Nearly 70% of small business owners are responsible for three or more areas of their business, including marketing. Couple that with a complex and challenging industry like landscaping, and it’s no wonder why it feels like there are never enough hours in a day.
As a landscape professional, you didn’t get into business to be a marketer. However, marketing is vital for keeping your business successful. Finding the best way to market your business can feel overwhelming. So, where do you focus? Check out these five easy and effective ideas to get the most bang out of your marketing efforts:
1. Set Up Your Google My Business Page
Online dominates and has for more than 20 years. Gone are the days of phone books and newspaper ads to reach your best customers. We all know the importance of having an online presence. Websites are essential and social channels are important, but are you missing a vital channel for promoting your business?
Google is the largest search engine with more than 3.5 billion searches per day. Nearly half of all searches on Google are for people seeking local information. Even more important, the search results you appear in are determined based on the location of the person searching.
So, how can you make sure people searching on Google find your business? Set up a Google My Business local online business profile. This free listing provided by Google is critical for being found online locally. It allows you to list your hours, address, images, your clients can leave reviews, and most importantly, you are more likely to be found by customers searching for things like “landscapers near me” in both the regular Google search and Google Maps. Claiming your Google My Business page is easy and one of the best ways to be found by potential and existing clients.
2. Keep Track of Your Online Reputation
As we mentioned in a post last month, more than 80% of Americans read online reviews when hiring lawn care and landscaping contractors. So you can see why it’s vital to keep track of your online reputation and make sure that your business is being reviewed.
Only one in ten happy customers leave a review, so it’s important make reviews a priority. Ask all your current and past clients to leave reviews for your business. Check out these recommendations to make sure you stand out to potential customers.
Another way to monitor your online reputation is setting up a Google Alert. Google will notify you whenever your business’s name is mentioned online. This is a tool that marketers use not only to monitoring their brand, but also their competitors.
3. Stay Top of Mind
It’s important to stay engaged with your clients. This allows you to continue to promote your business, share exciting new products and services, and showcase your newest work. Social media, direct mail, and email are all excellent ways to stay top of mind with our customers.
Email marketing especially is an important part of any marketing strategy. Email providers like MailChimp are free for less than 2,000 email subscribers. The platform has easy drag and drop features to make it easy to create beautify emails. Test a quarterly newsletter to keep your clients and followers up-to-date on the latest news from your business, send annual holiday card thanking your customers for their business, or send a one-off message touting a key accomplishment or new product/service.
4. Quality vs Quantity
The list of ways to promote your business is endless. From social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram to email marketing, direct mail, SEO, and online advertising, knowing where to focus your time and money can be challenging. When identifying the best place to promote your business focus on quality not quantity. Don’t feel the need to be on every single social media channel or test every advertising opportunity that comes your way. If you try doing everything, you end up getting nothing.
Experimenting and trying out new channels or campaigns is how most experienced marketers learn but utilize the 80/20 rule. Focus 80% of your marketing energy on the channels that see the best return. For most small businesses, that will be their website, the Google My Business Listing and review sites, one or two campaigns via email or direct mail, and a social media channel like Facebook or Instagram.
5. Promote Your Best Content
Last month, we highlighted a few marketing resolutions for 2019. One of those was take more project photos. Your best content is a great image or video portfolio of your work. Show before-and-after images to really wow your potential clients. These photos allow you to tell your unique brand story and showcase your expertise.
When using photos on Facebook, experiment with a paid Boosted Post. For as little as $1 a day, you promote your business and target a bigger audience of new potential clients.