Jan 13, 2023 | 7 min read

A car detailer's guide to effective business advertising

After learning how to start a car detailing business, writing a business plan, and setting the best, most competitive car detailing prices around, you’re ready to open. You just need one more thing: business. 

From creating a digital presence for your business to turning your neighbors into first and forever customers, learn the basics about car detailing advertising in this essential guide. Drive brand awareness, build buzz, and keep your customers coming back for more in just five steps.

1. Create an online presence

Like many businesses, your website is a critical tool for advertising. For neighborhood companies, a Nextdoor business page is just as important. Building a digital local presence with a website and Nextdoor page can do big things for you, like: 

  • Inform about your car detailing services
  • Market your business
  • Share your story
  • Showcase your recommendations

Start with your website, where you’ll have multiple pages to expand on all the details important to you and prospective customers. From there, you’ll be able to launch your free Nextdoor business page in minutes. Consider including the following:

  • Your story – An “About” or “Meet the Team” page provides a brief overview of your business, and you as a business owner, and can include details of your shop’s background and team members. List skills and accomplishments, as a business owner and detailer. Include a paragraph or two summary in the story section of your Nextdoor page, and consider “introducing” teammates in free posts to neighbors’ newsfeeds.
  • Your services – List your services and pricing with all relevant details. This page should be easy to skim so that after visiting, customers have an idea of what you do, what they want, how much it costs, and how to get in touch if they have questions.
  • Contact information – Keep your name, logo, address, hours, email, and telephone number updated at all times. You can include a link to your website on Nextdoor, and even a link to your Nextdoor page on your website.
  • Recommendations – 71% of neighbors have shared a business recommendation on Nextdoor and 72% have been influenced by one. Collect recommendations there and display these positive testimonials prominently on your website. Word-of-mouth marketing can be a powerful, free advertising tool for local services businesses especially.
  • Photos and video – Give customers a preview of your best work with a photo gallery or before-and-after images of some of your biggest, best detailing jobs. 
  • A blog – Share updates about your business, car detailing tips and tricks, industry insights, and seasonal expertise. While your blog will live on your website, you can share or advertise relevant blog posts on Nextdoor.

Based in Durham, NC, Johnson's Detailing is a local car detailer that writes articles like, “vehicle dos and don'ts during pollen season” for their blog. They keep customers informed with helpful updates on everything car-related so they’re on their minds when they need a detailing business’s help.

  • FAQs – Answer any questions potential and existing customers have about services and pricing with a section of your top queries. 

Strengthen your SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, can help customers find your website more easily when searching online. If a neighbor types “car detailing business near me,” into Google, strong SEO can help get your website among the top results. Strengthen your SEO with the following tips:

Optimize with keywords

Think of keywords like the question that your website has the answer to, words relevant to both your business and your customer’s search query. They may be as general as “Springfield car detailing” or as specific as “best car detailing business for classic cars.”

To find the best keywords for your business, try simple research exercises: 

  • Search “car detailing” and see what Google automatically fills the search box with
  • Explore free keyword tools like SEMRush Keyword Generator
  • Use Google’s “people also ask” function to find words your ideal customers are using to find businesses like yours
  • Plug your competitor’s websites into SEMRush’s Organic Keyword Database to see what terms they’re ranking for

Include relevant keywords on your website across the homepage, blog posts, service page, and about section. Avoid overdoing it, which can hurt SEO. Include keywords when and where it’s organic so that the website is easy to read with a natural, conversational tone.

Make your content relevant and readable

The goal for both you and Google is that when someone clicks on your website after they search for your business, they feel like they’re in the right place. That means a customer’s experience on your website is important too. Make it SEO-friendly with these simple tips:

  • The design should be clean, uncluttered, and easy to navigate
  • Make sure information can be easily absorbed with a legible font and color palette 
  • Avoid filling your website with large text blocks
  • Break up text with pictures, videos, and pull quotes
  • Ensure each page is easy to skim with headers so that customers can find the information they’re looking for
  • Update the site regularly with new relevant information that customers may find useful, like updated hours, events, and offerings

The more human-friendly your website is, the higher it will rank for Google search results. 

2. Sponsor local events

Hosting or sponsoring local events can be a win for advertising your car detailing business in your area. You support your community, doing something people love, while neighbors learn about your business. Consider a popular event where potential customers will be, like:

  • Community car washes – Sponsor a car wash that supports a local sports team or charitable organization you and your team choose. You could provide supplies, t-shirts, or your space, inviting neighbors in and donating a portion of the proceeds. If you let a team set up to do simple car washes, customers may even swing back through for interior detailing, too.
  • Parades – Get the word out about your car detailing business with floats, banners, maybe even a car or two. Go big and sponsor your own float or simply show up to hand out free merchandise or coupons to neighbors gathered there.
  • Car shows – Calling all local car lovers. Showcase your business, and even vehicles you’ve detailed, with a car show that appeals to a more niche audience of those with specialty cars, plus a broader crowd just there to browse.

Share all of your community events on Nextdoor, where you can spread the word to neighbors across your whole city. 

3. Try email marketing

Collect potential or current customer email addresses anywhere you can: with sign-ups at events or at your store, when they make a purchase, or in a form when browsing your website.

Email marketing for your car detailing business can involve sending updates, promotions, and reminders straight to your customer’s inbox in the hopes that they’ll read and be more likely to visit your detailing shop.

Get started with these different email types:

  • Welcome emails – Once a new customer gives you their email address, they should get an automatic welcome with a brief introduction to you and your business, plus an easy way to contact or book you. Don’t forget to thank them for their interest.
  • Promotional emails – Want to spread the word about that month-long discount on rim detailing? Share exclusive offers over email when new subscribers sign up or to entice current clients to come back or save when they refer someone. 
  • Reminder emails – Let customers know about upcoming appointments and invoices, or advertise a seasonal service they might be in need of this time of year. 

Email marketing can be a simple and efficient way for you to grow your customer base and keep in touch with how useful your services are. Based in Havertown, PA, Rick’s Professional Auto Detailing makes it easy for customers to sign up with a feature at the bottom of his website’s “Contact” page.  

4. Launch loyalty and referral programs

Programs that reward repeat purchases or word-of-mouth business can be effective advertising strategies that benefit loyal customers, too. See which  program works for your car detailing advertising strategy:

  • Loyalty program – Build the relationship between you and your most loyal customers by offering discounts and special services as rewards for regular support of your business. This could look like a promotion that gives customers one free exterior detail after nine visits.
  • Referral program – Show loyal customers you value them and increase word-of-mouth marketing with a referral program that incentivizes customers to bring in others for a percentage off their next purchase. You can also reward customers with a special offer if they write you a recommendation on somewhere like Nextdoor.

To spread the word about special programs, mention them in your promotional email marketing strategy.

5. Use social media

Advertise your car detailing business on social media to give potential customers a look at what you do and how you do it best. To get started, create a business profile on Nextdoor and other relevant social media platforms where you can:

  • Share photos or videos of your services
  • Introduce people to your team
  • Connect with your community
  • Build a following 
  • Share tips and seasonal information related to car detailing
  • Update followers with promotions
  • Share your top recommendations 

As people learn about your business, they can follow you for more and share your content with others, growing awareness for you.

Advertise your car detailing business with Nextdoor

When promoting your car detailing business, it’s important to connect with your local community. Do it on Nextdoor, where a free business page unlocks an instant following just by signing up. Access free marketing tools with posts in the newsfeed of everyone within two miles of your business.

You’re marketing your business just by claiming your Nextdoor page and keeping it updated. When you’re ready to invest in advertising for your car detailing business, Nextdoor’s easy-to-use ad tools help you target your most important customers down to the ZIP code, on any budget. Share neighbor-exclusive deals, open up direct conversations, and spread the word about your next event as your neighbors become your best customers.

Claim your free business page
Author image Nextdoor Editorial Team At Nextdoor, we love local. The Nextdoor Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of local businesses, providing product education, and sharing marketing best practices to help businesses grow.