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Marketing Basics for Power Wash Companies Part 2

Man sitting at a computer with copy, "Marketing Basics for Power Wash Companies"

 This is part two in the blog series “Marketing Basics for Power Wash Companies.” Find part one here.

 You’ve done your SWOT Analysis and figured out your USP. You’ve researched and identified your target customer and made Customer Personas. Now it’s time for the fun part, planning your marketing strategy and implementing your plan!

 Begin by addressing what kind of market you are going after, is it commercial or residential? These different markets will have very different marketing strategies.

 If you are planning on servicing businesses, Micheal Hinderliter, the internationally recognized “Dean of Power Wash,” says, “On the commercial side, a lot of times cold calling works well or finding and joining business groups that are for specific industries. Those are good ways to go after them. Generally, cold calling is one of the best tactics.”

 On the other hand, if you are planning to service primarily residential accounts, one good option is the traditional every door direct mail method or mass mailers. Don’t be afraid to be creative when reaching out to a residential customer though and using some offbeat tactics!

 Hinderliter says, “I've even heard of guys driving through neighborhoods and throwing Frisbees in people’s front yards.” Of course, make sure all your contact information is correctly printed on a Frisbee or any other material you use to market.

 Once you have your type of market established, combine that information with your customer persona. If you did thorough research you will find that marketing to a specific, ideal customer is a lot easier then marketing to “everyone.”

 Begin planning your marketing activities to meet your target customers where they are. Get a FREE media planning template to help you stay organized as you manage your marketing here.

Preview of the Media Planning Template

 Identify the social media platform they are using (Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter...etc.), place online ads on websites they visit, tailor your email campaigns to include graphics that resemble them, and subtly pivot your writing to appeal to them. Get a FREE social media planning template here to help with this task.

Preview of Social Media Planner Template

 Pew Research Center is a great resource to help with planning which social media platform will give you the greatest return on investment. Read their report here.

 Most importantly, regardless of the type of customer you are trying to reach, having a strong, consistent online presence will do wonders to help potential customers find your business.

 Hinderliter says, “You need to have a presence online because I have found that before you even get the first call, customers are researching you and it's more likely that they've made a decision before they ever picked up the phone to call.”

 The final stage is implementation. Begin running ads on Facebook or Google, sending mailers, or scheduling social media posts. The most important thing you can remember here is to be patient, consistent, and don’t give up! Rome wasn’t built in a day and your business won’t be either (we wish!).

 Finally, remember to track and measure your campaigns and be flexible enough to pivot and redirect resources away from a tactic that isn’t bringing the expected returns into a tactic that is. For example, maybe your social media campaigns are doing great but your printed ad in a newspaper isn’t generating enough leads. Learn from this, stop using the newspaper (or change the ad) and start directing your time and energy into the places where your voice is heard! You are an expert at power washing but marketing is a skill, and like all new skills, it takes time and practice to get it right.

 Hinderliter says, “I think the stress of running a business can be very daunting, and I would encourage you to just stay calm, stay focused on your goals, and to give it time. Don't give up so easily.” That’s great advice for anyone starting a business.

Is Social Media Marketing For Business Worthwhile?

The answer is YES. Social media marketing for business is worth every minute you can devote, if you know how to invest your time and energy. As more and more brick and mortar businesses disappear, consumers are seeking new ways to connect with familiar brands. Main Street has moved to the mainframe, and social media has become the new town square. If you have only been using social media as a broadcast platform for free advertising or back linking, you are missing the point entirely. Social media is an interface for conversation. People don't log on to social media sites to look for spam. If you are trying to build a larger following, you should post relevant content that will enrich the conversation and inspire others to respond.

Spend your time and energy engaging the people who are likely to buy your products or services. You know them. You interact with them every day. Take the time to write down a clear detailed description of your target audience, and keep this profile close. Use it to determine where they are most likely going to look for you. If you are a contractor who aims to be a vendor for another business, you may have more success on a site like www.odesk.com instead of www.Facebook.com. But, there is no cookie cutter plan. You cannot just create a Facebook page and expect to find 1,000 people who want to talk to you. Odesk.com might not be the right place either. Take time to explore the internet and look for people or businesses that fit your target. Think like a customer who is looking for your product or service. Start with a search engine and ask questions that your customers ask. Follow the links to find the answers and meet other people who have the same questions. Then join the networks and boards that they have joined.

Once you have joined a site, take time to research that site. Every social media site is different. For example: LinkedIn is designed for professional networking. Therefore, the atmosphere of the site is very different from a site like Google Plus. Learn what is considered socially acceptable behavior before you post anything.

Also, be sure to complete all of the steps to build your profile. Some sites have more steps and ask for more information than others. For example: Facebook requires a cover picture in addition to a profile picture. Many people don't give it much thought, but the cover picture is the first thing that visitors will see when they click on a page. Statistics say that a page has less than five seconds to grab attention. A professional cover picture will help keep visitors interested.

When your profile is complete, take time to learn about the features of the site. Some networks allow you to post pictures, videos, polls, and blogs. Other sites, like twitter, limit your interactions to 140 characters. The site features will become the tools that you use to create your message. You must master these tools in order to give your message the best chance for impact.

When you start posting, you should keep posting. One of the biggest mistakes that people make with social media is to create a profile and let it wither on the vine. It's like going on a bad date where the conversation dies before the appetizer arrives. You just sit there and stare at each other, desperate to find something to say. If you want people to be interested in your products or services, you must keep the conversation going. Sometimes, you will be able to respond to posts from your followers, but you must be prepared for the awkward silence. It's hard to be creative and interesting on spot. Write your posts when you are inspired, and save them for when you need them. If an idea washes over you in the middle of the night, you should get up and ride the wave of inspiration while it lasts.

Create content that will encourage your audience to talk about their needs, and ask questions about your products and services. Look for articles and videos that might start a discussion. You can still post promotions and back links, but don't post them because you have nothing else to say. This makes you look like the guy on the bad date that starts talking about his new neck tie just so that he can fill the painful silence with some noise. Post often, but be sure to post something worthwhile.

It is a good idea share the same message on multiple sites. But you should be aware that if you have profiles on several social networks, it is likely that you have people that follow you on more than one site. It is true that audiences need to experience a message multiple times before they commit it to memory, but you should change the presentation for each post. One site might include a link to a video where you tour a jobsite before after a job is complete, and another could be a set of before and after photos that encourages people to find ten things that are different. Try to present the information to a different learning style every time you post your message. Learning styles are the way that people approach the task of learning new information. Everyone is different, and a detailed explanation of learning styles is far beyond the scope of this article. Just remember that the same message posted over and over again in the exact same way feels like spam. Change the way your audience experiences the message, and the message will seem fresh every time.

When you promote your social media presence, you should give people a reason to find you. Social media badges are appearing everywhere, and many times, people click on them only to find a page full of spam. People are more likely to click a badge if they have something to say to you. For example, an independent coffee shop could put a yelp badge on the side of their cups with a tag that says "What did you think? Tell us about it on Yelp." Let people know that you are different. Let them know that you are ready to have a real conversation.

Many people measure their social media success based on the number of page subscribers they see. There are even services out there that will let you buy followers, but all of the pages that they sell are robot pages. A Facebook page with one thousand followers is less impressive if they only have a 0.001% response rate when they post new content. Measure your success by the number of meaningful interactions you have with people that are genuinely interested in your products or services. When people post something on your social media pages, you should always post a reply, even if they didn't ask a question. Always thank them for posting, answer their question if they asked one, and ask them a question in reply. Keep the conversation going. Check back often to find new replies, and answer them quickly. Post content that will invoke a response and watch your investment grow.

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How to Use Downstream Injectors

Downstream injectors are a very useful tool to have for applying soaps, detergents and acidic solutions. They allow the operator to apply detergent with a power washer which can be a very fast and effective way to get a cleaning solution to the surface saving the operator considerable time. And we all know that time is an extremely valuable asset.

There are many cleaning solutions that require the use of a downstream injector because the solution is too corrosive for the pressure pump and or other components on the power washer. Since the downstream injector can be inserted on the pressure side of the pump after those components it allows the chemicals to be used without damage.

Another feature of using a downstream injector is that unlike upstream injection, the pump does not have to work under a vacuum to draw detergent. This puts less stress on the packing of the pump meaning it will last longer before it will need to be replaced.

The best place to install the downstream injector is to attach quick couplers to both ends and insert it where the pressure hose connects to the power washer. If you are using a hot water power washer then insert the injector where the water exits the burner or the hose reel. The rule of thumb is to insert it at the entry point of the pressure hose. This prevents all the components of the pressure washer from the harsh effects of aggressive chemicals.

A down stream injector works by Venturi effect. Simply put this means that the water from the pressure washer is pushed into a constricted section in the injector. As a result the increased velocity of fluid creates a vacuum, drawing in the solution. There is still pressure prior to the injector but there is a significant drop in pressure after it. Using a low pressure nozzle at the wand will normally allow the down stream injector to work correctly.

Three things will cause the injector to stop working. One is the use of a high pressure nozzle. The benefit of this is that it allows the operator to switch nozzles from low pressure applying detergent to high pressure for rinse. Many find this to be a huge benefit of using a down stream injector because they don't have to constantly keep returning to the power washer to turn off the soap. Second is using too much pressure hose. The more pressure hose the more resistance there is to push the water through the hose. This creates back pressure and reduces the velocity of the fluid through the constricted area in the injector. So typically the injector will work up to about one hundred and fifty feet of pressure hose before it stops drawing chemical. And finally, gravity will impact the injector. As the low pressure nozzle gets higher than the down stream injector the back pressure increases until it reaches the point that it will no longer draw chemical. This usually begins to happen at distances of ten feet and higher, and can be less based on the length of pressure hose.

This article was published in our weekly addition of Spray Tips™ from PowerWash.com if you would like to receive future newsletters please click on this link: Spray Tips
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