These days, almost everyone has a smart phone and inside those smart phones are a decent quality camera and a decent quality video camera. Those two devices can be an endless source of inspiration for posting content, images and video on your Facebook page, your Youtube channel, Instagram and more.
I would strongly recommend empowering your staff to take pictures inside your shop. First off, taking pictures inside your shop will encourage you and your staff to clean up and keep the place presentable. I know there are a lot of drycleaners that could use a little more improvement in the housekeeping department. We can all better our best and a little extra cleanliness goes a long way with impressing our customers. Knowing that a little dirt here and there could be seen by our customers is great incentive to clean up our act some.
Second, you get to see your shop through, pardon the pun, a different lens and you just might be surprised at what is captured and what you might see. You might find a different angle that enables you to see your shop as your customer sees it, for worse, or for better. When I’ve been perusing images people post on Facebook, I’ve often been surprised what a camera picks up in the background of a picture. You might find the posters on your wall look dated and could use replacing with something more current. Your lobby décor could use a little ‘pick me up’ or ‘perk me up’.
Third, it’s fun and engaging for your staff, a great moral booster. Action shots of your people at work can be entertaining. Many of us end up spending more time with our work mates than we do with our own families, it’s natural for us to bond at work and taking pictures of one another is a social activity that captures some of the fun we do have at work together. Encouraging photos and documenting your team will show just how much fun you can have in your workplace.
In fact, staff snapping photos of each other doing their jobs can be very interesting to our customers. What goes on inside a dry cleaning shop is a big mystery to a lot of our customers as they rarely get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. Pictures showing what we do in the process of cleaning our customers’ clothes can be a source of great interest to our customers and illustrate the amount of work that goes into producing that perfect shirt, or how hard we work to make our customers look good. Just make sure the press pads have been changed recently and the equipment isn’t leaking steam it shouldn’t be.
Shooting short videos can be very interesting and entertaining for your customers too. If a picture says a thousand words, a video must speak volumes. I’ve found that videos posted to Facebook and Youtube can be very captivating as well as informative. As an example, a short clip about your VIP bags and how to use them is not only educational, but can promote a service that will save your customer some time and speed up your counter service.
Short ‘videos’ featuring various services such as your professional shirt laundry, alterations service, route services, can end up being commercials for your business to use in your Facebook timeline, on your web site and on your own Youtube channel. All one has to do is write a short script, mount your camera on a tripod and shoot. Post the video on Youtube (for free I might ad), then embed in your web site with the code Youtube gives you, or copy and paste a link to your Youtube hosted video into Facebook and it will appear on your FB timeline. Or better yet, upload the video into your Facebook page directly and Facebook will host your video for free as well.
You will be amazed at how your in house generated videos and pictures will boost and build your brand. Your in house generated content will show your unique work environment, your unique staff and your unique processes you have in your unique shop. You will rapidly differentiate your business from all others because only you can be you.
You might even create some minor famous personalities like one of my client’s has. He has been blogging, posting content to his Facebook page and his email newsletter featuring Lynn the Laundry Lady. Lynn has become an icon of his store, departing seasonal and timely information and advice about gravy stains on Thanksgiving and Christmas tablecloths, or whatever topic strikes him to write about. Again, the pictures he takes are using his smart phone and are not professional quality, but that only adds to the appeal, as it is real, genuine, straight from the heart content that has developed a following among his customers. Lynn the Laundry Lady has become a personality that people can identify with and even look forward to hearing from. Not bad for using the tools at hand.
I should mention, when writing content, try to avoid using technical terms such as ‘spotting’ instead of stain removal. Technical terms we drycleaners use can cause confusion from the customers point of view, as in the example above, customers may think spotting is putting spots ON garments instead of removing them. I’ve often been advised that when writing, you should write at a grade eight vocabulary level so as many people as possible can understand what you have to say. Technical terms and ‘big words’ can confuse and alienate readers, so keep it simple and keep it clear.
Have fun and experiment with different topics with your content. Don’t worry if you don’t immediately get a bunch of engagement from your followers as it takes time to build an audience. As you take more pictures, shoot more videos and post it to your social media channels, your audience will find you. Eventually your companies’ personality will come through and folks will start to engage with you. Writing your content, finding your audience, building your brand and telling your story is a journey, not a destination, so do try to enjoy the adventure. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with; so do feel free to send me links and invitations to your Facebook page for your business.