- by Andy
I just posted the following in a cleaning business owners Facebook group in response to someone asking how to grow their business without advertising.
Things to note:
1) I can’t help myself but chatter in forums and Facebook groups and respond when people have questions. I go all-in on my tendencies.
2) What started as a quick response ended up being pretty beefy. I have posted to another Facebook group already, and dropped it into and other places I’m in.
3) I am NOT pitching. If no work comes of this then fine. My goal was to HELP SOMEONE not make a sale.
4) What do I do best, that my team members can’t do? Focus on that and outsource the rest. I make it my job to “turn up and be me”.
5) I did this all on my phone. I’ve not logged onto my PC this morning and don’t intend to.
What are your takeaways?
A great piece of advice I was given a couple of years ago was to “Spend your money on diesel and coffee.”
Get out there. Meet people – long enough to have a coffee one-to-one.
Let them know what you do. (Let everyone know what you do actually!)
*** Become known as “The XYZ Guy in ABC Location”. ***
Even if they don’t have work for you they can refer you to someone else.
Don’t be needy about it. Just have a coffee, and make sure you get them to talk a lot.
Try to tell a few stories as it’s the stories they’ll remember and recount to other people.
Another great piece of advice for when your back’s against the wall is to reach out to everyone you’ve ever done business with.
Send a short and non-needy note:
Just thought I’d let you know that some time has freed up in our calendar.
If you or anyone you know needs help with XYZ then just let me know.
We must catch up sometime for a coffee.
Always bear in mind that the most important formula in business is “R+R=Profit” where R+R is Repeat Business plus Referrals.
The cleaning industry lends itself well to R+R.
Capitalising on word-of-mouth:
If someone tells someone about you or your business name, but hasn’t told them your phone number, then how will they find you?
Put yourself in their shoes and try and find yourself by name and by business name. Use Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.
If you can’t find yourself then any word-of-mouth is not going to result in new clients.
Consider very strongly bidding on your brand names on Google. Branded searches will be low volume, low cost-per-click, and convert into sales very well.
Heck, I’ll set that up for you if you want. No fee. You just pay Google.
Bear in mind that this “fails safe”. You only pay when someone searches for you or your business by name, and they click-through to visit your site. If you currently have no word-of-mouth then there will be no searches and no click-through.
When you get into a property to clean, what do you do to increase the likelihood of Repeat Business?
Can you leave a stack of business cards so they can also hand them out to friends and family?
Can you leave a fridge magnet? (We have one holding up the school time-tables, from a plumber who we know left Ireland over two years ago!)
I’m actually an AdWords dude looking to help my sister-in-law and her sister-in-law get some more cleaning jobs. I may or may not end up going the whole hog and create a cleaning biz for them.
As an AdWords dude since 2009 I have never advertised my business.
You might find that strange, but I know that people buy from people who know, like, and trust you.
I get my work by doing everything I suggested above. I don’t bid on my brand name because I’m all over the Google listings for “Andy Black AdWords”.
What works for me is helping folks. Giving them tips and advice – freely. Letting them get to know, like, and trust me. NOT pitching. NOT PM’ing people out of the blue and pitching them. NOT asking people to PM me.
*** Consider this post an example. I’ve been doing this for YEARS and it’s how I’ve built relationships and ultimately my business.
Top tip: Business is ultimately about building relationships, and win-wins.
Are there local groups where you can join in as a peer and just help people whenever you can? It doesn’t have to be about cleaning all the time.
I’ve even picked up clients by attending workshops for local business owners!
People buy from people.
They need to get to know, like, and trust you first.
There’s lots of ways to let people know what you do, and move along the know, like, and trust scale.
Paid advertising is just one of many ways you can get in front of people who don’t know you already, so you can start that process.