The Best 10 Strategies to Create Your Cleaning Business Marketing Plan
Selling a cleaning service must be easy because everyone wants a cleaner these days, right? But once you begin, it might seem impossible to stand out among hundreds of similar businesses with the same offerings and services. So, how do you set yourself apart?
Cleaning Marketing is not just about selling your service but about selling an experience. Your clients will not trust your employees to enter their private homes and office spaces unless you go out of your way to build that trust with them. If your employees cannot connect with your clients, they will forever remain strangers, and strangers are replaceable.
As a cleaning service provider, your primary goal is to understand customer needs and provide for them. Your cleaning business marketing plan message must reflect that your business will alter its offerings according to customer requirements. You’re not going to clean a two-bedroom apartment and a high-rise office space the same way, so you shouldn’t market your services to the two kinds of clients the same way either.
Understanding how to promote your cleaning business needs careful planning and lots of experimentation. Every promotion strategy is not meant for your cleaning business, and you can eliminate steps that don’t work for your brand or marketing budget. Before investing in any promotional or marketing tool, you should define your brand, target audience, and marketing channels, which will help you decide the best way to reach your clients.
While this might seem like an overwhelming task with too many variables to consider, having a comprehensive guide to walk you through this process will help. And that is what we are here to provide! Throughout this blog, we will guide you through all the background work necessary to build a marketing strategy and ten ways in which you can implement the same.
- Define your service
- Brand your business
- Know your audience
- 10 Simple Cleaning Marketing Ideas
- Design Fliers and Use Direct Mail
- Attend Community Relationships and Trade Shows
- Use Email Marketing to Increase Outreach
- Build a Website
- Try to Experiment with Video Marketing
- Ask for Referrals from Loyal Clients
- Use Advertising Platforms to Generate Quick Leads
- Learn to Use Google Advertisements
- Develop a Strong Social Media Presence
- Include Google and Social Media CTAs
You can click on any of the links to move to that section.
Define Your Service
We know this sounds like a section in a boring marketing manual, but we promise understanding these concepts is worth it! There’s a good chance you have already used some of these tools while setting up your cleaning business. The 7 “Ps” of the service marketing mix are tools that let you create a holistic set of cleaning business marketing ideas instead of fixating on one aspect of your business.
Your cleaning service is intangible and personalizable. Make sure to consider your client’s needs when providing them with any cleaning.
Take note of your client’s concerns well in advance. For example, it can be heavily unprofessional if your client is allergic to certain cleaning products, and your employees didn’t account for that before arriving at the location.
Also, if there are any instructions you need to give to the client before the cleaning job begins, do it at least 24 hours before the appointment. Let’s assume some of your products are not safe for children, and they shouldn’t be in the same space when your employees are cleaning. It’s your responsibility to inform your client of such caveats.
However, every customization will cost your employees time and your business money. Survey the space that needs to be cleaned, especially for commercial jobs, before committing to any changes to your offerings. If you cannot customize certain services, explain that to your client.
Price is important when considering how to market a cleaning business. It’s recommended to keep your competitors’ prices in mind, but you must always price based on the value of your service. Pricing your business too low for the sake of affordability is not sustainable.
Do a cost analysis to understand your cost per cleaning per hour, especially if you run a commercial cleaning service. On calculating your base price and profit, you’ll find the lower limit for setting your price. You could also try bundling your services for a lower price. For example, you could offer a free window cleaning service for every third cleaning job.
Choose where you offer your services carefully, based on your target audience and your transportation budget. Once you understand your target market, you can isolate which areas are ideal for you to provide your services. If the paying capacity of your clients is high in the suburbs, they might be willing to book you for weekly or bi-weekly cleanings. If your cleaning target market is commercial clients, offer your services in urban spaces.
As we will see later, the channels you use to market your service and promote it to your audience rely on the type of audience, your marketing budget, and other factors. To help you, we have compiled a comprehensive list of cleaning service promotion ideas, from which you can choose what is best for your business.
You cannot separate your service from the people delivering it. Your business is only as good as the employees cleaning any home or commercial space. Your cleaning company marketing strategy is rooted in your company policy, and how you form this policy will affect how your clients will perceive you. This context will help you to keep the following points in mind.
- Create a good first impression – Your employees uphold the reputation of your brand. It is highly recommended that all your cleaning employees follow a certain dress code. Giving your workforce branded T-shirts to wear on the jobs is a great way to ensure that every employee is an extension of your business’ brand.
- Be consistent – Your employees need to deliver on the promised quality of service every time they go to clean a home or commercial space. Maintaining consistency will improve your chances of getting referrals and earn you loyal clients. If you’d prefer not to set a strict dress code, you could always offer guidelines for your employees to follow. For example, you can restrict the type of jewelry your employees wear to work.
- Set rules and guidelines – Set clear boundaries that your employees need to respect while they’re working a job. You could have policies to limit cursing or taking calls on a shift. Ensure that your employees address your clients with their preferred pronouns and use gender-neutral pronouns if they’re unsure.
Your employees will deliver the experience that your business has promised your customers. Train your workforce in company policy, and equip them with answers to customers’ questions. Treat your employees as equals and take their feedback and insights because they are the people working with your clients.
A service business may offer a customizable product, but there has to be a clear understanding of the process every time a client is serviced.
For example, an effective process for your cleaning business employee might be as follows:
- Schedule the appointment well in advance
- Do inventory management the night before the appointment
- Show up ten minutes early to set up
- Confirm details of services and products with the client
- Follow a simple script to greet the customer and make them comfortable
- Run a checklist of all the cleanings to be done and estimate the time for the same
- Finish the shift on time
- Thank the client
- Take Feedback
- Move to the next appointment.
Every tangible object used by your employees in servicing the client becomes a part of physical evidence. It might help the client decide whether they want to take your company on for repeat sessions or not. If the cleaning products are eco-friendly, that might be a differentiating factor in your physical evidence. Marketing for a small cleaning business involves attention to detail, and Physical evidence is part of it.
Now that we have a handle on our marketing mix, we can go forward and pay more attention to branding our cleaning business.
Brand Your Business
“The way a business brands itself is everything – it will ultimately decide if the business survives.”Sir Richard Branson
A good part of what we have discussed in the previous section contributes to branding. Training a responsible, consistent workforce and being accountable for your client’s needs form the foundations of your brand. That said, there are more tangible aspects to branding that need discussion.
Decide a Company Name and Logo
If your cleaning business doesn’t already have a logo, you need to design one with immediate effect. Have you ever noticed how most cleaning companies gravitate to blue and green themes while designing their logos? That is not just a coincidence! Cool colors like blue and green reflect health, balance, and security – all qualities your cleaning business should embody. They also evoke a sense of purity and cleanliness.
If you haven’t already designed your brand’s logo, use these colors in building your brand theme. Ensure you’re creating iterations of your existing logo with cool colors.
Your company name should be easy to recognize and remember. If your name is longer, consider acronymizing it. A shorter, catchier name will stick with people.
Be consistent with your color themes, logo, and company name with all your marketing material. Your cleaning promotion ideas need to draw inspiration from your company’s theme and design. Your website, social media pages, merchandise, fliers, and email templates need to remain consistent. Make sure that your brand is immediately recognizable by your colors, fonts, etc.,
Consider using Vehicle Wraps and Branded Dustbins
Vehicle wraps are a way to brand the company’s logo and information on the vehicle. Vehicle wraps can have information like the company logo, name, phone number, address, and a call to action (if necessary).
They are a great way to grab attention from the user with a good ROI (Return On Investment), considering that a vehicle might get anywhere between 35k to 70k views in a day. Graphics have a higher recall rate and can stick with driving passengers if designed well.
The cost per view is negligible and your wrap will be seen by potential clients in the areas where you specifically provide your services.
As part of a marketing plan for a commercial cleaning business, consider using branded dustbins as another form of letting your clientele recognize your brand name and logo.
Know Your Audience
You might sell the same set of cleaning services to everyone, but there are different reasons why your customers would want to buy it. To convince different customer segments that your cleaning business is the best, you need to identify these reasons.
If Sarah is an individual of age 45 and is cautious with spending, convince them of the long-term benefits of hiring a commercial cleaning service. If Mikhail is a customer managing a long chain of stores, highlight how hiring your business can help Mikhail manage time effectively.
Differentiate House Cleaning Marketing from Commercial Cleaning Marketing
Your company might offer commercial and residential cleaning services or only one of the two. Your cleaning service’s marketing plan is largely different when it’s targeted to one specific type of client. For example, you might adopt a slightly more informal tone in your residential cleaning marketing material than in your commercial service pitch. The former is about sending a message of trust and friendliness, while the latter leans towards efficiency and professionalism.
Every potential customer is not your customer.
If your business tries to service every type of client, you’re stretching yourself too thin. While it may not seem like there are many niches in the cleaning market, you can find the exact type of customer your cleaning service can serve best.
Does your cleaning business work with government offices?
Do you service residents living in the city?
Or do you primarily work in the suburbs?
Find the type of client that will sustain your business and bring you profit. Tailor your cleaning marketing material to fit your niche in the market.
10 Simple Cleaning Marketing Ideas
After building your brand and finding the right target market, you’re ready to look at actionable steps and learn how to advertise your cleaning business. Remember that no potential customer will convert to a client on your first attempt at marketing to them. It takes 6 to 7 touches before a potential lead becomes a client.
1. Design Fliers and Use Direct Mail
Print marketing is expensive but can be profitable, especially if you run a residential cleaning business. Have you ever received fliers in the mail that you barely even glanced at? There’s a good chance that they were full of cluttered information with flashy WordArt. You don’t want your company fliers to be a similar nuisance to your customers.
Invest in designing fliers well, and know that cheaply made fliers only land in the dustbin.
Ensure that the flier contains all the relevant information, including the name, company logo, services, and the discount/offer. If you want the discount or any other information to be highlighted, let it be in bold fonts and let the Call To Action be something appealing. Instead of “Book Now!” you can try “Get your house sparkly clean today!”. For example, here is a freely available Canva template for a flier:
Direct mail, on the other hand, is not only expensive to print but also to distribute. You want the mail package to be bulky to catch the eye of the customer, which means you’ll have to print a fairly large amount of marketing material.
Targeted Direct Mail might help you reduce the cost of sending out mail to customers. You can only choose to send mail to clients you know will respond positively to your marketing. Pick your areas, pick your clients, and send them that mail. You can identify these areas by postal code using the USPS website.
2. Attend Community Relationships and Trade Shows
For house cleaning marketing, building strong community relationships is crucial to harboring trust and goodwill. Participating in your local community could be a great way of engaging with your potential clients.
You can contribute to a charity by partnering with another local business and hosting a charity event. The best way to form a personal relationship with your clients is to take an opportunity to meet them outside a professional space. You could throw a party to celebrate your most loyal patrons and have them invite their friends and family, which can bring you more clients. Set a clear budget for the event and make a list of your chosen patrons to send your invitations.
Participate in trade shows and make a good impression on your potential customers, and have them leave with your business card. Additionally, partner with local businesses and stores to leave your cleaning business cards at their checkout desks for free. This can help your business get recognized more often.
3. Use Email Marketing to Increase Outreach
Have you ever accidentally subscribed to a mailing list, only to receive constant emails about the product/service? Chances are, when you eventually require that service, you probably thought of that particular brand you find consistently in your email. While these emails might seem simple to the reader, a lot of work goes into curating these emails to suit your specific needs.
Email Marketing can be used not only to convert potential clients but also to retain customers. It is used widely to segment one’s audience in specific ways and ensures that the message is hyper-personalized. It is also a much cheaper way of staying in touch with your clients than direct mail or other forms of print marketing.
Emails are a way of opening communication with your clients, and becoming more accessible to them at any point in the day. Answer general customer questions in your emails, and open the grounds for more questions. Let your clients know how long it takes for you or your employees to get back to them. You need to respond to these questions quickly to build a personal relationship with your client.
Email marketing is a great way of asking for referrals. Remember that word-of-mouth marketing and referrals are gold for your cleaning service. The most definite way of getting a lead to convert to a client is by having one of your existing customers refer you. Set up a referral program, and send emails to trusted clients asking for referrals. If you use an online booking system, have referral links/codes you can send out.
Use this space to ask for reviews from your clients after cleanings and link to other reviews left by happy clients. Potential customers might be inspired to give your business a shot if they see enough happy testimonials from your existing clients.
Send updates on a new service you’re launching or any changes to your cleaning business. Use emails to market your content, like cleaning tips or any other content your clients might appreciate.
You can also subscribe to the newsletters of some of your competitors to understand how to promote your cleaning business through your email marketing campaign.
For more tips on email marketing, you can check out our blog on how to use a mailing list effectively.
4. Build a Website
The most sustainable method of lead generation is bringing clients to your website when they’re looking for a cleaning service. Before you spend money on advertising on any other platform, you must have your company website up and running. Having your website adds credibility to your business and contains all the information about your business in one place.
Your contact information should be easily available on all the pages of your website. Pictures of your employees on your website will reassure residential cleaning clients. But there’s no point in building a good website unless people can find it. It’s famously said that the best place to hide something is in the second page of Google’s search results.
To avoid that dreaded fate, use search engine optimization to let your website and content rank higher on a search engine. While SEO is not incredibly difficult to learn, it takes time and a lot of effort. You can invest in a professional if you think you don’t have the time to spare for SEO.
Your website must have information on how visitors can book an appointment. We recommend you integrate your booking portal and your Book Now CTA with your company website. This is the easiest and surest way of converting visitors to customers.
You don’t want to send your customer to a different website or have them call you to book your service. Setting up an appointment booking portal with a scheduling tool, such as Appointy, can make this integration seamless for you.
Appointy allows you to create a simple booking website where you can list all your services. On the administrative side, you can manage these services, your staff, and even some expensive resources. Appointy will help you automate most of your logistical processes
Read more about how to integrate your booking portal with your website.
5. Try to Experiment with Video Marketing
Video Marketing can be an incredibly effective marketing strategy in telling the story of your company. Set up a decent space to shoot, good lighting, and you’re ready to film! Let your employees share their cleaning process and their experience working in the cleaning business, and how they form relationships with clients they serve.
If you can’t make time to create content separately, ask your employees if they would be willing to film themselves at work, if the client also consents to the same. You could also ask your enthusiastic clients to generate content for your page, because it can make them feel involved with your business.
You can film demonstrations of how certain cleaning procedures work and provide instructions to clients on preparing for services like deep cleaning. Let your employees film before-and-after videos of their cleaning jobs. You can use YouTube for longer videos and explore TikTok and Instagram for shorter clips.
Shorter video for platforms like TikTok often require more effort, but it’s worth it because it generates more clout. Take the time to edit your videos well, and preferably use humor and wit to draw audience attention.
6. Ask for Referrals from Loyal Clients
Set up referral programs with discounts or free cleanings and market this through your email, blog, etc.
Do not ask for referrals from everyone. Instruct your employees to ask for referrals from only long-time loyal customers, who would be delighted to refer your business to other people. Remember that referrals are the best way to bring strong leads to your cleaning business.
Use email marketing to ask for referrals creatively and make it less awkward for your employees. You can use “Refer a Friend” or “Refer a Neighbor” campaigns to bring more clients that belong to your target market.
The next few sections of this blog are focused on how to advertise your cleaning business using different advertising platforms and pay-per-click advertising.
7. Use Advertising Platforms to Generate Quick Leads
Advertising platforms like Yelp and Thumbtack can be a good way to generate fast leads for your cleaning services. There’s a lot of traffic on these platforms, and you can reach your ideal clients easily.
That said, it takes time and effort to learn how to use these platforms effectively. On Yelp, you can post advertisements on your and your competitor’s pages, using keywords to target your ideal clients. You can set different budgets and continuously change your campaign, but Yelp is expensive, so it’s a good idea to read their blogs and documentation before you begin. Setting up an account on Yelp is free, but the useful features are worth paying for.
Thumbtack is a bidding site where a user sets up a request for a service, and service providers bid on the request.
You can log into Thumbtack and sign up for a free business profile. Setting up your targeting preferences allows Thumbtack to rank you according to your ideal client profile. Thumbtack only charges you when a client contacts your business.
Remember, that you must finish your cleaning business profile, or Thumbtack will not rank your business. Clients come in very quickly on a portal like Thumbtack. On completing your first cleaning job, insist that the client leave a review on your page. This increases your ranking and makes you more visible to future clients.
Thumbtack charges you for leads that it generates. If your business profile is not tuned to the type of cleaning client you serve, you might end up paying for leads that were not useful to you.
While Thumbtack tends to bring in clients quite fast, it can force vendors to reduce their prices to match their competitor’s bids, thus making it a race to the bottom.
Learning to advertise cleaning services with the right budget and platform is a skill you will pick up with time, so don’t worry too much if you can’t figure it out right away. Follow experts and read thoroughly about how PPC advertising works.
8. Learn to Use Google Advertisements
The first place anyone goes to, to look for any service, is google. So you need to show up when they google your service. Google offers multiple different ways in which you can advertise your business or service.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free way of advertising cleaning businesses. Fill out your business profile, and you will now list on Google’s search pages when people in your location look for cleaning services.
Make sure you’re verifying your business through phone number, email, or other options because Google prefers businesses that are active on My Business. Set up your listing, and make sure that you also set up keywords for which your business should not be listed (for example, laptop cleaning).
Here are some points to keep in mind when setting up your account:
- Add an active address and phone number you are available on, should anyone call you.
- Add photos of your business employees to build trust with clients, who have to let these employees into their homes.
- Add photos of your cleanings and ensure that your customers are leaving reviews on your page.
- Ask clients to leave a review after every cleaning.
Google Ads is a paid form of advertising that pushes your listing to the top of the search results page and can bring in a lot of traffic to your business. Other cleaning business owners recommend including Ads as one of the marketing strategies for a cleaning business. However, it helps to have a professional manage Google Ads. It can be tricky, and you can easily sink a lot of money into it before the costs add up.
Google Guaranteed is a vetting program for businesses that want to advertise with Google’s Local services. You need to answer a set of questions for google to determine the credibility of your cleaning business. They’ll also conduct background checks on the owner and the employees without charging you anything for the process. You can set your budget every day and pay Google for every reasonable interaction/lead you might have received through their aid. Customers are insured by this program, and they can demand a return invoice if they’re dissatisfied with the service.
9. Develop a Strong Social Media Presence
Instagram is the best way to advertise your house cleaning company. If you offer residential and cleaning services, use Instagram to advertise the former.
Instagram is all about trends, and it will help you to follow these trends. Research the type of content your competitors are posting and how much engagement they’re receiving.
Instagram is where you can visually represent your brand in the clearest way. That said, when you’re just starting out your account and trying to bring engagement, you don’t have to obsess over maintaining a clean, organized feed. You might spend a lot of time on visual appeal and not nearly as much on actual content. Start with real, genuine content that will bring customers to your page.
Instagram is the place where you can get creative and add real personality to your business. Let your employees take control of the account for a day and describe a day of their lives.
Post cleaning videos, stain-removal demonstrations, before-and-after photos of your appointments, and general content about what is happening in the world. You could show that you’re active in the communities where you provide your services.
Many small businesses on Instagram engage in “S4S” i.e. “Shoutouts for Shoutouts”. You can use this as a method of cross-promotion, and have businesses with the same target audience promote your business in exchange for a shoutout from your page. You could always collaborate with other cleaning businesses, who might have different offerings from your business.
Most importantly, post about your services and always lead your visitors to the booking link in your bio. While Instagram does not perform the best for drawing website traffic, it is still recommended that you use a Link-in-bio tool to have your website and latest blogs linked in your page’s bio. Leverage your social media fully to bring in more leads or potential clients.
Using LinkedIn to promote your company falls under a list of commercial cleaning marketing ideas. LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, so you want to talk about other commercial clients you’ve been servicing. Let your marketing material be more crisp and professional. Unlike Instagram, it will help if your LinkedIn feed is consistent with your overall brand messaging. It is advised that you don’t write the same copy for different social media platforms. To promote the same post on different platforms you might have to use completely different vocabulary.
You can advertise your business on Facebook for free in various Facebook groups or with paid Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads are a great tool and are extremely targeted because they are based on large datasets of consumer behavior and are cheaper than Google Ads or Guaranteed. Facebook posts tend to drive maximum website traffic, and you can even interchangeably use your material for Instagram and Facebook.
Facebook Groups are informal groups where you can post about your services. But ensure that you’re not spamming the groups because you’ll risk being removed from them. You can always join a few of these groups to see what people are talking about and change your marketing message accordingly.
10. Include Google And Social Media CTAs
Call to Action Buttons are important if you want visitors to your business and social media pages to convert and book your services. Partnering with a scheduling service, like Appointy, can help your clients book Appointments directly on Instagram and Facebook with “Book Now”. Similarly, Reserve With Google will allow visitors to book your services from your Google Business Page results. Appointy can help you make these integrations once you have an account with us. To know more about how to add these CTAs, you can read our blogs on the same.
A cleaning business marketing plan for your service is not frozen after you build it the first time. You should experiment with different strategies and see what works best for your business.
Remember that none of these methods work in isolation, and you need to integrate both offline and online channels into your plan and distribute your budget accordingly.
While paid advertising can bring you excellent results, remember that you do not need to sink your funds into multiple advertising websites. Find what brings you the best ROI, and limit yourself to those options. It is always recommended that you invest in your website and a good referral program.
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
We love a good talk!