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  #11  
Old 10-22-2013, 01:44 AM
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123hotdog 123hotdog is offline
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Location: Bristol TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TML View Post
I may be looking at this wrong but seems like you moved to a completely new area with no family, contacts, connections ect. An area with different demographics from where you used to live. Given a late start and starting at zero with no word of mouth to help 5 quality accounts, 2 of which are supposed commercial, to me is not all that bad a beginning. Nothing to write home about but a start. I can't imagine anybody would move to a different area of the country and start from zero with no connections and expect much the 1 st year.

Almost everyone I know who does this full time worked another full time job at first, slowly backed off, then part time job then made the plunge full time when they had enough work that they could not fit in any secondary job.
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2013, 03:19 AM
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Blade Runners Blade Runners is offline
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Location: Woodlawn, TN
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I have passed out over 2,000 door hanger flyers over the summer.

By summer most people already have a lawn service. You will only pick up the customers who hired the guy who cut grass for beer and decided to quit when it hit 85 degrees out. Also, your flyer looks like it was done in neon crayons. Do you think anyone is gonna take Turf Surfers with neon crayon door hangers seriously?

And the logo website and everything was done by graphic artist.

That might be true but nobody sees it, I guarantee you. Can you even find it using google? I'm not even mentioning SEO. If you think all you have to do is hire a graphic artist to do a website and it is gonna bring in customers, you are already way behind the power curve. If a graphic artist done your flyer, ask for your money back, seriously. It is probably actually losing customers for you.

Back in mid west was nothing for word of mouth to spread and soon be mowing there family and friends too.

Please don't base a start-up business on word of mouth. Businesses need to be established and show good work before word of mouth is really effective.

I'm gonna be honest. You really should get a regular job and just mow yards on the side and don't lowball and offer to pay for referrals. If you have to do that, it is a sign that you are failing and probably ruining pricing for the legit businesses in your area. Based on what you wrote here, it sounds like you have done this before and you are still clueless as to what it takes to bring in customers and a few "tips" from this forum probably won't save you.

Sorry to be so brutal but lying to people doesn't help them in any way.
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  #13  
Old 10-22-2013, 04:51 PM
Mayor of Mow Town Mayor of Mow Town is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 76
Here's some things you can do for little to no cost that will help you get your name out there.

1. Start a blog. Your website person should be able to do this for you for $0 or next to nothing, as your site is built on Wordpress. This is a longer term strategy, but you have to start somewhere. Once a week, post a photo you have taken and approx 300 word article related to the services you offer. e.g. "How to" articles; "It's time to aerate/fertilise/etc..."; photos of local grasses and plants and a bit about them; lawns you have mown; lawns you see in the area (public lawns, not private residences) that have issues and what you would do to fix them.

The aim is to be seen as the expert in your field and the area you serve. It will also help your SEO.

2. Contact your local newspaper and offer to provide them with articles and photos each week as a lawn and garden column. i.e. repurpose the stuff on your new blog, and get it seen in your community.

3. Add more content and the tags etc that Tony spoke of to your website. It is vital that people know what areas you serve, or they won't contact you. Explain more about your services. Explain it in language that focuses on the benefits to the customer. What's your point of difference? Use your midwest background as a positive thing.

4. Do something nice for someone. Find a family or community organisation in need and look after their lawn for free. You can pretty much guarantee they will tell their family, friends and the wider community about it.

5. Put up flyers on every noticeboard and empty shop window in your target area. Make sure your flyers are focused on the benefits for your potential customers, or have a value-driven offer. It doesn't have to be a free mow. I would encourage you not to use a free mow as it will attract less than ideal customers.

6. Offer a free lawn health check. A one-off offer that gets you face-to-face with potential clients. Keep it short and simple. Leave them with a short report (could be as simple as a tick-a-box style) and an action step list. Sure, they might do the action list themselves, but others will say "hey, can you do it for me?"

Only people that are serious about having a great lawn will respond to this offer. You won't get those people who are just looking for a free mow who may be less likely to hire you on an ongoing basis.

7. Give some serious thought to who your ideal customer is and where they hang out. Target those places with your flyers, etc.

8. Offer to give a free presentation to the local school or community group about veggie gardening or something related to your services, but that offers value to them. Don't sell. Just give. Build relationships.

9. Guerilla garden an ugly spot in town. Try to get some media coverage. Be creative e.g. send a randsom style anonymous note alerting them to it and give hints at who it might be.

10. Build relationships with people/businesses that have similar customers to you. e.g. The pool cleaner; nursery; house cleaner; builders; etc
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  #14  
Old 10-22-2013, 05:29 PM
Mayor of Mow Town Mayor of Mow Town is offline
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Location: Australia
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11. Get your van lettered or get a magnet sign or business card sized magnets and plaster them all over your van.
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  #15  
Old 10-23-2013, 12:43 AM
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JContracting JContracting is online now
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Champlin, MN
Posts: 1,626
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygreek View Post
Passing out flyers in the Summer is not when you want to be trying to acquire mowing customers.

You have a website that is nothing more than an online brochure. This is an example of what I was saying about you can build a rocket and Northrop can build a rocket. There is nothing for Google to process re: your location/service area. I see a phone number and the broad term of "Gulf Coast". If Google doesn't have much on you, customers searching for your service can't find you. Your web designer built you a site, they just didn't build you a site that's even remotely optimized to get you leads.

- My advice would be to spend some time reading old reviews in the web sub-forum as they'll all apply to your site (trust me on this one). Pay particular attention to SEO issues (title tags, meta descriptions, content keywords, localized content, etc). I'd also suggest downloading the Google or Moz guide to beginner SEO and applying what you learn with.

- You should download the Yoast SEO plugin for Wordpress. It will really help make the above easier.

- Hit getlisted.org and use it as a guide to claim off-site listings that will help rank your site. I couldn't see what you might have (Yahoo/Google/Bing Local accounts, for instance) because you don't have the basic location identifier of a zip code on your site.

- Here's how Google sees your site:
https://www.google.com/search?safe=o...fsurfersms.com
Thanks for the additional tips on SEO Tony Greek!
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  #16  
Old 10-28-2013, 11:34 AM
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msturfsurf msturfsurf is offline
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Location: Gulfcoast
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Thank you for all advice guys I did get magnets for side of the van.
I am going to work on some of those tips provided and hopefully next season will be better.
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