Over 70 years ago, William Bernbach changed the industry of advertising by co-founding one of the biggest advertisement firms in the world, Doyle Dane Bernbach. Among the most important and influential figures in the history of modern advertising, Bernbach believed that
“In advertising, not to be different is virtually suicidal.”
Expensive, high-investment paid advertising tools are what most people talk about. Yet advertising is just a component of marketing; as a whole, marketing is the process of identifying customer needs and determining how best to meet those needs.
If you’ve been in the green industry for a while, you are probably already familiar with some advertising tools, such as Google MyBusiness (now Google Business Profile), Facebook ads, Google ads, etc. We’re not here to tell you about those. What we want to do is go beyond basic marketing and paid advertising, and let you in on four of the most underrated ways to market your business.
Before we get to that if you are still struggling to get your business off the ground, take a step back. In our last article, we talked about how to get your first 100 lawn care customers. Once you have secured your first few customers, your focus will shift to expanding your business. This is where marketing comes in.
Here are some underrated but effective ways of marketing your lawn care business:
1. Google reviews
The first and most important thing you can do for your lawn care company is to set up a Google Business Profile and make sure your happy customers leave you a review. If you are not actively seeking out Google reviews, you are likely to be missing out on a lot of potential customers. Google reviews provide a great opportunity to gain a competitive edge over your competitors by providing real social validation.
A staggering 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more than they may have otherwise. These reviews can literally act as referrals!
It makes you wonder why this aspect of growing a business is so underrated. Many companies, even large ones with a national reach, focus on other high-investment advertising platforms like Facebook and Google ads but don’t really give much thought to collecting reviews on Google. If you are just starting out, don’t forget to ask each of your customers to leave you a review on Google.
Going online and checking reviews before seeking a service, be it food delivery or a movie to watch, has become human nature. So when keywords like “lawn care services near me” are searched, you want your business to come up with multiple great ratings right away.
Of course, not all reviews will be glowing. Just remember that bad reviews happen to even the best of businesses. It’s how you respond to those bad reviews that will make all the difference to your potential clients.
2. Power your website with an online shop
You probably already have a basic or even an above-average website, with all your services listed in one place, a clear call-to-action way to request a quote, photos of your work, maybe a video of you talking about the services, and your contact information.
What we’ll share with you now is not directly a marketing tactic, but rather a sure-shot way to maximize the return from your marketing efforts and make every dollar spent on marketing bring back more profit.
Currently, your customers call you or submit a form to get a quote, then wait a day or two before you can get back to them. In this timeframe, they are doing precisely the same with your competitors, and if those have a more appealing quote or a shorter response time, this will result in a number of leads lost to competition.
What if you could sell your services to your customers instantly, as soon as they call or request a quote on your website?
This is where an online shop comes in. It will act as an instant quote engine, allowing your prospects to book your services straightaway simply by entering their property address. The software fetches accurate property measurements in the blink of an eye, enabling you to offer an automated quote as soon as the customer requests one.
You can even add the link to your Online Shop to your social media pages so that any visitor landing on your page with the intent to purchase is taken directly to your shop and can instantaneously book your services and make a payment.
You will start seeing more leads converted, every day of the week. Your website has become your best salesman!
3. Print marketing still works if done correctly
Whoever said print marketing doesn’t work anymore is missing a trick. In an outdoor service industry like ours, print marketing is one of the most underrated ways to quickly attract more customers.
Offline door-to-door advertising includes door hangers, flyers, or postcards. They speak directly to potential customers who are already in need of services like yours. Make sure you add your own personal touches to better call out to your customers.
One mistake that we often see from lawn care business owners is that they try to educate their potential customers through their flyers. Keep in mind that many customers will already know these things if they have used or even just researched a lawn care service before! You have limited words, use them wisely. Give your customers a reason to choose “you” over other companies, by listing the benefits that others might not provide.
When you distribute postcards or flyers in a given neighborhood, you are building more route density in that area. What does that mean?
Essentially, building route density means targeting a particular route (or area) and optimizing it for maximum efficiency. It allows you to take up more work by effectively targeting where you work, and is essential to building a successful residential lawn care business. The math is simple: less time in a vehicle + more time servicing properties = more revenue and profit.
As soon as you start getting calls, start leveraging this in order to be the first business customers will think of. Target five or six other houses around an ongoing job to drop in your postcards, and continue doing just that about twice a month (whenever you stop getting calls) until the season ends. This is called doing fiber rounds. This will increase the volume of your business in a particular neighborhood and bring in more profits.
Facebook is the largest online social media platform. In fact, two out of every three people in the US have a Facebook profile.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you already know about Facebook ads. What you might not know is that there are other tools to leverage that can make a great deal of difference. Let’s have a closer look:
Post what’s relevant to your client
The first thing you need to accept is that most people don’t care about your business — but they will care if you help them. They want to know how often their lawns need to be mowed, how many times they need to water the grass, what to do to get rid of pests, how to prune palms… In short, what they are looking for is an expert to give them the correct instructions. This is where you come in.
The best way to help them (so they can help you!) is to become a resourceful person. Be the guide they are looking for and attract new customers by offering authenticity and credibility through your posts. The only way to do that is to produce quality content that your customers will want to read.
Use what’s unique about social media
When you post photographs of your work on a social media platform such as Facebook, using the right words will ensure that you feature in search results. Take advantage of the tagging system to post photographs/videos of your work and tag those with “Lawn Care, <Your City>, <Your State>.”
Unless you have already built a brand name for yourself, people are not going to search for your business directly. Whenever customers look at options on Facebook, just like they do on Google, they are simply going to search within their own city and state. So don’t forget to tag your photos and videos correctly so they can come up in the top search results.
The same goes for Instagram or LinkedIn. Use the correct hashtags, add the right location, tag the photos, and voilà! Your customers will be able to find you organically.
Get into relevant private Facebook groups
When it comes to Facebook, there are numerous private groups that you cannot just decide to be a part of. However, through recommendations and word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM), you can find your way into these Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs). And once you’re in, you’re in!
One way to do that is to produce valuable “how-to” content that you can ask someone to circulate on such groups and that helps the relevant audience. When you have an entire neighborhood circulating videos of your best content, you become an expert to them and whenever they need a lawn care service, yours will be the first name to come to mind.
Coming on too hard is a common mistake made by many lawn care business owners — what we commonly call being salesy with everything. A better approach while leveraging digital tools or social media is to share valuable information and help people by putting out useful content.
And that’s that! We hope these four underrated but effective marketing tips for your lawn care business have been helpful.
Since you’re here, you might be interested in our recently-launched first-of-its-kind online shop solution, allowing your prospective customers to instantly book your services online. Lawn care businesses that have already adopted this platform have benefited from three times higher conversion rates on their websites.
Curious to know more? Schedule a call with us and we’ll be happy to show you what we can do.
Did we miss anything? What are the other marketing tools that are underrated in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below.