When you start a cleaning business, it can be a little overwhelming to think about paying the expense of cleaning services advertising on top of all your startup costs and ongoing fixed costs.
However, advertising cleaning services through conventional media such as print, billboards, and radio spots has long been considered a standard operating procedure to get a successful commercial cleaning service off the ground.
When you’re figuring out how to promote your cleaning business, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to find the quickest or most cost-effective way. But a creative business owner should never be discouraged by a lean operating budget when it comes to getting the word out.
A quick internet search will yield you a wealth of great guerilla marketing ideas to promote your cleaning business without paying for ads.
These 23 tips can help you develop a marketing plan for your commercial cleaning service.
1. Know Your Target Customers
Every office building needs to be cleaned, and that’s where you and your business come in! You have a great service to offer, but you have your best chance of success by making a focused marketing effort on a specific target audience.
When you start a cleaning business, you should already be familiar with the local community and several of your prospective clients. It’s never an effective use of your time and marketing resources to court accounts that you’re not likely to close, and you owe it to yourself to do some online research for your best prospects before you start getting the word out.
You should also decide the size of your service area and how far you're prepared to travel to serve your customers. A larger service footprint gives you a lot more prospective customers for your commercial cleaning service, but sometimes it makes more sense to grow more gradually.
The temptation is always strong to take on as many new customers as possible when you start a cleaning business, but be sure to under-promise and over-deliver!
2. Meet Potential Cleaning Clients at Trade Shows
Networking events and trade shows can be a mixed bag when you’re looking for a creative way to promote your cleaning business, but they’re great places to put in an appearance and introduce yourself to fellow small business owners and members of your local community.
Whether it’s a networking cocktail party, a trade show, or a tailgate event, it’s always prudent to let people know about your commercial cleaning service in a relaxed and informal setting.
3. Distribute Flyers at Local Networking Events
Paper flyers are always a great foot in the door and a deliverable way for a client to remember your business. You can also display signage with scannable QR codes at events so that your prospective clients can visit your business website and social media pages via a paperless, eco-friendly option.
4. Make some cold calls
When deciding how to promote a cleaning business, never be afraid of doing a little old-fashioned cold calling. Any time that you finish up a job or visit a customer at a local office building, you owe it to your business to take a couple of minutes to walk next door and hand deliver a flyer.
And don’t be afraid to call on a business that has their own cleaning staff, either! It’s hard to get good help these days, and it never hurts to let them know you’re around if their needs change.
5. List Your Business in Citation Sites to Improve Local SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very important way to promote your cleaning business by helping it rise to the top of Google and other search engines. Cleaning services advertising campaigns depend on Google to steadily drive traffic to their business.
Even if you need to pay a commission to an SEO pro, it can be money well spent if you close new accounts.
6. Market Your Cleaning Business Locally by Optimizing Your Google My Business Page
Many businesses use pay-per-click advertising when advertising cleaning services, and they pay a premium to get their business listed at the top of Google search results.
If you can load your own content with the same keywords, you can find your way to the front page of search results organically.
7. Use SEO to Promote Your Cleaning Business
Google’s search algorithm changes at least once a day, and SEO experts estimate that it changes over 500 to 600 times each year. Some of the changes are sweeping, and some are subtle. But the algorithm is always on the move, and it’s a carefully guarded secret.
Most of these changes don't make a big difference in the overall SEO landscape, but the important thing is to refresh and update your website content and meta tags regularly.
Even if the landscape of your commercial cleaning service remains constant, it’s no longer sufficient to put the information in one place and count on search engines to find it. That’s why it’s important to update and add plenty of high-value content on a regular basis to keep directing traffic your way.
8. Blogging as a Method to Market Your Cleaning Business
Blogging can help you add value to your standard cleaning services advertising in several unique ways. For starters, you’ll have fresh content up on your business website.
If you want to organically improve your SEO placement, a blog is an excellent place to include plenty of those great keyword phrases in your copy. After advertising cleaning services, you can follow up with a blog about your new promotions, specials, or other value-added content.
This will create a bonus impression for your original advertisement or promotion by re-exposing your followers to an ad that they might have overlooked earlier.
Guest blogging means providing free, value-added content for a third party website. The value of guest-blogging is that it enables you to connect with potential customers who flock to other websites more popular than yours.
There’s nothing wrong with including a link to your website that encourages their readers to become your readers.
But your primary purpose should be providing information or entertainment that’s valuable enough for them to read through to the end.
10. Use Video Marketing and YouTube to Promote Your Cleaning Business
YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok all have millions of visitors a day, including plenty in your community. How-to videos are always popular, and you might generate some organic business from forwards. But don’t be afraid to make some fun short videos as well!
There’s no such thing as bad publicity, and a funny behind-the-scenes sketch might generate some interest from newer audiences.
11. Use Email Marketing to Promote Your Cleaning Company
Email might seem like a mature medium, but you should never count it out as a marketing tool. Just be aware that most people don’t enjoy getting a lot of excess email these days, and many promotional newsletters can wind up in people’s spam folders.
The important thing to remember with any email or social media content is that it should be high-value content, not just one long ad.
12. Consider third-party email outreach tools
Third-party email outreach tools such as AWeber and Mailchimp offer tools for social media integration, customer engagement, and even advanced analytics tracking. The advantage of using a third-party program is that these companies specialize in creating effective content that makes it to your users’ inboxes.
In most cases, you can use wizards and templates to populate the sections of your newsletter and send out a message to your subscribers that looks clean and professional.
Be sure not to trick people into signing up for a newsletter by obscuring the opt-out check box on forms, and make unsubscribing easy and instantaneous.
13. Market Your Cleaning Business in Facebook Groups
Creating a Facebook page for your business is quick and easy. Facebook provides monetized placements for your posts and ads, but you can generate plenty of organic impressions with high-quality content that your followers can forward.
- Let Existing Cleaning Clients Help You Get New Ones
You can’t overstate the value of word-of-mouth advertising when it comes to growing a small business. Satisfied customers provide the best cleaning services advertising that there is, and it won’t cost you a dime!
14. Earn Referrals
When you get a rave review from a customer, don’t be afraid to ask them for a referral. They’re likely to tell their friends about you if they’re asked, but you’re always more likely to get referrals if you sweeten the deal for your customers.
Create a refer-a-friend program
Once new customers sign up and take advantage of your new customer promotion, you can offer your existing clients that same discount to say thanks. You don’t have to undercut your prices or offer deep discounts, but you should make it worth all of your clients’ while to tell their friends about you.
15. Distribute Leave-Behinds
Leave-behind sales collateral that’s too nice to throw away is always a great foot in the door because it often sits in a prominent location until your prospective client makes a decision.
Prospective customers are more relaxed when they’re not pressured to act immediately, and you can say hello and leave behind a catalog with your card.
16. Publish Cleaning Client Reviews
Any good business will happily provide a list of recent references. Be sure to get their permission to post their comments on your website so that prospective clients can read their rave reviews.
17. Use Emotional Marketing
Every election season, you hear candidates resorting to emotional appeals to win over voters because they work! Prospective cleaning clients need your services but might consider them expendable if money is tight.
It’s your job to convince them of the perils of dirty hallways and wastebaskets that don’t get emptied.
18. Use Direct Mail
Direct mail promotions are still alive and well, but you need to focus your mailing on targeted areas and be realistic about the response rate. For best results, your direct mail should contain these three golden rules:
1. A compelling message
You need to make your direct mail message clear, easy to read, and visually attractive enough to stay out of the trash can.
2. A CTA with an expiration date
Once you’ve gotten the prospect’s attention, you have to urge them to act quickly. Ask for the business, and let them know how much time they have left.
3. A coupon code
A clear and simple coupon for a certain percentage off service or a fixed low price can help drive sales.
Your online and social media ads should also have a code for click-through orders and inquiries. This code gives you useful data to determine the most effective advertising efforts, and it should be unique for each medium.
19. Include an Email Signature
Don’t forget to include a short signature in each email with a link to your website and social media page as an important secondary promotional tool.
20. Launch Your Cleaning Website
It’s not enough to just have a Facebook page. You can set up a basic website easily on your own and direct all new customers to go there.
Alternatively, you can hire a freelance developer to build you a high-quality page and handle your technical issues so that you can focus on growing your business.
21. Make the Most of Social Media
There are now so many social media outlets to choose from that it might be tricky to determine which ones are the best fit for your business. These outlets target different niche audiences, and you don’t have to use them all at once. The important thing is that they include free, value-added content for your followers.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram are some of the most popular social media outlets you can use to promote your cleaning business. Don't forget to use hashtags on these platforms to drive traffic to you. LinkedIn can be a good network to use if you want to reach business owners who might need your services.
22. Create a Promotional Video
You can hire a professional video crew to produce a fancy advertisement, or you can produce some short videos on your own. Don't underestimate the value of a short and entertaining video that gets forwarded, even if it’s not directly related to your business's operations!
23. Build Your Local Credentials
When you start a cleaning business, it becomes a member of the community. Joining the Better Business Bureau and local civic organizations is an excellent way to show the community you’re fully invested in its overall health.
It gives potential clients a great incentive to buy local, too. The same applies to joining a professional organization or a skilled trade union. Membership in these organizations also gives you the ability to display “trust badges” on your website to instill confidence in local customers.
Be sure to take out a general liability insurance policy for your business and stay current on all licensure and bonding requirements, if applicable. Even if your community doesn’t require insurance for certain types of business, you can’t afford to be held personally liable for any legal action against your commercial cleaning service.
When it comes to advertising cleaning services, the best way to market your cleaning business is a personal decision. You can’t discount the track record of conventional media when it comes to advertising, but today’s consumer has access to a lot more information than ever through social media and other outlets.
One of the most important components of positioning your business is to start by running an honest and dependable operation. You should also identify your brand’s points of distinction that set it apart from your competitors. You entered the marketplace to fulfill an unmet need, and you’re limited only by your own creativity when it comes to promoting your business. Many companies make the mistake of thinking that if they spend enough on their advertising, the results will come. Unfortunately, there isn’t always a direct one-to-one ratio between your advertising dollars and your bottom line.
For more strategies to promote your cleaning business or information about insurance coverage, contact CoverWallet online or call us at (646) 844-9933.