Blog Tip 3: It's Time to Educate Your Landscape Blog Readers

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) had a fascinating graphic on their website regarding the average homeowner’s knowledge about lawns.

Do you realize that this is a hotbed of ideas to catapult you, the lawn care owner/operator or landscape maintenance contractor, into the go-to company for lawn care and landscape knowledge?

You don’t have to get real technical about these tips either. Remember the saying, “Keep It Simple, Sam.” Okay, I know it’s not Sam, but Stupid. But I wasn’t allowed to say stupid growing up—so please bear with me.

Just give your audience the basic information they need–such as only take off 2 1/2 – 3″ when they mow in the spring. Or remind your followers that they should water their lawns in the early morning hours rather than at lunchtime or in the evening.

Simple tips can make you the local expert.

If you don’t have time to employ these ideas, call me, the Landscape Writer, at 717-381-6719, email me at wendy@landscapewriter.com or fill out my free consultation form to learn more.

Blog Tip #2

Now for blog tip #2. April is around the corner, and that means it’s time to blog about pre-emergent and broadleaf weeds.

Remember to consider your ideal customer–how much does the homeowner really need to know about technical weed control details?

Here are some tips to help you with this type of blog:

  1. Remind your readers that a healthy, thick lawn crowds out most obnoxious weeds.
  2. The proven method to getting a thick lawn to crowd out weeds starts in the soil.
  3. Yet, those yearly crabgrass, dandelions and other spring weeds still can break through healthy lawns. Talk about the weed control products you use and when you apply them.
  4. Don’t forget to tell your readers that developing the ideal soil to host a healthy lawn can take a few years to develop–it’s not an overnight fix.
  5. Tell them your methods start with a soil test.
  6. You develop a lawn care program designed specifically for their property’s needs. Explain why that’s important.
  7. Don’t forget your call to action at the very end of your blog. You don’t want your blog to be a hard sell because it’ll turn off your sales prospects. Yet, you want to make it super easy for your readers to contact you.

Are you wondering what the heck is a call to action? Learn more with this infographic.

I hope these tidbits help you to develop your local online presence and bring more sales prospects to your door. Email me at wendy@landscapewriter.com letting me know how these blog tips are helping you.

 

Spring blog #1

This is my busy season. So I haven’t had a lot of time to write a blog to help you. Instead, I’m giving you a spring blog & social media tip per week or month. I haven’t had time to work out the schedule yet.

You can use these tips to write a short blog for your website or jot down some ideas around the theme to post on your landscaping company’s Facebook page.

This week’s focus: National Lawn Care Month. The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) has a whole page dedicated to marketing ideas for April. Check it out!

Share this post or any other snippet for National Lawn Care Month using the hashtag #LawnCareMonth. Let’s celebrate the beauty and efficiency of lawns!

If you like these tips or you have a blog tip that worked well for your lawn and landscape business, let me know at wendy@landscapewriter.com.

Since 2013, Wendy Komancheck has been providing website content, blogs, case studies, white papers, web copy and other content marketing copy to lawn care, landscape, and other home improvement companies. As a green industry copywriter, she helps owner/operators grow their business one word at a time. You can contact Komancheck through her online consultation form; email her at wendy@landscapewriter.com; or call/text at 717-381-6719.

 

Bring Your Blog & Social Media Content Together

Let Your Landscaping Blog Guide Your Social Media in 2017

Let Your Landscaping Blog Connect with Your Social Media

Do you feel overwhelmed by social media? Do you struggle to come up with a post that will bring more people to you rather than your competitor’s Facebook site?

If you’re stuck with what to post on social media…

If you own a landscaping business and you’re new to blog creation and social media content, you may not realize the tie between the two mediums.

Yet, marrying social media and blog content will save you time—and possibly money. Here’s how…

  • One monthly blog provides you with 4 – 6 posts for social media content
  • Two blogs per month provides you with 8 -12 posts for social media content
  • Three blogs per month gives you 12 -18 social media posts
  • Four blogs per month gives you 16 – 24 social media posts.

How can you use your blog to guide your social media content? It’s easy—you take the important points of your blog and post them on your favorite social media channels—Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

But you need to keep these two things in mind:

  1. This will only work if it’s on social media platforms where your ideal customers hang out. For some landscape companies, it’s Facebook and Pinterest. For others, it’s Twitter and LinkedIn. Connect with me on Facebook!
  2. After you find where your ideal customers hang out on social media, you need to tailor your social media messages to fit that audience. For example, you can’t simply copy and paste your four main points from your grub blog directly into Facebook. Instead, you need to rewrite them to meet the way people “talk” on Facebook. And you don’t just have to work with words either. Instead, come up with posts that include video, such as taking your readers live on a site to look to a lawn with grub damage. You can even take your commercial clients outside to your parking lot to look for possible risks associated with snow removal.

 

And don’t forget to post before and after landscape construction or lawn maintenance pictures up on Houzz to bring your followers over to your website.

Benefits of marrying your blog to your social media

There are a lot of benefits to connecting your blog to your social media platforms. Here are the top five:

  1. You save time—You no longer need to stare at your FB message box and wonder what to put in it.
  2. You stay top of mind with your prospects and customers—When you post a key point and a link back to your blog, you stay top of mind with your current audience, and you’ll direct new people to your website.
  3. You stay consistent—You probably heard that your “brand message” needs to stay consistent across all of your marketing communications. For example, you probably have a logo that can be found on your company’s uniforms, trucks and website. The same goes for your social media and blogs. Keep the same message coming across all of your online marketing tools too. Learn more about building your lawn and landscape brand with this guide from Hub Spot.
  4.  You build your trustworthiness—It has been said that online marketing is all about building “Know, Like and Trust.” By consistently sharing the same message across your website, blog and social media, you’re building your KLT. Read how this expert uses KLT on LinkedIn.
  5. You position yourself as the leading expert in your local region—Remember, you need to stand out from your competition. And the best way to do that is effectively using the above techniques. Plus, adding specific cities to your social media content, just like you do for your web copy and blogs, further increases your ability to reach more people in your specific locale.

As you develop your landscape company’s online presence, remember to bring together your blogs and social media. Keep it consistent, stay top of mind and build your lawn and landscape expertise for homeowners who’re looking for it.

How have you used your blog to help develop your social media presence?

If you’re looking for a green industry content writer, you’ve come to the right place. I’m the Landscape Writer, and I specialize in writing blogs, case studies, white papers and web copy so you can grow your landscaping business. Fill out my free consultation form to learn more.

Guest Post: Postcard Mania

Introducing Joy Gendusa of Postcard Mania

Periodically, I’ll feature a guest post on my blog to help you, as a lawn care or landscaping company, see all of your options to getting more leads for your business. In this article, Joy Gendusa, founder of Postcard Mania, shares three proven strategies to help you generate more leads for the 2017 growing season.

Spring is just around the corner, and for the landscaping and lawn care industry, that means one thing…

Business is about to start booming!

What’s your plan for making sure your business gets its share of those jobs?

My company, PostcardMania, has helped more than 1180 landscaping and lawn care professionals with their marketing, and we track our clients’ campaign results — so we know what works.

And that’s why I’m here:

To help you generate more new customers this spring without reinventing the wheel!

So without further ado, here are three PROVEN strategies for successful landscaper marketing:

  1. Book $180,000 in new contracts with a targeted direct mail postcard campaign.

Postcards are a reliable, cost-effective lead generation tool for landscaping companies. Here are some stats to prove it:

  • 39% of consumers try a business for the first time because of direct mail (Direct Marketing Association)
  • 60% of direct mail recipients were influenced to visit a promoted website (USPS)
  • Direct mail outperforms all digital channels by nearly 600% (DMA)

Isn’t direct mail outdated in our increasingly digital world, you ask?

In a word — nope!

Check this out: 92% of Millennials (you know, the people you see glued to their smartphones 24/7) have been influenced to make a purchase because of direct mail they received, according to National Mortgage Professional magazine.

In fact:

One of my clients, a Colorado landscaping business, generated $180,000 in new jobs with their direct mail campaign!

They targeted owners of homes valued at $250,000 or more, which is the beauty of direct mail — you can market your business only to the people most likely to hire you!

That means:

No wasting marketing dollars reaching people who don’t need (or can’t afford) your services!

  1. Generate up to a 1,400% return on investment with a valuable offer.

Your prospects have no shortage of options when it comes to their landscaping and lawn care needs. You need to give them a reason to choose YOU!

Think about it this way:

You’re spending money on marketing, so you want to get the biggest bang for your marketing dollar. The way to do that?

Make your prospects an offer that is of high perceived value for them, but that doesn’t cost you too much.

Everybody wants to feel like they’re getting a great deal!

Here are the top four offers that my successful landscaping clients use on their postcards:

  1. 10-50% off a project or package
  2. Free estimate/analysis (paired with additional offers)
  3. First mow free
  4. Lawn maintenance packages starting at $90+/month

 

This client, a landscaper in Jupiter, FL, generated a 1,400% return on investment with their postcard that paired a free landscape audit with two other offers!

Whatever you choose to offer your prospects, remember this:

The potential revenue a loyal customer represents far outweighs whatever you gave away to generate the lead!

  1. Market consistently to bring in $108,000 in campaign revenue.

Repetition is a key component of any successful marketing campaign. That’s why you always see the same commercials over and over again on TV.

 

Think about how many times Bed, Bath and Beyond sends out their mailer with the 20% off coupon. Do you think they’re going broke doing that?

 

They’re not! They do it because it brings in money!

 

The first time you get that mailer, you may not need anything at Bed, Bath and Beyond. But the second or third time you get it, you might go, “Come to think of it, I could use a new set of sheets — and here’s a coupon!”

 

A majority of our successful green-industry clients — 60% — mail their postcards to the same recipients at least twice. One Illinois landscaper mailed to their list three times and generated $108,000 in new jobs!

 

There’s another way to increase your exposure with interested prospects…

 

You see, most of the people who receive your postcard and take an interest in your business will go directly to your website to learn more about you.

But according to Kissmetrics, 96% of those visitors are not ready to become customers right away. So they leave your website and go about their business — and possibly forget about you.

 

With Google follow-up ads, you stay in front of those prospects, reminding them of their interest until they become your customers! This kind of advertising (called remarketing or retargeting) has been shown to boost response by up to 400%, according to CMO.com!

 

What’s even better?

 

You can combine your direct mail postcards and Google follow-up ads into one simple, seamlessly integrated campaign with DirectMail2.0 and get that marketing repetition with zero extra effort on your part!

 

Here’s how it works:

 

The people who visit your website are “cookied” with an unobtrusive piece of coding that tells Google to show them your online banner ad. Then, as they browse the internet, they see your ad (which looks just like your postcard) on sites all across the Google Network (literally millions of sites)!

 

DirectMail2.0 also comes with mail tracking and call tracking, which shows you exactly how well your campaign is performing.

You simply log in to the online dashboard and you can see when your postcards get delivered, how many calls your postcards generate (you can also listen to the calls!), how many times people have seen your online ad and how many people click on it to get back to your website!

This Texas landscaping business sent out 10,000 postcards with DirectMail2.0, and over the course of their campaign they could see that:

  • 27 calls came into their call tracking number
  • 21 of those calls were from unique phone numbers
  • Their banner ads were shown 278,000 times
  • And 147 people clicked on their ad to go back to their website

 

Pretty amazing, right?

 

To learn more about DirectMail2.0 or to see how a direct mail campaign could work for your landscaping business, call 855-549-1313 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. Or visit our website to see examples of landscaping postcards that are working for our clients right now!

 

Joy Gendusa is the Founder and CEO of PostcardMania. She grew her business from a small startup into an industry leader with only a phone, a computer and her own marketing savvy — NO capital injections or angel investors. Today, PostcardMania employs 200+ people and generates over $45 million annually. You can learn more about Joy’s journey and her marketing philosophy at PostcardMania.com.

 

 

5 Reasons You Need a Landscaping Content Writer in 2017

You Need a Landscaping Content Writer in 2017 to Attract More People to Your Website and Keep You Top of Mind

Before you know it, it’s going to be 2017. What is your game plan for blogs, case studies, and web copy for your lawn care or landscape website in the New Year?

Whether you’re a large landscape maintenance contractor or a small lawn care company just starting out, all green industry companies need well-written, well-positioned content writing.

You may prefer to stay offline—but your potential customers are online—from millennial first time home buyers to senior citizens who’ve lived in their home for 40–50 years. And all of these people are using social media and search engines to find you and your competitors.

You can definitely increase the people coming to your virtual door—i.e. your website—through blogs, case studies, social media content and a professional looking website.

Here are five reasons why you need a landscaping content writer in 2017:

  1. To save you time and money: You may try writing your content yourself—but you’re aren’t sure about the nitty-gritty of good SEO practices. Or you may hire someone you found on a content site who has no inkling about the real green industry.

 

The result? You end up spending more time and money to find the right writer to produce the right content for your lawn care or landscape company’s website. Yet, you can save money and time by hiring a landscaping content writer the first time around.

 

  1. To attract the right type of people to your company’s website: Every business that has a website wants to have only quality prospects filling out their contact forms. A landscape writer can help bring in more qualified leads by using localization, SEO, keywords and other inbound marketing techniques to attract those prospects.

 

Read how localization puts your lawn care and landscape company on your area’s virtual map.

 

  1. To position you as an expert: You want to be the go-to landscape design/build company in your local region. A professional landscaping content writer can position you as an expert. How? Through the eyes of your ideal client.

 

In this blog post, you can read more about standing out from your competition.

 

  1. To answer your prospect’s questions about their lawn care, landscape maintenance and landscape design/build needs and desires: Your prospect came to your website to learn more about what you can do to help them solve their lawn care and landscape maintenance problems. A landscaping content writer can help you answer those questions by writing an FAQ page for your website and a couple of blogs about common lawn care problems in your area.

 

  1. Solidify your reputation as the go-to person in your city, county or region for the best lawn care and landscape maintenance solutions: In most regions of the U.S., there is plenty of lawn care and landscape business competition. How are you standing out from the crowd?

 

A landscape copywriter can help you with your goals by writing case studies, blogs and social media content keeping your ideal customer in mind. Plus, a landscaping content writer uses the best SEO practices to get you the results you’re looking for.

Are you curious about case studies and how they can help your landscape business? Read this blog post to learn more.

Will you be improving your lawn and landscape website in 2017? Then hire a landscaping content writer. I’m the Landscape Writer and I specialize in writing online content for lawn care, landscape and outdoor living companies.

If you need a copywriter to make your business shine in 2017, call me at 717-381-6719, email me at wendy@landscapewriter.com or fill out my free consultation form.

 

4 Things to Know about a Call to Action (CTA)

If you enjoyed this infographic, check out the blog called “5 Reasons Why Your Online Copy Needs a CTA.

To learn more about how I can help you create the perfect CTA to your lawn care or landscape company’s blogs, website pages and social media, call me today at 717-381-6719, email me at wendy@landscapewriter.com or fill out my contact form.

Do You Make Any of These 7 Mistakes?

You’ve taken the plunge and either designed your own website or hired a company to build a site for your landscaping business. You’ve recognized that having a website is vital to your marketing plan. Great! But there are some common pitfalls landscapers make that can keep your website from bringing you business. Here are the seven most common mistakes — avoiding these will help boost your rankings and improve your customer conversion rate.

Mistake #1: A confusing or unattractive website

Most potential clients make a decision on whether or not to consider you for a job within 10 seconds of coming to your site. If you’ve got a site design that’s dated, cluttered, or confusing, you’re much more likely to lose a customer than to gain one. Take a moment to review your site: does your navigation make sense? Are your colors and fonts aesthetically pleasing and easy to read? Does your site feel modern and fresh or does it feel dated and old?

Ideally, you want your website to feel modern, clean, and attractive. Using high-quality photos of your work, ensuring your navigation is clear and concise, and making sure all of your contact information is available for a customer will greatly increase your chances of customer conversion.

Mistake #2: A non-responsive website

As more and more people are viewing websites from mobile devices and tablets, it’s become more and more important to ensure your website is responsive. If you have a non-responsive website that means it doesn’t automatically resize to fit the screen your potential customer is viewing your site on. It makes it much harder for your customer to navigate your site, and this causes people to leave almost immediately. Make sure your site is responsive, so that you can draw in as many customers as possible.

Mistake #3: No calls to action

If your site doesn’t include any calls to action — instructions for potential customers to call you for an appointment, fill out a form for a free quote, etc. — you’re making it much harder to easily bring them to your business. Providing a phone number that’s click-to-call or a simple form that gives you their name, number, and email ensures that you’ll have that customer’s information, or that they have an easy way to contact you. You should ideally have a call to action linked to an offer on every page of your website. For example: “Call now for your FREE landscaping estimate: 123-456-7890” would tell a customer an immediate benefit of contacting you and give them a way to do so immediately.

Mistake #4: No pictures of your work

As a landscaper, a potential customer is searching for examples of previous projects to see the kind of quality of work you can provide. If you only use stock images on your site, and don’t have any examples of your work, there is little incentive for them to choose you. After all, you’re not providing them with any sort of foundation to believe you’ll give them what they’re looking for. Take a few minutes at the end of every job to snap a few high-quality digital photos, then make sure they’re optimized for your site so that they don’t take forever to load. You’ll give yourself an edge over your competition by compiling a portfolio displaying your work.

Mistake #5: Non-obvious contact information

No customer is going to take the time to scour your website for contact information. If your contact information is not immediately obvious, that customer is going to leave your site and find someone who can be easily reached. Make sure you have a contact page or, at the very least, a prominently displayed phone number or contact form. This very simple detail can improve your customer conversion almost immediately!

Mistake #6: No testimonials or reviews

Customers rely increasingly on testimonials and reviews to help them choose which landscaper to pick for their residential or commercial needs. If your site has no testimonials or reviews, then your potential customer doesn’t have any reliable proof that your other customers are happy with your work. Whether you take reviews left on Facebook and include them on your site or encourage your current clients to leave you reviews in-office or through a form on your website, including positive testimonials throughout your site creates a sensation of trustworthiness. A customer is more likely to work with you if they feel they can trust you to be professional and do a satisfactory job.

Mistake #7: Not using Search Engine Optimization, or SEO

In the past, you used to be able to stuff your site with keywords to ensure you were highly ranked on Google. However, those times are over, and you need to ensure that your website is optimized for Google’s search engine. This can take a lot of work, but involves having descriptive and accurate page names, ensuring your NOB — Name of Business — is somewhere on every page, using meta tags and titles, and so much more.

Confused? Check out our SEO for Construction Companies, Defined blog. Though targeted towards construction companies, the information there is helpful for you, too!

These are the top 7 mistakes most landscaping websites make. If you can avoid these pitfalls, you can improve your chance of attracting potential customers to your website. And, more importantly, you’ll be able to increase your chances of actually generating leads and getting new customers for your business.

If you have more questions, or want to talk to a professional about how to best market your business, why not head over to Contractor Dynamics and shoot us a message? We’re more than happy to help you improve your website and increase your earnings!

You can also check out some relevant blogs, such as Choosing the Right Words for your Contractor Marketing and How to Get a Google Star Rating in Search Results. Both of these blogs provide you with valuable information that can help you vastly improve your website and your general marketing plan. Good luck!

Bio: 

After spending over a decade in the construction industry, Joseph founded Contractor Dynamics to help builders, contractors, and related professionals grow their businesses strategically by leveraging the web.

Check out this infograph of popular plants for arbors, pergolas and other outdoor structures. Urban Exteriors is from Australia–you can learn more on their website.

Perfect Plants for Pergolas

Pin It on Pinterest