By Lee Burbidge
Let us assume you want to grow your residential window cleaning business. If you don’t because you have the income you want and you are happy where you are right now then move along, trust me, there is nothing to see here!
On the other hand, if you want to grow a BUSINESS, or if you are just starting out then listen up. There is a certain distinction that needs to be qualified right here and now. So that you can decide what you would like to aspire to.
Owning a business means just that. If you can leave it to run its self or if you spend your time managing that company, then you have a business. If it’s just you then you own a JOB (there is absolutely nothing wrong with that BTW). Sure you get better pay, you work on your own terms but you don’t get holiday or sickness pay; you have no employment rights, no responsibilities with all the liability. Plus, your BOSS is well – you, and he sucks when he is stuck in that demotivated cesspit with nothing driving him out. Oh yeah, I had a few days like that in my sole trader days. Mostly tho it was waking with the lack of motivation. It would take me until lunchtime, getting some jobs done, collecting some money before old Mr. Motivator was back.
It’s a JOB I owned back then, but I am deeply proud I did it – it lead to my business. Sometimes it felt to me like doing piecework. If you stop working, you don’t get paid. If a business owner stops working, he still gets paid.
Facebook Ads or Flyers?
Which do you do? Which is best? What is the ROI (return on investment) and what are other window cleaner’s experiences? What do people worry about or like about either one of these marketing streams?
Firstly if you have not got your chubby little business fingers in every pie going, then why not? You should be doing both and more! Your brand should compliment over a number of marketing streams and so you should defiantly be doing both Facebook ads and flyers at the same time.
Your business needs to try everything and anything going in order to establish what works for you and your business model. What works for you might not work for another business? Take flyer designs for example. To get this right may take tenacity and patience. Running and monitoring different flyer designs to establish the ones that work from the ones that do not.
Bob spent £21.00 on Facebook local ads and then spent £20.00 with a printing company on a 1000 A6 flyers. That’s a quarter of an A4 sheet of paper. Over the space of 10 days, he picked up 91 likes on Facebook and three actual orders. He only delivered 700 of his 1000 to homeowners and he picked up 10 orders. Don’y worry this part is not a memory test!
Based on this result the flyers won hands down it would seem. His Facebook stats showed 5579 people reached and 129 clicked. What does that say about Facebook Ads? What does that say about his flyers? Should he give up on Facebook? No. He should not. It was his first run. His flyer design was successful – he got lucky, he should do more of that, it seems to work. His Facebook Ad, however, needs another tweak, design, look.
Keep notes of changes you make clearly writing out what elements are working. Play around with Facebook filters too and try different target markets. Don’t give up, you are just getting started.
So what do other window cleaners think about Facebook Ads?
Some state that they have secured 90% of their business from Facebook Ads. Another window cleaner was more specific stating he spent £300 with an ROI of 5K that included gutter cleaning work, gutter clear out’s and conservatory roof cleans. All great headliners, but still some window cleaners are not convinced. Is it fear?
What are the potential fears?
Attracting time wasters and too many one-offs – So, you make clear your terms from the off start. Some window cleaner’s collect bank card details and charge the card 5 days after the window cleaning job has been carried out (UK). Your term to prevent time wasters should be an automatic charge to the card of £30.00 if the service is canceled which you have told them in advance about, within a 3 months cycle (3 cleans). You must structure your business to win. Winning means growing. In the US things work a little differently, you charge more per property, cleaned less frequently and payments are usually made to secure the booking.
Attracting bad reviews on your Facebook business page – Some window cleaners feel that Facebook Ads may open them up to customers leaving bad reviews leading to a drop in your star rating. After all, we do live in a world where it is far too easy for Mrs. Difficult to find your Facebook Page, leave a 1-star bad review because you missed a small speck of bug turd, or they didn’t like that twitch in your eye.
Personally, this has never happened to me by customers but another window cleaner has given my business page a 1-star rating out of spite. This also happened with our Window Cleaning Magazine Facebook page. Another spiteful act by a window cleaner not unhappy with the magazine but hateful on me personally for unconnected reasons. But if this does worry you, do not fear. You can switch off the review section and here is how you do it:
Go to your Facebook business page.
On the left hand, column look for ‘edit page’ and click this.
In the right-hand column, you will find ‘reviews’ on the list. Click on this and disable.
You’re done. Best of all you can uncheck it at any time. It will keep all your original star rating and reviews. They will still be there.
We asked Peter Artusa of All County Window Cleaning (NJ) about ‘bad reviews’ on Facebook and what his view was on this topic. His answer’s may surprise you.
PA: Reviews are a part of doing business. For the most part, we get great reviews. Last year we had, what I KNOW was a competitor and left us a terrible Google review. However, I always respond and I called him out on it. No harm no foul. Most people do not believe it when you have nothing but 5-star reviews.
We use a service that takes care of our 5-star reviews. But if someone does actually leave us a bad review on Facebook we always follow up with them immediately. I always post a response as soon as I receive a review whether good or bad. It is the cost of doing business.
This is great, I thought. Time to find out whether a multimillion-dollar company like Peter’s even bothers with Facebook Ads.
Turns out they do.
LB: How often do you run Facebook ads?
PA: I run ad’s when I feel fit. I am always running at least one to three ad’s per week during the season. But my frequency is also dictated by supply and demand. When we are really booked out and the wait is longer than 2 weeks then we will suspend. And at the beginning of the season or when I send out new cards and pricing I always follow up with a Facebook ad.
Editors note to the reader: Do you remember when we said earlier about your brand complimenting different marketing streams? Artusa has underscored a prime example of that, right here!
LB: How important is the target audience and what does it do for your Facebook campaign?
PA: We always target homeowners within our geographical area. The importance is critical. There is no reason to target clients in Florida when we are in NJ. This is done by pin drops and creating look-alike list to send to.
LB: Which ads work the best?
PA: I always try and use video. I put two out this morning. The video ads I make are from another website which allows me to edit them and add verbiage. Another successful ad I use are single image ads in which I ad verbiage, deals and or try and send out an important message. This type of ad I usually boost.
LB: What are your top 5 filters used on Facebook?
PA: Top 5 filters depend on whom we are going after. For standard residential, I use ‘homeowners’, ‘high-end purchases’. I use home values greater than $300,000.00, ‘home improvements’ and ‘non-renters’.
LB: What about the best time in the day to launch your Facebook Ad?
PA: The time of the day doesn’t matter to me. Your ads will appear in the news feed when your target audience is on Facebook. So the time of the day is irrelevant.
LB: Do you post ad’s on local Facebook buying groups?
PA: To post ad’s in groups is not how I do it. Facebook ads appear in the news feed. I will do a post in local groups by adding a video or simply just create a clever post. The ad’s do not run specifically for those groups.
LB: Do you have a Facebook referral scheme?
PA: No, we do not. I do offer a referral program to my customers but we mostly keep that to our actual customers and those are usually in print on our cards. Plus our customer service experts do mention that to all customers that book, call in and or schedule.
Facebook ads, flyers – as a growing business owner, you need to do it all. Peter Artusa talks about mailing out and following this up with a Facebook Ad. If done correctly this type of geo-marketing can increase your business and set you and your business on the upward slide to success.