If you’re a gardener or landscaper, lockdowns and shrinking budgets will have taken their toll over the last year or so. But with restrictions easing and the economy bouncing back, this could be your best summer yet.
Gardening is all about thinking ahead. Plant, nurture, reap. Why not think the same way about promoting your landscaping business, or getting lawn care customers? Sourcing jobs and contracts now can guarantee work and cash flow later – whatever the future holds.
Build your online presence
Visibility, convenience, credibility – a strong web presence can be one of the most effective tools in your figurative shed. It’s a great place to start when you’re figuring out how to get landscaping customers, or how to find lawn care customers.
• Set up an online store and appointments system. Online retail soared by 46% in 2020. Setting up a no-sale, no-fee online store selling garden staples is a great way to diversify your offer.
• Streamline your appointments. An appointments system that puts your bookings, schedules and payments in one place is also a great idea. It also means no more confusing cross-referencing between booking systems, invoices, files or notes.
• Get a Google Business Listing. According to Google , customers are 50% more likely to buy from businesses with a complete Business Profile. These are a one-stop shop for your location, testimonials, opening hours, images and services. They build trust, generate leads and make you more visible.
• Flex your freelancing. Short jobs can lead to long relationships. Tapping into the UK’s healthy freelance network can help you make those all-important introductions – and get a bit of extra cash too. If you’re looking for a way to get lawn customers fast, make sure you’re listed on a range of freelancing websites.
Embrace social media
You probably know by now that social media is about more than keeping up with school friends or sharing cat memes. Used well, social platforms are a powerful tool for small businesses.
It can be tricky to know which platform is best for you, so let’s break down what they do best.
• Build a local audience with Facebook. Promoted Facebook posts can target your audience by location, interests, age group and occupation. Joining relevant Facebook groups is also a great way to meet new people and build relationships.
• Get creative with Instagram. Don’t go for the hard sell here. Instead, focus on your creativity and results with some strong images and before and after shots.
• Share your knowledge on Twitter. Follow some influential gardening accounts, get ideas and join the conversation.
• Show off your skills with YouTube. Working on an exciting project? Why not try filming it as a time-lapse, or shooting a tutorial video? It’s a great way to show off your expertise and build your reputation.
There’s always more to learn on social media. Once you’ve got established, you can use it even more effectively to grow your business.
Create a portfolio
If you’re looking for other ways to promote your landscaping business online or to get lawn care customers, you could try an online portfolio. There are lots of user-friendly and impactful templates online – and many of them are free. Upload your very best work and send it to your clients to show them what you can do.
A Pinterest profile sits somewhere between an online portfolio and a social media account but is still a place where you can showcase your work. It will help build engagement with your work but isn’t quite as hands-on as the other social channels. Most importantly, it’s very customisable – this allows you to make a bigger splash than more rigid formats.
Sometimes, a more traditional advertising approach is needed to make an impression with certain audiences. But this doesn’t mean you have to splash out on TV ads or billboards. Branding on your vehicle, uniform and even stationery is a great way to build brand recognition.
Likewise, nothing beats a bit of good press. Try getting involved in local community projects, charities and local sponsorship. You’ll be surprised how effective it can be. Building a good reputation through social responsibility is invaluable to businesses of all sizes
Grow through existing customers
New customers are just the beginning. Play your cards right and they can help build your business too. Retention, reviews and referrals can all work wonders for gaining new customers and contracts.
• Retain your customers Getting new lawn care customers is typically more expensive than retaining your existing ones. The best way to keep your customers coming back is by providing an amazing service. But you can try other ideas too like loyalty points, personalised customer experience and much more.
• Ask for reviews. Word-of-mouth remains one of the most effective marketing tools. Google, Facebook and TrustPilot reviews are central to consumer research. When you send an invoice or accept a payment at the end of a job, ask for a review too. If you’ve done a good job, word will spread quickly.
Invoicing software built to save time and get you paid faster.
• Incentivise and encourage referrals. Finally, getting referrals is a great way to meet new customers and grow your business. Offer a voucher, gift or discount to any existing customer who connects you with a new one. Think of it like a finder’s fee. You can even offer both parties a perk to sweeten the deal.
Freelance businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic – and it’s not over yet. But a strong customer base can help you tackle whatever happens next.
During the pandemic, gardens and outdoor spaces took on a new significance. It’s a growing market – and as a seasoned pro, you can tap into this audience.
By diversifying your offer and thinking differently about your marketing, your business can grow the customer base it deserves.