When it comes to lawn care marketing, everyone has an opinion on what works best. Some marketing may work well in one area while other methods work better in others. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, one entrepreneur questions which marketing methods would work best for him and if he should hire these services out to a company to perform.
One lawn care business owner wrote “craigslist has worked fantastic for me but now I have no time to post my ads during the three days of the week when they are the most effective and I am looking into using a good marketing company to do the marketing for me. Is this something I should be doing? What if any marketing services do you guys use? Are they nationwide? Are lead services good? I have a website and I have optimized it a bit with SEO. Beyond that though what might be the answer for getting more clients?
I hand out flyers already and get about 2-3 calls daily. Out of every 10 clients I visit, I get 1 for service and one for other types of work so that is working but I want something that brings me clients faster and uses less of my time. I started the business a year ago or so. It has grown fast but I now have people working for me doing installations and other landscape jobs that have nothing to do during certain times of the week. I would like to keep them busier when they don’t have any landscape jobs to install but with the amount of properties I have right now to mow, I can not pay them.
There is a local company offering me leads. They would charge me $100 the first month and $200 every month after that but they are only offering me about 20 clients a month. I get more than that with the methods I already use, even though my methods are a bit more expensive or time consuming, I still think $200 for leads is quite a bit of money.
I am looking to expand about 50-60% this year. I have been training new people to start working with me for the spring. I have 100 mowing accounts but need about 50-75 more, depending if they are weekly of biweekly. What would be the best way of doing this?”
A second lawn care business owner said “most of my customers come from word of mouth, or by meeting them face to face.
Fomr my experience, online marketing isn’t as appealing to homeowners as one would think. Those who use online sites to find local companies are usually looking to find someone cheap.
I have a problem with paying companies to promote my site. There are too many ‘bots’ out there that are programmed to click on your ads, so that you keep on paying in. (at least with my experience using them). Not to mention, even companies not related to your company at all, some have systems set up to click on your ads so that it makes more room for them to show their ads. I found all this out by being scammed by Facebook one time, and doing hours upon hours of research while also reading up on similar stories.
I wouldn’t pay for leads either. You will most likely end up with really crummy ones that aren’t at all what you want. They will always keep the ‘good’ ones to themselves.
I wouldn’t even consider paying them monthly for leads, that’s ridiculous. In order for me to do that, there would have to be some sort of guarantee, and I would need to be able to evaluate each lead before spending any amount of money.
For a lead, it only makes sense to pay a single time fee that shouldn’t be more than your average customer acquisition cost. Unless these leads will hire you for weekly service, I’d advice you to keep your money away from them.”
A third shared “I have to disagree with online marketing. I don’t think the average internet customer is looking for cheap at all. Unless you outright print somewhere online that you are cheap and and have an unprofessional website, you should find some quality customers. I feel it works great and it is where I get all my business. I would recommend using adwords. You only pay per click. It is good for getting your name out there and I have had good responses from it. I have a budget of $25.00 per day and go through it all by the end of the night. I get at least two to four calls a day for bids. There are many great SEO companies out there. I haven’t used any yet but when I do, I’d like to hire a local company to perform the services as I could get a chance to know them and also potentially sell them or someone they know, lawn care.”
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