The situation: You have some extra cash saved up to do some new marketing for your business. It's not a lot, but you want to use it in the most effective way possible to get new clients.
The solution: Well, there's not just one solution to this situation. There are several options to explore.
First of all, as a service business, you have to get the mindset right. Before you do anything else, make sure that your company mindset includes marketing as a primary function. The work that you physically do in your business (i.e. carpet cleaning, pressure washing, etc.), must be tied to the mindset that you are also a brand-building company. Some say running marketing campaigns here and there will work just fine, but that is actually the least effective approach you can take. Consistency and dedication are key.
Something to remember: When you're not servicing clients, you should be servicing your business. This means that any extra money and extra time you have should be poured back into marketing efforts to get new clients.
Cost-effective methods for getting new clients:
- Cold calling. This may not work well for getting commercial accounts, and for residential prospects, you have to be aware of that pesky "do not call" list. Still, this method is virtually free as long as you have the time.
- Door-to-door. Knocking on people's doors can work, but also may annoy some people. Alternatively, leaving flyers or hand-outs is a great way to unintrusively get people's attention at their home. This method is also effective when you have recently done work in a neighborhood, and you want to use that as an opportunity to let your customers neighbors know who you are.
- Does your truck/van have lettering on it? Go out for a drive. This is an easy way to increase your brand presence in your area. Something as simple as going to the store can expose your brand image and name to tens, if not hundreds, of potential new customers. The more they see you out and about, the more likely they are to remember you when they need your service. If you don't have any lettering or logos on your van, then seriously consider getting that done!
Most effective (albeit, not the cheapest) methods:
Every door direct mail (EDDM): Be careful not to carpet bomb the largest client base that you can. You want to focus on smaller segments of your area, such as specific neighborhoods where you haven't done much business in, or a more affluent area where you know you can upsell more effectively. The goal with EDDM is to send a mail advertisement of some sort to the people in your target market 3 to 4 times in a 3 month period. This can be supplemented by cold calling and emailing (if you're able to get people's phone numbers and email addresses in a legitimate way). The more ways you can get your company name in front of them, the more likely they are to call you when they need a service that you offer.
Five-arounds: This is a classic method and is quite simple and easy to do. Write down the addresses of the two houses next to the one you cleaned, and the three houses across the street. Then, you can market to these specific people with messaging talking about how you did work for their neighbor. This method allows you to build a solid prospect list, but does take more time and may not have the highest response rate (for ServiceMonster users, SendJim integration is a great way to quickly get this done).
The big suggestion: Facebook ads. Our strategy here is a 4-step plan that is simple to follow, and easy to learn.
- Step 1: Take your email list of your current clients and upload those to the Facebook Ad Manager. From this, you can create an audience. You can now target those people with specific ad campaigns.
- Step 2: Starting out, you want to get them to like your page and engage with your content on Facebook. They key here is to stay top-of-mind with your current customers, without annoying or overloading them with ads.
- Step 3: Target that customer audience with ads encouraging referrals and reminding them of the services you offer. This is a good time to introduce a special offer for repeat customers.
- Step 4: Build lookalike audiences. Basing new audiences off of your original customer list allows you to target similar people with ads for your business, increasing the number of people who know about your business and what you offer.
Facebook marketing takes time to get right but is an incredibly cost-effective method with potentially huge results. Interested in learning more about how to maximize your ROI through Facebook? Check out our free guide here!
Now, where to start? Taking control of your brand's marketing is not always easy. It's totally normal to feel slightly overwhelmed with all of the possibilities, so below we have listed the three main takeaways from this post. If you can focus on these three things, you'll be just fine:
1 - Get your mindset right. You're building a brand. You can't just get some cash, throw it at some random marketing campaign, and grow a thriving business. Be intentional and be consistent with your marketing strategy.
2 - Pay attention to the small ways you can turn your free time into leads. Don't be lazy. You're running a business.
3 - Facebook. This will give you the best ROI. Other options, such as EDDM, fliers, mailers, cold calls, and seasonal opportunities such as sponsoring a little league team, all serve as great supplementary methods to your Facebook advertising.