Marketing can be a confusing landscape to navigate for many small business owners. It’s packed full of acronyms, complex measuring tools and foreign-sounding terminology. We understand that your expertise is in cleaning, not advertisement!
In light of this we’ve decided to provide you with our top tips on creating a profit boosting advertising and marketing strategy that covers multiple bases. We’ll discuss a few marketing methods within internet marketing, print marketing, word of mouth and referral marketing, as well as providing a template for measuring success rates within these channels.
Table of Contents:
Tip #1 on Marketing Your Cleaning Business: Use Online Marketing
Using AdWords to promote your cleaning business
Google is the most popular search engine, making Google AdWords a prime tool for advertising your cleaning services to local customers. AdWords works as an advertisement platform run by Google, which provides Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising based on your predetermined ad bid. What this means is that every time a prospective customer clicks on your advertisement, being taken to your company site, you pay a fee to Google in exchange for the potential of that customer taking up your services. Having effective AdWords implemented puts your advert at the top of the page in Google Search results, in response to keywords you’ve chosen, making you more visible to prospective clients.
For a more in-depth look at how AdWords work, have a look at our YouTube video covering how AdWords works well for small businesses such as yours.
Paid advertising can work particularly well in the cleaning industry, given that there is rarely a shortage of cleaners in any given area, making the market a competitive one. Well implemented AdWords can drastically improve profits by placing your company’s profile to the top of potential customers’ searches for cleaners in their area. And as you already know, having an advantage over your competitors really heightens your chances of gaining regular paid work, making AdWords a worthwhile investment.
What are the advantages of using AdWords to promote my cleaning business?
- AdWords are based off search queries and the keywords you bid on (such as the name of your service, “carpet cleaning” or location, “Manchester”). This means that people seeing your advert are only seen by people who are actively looking for cleaning services.
- While some industries have high cost-per-click on related keywords, keywords for the cleaning industry are happily affordable.
- You have full control over the amount you bid, and which keyword you bid on, allowing for easy budgeting and tailoring.
- Demand for your services can fluctuate; such as in end of tenancy cleaning in university cities where demand will peak before the start of the academic year. AdWords is extremely flexible for cases such as this. Seeking more work? Begin an advertising campaign. Too busy to take on new work? Pause the ads, and re-start them when you are looking for new clients again. Simple!
Need help with your Google AdWords? If you own a cleaning business and have set up your own AdWords campaigns, we can take a look at them and offer specialist advice, for free. Get in touch.
Having a good business site to advertise your cleaning services
All high-quality service providers need a strong website: yourself included.
The simplest way to present your company, contact details, previous work, testimonials and service area is on an easy to navigate site. Having a webpage can help establish your cleaning business as a reputable and reliable service, attracting a wider customer base.
When designing your webpage, your first thoughts should be:
- What will people be looking for?
- Is it easy for them to access the information they are looking for?
- How do I come across?
What will people be looking for?
The primary purpose for your website is to demonstrate what exactly you offer, where, who by, and how to get in touch. Without a clear outline of this, your site is next to useless. Having a cleaning website with no obvious indicator of the region in which it operates will cause customers to leave that site based on the assumption that they don’t operate in their area.
Things to feature:
- Your office address and/or phone number, to clarify where you’re based
- Other relevant contact details
- The name of your city/area in the title tag code of your home page
- The name of your city/area towards the top of your pages
- Areas served
Looking for more helpful tips? Try our Cleaning Website Features Checklist.
Is it easy for them to access the information they are looking for?
A site user will always choose the path of least resistance.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers: if you were searching for a service and found an easy to navigate site offering this service, which gave you the appropriate information for you to make a decision, would you book them? Odds are, you would.
Take steps to ensure that you are that service by having clear but precise information, with menus which make looking around the site easy.
Could a new website make you more profitable? Book in a call with us today.
How do I come across?
Your website should be a platform to build trust with your customers and boost your image as a reliable company. Posting testimonials, having links to your review page(s) and an image gallery featuring previous work are all excellent ways to showcase your credibility.
You should be aiming to have each page on your site feature an element which proves your authenticity and builds trust with your potential clients. After all, it might just sway your client into booking you.
Tip #2 on Marketing Your Cleaning Business: Use Print Marketing
Vehicle advertisement to promote your cleaning services
Having your branding featured on your vehicle is an incredibly cost-effective tool for promoting your cleaning business and advertising to people everywhere you go. In this sense, it possibly has the longest shelf-life of all advertising techniques: no monthly payments, no re-posting, no frequent updates.
There are also a wide range of options and price ranges dependent on how complex and covering you wish your signwriting to be, along with the size of your van. Having signwriters design, produce and fit signage to your vehicle will likely cost between £200 and £600. However, if you are happy with something simpler, you also have the option of buying vinyl signwriting and fitting it yourself for around £100, including the fitting kit.
By using clear and effective branding, passers-by will be more likely to remember your featured company name when they come to need cleaning services in the future.
- Include your company name, logo, what you do, address and phone number
- For simple designs, keep to the most visible part of your van such as the flat panels
- Feature memorable graphics and branding consistent with your other advertisements such as your webpage
- Consider a personal touch: what makes your service unique?
The take home message is this: have your branding be memorable and easy to recall to optimise sales.
Print business cards for your cleaning business
Although we’ve gone over the importance of having an online presence, business cards are an excellent tool for leaving a lasting impression with prospects after interacting with them on a more personal level.
On top of this, by including your website on your card, you also have the opportunity to promote the online profile you’ve worked so hard on.
With so many websites offering business card templates, giving you a framework to work with, it’s never been easier to have quality cards at your disposal.
What should I put on my business card?
- Your company name and/or your name
- Your mobile and/or office number
- Your office address, and areas served
- Your e-mail address
- Your website
- An image or graphic
- Your tagline “Delivering excellent service to (area) since (company founding date)”
- Any promotions such as free estimates, 5th clean free and satisfaction guarantees
Leaflets to advertise your cleaning services
Leaflets have the advantage over business cards in that they can feature far more information, some of which can be the deciding factor in whether prospective customers pick you over competitors.
You can be more creative here and include components which promote your trustworthiness to customers, as in your website design.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of having leaflets are their efficacy in attracting business when being dropped at people’s homes or offices, as opposed to a simpler business card. However, leafleting can be a very time-consuming process with varied results, so having a strategy is key in keeping overheads low and your time well-spent.
Broadly speaking, there are two approaches to leafleting:
- You or your employees doing it yourselves
- Outsourcing the work
Doing it yourself
Since you’re running a cleaning service, naturally you will be wanting to be spending most of your time cleaning. Having your days consumed by driving or walking around and leafleting would be taking paid time away from you, but there is a way you can kill two birds with one stone.
Doing “The Quick Whip Around”, where you drop leaflets through 5-10 homes surrounding a home you’ve cleaned letting them know you’re cleaning in their area, saves on overheads as you’re already in that neighbourhood on a job. It also means that if you do indeed gain custom through this method, in the future you could be doing several jobs in the same area for one trip, saving you both time and transport costs.
Outsourcing the work
It’s fair to say that leafleting is easy: almost anyone can do it. This makes it a cheap task to pay for.
There are plenty of young people looking to earn extra pocket money on weekends, or even university students seeking an easy income. Think about what areas you would like to target, maybe even have different leaflets for different client types, and find the appropriate minimum wage in accordance with the leafleters’ age. You could even find a distribution company to undertake the task, which requires less organisation on your part, but typically involves higher fees.
Local sponsorship to spread the word about your cleaning business
A time-old tradition for many small business owners is to sponsor a local community group, competition, event or project. Advertising in this way demonstrates goodwill to your local community, as well as targeting a niche market and generating leads in the long-term.
Why not fund your local footy team’s new kit or donate prizes for competitions in exchange for advertisement opportunities?
Tip #3 on Marketing Your Cleaning Business: Word-of-mouth and Referrals
Referral schemes to grow your cleaning business
Referral marketing might not get you immediate results, but this approach does help you get leads in the long-term, making the rewards worth your time.
Having a solid referral scheme in place is a simple way for existing clients to get you new business. Begin thinking about what systems you can put in place; you can always start with one, and implement more later.
Some possible referral schemes
- Give clients a cash prize per successful referral
- Give clients a discount card where both they and the person they refer to receive a discount off your service
- Offer a free clean to the client who refers you
How much you offer, or in what fashion, may depend on your overall business model as well as your pricing. However, it’s good practice to make sure that your clients know what an appropriate referral is for you. Do they know the geographical boundaries of where you serve? Do they know what services you provide? Do they know what clients you are looking for? Having them know this information will help cut down unsuitable referrals. Lastly, be sure to ask people how they found you when they do call so you can properly credit the appropriate person.
Gaining customer reviews to boost your cleaning business
Ratings are a very important factor in the customer decision-making process.
Being able to boast a large number of positive reviews about your cleaning business in the online sphere is an incredible tool in leveraging trust in prospective customers. Having a simple strategy to encourage your clients to leave reviews is an important step in managing your online reputation, and fundamentally securing future profits.
To help you out, we’ve written a helpful guide on How To Get More Facebook and Yelp Reviews.
Networking to promote your cleaning services
The idea of networking with strangers can be daunting, maybe even a little awkward. But, networking can be one of the most useful skills you use to get commercial clients.
There’s a trick to networking efficiently, meaning you don’t waste time needlessly attending events that won’t lead to any work down the line. To reach commercial leads, you have to think about what type of clients would be ideal for you, and what circles they move in.
- Where are you trying to clean: schools, hospitals, retail, hotels, offices, accommodation?
- What type of events would the people managing these go to?
Begin attending these events, or joining associations where your prospective clients would be. Do some research online about their industry, and try and find what networking or events are run within that industry near you. Some leads might not be immediately obvious, so it’s great to think outside the box. Public speaking practice groups, for example, could be chock full of business owners who may consider switching their cleaning provider. Why not get involved yourself, and take the opportunity to be a speaker? Not only will you be promoting your services and yourself as a professional, but you’ll be improving your speaking skills which will translate to more effective and natural networking down the line.
Possible networking opportunities:
- Rotary clubs
- Job fairs
- Local Chamber of Commerce
- Affinity Groups
- Public speaking groups
- Associations relevant to clients’ industry
- Business Networking International
- Groups in Meetup, a social networking site
- Events on Eventbrite
- Relevant Facebook groups
- Business “Curry Clubs”
Ideally, you’ll be picking a handful of groups to attend frequently, rather than spreading yourself thin across multiple groups. This is to avoid you spending too much time networking, but most importantly, quality is more effective than quantity. Your chosen leads may not be thinking about changing cleaning services right now, or they may not be the right people to speak to. Over time however, you’ll be building up a good rapport with some of the regulars, you’ll be introduced to further leads, and you’ll be securing new contracts.
The bad news is that commercial clients may be hesitant to change their current provider, the good news is that once they do, you’ll have a long-term client.
Some networking tips
We understand that networking can be anxiety provoking for certain personality types. But, with the right approach and enough practice, it will start to feel less daunting, and you’ll begin seeing it like a skill that is being developed rather than a chore.
- Always bring your business cards and/or leaflets to hand out to people you have spoken to and might be able to refer you, or use your services down the line.
- Similarly, gather other people’s business cards. Rather than passively collecting these, be proactive by following up with them through e-mail or phone. Stay on people’s radar.
- If you send out e-newsletters, ask people if you can add them to your mailing list, particularly those who have given you their business cards.
- It may seem obvious, but introduce yourself to people and ask friendly questions about them and their business. How did they find out about the event you’re at? How did they get into their line of work? What do they enjoy about their job? Where are they from?
- Once you’ve had a conversation, or when they ask about your business, begin your ‘pitch’ in a way which feels natural to you. Explain where you operate, what clients you are looking for, what services you provide, your advantage over other providers, the types of work you’ve undertaken and for who.
- Don’t be afraid to be direct, and ask if they are happy with their current cleaning service, and whether they have ever thought about switching. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. This would be a prime time to give them your business card.
For a while, it may seem like you are putting a lot of effort into talk to people with no leads, but building up a network takes time and patience. Keep making regular appearances and speaking to new people, and you’ll begin cultivating a reliable long-term client base and experience substantial growth in your reputation.
Tip #4 Measuring the success and ROI of your marketing strategies
When implementing strategies for your advertising campaign, you’ll need to have appropriate measures set up in order to accurately evaluate your Return on Investment (ROI). After all, it’s important to be able to know what’s working for you, and where you may be able to further improve on your marketing.
The simplest way to visualise how your marketing efforts are working within your wider business turnover is with the following table:
|What you need to calculate||Your figures|
|Marketing Spend (£)||(£)|
|Profit (£)||Turnover – Marketing Spend (£)|
|ROI (For every £1 I spend I make x in profit)||Profit / Total Spend (£)|
Ideally, you should be aiming for a 3-to-1 ROI. In real terms that means that with every £1 you spend on marketing, you gain £3 back in profit from business generated from that marketing. With that in mind, you might find it useful to separate out the types of marketing you’re using, in order to further analyse which forms are generating the most ROI.
For this to be captured accurately, you’ll need to be keeping track of how your orders are coming in. If you’re only guessing where people came to find you, you’re missing out on valuable information. Luckily, most digital methods of marketing will have tools built in to track how and where prospective customers have been clicking and interacting with your site or advertisements, but what about those that book in from other sources?
When a client books a job in, ask where they heard about you, then put this information in your spreadsheets as a tally to calculate an exact ROI for each marketing method. From this, you’ll start to gain a clear picture of which methods are working best and provide value for money.
Let’s go through an example, Gordon’s Cleaning.
|Turnover (Per Annum, £)||£400||£700||£10010||£2300||£300|
|Marketing Spend (Per Annum, £)||£200||£50||£3600||£180||£50|
|Profit (Per Annum, £)||£200||£650||£6410||£2120||£250|
|ROI (Per Annum, £)||£1||£13||£1.8||£11.8||£5|
So, here we can see that Gordon’s best performing marketing source in terms of ROI is referrals. With every £1 he invests in referral schemes, he makes £13, an ROI of 13-to-1, proving it to be a very profitable investment. Based on this, he might consider building further on his referral schemes given that they appear to be working so well. His leafleting does reward him with profit, but the ROI is 1-to-1, which would suggest he should re-evaluate his strategy here.
You may need to include further breakdowns for each marketing source, for example if you have more than one style of leaflet, it would make sense to have separate calculations to compare how each of these are performing. Similarly, having a month-to-month breakdown can also provide detail on marketing performance over the course of the year.
Building a robust advertising and marketing strategy for your cleaning business is not an exact science. There are no hard and fast rules, but implementing a strategy that you can measure well ensures that you are as efficient in your efforts as possible.
Make sure you routinely check up on how well each avenue is performing, and adapt and add as you go along. In due course, you’ll begin to have a better understanding of the processes involved, and what works best for you. Of course, there’s no harm in getting extra help to facilitate the process.
Interested in using our services? See what other business owners have said about us.
Digitool is a Marketing Company specialising in online marketing for cleaning businesses. It was founded to help business owners like you win more work, earn more money and save you time. get in touch with us to find out how we can help boost your profits.