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    Powerwashing Flyers that took business from zero to $13,202 per month


    I’m posting this guest post because I LOVE IT when people get their hands dirty in order to make money.

    I think there’s more lessons to be learned by getting out there and doing small jobs than any amount of reading blog posts. 

    Using some basic copywriting principles in his marketing, Peter went from making $0 with his powerwashing service...to doing $13,202 per month!

    So here’s Peter showing the exact business flyers he used to “automate his marketing” instead of going door-to-door.  

    Watch for the subtle psychological things happening with each flyer:



    There was no way in hell I was ever doing that again…..

    I had just gotten back from going door-to-door trying to sell power washing after hearing from my Dad that it was “a good business to get your feet wet.”

    After 2 or 3 anxiety-filled hours of stuttering my way through a pitiful little sales pitch and getting zero results, I gave up.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever gone door-to-door before, but for me, especially at the time, it honestly felt like I could have been offering FREE money and people still would have said no.

    I felt like a pest!

    If you’re at all introverted (like me), or you’re not the smoothest on your feet, then you gotta knock on like 100 doors before you find someone….and it’s absolute agony the whole time.

    So, unless you’re trying to get over your fear of rejection, don’t try powerwashing this way.  

    I’m going to show you exactly how I went from $0 to over $10,000 a month without ever knocking on a door or making a cold call.

    The First (lame) Attempt at Marketing:

    After deciding I was never going to go door-to-door ever again, I designed a beautiful flyer, that looked something like this…


    It was so pretty and nice….

    ….but it absolutely BOMBED!

    I got my friend to deliver a couple hundred of them and I didn’t get a single phone call.

    I was shocked… (what an idiot I was).

    Now if you’ve been following Neville for any period of time, you’re probably a lot smarter than I was at the time.  

    You know why this flyer is sooo bad and you probably know how to write at least basic KOPY… like telling people WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM and offering some bloody benefits…

    But I was stressing because I had no idea what benefits I could show.  

    I started thinking what it was going to look like I was going to have to get a job unless I figured out this whole marketing thing QUICK!

    I had a little bit of money left after my backpacking trip in South East Asia got cut short due to a motorcycle accident… but not much…

    So, I went to my Dad, hat-in-hand, with my “beautiful”, terrible little flyer and asked him what I was doing wrong…

    He laughed, handed me an old Dan Kennedy book on direct response marketing and a few chapters later, I threw away my first “beautiful” attempt.

    I started again from scratch.  This time I didn’t care if the flyer was “beautiful” or “professional looking.”  I realized that didn’t matter.    

    The Second Attempt At Marketing

    Here’s what I came up with my second time around:


    I printed out 100 of these new flyers on my little inkjet and got my friend to deliver them to a local neighborhood.

    100 flyers printed.  Total Cost = $20 

    But I was still scared, because after my first failure, I remember thinking, “there’s no way I’m going to get calls…”

    But the phone rang…..it rang 4 times!!!

    I didn’t even know what to say when I answered… I hadn’t really thought that part through!

    But it didn’t really matter… my new customers did most of the talking (you’ll find people LOVE to tell you all about their situation).

    Within a day, I got 4 new customers and which ended up turning into around $600 dollars in business. 

    It blew my mind!

    I thought, “Hey there’s a lot more neighborhoods…..and if I just send out more of these flyers….I should get a bunch more customers… this is so much better than knocking on doors!”

    How to Turn a $69 Driveway Job Into $200+ Worth of Work:

    When I met with the first customer, I didn’t suddenly learn how to become a sales star or even a smooth talker, or even know what the concept of an “upsell” was.  But I found out quickly.

    Usually when people call you to powerwash their driveway, they like to walk around with you tell you their life story and while they’re at it, also show you what they want cleaned…

    And usually, there’s a bunch of other dirty stuff right beside the thing they want cleaned.

    So there was one thing I would say that worked really well with making more money. It honestly just seemed natural to ask it.

    I would just ask:

    “Would you like _____ cleaned too?”

    People go… “Yea, geez… hmm yea. I didn’t think about that but now that you mention it can you clean that to?”

    And you get 80%+ of people saying yes.

    I feel like an idiot when I don’t ask… which is a little too often.

    Hiring a Roller Blader and Going From $600 to $6,292:

    So I quickly learned that I just needed to send out more flyers to get more customers.  

    I bought a bigger printer and I hired my friend to go out on his rollerblades and deliver 1,600 flyers each week at $0.18 cents per flyer. (At the time I didn’t know about Every Door Direct Mail in the U.S. or Unadressed Admail in Canada… which is what I do now and actually cheaper and more reliable than my friend).

    And like clockwork, I would get at least 15 jobs… enough to keep me fully booked for the whole week.

    It would cost me on average $25 to get a customer… and I’d bring in on average $200 from each customer right away… that’s 8x my money, which is pretty awesome math.

    That’s like having a machine that I throw $100 into, and it throws $800 right back at me.  

    And as long as these flyers kept being profitable… I kept sending them out. 

    Mailing 16x to One Neighborhood and Still Getting New Customers:

    It was amazing how I could tweak the flyer a tiny bit and send it to the SAME neighborhoods every other week and I would still get more and more people calling in!

    One neighborhood in particular, I sent flyers to them 16x one summer and it was still profitable in bringing new people in:

    • People would have family coming over to visit and needed to get the home nice and clean…
    • Or they were getting their home ready to sell…
    • Or they’d see I cleaned their neighbors driveway and realize they wanted theirs done too…

    People’s circumstances change and you’ve got to be there when they do.

    By hyper focusing on neighbourhoods, you can quickly become the dominate player and can quickly end up cleaning 20% or more of the homes in an area.

    Besides mailing a bunch I found these 3 things worked really well and would take one customer and turn it into 2 or 3 more…

    Getting Neighbors as Customers Without Door Knocking:

    For a service business like this… you make a lot more money by not wasting time and gas traveling long distances between jobs.

    A lot of these powerwashing guys are driving all over the place because they’re not doing targeted marketing…

    I’ve been able to stay busy in a small town with 5,000 homes and not have to venture out to any of the surrounding areas by doing three things:

    The first thing I did this was mailing a letter like this before I was going to do a job…


    The second thing was by having a sign and wearing high visible reflective gear:



    I was such an idiot in the beginning and went without a sign for a long time!  As a result people didn’t realize I was for hire.  

    The first day I got a sign, I had a lady come up and end up hiring me for $2,000 worth of work… that alone turned out to be a pretty good ROI on my $40 signs!

    The third thing is to send a letter like this to the neighbors afterwards…


    The Free Driveway Experiment:

    Would you spend $90 and work for free for a week… if you knew it would make you $21,000+?

    I hope you would.

    Because that’s how I got 45 out of 90 homes in a neighborhood to become customers, which has so far resulted in more than $21,000 in business.

    Let me explain…

    After cleaning a few driveways I started to notice something very interesting:

    As soon as I cleaned someone’s driveway and they were able to see what a difference it made and how awesome it was to save 5 hours of back breaking, clothes soaking, mud splashing labour… it was like a switch had been flipped…

    It was like suddenly they were the kind of people who clean their home and pay someone to do it for them.

    They’d inevitably ask me if I could clean a bunch of other stuff for them and it would result in each customer being worth anywhere from $200 to as much as $2,000.

    And it really got me thinking…

    If I can just get someone started and committed to taking that little baby step, then the rest becomes really easy…

    So, I picked a gated community of 90 homes, where I had already done some work and I sent out this letter for a free driveway cleaning:




    I ended up getting 42 of them to become customers and it has resulted in over $21,000 in business!

    From $6,202 to $13,000

    The key to scaling up from the $6,202 was to make sure I kept the “customer getting system” up and continuously working.

    If you rest on your laurels and get lazy (which happened to me more than once), the business starts to dry up.  

    At first I was going door-to-door myself trying to get business.  This didn’t work at all….not to mention it was extremely stress-inducing for me.  

    However when I started using copywriting principles to automate my marketing through flyers, it effectively got me from $50 an hour to being able to make $150/hr or more.


    Peter Van Straaten

    ————END PETER————
    ————END PETER————
    ————END PETER————


    Hey, it’s Neville again: 

    Isn’t it pretty sweet how he found out that:

    • Knocking On Doors = Slow and ineffective.
    • Sending Out Flyers = Easy and profitable (with the right flyer).

    Essentially the flyers were automating the job Peter was manually doing.

    With concepts learned in The Copywriting Course it’s easy to see why this “pretty” flyer failed:


    The flyers that did really well look ugly…..but they seem personal, genuine, and offer a real benefit to the reader!





    Some valuable lessons here 🙂

    If you’d like to know more about the psychology behind flyers like these and how to write your own copy that sells, checkout The Copywriting Course.


    Neville Medhora

    P.S. There are many more direct mail marketing examples you can see here (including markup on how to improve them).

    P.P.S. If you want to get the editable templates for these powerwashing flyers join the Copywriting Course:


    Get editable templates for these powerwashing flyers when you join Copywriting Course:


    As a member you get instant access to all the templates:
    - Yours to modify with your own contact info, text, images -
    - Download in Google Docs or Microsoft Word format -
    - Easily edit them in your web browser -
    - Print them for your own business -
    - Join here -


    Recommended Comments

    Hey David!

    Congrats on the success! I saw your comment and I had a question (if I may trouble you). You said "I did EDDM on cheap paper printed on our office color printer. It’s all about the message."

    I'm trying to do the same thing, but I'm being told by all the print shops (and USPS website) that you can't just use regular full-size copy-paper for EDDM.

    Am I missing something, or how did you manage to do that?

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    Link to comment

    Hi David!

    Just came across this post and your comment, and I was thinking of starting a similar business. Sounds like you're off to a great start! I'm curious - how have things gone for you since starting (it's been about a year since your post :)?

    Cheers and good luck on your journey!

    Link to comment
    Guest Travis Korns

    I own a small pressure washing company here in Victoria BC. I have found that flyer dropping is profoundly more lucrative than online marketing. Perhaps it's because I ran adds myself online...with my own ad copy... but had flyers professionally made. Maybe there is more to to this ad copy thing than I gave credit to.

    I love the idea of hyper focusing on specific neighbourhoods. I'm going to try it! Your method of sending a letter before and after is ingenious too! I'm glad I found this article.

    Link to comment
    I'm in Canada and use unaddressed admail, so it may be a bit different. I do have to fold my flyers to meet the thickness requirements, so you could check back on that. In the beginning I just paid people to drop them off and hiring on craigslist, so that could be another option
    Link to comment

    "I pay $56 per 1000 to print flyers."

    How in the world were you getting them printed for that cheap? I'd love to know your provider!

    The cheapest I've found for 8.5x11" flyers on just standard paper is $130 but that's before shipping. $189 is the cheapest I've found locally.

    Link to comment
    Guest David Hunter

    Hi Eric,

    I used 90 lbs Index paper that I got for like $12.50 for 250 sheets. It was just above the minimum thickness for EDDM mailings, and I used full 8.5" x 11" paper.

    If you decide to print them yourself, be sure your printer will be able to handle this type of paper.

    Link to comment
    Guest Steve Jones
    I started a pressure washing business 3 months ago handing out flyers. I put them on all the dirty driveways here in Naples Florida I can find. I get about 4 calls out of 100 flyers. Some referrals but most first timers. If you stop handing them out they stop calling. It's only myself doing this so I spend more time cleaning. But tomorrow I have a free day and I am not coming home until dark until I hand ou as many flyers as I can. I figure this time next year will be easier because all these customers will need their property cleaned again. No one should have dirty property.
    Link to comment
    Guest Steve Jones
    Just a follow up, I pay $10 per 100 flyers at Staples. Granted they are black and white but they work the same. I use the $69 approach on small driveways and bump the price up for much longer driveways and people can't believe the price. There's no estimates. They just want to know when can I do it. They are instant customers and usually I pick up their pool decks or houses. At the end of the day I know I could have gotten more money but you know, if I can do a excellent job for a fair price, people will appreciate someone not gouging them. I figure I will have repeat business for years to come. Thanks Peter for the motivation !
    Link to comment
    I started using hi visibility gear because the long sleeved shirts protect me from the nasty Australian Sun. But also most tradesman wear them too so it creates credibility with the customer & public. Even though it's bright yellow it's still a uniform and looks more professional than no 'uniform'
    Link to comment
    Guest David

    Just re-read this article. I've been pressure washing for a number of years. In my experience, the best advertising is to be seen working. I've also had a lot of success in going door-to-door with fliers and meeting homeowners in person. Lot's of businesses drop off fliers, but if the homeowner can meet you, if even for just a brief moment, it makes a lot of difference.

    All that said, I did create a website so people would have another option of finding me: Power Wash Blacksburg

    Link to comment
    Guest David Ward

    Really enjoyed the article. I was wondering if there was a way to pass my contact info on to Steve Jones down in Naples, Fl?

    I live in Port Charlotte about 40-45 miles north of Naples and wanted to reach out to him about his pressure washing business. Would that be possible or to maybe get his company name so I could contact him? I appreciate any help on this you might be able to help with

    Thank you.

    David A Ward

    Pristine Property Source



    Link to comment

    Agree with Neville here (although seeing this 18 or whatever months after its bene posted!).

    This type of sale is usually something that is not seeked out, so Peter "creates" the problem. Not many people say "Hmm, my driveway looks grimy, let me look up a powerwasher guy". It's a sale of convienance. Also, seeing the neighbors getitng their stuff cleaned triggers a "keeping up with the Jones" type of compellingness (is that even a word? Nah...) and triggers the pride switch.

    Great job

    Link to comment
    Guest Chris Monk

    An offer for personal training business could be:

    Free 1 hour session.

    Free 1 week tailored diet plan

    Free 1 month tailored exercise plan

    Get them in the door to get to know, like and trust you. Then upsell/suggest other services you provide when they get to know you better.

    Link to comment
    Guest Martin Woods
    Very insightful story, i bought a pressure washer for almost $400 and made it back on 2 jobs, very profitable business. I was looking to do door to door but was nervous but I do appreciate the story, and if you're in the Columbus are please look me up at www.handsofintegrity.com in Columbus, ohio
    Link to comment
    Guest Travis Newton


    I'm going back to postcards and if you still have that file and want to share my email is above.

    Thanks man!

    Link to comment
    Guest The Power Of Fundamentals: Lessons Learned From a… Powerwashing Biz! | Info Biz Academy
    […] Powerwashing Flyers that took business from zero to $13,202 per month […]
    Link to comment

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