7 Power Washing Marketing Tips for a Post-Pandemic Market

By Allison Hester - PWNA

One of the top rules for marketing is that you never stop – even during a global pandemic.

When the nation begins to open back up and the pressure washing industry starts returning to work full force, one thing is certain. We’re going to be facing a new definition of “normal.” We are probably not going to return to business or life as we knew it for a while.

However, there is a silver lining.

For one thing, people are more aware than ever of the need for clean.

The bad news is that many in the industry have taken a financial hit due to COVID-19. That does not mean, however, you should stop marketing. It just means you need to get a little more creative in order to spend less. Even if your business makes it through the pandemic relatively unscathed, your original marketing plans and budget for 2020 may no longer be appropriate. It’s probably a good time to review and rework your marketing plan for the remainder of the year.

In case you’ve never written one, a marketing plan is a strategic guide to help you focus on getting and keeping customers. It provides all the resources and methods you plan to use to achieve your sales goals for the year. While it may sound complicated, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of resources online to help guide you through the process.

If you’ve never had a marketing plan, now is a great time to start. If you had one set up for 2020, you should review it and determine what changes need to made given the unexpected circumstances we’ve endured this year. Let’s look at 7 ways to do this:

1. Revisit your marketing message

COVID-19 has made it more important than ever to make sure your customers feel safe and secure in their choice to use your company. Right now, your marketing messages need to highlight all the health and safety precautions that your company takes, especially while the COVID-19 crisis is going on. If you have PWNA certifications or have completed other training, be sure to include that in your messaging, as well as the fact that you are insured. You should update all of these things on your website as well as in emails, Facebook, and so on.

One thing to be really careful of is overpromising what you can do. With COVID-19, a lot of power washers began marketing “disinfecting” and “sanitizing” services. While bleach and other disinfectants kill many viruses be sure not to “guarantee” anything. We provide a line of defense to reducing the spread of the virus but no more.

2. Reassess and Reallocate your marketing budget

As more people have been working from home and are spending time online, you may want to divert more funds into things like Facebook or Google ads. (That’s what the marketing experts are recommending right now.) Or if your website has not been SEO optimized, consider spending money there.

If you have the time and energy, there are also plenty of free or inexpensive courses that can teach you at least the basics of SEO optimization. Just make sure the courses are recent as Google algorithms regularly change. As always, figure out if your time and money would be better spent hiring someone versus doing it yourself.

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3. Add some flexibility

While your policy before this pandemic might have been to only wash an entire house, for example, you may want to reconsider your options. Customers may not be ready or able to buy a complete house wash at this time, but they may want to have the front of their home or their high-traffic areas cleaned. You may also want to consider offering payment plans or special add-on discounts until things calm down and people feel secure again.

4. Reach out to your existing customers first

A basic marketing concept is that it’s much easier and less expensive to market to your existing customers than to reach new ones. This has been a scary and difficult time for everyone, and not all of your clients are going to be mentally or financially ready to hire you right when things start to calm down.

Let your customers know you’ll be there for them when they are ready for you. Encourage them to go ahead and get on your schedule, even if it’s not for a few months out. Then make sure they are aware of all the services you offer, especially if you’ve added or customized options or new add-ons.

Email is one of the most affordable ways to stay in touch with customers on a broad scale, and a simple email to let them know that you appreciate them and you are ready to clean can go a long way. For your larger customers, it may be a good idea to actually pick up the phone, or at least send a personal email instead of an automated blast. You may also want to send them a personalized thank you card or even some kind of gift basket. Consider buying your gifts from a local small business as they’ve likely taken a hit as well.

5. Update your listings on Angie’s List, Yelp, and social media, etc.

Again, rework your messaging to promote your certifications, insurance, training, etc., to help put potential customers’ minds at ease.

6. Look for free sites to get your name out

Sites like Alignable, Facebook Marketplace, and Next Door are all free to use. You can also join and contribute to local Facebook groups in the communities you serve. Get your name out there in a positive and supportive light by offering helpful resources and responses to other peoples’ posts, then throw in the occasional promotion for your business. It’s a great way to network and make connections, and it costs nothing other than your time.

7. Automate where you can

If you have not been using a CRM (customer relationship management) program, or if you have one but haven’t figured out how to maximize its effectiveness, now is a great time to research and capitalize on its potential. That way when the world is back up and running at full speed, you’ll be ready to make up for lost time and sales.

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5 Around Marketing
Spring has arrived and no doubt you have your marketing strategy in full force.  When I first started my business in early 2000 I didn't have much money for marketing.  I was relying on word of mouth for the most part.  However, the speed at which word of mouth was working to ramp my business wasn't happening as quickly as I wanted.  I started doing what is now termed as 5 Around Marketing and it remained one of the most effective methods of marketing we ever did.