Follow Us

Soap Warehouse Blog

Building Success in Twenty Minutes a Day.

Posted by Trey Miller on Wed, Jan 02, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

Now twenty minutes a day does not sound like much and I am sure you hear advertising claims every day asking you to spend just 20 minutes a day to achieve some goal like; weight loss, firmer abs, more money, etc. Well in a way I too will be promising you more money, because it has been proven that if a small business spends over 15 minutes each day on marketing they will increase their revenue significantly, more than if they even focused this same amount of time in one lump, such as 90 minutes a week. The key is consistency and receptiveness.

First by spending time each day you will create a habit to take this small amount of time out of your day. Second if you are marketing more frequently the chances will increase dramatical that a likely consumer will try your business due to this fact.

Now if you think you can't very well do much in just 20 minutes, here are some ideas of what you can accomplish in this short amount of time.

Order new or additional business cards. Business cards are one of the least expensive, with the largest chance of ROI, of almost ANY marketing item. For the new year think about making a slight change to a card to help track the effectiveness of your card campaigns. For instance, have a card with a slightly different order of information, orientation, size or color imprint of your phone or web site address just for cards you give to current customers for referrals. Make a card with a different tag line you only give to Building Management or Realtors or plan to hand out at a show or event. Cards can be ordered very cheaply from places like Vistaprint.com so that you could have 4-5 different ones available to hand out at any time. Just be sure to keep the feel of the cards and your logo the same so that no customer is ever confused as to who you are and whom they are contacting.

Open a separate Facebook page for your business, away from your personal one. It takes very little time and is a newer option that will make you look more professional and make it easier to gain, interact and relate to your customers.

Even if you do not text, like I don't, open a Twitter account for your business. It takes just a few minutes to link it to your Facebook business account so that when you post on one it also appears on the other. You can also link posts to LinkedIn.

Have a LinkedIn account if you do a lot of B2B business. Since this is more of a business vs. only a personal social media, you will gain better business contacts and SEO with it with these types of customers.

Post often to your Facebook business page or Twitter. With help from programs like TweetDeck, you can spend the 20 minutes scheduling a week or more of posts at just one sitting and then do other things for your 20 minutes on the other days.

Make a blog post some where at least once a week. If you do not have a blog area on your own web site you should really think about making one, but if not you can still blog. Use the blog feature found at many of the industry on line forums, on LinkedIn and other web sites. As long as you are consistent with your tags and links back to your own site or Facebook business page this type of organic SEO will help and build over time.

Become a member, look for and answer consumer questions at web sites like Yahoo answers at http://answers.yahoo.com/ or www.ask.com/. You can look in the categories you want to be associated with to find questions you want to answer. Once you start answering and get likes to your answers you will build an on site reputation and can even have questions e-mailed to you to be answered. Being helpful with out looking for gain can bring you customers from your area.

Search for and buy a new or reliable give-a-way marketing item. There are some great sites out there that you can subscribe to for sales, product alerts and ideas for items. We use 4imprint.com a lot.

Send out a newsletter. It doesn't have to be long. Just make sure you are giving your customers some free tips, home help or advise, no sales pitch needs to be included. Mention up coming events you will be attending, like a home show, link to interesting sites your customers may enjoy, mention a certification class you took or industry event you attended. Once your open rates are up then the occasial sales offer will more likely be opened and acted on.

Send out a targeted e-mail for a specific reason or campaign. With a well segmented customer e-mail list, sending short targeted e-mails with messages or offers will take little time but can generate huge benefits. Once a month send all your customer's birthday message, customer anniversaries, off season offers etc.

If you do not already have a well segmented list, spend your 20 minutes at least once a week making some using the resources you have available, Quickbooks, Salesforce or other CMR software.

I hope you start spending your 20 minutes a day working on marketing for a profitable New Year.

Tags: Business, marketing, business cards, business plan, Newsletter, advertise, referral, e-mail

How to use Pinterest for your business.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 @ 10:49 AM

There are many articles, webinars and e-book kits out right now on how to use Pinterest to market and sell, but most are not for service business owners like pressure washers, they are for the retail business owners. In other words how to interest people in buying a product not a service.

So I will go over some basic information and tips on how you can use this fastest moving new social media to your benefit.

10 basic things to know about Pinterest and how it works.

1. You must be invited by a current Pinterest member to start a page. So if you do not already know someone you can't just go and start a page because you want to. So I am offering any Soap Warehouse patron a free in. Just call me with your e-mail and I will send you an invite, that simple, 1-800-762-7911. But for most of you just ask your wife she is probably already on it. Over 80% of Pinterest users are women, but don't let that bother you since women are the most likely the person who will call for pressure washing or at least put their husband up to calling.

2. Create your page in your business name, not your name. This separates you automatically to the viewer or visitor as a business and not just some guy that does this type of work on the side. For instance as of this printing there are only 5 "People" that have the words "Roof Cleaning" as part of their name. But only be that specific if one line of work is all you do. If not make separate boards for each type of work instead. And congratulations to AccuWash for being one of these five.

3. Once you post a new board it will be the first board seen on your page. Right now there is NO way to change this, so pre planning is key to how your page will be seen by new viewers. You can take the time to move an entire board back to the first position but it would take alot of work. You can not just repin a whole board like you can a single pin (discribed later). You will have to make a new board first and it can not have the same name as a board you already have. So if you want to use that same name you first have to go and change the currents boards name and then create the new board with the name you want.

4. You can change the titles of the boards that come standard with Pinterest and you many want to change all or at least some of them before you start adding new ones. Most computer screens will see the first 10 boards you post so best if you can keep everything you want to show case under or equal to that number. Or at least your business boards under that number. Have some fun boards also above the fold to hold and bring those new people to your listing. If all they see is boring business items they may click right back off you.

5. Once you pin to a board it also will keep shifting back or down as new items are added and there is nothing you can do about that either, other than repining, which I will discuss later on. And be sure once you have pinned something to open it back up by using the edit button and adding a link. This way you can direct people to where you found this item, to a page on your web site or to a landing page with a special offer or opportunity. Links can be vital.

6. As you pin to your boards it is also being pinned to the general main Pinterest page showing the most recent activity. So posting frequently keeps you in front of new people every time you post, who can then subscribe to one or more of your boards. Fun posts will draw them in and only having good content will keep them or have them follow one or all of your boards.

7. Make the most of the description section to exactly match what you are showing. That way the search will work the best for you.  For example if you list pressure washing or power washing in your description and then do a search for that you will get results with all the words, pressure and washing, which will give someone looking also a lot of laundry washing items as well. Adding more descriptions will shorten the list but may not help if the searcher does not think to use it. For example 'Roof cleaning' gives a good number of results. Switching it to 'cleaning roof' gives you the same results, Pinterest does not care what order they appear in the description just that the words do appear unless quotes are placed around them "Cleaning roof" then will only give one result while "roof cleaning" gives you back all those others. Add the word "pressure" and it will help by making more of the results of where you want to be. Also add the word "No" and it drops the number down to just a handful.

8. Make boards not just pins using key words. I could not believe that no one right now has a board named "Roof Cleaning" but AccuWash. The more interesting you make the pin post names the more likely it will be looked at. But don't be like Wnc Roof Cleaning, that is the name of their page but NONE of the 30 boards on that page have anything to do with the business. They are all fun boards. What a wasted opportuinty. The page has had some acitvity but no where can these visitors see who and what Wnc Roof Cleaning is!

9. Make Fun boards only about things you really care about and like, things that you think prospective customers care about and like as well. Do you have a passion for certain food, sport, activity. Or just make a board with a broad topic, places I have been, want to see, Bucket list items. These are the boards that will get people looking, liking and following you. Then maybe a few of them are in your area and will try your services. You can not expect to have all business boards and generate any type of traffic. And you want to only show things you really are interested in. Having a board on nails (the ones on your fingers) would not be a good choice but one on 30 minute or less meals or on grilling out could be.

10. Now I will mention the moving or repinning an item from low down on a board to place it back at the top. You will have to go first to the board the pin is now. Click to edit the board, then click to edit the pin you want to move. You can now repin this pin to the top of that board or add it to any other board. But if you do not want two of the same thing on one board you will then have to delete that pin that will still be in the lower position. This is also an easy way to run a promotion. Just change the offer and repin the photo and new offer to the top of the board you want. You might have a board just for Specials that can be always be first on your page.

I am not saying that Pinterest will bring you a ton of new business like a local Facebook or Google ad can from people who never knew you. But I am saying that having a Pinterest page will make you look like a more rounded and real person that others will want to do business with. And once you are a member of Pinterest, be sure to connect to as many of your current customers as possible. This way you can always be around them and noticed when they are on the site so they can easily think of you and refer you to their friends. And that is the best way to earn new business and it will almost be for free.

Tags: marketing, Social Media, referral, Pineterest

Leave more than just your good name behind after a service job.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Aug 11, 2010 @ 09:30 AM

I hear about or see almost everyday where satisfied customers can not find the contractor that provided a great job or service for them.

Take this posted last year in a forum at http://www.thegrimescene.com/ as an example:

“Mildewed in Morton Grove, IL

About 5 years ago I signed on to this forum as my mom needed her cedar deck and fence washed and sealed. I found some great people who thankfully advised me to stay away from sealmax and others and hooked me up with a great contractor. The guy did a wonderful job but moved to Florida--he gave me another name and we rolled on. Now, Mom needs her deck and fence done again in a big bad way and I can find no one. I am just looking for an honest worker who will do a superior job. I know workmanship should not come too cheap and I put attention to detail above all. Anyone out there that could steer me in the right direction? Chris”

Here is a customer that would love to find the same person he last used and was recommended but can not locate the information since it has been so long ago.

So how can you improve the chance that you will be contacted for follow up business, one, three even five or more years down the line?

1. Leave a card or collateral print pieces behind when you leave. This can be a nice flyer with a tear off business info card area to be placed in a Rolodex or passed on to a friend. Least effective unless person is a neat freak or a pack rat.

2. Leave a useful promotional item like a magnet, note holder clip, jar opener, or any thing that has the potential of staying around for a long time to keep your name in mind and in front of your customer. I have a jar opener that is over 20 years old from a local hardware store.

3. Leave a business card, sticker, magnet or laminated info card near or attached to the work that was done. And be sure to tell the customer that you have done this. Great way to be used again.

4. Follow up contact with the customer by e-mail or mail. Number one way to get repeat and referral business, have a referral program in place and use it.

I know that the third suggestion sounds strange but here is where I have seen it work.

Take a deck builder that staples laminated business cards to the underside of the decks he builds in a number of places, including top stair risers and the anchor board against the house etc. and tells the owner he did this. He knows later, if any repair or extra work needs to be done, that owner or even the following home owner has a good chance using it or finding out who built the deck, gazebo, fence etc. Plus leaving your name lets the home owner know you stand behind your work.

I know our electrician puts his magnet on the inside of our electric fuse panel door. Or the AC furnace man that leaves his sticker on the back of the AC unit or side of the furnace for an easy return call for service.

The fourth item is the reason that yearly or quarterly informational post cards and seasonal e-mails to former customers help retain these customers as future income or as part of a great referral business. You need to keep your name and business fresh in past customers minds with out irritating them by contacting too frequently.

Don't underestimate the impact of the great work you have already done in bringing you new and repeat business.

Tags: business cards, customer service, referral

Sign up for Newsletter by Email

Latest Posts

Posts by category