If you own a small business, even a landscaping business, you’re going to do a lot of writing. Web copy, blogs, articles. We often write more than we think we will, and as a result, our writing comes out rushed. Technique gets shouldered aside. But we promise you, if you keep reading, you’ll come away with some simple strategies to make your writing much more effective.
Believe it or not, we spend a lot of time reading. While leisure reading of books is falling, think about how much time we spend on our phones throughout the day, and what we’re doing with our eyes as we’re scrolling around our screens.
That’s right. We’re reading.
It might not be War and Peace, but we’re reading nonetheless. Over time, we develop a natural ability to differentiate between good and bad writing.
We might not think about it, but we are picky, demanding readers. We don’t waste time reading things that are preachy or poorly...
You know you do great work. Your customers know you do great work. So why isn’t your shelf weighted down by engraved gold trophies and awards shaped like embossed glass shark fins?
In landscaping, as with most industries, awards don’t chase you down, you have to be proactive. To go out and get them. That’s how the Grammys work. The Oscars too. If you want one, you’re going to have to do a bit of campaigning.
Luckily, there are TONS of local and national landscaping awards you can apply for, competitions you can enter that play to your strengths. And awards you win come with benefits that go beyond the hardware.
Awards give you an edge over your competition. They provide a well-deserved pat on the back to the employees who work so hard. They congratulate property owners on their creative ideas and YOU for bringing them to life.
Hey, it’s okay to want awards. Winning feels good!
So how do you find competitions to enter?...
Dennis Evans came of age in the landscaping industry. When he was young, he found that he enjoyed the outdoor ‘chores’ his parents gave him. Mowing, weeding, minor landscaping projects- it wasn’t a bad way to spend the day.
Soon, Dennis had transformed his parents’ yard into the best on the block, and neighbors began to notice. They came to him asking for help with their own lawns and gardens, and in 2001, Dennis started a landscaping company.
Quiet Village built its reputation from the ground up. It expanded slowly into more complicated projects. Hardscaping, garden installation, functional landscaping projects. Dennis’s little company became like those trees he planted in his parents’ yard. It just kept on growing.
Since his company’s growth happened in such an organic way, Dennis found that many of his clients were asking for the same things. They knew Quiet Village had a reputation for landscape design and...
Landscaping is a pretty cool job if you think about it. Our office is outside for the most part, in the fresh air and sunshine. We get to be creative and solve problems. Landscapers are basically artists who paint with living materials. Who blends natural beauty with curated functionality. Our work touches the senses. You can smell it, touch it, feel it, and taste it.
Some of us love it so much we devote our entire lives to it. We hone it as a craft, give it years of our lives, and in the process, many of us decide to start our own landscaping companies.
It’s a great feeling, seeing your name on those fresh-pressed company t-shirts. Having homeowners gush about your work when your team finally finishes off that landscaping project they’ve been dreaming about for years. You made it possible. You made it happen.
But business ownership brings problems. One common problem faced by many of today’s...
You could say that Marni Center is an animal person.
She moved from Deerfield, Illinois to Denver to study ecology and evolutionary biology. She's owned beautiful dogs and had so much fun training them that she completed The Animal Behavior College’s Dog Training program after she graduated. Since then, she’s made dog training her career, and she’s trained dogs all over the Denver area.
As Marni became more involved with the world of dog training, she began to find problems with some of the training methods her peers were using. That’s because many of them were using a method called Aversion Training.
Marni working on training with a client's dog
Aversion Training is a very common strategy for training dogs in the US and aims to expel unwanted behavior by utilizing things that are unpleasant to the dog such as shock collars, loud noises, and spray bottles. While this method often seems like it is working in...
Well, that's a bold thing to say! But, hear me out.
Print advertisements can be great when they are designed for a niche area that you service. It’s an opportunity to develop name recognition for your brand while promoting seasonal services and/or events.
However, if we’re looking at a limited marketing budget to spend, print advertisements would be one of the first that I cross off the list. The main reason is simply shelf life. Anything that you send out in print will eventually get thrown into the recycling bin.
On the flip side, digital marketing footprint lasts forever and allows for more precise, specific, and measurable campaigns. This leads to better, more quantifiable results.
Here are a few ways you can assess your online presence, cut back on what’s not working, and double down on what is.
Take a look at your leading and lagging indicators.
Return on investment (ROI) is a huge metric but it is a lagging indicator, meaning it will...
I don’t know about you, but with the Coronavirus and the Flu going around, I’m limiting everything that I physically touch. Is it time to think about shredding direct mail and door hangers?
Maybe, maybe not. But what we do know works is email marketing. Harvard Business Review did a comparison between direct mail and email marketing and to summarize their case study: direct mail costs about 100x as much as email marketing and ROI-wise, email marketing campaigns performed about 95x better.
But, we are all inundated with emails already and Covid-19 has amplified that even more. So it’s our duty to be brief and to the point. Use imagery to show instead of tell what you’re explaining. Stick to one call to action per email (ie: what action step do you want the reader to take?)
The majority of us welcome positivity and feel good vibes in our inbox instead of cancellations, closings and craziness. Remind clients of your commitment to buy from local small...
Now more than ever, it’s important to be able to structure your business to run lean with limited office staff. You can keep important communications in place by utilizing Automations to communicate with your clients.
Here are some ideas for automations that you can implement immediately to continue to build trust and loyalty to your landscaping company:
One of my personal favorites is a callback/respray follow up campaign. If you’re a fertilization and weed control provider, you’ll no doubt have to go back to a client’s property to re-treat at some point. Following up after this service not only shows that you’re concerned with the client and their satisfaction, but gives your company a chance to improve with constructive feedback.
Last year, one of my...
Many of my clients have asked me recently what my recommendations are for posting on social media this week and in the coming days.
According to Deloitte, studies show that we primarily rate brands based on personal feelings and experiences—not information. And when a positive emotional connection is created with a company, 92% of us are more likely to stay loyal, 88% are more likely to spend more, and 91% are willing to advocate on behalf of the brand.
Not only that, people are spending a significant more amount of time on social media as they’re quarantined to the house and working from home.
My good friend Jason Cupp noted that many employees are laid off or furloughed and they may not...
As of writing this, the Mexican consulate announced they will be closing on March 18th with no reopening date in sight. I’ve heard mixed information from people who are boots on the ground with other reputable sources that say they may still process after that or up until the 25th, however no one is certain.
Even companies who received an A or B position in the H-2B lottery, may be back on the same level playing field as the companies who weren’t so lucky or didn’t apply at all.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and the one that I see for this is that the unemployment rate in the United States is going up. Restaurants and bars are closing in several states and these bartenders and servers will be seeking new employment. Actors and people in the entertainment business are also looking for work. And students that may be off school and doing online classes are wanting to fill their "time off" making money.
I think the lesson here is keep some marketing money...
Fill out your information below to subscribe to my blog.