As a landscaper, your business focuses on visual appeal. With each project you tackle, your primary focus is creating a landscape that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. Following this line of reasoning, it’s only natural that your potential clients want to see some of the projects you’ve completed in the past.
Maybe you’ve already considered this; you may have a website with a smattering of snapshots of some of your old projects. But how much thought and effort have you put into your marketing? If all you have to show your prospects are a few photos that were practically afterthoughts, you’re not really doing yourself justice. Consider focusing more on your marketing strategy, making professional photography the first item on your “to-do” list.
Why is Photography so Important?
If you’re wondering why customers rely so heavily on photography, the answer is pretty clear: Humans are visual creatures, especially when it comes to art and design. It’s difficult to envision something without seeing examples. That’s especially true with landscaping. It should come as no surprise that high-quality images drive sales.
How to Include Photography in Your Marketing
When you include high-quality photos in your marketing, you’re helping potential clients find you. Here are some ways to reach customers with your images:
1. Add a Portfolio to Your Website
For most businesses, photos are included on a website as attention-grabbers; they’re meant to drive traffic to the site so visitors will then read the content provided. Landscaping is an artistic industry, however. For your visitors, the photos are the main event. That’s why you’ll want to put them front and center. You can add a portfolio to your website using a portfolio template. If you’re not tech savvy, hire a web designer to do the work for you.
A great portfolio will showcase your best work so it’s one of the first things visitors see when they visit your site. This is one of the easiest ways to drum up business, and it’s simple to set up.
2. Use Professional Photography
Because so much relies on the quality of your photos, you should never rely on your own cell phone camera to get the job done — unless you happen to have great iPhone skills. Instead, hire a professional photographer who can visit each job site and take a few shots you can use for your website. It’s a small expense compared to the return you’ll make from all the new business.
3. Add Social Media
With a professionally-styled portfolio, your website is sure to impress — but first you have to drive people to it. Social media is the easiest way to do this. You can use any platform you like — Facebook and Twitter are both popular options. However, because your business is so visual, you might have better luck starting with Instagram.
Instagram lets users post images to their account each day. You can use hashtags to describe what’s in your photo so users can easily find your images using search. Over time, you’ll gain followers and your account will grow. By adding your website link to your profile, you can send Instagram users directly to your site.
If all the statistics in the world won’t convince you that photography is the key to unlocking the potential of your business, consider our story: We started investing in photography for our own business, Renaissance Pools, and we’ve seen great results so far. Throughout our website, you’ll find professional-quality photos that help us stand apart within the industry. With a little time and effort, you can do the same. We wish you the best of luck.
Benji Horning of Renaissance Pools in Henderson, NV wrote this blog post and supplied the photograph.
by the Landscape Writer ~ Copywriting for the Green Industry for 5 Years ~
The days are getting shorter, and the air is crisp. That means it’s time to tell the folks who read your blogs, watch your videos and follow you on Facebook to make their appointments for fall lawn and landscaping jobs.
In this blog post, you’ll get six blog ideas to tell your audience about your fall lawn and landscape maintenance services.
6 Lawn and Landscape Blog Ideas
There is so much for homeowners to know about taking care of their lawns and landscapes come fall. However, many of them—especially younger homeowners—may not know what these tasks are until you tell them.
In each of your blogs, you explain the benefits of getting these chores done by a pro compared to the cons of doing it themselves or not doing it at all.
Here are your six blog topics to try:
- Why Your Fescue Lawn Needs Core Aeration & Overseeding
- 5 Reasons Why You Need to Keep Mowing Your Lawn in the Fall
- It’s Time for a Fire Feature
- Get Your Patio Done Before Winter
- 7 Yard Care Chores that Need to be Finished by Thanksgiving
- Why You Need Your Gutters Cleaned Before Winter.
Give these ideas a try and see what results you get. Don’t forget that you get more bang for your blog when you incorporate social media, such as Facebook posts, that correspond with your blog.
So, we’re heading into the middle of July. Have you let your customers know that this month is Smart Irrigation Month?
You can leverage your blogs and social media content in July by teaching about your irrigation sales and service. And if you don’t work on lawn sprinkler systems, you can still educate your readers about smart watering techniques.
What Your Clients Need to Know
Remember to keep it simple when you’re talking about sprinkler systems. Focus on what they need to know. Here are eight things to tell your readers about conserving water while still taking care of their lawns and landscapes:
- Your readers need to know that their lawns and landscapes only need a 1” – 1½” of water per week—and that includes any rain that your area had in that week.
- They need to know that regularly maintaining their lawns—how they keep their yards, such as mowing, fertilizer treatments and weed control—affect how well their lawns will survive a drought or a hot, dry spell.
- Your prospects need to know that they’ll save money when they use correct watering techniques.
- Even though a new sprinkler system is a significant investment, remind your readers that they’ll reap savings on their water bills in the years to come.
- Tell your prospects about the benefits of hooking up their Smartphone to their irrigation systems.
- Encourage your prospects to get their older system retrofitted with today’s gadgets to save water (and money on their water bills).
- Give your readers landscape ideas such as hydro-zoning, microclimates and other water-saving garden tips.
- Use these blogs to include other water-saving add-on services you provide for your local area.
Use Your Blog Wisely
Sure, you know all of the above like the back of your hand. But assume your clients don’t know these tips or services that you provide.
Keep yourself in front of your prospects’ minds by sharing ideas and tips on your blog and Facebook page that will save them time, money, and other pain points. This way, they turn to you when they need a mowing service, landscape maintenance service or better yet, your irrigation system services.
If you don’t have time to write a regular blog and keep up with your Facebook posts, call me today at 717-381-6719 or fill out my free consultation form.
So, you’re out of blog ideas that inform your readers about best lawn and landscaping tips. So, what else do you readers need to know?
How about focusing on special months? For example, April is National Lawn Care Month, June celebrates National Homeowner’s Month, and July is Smart Irrigation Month.
From April through July, you could have 8-10 different blog topics to share with your readers.
Mini-White Paper – Celebrating National Homeowner’s Month
When writing a blog and social media content about these special months, try to tie them into the green industry and your customers’ pain points. For example, for National Homeowner’s Month, your readers may have these pain points:
- They just moved into your area, and they don’t know the first thing about taking care of their lawns and landscapes.
- They’re gearing up to sell their home. You can share pointers on curb appeal and how your lawn and landscape company can help them achieve it.
- If you provide gutter clean-ups, you can focus on the dangers of clogged gutters and how to solve their gutter
Use Facts to Further Your Cause
Let’s stay with National Homeowner’s Month for a few more minutes. You can use facts in your blogs to draw readers into your story. For example, LoveYourLandscape.org (part of the National Association of Landscape Professionals), lists lawn and landscaping benefits:
- A yard acts like an air conditioner—it’s 31 degrees cooler than asphalt and 20 degrees cooler than bare soil.
- If your reader has trees, you can point out that their attic is 40 degrees cooler than if they didn’t own any trees.
- You can point out how lawns also prevent erosion problems.
- And you can mention how lawns provide a haven to play, rest and relax.
- You can mention that homes sell faster when the property’s curb appeal is well-maintained.
Connect these ideas with good home-owning habits, and you now have a blog or blogs that will interest your readers.
3 Takeaways for You
To help get you started with your blogs celebrating National Homeowner’s Month, here are three blog topics:
- How a Lawn and Landscaping Company Gives Your Weekends Back to You
- X Ways to Create Visual Appeal with Your Lawn and Landscapes
- Lawn Services OR Landscaping Near Me—Replace “Near Me” with the three popular cities that you serve.
Did you know that you’re a lot like your customers? You want to save time too—only you may want to save time from having to come up with blog topics, blogs and social media management.
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:
- Remind your readers that a healthy, thick lawn crowds out most obnoxious weeds.
- The proven method to getting a thick lawn to crowd out weeds starts in the soil.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tell them your methods start with a soil test.
- You develop a lawn care program designed specifically for their property’s needs. Explain why that’s important.
- 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.
I hope these tidbits help you to develop your local online presence and bring more sales prospects to your door. Email me at email@example.com letting me know how these blog tips are helping you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com; or call/text at 717-381-6719.
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:
- 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.
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!
No wasting marketing dollars reaching people who don’t need (or can’t afford) your services!
- 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:
- 10-50% off a project or package
- Free estimate/analysis (paired with additional offers)
- First mow free
- 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!
- 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.