$ 3k in marketing - doing something remarkable?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by seolatlanta, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Hi Guys ,

    I have a family member who is willing to give me $3k or so to spend on marketing , but I couldnt really think of anything that seemed worth doing except some SEO work and some new picture work and web work .

    So I was thinking of illuminating 2 natural garden areas in my neighborhood. Most of the houses are in the $300k range and it is a nice swim/tennis community.

    The neighborhood is divided by a main street and each side has a sitting area. One side has a nice gravel path in this cool grid designed sitting area / walking garden , and the other side in the center of the cul de sac is a nice round open seating porch area that will look AWESOME when lit.

    I will have no problem getting it done as I live in the neighborhood and will pay for everything myself. I will shop / ask around for good materials on the cheap. The thing is I am not sure how many people can really afford lighting in this neighborhood.The houses on these 2 streets are $700k -1.1 million but there are a few empty homes but it is a nice neighborhood.

    I am trying to be "remarkable" in my business and begin to try something different to get people to remember .

    My question is how do I maximize something like this? I could issue a neighborhood "press release " or something like that?
  2. Classic Lighting

    Classic Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I see red flag with a "press release". First thing that comes to mind is door hanger, flyers........... trunk slammer stuff. If you want to do it and put a small sign up temporarily, fine. I not in favor of the mass unsolicited advertising. If people want this, they will come to you.
  3. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Classic ,

    I do see your point in the trunk slammer stuff , but there are only about 50 homes in this section of the neighborhood and I know about 20 of them by name and the rest by sight and walking their dogs.

    The press release idea was sort of tongue in cheek , know what i mean? I just wanted these folks to know what I do and for them to remember me.
  4. Classic Lighting

    Classic Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    When your neighbors are out walking, stop and chit chat for a few minutes. Talk to them about their landscape and work it a plug for lighting. The neighbors that you don't know, catch them in the yard, or at community events, introduce yourself and get to know them. Tell them what you do.
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    After the system is installed and the night that you plan to light it up, invite all the nearby homeowners to a "lighting celebration" Jazz it up a bit, make a bit of a spectacle of the installation for one night. Make it a Thursday so that most will be home or on their way home.

    Follow that up with a nice one page letter and a page of photos. This should be mailed or hand delivered to each home in the community. Summarize what you did and why. Invite them to enjoy the addition to their community and call you if they would like more information. Make this very personalized, going so far as to hand address the envelopes.

    You are on the right track David. By putting your product and service into the realm of experience of your target market you will come out ahead. It is a no-brainer to be honest with you. Something I have been doing for a long time and it results in SALES.
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I really hope it works for you. spending 3k on a free install to generate sales is pretty gutsy.

    I have done a free job before on a common area of a POA, put up a nice sign, postcarded the neighborhood thanking them for the opportunity to showcase the area, and we got... no sales off of it. This was a 500k plus neighborhood about 9 years ago. homes there now run 750k to well over 2 million.

    while it looked beautiful, people did complain , and wanted the lighting changed and moved around. we tried to make everyone happy, but in the end, I learned that when you give something away for free, rather than put a 3k wholesale or 9k retail value, folks tend to put no value on it.

    I know this is not encouraging, and maybe canadien folks and atlanta folks are different from arkansas folks.

    but experience has taught me over and over that 3k spent on the right postcards will absolutely yield you 15k-30k in sales.

    3k on POA stuff...priceless?
  7. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Hey Guys

    Thanks for the responses so far. I do not intend in spending the entire $3k if I decide to take it .

    I was also thinking of doing a mock up and leave it up for a few days just so everybody can see it .

    I was luck enough to borrow a fantastic CAST Lighting demo kit , which is incredibly nice and easy to use. It comes in a big rolling case with these great quik connects. I was thinking of using that , of course locking up the transformer , etc.

    I guess my question is where would you guys use any financial windfall to grow your business. I was thinking of redoing my trailer with a better sticker design on it. Also putting some signage in the back and side windows on my Toyata FJ Cruiser.

    Its basically $3k that is a gift , and I have done the RSVP cards here before and they are $3200 for 50k. Sometimes I would get 8 calls and I would sell 3-4 , and sometimes I would only get 4 calls and sell 1. So that turns out to @ $600 per lead! That is crazy to me.
  8. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    If it were me, I would spend most of it on demo kits. Now you have a long lasting tool in which to experiment and learn from. You can re-use them for years, and if used correctly, close multiple jobs with one demo.

    When you are broke, and business is dead, you can do free demo's to qualified people and generate business. There is nothing like the excitement you create from a live demo. It also demonstrates that for the most part, fixtures don't matter, it is what you do with them that counts. It helps to get people off the subject of fixtures and talking about the art of illumination. You are on the right track here. I would send 200 postcards to surrounding neighborhood announcing your demo. As James said, make a big deal about it. When your done, you still have the demo kit to use!

    I believe in carefully wrapping/signing your truck and/or trailer, great business cards, beautiful door hangers, and appropriately dressed employees. Believe me, no one thinks of me or my company as trunk slammers when we door hang near our jobs. If they do, they where not my customer to begin with.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  9. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    I have to agree with Tommy on this. While 3K helps, it doesn't get you a whole lot. This is a tricky industry when it comes to generating business. What might have worked once, might not work the next time. You could spend 3 grand on rsvp or any other direct mail source and not get much from it...and then try it again and get 15 calls. It's been discussed frequently on this site, but I agree that demo kits are a great tool to have. You could be out of advertising dollars, but it costs nothing but time to go do a demo.
  10. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Ok good so lets keep this going then. .....

    Lets say I am slow , not much work right now with 3 kick ass demo kits . How do I go out and gather up demos ? Cold calls , direct mail , HOA stuff ? Not everybody is going to have places like I do to

    I am not a big proponent of demos at all , but lets hear it. I have enough stuff laying around to make 1 big one or 2 small ones? I guess it doesnt matter as long as it has the same connection system , huh?

    How do you demo guys drum up new business? Because honestly I have taken so many jobs from companies who do demos , it is crazy. I'll bet you I have taken at least 30 jobs from companies who came out and did a demo and then couldnt close it.

    There was one company here who is a large franchise company who had a guy doing demos at night out of the back of an Acura , and he kept the Dominos pizza magnet thing on the roof of his car!!!! LOL

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