Do you need to improve the lead-generation and marketing for your lawn care business? Here are 10 things that will get you more lawn care leads and convert them into long-term customers.
Lawn care services are by their nature local. Target audiences breakdown by the neighborhood. Customer retention is key to success.
Many lawn care businesses are small operations that don’t go beyond neighborhood word of mouth. These small businesses don’t generally need a lot of advanced marketing tactics to keep one or two employees busy.
However, if you’re a bigger operation competing for the most exclusive residential jobs and big commercial contracts, you need serious business marketing to compete. Here’s a breakdown of things you can do to win lawn care service market share in your area.
#1. Develop a Conversion-Based Lawn Care Website
Your website is ground-zero for your lead generation efforts. With affordable template designs like Marketing 360 UXI®, there is no reason not to have a professional, mobile-ready design that’s built to convert. Here’s an example template mockup:
Make sure your website instantly communicates where you work, what you do, and how to contact you. Use images from your own jobs instead of just stock photos. Check your website on your phone to make sure it’s easy for people to convert on mobile.
Pro Tip: Get a Memorable Domain Name
Which would remember 10 minutes after you saw it on the side of a truck:
Your website is your marketing magnet – you want to draw leads to it. Get an easy to remember domain name and put it everywhere: your trucks, business cards, flyers, t-shirts, hats, email signature, business cards, invoices, letterheads.
Leads will remember your domain and look you up when they need lawn care work.
#2. Distinguish Yourself From the Competition
Check out the lawncare competition in your area for both commercial and residential jobs. Look at websites to see what kind of services and deals are offered.
Then be honest with yourself. Would you choose you? Do you give clear, solid reasons why you’re the better choice?
If you can’t answer that question with assurance, you can be sure your leads won’t be able to. That will cost you.
Do this comparison then develop a clear value proposition that demonstrates an area of service, pricing, or results that make it clear why you’re the best choice. Be clear about all the services you offer. Here’s a good example:
Leads will compare lawn care services before they choose who to hire. Make sure you give them a clear reason to choose you.
#3. Create a Lawn Care Video
Video is one of the most effective ways to communicate your value proposition. It’s fast, easy to view on a phone, and helps your search rankings (including on YouTube). A 30-second video can be a strong piece of marketing material for years. This is a good example:
Keep your video short and on-point. You can include images from your gallery of work, and testimonial comments from happy clients also work well.
#4. Master Search Marketing
To drive traffic to your website, you’ll want to show up for lawn care related searches in your area. There are three ways to dominate the search results.
The first is pay-per-click advertising. These ads are run through auction-based systems like Google Adwords and Bing Ads. The main advantage here is that you show in the top positions (reserved for paid ads) and that you can control the ad copy and landing page. For example, you might want to run an advertisement for spring lawn care specials. Your ad and the page it goes to on your website can match that offer.
Next, you need to set-up and rank for Google My Business. This is the maps listing and review platform Google uses for geo-targeted searches. It’s a free listing you can optimize with your descriptions and by getting customer reviews.
Then you have the organic website listings. These are also free clicks, with ranking gained by optimizing your website for keywords, gaining links, getting social media traffic, and adding content to your blog.
If you do it right, you can show up in three spots on page one:
Make sure you segment your campaigns for residential and commercial lawn care lead-generation. You’ll have different keywords, ads, and landing pages for businesses, property management services, and municipalities than you will for home owners. Don’t lump these into one group or you’ll do poorly at both.
Lawn care services can get many new leads from search, so this is a tactic you’ll want to excel at.
Pro Tip: Use Retargeting Ads
Retargeting Ads are banner ads that display to people online after they’ve visited your website. They are a type of pay-per-click ad.
Retargeting ads are effective because people online are indecisive and distracted. They often don’t covert the first time they visit your website.
These ads stay with them and remind them that their yard is going to be the shame of the neighborhood if they don’t hire you.
#5. Manage Your Reputation
As we said, every small, local lawn care business knows the importance of word of mouth. If your happy clients don’t recommend you, you won’t go far in this business.
This same thing is amplified by online reviews. Leads will check reviews on Google, Top Rated Local, Facebook, Yelp, and HomeAdvisor to find contractors they can trust. If you have a poor review profile – or no profile at all – it will hurt you.
Far and away the most important thing you can do to get a great reputation is to earn it. Have your staff take on the mindset that every client is a potential reviewer (which is true) and dial-up your service to truly exceed expectations. Also, know that cutting corners can have a long-term negative effect on your marketing.
But even your fine work isn’t enough. The unfortunate reality with reviews is that people who have negative experiences are more motivated to write them. Getting comments from the happy majority requires a bit more effort.
Ask happy customers to leave you a review or give a testimonial. Follow-up calls are the perfect time to ask. You can send an email like this:
If they respond yes, it goes to a review platform where you need content. If no, it opens a feedback form.
Don’t underestimate reviews. The star-ratings are really visible in Google Places listings. People trust them and expect good businesses to have positive reviews. Earn them and make sure they show up online.
In addition, add testimonials directly to your website and to your company video. Get your best clients in front of people so they know you have satisfied people who recommend you.
#6. Create a Facebook Business Page
Facebook is an increasingly useful place for lawn care businesses to generate leads.
Start by creating a strong Facebook Business Page. Be sure to:
- Include all your contact info
- Set up Facebook messenger
- Set up reviews
- Include videos and images of your work
- Keep your timeline updated
As you create email and retargeting lists, you can use them to create Facebook ad campaigns.
Try to get reviews on Facebook, and encourage clients to use recommendations to refer you to friends.
The message feature is now a good way to get direct leads, and many people will visit your website via Facebook. This is an important place to have an online presence, even if you don’t do paid ads. It’s also free, so no reason not to get this set-up.
Pro Tip: Use Instagram and Pinterest
You can expand your gallery by using the image-focused platforms of Instagram and Pinterest.
Post your best shots and create Pinterest boards with ideas and recommendations for lawn care and landscaping. Encourage clients to follow all your social media channels for tips on how to keep their yards looking great.
#7. Use Email Marketing For Client Retention
In an area with competition for lawn care services, expect that someone is always trying to steal your best clients. They are advertising aggressively and ready to low-ball on price.
If you forget about your clients, particularly in the off-season, you may find they forgot about you. To prevent this, use email marketing to send a periodic newsletter with updates, tips, and deals. Send reminders of when certain yard care services need to be considered with a call to action to schedule the work.
Email software makes creating and sending these updates quick and easy. It’s worth it just to keep your brand in front of people so they don’t drift to the competition trying to win them over.
Also, you can tie this into customer relationship management software (CRM) where you can track contacts, deals, personal information, and scheduled work for each client. It’s a much better way to stay organized than a notebook. Marketing 360® offers free CRM software that’s perfect for small business use.
#8. Use Infographics
We’ve found infographics to be useful for lawn care businesses. These are visuals that explain a topic. They work well in blogs, as social media posts, and links from your email newsletter. Here’s an example:
#9. Network Locally
All of this talk about web marketing may have you thinking all you need to do is sit around and wait for Google to get that phone ringing.
Online marketing is effective, but as a local lawn care business, you should do everything you can to generate leads.
Get out and talk to people. Join the local Chamber of Commerce. Help out with community gardens, church lawncare, and city clean-up events.
Pass out business cards. Join local green/environmental groups like Green Drinks. Make friends with people at local nurseries and landscape materials businesses.
Make connections with handymen, painters, garage door repair and other home services to share referrals.
Lead-generation is an activity. The more active you are, the more leads will know about your business.
#10. Hire Marketing Professionals
If you’re looking to expand your business with more trucks, mowers, and employees, you may be looking at what we discussed here and wondering how you’ll fit it all in.
The short answer is that you won’t.
There is a lot of value in hiring a small business marketing company like Marketing 360® that has the software and talent to help you market your business across all these channels. We can integrate your efforts so everything works together to drive you the most leads and help you determine which channels are best for you so you can focus your resources.
Call us today to get a free demo of our marketing platform or to request a free website design mockup for your lawn care business.