How do you pick up new customers? As a small business, it is important to reliably know where new customers are coming from. Be it referrals from existing customers, google searches, house to house canvassing or anything else - planning and budgeting for these is vitally important to ensure you can consistently bring in new work.
Below is a list of marketing opportunities available to Window Cleaners, and some guidance on how you may utilise each.
Create an Online Presence
Having an online presence is more than simply making a website, there are a number of opportunities for businesses to exist online, and doing so correctly can drive customers towards your business.
Build Your Website
When considering a website, there are a few options. For the tech-savvy among us, you can use sites such as Wix, Squarespace or Wordpress to create your own using a template, and these generally are low cost and paid for monthly. They take a little time to build but if you’re looking to keep the cost down and you have some time to do so, this is a good option.
One of the difficulties most encounter whilst doing this is actually populating the website with images. If this is you, see our section below on updating your photos, or use photos from free stock image websites such as unsplash
For those completely unsure of anything web related, contact a local web designer to help with this, they will likely be able to give you quick guidance on costs and time-frames.
If you plan to make any ventures into advertising online, having a website serves as a centre point that everything links back to - so be sure that there is a clear way for customers to contact you on the site. This is also a good means to advertise the services you offer, particularly those outside of your normal day-to-day Window Cleaning such as gutter clearing or roof cleaning.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a local business listing service within google, you’ll likely have used this service without even knowing what it is. It allows potential customers to quickly find you, and to find vital information about your business (like contact numbers, reviews etc) - and importantly, it's free!
GMB listings take prominence in a google search results, and highlight businesses in google maps. The GMB listing highlights the business name, address, opening hours, directions, services, customer reviews, links to websites, and provides a contact number to potential customers - all in one place.
Take a look at the image below to illustrate what people see when searching for Window Cleaning Warehouse - and why it is important that the GMB listing is set up correctly.
(Google My Business Listing for Window Cleaning Warehouse - it even recognises that I work here!)
Having a GMB listing is free, simple to set up and provides a lot of value to your business. This includes:
Make yourself as easy to find as possible, the last thing you want is somebody attempting to find a contact number, and getting sidetracked by one of your competitors. Remove any obstacles by getting your business information clearly in the google search listings.
People are accustomed to seeing these listings, it gives weight to your business, looks professional, and having good reviews on there make it even more likely that a customer will get in touch.
Fortunately, setting up a GMB account is simple, visit the link below and get started.
Social media can be a huge asset to Window Cleaners, and not just in terms of gaining customers, there are a number of groups organised for professional Window Cleaners where you can share thoughts with like-minded people.
Creating a Facebook page is a good idea, even if you don’t have very many followers, it allows people who search for you to find information about your business quickly and it's free to create. so be sure to put as much information as possible on there. As a guide, think of every frequently asked question you receive by new customers - then make sure these questions are answered on your page, either in the ‘about us’ section or through posts.
With a clear logo and some crisp photos, your Facebook page can lend credibility to your business, particularly so if you have some strong reviews (if you don’t already, encourage current customers to review your Facebook page & Google My Business listing).
Using social media to advertise your business is a little different from using some other methods. When customers find you through google, it is likely that they intend on hiring a Window Cleaner. Marketing through social media is often called ‘interruption’ marketing, as people aren’t necessarily there to shop, they are there to socialise, share photos, watch cat videos or kill some time while waiting in a queue. Because of this, it can be a good idea when posting on your page to think about problems you can solve in the hope that people who see that information will resonate with the problem and get in contact to find the solution.
Instead of posting ‘Window Cleaner: Get a quote’, try a before and after photo of a recent job. Get creative with this, and if you’re able to, use photos and videos rather than text alone.
If you have a personal Facebook account, you can also use this to create awareness for your business. Many towns and cities have groups where small businesses can advertise themselves, such as buy and sell groups or ‘town hubs’. If you search for the name of your local area (or the areas you work) in the Facebook search bar and filter by group - you’ll find a list of groups where you could potentially post about your services.
Of course, there is some etiquette to be followed, don’t spam groups over and over with the same information, and be sure to read the rules of the group to see if advertising your business is allowed.
Use Good Imagery
The photo above was used as part of a WCW marketing campaign last year, and you may have even seen it on some of our social media pages. This photo was taken using a smartphone, with no additional lighting or equipment, nor any post-production work (such as photoshop), just a nice clean piece of equipment and some sunshine.
This photo might not win any photography awards, and that haircut needs some work, but the image does what it is proposed to do, highlight a feature of the product in the shot. In today's world, you can create professional standard videos and photos with a smartphone camera - and these go a long way to showcase your business to potential customers. Once you’ve captured some images or videos, they can be used in a number of different places, such as your website, social media channels, or even to send to potential clients to highlight the work you’ll be doing. Get friends and family involved either taking photos or modeling your best squeegee! Below are some helpful and low-cost resources to turn your photos into complete marketing assets.
Canva This free software can be accessed online to create graphics, with a range of templates for flyers, posters, social media banners, infographics and more. Canva is simple, and has a wide range of templates, images, icons and fonts.
Gimp This is a popular and completely free image manipulation program. In simple terms, an alternative to photoshop (however be warned, this is a powerful tool but is not simple to use to the uninitiated).
iMovie For those using apple phones & tablets, iMovie can help you create videos quickly and simply, and it's free with iOS or Mac.
Fiverr This is a platform for freelance workers to promote their services. In a matter of minutes, you can hire a freelance graphic designer to put together a flyer, and they will generally have it finished within a few days, simply send them your logo (or have them design this also). This can cost anywhere from £10.00 to £50.00 depending on the service you go with.
Create an Offline Presence
Printed materials like flyers, posters, and compliment slips are a popular way to attract new customers and communicate with the customers you already have.
Posters & Flyers
Many people choose not to use flyers as they are unsure how to design them, or how to get them printed - and even more concerning is how much will they cost. Fortunately, with a little know-how, this is something that can be done quickly without breaking the bank.
Companies like Vistaprint or Helloprint offer 1000 flyers for approximately £20.00-£30.00, with templates you can use to quickly get an eye-catching design, and if you shop around with local print businesses, you may even be able to find a better offer.
If the templates found via the printing stores above aren’t quite up to standard, you can quickly design your own using free software such as Canva, or if you’d rather have this done by a professional, finding freelance graphic designers via Fiverr or People Per Hour can land you a professionally designed flyer for under £50.00.
For the uninitiated, canvassing is essentially going door-to-door offering your services as a Window Cleaner. It can be a daunting and time-consuming task but many Window Cleaning businesses use this as their primary means to bring in new customers.
Particularly when starting a Window Cleaning business, this is a method that many choose to commit a good amount of time to. Excluding the cost of your time, which you may have a lot of if your business is just getting off the ground, Canvassing is inexpensive. As the business grows you may find yourself with less time and so putting more effort into other methods on this list, or working for referrals from existing customers may be a wiser use of time and resources.
Canvassing allows you to selectively choose the areas you target. Doing so means you can keep your round compact, or choose areas where perhaps you already have other work lined up, reducing unnecessary travel time.
The downside to canvassing is that for every customer you sign up, you're likely to be rejected 10x as many times. There's little can be done to avoid this, but think of every 'no' as taking you closer to the next 'yes!'.
I'm (Name) and I own a local Window Cleaning business. We're expanding our business into this area, do you currently have a Window Cleaner?
Our price to clean your property is £_ and we offer a monthly or bi-monthly service. Is this something you might be interested in?
When canvassing, keep your pitch polite and friendly but to the point. When starting up and the name of the game is gaining customers quickly, it is worth keeping an ace up your sleeve, for potential customers who are in need of a Window Cleaner but not quite ready to commit. Offering a discounted first clean or an add on service may be enough to tip them in your favour.
The most important factor for successful canvassing is actually getting out there and putting the work in. For many, it will mean stepping outside their comfort zone, but it may be a necessary step to make your Window Cleaning business successful.
Take a look at this video from Trad-Man, highlighting how Window Cleaners can use flyers & canvassing to market their business.
You're All Set
That concludes our guide to Marketing your Window Cleaning business, is there anything we've missed, get in touch and let us know!
Head to our Starting a Window Cleaning Business Hub for more helpful guides