Although you may not be a marketing guru, advertising can get your cleaning company noticed by potential customers. But before you spend any of your advertising dollars, do your research to identify your target market. Finding your particular niche and directing your ad dollars to that area will be the most effective way to get clients calling and asking about your services and hopefully signing on as new customers.
Start by setting an advertising budget. A general rule of thumb is to dedicate two to five percent of your expected gross sales to advertising. If you are expecting $150,000 in gross sales, set aside $3000 to $7500 for advertising. If you are expecting gross receipts of $20,000, you should expect to spend $400 on your advertising over the year.
If you are just starting your house cleaning business this may not be enough. You may need to spend more money running ads announcing your business so your potential clients know a new cleaning service is in town. If you’re bootstrapping your business, you’ll want to spend what you can on the type of advertising that will be the most beneficial, such as flyers or Facebook ads, which you can start for $5 a day.
Once you set your budget, decide where to advertise. For a cleaning business it makes no sense and would be a waste of your money to advertise in a large magazine or buy a TV commercial that airs on a Saturday night. Besides being expensive, these ads will most likely not reach your target audience.
The common print ad, run in your local newspaper or shopper, is the most basic unit of advertising. Print ads have launched major companies and many successful products. Running ads in a local or community paper can also be a great way to promote your cleaning business if you follow a few basic rules:
– Your ad should attract attention! Although this sounds obvious, unless your ad attracts attention you are throwing your money down the drain. The most compelling way to have a “noticeable” ad is to have an interesting and visually appealing headline. If you are designing a large ad, think of using a subheading. This will provide added information and can be longer than the headline.
– Your ad should address the reader’s needs or announce news. Tell how your cleaning service will benefit your readers and if possible announce a new product or add-on service, such as after holiday service to take down decorations and tidy up.
– Your ad should communicate your company’s unique selling proposition. Or why should the potential customer pick your business to supply cleaning services rather than ABC Cleaning? Learn more in this blog post.
– Your ad should tell why your cleaning company is the best in the area. The most convincing way to do this is through testimonials, statistics and awards.
– Your ad should motivate your readers to take action. One way to achieve this is to include a special offer. Offers that work well are discounts and bonuses (get your free shower squeegee with your first cleaning appointment – new customers only).
Getting Your Ads Viewed
One of the main reasons people don’t read ads is that they don’t have a great headline or a visual element that attracts readers. Headlines that work best are those that promise readers a benefit. Flip through a newspaper or magazine and notice the headlines that attract your attention – Save on Closing Costs, Your Dreams Can Become Reality, Get More Miles to the Gallon. Advertising experts suggest using words to arouse interest: New, Now, At Last, Warning, Introducing, Easy, Health, Save, Safety, Free, Money or Advice. Learn more in Marketing Swipe Files.
Although you may want to use your business’ name in your headline that is not recommended and is one of the common mistakes that small businesses make. Your business’ name does not have anything compelling to offer a potential customer. Remember, your headline should address the needs of your customers and not your ego. I go over this in detail so you can better understand advertising for your service business.
Making your ad stand out can be a challenge. Scan your local papers and take notice of what ads stand out – are they ads with reverse (white on dark background) print, color ads, ads that look like they were hand drawn? People notice ads that have illustrations or photographs that show products or simulate a service. Ads that have people in them do extremely well.
Review Media Kits
Before advertising in any medium call and ask for a media kit. This kit will contain rate information as well as demographic information about the publication (or radio station). The demographic information should include reader’s (or listener’s) age, income, and other statistics that will indicate if this is a good medium to run your ads in to reach your target audience.
If you are a member of your local chamber there will be opportunities in chamber newsletters, member guides and perhaps even on their website. Local newspapers are good venues as most businesses either subscribe or read regularly so they can keep informed of what’s going on in the local community.
Print advertising is one way to get your cleaning business’ name out in front of potential clients as well as reminding your current clients of the services you provide. Advertising is salesmanship and the more information you can give about your services, the more interest you will create.
Force a Response
Always remember to include a call to action in your ad. This tells them what to do next. Highlight exactly what you want them to do in the order you want them to do it. For instance, tell them to call now and provide the phone number next to the call to action. At this point you can include other ways they can contact you, but you have already given them precise instructions and that’s what most people will do. If you don’t include a call to action, most people will do nothing.
Christmas Season Advertising
August is the time to start thinking of your promotions for the holidays. If you’re going to buy advertising, you’ll need to get it setup before the available spaces are gone.
Don’t miss our holiday flyers – a great way to blanket your neighborhoods with your message while you’re in the area. These are ready to be customized by you – or – we’ll customize them for you at no charge. This is included with your purchase. We also include marketing tips with the flyers so you know how use them effectively.
During the holiday season, you should be posting sharable content on your social media pages, i.e. things people WANT to share. They’re not going to be interested in sharing your business ad, but they would love to share holiday images and quotes. Quotes are one of the highest shared items on social media! Check out our done-for-you Christmas Social Posters – they’re ready to be shared, but you can also add your business branding to them. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Plan Your Success Using Social Media
Where does your target market hang out? Do you even know? If you’re targeting businesses, then you should be on LinkedIn. If you want to be found through organic search, you should be concentrating on Pinterest (yes, it’s a search engine – not a social platform!). Every business should have a Facebook page. Your millennial customers will be active on Instagram.
Social media platforms keep changing their algorithms and reducing the number of people you reach with a single post. That’s because they want you to pay for their ads not only to advertise, but to boost your posts.
Today every serious business needs a responsive (mobile ready) website and an active Facebook page. Your customers use these to validate your business much like they used to use the Yellow Pages years ago.
First they go to your website and if they like what they see, they then do a Facebook search for your business. People want to see active posts to validate that you’re an organized and professional business. A static Facebook page or one that only promotes your specials and discounts does not send the right message to your prospects unless running a discount service is your business model! People want to find a service that is part of the community and promotes a professional business.
Your social media activity isn’t going to be effective unless you plan it – hit and miss isn’t going to work. This means you should be posting at least twice a day.
Use a combination of quote images, posts about your employees, important industry trends, home ideas they can use, and most importantly – show them how much you care about your clients. This goes a long way to show prospects visiting your page that you value your customers.
For instance, this is one of the quote images from my Cherish My Clients package – doesn’t this make you feel good or aren’t you thinking, “Wow – that’s really cool?” That’s how you want visitors to your social media page to respond!
Running the right ads will get your phone ringing, giving you the chance to turn prospects into new clients – and that is the key to growing your business successfully!
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The Low-Cost Way to Earn More in Your House Cleaning Business
Word-of-mouth has always been the most powerful way that businesses grow.
Referrals also offer benefits for your company's reputation. When people like your company and tell others about it, you gain a great deal of trust and credibility. These are the primary reasons that referrals are so important.
All it takes to bring in a constant flow of new customers is a little planning!
To Read Next:
- Post Smarter: The Best Times to Use Social Platforms
- Why You Need a Marketing Calendar for Your House Cleaning Business
- 2018 Facebook Changes and What it Means for Your House Cleaning Business
- How to Ethically Beat Your Competition
- 4 Key Aspects Of Excellent Customer Service for Your Residential Cleaning Business