WordPress Plugins to Grow Your House Cleaning Business WordPress Plugins to Grow Your House Cleaning Business WordPress Plugins to Grow Your Cleaning Business (Your Answers) Yoast SEO – This will walk you step-by-step through the SEO process to maximize your website. (Free and Paid versions) NextGen Photo Gallery – This allows you to organize your thousands of photos and images on your site for easy access. (Free and Paid versions Akismet – Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from spam. It keeps your site protected even while you sleep. Child Theme Configurator – If you don’t know any code, this allows you to make a “copy” of your site that you can make changes to. When the parent theme updates automatically it doesn’t erase your changes. The child theme is dependent on the parent theme to work. Testimonial Slider – Create beautiful testimonials, sliders, and lists that rotate like a slideshow on your site to impress your customers. WP Smush – Reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO using the free WPMU DEV WordPress Smush API. #WorkSmartNotHard Quiz of Next Week & Next Weeks Newsletter Topic: Tweet me your favorite solution and we may feature it next week @SavvyCleaner Ask a House Cleaner – WordPress Plugins to Syndicate Your Site On A Budget OnlyWire If You Are On a Budget All house cleaning businesses run on a budget. If you are growing your cleaning service, you want the most exposure for your investment. Have you considered self-syndicating? Instead of paying a couple hundred dollars to PR firms to post each press release, now you can do it yourself. Enter WordPress Plugins. The plugin OnlyWire has a free option that allows you to post to 20 social media platforms with the click of a button. If you want to syndicate to more you pay a monthly fee of $9.99 Woohoo! Simply download and activate the OnlyWire WordPress Plugin. Every time you update your blog site on your WordPress page, OnlyWire will pick up your post and automatically submit it to all the Social Media Networks you have set up with OnlyWire. WordPress Plugins Use Social Proof to Boost Your Credibility There are many sites that are crawling for user-generated reviews. Search engines highlight sites that have ratings and reviews because it provides credibility to the user. It’s the new way of vetting a potential house cleaner. Prospective customers see social proof of other people using your service. And it gives them the confidence to hire you. Ratings and reviews on your website are the new “references on request.” Amazon and Ebay are so effective because they show prospects 5-star reviews – and now you can too. WP Customer Reviews allows you to setup a specific page on your blog to receive customer testimonials for your business/service. Among WordPress plugins, this is one of the best for ratings and reviews and best of all, it’s free. WordPress Plugins As A Time-Saving Hack – Beaver Builder The learning curve is the biggest reason house cleaners have crappy websites. We clean houses, not design websites. And we don’t want to have to pay somebody a never ending bucket of money to create one for us. Or wait around for them to make minor updates and changes. But if you’re going to survive as a business in today’s changing social landscape – your website is your home base. YOU NEED A WEBSITE. A website is where your customers learn about you and your brand. They will look at before and after cleaning pictures to see if you do a good job. They will read your blogs and evaluate your services. This is where a frequently asked questions page shows your prospects that you know what you’re doing. And they will check out your ABOUT page to learn more about you and your team. Time and Money Factors In Website Design When time and money are of the essence, you need to be able to make all these updates by yourself without the help of a paid designer. That’s me! I had the same concerns. Yet I didn’t know any CSS, PHP, or HTML code. Not really interested in learning it either. I wanted the magic bullet. Drop and drag page builders. I spent a significant amount of time researching WordPress plugins and I found BeaverBuilder. BeaverBuilder is not free it’s $99 bucks for the standard package. What you are in essence paying for is the equivalent of an hour of a web designers time, but instead of a web designers time, you get a massive bundle of existing page templates with all the work already done for you. You simply choose the features you want to change, double click, drop and drag. It’s so easy to create your own custom pages in minutes – not days – and you can make changes free of charge at any time. BeaverBuilder allows you to create your own super fancy, high-end, professional looking websites without knowing a single line of code. This plugin will SAVE YOU SO MUCH TIME. What’s The Catch? The catch is that in order for BeaverBuilder to work you must license a domain name (which costs $8-10 per year https://cheap-domainregistration.com) Your domain name is your company name built into a URL (example: my company name is Savvy Cleaner and my domain name or URL is https://savvycleaner.com And you will need to host that domain. https://hostgator.com ($3-5 per month hosting.) I chose Hostgator because they have an exclusive package for WordPress users that comes with WordPress already installed plus 450 free themes. (Make sure the theme you choose is responsive – meaning it is viewable on all types of devices including smartphones.) You can jazz up your theme super easy with BeaverBuilder. All of the necessary costs combined is less than hiring a web designer 1 time – and you will have all the tools you need to build and update your professional business website at any time. NOTE: These website set up costs are tax deductible for your business. (PS. For Savvy Cleaner – I use Cheap-DomainRegistration, Hostgator and BeaverBuilder. And I have no technical skills whatsoever. If I can do it – you can too. Bam! Just like that.) What’s going on with Angela? Accountability Savvy Cleaner joined the Better Business Bureau. As the owner of our house cleaning training company, they asked me lots of questions. Then we started the accreditation process. The accreditation process involves checking for business licenses, insurance, bonding, and articles of organization. They want to make sure my business is set up properly with the state and the federal government. Proving I had a business bank and merchant account to accept credit cards was important to them. They wanted client references. There are BBB rules for making sure we don’t overpromise on our marketing. They want to guarantee we are in good standing with our customers and the Chamber of Commerce. And they had me check with the NC Dept of Education to see if our business fit the model of a proprietary school. And a bunch of other things that at first seemed like rabbit holes they were sending me down. Why Am I Telling You This? Working by yourself there is nobody to hold you accountable. And it’s easy to let yourself off the hook for things you know you should do for your business but haven’t done yet. It’s like when you’re a kid and you know you should wear a coat out in the cold – but you don’t do it unless your Mom is standing by the door reminding you that you’ll catch a cold if you don’t. When you attach an accountability partner like the Better Business Bureau to your business, they remind you why you need to follow the rules. They look at possibilities you may not have considered. They ask you questions about your business you may have overlooked. And often times they help you prevent problems that haven’t even happened – yet. Foolish business mistakes cost a lot of money. Those mistakes could show up in the form of lawsuits or civil suits, and federal or state fines. Or it could be something less dramatic – but exhausting like employees quitting and stealing all your clients. Or prospects not hiring you in the first place because you don’t have your act together. Do you have an accountability partner for your business? Don’t ever miss a copy of this newsletter. Have it delivered each week to your inbox.