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March 2014
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Can You Grow Your Cleaning Business By Networking Alone?

We've owned two cleaning companies and used different ways to grow each business. With the first company we partnered with a successful builder and got started by cleaning several of his buildings. He also gave us all the construction cleaning on new buildings, which always led to getting that account when the tenant moved in. Cold calling was also successful back in those days, but not so much any more.Can you  grow your cleaning business by networking alone?

With the second cleaning company it was all about networking. We moved to a town where we didn't know anyone so we threw ourselves into every networking event we could find. And that worked very well for us.

These days in order to grow a cleaning company to the $1 million-dollar plus range, I don't believe you can do it with networking alone, and for a few reasons. First, people are busier than ever these days and it's getting harder and harder to connect with them in person. And you're probably finding that you never really get a steady stream of clients from networking alone. They usually come in spurts, so it's better to use networking, along with other marketing strategies to get that steady stream of clients coming to your business.

Also, marketing has dramatically changed in recent years with so much emphasis being placed on social media and having an online presence. Even if you are getting referrals from networking buddies and clients, those referrals are going to go online to see what they can find out about you and your business -- before they pick up the phone to call you.

So if Jane calls up Bob and asks if he knows a great cleaning company and he refers Jane to your company, do you think Jane will automatically pick up the phone to call you? If you said yes, think again. It's almost turned into an instinctive reaction to go online to see what we can find out about people and companies we're considering doing business with. And if they're not finding any information about you or your company, or if the information doesn't position you as an expert at what you do, then they're going to be skeptical if they do in fact decide to call.

Can you grow your business by networking alone? Possibly, but probably not at the rate you'd like. By coming up with a marketing strategy that incorporates several methods for gaining visibility and building trust, you'll have a much better chance at steady growth.

Two Big Mistakes Cleaning Business Owners Make When Buying Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads

I recently had a cleaning business owner ask me about Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC). They were spending a hefty amount of money every month and wondered why it didn't seem to be bringing in any results. So I asked to see a sample of their ad. It looked something like this:

Cleaning Service
Residential & Commercial Cleaning
Lowest Price Guaranteed

Can you tell me what's wrong with this ad? Did it grab your attention? Did the Lowest Price Guaranteed attract you? I took one look and thought, B-O-R-I-N-G!  And mentioning "lowest price guaranteed" sounds desperate to me. It's hard enough to make a good profit in this business, and if you're trying to get business based on being the lowest price in town, you're probably not going to be in business for long.

This got me looking at other PPC ads for cleaning companies. Most were similar, in that there was nothing interesting or attention grabbing. And none of these examples addressed any pain or problem that their prospects have. Here are more examples:

Janitorial Cleaning Business
We Service All Types Of Facilities.
Get Your Custom Quote Today!

Commercial Cleaning
Licensed, Insured, and Bonded
Detailed and Affordable Cleaning

Janitorial Cleaning
Professional Janitorial Services.
Contact Us Today.

If you want to attract people that are serious about finding a cleaning company, then they need to feel you understand their problem and that you have a solution for them. You also need a strong call to action. It's no different from any other type of advertisement you create. And you need to do it in a very limited space since Pay Per Click ads have limited characters available.

The second mistake I see cleaning business owners make is that they send people to the home page of their website instead of sending them to a landing page. The cleaning business owner that contacted me said "it didn't seem to be bringing in any results." That's because their ad went straight to the home page of their website so they had no idea what happened once the person clicked through to the site.

What I recommend you do instead is create a landing page that doesn't attempt to get them to buy right away. Yes, that's right - don't try to sell to them right away. That's because you haven't yet built any trust with them. Instead, offer some information of value that is directly related to whatever their problem or pain is. You want to offer valuable information in the form of an ebook, white paper, or some sort of audit so that you can collect their email address in order to build a database of prospects.

Explain that once they receive this valuable piece of information, you'll give them even more great tips on the topic. THAT is when you can start the real marketing to convert them to being a paid client. A word of warning though; once you have their email address, do not start blasting them with promotional emails. The idea is to provide great information that starts to build trust, so that when the time is right, it's YOU they call.

If you were going to spend money on a Pay Per Click ad for your cleaning company, what would YOU say in your ad? Please post your comments below.