When you own a seasonal business such as landscaping, the bulk of your revenue is made in a shortened amount of time. This year, the coronavirus brought additional challenges. Depending on where you’re located, certain states classified landscaping as a nonessential business. If you were forced to stop operations for a period of time due to the pandemic, you’re probably eager to make up lost ground and learn the best way to advertise a landscaping business.
Advertising can play an important role in getting new customers as well as staying top of mind with your existing clientele. As a small business owner, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck. Luckily, you don’t need to have a huge marketing team on staff. Consider these eight ideas for small business marketing that can help generate phone calls and appointments.
1. Create an Online Portfolio
The most important step you can take to get more leads is to have a website. In fact, 90% of consumers use the internet to find a local business, according to a survey by BrightLocal.
Your website doesn’t have to be complicated; it should simply share the services you offer as well as photos of projects you’ve completed. Today’s website providers offer DIY templates, which make maintaining a professional-looking page easy. Or you can hire a website developer to do the work for you. Be sure to use high-quality photos. Landscaping is a visually appealing business, and you’ll want to impress potential clients with your work.
2. Make Sure You’re Listed
Homeowners often go to sites like Google, Yelp, Houzz, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor to find business names and reviews, and being listed can be the best way to advertise a landscaping business. Claim your page, complete your profile with contact information and monitor the sites for inquiries and reviews.
One way to leverage these sites is to ask your satisfied customers to leave a review. According to Invesp, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 88% of consumers trust them as much as personal recommendations. If you do get a negative review, address it as quickly and professionally as possible.
3. Be on Social Media
Today’s small business owners need to reach customers effectively, and that means having a social media presence. For landscaping companies, having pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Houzz can help you build brand awareness. Post photos, or encourage your customer to post their own photos and tag you. If you aren’t camera shy, create a YouTube page, offering lawn care or design tips.
Your organic reach, which is the number of people who will see your post, will be limited to people who follow your pages. You can expand your results with advertising packages. Set a budget and identify a target market of people who don’t currently follow your pages, and then analyze the return on your investment.
4. Print Flyers
Flyers can also be a cost-effective way to generate leads, and placing them on a door gives you an almost 100% chance that it will be seen. A well-timed flyer or door hanger can prompt a quick inquiry from a potential customer for easy small business marketing.
Make sure to put some thought into your flyer so it doesn’t immediately wind up in their recycling bin. Convey your message and offer quickly. If you don’t have time to pound the pavement, consider hiring a college or high school student.
5. Beautify Your Community
If your city has an annual event held in a local park or gathering spot, offer to help clean up and prep the space in exchange for some advertising. This will likely take just an afternoon of your time, but you have the potential to get your business name in front of hundreds or maybe even thousands of people.
Put up a sign that advertises your business and be sure to include your website address and phone number. Then attend the event and engage with attendees. Be sure to bring business cards. And don’t forget to take pictures of your work to use on your website as well as in other advertising efforts. Giving back to the community is especially important now, as many cities and businesses work to get back to a new sense of normal with COVID-19.
6. Build an Email List
One of the most affordable ways to grow your business is through email marketing. The trick is building your list. Place an opt-in box on your website, and offer a free download in exchange for signing up. For example, you can create a quick guide on the best perennials in your area or offer a downloadable watering schedule.
Once someone signs up for your email list, you can contact them with reminders or special offers to encourage them to hire you for their next landscape project. Make sure your emails aren’t all sales material; the best campaigns offer valuable content with a soft mention of a product.
7. Brand Your Equipment
From pick-up trucks to backhoes, make sure your equipment advertises your business while it’s in use. You can go bold with custom vehicle wraps, or start small with large magnets. A homeowner might be interested in your services while you’re working on their neighbors’ house. Make it easy for them to contact you.
Having clean, upgraded equipment will help demonstrate your professionalism. You can offset the investment in your advertising by exploring a landscaping business loan or using landscaping equipment financing options.
8. Ask for Referrals
If your customers liked your work, they may be willing to spread the word about your business by passing out your business cards or by sharing the names of their friends who might be in the market for landscaping service. Word of mouth can be a powerful tool. Leads from referrals have a 30% higher conversion rate than leads generated by using other marketing methods, according to Invesp.
You can offer incentives for customers to share referrals, such as discounts or free services. And some referrals will happen organically if you provide great service. The best time to ask for a referral is after a customer compliments your work. Be sure to keep extra business cards on hand, and ask your customer to share them.
The Bottom Line
With consumers eager to help their friends and neighbors whose local small businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, now is a good time to nurture relationships with past customers and take steps to attract new ones. The best way to advertise a landscaping business is to do something to grow your business every day. Be sure to address social distancing concerns by sharing how you’re keeping customers and staff members safe. Making time for marketing will pay off with a larger customer base that keeps you busy season after season. Consider it like planting seeds for the future.