Marketing & Promotion
You’ve started your business, hired your employees and learned the in’s and out’s of running your day. The next most important thing you’ll do to get customers is market and promote your awesome cleaning business.
Branding Basics: What You Need to Understand About Brand
There’s a common misconception that branding just means your logo. But branding is a lot more than that—it’s what your values are as a company, what you believe in, and the experience you want your customers to have when they do business with you. It’s what makes your cleaning business different than your competitors, and it gives you a competitive advantage over them.
For example, if one of your company values is protecting the environment, then part of the experience you could offer your clients is eco-friendly cleaning in which you use green cleaning products. This is a competitive advantage because people who believe in protecting the environment will choose you over a competitor that doesn’t do this.
“Tailor your company to exactly what you truly like and believe in and what you would want from a cleaning company,” says Katie Pearse, our industry expert. “That’s what branding is—working through what you would want from a cleaning company and then giving that to the world.”
“And for branding, the one thing everybody has to ask themselves is what are they doing that’s different? There has to be something different and hopefully lots of things that are different. What are you bringing to the market that nobody else is doing? Figure that out.”
6 simple ways to market and promote your cleaning business:
- Develop your business’s brand
- Communicate what makes you different from your competitors
- Create an exceptional customer experience
- Get a professional logo
- Get a business website
- Create your business Facebook page
Download Our Branding Exercise
This exercise will help you get started in understanding and defining your brand.
7 Ways to Create an Exceptional Customer Expierence
One of the most important aspects of your brand is your customer service philosophy. Essentially, this means the experience you want your clients to have when they hire you to clean. Many house cleaning companies have room to improve when it comes to customer experience, so if you do a good job of this, you’ll be miles ahead.
A top-notch customer experience will keep your clients coming back again and again. It also leads to lots of positive word of mouth as your happy clients will be inspired to tell other people how awesome you are.
Need some ideas for how to create an exceptional customer experience? Here, we’re pleased to offer you seven.
Hold Yourself to High Professional Standards
If you hold yourself to high professional standards, you’ll also be able to charge high rates—and people will gladly pay.
“I wanted to make housecleaning a professional, high-end service,” Katie says. So she held her company to high standards in every way she could, from using the best cleaning techniques to having a beautiful logo and an impressive website and even training staff to be sensitive to clients’ feelings.
This professionalism impressed clients, and Katie’s company was able to justify raising its hourly rate. It took several years, but the rate eventually rose to $180/hour. This may not be the hourly rate you want to pursue, but we just wanted you to know that it’s possible.
Do Some Market Research - Hire Other Companies to Clean Your Home
You’ll get some incredibly revealing market research if you hire two or three other house cleaning companies to do some cleaning for you.
“See what they do, and note what you wish they would have done. That’s the best way to figure out what’s missing from your market,” says Katie. “We did some of that over the years, and I’ll tell you, it really wakes you up, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time… My gosh, the things you will learn or fix in your own company.”
“You can even hire them to clean your staff’s house. Then your staff can see what the experience is like from a customer perspective. Worst-case scenario—you’ll get your house cleaned,” she says.
"Whether you’re just starting a cleaning business or you’ve been at it for years, you’ll learn a lot from hiring other companies to clean your house and observing what they do."
How to Run a Cleaning Business
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Customize Cleaning for Each Client
“I’ve had cleaners from other companies who would just show up and do their thing and leave. It seemed careless and impersonal. So I was always big on tailoring everything,” Katie says.
“Customizing is an attitude that shows you care—that you do actually care they have three cats, for example, so you’ll spend another half hour vacuuming.”
You can personalize the customer experience even more by matching each of your clients up with one cleaning team that cleans their house every time.
For more on how to customize cleaning, see How to staff jobs and customize cleaning for each client.
"You’ll never succeed in the house cleaning business if you don’t care. You have to care."
Take the Stress Out of Hiring a Housecleaner
“A lot of people never hire cleaners because they think they have to clean up the whole house before the cleaners come,” Katie says. “You know, take everything off the table, because if you don’t, the cleaners won’t wipe the table.”
“But if you’re paying for a service, it should be stress-free. If you’re saying gosh, I have to go home and clean before they come, or jeez, the payment process is such a pain… Why on earth would anybody use this service? Who wants all that stress?”
So make your service a stress-free experience for your clients. For example, you could make it part of your service to move items so that your clients don’t have to. And look for ways to make your payment process as easy as possible.
Give Small Gifts for Customer Appreciation
Holidays, a new baby, some random act of kindness… Any time you have an excuse to give a client a small gift of thanks or appreciation, do it.
“I’d send them a $5 e-gift from Starbucks and say, ‘Have a latte on me,’” says Katie. “I would also do a lot of cards and little things I could easily mail, because it’s fun getting something in the mail that’s nice for a change and not a bill.”
Pay Attention to "The Little things," Because They're Actually Very Big
Train your staff to pay attention to the details and do little things for clients that show you care about them and their families.
“My staff would refill a cat’s water dish and leave a note that said, ‘I refilled Fluffy’s water because I noticed it was low.’ They knew the name of the cat,” Katie says. “And they kept track of what was going on in the lives of clients. They were the ones who told me if somebody had a new baby, so I could send a gift to the house.”
“It’s those special touches, those little things, which were actually a huge part of what made us successful.”
“Anybody can clean a toilet. What’s really going to differentiate you are all those details that everyone else overlooks or just doesn’t care about.”
Train Your Staff to Represent Your Company Well
Did you notice how much some of these ideas depend on your staff? Your staff are the key to creating an exceptional customer experience, because they’re the faces of your company. They’re the ones out there in the homes of your clients, talking to them and often getting to know them well. Therefore, it’s essential that you train them to be ambassadors of your company.
A good place to start with this training is soft skills. Then move up to explaining what you want the customer experience to be and talking to them about how they can make that experience happen in their day-to-day work.
Ultimately, it comes down to empowering your staff to go out into the field and provide the best customer service they can using their own judgment. Empower your staff, and the customer experience your company offers will truly become something special.
Logo: The Visual Representation of Your Brand
Your logo and the colors you use in it are the visual representation of your brand.
Having a snazzy logo and specially chosen colors to use on your uniforms, invoices, website and social media will help your business come across as professional, and people will take you more seriously. One study by Due.com even found that when you have a logo on your invoice, you’re 3 times more likely to get paid.
“You don’t have to spend a lot of time on your logo in the beginning, because you can always change it as you get bigger. But you definitely need a professional appearance if you want to be successful.”
Options for How to Get Your Logo Made
To get a professional-looking visual brand, the best thing to do is to hire a graphic designer. If the cost of hiring a designer is a concern, you have a few options:
At sites like Etsy, you can buy pre-made logos and get them customized to your company.
Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for digital services. Get logo design, marketing services, whiteboards and more, starting from only $5.
If you want to try your hand at designing your own logo, give it a shot with Canva, a free design program created specifically for beginners.
“However you get your logo, just make sure you have that professional look,” Katie emphasizes. “You’re not going to be able to charge a higher rate without it.”
Setting Up Your Online Presence
Your online presence—and by that we mean your website and social media—is crucial to marketing your business. Some companies depend on their online presence so much that they wouldn’t even have clients without it.
In the case of Katie’s housecleaning company, Facebook advertising was the main way they found clients, especially in the beginning. Later, they used email marketing quite successfully to persuade their clients to stick around. Both the Facebook advertising and the email marketing depended on the company website, as they enticed people to go to the website to book cleaning appointments.
Setting up an effective online presence is a huge topic, and it can get complicated. But there’s no need to be intimidated. You can start small and work your way up to bigger things when you’re ready. Here we give you some basic pointers on how to get started with your online presence along with some leads for how to take it up a notch when you’re ready.
Your website is the home base for your business, the place people expect to find if they hear about your company through word of mouth. It should answer the common questions people will have about your company and make it easy for them to sign up and become your client.
You can start out by building a simple website with a free platform like Wix. Wix makes it easy for just about anyone to put together a small website.
If you’re ready to do something a little fancier, there are excellent, affordable platforms that allow you to make an impressive website without having a lot of technical skills. We recommend that you check out Squarespace and WordPress. (Katie loves Squarespace, and that’s what she uses to make her websites.) You can also look for a web developer to help you out.
For in-depth information on what goes into making a really awesome website, see the Jobber Academy article Why Your Field Service Business Needs a Website.
Social Media: Start with Facebook
If you use just one social network for your house cleaning business, make it Facebook. With well over 1.5 billion users in 2016, Facebook has the most users out of all social media. And the demographics of people who use Facebook show that millions of them are the kind of people who use housecleaning services.
Katie has first-hand proof of this—Facebook advertising was the biggest way her company found new clients. “Facebook advertising is fairly easy to set up,” she says. “And you can target specific groups of people really well.”