Are you looking for a free way to market your lawn care business? A new lawn care business owner wrote to us and shared his frustration about finding customers. He said “I’m 17 and I mow and landscape with a friend of mine. We are a pretty good team and we do good work but we can’t seem find enough work. I know we are 17 but I don’t know what to do. We need some good, solid, every week lawns and we don’t have to many of them. Can you please tell me how to get more lawns?”If you find yourself in this position the one question I have to ask you is have you considered using online classified ad sites like craigslist? If not, you really need to consider this. Here is some advice from a member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum who only uses craigslist solely to promote his new lawn care business. It’s quite interesting to see how involved his marketing technique is. He wrote “I pretty much only use craigslist to build my business.
I started my lawn care business in the Spring, and now have about 15 weekly lawns just from craigslist. In March/April I could only follow about 1 in 7 of my leads I was so swamped.
I usually post in the household services section, because that is really where landscaping posts belong. Sometimes I’ll post in general for sale under a heading like ‘Mulch Delivered & Spread’ or ‘Mulch for sale unbeatable prices’.”
Can you tell us a little about your craigslist marketing? How often do you advise a lawn care business owner to post ads on the site.
Also I noticed you had multiple ads. What is your view on using these different ads versus just one? Do you rotate them? Do you track which offer pulls in the most interest?
He responded “I think craigslist is very specific to your location. I’m currently in Central NJ. That in and of itself, gives several things to consider; 1) my area is very densely populated 2) I’m right between the Philly Metro area, Southern NJ, North NJ, and of course my main market Central NJ. >> All that just means that there are a large amount of people my ads are getting to because people check neighboring regions when they are so close.
Secondly, you’ve got to consider who your marketing is trying to capture. What is your target market? What is your segment? Does your business plan have a well designed marketing plan, detailing your marketing mix?
Third, you have to consider your application to Craigslist. On a national level the average person to make a craigslist purchase is a 50+ male homeowner with a gross household median income of over 100k. Personally- I find that younger 35-55 y/o women are more of a driving force from craigslist; or that they are the ones I endup meeting for bids.
In my area top posting is a huge problem. Top posting means having your ad appear at the top of the ad list for that category. In May I experimented and didn’t put new ads up on craiglist, and got no leads.
In March I ran 3 different ad campaigns daily (rotating them so they would post using 3 different accounts- I averaged about 15 leads a day per email acct / ad.
Now its June, I’m running 3 ads a day from one email, one in the am about (8:15 am)(when people are getting to work, so I won’t get top posted before they get bored at their desks), one about 1:30, so the stay at home moms can catch my ads during nap time, or after the gym; and so people can catch it in the afternoon when they’re also bored at their desks, and getting home from work. Then I post one at 6:15 so when people get on line after dinner they see it. I am thankful for a blackberry so I can just copy and paste my html. I have about 7 ads, I’d like to have 25 ads That I could just run different ad campaigns all the time, but in time- right now is the time to make money outside, not being a computer nerd- come February maybe.
So in conclusion, if your in an area that doesn’t get a lot of craigslist traffic (good measure if you don’t see about 50+ things posted in the free section a day) then try running an ad a day or two, but if your in a busy area and top posting is an issue, then you gotta stay on top of your ad posting. Also considering advertising in neighboring areas if you don’t mind a drive. ”
Now there is a pretty involved marketing strategy but you gotta keep in mind, it’s free barring the cost of your time. So when you are getting started and you are looking for a way to get free advertising, consider what this lawn care business owner did and it just might help you take your lawn care business to the next level.
Here are some of the craigslist ads he shared with us that he uses to promote his lawn care business. Notice how in some of them he uses html code to add colors and tables.
Craigslist lawn care marketing ad design example #1
Craigslist lawn care marketing ad design example #2
Craigslist lawn care marketing ad design example #3
Craigslist lawn care marketing ad design example #4