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  #1  
Old 09-27-2012, 01:49 PM
sven1277 sven1277 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Gales Ferry, CT
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Those who come calling for advertising dollars

Every year I get numerous calls from supposed local police and fire unions. Sometimes its a local guy calling, other times its an unknown number. I pick and choose some to advertise with. I don't think this type of advertising, which ranges from $150 to $800 or so has ever really paid off. I generally ask everyone who calls how they heard of us. Its always the same answers. Internet, yellow pages, saw truck, friend referal. Many times people will say a combination of the aforementioned options. I'm not sure that these small circulation publications provide any benefit.

I also get calls from Google all the time to be placed at the top of the page. I never talk to them. Is it worth paying them for their services? People still seem to find me. I'm always near the top of the page anyway.

I still advertise with a good size add in the yellow pages. Its expensive, about $4k per year. I know people say they're dead, but a lot of our customers are older people with disposable income. That's where they look. I'm considering radio advertising for next year. An advertising rep is meeting with me Monday to discuss possibilities. I'm also paying to have a booth in the local home show next March. This seems like a really good opportunity to meet prospective customers. I'm most excited about this. What do you think?
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2012, 05:00 PM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Location: Port St Lucie, FL
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You are right, I just put those expenses in my charity line item - no real payoff that I have found... Better to just make a contribution and tell them to give the spot to someone else.
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2012, 05:03 PM
arninglawns arninglawns is offline
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Location: Friendswood, TX
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As far as Google calling, 99% of the time it's not really Google calling, it's a 3rd party that claims they are working with Google. I don't think those are worth it, because only you know your business and your areas, so there is no one more qualified to update all the stuff that they update. I can say that, hands down, being at the top of Google is by far the best way to advertise, but you don't need to spend any money, just time. Spend a few hours a week/month making sure all of your information is correct on ALL of the online yellow/white pages. Not because people use them, but because Google uses it as a credibility check, and the more your exact name, address, phone number, website appear across the web, the more credibility Google will give you.

I decided to drop all traditional advertising methods a couple years ago and focus on my online presence. I read a few books and white papers and spent a few hours a week working on it, and now when you google "lawn care friendswood, tx", Arning Lawns comes up on top most of the time. In 2011, I got so many calls that I was back working full time just answering the phone. I hired an assistant for 2012, and she was complaining about the stress of all the calls, and wants me to hire her an assistant in Spring 2013. Most days in the Spring, and some Summer days, we get 50 calls a day. I expect that to double over the next couple of years, as we branch out to other areas.
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2012, 09:20 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Location: Lancaster, PA
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ArningLawns nailed it.
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2012, 09:25 PM
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Mahoney3223 Mahoney3223 is offline
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what books did you read? i have been doing this as well and we have pretty good results but not like you say. i'd like to read them.
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  #6  
Old 09-27-2012, 09:57 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Mahoney, there is really nothing web-related you can't learn online, almost always for free. In 16 years of my web dev and strategy career, I have purchased a grand total of 8 books, with only one in the last 8 years (and that was a compendium of free articles I wanted in one, easily referenced source). If you have some specific questions, there are a few of us in the web sub-forum that will gladly be of help.
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2012, 11:41 AM
arninglawns arninglawns is offline
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Location: Friendswood, TX
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Inbound Marketing was a good one. You can get the audiobook on iTunes. Although, I would search for something newer. Do a search on google for "local search white paper" and read one of those. Follow everything it says, and you'll start getting huge results in about 2 weeks. Or, at least you'll be set up for next Spring, if you're in an area that goes dead in Winter.
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