The combination of high competition and high employee turnover require specific strategies to develop leads for the commercial cleaning industry. But don't dismay, because the field of Internet marketing, specifically inbound marketing, is wide open for the commercial cleaning industry. In other words, it's new, it's mostly untapped, and if you engage it early on, you win.
In another blog I wrote, How to Overcome the Top Five Commercial Cleaning Marketing Challenges, I said, "Don't go with the 'we can do everything best' approach." It's tempting to always say, "We can do everything." And no doubt, you can. But your competitors are all saying the same thing. Let's dare to be a little creative in our marketing.
Let's keep it simple and outline a basic plan that will help you stand out through the grime of your competition. This plan will work for the broad ranges within the commercial cleaning industry - from residential cleaning, to office cleaning, to carpet cleaning.
- Define your distinctive identity
- Shift focus to inbound marketing
- Leverage the power of the Internet
- Create a Campaign
That seems simple enough, doesn't it? It is. Let's execute it:
1. Define Your Distinctives
Again, it's okay be the one size fits all cleaning company, but be careful with that when it comes to marketing. If you can take an office cleaning job, a warehouse cleaning contract, or a residential cleaning job with equal capacity, great, but don't be so quick to always promote that ability in every campaign you run. Why not? Again, because everybody else is.
Instead, take one thing you are good at, that you have a reputation for, and get set to talk about everything about that one thing in one marketing campaign. The commercial cleaning industry is haunted by the culture of sameness. When was the last time a lead called you and said, "I want the usual. Give me a quote." The "usual" is okay, as long as you are just a little bit unusual.
2. Shift Your Focus Toward Inbound
Conventional advertising does more to disengage a target audience than attract them. Today, conventional advertising is often termed: "Outbound marketing."
Inbound marketing by contrast, seeks to attract and delight your ideal customer. You'll want to know what attracts this ideal customer and what turns him or her off. Why spend out your budget trying to attrract those who will never buy from you, or who you wouldn't want in the first place?
3. Define a Persona
In inbound, we call the ideal customer, a "persona." A persona is a term used to define a semi-fictitious person who happens to be your ideal lead. You already may know your business well enough to create a few of these personas. Here's a sample one. We'll call him, "Bill the Cleaning Buyer." Bill is middle-aged. Bill really doesn't want to spend a whole lot of time shopping for anything, in fact, he hates to go after quotes. Bill is very busy so he likes to get his information in bullet points rather than in lengthy prose.
Get the idea? An actual, full-on persona is more developed than the example above because you want to know as much about your ideal customer or customers as possible. Why? So you can develop some really great campaigns to go after those top commercial cleaning leads.
4. Leverage the Power of the Internet
You already know this. So why aren't you doing it? Your website, as well as social media, is your 24/7 sales person standing on a billion street corners pointing people to your business. Sadly, only about 60% of businesses out there have a website, and of those who do, they are not even coming close to utilizing its capability.
Why businesses don't promote using the Internet:
- Patience is required. So many write a blog post or two, see little results, and quit.
- It's new. Print has been around since Gutenberg; the Internet, since the mid-90's.
- Lack of good resources / conflicting information about what to do.
- Industry terms like "SEO," often produce more confusion than actionable direction.
- A new mindset is required: You cannot clone conventional marketing ideas and make them work well on the Internet.
It's important that you overcome the five negatives above. Just because your competition is stuck in out-moded thinking, doesn't mean you have to be stuck.
5. Create a Campaign Based on Your Key Persona
Remember, "Bill the Cleaning Buyer?" Let's put together an Internet marketing campaign that will target Bill. Knowing what you know, what can you do that will attract Bill? Remember, an Internet campaign is going to look a little different than a conventional marketing campaign. The seven steps below should form the foundation of sucessful growth of your business for many years to come.
Create a campaign:
- Set some goals. How many new customers, like Bill, do you want to get in say, three months? With the Internet, you'll need to have 50 "good" visitors to your website to generate one lead.
- Create one blog article per week. Don't write about what you like, but supply information that would tickle the interest of your persona. You're blogging to give something away to Bill - information.
- Talk up your blog articles in social media, and talk up about anything else that would be of interest to your persona or personas.
- Consider putting a give-a-way on your website, a free e-book, free inspection, sample of a green product, etc. Such a "real product" is more valuable than reading a blog article.
- Track your results. Google Analytics is fine, it's free, but it won't track as much marketing results as some other software (that you'd need to buy).
- If something is not working well over time, don't be afraid to tweak it.
- Commit to the plan, ongoing, it is now part of your business life.
Key take-a-ways from this blog article:
- You're going to do define a narrow part of your market.
- You're going to create (in writing) a description of your #1 persona.
- You're going to budget more toward Internet marketing.
- You're going to launch an Internet marketing campaign and track its results.
For a more comprehensive approach to getting commercial cleaning leads, please download our free ebook below.
If you're serious about marketing your business in the digital age, our e-book will really help!