Advertising and marketing for your pressure washing business doesn’t have to be complicated…
But it isn’t as easy as printing off a couple of business cards, waiting for the phones to ring and calling it a day.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be doing something active to grow my business instead of just waiting on word of mouth.
Like anything else, marketing your pressure washing business will take some work. But if you do it right, you can build a real business that will continue to grow year after year.
Maybe even one that you can pass down to the next generation.
We’ve got X NUMBER of techniques that you can implement to grow your business with a mix of online and offline methods.
But a quick word to the wise, don’t get overwhelmed with this list or too eager and try to do them all at once. You’re much better off picking one or two, getting good at them, and then move on to the next.
Your other option is to hire a professional to tackle a few them.
Either way, let’s get started.
1) Use Craiglist
Stay with me here…
I know Craiglist sometimes gets a bad rap for spammers, scammers, and junk.
But I’ve worked with MANY pressure washing professionals who swear by Craiglist for their marketing. Especially if you’re just getting started as a one-man show Craiglist can be a great way to pick up a few jobs and start getting the referral train moving.
But even if you’re already established, it’s an easy way to bring in a few more jobs.
It most cities, it’s about $5 to post your service and you’ll have to keep up with it every couple of days depending on the competition.
Here are a couple of best practices for writing your ads:
- Remember, Craiglist is like a search engine. Make sure you use keywords like “pressure washing” and “power washing” in your post title.
- Additionally, list your services in a bulleted list. You don’t want to be spammy but you want to make sure that if someone searches for “graffiti removal” or “oil stain removal” you’re showing up.
- Link back to your website, brand, and your insurance. There’s a lot of fly by night Home Depot rental warriors on Craigslist and all these things will help you stand out as a professional.
- Pictures of you and your team if you have them. Otherwise, pictures of your work.
2) Facebook Ads
Yep, you can make a killing with Facebook Ads.
But a lot of people mess this up.
So before you even think about running a campaign you’ve got to have two things ready:
- You’re going to need pictures. This is social media so ideally you’ve got a handful of photos of you and your team at work.
- You’re going to need an offer that makes someone want to stop what they’re doing and click.
- You need to know how much you can pay per lead. “As little as possible” isn’t good enough here.
So how do Facebook Ads work?
The important thing to remember is that unlike advertising with Google search where someone has raised their hand to say, “Hey, I’m looking for pressure washing” you’ve got to interrupt someone who was scrolling their feed and get them to take action.
That’s why a great offer is so important and that’s where so many people mess up.
So what makes a great pressure washing offer?
First off, It needs to be instantly understandable and extremely simple. Remember, your ad is one of many that your potential client is seeing. They need to instantly understand what your offer is and why it’s worth their time.
Next, you need an offer that’s irresistible to your target audience.
Not sure how to figure that?
Well, if it makes you a little uncomfortable then we’re probably on the right track.
Offers usually fall into one of three categories:
- A value add-on where you throw in an additional service at no extra cost. Ideally, you keep it closely related to your core service but something like a free gutter cleaning with a house washing could work.
- A percentage discount or flat dollar cut. In order for this to work, it’s got to be perceived as a significant discount ($5 off a house wash isn’t going to cut it).
- A completely free service. With this approach, your job is to upsell the client without being annoying.
You might be wondering, “Can’t I just boost a post or something without all this offer stuff?”
Yes, but your cost per lead is going to be much higher. Usually that means the money you save from avoiding a free offer just goes straight to Facebook in the form of more ad spend.
The goal of this article isn’t to walk you through the nitty-gritty of navigating the Facebook Ads platform (check out this article for that) and there’s a lot to consider in terms of landing pages and lead nurturing.
But if you want to keep things simple, you’ll want to use the Facebook Ads Lead Objective which allows you collect client information right from Facebook. This saves you time and money since you don’t need a website.
If you’d prefer to have a professional handle this part of your pressure washing marketing you can always drop a quick application to see if we’re a good fit to work together.
3) Client Referrals
You already know that referrals are some of the best leads you can get your hands on.
But how do you get more of them?
All you have to do is ask.
That’s the most important part.
You don’t need a complicated points system with layers of tracking. You just need to make sure you ask.
Now if you want to add an incentive that can make asking either but usually it isn’t to be a major motivation to your client unless you’re giving away something really juicy.
But I’m guessing your clients aren’t going to be motivated by a $10 coupon.
Instead, they’re going to be a lot more motivated by the awesome work you did and the price you did it for.
Focus on that and make it a part of your process after completing more than one job for a client.
4) Google Ads
Google Ads lets you skip the line and get your business showing up at the top of search results.
This is huge.
Imagine having the ability to show up when someone types, “pressure washing service near me”.
The problem is, most people are instead showing up for, “pressure washer rental near me.”
They’ve got their keywords all messed and then they write off the whole platform.
And they end up missing out on a huge source of high-quality pressure washing leads.
But most of the time, this is an issue of a powerful tool just being used incorrectly.
What if a client said to you, “I don’t want to hire a pressure washer to clean my home. The last time I did that, they broke a window.”
Sound like a fair assessment?
How Google Ads Work
Here’s the quick overview of how Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) works:
- You tell Google which keywords you’re willing show up for and which ones you’re not (like in our pressure washing service vs pressure washer rental example).
- You tell Google how much you’ll pay per click.
- You tell Google where you want someone to go after they click.
Well, it can be.
But like a lot of things, the devil is in the details.
How Most People Lose Money With Google Ads
One of the worst things you can do is use Google Ads Express. This is a version of Google Ads where you trust Google to make all the decisions for you.
Remember, Google gets paid per click.
Not per call and certainly not per job.
With Express, they’re making sure you show up for just about anything pressure washing related and a lot of these searches aren’t ever going to turn into a job.
Usually you can fix this by adding what are called negative keywords which tell Google what you don’t want to show up for.
One of the standard ones for pressure washing campaigns is the word “rental” so that anytime someone is trying to rent a rig you make sure you don’t show up.
But with Express…you don’t get the option of adding negative keywords at all.
So the number one way I see pressure washers waste money with Google Ads is by noting using negative keywords.
Either with the full version or handing over all the control to Google with Express.
Even with a horrible website, you’ve got a good chance of generating a call if you show up when someone searches for “pressure washer near me.”
But with the best website you’ve got no chance of converting someone who wants to rent equipment, right?
What Can You Do About It?
Drop Express and make sure you’re using negative keywords. Google Keyword planner is a great source of coming up with new negative keyword ideas.
If you need a hand, I offer free account audits for anyone already Google Ads. I’m happy to take a quick look, just drop me a line.
5) Networking With Local Pros
Networking with local professionals is all about creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
Usually this means offering an amazing price for people like realtors and property managers or sending referrals to other service providers. Either way, everyone wins.
So who should you be reaching out to?
Cleaning Industry Professionals
If someone is hiring you for an exterior house washing there’s a good chance they’re also a great client for an interior cleaning company…and vice versa.
If you do windows it’s even better since most house cleaning companies don’t do window cleaning (certainly not exterior ones) but are regularly asked about it.
A lead exchange is pretty simple here.
Pressure washing, painting and staining have a natural synergy. If you’re not already offering staining or painting then you should really consider finding a painter to send leads to. They’ll also have plenty of opportunity to send clients your way.
Realtors, Property Managers and Other Housing Professionals
This is where you might need to get competitive on pricing in order to form a valuable relationship.
But since these types of professionals will have a greater need for pressure washing than other clients what you lose in price per job you can make up for in volume.
For whatever reason, realtors always seem to need a rush job so if you’re able to offer a quick turn around or squeeze them in you can get an edge on the competition.
How To Network
Okay, so how the heck do you find people to share leads or make deals with?
You’ve got a couple options.
Join A Network Group
The most obvious option is a network group. These are all over the place and usually there’s a small monthly fee to join. Some groups are very aggressive with the lead sharing requirements which can be good for you- especially if you’re already established.
The problem with these groups is that they can be really hit or miss. So before you commit to anything, sit in on a meeting and get a feel for the group.
The more efficient and targeted route is to simply reach out to specific people that you’re trying to network with.
If you’re smooth on the phone (or your ready to practice your pitch) you can always cold call. Most business owners aren’t going to be upset hearing about a lead exchange with a fellow local business so get that out of the way first.
“Hey, my name is Joe with ABC Pressure Washing Company in Your City and we’re looking for a great house cleaning company to refer to when our clients ask. I saw your great reviews online and wanted to see if you’re already working with a pressure washing company?”
The goal here is to identify yourself as an ally and fellow local professional as quickly as possible. Then hit them with a compliment and start the ask from there.
If you don’t want to cold call you can also email or use Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger will usually connect you to the business owner directly.
6) Door Hangers and Direct Mail
While door hangers and direct mail are different, they’re similar enough we’re doing to combine them here.
Remember what we said about Facebook being a form of interrupt marketing?
Well, the same thing applies here.
So if you want to get the most out of your advertising dollar, you need to have a strong offer that compels people to take action. If you need a refreshing on a great offer, check out the Facebook Ads section above.
Once you’ve got your offer and your printed material you need to figure out how you’re going to use it.
You’ve got a couple of options.
The “In the Neighborhood” Approach
Keep a few door hangers in your work vehicles and anytime you’re completing a pressure washing job in a desirable neighborhood have a few of your guys leave some door hangers in the area.
Especially within view of your team working since this instantly creates “social proof.”
You know, the whole keeping up with Jones’ thing.
This approach is nice because you’re not going out of your way to canvas and area instead it’s a way to double down on where you and you’re team is already working.
The “Income Targeted”
Your other option is to target specific zip codes based on income or other demographics whether you’ve done jobs there or not.
If you’re just getting started, you can drop these hangers yourself and income information per zip is readily available with a Google search. Direct mail providers will obviously handle the mailing side of things.
Doubling Down With Facebook
You typically need to get in front of someone multiple times before they buy.
The exact number is all over the place, but we can all agree that if you can stay top of mind you’ve got a much better chance of getting the client to to pick up the phone and schedule pressure washing.
You can combine your door hanging efforts with Facebook Ads to stay top of mind on multiple channels. This is especially easy with the zip code targeting options. Just match the same zips you used for your direct mail to your Facebook Ads and you’re good to go.
Now you’re showing up in front your ideal clients multiple times and on multiple channels.
Search engine optimization or SEO is the art and science of improving your website’s rank in Google.
Is it possible to get the number one spot?
But depending on your location and targeted keywords it isn’t always a fast (or cheap) process.
For example, you can imagine that getting the number one spot for pressure washing near me in a town of 1,000 people is going to be easier than getting the spot in New York City.
On top of that, showing up in the #1 spot for “pressure washing services for vinyl siding homes built after 2001” is going to be a lot easier to secure than “pressure washing”
SEO is a big subject with a lot of just plain BS artists.
But if you connect with a solid provider and secure the number one spot it’s going to give you the highest return of ANY marketing effort.
However, SEO should never be your first marketing channel. It takes time and money.
In many cases, you might not see any results for several months.
Email marketing is one of the most effective and one of the most often overlooked forms of pressure washing marketing.
Like so many things in the online world, the whole thing just gets overcomplicated. To be successful with email marketing, you don’t need to be sending a newsletter every three days or coming up with creative content every week.
The first thing you need to do is start collecting emails!
I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of business owners who simply fail to collect email in any reliable way. That’s leaving easy money on the table.
If you’re a smaller operation you can collect this information manually if you’re a larger pressure washing company with CRM integration should be even easier.
Once you’ve got a system for collecting emails, get them into a platform like MailChimp. MailChimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers and very affordable even after that.
Now once every 30 to 60 days send an email to your customers with a new offer. This is especially easy if you’re offering things like gutter cleaning and window cleaning on top of pressure washing.
You can also use this list to branch out as needed. For example, let’s say you decide to take on snow removal jobs in the winter.
Let your list know.
Or maybe you just picked up a new water fed pole and you want to secure some window jobs.
Send out an offer to your list.
Or how about that new referral program you just launched?
You get the idea.
You probably already noticed that these methods can really start to work together once you’ve got a few of them working.
For example, if you’re generating new pressure washing companies with Facebook and door hangers, you’re also getting more clients on your email list AND more referrals.
Now, the next time your announce your new special or spring launch you’ve got a couple thousand people who already know you and your brand that are ready to go.
But don’t start thinking you need to launch all of these at once. At least not without some help.
Obviously, you want to start with something that directly generates leads like Google Ads, Facebook Ads or Craigslist. From there, you can build up some reviews and start working on your referral and email game.
If you need help along the way, we specialize in producing high-quality (and of course exclusive) pressure washing leads using Google. You can click here to check out the application and see if we’re a good fit.