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THIS FESTIVE and New Year season (2018 – 2019) offers a fantastic opportunity for chimney sweeps to market their services to new customers.

Chimneys are in the forefront of popular culture at the moment. Not only do we have Santa regularly coming down the chimney (as he does every year). But there’s also the eagerly-anticipated release of Mary Poppins Returns this month, December.  Tragically (in our view anyway) there’s no chimney sweep like Bert in this sequel to the 1964 original although a new character, street lamplighter Jack, takes on the role of cheeky cockney chap.

Even so, it’s impossible to talk about Mary Poppins without mentioning ‘Ol Bert.

So… this merry season, as people talk about Santa squeezing down the chimney and the pity of a chimney sweep not re-appearing with Ms Poppins (though Dick Van Dyke does have a different cameo role) – how can chimney sweeps take advantage to market their services?

Here are some suggestions:-

  • Christmas cards: if you haven’t done so already, put cards through doors showing an image of Santa struggling to get down the chimney because it’s clogged-up with soot. Make the point that chimneys need regular sweeping!
  • Cinema tickets: Run a competition on your social media to win a couple of Mary Poppins Returns tickets to the cinema. OR arrange a special screening with your local cinema in the New Year and offer to pay entry fees for a teacher and class (the whole school?). Make sure you accompany the class and get the local newspaper there taking photos of you holding an old sweeping brush with the teacher and youngsters for a news story.
  • Quirky story: Local newspapers love quirky stories, especially in the festive season. Think about any unusual situation you’ve recently encountered whilst sweeping: unusual items discovered in the dust of a fireplace, strange creatures nesting, etc – and link it lightheartedly to ‘I was sweeping the chimney ready for Santa when I discovered this….’ when presenting to your local rag. If it’s in the New Year, change to ‘I was getting my customer’s chimney spick and span for the New Year when…’
  • New Year offer: Put a promo leaflet through doors giving a discount offer if customers make an appointment now for a sweep in the spring/summer. Plan to post these the first week of January when everyone is thinking about the year ahead.

Do the above suggestions sound ridiculous? Maybe they are and feel free to ignore them but the point is that it’s a good idea to be creative and think outside the box: make the most of any opportunity. The festive season tends to be the busiest time of year anyway for sweeps. Yet the combo of Santa and M Poppins at the moment presents a great chance to promote your services.

Being a member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps gives you access to a whole new world of business information, marketing tips and ideas and tried and trusted ways to promote yourself. The Guild partners its members and promotes them in many places in many ways. But, the best information of all is shared between the members themselves.