Promotion can be done in so many ways in the Green Industry! You can market to customers through an online presence, as we mentioned last week, through advertising, signs, local markets and festivals, passing out flyers door-to-door, and in so many other ways!
When you decide the best ways to promote your business for 2016, remember to keep in mind exactly what products, prices, and places you want to direct your marketing. Then let your imagination go! Besides having an online presence (which we mentioned last week), let’s go over some other ideas that can help you bring your service to someone that needs it!
Promotion With Paper
In my personal definition of advertising, it is “The activity of producing information for promoting the sale of commercial products or services.” Since we already covered online advertising, I’d like to move on to “Paper” advertising – where you are creating something for people to have in their hands and read concerning your business.
Newspaper/Gazette/Yellow Pages Advertising
Before you spend your hard-earned advertising money on paper advertisements, think about whether you would use them yourself and also whether your perfect ideal customer would use them. As a woman in my thirties, I use Google, so I’d be very hesitant to advertise to an audience under 50 using paper advertisements. Now, if advertising in their paper version means you also get an online advertisement that links to your website it *might* be something to check. Again, think of your audience and where they get their information. Advertising in a Newspaper or Yellow Pages can also be a difficult way to make sure your potential customers are in the actual neighborhoods that you want to service.
Mailers and Flyers
The great thing about sending out a mailer or passing out a flyer is that you can pick the specific neighborhoods where you want to work. The problem can be that if your message isn’t eye-catching enough it might just be tossed aside.
If you go this route, make sure that your marketing message catches their attention and immediately shows how you can fulfill a need they have. It can be costly to send out a big mailer or hire a teenager to pass out a bunch of flyers, but there is typically a 1-3% return on mailers and flyers. I imagine that if you work a neighborhood on a Saturday and take your time with people explaining your company, that return could easily be higher (but also more expensive because it takes a longer time). Your return can also be higher if you call through the neighborhood after you passed out the flyers to, “See if they received them and are interested.”
Find your perfect message that fulfills the needs of your potential customers.
For us, at CLIP Lawn Care, the message is “Get your Saturdays back and only pay $20 on your first cut”. We leave them an estimate at the first cut (basing it on the time it took us to cut it) and make it easy for them to sign up right away. That way we don’t spend extra time giving them an estimate, but actually get some money to get a perfect estimate (we know exactly how long it took!), and they have no question what their cost on the first cut is.
We have found that there is no downside to passing out a flyer to each neighbor of your current customers as you cut the property. Let me explain, you typically have two guys on a crew, so at some point, one is probably waiting a minute for the other to finish. During this waiting period, they’ll have plenty of time to put a flyer on both neighbor’s doors! Even if you have one-person crews, you should send a few flyers with them to pass out every Spring. You always want to add more customers to your route.
Markets and Festivals
An easy way to get the word out that you are a local company ready to serve can be getting a booth at local fairs, farmers markets, and festivals. That can also be very expensive, however, and doesn’t always guarantee that your potential customers are in the right neighborhoods that you want.
A simple and often effective way to get your name out in areas where you mow is to have signs with your company name, website and phone number (and maybe a motto as well) on your truck and your uniforms.
Some companies take this a step further and have a business card box on the side of their truck so they can hand out business cards to anyone asking.
If you are working on a long term landscape project, you should also ask the owner if you can put your sign in their lawn with your name and number. Make sure you do an awesome job though!
Word of Mouth: The Most Effective Marketing You’ll Ever Get
I can’t talk about promotion without telling you that the best marketing you’ll ever get is a good name. Your customers that love you will tell their neighbors, and the chain will keep on going.
If you do the services you said you would, show up when you say you will, answer your emails in good time, call back when you have a phone message, and do a good job – you will make your name known. It doesn’t take much to be above average.
Find a way every day to go above and beyond in your work and the word will get around.
And everyone, no matter how online, hip, experienced, or prestigious they are, wants to give their work to a dependable company with a good name.
The Key To Your Marketing Plan
Know exactly what product you want to sell, what price range you want to sell it for, and where you want to sell it! Then all your advertising, promotion, and other ideas can flow from it and give you the best marketing plan ever in 2016.