It is not necessary to spend gobs of money to promote your cleaning service business. To be effective, you just have to use modern tools and use them intelligently. In addition, some old-time methods work just as well today as they did 100 years ago. One of these time-tested ways is to distribute flyers door to door.
Old school marketing methods that still work.
To quickly get cleaning-business leads and start your business cash-flow, nothing works better than flyering. The trick is in where you flyer. Go directly to the source: the homes of your target customers. That's right. Be respectful, courteous, and friendly, but get in their faces! Let these people see, in no uncertain terms, the value of your service. They need you, and you need them.
Door to door
Be lawful. Be aware of the ordinances or laws that rule the hanging of flyers on doorknobs in your target city or neighborhood. This is your responsibility to find out, as a law-abiding citizen and business person.
Public bulletin boards
Hanging flyers from public bulletin boards is more diffused, yet less effective. It is more of a long-term branding method, to ensure that people see your name multiple times, which will improve the odds that they will call you the next time they need a service such as yours.
Design a decent-looking flyer, and make it distinct from your door-to-door flyer. Post it in local public spaces on bulletin boards. Prime locations are coffee shops, grocery stores and bookstores. Make your flyer stand out from the pack. Especially focus on real benefits to the potential client. Create multiple stubs which can be torn off from the body of the flyer, containing your company name and contact info.
A more radical approach, one which must be used with care and caution, is flyering cars parked in a lot or garage. I only mention this because I have seen it work so well. I'm not instructing anyone to do this, I'm only saying that people do it. The issue is whether or not it is a legal activity, since someone owns the parking lot, whether it is the city or a business, and their rules will apply.
It is much cheaper these days to issue a press release online. You can even write it yourself. They used to be prohibitively expensive, but now you can get good distribution for below $200. Many press release services will even teach you how to write one. This is a no-brainer, and will really help with the ranking of your cleaning business website as well. Make sure you optimize your press release for local media, and make sure to feature your website on it.
Cleaning business website
You must have a website for your cleaning service. Do not just throw one together using cheap-looking templates from VistaPrint or some similar service. You need a pro-quality website. This is important. You are going to feature your website on your flyers, press releases and online promotions. People are going to judge your business based on your website. How it looks, how well it works, and the quality of your text as well as the photos and other features they find there. It's like a business card on steroids, and you should not underestimate its value.
Get listed on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but do not depend on these social networking channels to do the work for you. These networks won't build the business you dream of. Generally speaking, they will only help with branding. Compared to direct marketing, their conversion rates are terribly low. Let's face it. People are not turning to Facebook to find services. You know why they go there: for fun and distraction. So, too, will you be, as your precious time gets sucked away by a void of nostalgia and endless trivia. I'm not anti-Facebook, but you get the point.
Use a modicum of self-discipline. Be seen on Facebook, but limit your posts to once a week, tops. Keep it helpful. No blatant promos. Where these services are going to help boost your business is in your marketing materials. People begin to get familiar with you, and conclude that you can be trusted. They will check on your page from time to time, and that action will assist your other efforts in direct marketing.
Spread the word any way you can!
Send a press release to local journalists, both print and broadcasting. Be bold. Ask to be interviewed and let your community know about your business and how it can benefit them. People who work at local news stations are constantly on the lookout for a story, so give them yours. Get a spot on local cable shows, radio, internet radio. Ask everyone you know to spread the word about your new service.
Attend business networking meetings and look up the business-oriented Meetup groups in your area. As a business owner, it is in your best interests to promote your service. Get creative about it. For example, you might invite other entrepreneurs in your community to participate in a business brunch, and each generate a list of leads for each other. Think outside the proverbial box. Be aware that especially as you navigate the start-up phase, the more you can do to promote your business, the better.