Is content marketing necessary for house cleaners?
Content marketing is the lifeblood of a house cleaning business. Wait! Don’t throw rocks. I can hear you say you’re a house cleaner or a maid. You’re not a blogger. You are the business. You have no employees. You have no marketing team. You have no marketing budget. How on earth are you supposed to grow your cleaning business? And what the heck does content marketing have to do with house cleaning?
Marketing for house cleaners traditionally means a bit of advertising and some referrals. You can spend money on advertising, and get listed in a few directories like Yelp, Angie’s List and Yext. Sure, that’s fine.
The referral part is tricky, because you need business before you can get referrals. Once you have referrals you will have more business.
But once you have more business you will need to hire more people. So what does any of that have to do with content marketing?
If your goal is to clean houses part time, and never expand your business, then move on to another blog. This will only help you if you are growing a business and building an empire.
What is content marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately drive profitable customer action.”
That’s a mouthful, but think of this, we live in the information age. People are replacing TV ads with YouTube videos. Billboards with websites, brochures with blogs. Business cards with pins and posts and tweets.
Think of the word advocate – it is a mixture of advertise and educate. The definition of the word advocate is a person who publicly recommends or supports an idea. You are an advocate for your product or service.
As a house cleaner who wants to grow your business, you have to advocate where the people are. And the people are looking at their smart phones. Are they going to find you there?
With one click on a microphone button on my iPhone, I can ask Siri to find me a house cleaner. Is she going to find you?
Content marketing is you providing valuable content to your buyers. You have to advocate your message on the various platforms where your buyers hang out.
Determine your buyer to determine your content
Who is your buyer? Once you know what you are selling, it’s easy to determine your buyer. Once you determine your buyer, you can determine your content. Once you determine your content, you can determine your platform.
I had a conversation this morning with a solo house cleaner. She cleans homes, apartments, offices, schools, garages and recreational vehicles. How the heck are you going to market to that audience? That was her question to me, wanted me to find a simple solution.
Here’s the simple solution: Clean garages. That is a specific, under serviced market. You know who the buyers are? They are home owners with garages.
Now we know what we’re selling, and we know who the buyer is. Want to know what what content is? Garage cleaning tips and techniques.
Can you guess what the platforms for that message might be? If you said a Website, with a blog you would be correct. If you repackaged your content to reach the rest of your buyers, and you said Facebook you would be correct. Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Amazon, Ebay, Quora, Snapchat, Periscope, Google+ – yes, you get the point. There are so many ways you could reach your target audience for garage cleaning.
All those avenues of advocating garage cleaning would boost your value to the marketplace.
When I ask Siri today to find me a person who cleans garages in my neighborhood you know what she told me?
How cool would it be if I asked that question, and your name and business came up? Right now, there is no garage cleaning expert in my neighborhood. None. Nada. Zapo. Zilch. The market is wide open.
Guess what? At this exact moment, I really need my garage cleaned and organized. I happen to know that many of my neighbors also need garage organization and cleaning.
How can a house cleaner make the most of content marketing?
Making the most of content marketing comes down to budgeting. Budgeting your time, and resources, and getting the biggest bang for your buck.
If you are going to spend the time to write a blog, host it on your company website. Now add an awesome picture that relates to your blog. Pin the image to Pinterest from your company website. This way, you get two uses from your effort. Maybe three or four, keep going. And you just created movement from your company website. Movement is where you link one page to another, and move people from one to the other when they click your link. Movement should always start at your website and move outward.
Movement helps SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is important because that’s how Siri finds you and sends you to my phone when I ask for help.
If your business is not SEO friendly, Siri (or Alexa) will never find you, and neither will your buyers.
How is content marketing different than social media?
Social media by it’s name, is media that is social. It’s the please “pray for my grandmum who is ill”, and “check out this killer lasagna I had for dinner.” It’s “happy birthday” to the friend you forgot about, until Facebook reminds you.
Content marketing is social media with a purpose, targeted to your buyer. Your message should be clear, and cohesive across the various social media platforms. Even before you add the content, your message should be crystal clear. Who are you? What do you do? Why should I care? And how can I hire you?
Example: I am Angela Brown, I clean garages, you care because your garage needs cleaning. You can hire me now at: phone, email, Facebook etc. Or, you can follow my garage cleaning tips, until you’re ready to hire me, at Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin… you get the point. Everything you post should remind people of those 4 things – how many different creative ways can you remind them?
Your image should brand your content
Make your profile picture clean and snappy. Imagine you are going to give a speech to a room full of your perfect buyers. Your profile picture is the picture you will give the event planner for the big poster he is going to make to promote your speech. (He is not really going to make a poster, and you’re not really going to give a speech.) But if you were, this is the photo you want to use for ALL your social media marketing. Your picture has to make me believe that you do what you say you do. Your profile picture lends credibility to all the content you are about to share.
Here’s a tip: No background. Make it so when your profile picture shrinks to the size of a tiny avatar, we can clearly see your face and know it’s you.
If somebody likes your tips on Facebook, and they go to Twitter and there are a kabillion Angela Brown’s – how will they find you? Your picture has to be the same, so they know you’re the person they are looking for.
Is content marketing more important than social media?
Yes. Social media without direction, is a colossal waste of time. You will use content marketing for things to talk about on social media. Content marketing bridges the gap in your sales pitch, your blogs, and your email list. Advocating your expertise on social media allows you to share pins, posts, chats and tweets while building SEO and branding your business.
Does everything you post have to be content marketing?
No, but it needs to be cohesive with your brand. If you are a house cleaner, your buyers believe in clean homes. Surrounding topics you might share in casual social media conversations include clean living. Organization, time management, health and wellness, inspirational quotes. All these things are cohesive with your brand.
If you don’t want to get too far off your topic, find other people you can partner with and share their ideas.
If you’re not a writer, how can you create content marketing?
Andrew Davis in his legendary book Brandscaping shows you how to partner with people on the edge of your expertise. Instead of you coming up with all the good ideas yourself, find people who do what you do and partner with them.
For example, if you are a house cleaner, you don’t have to spin your wheels writing a bunch of new blogs about cleaning windows. Instead, partner with window cleaning companies who have blogs of their own and share their blogs to your audience. Share blogs by carpet cleaners, and home organizers. Share tips on painting from painters.
Note: Make sure you give proper credit to the people whose information you share. If you re tweet a post, include the person’s @twitterhandle and if it is a blog, share their name and website link. You want to collaborate with industry partners, not alienate them.
If you are flat out no good at writing, grab your phone and make short “how to” videos on Periscope. Save your Periscope chats and post them to Facebook, Twitter or your website.
There so many ways to share content that will promote your brand for years to come.
What if you don’t have time for content marketing?
Make time. If you are the business owner, you are responsible for marketing your business. Even if you’re doing okay today. When you first start your content marketing campaign you will be planting tiny seeds. You wont see any growth for a while. Still you have to nurture and care for the plants. And be consistent in your efforts. There will be metaphorical sun and rain in your content marketing forecast. And it all helps the growth and development of your brand. One day, you will realize you have a whole crop of growth, and you will need to hire help for the harvest.
But how sad if you don’t plant anything today, and hope that somewhere down the road there will be a harvest.
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