Is Your Window Cleaning Company Also Guilty of These Marketing Mistakes?By Jim DuBois
Yikes!! Even More Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
(#3 in a 3-Part Series)
Window cleaning business marketers don’t have much margin for error. We tend to be extremely busy, and short on time and resources. There’s often no cushion for us to fall back on especially in the lean winter months. One marketing mistake and we can be near a financial crisis.
In this WindowWashingWealth.com’s 3-part series* we will break down and point out even more Marketing Mistakes that you may not be aware of we window cleaners make. And more importantly we will bring light to the subject to help you avoid the expense and lost time some of these mistakes can cause. So, give this article a careful read and see how many mistakes you are guilty of. Then instead of doing nothing, do something about it.*If you did not see Marketing Mistake Articles 1 or 2, email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send them to you.
I've rarely seen this subject mentioned at seminars or conferences or even in books for window cleaning professionals. But I can tell you for certain that if you don't get a handle on your marketing, you can forget about overcoming the struggle to grow from small to big to ultimately dominating your marketplace.
Without marketing systems, you can expect to be a slave to your business for the rest of your life. Being good at window cleaning, pressure washing, or whatever it is that you do is not good enough! I cannot be gentle about this, even though you will not like hearing it. This is the fundamental truth that can liberate you from laboring for your dollars and settling for an average income. It can empower you to totally transform you, your business into a high-income profit generating machine that your competitors will absolutely envy.
In the window cleaning industry today, it's not how much you know about running your business, nor is it the product choices or equipment purchases that you make nor the employees that you hire that determine your income. It is how effective you are at marketing yourself, your company and your services, that creates the balance in your bank account. The unhappy fact is that you can be the VERY best at what you do, provide the very best equipment, the cleanest trucks and have the best customer service in the industry, AND STILL STARVE TO DEATH if you cannot affordably and efficiently attract a steady stream of good new business, and keep the customers that you already have. In my Window Washing Wealth Marketing Modules, I break down in finite detail how to create a Faucet of Profit, which in turn becomes a Marketing Dial for a never-ending flow of leads. You MUST have a marketing arsenal. Most window cleaning companies don’t and greatly limit their potential for true success.
You need great marketing to protect your customers from poachers. And, you must have great marketing to affordably keep new work coming in. Truth is, marketing is the single most important function in your business. And, as a successful business owner, your best chance to succeed is to become your own "Master Marketing Director".
Why would you leave the most critical function of your business up to someone else? If you truly believed that your number one duty as a business owner is to "market your business", would your daily agenda change? You may even be saying right now, "but Jim, I do handle all of the marketing for my company and it is a priority". My response to you in return would be "How much of your time are you truly devoting to "high value" marketing activities'? Now I'm not talking about taking a half hour to meet with an advertising rep or making time to drop your latest flyer off at the print shop. I'm talking about the kind of activities that go into becoming a true marketing oriented company.Here are some activities that you should consider high priority in conjunction with what you are learning here:
- Studying the marketing and strategies used by your competitors. Know your market. Know your competitors.
- Networking with other business owners who service the same clients as you do. What do they do that is different or better that you can learn from.
- Creating programs to stimulate referrals from your existing clients. Writing sales letters or advertising to promote new and different services to your client base.
- Creating new promotional strategies to acquire new clients. These last two are always a work in progress.
- Testing your ads and marketing campaigns to try and improve the response rates.
- Developing new ways to differentiate your company from your competitors.
- Writing articles for newspapers and magazines and a company newsletter. (I just had 2 of my staff mentioned in a local magazine two different times, keeping my company name and services “out there” in the community.
- Attending mastermind or networking meetings.
- Attending marketing conferences or seminars like the IWCA and Huge Conventions.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a window cleaning business owner is to be fooled into thinking that you are in the business of cleaning windows and glass. That is not the case. YOU are in the business of MARKETING your services. The quicker this realization hits you, the quicker you can start to build the business of your dreams. Great marketing can make up for a whole lot of operational flaws in your business...but not visa-versa.
In this day and age, you must have a website. Most consumers are going to search for your services through a search engine before they ever communicate with you directly. If you don’t have a website, you may lose a potential customer to a competitor who does. On top of that, a website can be a direct line of communication between you and a potential customer.
Maybe you think creating a website will be too hard, or too expensive. It doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Dozens of companies have stepped forward to make website creation easier and more affordable. You can have a decent, effective website for less than $400. If you can set up an answering machine, you can learn how to edit your website yourself, too. Companies like Wix, GoDaddy, Weebly, Squarespace and many, many more can help.
According to the non-profit organization SCORE, “Just 51% of small businesses have websites”. You read that right. Nearly half of all small businesses in the United States don’t have a website.
Some business owners think they don’t need a website because they are a local business. However, 97% of consumers search online for products & services, and more than half of searches are local. People will (or won’t) find your business online before they ever go (or don’t go) to your business. Bottom line, you need a website.
Not having a website is probably one of the biggest mistakes a business can make. Second to that is having a bad website. One of the first things that a potential customer does when needing a product or service is research the various businesses online.Customers typically want to know 3 things about a business:
- contact information
By not having a website at all, their first impression might be that the business is fly-by-night. A similar impression is made if the business has a bad website. Customers want to hire professionals, so when they find that a business has a bad or unprofessional website, it gives them the impression that the business is also unprofessional.
A bad website might also have additional pitfalls that irritate the customer, such as:
- No useful information about products or services offered.
- Slow page loads – web pages should load in less than 1 second.
- Unintuitive or broken navigation – if the navigation does not work properly, customers will leave the website really quickly.
- Malware on pages – websites these days are constantly being hacked and infected with malware. Malware placed on websites then further infects visitor pc’s.
- Out-of-date information.
- Broken links/pages not found.
- Website errors.
So how does one go about creating a great website and avoiding the pitfalls? The simplest and most affordable way is to:
- Choose a managed website platform that automatically takes care of the nitty gritty website tasks for you and which is optimized for the search engines. One such platform is morphogine.com. For a small monthly fee, they provide most - if not all - of the web services and functionality that a business might need for their website, such as: anti-hacker protection, content management, e-commerce (online and mobile payments), email marketing, social media integration, website and email hosting.
- Choose a top website developer with a track record for developing websites for window cleaning businesses. One such developer is Digital Trooper Inc. Find out more at digitaltrooper.com.
Your window cleaning website should include things like:
- Before and after photos/videos of your work - a picture is worth a thousand words.
- List services and provide as much detail about each service as possible.
- List the areas that you serve and hours of operation.
- Testimonials from customers.
- Contact information and social media icons should be easily accessible.
- A “frequently asked questions” page.
- If you have any awards or accreditations, add those to the website footer.
- The navigation should be intuitive, easily accessible, and be no more than “2 clicks” to get to content.
- Include proof of liability insurance – this puts customers’ minds at ease, knowing that you have insurance should something go wrong.
- Compelling headline to get viewer’s attention vs. just a logo.
One example of using the Morphogine™ platform and Digital Trooper Inc., is my website SqueegeePros.com. My website has dominated the window cleaning market in Charlotte NC for the past several years, constantly ranking in the top 3 positions in the search engines. Have a look at my website for an example of quick access to services offered, pricing, testimonials, proof of liability insurance, FAQ’s, customer surveys, etc. And the USP’s we have talked about in Marketing Mistake #1. Not sure which way to turn with your marketing? Click Here for window cleaning specific business building ideas.
I’m no expert at SEO, so I asked my internet specialist Fred from Mouse and Man to contribute to this part of the article. I’ve been using Mouse and Man for many years and as a result tied in with Digital Trooper, we dominate my area on google. So, in Fred’s words…
Why is SEO important to the marketing success of a window cleaning company?
First off let’s define what SEO is before we explain how it can be used to better your window cleaning company. According to Google, SEO is “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”
Many window cleaning company owners claim to think they know what SEO is however when you evaluate the merits of this definition above, few do. The goal of this post is to change this.
Most often when folks reach out to my company, Mouse and Man, they start with something similar to this, “I want to get to the top of ‘The Google’ when people search for [favorite window cleaning search phrase] in [insert their hometown].”I respond with something like (and with a semi-smart-alec tone): “Why?”
- Herein lies the question, what are your motives to get SEO?
- Do you just want to get to the top?
- Is your boss saying that “We need to be there when our customers are searching for us!”?
- Is this part of a larger corporate initiative to attain a new KPI?
- Do you want to grow your leads?
- Do you want grow your profits?
- Do you want to sell your business soon?