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10 Low Cost Car Detailing Advertising Ideas

So, you’ve named your new auto detailing business, bought all the equipment, and are almost ready to go.

There’s just one thing missing: 


In this guide, we share with you ten practical marketing ideas to help you get your new venture off to a flying start. 

Related: How to start an auto detailing business

1. Create Business Cards and Hand Them Out

Creating business cards for your auto detailing business should be one of the first steps in your marketing strategy.

Whether you follow our tutorial and learn how to make business cards for free on Canvause an online printing service like VistaPrint, or outsource the project to a local designer and printer, invest in a stack of high-quality business cards with all of the following details:

  • Your logo
  • Your business name
  • Your phone number and email address
  • Your website address.

Related: How to make the best auto detailing business cards

Ensure you hand a card to every existing and potential customer you meet, and remember to have a stack ready to go at your business premises so that customers can take extras to recommend you to their friends. 

2. Search Engine Optimization

Creating a website is one of the first tasks many people tackle when launching a new business, but just because you build your site, there’s no guarantee that anyone will visit it.

To attract visitors, you’ll need to invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is the name given to a series of strategies, tools, and techniques for ensuring that your site ranks highly in search engines when people search for terms relating to your business. 

To begin, you’ll benefit by using a tool like the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool to find out what those terms are and decide which ones to target with your SEO efforts.

Here, you’ll need to think local. 

Ranking highly for keywords like “car detailing business” is excellent, but if people are visiting your website in New York and you’re based in South Carolina, it’s not going to be much help to them or you. 

Instead, put yourself in the mindset of a potential customer. What would they type into Google if they needed a business like yours?

“Car detailing in Town X?”

“mobile detailing in State Y?”

With your keywords chosen, you can begin to optimize your website content for each one, including them in the page title, heading, and sparingly throughout your content. 

Beyond keywords, you can also benefit from ensuring your website loads quickly and functions properly on mobile devices. Both are factors that Google considers when determining where to place your site in search results. 

This is a very rudimentary introduction to SEO basics, but it’s certainly a topic worth exploring if you’re going to promote your business effectively on the Internet.

3. Utilize Google AdWords to Reach Potential Customers

SEO isn’t the only way to boost your visibility on Google. 

Signing up for a Google Ads account lets you position your business at the top of search pages, even above the organic search results. 

Google Ads also creates opportunities to place your ads on websites that generate income via Google Adsense. 

Again, you’ll need to do some keyword research here to decide which search terms should trigger your ad, and you’ll also benefit from looking at ads from competitors and auto detailing services in other areas to get a better understanding of the kind of ad copy that catches attention and generates results.

4. Connect with Customers on Social Media

From before and after stories on Instagram to deals and special offers on your Facebook page, social media marketing presents many opportunities to promote your auto detailing service in many unique ways.

That said, its most significant advantage is that it allows you to connect and engage with new and existing customers. 

Not only can this be great for soliciting customer feedback to improve your service, but it also helps build a connection between you and your audience, which can lead to long-term brand loyalty and repeat custom.

Promoting your business offline in the real world can make just as much difference to your success as your digital marketing efforts. 

While there are many ways to do this, few reap the kind of rewards like involving your business in local community events. 

One easy way to do this is to sponsor a local event. The money you spend benefits the local community, and, in return, you get to advertise your business on the event’s website, promotional materials, and even throughout the event itself. 

Another option may be to set up a booth at an event and do live car detailing demonstrations to show attendees what you’re capable of.

6. Attend Car Shows

Sticking with the theme of events, car shows, and automotive expos are, naturally, ideal opportunities to attract new customers. 

Rent an ample space, take a professional-looking tent, signage, and flyers, and, just like at the community events, see if it’s possible to do a live detailing demonstration on-site. 

You could showcase your expertise by taking questions from your audience as part of your demonstration or invite people to stick around for an informal chat once you’re done.

7. Form Strategic Partnerships With Other Businesses

Auto-related events also present an ideal opportunity for networking with other businesses in your industry. 

For example, let’s say you meet a mobile car detailer. You don’t currently offer mobile dealing, so you agree to form a partnership to pass on any mobile jobs to them for a commission. It’s a win-win – advertising mobile car detailing services and attracting customers you wouldn’t usually, while your new partners get the extra work.

Away from events, it may be a good idea to form strategic partnerships with local car dealerships which send business your way via exclusive deals with their customers.

8. Come Up With a Referral Program

It’s no secret that word-of-mouth remains an essential car detailing advertising strategy. Go the extra mile to deliver the best possible service for your customers, and they’ll have no problem referring you to their friends, family, and colleagues, especially if you give them a good incentive.

Start a referral program where you reward customers for sending people by offering a 20% discount for both parties. 

Sure, it may seem like those discounts would cut into your profit margins. However, considering how many more customers an effective and enticing referral program could be, the extra customers more than make up for those minor losses.

9. Organizing Charity Drives

There are few better ways to get the community talking positively about your business than helping out a good cause. 

Host a charity drive for food, school supplies, or other essentials, and tell local media outlets. It’s a fantastic way to generate publicity, get your name out there, and bring potential new customers who may not have otherwise visited your location. 

Likewise, consider hosting a charity car wash or similar event related to your business. 

10. Collect Online Reviews

Last but not least, never underestimate the power of online reviews when promoting your auto detailing services. 

Some 88% of consumers turn to online reviews when choosing which local businesses to use, making them an integral part of your overall marketing strategy. 

Of course, your first step to generating positive reviews is to ensure that you always deliver the kind of five-star service that inspires customers to take the time out of their day to write one in the first place. 

Beyond that, feel free to ask for reviews. Leave a reminder on your invoices, email marketing newsletters, and social media posts. 

Sadly, offering discounts in exchange for positive reviews is not a good idea, as platforms like Google and Yelp frown on this sort of thing. Still, if you continue to go above and beyond for your customers and ask them politely to say a few kind words about you, you’ll likely find that many will be more than happy to.

Related: How to write a car detailing business plan

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I advertise my car detailing on Facebook?

You can set up a Facebook page to interact with your customers and offer discounts, coupons, and special offers. You can also invest in Facebook ads with impressive targeting features to ensure you’re only spending money on ads that reach your target audience.

Can you advertise on your own car?

Absolutely. If you’re running a mobile dealing business, investing in wrap-around advertising for your vehicles is a fantastic way to promote yourself wherever you go.

How do I make my detailing business successful?

There are three critical steps to making a successful car detailing business. 

First, market and advertise. Whether via word-of-mouth, on social media platforms, or in the papers, tell as many people as possible to attract your first customers. 

Second, deliver the best possible customer service. Do such a good job that customers won’t want to go anywhere else.

Finally, stay engaged with those customers. Invite them to your social media platforms or email marketing list and keep in touch with new offers, discounts, or reminders.

How to Successfully Promote Your Auto Detailing Business: A Final Word of Advice

The ten marketing and advertising ideas listed above are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to all the different ways you could promote your detailing business and attract more customers. 

We didn’t have time to dive into things like writing a compelling blog post to drive traffic and boost your SEO, collecting subscribers for an email marketing list and using it to send targetted offers and promotions, or even diving into the world of video marketing to demonstrate your expertise and build brand recognition.

All those are equally as effective as anything we’ve mentioned today, so if we could offer you one last piece of advice, it would be this:

Try the ones that appeal most to you, see which ones work, and do more of them. 

For example, suppose you’re putting all your time and energy into Facebook marketing and getting a minimal return on your investment. In that case, spending less time on Facebook is perfectly OK if you get better results from another medium like Instagram, YouTube, or good, old-fashioned print marketing. 

For more suggestions, see our 22 low-cost ideas for marketing your new business.

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