You can execute a simple, effective marketing plan for your lawn maintenance business without a fancy business degree.
Hey Clippers! Dave Tucker here to demystify the world of marketing. There’s a lot of high-brow terminology out there about marketing and sales, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
What is marketing anyway?
It’s pretty simple: Marketing is simply making your lawn maintenance customers aware of the services you’re offering.
The first step is to get to know your customer. You need to know what’s important to them since that will impact the message you craft about your services.
Let me give you an example. My own lawn maintenance company chose this tagline:
We give you your weekends back
We know mowing a lawn means:
- A trip to the gas station to get gas
- Another trip to get oil because it’s due for a change
- The frustration of a mower that won’t start
- Having to stop and start again every time there’s a branch or other nuisance in the way
If the odds are not in your favor, it can take hours to get the job done.
So we offered an alternative: Pay us $20 to mow your lawn and get all that time back to take your kids to the park, pay a visit to your folks, or play a round of golf with a friend
You get the idea…
Know your customer
It’s important to note what our message did not include. We didn’t promise the best lawn on the block or to make your neighbors jealous of your pristine yard. That wasn’t the value we delivered.
Our customers prioritized their time, not a pristine lawn, so that’s what we offered in exchange for doing business with us.
This is called a Unique Selling Proposition (or value proposition, depending on who you ask). Think of it as something you develop over time. There’s a lot of room for creativity here.
Maybe you have a trailer and a riding lawn mower and focus on customers with huge properties. Maybe you’re the local go-to expert on environmentally friendly lawn care for eco-conscious customers. Once you know what makes your lawn maintenance business special, you can think of that as your superpower and emphasize it with your marketing.
Make your lawn maintenance business unforgettable.
Think about a big-name company like Amazon. Anytime you see a truck, a delivery van, or even just a package from Amazon, you recognize it immediately. Why? Because of their branding. Amazon uses the same brand colors, fonts, and logos so you’ll always know it when you see it.
You need to think about your lawn maintenance business the same way. If your trucks, flyers, t-shirts, and website don’t match up, no one will remember who you are.
Thankfully, there’s a lot of room for fun and creativity in the beautiful business. I know of one guy who wanted to differentiate from his competitors and decided to go for broke: He made everything hot pink. He designed a hot pink logo, gave his team pink overalls and hats, and even painted his trucks pink. Everyone in his town knew about the “pink” guys, and no one ever forgot him.
Make sure you’ve got a cohesive “look” for all your materials. You want your customers to know who you are.
Lawn maintenance marketing strategies that work.
I’m going to give away some of my best advice for free here, Clippers. My go-to strategy is a special offer: $20 for the first cut.
Customers like this because they know the price upfront and there’s no long-term commitment. It’s great for you because you can check out the property and see if they’re the kind of customer you want.
You’ll know exactly how long it takes to mow the lawn, which makes it much easier to provide an estimate later on. (We’ll talk about estimates next time.)
Here are my two favorite inexpensive ways to spread the word about this offer:
- Door hangers. Because you circulate door hangers yourself, you can pick the exact geographic range you want. Travel time is costly in the beautiful business, keep your marketing focused on the parts of town where you want to work.
- Postcards. This is a great strategy in neighborhoods that prohibit “soliciting” or placing anything on the doors. For the price of a postcard stamp, which is much cheaper than a first-class stamp, you can reach your customers through the mailbox instead. Your local post office can help you coordinate delivery to a particular neighborhood. This can help you beat the competition too. I’ve heard customers say that they picked us because we followed the “no soliciting” rules, unlike our competitors, who put flyers on doors anyway.
Marketing your lawn maintenance business doesn’t have to be rocket surgery. With a few thoughtful strategies and a can-do attitude, you can reach the right customers and start making money right away.