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View Full Version : ADVERTISING- what works best???


Dadio
07-17-2011, 03:44 PM
Flyers have got to be the best- at least so far they are for me. ATT yellowpages is expensive and really doesn't work. So far, YELP is very expensive and does not work. Ive tried Valuepak advertising brochures which are expensive and I will never use again. Does anyone have suggestions? Maybe things like YELP will deliver in the long run...I dont know- HELP!

KrayzKajun
07-17-2011, 04:04 PM
The best things tht have worked for me are word of mouth and direct mail postcards
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WPS85
07-19-2011, 09:14 AM
Flyers have got to be the best- at least so far they are for me. ATT yellowpages is expensive and really doesn't work. So far, YELP is very expensive and does not work. Ive tried Valuepak advertising brochures which are expensive and I will never use again. Does anyone have suggestions? Maybe things like YELP will deliver in the long run...I dont know- HELP!

If you can put an ad in a local paper that will help too.


Other ways that help.

"Word of mouth" is the best!

Print some flyers with your business name at the top, and at the bottom fix it so a person can "tear off tabs" with your business name and phone number.

Ask around at different places that would let you put them up. .Its best if you know someone who works at the places too.
(etc, hardware stores, small grocery stores, restaurant's, fuel stations, auto repair shops, etc.) . Try to put them where they would stay dry, and be prepared for people that are in the same business to tear them down.

Print your own business cards. . Put them at hardware stores and some of the other places I mentioned. .Keep some in your truck so you can hand some out if you see someone that you know.

Have some graphics made with your business name & phone number, and put them on the rear windows of your truck. . Also put a sign or something on your trailer. . Have a sign made to put in your front yard where it can be seen from the road!

Hope that helps and good luck!

memphis.landscape
07-19-2011, 10:30 AM
Joining a BNI group has by far been my best investment. It cost $400 to join and in roughly 6 months I have gotten over $5000 worth of business from it.
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steel05
07-21-2011, 06:56 AM
word of mouth for sure!!

WPS85
07-21-2011, 08:42 AM
word of mouth for sure!!
Yes, That has to be the best!

I did an excavation job for a person and their friend seen the work I did. . They referred me to them. I did that job and they referred me to one of their friends.

For each person I did work for, I gave them a business card so they could tell other people that they know if anyone needed work.:)

MowHouston
07-28-2011, 08:49 PM
Still waiting on everyone claiming that word of mouth is the best way to advertise to show me their growth based purely off of word of mouth.

Stop telling the new guys that they're going to grow a business by talking to people or current customers telling other people and those people telling other people like a big pyramid scheme. It doesn't work this way. Yes, you may get word of mouth referrals but they are not common.

Technically, yes, you can do it but you'll be working a full time job for a long time before you can do into the lawn industry full time.


Hang door hangers in the Spring.
Use Craigslist throughout the whole year.
If you're in a big city, get a website and advertise online.
If you're in a smaller town that doesn't use the internet that much, use the newspaper.
Don't bother with the phone book.
Truck lettering will not get you a lot of customers, some, but not a lot.
While you're mowing, wave, smile, and acknowledge passers-by


Here's my best free advertising. I am #1 on google for Houston Lawn Mowing. I am #4 on google for Houston Lawn Care. I'm ranking up in Houston Lawn Service (which is the most competitive and important search term for lawn service online).

I pay $0. I get 5-10 new customers a week.

Way better than word of mouth.

monoshock
07-28-2011, 08:59 PM
Craigslist

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=356920

steel05
07-28-2011, 09:14 PM
if your good word of mouth is all you need. I started last season with ten clients, finished with 24. This year I'm at 41. All word of mouth except for 2 which came from 35 direct mailings I did in the spring that I got for free from vista print. I don't like to spend money on advertising. I'm in three golf course communities, everyone talks.

Snow plowing has helped. Plow contracts turn into maintenance, fertilizer, clean-ups, ect. That's the only reason I plow. I don't want to open the door for another company.

MowHouston
07-28-2011, 09:20 PM
Like I said. You word of mouth works but you will not be in the lawn industry full time for a long time.

If you want to keep your full time job and supplement your income with mowing lawns, then by all means go ahead.

I'm personally in it for the business and the profit. I advertise, I grow, I make more money.

41 customers in over a year wouldn't cut it for me.

steel05
07-28-2011, 09:37 PM
I'm in it for the profit also. I don't need 180 mow and go's to make a profit. I know nothing about your company. This is a forum for people to share info and give advice. I'm happy you get 5 to 10 new clients weekly. that's great. But how many do you lose weekly. I am a solo operator, I have a helper with me three days a week. I make between 38 to 56 percent profit on all my clients, which supports a family of six comfortably. I am quite happy with the rate my company is growing. I have a feeling I'll be in the top ten soon enough!

MowHouston
07-28-2011, 09:47 PM
I lose maybe one customer per month. Even then those have been lost due to such things as the customer moving, coming back into town, finding a renter for their house, etc. I've lost one customer due to mis-communication, but stuff happens when you get busy. Other than that, I have zero problems with customer retention. People love the way I do business.

Some people are happy keeping it small. I'm not one of those people. In fact, I'm the type of person that just wants to keep growing and growing. I see no end in sight.

The fact that I am so good at getting new customers is the reason I chime in on threads like this. Not to compare who does what business-wise, but to answer the question at hand: "What is the best way to advertise".

To some people that can mean "What form of advertising gets the best paying customers?"

To the people who are asking the question, that usually means "How can I advertise to grow faster because I've tried this other stuff and I've still only got 5 customers."

Word of mouth is not the answer to that question.

I don't doubt word of mouth. It provides great and usually loyal customers. But it isn't the way to grow a business in the majority of cases.

cpllawncare
07-28-2011, 10:01 PM
To get to the top of google isn't free I can tell you that! Word of mouth isn't the way to start a new business, you'll never get off the ground like that, One thing I've learned so far, if it's free there's no value to it, nothing worth a crap is free! nothing! You have to have a plan in place, A marketing plan with a budget it should be a part of your business plan. If you don't have a formal business plan in place, your walking around in the dark with the lights off. The first step is to sit down and think everything through, and put it into a business plan, it will have a financial section with which to include your marketing and all your cost. I'm going through the process now, and damn glad I am It has opened up my eyes to a LOT of stuff I never thought about before. I purchased a book that was recommended to me by someone on here called " Business Principles of Landscape Contracting" by Steven M. Cohan it is defintely recommended reading you can find it on Amazon. Good luck and take your time things are sketchy right now for everybody.

MowHouston
07-28-2011, 10:09 PM
To get to the top of google isn't free I can tell you that!

Okay, I lied. I pay $10/month for my website.

I did not hire anyone to SEO my site and I'm telling you that you don't need to. I did it all myself. Everything can be learned on the internet.

I started hitting the first page after two months.

Prior to that I advertise with google to get top placement with adwords. I get even more customers with that method but right now I don't need it and my top placement is, essentially, free advertising other than the fact that I spend $10/month for hosting.

cpllawncare
07-28-2011, 10:16 PM
I lose maybe one customer per month. Even then those have been lost due to such things as the customer moving, coming back into town, finding a renter for their house, etc. I've lost one customer due to mis-communication, but stuff happens when you get busy. Other than that, I have zero problems with customer retention. People love the way I do business.

Some people are happy keeping it small. I'm not one of those people. In fact, I'm the type of person that just wants to keep growing and growing. I see no end in sight.

The fact that I am so good at getting new customers is the reason I chime in on threads like this. Not to compare who does what business-wise, but to answer the question at hand: "What is the best way to advertise".

To some people that can mean "What form of advertising gets the best paying customers?"

To the people who are asking the question, that usually means "How can I advertise to grow faster because I've tried this other stuff and I've still only got 5 customers."

Word of mouth is not the answer to that question.

I don't doubt word of mouth. It provides great and usually loyal customers. But it isn't the way to grow a business in the majority of cases.

I'm with you on that, I want to GROW my business as well, and I don't have time for word of mouth to kick in, it hasn't done much for me thus far, If you want to go big you gotta get to the masses and you can't do that with flyers and word of mouth, direct mail is my suggestion, you can target your market and get your name in front of thousands of people continually over a period of time, it's really a #'s game.

MowHouston
07-28-2011, 10:48 PM
It is a numbers game. I could go into detail but the basics for me are the following.

Craigslist - Free - 1-2 new customers per week, usually low end. Some diamonds in the rough.

Door hangers - 1% to 2% call back ratio - You must then try to convert those callbacks into sales. This ratio could vary depending on the presentation, quality of your door hanger, what time of year that you hang it, and whether or not you have all of the services that the prospective customer is after.

Online advertising - 20% sign up ratio - For me, these are customers ready to go. This ratio varies on the quality of your website and whether or not you have all of the services that the prospective customer is looking for.

I think if you crunch the numbers you will find that door hangers and online advertising have very similar "cost per customer" figures.

I prefer to do online advertising because I dont have to hang the door hangers myself or worry about hiring someone else to do it for me.

I will, eventually start peppering my current clients neighborhoods with doorhangers. Something I have meant to do but have been too busy to follow up on.

grincon
07-28-2011, 11:19 PM
Word of mouth is the cheapest and best way I have found. How many people do your clients know? Multiply that by number of clients you have. People like my work so I started asking for referrals, I should have done this a long time ago.

MowHouston
07-28-2011, 11:27 PM
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c49/zesty7/office/ea00da7e.gif

cpllawncare
07-29-2011, 08:42 AM
It is a numbers game. I could go into detail but the basics for me are the following.

Craigslist - Free - 1-2 new customers per week, usually low end. Some diamonds in the rough.

Door hangers - 1% to 2% call back ratio - You must then try to convert those callbacks into sales. This ratio could vary depending on the presentation, quality of your door hanger, what time of year that you hang it, and whether or not you have all of the services that the prospective customer is after.

Online advertising - 20% sign up ratio - For me, these are customers ready to go. This ratio varies on the quality of your website and whether or not you have all of the services that the prospective customer is looking for.

I think if you crunch the numbers you will find that door hangers and online advertising have very similar "cost per customer" figures.

I prefer to do online advertising because I dont have to hang the door hangers myself or worry about hiring someone else to do it for me.

I will, eventually start peppering my current clients neighborhoods with doorhangers. Something I have meant to do but have been too busy to follow up on.

That's the main problem with door hangers and flyers and the like finding time to get enough out to be of any benefit, I've still got to be able to get to my current customers and do all the other stuff that goes with it, and most of my target neighborhoods are NO SOLICITING neighborhoods yet another problem with that route I've encountered, I've just found direct mail campaigns to work best for me all around, I pick the best design for my postcards and they do the rest, leaving me to run my business and take calls and do follow ups.

MowHouston
07-29-2011, 08:28 PM
That's the main problem with door hangers and flyers and the like finding time to get enough out to be of any benefit, I've still got to be able to get to my current customers and do all the other stuff that goes with it, and most of my target neighborhoods are NO SOLICITING neighborhoods yet another problem with that route I've encountered, I've just found direct mail campaigns to work best for me all around, I pick the best design for my postcards and they do the rest, leaving me to run my business and take calls and do follow ups.

This is the way I like to use door hangers:

When we go out to mow current customers, we split up and cover about 20 houses per guy, every 3-4 weeks.

Its not long before people who are in the same neighborhood, often next door, start calling and you have some very sick routes.

The key to doorhangers and direct mailing is saturation. But there are ways to saturate on a cheaper level such as the method above.

Try it out. You might be surprised :D

However, if you have the no solicitation issues, well, you might just be out of luck.

WPS85
07-31-2011, 08:30 AM
Stop telling the new guys that they're going to grow a business by talking to people or current customers telling other people and those people telling other people like a big pyramid scheme. It doesn't work this way. Yes, you may get word of mouth referrals but they are not common.
Yes it works that way in this area.

Word of mouth works great! If you don't do a good job for someone, then word of mouth doesn't work.

Here's my best free advertising. I am #1 on google for Houston Lawn Mowing. I am #4 on google for Houston Lawn Care. I'm ranking up in Houston Lawn Service (which is the most competitive and important search term for lawn service online).

Why don't you have your business name with your website on here? That would be free advertising.

TheBetterDoorhanger
08-01-2011, 03:48 PM
One of the key things when you are using door hangers for advertising is to make sure they are going to stay on the door and that you don't waste time trying to put them on a door that won't even accept that style of hanger. Our Band-It style Door Hangers were designed to provide a secure fit to most any door knob or lever keeping your hangers out of your customers lawns. The Stick-It feature is key once the consumer gets your ad inside the home so they can Stick-It on their fridge so its there when they are ready to make that crucial purchasing decision -- instead of in the drawer mixed in with the competitors ads. Our Postcard Stick-Its are of course the way to go as well for your direct mail campaign. We have several offers for FREE CUSTOM DESIGN - full color, full size... starting as low as $99 for 1,000 Door Hangers or $295 for 2500 Postcards (including postage!)

For a free sample packet to go www.AdeasPrinting.com/free-samples or checkout our Band-It & Stick-It Door Hanger & Postcard videos at www.AdeasPrinting.com/door-hangers.

Feel free to call me for conversation or just for an estimate --

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robin@adeasprinting.com
866-778-4254 ext200

Thank you!

MowHouston
08-02-2011, 10:20 AM
Yes it works that way in this area.

Word of mouth works great! If you don't do a good job for someone, then word of mouth doesn't work.

You can't just "bold" up a few letters in a sentence for it to work in your favor. I never said word of mouth doesn't work at all. I said you shouldn't be saying word of mouth is the best way to grow your business.

Why don't you have your business name with your website on here? That would be free advertising.

Perhaps the same reason you don't. But mostly because advertising a lawn service to other lawn service owners doesn't make much sense.

I also have top positioning on google. Having links to my site from Lawnsite is trivial. In fact, I do have my site linking from Lawnsite. Just not recently, so it doesn't really matter.