Summer’s in full swing, and that means BBQs, pool parties, and backyard camping “trips.” But before any of that can happen, people want their lawns looking the best. Businesses all over town are trying to make sure their building has an inviting, professionally-maintained appearance.
Like any seasonal company, you’re probably eager to get out there and market your business, but maybe you’re unsure of where to start and how to spend your budget most effectively. Luckily, we’ve got some simple and budget-friendly solutions to fit your marketing puzzle.
1. Get Digital
It should go without saying that having an online presence is huge for any business, new or established. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will help not only reach out to your prospective customers, but once they are satisfied with your fantastic service, they can easily share your business’s page, photos of your work, and their positive experience with their friends and family.
Be sure to include your logo on your social media pages to give your business increased recognition. Additionally, customer review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, or other community discussion boards can act as free, honest marketing. People may doubt flashy commercials on TV, but they feel much safer buying a product or service that has unbiased, 3rd-party reviews written and commented on by the community.
Encourage your customers to visit these sites and express their opinions – good or bad. If there are any negative reviews, treat them sincerely and respectfully to show that you’re earnestly interested in fixing issues for your clients.
2. Hit the Trade Shows
One of the biggest challenges of marketing a landscaping business is getting your name out all over town. At trade shows, you have the convenience of prospective clients coming right to you. Investing in a booth at a local home and garden show is a smart choice for getting the highest possible return on your marketing budget.
It’s important that you distinguish your business from the many others that are also presenting their projects. Include models or picture displays that show any special tools or machinery you use that other similar businesses may not offer. You can also display photos of jobs you have completed in the past to give examples of your work. “Before and after” photos are great for showing the effect your business had after a landscaping job.
Prepare some type of easy giveaway to pass out at your booth. Print up flyers with customer feedback, online ratings, and any local awards or recognition your business may have received. Consider offering a special discount for new customers that book a job after visiting your booth at the trade show. Be sure to include a discount “code” or referral reminder on your printed media.
3. Ask for Referrals
If people are willing to trust strangers’ opinions online, they’ll be even more interested in your business if they hear about it from a close friend or family member that was pleased with your service.
Don’t be bashful about asking for referrals. Make sure your customers know that you value referrals and are always looking for more. Consider offering special referral discounts to loyal clients who bring in additional business for you.
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To simplify the process, it’s a good idea to have special cards handy for customers to pass along. After you’ve completed a project, leave a few referral cards with your client and ask them to tell their friends around town.
4. Survey Your Clients
Having an online presence on social media sites will certainly help customers reach you, but it’s also a good idea to approach them directly to get a grasp on how they feel about your service.
Try conducting face-to-face, online (try a survey site like SurveyMonkey), or phone surveys with customers after a job has been completed. This will give you valuable information about why the client chose your service, what they were most pleased with, what they think could be improved, and if they’ll be a return customer.
Ask them to leave a short comment you could use to promote your company. Surveys can be an important part of your business model and how you address small mistakes or misunderstandings. By enthusiastically asking for feedback and quickly addressing client concerns, you can eliminate any threat of lost business through good customer service. As the saying goes, it’s cheaper to keep a customer returning than it is to find a new one.
5. Appear Professional
Though the landscaping industry is physically challenging, it’s still important to look professional. Uniforms may not be the right direction to go, especially if you’re a small, local business. Instead, ask your team to wear company-branded items of clothing. Having a branded workforce will give you a desirable, professional look and is a fantastic way to spread your logo, company name, and phone number. Encourage your team members to avoid wearing torn or ripped clothes, as these give off a less professional vibe.
Of course, make sure that work attire is weather appropriate. For summer work, arm your team with branded caps, t-shirts, or light rain jackets. If you have seasonal winter work, you can use stocking hats, heavy jackets, or gloves.
Vehicles are another great way to make sure your brand is reaching all over the city as you drive from job to job. Whenever someone drives by and sees superb landscaping, they’ll know exactly who is completing the work.
As the summer rages on, these simple solutions will help you efficiently market your landscaping company. Put a few (or all!) of these ideas into practice to get the best possible ROI for your marketing budget.