Whether you’re just starting a cleaning company or you’re an expert in your field, it’s not always easy to know how to market a cleaning business.
Where should you advertise? What should you spend? How do you stand out from competitors? Don’t worry, we have answers to all your burning questions.
In this article, we’ll share cleaning service promotion ideas that’ll give you the biggest bang for your buck—and how to use them effectively.
How to advertise cleaning business services: 11 handy tips
1. Build a company brand
Your brand is the feeling people get from your business. It comes from your attitude, how you speak, how good your work is, how you present yourself, even what cleaning supplies you use.
When your business looks and sounds professional, people will take you seriously. That’ll make them more likely to want to work with you.
Take these steps when you’re building a brand for your cleaning business:
- Choose a name. Pick a cleaning company name that’s short, memorable, and easy to say. It should also be unique, so make sure it isn’t already taken in your area.
- Design a logo. Use a logo maker like Looka to create a logo you can use on your marketing materials. You can also choose the colors and fonts you’d like to use.
- Put your logo on everything. Add your logo to everything your clients see, like your website, social media, estimates, invoices, ads, uniforms, and vehicles. This helps promote your brand and market your business.
- Launch the brand. Explain your new brand to your employees (if you have any) and tell your clients about the change. You can also get involved in your community to promote the brand locally.
Creating a consistent, memorable, and different customer experience will also help you create a strong brand. That’ll make you stand out from your competitors.
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2. Create a marketing strategy
Your marketing will be much more effective if you know who you’re talking to and what you want them to do. That’s where strategy comes in.
A marketing strategy outlines what your market looks like and how you plan to reach new clients. This strategy will help you carry out your marketing efforts and measure your success.
READ MORE: Get free cleaning business resources
Here’s how to create a marketing strategy:
- Set goals for your marketing. Maybe your goal is to bring in 20 new clients this quarter, or to gain 10 clients in a new area you’d like to start serving. Whatever your goal is, defining it will tell you if your efforts were successful.
- Decide who your ideal client is. What’s their age, sex, family status, location, and salary? Where do they spend time online? Why might they be looking for a cleaning service? You can use this information to share a message that feels personal to them.
- Research competitors. Find out who you’re competing with and how they’re promoting themselves. Review their website, social media, and advertising for clues. Note what they do and don’t do, then apply this learning to your own marketing and promotion.
- Pick your marketing channels. Now that you know where your audience spends their time, you can choose the marketing channels that will best reach them. Some formats will work better than others, so plan to try a few things at the start and see what sticks.
- Set a budget. Your advertising budget can vary depending on how much you have available and what you’re trying to achieve. This amount covers paid ads, website fees, printing costs, client incentives, or any other marketing expenses you might run into. We’ve included sample budgets for all of the tactics below.
Most importantly, write everything down. It doesn’t have to be a fancy document. Just give yourself a written record of what you’re doing and why. It’ll really help with future marketing.
3. Ask for referrals
You likely trust the opinions of people close to you. That’s why word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to market any home service business.
That said, “who’s your favorite local cleaner?” isn’t a common topic when you’re having coffee with someone. So you’ll need to encourage your clients to start that conversation on their own.
READ MORE: How much to charge for house cleaning
Here’s how to promote your cleaning business through referrals:
- Offer quality service. Don’t just satisfy your clients—amaze them. Go over and above for every client, even if a task isn’t on your house cleaning checklist. This shows you care about your clients, and they’ll be more likely to talk about it.
- Set up a referral program. Starting a referral program is simple. After each visit, leave a card or send a follow-up email reminding clients to refer you to a friend. When they do, mail a thank-you note or offer a discount on their next visit.
- Track results. Use client names or promo codes to track referrals and see which clients are your biggest fans. You can track this information in your cleaning business software, making it easier to follow up on leads and close new jobs faster.
Cleaning referral program costs
Let’s say you print 500 referral cards for $60 (USD). You also offer a 10% discount off the next visit as a client referral incentive, which costs you roughly $20 for each job.
If every card turns into a referral, you’ll have brought in 500 new clients at a cost of $10,060, or $20.12 per client.
You can also ask clients for reviews on Google and on social media. They carry just as much weight as personal referrals and are just as effective at bringing in new business.
Pro Tip: After a visit, always leave something behind that has your name, logo, and contact information on it. This could be a copy of your cleaning checklist, a small treat, a holiday card, or some other item that will make your client happy.
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4. Connect with clients on social media
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter aren’t just for socializing. They’re also perfect for finding your ideal clients in places where they spend time online.
The great thing about social media is that you can get started for free and experiment with content right away. When you’re feeling a little more comfortable, you can start putting advertising dollars behind it.
It’s easy to get started on social media—here’s how:
- Create business profiles. Set up profiles for your cleaning business on the platforms where your ideal clients spend time. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great options. You can also explore newer platforms like TikTok.
- Post engaging content. Share original content on a regular basis to keep followers interested. This can include before-and-after cleaning photos, blog post links, special deals or promotions, cleaning tips and tricks, client testimonials, and so on. You should also use relevant hashtags to help the right people find you.
- Explore videos. Videos are an effective and engaging option for cleaning services advertising. They’re also simple to produce if you have a phone with a decent camera. You can introduce your company, show a job in progress, and share cleaning tips. Keep videos short and include a friendly face, whether that’s you or an employee.
- Invest in paid advertising. Social media advertising lets you target ideal clients, control your campaign budget and timeline, observe results, and make adjustments on the fly. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all offer advertising options. You can also join local community Facebook groups and post about your services there.
- Use eye-catching ads. When you’re making cleaning business ads, pair a great image or video with a catchy ad title. Include a call to action (CTA) that convinces users to click a link to your website or Facebook page.
Cleaning social media costs
Social media is free to set up and use. If you’re investing in paid Facebook or Instagram advertising, start with $10/week and go from there.
You can also use free apps like iMovie to edit any video content.
5. Design and build a website
These days, there’s a good chance that most (if not all) of your competitors have a website. To compete with them, you’ll need a cleaning business website of your own. Here’s how to get one.
Build your website with these tips:
- Use a website builder. You can start out small with a free tool like Wix. If you want something fancier but don’t have coding skills, WordPress and Squarespace are great options. You can also hire a web developer to help you out.
- Write engaging content. Communicate what makes you different from competitors. Tell potential clients why they should choose you over anyone else, and make it simple and fun to read.
- Use a call to action (CTA). Your website should drive readers to take a specific action, like calling a phone number or filling out a contact form.
- Show off your work. Include customer testimonials and before-and-after photos of your work. This will show potential clients what they can expect when they hire you.
- Write blog posts regularly. Use content marketing to educate readers about cleaning while setting yourself up as an expert. For example, share cleaning tips, organizational hacks, and even your personal list of cleaning supplies to help readers learn.
Cleaning website costs
The cost depends on which platform and subscription level you’re using, and if you’re hiring a web developer to help. Here are some costs to look out for:
– If you’re DIY-ing with Squarespace, expect to spend upwards of $140 (USD) a year.
– WordPress sites cost upwards of $60 (USD) a year. If you hire a developer to help, expect to spend $60–80/hour on top of your subscription fee.
– Using a different web platform? Costs can vary, and keep in mind that you might need to buy your custom domain separately.
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6. Invest in search engine marketing
Like the name suggests, you can use search engine marketing to promote your cleaning business on search engines like Google.
Here are a few different types of search engine marketing for cleaning business services:
- Google My Business: When you create a Google My Business listing, your business can show up in a list of search results for cleaning-related keywords. Searchers can see your hours, contact details, years in business, ratings and reviews, and a website link.
- Google Ads: Google offers lots of advertising options where you can show ads for specific keywords and only pay per click. Search ads and Local Services Ads are text-based ads that appear in a list of search results for particular keywords. Display ads are image-based ads that are shown on a variety of different websites.
- SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) ties in with your website. When you write your content with certain keywords in mind (like “cleaning services MY CITY”), search engines notice. When people search for that keyword, your website will show up in the list of search results.
Here’s how to promote your cleaning business with search engine marketing:
- Write clear ads. Use clear, engaging ad copy that stands out from your competitors’ ads. Include your business name, contact information, value proposition, and a clear CTA, like “call this number” or “book on our website.” If it’s a display ad, include your logo and a great photo, too.
- Set your budget. Your search engine marketing budget can be whatever you want it to be, but start small (like $10/week) and plan it carefully. Try targeting less expensive keywords to begin with. You can always increase your budget over time if the campaign is doing well.
- Monitor, adjust, and analyze. You can make adjustments to your campaign while it’s running to give you the best results. When the campaign is over, you should also find out if you earned any new clients as a result—and how much each one cost you. This is useful for planning any future marketing.
Cleaning search engine marketing costs
It’s free to set up a Google My Business profile and optimize your website for search engines.
Depending on which website platform you’re using, though, you might need to upgrade your site plan to include SEO plugins like Yoast. You can also spend $30+ (USD) a month for advanced SEO tools like KWFinder, but that’s optional.
You don’t need to pay any subscription fees to use Google Ads. Just set a small campaign budget to start (again, like $10/week) and give yourself room to grow from there.
Pro Tip: Have questions about setting up your online marketing campaign? Google has a setup checklist that can help you out.
7. Send email marketing to clients’ inboxes
When you use email marketing, you’re sending planned and targeted emails to a list of current or potential clients.
These aren’t just casual check-ins—they should always have a specific purpose. The point of sending these emails is to sell your services, inform your clients, and build brand loyalty.
Here’s how to advertise cleaning business services through email marketing:
- Plan your content. You can send a mix of educational and sales-focused content to your email list. But for every five emails you send out, only one of them should be a sales message. Focus on educating and informing your readers. This will help keep them subscribed and engaged.
- Write a strong subject line. The subject line is what makes someone open your email, so make it interesting. For example, instead of just saying “Cleaning services are 10% off,” say “Save 10% on your next cleaning when you book today!”
- Offer value. Your emails should always contain something that a client finds valuable. Maybe it’s a blog post with cleaning tips, or maybe it’s a discount on your next clean. Whatever it is, your client will only read it if they’re getting something in exchange.
- Brand your emails. Every email should have a branded email signature that includes your logo and contact details. You should also include links to your website and social media pages so readers can learn more about you.
Cleaning email marketing costs
If you’re using an email distribution tool like Mailchimp, it’s free to get started with a basic plan. Your only costs will be the promotions and discounts you’re offering to email recipients.
(You can also upgrade to a paid plan later on if you want more features!)
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8. Distribute marketing mail
These methods make it easy to focus your advertising on specific neighborhoods. You can also get your local post office to help with distribution, or even do it yourself.
Make your flyers, postcards, or door hangers using a word processor, online template, or graphic design software—whatever you’re comfortable with. Here’s what you should include:
- Company information
- Contact details
- Your cleaning services list
- Photos of your work
- Value proposition (what sets you apart)
- Client testimonials
- Discount offer with expiration date
You can print your marketing mail at home or at a print shop. When you’re ready to send them out, follow these tips for print advertising:
- Choose strategic locations. Instead of blanketing your area with ads (which is pricey!), be strategic with placement. Distribute door hangers in neighborhoods where you want to clean, leave postcards at real estate offices and daycare centers, and put up posters in cafes and community centers.
- Go door knocking. Door knocking is a great way to meet potential clients face-to-face. First, make sure the neighborhood allows you to solicit, then make your rounds in the evening when people are home. Respect their space if they have a “no solicitors” sign or don’t want to chat. If they aren’t home, leave a flyer or postcard in their mailbox.
- Track your efforts. If you’re including a special offer in your print ads, include a promo code, too. You can even create different promo codes for different areas. This will tell you which efforts and areas earned the highest number of new clients.
Cleaning marketing mail costs
You’ll likely spend $50+ (USD) to design and print 1,000 flyers or postcards using a website like Vistaprint, plus shipping. Door hangers are a little more expensive at around $75 for 1,000. You can reduce the cost per item by buying in larger quantities.
Your country’s postal service may also be able to deliver your marketing mail for you at a rate of about 20¢ apiece. Assuming you’re sending out 5,000 flyers, you’re looking at about $1,250 in printing and distribution costs.
If you want to save costs, you can design, print, and distribute your marketing mail yourself. You’ll only need to pay for the paper and ink, plus the cost of any discounts or promos.
9. List your business on lead generation sites
Lead generation websites like Yelp, Thumbtack, Angi, and Homeadvisor help users find home service businesses. When you list your business on these sites, it becomes easier to find online.
Listing on these online directories is a great way to bring in new business with very little effort. Once they’ve found you, potential clients can learn about your services and visit your website to book an appointment.
Follow these steps to start using lead generation sites:
- Pick your platforms carefully. It doesn’t hurt to list your business on as many lead generation sites and online directories as possible. (Just remember, you’ll need to manage reviews on all of them!) Start with free or low-cost options, like Angi or TaskRabbit, then work your way up to more expensive platforms.
- Set up your listing. Fill out your profile with everything potential clients should know about your business. Make sure to include multiple ways to contact you. You can also tell current clients about your new listing and ask them to leave reviews.
- Sponsor your listing. Some platforms, like Yelp, let you sponsor your listing. This makes you show up in search results before competitors. If you can get lots of positive reviews on the listing, too, your boosted listing will really help bring in new clients.
Check if your community has local directories and list your business in those, too.
Cleaning lead generation costs
Some lead generation sites like Angi offer multiple tiers of paid plans along with a free option. Other platforms like TaskRabbit charge a small registration fee.
Sites like Yelp, HomeAdvisor, Porch, and Thumbtack charge a flat rate per lead. You may also pay a monthly or annual membership fee.
Sponsored Yelp listings can vary in costs, but Yelp recommends spending at least $5/day on average.
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10. Use your vehicle as a billboard
Vehicle advertising is a one-time investment that keeps bringing in new clients over time. It’s not too expensive, and it can earn plenty of local exposure for your cleaning brand.
Think about it: you’ll advertise your business every time you drive your vehicle. And if it’s parked at a grocery store or a client’s home, passing drivers will see it and think about you.
Consider using a vehicle wrap, which is a wraparound ad design for your car or truck. You could also use a decal, which is a large sticker that can be placed anywhere on the vehicle.
READ MORE: The best apps for cleaning services
Here’s how to promote your cleaning business by making a vehicle wrap or decal:
- Measure your vehicle. Whether you’re getting a decal or a vinyl wrap, you’ll need accurate vehicle measurements, as well as the make and model you’re driving. That way your wrap will be printed at the right size.
- Design the wrap. You can work with a local designer to create your wrap or decal. Decide what information you want it to include, like your business name, logo, slogan, and contact details. You’ll also want it to be bright and eye-catching—but make sure it’s easy to read!
- Get it printed. Look for a local print shop that can print your wrap or decal. They might even be able to install it for you. If they have a deal for buying decals in bulk, get several and pay people to place your branded decals on their vehicles. This will help boost brand exposure.
Cleaning vehicle marketing costs
Designing and printing a decal online will cost roughly $10–50 (USD), depending on size. You’ll also need to install it yourself, but this is easy enough to do.
If you go through a design shop, expect to spend at least $1,500 (USD) on a full wrap for a small car. This amount can be much higher for a van or truck.
11. Network with other local businesses
The heart of any business is a strong network. To build that network, you need to talk to people who can help you grow your business. They might be clients, suppliers, or even your accountant.
Building these relationships can help you find new opportunities to market and promote your cleaning business. It also allows others to spread the word about your services.
It can be hard to find the right time and place to network. These are a few activities you can try:
- Attend trade shows. Rent a booth and talk to potential clients (and other business owners) about your services. You can drum up interest with a draw for a free cleaning package—and collect email addresses so you can contact potential clients afterwards.
- Join a community association. Every community has lots of associations, including some just for business owners. Joining one is a great way to meet other business owners, find advertising opportunities, and follow what’s happening in the community.
- Take part in community events. Volunteering at or contributing to a community event is a great way to build your reputation and advertise your business while helping out your community. Every event needs cleaners, so if you have some spare time, throw on your company t-shirt and start pitching in.
- Build business partnerships. You can build mutually helpful partnerships with other local businesses. For example, a window washing company can refer you to clients, and you can do the same. This saves your clients the trouble of finding a service themselves.
You might find yourself networking with people that won’t necessarily become customers. That’s okay! Leaving a good impression can go a long way toward bringing in new business.
READ MORE: Successful cleaning business stories
Cleaning business networking costs
Networking costs for cleaning businesses can vary depending on what you’re doing. Here are a few examples:
– You’ll need to pay a registration fee and possible travel costs to attend a cleaning industry trade show like ISSA North America. If you’re renting a booth, expect to spend at least $3,650 (USD) on a 10×10 space.
– Your local community association or chamber of commerce might have a registration fee, or it might be free to join.
– Volunteering at community events is free. You can also sponsor the event with whatever amount you’re able to give.
– Business partnerships don’t cost you anything, except maybe a cup of coffee. Just reach out to local business owners and see if they’re open to a conversation.
Now that you know how to market a cleaning business, you’re ready to start promoting your services.
Keep at it and stay positive—you’ll be getting new cleaning clients before you know it.
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