There are many ways to market your lawn care business. Some require your time while others require your money. Some are high tech while others are low tech and their methods date back to the dawn of mankind. Which is best for you depends a lot on your circumstances. Here is a great discussion, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, on how the internet can become a crutch used by those who don’t want to put forth a little effort to get out there and meet people. People who can become future customers.
One lawn care business owner wrote “not to bust your high tech bubble but, I could care less if my lawn care business ranked #1 or 1 million in any search engine result. 99% of those who hire a lawn care company are those who do not have the time to maintain their yard themselves OR are too old to walk more than 5 feet without getting winded.
My grandmother DOES NOT use the internet NOR have a desire. She is 97 years old. I know A LOT of senior citizens who utilize my lawn care services and yet do not care about the internet.
I am going to let you in on a little secret here. The number one key to advertising in this or any other business is word of mouth. Flat out, period. It doesn’t matter what rank my lawn care website is during a search on the net.
In order to get lawn care customers, you have to understand them and their behavior. You have to put yourself in their shoes and think ‘what’s the first thing a home owner does when they come home from work?’ They walk in. Check their mail. Check their voicemails. Sort through their bills, advertisements for grocery store sales, or other things they may be interested in. Then they sit down and flip on the tv.
Knowing this, how are you going to reach them? Put a flyer in their mailbox. Put a door hanger on their door. They will either do 1 of 3 things with your marketing flyer.
1. toss it in the trash without reading it.
2. put it on the table and forget they put it there until they come across it 2 weeks later when they really need their grass cut and don’t know who to call.
3. file it or stick it on their fridge as a reminder to call you when they NEED your services.
Last year I grew my customer base by 25 new lawn care clients. How did I do this you ask? Was it by the internet search engines. Nope. Newspaper? Nope, wrong again. I did it the old fashion way, I walked around and looked for those homeowners who looked like they needed lawn care.
I only put out 80 flyers to hand selected addresses and I landed 25 of them! That’s a 30% response rate. I hear people preaching all the time that you are lucky if you get a 1-2% response rate. But the fact of the matter is, your response rate depends on the audience you market to. Why waste your time and money marketing to people who don’t need your service when you can dramatically fine tune the number of potential prospects?
This year I plan to step up my game even further. To do this, I have hand selected 325 local addresses who will receieve my flyer. Sure I’d gladly take 1% response rate which would be 3 clients. But if I manage to gain 30% again, which I am predicting I will, I’ll get close to 100 clients.
Will I turn away anyone? Nope. I will hire a helper(s) as the workload requires it. This is all done by low-tech methods. Not hey I ranked #1 on google. Who cares? I use the net for research only and of course social networking with friends I’ve known all my life. I do not market my services on it. It’s too simple and easy and therefor everyone does it. There is no way to stand out.
So instead of worrying about where my website ranks, I’ll stick to my low tech 30% marketing response rate. Someone once told me, in business and in life, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, IT’S WHO YOU KNOW. The more people you know and know what you do, the more word of mouth advertising you will get. The best thing about word of mouth advertising is that it’s FREE.