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Lite4
11-30-2007, 09:56 PM
I am currently in the process of putting together an 8-12 page brochure/catalog directed to homeowners interested in lighting. This is something I will send to a prospective client prior to meeting with them on their site. It will be filled a lot of large high quality photos of architectural and landscape lighting, showing some of the many varied effects that can be achieved by the trained professional. The main focus of this brochure will be to answer common questions and train the homeowner about what they should expect out of their lighting package as well as what they should expect and ask their contractor.

In a brief synopsis it will cover topics such as: Voltage drop and the halogen cycle, 120 vs. 12 volt costs associated with installation and operation, Effect lighting - using filters, louvers, colors etc., Controller options, common reasons for lighting, Most frequently asked questions about lighting and so on and so on. You get the idea.

I am making these so that any lighting company could use it. There will be a place inside for you to either attatch a card, a stamp or you could have it custom printed with your logo and company info. I am printing about 500 for me to start with. If you would be interested in this, I can send you a copy of the catalog once they are completed. I just need a good sales tool for precontact info to prepare the client for when I arive. It should cut down on the time I spend at the meeting. It will also help sell them on the beauty of lighting prior to me even meeting with them.

I don't know pricing yet, I am still trying to hammer down the price with a printing company now.

pete scalia
11-30-2007, 10:32 PM
I am currently in the process of putting together an 8-12 page brochure/catalog directed to homeowners interested in lighting. This is something I will send to a prospective client prior to meeting with them on their site. It will be filled a lot of large high quality photos of architectural and landscape lighting, showing some of the many varied effects that can be achieved by the trained professional. The main focus of this brochure will be to answer common questions and train the homeowner about what they should expect out of their lighting package as well as what they should expect and ask their contractor.

In a brief synopsis it will cover topics such as: Voltage drop and the halogen cycle, 120 vs. 12 volt costs associated with installation and operation, Effect lighting - using filters, louvers, colors etc., Controller options, common reasons for lighting, Most frequently asked questions about lighting and so on and so on. You get the idea. then you can add them to your database and continue marketing to them till they buy and after as well.

I am making these so that any lighting company could use it. There will be a place inside for you to either attatch a card, a stamp or you could have it custom printed with your logo and company info. I am printing about 500 for me to start with. If you would be interested in this, I can send you a copy of the catalog once they are completed. I just need a good sales tool for precontact info to prepare the client for when I arive. It should cut down on the time I spend at the meeting. It will also help sell them on the beauty of lighting prior to me even meeting with them.

I don't know pricing yet, I am still trying to hammer down the price with a printing company now.

Why not make it downloadable from your website, you can add to it, change it at will. Much cheaper. You are going to be knocked on your keyster when you find out the cost for 500 pcs printed on a press. Even printed digitally in color it won't be cheap. The higher the qty the lower the per pc cost. If you don't do the typesetting yourself that will be an additional significant fee from a graphic designer.Great marketing for you but the problem with others using it is this
Not their photos or maybe not the same philosophy (look how many conflicts in philosophy and methodology their are here)

You can offer it as a free report for those interested in lighting to raise their hands. They'll need to provide their info to receive the free download.

extlights
11-30-2007, 10:47 PM
We are actually doing something along the same lines except with DVD's. It will be given to the customer when one of the guys arrive at the home and the homeowner can watch it while our guy is setting up the demo. It goes through our entire process from signing of the contract, to the final finished walk through. It also acts as our portfolio which shows before and after photos with nice music lightly playing in the backround.

The hope is that it cuts down on demo time, and answers most of the questions that a lot of homeowners have during the demo. We still haven't decided if we are going to send it out and have the homeowner watch it before we arrive for the demo, or give it to them when the designer arrives. Either way I think it will help a lot with speeding up the demo times. I think your idea with the catalogs will work as well....but as pete mentioned, the cost of those might pretty high unless you have a good printing connection.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-30-2007, 11:48 PM
My question to you....

Are you certain that your prospects/clients are really all that interested in the technical aspects of the LV lighting system? I used to think that everyone would be thrilled with all of the information I have to offer. Turns out most really don't care to know or understand it, they just want a lighting system that looks fabulous, functions flawlessly and lasts forever!

You might want to do some market research before you get into small scale publishing...

A simple, yet great online or digital portfolio could be the answer to your needs.

Have a great day.

Lite4
12-01-2007, 12:36 AM
You all have very valid points. Perhaps I am overcomplicating the process again. I got the idea for the small catalog from Aquascapes. They produce pond and waterfall pumps and filters, as well as an entire system for building ponds. When I was building ponds and waterfeatures it was an incredible sales tool that answered a lot of the simple questions we always would get asked time after time. After using it for a while we noticed we were selling to a much more informed clientel. The amount of questions and opposition dropped dramatically and our sales came much easier. Was just thinking of trying to duplicate the process for the lighting biz.

pete scalia
12-01-2007, 12:56 AM
You all have very valid points. Perhaps I am overcomplicating the process again. I got the idea for the small catalog from Aquascapes. They produce pond and waterfall pumps and filters, as well as an entire system for building ponds. When I was building ponds and waterfeatures it was an incredible sales tool that answered a lot of the simple questions we always would get asked time after time. After using it for a while we noticed we were selling to a much more informed clientel. The amount of questions and opposition dropped dramatically and our sales came much easier. Was just thinking of trying to duplicate the process for the lighting biz.

The idea is great just modify it to suit your needs. Aquascape is a multi million $ company they can afford the slick marketing materials.

Mike M
12-01-2007, 06:07 AM
A simple, yet great online or digital portfolio could be the answer to your needs.

Someone here posted recently about the success they have doing a simple post card mailer, which directs prospects to the website. The website has all the images, lighting education, and guidelines for cost structure, and phone number.

pete scalia
12-01-2007, 08:44 AM
A simple, yet great online or digital portfolio could be the answer to your needs.

Someone here posted recently about the success they have doing a simple post card mailer, which directs prospects to the website. The website has all the images, lighting education, and guidelines for cost structure, and phone number.

Now your taulkin'

Lite4
12-01-2007, 11:10 AM
I forget I live in the age of the internet. Mike G. has the right idea putting the articles on his site for the homeowners to read. That is a good pattern to follow. Thanks for steering me away from this one guys. Now if only I could target a digital postcard to certain neighborhoods via the web. Then I would never have to print and mail another piece of mail. Dang those spam filters though.

steveparrott
12-01-2007, 05:55 PM
I agree, high quality multi-page brochures are very expensive. An impressive website will be a far better long-term investment. Of course you should have a few copies of an excellent printed portfolio that you lend to prospective clients.

A few other ideas:

- Business card CD's - can contain your entire website and a link to the live version.

- iPhoto Picture Books - Believe it or not, you can create an absolutely beautiful hardcover 20-page (or more) book containing whatever content you want for $30. I did a photo shoot for a contractor and he used the photos to create a "thank you" book for the client. He gave me a copy - I couldn't believe the quality. You can also create calendars and cards through iPhoto. Go to the Apple website to check it out.

Lite4
12-01-2007, 06:03 PM
Thanks Steve, I'll check it out.

Mike M
12-01-2007, 07:51 PM
Tim, have you used quantummail.com? 45 cents a post card, printed in color both sides, stamped, mailed, including the list fee. 1,000 cards = $450 on streets you pick using google maps or using demographics per zipcode.

I can't remember if you used it, but guys here recommend it and a Remax guy I met swears by it. I'm placing my order this weekend.

pete scalia
12-01-2007, 08:16 PM
I forget I live in the age of the internet. Mike G. has the right idea putting the articles on his site for the homeowners to read. That is a good pattern to follow. Thanks for steering me away from this one guys. Now if only I could target a digital postcard to certain neighborhoods via the web. Then I would never have to print and mail another piece of mail. Dang those spam filters though.

I wonder if this results in him getting business. If so I'm gonna take my 450 lawnsite posts and make a website. Hooray ! :)

Lite4
12-01-2007, 09:30 PM
Pete, Mike G. writes his own articles. He doesn't post his lawnsite threads.

pete scalia
12-01-2007, 09:59 PM
Pete, Mike G. writes his own articles. He doesn't post his lawnsite threads.

Well that's his loss then.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-02-2007, 08:27 AM
Making use of local, regional and web based business directories can be an easy and effective means by which to gather and distribute postive informatin about your business. They provide your clients with an easy to access portal for inquiring about you and reffering you to others and some directories offer space for client's to post comments and ratings.

Once you have a history of comments gathered on a directory page, you can include the link to that site on all your communications with your prospects.

Simple, free, and it works.

Have a great day.

The Lighting Geek
12-02-2007, 11:51 AM
I am re-vamping(?) my website soon. I have always used my website as a center of information. I have looked into alot of different vehicles to get my message across but everything I do directs them to the website. As Pete said, you can change it daily if you want to. The feedback I get is that the clients love the pictures. If you are hitting the right client, they don't want to be educated, they just want the best person. (I think Pete said that too, lol) I suggest just keeping it simple. I do not use brochures due to the cost. I use 2 sided full color business cards with a pic of a job on the back. That has done the most for me. I use card decks, magazines, nicely lettered trucks, etc.

The Lighting Geek
12-02-2007, 12:09 PM
Oh yes, as for the digital photo books, I am a distrubutor for them. If you would like free software to make the books, just let me know. I was looking for a solution for my presentation and loved these. I give one to each customer as a thank you and they leave it on the coffee table for a long time. It probably has the best shelf life of anything I have tried and it sets you apart as a professional.

Lite4
12-02-2007, 01:17 PM
Tommy, Nice looking card. PM me about how to get that software from you. Thanks

Pro-Scapes
12-03-2007, 08:28 AM
My question to you....

Are you certain that your prospects/clients are really all that interested in the technical aspects of the LV lighting system? I used to think that everyone would be thrilled with all of the information I have to offer. Turns out most really don't care to know or understand it, they just want a lighting system that looks fabulous, functions flawlessly and lasts forever!

You might want to do some market research before you get into small scale publishing...

A simple, yet great online or digital portfolio could be the answer to your needs.

Have a great day.

Paul has a nice CD rom he gives people. Also I gotta agree with James... Your clients wont care about voltage drop unless they have a system they are unhappy with. We have all seen it... Unburied wires... daisy chained 50w lamps... overloaded... multiple transformers chained together ect.

On my last proposal I had 3 phases on a total of 4 pages. I consulted with james... he read it... he was right it was wordy... I rewrote it and cut it in half. Had all the information the client needed. They read it... they signed it. Issued a deposit and asked a few questions. Dont get to technical with it. It might be overwhelming. Your clients want a system that will perform... be reliable and be serviced. If they want to know more about the technical aspects they will ask.

Lite4
12-03-2007, 09:28 AM
Sorry, but homeowners do care about getting a quality system. They should care about things like voltage drop and halogen cycle. With so many posers out there they have no idea what they will be getting in terms of quality they should make an informed choice about the money they are about to spend. Unless they are armed with some basic information to ask contractors about how they operate, a large portion of homeowners will always go with the lowest price when they think there is no difference in quality between your installation methods and that of some landscaper just throwing in some lights. To them lights are lights. I will have to disagree with some of you. A large part of our problem in this industry is that homeowners are uneducated on "real" lighting and dont know what they should be looking for. That is why we see so many terrible installations by less than qualified people and so many box store solar light kits.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-03-2007, 11:17 AM
Tim, of course our clients care that they are getting a quality system... and yes they probably should care about the technical workings of the lighting system, but as I mentioned before, I have found that most of my clients have no interest in the technical workings... It tends to bore them.

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

pete scalia
12-03-2007, 08:26 PM
Sorry, but homeowners do care about getting a quality system. They should care about things like voltage drop and halogen cycle. With so many posers out there they have no idea what they will be getting in terms of quality they should make an informed choice about the money they are about to spend. Unless they are armed with some basic information to ask contractors about how they operate, a large portion of homeowners will always go with the lowest price when they think there is no difference in quality between your installation methods and that of some landscaper just throwing in some lights. To them lights are lights. I will have to disagree with some of you. A large part of our problem in this industry is that homeowners are uneducated on "real" lighting and dont know what they should be looking for. That is why we see so many terrible installations by less than qualified people and so many box store solar light kits.

I agree with you Tim. Well said. An educated client is a Great client! The only problem is it's expensive to educate them. What is the AOLP doing to educate property owners?

NightScenes
12-04-2007, 09:45 AM
What would it cost the AOLP to educate 20 million people about landscape lighting? I think the AOLP should stick to educating it's members first. We'll worry about educating the public later, when their a little more interested.

klkanders
12-04-2007, 10:37 PM
We belong to our state nurseryman's association as I am sure many others do as well for all areas of horticulture. Ours puts on an annual conferance, seminar, expo also. For a small fee we can purchase seperate brochures by the box on trees, shrubs, perennials, etc... These are geared to our specific zones as well.
Why not do the same with different aspects of lighting that anyone within the AOLP could purchase for a small fee. Different color brochures on fixture materials, safe systems, proper wiring methods, maintenance, service, etc.... Nice big AOLP logo on front and back of each. AOLP could get advance orders to begin with so they would not have to pay for all but order extra for them to keep on hand. I am not a member yet but those of you who are.....what do you think?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-04-2007, 10:47 PM
We belong to our state nurseryman's association as I am sure many others do as well for all areas of horticulture. Ours puts on an annual conferance, seminar, expo also. For a small fee we can purchase seperate brochures by the box on trees, shrubs, perennials, etc... These are geared to our specific zones as well.
Why not do the same with different aspects of lighting that anyone within the AOLP could purchase for a small fee. Different color brochures on fixture materials, safe systems, proper wiring methods, maintenance, service, etc.... Nice big AOLP logo on front and back of each. AOLP could get advance orders to begin with so they would not have to pay for all but order extra for them to keep on hand. I am not a member yet but those of you who are.....what do you think?


I think this is a very good idea... and a good start at public promotion. Here in Ontario, I and a number of other Lighting Contractors formed a "Lighting Commodity Group" within Landscape Ontario. (I am vice chair) Through this group we have several commitees, one of which is working on PR and public awareness. I would expect to see similar types of condensed info sheets being produced here for public education and promotion purposes in the not too distant future.

Have a great day.

Chris J
12-04-2007, 10:55 PM
We belong to our state nurseryman's association as I am sure many others do as well for all areas of horticulture. Ours puts on an annual conferance, seminar, expo also. For a small fee we can purchase seperate brochures by the box on trees, shrubs, perennials, etc... These are geared to our specific zones as well.
Why not do the same with different aspects of lighting that anyone within the AOLP could purchase for a small fee. Different color brochures on fixture materials, safe systems, proper wiring methods, maintenance, service, etc.... Nice big AOLP logo on front and back of each. AOLP could get advance orders to begin with so they would not have to pay for all but order extra for them to keep on hand. I am not a member yet but those of you who are.....what do you think?


To be honest? I think it's all about supply, demand, and greed.

pete scalia
12-04-2007, 11:00 PM
What would it cost the AOLP to educate 20 million people about landscape lighting? I think the AOLP should stick to educating it's members first. We'll worry about educating the public later, when their a little more interested.

This message displays a very poor attitude. You should be calculating the cost of not educating them which is high to everyone, aolp included.

klkanders
12-04-2007, 11:19 PM
Hey Chris! I always value your opinion...I am tired......whatcha talkin bout Willis?
Please explain more.

Chris J
12-05-2007, 12:18 AM
Hey Chris! I always value your opinion...I am tired......whatcha talkin bout Willis?
Please explain more.

email me via my website, and I'll be glad to give you all the impressions that I have. I can't post them here because they will be deleted.

ChampionLS
12-05-2007, 05:12 PM
You all have very valid points. Perhaps I am over complicating the process again. I got the idea for the small catalog from Aquascapes. They produce pond and waterfall pumps and filters, as well as an entire system for building ponds. When I was building ponds and water features it was an incredible sales tool that answered a lot of the simple questions we always would get asked time after time. After using it for a while we noticed we were selling to a much more informed clientele. The amount of questions and opposition dropped dramatically and our sales came much easier. Was just thinking of trying to duplicate the process for the lighting biz.

Greg from Aquascapes is pretty impressive. I sat with him at dinner on a conference a couple of years ago. I like his catalogs and his marketing approach.