Landscapers: Fill up your seasonal schedule ahead of time!
If you haven’t set up your marketing for the season, there’s still time, but you need to be strategic.
After all, better weather will mean being out in the neighbourhood, taking care of business. You need to have your ducks in a row, so to speak, with your marketing before you get bogged down in dirt, walls and and stones.
Do You Have A Website?
None of the other things you will do to market your business will be as important as a website.
You can do it yourself, but there are a lot of affordable services out there that will put together a simple ‘brochure’ style site for you, quickly and professionally.
Just make sure your site has the following on it:
- A blog. The reason for a blog is simple: it keeps your website content fresh, which is good for your SEO (search engine optimization). Good SEO will allow people to find your site when they’re searching for a landscaper in their area! Having fresh content on a regular basis goes a long way to ensuring that your SEO is in good shape. This is a GREAT place to outsource: get yourself a ghostwriter and let them take care of putting the words down, while you do what you do best.
- A picture gallery. You don’t need special equipment to get gorgeous pictures for your gallery! Even an iPhone 6 can take high quality images. Before and after are a great idea, but just get in the habit of taking pictures at your worksites.
- Links to social media that you use (more on that later)
- Appropriate contact information.
- Make sure your site is mobile enabled: that means, that a person looking at it on a phone will see it properly. Mobile is the largest growing method for consuming digital information: if your site isn’t formatted for it, viewers will bounce off it.
Do A Little Networking
Spending a morning a week working ON your business, rather than IN your business, will go a long way to keeping your name fresh and on people’s minds.
A great angle is to consider the business-to-business market. Join a local chapter of a BNI (Business Networking International, a networking organization), your local chamber of commerce or other economic development groups.
All of these groups host events, including networking, that will introduce you to other business owners in the area.
Even if they’re not in the market for your services, they probably know people who are, so it’s always worth the effort. You never know when that next contact will come…
Community events are also a great way to get your name out there. A booth at a local event where you hand out potted seedlings will be money well spent if each is tagged with your business info / website.
People like to get to know the businesses they are going to be dealing with, so showing up and participating is half the battle. Don’t forget that supporting local organizations will help get your name out there. Is your kid’s school doing a Spring fair? Make sure you are a sponsor or have a booth there!
Get On Social Media
This is a tougher one, particularly for a smaller business who might not have a dedicated person to handle the marketing.
Luckily, social media is one of those things you can do during downtime, like when you’re sitting in the truck waiting for your lunch order!
- Pick one or two social channels to participate in – it’s too hard to manage more unless you outsource the effort. TIP: If you’re interested in finding clients who own homes, who make money and can spend on hardscaping, decking and more, check out LinkedIn. There are few landscapers on LinkedIn, but there are a lots of landscaping clients! This is a professional network that will put you in touch with so many within your target audience. Start by connecting with your existing and past clients on LinkedIn. Every new lead you meet? Connect with them on LinkedIn too!
- Those pictures you took of the worksite? Share them on your social channels. Let people see the work that you’re doing. Share your latest blog post there too. Letting potential customers know about your skills is what it’s all about.
Don’t Forget Traditional Marketing
Social media and websites aside, there is a lot of value in traditional marketing: brochures, postcards, a mail out of the latter via Canada Post to specific neighbourhoods in your area. Use those to feature a promotion with a code, so that you know where the business is coming from.
Marketing comes down to not putting all your eggs in one basket: Do a lot of different things to net good results. It doesn’t take a lot of time once you’re set up and organized.