Getting Clients ! Marketing Help

by mssiff
19 replies
Hello Everyone!

I just joined the warrior forum and I spend all last night reading and I just love the wealth of information here!!!! I currently own a small house cleaning service in Southern California and I really need some help with picking up some new clients FAST!!! I suck at marketing and I'm trying to learn all I can. I have been doing fliers which is not working, I currently am doing adwords and not getting many clicks, I know a little SEO and my website is SEO friendly but I'm not getting much traffic, I post on craigslist but not on a consistent basis, Direct mail is so expensive and I'm a single Mom so that is not in the budget right now.
If anyone has any ideas on a better way of marketing and getting more traffic to my website I would greatly appreciate it.
#clients #marketing
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Read everything by ewenmack.

    There's a Search feature you can use to do that.

    There's a Copywriting subforum that may help you.

    Time to get some ads & flyers that work out there, get some referrals and be clear about what makes your service great.

    A few years back I started a dog boarding business in a rural area. Never done that before. I posted CL ads with ascii paw print art. That was our callsign. Charged a low rate to begin with. Wrote about what made us special and why the dog would love staying with us. Even wrote in the point of view of the animal.

    We started getting calls, picked up customers, and started developing our facebook page. Lots of photos, comments and then testimonials. I raised our prices. We began getting repeat clients. I raised the prices again. Christmas came and boy were we booked! It was actually a bit scary.

    Later we moved into town, and had to stop the dog boarding, but there isn't much difference between that and any other small business. I could start it up again anytime, anywhere. Be clear about what makes you special or great...offer a good price to begin with...make sure you get testimonials and referrals...have advertising that is clearly recognizable as 'yours'.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8508215].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Groupon and Living Social.

    Just be ready. REALLY ready. Make sure you capture all of their contact/email info so you can followup with them.

    Don't make the deal expire too quickly so you can spread them out a little.

    When you go to do the house, have an upsell ready (clean the fridge for more $$ - or something like that).

    Leave a flyer behind with your normal rates and a personal note.

    Make sure the flyer tells them you will do the same deal for them again if they refer you to a friend or neighbor.

    Don't let Groupon or Living Social price you so low that you lose money on each house. Be sure you are still at least OK with the rate you get to keep.

    Network with Real Estate agents to clean empty houses before they are shown.

    Have door hangers printed. Anytime you clean a house, leave one on every door on that street. Give them a special price for the first cleaning. Call it the neighborhood discount.

    Tell every client that if they refer you to someone who hires you, you will do the next cleaning for 50% off.

    Find a way to let daycare centers refer you. Kids are at daycare because the mom is working. She probably could use help with the house. I'd have to think about this one a little to figure out a method.

    That's all I got for now.
    Signature
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8508742].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Justin T Wells
    Those are definitely some good ideas from Dan and Jason, enough to keep you busy if you immediately act on them. I love the daycare idea. It reminds me of how my son's school is always asking for money for all sorts of things. In a recent email to the parents, a new local bbq place made a deal with the school. It was something like for 1 week only, if we mentioned we were there to support the school something like 10-25% of our bill would support the school. Something like that could work.

    I'm curious, is this housecleaning business intended to be something for you do to as a job yourself for awhile, or do you have any interest in growing it by hiring other cleaners? You could ask around and see if you know anyone who might like to work for you if and when things take off.

    Also, if you haven't already, research your major competition including complaints people say online and turn the major complaints into ways you operate your business differently (without ever badmouthing specific competitors). For instance, once you hire employees (if you do that) you might make it a big deal on your site how you do thorough background checks on every worker, as I bet many people have trust issues with hiring cleaners.

    Over time as you get clients, try to schedule nearby ones around the same time if possible to cut down on drive time and gas.

    Get other people to market for you. For instance, put some ads up on craigslist, college bulletin boards, etc. and offer to pay people a commission for selling your services as independent contractors. While you will still want to knock on some doors and leave door hangars in areas you visit, get others to do the same for some kind of commission. Maybe give them a coupon to hand out that has a unique code for each salesperson.

    Do you have a friend or relative who has some spare time that could help you grow the business? Maybe have that person do some of the legwork to help you market yourself and pay them something reasonable, but mainly just ask for help from people who already know, like, and trust you.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8509008].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Check out UMC's posts. He and his wife run a successful cleaning biz.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8509094].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author mssiff
        Wow! these are great ideas!!!! I do have 3 people cleaning for me but its sow right now and I need to get them a full schedule , I tried having them flier for a hourly wage but that was not working out.
        Signature
        La Tunya Sifford/ Owner
        Full Moon Cleaning Services
        10950 Arrow Route # 1782
        Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729
        http://fullmooncleaningservices.com
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8509262].message }}
  • Hi La Tunya,

    Here are some random thoughts.

    I would start with your immediate powerbase of contacts--everyone you know, and knew in your past.

    I see your blog started in 2012 so you have been in business for a while, and may have touched base with all your friends and family.

    Still, there is a good chance you know people that you can touch base with and bring them up to date on what they are doing. Contact them to say hi, not to sell outright. It will come up in conversation no matter what. Always. They always ask what you've been up to. If you contact 200 people I guarantee you will get some business this way.

    Carry your cards with you everywhere. Rework your card with direct-response techniques so they generate business. You can search the archives here to learn how to do that.

    Trust and security are huge issues these days. Make sure you communicate to prospects you are insured, bonded, or any other accreditation that will boost their confidence. Are you a member of the The Association of Residential Cleaning Professionals? If so, make sure you put that on all your marketing.

    When funds are tight, go back to the basics. Meet and greet. Smile and dial. Talk to doormen, small commercial property managers, local businesses, local leaders, actually everyone. Get some excitement going.

    Post on your blog and on Facebook much more than you are now. I would post once a day at least.

    Hand out cards like you were running for Congress. Be dogged and relentless. Increase your effort massively.

    Good luck! Let us know how you get on.

    EDIT: I see on your site you are licensed and insured. Nice!
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8509283].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mssiff
      Thanks!!!!!! I got work to do!!!!!
      Signature
      La Tunya Sifford/ Owner
      Full Moon Cleaning Services
      10950 Arrow Route # 1782
      Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729
      http://fullmooncleaningservices.com
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8509455].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Justin T Wells
        I was looking at your site as well, going through the list of services and was just thinking... how many of your clients also pay to have their grass mowed, nails done, etc etc?

        Maybe you could work out some deals with other businesses like that (ideally people you know). You might get some extra income coming in suggesting such services and get more clients coming your way when you are suggested.

        You could also see if you have the time to put together some sort of free workshop for topics like what's on the blog, such as laundry tips, etc. At the end, make a special offer either for the people who show up themselves or gifts for their mom or other loved-ones.

        Maybe sell gift certificates of some sort to apartments, realtors, etc in bulk but at a discount to give to their customers as a thank you for business/move in gift. You could get together with some businesses as mentioned before and try to a package together as well. I still remember when a car dealership left me a very nice gift basket in the front seat of a car I just bought, after they delivered it "free". In fact, now that I think of that, I can't think of any other memorable experience from any other car dealership that was actually positive.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8509540].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author mssiff
          Thanks Justin!!! Gift certificates would be great!!!!!! I really am spending the day coming up with marketing tips on increasing my client base. So much information here I'm excited!!!! I'm going to first start with ramping up my online presence since I may be able to reach more customers this way.
          Signature
          La Tunya Sifford/ Owner
          Full Moon Cleaning Services
          10950 Arrow Route # 1782
          Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729
          http://fullmooncleaningservices.com
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8515238].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Your site definitely is not "SEO friendly".. It looks like someone attempted to optimize it but it is done rather poorly.

    Next... your PPC money might as well be going down the drain with that site, you could do much better design wise, I can't imagine that website generating many leads for you.

    My recommendation... network. Find property management companies, real estate agents, etc who you can target to get more work. Property management companies that handle strip malls or big office buildings usually can keep you busy with very little other work. Why try to target 1,000 people to get 20 new customers when you can get a couple good connections that can provide the same amount of work?

    Also can offer a referral program for your current customers.. I'm sure someone has already mentioned that, but could be a very easy way to generate new clientele.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8516215].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      I have to agree with with Nameless. I visited your site and nothing about it encourages me to contact you. Don't take it personally because it's just business here.

      I'm willing to bet that you are paying for ppc and are having people land on your home page. This is one of the biggest mistakes and waste of money small business owners make.

      Aside from improving your site you should have a specific landing page for a specific offer that you use PPC for.

      If you want some help with it let me know, we can probably come up with something that works for you.

      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      Your site definitely is not "SEO friendly".. It looks like someone attempted to optimize it but it is done rather poorly.

      Next... your PPC money might as well be going down the drain with that site, you could do much better design wise, I can't imagine that website generating many leads for you.

      My recommendation... network. Find property management companies, real estate agents, etc who you can target to get more work. Property management companies that handle strip malls or big office buildings usually can keep you busy with very little other work. Why try to target 1,000 people to get 20 new customers when you can get a couple good connections that can provide the same amount of work?

      Also can offer a referral program for your current customers.. I'm sure someone has already mentioned that, but could be a very easy way to generate new clientele.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8518239].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    How many new customers do you need? Set targets.

    As others mentioned - network like crazy to professionals who would know people or hire you direct. I'd ad insurance agents to that list. Go to MeetUp groups and Chamber of Commerce open house mixers (cheap or free as a guest).

    Go to neighborhoods where people have enough money for this type of service and see if you can flyer or post in local, local newspapers, as well as church or private school bulletin boards or newsletters.

    You might also search here for Warrior Bob Ross's post card marketing method.

    I used to be a courier and your industry has high turnover in the small independent, free standing bank and credit union buildings. Most of the time the branch manager or president of the branch would be able to decide.

    Dan
    Signature

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8517425].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author swilliams09
    My coworker's mother has a successful cleaning business. 90% of her clients come from word of mouth referrals. She is know for being damn near OCD about the work. She pursecutes any employee who steals and is always on time. A sterling reputation for quality is a must. Can you ask your current clients for refferals? Do it right after you finish An excellent job. Tell them you are trying to grow your business and if they know of five people who may be interested in your service, then call those people (or at least one of the ) right there with the client at had to vouch for you. Set up an appointment and thank your client for the referral. (Thanks for this tip Claude, it's been working for me).

    Also my coworkers mother is very religious. She did a free cleaning for her pastor, who was so impressed he told the entire congregation and hired her to do their church. She picked up a few additional clients on that one.

    Hiding behind the Internet and flyers doesn't cut it when you are desperate. You have to get in their face and let them see you, know you and trust you. Good luck!
    Signature

    Learn how to make videos that sell. Special $1 Offer for Warriors Only.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ml?view=modern

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8517552].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Edward Green
      I had a small cleaning company that grew very large in London UK many moons ago.

      One of the ways I built it was using COI (Center of Influences) or important community or industry people who have the ear of other targeted people.

      I started with a common COI who was the dry cleaner. I offered to clean carpets, rugs, windows and curtains for free on the understanding that if they were happy the work would be free and we would enter into a split commission relationship with their client.

      Remember that whatever you do you must see this as buying the clients contact details much like the groupon, wowcher, or amazon local deals that are around. Incidentally the cheap people who like these deals are not always great repeat clients unless you can beat all coupon prices again.

      What I do a lot of now with my offline business is to target important industry movers and shakers and help them for free without them knowing they are in play and befriend them.

      When you walk around an exhibition hall or a conference with the leader of an association or similar your target clients will flock to you in droves and want to be associated with you.

      Take a little time to set this system up and you wont need to give huge discounts to get cheap people who with probably give you grief and not be loyal for a second.

      Obviously make sure you have a golden referral marketing system in place to build it all on automatic pilot.

      Good luck.

      Ed
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8518093].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ken_Stone
    Hi La Tunya,

    As has been said here already, word of mouth advertising is quite effective, as are coupons/discounts.

    I can help you out with both.

    I see you don't have that many posts so cannot send a PM. I'm off to send you one now.

    Regards,
    Ed Jackson
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8522303].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author umc
      My wife and I have cleaned for years. I'm a member of the GCA much like the OP, and I've posted many things on there that would help. In fact, there's a marketing sub-forum there (it is a cleaning specific forum for those that are lost when I say GCA) with plenty of information that would help the OP.

      Basically, if you have clients already, you should be delivering such an experience in your everyday work that people are marketing for you. I NEVER pay for a referral, yet I have a backlog of referrals sitting on a waiting list for our services right now. Why? Because our clients love us. We aren't just another cleaner, we provide great service and communicate with them regularly. We also take a personal interest in every client and key our communication in such a way so as to relate that. People know and trust us, and we believe in going above and beyond to make an impression. That impression creates buzz and people talk about us.

      When we started out we got clients from Craigslist. However, we differentiated ourselves by actually telling people in our ads why we are different and trying to connect with them instead of just the boring ho-hum ads that people often post (we've been in business for x years, we're insured and bonded, blah blah blah). Tell them why you are different. In our case, it is the fact that we have no employees, that we're professionals that do this full time and take it seriously as a profession instead of part-time hustlers, that we provide everything needed to do the job, that we constantly strive to find new ways of improving, etc. We also do crazy things (for the cleaning industry) like show up when we say we will, and we provide consistent service because it is the same two people cleaning every time.

      We tell everyone what we do. We also got into other things like mobile auto detailing and aimed that service at realtors at first. Then we cross-promoted to pick up additional cleaning clients.

      Involvement in local forums has been great too. I'm a member of some local sports forums for reasons other than advertising, but I also let people know what I do, and we work for many families there. They know who to come to for cleaning advice, and then for cleaning service as well.

      We honestly never spent much at all on advertising or marketing. It was mostly hustle and just telling everyone what we did. We've honestly had some embarrassingly bad websites at times with no SEO at all. But our reputation preceded us, so people didn't care what our site looked like, and they came from referrals so SEO didn't matter either. We did some Adwords campaigns for kicks, and got a client here or there, but cleaning is such a personal business we found that marketing was done through the people we worked with every day more than it was through an ad somewhere.

      For us, marketing has been more about what we do every day in our business, not an event or advertisement.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8539682].message }}
  • This IS AN AMAZING THREAD! OP, I think you have everything you need right here. There is so much to benefit from in trying to go offline rather than just online.

    For example, while it is best to focus a lot on your website, consider doing more marketing work within your neighborhood.

    You can visit some small business owners in other stores and ask them if you can put your flyers in their front desk. Some will gladly do so as long as you reciprocate. Build relationships with other businesses since there is probably no other person who does cleaning in your area. Really focus on getting almost everybody within your neighborhood to use your services.

    Go through this thread multiple times. There is a wealth of information here.

    Your biz will flourish. It's all just a matter of time!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8540213].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mssiff
    Wow thanks to all the advice! I've been so busy implementing these tips i have not had time to come on and read!
    Signature
    La Tunya Sifford/ Owner
    Full Moon Cleaning Services
    10950 Arrow Route # 1782
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729
    http://fullmooncleaningservices.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8568171].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author grr125
      Your site appears to be down.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8587724].message }}

Trending Topics