“The Phones Are Dead:” Informed Web Content Reviews a Carpet Cleaner’s Digital Marketing

When Carpet Cleaner Jake asked me to take a look at his digital marketing for his Massachusetts small business, I reviewed his website, email newsletter, social media and blog. He told me he had “done” SEO, video, Facebook and blogging, but still, “the phones are dead.” He sounded dismayed. This answer should help you understand what the typical small business needs today to create a robust client pipeline. I go first go to what assets already Jake has to leverage. 

Dear Jake,
So, you are mobile optimized. Yay!  (Readers: Take Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to see if your website renders well on smartphones.)
 
Website visitors need enough to determine whether you’re competent, honest and affordable in less than 1/2 second. Sounds crazy, but you can do it. Here’s how: 
 
You need to leverage your excellent reviews: 4.7 on Google Plus, 5 on Yelp (very tough) 5 of FB. Use these!  Of course, this means re-designing your website to some extent to get that information on the top of the page. Here are the icons you need:
 

I think there’s another that says top rated or something since you didn’t quite get 5 stars on Google. 

 
When website viewers see these, they can click and read your reviews right away. The image is connected to your review page on those platforms. 
Where are your “trust icons?”  Bonded, insured, etc. Are you a member of the Clean Rug Institute or something?
 
How many years serving Peabody and surrounding areas?
 
You look like a tough guy and need a new photo of you with the family (little kids?) or with kittens, no kidding. Get a friend with a nice camera to take a semi-pro shot. Borrow some kids or pets if you don’t have any. Also, wear a bright white shirt. Call yourself, the Italian/Greek/Lebanese/Whatever “Mr. Clean.” (Readers: I’m suggesting this because this man is big and bald, so may as well leverage what he has. Right now, he has a photo of himself in a somewhat ratty sweatshirt.) These days, people want to connect one-on-one with people. Your attire in your photo doesn’t reflect someone obsessed with cleanliness.  
 
Your videos are generic. I bet you bought them from the Carpet and Rug institute. They aren’t helping you. A video of you going into a difficult house and showing before and after is a much better strategy. VIDEOS DO NOT NEED TO BE SLICK THESE DAYS. In fact, it’s better if they’re not.
 
Tell a funny story of how you went to a house that was so covered in dog crap, terds were falling off of other terds (another carpet cleaner actually told me this happened to him). If you can be funny and kind of droll and resigned, all the better. I suspect you’re more gentle than you look. You sound very nice and sincere on the phone. That will come across on your homemade videos. Start a video channel saying, “You think YOUR carpet’s dirty? Get a load of this in Peabody MA” or Lynn or Danvers, MA. Make sure to convey the attitude that no amount of dirt and grime intimidates you. It’s no big deal. You can take the video without revealing the client’s name. Not slander or libel. In doing this, you familiarize yourself with your audience and show that you can clean anything. In your videos, say that, “the client was terrified I’d never get this out, but this isn’t a problem because I just. . . . ”  
 
You need a testimonials tab and list them there. 
 
Most of all, I recommend kicking Boston out of your SEO. You have plenty of biz opportunity in:
 
Peabody pop 52,000
Danvers  pop 26k
Salem     pop 45k
Beverly   pop 40k
Lynn       pop 91k
m-head   pop 19k
 
The thing is each and every one of these towns needs a page devoted to THEM. Separate pages for each. You have one page collecting all of these towns. Look how this Kleanrite does it out here in San Diego. 
 
 
They don’t just say on ONE home page, carpet cleaning in Rancho Bernardo, Poway, San Diego. . . 
 
Best to promote Peabody first as that’s where your address is and Google will take note of that. 
 
Your Facebook page and blog haven’t been updated since February. If you have a list of email addresses, reach out and tell people you’re starting a bi-monthly email newsletter with cleaning tips. Ask them to sign up. Facebook doesn’t come close to the ROI that the email newsletter or SEO deliver. Use it for brand awareness and to get customers to sign up for the email newsletter list or read content (blog posts).
 
Speaking of content or blogging, at your stage, your blog posts should have names like “Cleaning the Carpet of Cat Urine in Peabody, MA.” 
 
I know this sounds like a lot, but there is an easy way to solve your SEO and branding issues. 
 
Please go to www.thrivehive.com and watch the movie right there on the landing page. ThriveHive connects you to customers one on one, so you can call or email them quickly after they’ve gone to your website, opened your email newsletter, liked a Facebook post, etc. It’s called marketing automation. I run my site from ThriveHive. I don’t even get a kickback from them. They are THE most inexpensive option for small businesses I’ve found. They facilitate the email newsletter, the social media, and the content all from their site. They’ll also fix up your goofed up SEO. 
 
I can start it up for you, but you’ll also need:  
 
2 blog posts
1 email newsletter (every 2 months to keep costs down and only IF you have some good email addresses)
12 strategic social media posts each month (which you will have to “boost” or pay FB,  something that costs $10 to reach @ 600 to 800 people with each boost. 
 
I can do this and help ThriveHive put up a better website for you (I would direct them) for $395 per month for 3 months and then we re-evaluate from there. Maybe you can even take over social media at that point. The thing is ThriveHive’s fee is $150 per month. You’d be paying out $545 per month. I do my very best to keep costs as low as I can. 
 
If you’re interested, please fill out this intake form. Here’s a blog brainstorming form that I make clients fill out so I can start up a blog post. I won’t write that generic stuff that’s on your website now. Only very honest, sincere personalized stuff. Google is getting fed up with generic. 
 
You can also stay with your original designer and tell them you want the FB Google and Yelp icons on there linking to your excellent reviews. Tell him/her you need a testimonials tab, trust icons (membership in this and that organization) and new photos put up all over the place. Bright white shirt and nice dress pants. You image now is not perfection, and I say this writing from my sweats in my home. You just have to sell cleanliness. 
 
If you stay with your original designer, I can incorporate marketing automation where you collect email addresses and then see who’s on you site and have the option to email or call them. I do it through Constant Contact and Lead Pages. Those two things integrated into your site are a monthly $25 each or $50 all together. I’d need a start up fee to coordinate that. In that case you’d pay me a one time fee of $125, and $50 to those two each month and then another $395 to me for the first month and $395 thereafter. It’s a lot of finagling, but the only thing that works. 
 
Finally, if the phones are really “dead” as you say, you need to get immediate clients. Throw up irresistible specials on CraigsList, get to networking groups, make a cheap flyer and distribute in a neighborhood that may be ignored by your competitors. Have your phone number and website address on your truck. 
 
Readers: if you have any questions, feel free to contact me here

 

Source: Informed Web Content
“The Phones Are Dead:” Informed Web Content Reviews a Carpet Cleaner’s Digital Marketing

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