The Hitman Advertising Show
For more information about how to market your brand and your services, go to www.ICSmag.com/podcasts and listen to The Hitman Advertising Show, where John Braun walks you through how you should be doing so, while highlighting specific examples. The podcast can also be downloaded free of charge on Apple iTunes.
Marketing additional services in your cleaning business is a wise decision. It takes more than buying the right equipment and getting the proper training for the service. You’ll need to market your new service to both your current clients and new prospects. Let’s go over some proven ways to market not only your carpet cleaning services, but any additional ones as well.
Start with your current clients
Most marketing experts will agree that the people you’ve already done business with are the best people to attempt to get business from again. They already know and love you. And when it comes to marketing new services, your current clients are your best testing ground. If something goes wrong with the job, a client who has already been using your service for years is much more likely to be forgiving.
Mention your new service in your next client newsletter and e-mail newsletter. You can also send a dedicated postcard to all your clients. At the same time, you’ll want to mention your new service to every client you do business with. Put the word out via mail, e-mail, and verbally. For best results, make them an introductory special offer for your new service. This will give them extra incentive to try your new service now.
Network with other cleaners
Often times, you may offer a service that few other cleaners in your area are able to perform. Service like color dyeing, mold remediation, fine area rug cleaning and water damage require specialized training and equipment that many cleaners don’t have. Send a letter to all your local competitors letting them know you perform these services. Be sure to tell them of your expertise. To make it worth their effort for the referral, consider offering a substantial referral fee. Usually 10-20% is acceptable.
“When you’re knowledgeable and know what you’re doing, people want to hire you,” says Jan Sandler, of JMS Enterprises in Willow Grove, PA. “The networking with online communities like the Rug Hub (on Facebook) has helped a lot. Plus I’ve gotten referrals from programs with Ruth Travis and Barry O’Connell as well as other cleaners in my local area. Education has been the key. The confidence helps to get higher job tickets.”
Find other businesses that are in a position to refer you. If you’re marketing your water damage service, talk with plumbers. If you’re marketing your area rug cleaning service, talk with rug retailers and interior designers. Once again, offer these companies a 10-20% referral commission.
“Second party endorsement is a big thing,” says Doug Moerschbacher, owner of Doug’s Rug Spa in Pleasant Gap, PA. “Using someone else’s endorsement is great. For example, I’ll leave my cards at a shop that sells vacuums. That gets me quite a bit of work. As well, I’ll refer work back to them. And I’ve developed relationships with many realtors that will refer their clients to me.”
With referral marketing, it’s all about giving first. And if you give enough, you’ll often get business in return. But the first goal shouldn’t be to get business.
“I go into the rug stores and tell them my passion and my love for rugs,” says Sadler. “I go to the stores to build a relationship knowing that my clients will be taken care of when they want to buy a rug. They’ll ask me what I do and I say I’m a rug washer, but I’m not here about that. I tell them my clients will speak about me. If you’re interested in what we do, come down to our shop and see how we do it.”
Yes, people are still reading the newspaper. And if your latest add-on service is relatively new to the area, the newspaper could be a hot place to get new clients for your service. When no one else was advertising tile cleaning in my area, my company began using the newspaper to advertise this service. We routinely booked jobs well over $500 from the ads. Even though other companies offered tile cleaning, we were the only one advertising it well and making good money from it.
If there’s a particular neighborhood or area of town you’d like to target with your new service, direct mail is often the best choice. The United States Postal Service has a new program called “Every Door Direct Mail” that is perfect for targeting specific neighborhoods. They allow you to send large postcards, up to 12x15-inches, for only 16 cents per home. It’s best to create a postcard that lists the benefits of your new service and then entice them to call you with a killer offer.
Advertise your message on your vehicles and if you have mobile billboards. This is a great way to get the message out about your new service while people are bored in traffic. If you do area rug cleaning, wrap your vehicle to look like a Persian rug. If you do water damage restoration, wrap your vehicle in water droplets. Even adding a list of your services on the back of your van can get you business.
“The vehicle wraps have been a big thing for us,” says Doug Moerschbacher. “We have two vehicles with rug spa wraps advertising that we clean oriental rugs. We have a really good location on a busy road too, so that helps.”
The Internet is one of my favorites. For some of your specialty services, you’ll want to have a separate website. Many cleaners that I’ve talked with told me having a dedicated website for services like area rug cleaning or water damage has helped them establish extra credibility. When you have a dedicated website for a particular service, it means you’re serious about performing that service. One site I really like that does this well is www.arearugcleaningomaha.com
You may also want to do some search engine optimization for your service. Many services like area rug cleaning, window cleaning, upholstery cleaning and mold remediation are easier to get ranking than carpet cleaning. Additionally, doing a separate Google Adwords pay-per-click campaign for your additional service can prove to be a wise choice. Facebook pay-per-click campaigns can also be set up for as little as a $1 per day investment.
Get out there and tell the community about all the services you offer. Putting your additional services into your marketing plan will greatly increase sales and your bottom line.