This is obviously intended for some full or part-time detailers (or enthusiasts with intent to move into the detailing career).
As with anything else, different things may or may not work for different individuals when it comes to marketing, business, etc. The most important thing and one that almost always works is good quality services and hard work on your end. I say “almost” because some markets are saturated with car detail businesses and you simply may not be able to “make it”. Speaking of making it, you have to decide for yourself what exactly that means in terms of running a business. Some individuals are happy making $20,000/year running a weekend business on the side, while others have 5-10 employees and create a net income $250,000/yr or more. As they say though, the saying “mo’ money mo’ problems” is very true in this case :). In any case, back to hard work and marketing…
Hard work means you’re going out of your way to make sure the job is done right, without cutting any corners and calling it quits. This is the biggest marketing tool as clients tend to appreciate the hard work and believe you’re the right person for the job. Without hard work, there’s no quality results of which you can take pretty pictures and post all over your website, Facebook, etc. There’s also no positive reviews from clients that you can show to other potential clients, so it all comes back to the hard work.
Next is the quality of service and as with anything, this is extremely subjective. Some of our clients are extremely happy with a quick all-in-one polish and others are satisfied with a $2000+ paint correction and protective coating job because we couldn’t safely remove a few deep scratches. The key is to know what you’re capable of, what your clients want and what is the appropriate price for that service. You can then focus on providing that quality of service while spending free time on improving your skills and thus going above the clients’ expectations with the service.
Last is the actual advertising of your work. Once you have the hard work and quality covered, this is fairly easy. It starts with word of mouth recommendations from clients happy with your service. On your end, photos and a website are a great start to be able to show what you’re capable of to potential clients. In addition to the website (which can be as cheap as free and as expensive as you want to make it), there are many free tools to advertise your services, such as social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), review sites (Yelp, Google, etc.) and local car clubs/shows.
Unfortunately, I could write a book on each of the different tools and methods for marketing, but even then I wouldn’t cover every possible or best way to advertise your services to new clients. The goal here is to start with these core values of your business and build the marketing aspect out of it, rather than spend thousands on advertisements and be overwhelmed by either too much business or almost none at all (yes one of those is a much better problem to have!).
We’ll be adding some more articles regarding this topic in the near future, but this should get you started on the right path to doing good work and telling potential clients about it. If you are interested in more articles to help you run your business, check out the Running a Business section!