When Kyle Grimes of Clean Habits first began to explain his preferred marketing style, we immediately understood the potential the grassroots strategy held. We talk daily to many window cleaning businesses of all sizes. Marketing is often just as unique as the window cleaning business itself. There is no “one size fits all” marketing technique, because of so many specific characteristics of the market, such as climate, building type, etc. Rather, we find that it’s the marketing strategy that can persist through different markets and lead to business success. That’s why we asked Kyle to explain his horizontal marketing style, how it came about, and why it continues to lead to jobs and success.
Q: Can you tell us about your business (Clean Habits) marketing strategy?
Kyle: I look at marketing in the sense of how I would like to receive marketing information. For my style of marketing, I decided to focus on delivering a premium experience. My approach was more than just to do good work (that should always be the case), I wanted to make my services educational. Delivering an educational experience is how I enjoy receiving information/marketing. Fortunately for me, this organically turned into a highly effective marketing tool. It brought my clients on to the same team as me and empowered them with good information, which in turn, developed a referral network.
abc: Interestingly enough, abc subscribes to the same philosophy. We dedicate time and effort to create content on our Youtube channel and blog that is both helpful and informative regarding specific products and overall industry topics. We’ve found over time that platforms like Youtube and this blog may change and shift, but content that stems from an educational standpoint is the most useful to both create and consume, regardless of how you’re getting it. Recently, Instagram has become a platform that allows us to connect both with our customer base, as well as a means of sharing the educational content we create.
Q: What’s an example of your educational marketing efforts?
Kyle: Most of our clients want to maintain clean windows between our visits to the best of their ability. A few suggestions I like to leave them with are seemingly minor when you live in the window cleaning world but very impactful for our clients. First, I tell them to stay away from Windex, and any other “surface cleaner,” and buy a glass cleaning spray, or mix up some dish soap and water and use a wet and a dry microfiber for a better result than any old towel or paper towel. Second, if they have something that doesn’t want to come off the glass, use a magic eraser. These small tips alone help educate our clients and create a bond that helps you both be on the same team, which is invaluable to those of us in the service industry.
Q: So you built a customer referral network by attracting them with an educational experience that helps them and allows you to establish more of a relationship. What happened next?
Kyle: These experiences led me to find ways to network with other local individuals and companies to strengthen my potential audience. I decided to visit a networking group, contact local business owners, and ultimately find direct contacts to work with.
My largest success came from a landscape and yard maintenance company. It made sense to me that if my clients had hard water issues from misaligned sprinklers that I am actively working to clean up, then I should give them the complete solution. I would ask my hard water clients if they had a yard maintenance company that would adjust or replace their sprinklers. If they did, great! Now they can call their provider out to remedy the problem. If they didn’t, I’d refer them to my contact, who could perform the necessary maintenance or repairs.
After a few referrals, I had proven my interest in my new friend’s business, and in turn, he started to refer his clients to me. It has led to an incredible network that we share back and forth to ensure the best care for our customers.
There are many businesses and industries to partner with, and the beautiful thing is, there is no one right answer! There are countless connections to be made and opportunities to team up with individuals and organizations to network yourself and your products/services to more people. It is amazing how many people are willing to spread references for you if you take a moment to connect with them and offer a potential marketing option to expand their customer network.
Personally, my best experiences so far have come from identifying a local business and connecting with the owner/manager in person. I function in more of an old school / traditional manner of a firm handshake and in-person conversation (I know, crazy right? Offer a handshake now and you’ll have 50/50 odds on getting checked for social distancing! Haha)
It is indeed easier to do than you may think. Don’t believe me? Take a look around you, go for a walk, a bike ride or a drive, and observe companies or services happening around you. You can even look online or on social media for local businesses nearby. From there, pick someone you observe and strike up a conversation, feel it out, and see if there is a worth-while value add you bring to the table. After you’ve established a rapport with them, be direct and ask if they would be willing to refer your services to their clients in exchange for you doing the same. Let them know that you are interested in what they do and that you will create conversations to network their services to more contacts.
Imagine all the opportunities around you every day! There are countless ways we can improve on how we deliver our services to more people. Start big. Start small. Call someone you know or someone you’ve worked with in the past. Put up a post on social media and ask your network if they know a business owner that might be willing to entertain an opportunity to network with your business. Anything. Just do something. Give it a try. Then try it again. And again. Take what you’re already doing well, and search for the small ways you can potentially increase your visibility. It is worth any amount of effort you put into it. The best part about testing out this method is, it costs ZERO dollars, and it works! How’s that for the perfect opportunity of the win – win – win! You win, your networked partner wins, and most importantly, the customers win!
Q: Are there any other marketing strategies that you’ve found successful?
Kyle: Networking with other local window cleaners is another outlet that I have found extremely valuable. Have you ever landed a job and realized you need more hands than you have available? Have you ever wondered how to bid that new job, or what piece of equipment would be most beneficial? Not only is it great to meet other like-minded business owners, but its great to strengthen your opportunities.
A big thanks to Kyle Grimes for working with us on this blog post and so many other endeavors. If you are interested in reading more marketing blog posts related to window cleaning, click here. Otherwise, check out a large array of topics we cover in this blog and through our Youtube channel.