“I want to grow my lawn care business… but how? And where do I even begin to start?”
Start with MARKETING.
It’s single-handedly the best (and arguably the only) way to grow your lawn care business.
Referrals = Marketing
Growing any business has its challenges, and knowing where to start is the hardest part.
So, we’re going to break this down for you in simple, actionable ways you can double your business in 2019.
We’ve gathered advertising secrets from…
- 45+ books
- 300+ hours in marketing courses and conferences
- Strategies from lawn care and landscaping marketers that have generated millions of dollars
1. Sell Emotions (Not Your Service)
Why do people buy lawn care services?
The answer is NOT “Because their grass is tall.”
Believe it or not, nobody buys anything based on logic.
People make their final buying decisions based on how they FEEL… And the sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll start getting more jobs.
The Most Important Rule of Marketing ANYTHING:
Your clients want to hire YOU because of how you make them feel.
Every homeowner needs their lawn mowed. They pay YOU to do it is because…
- You save them time
- You make it look way better
- You take away all the pain and stress of mowing
The Fix? Sell the Benefits… Not the Features.
The difference between these is as simple as this:
- Features = Specs
- Benefits = Emotional Solutions
Let’s look at some examples:
- Feature: Our top-of-the-line espresso machine has a 1600W Thermo coil heating system. It’ll also adjust the water temperature after it steams to create the perfect espresso.
- Benefit: No more waking up early to wait in line at the coffee shop. Have a happy, stress-free day waking up to the perfect cup of espresso… at home! Make your morning routine exciting!
Whenever you’re working on ANY marketing piece, focus on the feeling (or the benefit) that your clients actually care about.
For example: You sell lawn care services.
Ask yourself, “So what?”
- Do your clients actually want to save time?
- Are they trying to get a professional-looking backyard paradise?
- Do they just want more free time to spend with family and friends?
When you start selling emotions in your lawn care marketing (yes, even on your truck wraps!) – your marketing success will skyrocket.
Find Out the Emotions and Benefits YOUR Clients Care About
2. Take Advantage of the Most Powerful Marketing Tool
Facebook is the largest social media platform on the internet. In fact, two out of every three people in the US are on Facebook.
But did you know…
Facebook is also the most powerful marketing tool to reach your clients (and ONLY your clients) right now?
It’s also incredibly easy and low cost to get started (far cheaper than printing out thousands of Flyers).
Basically, Facebook allows you to target people in your service area, and run ads that actually generate clients for as little as $5 a day.
Your business is absolutely missing out if you’re not running ads through this uniquely powerful engine right now.
Email marketing is great because…
…it’s one of the least expensive ways to grow your business.
With emails, you can see an insane return for your time.
Because every email feels personal. Even if you automate them (I’ll show you how to do that in just a moment).
Strategy #1: Get More Email Leads
You want to sell more work with email?
All you need is a way to passively collect new emails – even when you’re sleeping. This can take a combination of SEO, Paid Traffic (that is, Facebook or Adwords), and…
…a valuable asset.
Build out a free guide. Something you are an absolute expert on:
- Spring yard care
- Watering schedules
- Winterization routines
Give out these free guides in exchange for email addresses. Put them up on your website, your social media, anywhere your clients might find you.
Prove to people that you are the expert – that you can give them instant value – and they will gladly pay for your services.
Step 2: What To Do When You Have Emails
Email is critical for selling to people who are “on the fence,” so be sure to always get leads’ and clients’ emails.
Plan out a series of “welcome” emails – and then automate your series.
Your series should include a healthy mix of:
- Valuable content (like the guides mentioned above)
- Sales to convert your leads into clients
- Upsells to get more revenue from current clients
This is a fantastic way to stay in front of your market at all times.
How do you Automate your series?
Last year, Service Autopilot released a massive new update called “Automations.” It allows you to automate your…
- Text messages
- Emails and email marketing
- Instant follow up and long-term sales messages
Yeah, that’s all on Autopilot now.
Check out Service Autopilot, and get software that will actually grow your lawn or landscaping business.
(Oh, there’s also a 100% money back guarantee for your first 30 days, so you’ve got nothing to lose.)
4. Become a Digital Marketer
Paper advertising is NOT dead.
… But it’s quickly becoming clear that the new digital methods of advertising are the best way to push yourself several levels above your competition.
Google, Bing, and Yahoo all offer a service called Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC).
How Does It Help Your Business?
Mary goes to her computer because she needs a new lawn care guy. So she heads to Google.com and searches for:
“Best Lawn Care near me”
Because Google knows where she lives, it pulls up a bunch of Lawn Care websites in her area. Before she even sees the “normal” search results, Google shows her a few ads for Lawn Care providers near her.
Those are called PPC ads.
Basically, good Pay-Per-Click advertising guarantees that clients will see your name first. And you only pay when people actually click on your ads – so you never get overcharged (though if you’re not careful, you can waste money).
Here are a few guides to get you started:
For lawn care entrepreneurs who want to grow faster… you might want to hire a 3rd party Adwords Specialist to work on your account instead. It can take many hours (and several weeks of waiting) to get up to speed. This is especially a good idea if you’re in a high-competition market.
5. Create a Kickass Website
For 95% of your clients, your website will be their first impression of you.
So many lawn care websites haven’t been updated or changed in over 20 years… and it shows.
You should be updating your site every 2-3 years – AT LEAST. Although, ideally you should be updating it every 1-2 years.
Are potential customers going to sign up on some janky, broken, dinosaur-era web form?
Or are they going to move on until they find someone with a fresh, professional looking design?
Chances are, your best clients are shopping around with someone who gives them a strong first impression.
Make your website amazing. Hire a freelance web developer, if you have to.
Make sure you include these nine elements in your new landscaping or lawn care website, and you’ll get new clients begging for your work – without you ever having to talk to them.
6. The Easiest Way to Be a Pro at SEO
Question: What’s better than a great website?
Answer: A great website that appears at the top of search results.
SEO – or Search Engine Optimization – is the combination of healthy web practices and keyword usage that puts your website to the top of search results (i.e. When Mary searches “Lawn Care,” your website could list in the first slot).
Websites with good SEO get seen first. They also get 2x as many visitors as the next spot.
Basically, if you want to grow your business… you want to get better at SEO.
Local SEO means that you optimize for your service area.
For example: if you are in Miami, you don’t want people in Alaska to find your website and call you up for a quote.
For example: If you are in Miami, you don’t want people in Alaska to find your website and call you up for a quote.
I can almost guarantee you nobody in your area is doing all of these things. Which means you’ll have a huge advantage.
Send this guide to the person who developed your website, or try to execute some of these strategies yourself.
A healthy portion of that traffic should convert as leads into YOUR clients.
Good SEO can be several times more profitable than even the best “Every Door Direct Marketing” piece.
7. Get More Online Reviews (& Fix the Bad Ones)
Online reviews are almost as good as in-person referrals (we’ll get to those in a minute).
If your clients really love your work, ask them to review you online.
Get your business good reviews in at least two of these places:
Poor reviews can hurt sales. However, if your good reviews outweigh the bad, you will sell more work and your reputation will increase drastically.
Print marketing still works.
The problem is:
Most people don’t know how to make it work for them.
Flyers can be a cost-effective way to build your lawn care client-base… when you do it right.
Why? Because they…
- Build route density
- Make your clients recognize you
- And yes, if you do them right, people will hire you from a piece of paper
There is near-100% chance that these new leads will see your flyers. The goal is to make sure they like what they see.
Get 7 of our best performing flyers (tested over 8+ years), put into print-ready templates.
2 Flyer Strategies (that Actually Work)
Unless you’re just starting out, your time is too valuable to post up flyers yourself.
Here are are two realistic strategies for flyer and door hanger marketing:
1. Pay someone else to post up your flyers
College kids, high schoolers, people looking for some extra, one-time work. Even your own crew might be willing, off hours.
2. Build Richer Routes with 9 Arounds
Get more from your team on the job. Check out the full guide to executing profitable 9 arounds here.
9. Get Better at Selling in Person
To be a successful landscape entrepreneur, you have to know your clients: what they want, what they hate, what they wish they had…
To know your clients, you have to talk to them. Be friendly, respectful, and don’t forget to smile.
Want a book to improve your people skills?
Let me recommend How to Win Friends and Influence People. It’s a classic, and everything in this book still works… without making you feel like a “used car salesman.”
It boils down to three things:
- Look professional
- Be respectful, and use your ears
- Talk to people about what they want to talk about
When you know your clients, you will be able to do a better job. You will know what they expect from you and your company.
This makes it super easy to meet their needs… and sell to them in person.
10. Make Your Trucks & Vans BOLD
There’s a white Ford F-150 on the side of the road.
It’s got a trailer hitched to the back. The mowing crew is somewhere down the street, working at a lawn. As you get closer, you see curvy black letters scribbled on the side of the truck.
You can’t really read the words – does that say “lawns?” Is that a phone number?
It’s a good idea to paint your truck, but why do people make it so dang hard to read?
If you’re going to advertise your landscaping company…
BE BOLD ABOUT IT.
Your trucks should SHOUT about who you are.
Hire a freelance designer. Get some custom-made magnet clings or truck wraps, and slap your company colors all over your vehicles.
Make sure to include:
- Company name
- Phone number
- Company colors
- Something that makes you stick out
Paint your trucks boldly, then EVERYONE will know about you, even when you’re zipping down the road.
Short term, you are investing in your truck. If you keep your vehicle for a long time, it will really pay off.
11. How to Get “Too Many” Lawn Care Referrals
New clients don’t trust you…
Because you sell an “invasive” service. You are a stranger, working on their property.
…but they do trust their friends and family.
Word of mouth is a powerful tool to sell invasive services – like lawn care or landscaping.
You need your clients to trust you. Referrals skip over that trust barrier.
Even better, referrals build up over time, so 1 good client can turn into 2… then 4… then more.
There are some magic steps to get more (and better) lawn care referrals:
- Focus on clients who love you
- Use better incentives (everybody loves free stuff)
- Ask for referrals at the right time
- Keep business cards on you at all times
All of these steps are covered in depth right here.
Clients who give you referrals are like geese who lay golden eggs.
Good referrals cost zero marketing dollars, and will boost your revenue – and reputation.
11.5. Why You Should Always Do “100% or Better”
This one only counts for “one half” of a strategy.
Because you’re already working your ass off. You didn’t get into this industry to be lazy.
You got here because you are an entrepreneur at heart.
My only advice here is to never stop. Keep up your best work, and fresh new leads will keep swarming in.
When you find and hire the best employees you possibly can….
When your team puts in 100% effort – every time – I guarantee your lawn and landscaping business will grow.
Use these 11.5 strategies to grow your business in 2019:
- Your client base will grow
- Your reputation will skyrocket
- Your revenue and profits will explode
And soon, you’ll be saying, “Now, I have too much work.”
But that’s a problem we will work on another day…
Get out there dominate your market!
Patrick Hoffman is Marketing Director at Service Autopilot. He specializes in managing marketing campaigns and giving marketing strategies to the Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Cleaning Industries. When he's not writing, he's reading books on marketing, self-improvement, or science fiction.