Creative Marketing tips for House Cleaners & Maid Services
Creative marketing is awesome when you’re working from a shoestring budget. Make your job fun again, keep your client interaction alive, and save money on advertising expense.
In 1991 I started my first house cleaning business. I was flat on my rump broke at the time and needed money to get me from here to payday.
I was waiting tables at a restaurant and making daily tips. That was my rent money. Then I delivered newspapers and pizzas as a side job, to pay for gas in my car, electricity, food and the laundromat. Extras like life, health and dental insurance were a luxury I couldn’t afford.
Creative marketing was my only option for getting my new house cleaning business off the ground. I knew I needed to be making more money, and I figured that would come from having more clients, which would come from creative marketing.
After several years of trial and error, my one person cleaning crew became one of the largest independently owned house cleaning companies in the Southeastern United States. Creative marketing is still my preference when it comes to generating and maintaining a customer base.
Want to boost your creative marketing efforts for your cleaning service?
Here are some of my favorite creative marketing ideas that you can do on a shoestring budget.
Creative Marketing through Free Consultation – Tip #1
Rather than a free estimate – offer to go in and evaluate their current cleaning service. Don’t knock the competition. Just get really good at asking questions that introduce a need for additional service.
How important is it to you that you remove the bugs from your light fixtures?
When was the last time you cleaned out the inside of your washing machine?
How often do you organize your cupboards and kitchen drawers?
Do you know what’s under your laundry room sink?
How often do you recycle the cleaning supplies under your kitchen sink?
Is dusting the molding around your doors and windows important to you?
How often do you recycle the clothes in your closets?
Are there clothes you’re storing that you haven’t worn in a long time?
Do you put up and take down your own Christmas Tree or do you hire that out?
Does your current service clean up your guest rooms after your family leaves from spring break, Thanksgiving or Christmas?
None of these chores take anything away from the current house cleaner, but they give you an in. Can you provide these services?
Once you have the job, it’s super easy to show your expertise and skill. Often you’ll get voted in as the main house cleaner and you’ll win the ongoing business.
Creative Marketing through an Evaluation – Tip #2
Along with your worksheet, you can leave a customer evaluation. Let your clients know they can leave answers anonymously at your website. Or they can fill out the evaluation and leave it for you next time you come to clean.
Ask questions like this:
What do you like best about my house cleaning service?
If you could change one thing about my cleaning what would it be?
Compared to other house cleaners you’ve hired, how would you rate me?
1> About the same 2> worse 3> better
How competitive is my pricing?
A. I’m getting a value with your service at this price?
B. It is a fair price that I’m paying.
C. It’s more than I’m comfortable paying.
Creative Marketing Rewards programs – Tip #3
Coffee shops offer a rewards program that goes something like this: buy 10 cups of coffee, and get one free. You can do the same with your cleaning service. Pay for 26 cleanings and get 1 free. This guarantees you 6 months of service from one single client.
At $100 per cleaning, you’ve made $2,600 from that client. (Not counting expenses.) So $100 that you give for the free cleaning is a marketing cost, yet a very small price to pay to keep customers.
Every time a customer gets their free cleaning, they get so excited they tell their friends. It’s an added bonus that many cleaning services do not provide. And if often brings you referrals.
Creative Marketing through Referral Fees – Tip #4
Creative marketing offers bonuses for behaviors that we want repeated. Referrals are one of those behaviors. If a client puts their reputation on the line to send you new business, reward them for it. Pay a referral fee for house cleaning clients. You can offer then a discount on a current cleaning or you can give them a gift.
The discount on cleaning is cool, but a tangible gift will be better remembered.
A perfect gift for a referral is something that will make your job easier in the future – such as a shower head on a hose. ($25-$75)
You are in the client’s home and you know what their bathroom fixtures look like. If they are all bronze, and you buy them a bronze shower head on a hose, it will match their current décor.
For people who don’t have shower heads on a hose, they simply don’t know what they are missing. Now every time they take a shower, they will think of you. (You’re welcome.)
And as the house cleaner who has to use a big cup to rinse cleanser off the shower walls, this gift makes your job SO MUCH EASIER. (You’re welcome again.)
Creative Marketing through a Niche – Tip #5
There is a house cleaner in our network who specializes in replacement cleaning. You know, when your real house cleaner is sick. Or you have a house cleaning emergency and they can’t come. She charges a flat rate of $25 per hour and she’s amazing at what she does.
Shhh! Don’t tell, but she ends up becoming the client’s regular house cleaner 9 times out of 10. She is affordable, excellent at cleaning houses, articulate, and easy to work with. Booyah!
Another house cleaner in our network specializes in cleaning garages. That’s all she does. She organizes people’s garages. And her car has a big magnetic sticker that is her main form of advertising. The garage is open, and her car is out front. As you drive by you can see her sweeping, stacking, and making everything look new again. She cleans out cobwebs. She replaces burned out garage light bulbs and even has her own gas blower to blow out leaves, dirt and debris. The day she cleans a garage, she arrives a few minutes early and leaves a flyer in the neighbors mailboxes.
“Hey I’m in your neighborhood this week cleaning your neighbor’s garages. Want in on the neighborhood discount? Call me at: 123-456-7890” (That’s not her real phone number, I just made that up.)
Cleaning for New Moms
Another House Cleaner/Mom in our network specializes in cleaning for new moms. Knowing that exhausted new moms need an extra set of hands for things they just don’t have time to do, she cleans out the fridge, and rotates food from the pantry shelves. She sanitizes everything from toys to playpens, jumping chairs and swings. Organizing closets and toy boxes is another of her specialties. She also washes linens, clothes, and folds and puts all the laundry away.
You know a new mom who could benefit from a service like that?
Did you say every new mom? I know, right?
She gets all her business from a local Lamaze class. She gets a ton of referrals from the owner – who is the Lamaze instructor and client of hers. And she has permission to leave flyers at the front counter. Her creative marketing costs are zilch.
Creative Marketing through Your Website – Tip #6
If you are new to the house cleaning or maid service industry and you don’t have references or referrals – your prospects will want to check you out. They don’t want to invite a perfect stranger into their home, around their kids, their pets and elderly parents. They want to feel like they know you.
It’s great to advertise the services you offer – but you better also have a great “about me” page.
Show pictures of you, your kids, your spouse, your pets. This is you on vacation, and you on a job.
Oh here is a picture of your house, and you are going to treat their house with the same care you treat your own house.
Show them behind the scenes
(Oh wait, that’s me. Angela Brown trimming hedges in my yard.)
It’s like watching the behind the scenes making of a movie. You get to see the director, the producer and the camera crew. You can almost see yourself on set, eating food at craft services, and chatting it up with the other actors.
Let your prospects place themselves in your photos. Once they feel comfortable like you’re a real person, with a family and a home – they see you helping them too.
You may be a one person cleaning crew – but you need to be accessible. Have an email address, and a phone where people can contact you.
In the era of social media, you may even want to include your social media profiles on your website.
Are you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin or Google+? Add it to your “About me” page.
Creative Marketing through Social Media – Tip #7
If your prospects and clients follow you on social media, it’s SUPER EASY for them to recommend you to their neighbors and friends.
Make sure you list your social media outlets on your flyers, and your blogs. Every social media platform gives you one hyperlink. Link this back to your site or your “About me” page where people can get to know you better and hire, or recommend you.
Creative Marketing through a Blog – Tip #8
If you are new to house cleaning and you don’t have any jobs, and no references – write a blog.
“10 Tips to Clean Your Home Fast” or something like that. Print it on one sheet of paper with a disclaimer at the bottom:
“Many busy people don’t even have time to do 10 fast cleaning tips, if you are too busy to clean your own home, call me, I’ll come clean it for you. (Bonded, Insured, Reasonable Rates, A+ Service, Cash, Check or Credit Cards.)”
Here’s my website http://SavvyCleaner.com or you can find me on social media. (Of course, you add your own information here, this is just an example.)
Then print it out, and deliver it as a flyer to the two or three neighborhoods you want to work in.
Creative Marketing through a Survey – Tip #9
Survey Monkey allows you to create surveys that you can send your customers. If you don’t have any customers and you are just starting out, then survey your friends and family on Facebook. Add a link with a personal note. (Survey Monkey offers a free and paid service.)
“Hey guys, I’m starting a house cleaning business and want to know what you hate about your current house cleaner. I’m going to take that information to make my business great. It will only take 1 minute of your time and it’s completely anonymous. Click here – I really appreciate your help.”
Add the link.
Your friends and family will give you lots of feedback.
Make sure in your survey you include a question about “What do you like best about your current house cleaning or maid service. They will also tell you that too – but we live in a negative world, and people are eager to gripe. The hate question will have them clicking your link sooner than if they have to think of something positive to say.
Creative Marketing with a Facebook Business Page – Tip #10
If you are a business, have a business Facebook page. It’s free and a great place to add content that will help boost your visibility in the marketplace.
You don’t have to add only your own content. You can add blogs from other people on the internet. There are lots of places to find articles about cleaning, organizing or other related home improvement ideas.
Make sure when you add tips from other people, that you include the original links to their blogs or websites and that you give them proper credit.
There is a new trend in the “curating content” space where you can add the original creator’s Twitter or Instagram handle, or tag them on Facebook as you recommend them.
This alerts them that you have shared their information. Often affiliate or collaborative efforts come from sharing other people’s information. Just make sure you never sell it as your own.
Creative Marketing with a Give Away – Tip #11
Many neighborhoods have a closed private Facebook group that will let you in if you ask to join. If you clean houses in two or three neighborhoods join those Facebook groups. You can also do this on neighborhood apps like NextDoor and MyNeighborhood.
“Hey guys, I’m expanding my house cleaning business in our neighborhood. Everybody who books a cleaning by Friday the 23rd will have a chance to win a free cleaning worth $100 or 4 hours of cleaning. If only two people book a cleaning you have a 1 in 2 chance of winning.”
Winner announced on Saturday the 24th.
Call me for rates and to enter at: 123-456-7890”
(Put a deadline on the giveaway. Put a deadline of when you will announce the winner, a value on the cleaning, and how long you plan to clean. This removes the possibility of a new customer taking advantage of you.)
Announce a Winner
Then make sure you go back and announce the winner. It’s super important to use real names and tag those people on Facebook.
People who are following the giveaway will check back with the winner in to find out how it went. Were you any good? Should they hire you as well?
If you are doing this on a neighborhood app – the giveaway becomes part of an archived conversation.
It’s great visibility and your marketing cost to pick up a bunch of new customers and referrals is $100/4 hours of cleaning.
Creative Marketing through a Treasure Hunt – Tip #12
When I first started my cleaning business I challenged my clients to a game. This became a 25 year game in my business.
Pick an object, any object and hide it in a place I will be cleaning. You hide it, and I’ll find it.
The only rule was they had to tell me what the object was: A penny, a cotton swab, a mini orange Lego etc.
I would do my routine cleaning and find the item and leave it with my worksheet. It was a super fun game for them and kept me on my toes as a house cleaner.
You can miss a cotton swap hidden behind a toilet can if you’re not thorough. And a penny can hide nicely under an oriental rug, or on top of a door molding.
Lots of fun stories came from this game. Over the years this game brought me tons of referrals as neighbors would chat about where to hide stuff for me to find.
Creative Marketing through Social Media Participation – Tip #13
One of the house cleaners in our group is the king of Facebook marketing. He has regular contests. His clients take a before picture of their own closet, kitchen, bathroom or whatever. Then after he cleans they take an after picture. They post the before and after picture of their room to his FB page every Friday. Everybody gets to vote on the best before and after pictures submitted.
The winner (chosen by the public,) gets $25 off their next cleaning.
The contest cuts down on cancellations, because they need the photos if they are going to enter the contest.
It encourages his clients to follow him on Facebook – which is a fun and zany way to keep in front of your customers.
Lots of people are FB friends with their neighbors – which brings him new business.
This contest brings him gobs of new accounts, lots of referrals, and the marketing expense costs him $25 per week.
These are just a few ways you can use creative marketing to boost your house cleaning business.
What creative marketing ideas are you using now that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment or email me Angela(at)AskaHouseCleaner.com
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