Advertizing help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by John Rayl, Mar 14, 2001.

  1. John Rayl

    John Rayl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I'm just starting, and I've been putting Doorhangers in neighborhoods wher houses are $200K or more(only about 1500 so far) and I have ads in 3 community "freebie" papers, and ads starting in 4 more. My problem? My ads have been running for about 2 weeks and only one call for a quote. My doorhangers have also yielded one call as for a quote. My only sure customer so far is one older lady, and I got her by word of mouth. I need a whole lot more than one customer, so what am I doing wrong?
     
  2. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    you Gotta hang in there ....keep the flyers going ...get some signage on and drive around ...offer a "special" check me out deal ....leave your business card everywhere you can (most Wal-Mart's, food places, grocery stores have a bulletin board)maybe donate service to your local church or little league field (signage or banner)....get creative ....good luck
     
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    As far as "freebie" papers, I know in our area, the majority of people looking at that type of paper are people looking for a really good deal, basically tire kickers.

    As far as your doorhanger goes, what does it say on it?
    We laid about 400 doorhangers so far in a very uppity neighborhood. Sure, we got a few calls, but the people weren't nice, and they were in a hurry.
    They were concerned with ONE THING. The bottom line

    We are landing the customers now, but you know who they are?
    The are average people living in older to modest brick homes.

    If the upper class neighborhoods aren't working for you right now, target a different neighborhood. Average working people with decent brick ranch homes that you see have decent landscapes.

    Believe me, it's scary in the beginning. But once you get your name out there, land a few jobs, you will gain your confidence. Then after that, word of mouth will be your best advertisement.
     
  4. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254


    Like the theleven said just hang in there!! I know that in my area there is only like a 1% return on flyers. Just keep passing them out. What kinde of door hangers are they that you are putting out. Are they pretty genaric or top of the line ones. I know that i had some lame flyers my first year and now i have made big changes and have a decint return rate. Put FREE and cupones on them too that alwyes gets peoples attintions. As for the news papers i really do not put adds in them they have not given a signifacent enough return rate to keep them running. Just my 2 cents hope it helps!
     
  5. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    To quote the movie Field of Dreams:If you put them out there, they will call.

    Just keep in mind that although they have not started calling yet, once they get a few days of warm sunshine without the snow on the ground your phones will begin to ring off the hook.

    Just be patient and keep putting your name out there.

    Good Luck this season!
    Kris
     
  6. RYAN

    RYAN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    It always seems that the phone really starts ringing a week or two before the cutting season. And then it will ring off the hook the first few weeks of the cutting season when all the lazy arses decide they don't feel like mowing it or don't have time. April is always the month I get the most calls. Keep it up with the flyers and the newspaper add and things should pick up.
     
  7. bilchak

    bilchak LawnSite Member
    Posts: 89

    Having the same problem right now. It's been a cold spring
    in Ohio, I'm holding out hope that when the weather breaks
    people will start to call.

    I've put out some fliers, and have an add running
    in the local paper, etc. and so far only a couple
    calls. Pass out those business cards!!! Just
    keep talking to people and get your name out there!!

    jb
     
  8. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    John, I've been in the same boat as you for the last little while, very few calls had been coming in until the last few days. My flyer response rate is almost bang on at 1 percent. This is my first year but here is what is working for me. I've had my best success with placing an add in the local paper on Wednesdays and Sundays under the gardening section just 3 lines in bold with a title Affordable Lawn Care, second line is company name, 3rd line is my slogan and 4th line is company number. I've put this small add in the last 2 sundays' papers and got a total of 9 calls from the two adds (total cost of $38.00). Tell everyone you know you're in the business. Hook up with someone in a related business but isn't a direct competitor with you. I've been lucky enough to meet up with a guy who only does tree topping and pruning, he can provide me with quite a bit of referral work as he has been doing this full-time for 15 years. I'm also hoping to hook up with another company that only does spraying work. (I'm not yet licenced for pesticide application.)
    I had a posting similar to yours and the responses have been really helpfull. The people that have been phoning me are for the most part either unable to take care of their lawn due to physical limitations, or are too busy to do it themselves. Ths is exactly what the members of this forum have been saying to me. Now if all goes as well, referral work should slowly come my way.
    If you follow the advice of the senior members, you'll do O.K. Keep in touch periodically via e-mail and we can compare notes. GOOD LUCK
    Doug
     
  9. tpirobert

    tpirobert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    It is a numbers game. The more flyers put out...more response. Provided there is a reason to respond. Your advertising has to get there attention and give reason to call. I keep my ad copy simple and easy to read with a CALL TO ACTION. A special deal with a deadline for sign-up will get more calls. Examples: free 1 time fert treatment to lawn or third mowing is free. Use bullets with one line statements rather than wordy paragraphs. This is what I have learned from experience. I put out some really bad flyers when I first started.....and still got calls. When the weather warms a little, your phone will be ringing off the hook. Good luck.
     
  10. John Rayl

    John Rayl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Thanks a lot, folks. I really hate sounding like a kid, but I was getting VERY worried. I've had a few local companies tell me the same thing as I'm hearing here, but I trust this forum a lot more. I'll keep pounding the pavement. My wife has been saying the same, too. I am very thankful for her, I don't think I'd have the nerve to start out like this without her!
     

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