SEO – Search Engine Optimisation (a slow burn long process) Get found on Google. Learn to do it yourself.
PPC – “Google Pay Per Click” (get to the top of Google using paid adverts. Can be very expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing)
Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc etc (a slow burn for most businesses but free to do)
Blogs – Can help you become known as an expert in your field
General e-mail marketing – can get great results but keep on the right side of the SPAM laws
Database building or cleansing – make sure you haven’t missed any opportunities for extra work
CRM – Your CRM could contain a ton of leads or other opportunities you may have forgotten about
Videos – YouTube is the 2nd most used search engine after Google so can you afford not to have a video or two on there?
Google Places – free, quick to set up.
Auto responders series – set up automatic emails to remind your customers you still exist. Thanks for choosing us email. Stain remover reminders. Traffic lane clean reminders. Reminders of your referral scheme. Carpet maintenance tips.
Direct mail campaigns – just remember the rules of copywriting AIDA. Direct mail still works if you do it right.
Business cards – are they interesting and memorable or just like the business card of every other carpet cleaner out there? Remember, if you don’t give someone a reason to rememeber you, guess what … they won’t.
Website – is it updated and punchy? Is it interesting and personal? Does each page have just one clear message? Is it easily navigated?
PR – press releases, newspaper articles, help the editor, radio etc Remember newspapers, magazines and radio all need interesting, listener focused articles and editorials for their readers and listeners.
Text advertising – very popular and welcome as reminders for accountants, carpet cleaners etc. Ask the customer if you can text them a reminder when their yearly clean is due. Text messages are very likely to be read and acted on since they are so personal. Gain customers permission first. Powerful stuff.
Newsletters – Send out a newsletter at least every 2 months to your better quality customers. Make them on paper (not email) and make them interesting. Use the mail weight allowance to include flyers, business cards, offers, details of your referral scheme etc
Referrals – Vital for almost every single business. Take our referrals course and get lots of cheap business.
Learn about copywriting – once you know how to write words that sell you can almost print your own money
Investigate cross selling – What more could you sell along with your carpet cleaning services? Tile and grout? Wood? Karndean? Once you’re with a customer and they like you, doesn’t it make a lot of sense to sell to them, time and again?
Flyers – they still work! It is always better to send to 5,000 homes 4 times than 20,000 once
Telephone marketing – out of favour and very frowned upon but can get good results
Reactivate past customers – Go through your database and see who you haven’t heard from in a while and send them an “I Miss You” letter
Facebook Ads – highly targeted and affordable. Be as specific as possible when targeting your prospects.
Testimonials – essential to every business. Get as many as you can, including video testimonials and case studies, and put them everywhere. get permission to use in marketing and on website.
Offers – what offer can you use to get more business that has high perceived value but low physical cost to the business? BOGOF? Free dust mite killer? Pay for 2 rooms get the 3rd half price?
Sales letters – send out sales letters to hotels, schools, letting agents … anyone who you can serve well.
Clothing branding – is all your clothing neat, clean and properly branded? It all helps build credibility
Education Books – learn all you need to know about carpet cleaning and business in general. Could be the best investment of your time possible.
Brochures – can you print your own brochure to showcase your work? Use hi-res pictures to create a brochure that really shows off the quality of your work.
Magazines – would a highly targeted magazine campaign work well for you? Just ensure you advertise in only the magazines your target audience would actually read. Don’t advertise in magazines based on cold calls from the magazine and never have a left hand page. Always negotiate on cost.
Incentives – what could you give away to your customers to remind them you are still there and to call you? Stain remover with your number on it? Stain removal packs? Shopping trolley coin rings?
Online business directories & listings – enrol in as many good quality free listings sites as possible, but ensure they are quality sites or google could penalize you if you are advertising on a poor quality site which has a link to your site because Google will judge your site as a poor site too.
Email newsletters – how about you do these every alternating month with paper newsletters? Don’t let people forget about you!
Yahoo! Bing Advertising – Don’t forget the riches may be in the smaller search engines as it may be far better to get to the top of the searches. You may get better ROI?
YouTube – Use videos to off your talents!
Google+ – Google loves an active Google + profile! well, they would wouldn’t they? Fill it up with great content!
The personal touch (e.g. birthday cards & gifts) – You love your customers? Show them.
Networking – very powerful and quick! Get out there and meet people! Google networking groups in your area and get along to a meeting. They are great fun, cheap to do and will almost certainly result in great quality friendships and strategic alliances which will last years.
Online press releases – the web is full of news resources so see which one will let you put an article in along with a link to your site. A good customer focused story could land you some great work.
Local Newspaper or Magazine Advertising – there may be a local magazine, a church magazine, a youth club magazine, a school magazine. Many would love to have your article in there in exchange for some much needed help towards running costs.
School Newsletter Ads
Newspaper, Magazine & Newsletter Inserts – have some fliers or an “advertorial” placed inside a paper and get it delivered. Be sure the magazine is actually read by the masses and not just put in the recycling bin.
Sidewalk Handbills – fancy handing out leaflets in the street? May make your company look budget though.
Yellow Pages (or equivalent business listings directory) online – make sure you have a free entry in yellow pages with a link to your site. Links from trusted, quality sites to yours with help add a lot of credibility to your site and push you up the Google rankings.
Buy Database Lists – get a list of emails addresses from a reputable broker for your mass email marketing (keep on the right side of the SPAM laws)
Piggy Back Invoice Mailings – join with other businesses to cross promote each other in their mailings. You could have your fliers put in a carpet shops envelopes and vice versa.
Sponsorships – who could you sponsor in your local team? Your local soccer team / boxing gym / ballet class?
Post Card Mailings – postcards are different and attract attention, so would it be worth trying to make your mailing interesting with postcard mailings
Van Signage – ensure its professional and full of benefits and not all about you. To get the full benefit and business from your signageremember people don’t care about you. Your business name is not a benefit to the customer!
Passing Trade – put an A stand or signage up outside job where you’re working
Product Packaging – ensure your name and contact details is on everything you send out.
Shopping Centre Promotion – could you have a stall in your local shopping centre and hand out your stain removal guide and free bottles of stain remover?
Create an Industry Newsletter – or write and article in an existing newsletter to prove your credibility. Tell customers you have written in the magazine to increase your credibility and enable you to raise your prices.
Stickers and Tags – ensure you place stickers on your giveaways or products to ensure your customers never lose your number.
Fridge Magnets – never forget the humble fridge magnet. They really work! Try a calendar fridge magnet and send it out every November. Customers love them and keep them all year because they are so handy.
Named Promotional Gifts – make sure it is useful and relevant to the audience. Ensure your promotional item includes your #1 key benefit.
Government / Council Programs and Contracts – These can be very lucrative but difficult to get into and possibly poor markup due to their requirement to get lots of quotes.
Work on your scripts – what words get you the best results when people ask you how long the carpets take to dry? What words overcome the price objection 9 times out of 10?Your business success relies on your sales scriptsand how well they work, so would it be worth taking time out to perfect them?
Maintenance and Stain Removal Sheets – develop your own A5 sheet (or postcard) with maintenance and stain removal instructions on it. The customer can keep this in case of emergency or spillage along with your business contact details
Work on your branding – does all your promotional items look and feel the same? Do they all carry the same colours and message? Get all your marketing material, incl website, looking and feeling the same, carrying the same message and with the same “feel.”
Salespeople – do you want to look at employing commission based sales people? If you decide this may be for you, just ensure the marketing message is consistent with your values as a company. Write the sales scripts yourself, or at least vet them to ensure your salespeople are on message with your brand.
Competitions / Surveys – find out what your customers really think of you and see what more you can do to help them / sell more to them.
Strategic Alliances (strongly recommended to develop quickly!) – which other businesses target the same market as you? Who could you join with to promote each other? Networking events are great to meet other business owners and form friendships.
Fetes and Shows – get involved in your local community activities
Fundraising / charity campaigns – why not adopt a “charity of the year” and do work for low price for that charity for a year. Whilst on the job you will have a lot of people around you who are very grateful for your support and you will likely get a shed load of work from the employees and their friends and family too.
Talk to suppliers to see what add ons you can sell – your suppliers and training providers are a gold mine to find out advances in carpet cleaning and other goods or services you can offer.
Trade Longer / Different Hours – if you are happy to work weekends and evenings, advertise it. Tell everyone the hours you will work or they will assume you do just 9-5 like most people. Are you missing out on business just because of people’s assumptions?
Open franchises – is your business profitable? Have you got a good sales and marketing system going that ensure a steady flow of customers? Are your sales figures super hot? Then maybe you can replicate that success by taking on a franchisee.
Test and Measure advertising results – Do you test and measure the ROI from all your advertising spend? When was the last time you did this? Ensure every single penny, cent or dime you spend on marketing works hard for you. Don’t waste your valuable time or money advertising where it’s not working.
Provide Team Selling Incentives – Work out your costs and figure out what bonuses you can offer your selling staff for good results.
Referral Systems – put together a SOLID REFERRAL SYSTEM and promote it in every newsletter. Referrals offer the best ROI of any type of marketing, so get a great referrals system in place, implement it and stick to it.
Fax Sales – B2B – many businesses still use fax machine so may be worth a go?
Free products upgrades to gain more loyalty – to create raving fans from your best customers have a think about what more you can do to keep them sweet. If you run a level based pricing system could you automatically upgrade them to the next level, or maybe give them a years free stain removal priority service.
Loyalty schemes – Consider having a stamp card system and stamp the card every time they use you. Say pay for 5 cleans then get the 6th free. Work at making it different from the millions of other schemes out there as this is now quite over-used.
Provide your customers with a shopping list – ensure your customer knows everything they have to buy to do a particular job, meaning lots of up-sells for you. Protector. Odour killer. Dust mite killer.
Sell other people’s products & services – for a cut of the profits or on a “you sell mine and I’ll sell yours” basis. Let your customers know about the great hoover you bought from X place or the great painter and decorator you know.
Continually clean up your database – keep accurate data on clients and ensure you keep up to date with data protection laws.
Develop and tell your “magic story” – this is your story of what drives you to do the job you’re doing. Why do you love what you do? What gets you out of bed in the morning? Remember pictures tell, stories sell. Prospects will always much rather have someone who is passionate about their job in their home, and pay more for it.
Build relationships – sales are based on relationships. People buy from people. Sell to your customers and their friends time and time again based on the relationship.
Learn as much as you can on sales – learn from the greats. Zig Ziglar. Brian Tracey and many others. Take the time to learn as much as you can.
Offer free trials – can you offer “Don’t pay until 30 days” or “Can’t live without this product within 90 days then just return it to us.”
New product launches – have a “launch event” whenever you start to do another service.
Train your team – get everyone in your team to know the vital part they play in the cog that is your business. Ensure everyone knows the plan and where the business is going.
Offer a shareholding in company – this is great for maximizing employee engagement with your business but seek relevant legal advice.
Sell more consumables – hoover bags if you sell hoovers, stain removal spray for carpet cleaners.
Develop your systems – systems are vital to ensure everything runs like clockwork and you get consistent results. Want consistent profits?Get a system.Want consistent sales? Get a system. (Systems are so essential to your business we have made a cheat sheet for systems. Download it now!)