on what services they have (or have not) bought from you.
There’s an “old” joke amongst digital marketers:
Q: Where is the best place to hide a dead body?
A: On the second page of Google.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is all about getting your website to the top of search results (on search engines like Bing, or Google)… because the higher your page ranks, the more visitors you’ll get.
SEO is about two things:
It’s a vast and complicated topic, but a critical to cleaning business owners because of your local competition.
Click here to read our full guide on SEO for cleaning businesses.
Online reviews are the new way people “preview” your company before they hire you. The more quality reviews you have, the more likely people will be to hire your services.
To get 5-star reviews is actually surprisingly simple. It boils down to three simple steps:
Google Adwords is a great tool for selling local services, like maid or housekeeping services.
The one advantage AdWords has over social media advertising is… intention.
When people go to Google, they go with the intention to find out something in particular. That means your cleaning ad should only pop up for people who go to google with the intent to buy cleaning services.
Half the work is done for you – you don’t need to convince them that they need to hire a cleaning company. You just have to convince them to hire yours.
AdWords is a monster of an advertising platform.
Some words of advice…
1. Your most important keywords will all revolve around some variation of the following:
2. Negative keywords (keywords you do NOT want your ad to show up on) are almost as important as regular keywords
Here’s how to get really good at AdWords:
Google AdWords might be the most challenging cleaning marketing tactic out there.
If you know you don’t want to do it yourself, I highly recommend you hire a freelance marketer or marketing company to do your AdWords for you. I’ve seen plenty of cleaning businesses go this route, and they’ve had solid results.
You want to look for a reputable, highly-reviewed marketing company that specializes in PPC (pay per click advertising).
I can’t say this loud enough: get your cleaning business on Facebook TODAY.
Most small to medium cleaning businesses can use Facebook Ads to get most of their new clients. And yes, it’s that powerful.
Two simple answers:
Facebook can target your most ideal clients, or focus your search to hit everyone in your an area. This is the perfect tool for local businesses.
Since you can choose to control your budget with Facebook Ads, it’s more cost-effective than most other forms of cleaning marketing.
I’ve seen some cleaning businesses get new clients for as little as $5 per client.
There are two reasons clients will purchase something: cost and value.
Let’s say there are three brands of ice cream at the store.
Pink Elephant Brand
The store puts Yummy Brand and the Store Brand right next to each other on purpose.
Why? Because they know you’ll buy the Store Brand.
It’s cheaper and you know it’s probably the same. Logic dictates that, if two products are almost indistinguishable, you’ll always go for the lower cost.
This is the one you buy on special occasions. Everyone loves this ice cream.
There’s just something about it…
The Pink Elephant is designed to stick in your mind. I’ll bet you even have an image in your head of this brand’s ice cream carton (for me, it’s Ben and Jerry’s).
Now, THAT’S effective marketing.
Becoming the Pink Elephant is all about focusing on your “differentiators.”
What makes you unique? What is something you provide that no other cleaning company can do?
There’s a scene from the 2007 TV Show, Mad Men, that perfectly illustrates this point: When you want to differentiate yourself, look at your competitors. Find out what nobody else is saying, then say it.
These are the “soft” marketing strategies that will make your ads easier to write, and more effective.
Apply these three strategies to every cleaning ad you put out there, and you will see your clients jump to buy your cleaning services.
Whatever you are selling, sell the benefits, not the features. This is a marketing rule. Sell the benefits of your cleaning services.
For example, these are features:
You do NOT want these to be the “stars” of your ads. Instead, think about your clients.
What does Ms. Smith actually want from your cleaning services? Does she want to pay “only 49.99 per hour!” or … does she actually want “a nice clean home, without lifting a finger?”
Most clients want the same thing from housekeeping or maid services:
Here are some other benefits you can stress in your ads (this works both for Digital and Print Marketing!):
This strategy will help you generate new, IDEAL clients for your business with better-converting ads… And, you will be able to write them FAST.
Less stress. Less time. More clients. What’s not to love?
So, what is the secret? Write your ad to one (and ONLY one) person. Never write an ad to everyone.
Who are your best clients?
Print out a representative picture of them, and put it up anytime you are writing an ad (in marketing, we call this a Persona or Avatar). In fact, sometimes I start my ads with, “Dear Mr. Smith.”
You can even add in specific information about your client, such as…
That last strategy was too obvious, right?
Well, here’s a tip to make sure that your new clients know how amazing you are. It’s very simple, but there are a lot of cleaning business owners who don’t do this…
Let’s say Ms. Smith is thinking about hiring you.
While you’re still on the phone with her, you need to ask her these two very simple questions:
These two questions are absolutely invaluable to your business.
New clients will get the chance to explain their major problems. They will let you into their own thoughts, and set their expectations right away.
And, best of all, it will show how much you truly care.You can also ask these kinds of questions to better sell your cleaning services in person.
This is your winning formula:
But it also means you get to choose what kinds of clients you take on.
When you use these cleaning marketing strategies, you can:
Armed with these 13 (+ 1) strategies, your profits can soar and you can finally get the cleaning business you’ve always dreamed of.
Originally published March 7, 2019 7:00 AM, updated Sept 1, 2020 4:43 PM