To have a successful lawn care business, you need a marketing plan. After all, how will potential clients find you if they don’t hear about you?
From building social media pages to handing out flyers, there are many ways you can get in front of your customers. But first, you should start with a marketing plan so that you know how much you have to spend and which strategies you want to tackle.
We interviewed lawn care expert Ed Ramsden from Enviromasters Lawn Care. In this article you’ll get his exclusive tips for making a lawn care marketing plan. Plus, he shared some awesome lawn care marketing ideas that can fit into any budget!
How to market your lawn care business:
1. Start your marketing plan
Creating a marketing plan for your lawn care business is the first step towards building a successful advertising strategy. A marketing plan helps you define a budget and pick the initiatives that you think will work best for you.
Start with a goal:
To start, Ed begins with defining a goal:
“I work backwards in terms of how much revenue I want to get. Say I have $100,000 of revenue and I want to get $130,000 next year, I just break it down in terms of what my revenue came from this year.”
“So, for example, if $100,000 came from 200 clients, and I want 30% more next year, then I need 60 more clients.”
“If I need 60 more clients and I spent $10,000 this year on advertising, I should spend 30% more ($13,000) on advertising next year.”
Set a realistic budget and timeline:
Using Ed’s goal-setting method and then calculating your costs can help you set a realistic budget.
But just spending more advertising money doesn’t guarantee more clients. You have to target your efforts set (and meet) new goals throughout the year.
If Ed wanted to get 30% more customers, he’d set his goals like so:
“In the spring, we sign up our old customers and any customers who didn’t sign up in the fall. Then we would run advertising campaigns in the first and third weeks of April. This should bring in some more customers.”
“Next, we go into May and do an advertising campaign with flyers.”
“If we’re on target, then we would have 45/60 customers. By the end of May, we should have all 60 new customers.”
Hold yourself accountable:
Ed also advises setting clear and attainable goals:
“Spelling it out in detail, knowing what we need to do to get new customers, and knowing how we needed to advertise was really effective. It holds the business owner accountable.”
Work hard in the off-season:
Ed suggests focusing planning and outreach to your existing customers in the off season:
“In the off-season, we usually plan for next year. In the fall you want to sign up all your customers from the current year.”
“So, if you have a couple hundred residential customers, you want them all to sign up again. You need to build a process for that—are you going to send a letter, an email, or call them? We use Mailchimp to send out our emails.”
Chances are your off-season is during the fall or winter.
As Ed suggests, focusing on existing customers during this time will help you to open up your focus to new customers in the spring: “Clear your plate so that in the spring you can focus on getting new customers.”
Build out a step-by-step plan for how to reach out to existing customers:
Sometimes you don’t always see a return, so you need to invest in constant contact. Ed explains,“If they didn’t respond to email, we would send a physical letter. If they didn’t respond to that, we would phone them.”
2. Share your insurance information
While this might seem like a strange marketing tip, it actually makes a lot of sense for a lawn care business.
It’s especially important for commercial lawn care service providers, but residential clients can also gain peace of mind in knowing that you’re both protected if anything happens.
Most lawn care business owners in the Jobber Entrepreneurship Group explain that marketing with your insurance information is “absolutely mandatory.”
It adds legitimacy to your brand, and shows your customers that you’re a responsible business that takes customer satisfaction seriously.
To share your insurance, license, or certification information, consider including it on:
- Your website
- Company vehicle decals
- Flyers, online ads, and other advertisements
3. Create a mission statement
A mission statement is a short summary of your company’s main goals and values. It communicates what’s important to you whether that be customer service, the environment, or high-quality lawn care services, etc.
Your mission statement should be short and should clearly define the core focus of your business to clients.
Sit down with your team and think about what’s really important to you and how you want people to view you.
Is client satisfaction a big part of your focus? What about community involvement?
Once you know what your mission is, use it to drive your strategy by focusing on initiatives that support your goals and values.
For example, if customer service is a big part of your mission, offer a satisfaction guarantee and use it in your advertising and on your website.
Lawn care business mission statement template
At [insert business name], we aim to provide [your #1 service offering] to our clients by [explain how you offer your services differently than your competitors]. We stand by this guarantee because we [explain 1-2 motivations behind why you offer these services in this way].
Here at Nick’s Lawn Care, we aim to provide the best lawn care services to our clients in a timely, professional, and courteous manner. Why? because we have been lawn care customers before, and our goal is to raise the bar on lawn care customer service!
4. Send out postcards and flyers
When you’re just starting out with advertising, you need to cast a wide net.
This will help you bring in a variety of customers before you’ve pinpointed exactly who is using your services.
Ed has used flyers multiple times to his advantage:
“If you get them to the customer at the right time, they can cut through the noise,” he explains.
“Having them hold a flyer in their hands can help them make a decision to hire you, mostly because lawn care decisions are made by both people in the house, so a postcard is a good way to pass on information.”
Successful flyers and postcards should have your branding (like your logo and colors) and include details about promotions, your mission statement, and contact information.
“You can really separate your brand with the images you use on there,” Ed explains.
If you’re interested in giving flyers or postcards a try, get one designed first.
You can either do this yourself or have a graphic designer do it for you. Then simply head to an office supply company to get them printed, or use Jobber’s postcard marketing feature to simply print, mail, and track them.
5. Experiment with digital ads
Digital ads are another way to promote your lawn care business. One of their benefits is that you can set a budget and see exactly how it performs.
For example, with a digital ad, you can track when someone visits your website and then contacts you. From there, you can check your records to determine whether you ended up working with that client and what you made on each new job.
Ed suggests trying a variety of digital ads such as Google local service ads, Google Ads, or Facebook and Instagram ads. Once you have a feel for what works for you, you can increase your budget and target the platform that brings you the most success.
However, if you’re not ready to comb through results to find out what works best for you, then digital advertising might not be for you.
6. Try local newspaper ads
Local newspapers are another good way to cast a wide net and bring in a lot of general clients.
Ed, who lived in a suburb of about 60,000 people said they worked well for him.
“If you’re in a small town, newspaper ads can be really effective. Small-town paper readers have a lot of trust. If you’re advertising in a larger paper and you’re a small business, it can be expensive for you. But if you’re in cottage country town, then that local paper probably gets read a lot.”
His only complaint was that your success can be harder to track than digital ads.
“We weren’t able to measure the success exactly. We were just ‘busier’ that year. It’s more of a shot in the dark. My advice is that if you think it’s working, stop doing it for a week or a month. Then you’ll know if it’s actually working.”
If you service a small town or suburb and want to try advertising in local papers, grab a copy of each and look at the ads they run. Pick which ones appeal to you the most and get in touch with their advertising departments to talk cost, design, and run time.
7. Set up sandwich boards
A simple and relatively easy advertising strategy is to set up a sandwich board while you’re servicing a property. It should have your business name, contact info, and an eye-catching design.
Knowing that you have done work in a certain neighborhood can help people who live there feel like they can trust you too. Plus, it’s easy for them to see that you do a good job, and can chat with their neighbours about your services.
8. Make a Facebook Business page
Facebook is free to use and easy to set up. With a bit of work and by taking or sourcing some good company photos you can create a business page for your company.
It’s important you maintain your page with updates and posts.
For example, Kirk’s Lawn Care does a great job of posting regularly while including their company logo, operating hours, service area, and client reviews on their page:
Consistency is key, so create a posting schedule that you can stick to. You can try posting once a day, or once a week. Share company updates, seasonal service reminders, special offers, and before and after shots of your work.
Just make sure that your page has sufficient information on it so that people trust you’re an legitimate business.
9. Implement email marketing
Email marketing is great because you can send emails to specific client lists, or automate key emails to send out at important times or milestones. For example, you could email customers:
- After a job is done to send an invoice
- When you want to determine client satisfaction
- When you want to reach out to existing customers for promotions or discounts
- When you want to share information with clients, like lawn care tips
Keeping track of all this client communication manually can be tricky.
Using automated email software like Jobber to do your invoice follow-ups and postcard marketing you can email customers after a service call with an invoice payment reminder, or ask them to rate your service on a scale 1-10. That way, you know the next steps to take with each and every customer.
10. Build a website
With so many people making purchases and even booking appointments online, it’s important that you have an online presence.
A website is one of the first things that a lot of people will see when you look you up, so it’s important to make sure that your website says the right things about you.
Just having a site isn’t enough. You need to make sure that you have one that speaks to your target market.
For example, if you want to bring in younger customers, chances are they will prefer to make appointments through your website. Or if you want to target upscale clients, you may want to feature pictures of larger properties and fancier homes. Your website needs to reflect the wants and needs of your target market.
Your images, colors, logos, and site functionality all need to be considered as well.
11. Claim your Google My Business listing
Google MyBusiness is an important part of your marketing efforts. This listing is usually one of the first search results to populate in Google. It includes your contact information, logo, client reviews, and service area right at the top of the page.
Setting up your Google Business listing is easy. If you need some help getting started, check out our article on setting up your Google My Business listing here.
12. Start a referral program
A referral program is an awesome way to bring in clients. Customers who get in touch with you through an existing client will already have a sense of trust and confidence in your business.
Referral programs help you reward existing customers for bringing new clients to you. You could offer discounts, gift cards, or bonus services. But it’s not as simple as sending a gift card to an existing client.
To start your own referral program, follow the four simple steps outlined in this post. From defining your reward to communicating your program to clients, referral programs take a bit of work but they can come with great results.
13. Manage your online reviews
84% of local consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This means that as soon as your business is online, you should actively be trying to get
reviews. Use this strategy:
- Focus on the quantity of reviews. Develop a strategy that will help you get lots of reviews over time. Don’t try to get a bunch of reviews all at once—implement a plan that is scalable and sustainable.
- Try to get high-value review content. Ask your customers to provide examples
and substance to their reviews. 5-star reviews are great, but 5-star reviews with a few sentences about your great services are better.
- Aim for customers who score you with high feedback ratings. Send your customers a follow-up email after the job is complete. This is a great way to let your customers know the work is done and you can ask for feedback. If the feedback is positive, this is the time to ask for a review.
How do you get clients to write a review after a follow-up?
Andy Weins explains how his team got over 500 5-star reviews here.Learn More