Read These Marketing Ideas in Turf Magazine's Web Exclusive

If you’re looking for some ideas or you just need a reminder to stay in front of your landscaping and lawn care clients this summer, then this web exclusive in Turf Magazine is what you need.

You can read more digital marketing blogs on my website. Here are four to get you started:

10 Best Apps for Lawn Care and Landscaping Business Owners

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Growing a Landscape Company

Running Out of Blog Ideas?

Rock Your Lawn Care & Landscaping Blog in 2019

If you need a blog writer to help you with your blogging and social media needs, please call/text me at 717-381-6719, email me at wendy@landscapewriter.com or fill out my free consultation form.

10 Best Apps For Lawn Care And Landscaping Business Owners

by Gabe Nelson, GreenPal

Owning your own business is a lot of work. Owning a business that factors in clients and their wants and needs is even more complicated. If you’re a lawn care or landscaping business owner you’ve probably spent a lot of time working with clients to make sure you’re doing exactly what they want. No one wants to be surprised with landscaping or a lawn they hate.

Lawn care and landscaping businesses have some unique needs other businesses may not. The ability to pull up a contract while in the middle of a large outdoor project, for example, could be very useful for your business. Luckily with technology and smartphone apps, there are plenty of new options out there when it comes to managing your business.

Now is the perfect time to take a minute or two to learn about the best apps for lawn care and landscaping business owners. A few extra minutes now could save you a lot of time and frustration while you’re on a job site, and you’ll never regret that.

1. iPunchclock

Being able to bill for your time is an important part of any lawn care or landscaping business. Having the ability to document your time accurately and in a format easily shared with your clients is a huge asset.

iPunchclock lets you manage multiple time sheets from your phone. You can clock in and out on the app in real time, which takes the guesswork out of figuring out when you arrived and left a site when the day is over. You can even enable the location feature in the app to help it pull up the right time sheet for the right job.

When you’re ready, you can export your time sheets into several different programs including Google Docs.

2. Invoice2go

This app lets you send an invoice to your customer directly from your phone to their email. It eliminates the need for extra steps involved in creating invoices on a computer. You also have the chance to invoice in real time instead of having to wait until you get back to your home or office to send something to your client.

For lawn care and landscaping business owners, where a lot of your time is spent directly on the client’s property, being able to invoice right then and there is especially useful.

3. Landscaper’s Companion – Plant And Gardening Reference Guide

A highly comprehensive guide to 26,000 different plants. If you need an app that has pictures to show your client what a specific plant looks like, this is your go-to app. There are around 21,000 reference pictures for everything from trees to perennials and anything in between.

Having a reference guide right at your fingertips to help you show your client exactly what you’re talking about will be a great addition to your landscaping business tools. You and your client will be able to be on the same page right from the start of every project from now on.

4. Leafsnap

If you’ve ever met with a client and had to say, “I’m not quite sure” when they ask you what kind of tree exactly is on their property you need this app. Leafsnap lets you take a picture of the leaves on the tree in question. It then uses the same type of technology facial recognition programs use to reference thousands of pictures of trees.

The app will let you know what kind of tree you’re dealing with saving you a lot of time and research more outdated methods would require. You’ll have a fast way to answer client’s questions and help them plan out complementing plants or develop a good plan on how to properly care for their tree.

5. Harvest Landscape Calculator

How many times have you been asked how much soil or mulch an area you’re working on will need? The Harvest Landscape Calculator puts an end to guesswork involved in these types of estimations for your clients.

You can enter the depth of the area you’re planting with the slider tool, and then tell the app the amount of area you need to cover at that depth. The calculator will give you the exact amount of soil or mulch you need to finish the project. No more rough estimates that could leave you running short of supplies in the middle of a workday.

6. OSHA Heat Safety Tool

The majority of your work involves being outside, especially in the summer months when the weather is hot. Being smart about how you’re going to handle the heat is really important to your personal health and safety.

OSHA Heat Safety Tool tells you the temperature, humidity, and even the “feels like” temperature of the weather in your area. It also includes recommendations on how often to take breaks, drink water, and even gives you a list of heat-related illness symptoms.

No one wants to need a list like that but if you find yourself in a situation where you need that information quickly you won’t have to worry about not knowing where to look.

7. Planimeter

Planimeter lets you enter in an address and then provides pictures of the property as well as measurement information. You can view all of the information before you even step foot on the property which means you can arrive prepared and ready to plan out the best landscaping or lawn care tips possible for your clients.

8. Lawn Buddy

Lawn Buddy is an app that does a little bit of everything and it’s specifically made for your lawn care business needs. If you need help planning effective routes to get that day’s tasks done, that’s something Lawn Buddy can plan out for you.

You can also handle all kinds of behind the scenes things like scheduling your crews, creating estimates, and automated invoicing. The app will send an invoice to your client as soon as you mark a job completed, so that’s an extra step you no longer have to worry about.

Want to have all of your communications with your client stored in one app on your phone? Lawn Buddy can do that too. You won’t have to search through endless lists of texts to find conversations with your clients anymore. Keeping your business communication and your personal communication in two separate areas can be especially handy.

9. The Weather Channel

Much like the OSHA app, this is an imperative app to have when you’re working outside the majority of your time. You can get up to date weather information, push notifications for weather watches and warnings, and even breakdowns of what the weather will be like by the hour.

When you’re planning out what you need to get done for your clients you really can’t make the most effective plan without the best possible information on what weather to expect. The Weather Channel app takes care of any questions you might have about the upcoming weather and what you need to be ready for.

10. DocuSign

When you’re dealing with estimates and contracts you’re going to need a convenient way for your clients to view and sign documents as you go. DocuSign is an app you can keep right on your phone so your clients can see what they’re signing and ask questions while you’re still there with them.

You’ll be able to have things signed and squared away without ever having to leave the property only to later send your client a document you’ve created at home or in your office. It’s just one more way to be sure everyone is on the same page before you start a project.

11. YourGreenPal

If you’re looking for an app that gives you a chance to look at what homeowners in your area are offering as potential jobs GreenPal is a great option. You’ll be able to see what homeowners have submitted to the app as a job they need a lawn care pro for.

Once you’ve seen jobs that pique your interest, you’ll have the chance to bid on the job giving the homeowner a chance to choose you. This app brings customers right to your doorstep (or smartphone in this case) and lets you choose what to bid on based on your own interests.

You’ll even be able to do a set amount of bids for free each day. Once you’re done with the job, GreenPal bills the customer for you so there aren’t any delays while creating invoices and waiting for payment. It’s a great app to add to your lineup.

Conclusion:

Managing a lawn care or landscaping business is time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be so complicated that you’re overwhelmed with tasks you can handle easily if you use the right apps. Keep these apps in mind and find what works best for you. Once you figure out the best mix of apps for your business you’ll never want to go back to anything you’ve done before.

Use these ideas to get more sales prospects to your website. Then delight them with more content so they turn to you for all of their lawn care and landscaping needs. Don’t forget to localize, localize, localize. Learn more at The Landscape Writer.

Why You Must Blog About Your Spring Lawn & Landscaping Services

Hopefully, as a landscape and lawn care business owner, you realize the importance of regular blogging and staying active on your company’s social media.

Now, you need to know what topics best help your readers—both your sales prospects and your customers. Seasonal topics are very valuable starting in January and going throughout most of the year.

In this blog post, I explain why blogging about your spring lawn and landscaping services is a no-brainer.

If You Provide Any of These 10 Services, You Must Blog About Them This Spring

You may not get a rush of calls when you start blogging about your spring lawn and landscape maintenance services. But you’ll gain traction of folks coming to your website. And traction means getting your name out into digital space.

How will your sales prospects and customers know about your lawn care and landscape services if you don’t tell them?

Your prospects and customers rely on you to publish blogs to keep them updated on your services. Plus, you keep your blog in good standing with Google when you’re posting about your spring lawn care services.

Here are those 10 spring lawn care and landscaping services to blog about

  1. Spring yard clean-up services: If your company provides spring yard clean-up services, then you need to get the word out in mid- to late February or March about the services you provide.
  • Soil testing: If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably know your region’s soil like the back of your hand. So, you may not provide soil testing unless it’s a new sub-division.

And yet, if you’re newly in business, you may want to offer soil testing as one of your spring lawn services. It’s evidence to your customers and prospects that you’re not going to put down lawn fertilizer and other soil amendments on their property willy-nilly.

  • Aeration and overseeding services: When you blog about aeration and overseeding, you should explain why each process is essential—how aeration benefits soil health by releasing carbon dioxide and taking in oxygen, moisture and light.

If you service warm-season lawns, explain in your blog why you overseed in the late winter or early spring. Conversely, if you work on cool season lawns, point out why you overseed them in the fall.

  • Dethatching services: Like aeration, you want to explain what thatch is, why too much is bad for lawns and how you dethatch lawn grass. Also, you should add the benefits of getting a lawn dethatched and the value it brings to the customer.
  • Pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control: Weed control is a popular topic in spring lawn care and landscaping blogs. Remember your audience and keep it simple.

You don’t have to go into the nitty-gritty of selective or non-selective herbicides. But you do need to describe how pre-emergent works in the soil to prevent grassy weed seeds from germinating as well as how you use post-emergents.

Again, you don’t need to name each broadleaf weed in your area. Instead, use a brief example of how you use post-emergents on common weeds such as dandelion, plantains, etc.

  • Sod installation: You can explain to customers and prospects the difference between sod and seed, the benefits that sod provides for a lawn, and how to take care of a sod lawn.
  • Organic lawn care solutions: If you provide natural lawn care products or a hybrid between organic and traditional lawn care, explain how these methods benefit the soil and the homeowners’ lawn grass.

You can break down your topics into organic fertilizers, organic soil amendments, the value it brings to the customer (safer for kids and pets, for example). Also, you can explain the difference between traditional, hybrid and organic lawn care (free blog idea).

  • Yard drainage: If you live in the Northeast or the upper Midwest, you understand flooding. The Northeast got its share of rain in 2018 and into 2019. In my part of Pennsylvania, some of my neighbors have ponding on their driveways and yards every time it rains since our ground is so saturated.

If you provide yard drainage services, use your blog and social media space to let the world (or at least your service area) know about your services. You can discuss how melting snow combined with rainy days leads to yard drainage problems.

Add a list of services to your post and explain how each one solves the homeowner or property manager’s problem with ponding or flooding.

Learn how to rock your lawn care and landscaping blog in 2019!

  • Any hardscaping services: It’s now spring, and it’s time to think about backyard entertaining. If you provide hardscaping services, explain in your blog posts how patios, decks, outdoor kitchens and other outdoor rooms add value to their home. Remind your prospects about the benefits of landscape lighting, if you provide that service. And explain how your landscape contracting business is a one-stop shop for them, your ideal customers.
  1. Lawn sprinkler system services: If you offer sprinkler system services, now is the time to let your prospects know. Write posts explaining the benefits of monthly visits, hiring a pro to turn on their sprinkler system as well as hiring a pro to blow it out at the end of the season.

Granted, this is only a sampling of services you may offer your clients. So, you can add your other services in your call to action (see below) as well as keep rolling out blogs about your other landscaping services.

Google is Evolving Again

Google is changing the digital marketing world again. Now, your blogs should focus on FAQ-type headings rather than just statement headlines. For example, you can hyper-focus your blog topics like this

  • Why do I need spring yard clean-up services?
  • What is dethatching?
  • How does yard drainage prevent ponding or flooding in my yard?

Then, you boil your subjects down as if your reader is a newbie to these subjects. It makes blogging simpler, and it helps your blog get noticed by Google and other search engines.

Grow your landscaping and lawn maintenance business by blogging.

Don’t Forget to Include a CTA

Some folks feel uncomfortable including a CTA—a call to action—at the end of their blogs. But what happens if a homeowner or a property manager is reading your blogs and likes what they see. How are they going to get in touch with you?

Here are some tips for a good CTA:

  • Include a sub-head stating why your ideal client needs your services.
  • Tell them why your services are the ones they want. Briefly tell them why they benefit by calling you rather than your competitor.
  • Add the other services you offer throughout the spring and into the summer (this is digital upselling).
  • Invite them to call you for their spring lawn maintenance services. Make it easy for your prospects to call you or fill out your contact form by including your phone number and a link to your contact page.

Why You Need the Landscape Writer to Write Your Blogs and Other Digital Marketing Content

After six years in business, I know a thing or two about blogging and digital marketing. If you’re too busy to write and post blogs or other content, you need to call me to help you.

I work with new lawn care and landscape maintenance businesses as well as web developers and digital marketing companies. I also work with individual project managers representing green industry vendors, such as equipment manufacturers.

If you need a blogger who specializes in the green industry (note: lawn care and landscaping companies), call/text me today at 717-381-6719 or fill out my contact form.

Rock Your Lawncare & Landscaping Blog 2019 - Tip #4

The Landscape Writer Helps You Rock Your Blog in 2019

Has this series helped you develop a blogging plan for your lawn care or landscaping website in the New Year?

Remember: The keys to blogging success include writing for your audience, keeping it simple, and getting them hooked so they contact you for all of their lawn care and landscaping needs.

Oh, and don’t forget to localize, localize, localize. For example, if you serve homeowners in Rockville, MD, you want to make sure that you’re including all the subdivisions of the Rockville, MD area. Also, if you don’t localize, as well as list your business with Google and Bing, you won’t get the traffic you want to reach your potential customers.
If you need a blog writer to help you write killer blogs, then call/text me at 717-381-6719 or fill out my contact form.

Better Blogging in 2019 - Tip #3
Keep your landscaping or lawn care blogs simple. Homeowners don’t have time to go through Dictionary.com or Google Search to look up technical jargon. They just want to know that you’re the expert you’re claiming to be.

Need help with your 2019 blog writing goals? Then, call or text me at 717-381-6719 or fill out my contact form.
Rock Your Blog in 2019 Tip#2

Permission marketing, created by Seth Godin, is a non-invasive method to bring more customers to your lawn service or landscaping company’s website. Its goal is to teach your prospects general information regarding their lawns, garden beds, ornamental woody plants, and hardscape features.

In your blog, you’re the expert. You teach your readers about smart lawn care habits that use less chemicals and focuses more on Mother Nature to grow a beautiful lawn.

If you’re a landscaper or garden designer, you teach your clients by talking about native plants, different types of gardens and what plants grow best in your region.

If you’re a landscape contractor, your blogs can contain information on outdoor kitchens, dining areas and fire pits, just to name a few topics.

You invite people to find you by including local cities, counties, and the state you serve, so your name pops up right away on Google or Bing.

When you make it super easy for folks to find you, your prospects gradually trust you enough to go to the next step of contacting you. No cold calls, cold emails or spamming on Facebook to get more people to your website.

Instead, you trust your prospects to click on your contact page link or to pick up the phone to call you. Permission marketing can be summed up as a buyer’s rather than a seller’s market.

You can learn more about permission marketing for the lawn care and landscaping industries, by visiting my website, the Landscape Writer.

If you want to rock your landscaping or lawn care blog this year, but you don’t have time, call me today at 717-381-6719 or fill out my contact form.

New Year's Day Blogging Tip

A live link to help you rock your blog in 2019!

If you’re a landscaper, lawn care owner-operator, or any other business in the green industry (tree care, organic lawn care, sprinkler systems, and snow), then you want to read the Landscape Writer’s blog.

In the blogs, you’ll find helpful tips to draw more eyes to your landscape maintenance website urging new sales prospects to contact you for their landscaping and lawn care needs.

So, what are you waiting for? Start rocking your blog today.

And if you’re looking for an experienced, subject-matter-expert to create one-of-a-kind blogs just for you and your green industry blog, contact the Landscape Writer today!

Wishing You and Yours the Merriest of Christmases & the Happiest New Year!
9 Tips for Growing Your Landscape Business with Blogging

By now, you may have made a New Year’s resolution to start regularly posting blogs on your company’s website.

Every January seems like a fresh start to begin blogging. You plan to write one blog a month. Then the busy lawn and landscape season starts, and you forget about blogging.

Ironically, from April onward, you should be updating your website with fresh blog posts on average of two times a month. Instead, your blog goes dark.

Why Blogging is Important

As a business blogger for the green industry, I’ve talked to lawn care owner-operators, landscape maintenance, and landscape design/build marketing managers about consistent blogging. And you probably heard a lot about regularly blogging, too, at conferences you attend, such as the GIE + Expo.

But how can you get started and keep the blogging momentum moving forward? And is all of this blogging worth the time and effort?

Yes, this “chore” is necessary to keep your name popping up in search engines as well as keeping you top of mind with your current customers.

The catch? You need to realistically assess if you have the time to write consistently, edit and post blogs on your website.

For instance, do you really want to spend your evenings and weekends writing blogs at the height of your busy season?

You can also have someone in your company write blogs. But if it’s all hands on deck from April through November, then one of your administrative staff probably will stop writing blogs by mid-June because of the busyness of your lawn care or landscaping company.

Finally, does all of this blogging work? Yes, it does.

Landscaping business tip: Learn how to get more lawn and landscape customers in 2019 in this blog.

9 Tips for Growing Your Landscape Business with Blogging

In the New Year, you promise yourself that you’re going to be more consistent and committed by posting fresh content on your landscaping or lawn care blog.

Here are nine tips to help you with your 2019 New Year resolution:

  1. Your content will focus on your customers’ needs and wants: Each region in the U.S. and Canada have unique growing situations—depending on rainfall, humidity, soil conditions, new construction and established lawns, etc. If you cater to higher-end landscaping clients, for example, this type of customer may tell you they know everything when it comes to their next outdoor project. While higher-end customers may have different outdoor living desires compared to middle-class customers, high-end clients are still fully human.

 

Typically, higher-end customers are worried about cost, time and inconvenience to their lives. So, blog about budget, time, construction chaos, and how, as a landscape contractor, you’ll keep the project moving along on time as well as on budget.

 

The bottom line: Your blogs need to be customer-centered, but not overly complicated. Remember, “Just the facts!”

 

  1. Homeowners will look for answers to their lawn and landscape problems: Your blog guides your readers to find solutions to their questions. You may be afraid of telling your sales prospects too much, or they may end up doing their own lawn and landscape maintenance work. But homeowners are busy people—and will be looking for a trustworthy, expert lawn care company that’s an expert in the problems they face with their yards.

 

  1. Keep your blogs simple: Yes, your readers want you to teach them about how to make their lawns mean and green as well as different types of swimming pool shapes. But don’t use a lot of jargon that only industry people would understand. Instead, speak in general terms.

 

  1. Your blogs should be tailored to educate your clients and sales prospects: One of the main purposes of blogging is to inform your clients. Today’s consumers will check out blogs and websites of you and your competitors before they call you. So, meet one of your prospect’s pain points by educating them about typical problems or goals for their property. Your purpose should be to keep the sales prospect on your website and guide them to go the next step to fill out your contact form.

 

  1. Don’t forget your CTA: A CTA is simply a “call to action.” You want your prospects to take the next step by calling you or filling out your contact form. Each of your content marketing efforts, including blogs and newsletters, should have a “call to action” at the end of each article. It can be as simple as stating, “If you need regular mowing services, call us today at XXX-XXX-XXXX or fill out our contact form” or your web designer may put a CTA button on your post.

 

Learn more: Here are five reasons why your online copy needs a CTA.

 

  1. Blog as much as you can consistently deliver: The experts advise you to blog every week. However, your blogging schedule needs to work for you. If you can only get a blog posted one or two times a month—that’s okay. The important thing is that you’re posting regular, informative blogs that educate your sales prospects, moving them closer to make an appointment with you. You can plan on adding more posts per month as your schedule or budget allows in the future.

 

  1. Don’t forget to take parts of your blog posts and repurpose them on your social media channels: To keep your lawn and landscape company top of mind with your sales prospects, post tips from your blogs onto your Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter channels. Just make sure you know where your sales prospects are hanging out online.

 

  1. Plan ahead with an editorial calendar: To stay on schedule, make sure you create content or an editorial calendar. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should include a relevant topic, focus keywords and the date that you’ll be posting it.

 

  1. Hire a blogger: If you and your staff don’t have time to blog, then you may want to consider outsourcing your blogs and social media content needs. You can find a content copywriter on LinkedIn, research terms, such as “landscaping blogger” or a “landscape writer” to find a writing service to help you with your content calendar and blogging needs.

How the Landscape Writer Can Help You with Your Blogging Needs

At the Landscape Writer, you’ll find a business blogger who specializes in the green industry from lawn care owner-operators, landscapers (both organic and traditional), hardscapers, irrigation companies as well as other vendors including web developers, snowplow designers and marketing managers.

If you need someone who is passionate about your small business and its success through blogging, then you need to call the Landscape Writer today at 717-381-6719, email her at wendy@landscapewriter.com or fill out her free consultation form.

Additional sources to help you:

DeMers, Jayson, “The Top 10 Benefits of Blogging on Your Website.”

Kappel, Mike, “Why Your Small Business Must Start a Blog.”

Wainwright, Corey, “Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing.”

 

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