Successful marketing ideas for cheap/free

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by nateturner, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. nateturner

    nateturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    all right, this is my first post so here it goes:
    this will be my second year in the mowing business, and have invested all of last years income to better equipment. Im 17 and was wondering what marketing ideas have worked for you guys that are low cost or free. Thanks!
  2. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,103

    Craigslist, Newspaper ad, door hangers, rock and card in a ziplock bag(just joking). Check out adeas printing on here, they have some good deals on door hangers. Go put business cards at the pickup counter in some local restraunts. Vinyl signs on your truck. All of these can be done for less than $200 and are somewhat effective.
  3. nateturner

    nateturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    what would you say about maybe turning a door hanger into a candy gram? Like incorporate a small size candy bar on it with some quirky saying such as "let me make your lawn worth 100 GRAND" ?
  4. LawnEnforcement25

    LawnEnforcement25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    i wouldnt. just not practical.
  5. nateturner

    nateturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    when you say practical, do you mean as in time wise to go through the work of preparing the hangers, or what do you mean?
  6. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 463

    Where a cape on broadway with your phone number on the back of a case of beer.
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Word of mouth is the best and cheapest. The problem is most guys don't work the word of mouth. Meaning you must deliberately be getting the word out. I take deliberate action every day to talk to two people who are in a position to refer work to me. I don'r focus on clients because they don't come into enough contact with enough people to do me much good. I focus on other people who are servicing my type of clients like pool guys, maids, irrigation repair guys, install contractors who don't do maint, landscape architects and designers. All these people have the potential to talk to several people a day who may want my service so its important that they think of me if an opportunity comes up.

    I do my best to remind them I'm around without being too much of a pest. I send them all monthly newsletters and do my best to run into them at industry events or supply houses or just give them a call to ask how things are going for them. When they do send me a referral I be sure to reward them with a gift card even a simple $5 Starbucks card goes a long way.

    The key to this is to be deliberate you can't just contact someone once and hope they remember you. Make a point of talking to 2 people every single day that can send you work. My business grew 30% last year and this was my primary method and I am no low baller. I am usually 30-50% higher than their existing provider when I bid.
  8. nateturner

    nateturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Great thank you. Im curious how you go about sending the monthly newsletter. could you possibly add me to your mailing list so i can get an idea of what the content is. I'll PM you my email if i can figure out how to PM
  9. phillie

    phillie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 861

    Customer referral incentives work great, as long as you do them right. Marketing is not cheap and wont be but can be looked at as an investment. You can make flyers pretty cheap but I prefer a door hanger or post card. Try for door hangers, they are the cheapest I have found.
  10. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    The newsletter is just a newsletter I write and send out primarily to my existing clients to let them know what is going on in the landscape this month. What we are fertilizing, what gets trimmed, how we are adjusting the irrigation controllers that kind of thing. When an evangelist (someone who is spreading the news about our company) gets it it is just another reminder that we are there. Sometimes they learn something too.

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