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A-Land
03-01-2012, 01:14 AM
As we prepare our plans for spring advertising, I'd like to share a little wisdom that I gained from my own advertising experiences in the past. If you're wondering how effective your postcard/doorhanger/flyer/etc will be and how to make it better, start here!

The most important part of your marketing plan is recognizing why you are marketing your business.

That sounds simple. It's not quite that easy.

Let's talk about a company sending out 5,000 mailing pieces, say postcards. I've been there and done that. Take a look at your marketing piece and ask yourself, in the one second that most people will have their eyes on your ad, "is this marketing piece going to be memorable?" Your postcard is probably up against a stack of mail full of other ads. Does your ad stand out? Will it get you remembered?

Remember, you're sending out mailings or distributing flyers because you want to increase recognition of your brand. You want to introduce people to your company. That's a process that is bigger than just a one time mailing and you have to think of it that way. You have to think about how people see you, your branding, your logo, and your image. Do they see your trucks around town? Do they drive by your crews wearing uniforms? Do they see your ad in the paper and your signs around town? The keyword is building. You're building an impression on your future customers so when they need your services, your company will be first on their list of calls.

I created the logo below as an excellent example of something that will get you noticed and remembered. How does yours stack up?

Finally, and most importantly, remember that you can't afford to not have a good branding strategy. If you're putting money into marketing you must do it effectively, or you will pour money into the proverbial black hole. Plus unlike so many other industries, in the green industry almost all of the new client acquisition happens in the spring. That means your window is limited and you have to get it right. And remember, Lawnsite is full of talented graphics and branding people. Use them! Think of all the money you spend on your business: Your trucks, your equipment, your insurance. Branding is an investment just like those things, and a lot less money! Treat it that way!

Good luck with your spring advertising. Remember, invest wisely in your branding and you're sure to get your year started in the right direction! Feel free to post your marketing material below and I will try to get back to you with any advice I can offer.

GMLC
03-01-2012, 08:55 AM
Great Thread!

I hear many people on LS say "Why didn't I get many calls from my door hangers? or post cards? or flyer's?"

I have mentioned this before on here. Its marketing 101, you must remember the rule of 13. It can take up to 13 views before a prospect even reads your ad! This doesn't mean you just put out door hangers 13 times. There is not one form of advertisement that works alone, they all work together. You need to have a plan and create a brand like the OP says. Here are just some examples I use.

1: Logo.
2: Ad in local paper running all year.
3: Business cards.(Hand out and hang at town hot spots)
4: Uniforms.
5: Truck lettering.
6: Trailer lettering.
7: Door Hangers.
8: Direct mail(post cards or introduction letters)
9: Letter head on everything you mail.
10: Flyer's(Hand out and hang in town hot spots)
11: Website.
12: Google, Yahoo, Bing places/maps presence. Craigslist in some areas.
13: Signs that can be stuck in the ground when your truck and trailer cant be seen.
14: And the most important, NETWORKING, get active in your community so everyone knows who you are and what you do!

I know some of these CAN be expensive but many are FREE or can be made with microsoft office or similar programs!

McFarland_Lawn_Care
03-01-2012, 09:29 AM
subscribing....Great info thanks so much! If you live on a busy street, think about putting a big sign up in front of your garage/office/house. Make it twice as big as you think it should be. Personally the best advertising I've used is rather "unconventional". Such as having some employees and yourself enter a foot race for a good cause and sponsor on the t-shirts - or donating a "spring color package" of annuals to be planted at a town park or public area. People notice people who care. Bumping elbows in the communities make a big difference. Mind you, you have to do the other stuff first so they can put a face and personality to the truck signs they see "everywhere". ;-D

A-Land
03-01-2012, 10:46 AM
There is not one form of advertisement that works alone, they all work together.

That's the most important part.

Remember, think of your landscaping company as your product. You are selling your product to prospective clients. Remember that the next time you think about cutting corners somewhere, it will factor into what your customers tell their friends about you.

Always think about ways you can improve your product and make your customers want it more. That's the holy grail of the business and marketing universe - You have such a great product, people are buying it as fast as you're able to make it. In this industry, that means a backlog of work that's longer than you can handle. In that environment you have more of an ability to dictate prices, etc. It's a win-win-win in many different ways.

caseysmowing
02-12-2013, 10:32 AM
Bring this to the top since its the first time I have seen it and it's getting close to that time of year. Thank you GMLC for posting this on another thread.
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GMLC
02-18-2013, 09:06 PM
Time to bump this thread. Im seeing a lot of "why arent my door hangers working?" threads lately.
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newguy123
02-18-2013, 09:17 PM
Time to bump this thread. Im seeing a lot of "why arent my door hangers working?" threads lately.
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Yeah...this is a really good thread. I was surprised it didn't generate more posts but very good information.

GMLC
02-18-2013, 09:21 PM
Yeah...this is a really good thread. I was surprised it didn't generate more posts but very good information.

Me too...guess a marketing plan is just like a business plan, no one likes to admit they dont have one.
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newguy123
02-18-2013, 09:27 PM
Me too...guess a marketing plan is just like a business plan, no one likes to admit they dont have one.
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Very good point...

ygim
02-18-2013, 09:28 PM
Subscribed... This should be very informative.

GMLC
02-18-2013, 09:39 PM
Bring this to the top since its the first time I have seen it and it's getting close to that time of year. Thank you GMLC for posting this on another thread.
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Your welcome! Hope it helped. This is where all the business and marketing classes really paid off in college!
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alldayrj
02-18-2013, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the tips. Any examples of do's and don'ts visually?
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BLC1
02-18-2013, 10:01 PM
I know I've said before on some posts I had made but, whenever there is a solid post with some good business advice, it tends to get overlooked. I don't know if the majority of people on the site just aren't business minded or what. You would generate 10 times to views and responses if you said look at my new trimmer and posted a few pics of it. If the site had more posts like this or at least more back and forth on things like this it would be that much better.

newguy123
02-18-2013, 10:05 PM
I know I've said before on some posts I had made but, whenever there is a solid post with some good business advice, it tends to get overlooked. I don't know if the majority of people on the site just aren't business minded or what. You would generate 10 times to views and responses if you said look at my new trimmer and posted a few pics of it. If the site had more posts like this or at least more back and forth on things like this it would be that much better.

I agree...maybe for a lot of us here we like to work "in" our business but not "on" our business. There's a difference and I'm trying to focus more on the "on."

BLC1
02-18-2013, 10:05 PM
With that said, I very much agree with the first couple of posts. You need to have a nice recognizable logo that you can brand. You need to do it over and over. It needs to be consistent across all mediums mentioned above (trucks, signs, cards, uniforms, etc...)

When targeting areas to market with direct mail, door hangers or flyers, it needs to be done multiple times. If someone sees your mail piece and then notices your truck on the road and then catches another mail piece a few weeks later all the sudden you start resonating in their brain. If your budget is tight and you can only manage to send out 5000 pieces. Hit the same houses 2 or 3 times instead of blasting all 5k and hoping for the best.

GMLC
02-18-2013, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the tips. Any examples of do's and don'ts visually?
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Here are my door hangers. Let me try to find my other marketing threads with pics.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=369071
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GMLC
02-18-2013, 10:16 PM
Here is my truck and yard signs.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=372999
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GMLC
02-18-2013, 10:23 PM
My shirts.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?p=4280987#post4280987
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GMLC
02-18-2013, 10:28 PM
This link should work for my door hangers.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=369071
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BLC1
02-18-2013, 10:33 PM
I agree...maybe for a lot of us here we like to work "in" our business but not "on" our business. There's a difference and I'm trying to focus more on the "on."

Hit it right on the head there!!!

alldayrj
02-18-2013, 10:36 PM
Thanks man i appreciate it. I'm currently in talks to get the truck done hopefully by march, shirts and cards are done, definitely like those hangers too. Did u have the conventional ones before going with adeas?
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GMLC
02-18-2013, 10:44 PM
Thanks man i appreciate it. I'm currently in talks to get the truck done hopefully by march, shirts and cards are done, definitely like those hangers too. Did u have the conventional ones before going with adeas?
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Yup, I used conventional door hangers for many years. What I found was people threw them out and forgot about me. With my new hangers they rip off the business card portion, stick it on the fridge and call me when their ready! I ask every prospect how they heard about me and a lot say it was from a door hanger from months earlier.
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GMLC
02-18-2013, 10:47 PM
But keep in mind my "brand" is everywhere, not just door hangers.

alldayrj
02-18-2013, 10:54 PM
I do 100% installs, no maintenance. So my truck is in front a house for a day to a week, lawn sign, shirts working. The plan is to hit the block with hangers after day 1 of work with our info, services, a call to action and probably a coupon to hopefully generate some work close together and keep us rolling all year. I agree with the tear off card, have to check with my print guys if they can do that too. Maybe even a fridge magnet would work better than a conventional card or sticky card?
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GMLC
02-18-2013, 11:00 PM
I do 100% installs, no maintenance. So my truck is in front a house for a day to a week, lawn sign, shirts working. The plan is to hit the block with hangers after day 1 of work with our info, services, a call to action and probably a coupon to hopefully generate some work close together and keep us rolling all year. I agree with the tear off card, have to check with my print guys if they can do that too. Maybe even a fridge magnet would work better than a conventional card or sticky card?
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Magnet would be cool too. I think Adeas has a patent on the sticky. I do the samething, when working in a neighborhood I'll hang every house if I want to expand there.
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GMLC
02-18-2013, 11:21 PM
I highly recommend the guerrilla marketing books. They cover everything and really push networking which is free!!
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alldayrj
02-18-2013, 11:38 PM
Have a favorite one or recomend one to start off with?
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GMLC
02-18-2013, 11:54 PM
Have a favorite one or recomend one to start off with?
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Believe it or not my favorite is Guerrilla Marketing for Financial Advisors. I was an advisor for 5 years and was able to use almost everything from that book for my landscaping business. It talks about everything from networking to using a column in your local paper as an ad.
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