By David Crary
Green industry marketing can be tricky – you don’t have the budget to buy a billboard or Super Bowl commercial, but you still need to get your name out there for your business to grow. In my green-industry business, I always wanted to make every penny count, so I invested in local marketing that targeted only the people in my area who were a great fit for my services. Check out these 5 marketing tips I picked up that always got my marketing off to a great start:
1. The work speaks for itself
When you do a great job and present yourself well on a consistent basis, your customers and their neighbors will notice. The very best tools you have for marketing your green-industry business are your current clients. Most customers are referred to service professionals through friends, neighbors or family, so do a great job for your current customers and encourage them to refer you to their friends. You can even provide incentives like 10% off a service if they refer someone. This marketing method requires very little time and money and is the most effective of all methods. Train all your staff to encourage clients to refer you to their friends and family and include a line about referring family and neighbors in your emails to your customers. Get the referral message out consistently and you are sure to see growth.
2. Connect with customers
Current customers aren’t only good for referrals though; they are also a great source of feedback and extra jobs. Talk to your customers to find out what you are doing well, and what you could improve on. Also, sell more services to your existing customers. If they get your lawn care services, ask if they are interested in aeration, fertilization, irrigation, new landscaping, pet waste removal, snow removal, or any other services you offer. If they are happy with what you’ve done for them already, they will be a much easier sale compared to somebody new.
3. Be present
Make sure you are getting your name out there. Have your name on all your trucks and equipment. Keep a sign up at your headquarters. Run a good website and keep it current and relevant to keep yourself high in the search results. Make sure you look professional and provide useful information to attract more customers to your site. Be a consistently present and helpful member of your community and you will come to mind sooner when someone needs your services.
4. Send the right message
Be thoughtful and consistent about your company values and green industry marketing messages. Express your mission statement clearly and thoughtfully: remember that being a caring and respected part of the community is more important than becoming the biggest company in the state. You also need to make sure you are sending out information that is targeted at the right people. Before you invest in marketing, find out what kind of customers you are looking for and what those people want and need. Then you can market directly to their tastes – making your marketing more successful and less wasteful.
5. Qualify your leads
Don’t waste time trying to sell ice to an Eskimo. Make sure a potential client is really someone who would use your services before you waste a bunch of time and money trying to win them. This goes back to the old BANT principle of sales: budget, authority, need and timeline. Make sure the potential customer is willing to pay what you charge. Then make sure you are talking with the person who has the authority to make the buying decision. Make sure they need your services, and make sure that the timeframe they are interested in fits with your availability. If you apply these principles, you will waste less time on leads that were never really leads at all, so you can do a really great job on the most promising leads.
Well, there you have it - just a couple easy steps to make your marketing really count for something. If you want your business to have healthy growth this year, just set these tips into motion. Talk to all your employees about these simple ways to make your green-industry marketing more effective. Focus on consistency and intentionality. With a little help from everyone, you can make your business thrive.