Interview with Melissa Maker of Clean my Space
To listen to the interview, and see the show notes, please click here.
Hey! Thanks for joining us today. I’m Nick.
And of course, I’m Johnny John.
[Laughs] You’re listening to “Small Business Naked”.
I will say something different. So, it throws Nick off every time.
He always has to just mess with me. I don’t understand this. But this is what I have to deal with him on a daily basis, guys. But we have a great show today. We’ve got Melissa Maker from “Clean My Space”.
A.k.a. Mrs. Clean. I know the expert is an overused term, but she’s really an expert on cleaning.
She’s also from Canadia eh.
She’s going to share with us two of her business stories. She has two because she’s actually owned the service business. She has a media company. What a great insight she has on both. So, I think you’re going to find them both are really valuable.
Yes. You’re going to learn, not only about starting a business, but how to market your business and what marketing potentially could do for you. It’s not only grown her service business. But it’s also helped her create a secondary business, one that, I think, she says in an interview, is more profitable than her actual business.
She’s also going to tell us how we can make videos if we’re interested, and how they work, and do they work, and all those types of things. So, take a listen. You’re going to like this.
Beer, wine, or a cocktail.
I don’t drink.
[Laughs] However, if I did drink, it would be a cocktail.
Are you married or single?
I am married.
Toss-up between “Office Space” and “Dumb and Dumber.”
What’s your favorite broom in the house?
The one that my husband uses.
What’s the worst part about your business?
I wouldn’t say there’s a worst part about my business. I would say my emotional attachment to things, that managing the emotional attachment to my business is the worst part about my business, I would say.
What’s your favorite piece of technology?
Woo-hoo! I have to say my laptop because it’s so multifunctional. So, I have a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and I’m loving it. It can do everything.
What does the Retina Display do? Everyone talks about that. I have no idea. I’m not a Mac person.
It’s probably just fancy talk. But it really does have a nice, clear resolution – how much clearer can you get. But I had an older version, which I then gave to my husband, when I got this one. There was a difference, for sure. To what extent, I can’t say. But I have noticed the difference. It’s pretty.
Cool. Melissa, thank you for sharing that with us and us getting to learn a little bit about you. Why don’t you tell us and tell the audience what you do exactly? What is your job? What is your business? How has it evolved?
How has it evolved? That’s a great question. So, I’ll give you the background. When I graduated from business school in 2005, I took the first job that I was offered, which was the job working at a bank.
I took that for a year because everybody — All my friends were getting jobs. I figure, “Okay. This is a good foot in the door.” Truthfully, I was so bored, and so unfulfilled, and really unhappy. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
So, a year to the day, I resigned from that position. I went back to waitressing, with my parents were obviously thrilled about. But they had always known I was eventually going to go off and be an entrepreneur. So, I think, that was just me having that come to [fruition? 04:14.8].
About three months into my waitressing gig, I had always kept my mind open and my ears open to business opportunities. I kept hearing about the “Need for Good” cleaning service from people who are older than me, as well as from friends of mine who had recently graduated, took on new jobs, and moved out of their homes.
They were living in the city. They have their own places. And their places were all pig sties. They started to make money. So here, they had disposable income. They didn’t want to spend the time cleaning, if they really needed it. So, that idea really started to resonate with me.
I did some research, and I figured, “Okay. You know what? I can take my professional background. I can put it into a business. I can start the cleaning business.” So, I felt really excited. This was in 2006. The issue was I knew nothing about cleaning. I really struggled with it. I didn’t really know how to do it. I didn’t really like doing it either. So, it’s not a great idea.
That’s not a great combination.
So far, that sounds very difficult.
Yes. It’s exactly. That’s like it started my life. Although “it’s fine” a hard saying, and then, I go after it. But I’m right. Long story short, an uncle of mine who I’ll consider a mentor, said to me, “Listen. A business owner has to be able to roll off their sleeves and do every single job in the company.”
Both of you guys, I’m sure, would agree with me, as business owners in your own companies, you have to know how you do every job from the ground up and then build from there.
So he said, “Either you’re going to roll up your sleeves and learn how to clean, or you’re going to polish up your resume and you’re going to go pound the pavement.” And I thank him for that even to this day, because that’s exactly what I did. I rolled up my sleeves. I learned how to clean – practiced in my own home, practiced in other people’s homes.
And then, I started to go out and do it for my business. So, I was waitressing at night four, five nights a week. And then, I was cleaning and getting back to customer emails and doing all that stuff during the day.
That eventually allowed me to start hiring people, I’d drop people on. And then, I was able to serve back out of waitressing because I was able to support myself with an income that took about 18 months.
And then, about three, four years later, in late 2010, I decided with my husband, that I would put out a YouTube video because why not? YouTube is this “new-ish” thing. Some people are doing it. They’re doing somewhat interesting, new things on it. And I figure, but if I put on a video, it might help me get some more customers for my trial-based cleaning service.”
What ended up happening was because YouTube, I don’t know. It happens to be global. We started to gain an audience from all over the world and the videos and the digital side of things took on a life of their own.
So, when you ask, John about evolution that’s really what happens. So, now we have the service business, which is doing great. Yes. It has definitely benefited from the exposure that we’ve had on the digital side of things. But now, we also have this burgeoning digital business, which is awesome. So, that’s how one business turn into two, from a business that I really didn’t like [laughs].
Let me ask you a question, Melissa. A lot of times, people, they start doing videos. John was talking to you before we got on air, but doing some videos himself. I know a lot of people that have done videos. How long did it take you before you started to see traction for your cleaning business, where you’re saying, “Hey, we’re starting to get clients from doing these videos”?
Ultimately, YouTube is global. So, if you have a local business, like me in Toronto-based business, it might help a little bit. We definitely did, have some people call and say, “Oh, yes. It’s in your business on YouTube.”
But that didn’t happen as much as I anticipated that would. But what it did do was provide me with credibility, so that I could go to local TV stations, local newspapers and say, “Hey, look. I’m on YouTube. Do you want to interview me? Do you want to bring me into studio?
So, that is where things started to help. But the YouTube presence started to give me credibility. So that, I could get more media exposure with local media outlets, does that make sense?
Yes. So, YouTube really allowed you to become an expert in the cleaning area and cleaning field?
And so, I’m thinking now. I just got to ask. How do you monetize that? You have these videos, where you’re educating folks on how to do proper cleaning with probably specific things. Is that correct?
How do you monetize? How do you make money off that business model?
This is the question that everybody loves to ask. People are so fascinated with how money is made on YouTube. So, there are a few different ways I’ll talk about too. The first one is thru Ad Revenue with YouTube’s AdSense program.
So when you, as a business owner, go on and you buy ads on YouTube, you’re basically paying Google a sum of money per so many clicks. And then, Google will take a share of that. And then, the content creator, me, if they are a YouTube partner, which is something you have to apply to become, unless maybe YouTube’s changed their ways.
I would know. They just offer you in partnership. I’m not quite sure how it works now. But I have to apply for it. Once you apply. You become a partner. You then, are able to share in the revenue that’s generated from ads placed on your content.
And so, do the ads you see where an ad rolls before the video or an ad rolls at the bottom of the video, is that what you’re referring to?
That’s correct. So, there are three kinds. There’s the Pre-rolls. There’s the M-Stream, which show these little rectangular boxes in the actual video. And then, there are the ads that are on the side, the right side of the screen.
So, those three are basically how any content creator makes money. So obviously, if there are clicks, or if somebody watches past the five-second skip mark, the content creator would make more revenue than if somebody just skipped the ad or X-ed it out.
I know they probably look for a certain kind of volume. What kind of traffic are they looking for when they bring on a partner? Do you have any idea?
You know what? They are very secretive with that kind of stuff. For good reason, listen. They don’t want people figuring out their business model, and I totally get that. All I know is what it comes down to with them is create consistent content and create great content that keeps people watching and only watching one video.
But if you have 10 videos out, how can you get people watching four or five? So, it’s the view session link. So that’s what YouTube really loves. So, they really love good, reliable, consistent content. And then, content that can get people watching the next video because obviously they want yours to stay on the platform.
So, this is now a second business for you. How do you have time to run your cleaning business and create so many videos? Because you have so many videos, I mean that’s crazy.
Yes. Yes. The way that it’s worked and this, by no means, has been easy, but it’s come down to having good, reliable, solid, trustworthy people in the service business, who understand the bigger picture and who have committed to helping run the service business while I go and do more on the digital side of things because the bigger picture, I’m sure you guys are and your listeners are all business-minded people.
You can probably all see the big vision without me having to spill it for you. She’s really brought into that, which is great. So I have a GM, who takes care of the service business. And then, I have another employee, who works here as well.
Between the two of them, it’s a fairly straightforward business to run. So they take care of that day-to-day, which has been amazing for me because it has given me the freedom, flexibility, and ability to go and create digital content on a regular basis. So, we film at least once a week. We’re filming at least two videos, when we film.
Just to take you back here, you’re talking about the two different ways to monetize it. So, one was to become a partner with YouTube. What is the second way to monetize this business model?
So, the second way to monetize is a sponsored content. So, you will see that’s come out in different ways all across the web depending on the vertical. So for me, it comes down to, “I might get a company that says, “Hey, can you feature my product in a video,” or “work with my product in a video?”
Now, I get request like this every single day of the week in [unintelligible 13:26.6]. So, the majority of emails, I’m throwing out because I’m not interested in. You have to be very particular with what you choose to work with. I have said “No” to 99.9% of the request that had come in.
So, when we do choose to work with somebody, or a brand, or a company, it has to really line up with me, our brand, who we are, what we stand for, and most importantly, what our audience wants.
So, when we can mail a sponsorship that works, we put a program together, and then sponsor us exactly what it sounds like. They provide us with funds to create content, which also helps support the channel at large.
So those are the two ways, the two main ways that YouTubers can make money. And then, there are other ways too. For example, I’m friends with a YouTuber who has a program that she sells. So, she’ll use her video as a way to drive people to her website, watch them free content, and then sign up for her premium paid program.
And then, can you also get advertisers for your own websites because people are going to go to your website to watch your videos hypothetically and you have advertisers on your site too. Is that a possibility?
Oh, yes. Yes. So you can sell banners. You can also have ad. Like you can have AdSense on your website. Amazon has recently offered CPM ads. So there are lots of interesting, different ways that you can integrate ad revenue on your blog as well.
I know you said earlier that when you’re doing a YouTube video, you usually have a big audience because it’s a national audience. Do you know for somebody’s businesses that I would —
International audience, thank you. Yes.
Yes. Remember, she’s up in Canada.
We have viewers in 164 countries.
That’s amazing. So, for a local business, where they want to make a few videos, and maybe they’re doing it from an SEO standpoint to get a better rank. Does that still work? Can they do it for that reason? Maybe, there’s a local business that doesn’t want to have a national audience. What’s your take on that?
My take on that is I completely stand behind it. I think it’s a great idea because [ICE? 15:46.9 ] video becomes a more ubiquitous medium. It’s like when people, 15 years ago, would look for a website to see, “Is this business credible?”
And then, five years ago, would look for reviews online about a business. Now, people want to know about the person behind the business. So, it all comes down to, “How can you, the business owner, create a relationship with your customer, potential customer, without meeting them?” I think video is a great way to do that.
So not only does it help — As I would just say, have your customer fall in love with you before they even know you, it also can help with the SEO because, as I’m sure, you are both well aware. Google loves video.
If you were to give some advice to a business owner that wanted to start doing videos —
Do you have a business in mind, John?
— where do they start? What would they do?
For the business owner, who might want to know, not mentioning names [laughs] —
It’s not just me.
There are a lot of other people out there that want to know this question.
Okay. So, what I would recommend is to come up with a content strategy. So, a lot of people feel really awkward when they’re sitting in front of the camera because they — Aside from all the stuff that your own brain is telling you – like you sound like an idiot, you look bad, like all that kind of stuff that literally happens to everybody. Well, I would say most people.
You also have to know what to talk about because, if you don’t know exactly what to talk about, you’re going to sit there in front of the camera. And you’re going to stutter and not know what to say, and have really disjointed sentences. It’s not going to come out, in a way, in which you would want it publicized.
So, coming up with some content strategy, so what that might look like is 10 ways you can use product X or service Y to get ready for the holidays because holidays are timely. In the U.S., you’re coming up to Thanksgiving, which will then lead into Christmas.
And then, you’ve got your Black Friday in there. So, you’ve got a lot of interesting, popular events that are going to be searchable. So, the other thing to keep in mind is and YouTube calls this “10th Pull Events.”
So there are events that are going to create spikes in search terms. So if you can line up your content with 10th Pull Events, that is also another great way for you to get started. So, if you are a lawn care business, just pull that one out of my hat.
But let’s say you’re lawn care business. And you know that snow is about to hit the ground. You’re going to get your first frost. What is timely relevant content that can help people feel comfortable with me and my business?
So, it might be five ways to prepare your lawn for the fall, or the three things you want to do before the first snowfall hits. Now, you have something to talk about. So, what you can do is you can then put together a loose script. So, you know what you want to say. So, you don’t sit there and stutter.
And then, you can film the content. You might want to film it a couple of times. The other thing I would say to people is you really just have to get over yourself [laughs] because you’re going to drive yourself crazy. You’re going to watch your video back.
You’re going to probably feel really awkward and uncomfortable. But just get over yourself. Put it out there anyway. The first one may not look as gorgeous. It’s but 10th or 20th or 50th. But you have to start somewhere.
Do they have to be these real high polished, nice videos? What about a guy or a girl that just wants to take their cameras, start film and stuff? Is it okay to start there? Does that not work as well?
Listen. I may have two minds on that. So, I think there’s something to be sad for well-produced content because truthfully, you don’t want to sit there and listen to something that sounds muffled, or watch something that has really bad lighting.
On the same note, you don’t want to spend a fortune on getting something that’s professionally produced because to me, that doesn’t look good either. You just want something that’s natural and casual.
So, as long as you have a decent camera, you don’t need anything fancy. My first videos were done on point and shoot cameras, a couple of 100 bucks at most. As long as you have decent audio – so your air room that doesn’t have a huge echo, and you make sure that your lighting is good.
So, you might want, set the camera and just test different angles to see where you can get the best light. Then, you can go for it. So, you don’t need to do anything fancy, unless your video is really takeoff, like what happened with us. Then, we started to invest in better cameras, better audio, better lighting.
So, you’re probably like a full-blown production facility at every week now. You probably have a script ready to go. You have this nice lighting, and probably a camera person. It’s probably a nice, big deal now. I’ve seen some of your videos. They look really nice.
Thank you. Yes. That’s what’s happened. It’s evolved into a full production. So, we would watch some videos, and we would say, “The audio is starting to not line up with the way we want these videos to sound anymore. It’s just a little too crackly. It’s not clear enough.”
Then, we would go. And then, we would buy a Sennheiser mic pack. Of course, because we’re making ad revenue, we would go and do that. But at the beginning, you can’t even think about it. All you want to do is just get your content up.
That’s basically how things happen. You watch back your content. You see what other content creators are doing. And then you say, “You know what? I want to up my game a little bit. I need better lights.” So you save up a little. You buy better lights.
Yes. It’s still Chad and I, Chad is my husband, who do the majority of the work. Occasionally, we’ll bring in an extra shooter. Occasionally, we’ll have somebody help us with the editing.
But, yes. It’s the majority of it is prepared, planned. Ahead of time, we know our props list. We know where we’re shooting. We do have a script. So, everything is really well put together.
So that on filming day, we can be organized and get everything done because once you’ve done this a bunch of times, you tend to know where you’re wasting a lot of your time. And of course, you find efficiencies. I guess that’s just the business owner in me, like I’m always looking for efficiency. So, we just figure out ways to make it more productive and efficiently well-filming.
Melissa, what was it like to do your very first one? I’m guessing it’s not as polished as what we see today.
You’re welcome to go on and watch it. It’s called “How to Clean Salt Stains off Your Boots.” I make horrendous jokes. Not offensive jokes, but just — You know when you watch a comic, and they’re bombing so bad; you just want to like throw a rotten tomato at them and get out.
That’s basically what happened to me. The jokes were really not funny. The way that I spoke was very — compared to the way my videos sound today, I would say they’re very monotone, and the lighting was bad. The audio was bad. Everything about that video was not cool.
However, it garnered views. People still watch it because, if you live in a place, where there is snow, ultimately you will have salt. Ultimately, you will have salt stains on your leather boots.
And you would want to know how to clean them. So the least I could do, if I didn’t have any in the production value that people wanted to see, the least I could do is provide them with some good information.
Yes. I think having good quality content is probably — If people focus on that and nothing else to begin with, just to start, that’s the great starting point.
That’s right. And then, what I did was I watched every video back. I would look at it and say, “I like the way I did this. I didn’t like the way I did that. I want to change this next time.”
Things just evolved. I don’t have any training per se. I have since taken training. But when I started, I didn’t have any training. So, it was all just learning as you go and refining by your own standards.
Do you do videos in a studio, or they’re at a house sometimes, or on location?
99% of the time, they’re filmed in my home, also known as our “home studio.”
We call it “Studio B.” That’s where we’re recording from right now, Nick’s basement, so Studio B [laughs].
Studio B, I like that. Yes. It’s funny because sometimes, I’ll go into a room of the house, and I’ll practically trip over tripods and lights. It’s just become part of our lives. But I think to the common person, if they were coming, they’ll be like, “This place is crazy,” with all this film equipment and everything.
I love that that you just talked about — Let’s just get started. Let’s move forward. If we get some traction, then we can get a little bit better sound. And then, we’d get a little bit more traction, then we can get maybe some better lighting. If we get a little bit more traction, we get a little bit better video camera. I’ve done videos with the $200 video camera. I’ve done videos with my iPhone.
Yes. Truthfully the iPhones, I can’t wait for the iPhone 6, which Chad is supposed to be getting any day now because I really want to take that video camera for this film. It looks incredible.
We’ve had it here for months in the U.S.
Did you know that [laughs]? I’m touching. I’m touching it right now.
I don’t know. We placed an order for it a couple of weeks after it was released. And it’s just been on a serious backward. So, I don’t know. We’re trying to manage our expectations on that one. We’ll see what happens.
I get a good idea where your passion lies in the two businesses. But I have to ask, out of the two businesses, the professional cleaning company and the YouTube video company, which one is more profitable for you?
I would have to say and for looking at straight revenue, digital is more profitable because there are less moving parts. When you’re running a service business, and I know both of you have experience in the service business, there are lots of things that have to be taken into consideration.
You’ve got the cost of hiring, training, various insurances. You have employer taxes. You have overhead. I don’t know if you guys have physical office space. But I do. So, there is that. There are staff meetings. There are all kinds of expenses that go into running a service business.
While I think that the advent of digital software and everything, how you can run your business from the cloud, that’s something that I haven’t had the opportunity to totally explore because I’ve been completely entrenched in building the digital content business. I know if I did start the business today, I’d probably taken it in a different direction than I would have when I started it in 2006.
Are you referring to the cleaning business or the video business?
No. No. No, the cleaning service business because I think there are ways that you can build it to be more profitable, less expense heavy now, with everything that you can do online, but having said that, our digital business, it’s very much “Here’s the money that comes in.” “We have these set expenses.” “They’re manageable.” “They’re fairly easy to afford.” And that’s it.
I’m curious. What are some of the things –? Isn’t it now that you have some experience under your belt that you would have done differently in your service business?
A big part of it I think comes down to software. I think software really is the backbone of building one of these businesses, aside from staff. So, there’s two sides of things.
I think I’ve done everything really well with the staffing side, when it comes down to training and all of that. But when it comes to software, the industry that I’m in, there is really not a lot available when I was putting business together initially.
And then, to switch software, if you’ve ever gone through a software transition, is extremely painful, time consuming, frustrating, and risky. So, I have yet to make that switch because I have, let’s call it, trust issues with somebody’s software providers.
But you also build your business around your software. So, whatever software it is that you end up going with, you have to then custom, tailor your business to work within the confines of that software.
So, how to start the business today? I think there are so many more pieces and programs available that people can use to build a more efficient business. So, I think that would be the biggest thing for me.
So, I want to switch gears a little with that. I’m curious to know, would there come a day when you would say, “You know what? The heck with this cleaning business. I’m doing fantastic over here on the media side. I’m just going to get with that.” Do you think you’d ever get to that point?
I don’t know. I love the service business. I love it for many reasons. It’s taught me so much. In Canada, the school I went to is known as one of the best business schools – in Canada.
So, I think I have a really good business education from a scholastic standpoint. But this business, what it’s taught me, is invaluable. I feel I can learn so much from it each day even though I’m not as involved in it.
I’m constantly learning, whether it’s how to manage staff, be a better boss, how to constantly innovate, what to do to motivate people like — There’s just a lot of life lessons that are inherent to running a business.
That’s something that is completely different than running the digital business. So, I do really love having a hand in it. So at this point, I wouldn’t say, “To heck with it.” So, no. I don’t think that point will come anytime soon.
Do you have any ambitions to grow that to multiple locations? Do you find its sense of service a little hard to scale?
I am optimized on that one as well. I would love to grow it. The issue is do I have the time, given how much time I’m dedicating to my digital business. Yes, because as I was talking about earlier the software, I don’t believe support scaling, which is also something that I didn’t have the foresight to think about when I first got the software, which is something that I would recommend people who really do think about, “Is this scalable?”
It would be something that would require a major software overhaul, also a major business plan change. So, I think it would require a lot of resources as well as my time. So, yes, in fantasy land, I would love to take the business to other parts of the country ultimately, in the world. But I don’t know if, in next current iteration, that it’s possible.
How many staff do you have?
We have about 20 people on staff.
How many people are in the office?
So, you’re like a service business, very labor intensive. Your cost of goods sold is your labor.
Yes. Yes. What are some of your challenges in that business? What do you face running a service business on that side?
I think the largest challenge and I’ve had this conversation with people, who are in this business as well as service businesses in general, and I wonder if both of you will concur. But I think the biggest challenge is staff.
Yes, very true. I think everyone nods their head and say, “That’s true.” How do you combat that? What do you do? What do you do to help –? I don’t know. I’m not going to say solve that problem, but mitigate it?
I think first of all, there’s a level of acceptance that you have to have. So, when I first started the business, I would become and this is what I have alluded to earlier. So emotionally involved like, “Yes. I’m so excited that this person started, and they’re going to help us bring in so much business. And they’ve gotten such great feedback.”
And then, you put all your time and resources into training that person. You get so excited about that person. And then the next thing you know, they don’t show up, or they quit, or something else happens.
That really, of course, it became very difficult for me, especially as a young business owner. So, what I have done is I’ve just gone on a continual hiring program. So, we’re always hiring. We’re always training. We’re always setting up ourselves for turnover because it’s a fact of running the business.
So, as soon as I treated it as a fact instead of an anomaly, and as soon as I started treating it as a business item instead of a personal item that became a lot easier for me. I just love that it does. Okay. So, part of our budget has to go to work, hiring, and training. We also have to prepare ourselves for a certain level of turnover.
What do you do from a sales and marketing standpoint? Have you grown that business? What have been your tools to do that?
I think that we were quite fortunate because when we started in 2006, we had a really good Web site. So, by today’s standards, the website would be very low tech. But in 2006, it looked fantastic. It blew the competition out of the water.
So, when people, especially young people, because that’s kind of the way I targeted it when I started the business, I targeted all the people, who lived right in the downtown court, Toronto, in condos.
So, those people weren’t doing the same things that people, who were 20 years our senior, were doing. When they were looking for cleaning services, they would go online, or they would talk to their friends. Get referrals. So, we really leverage the internet when other people weren’t doing it.
Because of that, we got great organic ranking on Google, plus I had some interviews early on with some really big media outlets here in Canada, once called the “CBC,” I’m not sure if you’re familiar with them. They’re like the BBC in the UK but for Canada. So, having that linked back on our website was really helpful.
And then, I also was able to get into a couple of articles – seeing a young entrepreneur with a new business, like the “Throne of Stars.” I got into an article there. That link back also really helped. So, we really benefited from having great organic search results. We’re coming up in organic search results.
And then also, going out of my way to try and get into articles, or to call up different media outlets and say, “Hey! If you need 10 tips for holiday cleaning, I’d be happy to do an article for you.” So, making that outreach was really important.
Also, asking for referrals from happy clients. And then, I would do other things. Whenever I was downtown, I had a stack the business cards. When I would go into a coffee shop, I would find bulletin boards and pin them up. I would use Facebook at the beginning to ask my friends if they knew anybody.
So, it was all that real [dawn and bee? 0:35:11.5] [chuckles] internet and social media that I started, came up within my business. That’s what I use initially to market. Now, I’ll do things because again, we do rank so well thankfully. We’re very fortunate about that.
But I’ll do things like we work with, I should say, MLSE, which is Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. So, the hockey players and the basketball players, and everybody, who works for MLSE in Toronto, knows about Clean My Space. So media, that kind of caliber of client now. It’s also about creating relationships with complementary businesses and seeing what you can do for each other. That’s also been really helpful for us.
Any traditional stuff, like direct mail or ads and magazines, those types of things, or is it mostly more this grassroot guerilla marketing stuff that you’re referring to?
Yes. I have a big smile on my face. You can’t see it. But it’s funny because I remember we did a couple of direct mailer programs one time with the Magnet, and one time with a Notepad. They really just were useless, totally useless for us.
I know what people say who do it, “Oh, you’ll have to do it X amount of time, and you should expect a certain percentage of people coming back to you.” I just found it was a lot more efforts and a lot more money than the results yielded. It wasn’t worth it. As far as I’m concern, it was too much time, and effort, and money.
And then, we did place ads in a couple of magazines. I don’t remember distinctly maybe, hearing two or three people saying that they saw us in this one particular magazine. And I thought, “Forget it.”
However, when I’ve been on TV, people will call and say, “Oh, my gosh! We just saw you on such and such a show. Can I book a clean?” So, that’s why I think getting into local media, be at articles, be at TV, that’s a really great way to build the business.
Now, has that all been because of all the videos that you do? Do you find other ways to get on these local television shows?
Yes. Like I said earlier, it’s hard to say which one came first. The videos help the producers feel comfortable, particularly with TV. It helps the producers feel comfortable with bringing me in because the last thing, anyone wants it. Have you seen the movie, “Ricky Bobby”?
Yes. I forget what it’s actually called. But when he has that —
That’s [unintelligible 37:40.4].
— they know what to do with it. Yes. He’s like, “I don’t know what to do with my hands.” His hands are rising up as he’s talking. It’s just terribly awkward. They don’t want people like that on TV. They want people who can handle themselves. So you have to — I think with the videos, I was able to start and prove, “Listen. I’m not weird on camera. I’ll interrupt with the host. I’ll be fun. I’ll be then outgoing. I’ll leave them with some sort of value.”
As long as you can nail that with the producer, they’ll bring you one. So, there was that. And then there was also networking with writers from different newspapers and magazines. So now, I work a lot with Real Simple Magazine, or Better Homes and Gardens. I’ve been in a Walmart Magazine. Like “Oh, I’ll get in all kinds of magazines now.”
Of course, when the publicity is coming fast and furious, when you first need it [laughs], it’s very hard to hammer down one of those. But once you’ve establish yourself a bit, you tend to get those calls a lot more frequently.
Really? What great experience you’ve had because I think there is a definitive difference between running the service company and “running a product or a video company” like you do? I consider that more of a product company due to the less moving parts.
But they’re two entirely different businesses. You got to see both sides. Most people don’t get to see that because I don’t think you can take a service guy and put them in their product business or vice versa very easily.
Yes. It’s definitely been a matter of wearing a lot of hats and learning. That’s the thing. I think in this day and age, you have to keep an open mind. You have to be so agile and flexible because you never know what the next big opportunity is going to be. And for me, I always want to get it on the ground level. So, if I can get in as a new platform speaking up, I want in. That’s why I feel so fortunate about YouTube because we didn’t get in so early.
Well, thank you, Mrs. Clean. This has been wonderful and a lot of great information you shared with us and our audience. We appreciate it.
My pleasure. Thanks so much for having me on the show.
Yes. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, Melissa. We may have to have you back maybe in a year or two.
I’m only a phone call away.
We want to do a review of Ricky Bobby. Is that a movie where he prays to Baby Jesus at the Circle?
That’s so funny. We have nicknames for everybody in our shop. We call one guy “Baby Jesus.”
His name is Jesus, but he loves it. He plays right along with this. Oh, I love Baby Jesus.
Oh, I love Baby Jesus. Thanks, Melissa. We appreciate your time. We look forward to keeping in touch with you.