Part of starting a lawn care business is getting the word out that you’re taking clients. It would be hard for people to ask for a quote without knowing you exist! While there are a ton of different advertising options out there, not all of them will be the right fit for what you need.
We believe there are only four options you should seriously consider. In this article we’ll show you what they are, why they’re valuable, and provide real examples and templates for you to learn from.
We’ll walk you through:
What is advertising?
Advertising is when you pay to promote your product or services on a platform or host. Marketing is the strategy that directs your advertising efforts. For example, when a major brand like Budweiser pays for commercial slots during the Superbowl, they’re investing in a TV ad to bring in more business and consumer awareness.
Similarly, when you hear a radio ad for a local business, that business is using the radio station advertising.
This is advertising, which plays into a larger marketing plan. The marketing plan includes growth goals, target customers, and an overall budget.
Traditional advertising can come in many forms, such as radio and TV ads, newspaper spots, flyers and coupons, and more.
However, digital ads, like social media and Google, are popular and extremely effective (if done properly).
We’ll focus on digital ads, lead exchanges, vehicle wraps, and branded products as these tend to have the best ROIs for lawn care business owners.
Four ways to advertise a lawn care business
Four of the best ways to advertise your lawn care business include:
- Digital ads
- Lead exchanges
- Vehicle wraps
- Branded products
1. Digital ads
Google Local Service Ads and Google Ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google are a great way to advertise your business, but they’re most effective when you already have a good reputation online. These ads show in Google search results and are ranked based on a number of different factors, like how much you are paying, what competition is like, clicks, and so on.
They’re most effective when they point the prospect to a page on your lawn care website or social media account where the prospect can take action.
When writing your Google Ad, you’ll need a headline, URL, and some relevant text to go underneath. Here’s an example of a some Google Ads and LSA Ads when we searched for “lawn care services austin tx:”
We love these ad examples.
They showcase some of the best selling features that these companies offer, right in the most important parts of the ad: the headline, and description. For example, the warranty, a special offer, or quality control.
Google Ad example and template for lawn care businesses
[type of service] Services in [city] | [list unique selling point, discount, or guarantee]
[your website URL homepage, or specific page to send visitors to]
Offering high-quality [list services] in the [your city and other service areas] area.
Over [X] years in business, [list special awards, insurance, or accreditations]. [Call to action]
Lawn Care Services in Houston | Mowing, Landscaping & More
Offering high-quality mowing, fertilization, maintenance, landscaping and more in the Houston area.
Over 10 years in business, BBB accredited. Get a free quote today!
Free Quote | About Us
Facebook Ads and Facebook Like Ads
Some Facebook ads, like Google Ads, are pay-per-click. This means that you only pay for interactions from users on your ads.
There are also Facebook ads where you put in a set amount (for example, $10) that is allocated to a specific task, like boosting a post so that more people see it.
Basic Facebook ads either show up in a person’s newsfeed or sidebar (you can decide). They usually feature an image, or video; and they always include a headline and a call to action (such as Sign Up, Click Here, Start Now, etc.).
The Lawn Doctor creates great Facebook newsfeed ads.
They include a snappy, funny image and catch your attention with a friendly wish for a happy new year.
Although they aren’t offering anything special, they’ve boosted this Facebook Business Page post, which helps them stay top of mind. Just check out the likes and shares on that post!
Facebook newsfeed ad example and template:
“Homeowners just like you love what we’ve done with their yards!
“My yard has never looked so great! I spend more time outside in my backyard than I do in my house since I hired Weed Whackers!” –Glen H. from Dallas, TX.
<image of your customer>
Want to enjoy your backyard as much as Glen? Contact Us!
Alternatively, you could try our Facebook Page Like Ads. They help you get more “likes” on your business page.
This is helpful if you don’t have a website yet, or post more actively to your business page than any other social media network.
You can target Facebook users who like similar services in your industry or adjacent industries, whose friends like your business page, whose emails you’ve collected, who have visited your website before, or even who have interacted with your page without liking it before.
The beauty of Facebook ads is that they allow you to target specific users in a particular geographic location, with specific interests. This can be very helpful when trying to ensure that the right people see your ads so they generate revenue for your business.
Instagram ads are image and video focused, and are the best option for business owners who can supply the right type of visual content to advertise their business.
This means that you need to choose a high-quality, crisp, and impressive photo or video content that stands out in a user’s feed. You won’t have much text to work with!
It’s best to reserve these types of ads for aesthetically pleasing jobs.
So, if you do a lot of tree and shrub maintenance, river rock and interlock, flower bed planting, or christmas lights, then Instagram will probably be the best advertising platform for your business. Before and after shots work great too.
Just like with the other types of ads, you want to make sure that you send users to a specific page where they can take action. For example, your quote or contact us page.
YouTube is all about video, so if you’re going to advertise on YouTube, you need video content. This could be in the form of how-to videos, before and after videos of particularly difficult jobs, or informational content about lawn care or maintenance.
Your videos can be advertised on their own (discovery ads), or you can create video ads that play during someone else’s video (in-stream ads).
Which you choose depends on how much time and effort you want to put into video content and how it fits into your overall marketing strategy.
Craigslist and NextDoor Ads
Craigslist and Nextdoor also offer a variety of advertising opportunities. You can choose from a number of different types of ads that fit into any budget. However, it’s important to note that these platforms can become saturated and may not always have the best ROI.
The type of ad you choose will affect what it requires. Craigslist ads are relatively basic and don’t require much more than a headline, some body text, and a link.
Nextdoor ads are slightly more sophisticated and can feature images and recommendations from people in the area.
However, it’s important to note that Nextdoor’s user base is likely to be smaller depending on where you live. In order for people to see your ads on there, they will need to have the app.
2. Lead Exchanges
Jason Creel has built his current business, Alabama Lawn Pros, to service 325 customers in about two and a half years.
“I’m looking to hire somebody next year to make a jump,” he says. “I probably get 100 or 150 calls a year for cutting business but I like to offer something different with the weed and fertilizer control. A big part of our marketing is exchanging referrals with the mowing guys.”
Creel says his latest venture focused on weed control is very different from running a mowing business.
“On the weed control side, it takes longer to get going. There’s a lot bigger learning curve and you’ve got to have licenses,” he explains.
“There’s continuing education, more hoops to jump through…but, in the long run, I do think it can be more profitable.”
BNI networking is one other lead exchange option outside of forming your own network. While it does cost money to join a BNI group, it often pays off, and can help jumpstart your referral program for your business.
3. Vehicle Wraps
Branded vehicle wraps are a great way to advertise your services. They are noticeable, and they help you show off when you’re working in a neighborhood.
All in all, they boost your business awareness and your reputation (especially if you service a specific neighborhood) when leads start asking your existing clients about the services you offer.
You can wrap your own fleet, and even pay people in your city to wrap their cars too to increase exposure (especially in neighbourhoods you don’t normally service. That way, even when a vehicle is parked (even at a grocery store) where a lot of people can see it, you’ll get calls right away asking for your services.
Vehicle wraps should include your logo, brand colors, slogan, and contact info. If you go a step further and include a promo code for a special offer, then you’ll be able to track how successful your advertising efforts have been.
For example, use something like “mention you saw us on wheels and you’ll get 20% off your first service.” When they reference that code, you know exactly where they came from and can attribute any future business to your wrap.
The two most popular ways to brand a vehicle are to use paint or vinyl wrap.
Some shops will offer a designer, while others may need you to provide your own. Find out which shops in your area offer full vehicle wraps and set up a consultation to go over your needs.
4. Branded Products
Business cards, stress balls, pens, and magnets are all advertising opportunities.
For a lawn care business, you can even think outside the box and brand something functional but related to you, like a watering can, small gardening tools, or grass seed bags.
The point is to do something that helps keep you in the minds of your prospects and customers.
While these items can be harder to attribute direct business to, they’ll help provide a pleasant reminder to your leads and clients whenever they use the freebies you give them.
Plus, they could give you that little extra bit of advertising you need to stay above the competition.
How to set an advertising budget
Setting a budget depends on your budget, your business profit margins, and your goals for the year.
This isn’t always the easiest thing to figure out, so we have Ed Ramsden, owner of Enviromasters, to break it down:
“Say we have $100,000.00 of revenue and we want to get to $130,000.000 next year. I’d start by breaking it down in terms of where my revenue came from this year.”
“For example, if $100,000 came from 200 clients and I want to grow that by 30%, then I need 60 more clients. If I need 60 more clients, and I spent $10,000 on advertising last year, I should spend $13,000 on advertising this year.”
If you aren’t sure where to start, it’s okay to spend a small amount of money experimenting with different advertising methods.
For example, if you want to try out Facebook ads, start small and see how it goes. If it looks like they are going to be successful, you can scale up your advertising budget as needed.
Keep in mind that your advertising budget should fit into your overall marketing strategy. As Ed demonstrates, setting an overall goal will help you to determine how much your budget should be.
How to calculate ROI on lawn care ads
Calculating ROI on digital ads
Calculating return on investment (ROI) on your ads can be relatively easy, depending on the types of advertising methods you choose.
For example, Google, YouTube, Facebook, and most other online advertising platforms provide you with free analytics.
However, these numbers aren’t enough.
For example, Google might be able to tell you how much you paid for 5 people to send a request to you for a quote, but how many of those people actually turned into clients? This is where you’ll need to take numbers from the platform and numbers from your end to determine the value of a quote request.
Start by calculating the average value of a client.
For example, you can take all of your mowing clients, add up your profit, and divide it by the number of clients.
Let’s say the value of a mowing client is $250 to make things simple.
If you spent $100 in advertising to get one client worth $250, your ROI is high.
But, if you spent $500 to get one client worth $250, you may need to adjust your advertising strategy and invest in less costly advertising strategies.
Calculating ROI on other methods
Calculating your ROI on things like vehicle wraps and branded products can be harder.
They aren’t easily trackable and it’s nearly impossible to determine how far their reach is.
However, you can make things easier by promoting your campaign with a specific word or tagline.
For example, feature specific words (like GREENGRASS) on your items and offer 10% to anyone who references it in a booking.
This will help you to determine where your clients came from and which promotions and advertising methods are bringing in the most profit.
What information to include in your ads
Regardless of which time of advertising method you use, there are a few pieces of information that you should always try to include:
- Your logo and brand colors, if applicable
- A contact method (a phone number, link to your website, etc.)
- Your slogan or motto
- A special offer or promo code (if you’re running a promotion)
- Testimonials from happy clients
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