With low barriers to entry and high demand, running a cleaning business can be hugely profitable — as long as you have enough clients.
But how do you find these clients? And how do you market to the right clients?
Getting more clients for your cleaning business doesn’t have to be tricky. You don’t have to spend a fortune, and you certainly don’t have to be a marketing guru to succeed.
You just need to know who your market is, get your business online, and use a few basic marketing strategies to help you scale.
How to Get Clients for a Cleaning Business in 3 Steps
1. Understand your market
You probably already have a basic idea of the clientele you’d like to work with. But the key here is to get really specific about who your ideal clients are.
That’s because your clients will dictate:
- Your choice of marketing channel(s). Does your ideal client spend time on Facebook or on Instagram? If you aren’t sure, and you advertise on the wrong one, you can spend a lot of money and see zero returns.
- Your messaging. When you understand your clients’ true pain points — for example, cleaning takes them away from time with their kids — you can use this as a selling point in your marketing.
- Your ad targeting preferences. If you’re advertising online, you’ll have to select specific criteria such as your audience’s age, gender, and location. Getting it right improves your chances of reaching the right audience.
- Your profitability. If you try and serve every client, your profitability may erode. Let’s explain. Some clients haggle over price. They may even demand certain things from you and mistreat you, or require services you don’t provide. These clients place enormous demands on your time and remove you from other, more profitable, cleaning work. Avoid them, and work with those who value you.
Getting all of this 100% right immediately is challenging. The more you work with new clients, the more you’ll learn what’s right for your business.
But you’ll save yourself plenty of headaches if you start thinking about this now.
Having a better picture of your market will guide you and stop you from continually spinning your wheels.
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2. Get more customers by getting online
Next up, you need to be online. It’s where almost all consumers go to find services they need, check reviews, and make contact.
If you’re new to this, focus on the basics. These days, that means you’ll need:
- a Google My Business account
- a Facebook business page
- a website
“It’s getting harder and harder to be found online. If you don’t have the basics covered, you don’t need to do anything else. Don’t hire anyone to do SEO on your site. Don’t hire anyone to do paid ads. Start with the basics.”
—Nick Keyko, Director of Marketing, Jobber
Here’s how to get started on each one:
Grab Your Google Listing (free)
Clients often use Google to find local services, so create your Google My Business Page to capture and convert some traffic. Get started by adding your business details in Google, selecting a service area, and verifying your business listing.
Create Your Facebook Business Page (free)
A Facebook business page is a professional, free, and easy way to reach your customers, whether they are on the app, or searching on Google. Optimize your Facebook page the right way, and clients will see your work, services, and even book jobs online.
To create your Facebook business page in less than 30 min, grab our no-excuses guide to creating one.
Build Your Website
Your website helps clients find you, tells them what you do, and even lets them book work online.
But most importantly, a website positions you as a professional, which attracts more clients.
This professionalism is crucial in the cleaning industry, which is highly competitive.
Just think about it: suppose a client is comparing two cleaning businesses. One company has a website that shows all their services and testimonials, and the other has a basic directory listing with no photos or descriptions. Who do you think the client will hire?
3. Scale your client list with these marketing tactics
Okay, your cleaning business is online. Now what?
It’s time to double down and grow your client list.
Here are five more marketing strategies to help.
1. Invest in customer service to look more professional
Fantastic customer service will set you apart from the competition, and ensure clients don’t view your cleaning service as a mere commodity.
What does ‘amazing’ customer service mean?
- Communication at every part of the job process: before, during, and after the job.
- Informing clients about issues immediately and attending to them promptly.
- Being friendly and professional in your communication.
- Training your team to use cleaning checklists and follow standard processes.
- Using software and systems to improve your customer service process. Examples include:
- Using a CRM to track all your client details, including their door codes, pet names, how long they’ve supported you, and previous jobs. This ensures you know everything about your client and can deliver more personalized service.
- Offering self-service by giving your clients their own client hub, so they can approve quotes and pay invoices online.
- Finding small opportunities to delight instead of worrying about extravagant gestures.
“I have a hard and fast rule for all of our cleaning technicians. If your client asked you to do something that will take less than ten minutes – just do it! (Providing it does not violate any of our safety rules or laws!) Change sheets on an extra bed, carry packages from FedEx, help unload some groceries, or wipe down patio furniture. My pricing can easily absorb an extra ten minutes, and it sets us apart from the nickel-and-dime services.
– Bobbi Taylor, Lemon Blossom Cleaning Services
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2. Create a referral program
You probably already know how powerful referrals are.
Cleaning businesses in particular rely on them, because customers tend to trust each other. A single referral can be worth more than a month’s worth of ads.
But here’s the thing: you can’t leave referrals to chance. You need a referral program, so you get a steady stream of new cleaning customers.
For example, if with a program, you can track which incentives are working, and tweak the offer to get more customers:
“We used to offer 10% off but found that wasn’t incentive enough for our clients to do anything,” explains Emily Ann Mercer of Maid of Honour Cleaning. “At 50% off, we get tons and tons of referrals that lead to recurring clients.”
3. Get consistent online reviews
“I want to share a hack I recently did. We’re a residential cleaning business and, like most, were hit hard this year by the COVID issues. However, 60% of our customers stuck with us throughout. Many more came back fairly quickly when they saw what we were doing to protect them. I used the link created when you send a NiceJob survey and crafted a text thanking them and asking for their help by giving us a 5-star review. We picked up 32 5-star reviews in the next couple of days. Many mention our recent cleanings and efforts. The customers that have stuck with you have identified themselves as your most loyal customers. They will be there for you.”
—Royce Ard, My Amazing Maid
Reviews, like referrals, shouldn’t be left to chance. With a repeatable system, you can get way more business.
If you want more reviews, here’s how to get them:
Step 1: Before the job, make it clear that your goal is to get a review, so client’s aren’t surprised when you ask for one later.
Step 2: Deliver fantastic work and friendly customer service. A happy customer is more likely to give you a review.
Step 3: As soon as you’ve completed the job, ask for a review in person or via email.
Step 4: Follow-up with your clientele. Customers often forget to give reviews, so check in with them. Send an email, call them, text them, or automate the entire follow-up process, so you don’t forget.
4. Use email marketing to amplify your message
Email marketing is the process of sending emails to clients and potential clients to engage them, build loyalty, and sell services.
It’s a great way to reinforce any message you want: whether you want to promote a new cleaning service, get more referrals, or convince a prospective customer who’s been on the fence for a while.
Cleaning business expert Katie Pearse explains:
Today most email marketing is managed using software. By integrating email marketing software with your CRM, you can send emails to your entire client list, or to select groups, without typing emails one by one.
5. Invest in Facebook and Google ads
If you really need new cleaning customers fast, then advertising might be the answer.
Facebook and Google have made the process pretty straightforward for small businesses. A you can start with a very small budget, unlike radio or newspaper ads.
Facebook lets you promote your page or website. Visit your Facebook page and create a post you want to ‘boost’ (i.e., show off to target customers) to get started. Next, fill out your ad details, including your audience, duration, and budget. Learn more about boosting posts here.
Google lets you promote your business by using Google ads or Google Local Services ads (Google LSA). Local services ads appear above Google ads when searching for local services in your area. They work well if you want local clients and have a small budget.
As you can see, neither is better than the other. Consider your needs and find what works for you.
Looking for other places to promote your business? Check out how to advertise on NextDoor.
The bottom line on getting clients for your cleaning business
Getting clients for your cleaning business doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Just break up your marketing tactics into steps.
First, understand your audience. Next, cover the online basics like creating a website. Finally, scale by exploring strategies like customer referrals and email marketing.
Not all these strategies will work for you; there may be some trial and error involved. But if you start with your ideal client, implement one or two strategies to start, and be patient. There’s so much opportunity and demand in this field, it’ll only be a matter of time before the clients start trickling in.
ORGANIZE AND GROW YOUR CLEANING BUSINESS
Marketing can help you grow your business, but you still need a plan for managing all those new customers.
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