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Hello all! I am new to the cleaning business (like, one week new) and am, like most, looking for ways to attract clients. I am aware that word of mouth is key in this business and am thankful for that. My first client was a result of a friend's recommendation. That same friend also informed me that said client is planning to refer me to another friend upon completion of first cleaning, which is this Thursday. All of that being said, marketing the business still needs to be done if I want to be successful I suppose. So, here is what I have done so far:

- Created email for business
- signed up on care.com and angie's list
- Created a flier to hang in businesses
- Created business cards to hand out
- Created a door hanger to distribute (pretty cute if I do say so myself)


Now... I need your help. Where are the most effective places to hang fliers? Do I shoot for high end or middle class neighborhoods to distribute door hangers? Should I offer a discount for referring someone or for first time cleaning with contract?

Any advise is much appreciated!
 

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Happyhousecleaning,

I will agree with Ty, online marketing via Google AdWords is the benchmark for advertisers worldwide. It is not easy, but it is rewarding and the ROI (return on investment) is the best that we have seen after dabbling in door hangers, business cards, postcards, brochures, BBB memberships, Angies List, etc.

My advice, get yourself a website, create some landing pages and get some AdWords campaigns linked to those pages. Keep an eye on your budget and on the conversions (number of forms submitted/orders placed, etc). A book that I always have close is "Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords" by Perry Marshall. Easy to read, valuable advice for marketing through Google AdWords.

But back to your door hangers...distribute them in neighborhoods that are your ideal customer (ours is 2-income households with homes valued at +$300K). Please note that door hangers, postcards, etc. start to convert after you have hung a door hanger on the same door a few times.

Hope this helps.
 

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You should make social media accounts as well for example Facebook and Twitter. You can work on gaining fans/friends (depending on the type of page you created) for your business. There you will be able to post new products/services and also promos for everyone to see. Blogs have huge SEO potential but it's kind of a tedious task to update specially when you are still starting up.
 

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I've heard good things about Thumbtack for those who are just starting out, just FYI. I've tried it myself without getting much of a return, but it definitely seems to be for those who are newer as you really have to cut your prices to be competitive with people.
 

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If there was one marketing tactic that is important for most cleaning businesses, it's to get online!

The internet is where people go to research services and this is no different when it comes to researching cleaning companies. If you want to grow your business, you should be online and manage your online presence.

If you aren’t quite ready for a website, at the very least you need to setup your Google Business Listing. This listing can help your company (and contact info) show up on the 1st page of Google and will give you space online to manage your reviews.
 

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I would focus attention on promoting word of mouth advertising. Give initial customers a discount for posting something on their own personal facebooks or leaving a review on your google business/yelp account.
 

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I agree. And once you get a great review, let potential new clients know where to see it. It will take some time before you get enough reviews to make a big difference. This is one of the reasons I use the Thumbtack site for job. You can automatically ask new customers to reviews you, say, after two- three cleanings. By then they should have a good idea of how you work and the results you provide. Customers really appreciate seeing their cleaner work as efficiently as possible yet provide great results. This will take you some time, just like it dod for most of us. When we start out, we can't be as efficient because we are still learning the ropes. And thats okay. To be honest, it took me a year before I began getting consistently great reviews.
 

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Yes, Thumbtack is okay and much of my work comes from there. I DO have a BIG issue with them! We cleaners do not make a ton of money but many of our customers DO. Why on earth are the low-paid cleaners required to PAY for following up leads??? Why not the potential customer? I cannot tell you how much money I have wasted sending quotes to people who apparently are not truly interested in hiring anyone. Its disheartening. Many of mu current customers have incomes WAY about $150,000/year. I, being a single employee company, make about 25,00 a year. But I am the one who foots the bill for trying to get new work. I know I am whining. Bear with me. Its been a LONG week!

One thing about me: I strive to be honest in everything I do and say. Not always successful. but I do try.
 

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Yes, Thumbtack is okay and much of my work comes from there. I DO have a BIG issue with them! We cleaners do not make a ton of money but many of our customers DO. Why on earth are the low-paid cleaners required to PAY for following up leads??? Why not the potential customer? I cannot tell you how much money I have wasted sending quotes to people who apparently are not truly interested in hiring anyone. Its disheartening. Many of mu current customers have incomes WAY about $150,000/year. I, being a single employee company, make about 25,00 a year. But I am the one who foots the bill for trying to get new work. I know I am whining. Bear with me. Its been a LONG week!

I added neighboring towns a long time ago, and it has helped a lot. I am lucky right now because almost all my work is in MY town. But I am willing to travel up to maybe 25 miles, though I dont want to.

I, too, set my prices a bit lower, and what happens is people hire me because of this, then when they see the quality of my work, almost all of them give me a "raise." They dont want to lose me!

One thing about me: I strive
 

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Don't forget to focus on social media too! You would not believe the amount of customers that rely on social media now to find potential businesses. Another really great opportunity is craigslist, we actually had our very first booking from Craigslist and kept them on as a permanent client. Marketing your business is all about reach and creativity, even if not every avenue gives you amazing results; It still gives you great reach.
 

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Since you're doing house cleaning, I'd make a big splash on Nextdoor.com. Everyone asks for and makes recommendations.

How I would do it:
1) Get a few friends to recommend you in the neighborhoods that you feel your best customers will come from.
2) Setup a search to watch Nextdoor for posts about house cleaning and interject subtly.
3) Advertise (for free) in their classifieds.

Meanwhile, work on getting your website to rank in the search engines. Do your homework and you can learn how to beat your competition in the search engines. This will take time, so don't plan on this paying off for the first 4-6 months.

Good luck!
Bunga
prohoodcleaners.com
 

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Parking Lot Marketing

I would start off with the cheapest way possible, make some flyers with your contact info and go to a grocery store parking lot in your area and put them on cars. It isn't fun but it works. I own a small company and did it to start off with, I got a few jobs from it.
 

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I've heard good things about Thumbtack for those who are just starting out, just FYI. I've tried it myself without getting much of a return, but it definitely seems to be for those who are newer as you really have to cut your prices to be competitive with people.
When we launched our Denver hood cleaning company, we tried Thumbtack. I'm not a fan of Thumbtack because of their business model is to sell each lead, regardless of quality, to multiple vendors in a geography. So, you pay for a lead, and most likely 3-5 of your competitors paid for that same lead (to Thumbtack). Then it becomes a race to see who can get the deal. Not my favorite way to do business.
 

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When we launched our Denver hood cleaning company, we tried Thumbtack. I'm not a fan of Thumbtack because of their business model is to sell each lead, regardless of quality, to multiple vendors in a geography. So, you pay for a lead, and most likely 3-5 of your competitors paid for that same lead (to Thumbtack). Then it becomes a race to see who can get the deal. Not my favorite way to do business.
Well said.

Also consider that Thumbtack only represents a very small subset of the populous that might be looking for said services. On it's own, it's not a very viable marketing strategy. Coupled with other marketing avenues, it may be beneficial to some. We used it in the very early days, but no longer do.
 

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I stick with online marketing as the main source of marketing but door hangers do work as well. It all works. But getting on Google is what I have found works best.

Good luck! :thumbsup:
I agree with Ty. Online marketing is the best! I can bring in 150 a month that are calling me for quotes. It allows me to keep my pricing up and turn down business that doesn't seem optimal.

Bunga
http://prohoodcleaning.com
 
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