Best ways to market a carpet cleaning business

Any time you’re not being swarmed by customers walking through the doors of your carpet cleaning business is probably a time when you have a single thing in mind: marketing, marketing, marketing. And you’re right to – without proper marketing, your company simply can’t get to where you want it to be. My cousin asked me about his carpet cleaning and restoration business and how best to market it. He owns Boerne Carpet Cleaning Pros, in a small town just outside of San Antonio.

These days, the ways of marketing something are more abundant than ever which can make choosing the right methods hard, especially since many forms of marketing involve an investment on your part. To help you get the most out of your advertising budget, here are the pros and cons of some of the more popular methods.

Google AdWords

Pros: You’ll be at the top of the Google Search listing for any query you pick. Since Google is how you stand to attract the majority of your clients, this can be invaluable if you’re dealing with any amount of competition in your area.

Cons: AdWords campaigns are expensive more often than not, and involve a per-click way of paying Google for their troubles. This means that you’ll be charged whenever someone clicks on your ad regardless of conversion – this makes many consider AdWords a ‘necessary evil’ if their competition is making use of it.

Facebook ads

Pros: Facebook campaigns aren’t exactly as expensive as AdWords ones and are often manageable by even the smallest businesses. Facebook advertisement is a great way to reach a varied group of people, even more than you would with Google in many cases – as opposed to them having to search for your type of business to get a listing, Facebook users might see your ad during any part of their day and regardless of what they’re doing, potentially making them ‘realize’ that they could use some quality carpet cleaning.

Cons: While less expensive, Facebook uses a questionable ‘impression’ model of payment where you’re charged for each view. Many have complained about getting very little from Facebook ad campaigns as the people who saw their ads were uninterested, although you play a role in this when choosing your demographic.

Print

Pros: You’ll be in print! Many businesses find that no online advertisement can replace something tangible, and print is the way to do it. Having a printed add will resonate with the customer holding the paper and will make your carpet cleaning company seem more solid.

Cons: Print ads are going down, and they only appeal to a certain group of people – namely, those reading newspapers and magazines. Since lots of people use the internet to get their stories(especially younger ones), you’ll be missing on a lot of potential clients while still paying handsomely.

Groupons

Pros: Everyone likes a bargain, which is why Groupons aren’t going down without a fight, especially when paired with online integration. A groupon can serve as a great incentive for people to use your services for the first time and will also help spread the word about the quality of work you do.

Cons: A groupon means a discount – when talking carpet cleaning businesses, it essentially means part of your work will be done for free, so you’ll have to be careful with the amount of freebies. Other than that, groupons can sometimes make you seem as if you’re dying for customers, which isn’t a good look to have.

Is Angie’s list good for marketing a tree service?

Online business listings are more important than ever. It’s not just about having citations anymore – your ability to attract customers is directly related to the amount of positive and negative reviews you get online.

For better or for worse, you can no longer run a business while dismissing the internet. More and more of your clients will find you through the web, so it’s in your best interest to have your online profile neat and tidy.

Angie’s List is a fairly popular website for online listings that features user reviews for a variety of different businesses. It serves as a paid-for alternative to Yelp and similar sites. But is it good to market your tree service business with? I was asked by a friend of mine who owns Boerne Tree Service Pros (http://www.boernetreeservicepros.com).

What Angie can offer you

The website might sound as if it’s run by one woman with an interest in listings, but don’t be fooled – it’s a well-organized company that’s been in business for two decades. The advent of free listings and review sites has created quite a bit of competition for Angie’s List, yet it still remains quite popular, particularly for local businesses.

Why? For starters, Angie’s List is notably oriented towards helping the businesses fight bad feedback. If you know how Yelp works, you’ll know that a single bad review can cause a lot of harm. Anyone who’s been in business for a while knows that negative experiences with customers are sometimes unavoidable – everyone has their own temper, and sometimes there just isn’t any way to reach a common ground.

In the days past, if you had a dispute with an ornery customer, the worst you’d get from it would (usually) be that his or her immediate friends and family wouldn’t do business with you. These days, though, the person can go on Yelp and write up a storm even if you tried to do everything in your power to please them. They can even get the aforementioned friends and family to upvote their posts and make them seem more relevant.

Angie’s List tries to fight this by offering filters for negative feedback – on top of every reviewer needing verification, bad reviews will be discussed before publication in order to protect the companies involved. Angie’s List and its owners know the hardships of running a business and clearly have your best interests in mind – you won’t have to worry about undeserved negative feedback too much on this site.

If you’re running a local tree service business, keeping a good name is of utmost importance, and Angie’s List is a great way to do it. It’s not just the protection they offer to businesses – many would-be customers will still choose to read feedback on Angie’s List over its free alternatives as they will have a better guarantee that the reviewers are honest and of a sane mind. In short, if you’re looking to market yourself better through some positive feedback, create an Angie’s List profile and ask your customers to write a review there – it will likely help you a great deal in the future.

4 top marketers to follow on Twitter

Twitter has gotten some bad press recently as being the place for celebrities to make late-night politically incorrect updates. To those staying away from celebrity feeds and focusing on more relevant personalities, though, the site can provide a look into how some successful people think and operate.

Following marketing wizards on Twitter is a great way to get specific info pertaining to the mystical art of selling something. More than that, it will clue you in on the thought processes of these marketers – after all, marketing is all about figuring out how people think, so knowing how the best marketers do it can’t be all bad. Here are 4 top marketers to follow on Twitter to learn a thing or two and have fun doing it.

Guy Kawasaki: “Come on, what can someone named Guy Kawasaki teach me about marketing?” might be your first reaction, but don’t dismiss the man just yet. He used to be in charge of marketing Macintosh itself a few decades ago – considering the Mac’s status in present day, he must have done something right. A top marketer and executive, Kawasaki’s feed is updated extremely frequently and has lots of useful and amusing insights, from ways to simplify your photo editing to bringing attention to the cat with the cutest purr. Seriously.

Gary Vanerchuck: Garyvee wants you to crush it out there in the business world and is ready to help you do so with his Twitter updates. He’s an all-around expert on social media and will help you and your brand spread across it and gain a greater following. Unlike some other feeds, Vanerchuck’s is notably on-point – most of his updates are related to business or marketing in some way(like, for example, informing you about new episodes of his podcast), meaning you’ll rarely find yourself wasting time on his Twitter.

Rand Fishkin: Founder of a popular marketing software and online community called Moz(not to be confused with Mozilla), Fishkin knows just about everything there is about SEO and getting search engines to like you. If you’re not too keen on paying for his software to gain more knowledge, you’ll have to make do with his feed – Fishkin’s ‘About Me’ on Twitter proudly states he delivers 30-40 updates weekly, and he does. Most of them are either detailed insights into the world of marketing and running a business or offer some perspective you haven’t yet thought of.

Jay Baer: A passionate business speaker, Baer’s work focuses on getting more customers by increasing your rate of conversion. His advice also helps you keep your current clientele by not alienating them while still making meaningful strides to where you want to be. Baer’s Twitter is chock-full of marketing and SEO information and is almost entirely devoid of trivial or non-business-related Tweets. Despite being technical, his business updates are easy to read and tackle important issues everyone can relate to, like getting more clicks or improving the efficiency of your customer support. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to him talk, his frequently-updated Twitter is the next best thing.

5 top marketing blogs to follow

If you’re a business owner who likes to read and would like to market your brand better, you’re in luck: there’s a wealth of free information online that can help you go from ‘unknown’ to ‘full schedule’. As is always the case, however, sifting through the content and finding the most relevant bits can be problematic. To help you accomplish this, here are 5 top marketing blogs every business owner should bookmark and check at least once a week to learn from the best.

violetanedkova.com/blog: A one-woman effort to inspire and teach as many people as possible, Nedkova’s blog is full of all sorts of info priceless to every business owner regardless of their level. Her blog is notably a bit eclectic and doesn’t follow a particular posting schedule or group of subjects (although it’s all generally business-related). In one post, she might be telling you how to improve your SEO ranking, and in the next, she might be patting you on the back and urging you to push forward even if you have loads of debt.

blog.getvero.com: Email marketing is a huge part of every decent business strategy, but learning how to not overdo it can be tricky. Vero is here to help with that – this blog focuses on everything email and marketing-related and will help you keep people informed without coming off as intrusive or downright spammy. From mailing new offers in tasteful ways to creating a relevant newsletter, Vero will help you treat your mailing list well.

radius.com/blog: If you’d like to gain insight on a variety of business topics without a focus on any particular niche, Radius is a good bet. The slick and stylish website features a ton of information about how successful businesses market themselves and why they do what they do. In particular, many of the posts on Radius focus on proper analysis and explanation of various business-related data.

neilpatel.com/blog: If you haven’t heard of him, you probably weren’t paying attention: Neil Patel is an entrepreneur specializing in marketing and getting organic traffic. His blog will motivate you to work harder as you are presented with Patel’s undeniable results without it ever feeling as if he’s boasting. His posts are very reader-friendly, void of a dull and uninterested tone many blogs suffer from, but also have no shortage of insights from some of the leaders in the biz. With Patel, you don’t have to worry about shenanigans – from clear steps to building a multi-million dollar business or getting 100,000 visitors to neuroscience-based marketing, you’ll learn as much as you would from an expensive marketing course.

ryanholiday.net: By the time Ryan was 27, he was already an accomplished marketing director for a big brand and wrote several well-received books, proving he has the drive to match the talent. If you’re not one for books, Holiday’s blog is frequently updated and tackles a variety of subjects that often come down to the same thing – doing more in less time. Considering his credentials, it’s safe to say he knows what he’s talking about.